My First (and Last!) Marathon!

December 14th, 5 am in Honululu, I will be running my first and last marathon. It’s a bucket list item for me that I’m looking forward to checking off.

Years ago during college my best friend and I volunteered at the Chicago marathon and saw people way older than us running and we were so inspired. So this has been a goal of ours for years and now is the perfect time for us to complete it.

I know that some people love running marathons, and do them every year, but not me. I just want to be able to do it once, that’s really enough for me. I don’t need to have a record fast time. I just want to be able to cross the finish line in one piece.

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26.2 miles. It’s totally crazy right? I know. I agree with you.

So then why am I doing it?

1) Because I’ll never be younger than I am now. The older I am the harder it will on my body.

2) I don’t own a house and pay a mortgage right now, I don’t have any kids yet, so I have free time that I need to dedicate to the training schedule.

(Not to say that people who do have those things can’t and don’t do marathons! They obviously do. I just know that it takes a lot of time and at this point in my life, I have that time to give without feeling guilty.)

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3) I want to push my limits and prove to myself that I can do it.

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4) It is incredibly rewarding and empowering to set a goal and achieve it.

Before I started training for both my half and full marathon, I never ran more than 3 miles at a time. Each time I run a distance more than that, it’s my first time. Never did I think I could and would run 13.1 miles, but I did and you can too (if you want to!)  If I weren’t training for a marathon I would never run that much. You can really teach your body and mind endurance, setting a pace, and going the distance.

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5) It’s a great way to get in shape, be healthy, and increase your endurance.

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6) It’s a great opportunity to bring attention to important causes and donate money to charities. It’s also a great motivator to run for someone or something important.

I read Adam Braun’s book, The Promise of a Pencil, which is about the incredible non profit he started that raises money to educate children around the world by building schools, providing scholarships, training teachers and so much more. I knew right away I wanted to raise money and help in any way I could. I am almost half way to my goal of $250 with 5 weeks left to go.

Here is my fundraising page if you feel so inclined to donate. I would really appreciate it and so will the kids, parents and teachers.

https://fundraise.pencilsofpromise.org/fundraise?fcid=343226

Even if you don’t donate, you should read his book, or check out the website and learn more about Pencils of Promise.

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7) Not that you need a reason to go to Hawaii, but this is great excuse. I will really be looking forward to having a vacation after I finish! But before then, it will be a great way to explore and really see Oahu and it’s coast. And I’ll at least have beautiful scenery to keep me distracted while I’m counting down the miles.

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8) Bragging rights! No matter how long it takes me, even if I get cramps, even if I have a bad mile or five, I will (hopefully) cross that finish line and become a part of the marathon runners club.

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9) That shiny medal. I have my half medal marathon and it’s one of my most prized possessions. I display it proudly at our place and its a fun talking point. I paid for, trained for, and worked hard for that thing. I didn’t grow up with lots of trophies so it was a big deal and accomplishment for me to have a shiny medal of my own that I earned. Can’t wait to add to my collection!

10) I really enjoy the encouraging environment that surrounds races. I love the clever signs people have and the amazing, warm words of motivation that get shouted at the runners. Running marathons can be very taxing both emotionally and physically so when runners hear things like, “Keep going! You’re doing great! Almost there!” it means a lot and really can help them get through.

The other day when I was running on the beach path and there were inspirational phrases along the way and just reading those I almost started tearing up! So I’m pretty sure come December and I’m out on the course and I hear some kind words of encouragement you might see a tear or two escaping from my eyes.

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So there you have it. The reasons behind my madness. I still have a month of training left to go before the big day. But it’s quickly approaching and come race day, I’ll be ready!

I would absolutely LOVE any words of advice you could give me. I know I’m not the first person to run a marathon and I won’t be the last, so please feel free to share your hard earned knowledge with me.

Come back this Thursday as I continue my Interview Series and interview my cousin who has run 10 marathons! (Yes you read that right, 10!) He’s been my coach and inspiration as I’m navigating the crazy world of training and running.

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California Coast Road Trip: LA to San Fran Part 3

So Day 3 of our road trip and we are finally at our final destination, San Francisco! (see Part 1 and Part 2 of our road trip.)

Back in April when we had a girl’s trip to Napa (another trip I will have to blog about at a later date) we flew into San Fran and looked up a place to eat and Yelp pointed us to Katana-Ya. It is a ramen place located at 430 Geary St and doesn’t require reservations.

