Tuesday, November 18, 2008

San Mateo

Nicer than expected run this morning. Playing with Map My Run last night, looking for runs in San Mateo, having a hard time finding the "right" run -- until I figured out that you can display results by distance. When I displayed the "run + 1-5 miles + longest first", then #1 result was "San Mateo Marriott Run". Result!

I hadn't been particularly impressed by my glimpse of strip mall San Mateo. But in the early morning light, under a pinky-orange sky, it looked much nicer. Sure, the first couple of blocks were a bit nasty -- the backside of a Kmart, the loading dock of a Michaels. But then the road narrowed and I was running past early 20th-century bungalows and palm trees. People walking dogs. Children dawdling to school. Gardeners, bundled up against the morning chill, waiting in small groups for their rides to work.

Running felt pretty easy -- though I did have lots of unplanned "breaks" when I had to wait to cross streets. My right achilles was still a little sore this morning, but not too bothersome.

Hit the first turn in the "lollipop", ran under the train tracks, and then ran back towards "downtown". Decided to deviate from the route and was pleased to see that there is still a nice little downtown, with cute shops and cafes.

Sun much higher in the sky (why didn't I wear my sunglasses???), squinting along the sidewalks and braving traffic. To avoid the less pretty roadway, I veered into a residential area, running past newer homes along well-maintained sidewalks. (Some bumps, but nothing like Ballard. Lack of sodden leaves helps too....)

Then the time was up and I walked the last few minutes back to the hotel. Not the longest run -- only about 5.4 miles, including the walking -- but I sorta made up for it by "briskly walking" the 1.9 miles each way between the hotel and the workshop location.

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