Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mexican Adventures, Moving and Career Changes: All in a Week's Time

Hello, world! I haven't posted in awhile but trust me, it's completely excusable and hopefully soon I'll be back to annoying you with the details of my life you never needed (or wanted) to know.

In the past week I...
  • Worked the last day at a job I truly loved and said good-bye to all my people
  • Packed up most of my belongings
  • Dealt with annoying car trouble
  • Went to Mexico for a 3 day weekend getaway with Brittany and friends
  • Started a brand new job upon returning from Mexico
  • Moved my life up to Encinitas
So yeah, it's been a busy ass week to say the least.

Mexico was basically the most fabulous budget-friendly getaway with girlfriends I could ever imagine. We stayed in a beautiful house with ocean views for days in Las Gaviotas, a gated community just south of Rosarito. The cost was so insignificant that it's actually kind of ridiculous. Every house in the community has a view of the ocean because of the way they're built upwards, like a stadium, and everyone has access to a large shared pool, hot tub and private beach.


We laid on the beach, floated on a giant raft in the ocean, ate lobster in the nearby town of Puerto Nuevo and went out for a night of drinks, dancing and a fabulous karaoke performance by yours truly (which Brittany has footage of for future blackmail). It was a total blast and I highly recommend making a trip down there if you're in southern California. I felt like we made out like bandits with our sweet little house and awesome rooftop but apparently that's just standard.

This past Monday was my first day at my new workplace which always tends to be equal amounts anxiety and excitement. This situation is no different but luckily my team is pretty wonderful. The first three months are usually the roughest and I always feel completely clueless. I just have to remind myself that's normal and it's a positive thing because I am being challenged. It also doesn't hurt that I have an office with not one, but TWO windows and the ocean is just down the street. Did I mention I also live a mile and a half from my office?

I moved basically everything on Wednesday after work and I am getting all settled in up in Encinitas. I struck gold with my apartment and roommate situation. She's truly incredible. I came home from work today to her baking cookies and then tweeting along with me while I co-hosted a Twitter party. When I finished my run tonight, I had a bowl of her homemade chicken noodle soup. Yeah, I know. Pinch me.

And this is my new running route...

I think it is totally appropriate to end with the hashtag #blessed.  Goodnight, y'all!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What's in my gym bag?

This post is sponsored by LARABAR.

Oh summertime, how I love thee! The longer days make it much easier and far more motivating to run after work. Because of the seemingly endless daylight, I have been nailing my workouts and my energy levels have been off the charts. Hallelujah!

LARABAR wanted me to share what I keep in my gym bag -- but first, let's back up.

You know when you slam on your brakes while driving and instinctively reach your arm out to protect whomever or whatever is in your front seat? Well, whenever I reach out, it's to protect my lulu gym bag from flying on the floor. I seriously need to have a child soon so I have something to protect other than my running shoes. It's kind of sad.

So what’s in that big ol’ magic blue bag (that I protect like a human)? Gee, I thought you’d never ask! ;)

Okay voyeurs, the most obvious stuff that can be found in my bag: 

  • Headphones, watch, water bottle, shoes, workout clothes, headband.

But I also ALWAYS have: 

  • Band-aids. For my blisters and chronically bloody toes. Welcome to the glamorous life of marathon training.
  • Tampons. I’m a girl, so yeah.
  • iPad. Reality TV on Hulu doesn't count if you're running on a treadmill, right?
  • Body Glide. Chafing is no joke. I lube up those thighs like nobody’s business.
  • Cleansing towelettes. A clean face is a happy face.
  • Deodorant. Because no one wants to be the smelly girl on the treadmill.
  • Dry shampoo. Total #GameChanger for those instances when I have plans right after a workout. Shower, spray and call it a day. 
  • Snacks. See below.

I carry snacks in my bag like a soccer mom because I get seriously hangry. When that blood sugar drops, it gets ugly. Like whoa. Literally everyone I have ever dated has told me I should never leave the house without snacks which I can only assume was for their own safety and well-being (because I’m kind of scary) but regardless, I started to listen.

The perfect thing to eat post-workout is hands down a LARABAR. After a killer tempo run, butt kicking intervals or even a long, slow, endurance focused run, LARABARs provide the perfect mix of carbohydrate (from fruit) and very necessary muscle repairing protein (from nuts).

