The Roaring Twenties!

They say female long distance runners are like wine, they get better with time. I’m turning 30 on Saturday, which can only mean more PRs are heading my way ūüôā¬†30. It sounds so mature.¬†Here’s how I’ve been spending my last few days of my twenties.

Nothing like a Friday night tempo before drinking Golden Monkey’s and cooking up a storm with Alaina, who catered Ma’ayan’s Baby Shower yesterday. Averaged about a 6:50 per mile. I’ve really been enjoying my evening runs as a time to¬†process the day and set goals. It does take a bit of meal prep so that I don’t end up eating dinner at 9PM. More on that below.

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Saturday morning¬†I ran 10 miles with Ellen and Peter. Ellen and I ran¬†6 more with runMDR. The route was a trip down memory lane. Ran up Ocean Park to Barrington, and back to the beach on Palms. Nice and hilly. We passed my old neighborhood, Mar Vista, from when I first moved to LA. We passed Brent’s old apartment and ran the route Brent and I ran from Palms down to the beach and back when we first started dating. When we got back to Venice, we ran down Abbott Kinney and back to The Starting Line. We ran the last six with a private pilot who was in town with his client. I love meeting random people at runMDR. He ran passed while we were stretching and asked to join in. It was fun to meet someone new, and learn¬†about the lifestyle of a private pilot. Made the miles fly by!¬†We ran the full 16 miles averaging 8:33. Maybe a bit¬†too fast for a long run, but we talked the whole time so I’m thinking the pace was probably OK.

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Here we are celebrating¬†Ma’ayan, Jesse and Critter a few hours after the run! I hope I am as cute as she is when I’m pregnant.

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Alaina catered all the food. The big hit was the BBQ Chicken. That sauce. Lucky for me I got a jar to take home ūüôā I made the Wild Cherry Sangria. Super easy to make, and unless everyone was just trying to be nice, it was well liked. 1 bottle red wine, 1 bottle Villa Italia Blood Orange from Trader Joe’s, 1/2 cup tripel sec, and 3/4 cup wild cherry vodka. I chopped up an apple and threw in a small container of frozen blueberries. Probably should have thrown in some frozen cherries as well. Next time!

This week I treated myself to ubereats.¬†I had a $25 credit so I bought these two beautiful boxes with a smoked¬†gouda turkey sandwich, two macarons, chips and an edamame salad.¬†I usually pack my lunch. Cheaper and healthier. But I can DEFINITELY see myself doing this every once in a while as a nice lunchtime treat, especially since I have the type of job where I¬†can’t leave the building.¬†FullSizeRender

And it¬†wouldn’t be August without a trip to the¬†Teacher Store, Lakeshore. So many fun borders!

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And this morning after lulu, The Three Amigos went to Air Aerial Yoga. It was a good arm work out, and gave a nice stretch. Why not do a quad stretch while upside down?IMG_1478 FullSizeRender_1

After yoga I went to the airport to pick Brentford up. He was in Abilene, TX for his grandma’s birthday. Happy to have the hubby back! We went for a lovely walk on the beach. Ahhhh I love Playa del Rey.FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender_2

And because this week will involve a few late after-school meetings and post-work running, I made a two batches each of picadillo and farro with sausage and mushrooms, one for the freezer and to eat this week.

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My lunch is packed, my dinners are ready to go. Ready to tackle the work week, and my final week as a 20 something.

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Playa Provisions

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In¬†June of 2011 Brent and I found out we were moving back to Los Angeles from Washington DC in less than a month. Brent flew out to LA for a 24 hours trip with one objective, find us an apartment. Our plan was to move to Manhattan Beach. Easy 105 access was the goal, but everything Brent found was either gorgeous and WAY too expensive or an affordable dump on the beach. Brent decided to look beyond Manhattan Beach¬†and fell in love with an apartment in Playa del Rey. I was hesitant. I‚Äôd never even heard of Playa del Rey. It’s¬†right by the airport and close to the bonfire beach, Dockweiler. I was skeptical but trusted his judgment. I‚Äôm so glad I did. Over the years I have become quite the Playa enthusiast and Alaina lives in Playa too!

