Race Recap – Route 66 Tulsa Marathon

Race Recap – Route 66 Tulsa Marathon

“Going home” always brings about a bunch of emotions, but this past week was quite peaceful, blissful, and just all-around couldn’t have been better.

When I originally planned my visit, it was to come for the Route 66 Marathon and stay for Thanksgiving. It was cheaper to fly out on Black Friday than it was to wait a few days, so even though I was able to spend a full week away, leaving abruptly after Thanksgiving Day did bring up some melancholy.

But let’s start at the beginning and focus on the good stuff 🙂 . Before leaving for a week in Tulsa, I had my order of four of the latest Lion’s Pack cookie dough flavors arrive:

I was expecting Frosted Sugar Cookie to be my favorite, but it’s off-lemon flavor took me by surprise. It had bright blue confetti sprinkles mixed in, but still…

Frosted Sugar Cookie
Frosted Sugar Cookie

What did end up being my prime favorite was the Golden Oreo and Cream flavor. It had a mild sugar cookie dough base, with chunks of broken golden cream sandwich cookies mixed in—so good!

Golden Oreo & Cream
Golden Oreo & Cream

Then there was White Chocolate Pistachio, which had a nice green hue. When I first saw a picture of this flavor, I thought it was a matcha green tea flavor but I later learned it was more on the salty side with whole pistachios mixed in, only to be balanced by mini white chocolate chips.

White Chocolate Pistachio
White Chocolate Pistachio

Pumpkin Chip Cookie had a smooth pumpkin flavor that was not overwhelming at all. It also had a colorful orange hue that harkened thoughts of pumpkins mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg. The chocolate chips were also small, smooth milk chocolate chips. I had the jar all in one go and it was way too delicious to put the spoon down.

Pumpkin Chip Cookie
Pumpkin Chip Cookie

I landed in Tulsa on a Friday night, and surprisingly, the weather was nice and cool—not freezing!

My Dad had made some dinner for me at home, and as soon as I finished gobbling it up I fell into a deep sleep.

The next morning, I tried to bond with our new cat. He’s an orange tabby who doesn’t like to be touched, so unfortunately it was hard to get any cat cuddles during my stay…BUT, he does have a liking for eggs? Especially the yolk, haha!

After breakfast, my Dad and I drove over to the Cox center in downtown for packet pick-up.

Expo Entrance
Expo Entrance

There were some crisp, strong winds outside, so we tried to get in the building as quickly as possible.

Route 66 Marathon Expo
Route 66 Marathon Expo

Pick-up was relatively simple: I got my bib and bag, and then after walking around the expo for a bit, I also got my race jacket as well. They were giving those out instead of race tees.

Not too much going on
Not too much going on

We didn’t stay too long since there weren’t a lot of freebies being given out. Instead, we ran some errands.


One of the stores we went to was Natural Grocers, which had an amazing selection of giant kombucha bottles…though they looked cool, they wouldn’t be too handy for the race. Instead, I got some Clif Shot Bloks, a more practical choice.

Once we got some errands done, we drove to Tulsa Hills for lunch. I tried Zoe’s Kitchen for the first time, a fast casual Medditeranean food place that had all the meat options but no falafel. How is that possible?

Zoe's Kitchen
Zoe’s Kitchen

They did make it a point to highlight which items were vegetarian on their menu though. I got the power grain bowl (without meat protein) and my dad got a bowl of lentil soup.


The presentation of my bowl was lovely. The grain blend was flavorful, and it was perfectly balanced with cheese, tzatziki, and cucumber on the side. 

Power Grain Bowl & Lentil Soup—so warm and refreshing!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing at home, and before I went to bed, I put out all of my stuff for race day so I’d be ready to go at 6:45am.

Breakfast & gear
Breakfast & gear

I actually managed to get a solid night’s sleep and so I felt a little groggy when I woke up Sunday morning. I was trepeditious about what I should have for breakfast, since I didn’t want a repeat of what happened in San Diego.

I thought a simple cup of coffee, half a bagel with some cookie butter, and a veggie patty should be enough and wouldn’t cause too much upset.

My Dad and I made the same drive as the day before to downtown Tulsa.

Looks dreary, but it was a nice kind of quiet :)
Looks dreary, but it was a nice kind of quiet 🙂

We even managed to park in the same spot as we did when we came for the expo!

Heading to the race start
Heading to the race start

I had plenty of time for bag check and taking care of bathroom-related items. (lol). The race start for this marthon was 8am, so later than what I was used to as far as marathons are concerned.

Getting organized in corrals & leaving jackets on the fence
Getting organized in corrals & leaving jackets on the fence

I think all of the marathon runners that had a predicted finish time under 5 hours were grouped into Corral A. So there was no delay in starting time.

Almost ready to go!
Almost ready to go!

Once we were given the signal, there was a huge confetti blast and we were off!

Confetti cheers!
Confetti cheers!

