Traveling Yogi: San Francisco, California + Wine Country

As promised, below is a recap of my trip to San Francisco. I didn’t really plan much for this trip except for my yoga conference, so I figured I would drive out to wine country for 1 day, check out a cycle studio, and get some runs in.

As soon as I landed, I caught a shuttle to my friends apt. We spent the next few hours catching up on life before I decided to head out for a nice, 9-mile run. Except, 1) I didn’t realize how hilly SF was, and 2) I got lost, so my 9 miles turned into 10+ miles. No biggie, except my calves were sore for a solid week afterwards! There were people running past me the entire time – people are in serious shape out there!

SF Bridge

Anyways – I had to stop – a LOT – because look – the views are beautiful!!

SFBridge1

Which made me seriously question a lot of life decisions – for one, why am I living in Ohio? It was 45-65 degrees the entire time I was visiting (which is actually cold for this time of year), but it felt amazing! I was running around in a long sleeve shirt and was dying by the end of my run! And people were walking around with hats and long fur-lined coats… they obviously have never experienced Ohio weather.

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Run Across the San Francisco Bridge = Check off my bucket list!

After getting lost and running over 10 miles, I finally found my way back. My friend and I went out to eat, splitting a bottle of wine and staying out until the wee hours of the night – 1:30 am (4:30 am eastern time!).. Needless to say, I was a little fuzzy the next day, but I survived ūüėČ

BBWD

Fast forward to Sunday night – the yoga event had come to an end, and I was pretty¬†tired…. So, i caught an Uber and headed over to Roam Burger. Let me tell you – this burger was the size of my head: Bison, bacon, cheese, fried egg, fries, avocado, tomato, lettuce… I mean, just look at it. And a beer & fries on the side, because that is just mandatory with a burger ūüôā

RoamBurgerSF

RoamBurger

I basically ate myself into a food coma – so come Monday morning – I slept in… and of course, finished the reset of my burger for breakfast! I planned out the rest of my trip while waiting for my food to digest (a¬†burger before a run = sometimes I don’t make good decisions), deciding to run & explore + catch up with a friend from high school at dinner…. Tuesday, Wine Country…. and Wednesday, a cycling class!

My Monday run consisted of¬†heading over to¬†Rincon Park, then back to fisherman’s wharf to hang out with some sea lions, then to Ghiardelli square for CHOCOLATE!! I actually found an amazing juice spot, THEN bought some chocolate –¬†because I have to be a little healthy sometimes, right??

Juice Shop

After my run, I stretched & did some yoga before heading out to dinner with a friend. Of course, I stayed out wayyyy too late, and that alarm at 7/8 am was not welcomed! However, I was way too excited to pick up my rental car and drive to Napa that my lack of sleep was quickly forgotten.

Napa2

A 1 1/2 hour drive later, I ended up just north of Napa Valley at a Winery called The Terraces – highly recommended by a friend, and it didn’t disappoint!

TheTerracesWinery2

I was greeted like an old friend and did a tasting with the employees, as I was the only customer there (note-you need to make a reservation beforehand). We chatted for over an hour before heading out to take a look at the property… Just absolutely stunning! There were fruit trees, honey hives, rosemary plants…. just gorgeous. And the wine? Let’s just say this is the first and probably not the last time I will spend $60 on 1 bottle of wine!

TerracesWineryCA

TerracesBV

After the tour, I headed off to Domaine Carneros Рa winery that makes champagne & pinot noir Р2 of my favorite wines!

DomaineCarnerosWinery

Miles and Miles of delicious grape-bearing vines!

It just so happened that I was the only one in the last tour of the day – so I was able to get a one-on-one tour, with plenty of time to ask questions & hang out! I learned the process of making champagne (it’s actually pretty ridiculous what goes into it!), tasted the different kinds of champagne, and then ended with some Pinot Noir. Wine connoisseurs are seriously dedicated people!

ChampagneProduction1

DomaineCarnerosWineTasting

I now know that Brut champagne is the least-fruity champagne (it’s normally made with chardonnay)- so if you want something “sweeter”, go for the dry or extra dry champagne. There is an extra tablespoon or 2 of sugar in there ūüėČ And Rose is nothing but champagne with a touch of red wine in it!

WineTasting

I grabbed a charcuterie board after the tour and relaxed for about an hour, watching the sun set. Seriously, perfect end to a wine-filled day!

