taking a rest day: it’s okay.

16 Jul

As a mostly Type-A, competitive weirdo, I sometimes usually stress out if I miss a workout or deviate from what I had penciled into my calendar for my workout that day, but I am just popping in here to remind myself (and anyone other there reading) that it is absolutely okay to listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

Be gentle to yourself.  This morning, I had mentally prepared to swim and ride in Malibu with my triathlon training group at 7 am.  However, as Friday rolled around and I realized I was exhausted, the prospect of waking up at 5-something to get down to Malibu did not sound appealing.  So I adjusted, and allowed myself to sleep.   I still got up and knocked out some Tone it Up workouts (and plan to do some cardio later).  Workout accomplished, and no loss of sanity or sleep. WORTH IT.

Only compete against yourself.   On that same note, it’s also important not to let your equally competitive friends get in your head —  the “they did xyz workout, I should have too…” guilt-game can be very, very real, and also unhealthy.

So my advice, for myself and others, is to (obviously) try to workout 5-7 days per week, but it’s okay if you need to adjust.  Or, god forbid, take a rest day one day!  Most of us out there  have commitments beyond exercise, so sometimes those take priority.

Just incorporate a lesson from the worst Bachelor of all time, Juan Pablo, when thinking about whether or not you should take a rest day:


Any tips on how you incorporate rest into your routines? 

hump day treat [7.13.16]

13 Jul

I’m back (very, very late, but better late than never is true and also not a cliche at all but I digress) with this week’s installment of the things I’m currently listening to, loving, and obsessing over…

Currently streaming… 

I’ve mentioned this before, but I really love the Lady Lovin’ podcast by Lo Bosworth, Jilly Hendrix, and Greta Titelman.  They cover a wide range of topics — from women’s issues to entrepreneurship to dating advice to financial tips (that’s where I discovered Nicole Lapin‘s book).


I also recently discovered “Two Inboxes,” a Forbes podcast by Molly Ford Beck (the creator of Smart Pretty & Awkward, a blog I have been following since 2008).  Two Inboxes features interviews with individuals who have profitable side hustles and how they make it all work.


I love listening to podcasts during my commute to work (I currently walk to work so saying “commute” is a bit…insincere?)  Today I reviewed some documents for a few hours and played a few podcasts which made the task moderately fun.

Obsessing over…slowly becoming a triathlete.  WAY more to blog about this – but it has been really fun adding two new-to-me sports to the mix. Fun story from our brick workout last weekend – I was setting out for an hour-long ride (followed by an hour run) and had clipped into my bike…just to realize my chain was off.  So I was pedaling and nothing was happening andddd fell off my bike.  I have a gnarly gash on my knee but it looks worse than it is.

I am training with two of my good #DTLARunning buddies, Kevin and Abel, along with Team 2 End AIDS to raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles to help people in LA living with HIV/AIDS.   While we are all currently training for all disciplines, we are participating in a relay in September.  Abel in the ocean, me on the bike, and Kevin dominating the run.  If you’re at all able, please consider donating (any amount helps and will directly impact those living with HIV/AIDS).  You can make a tax-deductible donation, here.


Currently coveting…this Tour De Soul water bottle.  1 instructor down, 5 to go.  And I have until the end of the month!


Guilty pleasure du jour…. Soooo I don’t feel that guilty but I recently discovered ProYo frozen yogurt (thanks to Lindsey @ Fit and Awesome‘s annual Soul Cycle fiesta in Manhattan Beach).   This is high protein, low calorie (and DELICIOUS) frozen yogurt.  I am all about it lately.   Keep a lookout for this stuff in the freezer section of your grocery store.


