It’s the Final Countdown

The marathon crazy is starting. Scratch that. Marathon crazy is in full effect. Last week I told you I love the taper. I love taper mileage. Not taper habits. I’m not going to pretend I’m this zen runner who is just going to show up at the race, perfectly calm, confident, and ready. Yeah, worst case scenario I don’t finish or I have a bad race, but I’ve trained hard! I don’t want this all to go to waste. I’m not afraid to admit I’m nervous. I’m OK with feeling anxious. Nerves fuel us, right? They also make us a little obsessive compulsive. My weird pre-race habits are the same every time. I know I’m acting a little cray cray. The weather checking. The inability to really focus on conversations. Occasional insomnia. Googling glute and hamstring relief tips and race week nutrition. I know I’m not an elite, but I want to do well. I’m not upset with myself for acting this way. It is what it is 🙂

Friday afternoon I didn’t have a ridiculous workout like a 10 mile tempo to run, so I stopped by Whole Foods for some marathon week treats. Of course I woke up with a sore throat on Friday. Happens every time. Drinking lots of Emergen-C and taking Wellness Formula like it’s my second job. Nothing like burping garlic. Less time running also means more time for cooking! On pizza night Brent and I dig around in the fridge for whatever might go well with pizza sauce and mozzarella. This week we found some soyrizo, frisee, and grape tomatoes. This batch of dough was particularly good. Check out the recipe here.

  Lasagna on Friday night with enough leftovers for a freezer meal. And I made Half Baked Harvest’s yummy Coconut Quinoa and Lentil Curry with Lime Mango last weekend and had plenty left over for lunches.

I’ve also been doing a lot of organizing. Yesterday I took out all of the spices of our spice cabinet, wiped them all down, threw away expired spices, combined half full bottles, and rearranged then all like a game of Tetris. Brent walked passed me and goes “Thank you Boston Marathon!” He recognizes the symptoms too. Before New York our cabinet with pots and pans got a full makeover. I’m too embarrassed to show you what my panty looks like. It’s spotless and organized by food type. My closet looks pretty darn good too.

I have been running a bit, and this Monday afternoon I had a fun project. I met up with GreenRunner, a running coach here in LA who was looking to interview a Boston qualifier on their journey to Hopkinton. Click on the photo to see the video. It’s awkward Cristina in full effect. I cringe listening to my voice.

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My final double digit run was in the rain. It felt so good to run soaking wet! Ran with Alison and Emily, two new runners I was introduced to a few weeks back. My glutes were a little tight, so I did some stretching and icing afterwards. Ellen, meanwhile, was off racing the Hollywood Half. Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 11.05.39 AM.png

Another sign the marathon is near is googling back-up plans. I do it every time. Brent knows this to be one of my pre-race crazy habits and was like “how about a race in Alaska!?” He’s been asking to go back ever since we went to visit two years ago. Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 7.24.07 AM.png

I’m gonna try to keep myself busy this week to take my mind off the marathon as much as possible. Last night we went to Firestone Walker. It just opened up in Venice. The beer was awesome, the food was OK but nothing to rave about. Next time I’ll hit up the bar, drink my beers and eat the pretzel.

After my run with Kathy and Ellen this morning I hit up Urth Caffe for my favorite, an almond milk latte. Enjoyed it while finally watching Fuller House. I’m a little late to the party, and I know the reviews weren’t great but it brings back happy memories of Wednesday nights when we lived in Tokyo. It was one of the few American shows that made it to Japan. It was nice a big night at the Johnson household we ate dinner in front of the TV. If you know my family you know that’s a big deal.


I think I’ll add getting my eyebrows threaded to the list of things to do


This one’s for the fam. Thinking about Tokyo made me google Meguro Park Heights. This was our home for four years 🙂 People say you can’t raise a family in a big city. Try a family of 6 in a city of 13.5 million people. We lived smack in the middle of the city and turned out just fine. I think 🙂

Now I’m really going off on a tangent. The first time I went on an official run that wasn’t part of PE was in Japan. Carmen, my older sister, was running on the cross country team. I thought the idea of running was so cool. I’d always loved running laps in PE and beating all the boys. She was a sixth grader and I was in fourth grade. Carmen asked me to go on a weekend training run with her, and we ran to Mos Burger, ate french fries and ran home. Definitely something a 9 year old and 11 year old would do. When people ask how long I’ve been a runner, I always say I started at 9 years old, and I have that specific run in my mind.

