The Big 2-0!

Take my advice. Run your long runs with a bunch of people. It’s worth all the coordinating, adding on extra mileage if you’re running longer, driving to meet people to trun as a group. Before I joined the 10,000 running groups I run with, I’d head out for 20+ mile runs alone watching the clock, feeling sorry for myself, counting down the seconds, and being bored. I feel like a crazy person saying this, but today’s 20 miler was really FUN. It felt like an adventure. Marta, Gisele and I met at her place in Mid-City and ran three miles then met Ellen, Marianne and two of her friends and we all ran the last portion of the LA Marathon course down to the sea. We met a friend of Ellen’s in Santa Monica who ran the last 4 with us.

Check out our route:

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The LA Marathon is in three weeks, so the roads were packed with everyone getting their last long run in before tapering. There was so much excitement and energy as we passed groups of runners. We even ran into Brianna with Team Nutribullet in Beverly Hills. Team Nutribullet is so friendly and enthusiastic. They were super supportive when we passed them.

photo (7)Being the snobby LA runners we are, we stopped to use the bathroom at the Four Seasons in West Hollywood and had a water stop at Whole Foods. I snapped a picture of a kumquat tree. I love love love kumquats and feel the need to buy this tree. Marta also took a pic of me with my water bottle baby. Thankfully Gisele offered to run holding the bottle. I hate hate hate running with water packs. We ran the 20 averaging about an 8:20, which made sense for a slightly downhill route. Marta’s friend John saved us from ubering home by giving us a ride back to our cars. We looked and smelled beautiful. photo 3 (2)So how did it feel?

Friday Dinner: Squid Ink Spaghetti with Ground Shrimp, Red Curry Biscuits and a beer flight at The Tripel.

Friday Sleep: Slept from 9:15 PM – 6:15 AM. I need 8 hours, anything over is just wonderful! I woke up with a sore throat and a little sniffly, but my energy felt ok.

Pre-Run Breakfast: Two pieces of toast with lots of jelly.

Post-Run Snack: I was super organized and prepared and carried a peanut butter pack for right after the run. Is that whole eat 30 minutes after a long run for recovery thing true? When I got home I ate….get ready for very LA food….blueberries, granola Alaina brought me back from The Cheeseboard Collective in Berkeley, hemp and kefir as soon as I got home. There’s talk of happy hour later 🙂

Long Run Fuel: Gatorate chews and some cereal in a baggie. Didn’t feel like driving to Whole Foods or a running store for my honey stinger stuff.

Long Run Hydration: Random sips of water, water fountains, ran into Whole Foods for iced water.

Long Run Outfit: You guessed it…lululemon shorts, race t-shirt, target sports bra, my free lulu socks from run club, Nike visor.

How Did It Feel: Today was so fun. I love the running community. Everyone is so friendly and warm. Everyone out on the streets was supporting each other. I rarely looked at my watch to see how many more miles we had to run. I’m a little nervous for when the LA Marathon is over and fewer people are out running long. Gisele and Ellen, it’s gonna be us three!

Other Notes: I AM SO EXCITED FOR MARTA TO RUN LA. She is going to rock it!!!!!!! Such a strong runner. I’ll be waiting for you at the finish. Enjoy the taper. You deserve it. Also, still looking for LA Marathon donations for Girls on the Run. Seriously, any amount is GREATLY APPRECIATED. It is an empowering program for girls.

Three miles in meeting up at Ellen’s. Nice filter, eh?
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Rather thank making this the longest post in the world, I’ll be back to tomorrow with an update from my mid-week runs, a few more recipe ideas, LA adventures with the family and details on my big night out at the Magic Castle in Hollywood!

Oh, one last thing. Look what came in the mail!

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My Thoughts on the Marathon + Last Week’s Runs

Runners are fascinated with the marathon. They love to brag about how many they’ve run, their personal records, if they’ve qualified for the infamous Boston Marathon, and will tell you “You haven’t run a marathon until you’ve run New York.” I’ve run my fair share of marathons and the New York City Marathon is definitely on my bucket list, but besides running the cool courses, I don’t have ambitious marathon goals. The marathon is not my favorite distance. Although I do love the feeling of crossing a marathon finish line, I don’t want to do it more than once a year. It’s not that I lack mental toughness and am scared . I’m a dean in South LA. I survive on grit. It’s just not my favorite distance, and many runners find that difficult to understand.

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My Six Marathon Finishes (Don’t you love the one of Brent and I with our dorky hats?!)

Yes, the marathon has taught me many life lessons. It has taught me to be humble and patient. It has helped me recognize that I can’t power through something long and difficult (thank you Santa Clarita). Through marathoning I have discovered just how deep I can dig, and what complete depletion feels like. There is something exciting about not knowing what your body will encounter at mile 20. More than other distances weather can really impact your race, so the week before you’re obsessively checking the weather to see if Sunday morning might be a few degrees cooler. Compared to other distances I don’t have much experience with the marathon, so it always feels like a journey into the scary unknown. I worry the transformative experience of the marathon would lessen if I ran them too often.

