santa barbara

Another Marathon Training Update

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 4!

Oops I did it again. I started writing this post two weeks ago but never finished, so here I am playing catch up once again and writing the longest posts ever. Well, the biggest things that happened the past few weeks were my longest run to date, 18 miles, and I PRed at the Chardonnay 10-Miler by 13 minutes!

Here we go…

Week 14 ended up being a big unintentional step-back week. I felt really run down starting on Thursday, and took three days off because of this. Everyone at my work had been sick, and I’d been doing my best to avoid it, but I got some kind of bug that didn’t hit me super hard, but made me feel pretty bad and tired for a few days. The week after I was able to come back strong, and finished the week with a personal distance record, 18 miles, on Sunday.

Also, March was my highest mileage month ever so far, with my Garmin recording 149 miles (I ran a few miles without my Garmin at November Project so technically it was a little over 150).

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Week 14 – 23 miles total 

Monday – Mile repeats (8 miles total)

Did this speed workout at the Echo Park Lake, and pushed the pace after feeling good. Paces for the mile repeats:  8:29, 8:32, 8:03, 8:35.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – November Project

Lots of burpees/pushups/squats and running during November Project. At the end while we were taking a picture, some of the people from the earlier workout poured water on us as an April Fool’s joke. I didn’t find it very funny because it was cold out and my shoes were soaked through, and I think this had something to do with me catching some kind of bug.

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My face is pretty funny on the far left though.

Thursday – rest

Friday – rest

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 10 miles 

I was in Santa Barbara for Easter, which worked out because it’s my favorite place to do my long runs. I had 14 miles on the schedule, but Coach Lauren changed it to 8-10. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel after taking 4 days off, but luckily I felt good and my legs felt pretty fresh.

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Week 15 – 42 miles total 

Monday – 5 miles easy @ 9:49 min/mile

The top of my left foot started bothering me during this run. I was wearing Mizuno Wave Rider 18s and I think they were tied too tight or they weren’t big enough, and it was unpleasant.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – 5 miles easy @ 9:43 min/mile

Ran by feel and didn’t look at my Garmin once, which I hadn’t done in a looong time.

Thursday – 7 miles easy @ 9:52 min/mile

I remember this was a really good run!

Friday – 7 miles with 5 at tempo

I didn’t quite hit the paces I was aiming for (around 8:40) because of how hilly it the route was, but I was definitely pushing hard. Tempo mile paces: 8:59, 8:55, 8:39, 9:13, 8:40

Saturday – 18 miles @ 10:19 min/mile

This run was a huge confidence booster! I drove to Manhattan Beach and parked in a neighborhood, ran to the beach all the way to Palos Verdes and back. I was tired at the end, but not totally wiped out and I felt like I could keep a steady pace the whole time. I had to run on wood chips at the beginning and end, and that wasn’t fun because they kept getting in my shoes and I had to stop and get them out. I tried to go on the sidewalk but it ended so it was back to the wood chips I went.

The route started with about three miles of wood chips. Not my favorite.

The route started and ended with about three miles of wood chips. Not my favorite.

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Redondo Beach

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Palos Verdes

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My route.

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The Marvin Braude Bike Trail goes 22 miles or so from Palos Verdes to Santa Monica/Malibu.

The Marvin Braude Bike Trail goes 22 miles or so from Palos Verdes to Santa Monica/Malibu.

Done!

Done!

Week 16 – 30.5 miles total

Monday – 5 miles easy @ 9:59 min/miles

Tuesday – 4.3 miles easy @ 10:15

Met up with a few November Project people for a run, but I cut it short due to my knees bothering me a bit.

Wednesday – rest

Thursday – 6 miles easy @ 9:01 min/miles

Went to a running group at A Runner’s Circle in Los Feliz and the pacer went a little faster than I was expecting, but I felt good and kept up. Also got some Brooks Ghost 7 shoes after the top of my left foot not feeling better and the guy working at the running store told me I definitely needed to go up a half size and that’s why my shoes were bothering me. So far I really like these new shoes, and they will be my marathon shoes if all goes according to plan.