Little things I’m loving…

  • Garden Variety Runner – My friend from high school (and college!), Angela, just started a brand-new blog called Garden Variety Runner (though she is not), but she is a vegetarian so her meals are mostly of the “garden” variety.  Angela and I became very close in high school because were attached at the hip in cross country and track — and were essentially training partners for 4 straight years (though she was always faster).  Angela and her husband live in Los Olivos, CA where she is a teacher, and it has been fun starting to follow her healthy living/running/recipe blog!
  • Get To Work Book – My friend Heather bought this planner and I had to follow suit.  I LOVE how it focuses on setting goals, and also how each day has a lot of space to fill in different items.  I’ve loved plotting out my workouts at the beginning of the week to make it more likely I actually do them.

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  • Contigo for Target Infuser Water Bottle – I love this thing.  The bottom section has a space for fresh fruit (I follow the Tone It Up recipe for “Bikini Punch”: muddled raspberries, lemons/limes, ginger, mint, and a dash of cayenne pepper).  The top fills up with water like a normal water bottle, and the mix from the bottom infuses the top portion.  So. good.  The best part is that the lid completely locks, minimizing the potential for disastrous spills.

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What is getting you through the week?  Share your current favorite listen, watch, read, or guilty pleasure in the comments! 

hump day treat [7.6.16]

6 Jul

I’m back with this week’s installment of the things I’m currently listening to, loving, and obsessing over…

Currently bumping… this Bieber remix of Drake’s One Dance (skip ahead to 43:00 to hear the full track).



Obsessing over..actually learning about personal finance.  I’m the least financial literate person there is, and have only learned the absolute minimum not to go broke.  Last week, I was listening to the Lady Lovin’ podcast (hosted by Lauren Conrad’s real life BFFs, Lo Bosworth and Jilly Hendrix) when they had financial expert Nicole Lapin on as a guest to explain the importance of setting financial goals for yourself and to figure out what you really want in life to set yourself up for success.  She had some really great tips — like creating sub-savings accounts to make small savings goals more attainable.  I immediately bought her book and plan to read it ASAP so I can sound like less of a dunce when I try to to throw around terms like “PMI” or “dividend.”

Guilty pleasure… Starbucks’ latte with coconut milk, sprinkled with a little cinnamon.  I love it because there’s no need to add any additional sweetener.

Currently coveting… the Garmin 735XT.  File under “want, but definitely don’t need.”  I love my Garmin Forerunner 10, but with more swimming and riding, I am ogling mutli-sport Garmin watches.  Definitely on my wishlist (but see “long term savings goals in “Obsessing over….”, above).

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Little things I’m loving…

This sweatshirt.  Yes, I own it. #TLOP4EVER #NOMOREPARTIESINLA

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Newport wedding weekend – My good friend Ryan from high school got married on Sunday in a gorgeous ceremony in Newport Beach.  It was such a fun weekend with my old guy friends, and I’ve never seen Ryan look so happy. Going back to work today was not easy, though, that’s for sure.

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Ezekiel french toast – (dip two slices of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread in a mixture of 1/4 cup egg whites, 1 tablespoon vanilla protein (I like Vega’s Protein & Greens or Perfect Fit from Tone it Up), and 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon.  Cook in a pan sprayed with coconut oil for two minutes on each side and top with berries and organic maple syrup).



What is getting you through the week?  Share your current favorite listen, watch, read, or guilty pleasure in the comments! 

fitness friday: a pre-weekend workout tip.

1 Jul

In general, I love to work out.  I like how I feel the whole rest of the day and it in general just makes me happy.  Even if some of my colleagues joke that all I do when I’m not at work is exercise, it is an important part of each day.  But, as the week goes on, sometimes it is hard to make myself get out of bed, especially after a long week of waking up early to squeeze in workouts and the occasional late night at work.

A few months ago, the DTLA Soul Cycle opened, which is walking distance from my current apartment.  My friend Kristina started going every Friday before work – and we quickly became tight with our instructor, Lisa.


