Great Running Spots in LA + Notes from Long Run #3

There’s always a point on our Saturday runs, usually after a tough two mile climb, when we look out at Los Angeles and the ocean and Lauren says, “Ladies, this is why we live in LA.” Running is so much more than a workout when you’re in great company exploring the beauty of your city. If you’re stuck in a running rut and are lacking inspiration, find trails in your city and explore. It’s well worth the drive. Today I’ll highlight two of my favorite new running spots. They’re also great for hiking too!

This past Monday Marta and I had a sister date day in LA. We started the morning atWestridge off of Sunset in Pacific Palisades. I discovered the trail through Brianna’s instragram feed. She kept posting these amazing pictures from her runs up in the mountains overlooking the ocean. Marta and I tried to capture the beauty, but just didn’t get it quite like her. I’ve done the run twice now and it’s a great shorter tough route. About 3.5 miles gradual uphill, and 3.5 miles down. Be careful on the downhill. It can be tempting to go fast, but it’s tough on the knees. The the trail starts with with a view of the ocean but it kinda disappears early in the run and you’re in the canyon (which I like and makes you feel far away from everything). At the top you end up with a great view of the San Fernando Valley at the top. Check out the elevation and our photos below!

Trailhead address: Westridge Road & West Mandeville Fire Road, Los Angeles, CA 90049. More details on the trail here.

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We then went to the epic Beach Yoga with Brad class in Santa Monica. Brad rocks. Go to his class. It’s not super intense (although you can make it harder if you’re looking for a good workout) and the perfect post run stretch. My favorite part of class is when we do downward dog in the wet sand looking out at the ocean. $10 a class. Also, maybe it’s kinda cheesy, but it was MLK day and he emphasized staying peaceful and calm when it’s most difficult. I appreciated the connection. Marta, Brent and I went to Playa Provisions after for lunch.

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This morning Lauren took us on an adventure to Will Rogers Inspiration Point. It was quite a hike up from our Ocean & Alta meeting spot, but was well worth the trip. There were incredible views of Catalina Island, Palos Verdes, the ocean, Malibu and even Downtown. We added on with beach running afterwards to get to our mileage which felt so boring after being up in the mountains overlooking the city. Check out our pictures and elevation for the run.

Trailhead address: 1501 Will Rogers State Park Road, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. More details on the trail here.

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Now it’s time for Marta’s FAVORITE part of the post…LONG RUN NOTES!

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Friday Dinner: Terrible long run prep dinner. I didn’t prepare much because I was “only” running 14 miles. Today reminded me that 14 is STILL a lot. A corona, two glasses of wine, a slice of bacon gouda pizza, fried brussel sprouts, butternut squash, baked brie and cheese, cookies. No wonder my stomach felt a little blah during the run. The food was good though, and Laurel Hardware was a fun spot for drinks and food in West Hollywood. Maybe a little trendy for my taste.

Friday Sleep: 7 hours. Not the greatest sleep. Maybe too much wine?

Saturday Breakfast: Too big of a bowl of granola and Kashi cereal with blueberries and almond milk. Felt it on the run. Sips of water, no coffee.

Long Run Fuel: Nothing. I wasn’t prepared and I was too full from breakfast.

Long Run Hydration: Water fountains. Not enough water. It was super hot and the Santa Ana winds were blowing.

Long Run Outfit: Lululemon shorts, So Cal Ragnar race short sleeve, target sports bra, cheapo socks, Nike visor. Good call on the visor. It was super sunny out.

Post-Run Snack: Currently heating up my picadillo! Again, not prepared and no snack right after.

How Did It Feel: Honestly, this run didn’t feel great. The view from inspiration point was AMAAAAAZING, but after that I just didn’t feel like running. I didn’t prep for it well. Nice reminder that 14 isn’t a walk in the park.

Other Notes: We stretched and foam rolled with our yoga mats for a good 15 minutes after our run today! Anna joined us after her hike at Westridge this morning. It was nice to relax on the lawn after a difficult run.

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Happy Saturday!

Photos of the Week, Slooshing Stomach + Last Week’s Runs

One of Revel Canyon City Half Marathon best race perks is that all their photos can be downloaded for free. No screenshots with the proof image below. I used this app to make a collage of race pics on my phone. Did I mention this was a net downhill course?

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Random running issue of the week, one thing that often bothers me while I am running is a sloshing stomach. Funny thing is it only happens on Saturday or Sunday runs. I thought it was over-hydrating right before but after a bit more research discovered my delicious coffee is causing the problem. It doesn’t hurt or anything, but it’s LOUD. Ellen and Kathy always comment on the noise. Do I give up my morning coffee to stop the sloshing noise? Meh, I’m drinking hazelnut coffee while I type, and I’m about to go to run club. Sorry guys.

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I haven’t made stuffed squash since 2011Last week I got a Kuri Squash in my Farm Box so I stuffed it with quinoa, sausage and parmesan. It was so so so good. I cooked the squash for a good hour before filling it and cooking it some more. The squash was so buttery. Click on the photo for the recipe!

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Last week Ellen and I took advantage of the Massage Envy complementary leg massages. I have a terrible shorts tan. Found this pic on facebook.

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This week we ran a lot in PE. Here are the fifth grade racing finalists!

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Have I mentioned how much I love oatmeal? Chocolate, banana, blueberries, sunflower seed butter, cinnamon and a sprinkle of granola.

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Here’s what I ran last week:

  • Monday: Four Mile Run with Back on My Feet
  • Tuesday: Track Workout with RunMDR (3 x 300, 2 x 400, 2 x 800, 2 x 400, 8 strides) -My legs were TIRED.
  • Wednesday: Four Mile Run with Back on My Feet
  • Thursday: Off. Went to Happy Hour and to go see Mockingjay with Brent, Alaina and Jared
  • Friday: Six Mile Run (Watchless and first alone run in FOREVER)
  • SaturdayWestridge Trail Run with RunMDR
  • Sunday: Leaving in 20 minutes. Planning on two loops with Lululemon!

Originally Brianna, Marta, Ellen and I had talked about running Westridge Trail on Saturday. We had to reschedule because of friends being in town, sickness, the USC/UCLA game so I decided to run with Run MDR, and where do we go?! Westridge! It was beautiful, and I can’t wait to go back with the girls. Brianna, I am so jealous of your weekday trail runs. Can you please write a blog post on your favorite trail runs in the city? This is my official request.

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Yup, that’s the ocean.

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Ahh LA in November.