Marathon Training: Week 6

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 15

I took a step back this week because last week was a lot. I ran six out of seven days, including three hard workouts. This week, I gave my body a little bit of a break, and my knees thanked me. I didn’t even go to November Project. This week was also the last ‘base building’ week of the training plan Coach Lauren made for me, and next week is officially the first week of ‘marathon training,’ which is exciting. And I’m running the Rose Bowl 10k in Pasadena next Sunday! I haven’t raced since November, and I’m feeling ready to push hard. I’m really hoping to PR, and it will be fun to see how much I’ve progressed since my last 10k in October (my time then was 58:26, and my 10k PR is 56:07). Whenever I haven’t run a race in a long time, I get super pumped, especially seeing pictures every weekend of all the people racing on Instagram. The 10k finishes inside the Rose Bowl, and there’s a 5k and half-marathon as well. I was looking at the race’s website, and I saw the divisions:

Age Groups and Divisions

  • Age Group-Male & Female: 13 & Under, 14-17, 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+
  • Clydesdale: Men 200+ lbs
  • Athena: Women 150+ lbs

There are separate divisions for plus-sized people?! And seriously 150 pounds… come on guys, that is not plus-sized, or Athena, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve never seen anything like that… am I the only one that thinks that is weird?

Anyway, here’s the past week in workouts and life.

Monday – 6 miles with 8 x 400m repeats

I always do my morning runs on the same path, which includes a couple steep hills, making speed workouts a lot harder than they already are. I finally ventured to Echo Park Lake for this workout, and it was so much better. It was about a mile and a half to the lake, then the path around the water is a little over a mile (I think), and then a mile and a half back. The entire thing is paved, also, unlike my other route, so I felt like I could run a lot faster. My 400m split paces were: 7:45, 7:47, 8:04, 8:13, 8:17, 8:12, 7:51, 7:15. Not bad! During my last repeat, an entire class from the local high school started running on the path, and I ended up racing the girl in front (she didn’t know we were racing), and it gave me that extra push to get my fastest interval in. I’ll definitely be returning to Echo Park Lake for my speedwork.

Echo Park Lake.

Echo Park Lake.

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After work, my coworker and I went to the bar on the rooftop of the Ace Hotel downtown to see our other coworker DJing by the pool. I love the view from the top.

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Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – 5 miles easy @ 9:45 min/mile

Normally I would go to November Project Wednesday morning, but I couldn’t fall asleep until 1am or so and had one of those restless nights, so I opted to get an extra hour of sleep and do five miles easy. I also figured it would be better not to push my body too hard, and a little decrease in activity would help.

That evening, I was invited to go to the Avalon Hollywood (across the street from the Capitol Records building, which looks really cool at night) for a presentation on an event called Checkpoints Race. I’ll write more about that in another post, but let’s just say I went to the event straight from work, and I forget that stuff in the heart of Hollywood is usually swanky and I was wearing sneakers and just totally underdressed when I showed up to the bouncers behind the velvet rope. I’m so used to being in Silver Lake or downtown where anything goes as far as clothing, but there’s a whole other side of Los Angeles that I sometimes forget exists. Aside from that, the presentation was really cool and the event sounds pretty awesome.

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The fancy bathroom at the fancy club I was underdressed at.

Thursday – 5 miles easy @ 9:48 min/mile

It was nice to have a few easy days of running this past week.

After work, my boss took us all for happy hour and bowling, and I don’t know how it’s possible but the left side of my butt is STILL sore from it. Who knew bowling was such a good cross-training activity?

Friday – rest

I was planning on going to a sunrise 6k race that November Project was putting on, but it was moved from Griffith Park to the Santa Monica Pier so it was too far away for me to attend. But it’s probably better, since I got an extra rest day out of it.

