marathon training

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).


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.


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.


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.



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.





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.



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.



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.


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.


Hope everyone had an excellent first day of 2015!

I’m All About that Base

Hello! Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Jeremy and I went up to Santa Barbara to spend time with my family, and it was really great. It was about 80 degrees and I spent lots of time at the beach.


I really love being in driving distance to Santa Barbara.

Traditional post-Thanksgiving beach walk.

Traditional post-Thanksgiving beach walk.


We were instructed at November Project to take a picture in our shirts and tag it #np_tsa and it took me a while before there was no one around so I could take a selfie without anyone seeing.

We were instructed at November Project to take a picture in our shirts and tag it #np_tsa and it took me a while before there was no one around so I could take a selfie without anyone seeing.

Lots of selfie outtakes.

Lots of selfie outtakes.

This guy is SUPing (stand-up paddleboarding) with dolphins.

This guy is SUPing (stand-up paddleboarding) with dolphins.

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I can’t stop with the beach photos.

From a few weeks ago - three of my favorite things: the beach, Pez the dog, and coffee.

From a few weeks ago – three of my favorite things: the beach, Pez the dog, and coffee.


The local running store was having a Black Friday sale. It’s the only sale I attended.

I got this Oiselle shirt, socks, and an armband for my iPhone 6.

I got this Oiselle shirt, Smartwool socks, and an armband for my iPhone 6.


Almost done…

Okay this is the last one.

Okay this is the last one.

Anyway, I got a new job and I started a couple weeks ago, so adjusting to that and moving into our new apartment has been… a lot. But everything is good and exciting and moving to a new city is SO FUN. I highly recommend it. My job is downtown L.A., which is not too far from where we live (I was worried about a one-hour commute at least if I got a job anywhere on the west side of the city), and it’s fun to be downtown around lots of cool bars and restaurants and old buildings.

One view from the new office.

One view from the new office.

My running has felt a little lackluster lately, especially last week. I was on a good run of workout weeks, but last week I slacked. I did five miles in Santa Barbara on Friday that felt good, but I think that was one of two runs last week… oops. My main focus right now is building a good base to start marathon training on January 5th (!!!!!). I’ve enlisted the help of Lauren from The Foodie Runner as my coach for marathon training, and I’m so excited to get started. I am really looking forward to having a training plan, and especially one that’s specifically made for me. I think having someone to keep me accountable and encourage me is going to be so beneficial. I’ve been exploring our new neighborhood a good bit on foot, and am really glad the Silver Lake Reservoir is nearby, it makes for a nice loop. There are also lots of super steep roads around, which will come in handy if I have any hill workouts to do. I’ve been getting a little bit faster, most of my runs are now under 9:30 minutes/mile, so at least there’s that.

Neighborhood view - I love seeing the Hollywood sign.

Neighborhood view – I love seeing the Hollywood sign.

The local reservoir.

The local reservoir.

There are a good amount of "secret" staircases in L.A., and I found one of them the other day.

There are a good amount of “secret” staircases in L.A., and I found one of them the other day.

They made for a nice view at the top.

They made for a nice view at the top.

Jeremy and I have also been exploring the restaurants and bars in walking distance to us – this was a really important factor when choosing an apartment. Los Angeles is not known for its walkability, but we can venture out easily and find lots of places to visit within a two-mile radius.

One of the local Mexican restaurants.

One of the local Mexican restaurants.

Where we got breakfast burritos.

Where we got breakfast burritos.

I’ve still been going to November Project every Wednesday morning, and I’m so excited because starting this Friday, it’s being held at Echo Park Lake, which is a 5-10 minute drive from me. I need that cross-training!


One of our workouts outside the Hollywood Bowl.

Our yearbook photos arrived.

Our yearbook photos arrived.

There’s also a studio nearby that’s called YAS Fitness Center, which is half spinning classes half yoga for athlete classes (one class is thirty minutes of one then switches to the other), and they are having a special right now so I think I’ll buy some classes. I haven’t done yoga in a long time (or stretched much) and I know spinning is a great cross-training exercise. Otherwise, I’m going to keep working on my base, hopefully running 20-25 miles a week until January 5th. I keep getting butterflies when I think about marathon training; I know I have to strengthen my mental game for the race too, I’m feeling pretty scared of the distance at the moment.

