Tag Archives: DTLA

#RnRLA recap.

30 Oct

Last Sunday, I ran my 15th half marathon — at #RnRLA in DTLA!  I am not sure I would totally recommend running two half marathons in two consecutive weekends, but I had a lot of fun at #RnRLA with my DTLA Running Group posse.

I headed to the expo Saturday morning.  I was obviously swooning over these themed pint glasses, but I saved my cash for some Nuun and a couple of Gu gels.


I also hit up the Got Chocolate Milk? booth for a tweet-up hosted by Pavement Runner.  I met Pavey at this race last year, so it was cool to reconnect.  I also got to meet Andrea Barber and Michael @ Point One Miles.  I love a good tweet-up because I love having the chance to connect with people who share a hobby that is so important to me.

Later that day I obviously organized all of my stuff (I went with the Halloween colors theme, way too lazy and also way too gunnerish to wear a costume). Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 9.04.33 PMI also got a playlist together.  This was the perfect blend of heavy beats and some up-tempo tracks. Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 8.09.43 PM

On Sunday morning, I set my alarm for 5:30.  My first thought was “wait…why am I getting up? OH YEAH….13.1.”  That was weird.  I had some GF oatmeal and grabbed a coffee on my way to my running group’s meet-up spot at LA Live.  We chatted strategy and took some photos before heading over to the start in time for the 7 AM Race start. B04MIpIIUAAHxGL


I didn’t really have any discernible goals for the race.  Sure, a PR is always nice, but I knew that would be pushing it after my amazing race at NWM the week before.  My running buddy and training partner Andres was hoping for a PR.  Last year, I ran 1:42:42 on this course and he ran 1:46.  His goal this year was to go sub 1:40 which I knew would be a cake walk for him.

I know this course well after having done it last year and training regularly on the route.  It starts out really flat for the first 4 miles over to USC and around the Coliseum.  There’s a very gradual uphill on the way back.  I prefer the second half of the course – up Flower street to 3rd, down to Central, over to 6th and across the 6th street bridge, and then back.

I started in the second corral and just kind of tried to do my own thing.  I knew Andres and I would run similar paces, but he was in the third corral. I listened to my music and didn’t really focus on my watch.  For the first few miles, I was trading places with another DTLA Running buddy of mine, Kevin, who was running his first half-marathon!

My splits were a little bit all over the place, but I felt pretty good for the first half.  I thought I *might* have a chance of PR-ing because my pace was relatively similar to Nike Women’s and the course doesn’t have any big hills.  The start was pretty uneventful, except as always there were people who should not have been in the second corral that I had to dart around to avoid at first, but that’s okay.  In the second mile or so I saw Pavement Runner at the turn-around for the 5k — he is a beast and ran the 5k super fast and then did the half while they were still letting out the later corrals. I let out a “get it, Pavey!”

Out to USC was pretty fun and fast and uneventful.  I liked scoping out the costumes (the guy in the Dorothy outfit complete with Toto in a basket was…aggressive).  I kinda just did my thing out there for a bit.  I took water at every aid station for NWM and that worked for me, so I did the same for this race – except I took Gatorade when I could because electrolytes.

The funny thing about the way #RnRLA releases corrals is that you can see people in higher or lower corrals on two out and back portions of the course.  Last year I saw a bunch of DTLA Running people this way so I kept my eyes peeled.  At maybe mile 4 or so I saw my long lost friend Joe heading toward the Coliseum while I was leaving — he was super loud and energetic which put a little pep in my step.  Pavey told me later he said he saw me twice on the out-and-back portion, and YELLED  “Gillian” both times and then said in a softer voice “. . . is wearing headphones.”  Guess my music was a little too loud and I was in the “zone” for awhile. Whooooops.

On the way back toward LA Live, I could start to feel a little soreness in my IT band.  This is my least favorite part of the course — it’s pretty monotonous and there’s some gradual uphill.