Saturday – 10 miles, last 3 miles fast finish

Lately, it’s taken me a few miles to get into long runs. That didn’t really use to happen, but I think it’s just because I’m working harder these days and my body is still adjusting. The last few long runs, I haven’t started feeling really good until about mile 7. But at least I feel good! This past Saturday, I turned on the WTF podcast and just headed out the door, not expecting anything. I didn’t have breakfast except for a couple Powerbar Energy Chews (they look like Gushers on the package and that’s why I got them, but there’s no stuff that comes out of the center when I bite into them, maybe I got a faulty bag), and then I ate one more of those at mile 5.5, but that’s it. I usually eat something more substantial in the morning, but I was out of bananas and didn’t feel like making oatmeal. This could also be why it was hard to get started. But luckily my energy kicked in around mile 7, right when I was supposed to start my fast finish miles. I switched my iPhone from the podcast to my running playlist, and sped up. I was aiming for 8:30-8:45 miles, and the first mile included a half-mile big hill, so I didn’t quite get there. The last two miles were great though, with 8:29 and 8:38 as the average paces. My legs felt super fresh at this point, and like I had just started my run. That was a really encouraging sign!

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After I was done, Jeremy and I braved the weather (it was 60 degrees and sprinkling) and got lunch at a placed called Mexicali in Chinatown. It sounds strange, but it was delicious. We are slowly making our way through Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles. Only about 96 to go. It’s a tough task, but somebody’s gotta do it.

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We then went to Frontrunners in West Hollywood, where I got the new Saucony ISO Triumphs, and I had ordered the newest version of the Wave Creations on Zappos earlier that week. My last two pairs of running shoes were the Wave Creation 14 and 15, so I’m looking forward to seeing if I love the 16 as much as the others.

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I’ll have a lot more to say about these shoes after I’ve run in them for a week or two!

That night, Jeremy and I watched Gone Girl (I finished the book earlier in the day), and I went to bed nice and early.

Sunday – yoga and stretching and foam rolling

The weather was perfect so I sat outside and read for a while in our backyard, then went and bought some plants for our apartment. I didn’t run, but I made sure to stretch and foam roll a lot and ice my knee, and then did this Yoga for Runners video I like.

Our cute little backyard, with lots of citrus fruits on the tree.

Our cute little backyard, with lots of citrus fruits on the trees.

Happy Monday!

Marathon Training: Week 5

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 16

January was the first month I’ve run 100 miles! Before January, my highest mileage month was August of last year, when Jeremy and I were in Paris and I joined the Let’s Run Paris group and I ran about 77 miles total. Anyway, I feel really good about the past month and super excited that I hit 100 miles. I can’t wait to see where I’m at later in the year. Four months to go until the big 26.2!

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Monday – 5 miles easy with 100m strides at the end 

Average pace for this run was 9:29, and I finally felt like I got some mojo back after the tough week before.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – November Project

The last Wednesday of the month is always PR day at November Project. We do the same amount of stadium stairs each time, and see if our times improve. The Hollywood Bowl is being worked on though, so a lot of the stairs are inaccessible. Because of this, I haven’t actually been able to compare times lately since we have to change it up. But for this workout we averaged about 2 miles of stadium stair sprints. We wore backwards hats to honor the memory of San Francisco November Project member Sam Dweck, who died in a kayaking accident the weekend before.

Incredible sunrise.

Incredible sunrise.

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Thursday – 6 mile tempo run

I was pretty sore from the day before and my morning route is hilly and half of it is made of dirt, so speedwork is always a struggle. But nevertheless, this tempo run went well! I started with a warm-up mile @ 9:52, and tempo mile paces: 8:46, 8:47, 8:43, 8:41. I ended with a mile cool down @ 10:13. My goal was to do the tempo miles at 8:30-8:45, so I was happy with this one.

I also upgraded my ice game from frozen veggies to a Pro-Tec Hot Cold Therapy wrap for my knee that I ordered on Amazon. Now I can walk around while icing my knee, and don’t have to deal with the veggie bag leaking water all over the place.

unnamedI really like Pro-Tec stuff – I use this compression band on my knee on every run now.

Friday – November Project

I didn’t have time to do three miles after NP on Wednesday, so I made it up Friday, by doing three miles of running up and down an extremely steep sand/dirt hill at Griffith Park. It was tough.

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We had to say goodbye to one of our leaders, Angelo (the guy we’re pointing at), who moved to San Diego over the weekend.

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I had to complete my November Project homework by running in a place that you’re not really supposed to run, so I sprinted in the rain on the roof of my work building. People that could see out the window thought I was crazy.

Bonus pic: it rained that day and I took this picture on the roof of my work building downtown. The sunset was so cool.

The sunset was so cool after the rain stopped.