A few more pictures for good measure.


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My favorite juice at my favorite beach.

Sunset from our new porch.

Sunset from our new porch.

I want to jump in.

I want to jump in.


Hope everyone has a really great last month of 2014!

For Real This Time

Before Jeremy and I left for Europe, I decided I wanted to run my first full marathon abroad while my parents were visiting, and chose the Cork City Marathon in June. It was not a fully thought through decision, and no one had even planned transportation to get to Ireland. Shortly after, our plans fell through and we all decided to go to Italy instead. For about two weeks, I thought I was starting marathon training. In that time, I realized that training for my first full marathon while traveling would be really hard, and not all that realistic. So, technically I’ve been registered for a marathon before. But this time, it’s for real.




A few days ago, I registered for the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon on May 24th. I’d been wanting the Oakland Running Festival Marathon in March to be my first full for a while, but it just seemed too soon and I didn’t really feel comfortable with it. I researched different marathons for weeks, and finally decided on this one. The course starts downtown Ojai, and ends along the ocean in Ventura. It’s close to Santa Barbara so my parents can come, and it’s a holiday weekend so I’ll have an extra day to recover. It’s a pretty small field, but I’m hoping that won’t affect me too much. My next marathon will have to be a big one with lots of crowds to see the difference. I’m working on building a base to start training in January, and I’m pretty excited. The Ojai mountains are beautiful, and it should be a really nice course. It’s also touted as “lightning fast” because of the downhill elevation, but I doubt I’ll be running anywhere near lightning speeds.

I was worried about too much downhill at first, but I read every review of the race I could find and the consensus was that it's a gentle slope that you hardly notice.

I was worried about too much downhill at first, but I read every review of the race I could find and the consensus was that it’s a gentle slope and you hardly notice.

In the meantime, I have the Santa Barbara Half Marathon on Saturday, which I’m not really prepared for. I feel like I’ve said that for my last couple halfs, and I hate it! But with traveling and moving and all that, I’ve been trying to get back into a good running groove. I ran ten miles last weekend, and I did two out-and-backs from the house we’re staying in currently. I thought it might be boring to do this, but it actually made it go by faster because I could think about it in 2.5-mile increments. I also listened to the Serial podcast, which made it go by super fast. I highly recommend it if you want something to get hooked on.


Found some leftover Halloween candy on the ground. I didn’t eat it.


Tried these for the first time. It’s kind of fun eating jellybeans while running, although they stuck to the inside of my shorts pocket because of how sweaty I was… gross.

The Wednesday before Halloween, November Project was having a Not-So-Casual Wednesday workout, and I wore a dress shirt and tie. It got hot really fast.


The only time I dressed up this year for Halloween. I felt like a server at Olive Garden.

The whole gang. I love being at the Hollywood Bowl for sunrise!

The whole gang. I love being at the Hollywood Bowl for sunrise!

Walking around and looking at the neighborhood's Halloween decorations.

Walking around and looking at the neighborhood’s Halloween decorations.

In other news, I’ve had a horrible stiff neck this week, and it’s been really painful especially at night.


My stiff neck home remedies.

These feel nice and warm, but didn't seem to do much in the way of relieving pain.

These feel nice and warm, but didn’t seem to do much in the way of relieving pain.

My mom visited me here in LA and we went to lunch at Petit Trois – SO GOOD.


There’s only counter seating, which I love.


Ham and butter sandwich for me, Croque Monsieur for my mom.

Jeremy and I visited the nearby Golden Road Brewery, and had some nice lunchtime drinks and food.

Jeremy and I visited the nearby Golden Road Brewery, and had some nice lunchtime drinks and food.

It rained one day last week! It never rains here (hence the terrible drought) so it was great. And caused a fire-like sunset.

It rained one day last week! It never rains here (hence the terrible drought) so it was great. And caused a fire-like sunset.

That’s about it… Jeremy and I are heading up to Santa Barbara this morning to spend a couple days there before the race on Saturday. Hopefully I’m able to finish the race and not crash and burn at mile 7… wish me luck!

