Tag Archives: Back on My Feet

foothill 5k challenge [race recap].

21 Sep

I’m a week behind in getting out my race recap from the Foothill 5k Challenge benefitting Back on My Feet, but I guess better late than never, right?

This was a unique event because trail races are normally longggg distances (read: 50k), so this was a fun way to get a trail run experience without being out in the sun all day.  The race started and finished at the Glendale Sports Complex, but we ran up in the foothills through some rolling hills, switchbacks, and one pretty gnarly grade.

The race kicked off around 8:20 or so.  I was a moron and went out the night before, and slept for about 2 hours before it was time to head out to the course, so my goals were anything but lofty (finishing sounded good).  I wasn’t hung over (because, tank) just wrecked.


At the start with my fellow BoMF Homeboy Industries volunteers – Phil and Brian. Phil won the thing.

At the start, we met this trail runner who had a SICK tattoo of the original Nike shoe (the Nike Cortez) engulfed in roses.  I don’t have any tats but have always sort of wanted one.  This has gotten the wheels turning…


At the start…

The race was a lot of fun and definitely made me want to get on trails more often — but I need to buy trail running shoes because I found myself having to brake SO much in order not to completely lose it on the downhill portions.

Here’s the view from the top:


I traded places with one guy the last mile or so — I’d pass him going up and he’d get me coming down.  He was so chatty afterwards and thanked me for pushing him (I returned the thanks obviously — I would have slowed down a lot without him on my tail).

I finished in about 25:50 which I was happy with it considering the difficult course and extreme heat. It felt a lot SLOWER than sub 9-minute pace so I’ll take it.

I was 17th place overall I believe and was the second woman, so I scored a Run With Us gift card and a free month to Yogaworks! I need to make those things happen.


There was a strong showing from #DTLARunning, as well as my eyelids. My buddy Andres crushed it, clearly an indication of the PRs he is about to smash this fall racing season…

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 8.31.35 PMIt was a great event and I loved being out there supporting an organization that is so close to my heart.

Tell me:

Have you done a trail race? Where? Distance? Tips for trail running newbies?

Is there an organization you support? Tell me about it! 




five for friday.

2 May

Happy almost weekend everyone!  I just got back from a speedy 3.5 mile run with Back on My Feet and I wanted to share a few things I’m loving this week before I log some hours in the library today.  But first, you should all head over to my friend Melissa‘s blog The Valentine RD to check out my guest post about balancing law school and fitness!

Here’s 5 things I’m loving on this (hot) Friday…


unnamedI have been loving seeing the sun come up during my morning runs with Back on My Feet.  This one was taken on the North Broadway Bridge, near the entrance to Elysian Park.


This morning we ran 3.5 miles along Alameda — I love Union Station so I had to take a picture.


photo 1

OBVIOUSLY this is hanging in my kitchen.  Who doesn’t love a casual Kendrick Lamar reference (and kale)?



I am really enjoying this challenge so far — the workouts are a nice little boost after what I am already doing.  More than that, though I am LOVING getting text messages like the one below from Jenn.

photo 3


So proud of her!

(4) SAMIRA’S CLOSET {and following it on Instagram} 

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 7.09.04 AM


I love a clothing boutique downtown (6th and Hill for you locals) called Samira’s Closet.   I’ve purchased a few things from Samira’s shop over the last year.  The other day, I found what I thought was the perfect dress for graduation, but when I came home to try it on again, the zipper broke!  They allowed me to return it, and when I came back I found an even better dress, PERFECT for a wedding I am going to this weekend. (Sometimes I am pretty awful at being a girl — and leaving “big occasion” dress shopping until the last minute falls into that category).

I love Samira’s Closet, but I also really love following the store on Instagram.  I think it is such smart/unique utilization of social media.  I saw the dress I ended up buying on Instagram earlier in the day and walked in and knew I had to try it on!

(5) Wedding Weekend Anticipation! 


Me, Whitney, Kelsey, and Hayley at our high school grad night, June 2006.

This weekend is my friend Kelsey’s wedding!! I have known Kelsey since we were freshman in high school running cross country.  She was the fastest girl in our grade and I remember being in such awe of her athletic ability!  Over the years we became friends and I am so excited to see her tie the knot on Saturday to Drew, and to celebrate with Whitney and Hayley as well.  And, now that I have something to wear the real excitement can begin!


What’s one thing you’re loving right now? 



because I’m happy.

16 Apr

I have about a month left of law school – so weird.  Before bar studying consumes my life and this little blog goes on an inevitable hiatus, I’ve been enjoying frolicking around DTLA and doing fun stuff when I’m not pretending to study or working out. Here’s a little glimpse of what’s been making me happy lately…

Last Thursday, I went to a reception for admitted students to my law school who are also scholarship recipients.  I talked to a bunch of 0Ls about the perks of choosing Loyola and soaked in this epic view from the City Club. Major #swoon.