Friday – rest

Saturday – Chardonnay 10-Miler

I ran this same race two years ago, and this year I ran it 13 minutes faster! I drove up to Santa Barbara the night before, registered that morning shortly before the race began, and drove back to LA afterward. It was a pretty small, informal race, and that’s why I love doing races in Santa Barbara. Jeremy had to stay behind in LA to work, so my mom was super sweet and got up early to take me and waited while I ran. I got there with not too much time to spare, and panicked a little when I saw how long the line was for the four porta potties they had for racers.

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The long porta potty line.

I ended up leaving the line and heading to the starting line without using the restroom, which turned out okay but was uncomfortable for the first couple miles.

Before the race.

Before the race.

I tried to keep around an 8:30 pace the whole time then speed up the last few miles. I’d say I did a pretty good job at that.

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Ended with a sub 8 minute mile!

I really pushed myself during this race and am pretty proud of myself. OH I almost forgot the absolute best part of the race: I saw WHALES. The course went along the ocean and right by my favorite beach, and I just happened to look over and see a couple whales spraying water out of their blowholes and just swimming along. I couldn’t believe it. Nobody else seemed to notice them, so it’s like I got my own personal show. Needless to say, this distracted me for a good mile since it was near the turnaround point so I got to see them again on my way back.

Apart from whales, the other thing I did to keep my spirits up when I was feeling tired was cheer on runners heading in the opposite direction, including a few cancer survivors. It was so totally motivating to see them running, and I felt like I got a huge boost of energy each time.

I also passed a big group of guys that were part of a bachelor party during the last mile or so, and they actually cursed when they saw me pass, which made me feel pretty good. I was struggling near the end and getting tired, but I set my sights on a man a little ahead of me and tried to keep up with him. I couldn’t beat him, but it definitely help keep me going.

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My mom's expert finish line photography.

My mom’s expert finish line photography.

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My official finish time was 1:23:44, an 8:23 average pace. After the race, a nice man gave me and my mom wristbands to get into the wine tasting area since we hadn’t paid for tickets beforehand, and we got to taste some really good wines at 10 o clock in the morning…

Sunday – 5.27 miles easy @ 9:52 min/mile

My left hip was super sore from the race for some reason, so I took it easy and just tried to shake out my legs.

Week 17 – 34 miles total

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 6.8 miles easy @ 10:04 min/mile

Met up with NP running group again; I forgot to pack my knee compression bands for the 10-mile race and I could feel a difference. I’ve been trying to ice my knees even more this week.

Wednesday – 4 miles easy @ 10:14

Whoa mama heavy legs. Saturday’s race really took a toll.

Thursday – 8.22 miles with 4 mile repeats

Splits for the mile repeats: 8:34, 8:24, 8:35, 8:45. I was proud of these especially since my legs still felt heavy.

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Friday – rest

Took an extra rest day, my body needed it!

Saturday – 15 miles easy @ 10:16 min/mile

If the 18-miler boosted my confidence a few weeks back, this 15-miler knocked it down again. It was super tough and my legs felt like lead. Whenever I do my long runs around where I live, it never goes well because it’s super hilly and I end up having to run on soft dirt/sand. It was a combination of that and having an extremely stressful week at work and not getting good sleep, and who knows what else. In addition, I usually eat the same things the day before a long run or race (a big avocado sandwich for lunch and a brothy Asian soup for dinner) and this didn’t happen. I was stress eating all day and snacking on whatever was around, had a bunch of raw veggies for lunch, and had a Taiwanese feast for dinner. My stomach felt awful for the first 5 or so miles of my long run and I truly learned my lesson.

Took a break to get some cool blurry self timer shots.

Took a quick break to get some cool blurry self timer shots.

Friends seen on my run.

New friends seen at the end of my run. I see the one on the right a lot, he’s my buddy.

A lot of my route was on this nice dirt path in Griffith Park.