I don’t know if we were just hungry or what it was, but it was the best ramen we’ve ever had. The broth, the noodles, everything, it was just perfection. Ever since then I got obsessed with ramen and tried to find a place comparable in LA and Chicago, and no luck!

So of course when we were headed to SF I wanted to head back here to see if it was as amazing as I remember or if I had just built it up in my mind. And sadly this time it was just mediocre for me. I don’t remember what I had the first time, but I wasn’t that impressed this time. It was kind of a bummer. But maybe I just got the wrong thing, who knows.
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After we ate ramen and met up with my friend from junior high, we met up with her boyfriend down in city hall to watch the last game of the world series with the San Francisco Giants vs the Kansas City Royals. It was a major coincidence that we were in San Fran for this big game.

It was crazy crowded and I watched my pockets very carefully because I did not want to get pick pocketed. It was a little overwhelming to be surrounded by so many people so we decided to hang out on the outskirts of the crowds so that we could leave right after they won and not get trampled. We walked to a nearby bar to let the crowds die down and wait for a cab to get home.

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The next morning we headed out to a cute little coffee shop called Blue Danube located at 306 Clement St. I love the vibe of coffee shops, so inviting and warm.

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Here is their adorable chalkboard menu. I had the greek yogurt and ya can’t go wrong with that!

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After breakfast we headed to Lands End which houses the Sutro Baths, which used to be the largest indoor swimming pool back in the late 1800s. Lands Ends is a park that also offers gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and hiking trails. unnamed-2

How gorgeous is this view?

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One of my favorite parts of the landscape here are the tall cypress trees.  unnamed

 

This is how the majority of our trips are, my boyfriend taking amazing pictures and me right by his side. :)
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The Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

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All in all it was another great, successful, road trip. Another one for the books.

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Bored With the Gym? 5 Ways to Refresh Your Workouts from Celeb Trainer Harley Pasternak

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Love Harley Pasternak’s workout tips!

Originally posted on People Great Ideas:

Harley PasternakCourtesy Harley Pasternak

Harley Pasternak is a celebrity trainer and nutrition expert who has worked with stars from Halle Berry and Lady Gaga to Robert Pattinson and Robert Downey Jr. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author, with titles including The Body Reset Diet and The 5-Factor Diet. Tweet him @harleypasternak.

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California Coast Road Trip : LA to San Fran Part 2

Yesterday I started blogging about the first part of our trip from LA to Cambria, on the way to San Francisco. Today we continue up the coast to Big Sur, which is my favorite part of the California coast and highway 1. It is truly gorgeous, with sweeping views of cliffs and ocean. I’ve driven through Big Sur three times now and each time its beauty never ceases to amaze me!

So after our short but pretty waterfall hikes, we walked to the other side of the Limekilm State Park, which happens to be the Pacific Ocean. :) The bridge had awesome lines and made for a pretty picture.

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There was one picnic table and provided the perfect setting for our little picnic. We had fresh strawberries, raspberries, and some dark chocolate. And yes of course in true California fashion, the weather was sunny and warm. beach date On the beach there were a few rocks balancing upon each other, which I have only ever seen when I went to Virgin Gorda years ago. My friend Toby also likes to do this so it reminded me of him too.

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Back in February Dave’s parents came out to visit us and we did this trip backwards (San Fran to LA) and we stopped at Julia Pfeifer Burns State Park to do a long hike. I will have to blog about that trip at a later date, but it was a very impressive hike with awesome views and I’d highly recommend anyone going through Big Sur to stop at this park! You will not regret it!

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When you go across the street you will go on a little walkway to this breathtaking view of the McWay Falls, which is an 80 foot waterfall that flows year round (so there’s really not a bad time to go to Big Sur!)waterfall beach

Other than Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, my favorite part of Big Sur is the Bixby Bridge. We stop each time we pass by it, but this time was the most clear. The ocean was pristine, with such deep blues and turquoise.  bixby bridge

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After these fantastic pit stops, we drove to Santa Cruz. We are lucky to have friends who live there that we’ve stayed with before, and they happened to be free on short notice. So we went to sushi with them and had mochi for dessert. We didn’t spend much time in the Santa Cruz area so I don’t have any fun recommendations for you at this time.

I was planning to only do two parts of this road trip, but I still haven’t even covered the San Fran portion of our trip two days in.  So as to not overwhelm you all, I’m going to cover San Fran in its own post part 3 coming at you on Monday! Stay tuned friends!