The last thing I ever truly crave or wish to eat is something fake and processed which tends to be the most readily available option when hunger strikes. I try to stay stocked up on LARABARs for this reason but occasionally someone eats them even when I tell them not to (ahem, Brittany!!). I kid you not, I told her not to eat my LARABARs and when it came time to write this post and take photos of my stash, they were all eaten. I was so not amused but that speaks to how delicious (and slightly addicting) these suckers are.

My new favorite flavor is Cherry Pie (holy yum) and I’ve heard from the LARABAR thief herself that the Coconut Cream Pie is quite amazing. I wouldn’t know. I never got to taste that one.

Okay, time to spill the beans. 
What’s always stashed in your gym bag?

At LARABAR®, we believe that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat - and what you eat is most delicious and satisfying when it's in a whole, natural state.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Margaritas, Movies, Babies and Blisters

Hola, everybody! I hope you all had a nice, relaxing weekend.  Mine went down a little something like this:

Brittany and I went to the movies Friday to see Spy with Melissa McCarthy which was pretty dumb but I definitely laughed out loud multiple times. I originally wanted to see Amy, the documentary about Amy Winehouse, but I was super emo (i.e. menstrual) so I thought a funny movie would probably be a better choice. I didn’t want to get all suicidal on poor Brittany. I had fro-yo and popcorn for dinner because I’m a grown up and I can do that. This has kind of become my Friday tradition. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not…but let's just go with it. 80/20 right? 

Saturday morning, I played my run by ear because I have been dealing with the most gnarly blisters on my feet. I have one on the ball of my foot that basically feels like someone is holding a match to my skin when I run so needless to say, it’s unpleasant at the very least. I have finished every run with bloody socks and it sucks. I started wearing my ToeSox compression socks (the zoe) and they're amazing. No more bloody toes...finally.

ok let's be real - runners are some of the nerdiest looking mo fos.
I replaced one of my runs with spin class to let it heal but it’s still going strong. I ended up running 12 miles Saturday and finished at Whitney’s house where Brittany was babysitting her brand new baby boy, Teddy. I wish I would’ve/could’ve run longer but 12 was sufficient and I got to hold a newborn at the finish so I was so not complaining. Endorphins + new baby smell = OH HAPPY DAY.

seriously, i need one growing in my belly like yesterday.

Saturday night I babysit two of the sweetest little girls in the world and I sort of felt like the world was taunting me with cute children. I am already so baby crazy these days and then basically my entire Saturday revolved around kids and babies and my ovaries were like screaming by the end of the day.

making s'mores in la jolla.
I had a lovely lunch date with my good friend Rebecca on Sunday. It was the most beautiful day and reminded me that summer in San Diego is damn near perfect compared to the rest of the U.S.  I ran 6 miles and my foot miraculously felt great so that was a pleasant surprise.  I topped off the weekend with margaritas from Puesto down at the Headquarters amongst all of the Comic-Con madness.  It was quite the fine weekend!

comic-con crazy

Week in Workouts:
Monday: Yoga
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: Spin
Thursday: 7 miles (4x1 mile at 6:40 pace)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 12 miles
Sunday: 6 miles

Total: 30 miles + yoga + spin

What did you do/see/eat this weekend??

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Fun with a Little Q&A

Happy Friday, everyone! Since it's almost the weekend and my brain is basically fried at this point, I thought I'd piggy back off my girl Nicole, over at Fitness Fatale, and do a lil Q&A about running. It's fun! Here we go...

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail? 

Beach! The ocean breeze, the smell and the intense energy just do it for me. In less than two weeks I'll be living less than 2 miles from the beach and I can't wait to run along the coast basically every single day.

my new run route

2.  If you could choose the flavor of gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

I'm old school and I actually like Gatorade for long runs and races. I'd pick the blue one. I don't even know what flavor that is - ha! It's almost taboo to use Gatorade these days because of the sugar, but it really helps me when I start to feel sluggish and I need the electrolytes.

3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

I'd buy some new shorts socks because somehow I never ever have enough. Hey Milestone, wanna hook me up with $100 gift card!? 

4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

Most of the time I crave the structure of a training plan. I love checking off workouts and feeling like I hit a specific goal pace or distance. I definitely go through phases where I need to disconnect from the training mindset and just run for fun and health. I actually did that for several months this year.

5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

Finish downhill...of course! Who wouldn't?  A fast finish is the best finish.

6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

If I'm injured and running is out of the question, I'll do a whole lot of spinning, some yoga and occasionally pilates. Spin is the next best thing for me but of course, it just ain't the same.