My plan was to stick with the 3:40 pacer for as long as I could, and then if I did slow down, at least finish it within the 3:50 and 4:00 pacer. I was hoping to whittle down my marathon time from earlier this year in LA.

The first 6 miles felt so light and free. My legs felt great, and even though the air was colder than what I was used to, I was slightly ahead of the pacer even though I tried to hold back. I wasn’t paying too much attention to my surroundings, but the time and miles seemed to pass by quickly since there were plenty of runners on the streets and crowds cheering us on.

When we reached Mile 10, things started to not feel so hot…I started to feel some mild cramping in my stomach but tried to push on. I felt like my tummy troubles from SD were acting up this time again, but I kept moving in hopes that they would pass.

The 3:40 pacer began to ratchet things up (or so it seemed) by the time we reached Mile 12. We had passed Riverside Parks by this time (the trail I ran on almost daily during my 2016 winter visit to Tulsa), and the half marathon runners were gleefully turning out to the finish. I still had another 13 to go, and things didn’t look or feel peachy at this point…

At Mile 13, I had to stop and use a porta-potty. I could see the time passing on my Garmin, but I hoped that this stop would help me make it through the rest of the race in peace. I was now behind the 3:40 group, but I did not see the 3:50 group pass by just yet…maybe they did, but I kept pushing on as if they had not.

Because this was my first marathon running forefoot, my calves were seriously taking a beating by the time I reached Mile 15. I began to walk through water stops at this point, taking a couple seconds to massage out my claves, stretch, and gulp down two cups of water.

The streets were barren at this point, and seeing rolling hills in the horizon literally made me want to cry. Actually, it was a strange sensation I had never felt during a race before…it was as if my throat was closing up and I was trying to catch my breath, usually the muscular contractions you before you cry. I didn’t actually cry, but it was certainly an odd sensation I could not shake off through the duration of the race.

Things just seemed to get worse after that. Miles 18-22 were an absolute pain. I tried to distract myself by the sights of the University of Tulsa, a very pretty campus, but my tight calves got the best of me. At this point, it was just getting through the race one mile at a time.

And of course the last 1.5 miles was a mindgame. There was an optional Center of the Universe detour, and when I saw the sign, my mind screamed “NO!”. When the finish was in view, I couldn’t have felt more relieved.

Just gotta finish...
Just gotta finish…

I didn’t have nausea, but my calves felt beaten. My appetite was at an extreme low, and even though Mazzio’s Pizza was at the finisher’s walk-through handing out free slices of pizza, I did not have the desire to get one, even for later.

I saw my Dad at the exit and gave him a hug. He could see I had a pained expression on my face so we slowly walked until I found a place to sit down on the sidewalk. I know that the number one rule after a marathon is to keep walking and all that, but my calves were screaming at me at this point. I had to sit down, and just let my whole body catch up.

The race didn’t go as planned…it didn’t meet my expectations, but I was glad I made it one piece and that I was able to run a marathon with my Dad spectating. All of the marathons I had run previously were without his attendance, so having him physically present was nice.

This race was also Marathon #5 for me. I didn’t exactly go into this year thinking I’d do three marathons, and I honestly thought this would be a nice PR race, but when my coach suggested I switch to forefoot running 4 months ago, that really affected how things turned out. I’m looking at this as another learning experience though, and I’m only more motivated to put in the work and tweak my training as I need to for 2018.

Even though my appetite was shot and it took us forever to walk back to the car thanks to my slow-as-molasses legs, we still decided to go out for a decent lunch. We also figured that in the time it would take us to pick a place to eat, order, and have te food ready, my appetite should return.

We decided to eat at Cosmo Cafe, which my Dad remembered as being one of my sister’s faves when she stayed over the summer.

Cosmo Cafe
Cosmo Cafe

And, we were right in our assumption that it would take forever to eat. First, it took about fifteen minutes before someone got to us. Then, we had to figure out what to get…and since I had no appetite, my decision was much harder.


I decided on their Vegetarian Pizza which came served on french bread and a side salad. My Dad once again, had soup (lol).

Vegetarian French Bread Pizza!
Vegetarian French Bread Pizza!

I think it almost took half an hour before our food came out. I even managed to waddle over to the restroom, and when I waddled back, our food was sitting at the table. My Dad had to send his soup back because it came out cold and brothy, but the waiter appologized and even offered to comp the soup.


I offered some of my pizza and devoured the rest. My appetite quickly came back once I consumed the first slice of pizza. I just love it when that happens :/

After our late lunch, we returned home where I took a long, glorious nap on the couch. The rest of the evening was spent just veggin’ out, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The medal was gorgeous BTW
The medal was gorgeous BTW

Cosmo Cafe & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Race Recap – 30th Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon

Race Recap – 30th Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon

On June 4th, just a few days after returning from our Europe trip, I ran my fourth marathon in San Diego. I was breaking my “just running LA” streak with this race, and it was also just about two months after I ran LA this year.