A lot of my route was on this nice dirt path in Griffith Park.

With only four weeks till the marathon and next week being the big 20-miler, I really need to place nutrition and sleep really high on my priority list. I’ve been indulging in food and drinks a little too much lately and it’s time to get serious!

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!

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.

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I really love being in driving distance to Santa Barbara.

Traditional post-Thanksgiving beach walk.

Traditional post-Thanksgiving beach walk.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Hope everyone has a really great last month of 2014!

Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon

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This was my second year running the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon. It’s my hometown race, so I’ll likely try to run it every year I’m able. Last year when I wrote my recap, I had just started blogging and it was my second half marathon ever. I ended up expending all my energy right before the biggest hill of the course at mile 10 or so. I crashed while running up the hill (I didn’t allow myself to stop, but people were walking past me faster than I was shuffling), and the last few miles were painful. I also didn’t realize we had to run a lap around the track at Santa Barbara City College right at the end, and that hurt too. This year, I was hyper-aware of saving energy for the hill, and it paid off. I was also treating this race as just a long run, since I didn’t feel super prepared. But, let me start at the expo.

Shake-out run on the beach.

Shake-out run on the beach two days before the race.

Before

I have gotten this exact sandwich for lunch the day before two half marathons and they both went well, I think I should stick with it.

I have gotten this exact sandwich for lunch the day before two half marathons and they both went well, I think I should stick with it.

Santa Barbara sure is pretty.

Santa Barbara sure is pretty.

Like I’ve said before, I don’t care too much about expos. I enjoy them I guess, but it doesn’t matter to me if they are big or small; I usually just walk around a bit and get my number and shirt and leave. I hate to say anything negative, but I haven’t had the best luck with volunteers at the SB Expo. Last year was not quite as bad, but this year the lady handing out the shirts was pretty rude. The shirts are a baby blue, and made of non-tech material. I ordered a women’s medium, and there is no way I can squeeze into it. Last year the shirts ran a size small also, but they were aware of it and gave everyone a size up. This year I asked the lady to switch out my shirt and she basically just coldly said “No.” I’m sure she had a lot of people asking her the same question and maybe that’s why she was short with me, but I don’t think it would have hurt to smile or something. Anyway, a lot of people have been complaining on the race Facebook page about the shirts, so hopefully they’ll get some different ones next year. People were also upset because the medals were held up in a port in Long Beach and didn’t arrive on time, so they’ll be sent out in the mail at some point. I can’t even begin to imagine how much work goes into putting on a race, so I’m not about to go say something nasty on the Facebook page, but these were just a couple unfortunate things.

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At the expo, I ended up buying a new handheld water bottle (I grew to hate my other one) and some Body Glide from the SB Running Store stand. I bought the Nathan SpeedDraw Plus for $25 and even though it seemed a little pricey, I’m really glad I got it. I used it during the race for the first time, and it was so much more comfortable to carry than my other one (the Nathan QuickDraw Plus). I also picked up a sample of lemon-lime Clif Shot Hydration Drink Mix and put it in my bottle to drink during the race. I don’t know why, but I always try new stuff during half marathons and luckily it’s always worked out for me. I will not do this during my first marathon, don’t worry.

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That evening, I met my friend Liz on the beach and we drank a beer and watched the sunset (at like 4:30pm). We then met Jeremy for a drink… I wasn’t planning on drinking any alcohol the night before the race especially since I hadn’t been sleeping well and was exhausted, but hey it worked out.

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Carb-loading, right?

My mom made fish and sweet potatoes and green beans for dinner, and then I went to bed early.

During

I didn’t sleep at all really, maybe a couple hours, and the 5am alarm was rough. I had a small bowl of oatmeal with half a banana and a cup of coffee, and Jeremy and I left my parents’ house at 6:30am so he could drop me off at the start. It’s a good thing we didn’t leave any later because they closed off the roads about five cars behind us. The race started at 7:15am and I arrived at about 6:55am. I used a porta-potty (there were no lines at the ones near where Jeremy dropped me off, but long lines at ones closer to the start), and headed to the starting line.