7.  What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?

Point to point all the way! If I don't have to see anything twice, that's ideal. I also like to feel like I'm running to get somewhere. Sometimes Brittany is a doll and will meet me at the finish point of my run and drive me back. It's the best!

8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be —>

A foam roller and a SKLZ accu-ball for self massage. Game changer.

9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

Not here in San Diego but I had a monkey chase me on a run in South Africa. That was kind of terrifying because she seemed pissed at me. I also saw some interesting critters while running in Thailand. It definitely keeps you on your toes!

I like running with this wild animal

10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

YES. More often than I'd like to admit. Once I went for a run just a few hours before I needed to be at the airport. I was running in my sister's huge gated community back in Illinois and got completely lost. I had to call my brother in law to rescue me because I was about to miss my flight back home. Pretty embarrassing.

11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?

Egg, cheese and avocado on a whole wheat everything bagel (scooped) = Best. Thing. Ever.  I'd be the happiest girl alive if one of those suckers was waiting for me. Instead, I usually finish my run at Brooklyn Bagel and they take care of it. :)

the business

12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

Shorts! I hate having anything on my legs while running. I get way too hot.

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

3 miles is my sweet spot. That's when the magic starts to happen and running begins to feel euphoric.

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?

Stick it in that tiny pocket in the back of my lulus or Graced by Grit shorts.

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

Marathons are long and painful so it's hard to want to relive one. On the other hand, shorter races make me want to barf so this is a tough one. I guess I'd say the New York City Marathon because I completely surprised myself, the energy along the course was spectacular and the whole experience was magical.

Okay, your turn! 
Pick a question (or several) and answer in the comments! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

St. George Marathon Training {Week 5 Recap}

I forgot to post about last week's training (oops!) so I'm getting back on the bandwagon. I write these posts mostly for myself because it helps tremendously to look back at what you did to see what worked and what didn't work. It's super helpful in creating a plan for the next race.

Week in Workouts (June 29-July 5)

Monday: Rest 
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: 5 miles ... at like 9pm - woof
Thursday: 7 miles (5 @ 7:10-7:24 pace) felt freaking fantastic
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 16 miles (1st 8 miles @ 8:29, 2nd 8 miles @ 8:12 pace)
Sunday: 5 miles 

Total: 39 miles

Once again, I completely failed at fitting in yoga and spin. I need to start adding it to my Mondays and Fridays but this past week I overbooked myself with social stuff ( and by Sunday I wanted to do nothing and see no one. #SecretlyAnIntrovert   

I saw this on the Instagram and thought "yessss" - totally me.

But sometimes my post-long-run eats aren't all that exciting. 

Green smoothie + eggs = the perfect protein and carb combo.

I ran my 16 miles on Coronado Island which was insanely festive and patriotic. Everyone was already lined up for the parade when I got there and the energy was off the charts for such an early hour. 

I ran the first 8 miles of my long run with a co-worker and it made the miles fly by. The second half was solo and much faster because the wind was finally working in my favor. I felt strong the entire run and wasn't even fatigued by mile 16. Hungry? Yes. But fatigued? Not so much.

Brittany and I spent the Fourth with her family, some BBQ, hot tub action, apple pie and ping pong madness. It was the perfect 4th of July - which happens to be my favorite holiday.

Sunday was all about rest and eventually watching the USWNT win the WORLD CUP which pumped me up enough to make it out for a 5 mile run... eventually.

How'd you celebrate the 4th of July? Did anyone race?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When your vision board comes to life

Several weeks ago I sat around with a group of some the coolest women I know making vision boards. Mine is marked with signs of change and words like “fresh start.” It displays images symbolizing financial security and growth. It’s covered in messages of stability and balance. I stuck my busy, and slightly ambitious, vision board on top of my dresser where I can’t help but look at it as soon as I wake up and before I go to sleep at night.

vision boards + wine
Fast forward to this past Friday. The day started with incredible news from the Supreme Court: Marriage equality in all 50 states! I was overjoyed and had chills all day as I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed and saw nothing but positive reactions.  To make things even more exhilarating, I then received an offer for a job I’ve been vying for. It’s an incredible opportunity and it’s been quite a process getting here.  It must be the vision board! ;)

Located in Encinitas, the job is wonderful but one of the perks for me was the location itself. Encinitas is a coastal beach city in north county San Diego and I’ve wanted to live there ever since I went for my first coastal run down the 101 over five years ago. Finally, I can be a part of this beautiful, health-conscious, active community by the beach that I’ve only had the pleasure of running through.