I recently moved — but only a block from my previous apartment.  Jenn moved in with her fiancé, Daniel, and I’m doing the solo thing. So far, so good!  My mom was a HUGE help in moving me and helping me furnish the apartment.  My mom also spent the day with me last Friday to do some major furniture shopping.  I fell in love with this coffee shop at a random Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It was a steal, is one-of-a-kind, handmade, and all the money goes to Habitat for Humanity. Love. 10155400_10103002199040863_7297606057553916044_n

After #WESTWeekend, Whitney and I went on a walk and ran some errands together in Santa Monica. I love where I live SO much. 10155157_10103008183947063_195483132211681008_n

On Monday, I kicked off the week with a 3.5 mile run with Back on My Feet.  I love Team Homeboy and how we all support (and make fun of) each other.  At our turn-around point, I made Gordy, Brian, and Gavino take a selfie with me.

The funniest part of the morning occurred when I jokingly said “vamanizos” when a light changed and we started to run again.  My friend Andres immediately says “Gillian, you’re trying to hard to fit in.”  So funny, and probably true.


love mah homeboys!

My DTLA Running Group — I started running with them exactly a year ago (the day after the Boston Marathon last year).  It has been amazing getting to know this diverse group of people who constantly push and challenge me to be a better runner.

unnamed-1As an added bonus, on Tuesday’s run my friend Kristina joined us.  Kristina is SUPER fast (she BQ’d at LA last year, and her 13.1 PR is sub 1:30). So that was pretty awesome!unnamed

What is making you happy this week? 

random things i’m loving.

20 Mar


I know I’ve been a bad blogger post-marathon.  But the good news is I’ve been saving up a lot of fun things to tell you guys about.

Last Friday, BFF Whitney and I rented stand-up paddle boards in Marina del Rey for an hour.  We got a Groupon for $12 for a one-hour rental from Phins.  It was great getting out there!  IMG_6127Whitney had the day off, but after SUP-ing we bopped over to her office for a special lunch talk with Paul Rusesabagina, who harbored Rwandan refugees in a hotel he managed during the Rwandan genocide. (The real life Don Cheadle from “Hotel Rwanda”).  I haven’t seen the movie, but he was insanely inspiring and it was an honor to meet him.


I can’t wait to read his book and to learn more about the work he is doing!


Saturday highlights included a weights class and teaching a little spin, watching my (former) roommate Jenn try on a few wedding dresses, and then law prom (also known as “Barrister’s Ball”) at the W in Westwood.  Aviva and I pregamed with our friends Blake and Heather and Heather gave me a (needed) makeover.  You’d think by 26 I could do hair and makeup.  NOPE.  #girlfail.


I mostly chatted with attractive 1Ls my friends and demanded more hip hop music be played.  It was a fun night!


Sunday featured the usual body pump/spin back-to-back combo.  Afterwards, two of my gym budz took me to lunch at LA Café for the greatest sandwich of all time, the lobster grilled cheese.  They claimed it was to celebrate my marathon but really they just wanted an excuse to taste heaven.


What was sad, though, is when I got home Jenn was completely moved out! (She’s engaged and you know engaged people live together sometimes).  I am excited to live on my own, don’t get me wrong, but I lived with Jenn for almost 3 full years and will definitely miss some of our routines (like watching various TV shows together, gossiping about our mutual friends, judging the blogs we both read, and her giving me advice/laughing about my wreck of a life and the jokes of situations I get myself into).  I think the hardest transition will be not calling her “my roommate” anymore.

I also have some random things I did before the LA Marathon so I’m sticking them here.  You’re welcome.

The day before the marathon, I went to a 5k at LMU with Back on My Feet.  I didn’t race, but I cheered my teammates and drank a ton of this water.  OBSESSED with hint and need to find it somewhere ASAP.


A few days before the race I indulged in a Soul Cycle class c/o RackedLA.  It was my first time at the BH location (meh) and my first class with Pixie.


I also have been hitting up my Farmer’s Market obsession on the reg.  I love having fresh flowers scattered around my apartment.


Um also my friend Jackie made me THE coolest sign, ever, before the marathon.  See for yourself:


Jackie and I also hit up my fav DTLA rooftop bar, the Ace Hotel. #swoon.


I ordered the “Amazing Frozen Drink” which made me happy because (a) it was delicious (b) it was made with tequila (c) the bartender made a happy face with cherries and a lime. #easilyamused


Another reason I love the Ace: the spire of the hotel was modeled after the Segovia Cathedral which is outside Madrid. Love.


Because this post was so random, answer one of these:

  • Drink of choice? From where?
  • Favorite type of grilled cheese?
  • Have you tried SUPing?
  • What are you doing today?

christmas 2 give 5k with BoMFLA [recap].

25 Dec

On Saturday, December 21st I rounded out the 2013 racing season at the Christmas 2 Give 5k in Elysian Park, for Back on My Feet LA’s first race!

I did not hate the location:


We met up at Homeboy Industries in Chinatown and then carpooled to Elysian Park.


with my Team Homeboy teammates, Brian and Alex.

