Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!! WOOHOOO!!


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Okay.

Now that I'm done celebrating by typing in capital letters, I can take today to celebrate Halloween the way I like it - with my favorite Halloween movie ever, Hocus Pocus. I used to dress up in costumes and go out, but this year has been pretty hectic with work, lots of traveling and marathon training, so when I have a spare minute I have been just enjoying the simple pleasures of doing nothing.


I love watching themes movies for holidays (don't even get me started on Christmas movies!), and Hocus Pocus is my absolute favorite on Halloween, or really just October in general (Halloween Town coming in with a close 2nd). Any movie with Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker in it is always good, and the entire cast of this movie did such a good job with their roles.


Earlier this month while I was at Target, I happened to come across a Hocus Pocus themed shirt while walking to the toothpaste aisle (this is a common issue at Target), and I had to have it. This shirt will serve as my Halloween costume this year 😊.


This year our BMX track pushed the annual Halloween race to Tuesday, because more rain is in the forecast for Wednesday. It's always so much fun, and I know the kids love to run amuck and visit the trunk or treat going on in parking. Last year I was picking tootsie roll out of my cleat for about 20 minutes, dang Tootsie Rolls. 😋

Whatever you guys are doing this year (or not doing) for Halloween, I hope you are having a great day! 


Monday, October 29, 2018

I'm an Ambassador!! The Woodlands Marathon

The countdown is on!!





I hope everyone is having a blast getting ready for/running all of your races this season. I talked about this earlier last week on my Instagram, but I am just SO happy about this I want to talk about it again (and give you guys the chance to grab a discount if you want to sign up as well). 😃 I'm so excited that I was one of 10 runners chosen in the Houston area to represent the Woodlands Marathon as an ambassador. 



I will be running the half marathon (I have a few other races so close to this time period, so the full won't quite work out), but I can't wait to run this one! I ran it a few years ago and everything from the parking to the ease of finding your way to the after run snacks went so smoothly, this is easily one of my favorite races to run (the medals are pretty awesome, too) 😊❤. If you've run this race before, I hope you had a good time too, and if you haven't yet and would like to try it out, I'm posting a code you can use below in order to receive 15% off whatever distance you'd like to run. 



If you want to be a part of such a well run race with a great group of people, sign up (don't forget the code - who doesn't want to save money), and I'll see you out there on race day!! 



Little disclaimer - Even though this meme is awesome, I don't get anything if you sign up, I'm just putting this code out there to help you guys out. You're welcome. 😀

Marathon Training: Week 7

I can't believe my first marathon is coming up in January! All those last few years of thinking about it and knowing that I wasn't ready to commit to training for one seemed like forever ago, and now it's real and I couldn't be more excited (and nervous - let's not lie here lol!). For the marathon plan I'm following, I chose one for beginner runners who have about a year of running under their belt. While I'm not a beginner, I wanted to work more on hills, technique and speed and I feel that this plan will allow me to do that to a greater extent.

Week 7 was awesome, and by that I mean less humidity, less rain and more hope that we won't turn into the lost city of Atlantis's sister. 😂

The week 7 breakdown went like this:


Monday 10/22: Rest Day - yay! Much deserved. 

Tuesday 10/23: 4 treadmill miles at the gym today since it rained. I also took full advantage of the hydro massage chair for 30 minutes, which was HEAVEN!





Wednesday 10/24: Rest day. 

Thursday 10/25: 4 miles down at the gym!! Also, there was hydro massage. Woohoo!! 



Friday 10/26: This was supposed to be a rest day but I ended up going to the running track and did some speedwork. I felt REALLY out of shape because my legs were sore for a few days. 

Saturday 10/27: 4 miles out at the nature preserve. It was almost 80 so I looked like I went for a swim in the pond, but it was still a nice, destressing run. 



Sunday 10/28 12 mile long run today! This has been my longest run yet in probably going on 2 years. I went into this run sore form the speedwork on Friday, but I powered through it and got it done. It was probably the slowest I've ever done 12 miles, but I still view it as a win since I haven't even tried to do this in so long. 