I woke up around 4am and had enough time to put on my race gear, and call for an Uber right outside where my sister and I were staying for our Airbnb. Since I called for one early enough, there wasn’t any issue with traffic so it was an easy drive to the race start at Balboa Park.

From where I was dropped off, I followed other runners to the exact location of bag check, restrooms, and the starting line. At that moment, I realized I made the mistake of forgetting my race belt…so I had to improvise 😛

Sometimes you have to improvise...
Sometimes you have to improvise…

I literally pinned a ziploc bag to the side of my shirt and stuffed my Clif Shot Bloks and some freebie bars from the expo into it, and it actually managed to hold up for the entire race, haha!

The race start was at 6am, so I had some time to kill. I took my stretching, and after checking in my bag, found my spot at the start line. I was shooting for a 3:40 (around 8:23/mi pace) based on how my training the past two months had fared, and after talking with my coach the day before, we thought it was a reasonable and good goal to shoot for. Luckily they had pacers, and I made sure to stay glued to mine.

The first few miles leaving Balboa Park and through North Park seemed to be alright. I felt like the pace was sustainable, I felt properly fueled, and I tried to only drink to thirst. As we made our way through Normal Heights, I felt like I was transported back to the Silver Lake/Hollywood portion of the LA Marathon. There was a good crowd turn-out throughout this section of the race, but I managed to stay focused and stay within a few steps behind my pacer, so I mostly tuned out what was occurring in my surroundings.

I started fueling with one shot blok around mile 5, and the plan was to refuel every 5 miles. Miles 10-13 felt slightly harder to push through since I started to have an unsettling feeling in my stomach. Just after approaching Old Town, I had to stop and use the first porta-potty that I saw. I never had to stop mid-race (at least for a half or full marathon) to use the restroom, so I was slightly anxious about how it would cut into my time. Unfortunately, I knew a 3:40 would not be possible this time around since my group was already way ahead by the time I was back on the course. I did try to speed up around mile 15 as we made our way to Mission Bay, but it didn’t help much.

It was disappointing knowing that I wouldn’t make my goal time for this race, as well as having to finish without external support. And honestly from that point on, it seemed like the course got much more difficult. There were hills, less crowds, and a mundane, mind-numbing stretch of the last portion of the race on Highway 163. I was certainly having my doubts about making sure I was sub 4:00 at this point, let alone finishing. I began feeling an intense sense of fatigue around mile 18 that pressed on until about mile 24.

I managed to recover and pick up my pace once we were back on city streets, and wrapping around Balboa Park again. It was kind of funny because the last few yards of the finish made me remember of a weekend trip my sister and I took to San Diego a little under two years ago. On the way back to where my sister was picking me up, I even passed the hotel we stayed at!

After passing under the finish line arch, we were handed water bottles and our finisher medals. I was disappointed by the fact that no mylar blankets were being handed out, and I honestly felt like I needed one. I felt slightly cold, shaky, mild nausea, and every step I took felt like I was carrying a 1,000 pound load on my back and my muscles were taking the beating. It was my first time feeling such intense fatigue after a race…my past races usually brought on powerful soreness the day after, but I usually felt okay immediately after a race.

Fancy-looking medal but what's the point if you're shivering?
Fancy-looking medal but what’s the point if you’re shivering?

They did give free jackets to the marathon runners though. Many of the half marathoners were confused/upset as to why they couldn’t get one, and while I could see that they felt left out, I would have been perfectly content is they gave everyone mylar blankets at the end. That should be a mandatory requirement at marathons!

I wanted to sit down but every part of my body ached. Ugh, probably the worst I've ever felt after a race...
I wanted to sit down but every part of my body ached. Ugh, probably the worst I’ve ever felt after a race…

After making my way over to where my sister was parked, we planned to get lunch somewhere in SD, but since the race closures were still active, it was hard to navigate without coming across a roadblock. So we ended up driving north to Santa Ana, after I thought about some possible restaurants I’ve been wanting to visit in the OC. GD Bro Burger was one of them, it was open, and crowds were not to be seen.

GD Bro Burger
GD Bro Burger

The wall decor and signage was very interesting—very much in tune with current pop culture and popular slang. And you can’t have burgers without sports playing on a TV hanging from the wall, so that was obviously there as well, haha.

My sister got herself their vegan burger, but it didn’t come with their classic hot red-colored bun. Rather, it was a stiff gluten-free bun that my sister had to resist from spitting out. She did like her two crispy mozzarella sticks though.

“A not-so-delicious veggie burger”

I got the pizza fries sans pepperoni, and man, did they not skimp on the cheese.

All the cheese, some marinara, and very skinny fries.

I reached my dairy quota for the month from that tray alone.

When we got back home, my sister and I quickly got into couch potato mode. I slept earlier because the next day would be my first day back to work after two weeks of vacation. Surprisingly, I felt minimal fatigue and soreness the next day…it was as if I never ran the day before! It was very bizarre cause I thought I would be limping around with DOMS, but I was walking just fine. I guess the training I had in the past two months really impacted my endurance and muscle recovery.

