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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The bottom looks good, but the inside was getting flatter and my feet were giving my signs to switch out.
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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…

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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? 

MTR: Week 16

MTR: Week 16

This week in running may look light compared to last week’s adventures, but I have to be honest and say that some runs were a struggle to just get done…

Sunday – Rest

Monday – mile morning solo run at  9:27/mi

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday –  Rest

Thursday –  9.4 mile morning solo run at 9:41/mi

Friday6.6 mile morning solo run at 9:35/mi

Saturday –  Rest


Total Mileage ->   22 miles

Sunday became a rest day this week since I ran a half the day before as my long run for the week. That allowed Monday to be a good day for a run, and since I was still visiting family for the holiday weekend, I was able to run the familiar neighborhood route near my family’s home.

Tuesday was forced to be a ‘rest’ day since I was traveling pretty much all day. Once I got back to my apartment, I was tired beyond words. All I could do was unpack, shower, and go to sleep early in hopes of trying to get rid of a lingering headache. I’m usually on top of my workouts on Wednesdays, waking up at 4am to squeeze in a lifting session and a run, but this Wednesday was an exception. I still got up early, but didn’t have the drive or energy to get going. I ended up going back to sleep for an hour, and then lifted weights after coming home from a long day spent on campus. Fortunately, I was able to push myself out the door on Thursday and Friday after some time twiddling my thumbs, but once I got going, I was able to zone out and just focus on getting in the miles necessary for the week. 

At least I felt good during the runs, it was all just a matter of finding that inner-motivation 😉

Do you find it difficult to get back to your workout regimen during/after times of travel or stress? 

MTR: Week 15

MTR: Week 15

The big 2-0 wasn’t so bad. Actually, I think I would go as far as to say it was calming and hypnotic. The Strand (a bike/running path near that runs through Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach) is one of my most favorite places to run, since there is always so much activity—-even as early as 8:00am on a Sunday morning. 

Sunday – LSD 20 miler group run at 10:03/mi

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 6 mile morning solo run at 9:51/mi

Wednesday –  6 mile morning solo run at 9:55/mi

Thursday –  8 mile morning solo run at 9:39/mi

Friday – Rest

Saturday –  13.1 mile race at 9:24/mi [and new HM PR!]


Total Mileage ->   53.1 miles

Since our team wanted to finish up our run early before the sun came out and before the temperature started to rise, we had to leave our carpool spot at 7:00am, which meant I had to wake up an extra half hour early (which doesn’t seem to be a problem for me these days, since I’ve been getting up as early as 4am…). I was able to finally pick up a water bottle with a running strap over the weekend (Nathan Sports QuickShot Plus), and some Clif Shot Bloks in Tropical Punch!

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I was excited to find a tiny enough bottle that fit to the outside of my hand, and the straps were snug, but not too tight. The bottle itself holds about 10 oz. of water, and it got me through the first 13 miles. The zippered pouch on the outside was also the perfect size to hold my Shot Bloks once they were packaged tight in a ziploc baggie. 

By the time we got to our starting point at Dockweiler Beach, used the restroom, and gathered around our team captain to hear the route directions just to make sure we knew where we were going, we were off before my Garmin hit 8:00AM.

What was great about this run was being able to stick with a running buddy for 17 miles. My teammate was a trooper—carrying two plastic water bottles in each hand, and running without fuel because she couldn’t find GU at the store. I understood her predicament, and so I let her know before we started the run that she could ask for one of my Shot Bloks anytime to try it out. As a result, I ended up with a running buddy for the majority of the run 🙂

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Stuffing six, squishable Shot Bloks in a Ziploc bag that conveniently fit into the running bottle case.

Since I knew what to expect on the run up until we hit Harbor Parkway, it was not too difficult to “force” myself into getting distracted. The weather was cool and damp with overcast skies overhead. Being so close to the ocean, my skin began to feel sticky within the first 0.5 miles. It wasn’t the best feeling, but the Sunday morning ocean views were phenomenal. Running past the refinery, yogis perched on shed roofs (seriously!), and surfers retreating from their early morning surf were the sights that started off my run and put me in the zone.