Wednesday, October 24, 2018

RUNderful Wednesday

The middle of the week is here, WOOHOO!!!! We've made it this far guys, so SMILE (even if the track is rained out like it is today, again). Le sigh. 

YOU are responsible for your own happiness; no one else can do it for you. 😊😊 I love reading funny or inspirational things, whatever makes me smile or think about something in a different way. My pick of the week is: 

Step out of your comfort zone.


I am guilty of embracing comfort zones throughout my life. From elementary all the way through most of high school I loved to live in whatever comfort zone I was in at the time. Doing that made me feel safe, and I had less anxiety doing what I had always done, but it never got me anywhere. My dreams stayed as they were - just dreams - and nowhere in my mind did I see them as actually becoming a reality. Acting on a dream takes stepping out of your comfort zone. At the very end of high school and through college I decided to change that. I started speaking up more and doing things that before I had been too scared to do, and it paid off. I began racing BMX, joined different groups in college, traveled and went out of my way to make new friends. It made me less afraid to try new things. Those things forced me to step outside of what was safe for me, and after a while I actually enjoyed pushing my limits regularly and trying out new things. Big changes are still daunting, but change is a good thing! My goal now is to continue to embrace change and see where it gets me. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Marathon Training: Week 6

I can't believe my first marathon is coming up in January! All those last few years of thinking about it and knowing that I wasn't ready to commit to training for one seemed like forever ago, and now it's real and I couldn't be more excited (and nervous - let's not lie here lol!). For the marathon plan I'm following, I chose one for beginner runners who have about a year of running under their belt. While I'm not a beginner, I wanted to work more on hills, technique and speed and I feel that this plan will allow me to do that to a greater extent.

Back to running in Texas this week. 

Week 6 was good. It's been raining everyday so keeping things all on pavement until the trails dry out. 

The week 6 breakdown went like this:


Monday 10/15: Rest Day

Tuesday 10/16: 5 miles on the treadmill in the gym. Treadmill miles are tough. Those 5 miles felt like they took FOREVER. But I buckled down and got them done. So that's always good.

Hangin' 10 😋
 
Wednesday 10/17: Rest day. 

Thursday 10/18: 3 miles in the park before the sun went down. It had just stopped raining so I stayed on the paved part. 

Friday 10/19: Rest day

Saturday 10/20: 6 miles in the park today. I ran post-rain so the humidity levels were up there, but the fall air helped cool everything down. It was a really good run. 

"I like to take pictures after running a bunch of miles."
- Every runner ever.

So happy this company filled up the duck pond again! Aren't ducks the cutest??


Sunday 10/21: 10 miles in the park today, LSD. Keeping it slower also helped to drastically lower my stopping times as well. Beautiful cool weather with a slight cooling breeze, couldn't ask for better, besides the track being open. Stretched after, but didn't foam roll and no aches or pains. I'm ready to go run again this week!

When you run 10 miles and then realize your hair still smells good. 


Monday, October 22, 2018

Treats & Eats in San Francisco

This past week in San Francisco (and surrounding area) has been amazing. I love so much about California - the people, the art, the self expression, the nature, the weather, and of course the food! During my time there I was lucky enough to try some pretty amazing places in the city with good friends, and I'd love to share some of those finds. So, in case you're ever in San Francisco (run, don't walk!) and looking for a good place the locals love, check out the list below. You won't be disappointed. 😊 If you want to visit any of their websites and see more yummy food, just click the link on their name and address. 

