Chicago Marathon Training: Week 10

Monday: 4 miles

Tuesday: 5.5 miles

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: yoga at home, followed by a foam rolling extravaganza

Friday: yoga, in the studio

Saturday: rest

Sunday: 13.1 (Half Marathon of the Harbors)

Total Miles: 22.6

This week was going to be a step back week for me. As I announced in my last training recap, I really wanted to PR last Sunday. My legs were very tired this week after 2 weeks of running 30 or more miles. Seriously, it’s not painful, I just feel like I’ve been walking around the mall for hours on end but the feeling lasts ALL THE TIME. I thought that after taking it really easy for 1/2 a week my legs would be fresh and truthfully, they weren’t. In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t blown off my Thursday run for yoga at home (which never really feels like a work out) and just approached Sunday like a training run. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.

However, I did make it to yoga on Friday which was awesome. The class is super free flow so I was able to do a ton of hip openers which felt amazing. I need to commit to twice weekly yoga again. I always feel so good afterwards, mentally and physically.

While I am slightly disappointed in myself for not hitting my mileage goal for the week, I am going to commit to doing better this week. I also think that it is fair to say that raced miles “count more” than trained miles. My legs, arms and abs were all super tired Monday which makes me feel like I did more. Perhaps I’m just trying to justify the hit in miles but crap happens and like I said, hindsight is 20/20. Now I know for next time. I’m trying to stay positive about it.

It’s hard to believe but I only have 3 more long runs left before I start my taper. Can’t believe it! October will be here before I know it!

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Half Marathon of the Harbors Race Recap

This morning I woke up bright and early (4 AM!) to run my third 1/2 marathon, the Half Marathon of the Harbors in Ventura, California. This half marathon was the most low key I’ve ever done. No parents in town, no fancy meal the night before. Just me waking up early, drinking watered down Gatorade (more on that later) and driving in the dark to Ventura.

Pre race eats:

Sadly, not beer.

Coffee.

Bagel I burned with peanut butter on it.

Ventura is about 50 miles north of where I live in LA and at 4:45 the ride only took 45 mins. Woo for making good time. It was still pitch black when I arrived. This race was the polar opposite of Rock n Roll San Diego. Only 550 people ran the race today meaning I got to park about 500 feet from the start line! Big and small races both have their benefits. I was able to pick up my packet, affix my number and drop all of my things at the car within about 15 mins.

Before the race picture.

Terrible, just terrible. This picture says, “Hello, it’s 4 am and I didn’t sleep well last night and I can’t stay awake”.

I hopped on the bathroom ride and ran into Amanda’s younger sister Sarah, her boyfriend Chris and her Dad. It was Sarah and Chris’ first half marathons. Sarah and Amanda’s dad is a long time runner (he’s done an ULTRA!) It’s always great to run into people you know on race day.

The race started and ended from Ventura Harbor which was beautiful.

Best part of racing is seeing the sun rise over the Pacific.

Like I said, the race was tiny, especially compared to San Diego.

See that surf board on the left? That was the start line. I’m not sure what the story is with official times but I used my watch while running. Pretty soon the race started and I was running my third half marathon.

I talked big talk this week about trying to go sub 2 hours. I was so close in San Diego. I figured with my marathon training I should be able to hit it. I knew I needed to hit around 9:00 min miles. Using my watch I measured my splits.

Mile 1: 8:36 (way too fast, told myself to slow down)

Mile 2: 10:02 (too slow, pick up the place)

Mile 3: 8:50 (good!)

However, mile 3 is where the wheel started to fall off. I brought watered down Gatorade to the race. Because it was the first Half Marathon of the Harbors ever I was unsure what the water situation would be along the course. I feared running out of water so I brought my water bottle and planned to supplement my water breaks with the drink. I started drinking it along with 30 second walk breaks every mile at mile 2. Around mile 3 I started getting nauseous and sadly, the feeling never fully went away. I trucked along and before too long it was mile 4 (9:04).

This whole time, on top of being nauseous I really needed to pee. Somewhere around mile 5 I hopped into the bathroom. I think I over drank watered down Gatorade before I left the house this morning. By the time I hit the bathrooms the course had made its way to the ocean front. It was beautiful.

