JUST 18?

Funny how 18 miles seems so much easier than 20. It’s all mental. 20 sounds scary. 18 is in the teens, so it seems like it should be easier. Gisele, Ellen and I had a lovely 18 this morning. It was pretty hilly, but with no pick-ups or a fast finish, it made for a nice and easy run. And yup, you’re right Gisele. Our route made a heart! That’s gotta be good luck, right? We started and ended at Ellen’s. I sound like a California snob, but I was ready not to run on the beach.

At school we had our first ever Family Festival. Not gonna lie, was not too confident in my ability to pull off this event, but WOAH did the family and teachers come together to plan a great event. We had so much fun, and our photo booth props were quite the hit. Going to work on a Saturday is a bit easier when you work with these lovely ladies…


Nathalie turned the photo booth station into a mobile booth. Here she is rolling around. We also had a Zumba instructor come get us dancing, had plenty of food, an spoon + egg game, a ring toss, bean bag toss, and prizes. I’m excited to see how we elevate this event next year. But with our awesome family, and super energetic staff I don’t know why I doubted it wouldn’t be a hit.

This week was a lighter mileage week, but more intense at work. Saturday because of our school event I only had time for 7 but met up with some new running friends Peter introduced me to. Nothing like hitting up the Marina with 4 fast women before rushing off to work. One of them won the Santa Clarita Marathon a few years back. Maybe I should add that to the bucket list. Santa Clarita was my WORST marathon EVER. I had some doubles on the plan earlier in the week because I was at work till 8:30/9 on both Tuesday and Thursday. Monday I learned that you ALWAYS have more to give. I was ready for my rest day, and in need of some entertainment so I texted this incredibly attractive picture to Ellen and Alaina knowing they’d respond with some words of encouragement.

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Then my playlist had this divine intervention with a few songs that brought back race day memories. It gave me that boost of energy I needed. Do you have songs that remind you of specific racing moments? This is running dork to the extreme, but here’s what these songs remind me of…

  • Jealous (I Ain’t With It) by Chromeo reminds me of the OC Half Marathon, when I was feeling awesome at 11 and busted out two fast final miles.
  • Good Feeling by Flo Rida reminds me of the Redondo Beach 10K I did years ago before I started oversharing running stories on this blog.
  • Happy by Pharrell Williams and The Man by Aloe Blacc bring me back to my redemption race at the LA Marathon when I re-qualified for Boston in the heat.
  • Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon reminds me of getting that second wind as I ran down San Vicente at this year’s LA Marathon.
  • I’m Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys OBVIOUSLY reminds me of Boston, but specifically the fact that it was playing as I crossed into Boston City Limits. Pretty awesome.
  • The Other Side by Jason Derulo reminds me of the San Diego Marathon where I first qualified for Boston. I remember being at mile 23ish thinking “Just take me to that other side!!!!”
  • I finished the NY Marathon to Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac. I hear it and it brings me back to that emotional moment crossing the line. It was my 8th time, and I still teared up.

And back to school. This blog post is much like my life. Work. Run. Work. Run. Aren’t these circle collages fun? Left to right: 1) Ashley’s new easels! 2) This is what 100 tacos looks like… 3) Our scholars earned a Taco Party from Lexia for High Usage in the West! 4) We celebrate with Sprinkles when we have strong attendance! 5) I think we’re good on chips for the Family Festival. 6) Gross but necessary purchase for the Family Festival.

Time to go hang out with Brent’s fam visiting LA for the week. Next week’s update will be from New York!

Train Hard. Race Happy.

The mileage is catching up with me. This is getting kinda hard. 22 miles with 6 middle miles at a 7:10 pace wasn’t easy, especially after all the miles during the week. The taper is near so this is the time to work. I’m dreaming of that incredible racing feeling when it looks effortless. I love that feeling showing up to a starting line with rested legs and going out and just killing it. You’ve gotta train hard so you can race happy. People always say I race with a smile, but trust me, there is a lot of hard work happening behind the scenes.