Mensho Tokyo 
672 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102

Mensho Tokyo is the first Ramen shop in the U.S. from the chef in charge of the popular Tokyo locations. While the wait time at this small establishment is crazy long, we arrived early and managed to snag a table for 4 as the first wave of diners was leaving. Located in the Tendernob area, there is a high number of panhandlers, but we never had a problem in the area at all. I have found this area one of the best for places to eat. I tried the Tori Paitan ramen, which is what I was told they are known for. The noodles are springy and perfect when slurping up. The fried mushroom appetizer was also amazing and crispy. I've never seen anything like it before. They don't make orders to go or give "doggy bags", because they believe that ramen is best served fresh. A bowl will leave you pretty full, but we left for the wine bar next door SO happy! The prices were very reasonable, but they did have a bowl of ramen with 5 star kobe beef, only 10 bowls served per day, for $40 a bowl. My friend got that one, and I did get to try some of the broth. I still have dreams about that broth! This place is a definite go. 


5 Star Kobe Beef Ramen

Tori Paitan Ramen

my bf's spicy ramen, I forget what this one was! 


School Night
601 19th St., San Francisco, CA 94107

School Night is located in or near Dogpatch, just a short walk from where we were staying. School night is very trendy, and just like the name implies, it is school themed and only open on school nights. Their drinks are slightly overpriced but trendy and tasty cocktails, wisky, wine, etc., and the friends I was with ordered food which they said was amazing. While this place wouldn't become my staple, it was fun and I would recommend checking it out. 


dish of the day, got two thumbs up! 


Chong Qing Xaio Mian
900 Kearny St., San Francisco, CA 94133

Located in Chinatown, Chong Qing Xaio Mian (Xaio Mian means "little noodles") is, according to my boyfriend, the epitome of a good traditional Chinese restaurant, with exception to the higher American/San Fran prices. We tried about 6 different appetizers between 4 of us, as well as bowls of the best noodle soup, and nothing disappointed. This place also comes complete with traditional waiters/waitresses, because if you hesitate on what you want or need a second to glance at the menu, when you look up they will be gone! Haha! The food was so amazing, and you don't want to pass this place up. 



SUCH good noodle soup

an overview of our soup and appetizers


Spark Social SF (Food Trucks)
601 Mission Bay Blvd. North, San Francisco, CA 94158



There are 2 Spark Social locations in San Francisco. Spark Social is basically made up of 10 or so really cool food trucks who reside permanently at each location. The prices were food truck prices, with many items at each truck running around $10-$11 (including smoothies, which I would never pay $11 for a smoothie - geeze! Makes me want to just get a blender). My bf got a Korean bowl that seems very healthy, and I went the other way with a chicken tikka masala burrito from an Indian food truck. They were both amazing, and we each like to order different items so we can try more. 😊 It was walking distance from our area, and across the street is an interesting mini golf place, complete with tee pees. We passed on that idea but enjoyed trying out the truck food. There is also a bare truck in the middle with lots of tables and benches and shade. 






China Live
644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

China Live is very touristy, and typically I don't go for touristy places. However, after a long day of walking around and looking at Ferraris, we all wanted a place to sit and drink some wine and hang out. The wine shop we originally intended to visit was closed, so China Live it was. We sat at the bar portion (there is a large gift shop as well as a restaurant area), opened a bottle of Champagne and toasted to a good day. The Champagne was bubbly, the conversations with the bartenders were lively and hilarious, and since they open cook at China Live, we got to watch them cut pork belly, duck and make fresh dumplings, of which we ordered and were delicious. For a touristy place, it was a good time. I even picked up my nephew a pair of kid's chopsticks, complete with biting shark head on the top.


Watching the China Live chefs create art through the glass

394 Grand Ave., South San Francisco, CA 94080

This taqueria (as well as Mission Pie) was highly recommended to us by our bus driver on the climb down from a very windy Twin Peaks visit, and he wasn't fooling. This place is small, the tables can be slightly dirty, there was a pigeon walking around since the doors were propped open, and it was the best authentic Mexican food I've had (including many places in Texas)! We each kept it simple with a torta and a burrito, and the good food combined with the Latino population and culture and the colorful murals on every wall made me completely fall in love with the Mission district. Besides China Town, Mission has my heart. If you're ever there, seek out this place. You won't be disappointed!

