Travel & Writers Block

In the past 6 weeks, I’ve spent 2 weeks in Italy, traveled to Phoenix three times and driven up to Pasadena.  We’ve run/walked/hiked 270 miles and run 2 races.  And so many times, I’ve sat down to write race recaps and thank goodness I didn’t have any reviews due because I’ve been exhausted and just haven’t been able to write or had the desire to do so.

November 2015 miles

Fortunately this is my personal blog and it’s not my job so it’s OK if I take a break.  I have so much to share, I haven’t even finished my wedding recaps yet, but I needed a break.

As we enter December, I have a lot to accomplish. And so I’m putting out a few goals for the month.

  1. Publish at least 2 blog posts a week – I don’t think I posted anything in November (oops) so Thank You to everyone who reads this :).
  2. Start a plank a day streak
  3. Log 1,250 miles for the year.  I’m already at 1,149 so that should be relatively easy to do.

Phoenix, South Mountain, Trail Running, Runnylegs, Ultrarunnersd

What else is happening this month?  We will be running in the NorthFace Endurance Challenge Championship in San Francisco this weekend and we are running the San Diego Holiday Half at the end of the month, it’s at over 85% full so if you are looking for a race to finish up the year in San Diego, now would be the time to sign up.

I’ve got 2 races on the calendar for January, SD 50 Trail Marathon and Coldwater Rumble 52k the following week so lots of long trail runs are in my future.

Have you ever had a time when you had writers block?  What did you do to get out of it?

 

Becoming #TeamNakamura: Picking a Ceremony Venue

I realize I’m kinda jumping around with my recaps here, but I guess that’s what happens when you are excited :).

If you are new to reading our recaps, here you go…

Dress
Cake
Reception Location
Flowers

I think I’ve mentioned before that after Sean & I got engaged, we immediately knew that we wanted to get married in San Francisco.  It was an important place in our relationship since we had our first date there and we got engaged there.

Somewhere, after we decided that Paris was out of the question, I saw a photo of SF City Hall on the Facebook page of one of my favorite, but way out of our price range wedding photographers, Jasmin Star, and I knew at that instant that I had found the place where we were going to be married.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

Now, I know that sometimes, getting married at City Hall kind of gives the vibe that you are going to elope or it’s super casual, but this is by far one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen.  It’s like a European museum and even though I booked it sight unseen, I knew this was a very special place.  And then later I found out that Marilyn Monroe married Joe Dimaggio there which is pretty exciting.

There’s 2 ways to get married at City Hall, you can either make an appointment to get married in the rotunda, which is beautiful, but you are technically only supposed to have 6 guests and the public can be around you while you are getting married.  And you can only make the appointment I believe 90 days out from the ceremony.

Or the other way is to reserve either the North or South side of the 4th floor or the Mayor’s Balcony for $1,002 and then you can have your own private ceremony for 1 hour.  We picked a Monday so we didn’t really have to worry too much about having other weddings wanting our time.  The only disappointing thing was that we did want more of an afternoon event, and they couldn’t guarantee that because a mayoral event was scheduled later that day.  So we decided to do a late morning ceremony & then have a luncheon for the reception.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

The City Hall Events website has a lot of information and answered a lot of my questions.  We choose to get married during the week, but there is an option that is quite a bit more expensive to allow you to have a private ceremony on Saturday.  There is a package that includes up to 200 attendees, but it is $5,000 vs. the $1,002 for the weekday ceremony.  Needless to say, we were fine with a weekday :).

You could also make an appointment to get your marriage license there as well before the ceremony, but we didn’t think we would have time and didn’t want to wait until the last minute, so we got ours in San Diego instead.   It’s still best to make an appointment so you don’t have to wait in what might be a really long line.  We went to the downtown location, because it was where we went on the night we met, but there are a few other locations around the county.