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There were waves but the chutes were so small that nobody could really squeeze in, so I just found a place near the back and waited. The weather was pretty warm and I didn’t need a sweatshirt or anything. I usually don’t bring my phone during races, but I wanted to listen to a podcast for the first half at least, so I stuffed it in the pocket of my handheld water bottle.

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The only picture I took during the race.

I’m not good at remembering specific miles, but I do know that I drank a good-sized cup of water at each aid station because of the heat, and I drank about half of my electrolyte drink I was carrying. I ate half a Clif Shot mocha gel at about mile 8 and threw the rest away (I don’t think I’ve ever been able to eat a whole one). I listened to the Serial podcast for the first nine miles or so, and that made it go by pretty fast. I didn’t feel too tired and I kept a steady pace. All the volunteers handing out water and Gatorade were really nice and that part of it seemed a lot more organized than last year. During the last mile before the big hill, I put my music on and tried really hard to start building up energy. I was following a girl (not too closely) that was dancing and singing along to her headphone music, which helped. As soon as the hill started, Eminem’s “Survival” came on and it was the absolute perfect song to hear at that moment. The lyrics, as cheesy as they are, helped me so much and I felt really strong and started passing people left and right.

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I’m embarrassed these lyrics affected me so much, but I’ll take motivation where I can get it!

I ended up walking for about 15 seconds to catch my breath near the top (the hill is loooong) but then I knew the last two and a half miles or so were basically downhill to the finish. I pushed those last few miles, and got a nice burst of energy when I saw Jeremy near the finish line. The finish was so much better than last year; spectators could line the course and we didn’t have to run a lap on the track. Official finish time: 2:09:36. I didn’t have a specific time goal for this race, but I was hoping to finish under 2:10. Last year my time was 2:04:22 so I haven’t lost too much fitness thankfully.

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After

After the race, I went to put my feet in the ocean and asked a lady to take a picture of me. I ended up getting hit by a wave right as she was taking it. Whoops. The water was pretty cold and it felt SO GOOD.

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Pretty much the only thing I can stomach after a race is something salty, so I found some fries from Georgia’s Smokehouse food truck immediately.

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McConnell’s has the best ice cream ever, I’m sad I didn’t feel like eating any.

Jeremy and I drove back to LA that afternoon, and I celebrated my race by eating chips and salsa and wine. I used The Stick to roll out my muscles and iced my knees.

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And then we got breakfast burritos the next morning from this cute little place in Atwater Village that we heard about from an Anthony Bourdain episode.

IMG_0754 The next half marathon I’m registered for is the San Diego Half on March 8th, which will be my third year running it. Will I finally break two hours there?! I sure hope so. In the meantime, I’m going to focus on building a strong base to start marathon training in January, and losing the weight I gained in Europe (oops). Hopefully the SB Half medal comes in the mail soon!

I’ll Miss You, Santa Barbara

Since I’ve been sitting in the car for awhile now and we still have another 12 hours or so until we roll into New Orleans, I figured I’d dump some photos I took during my last few days in Santa Barbara. My hometown is a special place, and I am never able to stay away for too long. Growing up there, I had no idea how beautiful it was until I moved away to Georgia for college. The South has its own special charm and I love it, but California will
always pull me back. Not to mention my whole family lives there, which is obviously a huge part of it.

When I moved back to California a few years ago, I had gained a considerable amount of weight during my time
in GA (I blame macaroni and cheese and fried chicken), and within a few months of being back I had changed my eating habits and added a ton of exercise into my life, and not even really on purpose. There’s just something about being in SB and the fact that the weather is perfect year round and everyone is outside getting physical activity… It’s contagious, really.

A couple years later, Jeremy and I both found ourselves considerably lighter (I lost about 35 pounds and Jeremy lost 50), and our lives were filled with fresh produce, home-cooked meals and clean eating. It’s just so easy to live like that there.

