Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Faves

Happy Friday and three day weekend! Woo woo!  Thanks for sharing in my excitement about the NYC Marathon.  It is a really cool opportunity and I can't wait to run all the burroughs!

So let's kick off this long weekend with some FRIDAY FAVES...

Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate


Don't ask questions. Just go buy this.  Amazing.

Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt Kind Bars


Oh-em-mother-effing-gee! This is one of the tastiest treats I've ever put in my mouth.  There are only 5 grams of sugar in a bar so no need to feel guilty despite the fact that it tastes like a freaking candy bar.  I never met a KIND bar I didn't like but this is definitely my new go-to flavor.

About KIND:  You'll find all of these snacks are pretty much the nirvana of healthful tastiness. KIND Bars are made with tasty ingredients you can see and pronounce, like nuts, fruits, honey and spices. Mysteries belong in novels, not in your food.


House of Cards

Oooh so good! Kevin Spacey is amazing and Robin Wright is easy on the eyes.  I just got into it and may do some binge watching tonight. It's streaming on Netflix and you'll dig it if you're into political dramas.



Dinner + House of Cards -- not a bad night.


and for locals...

Pacific Coast Grill

I love trying new restaurants (duh) and I tried a new fave last night with one of my girlfriends, Eli (founder of Smack! Media).  Pacific Coast Grill is right on the 101 with stunning ocean views.  They have fantastic cocktails, sushi, and guac with crab and lobster. WHAT!? Who does that?  They do.  Check it out if you're ever up in Cardiff-by-the-Sea (my favorite little coastal town). 


stunning sunsets in cardiff

rainbow roll - colorfully delicious!
Dessert was some crazy concoction with a pretzel crust. Amazing!


Happy Friday! Enjoy the long weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Women's Running Series Kick-Off & Exciting News!

Last night, as I was laying in the grass in savasana after a hot and sweaty 5 miler followed by yoga I suddenly felt like a jerk for all of the complaining I've been doing lately about the heat. Summer nights are just awesome around here!  The sunsets are gorgeous, temperatures are perfect and there is basically no humidity.  Summer is almost over and now I wish I would've enjoyed it a little more! Then two seconds later I was squirming and scratching because there were literally ants in my pants and I'm not much of an outdoorsy girl.  That zen moment ended as quickly as it started.


The reason I was laying in the grass is because Amy and I went to the Women's Running Series Kick-Off for the San Diego Women's Half Marathon.  They hosted a fun run followed by some yoga and snacks.  Since Amy is almost as neurotic as I am when it comes to mileage, we got there early to run a few extra miles for the day which caused us to actually miss the group run.  Whoopsies!  We met someone else who had  missed the group so she joined us.  Yoga was lovely with the exception of the aforementioned ants in my pants.  Double bonus, I got to see Sheri who just paced the 1:40 group at the SeaWheeze Half Marathon.  She's a Lululemon run ambassador and an all around bad ass.  You might also recognize her in that little photo on my sidebar on the cover of the "Gals Who Run" marathon training guide.  She co-wrote it with Teresa (but I'll tell you all about that another time.)  I must say, I just love hanging around women who run! They're the best people and the energy is always so great.  You can't beat it.

With Sheri and Amy

Afterwards, Amy and I drove south to eat some really weird food. Amy is turning 40 in less than 40 days and in that time she wants to try 40 new things.  The problem is, Amy leads a pretty damn exciting life and she has done almost everything!  So we had to drive all the way to Chula Vista to find a food she hadn't tried.  Enter "corn smut."  Sounds lovely, right?  The actual name is huitlacoche, and it's corn fungus.  Delicious.  I was hoping I'd get to try some crazy dessert she'd never eaten but nope, corn fungus it was!  She also got an entire plate of grasshoppers which I watched her eat in horror.  Funny enough, that was NOT her first time eating grasshoppers.  Honestly, the corn fungus wasn't half bad!  Side note: I cannot wait to run Ventura with Amy and watch her BQ! I haven't ever been this excited for a race.



***

And in exciting news...

I was invited to run the New York City Marathon on behalf of Airbnb, one of the sponsors.  This opportunity is priceless and New York is on my bucket list of marathons so of course I said "hell yes!"  Plus, it gives me time to train harder and hopefully run faster than I have the ability to do in Ventura.  I'm just beyond excited and so grateful to Airbnb!  I already love Airbnb (and I've used their site to stay in Santa Barbara, San Francisco, LA, Boston and Chicago) but now I love them even more!



Are you going to miss summer or are you over the heat?


Anyone else running NYC?


Monday, August 25, 2014

Carb Loading At Its Finest

Oh boy am I ever embracing the taper and unintentionally carb loading like a champ!  Brittany's dad and step-mom were in town this weekend and our favorite thing to do together is eat.  We all share the same enthusiasm for food and that gets us into trouble.  We went to a few of my favorite San Diego spots this weekend and I definitely overindulged.  We did brunch at Cafe 222 and Cafe 21, and had dinner at Fish Public, Urban Solace and Wang's.  We also enjoyed dessert after basically every meal (including the best bread pudding at Heaven Sent Desserts in North Park).  I am not exaggerating when I say I think I gained 5 pounds this weekend. I would be able to verify that if I was brave enough to step on the scale, but I'm not.

