Month: January 2014

Links I Like

Happy Friday (and last day of January)! Here are some links around the web that caught my eye recently.

I finally took this dialect quiz everyone was taking and I got Oxnard, California, 35 minutes from where I’m from. Pretty crazy.

I’ll be making this toasted kale and pan-fried chickpea salad soon.

I’ve given up about ten bags of clothes in the past couple weeks, which was really hard for me. I get really attached to my clothes. Reading this helped.

Top five reasons to keep running.

Has anyone heard of oil pulling? It’s kind of the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m intrigued.

I thought this was pretty funny.

Aaand this is why I’ll never go on a cruise.

I am on the search for the perfect pair of jean shorts to bring on our trip. I like these a lot.

The reality behind Instagram feeds. We’re all guilty.

I took yesterday off and am going to take today off too, and hopefully I’ll feel right as rain to run tomorrow, and be ready for the Mermaid Series half next weekend. We had a work function at a brewery last night so I didn’t get as much sleep as I’d like, so I’m kind of tired today. It was worth it though. And this morning Jeremy and I went to get breakfast at this great place called The Shop down the street from us.

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Nice day for a delicious breakfast.

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My breakfast date.

This weekend, we’re going to try to get more stuff done on our to-do list, a friend is coming into town tomorrow, and I’ve got a bunch of laundry to do. Not too much planned other than that! What are you guys up to this weekend?

Moving On

This morning’s bootcamp was probably the hardest I’ve ever done. I’m not sure if it’s because I lost some fitness after not doing it for a month during Christmas or what, but I have never sweated that much. It’s pretty high impact and we do more jumping than I’d like, but normally it’s okay. However, all day I’ve had some tenderness behind my left knee, and it just feels kind of strained or overextended. I iced it and foam rolled, and will probably take tomorrow off just to give it a rest. This is not the first time this has happened, so hopefully it’ll feel fine tomorrow like it normally does.

After bootcamp, Jeremy and I got a nice surprise as we were walking out the door to go to work. His name was Monk:

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We had to wait a bit for his owner to come get him, but he was such a sweet dog, I didn’t mind at all.

I notoriously make huge salads, and today was no exception:

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Complete with Trader Joe’s egg white salad with chives, two thumbs up.

We gave our notice to our landlord today, which was really bittersweet. This is the first apartment Jeremy and I have lived in together, and we’ll always remember it as the first place we lived after we got married. There were plenty of problems with it, but right now it’s hard to remember those things, all I can feel is a bit sad that we are giving it up. But I have to remind myself why we’re doing it, and all the things I want in our next home that this place doesn’t have. I just love the location, and our neighbors are the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Luckily we have become friends with them and are going to meet up in Europe this summer after they spend a few months in Africa (!!). Since we have now given official notice, we really need to start tackling all the stuff that needs to be done – selling furniture, obtaining a storage unit, canceling cable and gas service, etc. All that fun stuff.

It’s such a conflict of emotion because my excitement for our adventure is mixing with my sadness with leaving my family and our apartment (it takes me awhile to process big changes), but I know that it will be worth it, and it doesn’t have to be forever if we don’t want it to be. California will always just be a plane ride away.

Liebster Award

Lis at 26.2 x 2 nominated me for a Liebster Award! I feel so honored, and it is such a sweet gesture. It’s a really great way to get to know other bloggers and to discover new ones.

Rules:
Mention the person who nominated you with a link in their blog.
Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you.
Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
Create a new set of 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

1. How long have you been running for?

I started running after taking a jogging class in college and kept it up for a couple years then dropped it. I started up again when I moved back to California in September, 2011.

2. What’s the furthest distance you’ve ever run?

About 13.1 miles.

3. What’s your p.r.?

5k: 27:54, 10k: 56:07, 10-miler: 1:36:44, half marathon: 2:04:22

4. Where’s your favorite place to race?

I’ve only ever raced in Santa Barbara and San Diego, and I loved them both, so it’s a tie.

5. Where’s your least favorite place to race?

I’ve loved all the courses I’ve raced, so I feel like I can’t answer this!

6. What’s your favorite time of year to go running?

I’m spoiled because the weather is nice year-round here so I don’t have to worry about that. But when I was in Georgia, I loved to run in spring.
7. What’s your favorite “naughty” food to eat that you don’t mind sneaking in on long run days (we all have one!)?

Chips and guacamole or cheese and a baguette. And alcohol.

8. If you could enter a race ANYWHERE, which race would it be?

I think I’d love to race in Vancouver, Seattle, or New York City.

9. What’s your favorite running song?

This changes often because I get sick of songs easily, but right now it’s M.I.A.’s “Y.A.L.A.”

