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Read Text Only: MADE IN SF - Foodie not a Fatty



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No city is host to a more die-hard population of loyalists than San Francisco. This town actively seeks out all things locally owned and operated. We go out of our way to support each other and are better for it. Food is often the focus of this topic, from greens to ice cream and everything in between. No one indulges in this bevy of delicious eats more than me, and I need a lot of help keeping the waistline in check.

Can you be a "foodie" but not a fatty? How about a foodie and an endurance athlete? Triathlete? Ultramarathoner? If your physical aspirations are considerate, or you recently realized you make out mostly just with burritos and Corona bottles, keep reading. As someone who has worked in the restaurant business for twenty years, I have had endless opportunities to smoke, drink, deep fry, and generally devour everything in my path.
My two core training groups are The Endurables Endurance Running Club and San Francisco's Basic Training. The former is lead by Bay Area ultrarunning legend Jim Vernon, and this group spends most of its time running long miles around the Marin Headlands and Mt. Tamalpais, as well as mid-week workouts right here in San Francisco. After years of running on the local roads I took to the trails for harder miles and even better scenery. Jim and The Endurables are a diverse group of dedicated runners that range from National Champions and 100-mile veterans, to newcomers and people with milder goals. In a town where everyone is vying to be more "local" than the next, this group could not be more organic to San Francisco. All are welcome, and a great way to get acquainted is to visit the website: www.theendurables.com. Not only is Jim Vernon's knowledge of the local trails unparalleled; he and his friends are also an absolute pleasure to be around.
Basic Training (www.basictrainingsf.com) is another Bay Area gem. Basic Training is an outdoor, boot camp style workout group and is my favorite way to get out of the gym, take my workout outside, and remind myself why my rent is so high. Classes are an hour long and meet at various times during the day at several locations throughout the city. Classes take advantage of San Francisco's natural beauty and varied terrain. You might find yourself doing pull-ups in the Financial District or running up sand dunes at Baker Beach while the sun rises. Skilled trainers mix up the workouts so it's something different everyday and everyone is welcome. The camaraderie of the group(s) is hard to describe; doing buddy push-ups on the beach at 6 am is a special way to start a friendship. The classes are composed of all shapes, sizes and ages; everyone is accommodated and carefully looked after.
Owner Jennifer Pattee says she founded Basic Training to "fill the void for people like me; those who start working out with modest goals only to find the athlete within them. Every morning I lead people off the beaten path with scenic trail runs and cross-training programs to increase endurance, flexibility, core strength and speed. My goal is to make each class an adventure." I was drawn to Basic Training after fruitless hours and dollars at the gym. The classes are a lot like a group of friends sharing a personal trainer, where newcomers are always welcome.
Whether you are preparing for a marathon or just want to meet new friends somewhere other than a bar, both of these groups are a great place to start, and you can feel good about keeping it local and supporting these programs that were founded, fostered, and groomed right here in San Francisco.