I had signed up to pace one of our runners, so Alex and I ran with Luis as he competed in his first 5k ever. It was so exciting.


about to toe the line with Alex and Luis.

Before the race started, we huddled together with the other Back on My Feet teams and did the traditional Serenity Prayer



…and of course the Team Cheer: unnamed-2

Who are we? 


How long are we going to run?


The course was really challenging — the first half mile was nice and easy, but the rest of the race was on varied terrain with lots of rolling hills and a few switchbacks.  No single hill was a killer, but it was definitely a taxing course — especially for your first 5k ever!

Luis ran really strong — clocking in a first mile of 8:36! His pace slowed a little as it got more hilly, but he crossed the finish line in a time of 30:15.  I can’t wait to see him improve as time goes on.

image-2Team Homeboy’s other athlete was Karla — and she had a personal distance record with the 3.1 mile distance.


Drew and Brian pace Karla to a successful finish!

All of BoMFLA rallied together to help bring Karla in at the finish. So inspiring.


My roommate, Jenn, and her boyfriend, Daniel also came out to support the cause — and they both ran strong races on the tough course.  They were repping’ Santa to the Sea in full force.  I so appreciate their willingness to let me drag them to all of my race events.


All in all the race was a really fun and exciting morning.  We also got awesome medals and Brooks technical T-shirts, which are surprisingly cool looking.

Did you do a Christmas-themed race this year?

christmas 2 give 5k.

12 Dec

Whaaaat a post about a race I haven’t run yet?  This is because I want all of you southern California readers/bloggers to consider coming out to run this event — or to spectate it!

I’ve been running with Back On My Feet – Los Angeles for a little over a month now, and we’re having our first race on Saturday, December 21st at 8 am. The race is going to be held in Elysian Park and all 5 teams from LA will have runners competing. I am so excited for everyone (but I may be the most pumped for my team…Homeboy Industries).


I am so excited to see how our team does.  I know they will love their first race!  I’ll be running (and hopefully pacing some of the team).  If you’re in the LA area, consider joining us — or at coming to cheer on the finishers at their first 5k.

Here are some details from the race website:

Join us for a fun and memorable 5k with a scenic cross country style course on a mix of dirt, grass and asphalt. The course is moderately challenging with about 3/4 of a mile of gradual hills. You will love the view of Los Angeles and the Dodger Stadium. Not only will you love the course but also the good cause of this race. Christmas 2 Give was created to make a change in the lives of others and this year we will fundraise for TNT the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. 

Awards: Custom medals will be awarded to all  finishers.

All event participants will also receive a t-shirt and a raffle ticket for a chance to win some great prizes.

You can register for the race HERE.

COUPON CODE RWU5k will save you $5 on registration!

See you out there!  (And please reach out via my blog or social media for more info!)

Of possible interest…

link love friday.

22 Nov

Here’s how my morning went down:

5:03 wake-up call for Back on My Feet with my Team Homeboy people.  Love them.


Yes the extra 3 minutes are a game-changer.

We met up and did our run — some of the team is already up to 3 miles! I ran with Louis (who has perfect attendance) on a challenging route in Elysian Park.

I came home and fell back asleep for two hours.  No, I am not TOTALLY lazy.  I am a law student with a flexible schedule. I have a final tonight (Trial Advocacy) and want to not be sleep deprived, so morning nap FTW!

Now, I’m captivated by a special on the History Channel about the JFK Assassination.  Today is the 50th anniversary of that date.  Even though I wasn’t alive when it happened, it is undeniably fascinating. My Dad and I were chatting about via email, and he said this:

I still remember the second-grade teacher, Mrs. Russell, a polio victim, limping into my first grade class and whispering the news in my teacher’s ear. They sent us right home.

Before I get all trial-ready and practice my closing argument again, I wanted to leave you with my favorite links from around the web this week:

* Today is the last day to sign up for the Elf 4 Health Challenge via The Lean Grean Bean! I’ll be doing it — join me!

challenge accepted.

challenge accepted.

* This post about hugging made me smile.  I’m not a huge hugger (personal space, duh), but my experience at BoMF so far has definitely made me more huggy. The video in this post is so sweet — it made me tear up. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?

*This list of How You Know You Live at the Gym (Yes, I have a favorite front desk attendant).

*This toolish prank some Harvard kids played at Yale.

*This Kimye video. (No, not Bound 2.  I have a lot of thoughts about that one). You know, this one from SNL: Waking Up with Kimye! (The bit with the Kardashians playing their favorite instruments? Amazing).

Not technically a link, but I’m reading this book  (non-affiliate link, I’m not that cool).  It’s called Pink Ribbons, Inc. and is about the idea of cause marketing and how philanthropy has turned into a profit-driving mechanism for many companies.  I’d definitely recommend it — and I just learned there’s a film version. MUST find that.

What’s your favorite find this week from the world wide web? Link me, por fa! 

Alright, I’m off to do some final prep and crush this trial.  Have a great weekend!!

[Edited to add:  I’m thinking happy thoughts for those in California awaiting bar exam results!!]