Never Two Without Three

It’s been a rough couple days for me over here in sunny SB. I’m still resting my knee (I seriously feel like I haven’t really run in forever), and hoping I can run the San Diego Half a week from Sunday. My knee started popping and cracking today (which is new), but for the most part it’s feeling better except some pain here and there. Jeremy and I have to be out of our apartment tomorrow night, so tonight is our last time sleeping here (which is so bittersweet). We’re going to open a nice bottle of wine we’ve been saving, and sit on the floor and have a picnic.

Lunch picnic on the floor.

Moving break snack on the floor.

We’ve been moving stuff into our storage unit the last couple days, and yesterday as I was helping Jeremy unload something out of his truck, the window on the back of the camper shell swung down and crushed my right thumb. I slammed my left thumb in a car door last year, and I can’t believe I did it again. I couldn’t use my right hand at all for the rest of the day yesterday, and the pain woke me up a few times last night. Luckily it feels a little better today (it’s just all black and blue now), but of course there had to be one more injury to round out the trio. When I got up from bed this morning, all of a sudden I felt a shooting pain in my neck, and I have had a stiff neck all day and can’t turn my head at all. It’s so painful. It’s really a great combination: hurt knee, crushed thumb, and stiff neck. While moving. UGH. It’s also supposed to rain the next couple days (which is SO GREAT for Southern California), which makes everything a little more complicated when moving.

Constantly adding body parts to the list of things I need to ice.

Constantly adding body parts to the list of things I need to ice.

I feel like I’ve been a debbie downer lately, and I let myself get pretty frustrated the past few days. But a couple good things have happened too. Jeremy and I went over to my parents’ house today and were surprised to see my brother, sister-in-law, and their two boys there (one’s almost 3, the other is 8 months), and it was so nice to see them. They used to live next door to my parents, but moved about 45 minutes away almost a year ago. I get to see them every couple weeks, and it’s always a bright spot in my day. I’m really going to miss them. Another thing is that I was reading the Cork Marathon FAQs the other day and saw that you are not able to transfer between the full and half marathon after you register. I pretty much panicked because I need to be able to have the option to do the half, after how my last month of training has been. I sent an email to the event manager, and she wrote me back quickly. She said that since my family was traveling so far to attend the race, they would make an exception for me if need be. I was so incredibly relieved, and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I really really still want to do the full, but knowing that I have the option to switch to the half makes me feel a ton better. I just have to tell her sometime before the beginning of May.

Here are a few more highlights from the last few days:





Got a couple decent pictures out of the Mermaid Series Half Marathon.

Got a couple decent pictures out of the Mermaid Series Half Marathon.

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I ran! And Other Happenings

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a nice weekend.

Well, I’m pretty thrilled because I went out for a nice and easy three-mile run earlier today to see how my knee felt, and it went better than I expected. I could feel the uncomfortableness occasionally (it’s not really sharp pains, just dull pains surrounding the kneecap), but for the most part it was smooth sailing. If I ran over a curb and used my left leg to jump up on it, I did experience some pain, but not too bad. This makes me SO happy. I knew I shouldn’t push it so I tried to go slowly (although it did seem like the slower I ran, the more pain I felt), but it was hard not to sprint since I was feelin so good. I did some strength training when I got done, and I’m going to ice and stretch tonight. I’ll probably rest again tomorrow, but I’m feeling hopeful that I can run my half in two weeks. Fingers crossed!


Color coordinating.

I’ve been reading about runner’s knee, and the symptoms sound the same as mine. I remembered recently that when I was growing up, if I crouched down and tried to stand back up quickly, sometimes one of my knees would dislocate and it was super painful. I’d have to sit down and kind of wiggle my leg back into place and stand up slowly. This pain could be stemming from that, or just that my kneecaps have some issues. Rainy Writer let me know that there was a series on runner’s knee being written on Run Oregon blog, which was really helpful. I’m remaining optimistic that this won’t be a huge issue for me going forward, and that with strength training and taking good care of my body, I’ll be able to run forever.

Moving Along

On Thursday, Jeremy and I went out to lunch with a few coworkers (one of which was my brother), and we went to a restaurant at the Santa Barbara Harbor, which is always a treat. The running path I use for 98% of my runs goes by the harbor, and I love looking at the sailboats with the mountains in the background. SB sure is pretty.


