Joy Y’all

The first week of winter break has come to an end. The last day of school was less than idea. Gabby had planned an outdoor Winter Wonderland Festival. We’re not used to this much rain in California. This was the outdoor scene. Our building wasn’t in much better shape. Two of our seven classrooms were leaking from the ceiling. IMG_5974.JPGOne of our scholars also had a particularly rough day. I’ll leave it vague and say he was being very unsafe and required my 100% attention all day so I wasn’t able to help with the rain plan. It was chaotic with parents, kids, behavior, rain. Cecilia managed to keep the joy alive at dismissal. Gotta love a snowman with a walkie.  img_5981.jpgAfter a long, easy meditative run I put on a pretty dress and threw on some jewelry and had dinner with Brent, Cecilia, and Oscar at n/naka. It was 13 courses of Japanese perfection. We got a photo with Niki Nakayama (Chef’s Table star) after the meal. It was 12:30 AM, way past my usual bedtime. IMG_6075.JPGSaturday afternoon Ellen and I hit up the Staples Center for some ice-skating.

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And Sunday afternoon when our flight was cancelled and we had no food left in the house, we HAD to go to The Tripel for lunch. That’s the Bad Santa Ale with some blue cheese, marinated shrimp, and gigante beans.

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This week I split my time between Oklahoma and Texas to see Brent’s family. The week consisted of gift giving, looking at old photos, croissant making, drivers ranging, and a little bit of running. Speaking of old photos, Brent obviously gets his goofiness from his dad. See collage below ūüôā img_6051.jpgAnd Cary bought be the best Christmas gift, a mega speaker. It’ll definitely be used during arrival and lunch line up. Oh and OK Runner, Brent was in need of new running shoes so we stopped by there. Wow they were friendly. I’ve got a free entry to the Oklahoma Memorial Marathon if I want it. Too bad it’s two weeks after Boston ūüė¶ It’s definitely on the list.
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I hope my kids are this cute! Baby Brentford ūüôā img_6052-1.jpg

On vacation it can be tough to fit running into the schedule. My best run of the week was on the hotel treadmill in Oklahoma on Wednesday afternoon before dinner at Mahogany Steakhouse. I had planned on running progression six miles starting at a 7:30 pace, but after six miles knew I had more in me. The run turned into eight miles with each mile 15 seconds faster than the previous. 7:30-7:15-7:00-6:45-6:30-6:15-6:00-5:45. I love progression runs on a treadmill. They help teach you a pace, and make it a bit more interesting.

And I’ll leave you with this photo Peter has from Long Beach. He purchased all his race pics with one of those Black Friday marathon foto dealios, and here we are when the half marathon met up with the full marathon in the final mile of the race. Can you tell who is on mile 12 and who is on mile 25?LongBeachMarathon.jpg

Happy Holidays!

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Santa-Monica Venice Christmas Run 10K 2016 Race Review

I’m going to be that annoying person who says they’ve been too busy to blog. It’s true though! I have 3 draft blog posts that were never published. I’d start writing but with my computer open I would watch¬†my growing¬†inbox and feel guilty about not responding and not being productive.¬†So yes, I’ve been too busy to blog, but definitely not too busy to run. Running makes me a better principal. Sometimes it clears my mind, and sometimes I use a run to reflect and build an action plan in my mind. Anyways, the annual Santa-Monica Venice Christmas Run was¬†my reason to get back into blogging. This¬†was my 6th year in a row running the¬†race, and I’ve always said it’s my¬†favorite (non-marathon) race. With a 1st place finish out of about 1400 women, even more reason to love the event. Because I’ve got lots to do tonight, my goal is to finish this post in 20 minutes. Here we go. Don’t judge the typos ūüôā

Ellen, Anna, and I at the start of the race. FullSizeRender_2.jpg

Yup, I love this race. Hard not to smile with all the Christmas spirit, costumes, and running on the beach. I never go into this race stressed or with a crazy goal. Yes, I always want to PR but that’s mostly because¬†I rarely run 10Ks. I also don’t train specifically for 10Ks, so I can’t be too upset if I don’t PR.

This photo was taken just after the first mile. I¬†was in 3rd place and 1st place was quite a ways ahead of me. Considering I’d just clocked a 6:11 mile, I didn’t think there was much of a chance of working my way up, so I just smiled and thought to myself it would be nice to have a top 3 day.¬†50086408_race_0.8425811077171016.display.jpg

Yeah, not all of my photos turned out as well…

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The race wasn’t really too¬†eventful. Around mile 1.5/2 I caught 1 and 2, and made it to 1st place. Turns out they started too fast. I ran pretty consistently between 6:18-6:22. This course has a bunch of turn arounds which is annoying for pacing, but great for seeing friends. I got¬†to see Peter, Ellen, Anna, and Bri several times on¬†the course. By mile 4¬†I knew unless something went terribly wrong I’d win the race. My pace was feeling hard, but not impossible, so I kinda just held it. I didn’t have huge motivation to dig really deep. I felt content and soaked in all the energy from the runners and spectators.¬†My official time was 39:40.FullSizeRender_3.jpg

Finish line smiles.

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I made friends with the second place finisher. Hoping to get together for a run sometime soon! Here we are with our big ole box of chocolates that we got at the awards ceremony.FullSizeRender.jpgAnd here is the original running crew. Ellen and Bri. So many miles spent together ūüôā

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Post-race Ellen, Anna (the other Anna) and I went to Gjusta for brunch and Brent got back from after a week away in England that evening.

The next day was a recovery run and some yoga at Athleta in Santa Monica. They gave us gratitude notes and there was a dog in our class. Gotta love LA!

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OK, all out of time. Thinking of running this race next year?

Pros:

  • Flat¬†course
  • SO MUCH CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!
  • Free photos
  • Long sleeve shirts and medals
  • Lots of bathrooms
  • Lots of parking options both free if you’re willing to walk from neighborhoods and lots if you want to be right by the finish or start
  • Beach running
  • Big¬†race with 10,000 runners doing both the 10K and the 5K making for a fun atmosphere

Cons:

  • Turns are kinda annoying in the 10K if you are really trying to go fast, but I personally like seeing the¬†other runners so I think it‚Äôs worth it
  • Start and finish about a mile away
  • Less freebies this year ūüė¶