Sunday, December 20, 2009

City Walks SF #50: Fort Funston

That's right! We finished our 50 city walks this year, just like we'd planned.

Thanks again to Karen and Bernie for getting us such a great gift last Christmas! This deck was a phenomenal way to get to know our city (The City) and get exercise at the same time! Now we just have to figure out what to do with all of our weekends next year!


Fort Funston is a stretch of coast on the south side of the City, managed by the National Park Service. Like all NPS lands in the Bay Area, it features many military installations of WWII era or earlier. Here's one that the observation deck was built around:

There's the north side of Fort Funston, where dogs seem to outnumber people:

And here's the descent to the beach:

More beach - and fewer dogs here:

And back on top, heading through a battery:

This was a nice place, but for the distance from our house, I feel we might as well just go to Marin - so many fewer people there! Definitely a gorgeous asset for the City though.

And a lovely way to end our City Walks.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Girls on the Run

I'd like to introduce you to a non-profit called Girls on the Run International, which has chapters throughout the country.

Girls on the Run of the Bay Area is dedicated to educating and preparing girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Over the course of 10-weeks girls are introduced to healthy living lessons, participate in fun games, make new friends, run to build self-confidence, and prepare for their first 1mile or 5K run - the Lollipop Run on Sat. May 8th in Golden Gate Park. Our spring programs will launch on February 22nd and we anticipate serving 300 girls in 24 programs throughout the Bay Area. Over 75% of the girls in our program require scholarships to participate in the program.

There is a great need for our programs in the Bay Area; many of the schools where we offer our program only provide 1 or 2 thirty minute PE classes a week. Research from the Women's Sports Foundation shows that if a girl does not participate in sports by the time she is 10, there is only a 10% chance that she'll be active at age 25. Additionally, a Prevention Institute Study found that investing $10 per person per year in programs to increase physical activity, improve nutrition and prevent tobacco use could save the country more than $16 billion in annual health care costs within five years. Our objective is to not only prevent at-risk behavior, such as adolescent pregnancies, eating disorders, depression, and substance abuse, but also to instill confidence, a positive attitude, and the importance of healthy living habits in each girl.
Perhaps you know a teenager, as I do, who may have benefited from such a program. Perhaps you, as I did, received these benefits through sports in grade school and middle school.

Consider being a coach in this program, or volunteering at one of the 5k runs, or becoming a "running buddy" in the 5ks. There are many opportunities.

Of course, I do have an ulterior motive: I am raising money for Girls on the Run as part of my training for the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon in February. (That's right, although I denied it, I am addicted to running.) I will also be a running buddy for the spring Lollipop Run here in San Francisco. Consider finding out how you can help in your town!

Hark the Herald Angels 12K

Since I never found a partner for the Santa Barbara International Marathon relay, I had to sign up for another race to at least keep myself in some semblance of shape (that was before I signed up for another half marathon...). So, a 12k on Angel Island it was. Unfortunately, I am destined to never go to Angel Island in good weather.

I spent the whole drive up to Tiburon speculating on how I could obtain a running rain slicker before the race to which I was already almost going to be late thanks to weather. Luckily by the time we got to the ferry docker, the downpour had subsided. Here I am waiting to start, a little chilly. My poor mother who picked an unfortunate weekend to visit is covered in the slicker.

For the most part, the trails and the weather looked like this:

It was really muddy.

But I loved this race - it was really fun! The runners were very friendly and laid back, and the scenery was gorgeous! Every time you round a corner on Angel Island, another view awaits you - the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, the City, the Bay, other parts of the Island. Even in the rain, the light can be gorgeous. And by the time the rain really started coming down with about a mile left to go in the race, I was back in the forest flying down a hill under the cover of trees.

I will definitely be signing up for another Enviro-Sports race in the future.

City Walks SF #41: Mount Davidson and West Portal

This walk was rather anticlimactic for our second to last City Walk. That's right - we are almost done. At 927 feet, Mt Davidson is the highest peak in the City. However, I firmly recommend Twin Peaks regardless of the few feet shorter it is. Twin Peaks features 360 degree views, rather than just the north side that Mount Davidson offers. In addition, there is also no giant cross on the time. (I will admit though, Mount Davidson appeared to have some cute stone-step trails through the eucalyptus forests.)

Due to our country's supposed separation of church and state, in 1997, the City of San Francisco sold the 1/3 acre on which this cross sits to the highest bidder. Problem solved.

This walk also involved the neighborhood of West Portal, which we have visited several times for the cute 3 screen movie theater just two subway stops from the Castro. We went there just this past weekend to see the Fantastic Mr. Fox.

City Walks SF #42: Glen Canyon

I love Glen Canyon! I know have blogged about this before, but I can't find it in my archives. This time we went here for the actual city walks. I mean really, can you believe these pictures were taken right in the middle of the City?

City Walks SF #47: Bernal Heights

Here's another area of town we had never been to before. Bernal Heights Park was very nice - filled with joggers and dog-walkers, and with great city views. I really enjoyed it. Bernal Heights is also a cute little neighborhood with shops, restaurants, and bakeries. There are so many little streets like this sprinkled throughout the City, right in the middle of residential areas - I love it.

City Walks SF #48: Potrero Hill

This is an interesting residential area with great views of downtown, but it is oh-so-remote from good public transit. We walked by the Anchor Brewery, but they have no tap room here, and tours are so limited you have to take vacation from work to get one.

We also saw the real curviest street in San Francisco. Not as picturesque or as close to other things as it's famous counterpart, Lombard Street.

City Walks SF #49: South Park and the Embarcadero

Ah, we did this walk so long ago that I have forgotten so much. For some reason this walk involved a chain - Gordon Biersch, but since Matt and I so rarely turn down beer, we stopped in anyway.

We also took a short walk along the bay, stopped by AT&t Park and then headed into this strange area called South Park. Situated smack in the middle of an industrial area, this is an oval-shaped green area with a playground, cafes, and commercial spaces for the creative types. Strangely, it's just a block or so from Matt's office and we had never seen it before.