Thursday, October 30, 2014

NYC, Here I Come + A Fit Foodie GIVEAWAY!

I just wanted to pop in real quick and say hello before the marathon on Sunday!  I can't believe it's almost time to leave for New York already.  My flight takes off at 7 AM tomorrow morning and I still have lots to do before then.  Tonight will mark my last run before the race so I guess this is it, guys!

I honestly have no idea what to expect come Sunday. I just hope I can handle the hilly portions without any hamstring issues and more than anything, I hope I don't bonk.  I plan to take in way more calories than I usually do in a marathon.  This is easier said than done but I will try. I know it is critical if I want to avoid the dreaded wall.

This week I've gotten in a couple runs with G-Unit (AKA Gunner, AKA my dog), hung out with friends, got another massage (yeah baby!) and I've just been trying to take it easy-ish.

girls night

I discovered an awesome, new, all-organic, vegan cafe and market in east village called SolCal.  It's the business. Check it out if you're in the area.

a veggie burger in plant powered paradise

Come run and eat with me (for FREE)!

I mentioned in my last post that I am an ambassador the upcoming Fit Foodie weekend here in San Diego.  The 5k is going to be an absolute blast mainly because there will be so much great food at the finish. I would LOVE to see you there and lucky for y'all, I am giving away not one but TWO entries to the 5k on November 15!

The details: All you have to do is use the hashtag #FitFoodieSCRG on one of your Instagram photos of food or running. It can be an old photo or a new one, doesn't matter -- just leave a comment with #FitFoodieSCRG and you're entered to win.  That's it!

I will choose a winner end of day tomorrow, so get on it!  Registration is $55 so FREE is way mo' betta!  ** Find me on instagram @socalrunnergal

Have a fabulous rest of the day and a super fun Halloween! I will be traveling and unable to dress up so please share your costumes with me so I can live vicariously through you all! 

What is your Halloween costume this year? 

If you have little ones, what are they going to be?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wang's North Park | Restaurant Review

Happy Tuesday, everyone! 5 days 'til the New York City Marathon and I am starting to (slightly) freak out.  So rather than dwell on my training and what I could've or should've done, let's talk about food!

Brittany and I had our date night at a North Park staple last Friday-- Wang's.  For those of you who aren't local, North Park is considered the "hipster" neighborhood of San Diego with lots of coffee shops, craftsman cottages, a cool music venue and several yoga studios.  Wang's has been there for as long as I've lived in San Diego and I'm sure much longer than that. It's in a warehouse-like building that used to be a JC Penney many years ago.  Funny story: Brittany's grandpa met her grandma there when it was JC Penney and he also died there (that part, not so funny.)   Crazy right!?

It's a huge space which is odd for a neighborhood like North Park.  I can't think of any other place in the area that massive.  Even the gyms and yoga studios are much smaller. Since it was a Friday night it was hoppin' and the bar area was full.  They offer craft cocktails and have an extensive beer and wine list so it's definitely a good spot for a birthday, especially if you have a large group.

Our server was awesome and super attentive.  I started with a glass of Malbec that I let her choose and unfortunately, I was not a fan. I actually didn't even finish it but that's not her fault, just personal preference.  The menu is considered Asian fusion with traditional Chinese cuisine.

We had some steamed dumplings for an appetizer that were incredible! Half were stuffed with shrimp and the others with edamame.  They were extremely flavorful and after an order of four, we actually wanted more.

Our entrees were walnut shrimp (for me) and orange peel tofu (for Brittany.)  Some places really know how to make killer tofu and others...not so much.  Wang's tofu is just mediocre since it didn't seem to absorb the flavor of the sauce which on its own was super tasty with a little kick.  I actually dipped my broccoli into the orange glaze and it was the perfect combo.  Brittany loved the tofu and thought it was much more than just mediocre.

My walnut shrimp was TO DIE FOR and I would definitely recommend it.  Our server let us know it is one of their most popular dishes and I can see why.  It was on the sweeter side but not overwhelmingly so and the shrimp was perfectly crispy without being battered and fried.

I made Brittany promise me we wouldn't order dessert since I already indulged in a massive pastry earlier in the day but once our server started describing them, we were sold. We told her to surprise us and she came out with this insane concoction of deliciousness...