If I had to pick my favorite distance, it would be the half. I’ve found it to be the distance where I can really push myself. I love running distance, and it’s the perfect amount of distance to still feel like a race. The gun goes off and you I feel like I don’t have a second to waste. I push it from the start. I take more risks in a half, and that feeling is invigorating. I feel completely empowered when I finish a half marathon and see how fast i can run for 95 minutes. I can run a half as often as once a month without sacrificing my relationship with friends and family. No, a half marathon doesn’t take more than three hours, but it is really hard.

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Ventura Half Marathon 2014

One thing I’ve discovered running lots of half marathons is that nobody really cares how many you’ve run, and although my half marathon times are much more impressive than my marathon times, but that doesn’t seem to matter. As a half marathon fanatic you don’t get the glory of running a marathon even if you average under seven minute miles whole time. ESPECIALLY if you’re at a half/full combo event the question is always, “Did you run the full?” and if you say no, the conversation pretty much ends. I’m OK with that though. I’m OK with setting and meeting my personal goals and nobody really knowing I ran a race. I’m not running to prove how many miles I can run. There will always be someone running more. They’ll be someone who ran a 52 marathons in a year, who ran an ultra marathon on a Saturday and a marathon on a Sunday, or someone who ran across America. I’m not interested in being a Marathon Maniac. I have nothing to prove. All power to mega milage junkies who love the thrill of running setting crazy racing goals and who love the challenge of the slow burn. I find more joy in racing without strapping a meal of gels and salt tablets to my waist. I love the combination of a long but fast race. For me, it is more rewarding. But hey, that’s just me! What do you think? What’s your favorite distance? Why do you think runners are so obsessed with the marathon?

OK, enough on that rant.  In other news, this weekend Brent and I spent too much money on Brooke Williamson food. The Tripel for dinner Friday night and Playa Provisions for breakfast Saturday and Sunday. I love Brooke Williamson! Her food is AMAAAAAZINGGGGG.

Cream of Wheat and Quinoa, Halloween Fun at Provisions, Dulce De Leche Biscuit, Stewed Tomatoes, Pretzel Croissant with Cheese and Prosciutto, Almond Latte, Baked Eggs with Kale Pesto and  Prosciutto

Cream of Wheat and Quinoa, Halloween Fun at Provisions, Dulce de Leche Biscuit, Stewed Tomatoes with Burrata, Pretzel Croissant with Cheese and Prosciutto, Almond Latte, Baked Eggs with Kale Pesto and Prosciutto

Here’s what I ran last week:

  • Monday: Three Mile Run with Brianne at Back On My Feet (8:19 Average) before work
  • Tuesday: MDR Track Club (I think we did 2 x 200, 3 X 400,  2 X 800.)
  • Wednesday: Five Mile Run (SLOW)
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Two Mile walk with Back On My Feet  before work and Four Mile Tempo (6:55 Average)
  • Saturday: Twelve Mile Run with Marta and Ellen (Getting ready for Canyon City Half!)
  • Sunday: Nine Mile Run at Lululemon (7:44 average. We were planning on running slower, but a new runner Nancy showed up and WOAH she was fast. We also were treated to Aqua Hydrate water after our run. Electrolytes and Alkaline water in one!)
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    We got free Aqua Hydrate water after our Lululemon run!

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    #RunningCan campaign with Back on My Feet

The Ultimate LA Weekend

With Marta visiting this weekend, we tried to cram in as much LA into 48 hours as possible. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

1. I got back from the 7th Grade trip to San Diego

10455770_10204129166497287_3323766245480483399_n2. Marta, Brent and I had dinner at The Tripel

d7436-f5bb2c66-4115-4efa-b2a7-ab25ce2e4219wallpaper3. Saturday morning Marta, Brianna and I ran ten miles on the beach

photo 24. We had coffee and pastries with Alaina and Andrea at Playa Provisions after our run

photo 15. Marta and I got lunch at Lemonade on Abbott Kinney

3700976555_83cc5952c66. We sipped Intelligentsia coffee while we window shopped

tumblr_kyleqthXzF1qa2rwbo1_4007. Brent, Marta, Brianna, Jimmy and I ate at Manhattan Beach Post for dinner (This is Brent and his big french fry)

photo 38. We ran eight miles at Lululemon Run Club on Sunday morning I won these awesome shorts!

photo 49. We got breakfast at Urth Caffe on Beverly

urthcaffe_01_facade10. Marta and I walked around Venice Beach and had rooftop drinks at Hotel Erwin before heading to LAXphoto 5