Month: December 2013

Greetings from the South

I finally have internet access! Jeremy and I had been in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee in a chalet with his family since last week, so there was no internet, and I have lots to catch up on now that we’re in the real world again. We stayed with our good friends in Atlanta last night and will head to Athens later today to celebrate New Year’s Eve with more dear friends. It is SO nice to be back in the south, the only other place I’ve called home. The weather’s been fairly chilly, which is actually a nice change from Southern California (I do have to admit that I already miss Santa Barbara though… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live too far away from it again in my life). I’m STILL having sleeping issues; it seems like I’m bordering on insomnia lately, which is really not cool. I’ve got to figure it out.

I’ve managed to keep up with my running while here, which I’m really proud of. It’s hard to fit in runs when you’re traveling (especially with a bunch of other people), but I’ve found that if I tell everyone what my plans are, it helps me stick to it, and it helps everyone know how to plan around it. I ran 9.36 miles when we were in Tennessee on Saturday morning, and it felt SO good. I feel like I dressed appropriately for the weather, I bought a dinky hand-held water bottle at Walmart the day before so I used that for the first time, and I ate a GU for the first time (I’ve always just had Clif Shot Blocks), and it was much better than I was expecting. It helped that it was the Salted Caramel flavor, and basically tasted like icing. My legs felt so good even by the end of the run, and my whole body felt great, even in the much colder temperature than I’m used to, and the higher altitude. I ended up doing a five-mile walk through the woods with Jeremy’s family later in the day as well. I brought my travel Trigger Point foam roller and used it later in the day, and wore compression socks for the next two days, and felt great.

Oh and I have been using my brand new Garmin 220 (!!!, thanks Jeremy!) and my new Nike jacket my in-laws got me. Now I can actually see what pace I’m running at WHILE I’m running! Who would’ve thunk.

Photo dump time:

My new Madewell Transport Tote… Jeremy is the best.

My new Madewell Transport Tote… Jeremy is the best.

Saying goodbye to Santa Barbara until 2014.

Saying goodbye to Santa Barbara until 2014.

Last beach walk of the year.

Last beach walk of the year.

LAX was super festive on Christmas Eve.

LAX was super festive on Christmas Eve.

Running in Columbus, Georgia.

Running in Columbus, Georgia.

My first run with my new Garmin!!

My first run with my new Garmin!!

 

Being tourists in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Being tourists in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Running in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Running in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

 

Waiting in line for breakfast.

Waiting in line for breakfast.

More running in Pigeon Forge.

More running in Pigeon Forge.

 

Seen on my run.

Seen on my run.

 

Me and my new gadgets.

Me and my new gadgets.

 

Handmade whipped butter… aka the reason my pants won't fit at the end of this vacation.

Handmade whipped butter… aka the reason my pants won’t fit at the end of this vacation.

Wearing compression socks on the wrong feet at the chalet.

Wearing compression socks on the wrong feet at the chalet.

 

Rat cheese anyone?

Rat cheese anyone?

Vacation has been real fun so far, and next up, a review of 2013.

Weekly Workouts, and Lots of Scones

So I totally forgot to post a picture that I dug up of me on the scooter I won in 2009. I entered a raffle and when the guy called me, I just kept yelling profanities at him until I believed him. I had to sell the scooter when I moved to California, and it definitely had some technical difficulties during the time i had it, but it was always fun to ride, and my friend took this picture when I was wearing all black and white, matching the scooter. So that was definitely the best thing I’ve ever won.

Me and my scooter circa 2009.

Me and my scooter circa 2009.

I’m dealing with sleep deprivation (again), which is no fun, especially when you have to be at the office from 9am-9pm. I’m hoping that once this final push is over and we leave for Georgia, it will get better.

My week of workouts went well, and I’m really glad I got my long run done yesterday; I can barely open my eyes today because they’re burning so much from being sleep deprived, so I definitely would not be able to run today. I did 8 miles yesterday, and I really focused on doing them slowly. I noticed I’d been trying to push myself a little too much on long runs, and getting a little worn out near the end. I made sure I could comfortably have a conversation if I needed to, never letting my breath get heavy. It was really pleasant this way. I’m also quasi following the Runner’s World Break 2:00 Half Marathon Plan and it recommends what pace to run at, which is really nice. Breaking two hours is my goal for the Mermaid Series Half Marathon in San Diego on February 8.  I’ve been trying to research good areas to run in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (where we’ll be next weekend) when I’d like to run 9 miles, but it’s proving a little difficult. I might have to push it until we get to Atlanta the following Monday. Last week in review:

Monday – bootcamp, 3 miles

Tuesday – 6 miles

Wednesday – bootcamp, 2.5 miles

Thursday – 5 miles

Friday – rest

Saturday – 8 miles

Sunday – rest

Winter Solstice sunrise.