I love coordinating with my running buddies. Peter and his speedy friend Jill joined Ellen and I for the first 5 yesterday and Bri met us on Ocean and Ocean Park and ran with us until about mile 18. This morning Ellen and I started the day with Rise Nation (check out their awesome patio below), then met Kathy and Gisele for a few miles. I wasn’t as peppy on my runs this week, but 70 mile week, check!

Have I mentioned I’m running the NYC half? It’s just two weeks away! I’m not gonna go crazy on the course. It’s during peak week, so I’m going into the race super tired, but any tips? UANYCH16 RacePageHead Rd7_0.jpeg

Can’t wait to sample this beer post-race.

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 11.37.27 AM.pngHere is what’s going on in my non-running world…

At school we celebrated our scholars who are performing on a second grade level in reading. We all crowded in my office and had a pizza party. I love these kiddos and our team of teachers.

Cat in the Hat came to visit Equitas #3 this week! Our parents are the best 🙂

We celebrated Jared’s birthday yesterday at the Staples Center. The Clippers played the Hawks. The Clippers lost, but meh, it was a good time regardless.

Stealing from her instagram. Love being silly with Alaina. Turns out when you run 22 miles you only need one beer to make you a little goofy.

Co-workers and friends for 4 years.

Brent, Mary Ann, Ross and I are about to go to Manhattan Beach Post. Cheddar Bacon Biscuits…yes! Then it’s back to the work week. Runner Cristina becomes Principal Cristina until next weekend 🙂

New Year’s Resolutions

2015 was good to me both personally and professionally. My team and I opened an elementary school, Brent and I celebrated our five year anniversary in South America, we took lots of weekend trips to visit family, and I did a little bit of running 🙂 Here are my best nine of 2015! I was happy that only 2 were running pictures. I love running, but I don’t want it to be my entire life.


I’m not big into New Year’s resolutions. I constantly evaluate and adjusting my goals, but the new year is a great time to think broad. Here is what I am thinking big picture, and will impact my weekly and monthly goals.

  • I’m committed to meeting my school goals with 80% of scholars reading at or above grade level by the end of the year and 80% of scholars meeting/exceeding their MAP reading growth goal.
  • This is dumb, but I’d like to get monthly pedicures so that I don’t have to be hide my runner feet.
  • 2015 was a year of PRs in the 10K, half and marathon. I think I have a few more PRs left in me. I’d really love to PR in the 10K and marathon this year. I think I would pass out of excitement if I got close to a 3:10 in the marathon. I know I can do it if I stay injury free, have good race conditions at Boston, and wake up energized and ready to run. Oh the marathon, it’s so much more than what you’re capable of. Setting marathon goals really is a gamble. There is so much that is out of your control.
  • I’d like to be a little more adventurous with my weekly meal prep. I’ve got my go-to homemade pizza, roasted veggies, and tacos. I want to expand a bit. I started with making mole and salsa verde yesterday! Today I made a huge batch of curried couscous for this week’s lunch.
  • I’m not sure how to make this measurable, but Brent and I want to take advantage of LA cultural events. We have a LACMA membership (thanks Mama and Papa), we’d like to go to more shows, visit more museums, attend more community events, etc. Maybe plan out two events a month? Today we’re driving up to Los Feliz to wander on Hillhurst and Vermont. Maybe pick up some Jeni’s ice-cream?
  • I’d also like to work on being on my phone less. Emails don’t have to be responded to immediately. I don’t have to refresh every 5 minutes. Any tips?

And a few photos from Mexico. Aren’t my parents cute? 

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City of Angels from the sky. I love this place.

I love running in my neighborhood. No, I didn’t run on water. Ran to the end of the Venice Pier and back. 11 easy miles. Perfect running conditions.Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 11.06.34 AM

And my cooking adventures. Found a great use for my nutribullet!  

Mole mole mole!  

Playa at sunset during our evening beach walk.   Time to go enjoy my last day of vacation. Tomorrow it’s back to my 5am wake up call, and back to school. 8 mile run with 3 x 8 minutes tempo to look forward to after work 🙂