Lots of “Lasts”

Workouts since I last posted:
Tuesday: 3 miles treadmill
Wednesday: 5 miles treadmill
Thursday: 3 miles treadmill
Friday: rest
Saturday: 11 miles on San Vincente and the beach
Sunday: rest
Monday: 3.15 mile jog with the dog 🙂
Today: 6 miles treadmill

Four days until we move! I can’t believe how quickly everything is happening. There have been a lot of “this is the last time we’ll…” going on lately. It’s definitely bittersweet as we are looking forward to this next chapter in our lives but also will miss a lot of things about California.

We spent a good portion of the weekend packing up our lives into boxes and tying up loose ends.

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Friday evening we had a work dinner to celebrate this past year. Our last day is this coming Friday so it was nice to get together before everyone heads off to their new jobs and homes. I’m going to miss these ladies!

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On Saturday after my long run, my friend Kirstin treated me to a massage at Massage Therapy Center for an early birthday present – glorious! She is so sweet. In the afternoon we went to the beach with a couple of friends, probably the last time we’ll go to the beach while living out here. Thumbs up for my last Saturday in Cali.

On Sunday we went to a Korean barbecue with a group. Note to other vegetarians: most Korean BBQs are not for us. They are essentially “meat wrapped in meat with a side of meat with meat sauce” kind of places.

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The one we went to was really great though! There was a salad bar with noodles, kimchee, salad, rice and some other good stuff. They also allowed me to order off the menu for this great rice/egg/salad thing (they told me what all these dishes were called but I forgot) and a spicy tofu soup that was de-lish.

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This arrived and no one at our table wanted it, so we “dressed it” instead. Silly.

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I don’t think out waitress was as impressed with us as we were with ourselves.

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Catalina Island

On Saturday, my wonderful husband took me to Catalina Island as an early dirty thirty birthday celebration. It was another LA bucket list item that we wanted to do together before moving (less than two weeks! Eek!). I thought I had never been to Catalina before, but when I was talking to my mom about our weekend plans, she told me that this photo was taken on Catalina back in the day:

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Apparently I enjoyed myself just as much back then as I did now.

Early Saturday morning, we drove to Long Beach to board the Catalina Express to take us to the bustling metropolis of Avalon (ok it’s only one square mile) on Catalina. A couple of tips regarding the ferry if you’re interested in traveling to the island: 1. If it’s your actual birthday, you get to travel free! 2. At Costco, you can buy discount gift cards to save you some money for the voyage. It’s a good deal.

Our approach to the island (already a beautiful day!):

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As soon as we arrived, we grabbed our bikes which we brought with us to get around from place to place. (You can also get passes, I believe, from the Catalina Conservancy to bike all around the island on trails, but we just stuck to the roads that don’t require the pass.) Kale had a surprise activity planned, which I was thrilled to discover was kayaking and snorkeling!
We headed off in our two person kayak for about a 45 minute trip along the coast to the north of Avalon until we reached a little place called Willow Cove that the kayak people recommended.

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We pulled ashore, enjoyed some delicious fruit and a light lunch

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and prepared for some snorkeling. The girls at the rental place almost talked us out of wet suits, telling us that they had been out the day before without them and the water was pretty warm (with the disclaimer that they were born and raised on the island). I’m so glad we got the suits anyway because that water was NOT warm! It took some major coaxing to get me in there because it was so cold, my teeth were chattering like crazy and it was even hard to breathe. Eventually I got used to it and enjoyed it, but we were only able to go for a out 20 minutes.

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The kayak trip back to Avalon was…well eventful! There were some adorable sea lions who played close to our kayak and we stopped several times to watch them. At one point, we passed a kid’s camp where a Catalina Express was loading up people to take them home. We waited for several minutes as we didn’t want to get in their way. Eventually they started slowly backing up, and we thought that they would continue slowly backing up until a reasonable distance from us, but then suddenly they revved the motors and took off!! We didn’t stand a chance. The wake washed over us and tipped us over, sending all of our stuff all over the place. Luckily everything floated (and our valuables were in a dry pack) but it took awhile to gather everything and tipped the kayak back the right way! Not to mention all the camp people were busting their guts laughing at us from the dock (but eventually were helpful in helping us retrieve all our belongings). Once we were reassembled, we had a good laugh about it and no harm was done (except perhaps our slightly wounded pride and dignity).