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Not only is Playa amazing for running (I live a mile from the beach path and it goes for about fifteen miles in either direction), Playa has become cooler over the years. It‚Äôs always been known as a sleepy beach community, hidden by the Ballona Wetlands. Culver Blvd, the street that runs down to the beach has some great dive bars, like The Shack and Prince O’ Wales. My true love is The Tripel, which has been around since Brent and I moved to Playa, but over the past year great new restaurants have been popping up. You‚Äôve seen my Playa Provisions pictures before, but I wanted to write an official review.

cropped-Playa-Provisions_2014-07-08_11-09-03_IMG_9860_¬©RyanTanaka2014-11Playa Provisions was once Playa Cantina and Tower 42. Despite a location ON the beach, restaurants kept failing‚Ķlikely due to it‚Äôs massive size. Lucky for us, The Tripel‚Äôs Brooke Williamson and her husband Nick Roberts took on the challenge and created an incredible four-concept restaurant.¬†Playa Provisions is split up into Dockside (think nice¬†seafood), Grain (whisky bar in the back), Small Batch (ice-cream stand) and King Beach (counter style breakfast, lunch and pastries).¬†Although embarrassing to admit, there¬†have been days when I’ve been to¬†Provisions more than once. My record is three times. Once for coffee, later for lunch and a post dinner drink. I especially love the¬†bakery. They do all kinds of fun seasonal stuff like Super Bowl cakes, Christmas cookies and Halloween cupcakes. So what do I like to order?

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My Playa Provisions Favorites List:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie- HUGE chips, crunchy on the outside, doughy in the middle
  • Pretzel Croissant with Ham and Cheese- Ask for it warm
  • Dulce de Leche Biscuit- Buttery Deliciousness
  • Quinoa Salad- Sounds boring but the almond and corn add crunch
  • Corned Beef Sandwich- If you’re really hungry ahh it is sooo good
  • Chicken Salad- I love mayo
  • Kentucky Maid- Light and fresh cocktail
  • Crab Pops- Delicious and cute presentation
  • Lobster Mac & Cheese- Gotta love¬†cheesy macaroni
  • NEW YEARS EVE PRE-FIXE-¬†Collage below

I should probably stop before I list the entire menu. Basically if you live in LA, go to Playa Provisions. It’s great a snack after a trip to the beach, for families, cyclists and runners love it, for¬†a quick drink, or for a fancy dinner. I’m a fan of going after a good workout, sipping on a latte and sharing a bunch of pastries. There’s no pressure to rush, you can lounge for as long as you like, and the location right on the beach is perfection. Anyone in for a Playa Provisions visit¬†this weekend?

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IMG_3092I think you get the point with the pictures. Sadly this is not my entire collection of Provisions photos.

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Quick Running Updates:

  • I got bullied into running a 5K on Sunday with the RunMDR crew so I’ll do¬†the rest of my long run miles after that.
  • Beach Yoga is happening on Saturday again. I love beach yoga with Brad!!!!
  • I did the mile challenge at track this week in 5:48. I haven’t run a mile since high-school PE! Excited to improve my time.
  • I say this all the time, but I really need to foam roll more. Maybe I should take my foam roller to work.
  • We’re at $325! Help Ellen and I meet our goal! www.raceplanner.com/donate/Ellen-and-Cristina-Run-LA

I’ll be back Sunday with a 5K update and long run notes!

The Life of Mrs. Lowry: Teaching in South LA

Happy Saturday! My school shadowed me for two days back in September to learn more about the daily life of an educator in South Los Angeles. They followed me working with students, meeting with colleagues, running on the beach, and eating at The Tripel.  Check out the final product below.