Marathon Training: It’s about to get real

I haven’t updated the blog on marathon training in a long time so let’s get into it.

I started training for the Long Beach Marathon the week after the 4th of July. Unfortunately I had a gnarly summer cold for the entire month of June that put me out of commission. I was pretty freaked out going into training about having a tiny base to build on and a week or so less than last training cycle. I started training enthusiastically.

About a week into training, I noticed a pain in my right hip area. I’ve never had a serious running injury before. I’ve had some slight platers facitus issues and some it band tightness. I assumed this “hip pain” was just that. After taking a day or two off and icing I attempted a speed workout. While I was on the tract the pain got worse. I realized, after consulting Dr. Google, that the pain was actually groin pain. Apparently the groin can be pulled from running uphill which I do a lot of in Manhattan Beach.

For the next two weeks I took it pretty easy. I swapped my long run weeks and made the following week a cut back week. I also amped up the swimming and cycling while making sure I iced my hip consistently.

Within two weeks I was doing the same track workout with minimal pain. I’m very fortunate that the injury wasn’t worse. My body is basically back to normal. I have been icing after all my runs and mixing in cross training. I also have taken to walking up the more aggressive up hills on my running course. Manhattan Beach has 2 steep hills right off the strand that I have been able to run up but I don’t want to push myself too hard on them and reinjure myself.

Other than that minor issue, my training has been going well! Like I blogged before, I am doing my long runs on Monday’s. I’ve stuck to all of them so far which is great. This week I did a killer (for me) 16 mile run. The sun was out and it was a bit hotter than it’s been (this training cycle has been blessed with cool weather) but I felt like I dominated my 8 miles out and 8 miles back. I started slow which is great for me because I usually go out too fast. At the turn around I felt great, took a walk break and then headed back. The way back felt faster than the way out which is fantastic. It was also a beautiful day and I could see all the way to Malibu. I kept my watch on during the WHOLE run including my walking breaks and I did a 10:20 min/mile pace which I was pretty excited about.

Besides that, I’ve fallen off some of my training goals. I haven’t used hand weights in weeks, which is stupid. I really have no excuse since an arm burning takes all of 10 mins and I have weights in my bedroom. I also am getting in 3 to 4 runs a week. At least one of these runs is 5-8 miles with at least 1 shorter 2-3 mile run OR a 4 ish mile run OR both if I can get it in. I’ve also been pretty good at getting at least one bike ride a week in and while I haven’t gotten a swim in for two weeks, I’ve consistently been swimming once a week. I’ve also been taking 2 rest days a week typically which has been necessary. Running over 20 miles in 3 to 4 days makes my body feel creaky and I need the recovery time.

The past week or so I’ve been wondering how my training this time compares to my training 2 years ago, mileage wise. Luckily, when you have a blog you can go back and research these things. Last training cycle I was putting up similar miles and taking up a similar amount of rest days. However, this time around my midweek runs are longer. Also, I’ve been taking far fewer walking breaks. Last time I did all my long runs at a 10:2 run/walk pace. This time I’m only taking walk breaks as needed. Usually I walk at the turn around to shake out my legs and I walk every 45 mins to take in calories. I feel much stronger than I did last time and I’m starting to get excited about what I’ll be able to do on race day.

What else is new with running…. Oh! I finally got a hold on my fueling for long runs. I experimented with a few different fueling methods including sports beans, Gatorade energy chews and gel. Last time I ran a marathon I used Gu. The last half marathon I ran I used the Gatorade energy chews. I tried the sport bean thing but they really didn’t sustain me over the course of my long run. For my last run I used the G Series pre game drink, Gatorade energy chews and then the chocolate protein recovery shake. Overall, this method was the best. I never got hungry and I felt strong the entire time. I really liked drinking the protein shake after the run. I’ve done a terrible job of eating more to accommodate my hunger. I’ve been pretty hanrgy the last two or three weeks. This, hopefully, will help.

Goals

I’ve started to think about my race day goals. I don’t have solid goals set yet since I still have another month before I start to taper but I have the shape of goals forming. I think I should be able to set a PR pretty handedly in Long Beach. I also think I could run a sub 5 hour marathon. I’m holding off on setting other goals for now but I’m pretty excited about the way this race could turn out.