I absolutely LOVE Soul Cycle – and I can say that because I teach spin classes, and have also tried basically every other major spin studio, at least those in LA.  I’ll save my intense musings on why I love Soul so much for another post, but the point is it works for me.  Just like that “If we build it, they will come” line from Field of Dreams, if I schedule a Soul rooster ride, I will go.  I start every Friday off early, STOKED to work out, and then I grab a smoothie on the way to work.  Not to mention, going to Soul Cycle feels like a treat — I don’t wake up annoyed I have to get a run in or do weights in a haphazard and lackluster fashion in my living room.

Kristina, Lisa, and me this morning.

Kristina, Lisa, and me this morning.

So, my tip is to give yourself something to look forward to — maybe a run date with a friend, a studio class, a hike, etc.  It’s both a motivator to work out when I might otherwise opt to sleep in or phone it in, AND its a reward for getting through it all the other days AND I get to spend time with Kristina before work.  Win-win-win.

Leave a workout tip below: What’s your tip for beating the battle with the bed? 

hump-day treat.

29 Jun

That mid-week slump is REAL – especially this week, with a three-day weekend glistening over the horizon.  To get you through the last half of the work week, I wanted to share with you a few things I’m loving from around the web and IRL . . .

Currently bumpingthis Faded X Panda mash-up.  My neighbors probably already hate me for waking up to rap music at absurd hours, but this on loop probably is adding fuel to the fire.

Oh, and this too.  #SaveDatMoney



Obsessing over…all things related to the OJ Simpson trial.  I loved the FX mini-series, “The People v. OJ Simpson” that was on earlier this year, but I am absolutely enthralled by the 30 for 30 documentary called OJ: Made in America.  It goes into such depth and detail about his celebrity – I knew he was charismatic but I had no idea of the sheer magnitude of his fame.  This documentary also explains the racial dynamics at play in Los Angeles in the early 90s, as well as OJ’s repeated  domestic abuse of Nicole.  Highly recommend for anyone interested in the case, and especially those in Los Angeles.  I’m also reading Jeffrey Toobin’s book “The Run Of His Life,” which is the book the FX mini-series was based on. It also gives more detail about all aspects of the trial.

Guilty pleasure du jour…(tangent: remember that MTV movie “2GE+HER”?  Well, it was amazing on many levels.  Carson Daly at his prime. But anyway, 2GE+HER’s rival boy band was named Du Jour.  So good).  ANYWAY.  I am, admittedly, a Bachelor fan.  Not because I believe the franchise is a vessel for the lead to find “true love,” but because I LOVE the behind-the-scenes blogs and podcasts that unpack how the show is produced, and it’s just a fun guilty pleasure.  Of course I watch the show, but I really watch it so I understand what’s going on in the blogs that recap them.  (My favorites:

  • http://lostangelesblog.com/ – Zack’s recaps are sporadic these days, but he’s hilarious.  Every other comedic recap is an attempt to do what he does.  Also, he went to high school down the street from mine, so I have to rep someone from the Conejo doing big things…
  • Lizzy Pace’s recaps on Funny or Die: Funny, perceptive, and oh yeah, she was in my sorority in college.
  • Sharleen Joynt’s recaps on All the Pretty Pandas and Flare – Sharleen was a former contestant (remember the opera singer from Juan Pablo’s season?) She has excellent insider knowledge and makes astute obersvations.
  • I’m also obsessed with the Bachelorette Party podcast from my girl (I don’t really know her, but if I did we would be bffs) Juliet Litman on the Channel 33 podcast network.
  • The “Here To Make Friends” podcast is good too – with great guests and a look at Bachelor Nation through a feminist lense:


Little things I’m loving

Group chats – I am pretty sure I could not get through the week without group texts.  My family keeps in touch through our “Squad” group chat – and it is nice to be able to talk to everyone throughout the week, even about things that may seem unimportant or trivial.  My girlfriends Heather and Kristina and I have a chat we titled “#LAwHers” and that has been a constant source of both comic relief and support.  I love a good group chat, but I love it more with a name and with an emoji.