10. Do you have any pets? If so what kind and how many?

I had a dog, who was my absolute best friend, almost my whole life but lost her two years ago. I still think about her every day. My parents still have a chihuahua mix, Pez, who my brother found in a box as a puppy when I was 16, and I feel like she is partly my dog:

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Pez

11. Name one hobby you enjoy other than running.

I love photography, and just recently got a new camera that I’m REALLY excited to use on our trip.

I’m going to hold off on nominating people until I follow more people… most of the blogs I follow have a ton of followers or have already been nominated! Time to do some research. I hope this doesn’t disqualify me… 

Also, I’m on bloglovin‘, if anyone else is into that!

Tough Morning Run

I had a feeling this was going to happen, and I’m sure that’s half the reason it did. This morning’s run was so tough. It’s weird that sometimes a shorter run can feel easy, then other days it feels like the hardest thing you’ve ever done. I have slept well the past couple nights, which is a huge deal for me. I woke up this morning looking forward to getting up to run. As soon as I started to move around, I realized just how sore my butt was. In bootcamp yesterday, we did sprints on a treadmill with an incline of 10, then we did hills on the stationary bike. I’m the kind of sore where you grunt and show pain in your face when you try to sit down. I procrastinated around the apartment for longer than normal, so I didn’t have time to drive down to the beach to run my usual route. Instead I ran from my apartment, which I’m not a fan of. I can’t go a couple blocks without encountering a hill, and there are streetlights and cars and crosswalks, which equals a lot of stopping and going. People are notoriously bad about stop signs here too, so you just have to assume people are going to try to roll through them and not let you go. You just have to be extra aware the whole time (I only almost got hit one time, that must be a record). The good thing about running this route is that it’s where I ran when I first started running. I remember exactly where I had to stop and walk, and now that I can run so much further, it makes me feel good to see it so obviously. That’s one of the best parts about running; seeing your progress is very easy.

Other things were just off too, I was super hungry when I woke up which is not the norm for me, my iPod nano was dead so I had to take my phone instead (the thought of running without music was too much to bear this morning), I couldn’t find any of my good socks so I had to wear old cotton ones, one of my hairbands broke (I have to wear three since I have so much hair) so my hair was loose the whole run, etc. These are just little things, but combining them with having really tired/sore butt/legs, it was just one of those runs that felt like no matter how fast I felt like I was going, I was actually just plugging along quite slowly. But the important part is that I did it! And I had these waiting for me when I returned:

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Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised when jury duty ended three days ahead of schedule, and I was released around 11:30am.

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Really impressive spread in the jury room.

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Outdated courthouse bathroom selfie.

It was a nice day to walk back to my car.

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Don’t these plants look like they belong underwater?

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These tree/bushes always look like something out of Dr. Seuss to me.

Oh yeah and for some reason I had to take a written drivers’ license test to renew my license (and get rid of my absolutely horrible picture), and I was kind of nervous to take it. But I got 100%. I patted myself on the back.

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Hope everyone is having a good week so far!

 

 

Spirit of the Marathon

I haven’t mentioned this on here yet, but a couple months ago I registered for my first full marathon, the Cork City Marathon, taking place on June 2 of this year. Occasionally I get excited about things and jump into them without thinking enough about them, but I’m hoping this was a good decision and that I can follow through. The main reason I signed up for it is because my parents decided they’re going to spend six weeks in Europe this summer, and I really wanted them to be at the finish line of my first marathon, whenever and wherever that may be. I scoured the internet for a race that fit into their travel plans well, and at first I wanted to do the Paris Marathon, but it was sold out, along with the London Marathon. I inquired about being on a fundraising team, but you have to raise $5,000 in order to do it, which is not really doable while traveling, I thought. These races turned out to be too early anyway, so it’s okay. Not to mention they are huge, and I feel like I would do better in a medium-sized race for my first one. But I could be wrong.

There is so much to consider when choosing your first marathon! There is a D-Day Marathon in Caen, France on June 15, which my dad really wanted me to do, but after some research it seemed like it was a little too small and fast, and races in France are a little more involved; you have to get a doctor’s note saying you are okay to race (I’m pretty sure). Then there was the Stockholm Marathon on May 31 that I considered, but my parents didn’t want to travel that far away from France (the main place they are staying for the six weeks). I was about to register for the Edinburgh Marathon on June 29, but after reading reviews and seeing that they didn’t allow racers to listen to music while running, it didn’t seem like the perfect fit. I came across the Cork City Marathon, and everything seemed to fall into place. My great-grandfather was Irish, and my family has always wanted to visit Ireland together (I’ve been to Dublin once for a few days, but I wasn’t with my family), so it seemed like the perfect time.

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All in all, I did a ton of research (in case you can’t tell, I obsessed over this for a couple weeks, researching every race on the continent), and although I can’t really find out how many runners there will be, it looks like a really nice course, and there will be lots of people cheering (which I think will be important).