The biggest hill is up the 6th street bridge — it’s not a typical hill, but it’s relatively steep.  This is where I saw some of my DTLA peeps — I saw my buddy Steve coming down when I was about half way up. I saw Andres *right* behind me at the turn-around, and I saw a few other people not to far behind him.  I bumped into speed demon/my running idol Cynthia going back through the tunnel.

I turned onto Flower and headed into the finish. In the end, I was pretty close  to a PR, but alas, no cigar.  I ran 1:37:02.  My Garmin has 13.51 total miles (7.11).  I know the course is a little bit long, but I think the 3rd street tunnel could mess up the GPS a little bit.

Andddd the splits:

  • Mile 1 – 7:02
  • Mile 2 – 6:50
  • Mile 3 – 7:08
  • Mile 4 – 7:09
  • Mile 5 – 7:25
  • Mile 6 – 7:34
  • Mile 7- 7:22
  • Mile 8- 6:51 (no clue, maybe some good music?)
  • Mile 9 – 7:20
  • Mile 10- 7:48 (hill)
  • Mile 11 – 7:22
  • Mile 12 – 7:51
  • Mile 13 – 5:54 (wrong, I think the tunnels messed it up)
  • + change – 3:30

no clue how my feet function.

Although I don’t like to “lose,” I like it when my friends PR even better.  Andres finished behind me, but he crushed his PR by 10 minutes and beat me.  Pretty awesome. (Also, check out how close our paces were.)

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 11.36.12 AM

Kevin and Cynthia finished right with us as well — the four of us took a few pictures, grabbed some food in the finish chute, and headed to our obvious first stop, the free beer.


Kevin, Andres, Me, and Cynthia.

Pretty quickly, I was getting antsy for actual beer. Andres and I moved the party over to Tom’s Urban.  I had an IPA  (obvi) and delicious breakfast sliders. There was some football on in the background but I was too busy social media-ing and riding the endorphin high to really engage.


Overall, #RnRLA was a great event and I had a ton of fun with my running buddies and supporting some first-time half-marathoners. But, this course also made me HUNGRY to try and see a 1:35, which is scary to even type.

My body DEFINITELY took a hit on this one, though.  Walking was a struggle the rest of the day and all day Monday, but I felt better after lifting Tuesday morning.

Any suggestions for a 1:34:xx course? 


busy is better.

12 Oct

Hi everyone!  I have been the worst blogger ever lately — I guess adjusting to my job could be blamed for that (and also feeling like I have been pretty boring lately) – but I wanted to share what has been keeping me busy lately!

I am really enjoying my job so far – but it is definitely an adjustment.  I will do a more job-related post at some point, but I have an image I am trying to maintain of not being a total nerd. BAHAHA who am I kidding. Nerd city, population 1 over here.  When I haven’t been working, here’s what I’ve been up to:

Logging mileage 

I have a couple of races coming up — the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon (next weekend!) in SF, and then #RnRLA on October 26th in DTLA.  I have been running on Saturday mornings with my DTLA crew.  Last week, we participated in CicLAVia (such a cool event).  A bunch of streets became closed for cyclists around 9 AM, so we met up at 6 to get our run in before the cyclists and before the sun was out in full-force.  We logged 14 miles to East LA and back.  On the way back, I hung with our group’s fastest guy (Alvaro) for a few miles, and realized we were clipping along at 6:45 pace for a few mile.  Scary.


Yesterday, I got in 11 miles through DTLA and along the LA river.  Really a great way to start the weekend.  Andres and I pushed it the last few miles (errrrr he pushed it and I followed because I can’t say no)


This has been my motto lately (I am normally in a good mood but this last week was pretty roller coaster-y for me, which is weird because I am pretty even-keel normally).


Girl time

I know, you’re thinking WHAT?!  One of my good friends, Alexis, lives in my building and last Sunday she concocted her specialty vegan smoothies for us — it was a great way to catch up and wind-down before the week.  I call Alexis my “personal cheerleader” because she is one of the most upbeat and supportive people I know — and she is a mini-me in that she is a total law school gunner (she is a 2L) and is a workout fiend. So talking about work and school over protein smoothies pretty much sums us up!


