The 2016-2017 school year is here!

You know how sometimes you’re hanging out with people and it’s fun but maybe not the most amazing moment of your life? Then suddenly someone whips out their phone to capture the moment on social media, and immediately everyones gets super peppy and excited then goes back to being their normal selves after the phone gets put away? Yeah, that annoys me. Ellen, Kathy, and I were talking about it this morning on our crazy early run before our Olympic Marathon Viewing Party. This post is filled with happy pictures, and it’s 100% legit. I had the BEST week! Teachers are back at Equitas for our month long of training, I had some awesome runs with Ellen, did yoga with Alaina, cooked great food, had quality time with Brent, laughed with Marta. It was just the best! Here’s what went down.

We had a cookout at school the Friday before teachers came and officially started the 2016-2017 school year. It was our last hurrah before the craziness (although I love the craziness).

Simple tasty tacos. Straight from 8th Street and Hoover.

After tacos was prepping our training room. We sweat the small stuff.

Flashback to 2007…My first year teaching…


Yeah, no amount of scrubbing those desks was gonna get that off…I promise this didn’t happen while I was teaching! They came to me like this…1923609_580342287263_8004_n.jpg

Last Saturday’s run wasn’t so fun. This is my half smile. 13 miles done, but I wasn’t my usual happy self. I’ll be honest about that one.


For the rest of last weekend the goal was to think about work as little as possible. After a great run and some yoga Ellen and I played TENNIS! I haven’t done that in years. I was never very good, but it was something I loved and practiced regularly while I lived in England. So many happy memories of tennis camps, JV/Varsity Tennis, tennis trips. We need to make this a more regular thing.

Week 1 of training was a success. Our teachers have given great feedback, and are totally mission aligned. So excited for year two as a School Director. One of the sessions I’m leading is a work-life balance session for our teachers. Lucy, a yogi and one of our middle school teachers is co-planning the session with me and this is how we showed up to our planning session. Yes, there were meal prepped lunches inside those lulu bags. And we each use a Passion Planner.

I know I’m not the only one, but I’m kinda obsessed with the Olympics. Brent and I cancelled dinner reservations on Saturday night to watch Olympic coverage. I NEVER want to stay in on a Saturday night.

And today was an early wakeup call for the Olympic Marathon! I’ll admit we’re weird, but Ellen, Kathy, and I met today at 6am for a run before enjoying a little pool time/breakfast spread/marathon viewing party. So proud of the American women for all finishing top 10. Fun fact Brent discovered, had I run the marathon PR I wouldn’t have been last! There would have been 5 runners behind me. I just need to find a way to get citizenship from Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, or Sri Lanka.


Because I like to overschedule my life, Sunday afternoon involved some beach action and Urban Zen Yoga (aka structured nap). Oh Brent.

Now it’s time to blog, get my week organized, and cook some yummy food. Mama and I had a thing where we’d cook the same meal on Sunday nights. It’s been a while and this weekend we brought it back. This short rib penne was SOOOOO GOOOOOD. Paired with fresh from the brewery Barley Wine from Heretic Beer Joe dropped off this afternoon. Ahh, I am ready for Monday. FullSizeRender 2.jpg

Maybe this week I’ll decide my fall race plan. It’s kinda all over the place right now. Speaking of which. Anyone have any coupon codes for Ventura or Santa Monica Classic? Talk about $$$$!

San Francisco Half Marathon Race Review

I haven’t posted in over a week because of this…

Quite a change from my home the previous week at The Parker.

And before that I was in Paris and England. Moving. Work retreats. Traveling. The San Francisco Marathon hadn’t been on my radar. It was going to be a quick, barely over 24 hour trip that I was lucky enough to get comped by qualifying as an “elite.” I’m about 20 minutes away from being a true elite in the half marathon, but San Francisco is known for hills. People are scared to sign up for races with hills because it means it’ll slow their times down, so they have to entice us to by offering to elite spots to people like me. Anyways, considering Anna just moved to San Francisco and it’s just a quick trip up from LA, and I love the half, I had to say yes. Ellen joined in, running the first half of the marathon (significantly hillier than the second half). I chose to run the second half. No lofty goal. Just a positive attitude and always the hope of a PR, but I wasn’t going to be greedy.

Turns out a positive attitude goes a long way. I just kept reminding myself to relax my shoulders, I smiled, and had fun with the ups and downs…the hills..not emotions :) I think because I’ve run sub-90 a few times, I know it’s physically possible and that’s just kinda my go-to pace. Around mile 9 I realized I was amidst the worst miles in a half and was feeling pretty happy. I picked it up a bit but with lack of speed work couldn’t really get my legs moving much faster. Note to self: get back on the track. With two miles to spare I saw that if I hustled I could run a slight PR. It was only 30 seconds, but I’m humbled to have run a PR on this course after last week. Ellen finished in 1:37 and Lauren finished her first half marathon in 1:55. They both ran the first half which was super hilly.

Alaina also reminded me I qualified for a $250 credit at Tracksmith. Racing this summer? Consider doing it in your Tracksmith attire for some major store credit.

But don’t forget to take a photo of you in your apparel so that you can qualify to get the credit. I almost forgot. And apparently my name is Cristinia.

Oh, and here is Zuckerberg running the first half. He’s on a running kick these days.

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After loading up on freebies (and the freebies were especially good) I headed back to Anna’s to shower before meeting up with a big group for brunch. Kerri, my original running buddy who I ran Toronto Marathon with met up with us.

And I had to try the local Kombucha. It’s become part of my day before the race place. You know, probiotics. Good for the gut. Alaina, I wanted to bring some home for you!