I’m pretty nervous, I mean, training for a marathon is a huge commitment on its own (I keep hearing “respect the distance” in my head), but doing it while traveling will be even harder. But it’s not impossible. And Jeremy has been so supportive, he’s going to really help me make it a priority and just make sure that we factor my training runs into our travels. I feel pretty lucky to have such a supportive partner that is up for anything and is as excited about this adventure as I am. I just keep picturing the finish line at the marathon and seeing him and my parents there waiting for me, and it really motivates me to do my best.

Motivational Movies

To get pumped up even more, Jeremy and I watched Spirit of the Marathon, and I definitely teared up at the end when the father-daughter duo held hands and crossed the finish line. It made me really excited to get to that point, but it also made me a little nervous, seeing how mentally and physically tough it is. But I know I can do it. I just have to keep a positive attitude and not put too much pressure on myself (I should probably stop the “your parents traveled all the way to Ireland to see you run a marathon, don’t eff this up” thoughts). I’m just going to take it nice and slow, as slow as I want to, and try to enjoy it as much as I can.

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Are there any other good running movies you guys know of that I can watch to get pumped up? 

Week in Review

First off, thanks for everyone’s congratulations on getting our plane tickets! It’s a really big deal for us and having a lot of positive reinforcement makes it that much more exciting. I’ve been discovering a lot of blogs online about people that are doing the same thing we are, which is always fun to read. They are filled with so many tips and travel advice, I find them a lot more helpful than regular travel sites or books. I’ve officially booked all of our lodging accommodations in Iceland for all but the last night. I have some pictures of the cottage we rented for three nights near Hella, in southern Iceland, and I would post them here, but I plan to take tons of pictures with my nice camera when we get there, so I’m just going to wait until then and not spoil the surprise. I look at the pictures on the website daily though… It looks absolutely incredible. And the woman we’re renting it from has been so friendly and sent along so much information about day trips from the cottage and the nearest town/beaches/geothermal pools. Plus it’s on a huge amount of acreage and there are trails all over the property, so finding places to run will be easy! I have read that weekends are pretty happening in Reykjavik, so we’ll spend Saturday night at Bus Hostel, which looks like it has a really cool common area and bar, and hopefully we’ll meet some nice people. This will be my first stay at a hostel (which is kind of ridiculous, after all the traveling I’ve done. But I was always by myself and felt safest just renting a cheap hotel room.), but I booked a private room, with a shared bathroom. I’m sure after we get in the swing of things we’ll start staying in the dorm-type rooms with bunk beds to save money, but I’m just easing us into it at this point.

I also found this website, which I think is the coolest thing ever. It’s two guys that have this company (not sure if it’s actually a company since it’s free) and basically you just call them up if you’re visiting Reykjavik and want to go on a run, and they’ll meet you and take you around on however long of a run you want. I’m thinking I’ll do this for my long run that Sunday morning after we stay at the hostel. Seriously, what a cool idea, and so selfless! If you can’t tell, I’m so very excited about our Iceland trip.

I love you already, Icelandic horses. Will you love me too?

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Puffins are so dang cute, too. I hope we see some.

Puffins are so dang cute, too. I hope we see some.

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I love planning. If I could make a living planning things for people, I think I would love it. Even though wedding planning was super stressful and hard at times, I still loved the whole process. And planning trips? Even better. I get almost an adrenaline rush when I’m doing it (is that weird?). I just love all the researching that goes into it, and finding the perfect places to stay, the perfect itinerary, etc. It’s a good thing Jeremy is okay with me doing all the planning because I don’t think I could handle someone else taking the reins and me not being in control of it.

Weekly Recap

I had a bit of a different week, as I had to report for jury duty on Wednesday. Everyone told me that if I told the judge about my deadlines with the newspaper, he/she would excuse me. But it didn’t quite happen that way. I was among about 100 people at first, and they eventually called about 20 of us into the courtroom. Twelve jurors were already chosen, but they brought in the 20 of us to choose an alternate juror. Lo and behold, my name was randomly the one they chose (second after a woman that got excused because she had a moral issue with the jury system), and I had to go sit up in the juror’s box and get sworn in, then I was asked questions by the judge and two lawyers, while speaking into a microphone in front of everyone. I have pretty bad stage fright, but I surprisingly wasn’t too nervous for this. I told the judge about the tight newspaper deadlines, etc., but the lawyers decided to keep me on. So everyone got excused to go home besides me and the other twelve jurors.

So I spent most of the day yesterday in court, and the case is expected to go until Wednesday. It is pretty interesting stuff! Otherwise, my week of workouts looked liked this:

Monday – rest

Tuesday – bootcamp + sprints

Wednesday – bootcamp + sprints

Thursday – 6 miles

Friday – rest

Saturday – 11 miles

My long run this morning felt really good, I was even able to ramp up the speed at mile 10. I’m feeling good about the Mermaid Series half in two weeks. I’m going to go into it with reasonable expectations, and just enjoy the race and spending the weekend with my grandma. Hope everyone’s weekend has been going well!