#lawlife events

I’ve gotten to attend a few great events since joining my firm about a month ago — I got to go an installation and awards dinner for the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, a dinner put on by the Association of Business Trial Lawyers about a fascinating case called Chevron v. Donziger (seriously google it), and this week I attended an event for the Association of Corporate Counsel about using appellate counsel to prevail at trial hosted by my firm at the Beverly Hills Montage. (It looks swanky — and it was — but I promise my life is not that glamorous.  I came home at 9 and worked for two hours).


Body pump because obviously

I have kept the 6 AM BP obsession alive and well — I took the new release, Body Pump 91, for the first time this morning at my gym.  I liked some of the songs (especially this one) but I didn’t think the release as a whole was as challenging as some others.  Any BP fans out there agree?


DTLA lovin’

Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here obsessing over how gorgeous DTLA (and this building) is.  Last night I grabbed a drink with my high school friend Heather at the Ace Hotel’s rooftop and swooned over this view.



What’s keeping you busy?

Body pump people – what do you think of 91?

Fav workout song right now?

fun thing a day (or how i spent a month doing nothing).

16 Sep

So . . . some of you may know that I had 5 weeks off between the bar exam and starting work.  I had a nice trip to Turks & Caicos, and then I spent about 4 weeks “on vacation” in Los Angeles.  It was relaxing and fun — and I vowed to do one fun thing a day, every day (which can be surprisingly hard when most of my friends were, you know, at work).  I wanted to share some of the fun things I did here…

  • Ventured to the The Last Bookstore (this photo is taken in the $1 room – every single book is $1. Insane).


  • Blue Bottle opened in LA!! I definitely went a few times…


  • My parents have a friend who works at Capitol Records, and he invited all of us to a preview party of Mary Lambert’s new CD at No Vacancy in Hollywood.  She was amazing and funny and very quotable — and also super talented.


  • One afternoon, I headed out to Santa Monica to read. I dusted off this book pretty quickly.
  • I hit up a summer institution in East Hollywood — Friday night wine tasting at Barnsdall Art Park with my friend Eric
  • Dinner at Industriel + post-dinner beer at Casey‘s w/ my HS friends AK, Andrea, Bryan, and Eric.


  • Kayaking in MDR with my law school friend Colleen


  • Dinner for my friend Aviva’s birthday at Della Terra
  • I went on an amazing run with my high school cross country team on the fifth anniversary of the death of one of my classmates and former track teammates, Brian Wolverton, who was killed while serving our country in Afghanistan. It was a nice way to honor him and made me proud to be a graduate of OPHS.


  • I hit up a DTLABA Mixer with some of my fav Loyola 2Ls.



  • Bike Ride to Venice Pier w/ Whitney
  • Rosenthal Winery w/ Whitney


  • Mini “staycation” in Hermosa Beach with my family which included watching my brother host open mic night at Saint Rocke.



  • The morning before we left, my mom and I rode bikes over to the Redondo Beach pier.


  • Drinks w/ Aviva at Pour Vous
  • Malibu Wines with Whitney, Riley, Molly, and Ellen


  • A 7-mile hike through Malibu Creek State Park with my mom


  • …and a visit to the Reagan library to check out their baseball museum. #GoDodgers


  • On Labor Day, I kicked it with Whitney on the beach in Santa Monica and then high-tailed it over to the Shangri-La rooftop for a little beer + view action.


  • I spent my last weekend of “freedom” in San Francisco!  Whitney and I drove up Thursday afternoon and spent the night with my Aunt and Uncle in Oakland.
  • On Friday, we headed into the city — Whitney went to work and my Uncle and I went to Mo‘s for breakfast..  My uncle went to work so I hit up Blue Bottle and then went for an amazing (and hilly) run and post-run lunch with Kristina who is a 1L at Hastings!