My pre-race dinner consisted of Flour+Water. Ahh it was so good! Apparently it’s hard to get a reservation. Anna and I waited for a bit and got a spot in communal seating. The braised beef with eggplant confit with handmade pasta. It was on Bestia level.

After brunch Anna, Ellen, and I wandered all over SF before heading back to LA. Short and sweet trip to SF for just over a day.

Thinking of running this race next year?



  • Option to run the first or second half for the half marathon
  • Cool temperatures for July
  • Nuun on course!!!!
  • Nice long sleeve race shirts
  • Larabars, clover greek yogurt, dang coconut strips, peanut butter bars, so many freebies
  • Great elite/sub-elite program
  • Free race photos
  • Great race app with live updates for tracking runners


  • Slower course
  • No water at the start
  • If you’re not into a race with shuttles, you’re not going to like this
  • Had to wait a long time for my bags to arrive at the finish from the start
  • Last half of the second half marathon/last quarter of the full marathon is kinda boring

Scenes from Paris

Travel changes you. Even if you’re going back to a country you previously lived in or spending time in a city you’ve been to more than a dozen times, you always end up coming home with a new perspective. Maybe it’s having the time to stop and smell the roses, or maybe that’s just what happens when you’re thrown into a different culture. Our time in Paris made me think about the importance of simplicity, quality, and slowing down.

Yes, Paris is one of the biggest cities in the world and isn’t exactly slow paced. Parisians do, however, take the time to sit and enjoy their meals and they walk much more than us Angelinos. Our time in Paris consisted of lots of eating and even more walking. When we ate our servers didn’t hurry us. We weren’t pressured to leave a 20% tip. We were encouraged to take our time, to talk, to people watch, and to savor the food. It was a nice change from the to-go culture we too often experience in the US. I was on a quest to find the best croissant in Paris. I’m going to need more time to finish my research, but Pain Pain is currently in first place🙂 Oh, and Pierre Herme, you’ve got to try it, but I’m definitely more of a fan of french breads.img_4653

The highlight of our time in Paris was the Culinary Tour of Paris we took with John Paul. My brother-in-law worked with John Paul as a tour guide while he lived in Paris, and John Paul has since built his own business. My parents and my sister have both gone on his tour and raved. We met John Paul at the Metro Abbesses. As as a group of five we toured Montmarte, visited Picasso and Von Gogh’s homes, sampled baguettes from the award winning neighborhood boulangeries, ate cheeses, charcuterie, drank French wines, and ate the highest rated crepes in Paris.

img_4652-1You hear so much about the culinary world of Paris and wonder if it will live up to the hype. It really does! What stood out was an intense focus on quality and simplicity. Parisians aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. They’re not overly complicating their food. Rather they work collaboratively with other chefs and are intensely focused on perfecting their craft. In a restaurant you’re not going to see 100 items on the menu. Coffee shop will have three options. There’s no sugar free, lactose-free, non-fat, half-caf in Paris. I was inspired by their commitment to excellence.

Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe 

Growing up in Europe I often tried to cover up my American accent. I tried to blend in as much as possible, didn’t want to visit overly touristy spots, and wasn’t shy about advertising the fact that I was an expat who also spoke Spanish at home. I’d cringe when I heard loud Americans and didn’t want to be associated with them. On this trip I decided to have no shame. No, I wasn’t running around being loud and obnoxious, but I’m not embarrassed to be American and I didn’t want hide my identity. Brent and I tried our best with French and always asked if someone spoke English rather than making the assumption they did. We embraced that we were tourists and weren’t afraid to snap photos all over the city.

Montmarte: Sacre Coeur, view from our airbnb, and Moulin Rouge

We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, walked the Champs Elysees, took a ferris wheel ride, and shopped the Galleries Lafayette. We also visited the WWI and WWII exhibit at Hotel des Invalides, and had to see Napoleon’s massive tomb. We walked the Seine, visited Notre Dame, and ate at Deux Trois Magots (visited by Hemingway, Picasso, and many other artists). I splurged on the champagne here. Not cheap, but well worth it.

Hotel des Invalides, Napoleon’s Tomb, Seine, and more lattes🙂

Brent and I celebrated Bastille Day by watching the fireworks up by the Sacre Coure. It was so crowded we could barely get a view of the fireworks by the Eiffel Tower. Everyone was in good spirits and the energy was positive. We walked home and turned on the news to discover what had happened in Nice. France is such a beautiful country, and it was so upsetting to hear of more terror. The drop in tourism has hurt many in Paris who rely on visitors for their business, and we knew this would impact them even more.

At the end of a trip I’m usually ready to go home, but this was one of the first times in forever that I didn’t want to go home. Brent and I loved Paris. It was so nice to spend so much time together, to sample the food, and to see the beautiful sights. On my way to the airport I tried to count how many times I’d been to Paris. A handful of times for cross-country and tennis trips, several New Years trips, and all those weekend getaways when we lived in Germany and England. I’ve been there at least 20 times, and I don’t think I’d mind 20 more.

Admirals Club :) 

Yoga at Charle de Gaulle!

And I guess I should have something running related on here. I’ll leave you with these blast from the past photos from ISST Cross Country Championships in 8th Grade and 12th Grade. Both times our team won gold. The first one is me hugging Celia after we learned we won Gold our senior year. The one in the middle is my final sprint to the finish line for my final ISSTs, my final race, my senior year. And the last one is small Junior Varsity winning team. Yup, that’s Jackie in the middle! 🙂