Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day from Hastings-on-Hudson! Our weekend started in beautiful LA.

At Verve Coffee Downtown, to be exact. The Equitas Instructional Team, Alaina, and I got a bunch of work done so that we could really enjoy our three day weekend. Juice flight for Alaina and I. I’m not a big juicer. I prefer to chew my nutrients, but this was too pretty to say no to.

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Saturday morning I woke up early, ran a quick four miler before heading on an early flight to Oakland. We spent a day in the bay for Heidi, a good friend of Brent’s, wedding. When in Oakland you have to stop at Blue Bottle. My drink of choice, always the Almond Milk Latte.

Took a quick walk around Oakland while sipping on our $5 lattes.

Next stop, the Cheese Board in Berkeley for lunch. It’s a collective and they offer one veggie pizza on the menu based on what’s looking good at the farmer’s market. Saturday it was corn, cilantro, lime (surprisingly yummy on pizza) and a creamy green dipping sauce. I’d pour that stuff on anything. Apparently everyone loves it. Found a bunch of recipes online.

I love the vibe. You buy your box of pizza, and find standing room with live jazz music.

So Berkeley. 

Then it was time to head up to Sonoma. We changed in the restroom of a winery. Very classy. The wedding was at Kunde Family Estate on top of a big hill. I told Brent if we ever wanted to renew our vows, we might have to do it there. It was perfect. We’re so happy for Heidi and Brett.

Right before the ceremony.  After a few glasses of wine and some food, we headed out to the airport for the red eye. Half a sleeping pill knocked me out for the entire flight. Brent and I ubered to Hastings-on-Hudson to see this beauty! Baby Rexetta 🙂

And to see these crazy boys who came up from DC. 

My Godson and I.
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Dinner with the fam.IMG_4914.JPG

Marta wasn’t able to come this weekend, but she facetimed us mid-run. Add it to the list of random things we do while running. Isn’t it normal to respond to work emails while you’re running? Once I think I also stopped by Alaina’s to pick up an onion for my dinner and ran the rest of the way home with an onion in a bag. 

I got out for an 8 miler and ran it at like a 7:10 pace. Running has felt really good lately. I randomly ran this on Tuesday. I think I need to sign up for a race or two. Anyone know of any good 4th of July races in the LA area? Any good halfs coming up? I need your help!IMG_3961.PNG

This afternoon Brent and I went to the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan.

Oh and I have to brag on Gisele. SHE RAN A 2:56 AT MOUNTAINS TO BEACH MARATHON ON SUNDAY. Amazing. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Coolest part is she did it without a watch. She just ran. Oh, and did I mention she is super chill and humble? She doesn’t set goals, she doesn’t follow a precise plans. She just runs. A lot. We first met two years ago running So Cal Ragnar for Back on My Feet. 1525145_10202217506978850_331227091_n.jpg

And have been buddies ever since. We really are going to be old ladies loading the busses to Hopkinton talking about “Remember when we ran Boston back in 2015. We were so young!”1535431_10203163065451164_2614389440299542798_n.jpg

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Just a few more hours with Rexetta, Carmen, and Jim before heading back to LA. I’ll leave you with this. National Running Day is June 1st. How are you celebrating? GRD-blog-ftd.jpg

 

Mind Games

Before I jump into anything running related, I am the proud aunt to Rexetta Judy Weber! Carmen’s baby was born on Friday morning and was named after our Grandma Johnson. I can’t wait to be in New York next weekend! I am so happy for Carmen and Jim. Get ready for lots of baby pics!

In my running life, last weekend I signed up for a 10K that was going to be happening about a mile from my apartment. I was hoping for a little race adrenaline but I got this email 😦

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During my Wednesday evening run I saw this on the beach path. Thank you very much fuel tank. I was really wanting to get some speedy miles in. You also made me detour like crazy getting to Venice for my Saturday morning run.

Saturday morning we ran one of those perfectly awesome long runs. Ellen and I started at Gjusta for post-run pastries, and ran our way up San Vicente to pick up Marta and Bri. We did the Bristol hill past Sunset, ran back down San Vicente and picked Lauren up before venturing into the Palisades. I love going out and exploring with my running buds. Check out these awesome tropical looking stairs in the Palisades.

I think the run was so enjoyable because there was no pressure. I wasn’t concerned with pace, I ate my shot blocks whenever I felt like it, I drank water whenever we found it, and I didn’t think about how my legs felt. I just ran and busted out a 6:40 for my last mile just because. When I’m training for a specific race I think too much.

They say running is 90% mental, and over the years I’ve learned a lot about how to tackle mental barriers and discomfort during a race. I’m no expert, but I’ve come a long way. Everyone has their secret sauce, but this is what has worked for me. It’s not foolproof. Sometimes I’m just not feeling a race and my mental plan doesn’t work. We’re allowed to have bad days.

