Run with Wings

I don't have a large enough readership to get the awesome freebies that some big blogs come home to on their front porch regularly.

Instead, I have to earn my freebies. By placing in races!! Ohhhh, snap.

As a blast from the past that is November of 2011, I placed 2nd (1:26) among women in the Run With the Jets half marathon in San Mateo. (I placed 2nd in a lot of races last year. Never first. But second place still means freebies!). I later learned that the top three women won a pair of Mizuno running shoes. The running store providing the shoes was in Burlingame, a city 45 minutes away that I never found my way to...until this weekend!

Running with the Jets!

Getting chased down by the 1st place woman

Paparazzi'd by the Gentleman

The running store, A Runner's Mind, was wonderful in so many ways.  First, it is owned and operated by a family -- how dreamy is that!? They were, as most devoted runners are, really lovely people. Second, there was a bigass bowl of jelly belly beans with a spoon for scooping at the checkout. I will have to be back....they know what runners want (sugar?).  There was a bowl of sticks of gum too! Third, based on the whiteboard calendar in the store (and based on their website), they host group runs and support local races all the time. If you live near Burlingame, this is the place to support and hang out with if you need a running group.

And very first pair of Mizunos.

Check it out -- $115! In my pocket!

Mizuno Wave Rider 15.  We'll find out how they work for my feet.

I probably won't try them out for another couple months, while I work through the other million running shoes I have (more like 7 or 8)

Hidden in my closet

At the front door (two of these are the Gentleman's)

While I was out near Burlingame picking up my free Mizunos, we stopped for lunch in San Carlos at The Refuge, known for it's excellent Belgian beers, the best pastrami sandwich in Northern California, and terrible service that is only tolerated because the sandwiches are so good. 

My beer.  So loved it.

The Gentleman's beer.  Flavor: snail with a saxophone.

Sandwich (whoa) from the website.  I split this with the Gentleman...and finally found the one meat that was WORTH it.  Back to vegetarianism now, for real.  Until I come back to The Refuge.

Back to Running.

Today presented me with a 17.5 miler with wings.

Wings? Like, I had Red Bull beforehand? Nahhhhhhhh.

Let me try and describe this kind of run. This is the kind of run that keeps me coming back day after day after year.  It is the ultimate running Nirvana.

This euphoric run is especially prevalent on winter days like this, where the freshness of the air and the crisp scent of rain and wet trees heightens your awareness of each breath you suck in. And then you notice that you are on mile 15, and your body is so strong and adapted to the heavy mileage, that you are just gently opening your lungs with each breath, and you don't even feel the effort of your legs pumping forward; you are just flying.  Effortless.  The winter air makes me feel weightless.

This kind of day, you know?  Picture of Sunol from a hike last year.

Now I'm off for a day of football.  49ers v. Giants.

What makes a euphoric run for you?