Reconnecting with old friends –  In the last couple of weeks, some of my friends from out of town have visited LA, and I’ve gotten to grab dinner with them, funnily enough each on consecutive Monday nights.  Last weekend, I joined my high school friend, Heather, at an event with Shape Magazine.  We took a class with FlyWheel at a pop-up loft downtown and had a blast.

Currently covetingThese rad skateboard decks.  I don’t skateboard, but I’d totally have this hanging on my wall somewhere.

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What is getting you through the week?  Share your current favorite listen, watch, read, or guilty pleasure in the comments! 

fitness friday: RnR SD 26.2

17 Jun


A little less than two weeks ago I ran my fourth full marathon – RnR San Diego.  It was a wonderful day and despite the fact the course is challenging and I went in with minimal expectations, I managed to PR with a time of 3:43:38.

I have an interesting history with this race.  I did the half in 2012 and loved it.  It was also the first place I broke the 1:40 barrier in the half. In 2013, I ran my very first full marathon on this course and it was a battle.  The last 6-8 miles were a struggle and it was a huge learning experience.  This time, I went in with a plan to just use this race as a gauge of my fitness and to get another 26.2 race behind me.  I had trained for LA in February, but about a month before the race I developed pretty intense plantar fasciitis and opted not to race on that day.  In the interim, I’ve ramped up my cross training (cycling and swimming) and resistance training through Tone It Up.  I’ve also cleaned up my diet, and felt the difference on my training runs for RnRSD.   I didn’t do a long run over 18 miles for fear that I would injure myself, and didn’t really follow a comprehensive training plan, so I wanted to start out slow (first 6-7 miles no faster than 8:30) and then get faster.


The night before the race I got dinner with some of my #DTLARunning guys – I wasn’t really nervous until we all got together and I realized I was going to be running for a long time the next morning.  Woof.


I was lucky to stay just a block from the start line with my  friend Ryan.  We watched some frivolous reality TV which also helped keep my nerves at bay.  And the best part?   I recognized the first contestant on a Fox reality TV show from college.

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Why yes, I was a big Loggy fan in 2010.


As I was unwinding, my #DTLARunning friend/training partner Alvaro messaged me and said he was going to pace me and that my plan of starting with 8:30s was stupid because I was going to get tired anyway.  Gulp.  We arranged to meet in my corral and he’d pace me.  He is confident I have a BQ in me – but I did not want to put that pressure on myself at San Diego, knowing I was undertrained and also knowing there’s a beast of a hill at mile 21.


I met up with the #DTLARunning crew, found Alvaro, and we were off.  I really enjoyed the first 10 miles or so, through North Park and Normal Heights.  There was good crowd support and fun signs.  Alvaro and I kept it sub-8 (on accident on my part, less sure about him) and we rolled into the half at 1:42.  I listened to podcasts the first half, and then turned my music on as a “treat” later on in the race (yes I realize that sounds absurd, things get weird in my brain during a full mary).

I started getting a little tired around mile 16, in the Mission Bay area where the course got a little bit boring.  I stopped to walk a few times here and there, but was generally just enjoying being out there.  While I did get tired, I never felt gassed out or like I was experiencing glycogen debt.  I also did not experience cramps or crazy charley horses (like I did in my last marathon).

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The race went by quickly – all of a sudden we were at mile 20.  And then that beast of a hill… We sped up the last mile or so and the finish really did seem to go on forever.


I was really REALLY happy with a PR on this course (and a 6-minute course PR as well).  More than anything, this was the best I’ve ever felt post-marathon.  I was a little sore for two days after, but was able to exercise and get my muscles moving.  Definitely hungry now for a sub 3:40 and an eventual BQ.

After the race, I hung out with Alvaro and the #DTLARunning crew. IMG_7209

And then indulged with Ryan with mimosas and views of San Diego.