Saturday – 9 miles easy

I took it extra easy on this long run, and just tried to get into a good, slow pace. It took a few miles to get into it since I was tired from the week, but I finally started feeling good and the last mile was my fastest. Ended up with a 10:19 average pace.

I had to go to work after my run, but as soon as I was done I met Molly from Also Ran Again in Santa Monica! We shared a gigantic pretzel at a place by the beach. It was so awesome to spend some time with her and finally meet in person after following her blog for a long time now. We had such a great time, and everyone needs to go visit her in Tacoma. Oh and later that night she took a selfie with Amy Poehler and they’re basically best friends now, which kind of makes me best friends with Amy Poehler too (pretty sure that’s how it works).

Molly!!

Funny, sweet, awesome Molly!!

Sunday – 3 miles easy

My legs felt super heavy for this run, which I expected. I usually take two rest days in a week, but didn’t this time and felt the effects. I’m proud of myself for working so hard all week, though.

Later in the day, my parents came into town and we went to lunch at Ledlow downtown, a restaurant Jeremy and I had been wanting to try. I got a mac and cheese croque with a fried egg on top, with a house-made chocolate root beer on the side. We all shared warm pumpkin bread with pistachio butter, and potatoes cooked in duck fat. It was all delicious.

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Jeremy's fried chicken sandwich with fried chicken skin on top.

Jeremy’s fried chicken sandwich with fried chicken skin on top.

Then we walked around the Grand Central Market a bit, then went to Salt & Straw for dessert, maybe my favorite place ever.

Grand Central Market downtown LA.

Grand Central Market downtown LA.

Total Miles: 28

Happy February!

Marathon Training: Week 4 and PRO Compression Ambassadorship

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 17

I made it through a month of marathon training! This past week was a struggle, if I’m being honest. I think I woke up Monday morning with a “oh god what have I gotten myself into” feeling when I realized how many months there still are before the race. Pretty much all my workouts were a struggle and I just generally felt like I was lagging. It was basically the complete opposite of the week before. But I already feel better this week and I make sure to keep in mind that it’s all part of the process and bad weeks are bound to happen.

As a sidenote, last night I got an email saying I was chosen to be a PRO Compression Ambassador! I have been wearing PC socks for so long and swear by them, so I figured it was a perfect opportunity. I have no problem repping a brand that I use religiously! I actually haven’t slept without compression socks in over a year – they have this magical ability to relax my whole body and get rid of the calf cramps I used to experience when trying to fall asleep. They also accompanied me on all six months of my European adventure, even though I had very limited luggage space.

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Back to the weekly recap:

Monday – 6 Miles with 800m repeats

I could NOT hit the 8:30-8:45 paces I was meant to hit for each 800m. I felt like my legs could handle it, but I just didn’t have the energy. It was a little disappointing, but like I said, I remind myself frequently that marathon training is going to include a lot of ups and downs.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – November Project + 3 miles after (5 miles total)

During November Project we did two miles of hill repeats and lots of exercises like burpees, push ups, squat jumps, dips, etc. The hill at the Hollywood Bowl is a beast (no really, it’s actually called The Beast). I was sore the next day for the first time in a long time. The co-creator of November Project, Brogan Graham, and his wife were at this workout, so that was a treat. They are in crazy good shape and it was pretty motivating to be working out near them. I first heard of NP when Brogan was on the cover of Runner’s World a couple years ago (or maybe just a year ago?) and it’s pretty cool that I’m a part of it now. I ran 3 miles after @ 9:25 pace to get in 5 miles for the day.

Brogan is on the very left.

Brogan is on the very left. Source

Brogan and his wife are the ones kissing in the front row. Aw.

Brogan and his wife are the ones kissing in the front row. Aw.

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Thursday – 6 miles easy

Man, this one was tough. I was slogging along, and I just couldn’t get any energy in my steps. I’m sure it had a lot to do with how sore I was from NP the day before, but I haven’t had a run this rough in a while. I ended up with an average of 10:18 min/mile pace.

At least the weather was perfect.

At least the weather was perfect.

Friday – rest

I took an extra rest day this week after feeling like my body really needed it.

Saturday – 8 miles, 4 at up-tempo

This long run was pretty good, better than Thursday’s run at least. I was meant to do the up-tempo miles at 8:45-9:00, and I got really close. The two slower miles in the middle had big hills in them. Splits: 9:35, 9:51, 8:53, 9:06, 8:49, 9:07, 9:44, 10:05. It was also a lot hotter than it has been in a while, so overall I was happy with this run. It’s really good that it’s warming up because the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon will most likely be hot, and my body needs to be used to it.