Winter Solstice sunrise.

A little old lady accidentally slammed on the gas instead of the brake right outside the office the other day… If that big concrete post hadn't been there, it would have gone straight into our office! It was pretty scary.

A little old lady accidentally slammed on the gas instead of the brake right outside the office the other day… If that big concrete post hadn’t been there, it would have gone straight into our office! It was pretty scary.

 

These came in the gift basket I won and I can't stop eating them, they are SO GOOD. I don't usually crave sweets, but once I tasted these, there was no stopping. This probably had something to do with my stomach issues during my 8 miles on Saturday morning… oops.

These came in the gift basket I won and I can’t stop eating them, they are SO GOOD. I don’t usually crave sweets, but once I tasted these, there was no stopping. This probably had something to do with my stomach issues during my 8 miles on Saturday morning… oops.

That's a nice forecast we're leaving… I'm actually hoping it will be wintery in the south, it seems like it's easier to get in the Christmas spirit when it's cold out.

That’s a nice forecast we’re leaving… I’m actually hoping it will be wintery in the south, it seems like it’s easier to get in the Christmas spirit when it’s cold out.

 

Get Lucky

The last few days have been filled with long hours at the office, and the days ahead (until Monday night) will be more of the same. Christmas Eve and our Georgia trip can’t come soon enough! It’s hard to even think about the trip when there’s so much work to do before then. I work with my family, and we don’t even know when we’ll be able to fit in exchanging gifts before we leave! Jeremy and I are really looking forward to our trip and seeing all our old friends. Not to mention eating delicious Southern food.

I forgot to mention it, but I won a $15 gift certificate to Road ID at the race on Saturday. I hadn’t considered getting something from there before then, but now I’m sure I will. It will be nice to have some sort of identification on me for safety purposes, especially with all the traveling we’ll be doing. And then, I was notified yesterday that I won a gift basket from the Whole Foods here in town! It is filled with products from local companies, and it all looks delicious. Olives and pickled beets are among my favorite foods (not to mention coffee and really nice olive oil), and there are some caramel chai tea bags, and Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Jelly from a company called Cowboy Ike’s, which sounds delicious. There were scones and other goodies in there too! Needless to say I’m feeling very lucky right now.

Almost the same as winning the Mega Millions lottery. Almost.

Almost the same as winning the Mega Millions lottery. Almost.

So much local goodness.

So much local goodness.

On Monday, I met a friend at the beach on my lunch break, and we had a really nice time. I am so spoiled to work so close to the beach.

Me and my daily salad.

Me and my daily salad.

Eating lunch on "the wall." Growing up, my dad and I would always stop at the same deli, get the same sandwiches, same chips, and same lemonade, and have lunch dates on the wall weekly. We still do it to this day (albeit not as frequently).

Eating lunch on “the wall.” Growing up, my dad and I would always stop at the same deli, get the same sandwiches, same chips, and same lemonade, and have lunch dates on the wall weekly. We still do it to this day (albeit not as frequently).

I didn’t run on Sunday even though I was thinking about it. But after running full-speed up and down trails at the race on Saturday and landing funny on my foot a couple times, I thought it was wiser to take a rest day. I am pretty sure I have weak ankles, and I had an injury last year that made me miss a half marathon. Ever since then it pops whenever I move it; it feels like maybe there is some buildup or something in it. I went to bootcamp Monday morning and we ran almost three miles during the hour, and did lots of full body workouts. On Tuesday, I got up and ran six miles in the morning. It was so nice. I was losing steam by the end, but I think I just need to eat a little something beforehand in the morning if I’m going to do anything longer than five miles. I usually listen to top 40 pop songs and things like that to run, but occasionally I can’t take it anymore. On Tuesday I listened to one of my favorite albums, Feels by Animal Collective, and it was nostalgic, made me happy, and kept me motivated all at the same time.

Tuesday's sunrise.

Tuesday’s sunrise.

I seriously always see a huge white bird when I'm walking or running near the beach. I'm convinced they are my spirit animals (it could also be because there's a zoo really near).

I seriously always see a huge white bird when I’m walking or running near the beach. I’m convinced they are my spirit animals (it could also be because there’s a zoo really near).

This morning I went to bootcamp and I ran two and a half miles during class. I plan on running tomorrow then going to yoga (if I can get out of the office), resting Friday, then a long run Saturday. By that time it’ll be almost Christmas Eve! Phew.