I think I’ll be passing on this race in the future though. The course wasn’t as exciting as LA’s, and the experiences I had during the race didn’t leave me feeling my best. BUT, I did still maintain a sub-4:00 pace, and I came out injury-free! That’s something worth celebrating 🙂

Have you ever had to do anything physically strenuous right after traveling/when you were feeling jet-lagged?

GD Bro Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Coming Home

Coming Home

We had quite the adventure coming home…

We left Paris on a quiet, warm Friday morning and braced ourselves for the journey back to Gare du Nord. Of course, we encountered a large mob of people entering our train car when we got to the station right before, but we didn’t have any incidents like the one at the beginning of our trip, fortunately.

Getting through security and border patrol was a pain, only because the people managing the queues were completely unorganized. We would have missed our train back to London for sure if it had not been for a kind woman allowing us to cut in front of her.

The train ride back was uneventful, and the extra time we planned to have in London leisurely getting to the airport was chopped away since our train was delayed by 30 minutes…

We managed to make our flight, but by the time we reached our gate, we were all pretty snappy with each other and hanger was all too real. We flew with Norwegian Air back to LA, and were surprised by how cool and overcast the weather was in LA. Compared to the sunny, hot weather we had experienced over the past two weeks, it was a great change.

Before heading back to my place, we all went out for dinner. Urban Plates in Marina del Rey was close enough to the airport and sounded appetizing enough for our weary, hungry traveling bodies.


The menu and set-up was pretty confusing I must admit. It was like they offered so many sides that you could literally ask for a plate of sides and that “meal” was on the menu. The salads seemed the least intimidating, but also pretty descriptive and delicious-sounding.


I went with the Local Beet Salad, which came with a colorful spread of beets, and a mized salad topped with soft cheese and a slice of crusty bread.


My Dad and sister split a veggie sandwich that came with chips, and got asparagus and mac and cheese as sides.


I sampled some of the chips, but honestly, the salad was flavorful and filling enough. My only wish was that there had been more beets…especially the yellow ones!

After dinner, we all got back to my place, unpacked, and went to bed soon after. My Dad was leaving back fro Oklahoma in the morning while my sister and I were heading to San Diego for my marathon there. The three of us shared a bagel breakfast at Panera before departing ways, and from there, my sister and I were off to the SD Convention Center.


It’s interesting how I was not too enthusiastic about sticking around after getting my bib this time around. The set-up of the race expo just seemed repetitive to me, and I found myself quickly getting bored. We didn’t leave without getting whatever samples we could though.

Honey Stinger and Daiya had awesome set-ups!
Honey Stinger and Daiya had awesome set-ups!

What I did manage to gather wasn’t too bad, but I’ve done way better at gathering larger collections previous races.


My sister and I were still jet-lagged (and I wasn’t sure how bad it would affect me in regards to the race…) so we mostly napped for the rest of the afternoon before heading out to an early dinner at the Native Foods location of Balboa Park!

Native Foods, Balboa Park
Native Foods, Balboa Park

I had a chat with my running coach in the parking lot before we went inside. Once we were at the counter, I ordered my tried-and-true favorite Native Nachos. My sister got her classic favorite, the Soul Bowl.


We were too tired to talk, but hungry enough to eat. I demolished my plate of nachos, and possibly even felt too full. I didn’t regret my choice though, since I consider this dish the epitome of fast casual vegan cooking.


We retreated back to our Airbnb right after, and caught up on the SNL episodes we missed while we were away. I easily fell asleep around 8pm, which was perfect since I planned to catch an Uber around 4:30am to take me to the race start. It seemed like so many things were happening at once—returning from a two-week trip, only to run a marathon right after—but I couldn’t imagine it being any other way. I was mentally ready to run, but physically? I would see soon enough…

Urban Plates Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sweet Enough to Forget My Battle Scars

Sweet Enough to Forget My Battle Scars

One thing I really wanted after the marathon was something sweet. I probably would have satisfied this craving with a giant cupcake or a pint of ice cream, but I kept thinking about this little place in Sawtelle that has a collection of unique confectionery creations, as well as rotating bread pudding flavors…

B Sweet Dessert Bar

My feet were killing me (especially my right foot, which had developed a swollen black toenail and a rosy blister on the heel), but I managed to make my way inside and over to the front.

Rotating bread pudding flavors—change every week!

I decided to get the “Being Good” size for my bread pudding (6oz) and even though it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and they had a Bailey’s-themed bread pudding, I decided to stick with a flavor I’d know I like: Red Velvet.

Red Velvet Bread Pudding

They put together the pudding within minutes, and at first I couldn’t see any of it because of all the frosting on the top.

That frosting though.

The bread pudding was warm, and had the texture of a soft, molten cake, but to be honest I couldn’t detect much flavor. Even the frosting wasn’t too sweet, which was disappointing…but at least it had aesthetics?

Cute decor.

And it was enough to help me forget about the pain that was my black toe nail for ~6 minutes 😛 .