On Friday, Jeremy and I had to get ready for the garage sale we had with our neighbors. We live in a complex comprised of two duplexes, and we have become really close with our neighbors. It was a lot of fun (not just because of the mimosas we started drinking at 10am), and we had a dinner all together that night also. The sale went on both Saturday and Sunday, and Jeremy and I sold a TON of our stuff. It was definitely successful.


Best neighbors in the universe.


Garage saling.

After the sale was over on Saturday, Jeremy and I headed to the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens for an event a coworker organized. It was a beer festival showcasing local breweries, and a specific beer was selected to complement each section of the gardens. It was really interesting, and a lot of the flowers were beginning to bloom so it was beautiful.


Learning about the redwoods.


Local beer + redwoods.



Magic hour at the Botanic Gardens.


Food was desperately needed, and fish tacos did the trick.

The packing up of our apartment is coming along nicely (we have to be out by Friday), and I feel like we are pretty far ahead of where I normally am when I move (I notoriously leave everything to the last minute… something about the pressure makes me work faster). We can start moving stuff into our storage unit tomorrow. Which means that this is all really happening. And it’s happening VERY SOON. It is insane. I haven’t really let myself realize that we’re leaving town a week from Friday for who knows how long. It could be six months, could be a year, could be longer. I’m going to miss Santa Barbara and my family so much (I always do), but I’m extremely excited to get some adventures in. It’s been way too long.

A Bump in the Road

I’m kind of at a loss and not sure what to do. My left knee is confusing me. About a month ago when it started hurting after a particularly jump-y, hard bootcamp class, any pain subsided within a few days of rest and I ran my half marathon a couple weekends ago pain-free. I honestly haven’t done much in the way of running since then (almost two weeks) except a couple shorter runs and one long run last weekend. It’s not that the pain is severe and causing me to limp, and it’s not always there. It occasionally hurts when I stand up if I’ve been sitting for a long time, or randomly throughout the day. I’d say 60% of the time there’s no pain. But it’s that 40% that has me pretty worried. I tried to think about things that have changed over the last month or two that could have caused this, and over Christmas there was a month-and-a-half-long period of time where I didn’t do any strength training. But after almost a year of strength training, I don’t think that too much muscle would be lost just in that time. I’ve given myself plenty of rest, I eat very healthy, I recover properly. I don’t eat meat (except seafood), but I make sure to get enough protein. I had blood tests last year and they came out stellar. This is why I’m confused. I’ve gained a little weight since I got married in June (about 6 pounds) and maybe that has something to do with it, but it’s not a huge amount. Maybe the muscles in my quads/glutes aren’t as strong as they should be and there was too much pressure on my knees. Maybe my form wasn’t perfect when I was doing all those jumping/burpee exercises over and over in bootcamp. Or maybe I’m just overthinking it.

I have the San Diego Half Marathon on March 9, that I really want to run. We have already gotten a hotel room downtown SD and my mom is going to drive down to watch me race. It’s still two and a half weeks away, and even after resting a week, I should still be able to do it. I’ll play it by ear, but I’m remaining hopeful.

I’m also supposed to be training for a damn marathon. These weeks are base-building weeks in my training plan and since I have a pretty good base built up, I hope it’ll be fine, but the more I don’t run, the more I know I shouldn’t push it and try to run my first full marathon (that my entire family has planned a trip to Ireland around… ugh).

Sometimes I honestly feel like crawling in a corner and crying; it’s just so frustrating to work hard and see yourself improving, only to have a setback. It’s okay though, I’m trying to stay positive and work on strengthening my leg muscles and glutes, ice, foam roll, stretch, etc.

My knee was feeling okay yesterday morning so I went out and tested out three slow miles. Sometimes I would feel the pain, sometimes I wouldn’t. Around mile two it pretty much went away completely. I did some stadium stairs at the local city college, with no pain going up, but with pain going down the stairs.

Not a bad place to do stadium stairs.

Not a bad place to do stadium stairs.

Other, Better News

I finally got a hair cut! I hadn’t cut it in a year, and it was definitely time. My hair stylist cut off a little more than I was expecting, but I’m so happy with it. All in all, there’s about 7-8 inches gone. It is thrilling to know that I can wear a tank top to run and not have the hair from my ponytail get caught in the FRONT of my armpits.





