Seriously, I hope I’m not boring you all, but this trip home was so epic, that even the Cliff’s notes version is miles long… I guess I will continue from where I left off (Saturday PM).
Since the Nike half marathon started at 7 am (and I had no desire to commute into the city before that ungodly hour) I stayed at my sister’s apartment the night before. At least something positive came out of last month’s half marathon pre-race disaster (i.e. 4 am wake up calls are NOT conducive to a happy hippie). Spooning with my sissy-poo in her San Francisco bed was the best option. As a gracias, I took her to a fabby din din in her own ‘hood the night before the race.
ALIVE Vegetarian Cuisine
This place was bananas good. As if my taste buds weren’t already wowed enough from our lunch at The PLANT cafe organic, this dining spot upped the ante to a place I didn’t enough know existed. It was only described as “vegetarian” but as far as I could detect, the menu was all vegan with a high percentage of raw dishes (anything cooked was noted on the menu).
To start, we split the Astragulus Mushroom Miso Yam Soup (which was cooked), with flaxy dehydrated crackers on the side. Sorry the pics are so crap-tastic, we sat outside so it was dark (thus flash was necessary). The soup was delicious, and of course the yams (which were almost certainly sweet potatoes) were the best part of all.
After soup, we split the Spicy Red Curry Avocado Wrap, which was out of this world. Both of us were in shock and awe, commenting on the amazing ingredients and new flavors that emerged with each and every bite. If When I go back, I want to order 10 plates of this appetizer alone and just go to town on it. It was THAT good!!
California is sure doing it’s darndest to keep me from returning to the East Coast because DAYAM. My entree, the Garlic Miso Seasonal Vegetable Ribbons with Pinenuts, is why I need to move home a spiralizer. GAH. Best sauce, best flavor, best dish. Period.
The photo really doesn’t do it justice because underneath all the fun on the top was heaps of gorgeously spiralized fresh veggies.
My sister got the Shiitake Mushrooms Sun-Dried Tomato Torte with Basil Walnut Pesto, which she liked, but after tasting mine, she agreed, I got the better dish. I can’t say enough about my pasta’s sauce (and I don’t even LIKE garlic!!), not to mention the fabulous crunch of the sprouts and veggies.
We walked back to her apartment full and happy, and crashed pretty soon thereafter. I was starting to get pre-race nervous butterflies, so sleep was the safest way to quiet my inner psycho jitter voices.
On Sunday (race day), I woke up bright and early (5:30 am), dowsed my face with H20, stepped into my new Nike threads (love), and dragged my bleary eyed sister to her car. Neither of us was really awake, but she managed to drop me off as close to Union Square (in SF, not NYC) as the po-po would let her. Thanks for the ride Laura!
No friggin’ way to explain how jam-packed Union Square was. And yet, I was pleasantly surprised at how organized it was for 20,000 peeps!!!
My nerves were gone at this point and all I felt was PURE excitement. 😀 I checked my bag, strapped up my Polar F6 HRM, and made like a cow got into my corral.
It was still dark when the race started, but after the first (annoying) mile of mass chaos, I hit my stride. I even managed to figure out my iPod shuffle, so with the music pumpin’ I was in the zone. I have NEVAH participated in a race with such crowds cheering me on. Who ARE these people that wake up at the crack of dawn to cheer on random crazy runners?
It was so fun.
And then there were hills.
Can you believe I used to live in this city and run these hills? Nope. I don’t know how I forged ahead given the insane inclines. There were certain points that I was SURE I wasn’t even moving. Some climbs stretched on for-e-ver.
I tried to make up time on the flat parts, but there’s only so much you can do. The views were breath taking. The cheering was inspiring. [Running high]. And I (again) realized how lucky I am to be able to race.
I could write pages and pages about every emotion I felt with each mile, so I’ll just cut it off here. As I crossed the finish line, I was handed this beautiful little box.
For those who don’t know me personally, I’m a big fan of Tiffany & Co. (what girl isn’t!)…so much so that my bridesmaids’ dresses will be this color.
And for those who asked, here’s what the necklace looks like:
“Run Like a Girl” NWM SF 2009
After I had collected all my free loot (and got a post-race massage), my sister picked me up and we headed back to the East Bay.
My eats on Sunday were very “S”-ified (snacky, scattered, and salty).
TJ’s White Bean Hummus. WOW.
I dipped everything in it, and I mean ERRRRTHANG, so don’t let the limited pics above fool you. The white bean hummus was delish, and needs NO further promo. Not only does Joe know how to Trade, but he also knows how to make a good white bean hummus.
While watching football, more snacking ensued (savory and sweet pumpkin seeds, labeled accordingly). Throughout the PM, I fought off eye drooping with a ton of errands (Costco, BB&B, Target, Apple store, TJ’s etc.) – I was quite the efficient shopper/returner.
By 5 pm it was clear I was fading fast, so we had an early dinner.
In our family, on birthdays (or other important events), you get the “special plate.” Sunday was that day for me 🙂
On my special plate was leftover lentils plus roasted root veggies (brussels, sweet potatoes, BN squash, and parsnips) and a side salad (apples, dried cranz, and balsamic vinaigrette on spinach & other greens).
I got a second wind after dinner, which probably had something to do with the massive helping(s) of apple cranberry cobbler I had.
It was even better this day.
And again. Who WOULDN’T?!? I nearly demolished it, but like the angel that I am I saved some for my mom and dad. Don’t mind me, I’m just polishing off my halo…
On Monday, I woke up early for even more errands. I swear, I am more productive at home than I am in NYC. I was busy all effing day long. I did some noshing in between, though.
Leftover PLANT burger (even though it was only a few bites, it was DEF worth saving)…I don’t care what waiters think of me, I’ll doggy-bag soggy lettuce if it’s tasty!
I heart bread. The fresher, the better.
The bread’s aroma was intoxicating, I was quadruple dipping it into the white bean hummus.
It was pouring, but I still forged ahead with the day’s errands.
Kona was at the fence to greet me when I returned – completely caked in mud. Good thing I hadn’t yet gotten to the “laundry” part of my to-do list.
I amused my bouche while cooking dinner watching mom cook dinner. I was tirrrrred!
This BN squash soup made up the base of the stew-age. The rest of the ingreds:
- yellow potatoes (4)
- zucchini (2)
- yellow squash (2)
The potatoes were first cooked with veg broth (in a separate pot), while the other veggies browned in the bottom of the big pan with EVOO. Once they were both cooked, they were combined along with the BN squash broth.
In addition to the soup, I made a nice ensalada with blood oranges, beets, and spinach.
These babies were juicier than the OC Housewives.
All togethah now…
Mmmmm…sadly this was my last supper at the parentals casa.
All my bags were packed, I was ready to go…
You may be of the opinion that a flight leaving at midnight doesn’t warrant quite as much snackage as I had, but you can’t be too prepared right? Fortunately, this flight went WAY better than my last one. After checking in, I ABC-ed it (apple, Benadryl, Chai tea). Don’t worry, there’s not enough caffeine in tea to do anything to me, I was zonked the whole flight long (and a bit of the train ride back to the city, too).
Can I just say Brrrr…what happened to Fall? When I left it was in the 60’s, now it’s barely 40’s. Not cool man, NOT cool.