The best places are unassuming and frequented by locals. It didn't disappoint! 




What to say about Mission Pie but YUM. This place was a short walk from Taqueria Farolito, and they sell pie slices, whole pies and other lunch and dinner items such as quiche. My boyfriend had a slice of apple and I had berry, and I'm glad it was only one slice or I would've eaten the entire pie. Mission Pie seems more modern than the surrounding Mission district, and it's decorated in what I would describe as a french theme. It was fun sitting at a window table eating pie in a very French type place while admiring the murals across the street. The pie slices aren't as big as, say, House of Pies in Houston, but the quality was there. I would visit Mission Pie again for sure, and it did feel completely justified after 4 miles of 30%-ish grade hill running earlier, ha! 



Our beautiful window view! 


707 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

This is the 2nd time I've visited this particular chocolate shop in Sausalito. It's located on the more touristy main drag, but the chocolate, however expensive, doesn't disappoint. I paid $6 for two pieces to split and as a small treat it was so satisfying. I was told much of their chocolate is made in house and you can definitely taste the difference. To me it is on par with Ethel M's chocolate out of Las Vegas.


Dark chocolate truffles - made in shop! 
chocolate and flowers - that's a good day haha! 


2824 Jones St., San Francisco, CA 94133

My favorite desert shop by far is the Baked Bear. Custom made ice cream sandwiches, and heated to just the right slightly melty temperature. It is melt in your mouth died and gone to heaven goodness. You have a choice of plain ice cream in a cone or a sandwich made with your choice of cookies, brownies, or donuts. We tried their signature blue ice cream with chocolate pieces in it, aptly named Bear something or other, with a chocolate chip cookie and an M&M cookie, and oreo cookie crumbles on the outside, heated to perfection. Even after splitting this with my boyfriend, half was plenty and I would definitely buy that blue ice cream if I could find a pint in the local grocery store!

heaven in cookie shape
Last but certainly not least, the BEST food I had in San Francisco was with great friends in a beautiful studio apartment in the heart of the city. Chicken Tajin, made in a Tajin, paired with whiskey or wine (wine for me) and the chocolate mousse cake we brought. THANK YOU to a great week, and to even better friends! I couldn't have done it without you.

Home made chicken tajin by one of the best chef's I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. 

Chocolate mousse cake - courtesy of Costco. It was delicious. 
Post cake taste testing going down around here


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Marathon Training: Week 5

I couldn't be more thankful to be able to do my week 5 training in San Francisco. To begin with, it's one of my favorite cities on the planet. It's also the place where I met my boyfriend, so it's really awesome that we both got to go back, and run there together. 😃

All ready to go with my water bottle, some dill pickle flavor peanuts and a good book!



I can't believe my first marathon is coming up in January! All those last few years of thinking about it and knowing that I wasn't ready to commit to training for one seemed like forever ago, and now it's real and I couldn't be more excited (and nervous - let's not lie here lol!). For the marathon plan I'm following, I chose one for beginner runners who have about a year of running under their belt. While I'm not a beginner, I wanted to work more on hills, technique and speed and I feel that this plan will allow me to do that to a greater extent.

Since I got to spend all of last week in sunny NorCal, there was absolutely NO rain to be seen!!! YESSSS!! 😎 The plague could've hit at this point and I would still have been in pure heaven. 

Week 5 was super fun and challenging. This training was pretty much the exact opposite of the running conditions I have been training in. There was no humidity, the air was cool, and there were  PLENTY of hills to train on.

The week 5 breakdown went like this:


Monday 10/8: Rest Day

Tuesday 10/9: 4 VERY hilly (and FuN) miles from Dogpatch to Dolores Park today! Those hills don't play around.



Wednesday 10/10: Rest day. Went to Twin Peaks (the hill NOT the eating establishment). Didn't blow off the hill so I'd consider that a win.  

