Coastal Run/Walk Race Review

Yesterday Ellen, Peter and I drove (yes drove) to the beach here in Playa del Rey for Pepperdine’s Coastal Run for foster youth. I’m embarrassed to admit we drove, but where were we going to put our t-shirts and freebies while we ran!?

The goal was to try to run to 6:30s. I was off slightly averaging a 6:34. Splits were very consistent, but I just couldn’t find that kick. Ellen and I agree that we feed off energy from people and crowds, and there were only 130ish runners and 54 women, so we weren’t feeling pumped and super energized. My music mix also just wasn’t doing it. The race ended up being way long. Apparently they’re going to log it as an 11K, which I guess is a PR because I’ve never run an 11K before 🙂 I just happened to look down at my watch at 6.21 miles and it was 40:45. I ended up winning the race, which was nice because I won a free pair of shoes at Road Runner Sports. Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 7.26.33 PM.png

Thinking of running this race next year?

PROs:

  • Easy race day packet pick up
  • No porta-potties lines and beach bathrooms available too
  • You get a medal if that is something you like
  • Small community feel
  • Supports a great cause
  • Flat course

CONs:

  • Course was long
  • Despite being on the beach, boring course
  • Not too much competition, although you never know who is going to show up!

And because I have no photos from the race, I’ll leave you with some photos from the past week at school, our cheese plate at The Tripel, and of my yummy black bean tostadas.

And still grateful for any donations to our LA Charity Fundraising!

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An Ode to the LA Marathon

I love the LA Marathon. It’s the first marathon I ever finished. It wasn’t pretty. I was naive, didn’t really train, had ITBS, didn’t stop for water along the course, didn’t take any fuel, but I finished my first 26.2. Here we are in 2008 celebrating at ihop. Oh the days before we became food snobs. P2210282.JPG

Brent and I ran it again in 2009 after our engagement weekend in London. It was Saturday night and after a few rounds of beer in a London pub I declared that I would run the LA Marathon that Monday (it was held on memorial day that year). Brent and I landed at midnight Sunday night and were up running the marathon the next morning. I ran my personal worst, over 5 hours, but we look it very easy and ran with Students Run LA. Here we are making wise decisions about running a marathon on a Saturday night, and us crossing the finish lines with our dorkly SRLA hats. DSC05388.JPGDSC05393.JPGScreen Shot 2014-10-26 at 12.00.31 PM.png

In 2013 I was a spectator, and saw my baby sister Marta kill it at her first marathon. Here I am GOING CRAZY screaming for her on Ocean Avenue at the finish in Santa Monica. She ran a 3:50ish in her first marathon.

photo 2 (4) (1).JPGIn 2014 the LA Marathon was my redemption run. I had to re-qualify for Boston after missing out on a spot, and despite the high heat I crossed the line under 3:30 so that I could pretty much guarantee a spot at Boston. I had SO much support along the way.

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And here I am calling Mama to tell her I qualified for Boston!762730-1005-0023s.jpg

In 2015 I participated in the charity relay with Ellen, raising money for Girls on the Run, an organization I brought to my school in South LA. Ellen and I ran a combined 3:10ish in super hot weather again. We won the relay, thank you very much 🙂 Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 9.26.40 AM.png

I was feeling a little sad about not being a part of the LA Marathon again this year, especially with the Olympic Trials happening the day before. I knew it would be an inspiring weekend, and I’d be so eager and excited to run. There is NO way I’m running the full marathon in February and Boston again in April. I love running, but I strive to be balanced with my running and my life. I just kinda let it go, and planned on taking this year off.

Back in November I emailed a bunch of organizations to ask about their charity relay teams and fundraising commitments. The numbers were really high, which I totally understand. I had just fundraised for Girls on the Run the year before, and fundraised for my school’s book fair I felt like I couldn’t keep asking for money, even if it was a great cause. Ellen and I had made the decision to spectate this year, and we were sad but OK with it. This week I was contacted by City of Hope, an research and treatment center for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. They told me they were still looking for runners to represent their organization. After some consideration, I just didn’t feel I could say no. Cancer is the reason I never met my grandmother. The timing is a bit strange considering everything happening with Brent’s aunt who we recently visited in Tulsa. Ellen and I have decided to combine something we love with raising money for a cause we really care about. Our goal is to raise a combine $500, but most importantly to raise awareness of the City of Hope. I feel so lucky to run this awesome race with my best running friend, and raise money for something that has touched so many lives. Please consider donating to our cause. Any amount helps. Thank you.

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Rest Days, Fartleks+Fast Finish

It wouldn’t be Sunday afternoon without a little blogging. El Niño has finally made an appearance in California. We’re in desperate need of rain, so we welcome the wet weather. Los Angeles is beautiful regardless. Check out the clouds on my Friday evening seven mile run.

I’m loving having someone write my training plan. For years I’ve had pretty much the same routine. Easy Monday, track Tuesday, off Wednesday, tempo Thursday, 5 at 5 on Friday, long Saturday, and Lululemon run club on Sunday. I’m enjoying challenging myself with new workouts, and feel like the plan has me work smarter not necessarily longer and harder. Monday I had a 8 mile run with 3 x 8 minutes tempo. It was a wet mess outside, so I ran on the treadmill which was SO mentally challenging. I hate the treadmill, especially for speed work because I feel like I am going to fall off, but it makes me appreciate running outside SO much. Wednesday I ran a fartlek run with some fast bursts, and Saturday I ran 14 miles with a fast finish. Ellen, Lauren and I ran an easy conversational 8:30-8:45 pace, we then planned a four mile route to finish at our meeting spot (Ocean Ave + Alta) and took off. It’s amazing how quickly you can go from nice and easy to fast mode. Yes, mile 14 had a slight elevation loss, but I was still super excited to be running a 6:14 at the end of the long run. 

Tuesday was my rest day. I feel like runners don’t respect the rest day enough. We hate it, and try to make ourselves busy by staying at work late, going to yoga, going on a hike or a long walk. We aren’t good at resting. Tuesday I came home, was in my sweats by 5:30 and just sat around the entire evening. I watched Clueless on Netflix and started Making a Murderer (I still prefer Serial, but it’s definitely worth watching). To be honest, having a full on rest day with no evening plans and Brent staying late at work was kinda boring. I went to bed really early, but my running felt strong the rest of the week and I wonder if pure rest and laziness on Tuesday helped.

A few more of my recent kitchen adventures. Sticking to the resolution. Chili, black bean+spinach tacos with the mole I made last weekend, and lentil bolognese with spaghetti squash.


This morning I also switched things up by going to yoga at The Yoga Collective in Venice with a bunch of Equitas friends. Years back Alaina and I took classes with Jackie here at a tiny studio in Playa. Jackie was just starting her yoga career, and it was often just us two in her class. She was so good at differentiating for our needs, something we really appreciate as educators 🙂  Since then Jackie has become a popular yoga instructor in LA. We were so excited to be reunited with her again!  yogacollectivestudio-1

And you can’t be in Venice during brunch hours and NOT go to Gjusta. Today I tried the bialy egg sandwich. We went to Blue Star Donuts afterwards. Got the old fashioned and maple bacon for Brent and I.

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Sunday evenings feel very different now that I don’t experience that Sunday night “I don’t want to go to school” anxiety. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind sleeping in a little bit, I would love to take a lunch break and go out with my colleagues, and I’m always always envious people who can run before work, but I actually have fun at work, and LOVE what I do. What a strange concept.