Fried bananas with caramel, coconut creme sauce and a side of vanilla ice-cream. It was ridiculous.  I would definitely say this is worth getting and sharing with several people because it is fried and crispy.  We split it between the two of us and it was a bit too much fried goodness for just us.

Overall, Wang's is a really unique spot in North Park and there is nothing else like it.  The prices are definitely on the higher end for this type of cuisine.  Usually when I eat Chinese food I only spend about $10 per entree whereas Wang's runs about $18 an entree -- more comparable to going out for sushi. It's not a place I would go often but it is perfect for a large group and/or a special occasion. The service was excellent and the bar area is super nice.  I would definitely recommend it if you have a hankering for some Asian food and still feel like going somewhere a bit more upscale.

Disclaimer: Our evening of food and drinks was complimentary; however, all opinions expressed are my own. :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

It's Marathon Week + My Week in Workouts

You guys, I am so happy to report that I think my hamstring issue is under control! ::knocking on everything wooden::  I didn't run again until yesterday and in between I got two massages, iced, stretched, rolled and took a couple spin classes.  I saw this awesome massage therapist on Saturday who is a lower extremity specialist, ART certified, and fellow marathon runner and she worked some magic on my leg.  I was able to run 8.25 miles last night, pain-free. My hammy still feels tight and weird but there wasn't any pain. That means... NYC here I come!!!

I am getting so excited for this race, I can't even contain myself.

This weekend was a fun one.  B and I had a little date night on Friday and ate way too much food at Wang's (restaurant review to come).  Saturday I woke up early, went to spin, got my amazing massage, sat in the yard with an acai bowl, took a nap and then went out to dinner with friends from NYC and then out on the town.

half the ladies

I haven't had more than a glass or two of wine in several months but Saturday I went all out and I totally paid for it on Sunday.  I forgot how awful hangovers are and Brittany dragged me out to brunch which was just brutal-- but ended up being fun.  We went to Snooze which has a bazillion hour wait but it was totally worth it.  Our friend used to be a chef there so they hooked us up with some serious goodies.

like this giant penis pancake

the NYC gals

...the day after. not lookin' (or feeling) quite as good.

I took yet another nap and then took Gunner on an 8.25 mile run.  This was a new personal distance record for the pup and he killed it! He wasn't even tired.  Next time, we'll try 10 miles and see if that does the trick...
A little B and G cuddle fest. I love them. Like a lot.

Week in Workouts

Monday: 6 miles
Tuesday: 7 miles
Wednesday: REST
Thursday: Spin Class (1 hour)
Friday: REST
Saturday: Spin Class (1 hour)
Sunday: 8.25 miles

So I didn't get a ton of running in because of the hamstring but it's okay because that's what the taper is all about right!? 

This is what Runner's World recommends for the week of the marathon:

Five to seven days out: Ease up on mileage.
During most weeks of marathon training, your muscles never have a chance to fully reload with glycogen. Runners and other endurance athletes simply need to back off on training for a few days and muscle enzymes responsible for restocking glycogen will gradually begin to store more carbohydrate, helping build up your energy reserves for race day. Make sure you’re consuming at least three grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight during this time period to meet your needs.
Three to four days out: Up the carbs.
Boosting carbohydrate intake to 3.5 to four grams for every pound of body weight (about 600 grams per day for a 150-pound runner) will further increase your glycogen stores. The key is to back off on fat and protein to help balance your calorie intake and avoid gaining weight. Even with those cutbacks this higher carb intake may supply too many calories for your needs. If you notice you start to gain more than a couple pounds, tweak your diet, reducing your carb intake until your weight balances out.
Two to three days out: Cut out bulk.
Limiting high-fiber foods such as bran cereals, whole grains, and large amounts of vegetables for the few days prior to a race has multiple benefits. Research from the Australian Institute of Sport shows that eating a lower fiber diet can help lighten the weight of material in the intestines. This can reduce your body weight (potentially leading to faster running times) and may help you avoid the need for a midrace pit stop that would otherwise add time to your race.
I mean, I think I unintentionally carb load every day of my life so that shouldn't be a problem.  I've actually never thought much about my eating the week before a race and I just eat what I normally would. I'm thinking about actually heeding some advice this time around.

What are some of your marathon week tips + tricks?