That night, Whitney and I had dinner at Mamacita on Chestnut and she indulged me by going to one of my favorite bars, ever. Bw0v0SiIgAAg-gk

  • On Saturday, we headed back to the East Bay for some standard Cal game pre-gaming with my Uncle Casey at Henry’s before watching Cal destroy Sac State v. Cal





  • On Sunday, we woke up and drove home — and I got ready to start my job! (more on that to come!)

What’s the most fun thing you did this summer? 

booze + sweat (aka what i did when i wasn’t studying).

13 Aug

I know you’re all sick of hearing about the bar — I’m sick of talking about it — but I WAS able to squeeze in (very small) pockets of fun throughout the summer.

The weekend after the test, I met up with my parents for a mini Conejo Valley IPA crawl of sorts.  Our first stop was The Lab Brewing Co.  I enjoyed their house DIPA and we all shared some candied bacon.


We headed to dinner at my very favorite place just down the street — Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie — for brews, chow, and to watch the sunset (my mom is also a sucker for a good one).

They didn’t have my fav beer of all time on tap (Cheseboro IPA) so I opted for my second favorite, the aptly titled Ladyface IPA. I also tried a sampler of a new IPA they offered – the Cataclysm IPA.  This one wasn’t my style, it wasn’t hoppy at all.



Ladyface IPA with Ladyface Mountain in the background.

Notice how the mountain looks like a woman’s profile? Imagine the woman is lying on her back…

And then my dad caught me in the act…


Also that weekend, I celebrated with my BFF Whitney at a bar down the street from her apartment called The Chestnut Club.  Would definitely recommend.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 10.41.54 AM

When I haven’t been boozing, I was doing what I normally do (working out, obviously).  On July 20th, I ran the Griffith Park Trail Marathon Relay with a team formed last-minute with some social media friends. When Tiffany reached out to me via twitter, there was no way I could say no, and I’m so glad I didn’t!  We had a blast each running 5.25 miles through the super-hilly Griffith Park trails, and soaking up the morning.  I would definitely do this race again.


On the team:


Race bling in the form of a STICK!!!!


so worried I was gonna drop my phone…

It was a great morning.  I love doing relays because I love being surrounded by “my people” — meaning people who “get it.”  These guys understand the compulsion to wake up super early on a Sunday to go run 5+ miles through hilly terrain with people you barely know.  I am also so grateful for the power of social media connections for making this team come together!

The week before the bar, I heard about an event taking place at my favorite building on the planet – the Ritz Carlton/J.W. Marriott in DTLA. I dropped everything and RAN when Whitney wrote about a free yoga/mini-spa treatments event taking place at the Ritz spa. I got a hand massage and headed up to the rooftop for a short and very relaxing yoga session.



That about rounds out the fun things I did during the bar (I told you, it wasn’t a ton).  I start my job in a few weeks and until then have a lot of downtime, so I’m trying to enjoy the relaxed schedule and do some fun LA-only events. Please drop a comment if you have suggestions on fun things I should do!

my top 10 law school experiences.

19 Jun

So right now I am 5 weeks deep into studying for the CA bar exam.  It’s going fine — the days are long but also go by fast, but the constant nagging feeling of wondering whether I am doing enough is a little weird.  As a break from reviewing, I thought I’d put together a list of my Top 10 Favorite Law School experiences.  I am one of those weirdos who actually loved law school.  I had a great experience at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and want to re-cap why.

In no particular order…

(1) Judicial Externship with the United States District Court for the Central District of California

I had the honor and privilege to extern for the Hon. R. Gary Klausner of the US District Court for a semester of my 2L year.  Hands down, this was the best thing I did academically all of law school.  Not only did I get to observe jury selection and trial, but I wrote an insane number of motions on issues and cases before the court.  It was incredibly challenging and  I learned way more in those four months than I did in any class.