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Pretty day at the reservoir.

After my run, Jeremy and I went downtown to the Arts District, and ended up walking around for a few hours. I wore some flat, slip-on shoes, which was a big mistake. My left knee pain came back full force, and I was limping around. I should have stopped immediately when I felt it hurting, but I stupidly didn’t. I iced it and foam rolled a lot over the weekend and luckily it felt ok Monday morning.

I'm a sucker for street art.

I’m a sucker for street art.

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Cool.

Some crazy thing we saw while exploring the Arts District.

Some crazy thing we saw while exploring the Arts District.

I am growing very fond of downtown LA.

I am growing very fond of downtown LA.

Sunday – rest

Jeremy and I went to the Melrose Flea Market that takes place every Sunday and FINALLY got a TV stand. Our apartment is starting to really come together. Then my mom and aunt came into town and we had a nice dinner 🙂 Here’s to week 5 of training!

Marathon Training: Week 3

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 18

Sunday marked the end of marathon training week three. My body is still adjusting to the higher mileage, but I really feel like I’m improving. And have I mentioned how much I’m liking having a training plan where I know exactly what paces I’m trying to hit and how many miles to do (thanks, Coach Lauren!)? I had one especially good workout on Thursday, where I beat two new records: 5k time and fastest mile.

Monday – 5 miles + 100m strides

My legs felt pretty heavy from the tough runs of the week before, but I was able to speed up for the strides at the end. Ended up with 5.35 @ 9:36.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – November Project

We spent 30 minutes running stadium stairs, then 30 minutes of tabata workouts after. I was supposed to run a few miles after NP to get in 6 miles for the day, but traffic was horrible on my way back from the Hollywood Bowl and I didn’t have time. I made up the mileage on Friday, though.

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Squat jumps!

A sea of v-ups.

A sea of v-ups.

Thursday – 5 miles with 3 at tempo pace

This was the highlight of the week. I did a 1 mile warm-up at 9:37 pace, then 3 miles tempo (8:55, 8:29, 8:17), and a 1 mile cool-down at 9:27. The first tempo mile was up a hill so I lagged a little, but as soon as it was done, I felt like I was flying. I ended up setting a new 5k record (26:38 – my PR is 27:54) and fastest mile (8:17). I felt pretty damn good after this run!

IMG_1872Friday – 5 miles easy

Took this run fairly easy since my legs were feeling kind of heavy, and my right calf started cramping a bit and felt really tight. Ended up with five miles @ 9:36 pace. I made sure to foam roll and stretch that night, after I ate this cheese plate my husband made:

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We try to recreate our European adventures on the weekends.

Saturday – 8 miles

I decided to drive up to Santa Barbara on Saturday to see my family, with a stop in Ventura along the way to meet up with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and my nephews. We ended up walking along the Ventura Promenade, which is where the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon ends. Now I have an even better visual to go along with my mental images of crossing the finish line. I get butterflies just thinking about it… I always run in the morning since afternoon/evening runs rarely go well for me, but I wanted a change of scenery so I waited until I got to SB to complete the eight miles. I didn’t wait long enough after I ate lunch to start my run so I had a sideache pretty much immediately, but luckily it went away around mile two. The first few miles felt just okay, but I got a boost of energy at mile five and felt really strong for the remainder of the run. I can feel myself getting stronger and stronger, and it feels awesome.

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Sunday – beach walk

My mom and I took a walk on the beach Sunday morning, and that was the extent of my exercise for the day. It felt good to walk barefoot on the sand for a couple miles, though, and try to get some color on this pasty white skin.

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Weekly mileage: 23.35

Marathon Training: Week 2

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 19

This past week of marathon training went really well. It’s still so early on that it hasn’t QUITE hit me that I’m training for a full marathon, but I’m already seeing improvements. I feel like getting a coach was the best thing I could have done; it’s finally making me push myself and see what I’m capable of. I’m also realizing just how half-assed my training has been previously.

