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May was a happy running month. Flower pollen filled the air and I breathed it in with only a little guilt – every pretty falling petal stokes my boyfriend’s allergies. Oh, well. The important thing is I had a good time.

My best runs of the month were those we enjoyed in San Francisco. I packed terribly for this trip. Friends warned us that the city is chilly this time of year, but that didn’t stop me from only packing running shorts and tanks, as well as skirts and shorts to wear around town. Fortunately the steep hills warmed me up right away, though I’d love more of those chilly breezes right now. Running felt like an adventure in SF. We were lucky enough to stay in a neighborhood with lots of beautiful Victorians so there was never a wrong answer on which way to turn because every block looked like a painting.

One of my favorite destinations was Buena Vista park.

view from Buena Vista

view from Buena Vista

view from Buena Vista

view from Buena Vista

view from Buena Vista park

view from Buena Vista park

The peak made for a nice rest stop between hill beatings. Every time we went, there was a handful of people sitting at the top taking in the view. Some were dog walkers, others doing yoga, a fellow strumming a guitar here and there and a few homeless people.

Homelessness seems higher in San Francisco than in NYC, but maybe homeless people are just more visible there. In SF, we saw them brushing their teeth in the morning, catching rides on the Muni, in parks. In NYC you see them in subways or where they happen to settle for an hour or so, but in SF we saw them where they live as they live. Their presence grounded my perception of this city (currently the most expensive in the U.S). Twenty percent of the country’s 500k+ homeless people live in California, according to this National Geographic photo essay on the relationship between homeless people and libraries in California. Here’s a list of 16 SF nonprofit organizations making an impact on homelessness in the area.

Shifting back to running…

My longest run this month … 14.69 miles. I’ll take it. In The Accidental Athlete (review coming soon), John Bingham observes how good he feels after a race only to look around and see other runners grumbling about not finishing fast enough rather than savoring the fact that they are currently healthy enough to run/walk however many consecutive miles. This is me [Insert me sliding tongue first down a mountain of coconut milk chocolate chip mint ice cream] celebrating the fact that I ran 14.69 miles and felt great after. I’ll hit 15 miles one of these days.

Mileage Update:

Jan – 162.81

Feb – 127.46

March 153.13

April – 167.15

May – 163.07

2015 not including June – 773.62 miles

I expect my mileage to plummet this month and next as the heat and I are not friends, but we’ll see. My sister’s treadmill will help during the week I get to watch my nieces. My oldest niece asked if I’d take her on a few runs and my heart melted. Her little sister never lets her out of her sight in summer so it will be the three of us. I will look like a galloping giant next to these minis. I’m excited to give them their very first running outfits. My sister says they’re training for our runs by running around the living room in a circle for 10 minutes. Fingers crossed I won’t be eating their dust for breakfast. These girls rise with the sun so at least we’ll beat the heat.

running buddies

running buddies

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