It was a great re-entry into the marathon distance and boosted my confidence at my fitness level right now.  Even writing this made me feel those #endorphinwasted vibes I love so much.

On the fitness docket for me this weekend is a Saturday morning run with #DTLARunning and checking out the Shape Magazine Movemeant Foundation event, and a spin sesh on Sunday with Electric Flight Crew.

How are you sweating this weekend?  


16 Jan

I know, I haven’t blogged “in a minute” (that’s something people say to mean literally any unit of time, but whatever).

I used to have a tradition where I’d recap my year with the songs that summarized each month…and although I failed at getting that posted anywhere near the end of 2015, I am not one to break with tradition.  So, I thought I’d pop back up really quickly to summarize the gist of 2015 and then hit you with some 2k16 goals. (Tangent: what’s with the hashtags of #squad #squadgoals this past year?  I’m guilty of using them, but not 100% sure what either of them mean.  #squadgoals?)

ANYWAY.  Here are the songs that summarized my twenty fifteen.  I’m skipping the recaps this year (my life is boring and and I am not sure anyone cares, but here’s some addictive songs and some rad photos from the last year).








You can see the pain.






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And while I’m here, might as well hit with you some 2016 goals – not making “resolutions” per se, but here’s what I want to tackle in 2016:

  • PR in the marathon.  Not putting obscene pressure on myself to BQ, but trying to run smarter (and slower in the beginning) to finish with a faster time.  I would love to see 3:39:xx this year, but I’ve also been pretty lazy with my training.  I’ll be happy with any finish (or that’s what I tell myself).
  • Complete a triathlon.  I’ve signed up for one.  #gulp
  • Read more. (for pleasure, duh)
  • Tackle some unspecified professional and personal goals (gotta keep some things a little cryptic…)

no more white.

10 Sep

Except this isn’t a fashion blog.  It is, however,  after Labor Day.   Moving right along…

I am the worst blogger because I never blog anymore…but I’m really great at Instagram (#humblebrag?) so catch me over at @gillianbcn for more consistent micro-blogging.   That said,  I wanted to give all y’all a little round-up of how my summer ended.  Here’s a random assortment of what I got after:

IPAs + some Cal bears

Once a month,  the Cal Alumni chapter of LA does a happy hour downtown.  I’ve only made it to a few of them,  but it’s fun networking and talking about how much Berkeley has changed since we left.  In August,  my BFF Jenn and I hit up the Pez Cantina happy hour, which just so happened to be on National IPA Day.  #boom


Ryan’s Engagement: One of my good friends from my high school, Ryan aka Ryry, proposed to his girlfriend Shana and we all went out to celebrate.  Good times with awesome people.  Can’t believe how long these hoodrats have been in my life.


Dinner Lab:  My buddy Eric and I hit up Dinner Lab recently for a 5-course “Cali Creole” meal.  The best part of the night was when his ex’s MOM randomly sat next to us.  LA is a small place.  Also,  I tried frog legs and determined they’re just okay.  I love this event because I love meeting new people,  trying new food,  and exploring LA.

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Work Stuff: The last month has brought some interesting work including a couple of interesting cases, a few random hearings at cool places, and work at a Small Claims Clinic at Southwestern Law School.



12th Man in San Diego:  My parents and I went on an adventure to San Diego a couple of weekends ago to watch the Seahawks beat the Chargers.  While Qualcomm left something to be desired (how is it cash only? This is 2015) was all had a great time, and the Seahawks managed a W.


South Bay Soul Cycle with Fit & Awesome:  I met Lindsey through social media a few years ago,  and her blog hosted an amazingly fun Soul Cycle class in Manhattan Beach,  taught by the amazingly energetic and rap-loving Jillian.