What flavor of bread pudding would you want to try?

B Sweet Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Race Recap – 32nd Skechers Performance LA Marathon

Race Recap – 32nd Skechers Performance LA Marathon

I find it SO hard to believe that a week ago, I ran my third marathon—and it ended up being a sub 4:00 one as well! So many things went well with this training cycle, and even though the race is over, this particular marathon has given me the encouragement to keep pushing my training to the next level and conquering more goals associated with this distance.

In the days leading up to the race, I actually wasn’t too hyped up for it. I had other things on my mind (lab work + lab “social” life), but I still made time to go down to the expo at the convention center late Friday afternoon on race weekend.

My third marathon expo.
My third marathon expo.

It was really just a routine visit. I wasn’t too excited about sticking around. To keep up with tradition, I found and photographed my name on the runner’s wall, picked up my race bib/shirt, and walked around the booths for just long enough to gather some freebies.

Trying to find/get all the samples I can.
Trying to find/get all the samples I can.

I didn’t gather much despite it being a MARATHON expo (just a couple mini Larabars and a coconut water), but one of my favorite booths was Clif bar’s. They had samples of their newest nut butter-filled bars and ginger ale/spearmint shot bloks!

Hello, Clif!
Hello, Clif!

After taking a picture with my bib at one of the booths, I decided to head home. I was actually feeling pretty hungry so the “carbo-loading”, you could say, commenced that night—with a Spicy Lentil Wrap from Trader Joe’s.

Friday night turn down 😴 with a Spicy Lentil wrap from Trader Joe’s. I put this right up there with the grilled eggplant wrap!

Tahini sauce brings everything up a level, just sayin’.

The day before the race was a relaxing one, but because I was with E in Glendale, we did plenty of walking. I did try to keep hydrated and made sure to get home early enough to set aside my stuff for race morning and get into bed by 8:30pm.

I woke up the next morning at 3:30am (yes, it’s true), got my race gear together, and called for a Lyft since the rest of my teammates were taking a ride share service/staying at a hotel near the start with family. From Santa Monica, the drive was less than 20 min.

I got to the start with a good 2.5 hours to spare before we had to toe the start line. I had plenty of time to collect some free shot bloks and Clif bars, fuel up with “breakfast”, use the restroom, and warm-up. It was still very breezy and cool outside, so I stayed warm by huddling in a corner of one of the open women’s restrooms.

Waiting at Dodger's Stadium...
Waiting at Dodger’s Stadium…

I was waiting solo for a long while…my teammates did not show up until about 5:30am. Even then, it took me a while to find/get to them at the seats on the ground level. There were a a few of us who met at this point, and after a group picture, we immediately went to bag check and then the start.

I decided to start in the open corral with three of my teammates since I wanted to pace with someone from the beginning. Looking back, I feel like this strategy helped me immensely in getting that sub 4:00. It took us a while to get to a sustainable race pace since we were slowed down by the crowds of the open corral, but once we made it past downtown, I kept up with one of my female teammates for the majority of the race.

Everything felt great for the first half of the race. We were running down Sunset and I felt comfortable enough to talk with my teammate at an 8:47/mi pace. Once we made a turn in Hollywood however, things started to shift.

I felt a sharp pain in my right foot as we made our way down a steep downhill. I had a feeling that I got my first black (big) toenail, and despite knowing this, I tried to ignore it for sanity’s sake.

The next slip-up was my fueling strategy. I was so focused on hydration that I wasn’t sure when to start chewing on my bloks. In my last two marathons, I busted out the plastic bag between miles 11-13, but this time, I was more concerned about keeping up with my teammate. I also didn’t feel too hungry (in fact, my stomach felt a little bit “mixed”…in that, a bathroom stop would have been nice).

When we reached Beverly Hills, I began to second guess my earlier actions of not fueling up. I was starting to feel slightly fatigued, and felt like I had to push quite a bit to keep holding on with my teammate. I surprisingly managed to make it through miles 17-20 without giving up or writhing on Rodeo Dr!

Once we reached UCLA/West LA territory though, we were hitting the Mile 20 mark. My teammate took off, but I listened to my body and just kept my pace. I stopped to take out my bloks and began to fuel up at this point.

Once I reached Mile 21, I felt a little bit better. Mile 22 was when we began to approach Brentwood/San Vicente—the last four miles of the race towards the SaMo finish! Honestly, this was the worst part of the race for me (up until 25.5!!) because I felt tired (mentally mostly), and irritated by anyone that said we were “almost there”. My pace wavered in the 8:50/mi range until it settled at 8:55/mi. I didn’t want it to dip into the 9:00/mi range, so I made sure to keep my walking breaks incredibly short.

By the time I got to Ocean Ave., I tried to let the crowds around me give me the final push I needed to finish fiercely. The finish line felt incredibly far away, but once I hit 25.5, I started to kick things up and go, go, go! The shot bloks were finally kicking in I suppose! When I crossed the line, I had run the race at a solid time of 3:53:57. I didn’t know of this time exactly until I read a series of texts from my Dad since he had been tracking me the entire run.