Short ponytail!

Short ponytail!

I also had a pretty exciting mail day the other day:


I ordered the Mizuno Wave Creation 15 and the Brooks Glycerin 11 to see which ones I liked better. Well, I tried on the Glycerin in size 10 at the local running store and they were too small so I ordered them in size 10.5, which is waaay too big. I had this problem with the Brooks Adrenalines in the past, which is unfortunate because I hear Brooks shoes are great. I wore the Mizunos yesterday and I really liked them. They fit perfectly, they are light, it’s a bonus they are cool-looking, and I am happy with them. I need to test them out more (whenever my knee feels better) to really get a feel for them, but I was happy after yesterday’s trial. Like I said in an earlier post, I’ve been told to get stability shoes for pronation the last few times I’ve gone to the running store, but I went on Friday and the lady working told me I tend to supinate and need neutral shoes. I’m hoping this is a breakthrough because I have never loved any pair of shoes I’ve worn in the past; each one has caused me problems.

Maybe, just maybe, a match made in heaven.

Maybe, just maybe, a match made in heaven.

Has anyone had knee pain in the past and can offer up some advice? Thank you!

Lately, In Pictures

It rained recently and I got to wear my new rain boots. I was very excited.

It rained recently and I got to wear my new rain boots. I was very excited.


Jeremy and I headed to the Patagonia headquarters in Ventura to scope out backpacks and rain jackets.


Jeremy found a backpack.


Downtown Ventura.


Trying on all my adventure gear.

We made tofu tostadas one night for dinner.

We made tofu tostadas one night for dinner.


Recovering after my long run with compression socks, foam rolling and frozen corn.


Valentine’s Day consisted of this pizza and lots of red wine.


We took a picnic to the beach yesterday, and I got some serious reading done.


Sushi on the beach.

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Walking around our neighborhood the other evening at magic hour.


This popcorn was delicious.


I love miniature things. These lemons were too much.


I’m in the middle of trying to get my French citizenship, so my mom, grandma and I drove to LA today to go to the French embassy. It was closed.


Crazy fog driving to LA this morning.


My second home.


I didn’t have a dog with me, but I appreciated this dog drinking fountain/treat dispenser all the same.


Fanciest Coffee Bean I’ve ever seen.


I took my mom and grandma to Real Food Daily in Santa Monica for lunch. I ordered the Mediterranean Bowl: Wild arugula, heirloom tomato and avocado in lemon herb Za’atar dressing with cucumber kalamata salsa, white bean basil salad, red quinoa tabouli, almond feta & whole wheat Za’atar flatbread. It was SO GOOD.


Driving through Malibu Canyon on our way home today.


Leaving Santa Monica.

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Driving home on Highway 1.

Hope everyone’s week got off to a nice start!

Runner’s World Challenge


Well, I officially completed my first week of marathon training. My plan called for short runs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then a long run yesterday and a short one today. Since I ran a half last Saturday and was sick in the beginning of the week, I took it easy and didn’t do all the runs on the plan. I think this was a smart decision on my part. Yesterday’s ten-miler began a little rocky, and by mile four I was thinking maybe I would turn around and only do eight miles. I continued on, and when I got to five miles to turn around, endorphins kicked in and I felt really great. I tried a new gel – Clif Shot mocha with caffeine – at mile five, and ate the whole thing. I drank a little too much water and got a bit of a stomach cramp, but it went away quickly, and the rest of the run was issue-free. Mile nine was even my fastest. I have been reading a bit about running cadence, so I experimented with counting my steps, to see where I was at. I was running at about 160 strides per minute, which is pretty common. Lots of articles (here’s an example) recommend 180 steps per minute, so I tried to increase my strides to hit that. Counting my steps was actually pretty fun and a great distractor. I usually am only thinking about what my arms are doing, so it was a nice change to focus on something else.

