Back to Reality

Happy Easter! Spring break is coming to an end. Brent and I got back late last night from our Southeast road trip with Jackie and Alex. Jackie and I have been friends since fifth grade. We were Girl Scouts and Cross Country buddies at our school in England. Not sure why I have this on my phone, but here we are our senior year minutes before our final Cross Country Championships in Paris. Yeah, we’re fancy like that…running races in Paris.

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Jackie and I were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings and have vacationed together despite living so far apart (she’s still in England). Jackie was a part of my engagement story, a story I am too lazy to re-type. She took our legendary engagement shot in Trafalgar Square. We met last week in Mobile, Alabama and in six days covered Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee. I love a good road trip! Jackie and Alex are working their way up to Ohio to visit her extended family. We spent our first two days relaxing in the Gulf. Californians have a snobby attitude towards Florida, but the beaches were beautiful. White sands, warmer water, beach bars and fresh seafood. It was the perfect way to start our mini-road trip.

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After two days on the Gulf, we drove to New Orleans with a stop in Biloxi, Mississippi for a quick gamble and no luck. Here we are crossing borders making use of our selfie stick.

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The bulk of our trip was in New Orleans. It is such a fun city!!!! I loved the vibe. Snobby beer, good music, hipster food, warm weather. Totally my style. We stayed at a beautiful Airbnb apartment in the French Quarter (check out Brent in our living room above). If you haven’t tried Airbnb, use it. It’s much cheaper and you get way more space and great locations. We immediately hit Bourbon Street when we got there. It’s kinda like Vegas, you have to go knowing it’s going to be completely ridiculous. Grab a drink and wander around the street. Amazing people watching. That night we got some meh po-boys for dinner (go to Killer Po-Boy if you’re in town….so MUCH better) and ate dessert at Cafe Du Monde. The beignets are worth the hype. The next two days consisted of morning runs around the city, exploring the Garden District (super cute neighborhood with amazing restaurants and shops), visiting the WWII Museum, Jazz at Preservation Hall, and a “fancy” meal at Cochonphoto 2 (8)

We ended our trip in Memphis. As soon as we got there we immediately hit up Central BBQ for the best BBQ in Memphis. That pulled pork sandwich covered in BBQ sauce…drool. We met up with Singer/Songwriter Award Winning Lanita Smith at Central BBQ who I worked with at KIPP. She was in town visiting family and working on a documentary of her life. It’s only a matter of time before she’s super famous. Lanita is so talented and so humble. Memphis highlights included running into a Memorial Service for MLK at the Lorraine Motel where he was assassinated, listening to blues on Beale Street, visiting Graceland (home of Elvis+Elvis propaganda center) and the strangest duck march tradition at The Peabody Hotel. They have a daily ceremony where ducks come down their elevators and march down a red carpet to a fountain where they spend the day, then at 5PM they march back upstairs. It was so weird. Go see it if you’re ever in Memphis. Oh, and check out the weird postcard I found at the Elvis shop. It was a Spanish Omelette Recipe with his creepy picture. So strange. photo 1 (6)

Call me crazy, but on vacation I love a good run in the morning before starting my day. I covered lots of ground last week, running along the Gulf and the Mississippi River. It was a calm and quiet way to start my day. With all my long hard runs behind me, I was able to enjoy running without the stress of training for Boston (WHICH IS 2 WEEKS AWAY!!!!) Check out Ellen’s post on running while traveling.

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Today in LA I celebrated Easter with a morning beach run with these fasties and a dip in the ocean afterwards.

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Followed by church and brunch at Gracias Madre with my favorite buddies.

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Tomorrow it’s back to work and back to reality. Although I love being happy about going back to work. I’m excited to get back to planning for Equitas #3! Have a great week.

Redondo Beach 5K + Notes from Long Run #4

I don’t understand all those pre-race gear photos posted on instagram and facebook. Do people really lay their clothes out like that? I’m a pretty neat and tidy person, and this is what my pile of clothes looked like last night…

unnamedToday a few of us from RunMDR ran a 5K to test our speed. We all ran well, considering the hectic conditions. We started a good three minutes late and dodged strollers, costumes and walkers which is OK in a longer race, but in a 5K you have no time to waste. People were swerving like crazy, there was one guy who fell and was sitting in a huge puddle of water. It was like an adventure race. We were all hoping to run a sub-20, which is totally possible, but the start killed us.

