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This past weekend was a good one, and appropriately (TGIF), I’m ready for this one!

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The spring season of SSRC started, and I followed up a 13.5 mile run with an open water swim with some of my running buds. It was a warm weekend, so later London and I grabbed some Cardiff Crack and headed to the beach to vege out.

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Sunday morning I went to the California 10/20 run (use code “1020ASHLEIGH” to save $10!) and met up with Avery and Kate (SoCal Runner Gal). Then, London and I kept it an active day, I rented a bike and we patrolled around Enci.

Looking forward to another fun and fit weekend, including a 5k race this Sunday!

Weekly Workout Recap:
Sun – 8 mi @ Carlsbad Half Marathon
Mon – 2400 m swim, 4 mi run
Tues – 2000 m swim
Wed – 1600 m swim, 5.5 mi run
Thurs – Rest
Fri – 4.5 mi
Sat – 13.5 mi, 1 mi open water swim
Total Weekly Mileage: 35.5
Weekly Swim Distance: 7,600 m
2015 miles: 107.5 mi

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Last week was filled with sunset runs, shooting hoops and lots of swimming.  As to my first swim in forever,  it was a mix between excitement and panic.  While I was trying not to breathe off flip-turns, I was also worried I would never surface again. But even after couple days I can already tell I’m getting stronger and back into the swing of things. My current set is 4×100 free, 8×100 alternating kick and pull, 4×100 free. I’ve been trying to do this workout and see if I can improve my time each time. My goal is to add 400m every week. If anyone has any suggestions for workouts, let me know!

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Other highlights from the week include previewing San Diego Restaurant Week at Farmer’s Bottega, and eating a lot of breakfast burritos (of course) :-P

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Sunday I paced my SSRC teammate Trina to run her first sub-2 hour half marathon. It was fun to run a race for someone else, and I think I was even more excited at times than her for her to finish! It definitely made me excited to start racing again!

Weekly Workout Recap:
Sun – Rest
Mon – 1600m swim, 6 mi run
Tues – 4 mi run, 2 min plank, Blogilates Extreme Abs 2
Wed – 1600 m swim, 8 mi run
Thurs – 4.5 mi run
Fri – 1600m swim
Sat – 12.5 mi run
Total Weekly Mileage: 35 mi
Weekly Swim Distance: 4800 m
2015 miles: 72 mi

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I don’t think it’s a big secret that I’ve been having fun, living it up, and maybe enjoying myself a little too much. Thankfully, the new year came around to re-instate a #newyearnewme :-P. However, this past week I really got back on track and started to kick my butt into gear. Here’s are some steps I’m taking to re-start my fitness/healthy lifestyle:

  • Set a goal: For me, this is to have a really strong spring marathon (Mountains 2 Beach). It would be great to BQ. However, even just giving it my all for this training cycle (within reason) and having a solid race would be a success.
  • Find something new: I honestly have not cross-trained since before the Chicago Marathon. But at the same time, I find myself burnt out on the usual workouts I used to opt for on the side (e.g. yoga, yoga sculpt, Pilates). This week I got a new gym membership and started swimming again. And I’m SO EXCITED TO SWIM! I find myself waking up (willingly) before 6am to get a lane and get a workout in early.
  • Step outside the gym: I’m also striving to be more active, aside from running. Whether it’s playing a sport recreationally (we might start a kickball team), shooting hoops, or hiking, I want to be more active/outdoorsy and not always focused on just running as a means of activity.
  • Cut the booze: well not all of it (because alcohol is kinda great…). But I’m definitely trying to make more conscientious decisions and break out of the habit of having a casual beer some nights.

What do you do to help get yourself back on track?

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The 11th annual San Diego Restaurant Week starts tomorrow! This past Thursday my friend and I had the opportunity to try out a new spot, Farmer’s Bottega in Mission Hills. Not only was this restaurant new to me, it’s new new. Meaning, it just opened December 11th! We arrived at 8pm, and the place was full. The ambience was warm and rustic, as we took a seat at our table located next to the window. The restaurant was definitely bustling, but the acoustics still allowed for personal conversations to be heard.

Farmer’s Bottega is a farm-to-table eatery offering New American and Italian flavors. Chef and owner Alberto Morreale (also chef and co-owner of the Fig Tree Cafe in Liberty Station and Hillcrest) was present and visible throughout the night, making his way around the tables in the restaurant. He took care of us, offering us a sampling of the upcoming week’s San Diego Restaurant Week menu.

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Everything we tasted was literally “so good!” — words we kept uttering to ourselves and our waiter. We started off with the Heirloom Tomato with – fresh milk mozzarella + farm basil + EVOO which was some of the softest and freshest mozzarella I’ve ever tasted. Simplicity was the key.

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The P.E.I. Mussels with – roasted cherry tomato + capers + mediterranean olives + garlic had some of the best broth I’ve ever tasted and I found myself wanting more bread to soak it up.

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For the entrees we were served split plates of Oxtail Ravioli with – cherry tomatoes + caramelized onion + herbed goat cheese, and Short Rib with – red wine + herbs + grilled polenta + tobacco onions. The oxtail was hearty but softened by the flavor of the goat cheese, and you could tell the pasta was homemade. The short ribs were tender with a robust flavor, and the polenta absorbed the rich flavor of the red wine sauce.

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For dessert we shared the Amaretto Tiramisu. It was a small and sweet bite to end the meal (and also because I can never pass up tiramisu!).

Based on everything we tried, you could tell there was a lot of thought that went into the refined selection of ingredients.