Running things I’ve been reading

Running has been almost all I’ve been thinking about for the past month or so and I’ve really enjoyed these three posts.

First, one of my favorite bloggers, Hungry Runner Girl, is going through a divorce. She wrote a post about how running makes us better at life. I couldn’t agree more.

I also really enjoyed this post from my spinning buddy Gillian about how running is mental. She’s right. With running attitude is everything.

I also enjoyed this post on the runners world website about how running steps can make you think about the years of your life. My marathon will take place when I am almost exactly 26 years and 2 months old. I am totally going to use this to push through those icky final miles. Finally, having a crummy time in my early twenties is good for something!

And now a photo of Izzy. Just because.

The end.

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What I did on my summer vacation (minus the vacation)

I cannot believe I’m writing a blog post titled “summer” with all the fun life and food things I did this summer. Actually, I can because I’ve barely blogged in months. I was actually out to dinner with some of my best law school buddies last weekend and they asked if I ever planned on blogging again. I’ve been busy thing summer with all kinds of things and distracted. I do love blogging and I miss the role it used to play in my life. Hopefully I can find a way to incorporate it more frequently.

Izzy likes lobster in the summer.

I still owe a post on how marathon training is going (spoiler alert: I’m training) but this post is other life things and food happenings from the last few months.

First of all, this is my most proud cooking moment of the summer:

Beer can chicken.

This is so easy. You take a whole chicken, oil it up and season it, place it over a half full beer can. You can use any beer you want because the flavor doesn’t do any work on the chicken. Rather, the beer just keeps the chicken extra moist. Then you cook it on the grill over indirect heat for 90 mins.

It took a bit longer to make this chicken because we ran out of propane (whoops) but it was still probably the best chicken I’ve ever made. Plus, it sounds complicated but it really is incredibly easy to make.

Note: the beer can is supposed to go in the rear end of the chicken and not the neck. Inset your own can’t tell my head from my ass joke here.

Another major exciting thing that happened this summer: I bought a bike!

I had some special gift money that I’d been saving from my Grammy and I decided that it was time to invest in a bike. I went to Summit Ski and Cycle at the recommendation of Joe and purchased a Vitamin A bike from KHS. This bike is a hybrid bike that is between a road bike and a beach cruiser. I’ll be able to use this bike in sprint tri’s when I decide to make the leap. I should always listen to my boyfriends recommendations. He really knew what he was talking about sending me there. The guys at Summit were so nice and helpful. They walked me through all my options, let me test drive several models around the block and even went out of their way to make sure I got the best price possible. I tried out a road bike but decided to go with the hybrid instead. I haven’t biked in a long time. If I decide to be more adventurous than sprint triathlons then perhaps I will consider an upgrade. For biking around town, going to medium length rides and attempting a sprint tri, I feel I made a good decision. A few days later I went back to pick up my baby.

I am also now accepting name ideas.

I’ve been on a couple rides with Joe and a couple of rides alone. I’m mixing it in with my marathon training and so far I really love it. I’m still getting the hang of the gears and biking in traffic and the South Bay’s killer hills but so far so good!

Note: Another bonus, Summit offered me free tune ups for the life of my bike and gave me a discount on all the accessories that I needed to buy for the bike (they threw in the water bottle holder and a water bottle for free!)

I also managed to make it to two concerts this summer.

First I saw Geographer for free at the Getty! I highly recommend checking out the free concerts at the Getty. We had to pay to park (but it’s only $10 after 5) but other than that the concert was totally free. We did, however splurge on dinner at the Getty which was fantastic and probably slightly over priced. No photos but I had an adult grilled cheese with apricot jam and prosciutto. Some of my favorite things! We also smuggled wine into the concert in coffee cups.

#WineSmuggler

The show was pretty good and it made me excited to see more concerts. I took some videos that I posted to Instagram.

Luckily I didn’t have to wait long to see another concert. The second concert we went to was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at the Hollywood Bowl. This was another great show.