Run Because You Can

Last week, a girl, Mallory Rae Dies, here in town was hit by a drunk driver while she was crossing the street with some friends around 1am. The driver sped off, and after witnesses tried to convince him to return to the accident, he sped off again and crashed into a palm tree. Mallory was in the hospital for five days and there was some hope she would make it. She was taken off life support Wednesday and passed away shortly after (the driver of the car was charged with murder, among other things, and is in jail). I didn’t know her personally, but we had many mutual friends, including my bootcamp instructor. It is such a sad situation, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it all week. And on Thursday, my bootcamp instructor posted something on Facebook that really stuck with me:

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 4.53.23 PM

I thought about this my entire run on Thursday and just kept speeding up until I was sprinting as fast as I could, and it really felt so good. Sometimes my runs are really tough and I just keep thinking, why are my legs so heavy, why do I feel like this when I’ve been training, I feel like I’m taking steps back… but it’s really important to keep in mind that I am thankful that I can even run, and it could have been any one of us hit by that drunk driver and it could all be over. I’m reminded often why Jeremy and I have decided to drop everything and travel around the world.

In other news, while I was sprinting, a guy with his dog started sprinting too and we raced each other for easily a half-mile, and then when I slowed down I looked over at him to give him a thumbs up, and he definitely pretended like he didn’t notice we were racing and ignored me… great.

I ran the Elings Terrain Festival 5k yesterday, and it was really fun. The course is really tough, there are all sorts of different kinds of terrain to run on, including a huge hill made of sand, steep muddy trails, stairs, etc. I finished in 30:50, which I was happy with considering it was a trail race. After all, that used to be my normal 5k time.

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All of the racers for the inaugural year of the Elings Terrain Festival, which benefits the cross country teams at the local high schools here. Everybody is waving to the droid with the camera:

All of the racers for the inaugural year of the Elings Terrain Festival, which benefits the cross country teams at the local high schools here. Everybody is waving to the droid with the camera:

We are in the future.

We are in the future.

 

Juice Ranch Healed Me

I’m feeling much better after a couple nights of better sleep. STUFT Mama linked to this article on ProForm about how important sleep is, and after looking at it all I could think was, “Oh… great.” My mom and grandma have the same sleeping issues I do, so I feel like I’m doomed to always deal with it. Oh well!

I didn’t exercise on Monday, and headed to the best juice place in town, Juice Ranch, for their green juices and immunity shot (a blend of lemon, ginger, cayenne, garlic and oregano oil, taken like a shot and with an orange slice chaser… burns so good). It really did make me feel so much better immediately afterward. (I took a super artsy picture of my juices on the top of my dirty car with the ocean in the background, but it got deleted from my phone. It’s too bad, it had a huge nasty garbage can in the background and everything. Instead, I took this picture from Juice Ranch’s Instagram account, it basically looked the same…)

Juice Ranch's Greens and Ginger makes everything better.

Juice Ranch’s Greens and Ginger makes everything better.

Yesterday I went for a run during my lunch break (I’m fortunate because I don’t have a set time/length of my lunch breaks and the beach is so close I can smell it outside my office, so I can just run on the beach path), and it was so nice to get outside and sweat a bit after a few days off. It’s important to take breaks when you are sitting in front of a computer all day (13 hours yesterday, Tuesdays are Wednesdays are rough).

Wearing all black once again… I need to work on getting some bright colors on me.

Wearing all black once again… I need to work on getting some bright colors on me.

This is Pez. We found her in a box when I was 16.

This is Pez. We found her in a box when I was 16.

I went to bootcamp this morning and even though I didn’t get much sleep, it felt really good. I love bootcamp (I’ve been taking classes with Jenny Schatzle for about a year), it’s so intense and we work all muscles, and do sprints on the treadmills. My half training plan called for a track workout with sprints, and at bootcamp we did four rounds of minute-long hill sprints. I figured that counts.)

Post-bootcamp. Please excuse the crazed expression, I'm a selfie noob.

Post-bootcamp. Please excuse the crazed expression, I’m a selfie noob.

Things Don’t Always Go As Planned

I had planned on doing a couple runs this weekend, maybe one longish run, but sometimes you have to put your plans aside and just rest. I go through a phase once a month where I get horrible sleep for about 5 days, so I’m feeling pretty rundown. Jeremy and I celebrated a friend’s 30th birthday on Friday night and got back pretty late, and that was the beginning of no-sleep week. Saturday night, we celebrated our six-month wedding anniversary with some pizza from Whole Foods and a couple huge, warm cookies dipped in milk, while watching The Sopranos. That is my ideal Saturday night. I seriously can’t believe it’s been six months since the wedding, time is flying!

Six months ago already!

Six months ago already!