Upon our arrival back in Avalon, we headed to the beach for a few hours because we were tired! I even had a bit of a siesta.

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We had some yummy nachos

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and read and relaxed for a few hours. We then grabbed our bikes and headed up a pretty steep uphill to a lookout and then south of Avalon to explore for awhile.

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It was a pretty perfect day! Avalon is pretty touristy but we were able to do a lot of fun activities that took us away from that scene and let us enjoy the beautiful island. I’m so happy we made it out there before leaving LA!

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Workouts in recent days:
Thursday: 3.5 miles in my neighborhood
Friday: 9 miles along the beach (decided to do my long run early since we had a busy weekend)
Saturday: Cross-train (kayaking, biking, some swimming)
Sunday: rest
Monday: Cross-train (30 min elliptical, 15 min stationary bike, arms, abs)

Running is Good For Your Brain!

I thought I’d share my favorite running article of the week – it discusses yet another reason running is good for you: Running Boosts Brain Power (Runner’s World article)

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Note that it makes no claims against craziness – we already know we’re a little bit crazy! 😉

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If you’re like me, not running also makes you go a little crazy!

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Workouts this week so far:
Monday: Jillian Michaels workout DVD
Tuesday: 3 miles treadmill
Wednesday: 5 miles treadmill

It’s been a pretty busy week so far – I think we’ve found a place to live finally (pending final lease signing and whatnot) and just continuing to finish up stuff at work. I’m really looking forward to the weekend – Kale got us tickets to Catalina Island on Saturday which is another bucket list item. I’m so excited!!

Hope you’re having a good Thursday!

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Weekend Recap and New Shoes

It’s starting to sink in how little time I have left in LA before making the trek to Minnesota at the end of this month because the time is starting to feel like double time!! Everything is going so fast, between trying to find a place to live from 2,000 miles away (luckily I have an AMAZING friend who has been looking for us!), finishing up everything I need to at work, and trying to pack in all the fun stuff on our bucket list before leaving beautiful sunny SoCal! I’m almost afraid to blink, though I’m thrilled to be making the move closer to home and starting the next chapter in our lives. I just want to savor LA a little longer 🙂

Thursday I had a quick little 3 mile treadmill run, and Saturday my longer run: 8 miles on San Vincente. It was pretty fun because once I got there, I realized that the AIDS/Life Cycle cyclists were finishing up the last 4 miles of their 545 mile ride from San Francisco (starting June 2) to Los Angeles (ending June 8) along the exact same stretch on San Vincente that I was running along! There was a big finish line celebration at the VA, and my entire run down and back on San Vincente I got to see the cyclists complete their epic ride. Pretty neat ride for a great cause. I felt so inspired!
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When I got back from running, Buckley was in the middle of doggie salon day. I swear I could knit a sweater with the hair following a good brushing and trim. THAT would be some talent. Also gross. I already wear enough Buckley hair on my clothes as it is. Apparently people actually knit with their dog’s fur. This website is awesome/horrifying. 20130609-225517.jpg
This was also waiting for me when I got back – new Saucony running shoes from Running Warehouse ! I have gotten Saucony running shoes exclusively since early high school – you might say we’re going steady. I’m not really sure how I got started wearing them but they’ve always been great shoes for me so I have stuck with them through the years. My last three pairs were the Pro Grid Peregrine 2 model, which I loved because they’re really light and comfy. You can still find them on Amazon. This time I decided to switch it up, and went with the Saucony Kinvara 3 model. I believe there is a Kinvara 4, but I’m not too proud to buy last year’s model and save a few bucks. I’m excited to try them out!

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I never know how long shoes should last or how often to replace. Some sources say anywhere between 300-600 miles, but it depends on your weight, terrain, type of shoe, yadda yadda. Personally I generally feel my shoes wearing out and not being as supportive at about 300-350 miles. I feel a little something in my knees and sometimes the inside of the shoes starts wearing and causing sore spots. I figure I’d rather change them out more often and avoid injury (and enjoy shiny new cool kicks!) than push for more mileage out of each pair.