Wedding Crasher:  My friend Robert asked me to be his plus one for a wedding of two of his law school friends — and I had a great time even though I didn’t know anyone else there.  The bride and groom’s vows were so personable (and funny!) that I felt like I knew them by the end of the ceremony.  I’m just glad I managed not to cry at the wedding of two strangers,  although I may have told the bride on the dance floor that I loved her.  GET IT TOGETHER, G.



Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari: I joke a lot on Twitter about online dating and how it’s the worst,  but now I’m sort of glad I’ve gone through it/am doing it so I can relate to Aziz’s hilarious book.  Aziz wrote/narrates,  but it was co-written by a sociologist Eric Klinenberg straight outta NYU.  This book explains things like why having too many options/choices has hurt millennial dating,  why texting is the worst,  and how social media facilitates cheating.  I expected to laugh out loud dozens of times while reading this, but I didn’t expect to relate to it as much as I did, so that was cool.  Shoutout to my friend Dom’s boyfriend, Josh, for hard-selling me on this.  Also shout-out to a dude I went on two Bumble dates with for also urging me to read this — we will never speak again but hey, I got this awesome book experience out of it…and some beer I didn’t have to pay for. #winning!


deep in the dog days.

24 Jul

Where do I even begin since it’s been two solid months since I’ve posted anything?  I can’t even use “I’m busy at work” as an excuse — I was busy, but busier earlier in the year when I was better about blogging.  So, in lieu of giving you a play-by-play of every single thing I’ve done in the last two months, I thought I’d summarize with some highlights. So here’s what I’ve been up to:

#AllRiledUp + #AllinonCoughlin

My friends Riley and Johnny got married last weekend and I was also honored to be able to participate in the bachelorette festivities back in May in Austin, Texas and I also had a blast at the wedding.  Riley is my best friend by “transitive property” (my best friend from HS’s best friend from college) and she and I have been lucky enough to forge our own friendship.  Her husband is pretty great too.  Anyway,  we had a blast in Austin and in Las Vegas for the wedding itself.  Inside jokes for DAYS.

We had a great time in Austin — my friends made me “Texas two-step” with a random lawyer they “found” (thanks, everyone).  My revenge was getting the DJ at the wedding to play “Tuesday.”  But I digress…I loved exploring the Austin street art scene,  checking out some local gastropubs, and doing the whole “dirty 6th” thing.  We all had a great time.




The wedding was held in Summerlin — a little ways off the strip — and it was such a pretty location for a wedding!  Since my closest friends were in the wedding itself, I kicked it with Whitney and Dominique’s dates.  We came up with a pretty long list of inside jokes in just a few hours.  I had a great time at the wedding and have never seen Riley or Johnny look happier!


(Total fail…I didn’t get a single photo with the bride, groom, or my friends who were bridesmaids).

Palm Springs with my #LAwHers

One weekend late in June, I spent two epic days in the desert with my friends Heather and Kristina.  (We dubbed ourselves #LAwHers because we are all (female) lawyers in Los Angeles.  Oh yeah, we also all have quite the social media problems).  Heather is married to my good friend from law school, Blake, and I met Kristina through Heather.  We had the best time — Heather and I ended up at a drag show (?!) the night SCOTUS made gay marriage legal in all 50 states — so cool.  Kristina joined us the next morning and the three of us spent some QT in the pool.  We had fun goofing off and celebrating Kristina’s recent engagement, but also bonded over the #lawlife and gave each other advice.  I am so lucky to have such smart, supportive, gunnerish friends who get me.  Oh, and we all had major luck the next day the outlets and date shakes are the best things, ever.






Fourth of July

I was supposed to be in Palm Springs for the second week in a row,  but when plans changed at the last minute I improvised and it ended up being a great weekend.  For the past several years I’ve done a 5k on the 4th, and this year I was able to keep the tradition alive.  My parents joined me for a short little race in Newbury Park, not far from where I grew up.  Racing short distances is always a struggle — and this course had a pretty substantial hill.  I ended up getting first in my age group — my mom took second, and my dad took 3rd, and we all walked away with watermelon “medals.”