Two world music acts opened the show: Oliver Mtukudzi and The Sun Ra Arkestra. They were both fantastic and so much fun!

Edward Sharpe was also just fantastic. I’m not as into their third album as I was into their first two but they did a lot of the first and second album so I was a happy girl.

Last major highlight of the summer: Last week was my birthday. That’s right: I’m officially old.

I started out my week long birthday celebration on the Saturday before my birthday. Joe made me homemade chocolate chip pancakes with bacon and mimosas. I even got to look at this cute dog while I ate.

After we went to Raging Waters, California’s largest water park! I had a blast but I was so tired afterwards.

On Thursday I didn’t do anything too special however I did meet up with Eric, Phil and Jessica for dinner the following Saturday. We went to a new restaurant: Louie’s in Mar Vista.

Louie’s is owned by the same people who own North End Caffe in Manhattan Beach. I love North End and my roommate works there AND had tried Louie’s so I was pumped. The owners actually came out to say “hi” which I really appreciated.

I easily decided to drink an old fashioned which is the drink of the moment.

For dinner Joe and I split bacon fries, the short rib po boy and the pork chop special. The prices are all between $4 and $16 and the plates are between being a full plate and a small plate.

The bacon fries were good. The bacon was in the form on a powder that is referred to as “bacon crack”. It was pretty good and Joe loved the tomato romalade sauce that it came with. They also offered ketchup which was cool cause some restaurants in LA are very picky about the sauces they offer. I usually don’t mind this (as long as the sauce is as good as the Father’s Office aioli) but I liked that they didn’t force their sauce on us.

I loved the short rib po boy. It was served open face with arugula, horseradish crème fraiche, and yellow tomatoes on the most delicious bun ever. I would order this 1 million times.

Then we had the pork chop. It was a pork chop with Japanese flavors with bread pudding and cranberries. It was a delicious take on a thanksgiving meal. Usually I’m not that gaga over pork chops but this was probably the most moist pork chop I’ve had… ever. It was off the specials menu.

I really want to try the desserts at Louie’s but it was a birthday party so of course I brought birthday cake! FYI- when you work at Susie Cakes you bring your own cake to your birthday party.

I ordered a 6 inch chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream on the outside and coconut butter cream on the inside. I love coconut butter cream with chocolate and we only do it by special order at Susie Cakes so I was pumped to have the combination for my birthday cake! It was so delicious. There are few food items I love more in this world than chocolate cake from Susie Cakes.

So that was most of the fun things I did this summer (at least the non running parts). I also spent the 4th of July in South Dakota (which is really fun, I promise) and went to a couple weddings. I’m really looking forward to the Fall. I have a trip to SF on the books for September, complete with my first 49er’s game and a trip to Chicago booked for October. Yes, Northwestern football and cider donuts are calling my name. Oh, and I’m running 26.2 miles through Long Beach. Should be a fantastic Fall! I’ll be back with a running update soon I promise.

This week better be boring & the LA Times Festival of Books

Oh friends, so much has happened since the last time we spoke. Last week was one of the most chaotic weeks I’ve had in a long time. I had a pretty crummy week outside of the bombings on Monday is Boston. In addition, the whole Watertown standoff actually took place 2 blocks from one of my closest friend’s homes. I was totally on edge all day Friday and was so happy when the police were able to arrest the suspect alive. As happy as I was, the whole situation left me feeling bizarrely homesick and emotional on Saturday. I know it’s weird to say you want to be in a place where tragedy is unfolding. I have so many friends left in Boston. I love the city so much. I moved there by choice when I was 18 and I didn’t leave for lack of love.

Compared to what everyone in Boston went though, how I feel is almost nothing. I tried to spend time just snuggling this baby and tried to keep myself busy.

~~

In an effort to distract myself, I decided to hit up the LA Times Festival of Books on Sunday. I’ve always wanted to go but for the past three years I’ve had finals around this time and just never got it together to go. I definitely needed the distraction on Sunday to pull me out of my funk so I decided to trek to enemy territory (aka USC) to check out the festival.