 

 

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Travel Thursdays: California Coast Road Trip: LA to San Fran Part 1

So last week Dave and I had a few days free and decided to take a spontaneous trip up the California coast. I usually like to plan trips ahead of time and look for specific places to stop and see or eat at. But this time we wanted to just wing it. One of our best friends was visiting us from Chicago and left on Monday, so we packed up along with her, dropped her off at the Los Angeles Airport (LAX), and headed up highway 101.

We drove through beautiful Santa Barbara and stopped to eat in San Luis Obispo. We tried to look for a fun place to eat but were in a rush to get back on the road so we settled for Chipotle. Then we hit the road and made it to Cambria and camped in San Simeon State Park. We didn’t have to make reservations, they had a bunch of open spots. It cost us $20 to camp for one night.

The campgrounds were on a little hill and the bathroom facilities were clean and had hand sanitizer, which I thought was a nice touch. We decided to call it a night early at 8pm so we could wake up early and continue our drive. The weather was perfect overnight, around 40 or 50 degrees.

This was the view in the morning. unnamed

 

Dave is addicted to coffee so in the morning we headed to Cambria to find a coffee shop and breakfast spot. While he was getting coffee I walked down the block to see the fun scarecrows that they have displayed all over town. Cambria is a small coastal town that goes all out for Halloween and have a scarecrow fest, super cute.

Here are Popeye and Olive in scarecrow form. unnamed

 

When we travel we depend on Yelp reviews to find fun places to eat. We decided on Creekside Gardens, which was actually featured in Sunset Magazine last month. I ordered Joel’s Breakfast which was 2 eggs scrambled with tomatoes, green onions, mild green chilies & bell pepper that also came with fresh fruit and a muffin. I thought it was tasty, but it was a pretty simple diner, nothing super extraordinary.

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After our bellies were full we wanted to get out of the car for a while and go for a little hike. We headed up to Limekiln State Park which cost $10 to enter. There were easy waterfall hikes, (surprising with the drought we currently are going through in California!) with big gorgeous trees surrounding us the entire time.

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I usually share my travels on Travel Thursdays but since this trip was 4 days, and I’m planning to share another interview next week, I’ll split it up and share part 2 tomorrow. So come back to hear about the rest of our hike and beach date in Limekiln State Park, our time in Santa Cruz and San Francisco!

If you’ve stopped along the California coast, I’d love to hear where you stopped!

 

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“What I Know Now” by Sarah Ferguson

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What I Know Now,” by Sarah Ferguson is similar to Maria Shriver’s books where she shares lessons she’s learned along the way. Being young-ish (in my late twenties) I find it super interesting to hear lessons from women and men who are older than me. They have so much more experience and wisdom that I can benefit from.

I also find it super interesting in this book that she shares tidbits of her life before, during, and after being married to Prince Andrew and being a part of the British Royal Family. She also talks a little bit about her relationship with Diana and how much she misses hearing her laugh.

Wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, 1986

” I do not fear old age, what I fear is regret. I am passionate about living. I feel driven to seize every moment, for the clock never stops.”

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While she has lived an extraordinary life meeting the likes of Nelson Mandela, having a friendship with Diana, and traveling around the world, she is still a normal woman who is a divorced mother to two girls. She is just in the public eye more than the average woman. But her lessons in his book are universal. She talks about co-parenting with her ex, self acceptance, having good manners, taking risks, living small, and aging well.

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Minka Kelly

Minka Kelly is a babe. She is just so pretty. I love her long, brown hair. She wears fun colors, and tight form flattering dresses. Even though it was short lived, I really liked her in the remake of Charlie’s Angels the tv show. Excited to see what she is up to next.

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November Pin-spired!

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Today I’m linking up with Mix and Match Mama, Pinterest Told Me To, and The Larson Lingo to get Pin-spired for November.

I love the look of white pants, for all seasons. With November in full effect, (where did this year go?!) it’s time to start dressing in fall wear. I found some great ideas of what to pair your summer white pants with: fall boots, chambray shirts, sweaters, scarves and blazers. Which look is your favorite?

Fall Boots

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Blazer 

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Sweater with or without Scarves 

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Chambray Shirts  

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30 Day Wall Sit Challenge

The wall sit is one of my favorite exercises. You can really feel it burning and you can see and feel your knees shaking. I think it’s a great workout, and I’m excited to take this challenge on this month. 30-day-wall-sit-challenge-chart

Just in case any wants a picture of a wall sit here ya go. Remember to maintain the 90 degree angle the entire time. wallsit

 

30 Day Fitness Challenge also gives a guide and video of how to do a wall sit.

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