Thursday, July 2, 2009

Running in the San Francisco Bay Area - Thursday, July 2nd

Although my jetlag is fading, I still woke up this morning around 6:00 a.m. I dressed, drank some water to hydrate, grabbed a double handful of trail mix, and headed down the hill from my sister's house.

Jogging down upper Broadway, I passed Oakland Technical High School where I graduated in 1957. When new strict codes were enacted to make building safer in earthquakes, none of the high schools in Oakland met the standards, and several were torn down. The city spent several million dollars on well-hidden reinforcements to Tech, and the school still stands as beautiful as it was over 505 years ago.

I made my way along sidewalks through downtown Oakland, dodging people in business suits toting briefcases on the way to work, and all the way down to Jack London Square, which overlooks San Francisco Bay. There are several really good seafood restaurants here, a hotel overlooking the water, an and the dilapidated old Heinhold's "First and Last Chance Saloon", where the writer Jack London used to hang out. It still does a thriving business.

I cut over a few blocks and ran past the old building on 4th and Jackson Streets that used to to be Safeway Stores corporate headquarters. My Dad was head consulting architect there, and got me my first real job there running a blueprint machine and filing all the architectural plans for every Safeway Store.

Now heading uptown, I ran for awhile along the side of Lake Merritt. Originally a shallow tidal lagoon that opened into the estuary between Oakland and the Island city of Alameda, by the mid-1800's it had turned into a convenient cesspool for Oakland's sewage. Samuel Merritt, Oakland's mayor was responsible for pushing through an initiative that diverted the sewers elsewhere, and cleaned up the lake. Although the water level in the lake still rises and falls with the tides, it is now surrounded a beautiful park.

Finding my way back to Broadway I headed for my starting point. I was pleased that I had done the first 3.1 miles in only 28 minutes and passed the 10k mark at 6.2 miles in one hour and 6 minutes. Slogging along, I began to run out of steam, and stopped at a neighborhood grocery across from Tech High for a bottle of fruit juice. It didn't revive me as much as I had hoped, and I slowed to a walk for the last mile and a half. Still, I was pleased that although my marathon training schedule had called for 3 miles today, I had completed 10 miles and even with all the walking had averaged four point seven miles per hour

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