Bag check was much better this year!
Bag check was much better this year!

I was able to slow down to a walk, gather a medal and my gear at bag check, huddle up with a heat sheet, and take some fun post-race photos. I also collected as many protein bars as my arms could carry, and met up with my teammates at our designated family reunion area meeting spot.

People around me were still in a daze...
People around me were still in a daze…

I waited with my team for about an hour and a half just to congratulate, commiserate, and photograph the moment. The teammate I had ran with up until mile 20 ran a 3:46 marathon, and considering it was her first, she did a great job.

All of us took the train back to our destinations, and I got off pretty quickly. It felt so nice to be able to get back home at a decent time, unlike how it was the past two years fighting traffic to get to downtown! Now I had enough time to attend to my battle scars…

One ripe blister and gunmetal-polished toenail, came right up!
One ripe blister and gunmetal-polished toenail, came right up!

At least this small gem reminded me that I just did something pretty amazing that morning??

3rd time's a charm!
3rd time’s a charm!

Out of all the 26.2 distances I’ve raced, this one was the most painful, but also the most accomplishing. I had a goal, and luckily was able to meet it. It was a challenge, but a challenge worth giving up a smooth heel and big toe nail for. And if I only want to get better and faster at this monstrous distance, it’s only going to get more eventful from here!

Have you ever run a marathon/had a great marathon experience?

Would you ever consider running a marathon?

Have you ever had a black toe nail?

Saucony Women’s Cohesion 9 Running Shoes

Saucony Women’s Cohesion 9 Running Shoes

As a runner increases her weekly mileage, the monthly miles quickly add up as well. Since marathon training began, and since I have been genuinely wanting to increase my weekly mileage, I’ve also been keeping a close watch on my shoe wear and tear.

shoes (7)
600+ miles

The outer appearance of my shoes are usually fine, but I ended up feeling the effects of their overuse as soon as they reached the 450 mark.

shoes (6)
The bottom looks good, but the inside was getting flatter and my feet were giving my signs to switch out.
shoes (8)
Evidence of picking up dirt 😛

I got these Saucony Women’s Cohesion 9 Running Shoes as a gift from my Dad over the holidays, and now, they almost have 200 miles on them…

shoes (3)
Hello new shoes!

I was wearing my New Balance Vongos from August to December of last year. They had hit the 600 mile mark by the time I made the switch.

shoes (2)
Since my @newbalance Vongos now have about 600+ miles on them, I thought it was time to break in a new pair before grinding out the next few months of marathon training. Hopefully these from @saucony can keep up! 😉

I broke the Sauconys in on Christmas, with a short 3 miler at River Park. They’re definitely less bulky and more snug than the Vongos, but they also have some extra room at the top of the toe box. This would be good, but like most other running shoes, they taper along the side so the “extra” room at the top would only be accessible to my big toe if it were big enough!

shoes (5)
I love the blue/teal/white color scheme of these shoes!

According to my Dad, they were priced at a good deal of $35. Honestly can’t do much less than that when it comes to a brand-name running shoe. Considering I dropped $120 on my Vongos as an emergency attempt to fix the posterior shin splint pain I had been suffering though late summer of last year, the Sauconys WERE a steal!!

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Fresh feet.

I plan on using these well into training and running with them in LA. They’ve already tread rainy grounds and the muddy hills of Palos Verdes, so might as well continue their adventures trekking across the entire city of LA.

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Ready to run

How much would you spend on running/workout shoes?

Refueling After 26.2

Refueling After 26.2

I mentioned in my marathon recap that my plans for a post-run marathon lunch eventually turned out to be dinner plans, but I was still able to enjoy the food I ate and celebrate the feat of the morning.

After finally getting back to my apartment, and quickly freshening up, I took the bus over to Mid-City and got off at the cusp of Beverly Hills. My predetermined dinner location was The Addiction Bistro, which according to my prior research, had burger, fries, and wurst plates. The fact that they also served these dishes with vegetarians & vegans in mind (by offering a separate menu) was what secured this place as being my go-to restaurant for post-marathon fueling.

 Front of restaurant
Front of restaurant

I arrived a little after five, and other than a couple sitting outside, I was the only patron. I had the entire restaurant to myself, and was given some water while I looked over the separate vegan menu.


My eyes drifted towards the Addiction Burgers selection, and I decided to go with the “Buffalo” Burger, which supposedly came with a mix of buffalo wing sauce + blue cheese ranch. The burger also came with some side pickles, and the vegan version consisted of an all-soy patty that looked suspiciously like the real deal (but I was told that it certainly wasn’t).

I waited for a short while, and since I had the restaurant all to myself, I didn’t have to be secretive in my phone photo-taking antics:


I found the dark red-colored walls to be an interesting color choice, and it made the restaurant appear quite dark except for the area closest to the front window. It was past 5pm, but that small area in the front of the restaurant was so bright—blinding in fact. 