This was also around the time that the mile markers began getting wonky. I think they were misplaced along the course. I never saw a mile 6 sign and I think the mile 7 sign was facing the wrong way? I also think misplacement of signs could explain my wacky splits. After mile 4 I didn’t have splits because of odd sign placement.

My nausea got much worse around mile 6. I took a Gu and made an official decision to stop drinking watered down Gatorade. I also increased my walk breaks. I almost puked in my mouth twice… it wasn’t pretty or comfortable.

Around mile 8 I started taking 1 min long walk breaks. My legs were super sore and my nausea was still kicking around. I looked at my watch and knew I wasn’t going to hit sub 2 hours. Truthfully, I knew this when my nausea set in at mile 3. I spent about 30 seconds feeling really sorry for myself, and then a voice (which sounded suspiciously like my Mother) came into my head and said “Get over yourself! You’re running you’re third half marathon in a year. You’re training for a marathon. Get the fuck over it!” Pity party over. I hauled my booty for the rest of the race. Ironically, when I talked to my Mom after the race she said “who cares? You’ve run three more half marathons than anyone in the family!”

Oh, and this tweet came to my mind too as I was ending my pity party.

I don’t have an older sister, but if I did I would like her to have said something like this to me. Maura, you’re seriously the best.

Around mile 9 the nausea mostly subsided (it didn’t really go away till the end of the race, but it was much better) and I started thinking about how much my life has changed in the past two years. This time two years ago I was at my high weight and didn’t feel very good about myself or my life. I got a little emotional. At mile 10 my watch read 1:36 and I knew that in order to PR I would have to run the last three miles at my 5k PR pace (aka it wasn’t happening). The pressure was off and I took it easy. I had some great spurts of energy. After mile 11 there were no mile markers which kinda bothered me. Around mile 11.5 (?) Avicci’s “My Feelings for You” came on and was totally clutch. It really helped me move my legs.

Before I knew it the finish line was in my sights and I was done!

Final time 2:09:20.

Hey, not a PR but still better than my first 1/2, still a great 13 mile training run and still a completed 1/2 marathon. The big goal isn’t this half marathon, it’s the full marathon in Chicago. I learned some lessons about fueling that will help me in Chicago. The course was beautiful. I got my runners high and now I get to put my feet up and watch Entourage, True Blood, Jersey Shore and the VMA’s (epic TV night people!)

Oh and Sarah?

She is a beast! She ran sub 2 hours in the first half! Seriously, so epic. Congrats Sarah!

After the race I took off my shoe to access the foot situation (I’ve had a blood blister problem in the past while racing but not during my longer training runs). Oh yes. I’m rocking several blood blisters and one popped leaving me with a bloody sock. Just call me Kurt Schilling.

It actually doesn’t hurt (yet). Check out my runner’s high smile post race. Nothing gets me down. Running is a good analogy for life. You can’t control everything that happens to you but you can control how you react to it. So why feel bad for yourself? Who cares about time goals? I rocked a half marathon today. Bring on the treats! With that in mind, I trekked back to LA and hit Lemonade.

I took an ice bath, shower and dug into some mac and cheese.

Exactly what I needed! I also got an assortment of salads. I barely touched the chicken (I actually was full!) but I ate much of the roasted beets and tangerine rice.

I plan on enjoying the rest for dinner tonight or lunch tomorrow.

The rest of the day I’m going to hang out, clean my apartment a little bit, watch TV and get ice cream from Sweet Rose! I think I earned it.

Next stop: Chicago!

What’s in Season Now: August

I realize that I always say one of the best ways to save money at the farmers market is to buy what is in season but I never blog about what is in season or what I’m buying. I thought I would take you WITH me to the beautiful, epic Santa Monica Farmers Market for a little peek at what is in season now.

Peaches

Eggplant – When I saw eggplant a few weeks ago I let out a squeal of delight. I LOVE eggplant and please note that there are about 5 varieties at this booth alone.

Heirloom Tomatoes – Both minis and full size perfect for Grilled Heirloom Tomatoes

Peppers

Bunches of herbs – Actually these are pretty much available year round, $1 for a bunch!

Summer Squash – Again, squeals of glee when I spotted these a few weeks ago! I’ve been using them in this risotto recipe to make summer risotto.