So here’s the deal: the festival is free (after you pay $10 parking). There are booths with authors, book stores etc. all over the campus. Then there are various stages hosting free events with various authors (more on that later) and finally there are “conversations” on various topics throughout the festival. The conversations only cost $1 to attend! I was perusing the list of speakers and I saw a panel on Guns in America. The panel featured a UCLA Law professor whose class I never took but whose writing I’ve followed, Adam Winker, and Constitutional Law all star Erwin Chemerinsky. The panel was rounded out by Paul Barrett.

The conversation was very interesting. It only went for 1 hour but I wished it went for two. Professor Winkler started by talking about the history of gun regulation and gun culture. Then the discussion turned to the history and interpretation of the second amendment and the gun regulations that just failed to make it out on Congress. The whole discussion was very fascinating and enlightening. All of their books are going on my must read list.

After the panel I made my way to the food trucks. I quickly decided to grab a pork belly burrito from the White Rabbit Truck which serves Vietnamese food. I sat in the glorious sunshine and ate this delicious burrito.

After lunch I walked around in the sun, checked out the booths and bought some discount books.

I managed to snag some awesome books including the Tartine cookbook! I was actually at Tartine 1 week ago (separate post) and I am pumped to dig into the book.

After about an hour of aimless wandering I made my way to the cooking stage. Ludo Ludebvre was doing a cooking demonstration out of his new book Ludo Bites. Ludo is known for his tiny restaurants and pop up dining. I’ve blogged about it before, but I am a huge fan of the Ludo Truck. Ludo made smoked veal tartar.

Don’t know that I’ll be smoking veal tartar in my kitchen anytime soon but it was great to see Ludo work. He made his own mayonnaise which seemed really easy with the help of a food processor. He also said that he could change the recipe from veal to tuna, which I would consider doing. I’m just not too keen on cooking veal. He also did a Q and A after the demonstration. Ludo really likes to cook with butter. Can you blame him? I love French food and his new restaurant Trois Mec is now on my must try list.

Overall, I had a really nice time at the book festival. I wish I had planned more in advance and attended more of the conversations! I highly recommend checking out this event next year if you didn’t this year.

Fig Lime Jam

Remember two summers ago when I first discovered figs?

It was the first summer I started going to the farmers market in LA and taking advantage of all the amazing produce that southern California has to offer. I was so swept off my feet by figs I started coming up with plays on the word like “un figgen believable” and “figgen good”. I’m a fan of figs.

Figs are not loved the world over though. I mentioned fig jam to my dad last week and I could visualize the side eye he was throwing me via email. However, I feel this jam has the power to change minds.

Studying for the bar exam threw my world a little upside down this summer. Weekly trips to the farmers market have been a ritual for me since 2010, yet this summer I just never really made it out. The week before the exam I wandered into the Wednesday Santa Monica market. I was kind of sad I hadn’t made it there sooner this summer. The tomatoes, peaches, berries, melon and figs smelled so good. Luckily when my mom was in town she invested in a massive number of figs for me. I made the easy decision to make jam with them.

Why jam? Because saying “I’m making jam” makes you sound vaguely like Martha Stewart. But really making jam is simple. There is very little effort that actually goes into it and very few ingredients. Also, I really like figs but I feel like they go bad fast. Unlike a giant bag of cherries that I can demolish in under an hour, I never really sit and eat a large number of figs. Plus I have a jam recipe from 2010 that I’ve wanted to make foreva.

Plus, once you have jam there tons of ways to use it –> stay tuned for that.

Ingredients:

2 lbs figs (I used Brown Turkey)

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup lime juice

Instructions:

Take the figs and chop them up. I took my 2 lbs of figs and chopped them into quarters.

Juice two limes to get 1/4 cup of lime juice.

Combine the sugar, lime and figs. Mash and combine all of the ingredients. The recipe called for use of a potato masher but I don’t have a potato masher. I used the edge of a rolling pin. Mix and mash the figs, sugar and lime until they are mostly liquid. There were some chunks left from the figs. This is completely acceptable.

Cover the jam and let sit for at least 2 hours. You can let it sit over night.