It’s also just flat out beautiful. Pacific Ocean on one side, and mountains to hike a couple miles away.

I’m so excited for our travels and at the same time I’m excited to return to SB. We most likely won’t live there permanently again (until we’re older and rich and can buy a beach house), but we’ll at least be driving distance away. Jeremy and I spent our last few days last week enjoying sunrise at the beach, hiking our favorite trail, and I ran my favorite path two last times. I meant to take pictures of all my favorite spots around town, but alas as it often happens, we planned on doing many things we didn’t end up having time for.

Here are some pictures:

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Jeremy standing in front of the house where we got married.

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Road Trip USA

Well, Jeremy and I have officially left for the first leg of our adventure! This week has been absolutely crazy, but we finally got everything together, finished putting stuff in our storage unit, and packed our suitcases. We’re currently on our way to San Diego, and we may stop in Los Angeles for lunch. We’re staying in SD for the weekend, then leaving for our cross-country road trip Monday morning. Georgia here we come!

Santa Barbara -> San Diego -> El Paso -> New Orleans -> Charleston -> Athens -> Columbus -> Atlanta -> NYC -> Iceland

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In Transition

Phew, Jeremy and I are all moved out of our apartment, I can use my right hand again, my knee is feeling good, and my neck is less painful. Things are definitely better than last week! I feel like I let myself feel a little too defeated, when I’m usually very optimistic. I guess moving is just always very stressful.

We are now living at my parents’ house until Friday, when we leave for San Diego. It’s really nice being back in the home I grew up in, and sleeping in my old room. There are always perks being home also, like my mom’s amazing cooking, being walking distance to my favorite beach, fine wine every night, etc. Not to mention spending time with my parents since we’re leaving so soon.

On Thursday, we rewarded ourselves with a moving break and walked down to our favorite neighborhood restaurant for breakfast.

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Best breakfast.

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We’ll miss this neighborhood.

After moving all day and taking many trips to our storage unit, our neighbors invited us to meet them for drinks for happy hour, and it was so needed.

On Friday, we finished moving and went out for a date night at a place in town called the Lucky Penny. After, we met up with two friends that did the same thing we are about to do, but with kids. They quit their jobs, packed up their house, and traveled the world. They came back after nine months, but are in the process of potentially doing it again. They blogged about it here, although the site is getting a revamp. They are pretty much the reason we had this idea in the first place, and we kept thinking, if they can do it with two kids, why can’t we do it, just the two of us? It was great to talk to them and hear stories, and for the first time I think ever, it hit me that we are leaving so soon and I started to get REALLY excited.

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Dinner date.

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Dinner at Lucky Penny.

On Saturday, the expected storm had started, and it ended up raining all weekend. It was great. Jeremy and I went down to the beach with my parents because we heard there were huge waves hitting the wall where we usually sit to eat lunch. There were tons of people watching the waves, and they were seriously gigantic. A video has been circulating around the internet from someone who was at a restaurant on Stearns Wharf here, when a big wave crashed through the window. You can see it here.

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Stormy beach.

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That evening, we headed up to Santa Ynez to have dinner with my brother and sister-in-law, their two kids, and a friend of ours. We ate at a delicious restaurant called Sides Hardware and Shoes. After dinner, Jeremy, our friend Trent, and my brother went to the casino to do a little gambling while my sister-in-law Jacqueline and I hung out at her house with my nephews. It’s hitting me hard that I won’t get to see them as much as I normally do, but we’ll just have to make up for it when we get back.

Yesterday, I helped my mom get ready for my parents’ annual Oscar party. They’ve been throwing them since I was a kid, and they are always a blast. It was more low-key this year, but my mom always goes all out with the food, and of course I overdid it at the snack table.

My mom's a pro at making cheese platters.

My mom’s a pro at making cheese platters.

Oscar party!

Oscar party!

It was a really great weekend, and since it’s sunny today, Jeremy and I are going to walk to the beach and hopefully go hiking later. Happy Monday!