A San Franciscan Weekend

I mentioned in my previous blog post that every year for our anniversary my husband and I do something fun. This year we decided to spend our anniversary weekend in San Francisco. Both of us had never been and it was a city on our list of places we wanted to visit.

We knew for sure that a run along the bay was a must. We weren’t sure of routes or where to go, but as soon as we arrived at our hotel, I asked the receptionist if she recommended an area to run—a 3-5 mile route. She immediately went to work mapping something for us and within seconds had a 4 mile route printed. Needless to say, it was a great first impression of the hotel.

The next morning we were out the door at 6 a.m.—still dark in the city. Map in hand, we started following the directions. It wasn’t long before we saw the bay in front of us. As we reached the bay trail, we decided to stop and take in the beauty of the view.

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The rest of the day was saved for walking to all of the touristy areas. And when I say walking, I mean walking.

We couldn’t have chosen a prettier day to tour the city. We were able to see all the places we wanted: Union Square, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Crooked Street, and Coif Tower.

Our first stop was crowded with people. I realized once I booked the tickets for this trip that it was the same weekend as the Nike Women’s Series Marathon and ½ Marathon. My college buddy and her mom were on board to run the ½. Being around so many women getting ready for such an amazing race was exhilarating. As I looked around, I so wished I was running with them.

We hiked our way through the rest of our destinations taking pictures at each stop. By the time we were done, all I was thinking about was our hotel’s free happy hour. I was exhausted.

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The next morning, Sunday, was our last day in San Francisco. We had this day reserved for the Painted Ladies—the famous Victorian houses and where one is shown in the intro to the sitcom Full House and of course, the Golden Gate Bridge. We had had plans to run across the bridge, but the logistics of time and distance to and from were not in our favor. We drove across the bridge though, parked, and walked about halfway and back. The bridge is truly a sight to see. Its vastness and beauty is indescribable.

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As I had mentioned in previous blog posts, being a SAHM is hard work. Being able to enjoy a relaxing weekend with my husband was exactly what I needed. It was absolutely perfect.

Bisbee 1000–The Ultimate Stair Climb

Every year for our anniversary, October 23, my husband and I plan on doing something fun. “Fun” of course is different for everyone.

Last year, after reading up on its awesomeness, we decided that on our anniversary weekend we’d run the Bisbee 1000 stair climb race. If you’ve never heard of it, let me explain why this is something to put on your must-do list:

Bisbee, Arizona is absolutely beautiful. It’s a really small town nestled in hills and looks like one of those little villages inside of a snow globe. It almost looks fake of how perfect it is. The buildings are old school and the whole town feels like it never left the 1800’s.

Everyone is extremely friendly. Everywhere you go it seems like everyone is happy you’re there.

The food is amazing. You can’t go wrong with eating in Bisbee. I especially like Café Roka. Apparently a lot of people do—(make reservations!).

Hotel accommodations are an adventure! You can stay at The (haunted) Copper Queen Hotel or one of the many bed and breakfasts available where each one is decorated to a specific theme.

There are so many things to see and do in Bisbee. You can spend the whole day walking around looking at the many shops, galleries, and bookstores and get a workout all while you’re doing it! Bisbee was an old mining town and you can see the great big hole where copper was taken from the earth. There are even tours of the mine itself.

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The race. The race is a 5k (technically 4.5 miles) where throughout the course are nine sets of stairs of various amounts that you need to climb. The first set, the Bandshell, consists of 73 steps; the Opera, 100 steps; Maxfield, 181, and so forth.

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You start the race excited that you’re doing something unique and different. It’s advertised as the only outdoor stair climb race in the U.S. But after the first couple of sets, you realize that this is serious business. There really is no way to prepare for running at race pace with 1000+ (1034 total) stairs sprinkled throughout the course.

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But as you’re running up the stairs, you’re giving yourself a better and better view of the town. Remember, this place is beautiful. You can’t help but admire the picturesque views as you’re gasping for air.

The stairs themselves are unique. Some of them are painted, some have been tiled, some are worn down and cracked. Most of the stairs are right next to houses and as you climb, you’re cheered on by the people sitting in their porches. One was playing the banjo for the racers.

You definitely feel like you’re a part of something special when you run this race. It’s almost like you’re in a whimsical place, somewhere far, far away. Imaginary.

I like races that are unique, that have a story, that when after you run it, you become a part of that story. I’m glad I’m someone that can tell this one.

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Cross-Training the Stay-At-Home-Mom Way

My husband left for a week long work trip so my nightly gym excursions are on hold until he returns. I’m bummed because last week I totaled 25 miles, the most I’ve done post partum. Because I’m on such a roll, I know I have to continue working out in someway. It got me thinking, “What can I do at home that will give me a good workout?” I know I could simply do a google or youtube search but what was funny was that as I begin thinking of workouts to do I realized, heck I do quite a bit already.

Calf Raises: I cover this each time my daughter, Lauren, points to the crackers at the top of our pantry. I put them there in hopes she doesn’t see them but she does. Always. So I stand on my tiptoes and grab ‘em oh about 3-4 times a day.

Squats: I have my daughter to thank for this one again. She’s learned “up” and says it frequently so I can hold her. Always mindful to not simply bend down and get her, I squat down to pick her up always keeping perfect form.

Biceps: Holding my daughter for extended periods of time means I’m working these arm muscles consistently throughout the day.

Lunges: Lauren is quite the mover and her favorite thing is to climb on the couch and run across it. Of course I think she’s going to fall and this results in me lunging after her to break the descent.

Hips: Lauren’s T.V. time consists of Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Club House and her favorite parts are when the shows start and end because of the theme song. As soon as she hears the opening song to Sesame Street or MMCH she runs towards me and begs to be picked up so we can dance. I’m a little more partial to MMCH and the hot dog dance at the end. Have you tried the dance to that song? It’s hard! (please youtube the dance)

Speed Work: Both of my kids help me out with this one. I get really tested with my speed when my son is hungry. He needs to be changed and fed immediately or he will lose it. Not only must I appease his hunger quickly, Lauren does not allow for much mother-son time. She is there to make sure I’m expediting the feeding process.

Endurance: I’ve mentioned in a previous post that my days are long. I have to make sure I pace myself and not burn out too quickly or things can go downhill fast. Doing too many exciting activities in the morning will only mean the afternoons will feel like an eternity.

Core: Finally, core muscles. Even though I might be tired after all of these exercises, my children can always find ways throughout the day to make their momma laugh. This workout is my favorite.