Papaya Melon – Like honeydew but 100% better! Sweet and mild, this is what I use in my Prosciutto Melon Salad.

Carrots – Normally I associate these with Fall, they are so good when honey roasted.

Ginormous ArtichokesGrilled artichokes are good but I need to find other recipes.

BerriesSo summer.

What are you loving at the farmers market right now?

Apartment Spotlight: My Bathroom

It’s been a while since I updated everyone on the status of my new apartment. While there is still work to do in most of the apartment there are some areas that are fully done. Today I thought I would take you on a tour of the “princess bathroom”.

I knew I had to live in this apartment the first time I saw the bathroom. I love bizzare and funky things when it comes to apartment décor. This bathroom, with its yellow tub and its fixtures, totally stole my heart. The color of the tub and the fixtures totally scream princess.

I easily decorated my bathroom with some pieces from my old apartment and some new items.

Bright new towels.

Pretty white new soap dish.

Hot pink Kate Spade bathmat -> one of my favorite new apartment items.

Opposite the tub and shower is the toilet, sink and vanity area.

The wire floral hanging thing (not sure of the exact terminology) was in the hallway of my old apartment and fits perfectly with the yellow tub and fixtures.

Here is a close up:

And in case you were wondering…

The September 2011 issue of Vogue, the original out-of-print Preppy Handbook and the 2010 update, True Prep. Obviously.

And finally the vanity.

So many products. The picture on the end was sent to me by my Mom last year. She found it at an estate sale and, again, it matches my bathroom perfectly.

Overall, between the funky fixtures, my yellow tub, hardwood floors (!) I love my new bathroom!

Still ahead in the apartment spotlight, my closet (I have to say, it is amazing), bedroom, kitchen and living room.

Salmon and Bok Choy

Boy oh boy. Wednesdays are 10 hour days for me. I got home at 7:20 today, declared it vino o’clock, and poured myself a glass of red. Luckily I am in some amazing classes this semester and I am truly enjoying my last year of school. The best part of law school is when you’re done with the general bar classes and can just take whatever tickles your fancy like race conscious remedies, LGBT family law and feminist legal theory. Definitely going to try and enjoy it while I still can.

You know what got me through today?

Obviously it was lunch. Don’t act surprised. Food is always the highlight of my day. Well, food and wine but bringing wine to class would probably be in bad form, even for a 3L. Stupid social norms.

Anyways, my leftovers were based on this delicious Salmon and Bok Choy recipe I nabbed out of cooking light. This one, my friends, will be repeat offender.

Salmon Bok Choy

Ingredients

2 tbs reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tbs honey

1/2 tsp garlic oil

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tsp grated ginger

1 head of bok choy

2 filets of salmon (I used Atlantic Char from TJ’s frozen section)

3 stems green onions, sliced diagonal

Instructions

Set you oven to broil.

First, make the sauce using the top 5 ingredients.

This was my first time working with sesame oil. It’s potent but I really liked it!

I combined it all in this red bowl which I won’t use again for blogging because it doesn’t photograph well.

Whisk it up and set it aside.

Then get cracking on the bok choy. I cut off the very bottom of the stems. Then I separated the leaves from the stem. I left the leaves intact and did a rough chop on the stems. I placed the leaves in the middle of the pan and the stems on the edge like so.

Then I placed the salmon on top of the leaves skin side down. Pour the sauce 1/2 on top of the salmon and 1/2 on top of the stems.

Bake for 9 mins, or until desired done-ness.

I served one salmon filet and bok choy for dinner last night for dinner and reserved one for lunch today. I sprinkled each serving with the chopped green onions to give it a little something extra.

I placed it in a Tupperware that already has brown rice in it. I must say that it heated up nicely.

To go:

For here:

This dinner was pretty epic. The sauce was perfection. I’m not sure why I haven’t experimented with soy based sauces before but this was super simple to whip up and was better (and likely better for me than TJ’s soyaki). All I could think while eating this was “this would be so amazing on soba”. Get ready because it will be happening sooner than later. I love salmon dinners. Salmon is super clean and is a good source of nutrients. Since marathon training I’ve been trying to clean up my diet a bit. Salmon is a twofer because it’s healthy and cooks up quickly. Let’s face it, quick cooking is pretty much a law school essential. In fact, even better idea, this dish with a side of soba. Genius! Oh and the green onions? Added the wonderful layer of crunch to offset the salmon and the bok choy.