Thursday 10/11: Feeling very rundown and not that great. Managed to get my 3 miles in to AT&T stadium and back to the house. Passed by my favorite local park on the way back.





Friday 10/12: Rest day

Saturday 10/13: Still not feeling really up to par, but when I found out that my run was 5 miles instead of the 10 I thought it was I was so relieved. Nevertheless, got it done! My boyfriend also ran with me everyday, and it was so much fun to explore the city on foot with him.



Sunday 10/14: 1st day back at home and I have a cold! No running - BOOOOO. I decided to put the long run (10 mi.) back till next weekend. Spent the day in bed Sunday and Monday. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Marathon Training: Week 4

Week 4 just happened! Still on track! WOOHOOOO!! 😎😄


I can't believe my first marathon is coming up in January! All those last few years of thinking about it and knowing that I wasn't ready to commit to training for one seemed like forever ago, and now it's real and I couldn't be more excited (and nervous - let's not lie here lol!). For the marathon plan I'm following, I chose one for beginner runners who have about a year of running under their belt. While I'm not a beginner, I wanted to work more on hills, technique and speed and I feel that this plan will allow me to do that to a greater extent.

This was a (still) rainy week for the most part in Texas, but I got a little break from the rain and heat while in Cali Saturday and Sunday. 👍

Week 4 went pretty well. My miles were a little lower this time, at 19, for the week (Monday - Sunday) but I got in a great long run. With the rain there were no hills again, so I concentrated on not stopping, which goes against my specialty haha!, and therefore very little speed work, so I'll be putting that back in the workout next week.

Week 4 breakdown went like this:


Monday 10/1: Rest Day

Tuesday 10/2: 4 miles at the park. It rained again today (what's new here?), but I was able to find a break in the weather to head out to the park. The puddles, humidity and fog took over the scene today, and I sprayed on a TON of bug spray before my run, which helped big time. I feel like I ran SO fast today, and maybe that's because I was just happy, or maybe the long run did something, I'm not sure. On my last lap I saw a wild dog come out of the woods and run onto the soccer field. I wasn't too worried, but I made sure to keep my eye on him or her and in the end that dog really inspired me to kick that last part of the run, haha! 

Wednesday 10/3: Rest day

Thursday 10/4: 4 miles in the park 

Friday 10/5: Rest and travel day

Saturday 10/6: 4 miles in San Francisco!

Sunday 10/7: LONG RUN DAY!!! 7 miles along the Embarcadero in SF with the BF! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

RUNderful Wednesday

The middle of the week is here, WOOHOO!!!! We've made it this far guys, so SMILE (even if the track is rained out like it is today, again). Le sigh. 

YOU are responsible for your own happiness; no one else can do it for you. 😊😊 I love reading funny or inspirational things, whatever makes me smile or think about something in a different way. My pick of the week is: 

Our lives aren't defined by ONE thing.


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I know this seems like common sense, but so many of us have that one regret and wish about changing the past. "I wish I could go back in time and change ____." or "I wish I would've taken on a favorite sport earlier, I would be SO much better." Weather we wish we could have gotten a jump on the competition, made a batter choice or just had some clarity for the future, the reality is we can't. That one thing never defined who we are. In fact, a string of wrong turns doesn't define who we are; what defines us is how we choose to react to those things and move forward. I fully believe in personal accountability, and while we may go through portions in our lives that are, in some cases, beyond tough, keep pushing ahead every day. 

This is were running comes in - BMX too. In fact, any sport or favorite thing that you like and want to be better at. Practicing that thing or training or going for ONE run is good, it's a step in the right direction, but it's what you do after that initial step that keeps you going. After a run or a bike ride, for example, you have a great day. After MANY runs or bike rides, your life has been changed for the better because not only are you better at that thing you love so much, you are now in the habit of making a positive change everyday. 

Looking back at the sports I love, I feel that I wouldn't have the self love, happiness or confidence I do without them. Training, competing and meeting other people in the community have changed me for the better, both in body and mind. 

What is something that has changed you?