After two hours heat the jam over medium heat for 30 mins, stirring occasionally. The jam will bubble and reduce down in the process of cooking.

After 30 mins remove from the heat and let it cool. Then refrigerate.

I have to say, this jam is pretty damn good. Plus, it looks pretty and isn’t that equally important?

The jam is sweet but not too sweet. I think the tartness of the lime juice cuts the sweet a bit. Also cooking this will make your apartment smell like heaven.

I have so much jam in my apartment right now (like more than I can just use on toast). Stay tuned next week for ways to use jam. One of them involves pancetta and we know pancetta is always amazing.

Plan Check

I’ve made a really obvious recent discovery: The LA Times website has an entire section devoted to food on the Westside! How did I not figure this out sooner? Obviously, the second I figured out that this section of the site existed I read all the entries that have been posted in the past year.

In one of the more recent entries there was a description of Plan Check, a new gastropub in the Sawtelle area in Los Angeles. For those not familiar, Sawtelle is basically referred to as Little Osaka. The area is near the 405 and boasts tons of delicious restaurants featuring Asian food, specifically lots of Japanese food. There are two Japanese grocery stores and shops. I have come here in the past for noodles, sushi, and boba tea.

Plan Check popped up on some of the twitter feeds of foodies in LA I respect so it obviously shot to the top of my “must try” list. Obviously I enlisted my friend Kelly to check it out with me. She was in the second she heard that the former executive chef from Umami Burger was behind this bar.

Kelly and I went early on a Wednesday and had no issues getting in. We immediately plopped down in a booth and interrogated the drink menu. I decided on a Little Osaka Sour, which is a whiskey sour with sake!

I’ve probably been ruined by living in cities but $9 doesn’t seem that bad for a special cocktail. This drink was similar to a traditional whiskey sour and it was strong! I got my $9 worth.

Kelly had this one night only drink that I forgot the name of but it was pretty.

Kelly is more or less my dining soul mate. We like all the same things and we both like to split our dishes to maximize the food we get to try.

We started with the beet salad with whipped goat cheese, spinach and balsamic vinegar because, you know, whipped goat cheese.

Whipped goat cheese is the food of the gods. I highly recommend this dish. It reminded me of summer and it was light. Plus did I mention the whipped goat cheese? Yep. Delicious way to start the meal.

Kelly and I wanted to try one of the burgers and one of the entrees. I am not a huge fan of eggs but I took a chance and ordered the Chef’s Favorite burger. The burger is cheese two ways, bacon two ways, ketchup leather, sunny fried egg, hot sauce. Behold!

I feel like that parmesan crisp on top is a dead giveaway from Umami. This was delicious! I was quite pleased. It wasn’t overly eggy or hot saucey. It was super baconey and cheesy. These aren’t words but don’t worry about it. I would order this again. Once we cut into the egg the yoke went everywhere which I really liked. I would order this again.

We also tried the fried chicken.

Crispy skin, gravy and yams. This was also quite good. The skin was crispy and the meat was very moist. Note that when you order the fried chicken there is also a fried chicken sandwich which I want to try when I go back.

I gleaned from yelp that the fries aren’t that great but the veggie chips are delicious so that’s what we ordered as a side. They came with guac and were delicious. Perfect size for sharing.

For dessert there was only one thing we wanted to try: house made donuts.

I was overcome with excitement when they came out to the table and I ate them before I got a picture. Whoops.

Cinnamon sugar deliciousness.

I would totally come back to Plan Check. It’s near where I live, has great drinks and enough menu options that I want to have again, or try for the first time. I didn’t have one but there is a great local beer list for those who want beer and there are several other cocktails I still want to try. Definitely will be making a return trip to Plan Check!

In other news: I have a week and a half left of law school class. Who let that happen?! I also was a beast on my 10 mile run yesterday finishing it in an hour and 33 mins. The last time I ran ten miles nearly that quickly was in the Rock n Roll San Diego 1/2. Not sure I’ll be able to bust my PR in Pasadena next month but fingers crossed. These training times bode well.