On Sunday we tried out another restaurant on our LA Bucket List – Wurstkuche in Venice Beach. Normally this would not be my thing, seeing as I’m a vegetarian and this is a bratwurst restaurant. Turns out they have THREE vegetarian bratwurst and they are mmm-mmm good (at least the one I ate). I went with the vegetarian spicy chipotle brat with onions, spicy peppers, spicy mustard, and ketchup. It was pretty spicy which I love. It tasted a little bit like the soy chorizo from Trader Joes of which I’m also a big fan.

20130610-123334.jpg Kale had the duck brat, which he also liked, and we split fries with curry ketchup and pesto mayo. They had a whole host of crazy brat varieties, including a rattlesnake/rabbit combo. Weird, but surprisingly popular. I would highly recommend this place if you’re in LA (either Venice Beach or Downtown LA). I tried a delicious elderflower soda as well, which was amazing. What IS an elderflower?

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Some of our friends were visiting Disneyland from out of state this weekend, and we met up withh them for dinner at Downtown Disney. When preparing to head to dinner, my shoes looked like this:

20130610-124059.jpg. It cracked me up, and neither Kale nor Buckley would fess up to doing it.
At Downtown Disney I was impressed by the giant Lego Disney statues. Legos + Beauty and the Beast = two of my favorite childhood things combined for maximum enjoyment.

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National Running Day!

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Happy National Running Day! We all have our own reasons for running, and today we celebrate these reasons.

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I celebrated by participating in a free, fun 5K in Santa Monica hosted by the LA Marathon races. We met by San Vincente and Ocean Boulevard and ran down towards the Santa Monica Pier and back. It was so fun to meet up with other local runners to do what we do! It was a beautiful evening for the run, though really windy, especially on the way back.
Miles: 3.1ish, Time: 24:34, 7’57″/mile

We started and ended at the totem pole:

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There handed out waters and Cliff Bars, along with leftover LA Marathon shirts and Santa Monica Classic wayfarer glasses.

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Those suckers who ran the LA Marathon didn’t realize they could get the same shirt by running 23.1 fewer miles than they did! HA! Joke’s on them. It’s kinda like finding an item you splurged for on clearance…I kid. 🙂

California is kinda purdy.

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I started Marathon training this week, sort of. By that I mean I printed a Hal Higdon Marathon Training Plan that has training start this past Monday. I try to kind of follow plans for longer races, mostly so I improve the chances that I’ll feel good on race day and to prevent injuries. I’m sometimes good about following them, sorta kinda…
Here’s what I got so far:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 6.15 miles
Wednesday: 3.1 miles as described above!

Question(answer in comments): Did you do anything for National Running Day? Did you know it was National Running Day?

Workouts, Healthiest Cities, Graduation, & Prancercise!!

I’m back! I was sick for about a week and a half, and still actually have a cough. I was finally able to start running again this week, albeit some shorter distances and taking it kind of easy.

Workouts this week:

Wednesday & Thursday: easy 3 miles on treadmill each day
Friday: 4.1 miles in Brentwood
Saturday: 5 miles on San Vincente

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I met up with some of my family yesterday in Laguna Beach. What a fun day! I probably won’t be able to see them again before we move so I was glad it worked out to meet up again.

A few photos from the day:

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Today I had a graduation ceremony for my program, despite not actually finishing until the end of the month. A few pictures:

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We went to 800 Degrees pizzeria afterwards for lunch – yummy!

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A few favorite links I saw this week:
1. For the third year in a row, Minneapolis-St. Paul has been ranked #1 for healthiest cities in the US! Here’s the article, along with the rest of the list: USA Today – Healthiest Cities

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2. My new favorite workout routine, Prancercise!! YouTube Prancercise

Sick of Being Sick

I’m sick this week and actually have been at home in bed for a day and a half. So not much running has been happening since the weekend, unless you count running a fever. Blehh.

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Kale took me to get hot Korean soup tonight at Tofu Ya, which was recently featured on the Food Network. The soup is literally served boiling hot, and you crack an egg into it when it arrives. It felt pretty good on my sore throat, and it has a little spice so I could actually kind of taste it, unlike most other foods this week. Good choice. Now back to bed…

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