With no other people in the vicinity to watch, I turned to my phone while I continued to wait for my burger to be brought out. When it was, I was surprised by how small it looked.


It was adorable though, and I ate it in a “deconstructed” manner, meaning: bun with cabbage drenched in sauce -> patty -> bottom bun. The small knife and fork at my table came in handy with this odd burger-eating approach of mine 😉

Just look at the sauce though…and the patty? The waiter was not kidding when he said it would fool a carnivore. 

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By eating the burger piece-by-piece, I was able to take my time and enjoy the meal instead of gobbling it up in <10 seconds. Even though the burger was top-notch in both flavor and texture, its itty bitty size did not fulfill the job of sating my post-marathon hunger. 

Obviously dessert was in order, so I made the short walk east towards Fairfax Ave., and made my way towards Sweet Rose Creamery—the Mid-City location.


The lack of people at my dinner destination was made up for at my dessert destination—I came in just as two groups in front of me purchased hefty sundae orders. At least it bought me some time to check out my surroundings:


I immediately made the painting on the wall the wallpaper of my phone—so gorgeous! And in the corner by the utensils, there was a pile of board games for friends and family to play with over ice cream.


After looking at the menu on the far wall behind the counter, I chose two seasonal flavors (minty peas and cinnamon buttermilk sherbert with candied mandarinquats <— say that ten times fast!) for my double scoop serving of ice cream in a cup. 

The girl behind the counter asked if I preferred an order to my scoops, but I figured that since I had never tried these flavors before, would it really make a difference? She ended up scooping minty peas first, and adding the more elaborately-named flavor on top. She also let me know that it was the last day these flavors would be on the menu, and that their next rotation would be in a year! Good timing, right?


I found a seat by the window, where I also found the two-person group that was in line before me. Both individuals were enjoying personal sundaes, but I was pleased to dig in into my two-scoop cup of sweetness.

Minty peas and cinnamon buttermilk sherbert with candied mandarinquats closeup

All I can say is those. mandarinquats. I had so much fun digging through the scoop for them! The cinnamon buttermilk scoop was definitely more on the milky side than sherbert side, which was what I preferred. Minty peas had quite an unusual (but still tasty) flavor. It had an earthy quality to it, and a mild, grainy texture. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, but I slowly got used to it, and was even slightly sad when it was all gone. 

By the time I finished by burger + ice cream celebration, I realized that I had been awake for almost sixteen hours straight…and most of those hours were spent on my feet. I was surprised that the soreness had not kicked in too much, and I was grateful to make it home in one piece, shower, and get into bed for some much needed shuteye! 

I was not surprised to find my legs in “angrier” shape the next morning…and don’t get me started on what it was like Tuesday. I can’t say I didn’t know it was coming though 😉

Sweet Rose Creamery on Urbanspoon The Addiction Bistro on Urbanspoon

What did you eat after your first marathon?

What was the most exotic ice cream flavor you’ve tried?

MTR: Week 19

MTR: Week 19

So…by the time this post is up, I think it would be safe to say that I along with 24,999 other eager runners are en route towards Santa Monica—facing the 26.2 miles whether we are ready or not. But I still wanted to wrap up my MTR series with a recap of this past week.

Spending some time in Larchmont Village on Sunday afternoon, after a PR-filled taper run that morning.

Sundaymile group LSD run at  [New 5/10K PRs!!]

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 3 mile morning solo run at  9:19/mi

Wednesday –  3.4 mile morning solo run at  9:18/mi

Thursday – 3.6 mile morning solo run at  9:13/mi

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Rest

Total Mileage ->   18 miles

Because of the reduced mileage all-around, it felt odd to have more free time in my mornings. I also felt at times that I should make up for the shorter distance by going faster, but thought better of it and held back so that I wouldn’t bring on any unnecessary injuries…

It’s a bittersweet feeling to see that training for my first marathon is coming to an end. These past five months of training have given me some of my best days, greatest challenges, and even some handy excuses for not having a “social” life. I would argue against the last part though, because I don’t think I would be running a marathon at this time in my life if it were not for my team. Conquering something so massive and challenging seems much more doable when you’ve got people to back you up, and that’s something I’m grateful for.

I definitely plan on a marathon recap, and even an afterthought post to really wrap things up, but for now, I’ll just keep you waiting 😉

MTR: Week 18

MTR: Week 18

This week’s long run was actually one I was looking forward to. I mean, after you run 22 miles, 12 miles seems like such a reward! I was also looking to the run as a way to ‘de-stress’ since my weekend was an exhausting/stress-inducing one. It was something I touched upon in my last post, and I can’t get into details for privacy reasons, but I was feeling so anxious about the situation that it was costing me quality sleep.

Even though the ‘issues’ didn’t resolve overnight (they did resolve by the end of the week though 🙂 ), Sunday’s run certainly helped. We ran a 6 mile out-and-back starting from near the Santa Monica Pier, and while I started off slowly, I had negative splits towards the end of the run. My teammates poked fun at the fact that I didn’t even look like I was out of breath or sweaty. I guess the fun thing about tapering is being able to see how much you’ve improved in your ‘old’ long distances.