My buddy and I left the Strand and ended up running inland versus trying to get back to running along the coast. We completely avoided a steep hill that we were supposed to come across before the turnaround at mile 10, and instead pushed on through Torrance, and the edge of Palos Verdes (from the residential side). My knees were starting to feel sore around the halfway point at mile 9—approaching 10—but it went away as soon as we turned around. 

I consumed my first Shot Blok at mile 11.8, and offered one to my running buddy as well. She compared it to tasting like a Starburst, and I could see where she was coming from, since it did have some strong fruity flavors. The effects of the small chew kicked in about 0.5 miles after consuming it, which was when I needed it the most! Miles 13-15 were hard to get through (mentally) even though we decided to run along the coast again.

I had two more Bloks at Mile 16.8, and the last two at around Mile 17.1, along with gulp-fulls of water from a nearby water fountain. That was exactly what I needed to get me through the final three miles. I felt a lot more energy as I approached our starting point, and finished in 3:21:00 solid, with a 10:03/mi pace!!

I had to leave as soon as I finished, since my ride had to get back as soon as he was done, so I didn’t have time to ask my running buddy how she felt the Shot Blok helped her (if it did at all). I suppose I’ll find out at out at our team’s final long run before we officially taper!

For the rest of the week, I ran my 6-8-6, even though it was mentally a struggle to get through each of them. I had to push up my long run (which would have been a 14 miler with my team) for Week 16 to Saturday, since I signed up for a half marathon (which I plan to recap in a separate post) to coincide with a visit home for the holiday weekend. So next week’s MTR will look pretty light compared to this week’s total of 53 miles, but I do look forward to having a rest day on a Sunday 😉

Do you run with your own water bottle/container on long runs? Or stop for it along the way?

CEP Progressive+ Calf Sleeves

CEP Progressive+ Calf Sleeves

Last year, it was armwarmers. Now I’m finally able to lift up my other pair of limbs to sleeve-owning status:

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A close friend of mine gifted me my first set of CEP Progressive+ Calf Sleeves over the holidays, but I wanted to save them for a long run during training. I busted open the box the day before my 16 miler, and looked over the details and specifics of the hot pink pair.

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The description pamphlet was in both English and German, and it was interesting to note the specific advantages these sleeves had in pre-, during, and post-run.

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Ever since I picked up running seriously, I’ve only ever experienced noteworthy running-related aches and pains in my feet or hips. My calves have never been a focus of concern for me, but if these sleeves would help my overall performance, why not give them a try?

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Plus, with my armwarmers in tow, I felt like a pro-runner when I had them on! I also happened to be wearing an old pink race tee the day of the run, so the calf sleeves “accidentally” matched my outfit 😉

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When we started the 16 miler, the weather was still slightly cold out, so while my hands, thighs, and even feet were starting to feel numb, my calves felt warm and springy. One of my teammates happens to sport a black pair of calf sleeves at every long run, and asked for my opinion on how I liked mine at around Mile 2. Of course I couldn’t give a fair opinion then, but at that point, it felt like they were doing their job!

As I started to get further into the run, the feeling in my calves seemed to habituate for me, and I actually didn’t notice any significant difference in my pace or stride. To be honest, my focus had drifted towards getting past the mental 13 mile barrier so as to ease my mind into PDR territory.

At the end of my run, I felt super accomplished for conquering the new-for-me distance, but at the same time, was disappointed by the sleeves not matching up to its pamphlet description. I do have to consider that this was my FIRST time wearing them, and that I should wear them for other runs to see if they help with performance over time…or at least with leg fatigue. I did feel “okay” during my cool down walk back to my team’s meeting point.

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And while the sleeves weren’t extra tight (just tightly snug), it took some coordination to take them off after the run. Guess that’s going to take some getting used to too!

Are you a fan of compression calf sleeves?

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