In other food news: During the cool down from my 6 miler yesterday I passed two people from Lemonade passing out free mini cupcakes.

Love you Lemonade! Thanks for making my day!

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 9

Here we go!

Monday: birthday rest day!

Tuesday: 5.5 mile run

Wednesday: 5.5 mile run

Thursday: 16 mile run

Friday: rest

Saturday: 4 mile walk (Couldn’t bring myself to run so I walked while carrying a case book in my fitness clothing. I’m totes counting it)

Sunday: Yoga

Total miles: 31 Miles!

Observations:

  • Running 16 miles is hard: I can’t lie, my 14.7 (I re-measured it) went freakishly well due to good fueling. 16 miles was harder. As you can see, I ran 27 miles in 3 days which probably was excessive and contributed to the dead legs I experienced. I also only had 1 Gu which wasn’t enough. Part way through I realized that there was going to come a time in Chicago where I am going to want to stop running and I am going to have to power through, which helped me on my run. Afterwards I took an ice bath. The run took it out of me though. I had a hard time with stairs afterwards and I can feel a black toe nail coming on.
  • Running 27 miles in 3 days is a poor choice: Due to my birthday I moved my rest day from Wednesday to Monday and thus ran 27 miles in 3 days. My legs were already sore going out for my 16 miles. I think this contributed to my fatigue on my long run. In the future, if I’m going to do long runs on Thursday then I need a rest day on Wednesday.
  • Walk breaks rule: I am in love with walk breaks. That is all.

This weekend I’m running a half marathon and I am super psyched for it! Sub 2 hrs or bust!

The Story Behind the Biscuit

I realize I posted this picture…

In my first day of school post and didn’t explain why I had such a wide smile on my face.

You see, it was because of the biscuit. Yes, the biscuit.

I decided that I needed to use my brother’s trip as an opportunity to go to all my favorite foodie destinations (obviously). This included Art Walk in downtown which displays gallery art and has a massive gathering of food trucks. Sadly, there were fewer trucks than usual because in July a car breeched the curb during Art Walk killing a baby. However we still soldered on and made do with what was there.

Within 10 seconds, I spied my favorite.

Hey, brother.

David wanted a burrito but I got my usual fried chicken from Ludo Truck which I decided not to photograph because I’ve blogged it before. I’ve eaten from the Ludo truck 3 times and I have been desperate to try the Lavender Honey Biscuits. Each time I’ve been they’ve been completely SOLD OUT of the biscuits. This time the biscuits were being baked so I made sure the guy behind the register knew I would be coming back.

Twenty minutes later they were ready!

Sometimes I worry that I build food up too much. Like I’ll blog about something raving about it, others will check it out and determine that it’s just alright. Let me tell you friends, this biscuit was worth the wait.

The inside was flaky and the outside was crusty. The lavender flavor definitely came through and the honey drizzled on top sweetened the biscuit to perfection.

I love when food is flavored and you can actually taste the flavor, you know what I mean? Sometimes food is advertised as being infused with something you can’t actually taste. This biscuit is NOT that.

Another glory shot for the road.

Now do you understand why I was so happy? I thought so.

This week was a transition week for me. I started my third and final year of law school. Thus I didn’t really cook anything bloggable. I promise this week things are up and running and I have some fun things in the hopper that I can share on the blog.

Did you have a good weekend? I did a whole lot of nothing on Sunday and it was wonderful.

Arugula, Melon and Prosciutto Salad

I have a confession: I hate packing lunch. It just is something that I don’t like to do but I know I should because it is so cost effective, and is generally much healthier and tastier than the crap on campus. This is a delicious seasonal salad I made over the summer and plan to make again now that school has started. It’s super easy and quick to make. Due to the flavors you don’t even need dressing, in my opinion.

Seriously, the prosciutto is salty, the arugula is spicy and the melon is fresh and slightly sweet. I’ve been very into Papaya Melon in the past few weeks. It’s been available at the Santa Monica Farmers Market and it tastes like a lightly sweetened and kind of tastes like honeydew. Literally, all I do is lay down a bed of arugula, chop up some melon and add three strips of prosciutto.