I also developed a strong bond with my co-externs Taylor, Ben, and Colleen.  Watch out for one of them on the Supreme Court one day (okay, maybe just Ben and Colleen out of the four of us are in the running for that — but they’ll all do big things).

(2) Spending a week in Vienna, Austria as a member of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Team.

I joined this team as a 2L (second-year law student).  The five of us wrote two briefs (one for Claimant and one for Respondent) and then we practiced 3-4 times per week for our oral arguments.  The competition was located in Vienna (no that is not the sole reason I tried out for this particular team).

counsel for Respondent at the Juridicum

My teammate Rachael and I outside Vienna’s law school. Oh and it was FREEZING.

The competition itself was interesting and fun – we went up against teams from all over the world and had arbitrators that were equally international.


We didn’t advance very far in the competition, but we had so much fun exploring Vienna’s sights and beer halls.  Oh, and schnitzel and spaetzle. The best.

with my friend and teammate Rachael and Professor McDermott on our last night in Vienna.

Our advisor, Professor McDermott, me, and Rachael.

(3) Bar Reviews.

No, not what I am currently doing. “Bar Review” is law school shorthand for “drinking a lot.”  It’s the law school equivalent of a sorority invite – except people are more excited because going out happens with less regularity than it did in undergrad.  I’ve racked up a few funny bar review stories over the years — but my favorite one was the end of 1L bar review.

law school bests celebrating the end of the year.

my law school posse SO STOKED to be done with 1L.

(4) Research Assistant for my favorite professor

I don’t have a photo for this — that’d just be weird — but during my 3L year I worked as a Research Assistant for my favorite professor at LLS, Professor Kevin Lapp.  I had him for Evidence and LOVED his enthusiasm so I jumped at the chance to help him with some research (about juvenile DNA collections and fingerprinting) this past year.  It was a good experience and I loved picking his brain a little bit.

(5)  Trial Advocacy

This past fall, I took a course called Trial Advocacy. This was a fun, practical class where we practiced real substantive lawyering skills, and our final was to conduct a trial.  A few things made this class fun: (1) it was taught by an actual judge who gave amazing, substantive feedback, (2) we had one class in the judge’s actual courtroom in downtown LA, and (3) one of my law school friends/arch-nemesis/biggest rival was in the class, and we went head-to-head in our final trial.


Who do we think won this little show-down?  (Answer: The judge didn’t reach a verdict, but I got a higher grade in the class. Yes, this is how competitive Taylor and I are.  We’re still waiting on our final transcripts…)

(6) Surviving 1L

1L (or 1-hell) is pretty grueling.  ALL of the biggest classes are front-loaded, so in one year, you take criminal law, property, torts, contracts, civil procedure, legal research and writing, and an elective.  1L grades matter the most, so stress is pretty high all year.  It was arduous, but I sort of didn’t hate the “right of passage” nature of it.  Again, I am a freak and people call me a gunner.  Didn’t really realize it until writing this post. Whatever.


(7) Finals rituals

My law school posse developed two traditions that I loved to help us get through 6 rounds of finals.

First, during our long days of studying, we took a walk break to the nearest Starbucks (at LA Live) and re-caffeinated or got some sort of treat.  The break to chat, stretch our legs, and check out whatever was going on at LA Live kept us sane during finals, and we always looked forward to when 3 pm would roll around.


We also often would go out for a drink or a meal after each final as a tiny celebration before studying for the next one resumed.  After one 1L final, we went out to dinner and then went bowling which was fun, but usually we’d go to Yardhouse at LA Live for beers and bad food.


(8) Pro Bono with Team Prime Time

My law school has a pro bono requirement – we had to do 40 hours total of community service — either in the form of free legal work, or through a variety of enrichment programs bringing law and law school to kids. I worked with a few other students to develop a mock trial that a bunch of middle schoolers from LA worked to present, before a real judge in one of our mock courtroom classrooms.  It was so awesome getting to know these kids and have them deliver opening statements and closing arguments as well as watching them cross-examine witnesses and create exhibits.

