{Day 3 & 4: Marathon Sunday, Incanto, Pizzeria Delfina and Locanda}

The day had finally arrived. Marathon Sunday! 16 weeks of hard work has led to this…omg, it’s finally here!

I had set my alarm for 5am that morning, put on my race outfit and pinned on my full marathon bib. I nervously snacked on a banana and half of a dried out Starbucks bagel I had bought the day before. All washed down with water mixed with tangerine electrolytes.

My stomach was it knots..but it was now or never..

I headed out of our room at about 6:15am with the boy and the lineup of runners was already stretching to the front of our hotel!

They had large screens and speakers guiding us through a warm up. I was so tightly packed in the crowd that I could barely move! I nervously paced my feet in pace to shake off my nerves and anticipation. The vibration of energy through the crowd was amazing!

At 7am sharp, the gun went off and we slowly moved forward to the music of Beyonce’s “Run the World – Girls”, which was perfectly fitting for this event.

I had heard that the course had some long rolling hills. Ugh..yes it did. It’s not the uphills that killed me, it was the long steep downhills with the hard pounding of the pavement that eventually caused my knee injury to flare up at about 18km. A major damper on the confidence knowing I wasn’t even half way yet. So I took the pace down so I could make sure I was able to finish.

The boy caught me here at about 22km, I was in pain, but I put on a brave face and flashed a smile for the camera.

The pain continued to intensify, with each step I could feel my tendon snapping over the bone on the side of my knee (sorry, kinda gross). It was also frustrating to see runners going past me instead of me running past them like I was in the first half of the race. My pace continued to slow and the last third of the race turned into run 30 sec and walk 30 sec intervals. Looking at my watch, I watched the time tick by and the hopes of finishing in my goal time go down the drain. In the last 8 km, the pain and fatigue became so overwhelming, I started to question if I would be able to make it. I kept repeating in my head “It’s not about how fast you are, it’s how much you’re willing to suffer.” and “I can do 42…I can do 42”

The last mile was the longest mile I’ve ever run in my life. I was both mentally and physically drained but then in the distance, there it was, the big bright pink Nike finish gate surrounded by a long crowd of people lining both sides of the road leading up to it. The end was finally in sight!

My legs, which had felt like they were trapped in cinderblocks suddenly felt light as air and I could feel my pace picking up to a sprint as I passed by people left and right. The crowds on either side were cheering so loudly I could barely hear my own thoughts. I fed off their energy and a huge smile came across my face. Flashes of all those long and challenging runs on the Bow River pathways began to race through my head and in that moment, my time and pace were insignificant.

As my runners hit that final timing pad through the finishing gate, I threw my arms up in the air in triumph! I did it! I finished!

I happily ran towards one of the several fireman in tuxes and happily received my blue Tiffany box with my finishers necklace inside. I was on cloud nine 🙂

Best finishers medal EVER. I’ve been wearing this with pride ever since the race.

I run to be fearless and prove to myself that I am stronger than I think I am.

I freshened up at the Neutrogena station where they had tables set up with wet towelettes, moisturizer and little goody bags filled with travel sized samples of their products. And then, the best part..rewarding myself for all those calories I burned 🙂

We walked over to the Haiyaaa! food truck and got my eat on. I went with the Bulkogi – sliced rib eye steak marinated in korean seasoning over rice and served with a small side salad.

The boy had the Lemongrass chicken in a French baguette filled with pickled daikon, carrots, romaine lettuce, cucumber, sliced jalapeno and cilantro. 

After our meal, we slowly headed over to the buses that would take us back to Union Square. After a nice long shower and some lounging around in our hotel room. We headed out for dinner to Incanto (made famous by celebrity chef, Chris Constantino on Food Network).

The dining room was buzzing with people when we arrived. Good thing I made resos 😉

Our server started us off with this carbo-licious plate which included french baguette, herbed foccaccia and crispy batons of grissini with a side of black olive tapenade.

I enjoyed this with a glass of their fragrant lavender lemonade (BEST lemonade I’ve ever had).

For our apps, we both went with the daily special. The boy went with the smoked hamachi served in a warm aromatic broth topped with enoki mushrooms and micro greens.

I had the long and slow braised pork shoulder draped over lightly dressed mixed greens, toasted pine nuts and an earthy and tangy pesto.

For our entrees, the boy had the Paccheri (large tube-like pasta) with salty proscuitto, white beans, red russian kale and parmesan.

When it comes to pasta, I always seem to gravitate to the more simple dishes. I had the Spaghettini – seasoned with strutto (pork fat), garlic and scallions wrapped around a runny egg yolk. Oh yes…

Did I actually run a marathon this morning, cause I’m in carb heaven right now..

For dessert, I was craving chocolate, so we shared the bittersweet brownie cake served with a chocolate wafer cookie and a scoop of creamy malt swirl ice cream.