Before I even get to a race, I do a lot of visualizing. This is SO embarrassing to admit, but I found this email the other day while searching my inbox. I thought long and hard about sharing it because I worried I’d be judged, but I’m pretty sure only Marta, Ellen, Alaina, and Brent are reading this 🙂 This photo was taken at the LA Marathon in February. Ellen and I ran the marathon as a relay team, and we finished in just under 3:10 as a team. Alaina is my best friend. I tell her everything, so when I saw my marathon foto picture with that finish time, I just had to share my new goal. Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 7.54.24 AM.png

In my training I spent a lot of time thinking about that moment I would cross under 3:10. When I got bored running endless miles, I’d visualized Hereford and Boylston. I recognize this is my hobby and that there were 243 women who finished ahead of me at Boston, but this was my goal, and I thought about it a lot before the race.

During any goal race I expect discomfort. I don’t wonder if it will come, I know it will. I acknowledged the effort and shift my mindset from “This is hard and I want to quit” to “It feels so good to work hard.” I remind myself how lucky I am to be running, and repeat my mantra. I always have a mantra. Even if it’s just a dinky local 5K. Maybe it’s “You were born to run” or “You eat hills for breakfast” or “You know you’re a good runner.” Whatever it is, I repeat it to myself while jamming out to fun music.

I also remind myself of all the miles I put in before the race. In a marathon, for example, when I’m at mile 16 and still have just over ten miles to go I tell myself “Ten miles. You’d run that after a long day of work.” I think a lot about the hours of training while I race.

I realize I’m painting a rosy picture. Sometimes a mental plan fails. Sometimes I ask myself why I even bother running. What do you do to trick yourself into embracing discomfort and loving the struggle?

OK, now onto the random pics.

Having fun taking panorama pictures of my hood.

FullSizeRender.jpgIMG_3930.JPGAt school we’re getting ready for next year with curriculum planning. 

And our scholars are really improving their writing…

I’m off to meet Gisele for a few miles in Manhattan Beach, followed by date day with Brent, and 2016-2017 schedule writing with Alaina. Have a happy Sunday!

Marathon Cheaters Beware!

After Runner’s World posted this article it seems like everyone’s talking about cheating in distance running. I find it really sad to think there are people out there planning ways to cheat in marathons so they can sneak their way into Boston. It’s just so pathetic, and proves that they don’t run for themselves. For them it’s about being able to post some awesome photo on Instagram or brag about their new PR or BQ status. Yes, I know I have a running blog and I tell you about my races, goals, and PRs, but let’s be real… I don’t have many readers. This is pretty much a journal to myself. I want to be able to read this later in life and re-live my youth in LA.

Real runners set goals and work for them because it is so intrinsically motivating to meet them. Meeting goals also helps you in your everyday life. A few weeks ago when work was especially challenging I reminded myself I recently ran 26.2 miles with a pesky glute. It really put things in perspective. I feel grateful that the people I’ve met in the running community are such great people constantly seeking ways to be better versions of themselves. They’re not in it for the glory. BTW if you’re looking for a way to waste time, check out this blog. They’ve devoted their blog to finding marathon cheaters.

So this brings my to my next random thought. Before I jump in, I’m not accusing anyone of cheating, so don’t freak out, but do you think it’s fair to qualify for Boston on this kind of course?home_charts_top

Or these?elevation
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It seems like everyone is afraid to run a marathon with even the slightest hill because their time will suffer. I earned free entry to the San Fransisco Marathon likely because people are afraid to run the course because it has something scary, HILLS. Chicago, known to be a flat and fast course, isn’t even a popular BQ course anymore. People are wanting to go downhill.

I ran a downhill half marathon back in 2014. I had fun, I ran a PR, and thought to myself WOAH I just ran a sub 1:30. It took a few weeks for me to really understand how aided the course was and I felt a strong need to regain that PR on a flat course. Not so sure I’ll be signing up for any downhill courses anytime soon. It just doesn’t feel as rewarding. What do you think? I know you’re not cheating if it’s a legit course, but is it aided or fair? Should you earn a spot at Boston if you’re running 5000 feet, the equivalent of a mile, straight down?

Enough about that. What else happened this weekend? Alaina and I hit up Yogaworks grand opening yesterday. We went to Urban Zen with the boys. Aka structured nap with some hip-openers, mediation, aromatherapy, and hamstring stretching. Just what a runner needs 🙂

It was perfect after a tour of Long Beach with Gisele and Ellen.Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 5.29.29 PM.png

And this is the best thing I ate all week. Rice cakes from Lukshon. They jumped major rankings on the Jonathan Gold list this year so Brent and I felt the need to go back. If you haven’t been. GO. Just do it.

And their eggplant. I don’t understand how a vegetable can be so good!!!!!

I loved it so much I’m currently cooking eggplant and polenta for dinner, and I know I’ll be very disappointed because there is no way it will compare to yesterday’s eggplant but I’ll give it a try.

Second to last thought. Pretty much 90% of my thoughts these days are on my sister Carmen. She’s due with a baby girl TOMORROW! I can’t believe CARMEN IS GOING TO BE A MOM. I can’t wait to be in NY Memorial Day weekend to see her and the baby. AHHH!!!!

And I’ll leave you with a photo of our beautiful kindergarteners doing yoga post-recess before heading inside for the rest of the afternoon. Have I recently mentioned I love my job?