Monday – 5 miles with 800m repeats 

Speed workouts are extremely new to me (this might have been my first real one?) and I’m still trying to settle into a faster pace and getting my body adjusted to pushing itself. My goal was to hit 8:00-8:10 paces during the repeats, which I didn’t quite succeed at. The route that I take every morning has two hills and half the course is basically on an incline. This made the repeats tough, and I was paranoid about burning out so I didn’t push myself enough. An 8:00 pace still feels like I’m sprinting, so I know the more I do these, the better I’ll get (duh). My splits: warm up mile 9:38, four 800m repeats with 400m rest in between (8:35, 8:31, 8:42, 8:28) cool down mile 9:31.

I run by this every time and I finally stopped to check it out. Not actually Marilyn Monroe's handprints.

I run by this every time and I finally stopped to check it out. Not actually Marilyn Monroe’s handprints.

Tuesday – Rest 

Wednesday – November Project and 5 miles total

We did “couples retreat” at November Project, which is basically running up and down the stadium stairs while your partner does different exercises (burpees, wall sits, planks, etc.) and then switching. I was glad to have these other workouts to do, since I haven’t been doing any other strengthening exercises. That needs to change. I ran three miles @ 9:22 pace afterward to get to five miles total for the day.

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Big group!

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Thursday – 3 miles

My plan was to run five miles, but I had horrible cramps and cut it at three. I knew I would be getting in some mileage at November Project Friday morning, so I checked with my coach and it was all good.

Friday – November Project

This was a crazy workout. We met in Echo Park at what is one of the steepest streets in Los Angeles (steeper than any in San Francisco). I was actually really close to skipping it, I couldn’t fall asleep until about 2am and setting my alarm for 5:30am was too painful. But lo and behold, my body woke me naturally right at 5:45, so I took it as a sign. I’m so glad I went though. I ended up running up and down the hills for a little over two miles.

Here I come.

Here I come.

Whoa mama.

Whoa mama.

So bad ass. We all wore black and had to be really quiet the whole time because it was a residential neighborhood and we didn't want the cops to be called.

We all wore black and had to be really quiet the whole time because it was a residential neighborhood and we didn’t want the cops to be called.

Saturday – 7 miles with a fast finish

You guys, I’m so proud of this one. I figured my legs would be jello and seeing the paces I was supposed to hit for the fast finish intimidated the hell out of me. I’ve always been a high 9- or 10-minute-per-mile runner, and it’s rare to clock a mile in the 8-minute zone. But I killed it! My splits: 9:30, 9:41, 9:29, 9:24, 9:43, 8:32, 8:29. This run was so fun.

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Sunday – Rest

I took it easy after my run Saturday morning and it felt really good. It rained all weekend so it was extra incentive to relax. Tonight I foam rolled and stretched and did some ab exercises, and that’s it.

Non-Running Stuff

Monday night, my company was invited to a private premiere of Portlandia at the Ace Hotel theatre downtown Los Angeles.

I hadn’t ever been to the theater before, and it was beautiful. We also had really good seats and I was basically sitting next to Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Kyle MacLachlan, Kumail Nanjiani, Aimee Mann, Tim Heidecker, Lorne Michaels… the list goes on. Pretty much anyone who’s been in a Portlandia episode was there, and there was a Q&A after they showed two episodes from the new season. I took one picture:

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.

Wednesday night was spent at my friend Monika’s house, who was in town from London. She always brings me a big box of Maltesers (my favorite candy) and I always eat them all immediately.

Thursday evening I finally got to take a quick break at work (it’s been really busy still), and watch the sunset from the rooftop of our building.

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They filmed a Bud Light Super Bowl commercial next door and had this huge life-sized Pac Man game set up. We could hear the music and announcer pretty much all day and night from inside our office. I now have one reason to watch the Super Bowl.

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Here’s a video (with sound):

Thursday night we went to dinner with some friends, and we went back to Guisado’s, the taco place from last week. The same picture applies because I ordered the same tacos.

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I’m excited to get week three of training going!

Marathon Training: Week 1

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 20 

I finished my first week of marathon training, and it’s going really well so far! I stuck to the plan, and since it happens to be the first week of the year, there is lots of talk everywhere of exercising and eating healthy, which adds a little motivation to this whole thing. I mean, I was already really excited, but it seems especially momentous since New Years happened in the middle of my first week. I felt pretty tired after yesterday’s run; last week was the most exercise I’ve done in a while, if I’m being honest. I have been running fairly consistently since 2012 and stuck to a couple Hal Higdon half marathon plans, but for the most part I became pretty lackadaisical about running once my body was in shape to run halfs without much training, and just ran whenever I felt like it. That’s most of the reason I wanted to hire a coach; having someone create a custom plan and someone I have to report back to is a big push for me to stick with it and complete every workout on the schedule.

