Running in a San Francisco storm? Don’t go to the Golden Gate Bridge

forecastToday was a storm, like a real actual storm. 30 mph winds, torrential rain, flooding in some places, sideways water, and all that stuff. Given those conditions, would you go for a run? And, if you did, would you go to a spot known around-the-world for rain and wind?

I had a 9-10 mile run on the books and Ilyce wanted to meet by the Golden Gate Bridge, so I figured how bad could it be.

When it’s raining that hard, there’s not much point in donning all your cute running clothes. They won’t make a difference. Usually, if it’s pouring, I’ll run in just a sports bra and gloves, so at least I’ll have fewer soaking wet clothes to drag around with me. That would have been a totally fine idea today except that the needling rain coming sideways was pretty painful.

It also would have been a totally fine idea except when we sort of got a little lost.

We were running this loop through the Headlands, with the wind whipping around the ridges and the rain making it impossible to see, but it was mostly fine on the trails. Exposed, shitty, cold, but fine. Then, we turned onto another ridge trail to finish out the loop and couldn’t go on. We were high up above the water and the wind blowing in from the ocean has probably been buffeting the side of this hill for centuries. But, with it all worked into a cyclone, we were suddenly blown into the rocks. Neither of us could move. I grabbed the side of the cliff face, waiting for it to die down. What if it changed direction? It could blow us right over the edge.

But, it never died down (and, thankfully, never changed direction). We picked our way back the direction we had come. And, from there had to improvise.

Improvisation involved a road called Cloud View Trail – with a handful of $2 million houses inaccessible to all but the hardy, lost runner, through an area called Hurricane Gulch, over a couple bushes, onto a trail at the top of rocks marked off by cables to make sure you didn’t get blown away, and down stairs that dropped you over the freeway and back to the Golden Gate Bridge. It wasn’t a great workout (or experience), but it was certainly an adventure.

And, no, I don’t have pictures, what with the running and the clinging to rocks and getting soaking wet.

On the plus side, I have now discovered a new trail that is probably very full of views of clouds when it’s not a mild hurricane.