This photo was taken in the 5 minute window where we were not eating.
My favorite meal of the weekend was the salmon dish from Urban Solace.
I moaned.  A lot.

So. Much. Food.

I only had to do a 12 miler and a 5 miler this weekend which felt nice and short but not at all easy.  My legs felt achy and tired and I wasn't able to knock out more than a mile at marathon pace.  It was disappointing but I accepted the fact that I am worn out and need to taper.

They were giving B12 shots at the gym on Saturday so I took advantage and had them shoot me in the butt.  I was hoping to feel a burst of energy over the weekend but instead I continued to feel kind of lethargic and exhausted.  It's probably the anemia which I can't get under control. I wish they also did iron infusions at the gym.  That would be divine!

My Week in Workouts:

Monday:  Rest Day
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 7 miles
Thursday: Spin Class (60 minutes)
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 12 miles
Sunday: 4.5 miles

Yep, two full rest days again this week.  This wasn't planned but it just made sense on Friday with the way things played out at the DMV and Brittany's folks getting into town so I let myself slide.  I'm actually glad I did because my legs were tired enough on Saturday.

Any other anemic people out there?

What works best for you?  
This is something I am constantly battling with and nothing seems to help.



Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Faves

Happy Friday!! I have a doctor's appointment and then I'm headed to the DMV. Just what everyone wants on their Friday -- a speculum in their vagina followed by standing in line for an hour to speak with someone who probably hates their life... and you, let's be honest.  If I don't get sucked into the DMV vortex for too long I'm going to take my first ever barre class at the gym.  I'm excited and terrifed all at once.  So many emotions over here on this Friday!  ;)

Here's what I am obsessed with at the moment...

Fabletics

I have a lot of pieces from Fabletics and I just ordered another.  It's kind of addicting and their stuff is comfy and super cute.  Kate Hudson is behind this fabulous company, and well, I love her so I was sold almost right away.  If you sign up for the monthly program you receive a big discount and get one outfit a month but you can skip a month whenever you like.  Your first outfit is only $25 and I cannot think of a better deal out there, honestly. These blue pants are my latest fave.  I made Brittany take a picture of me in them before spin class last night because I wanted to show you all.

{Random sidenote: I almost didn't post these pictures because I initially thought my thighs looked huge, but then I stopped and remembered that these thighs can carry me 26.2 miles at a time!  I should be kissing these damn thighs! Embrace the healthy thickness, ladies!}  End rant.



Audible

I'm a total book worm and only recently discovered Audible.  Your first book is FREE so I was sold.  Listening to a book on a long run is a great way to pass the time.  I've also turned it on while in the bath and when I'm getting ready.  I hate doing my hair and make-up so it keeps me entertained during these dreaded tasks.  It's convenient because it downloads right to your phone.

I downloaded the Husband's Secret and it's narrated by an
Australian woman which makes it kind of nice on the ears. I love me an aussie accent.

"Candidly Nicole"

Okay, this one is kind of embarrassing but I've loved Nicole Richie since she was in The Simple Life with Paris Hilton and I'm also a sucker for the crappiest reality TV out there. The show is completely scripted and not "reality" by any means, but I love it 'cause it's my girl! I always thought if Nicole and I knew each other IRL we'd be BFFs.



Yep.
I have to agree, Nicole.

Enjoy your weekends, people!  I only have a 12 miler and a 5 miler on the agenda for the weekend. Sounds so easy compared to 18s and 20s!  WOOT!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Taper Time & A Massive Food Hangover

I had one of the most brutal 20 milers of my life this weekend and now it's time to taper!  Hallelujah! I am beyond ready to start winding down before race day. My body is toast so there won't be any taper tantrums over here, that's for damn sure.

The night before that horrible long run, I went to Milestone, my favorite local running store, to pick up some new Brooks Ghosts.  I decided that if my closet could look like anything, it would be this:

Who needs Louboutins when you can have Brooks?!
Running 20 miles in a brand new pair of shoes is not the best idea.  I have terrible blisters and I'm sore in places I'm normally not sore.  Lesson learned.

This training cycle has only been so-so.  My body has felt great which is a big deal for me; however, I could have done a lot more.  I kept my mileage super low (in comparison to most people training for marathons) to avoid injury.  It worked because here I am, injury-free, but at the same time I'm seriously doubting how prepared I am for this race.  I am hoping and praying that replacing one run a week with spin class won't negatively affect my performance, but who knows?  We'll find out on race day I suppose!

post-20-miler
Here's what this week looked like, and yes, I took 2 full rest days.  It wasn't intentional.  It's just the way the cookie crumbled...