Domaine Carneros

I got back around 7, dropped off the rental car, and hung out with a friend after. Of course, I stayed out too late… and I had already planned to go to Soul Cycle – a high-energy cycling class that I was told (by many people) to try. So of course, rise and shine at 5:15 am…

Soul Cycle

I personally don’t like cycling, as it makes my thighs super muscly… but, I had already run around SF a few times and decided to get my interval run workout in for the day instead. The room was filled with bikes almost on top of each other, and I went in early to get clipped in to the bike (note – I really, really needed help from the staff, my shoes did not want to clip in!) and get settled in. There were weights under the seat, and the last 10 minutes of class we used them for an upper body workout. The class had awesome music, buuuuuttt… Not a fan. Just go and try for yourself – it just wasn’t my cup of tea, but some people go religiously they love it so much. For $30/class (YES – it’s ridiculously overpriced), I’d rather be doing yoga or get yelled at by a personal trainer.

Soul Cycle_2

Besides being pretty motivational & having modern decor, I wasn’t super impressed. Also, I learned that I have absolutely NO rhythm. Like, worse than I originally thought. So there’s that.

Unfortunately, my trip was less than a week long, and I had to eventually head back home to Ohio. There was so much more I wanted to do, more wines to drink, and more relaxing to get done! And although it rained half the time, it was still pretty warm & I had so much fun!¬†Upon landing back in Ohio, I was invited with snow and freezing cold weather. BUT – the good news is, I’ll be back! I am planning another Yoga/Wine trip in June, so I’ll be able to visit many more wineries and get a little zen in ūüôā

So who has been to San Francisco? Lives there? Did I miss anything I absolutely needed to do?

Marathoners in Training

Hi all!

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I had joined MIT – Marathoners in Training, a local running group that was highly recommended by my boss & one of my favorite bloggers, Nikki at Will Run for Pizza. The cold and the cost ($120) has always deterred me from signing up – but, since it’s been a fairly mild winter, and I felt like running 20+ miles a week on top of my already busy schedule, I decided to join!

So far, the community has been great! My holidays were not the greatest, and I have been grumpy gills for basically the past month. Top that with getting up at 6:30 am on Saturday morning to run 7+ miles in the 15 degree cold on my only day to sleep in, you would think that I might hurt someone that early in the morning. Fortunately, I’m not that awake that early, and everyone in MIT is so welcoming! I ran the first half of my run listening to music, and trying not to focus on my frozen legs (NOTE: I went out and spent a few $$$ on warm running clothes after my run!!). The second half, I started chatting with another member in my pace group, which made the run much more enjoyable AND go by quicker.

Nina Elise Running

By the time I finished my run, there were bagels¬†& water¬†waiting for everyone, and I was able to chat with one of the running coaches about training afterwards. Overall, I feel pretty confident about running my upcoming half in 2 months, although not so much about PR’ing. Ideally, I want to break 1:45, but I am completely ok with just breaking my last half time – 1:53. However, if not, totally OK – it’s all for charity, and I am going to enjoy my run through the 5 boroughs of NYC!

(Side note Рif you would like to support my run by donating to St Jude, you can find my fund page here. Every cent helps, and your support is so much appreciated!!)

Anyways – a few things I have learned so far:

  • Always go slower, as you don’t want to wear your body out
  • Save fast runs for interval training days (I normally like to sprint at the end of my runs – I guess it’s better to just keep going slow & let your body rest!)
  • Get your miles in! The more miles, the more your body will be accustomed to long-distance runs
  • Run 14-16 miles before my half marathon – this will build confidence, and your body will be better prepared to run the 13 miles (coming from a yoga student & fellow MITer)
  • Test out drinking water/when to eat/different types of food to eat when training a few months out (I am awful at this! I eat a feast¬†AND gu before my long races and get burnt out by mile 5… I am considering bringing a burrito with me to eat during my race ;))

I’ll be in California in less than 2 weeks, so I am going to have to figure how to get my miles in before or after my 10-hour yoga training days while traveling! With that being said – are there any good running spots I should know about in San Francisco? I have 3 entire days to roam about and do whatever I want, and running is the best place to explore & get to know the area!

For all you runners out there – have you ever trained with a group like MIT? If so, what have you learned from it? I’d love to hear from you!

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