There’s one thing that worried me on my run yesterday. My left knee pain has come back some, and it bothered me a bit in the first half of my run, but then I felt nothing the second half. It’s a little tender today, and I iced it and foam rolled yesterday. It started hurting me after a bootcamp class a few weeks ago when we did a lot of jumping, so I stopped going to bootcamp for the time being, and I realized that I haven’t gone to yoga in a couple months. It could just be that I wasn’t stretching some of the muscles in my leg enough and it put a strain on my knee muscles. It could also be my shoes, I went and tried on some new running shoes on Friday at the local store here, and the lady working told me that I supinate, and need neutral shoes. This is different than every other time I’ve been fitted at a running store, and that’s why I’ve been wearing stability shoes. I ordered two pairs of neutral shoes online and will test them out next week. I’m just hoping so badly that my knee issues will go away soon, I’m looking forward to getting into full-on marathon training mode.


After making the big decision to register for a full marathon, and then spending two weeks obsessing about which one to choose, the next step was deciding on a training plan. I have used Hal Higdon plans for past half marathons, and considered using one of his marathon plans, but I wanted to try something new. I saw a screen shot on STUFT Mama of the Runner’s World Challenge plan, and it included an email sent out every night with a detailed description of what the next day’s training consisted of. I really liked this, and thought it would be a great motivating tool over the next few months. After a little confusion about how the Runner’s World Challenge worked, I finally have it all sorted out. Once you purchase a plan (there are lots to choose from), this is what is included:

  • Four months access to the RW Personal Trainer interactive training log
  • Personal coaching from RW’s nutrition, training, and injury-prevention experts
  • Motivation e-mails from Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso
  • Runner’s World Challenge technical T-shirt
  • RW’s Complete Book of Running
  • A watch
  • Online access to the Runner’s World Challenge community, where you can connect with other runners who are taking the Challenge

I didn’t realize that in order to receive the daily emails and have access to the training log, I had to create an account on Training Peaks and load the plan into the calendar. Luckily, the person I was emailing with at RW did that for me and got me all set up.

I received my shirt, watch and book a few weeks after purchasing the plan.

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As far as choosing which marathon plan, I had to decide between these two:


Ideal candidates: First-time marathoners, and runners who have at least one year of experience, and run three to four times per week on average.
Weekly routine: 3 days of rest, 4 days of running
Weekly mileage: 18-36 miles
Long runs: start at 8 miles; peak at 20 miles
Speed work: strides, marathon goal-pace runs (MP)


Ideal candidates: First-time marathoners, and runners who have at least one year of experience, and run three to four times per week on average. For more experienced runners who have completed at least one half-marathon.
Weekly routine: 2 days of rest, 5 days of running
Weekly mileage: 25-42 miles
Long runs: start at 10 miles; peak at 20 miles
Speed work: Yasso 800s, marathon goal-pace runs (MP)

I like only taking two rest days per week, so the First-Timers plan sounded good to me. After looking at the long weekend runs on this plan, however, it has three 20-mile runs included, the first one being in about four weeks, which I think is a little too soon for me. The Beginners plan gradually works its way up until 20 miles, and the 20-miler happens three weeks before the marathon. I think I may follow the First-Timers plan for the weekday runs, and then the Beginners plan for the weekend long run.

All in all, I’m happy I chose this whole system, and look forward to getting into it!

Running the Neighborhood

Happy Wednesday!

I’m finally feeling better. This cold was nasty but short, thankfully. I don’t like to take any kind of medicine unless it’s 100% necessary, so I just rested up, drank some green juice, got some vitamin D, and tried to sleep it off. And that seemed to do the trick.


How to kick a cold.

Jeremy and I finished up our last week at the office last week (by working 38 hours in three days, it was intense), and now we have begun getting prepared for our departure. We are still going to be doing some work, we can just do it remotely. There are three apartment viewing appointments in the next few days, so we spent yesterday cleaning up and organizing some things around here. I wanted to go for a run since I wasn’t sore one bit from Saturday (I was pretty happily surprised. Hydration, stretching and compression socks work wonders), although after each race so far the top of the second toe on my right foot always hurts so badly. I think I get a blister under my nail or something. It’s black so I guess I’ll lose the nail soon, I just wish it didn’t hurt so bad to the touch. I hope it’s my shoes or something and it can be solved. I decided to run around my neighborhood since it’s pretty much all hills and because the course was so flat on Saturday, I figured I could work some other muscles. I only did a few miles and took it nice and easy, but it was very enjoyable. My toe hurt even more last night though, so I guess I’ll rest today, and fingers crossed it will feel better tomorrow (I’m really itching to get this marathon training underway, I’m getting a little nervous about it). Here are a few shots from my run yesterday.