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Splits are below. That first mile messed it up 😦

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Despite the obstacles, the race was REALLY fun. There is something invigorating about running as fast as you can for 3 miles. I felt really strong, and my form felt good throughout. I didn’t get that awful sprinting chest pain or feeling like I was going to throw up. When the pain started to kick in, I was almost done. Also going to rub it in that I beat all the RunMDR boys. Always fun to beat the boys, and they love being competitive 🙂 They usually kill me at 800s on the track. Unfortunately there is drama with my finish time. When I went to to go check out my results after the race they were missing. It was like I never ran the race. I’ve never had my chip not read. I told the organizers and gave them my time, but when online results came up they randomly assigned me a time of 21:11. Yeah, still first in my age group, but not my time. After a bit more investigating I’m thinking they gave me that time because it was one second after the third overall female. They probably didn’t want to strip her of her third overall finish. Annoying! I don’t even care about my place, I just want my time right. AAANNNYWAYS, I guess it just means I need to run another 5K to redeem myself. I know I was second overall so I guess that’s all that matters, right? I’m still bothered when I see the results online. Has that happened to anyone else? Ellen had a great race and an automatic PR because this was her first 5K ever. We’re excited to run them more frequently and get better at the art of the 5K. Part of it is showing up on time 🙂

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This shouldn’t bother me, right? I run for me..not for a stupid results website. 

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I was supposed to run 18 miles today with a three mile pace, so the 5K worked out well. Ellen, Ash and I ran down the beach path back home to finish up our mileage for the day. Here’s how it went…

Saturday Dinner: Bratwurst with Pretzel Buns. They are so good! Get them at Whole Foods.

Saturday Sleep: 7 hours. Not good. Woke up twice with stomach issues. Won’t give you any details.

Pre-Race Breakfast: Granola, half a banana, some water. I felt kinda nauseous but eating helped.

Post-Race Snack: Clif bar, half a banana, some water, trail mix from the expo.

Long Run Fuel: Honey Stinger Pink Lemonade Chews

Long Run Hydration: Water fountains. It was HOT on the way home.

Long Run Outfit: Lululemon shorts, lulu swiftly tee, target sports bra, lulu socks, forgot my visor.

Post-Run Snack: Big bowl of oatmeal and getting ready to go to Alaina’s Super Bowl Partay

How Did It Feel: I actually ran all 18 today. I was thinking of maybe just doing 15, but I’m glad I did the whole thing. I was tired at the end. It was hot but I told myself, if I can run a 5K and run 15 miles in the sun I’ll be more prepared for a possible wall at the marathon. I’m also not sure how I feel about the chews. My stomach was all messed up from racing then running again, and stomach issues last night so I’m going to give them another try.

Other Notes: I did my 20 minute strengthening routine today. I am getting BACK on the bandwagon with that.

Other important news…

Marta also ran the Surf City Half today in 1:36. She is getting so speedy!!!!

I also am going to write a post on Sunday meal prepping. It’s saved me SO much time during the week. Two portions of Asparagus Mint Pistachio Pesto is ready to go! Just need to boil the pasta.

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AND, I am super excited to order this!!!

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Thanksgiving in Oklahoma!

Good Morning from Oklahoma!photo (35)Brent and I celebrated Thanksgiving in Oklahoma (smack in the middle of America) with Brent’s side of the family. Brent’s dad David, an enthusiastic Restless Runner reader requested an Oklahoma running review. I didn’t do much running, mostly resting and eating. It was much needed! 

Brent and I did wake up early on Thanksgiving morning to run the Edmond Turkey Trot 5K. It was 27 degrees, INSANELY cold for weak Californian. Shorts and a thin long sleeve didn’t quite do the job. My fingers were SO FROZEN. I managed a smile in the pictures above, but my race motto was “I’m freezing. I can’t feel my legs.” Because I didn’t make it to track on Tuesday night, I took it as a hard tempo run. I finished in just over 20 minutes. Not a PR but I did manage to place, and Brent insisted on wearing my race medal all day. Check him out below. He ran a strong effort, averaging under 7 minute miles. We probably should have dressed like the people in the pictures. gloves and pants.

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 7.09.42 AMThe Thanksgiving spread at the Lowry house was top notch. I was introduced to Corn Casserole. Much like Green Bean Casserole but with corn and ritz crackers. I couldn’t stop eating it, which made sense when Cary gave me the recipe. The topping is ritz crackers coated with a stick of butter. I love that she didn’t find the recipe on Pinterest, but it’s written on a family recipe card.

photo (51) Whenever Brent and I are in Oklahoma we like to run in Mitch Park. It’s a 2.75 mile loop (I wish they would just round it up to 3 miles). The loop is fairly flat, but super windy. I love the trees, a nice change of pace from my beach route in LA. We ran 4 miles at Mitch Park on Friday morning before heading to breakfast. Cary then treated me to a mani, pedi and massage. AHHH it was amazing. My poor calves were so tight. Thank you Cary! We then went out for sushi before going to the Thunder Game downtown. After the game Ross, Brent and I went out for drinks and appetizers in Bricktown. My beer snob self was very impressed with the selection at TapWerks Ale House.

mitchMitchParkMapBrent and I planned on running this morning, but are drinking coffee (with awesome Italian Sweet Cream), watching the news and hanging out with family before we fly back to LA instead. You can’t let running take over your life. Soon it will be back to work, back to reality, back to the grind. Oklahoma, we’ll see you soon!

Click on this link to spread the power of running. Donate to Ellen and my Girls on the Run fundraiser to ensure girls across Los Angeles have access to this empowering program!