I spent the rest of the day party-hopping in DTLA and watched fireworks while some of my high school friends got into a dance-off with some random people on our roof.


I’ve also been lucky to hit up a few sporting events this summer — multiple Dodger games and FC Barcelona v. LA Galaxy.  Nothing better than a stadium beer.

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On Wednesday,  my running bud Andres roped me into an 11 mile “run” (some parts were  more like an insanely steep hike) from Echo Park Lake to the top of Griffith Park to see the Teahouse that a collective of artists constructed in the middle of the night.   The city is allegedly taking down the teahouse on Monday, so I wanted to see it while I could.  The run was tough — my calves started tweaking out on me about halfway — but it was SO COOL to see the teahouse.  I didn’t snap any photos, but the sunset over the Hollywood sign and the views of the city were pretty breathtaking as well.




My friend Eric introduced me to DinnerLab a few months ago, an in June we hit up a delicious multi-course dinner put on by Recreo Supper Club.  It was held at the Annenberg Space for Photography in the CAA building – and every single thing we tasted was incredible.  I’d totally recommend checking out DinnerLab if you’re at all a foodie.  The seating is communal which is awesome – we met some really cool people and also chatted with the chef.    Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.51.05 AM


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Coolest thing you’ve done this summer?  Cool things I should be doing?

#Mountains2Beach Marathon Recap

25 May

Yesterday I ran my third marathon – Mountains 2 Beach which started in Ojai and ended on the beach in Ventura. I wanted to get my recap done ASAP to remember all of the highs and various lows from this race.  Overall, it was a fabulous race experience and I also learned a lot for future training cycles.

My training going into this marathon was better than my previous two — I got in more long runs, and my pace was consistently better than it has been in the past.  I felt strong, and I wasn’t nervous heading into yesterday.  This is in stark contrast to when I ran LA in 2014 — I was a ball of nerves the entire week before because I had put a lot of pressure on myself to do well, even though I realized no one really cares about my time except for me.

Anyway,  my parents generously agreed to come up to Ventura with me on Saturday.  We hit up packet pick-up at Ventura High School on our way, which was a huge chaotic mess. I loved this race but their organization was awful at packet pick-up.  Various unmarked lines and very little space for the number of people it was trying to accommodate.  Also, the expo was really tiny and there wasn’t much going on, but it at least made it relatively easy to make quick work of it.


My parents and I headed to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura which was great — we walked onto Main Street for an early dinner at Bombay Burger Bar which beyond hit the spot.  I’m pretty sure if you’re craving something the day before a marathon you should not deny yourself that craving and my body was telling me I needed a hamburger.  Granted,  my body tells me this a lot, but I listened on a pre-race day.  It was insanely hard to watch my Dad have a couple of beers while I drank water.  But there’s a first time for everything.



I managed to get to sleep around 9:30, which was helpful because my alarm was set to 3:15.  This race shuttles everyone from Ventura up to the start in Ojai, and my shuttle time was 4 a.m.  Waking up that early is never easy, but pre-race adrenaline got me going, and once I got to Ojai I ran into my #DTLARunning buddies Alvaro, Cynthia, Kevin, and Kendra and that helped pass the time.  On the shuttle,  I met a guy who had done this race before who suggested I stay to the left because sometimes the water stations are only one side.  That tip came in handy later on.

My race strategy was to conserve the first 10, pick up the pace the second 10, and to hang on for the last 6.  This worked very well for the first 20 – and the first part of the race was nothing short of euphoric.  We started in Ojai and essentially did a big loop to add mileage.  I was hovering in between the 3:28 and 3:33 pacer for this portion.  There’s one very gradual uphill for about a mile at mile 6 and I made a conscious effort to slow my pace and not to push it.  My iPod was set to shuffle and everything was on-point, one great song after another.  I had this amazing feeling of “this is going to be my day…I’m going to shatter my PR.”  Even the signs were inspired.  My two favorites were ones that said “One if By Land – Boston Bound” and “San Diego – 200 miles.  Boston – 22 miles” held by someone at mile 4.

