Summiting Mt. Diablo, sidewalk blisters & discovering Yoga to the People

I had decided that after my body-ruining bender weekend at Outside Lands the weekend prior, this next weekend was going to be completely dry, full of healthy eating, and super action-packed with runs and yoga classes and hikes and lots of sleep. Well, true to my nature, I managed to pull a change-up and break those rules, sneaking in a little (ok a lot) of grapefruit beer and wine and cookies in. But a crisp Chardonnay, you guys (wow I am so my mother’s daughter). Also, seriously, grapefruit beer…how have I not discovered this until now? It is quite possibly the perfect summer drink, and since all of the Bay Area – San Francisco included – was blessed with some blazing hot summer weather, I justified a few of them while lounging by my mom’s pool giving my dog swim lessons and getting a real tan. Whoops.

I did in fact manage to keep most my promises to myself though, and got moving quite a bit this weekend. I revisited an old favorite, got some unexpected exercise in, and discovered something new!

Saturday morning was spent running 6 miles with my dog to sweat out a hangover from Friday night’s antics (this is a necessary evil, in my book), so I called it even-steven and loaded Lucy up and drove out to Danville to spend the weekend with my mom and get away for a while. Mom and I had lunch at a darling pub restaurant downtown in the bubble (Danville) – this is where I discovered the grapefruit beer that will forever change my summer booze lineup. We laid by the pool, swam with the dogs, chatted, and later had my brother and his fiancé over for a fantastic home cooked meal and chocolate chip cookies made with a banana instead of an egg. They were incredible, and I ate 4 of them (ugh) – take note of that banana trick, if you ever find yourself midway through baking and realize you’re out of eggs! I was in bed by 9:30. Why? I had aspirations of an early wake-up, I was off to summit Mt. Diablo in the morning before the heatwave hit.

I’ve climbed Diablo a few times, and every time I seem to “forget” that the last 2 miles are relatively, and by relatively I mean terribly, hard. Although if you keep coming back for more, the pain you experience must not be SO bad that you forego the activity altogether. But still…they are hard. The hike is a 5.5 mile uphill battle that begins at the South Gate of Mt. Diablo National Park. You take the Summit Trail all the way up, so as far as navigation goes, it is a piece of cake.


The route has a decent amount of exposed trail and almost zero water stops along the way, it is 80% uphill with a few flats thrown in to string the hills together, but it’s gradual enough to make it manageable. My super awesome Spotify playlist and I left the trailhead at about 6:45am, still vey cool and I was feeling anxious to sweat. The thing I really like about hiking solo is that I don’t have to stop. I really, really genuinely hate stopping mid-hike. There is something about the momentum that I crave, that fast-paced and almost impatient feeling when I am climbing. It’s like an adrenaline rush, and when you have to stop, it’s a buzz kill. I had set out to get 2 straight hours of HARD, and it felt so incredible to do just that. I sweat through everything on me, probably smelled terrible, but I felt so great blazing that last killer mile to hit the top (3,300 ft. total elevation gain). Done, yay! I am SUCH a junkie for the high after you push yourself really hard, like “I feel like I can take on anything and life is beautiful and tell me all your problems I can solve them all right now and…wait, do I have to hike down now? Oh man, that is the worst…nah. I’ll hitch hike.” So I did. 🙂


From the Summit!

I ended up getting a lift down to my car from a lovely gent named Jim who was visiting from GA because he works for Cisco. His daughter was a senior in high school and looking to study engineering at Gerogia Tech. I definitely got on my post-hike high/recruiter soapbox and told him his daughter needs to join a fellows program and get an internship at a tech company like mine and oh how great, we need more female engineers. Always be closin’, yo.

After my hike, my mom and I grabbed lunch at another Danville watering hole and got manicures & pedicures (ahhh, that calf massage after a hike) before Lucy, a plate of taunting chocolate chip banana cookies (no Lindsey NO), and I headed back to scorching San Francisco. I took her to Ocean Beach to run around and play fetch for a while; the little rascal cracks me up. She has no fear of running up to a random stranger and plopping the ball right down in front of their feet like “so you gonna throw it, or what?” She’s so cute that typically most will oblige and humor her. Funny little baby.

After an hour of getting sandy, we walked back to where I THOUGHT my car was, but because I had exhaustion-brain and was probably texting half the time I was supposed to be paying attention to the streets I parked on, I totally forgot its whereabouts. Lucy and I literally walked all over the sunset looking for my car, meanwhile my sandals broke and I now had to walk barefoot, freaking out that it got towed for some stupid “only in San Francisco” reason, raking in sidewalk burns on my feet. But we kept walking…and walking…vigorously…and about 45 minutes, another workout, and a few blisters later I finally found it (doh). And then I ate a cookie. I gave Lucy half. We deserved it.

Heart rate now back to a normal pulse rate, I headed to the store to get ingredients to go some baby tomatoes my mom sent me home with from her garden. I wanted to make homemade pasta sauce; there’s something so comforting and soothing about cooking on a Sunday evening to me. It takes away the Sunday blues a bit. Add a little Buena Vista Social Club jam session in there and you could have put that little scene in a movie. And the sauce turned out phenomenally!

IMG_1096_2          from this…         IMG_1097_2

…to this! It was like a soup, no pasta would be needed (there will be pasta, that is just ludicrous….but gluten-free pasta). I miss cooking. I need to do more of it. I need a man to cook for. I’m conducting interviews, by the way, so please send referrals. 😉

After sauce crafting, I was off to evening yoga, semi-begrudgingly because I was tired and settling into the fact that I got to sleep soon, but was meeting a coworker and really, these tight lats of mine needed some love. So off I went, and WOW am I glad I did. We did Vinyasa at a place called Yoga to the People in the Mission…the view…no seriously, the view…


The icing here was also the very good looking chap behind me that I got to sneak a peak at every time we down-dog’d. We sweat, released, stared at the gorgeous SF skyline…’what a beautiful, needed couple of days’ I thought to myself! More health in my life! More hard hikes! More beach days with Lucy! More cute guys at yoga! You are going to rock this work week! (are we noticing a trend here? Exercise gets me annoyingly positive).

This weekend served as a helpful reminder for a few things. My takeaways: sometimes unplugging, letting go of the pressure we self-inflict, and just being exactly who we WANT to be in the moment is a really valuable thing…that to do the things you want to do and eat and drink because you know what, you just WANT to, is ok. It’s ok to not be perfect, and it’s ok to mess up a little bit. Learn to be present with each minute you have, and allow yourself the opportunity to discover new things by leaning into opportunities to say yes. Slowly but surely…

…and I sit here writing this blog post insanely hungover, even after a workout this morning (insane decision, by the way) I decided that Monday night was a GREAT night to go out and listen to live Bluegrass and drink at 3 different bars and stay out until 1pm and eat 2nd dinner and basically act like it was Friday and I am immune to the effects of alcohol.

I guess I call that…balance. Because you know what, I wanted to.

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