The next morning, I woke up early and strolled a short 15 minutes over to Japantown to the Kabuki Springs and Spa for a relaxing massage to ease my achy legs. The main draw of this spa is their large traditional communal bathing facilities. 

Unfortunately, Mondays are reserved for men only, so I wasn’t able to indulge. But the massage really loosened me up, I walked out a new person.

For lunch, we headed over to the ever popular and local favourite, Pizzeria Delfina

We arrived at about 1:30pm, so the crowds were starting to die down. We wrote our names on the chalkboard waiting list and within 15 minutes which gave us some time to decide what we wanted to order..

The boy went with Stone Brewing Co. IPA..

While I had a personal carafe of their freshly made lemonade. So refreshing on this hot and sunny day.

The boy had the Napoletanatomato, anchovies, capers, hot peppers, olives and oregano (with mozzarella added).

For my pie, I had their Salsiccia – chunks of housemade fennel sausage, tomato, bell peppers, onion and melty mounds of mozzarella.

Ah-mazing..Definitely worth the bus ride and the wait.

For dessert, we made a quick stop to Elizabeth Falkner’s Citizen Cake ice cream parlour and eats shop.

Unable to resist, I went with their “Food Network Best thing I ever ate” items. Their pineapple upside down cupcakemoist buttermilk cake filled with lots of pineapple chunks under a cloud of passion fruit and coconut frosting.

Like being whisked away to a tropical island..And yep, it was pretty darn good. Will definitely try to recreate this recipe out at home.

Afterwards, we hopped on a bus to the trendy Mission area to do some shopping. There are so many awesome little stores here that showcase local and independent artists, a great place to shop if you’re looking for something really unique to bring back home.

Some of my favourite stores included: Candy Collective, The Bell Jar, Needles and Pens and the Curiosity Shoppe.

After a couple of hours of strolling around, we stopped at Luna Park to indulge in the 2 for 1 drinks at happy hour..

I slowly sipped on my stiff mojito..phew..it was strong, and not even a double.

While the boy went with the Boont Amber Ale.

After our bevies, we walked a half a block over to Locanada Osteria and Bar for dinner.

A beautiful modern interior with high contrast walls, funky chandeliers and modern abstract art lining the walls.

The boy had a glass of the local Anchor Steam while I went with a tall and refreshing glass of cucumber mint lemonade.

Slices of fluffy and crisp foccacia to start..

And the Fettuccini with rabbit sugo, cicoria and verjus to share. The housemade pasta was fresh and cooked perfectly to al dente. Best pasta dish I’ve had in a long time.

To add some greenery, we ordered a side of broccoli romaneso dressed in anchovy butter. Who knew broccoli could taste so good..

For dessert…we saved ourselves for the well-known Bi-Rite Creamery (right across from the Bi-Rite grocery market shown below).

For their most popular flavour, the salted caramel. Oh.My.Goodness.

I have to say, I’ve never been a big caramel fan. But this has truly converted me. I have found my new favourite ice cream flavour. If you have not tried this, be sure to put it on your list of things to eat in San Fran when you’re in the area. Other notable flavours include their seasonal pumpkin (perfectly spiced, a bite of autumn) and honey lavender. The best part is you can try a variety of flavours before committing to your scoop.


Next post: our fun wine filled day in Sonoma Valley..stay tuned.

6 Responses to “{Day 3 & 4: Marathon Sunday, Incanto, Pizzeria Delfina and Locanda}”
  1. Congrats on the finish, what an accomplishment! The Tiffany’s necklace, definitely a nice perk, not to mention all of the food you got to taste during your trip! I love San Francisco, such a fun city.

  2. coldprairiet says:

    Congrats from here as well! That sounds like a grueling second half, and although I admire perseverance as much as the next gal, I do wonder – is it bad to do push through the pain from a knee perspective? Won’t it injure it further? Anyhow, you hit all the spots I would have in your place, for a reward meal, sounds like a fabulous time.

    • Thanks 🙂 It was an unbelievable experience. As for pushing through the pain, I was wary of causing more damage which was why I switched to run/walk in 30 second intervals in the second half. I would have liked to have run 10min and rest 1min as planned, but I held back to ensure I would be functional for the rest of my trip. As long as I could still walk with relatively little pain, I knew I could still push on. For those of u wondering, I do NOT recommend running a marathon with an injury, but call me stubborn, I could not miss this opportunity and throw away all those months of training I had done. Plus my physiotherapist gave me the go ahead to run with the progress I had made the last week before the race. I was slightly sore the next day after the marathon, but within two days I was walking pain free and I am happy to say I am fully recovered now 🙂 And yes, the food was SO worth it 🙂

  3. David says:

    Congratulations! Looks like an amazing trip!

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