  • Mile 1: 8:00
  • Mile 2: 7:53
  • Mile 3: 7:36
  • Mile 4: 7:44
  • Mile 5: 7:37
  • Mile 6: 8:11
  • Mile 7: 8:07
  • Mile 8: 7:54
  • Mile 9: 7:31
  • Mile 10: 7:20

The miles were sort of blurring together and before I knew it I was at mile 10.  At this point I realized I could pick it up if I wanted to, so I accelerated when I felt like it and used the downhill.  I passed the 3:28 pacer.  And then I passed the 3:23 pacer. I knew I’d slow down once we got to the flat portion for the last 5 miles or so, but I figured this would give me a solid buffer to still BQ.

  • Mile 11: 7:33
  • Mile 12: 7:19
  • Mile 13: 7:05
  • (1:40:xx at the half)
  • Mile 14: 7:17
  • Mile 15: 7:39
  • Mile 16: 7:49
  • Mile 17: 8:02

Around this point I started to get a little bit tired, so I started walking through the water stations.  It was starting to get hot, and this portion of the bike path did not have a lot of cloud cover.  Based on my rough math,  I thought I could slow to a 9 min/mile average and still BQ, so with small walk breaks I’d be about 9 minutes per mile with my running pace still around 8 minutes/mile.

  • Mile 18: 8:49
  • Mile 19: 8:34
  • Mile 20: 8:51

Somewhere in the 21st mile is when things got rough.  I started to feel the beginnings of muscle spasms earlier in my race, and I had taken a salt pill to try and prevent them from taking over. In mile 21 I took another pill, and walked A LOT.  At one point when we made the turn off the bike path, I started running again and BOOM.   Both calves instantly seized up at the same time.  Every time I tried to run, they’d be okay for maybe a minute or so, and then spasm again.  Literally charley horse after charley horse with both calves.

  • Mile 21: 8:30
  • Mile 22: 12:39


I thought I’d maybe have a chance If I could get my calves to cooperate, but by now the 3:23 and 3:28 pacers were long gone.   At this point, I saw my parents who were cheering.  I told them “it’s gonna be close” as I ran by — I was still hanging with the 3:33 pacer.  Little did I know my calves would only get worse, essentially leaving me to walk the last 3 miles. Every time I would try to run both calves would seize.  

  • Mile 23: 8:23
  • Mile 24: 11:46
  • Mile 25: 12:58
  • Mile 26: 12:42
  • You can see the pain.

    You can see the pain.



    Total Time:  3:46:11

    This was unbelievably disappointing — I never really felt like I went into glycogen debt and I felt strong most of the way.  I crossed the finish line and started to cry.  Not from the disappointment of missing the BQ — I frankly did not deserve it with that race and that day will come.  What frustrated me is how EVERYTHING else was perfect — my nutrition,  the course, the music, the weather…Ugh.

    I rallied myself to a slow walk back to the hotel, showered, and took some standard social media photos.



    Later, my mom did some research and we think poor hip extension is the cause of my muscle spasms/charley horses.   So I will definitely be working on that and adding yoga into my routine.

    Overall, I am proud of what I accomplished yesterday and I loved the race.  The course was BEAUTIFUL and FAST.  I didn’t love miles 17-19, but I would know that for future years and plan accordingly.  I also loved that the race started at 6 AM – making it much easier to beat the heat, since it never really got THAT hot, although it did get sunny.

    I spent the rest of the afternoon eating In-n-Out and drinking an IPA while watching Pitch Perfect with my mom.  Fat Amy’s “horizontal running” even seems too taxing right now…

    Thank you to EVERYONE who sent me positive vibes and social media likes the last couple of days.  Yesterday was an emotional ride but so worth it.