Monday – 5 miles @ 9:54 min/mile

I became swamped and stressed from work the couple weeks before Christmas, and didn’t do much in the way of exercise during that time. When I started back, I stuck to 3 miles, and this 5-mile workout felt tough. I also wasn’t prepared for how cold it was going to be. It was 41 degrees when I started my run, so I wore three layers on top but kept shorts on. I probably should have put pants on because my legs felt frozen for the first few miles. My body has completely adjusted to warm weather, and it was kind of a shock to my system. I actually really like running in colder weather (I did nine miles last winter in Tennessee and there was ice on the ground and I distinctly remember it was a great run), but I guess my body just wasn’t quite ready for it.

yay for marathon training!

yay for marathon training!

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – November Project + 4 miles

We did 35 minutes of sprinting stadium stairs at November Project, and I ran two miles @ 9:25 min/mile afterward to get in 4.2 miles for the day.

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It was so cold and windy.

Thursday – 5 miles @ 9:29 min/mile

This run already felt better than Monday’s. I did three miles easy, then a fast finish of two miles. I couldn’t quite hit the 8:30-8:45 paces my plan called for (I don’t think I’ve ever hit those paces for two miles, but I’m ready to try), but I only got 2-3 hours of sleep the night before so I was a little tired. Splits: 9:43, 9:45, 9:59, 9:05, 8:54.

I had to get a new phone because I shattered my other one and it deleted my pictures, so here's one from my Instagram.

I had to get a new phone because I shattered my other one and it deleted my pictures, so here’s a screen shot from my Instagram. I got this shirt for free from Brooks a couple years ago since it was my birthday.

Friday – Yoga 

I was going to try to make it to November Project, but I made sleep a priority instead of waking up at 5:30am, so I missed it. It’s just as good though, they did hill repeats and I think my legs needed a little break. I got a 10-class pass for a local yoga/spinning studio called YAS for Christmas, so I went to my first class in the afternoon instead. The studio offers spinning classes, yoga classes, and half-spinning half-yoga classes. I chose the ‘yoga for athletes – core’ class, and I was the only one there so I got a private lesson. It was awesome. It had been a loooong time since I did yoga, and I felt it. I’m still sore, actually. I also haven’t done any upper body or core strengthening in a while, and that’s something that needs to change. One more thing, I got a new yoga mat at Whole Foods and my hands were slipping all over it during class… people that do yoga: is that normal? Do I just need to get a towel or something? I don’t remember my cheapo mat from Marshall’s ever doing that, so I don’t know what’s going on. Maybe my hands are just more sweaty these days.

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I did sweat. A lot.

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I’m so glad this place is 0.7 miles away from my house.

Saturday – 6 miles easy @ 9:44 min/mile

I’ve been having a hard time finding an easy pace lately; my pace has quickened due to all the stadium stair sprinting we do at November Project, and I find myself pushing a little harder on all my runs. I need to remember to slow it down and make the easy runs easy, so I can increase my distance comfortably. My stupid left knee starting hurting a bit during the last half-mile and I’m pretty sure it’s because I was tired and slacking on my form. I’ve been icing it and I’ll have to start wearing my compression band again just in case.

Total: 20 miles 

Looks like the weather will be back to normal this upcoming week and work will be starting up again which means more discipline about waking up early enough to get my runs done in the morning.

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One more question: are there any other How I Met Your Mother fans out there? Jeremy and I just finished the series last night and I’m feeling NOT GREAT about the finale. 

Christmas Workouts and The Start of Marathon Training

Christmas has come and gone and nobody is even thinking about it anymore, but I had some good workouts last week that I wanted to share, so everyone’s just going to have to deal. Christmas Eve morning was spent at November Project at the Hollywood Bowl, and I wore my special naughty santa Christmas sweatshirt (that I didn’t take off for the next couple days, apparently).