SF Wedding, Marriage License, San Diego County

The nice thing about picking a venue like the San Francisco City Hall is that there was no need for any added decor, and due to the fact that we only had the space for an hour, there wasn’t time to have much of anything added on.  We did add on chairs for our guests.  You could either have a basic folded chair for $3.50 each or gold Chivari chairs for $7.00 each.  I liked the look of the Chivari chair so we went with them.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

Sean & I arrived a little late to the ceremony, but we were able to get a bunch of photos there with our photographer Carmen Alvarez Photography.  She did an awesome job of getting some great shots around City Hall.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco, 3rd Floor, Fancy Windows, SF Wedding

All in all we were thrilled with the venue and are were so excited.  It was the perfect ceremony location for us.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco, SF Wedding

#SweatPink & prAna #7daystretch #liveinprana Challege

I’m joining prAna and Sweat Pink for a super fun, #7daystretch #liveinprana challenge – it starts today (Monday, August 24th) and ends at the end of the week (Sunday, August 30th). Join in on the fun – answering daily prompts (see below) – or if you’d prefer to lurk, you can follow along on FitApproach or through the hashtags: #liveinprana #7daystretch #sweatpink!

We’ll be talking about how we (the community) embrace a prAna lifestyle (#liveinprana) and are challenging ourselves to stretch a little deeper, farther and more mindfully for 7 whole days (the #7daystretch). And we’re not just stretching our bodies so you don’t have to be pretzel to join in, we’re also stretching our minds and souls!

I’d love for you __all___ to join me for this fun challenge. Complete the fun mad-lib below and let’s get this PARTY started!

We’re nearing the end of August and even though the summer is coming to an end, I’m super excited about the Fall because ___of the cooler weather____.  In fact, my very favorite thing about Fall is ___colored leaves___. I can imagine myself wearing __Meme Pant____ [item from prAna website / include a hyperlink if you can!] while I ____hike_____ [activity/verb] because ___they are wrinkle free, water resistant & super cute!_

If I had one goal for the Fall, it would be ___to run further & faster___ because _I’ve had a rough summer. To achieve it, I know I will need __strong mental fortitude___. And of course I want to look great doing it so have the __Ergo Legging____ [item from prAna website / include a hyperlink if you can!] on my wish-list…..

What are you most excited about for Fall?
Join us for the #liveinprana #7daystretch. Here are the daily prompts to get you started!

Monday, August 24: It’s Monday, make sure you get up and stretch ‘dem legs! Show us your favorite quad and / or hamstring stretch(es)! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: We want to see you JUMP it out. Give us your BEST #jumpjoymonday! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Tuesday, August 25: Backbends. Any backbends. All backbends. #benditlikebackbend Show us how you get bendy! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: It’s #transformationtuesday y’all, whether you’re bendier than you used to be, more adventurous, or even faster, we want to see! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Wednesday, August 26: It’s our mid-week stretch it out, show us what’s getting you through your hump day? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: It’s #workoutitwednesday. Show us how you worked it today! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Thursday, August 27: Show us a #tbt to a time when you stretched outside of your comfort zone. #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us your favorite stretchy pants (shorts work too)  #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Friday, August 28: Happy #freefriday y’all! We want to see what  makes you feel the most FREE?  7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us how you are celebrating #forearmfriday! Forearm planks, dolphin pose, forearm stands or maybe just forearms on the table? 😉 #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Saturday, August 29: Saturday side stretch! Show us your fave side stretch(es!) #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: #sunsalutesaturday. Show us how you are saluting the sun today! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Sunday, August 30: What are your favorite ways to restore your mind, body, & soul? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us your favorite zen space. Where do you find peace & tranquility? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna #sundayzenday

 

Runny Legs Bridal Bootcamp Week 2

So after trying on my dress, I realized I didn’t need to go too crazy or my dress would be a bit too loose, what a problem to have, right? I decided to continue rehabbing my hamstring and just eating well.

So what did I do last week?

Food wise, I continued with limiting my salt intake as well as drinking lots and lots of water and eating more fruits & veggies.

One of my fav new breakfast meals is to mix grapefruit & avocado with some jicama and cinnamon.

Grapefruit,Avocado, Jicama, Breakfast Salad

Lots and lots of hip exercises.  I spent a lot of time doing a series of about 12 different hip exercises to really strengthen that hips called the myrtl routine by Coach Jay of Nike.  I’m not sure if you have to do the exercises in order but here they are.

Clam shells
Lateral Leg Raise 3 ways: neutral foot, foot pointed up and foot pointed down
Donkey kicks
Donkey whips
Fire Hydrant
Knee circles, forward
Knee circles, backwards
Hurdle Trail Leg, forward
Hurdle Trail Leg, backwards
Lateral Leg Swing
Linear Leg Swing
Linear Leg Swing with bent knee

I also found some yoga poses that help with sciatica so I did those several times as well.

