Photo Fix: Getting back to basics

Ok, I’ve got a confession: Having lived in the Bay Area for almost 10 years now, I sometimes find myself taking the city of San Francisco for granted. (I know…I know…)

It’s just entirely too easy to get swept up in the frenetic pace of life here, aptly described as a kind of “quiet frenzy.” But all it takes is one run to reconnect with the ridiculously-majestic natural beauty by which we’re surrounded.

Which is precisely why I’m making a concerted effort to step out of the usual “training tunnel vision” during some of my runs. And I’m encouraging you to do the same!

Huh, you say? Well, start by taking one run per week and removing all expectation of time, pace, distance, etc. Instead, focus on finding the reasons you started running in the first place and taking that time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.

Here are a few things that made me slow down and smile during a recent run. Give it a shot, and feel free to share your experiences, too!

Taking some time to stop and smell the roses...literally

Taking some time to stop and smell the roses…literally

A daily lesson in stamina - San Francisco has some serious hills

These SF hills are a daily test of stamina…and, more often than not, a blow to runners’ egos!

All my fellow children of the 80's, who wouldn't crack a smile at seeing this mid-hill?!

Fellow children of the 80’s, I dare you not to crack a smile when seeing this mid-hill

Stopping for a quick rest break, er, photo opp to take in the view at Inspiration Point

Say cheese! Stopping for a quick rest break (er, photo opp) to take in the view at Inspiration Point

Can't really beat this view...

Can’t really beat this view…

Me & the GGB! (Thanks to the kind stranger for snapping this, thus allowing me to avoid an awkward selfie)

Me & the GGB! (Thanks to the kind stranger for snapping this, thus allowing me to avoid attempting an awkward public selfie)

Headed down to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge...love how you can see so much of the city here, Hard not to stop and stare!

Headed down to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge…love how you can see so much of the city here

Nope, it's not a postcard; this is what it really looks like running up to the base of the bridge

Nope, it’s not a postcard; this is what it really looks like running up to the base of the bridge

Giving a high five for finishing a great run! Now it's just a matter of figuring out how to tackle those hills home...

Giving myself a high five for finishing! Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to tackle those hills home…

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We are #BostonStrongSF

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Proud to run strong for Boston tonight in San Francisco

We’re a week removed from the unimaginable attacks in Boston, and so many of us in the running community are still in search of ways in which we can make sense of the madness and begin the healing process.

That’s precisely why blogger Brian Kelley of PavementRunner launched #BostonStrong, a grassroots global campaign borne out of the chaos of the Boston Marathon bombing.

It started with a simple request from a reader to join him in San Francisco for a run, and within 48 hours more than 150 people signed up to join him. This ignited global interest, and today more than 2,500 runners from 80-plus cities around the world ran between 3‐4 miles in support and remembrance.

“I feel like I need to do something. Something more than a donation. Something more than a blog post or a photo or a graphic,” said Kelley. “I’m inspired by the community and how we have come together and shown our support, shed our tears and expressed our fears. With a simple look at your Facebook page, a refresh of your Twitter feed or scroll through Instagram, and you can SEE the love. With #BostonStrong we FEEL the love.”

As a former Boston resident, last week’s tragedy hit too close to home. Not only did I have friends running and watching this year’s race, but two of my colleagues have husbands who are in local law enforcement and were on the front lines during the manhunt.

Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to participate and come together with our local running community to take a stand against what was meant to divide us.

Among the group were fellow East Coast transplants, running enthusiasts of all levels, impromptu participants moved to join mid-run, as well as a few Boston Marathon runners who were there to pay their respects and begin to get some closure.

See below for a few shots from the evening…

It's a beautiful evening to run #BostonStrongSF

It’s a beautiful evening to run #BostonStrongSF

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Pavement Runner Brian Kelley greets the group prior to our run

Great turnout from the San Francisco running community in support of Boston

Great turnout from the San Francisco running community in support of Boston

Pavement Runner Brian Kelley leads the group out on our run

Pavement Runner Brian Kelley leading the way in the #BostonStrongSF run

Such a sense of camaraderie cheering participants towards the finish

Such a sense of camaraderie cheering participants towards the finish