One dish dinner & an apartment update

What with marathon training and enjoying my summer I am all over simple dinners that I can bring to work for lunch. I found this gem when going through back issues of Real Simple.

One Dish Bulger, Asparagus and Lemony Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup bulger
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375. In a baking dish combine water, bulger, salt and pepper in the bottom of the pan. On top, layer the asparagus in a thin layer. Salt and pepper the salmon and place them on top of the asparagus. Squeeze lemon on top and place the lemon, just like so…

Cover the pan with foil.

Place in the oven and back for 30 mins. When you take it out you will have two perfectly cooked meals!

In the words of Ina, “how easy is that?!”
So easy. You have no excuse not to make a fantastic dinner tonight. I don’t cook a ton of meat but salmon is my protein go-to. And the reheated lunch was delicious and didn’t have that fish-ey thing that you get with shrimp.

Apartment Update!

If you follow me on Twitter you already know that my application was accepted for apartment #2! I sign my lease on Saturday and my lease starts on July 2. I am totally getting a celebratory treat on Saturday from Tavern, since I can WALK there from my new apartment! Oh yes. You thought there were a lot of Tavern and Susie Cakes and NY Bagel on the blog last year. Just you wait.

In the meantime, here are some other pictures from the apartment for interested parties…

Living Room

The other side of the kitchen. Words cannot adequately express how excited I am to cook in this kitchen. Seriously people. See the counter space near the oven? That’s what I’m working with NOW and I don’t have a full size oven either. And there is a window. It’s love.

Love the funky knobs in the bathroom.

More than a little excited about a yellow tub. So funky. There is a matching yellow shower.

A bedroom with its own door that closes and is TOTALLY separate from the living area. I’ve been dreaming of this for years.

I cannot wait to get into my new apartment and work on decorating!

What is your décor style? I had a decorator but my style is definitely eclectic.

The Great Apartment Hunt Begins (and I self medicate with Susie Cakes)

Its official: I can no longer live life on the opposite side of the 405 from Susie Cakes.

While there are parts of my current apartment I love (huge studio loft with tons of light) there are aspects of it that I just can’t deal with anymore (excess of undergrads in my building, small kitchen, proximity to school). Thus I made the decision to move. My lease isn’t up until August 1st but I would love to move before then. I also want to move now because, this time next year I will be buried in bar studying and definitely won’t have time to move.

Saturday kicked off the grand hunt. Truth? Apartment hunting totally stresses me out! Its fun in theory but waiting for applications to be accepted, looking at place after place and trying to find an apartment that will accommodate this critter…

just stresses me out.

So in an effort to make this more bearable, let’s play a little game called Apartment Hunter! Yes, I love House Hunters. I watched a TON of House Hunters with my Mom whenever I’m home and I not so secretly would love to be on the show. With no further adieu…

Here is my Must List:

  • 1 bedroom
  • Allows my cat
  • Bigger kitchen than I have now (a full size oven would be nice)
  • Quiet neighborhood, quiet apartment
  • Decent light
  • Parking
  • Refrigerator (not always included in apartments in LA)
  • Walking distance to Tavern (I’m totally not kidding. How else would I pick a neighborhood?)

And my Want List:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Dishwasher
  • Air conditioning
  • Bath tub
  • Outdoor space
  • Community space
  • Laundry onsite

Truthfully, I totally don’t expect to get everything on my want list. If I were able to get two of them or even none of them, that would be fine with me if it’s the right place.

Last Saturday I looked at three apartments.

Apartment 1 – Above my budget, no fridge.


Pros: good size, hardwood floors, quiet building with lots of community space, parking and allows cats

Cons: above my budget, no fridge

Apartment 2 – Quiet location, great kitchen



Pros: quiet, secure building with parking, a nice kitchen, plenty of space and some community space. Dishwasher (!)

Cons: No a/c

Apartment 3 – Lots of light but on a busy street


Pros: allows pets, lots of light, friendly manager, parking, beautiful pool, nice size in the apartment

Cons: small kitchen, bedroom window looks out on loud and busy street

In the end I put an application in for Apartment 2 and am just waiting to hear back so cross yo fingers! If it’s not accepted this week get ready for Apartment Hunters Round 2 starting this weekend.