Friday, October 24, 2014

9 Days and Counting + The Fit Foodie!

To say I am freaking out about next weekend would be an understatement.   I am flying all the way across the country for a marathon that I may not even be able to finish.  #FirstWorldProblems, I know -- but still stressful!  I am so thankful to Airbnb for sponsoring me and putting me up in an adorable pad in Brooklyn so I really hope I can finish and don't disappoint them.

I've been googling "hamstring injuries" all week and what I've found is that rest, ice, heat and sports massage are the best treatment for a hammy issue.  I bought two Living Social deals for sports massages and one includes ART so hopefully it helps.  We shall see...

Onto happy things and happy thoughts...

What are my two most favorite things in the world?

No seriously, guess.

Food + Fitness.  (Good job to the people who nailed that one.)

That is why I am so excited about the upcoming Fit Foodie 5k Race Weekend!  When they asked me to be an ambassador I was like "Duh. Where do I sign up?"  

Food? Running? Yoga? Cocktails? SOLD.  It doesn't hurt that it's right on the beautiful bayfront here in San Diego. Worth the travel if you're not local.

Friday night will involve a VIP cocktail party, Saturday is the 5k and post race fun, and Sunday is celebrity yoga, celebrity bootcamp and brunch!  You can participate in some or all of the fun. I would love to see your beautiful faces there and to share food, drinks and fitness with you! 

Register with the code: SOCALRUNNER to save 10% off your race registration!

And here's a picture of Gunner and Ringo just because. They were separated while we were in Illinois and they missed each other!

And here's my favorite thing from BuzzFeed this week.  I tend to come up with the most insane (and horrifying) "would you rather?" questions and I have to say, BF gave me a run for my money.

What are your 2 most favorite things?  GO.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rest Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

Random note: I had to google the common saying "forever hold your peace" versus "forever hold your piece" to make sure I used the correct spelling.   
Here I am, 11 days out from the NYC Marathon - a race I've been hoping would be a PR for me and a magical experience.  It will definitely be magical, but New York City is not likely to be PR City for me.  This silly little hamstring/knee thing has turned into a full blown issue.  (I won't even type the word shminjury for fear of jynxing myself.)

I was a little stressed that I wasn't able to squeeze in my 12 mile run while back in Chicago (I got in two 6 milers and a 7 miler and lots of childlifting) so I decided last night I'd run 10 miles and then really start tapering.  I felt great at first and the pain usually doesn't come until about 35 minutes into a run.  Well, it came and I shrugged it off and just kept moving.  That is until about mile 7 when I was literally stopped in my tracks.  It felt like I pulled something.

waiting for satellites on my new watch courtesy of sport chalet!

I walked it off and thought it would pass but when I tried to run again, it was impossible.

I ended up walking about 3 miles back to my car.

I know I need to rest.  Not spin.  Not take a yoga class.  Not cross train on the elliptical.  REST.

Resting is hard for me and I always wonder what people who don't work out do with all that free time. When I take a rest day I feel like I have too much idle time, so to distract myself, Brittany and I are going on a midweek date night and might get massages.  I need to fill my night with something else or I'll get antsy.  TV is great but I can only watch about an hour or so before I'm bored and The Voice doesn't come on again until next week.

If I don't rest now, I only have myself to blame for a terrible marathon experience. I have no idea what the heck is going on with my knee or hamstring or whatever it is. All I can do is stay positive and hope for the best.

Kate +  SKLZ accuball = Best Friends 4ever

Last night, I was missing my family and I was getting really pissed about my possible shminjury but then I saw the most stunning sunset and decided to just be grateful.  Yeah, I might be shminjured but I'm still a lucky girl and something amazing happens to me every. single. day.

seriously. san diego sunsets are unreal.

Even on the shittiest of days, let's be grateful for something. Mmmkay?

What are you grateful for today?

Today, I am grateful for all of the cool opportunities this blog provides!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chicago Trip in Pictures

We're back in San Diego after a whirlwind trip to Illinois to see my family and then to spend a couple days in the city where I got to show Brittany my old stomping grounds.  I have so much to catch up on so instead of bore you with the details, here are a gazillion photos from our trip back to the midwest!

We hung out with lots of family...

I squeezed in workouts whenever possible...

lakefront path at night -- to die for.
running alongside bella on her bike. She made it 3.5 miles and I kept going.

 And we ate our way through the city...

Summary: I forgot how amazing autumn is in the midwest and I miss my family already. You can expect to see me back in Illinois every October!

I hope you're having a fabulous week!