Yoga for Sciatica

As far as running, I ran 3 times last week and then Sean & I ran/hiked in the Cleveland National Forest on a portion of the San Diego 100 course.  We had a great time out there.  It’s a very beautiful place to run.

Cleveland National Forest Uncle Tom's Cabin - SD 100 course

Less than 2 weeks to go and I’m super excited.

#1MillionMinutes Mad Lib with Puritan’s Pride

fitapproach, puritan's pride, sweat pinkI’m so Fired Up [adj] to fuel my #1MillionMinutes goals with Puritan’s Pride! All summer I plan to run, stretch and eat [verb] my way to a healthier, fitter me, and I’ll need help staying hydrated and fueled during all my traveling [adj] adventures!

I will make sure I stay on track and will rely on  water, fruits & veggies and lean protein [noun] to keep me well fueled before, during and after workouts, and my fruit infuser water bottle [noun] to keep me hydrated!

I’m most excited to try All Natural Veggie Protein in Vanilla (product) and Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (product) from Puritan’s Pride because they look like they are super clean(adj).

One supplement I’ve never tried but am curious about is D-Ribose [noun]. I think it might make me have a better recovery after long & hard runs![adj].

Bring it, #1MillionMinutes! I’m ready to go!

 

This post is sponsored by Puritan’s Pride. All opinions are my own. We so appreciate you supporting the brands who support Fit Approach and the #sweatpink community! 

RunnyLegs Bridal Bootcamp Week 1

Last Monday was 4 weeks until #TeamSeanandJenny become #TeamNakamura and I haven’t been entirely happy with my body in the last few weeks.  Now, I’m not saying that I want to loose a ton of weight and go crazy, just tone up a bit, especially since I haven’t really been eating as well as I should be.  I’ve been eating a lot of french fries lately ;).

So I decided to use the wedding as a way to get myself back on track. When we were at the beach last weekend, I got out my 21 Day Fix & Suja Juice Solution books and read them both over.  I purchased the 21 Day Fix way back in March but have never officially done the program, mostly because those containers are so freaking small! and I’m not sure I like the idea of being so restricted in the portion sizes.

But I took a little from each of the books and here’s what I’ve come up with that will work for me.

* As soon as I get out of bed, I drink about 8 ounces of water.  Then drink my coffee, no sugar, just a little soy milk.
* Smoothies.  I got a basic blender for my birthday, I’d love a Vitamix but they are a little out of the budget when you are planning a wedding so I’ll make due with this Oyster one that works really well.
* Eliminate most dairy.  I haven’t used real milk for years because of a minor lactose issue, but I love cheese and yogurt but they don’t love me.
* Cut out most processed carbohydrates.  I am eating bread or pasta at one meal, but trying to not eat it at every meal & snack.
* Eating more fruit & vegetables
* Add in more healthy fat
* I haven’t been eating a lot of dessert lately, but definitely limiting the treats.
* And most important, drinking way more water

On the exercise side…

I joined a gym so that I was able to do more cross-training on the bike and possibly start swimming as well.  And while I’m not a huge fan of heights, this gym has a rock wall and I’m really excited to try that out as well.

So starting on Monday, I got back into the plank challenge, it was a bit tough that first day and I only made it 3 minutes, but by Thursday I was at 10 minutes.  I incorporated more core/ab work as well as adding in some arm exercises with weights and short yoga session.  In the afternoon I did 40 minutes on the bike and then an Insanity Max30 session.

Tuesday, I did 2 miles of run/walk with Sean and plank.

Wednesday was a little slower as I was having a massage so I didn’t want to ruin all the work that was done.  I did an 8 minute plank, 100 squats and some stretching.

Cupping, United Rehab, San Diego

Thursday, I started off with a sweaty 10 minute plank, the myrtle hip routine, arm exercises with weights and 100 ab exercises (20 crunches, 40 bicycles, 20 single leg scissors, 20 double legs up and down.

Thursday evening, Sean & I hit up Mission Bay where we were just going to do a quick 2 miles but I needed to do a 10k at some point over the weekend for my Nuun #runridehydrate virtual race, which I’ll be reviewing in a separate post, so after 1.5 miles we made the decision to keep going.