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Alright, off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday. Marta’s finishing up her Sunday run and will be heading over for some kombucha sipping in the hot tub. So LA. Alaina and I are hitting up Urban Zen yoga (aka a structured nap) this afternoon. Then it’s back to my the bestest school in the world, Equitas Academy #3!

5 Free Things to do in LA + What’s Been Cookin

I want to start this post by congratulating Andrea on finishing her first marathon at the Banff Marathon yesterday! The video Alaina posted of her crossing the finish line was awesome. She looked SO strong! I’m hoping Andrea posts a review on here 🙂 The pictures of Banff look absolutely beautiful! HUGE congratulations. You’re in the marathon club!

In non-running news, Brent and I leave for Argentina TODAY! We’re celebrating our 5 year anniversary. In anticipation of spending lots of $$ over the next week, we tried to keep it low key this past weekend. Low key doesn’t have to mean boring. Los Angeles has plenty to offer without spending much. Here are 5 things we did this weekend requiring little to no dinero.

1. Lounge by the Pool: I’m lucky to have a pool at my apartment. If you don’t, chances are someone you know has a pool. A few magazines, sunscreen, a water bottle and I’m good for a few hours. The only thing I was missing was a sister, a BFF, and maybe a margarita.



And again on Sunday :)

And again on Sunday 🙂

2. Lululemon Run Club: Always free. Always fun. Nothing like starting your Sunday morning chatting with friends and looking at houses you’ll never be able to afford. No Ellen this week though 😦 She’s off vacationing with Anna. This weekend we ran up Rodeo Drive instead of our usual route to look at the fancy cars for Beverly Hills’ Annual Concours d’Elegance. Another free thing to do if you’re into cars.FullSizeRender (29)FullSizeRender_1

3. Walk to the Beach: Do I really need to convince you? Who doesn’t love a nice walk on the beach. Brent and I kinda cheated yesterday and spend some cash. We got ice-cream and popsicles at Playa Provisions11136634_1646959868873727_8967178481304431201_n11138163_1637208449848869_7368755579268481107_n178351_10101748624174953_644579353_o

4. Athleta Summer Solstice Free Yoga in Santa Monica: Not sure how I got on the Athleta Santa Monica email list, but I’m glad I did. Today they hosted an awesome event in Tongva Park right next to the pier. The class was led by Liz Arch a Primal Yoga. It was a cool mix of martial arts and yoga. After sweating in the sun, Marta and I walked over to the Athleta store for free yoga mats, free juice from LA Juice, and some Kashi goodies. I’m not a juicer, but the Sunset Greens was so refreshing on a hot summer day. I love that they provide events like this for the community. Not all of us can afford $20+ yoga classes at studios! Get on the email list at Athleta to learn about other free community events. FullSizeRender_3 FullSizeRender_2 orig

5. Star Gazing Meet Up: No, not LA movie stars, like stars up in the sky. Sorry. No celebrity sighting to report. Brent and I have been to Venice Stargazing twice now. Basically it’s a bunch of people with telescopes who set up and you hang out and look up at the sky. Super chill, and it’s a come and go kinda thing. No pictures this time, but below are some photos of when we went in April. Today we went with Jared and Marta. Got a good view of the Moon and Jupiter. FullSizeRender (30) FullSizeRender (31)

And What’s Been Cookin’

I adapted this Tomato and Burrata Tart slightly. I’ve made it twice since last week. Again, not really a recipe, more a concept. Vicolo corn pizza crust (I’ve seen them at Whole Foods, and have wanted to try. Nice and thick. Delicious corn flavor.), fig jam as the sauce, cherry tomatoes above the jam. Cooked at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes so that the tomatoes roast and get some color. I then topped the tart with prosciutto, basil leaves, burrata and drizzled it with balsamic reduction from Trader Joe’s.


Mama and I made these Zesty Shrimp Tacos a few weeks ago. So quick, so tasty, and great for the summer.


And this is my latest overnight oats combination. Warning, it’s about to get VERY LA. Mix 1/2 cup oatmeal, gogi berries, chia seeds, cocoa nibs and lots of cinnamon. Stir in 1 cup of cashew milk and top with some raisins, a spoonful of peanut butter, blueberries, and a few banana slices. It’ll thicken up overnight. FullSizeRenderNext update will be from Buenos Aires!