My Week in Workouts:

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 7 miles (mile repeats)
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: Spin Class (60 minutes)
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 20 (hellishly hot and horribly humid) miles  ;)
Sunday: 5.5 miles

The other day, Christina wrote about having food hangovers and how they're a real thing, but I hadn't actually experienced one until now.  I went to a wedding on Saturday and ate an array of food that I would never normally eat.  Since I'd run 20 miles earlier in the day, I was pretty ravenous and willing to eat just about anything. I filled up on mayonnaise-based dishes like macaroni salad and potato salad along with cupcakes, a hawaiian roll and mac 'n cheese.  There wasn't a single healthy option or a vegetable (unless you include the potatoes in the potato "salad") so I ate what was available.

And Sunday, I felt it.  Even today I'm feeling it, and it ain't pretty!  I haven't had a sip of alcohol in 31 days and yet I was horribly "hungover."  It was so nice to return to my favorite kale salad on Sunday and today I had an acai bowl for lunch because the sound of everything else makes me want to vomit.  I feel so terrible that I am actually skipping my run tonight -- it's that serious.  All of this is a great reminder of the impact food has on our bodies.

Me & Brittany before all the eating went down.


Any advice on combating a "Food Hangover?"


Thursday, August 14, 2014

What I'm Doing Differently This Time Around

Lately, everything has been coming together beautifully with my running.  My 16 mile run on Sunday felt fantastic and then two days later, I did mile repeats and they were a piece of cake. 7:00 minute miles felt too easy so I had to crank it up to a 6:45 pace at the end which still did not feel all that hard.  I haven't felt this good since 2011!  That is just craziness.

In an effort to recreate this stellar running in the future, I want to figure out what the heck has been making my runs so kick-ass lately.  Here is what I've been doing differently this time around:

  • Bye-Bye, Booze.  It's almost been a month since my last drink and less alcohol means more quality calories and more H2O.  Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration and in turn, performance suffers greatly.
  • Cross Training.  Normally during marathon training all I do is run.  This is the first time I've ever religiously incorporated spinning and yoga into my weekly routine. Spinning is a great way to get more cardio in without the impact of running and yoga is fantastic for flexibility and core strengthening.  
  • Eating More Fat.  In the past, my diet was very low in fat (even the "good" kinds) but now that I've incorporated animal products back in, I am also consuming more fat.  I have no idea if this has any sort of effect on my training but according to my good friend Whit, "fat makes you phat" so I'm including it. 
  • More Shoe & More Support. The last couple of years I've fallen into the minimal trend and opted for less shoe.  I've also ended up with more injuries than I can keep track of so clearly that wasn't working for me.  I've since switched back to the Brooks Ghost (my original favorite) and I use Currex Insoles for arch support. My body loves me for ditching the minimal shoes!


love @ first run.

I believe the combination of all of these is what is making this training cycle far superior to the last several cycles.  I have no idea if another BQ is in my future next month, but I sure as hell hope so!

Tell me what works for you!


Monday, August 11, 2014

A Whole Weekend in Workout Clothes

I literally spent every moment of this weekend, start to finish, in workout clothes.  I told myself I'd put on a cute outfit Saturday night if Brittany and I went on a date but that didn't happen.  Instead, we both ended up in leggings eating burritos.  And it was p-e-r-f-e-c-t-i-o-n.

Friday kicked off with a run date with Teresa along the harbor followed by a sweaty post-run dinner at Quality Social because I had a Groupon that needed spending.  We downed three fish tacos a piece, salad and some ooey gooey, soft pretzel bites.  It was delightful.  To top it off, I got an hour long massage and called it a night.  Talk about being blissed out on a Friday night!

Saturday morning I had a coffee date with one of my bestest friends, Megan, in North Park. We sat around chatting and catching up over some delicious caffeinated bevs.  Then Brittany and I had a really late lunch and decided a fancy date night just didn't sound all that appealing.  Instead, we went for the most perfect little run with Gunner and went to see a movie at Fashion Valley Mall.  That didn't actually happen because it was sold-out, so we ended up eating in the food court, in our leggings, and loving every second of it. We finished the night at Yogurt Land with some dessert. It was so random and laid back and exactly what I needed.

Running mates
I did my long run Sunday and call me a diva but it was HOT outside so I resorted to my fancy air-conditioned gym.  I ran 16 miles on the treadmill and it was FUN! Like seriously, I enjoyed every second of it.  I set the treadmill to a 1% incline to mimic outdoor running and I mixed up the pace so I was running anywhere from 8:50 pace to 8:00 pace.  The miles flew by!  I went over to Brooklyn Bagel afterwards and enjoyed a bagel breakfast sandwich and read a magazine.  I may have ended my Sunday with some more fro-yo but hey, all is fair in love and marathon training. ;)

Teresa caught me doing my long run at the gym and snapped a few pics.
She thinks I'm cray. It's ok.  

TIU girls in FitnessRx magazine! Love them!

My Week in Workouts:

Monday: Spin (60 minutes)
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: 7 miles
Friday: 5 miles 
Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: 16 miles

20 miles on the agenda for this weekend, then guess what!! It's TAPER TIME!