At lunch I just mix it up.

Done and done. Now that I have reminded myself how easy it is to make this lunch I will be getting myself together enough to bring lunch to school next week. I totally didn’t get it together to make lunch this week.

Any ideas for quick, go to lunches? I’m always looking for new ideas.

The Last First Day of School

Monday, August 15, 2011 is my last first day of school ever. Until I start a PhD program (JUST KIDDING MOM! Kind of. Probably. Mostly.) It is also my 24th birthday! I’m officially in my mid twenties. I can’t even handle it. Who allowed me to get this old? What I really can’t handle is the fact that in the 21 years of school I’ve attended this is the first time I’ve had to go to school on my birthday. Totally not fair at all. Don’t worry, I’m easing the pain with a 1/2 dozen mini red velvet cupcakes from Susie Cakes, a cocktail and copious amounts of food.

In honor of my last first day of school and my 24th birthday I thought I’d host a little stroll down memory lane my sharing some first day of school pictures of yore.

Kindergarten:

Apparently I was nervous for my first day of school, however as my Mother walked me to my classroom door the teacher, Mrs. Kiss, approached me and said, “Are you Katherine? I hear you have a beautiful smile!” That was all it took. I went happily bounding into school.

First Grade:

This photo is of me and my little brother David who apparently was camera shy. Yes, I have his express permission to publish this image in the blog world and thus embarrass him forever. Seriously, what is up with him in this picture? No idea.

First grade was also the first time I was assigned homework. In order to motivate me to do my homework my Mom would prepare snacks.

Some things will never change. Just add an iced tea and this is exactly what I look like when I do homework present day.

Second Grade:

Check out my all pink outfit with snazzy Nike’s and purple accessories. So much style.

I believe it was around second grade that I told my dad I was really nervous about the assignments. I struggled in school when I was young and I was worried that I wouldn’t excel. He told me not to worry about what was too far down the line, “They won’t give you high school work until your ready for it”. It is a little odd to think about being at the pinnacle of my education. In any case, solid life advice I still live by today.

Third Grade:

Please take note of how 90’s stylish I was!

Pink biker shorts, wolf shirt, and you can’t see it because the scanner cut it out, but white keds. Oh yes, I was so 90’s stylish.

And finally,

Sixth Grade:

Oh hey awkward years, good to see you again! My brother assured me that I wasn’t awkward but that I did look lawyerly. I still remember that necklace; I thought it was so cool at the time. I have to say that I am rocking a pretty awesome tan in this photo. Again, some things never change.

And Monday is my last first day of school and my 24th birthday…

This upcoming year is going to be a BIG one for me: My last year of law school, my first marathon, law school graduation, taking the bar, looking for jobs, blogging, many races beyond my marathon and other fun adventures. While I love school I am really just about ready to be done with it and have a full time job. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to enjoy every moment of my last year of school, until I take the bar and have no life for three months! In yoga tonight I was thinking about the concept of “setting your intention”. I’ve decided that despite all the craziness and change in the upcoming year I am going to set my intention. I am going to make a choice to put good vibes into the universe, enjoy every moment of the year and have a good time. I am so excited to see what this year holds for me.

Did you love the first day of school?

Chicago Marathon Training Week 8

This week was a running step back week. My brother is in town and I missed one of my runs but I got an extra day of cross training in and had either sore legs or arms every day this week. Yoga and 14 miles from last week killed my legs and I felt super strong on Monday.

Monday: 4 mile run

Tuesday: well deserved rest day

Wednesday: 4 miles

Thursday: surfing (killed my arms)

Friday: rest

Saturday: 8 mile run

Sunday: yoga

Total Miles: 16 miles

Overall, the mileage wasn’t where I wanted it to be but I did fit in two days of cross training. For having a visitor in town I think I did pretty good.

Next week school starts. I’ve finagled a way to not have class on Thursday OR Friday until the end of September which is great for my training plan. I’m looking forward to setting another personal distance record and getting back to twice a week yoga. I will also be beefing up my mid-week runs from here on out. In other news: a Chipotle, my favorite post run food, is opening on Wednesday. Who is excited for post 16 mile run burritos? I know I am!

Finally, I want it to be noted that I’m foam rolling my legs and my new shoes feel great. No heel pain, Wahoo!