I celebrated my 9:23/mi pace on the inside, but figuring out how to maintain the endurance/speed I’ve developed during this course of marathon training is something that’s been brewing in my mind as of late.

Walking east from the beach on Wilshire, towards my lunch destination.

I also learned after the run that this would be our last team carpool for training! Our final long run before the marathon is next week, but we are staying local for that 8 miler. As for the rest of the week in running, here’s how it turned out:

Sunday12 mile group LSD run at  9:23/mi

Monday – Rest

Tuesday6 mile morning solo run at  8:57/mi

Wednesday –  6 mile morning solo run at  9:20/mi

Thursday6 mile morning solo run at  9:08/mi

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Rest

Total Mileage ->   30 miles

Despite having to deal with a stressful situation, I was happy to not give in to the anxiety and sacrifice my morning runs and lifting workouts. Working out in the weekday mornings is best for my schedule, and I think I can safetly say that this has become a healthy habit. I feel so much better and ready to conquer the day after busting out some miles/pumping up my muscles in the morning 🙂

So now it looks like I’m down to one more week before the big day. The 26.2. I plan for this final week in marathon training to be a light one, with 3-4 milers during the week and Friday/Saturday as rest days. I also have to remind myself not to get too carried away at the expo…just get my bib, whatever samples I’m able to scour, and run walk home to rest 😉

Do you enjoy taking it easy the last one-two weeks before a big race, or do you find yourself feeling anxious about the big day?

MTR: Week 17

MTR: Week 17

I was debating over the idea of running 20+2 miles prior to the marathon, but I ended up doing so this past week. To be honest, it was a pretty smooth set of miles, except until I reached 20.1…haha. I seriously could feel every bone/ligament/tendon in my body from the hips down, and what was only “two more miles” felt like twenty.

I know there is a lot of debate concerning how much a long run should cover prior to the actual marathon, and that a lot of people say no more than 20 while others say 24 is totally okay. I decided to run 22 because a) I was running with a team, b) we ran from Dockweiler Beach to Santa Monica and back, running alongside Marina Del Rey (um, who doesn’t want to run by the beach??), and c) why not?

Blister/scar from my water bottle strap // trying out GU Watermelon Chomps // Celebrating my longest run of the training season by going out to eat!

Sunday22 mile group LSD run at  10:05/mi

Monday – Rest

Tuesday4 mile morning solo run at  9:24/mi

Wednesday –  Rest

Thursday6 mile morning solo run at  9:41/mi

Friday4 mile morning solo run at  9:27/mi

Saturday – Rest

Total Mileage ->  36 miles

Since the Clif Shot Bloks I used for Mile 20 as race fuel worked pretty well, I kept in theme with using a gummy/chewy food for fuel, but decided to try the watermelon flavor of GU Chomps since they were {slightly} cheaper at Vitamin Shoppe. I stuffed them in a Ziploc, which I then stuffed into my running water bottle, and I was off to meet my team at 7:00am for our carpool.

The sky was cloudy and gray, but the temperature was nice and cool since we were starting off at the beach. We made our way north from Dockweiler, passing Marina Del Rey. It even rained around mile 6, but that didn’t stop us from trucking on through the “fun” part of Venice, and straight onto the bike path near the Santa Monica Pier before turning around at 11 miles. I decided to fuel up with all my chomps around the halfway point (along with hydrating), and savored the watermelon flavors as I eased myself to run back to the starting point.

There were so many good (and bad annoying) distractions throughout this run. I always enjoy people-watching when running, and there is ample opportunity to do so when you run alongside the coast. Even at 8:00am, people are hanging out in Venice and “making a scene”, which obviously equates to entertainment for the weary runner!

Want to know some of the annoying stuff though?

Getting a blister on the back of your hand from your running water bottle strap.

That said water bottle getting soaked prior to the run because you didn’t screw the cap tight enough, and your chews ended up getting soaked as well.

Wishing the last two miles of 20+2 didn’t feel like 22.

In the end, it was all worth it when I high-fived my teammates and commiserated with them about our long run “struggle” 😉 And I was pleased with the fact that I was able to step out on the town afterwards and treat myself to an appetizing lunch and astounding cupcake sundae for dessert!*

*Side note – about five hours after eating, I started getting strong stomach pains and a really bloated stomach. I ended up vomiting, which after consulting a running friend, I think was due to my long-run induced muscle-spasms/eating something high in sugar after running. Even though this adds to why one shouldn’t run over 20 miles prior to the 26.2, I’m glad that this happened pre-race so that I can be prepared to address the issue if it happens after race day (by keeping Tums or some antacid on hand)

Still, I don’t regret my cupcake sundae ‘cause that thing was mind-blowing….and apparently gut-blowing as well :P*

Have you ever experienced nausea/vomiting after a run? 

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