To make this whole situation even better, and even slightly miraculous, I went for a 14 mile run up in Encinitas early Saturday morning with plans to check out an apartment afterwards. Within half a mile of my run I ran into Sheri, my adorable running friend, and she tagged along with me for a few miles. Her energy is contagious and she’s one of my favorite people on this planet. This run-in made my day and reinforced that this place already feels like home and that I’ll have plenty of people in my circle up there.

Anyone who has looked for an apartment in San Diego and has tried to find a normal, like-minded, down-to-earth roommate knows how challenging it can be.  I was prepared to be on a long search for the right place with the right person in the right location, but as fate would have it, I found my new home immediately. Literally less than 24 hours after receiving the job offer. My new roommate is amazing and we hit it off immediately. She’s fun, fit, super sweet, beautiful and warm. Her apartment (soon to be “our” apartment) is 1.7 miles from Moonlight Beach and 1.6 miles from my new job. 

Coincidence? I think not. My commute will be a whopping 4 minutes and my daily runs will be on the beach or along the coast.

Needless to say, time’s they are a changin’ (for the better) and I am moving on up (to Encinitas). Heck yes! I hope this post encourages you to map out your desires, goals and aspirations and start believing in them. Figure out what you want. Visualize it. Believe it. Go after it. And I promise you, the universe will conspire to make it happen.

And in other news, my sister got a pig.


Have you ever made a vision board?
Let's get deep: What are some of your aspirations? 

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Things I Do Before (Almost) Every Run

This post is sponsored by LARABAR. 

I am definitely a creature of habit when it comes to running, eating and, well, just living. I love having a routine and it helps me to feel sane. For instance, every Sunday morning I need to relax with a book or magazine and drink at least 2 cups of coffee in my jammies before I do anything productive. That’s just part of my weekend routine. I also have a little pre-running routine that gets me all ready to nail my runs. I just can't get out the door without doing a few things first.

Here is what my pre-running routine looks like:
    Drink coffee (AM) or water (PM). Morning runs definitely require caffeine and evening runs, water. I am terrible about getting enough H20 throughout the day so I quickly try to make up for it the hour before my run.

    Pick a podcast or a playlist. I like to have my listening entertainment ready to go on my phone to save time. Favorite podcasts: Rich Roll, Fresh Air (NPR), and Tim Ferriss

    EAT! Whether it’s first thing in the morning or after a day of work, I need energy prior to every run. Favorite snacks: LARABARs are perfect because they are made with real food and don’t upset my stomach. 

    Look for some RUNspiration. I usually find myself scrolling through Instagram checking out inspiring photos of my favorite runners before I head out for a run. It gets me pumped up and excited about running. Favorite Instagram accounts for inspiration: @robinnyc, @speedymama, and @angigreene

    Complete a dynamic warm-up. I may skip stretches afterwards but I always try to warm up before a run. Favorite warm-up:  Here

    All of those little pieces make me feel nice and ready to smash a workout whether it’s a long run, speed work or just an easy weekday run. These little habits of mine get me energized, warmed up and keep me entertained.

    When I was asked to participate in a campaign for my favorite fruit and nut bar, I was stoked. I love LARABAR’s commitment to using non-GMO ingredients and providing food in its most natural state. LARABAR has been a part of my pre-running routine for awhile now and I am super brand loyal at this point.

    I so appreciate the convenience of having real food in a handy little package that I can stick in the pocket of my shorts or my gym bag. We all know processed foods are not good for us and this is one of the few foods I feel good about eating that comes from a package – because it’s REAL. It’s natural. And it tastes delicious!

    I was even able to eat some of the flavors while on a sugar detox which says a lot about the ingredients and the nature of the product. My favorite flavor is Cashew Cookie and the ingredients list is two items long: cashews and dates. The end! That’s it. Just food. The fruit is perfect for a little energy boost and the nuts add a little protein. Voila!

    I also have the pleasure of running with the SoCal LARABAR running team which has been a total blast! The people behind the brand are just as authentic as the product itself and I dig it. Big time.

    I’d love to hear some of your little pre-running rituals or habits. 

    What helps you to have a killer run? 

    At LARABAR®, we believe that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat - and what you eat is most delicious and satisfying when it's in a whole, natural state.