All of this back and forth is crazy stressful for me so I walked to Susie Cakes after looking for apartment and bought myself a little reward. June is strawberry month at Susie Cakes so I got the seasonal cupcake: Strawberry with White Chocolate!

Oh yes, apartment hunting was worth it to enjoy this cupcake. This was slightly different than other Susie Cakes cup cakes. The cake was white and the center was strawberry and crème! The frosting was white chocolate. It was soggy, in a good way, and completely melted in my mouth. Definitely worth trying if you like cup cakes, Susie Cakes, or strawberries. Cup cakes like this should be mandatory for apartment hunters!

What are your apartment must haves?

For the love of bacon

It’s no secret; I’ve gone a bit overboard on bacon recently.

It all started with bacon at the Griddle.

Then there was bacon from Local.

Fake bacon from Real Food Daily.

And finally, post half marathon bacon.

I declared all of these to be the “best bacon ever” within the time frame of a month. I know; I have pretty much turned into a bacon whore. But things went to a whole new level on Thursday.

What happened on Thursday? Well, my new coworkers and I went to happy hour and then a few of us went to Art Walk in Downtown LA. We totally blew off the art in favor of food trucks and based on the line up that they had, can you really blame us? There were two lots full of trucks including India Jones, the Lobsta Truck, the Grilled Cheese Truck, Fry Smith, the Buttermilk Truck and Ludo Truck. Oh yes, it was like a lineup of my all time favorites.

I immediately made a beeline for this.

Better than I remembered.

My coworkers tried Buttermilk, India Jones, Fry Smith, and Ludo. Then we decided to was time to try CoolHaus. I’ve never been to CoolHaus before so I definitely wanted to check it out.

And then this happened.

Browned butter and candied bacon ice cream. The ice cream was like a supped up version of your traditional vanilla. The bacon added a little something extra but it wasn’t a literal bacon taste. I love browned butter and I think that it deepens the flavor of pretty much everything. I would get this again but there are so many other great flavors at Cool Haus but next time I think I would try like fig and balsamic.

As for the winner of best bacon? Not going to lie, RFD’s fake bacon is pretty killer. In the real bacon division I have to give it to the Coronado. The bacon was thick and tasted so good after 13.1.

In it to win it

Hey blog peeps! Sorry it’s been a while since I posted but as you can imagine it has been a bit of a whirlwind around here since Tuesday. Thanks for the predictions on my coffee consumption. LCCMOM has the highest guess, which I suppose is telling since I can pretty much give her credit for my addiction habit. I owe you a post about the She Run’s LA after party and I was going to do it yesterday. Let’s just say I went into yoga with a plan for the night, as I was getting into my meditation there was chanting of “USA” outside the window of the studio on the Promenade and when I emerged from yoga the world was a different place. I had intended to post but I went home and was glued to the news. She Runs LA after party post will be happening, eventually.

Saturday I took a final (I kinda rocked it, no biggie) and I’ve been spending most of my time since then studying, tempered with some nice breaks. Like today! I spent 6 hours in the library so I took a study break for a walk on the beach. This probably the best study break I’ve taken in the past 2 years. In all I covered 2.5 miles in the sand which counted as my workout today.


Another achievement? I ran 24 miles last week which is a high for me and also the first time I’ve run more miles than my age! I capped the week off with a 10 miler on Saturday and boy did my legs feel it yesterday. I also went pretty hard in yoga last night. I kinda rocked my back bend which was awesome! My body was tired today so I let myself rest up a little bit. I’ve also done a good job of not rewarding myself at Susie Cakes and/or Tavern and/or Huckleberry every day for being focused while studying. This is good for me. I can reward myself with healthy things like time on the beach, rather than the intoxicating smell of Susie Cakes.

However, the trifecta of winning really happened when I came home and made an EPIC dinner totally on the fly: Seared Salmon with Garlic, Lemon, Dill Aioli, sautéed Summer Squash, and Wheat Bulger with Scallions. Oh yes, it was epic! I promise, it was ridiculously quick and easy to make too!