Team Emerson, about to head into court.

(9) Law School Summers

I had a lot of fun in my summers between 1L and 2L (when I worked for a Superior Court Judge) and 2L and 3L (#bigfirmlife).  I loved the opportunity to get first-hand experience and to hit up many a farmer’s market and firm happy hour.

(10) LLS Ambassador 

As a self-proclaimed Loyola Cheerleader, it was only natural that I become a Loyola Ambassador.  I gave a couple of tours, wrote for the Admitted Students Blog, and attended several Admitted Students Days events and panels where I spoke to prospective and admitted students. These are THE BEST. People are excited and ask the most ridiculous questions…



Admitted Students Event at DTLA’s City Club.

this view wasn't too bad either.

an Admitted Students event at the Dodger’s Stadium Club.

  • Law students: FAVORITE thing you did in law school?  Am I crazy for liking it? Wait don’t answer that. 
  • Non-law students: What was your favorite thing you were involved with in college (my sorority and studying abroad.  And I realize how cliché I am for typing that.)

dtla dad’s day.

16 Jun

I wanted to stop by before bar study: week 5 commences to share a few photos from my family’s father’s day festivities yesterday.

My parents, brother, and my brother’s girlfriend, Olivia, were nice enough to drive all the way downtown for brunch so I could make it to the gym AND study the rest of the day.  They did it to be accommodating, but I also think they love DTLA too so it’s all good.


We had a delightful brunch at Artisan House and we all loved it.  Four out of the five of us ordered variations of the same thing (eggs & bacon, because duh).


All aboard the paleo express…

We didn’t participate in the bottomless mimosa deal (sad face) but we all got our money’s worth in terms of bottomeless coffee…


It was so nice spending a little time with the fam in DTLA.  We had a great time brunching and I think we decided to make Father’s Day brunch a “thing.” Love you, Dad!


(In case you’re wondering, I gave my dad QuestBars so he can become obsessed too and a Kings hat.  My Dad is somewhat of a Kings fan but doesn’t have any gear. I feel like the Stanley Cup win merited at least a cap).

Hope you all had a nice Father’s Day!

How did you celebrate?

Favorite LA brunch spot? 

upcoming race: Midnight Mission 5k/10k

8 Jun

Hi party people!

I wanted to share an upcoming race with you guys and encourage you to run it with me.  I’ll be running the 10k, and it supports a cause that is close to my heart.


The Midnight Mission 5k/10k takes place on June 22 at 8 a.m., in Oak Grove Park in La Cañada Flintridge  to raise awareness of homelessness in Southern CA and to advance health and wellness programs as the Midnight Mission commemorates its 100-year anniversary.

The Midnight Mission is a human services organization in downtown Los Angeles‘ skid row. The organization provides basic subsistence to the region’s needy, drug and alcohol recovery services, “safe sleep” programs, educational training, a mobile kitchen, and family housing with an emphasis on developing self-sufficiency.

One major aspect of the Midnight Mission’s health and wellness programs is its Running Club, led by L.A. County Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell.  Mitchell started a running club in 2012 and since then, has mentored Midnight’s residents on their road to recovery.  You may remember reading about Judge Mitchell during last year’s marathon.

This year, nine Midnight Runners completed the LA Marathon and will lead this year’s 5K/10K run/walk.

I ran this race last year  (albeit at a different location) and was so honored and inspired after meeting Judge Craig Mitchell.  His ability to balance being a judge with mentoring and running with the men of the Midnight Mission was a huge inspiration for me personally to join Back on My Feet and find a small way to give back through a sport that is a major aspect of my life.


My dad and me with Judge Craig Mitchell after the race last year.

I wanted to get the word out about this great event — who doesn’t love starting a Sunday with a little race action and support an amazing cause?

Click here to register.  It’s $40 for adults, but you can save $5 with coupon code MIDNIGHT.

Will I see you at The Midnight Mission 5k/10k?

What inspires you?