Run Turismo: San Francisco Edition

My job involves short trips once in a while, and easy-pace running is a great way to explore the locations, take some pics, and get in some miles while on a tight schedule. This week’s trip to San Francisco was particularly busy. I was interviewing with different potential employers holding interviews in different hotel suites spread across downtown. I ended up accumulating 93,651 steps in 4 days, and enjoying a few trips up Nob Hill.

In terms of running, I was able to squeeze in a couple of short early-morning runs, and a longer leisurely run along the bay shore and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Overall, I found San Francisco to be a wonderful and very interesting city for running:

  • Some of the steepest hills I’ve encountered
  • Remarkably nice running weather in early January
  • Spectacular views
  • Like in any big touristy city, crowded roads can be a bit of a hassle

I didn’t get to do as much exploring as I would have liked to, but I loved the parts I did explore. It was a wonderful experience and my biggest disappointment is that none of the places interviewing me are based in San Francisco. I completely recommend it!!

Is there a half-a-mile without a climb in this town?
Nob Hill
I came back during the day to take a picture of the hill

On my first two days in town, I was busy from 8 to 8 and completely exhausted after that. So, the only time for running was early in the morning, and I had to run around my hotel near Union Square. I’m very glad that the neighbourhood is full of super-steep streets like the ones  you see in movies. I am a sucker for a nice climbing workout, and I didn’t want to leave town without going up a few of its famous hills!

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My bunion surgery

I’m starting off this year with my heart and mind set on the goal of becoming a triathlete. I know I can ride the miles, I will power through the run, and I’ll train to finish the swim, yet my current reality is that I cannot even walk.

I had bunion surgery on my right foot on 11/25/15. Bunions are a bump on the side of the foot, at the base of the big toe. There are also tailor’s bunions, which are the same thing but at the base of the little toe. I have both. Bunions mostly affect women, and can form due to genetic reasons and/or improper footwear or activity throughout life.

I’ve had bunions ever since I can remember. My mom and both grandmothers had them as well, each with different severity. Though mine are genetic, I know I have made them worse by wearing shoes that were the wrong size. I have size 11 feet, which is above average for a woman. I have memories of my shoes being painful even as a kid, and the constant pressure on my toes probably pushed the bones out of alignment even more.

As a teenager, I lived in Mexico City, where the largest shoe you could find was a size 9, and even 10 was a rarity. I have memories of going to shoe stores and having to say my size out loud, and the store attendants would look at me in shock and say “That’s a man’s size,” and then look down at my feet as if they were something alien. When they saw the bunions their expressions got even nastier. I felt humiliated and angry; not at them (as I should have been), but at my feet for being so wrong.

I have been deeply ashamed of my feet for 30 years. I have hidden and ignored them, tortured them, and wished every day that they would be normal. I’ve become so accustomed with being in constant pain that I actually do not know how it feels to walk without it. I started running at age 26, and if walking pain is bad, running pain is even worse. After I finished my first half marathon, I convinced myself that I hated running and vowed never to run again.

I started cycling at age 29, and soon noticed that even in a low impact sport, my feet hurt. Cycling shoes are hard and narrow, and after thousands of revolutions, the bunion pain gets severe enough to cry.

I was done. I want to feel pain during races and climbs; I want the good pain, the fire in my quads, the power in my calves, the burning in my lungs. I want to be an athlete and I do not want bunion pain to hold me back.

That is why I finally decided to put my training on hold to get surgery on my worst foot. Below are X-rays of my right foot before and after the operation.


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Hello 2016

Hello world!!

2015 was an exciting year for us. We decided we want to do an Iron Man 140.6 together, and start a blog to record our journey (and maybe get some support :))

Our joint goals for 2016 are to race our first ever (!) triathlon during the summer, and our first Olympic-distance triathlon during the fall.

Thanks for joining us, hope you enjoy!!


Day’s 2015

This is the year I found my passion for long distance road cycling, and completed my first Century in September. I am not a routine person, so I made sure that every single one of my 40+ mile rides was in a different town, city, or state. Every ride was an adventure, every turn something new to discover and explore.

The weekend after the Century I rode the Pine Creek Trail on my commuter bike, completing 136 miles over two days. Three weeks later, I traveled to Italy and rode 120 miles down the coast of Tuscany (from La Spezia to Piombino), visiting Pisa and Bolgheri on the way. Needless to say, it was an awesome riding year.

At the end of November, I had bunion surgery on my right foot. My only focus now (until about April) is to heal and learn to walk again.

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2015 was an incredible cycling year. I'm most proud of • Metric Century at 15.5 mph average (/\ 2,360ft) • My first 80 mile training ride • My first Century • Riding 120 miles down the coast of Tuscany 🇮🇹 Next year is bound to be exciting, my heart is set on becoming a triathlete, but first I have to learn to walk again after my foot surgery. Bring it on 2016! __________________________________ 🚴🏽 #2015bestnine #bestnine #cycling #cyclechick #cyclelikeagirl #outsideisfree #roadslikethese #bucketlist #bucketlistcheck #resolution #goals #youvsyou #madebymiles #trilife #triathlete #roadtoironman #swimbikerun #fitfam #training #fitforlife #2016 #fitness #recovery #footsurgery #newyearresolution #triathlon #triathlontraining #bikeporn #ridecannondale #bikeoclock __________________________________ @machinesforfreedom @fizikofficial @ridecannondale @sugoiapparel @pearlizumiofficial @garneausports @iamspecialized @rapha_n_america @tifosioptics

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Bruno’s 2015

I started the year with a hamstring injury that took me off the roads for 6 weeks. But I still managed to get 850 miles in and accomplished some good firsts

  • first marathon
  • first sub-6 mile
  • first sub-19 5k (18:31 FTW)
  • first time placing in a race
  • first pair of Newtons (love at first run) #HelloBetter

I feel I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been and getting faster and stronger every day.

Still, work got in the way towards the end of the fall. I had to interrupt my training and cancel what was supposed to be my second marathon and first Boston qualifying attempt. So, that is my starting goal for 2016, I’ll give it a go at the Pittsburgh Marathon and, if that doesn’t work, I’ll try one of the fast September ones.