I started with 1 tbsp. of EVO in a pot with ¾ cup wheat Bulger (which is like a cousin of couscous and quinoa). I put the heat on low and made sure the Bulger was coated in the oil. Then I added 1 and 1/8 cup of water, raised the heat to a boil and then reduced the heat and let it cook for 15 mins.

Next, I heated 1 tbsp of EVO in a pan with med/high heat. While it heated up I patted the salmon dry and salted and peppered each side. Then I placed the salmon in the hot pan and seared it on each side for about 3 mins, or until the inside of the salmon was light and flakey.

Once the salmon is done keep everything in the pan and sauté the summer squash for about 5 mins, until cooked through. I used two mini summer squashes which made their first appearance at the FM this week!

Check on the bulger. Once it is done cooking (it will be like couscous or quinoa) fluff and add one sliced scallion.

Finally, make the aioli. For the aioli I used a spoonful of veganaise (because I like it better than mayo, true story), squeezed lemon, chopped fresh dill and a little bit of garlic spread. I didn’t measure it out; I just eyeballed it because that’s how I roll.

For something I made totally on the fly, this was pretty tasty. I got the seared salmon and bulger idea from a random back issue of Everyday Food but I came up with the aioli on my own! This meal was very filling and I am glad I added the baby squash. It was their first week at the farmers market and they were so tiny and adorable I knew I had to buy some! The best part of this dish was that, besides being filling and healthy, it only took about 20 mins to throw together. If you start with the bulger and then do the salmon while the bulger cooks you can do it in 20 mins. Also, minimal chopping was involved with the meal.

Let’s just say that between my first final, my running mileage and this insane meal, I’m in it to win it 🙂

What are you winning right now? It’s important to recognize our achievements, right!?

She Runs LA: The Run

Yesterday afternoon I took a break from the books and hit the pavement for my 10k as part of She Run’s LA.

I was so excited to participate in this event because it a WOMEN’s event. The women’s college alum in me still gets excited about all women events. Will you indulge the academic feminist in me for a second while I talk about women running? Of course you will.

Did you know that there wasn’t a women’s marathon in the Olympics until 1984? Seriously, three years before I was born. That is insane. Women weren’t allowed to register for the Boston Marathon until the late 60’s. In fact Kay Switzer registered under her initials in 1967 so she could have the opportunity to run it. No one knew there was a woman running it until after she got going. At mile 4 the race director caught up with her and tried to physically remove her.

Source

Naturally, he wasn’t successful and she finished. The point of this little history lesson? It wasn’t that long ago that running marathon distance was taboo for women. Women were seen as too weak and fragile and therefore unable to compete. The radical in me loves that I’m going to get to train for something which I might not have been able to two generations ago. Seriously, the 60’s weren’t that long ago and the 80’s DEFINITELY weren’t that long ago. Distance running was (and I would argue, is) radical yo and it’s great that Nike brought together a group of women to run.

With that in mind, I suited up for my 6 mile run around my usual 6 mile loop.

Love the race shirt! I left around 2:30 pm and it was almost 80 degrees and sunny! A little warmer than I typically like, but it was OK. Like a champ I forgot my water bottle so I made sure I took ample water fountain breaks and a couple stop light breaks. It was HOT. I ran a bit slower plus I didn’t have my usual “I’m running a race” adrenaline boost and I finished in about an hour. When I was running I saw another person chugging along in a She Run’s LA shirt. It was really exciting to see another person doing the same thing I was doing. I love the collective idea.

And for the occasion I made a playlist. It was meant to be only “girl power” type songs and then somehow the “How the World Ends” remix got included and it got off track. I think I’m incapable of running without some Nicki Minaj.

Here is the mix:

“Run the World (Girls)”, “Ex-Girlfriend”, “Celebrity Skin”, “Till the World Ends (Remix), and “Judas” were totally clutch. Clearly I got off track on the empowering song idea but HEY, at least it’s all ladies on this mix!

After getting home I stretched out and showered so I could hit the She Run’s LA after party in Downtown LA! Stay tuned!

What is your favorite workout song right now?