Big News!

Well, we did it. We bought our plane tickets to Europe! After having this crazy idea in our heads for over a year, we are actually making it happen. We’ll be flying from Atlanta to New York City for a few days (Jeremy’s never been), then flying to Iceland where we’ll spend five days, then to London. I’ve been doing lots of research on places to stay and things to do in Iceland, and I am so excited. It looks absolutely incredible. We’ll be arriving shortly after the spring equinox, which is apparently a really good time to see the Northern Lights, so fingers crossed. I just want to sit in some geothermal spas, explore glaciers and volcanos, spend a day or two in Reykjavik, then try to stuff an Icelandic pony in my suitcase when we leave. Iceland is known for being pretty expensive, so the tough part is now being extra careful about making our money last as long as possible this year. We are entertaining the idea of using Couchsurfing, but we’ve never done anything like it, so we’re a little nervous. But this year is all about getting out of our comfort zones and being adventurous (but smart at the same time). This is how we celebrated buying our tickets yesterday:

I love miniature things. This tiny bottle of Prosecco was too much.

I love miniature things. This tiny bottle of Prosecco was too much.

Mother Nature treated us to an incredible sunset.

Mother Nature treated us to an incredible sunset.

I know that a lot of people think we’re being irresponsible or crazy, and I totally get it, but after suffering through some jobs in the past that made us miserable, and just realizing that that’s not how we have to live life, and there’s a whole world out there open to exploring, it’s hard to even stay in one place for very long, in my opinion. Now, if Jeremy and I had careers we loved and a house, or kids, etc. (which I hope is not in the too distant future), we probably would have never even entertained the idea of dropping everything and moving to Europe for an undetermined amount of time. But at this point in our lives, it just feels like the perfect time. And then I see articles like this, where it lists things people regret when they’re dying (even though it’s probably made up), I just keep thinking that when I’m old, I’m going to regret not taking this opportunity if we don’t do it. We only have one life, and what’s it all for if not to enjoy it and live for ourselves? Life’s too short to live it according to how you think other people want you to live it.

Weekly Review

In other news, my ten-mile run went great on Friday, and my week of runs looked like this:

Sunday – 4 miles

Monday – 5 miles

Tuesday – 5 miles

Wednesday – 5 miles

Thursday – rest

Friday – 10 miles

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 5 miles

I really just focused on getting back into the swing of things this week, and didn’t do any strength training. This morning I woke up with the intention of going to bootcamp, but I felt really tired and just felt like I needed to take it easy. I have also been eating less than healthy the last few days, which always makes me lag.

Our week at work was pretty light, and combined with the weather we’ve been having, Jeremy and I kind of felt like it was summer vacation. Our week looked like this:

Juice Ranch on the beach.

Juice Ranch on the beach.

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Drinks at Figueroa Mountain Brewery.

Margaritas at the beach.

Margaritas at the beach.

Tacos at Mony's.

Tacos at Mony’s.

 

Delicious fish tacos.

Delicious fish tacos.

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All in all, it was a very enjoyable week. Now it’s time to reset, get back to eating healthy, and focus on tackling our mile-long to-do list. Happy Monday!

Planning Session #1

Thanks to your guys’ encouragement, I think I’ve broken through the mental block of my setback. Tuesday’s run was a bit better than Monday’s, and then yesterday morning I felt amazing. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and overdo it, so I’m going to either take a rest day today or go to a power yoga class this evening. I want to do a ten-mile run either tomorrow or sometime this weekend, so fingers crossed that will go well too.

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Waiting for the sun to rise.

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One of my absolute favorite ways to spend an evening is to pack a picnic and a bottle of wine and head to the beach with Jeremy to have a sunset picnic. Ninety-five percent of the time, I make a kale super salad to eat for the beach dinner. It’s the perfect picnic food; it’s super easy and so delicious (I just follow this recipe and leave out the pomegranate arils). Now that our trip to the South is over, I feel like we can finally start planning for the big Europe Trip 2014. We brought our notebook and started jotting down everything we could think of to start preparing for this huge next chapter in our lives. Our replacement at work started this week, which makes everything seem that much more real. It’s kind of (actually, very) overwhelming to think about where to begin, but as long as we write down everything we have to do and start tackling things one by one, we can totally handle it. We’re even getting close to buying plane tickets. I am starting to get REALLY excited. We want to have one of these beach picnic planning sessions once a week. There’s something about being on the beach that helps your thoughts make more sense, and things seem a little clearer. A glass of wine helps too.

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The best kale salad.

The best kale salad.