Before the weekend, I was having a pretty good week of workouts:

Monday – Bootcamp

Tuesday – 5 miles, 9:37 average pace

Wednesday – Bootcamp

Thursday – Power yoga

Friday – 7 miles, 9:47 average pace

Saturday – Beach walk

Sunday – Rest

I still feel pretty slow on my runs, and hope to work on my speed in the coming months. I signed up for the Elings Terrain Festival on Saturday, which is a 5K trail race in a beautiful park with views of the ocean, so that should be fun.

Elings Park

Elings Park

I’m also going to register for the Mermaid Series Half Marathon on February 8 in San Diego. Let the training begin!

I am dealing with some lower back aches today and am feeling like I’m coming down with something (everybody is sick right now!), so I’m taking it easy again today, and hopefully will be feeling good tomorrow after a good night’s sleep (fingers crossed).

Now, a photo dump:

Wearing pants to run for the first time in forever. It was cold! Although, I did run past beach volleyball courts and people were wearing just their bikinis…

Wearing pants to run for the first time in forever. It was cold! Although, I did run past beach volleyball courts and people were wearing just their bikinis…

Where I start and end 99% of my runs.

Where I start and end 99% of my runs.

 

Beach frolicking at sunset on Saturday.

Beach frolicking at sunset on Saturday.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Never enough sunset pictures

One more for good measure

One more for good measure

The temperature when I left my house for work this morning. This is a big deal here in sunny SB. I may or may not be wearing a winter coat at my desk right now.

The temperature when I left my house for work this morning. This is a big deal here in sunny SB. I may or may not be wearing a winter coat at my desk right now.

 

Christmas Wish List

Most of the items on my Christmas list this year are new running clothes (no surprise there); I only have a few items that I really love and wear all the time, and I’m slowly trying to build up a running wardrobe. The weather does not vary much here (although it’s actually been pretty chilly the last couple days), so I always wear Lululemon shorts (I’m pretty sure they’re the Turbo shorts, which Lululemon seems to not carry anymore. The Groovy look pretty similar though), and some kind of top. I prefer to wear long sleeves when I run, even if it’s not that cold out, and the Lululemon Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve is the best one I’ve found. It keeps me cool when it’s warmer out, and warm if it’s chilly out. And the fit is perfect. I think I prefer long sleeves because if I wear a tank top, my hair is so long that it just sticks to me when I get sweaty, or gets caught in my armpits… it’s really attractive. And I haven’t found a short-sleeve shirt I’ve liked enough to wear a lot, either.

Anyways, here are the major items on my Christmas list this year:

1. Garmin 220 – I need a Garmin so badly, my Nike+ on my iPod Nano is so wonky and inaccurate, even after I calibrate it.

garmin-forerunner-220-and-620-1379213280

2. Madewell Transport Tote in English Saddle – I’ve been wanting this bag for, oh I don’t know, two years? Ever since I became completely obsessed with all things Madewell and my entire wardrobe reflects it now.

53228_BR6755

3. Running clothes – all of them. For example:

Nike Tech Fleece Cape

Nike-Tech-Fleece-Cape-Womens-Hoodie-545693_010_A_PREM.jpg?fmt=jpg&qty=85&wid=620&hei=620&bgc=F5F5F5

Nike Vapor Running Jacket

Nike-Vapor-Womens-Running-Jacket-465557_079_A_PREM.jpg?fmt=jpg&qty=85&wid=620&hei=620&bgc=F5F5F5

Nike Luxe Seamless Funnel

Nike-Luxe-Seamless-Funnel-Womens-Running-Hoodie-588168_666_A_PREM.jpg?fmt=jpg&qty=85&wid=620&hei=620&bgc=F5F5F5

Heidi Klum for New Balance Moto Pullover

wrt3385kfyc_nb_60_i_1

Oiselle Roga Short

roga-short-graphite-melange-f_5

You get the picture. Pretty much anything cool-looking, I want.

4. Yurbuds Venture Duro – I’ve been an avid Yurbuds user for a few years now, and I’d love these updated earbuds. Yurbuds are great because they don’t block out the noise of traffic and stuff, and they don’t fall out. Big fan.

10160_Venture_Duro_clearBG_small

5. Random running accessories – gloves (but really, when would I need them. I just assume I’m going to be running through the snowy fields of England next year and have to stock up on things like this), running water bottle with handle (I’ve heard good things about Nathan, probably go with that), I’d probably wear a hat at some point if it was raining (again, doesn’t rain in Santa Barbara, but I must be prepared for rainy runs through the hills in Germany!), etc.

Hopefully I’ll get a couple of these items, and if not, I’m sure I’ll end up buying them myself in the New Year.