Mission Bay, San Diego, #teamseanandjenny, runnylegs

Friday, both Sean & I were off so we decided to go out to Cowles Mountain to get some hill training in, I went up twice before I decided to call it a day. 5.5 miles, 1,700 of elevation.  5 mins of plank, stretching my priformis and hip myrtle routine.

Piriformis, stretch, lake murray, san diego

Saturday, we did 6 miles at Lake Murray and then hit up the beach.  I planked twice, once for 3:55 when Purrums, one of my kitties, started attacking me, unprovoked I might add, and when a 16lb cat starts biting your biceps you stop planking ;).  I did another 7:30 before I couldn’t handle it any more. Hip myrtle and arm weights called it a day.

Runnylegs, altra running, lululemon, procompression, lake murray, san diego

Sunday, we had a lot to do yesterday so we just did a short run with some faster strides at Balboa Park.  I took a rest day from the rest of my exercises and will get back on them tomorrow.

Balboa Park, San Diego, runnylegs

I will say that I’m feeling a lot better and I tried my dress on Wednesday and I don’t really need to do much because I don’t want my dress to be too big, but overall just making these small changes, especially eliminating grain/potato carbs at every meal and drinking a lot more water has started to make a big difference as far as bloating and feeling tired all the time.

On to next week!

2015 Mid-Year Review

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already half over.  It’s been quite a year so far with a lot of exciting things happening, but also marred with the pain in my hamstring that has been plaguing me for most of the year.

Healing my hamstring is going to be my main focus for the rest of the year.  We also have a few other very exciting things happening in the next 6 months, a wedding!! a second post wedding party and a bunch of travel and races.

As for those goals I set back in January, let’s see how I’ve been doing.

1) Run Nutrition – so so, ok well really not so good.  I still need to work on this.
2) Running straight – This one when my hamstring feels good is actually going pretty well.  I did really well during the Rock n’ Roll SD half and didn’t walk much.
3) Mental Toughness – still a work in progress – my hamstring pain is making this difficult, but…I am determined and I will finish even if I have to walk or crawl through that finish line!
4) Trail/Hill Running – we have done a lot more trail, but again due to the hamstring, hill running has not been happening
5) Cross Training – I feel like this is going pretty well
6) Core work – I’ve been really good about doing core exercises and I think I’m ahead of the game on this one
7) Eating healthy & drinking more water – again this is a work in progress

My favorite things from the last 6 months.  It’s been a really busy 6 months.

IMG_6889

January – Going to to Hawaii with Sean
February – Valentine’s Day in San Diego
March – LA Marathon & Moving to San Diego!!
April – Leona Divide 50K, my first ultra & cake tasting for our wedding!
May – One of the few non-painful races this year at Rock n’Roll SD
June – Crewing for Sean at the SD100 and the San Francisco Summer Solstice

I can’t wait to see what happens next…

National Running Day 2015

Happy  National Running Day!!!  I’m linking up with Jonesin’ for a run and Kristen has some questions that I’m excited to answer.  I’d love to hear your answers too.

If you are looking for a group run or more info check out http://www.runningday.org/.   This year they are giving you the option to track your run/walk through Charity Miles.

And lastly, Nuun is also doing a virtual run with Motigo where you can get audio cheers from friends and family, maybe even Kara Goucher or Kevin, Nuun CEO.  Or you might even win prizes while out on your 5k or longer run. Sign-up & download the Motigo app to participate.  http://nuun.getmotigo.com/. By signing up you will also receive 1 free week of Motigo.

Why do you run?
Why do I run…for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it makes me happy.  I have a stressful job and it also helps me to stay sane.  As one of my co-workers told me last week…I run because punching people is frowned upon LOL.

How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day? 
I’ll be in Phoenix to start my day, but Sean & I plan to run down by the San Diego Harbor as soon as I land.

How many miles have you run so far this year?
534

What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?
Big events for the rest of the year…San Francisco 1/2 marathon the day before our wedding…Venice Marathon on our honeymoon in Venice Italy!