The Mission.

The Mission.




Tried out some new Mizuno shorts... they are much shorter than my normal Lululemon ones I wear all the time, but I liked them.

Tried out some new Mizuno shorts… they are much shorter than my normal Lululemon ones I wear all the time, but I liked them.

My 'hood.

My ‘hood.

Jeremy and discovered this really great deal at Whole Foods where you can get a tofu entree and two sides from the prepared salad bar for only $6. It’s so much food, and it’s always super healthy, and we’re kind of hooked.

It originally came with three pieces of tofu but I ate one immediately.

It originally came with three pieces of tofu but I ate one immediately.

One more note, I have been a Zappos fan for years, but I recently ordered a running cap and some insoles, and they came in the most gigantic box ever. After opening the huge box, there was another big box containing the hat that took up one little corner. It was so excessive! I still love them though.

Come on, Zappos.

Come on, Zappos.

How’s your week going?

Sisterhood of the Bloggers

So, I finally got an email back from Runner’s World Challenge after I emailed inquiring where my training plan was, since I was supposed to start on Monday. When I first registered in November, it asked me what plan I wanted and what the date of the race was, so that the emails could automatically start coming in four months before the race. I didn’t see anything in my inbox on Monday, so I emailed them. I finally got a response asking which marathon training plan I wanted to sign up for. Which is frustrating because I already chose one when I paid for the plan and told them in a separate email after that! I responded, and was sent the training plan I requested. I guess this is my mistake, but I could have sworn I read that it was one of those plans where they email you every day with details about training for that day. That’s honestly the only reason I paid so much for it. But this is one of those printed-out plans, which is okay. I’m resting up this week for my race this weekend, so I’ll start next week. Anyways, I hope it was worth it to buy the plan, fingers crossed.

Last night we were at work late and Chinese food was ordered. I just had a taste since I had already eaten soup for dinner, but I did eat two fortune cookies, and the fortunes inside were very appropriate:

IMG_2150 IMG_2149

On a side note, I don’t know if anyone has had either of these from Trader Joe’s, but they are SO GOOD. Especially together.


Sisterhood of the World Bloggers


Cori over at She’s Going the Distance was so sweet and nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award! I have seen this one floating around, and am excited I get to fill it out now. You’ll find out that I’m super indecisive and can’t choose just one thing, hooray!


1. What is your favorite color?

I don’t think I have a favorite color really, but when it comes to real people’s clothes, I pretty much wear charcoal/black/other dark colors. But when it comes to running clothes, I LOVE bright colors, and don’t have enough.


2. Favorite animal?

As a pet, a dog. Other than that, anything miniature, like a hummingbird for example. And these micro pigs:



Or anything on this list: 24 of the Smallest and Cutest Animals in the World.

3. Favorite non-alcoholic drink?

I’d have to say it’s a tie between coffee and the Greens and Ginger juice from Juice Ranch.


4. Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook is great for keeping up with old friends and posting pictures. I’m just now getting more involved with Twitter again, so maybe that’ll change.

5. Favorite pattern?

I love stripes and plaid, but like I said before, I pretty much only wear greys/charcoal/black.


Stripes and plaid all in one outfit! (Portland, 2013)


Fifty shades of grey.

6. What is your passion?

I have a terrible fear of looking back at my life when I’m old and realizing that I didn’t do everything I wanted to do (I think about it all the time, it’s really healthy). My passion is to not let that happen! Traveling is a huge part of that passion, and I’m so glad that Jeremy and I have made the time in our lives to make this dream come true. I can’t wait to experience new cultures, talk to people from other countries, get to know customs, etc. I think that it’s so important to experience things like that, and I can’t imagine how enriched we’ll feel throughout the process.

It's a big ol world out there (Switzerland, 2009)

It’s a big ol world out there (Switzerland, 2009)

My nominees (my apologies if you’ve already done this!):

For Each Wind That Blows

Girl Runs Wild

26.2 x 2

2 Cups ‘N Run

Running Southern

Tartan Jogger

Single-Tracked Mind