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This workout was SO fun because it was a scavenger hunt and we had to run around the Bowl finding letters and completing the exercises listed before moving onto the next, and finally trying to figure out what the letters spelled out. Many of the exercises included singing Christmas carols while doing burpees. It was also fun because I met fellow blogger Kaitlin over at California Endless Summer. I think this was my first real-life blogging meet-up! She’s a native Southern Californian but now lives in NYC and was visiting family over the holidays.

I stole this picture from Kaitlin.

I stole this picture from Kaitlin.

The whole gang.

The whole gang.

After November Project, I had to work at home for a few hours, but then we headed up to Santa Barbara to spend Christmas with my family.

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Mandatory sunset beach picture.

On Christmas, we opened presents with my family and then ate the feast my mom cooked and Jeremy, my dad, and I headed down to the beach to watch the sunset, per tradition. It was SO cold and windy (the coldest Christmas in memory).

My medal from the Santa Barbara Half Marathon I ran at the beginning of November finally arrived in the mail (there were delays and didn’t hand them out at the race), so that was exciting.

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Jeremy got me this awesome Nike tank that has the Santa Barbara Running Company logo on it, and I can't wait to wear it when it warms up.

Jeremy got me this awesome Nike tank that has the Santa Barbara Running Company logo on it, and I can’t wait to wear it when it warms up.

We have been drinking some incredible coffee ever since Christmas...

We have been drinking some incredible coffee ever since Christmas…

Christmas sunset.

Christmas sunset.

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The day after Christmas, I drove to More Mesa Bluffs to get a run in. I don’t know why I didn’t go here more to run when I lived in Santa Barbara. There were barely any people and I had the trails to myself pretty much (except for a run-in with a couple horses that forced me to run along the edge of the cliff and I was convinced I was going to fall to my death). I completed 4.11 miles @ 9:23 min/mile.

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The next day, I ran 3.4 miles @ 9:05 min/mile along beach paths near Santa Barbara City College, where I did stadium stairs after. My mom was walking on the track and took some pictures while I was huffing and puffing up and down the stairs.

View from the top of the stairs.

View from the top of the stairs.

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Side note: My Garmin has been acting up and not working properly so I wanted to do a factory reset to try to get it working again. I watched a video online and it said if I did a ‘soft reset’ it wouldn’t erase my data, so I did that. Well it DID erase all my data and I lost the workouts I hadn’t recorded yet. Good thing I was also using MapMyRun at the time and could manually enter them. But still, it was a little heartbreaking.

Anyway, I got back to Los Angeles Sunday and didn’t exercise since I was starting my marathon training plan the day after. So as of Monday, December 29th, I am officially training for my first marathon! I did 5 miles Monday morning.

First day of training for my first marathon!

First day of training! It was 41 degrees and I was wearing three layers on top. 

My marathon (the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon) isn’t until May 24th so I’ve got a good amount of time to build up my distance, and my coach Lauren of The Foodie Runner has created a plan for me and I’m so excited to complete it. I want to do weekly recaps on Sundays of my training; I think it’ll be fun to be able to look back on the entire process.

On New Year’s Eve, I went to November Project in the morning and we did 35 minutes of stadiums stairs, and I ran two miles after. It is so cold in LA right now, and I’m pretty sure it’s cold enough to warrant wearing big winter coats and not being made fun of by the rest of the country. I am so spoiled; I don’t know how you guys live in places with real winters that last for months. It’s been in the 30s when I wake up and the wind was blowing so hard during the NP workout. I DO love wearing my cold weather running gear though, I think it looks so much cooler than tank tops and shorts.

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It’s supposed to warm up to the 70s again next week, so normalcy will resume.

The rest of New Year’s Eve was spent enjoying this cheese plate Jeremy made, some sparkling wine, walking to a restaurant in our neighborhood for oysters, and going out with my friend that lives in London now. I made sure not to drink too much so I would feel good for my run the next day, but unfortunately I went to bed really late which always results in horrible sleep. I think I got maybe 2-3 hours. I still did five miles the next day with two fast miles at the end, and I think if I had been fully rested I would have reached my goal paces of 8:30-8:45.

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Jeremy’s cheese plate with chicken liver mousse and caviar and toasted sunflower seeds.

The rest of the day was spent eating… I had chilaquiles for brunch and the most delicious tacos from a place called Guisados for dinner.

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Hope everyone had an excellent first day of 2015!