Before I leave for a run you must have:
Chapstick and water

Do you have one favorite app to track your runs?
Nike Plus

Who is your favorite running partner?
That’s an easy one…my love Sean @ultrarunnersd 

What races have you ran so far this year?
I’ve done a lot of them…
May 31, 2015 – Suja Rock n’ Roll San Diego 1/2 Marathon – San Diego, CA
May 24, 2015 – Mountains to Beach Marathon – Ventura, CA
May 3, 2015 – OC Half Marathon – Newport Beach, CA
Apr 18, 2015 – Leona Divide 50k – Green Valley, CA (Angeles National Forest)
Mar 15, 2015 – Asics LA Marathon – Los Angeles, CA
Feb 28, 2015 – Phoenix Marathon 1/2 Marathon – Mesa, AZ
Feb 7, 2015 – Runners Den AZ Pancake Run 5k – Phoenix, AZ
Feb 1, 2015 – Xterra McDowell Mountain 15 mile – Fountain Hills, AZ

If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be?
Have fun!!

Describe your relationship with running in one word:
Complicated 🙂

Feel free to answer as many as you would like – I’d love to hear what you are doing to celebrate!

Have a fabulous run!

It’s Gonna be May… Goals

It’s May 1 and I’ve realized that I haven’t really had any real goals to work towards lately.  Yes, I’ve been running and I’ve been eating & traveling, but I’ve been kind of just doing whatever with no real plan.  So as we start May which is full of races and a lot of traveling, I need a little focus.

Goals for May

Exercise Goals:

*Plank Challenge – Sean & I are already on day 6 and plan to continue on thru May.  My goal isn’t necessarily to get to a certain time, but more to start to incorporate it into my daily routine.

IMG_4462

*Strength Training/Cross Training – As I get closer to a long distance race, I tend to only run, but as my recurring hamstring/glute issue tells me, I need to do other things too. I will be incorporating 2 days of cross training & strength training into my weekly schedule.

*Get in a 20 mile run before my next marathon, Mountains 2 Beach on May 24.  I have only done one 20 mile run this year outside of the LA marathon & my 50k so I’d really like to get one in before I race again.

Health/Eating:

*Meal plan & prep for the week.  I used to do this but since I’ve been working from home, I’ve really gotten lazy.  It’s time to get back on track.

IMG_4637

IMG_4638

*Research new long run nutrition.  I’m not sure what kind of experimentation I’ll be able to do with 3 races this month, but I can start researching what I want to try.

*Start 21 Day Fix.  I have had this in for a few weeks now but with the 50k and traveling a bit I haven’t started it yet.  It’s hard for me to do this when I’m out of town a lot but I’ll be doing my best to follow the plan.

It’s time to buckle down and do some relatively simple things (outside of the 20 mile run, that’s not so simple lol) that will help my running goals down the road.

What are your goals for this month?

 

My Favorite Running Things – April

I’ve decided that it’s time to share some of my favorite things.  I tend to be very brand loyal when I find things that I like but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to try new things.

Here are a few of my current favorites…

Altra Running Superior 2.0 Trail Shoes 

Winner of the Editor’s Choice Award from Runner’s World .

Altra Running, Superior, Trail Shoes, Womens
Ok, yes, I am an Altra Ambassador so I am a bit partial, but really these shoes are amazing.  They are super light-weight and work in all sorts of terrain, I’ve even had to wear them to play softball.  I’m going to wear them for my next trail race and then I’ll do an official review.  

The Probar Base bars in Cookie Dough

Yum!!!  I ordered a sample box of these before I moved and I love the taste.  Most of the time protein bars have a weird taste to them and are full of all sorts of weird ingredients, etc.  These are plant based with 20g of protein in them.  These are a new favorite.

The ProBar, Base, Protein Bar, Vegan, Cookie DoughMy Camelbak Quik Grip Insulated Podium Quick Chill water bottle.

Sean got me started using a hand held last year because holding your hydration = drinking more.  I drink a lot more now than I ever did while running, as evidenced in my last 2 marathons where I’ve refilled my bottle at least 2-3 times throughout the race.  This fits my hand perfectly and isn’t too too heavy.  You can also fit some gels and a lip gloss in the pocket.

Camelbak,Podium,  Quick Chill, Water Bottle
Hip stretches – this is a weird one, I know, but ever since I ran the LA Marathon I’ve had super tight hips.  I’ve started doing various hip stretches, mostly yoga style poses, and while it’s still going to take a while to work, I’ve been noticing a lot of improvement.

IMG_3965 IMG_3966There are so many products, exercises, foods, etc out there that it’s hard to find a favorite sometimes.  I’m sure I’ll find something else and these current favorites will change, but that’s the fun of trying new things.  I’ll never be bored, that’s for sure :).

What are your favorite running things?