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For San Diego Restaurant Week, Farmer’s Bottega is offering a 3-course prix-fixe dinner for $40. If you’re looking for a new restaurant harnessing a strong menu with great flavor, don’t miss SDRW at Farmer’s Bottega January 18th through the 24th!

Farmer’s Bottega
860 W. Washington St
San Diego, CA 92103

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Thank you to Farmer’s Bottega for hosting me! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The days are quickly ticking, and I can’t even believe it’s already almost the second week in January!  Needless to say, I recuperated after last Saturday’s illness and got some miles back on my legs.

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Monday I took it easy and switched out my usual run to bake up some chock-full of chocolate chip cookies.

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Wednesday, after our speed workout, we wrapped up the “Holiday Fitness Challenge” at Wine Loft.  I ended up competing in a plank challenge (even though I have literally not cross-trained since before October) and won!! With a time of 5 min 30 sec, I think it was a personal record too (I also scored a pair of compression socks!).

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Thursday night I went on a breath-taking sunset run with my pseudo family :-P

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And Friday night I kept it low-key night, hanging with friends and playing Nintendo 64.  Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to complete my longest run (13.5 mi) since my last half marathon in November!  I essentially ran the Carlsbad Half Marathon course, which I’ll re-run next weekend for the race.

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After my run I cleaned up and met up with London to pre-game our #brewtour2k15 with some breakfast burritos from Pipes.  For our brewery tour, we rented a tour bus, visited Mother Earth Brewery and Indian Joe’s (both in Vista) with a group of friends, just because!

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Sunday I signed up for a new gym membership (weeehooo!), worked at Lofty Coffee with London, and set my goals and schedule for January/2015.

Here’s looking to a productive (and healthy) week!

Weekly Workout Recap:
Sun – 4 mi hike
Mon – Rest
Tues – 5 mi
Wed – 7 mi
Thurs – 4 mi
Fri – Rest
Sat – 13.5 mi
Total Weekly Mileage: 29.5 mi
2015 miles: 37 mi

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On a rare open afternoon a couple of Saturdays ago, London and I visited an Encinitas staple, the Lumberyard Tavern. Nestled in the Lumberyard shopping center on Coast Hwy 101, Lumberyard Tavern is local favorite, serving up craft brews, a “saloon-style” whiskey collection, and elevated traditional bar foods.

Taking in the warmth of this winter day, we sat on the patio and started with a few refreshing drinks — $3 Bloody Mary for Ash and a Mother Earth Hefe for Lond.

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Sitting out lazily basking in the sunlight, we started with the Grilled Artichoke – served with house herb aioli & balsamic dipping sauces. This meaty artichoke offered a healthy alternative to fried starters and brought back memories of our summer grilling days.

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For our first entrée, we went with the Fish Tacos – grilled mahi, cabbage, jalapeno cream sauce, mango pico de gallo, served with house black beans. The flour tortillas were thin and soft but just sturdy enough and the fish fresh and flakey, but the mango pico de gallo was the real star of the dish!

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For our second entrée, we shared the Seaside Market Tri-Tip Sandwich– loaded with the famous “Cardiff Crack,” white cheddar and horseradish cream sauce on a french roll, side of au jus. If you’ve never had “Cardiff Crack,” you’re majorly missing out! It’s the crack-like addicting amazing tri-tip they serve at Seaside Market. A local favorite (ours as well), when you see the words “Cardiff Crack,” you just do it!

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We always save room for dessert, of course. When we saw the Tavern Bread Pudding topped with vanilla bean ice cream and blueberries, we knew we had to order. Bread pudding is one of Ashleigh’s all-time favorite desserts. Anything that mixes hot with cold (and ice cream too) is a winner. This bread pudding did not disappoint.

The Lumberyard Tavern is a great place to gather with friends, whether you want to casually hang and catch up or watch a game with your whole crew. They’re always serving up a number of specials, a couple of which intrigued us to come back again (e.g. “Mexican Mondays” for tacos, and “tri-tip Tuesdays” for the signature “Cardiff Crack” from Seaside Market).

Have you been to the Lumberyard Tavern before?
What’s your favorite comfort bar food?

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Thanks to the Lumberyard Tavern for hosting us!

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2014 was a great year of racing. I managed to race every distance (from 1 mile to 26.2).  The problem with creating a schedule for 2015  is that I want to do all the races I did last year, plus some!

Here’s what I currently have on my schedule for this year:
January 18Carlsbad Half Marathon: I’ve run this race the past 4 years, so this year I’m going to take a break from running it for myself and help pace a friend!
February 15California 10/20: 10 miles/20 bands along a coastal course. Use code “1020ASHLEIGH” for $10 off your entry!
May 24 – Mountains 2 Beach: first time on this course, but it’s ranked the third most likely to qualify for Boston in the nation.
June 6Fontana Days Half Marathon: Ran a really strong half here last year and would like to beat my time (and to potentially meet a 1:30).

Tentative races I might throw back in:
February 1 - Cardiff Kook Run
March 15Encinitas Mile
March 29Carlsbad 5000

What’s on your race calendar for this year?

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This past week was NOT a good one for running. It was unusually cold which I let become an excuse, and Saturday I got caught with a total bug (food poisoning I am assuming because it only lasted one day). New year, new me includes puking on a run!!! Yea…

Aside from that, Tuesday I took a longer weekday run on a favorite route and ended up getting caught up in a bit of rain.

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Wednesday night we celebrated NYE locally, and like the bottle states, it was the after party.

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Thursday London, Chelsea and I headed to the beach because it seemed like it was warm enough for a tan session (it was not) and encountered a weird formation on the beach (aliens?).

Friday I went on my first run of the new year, my new morning “usual route.” And on Saturday the run started…until the sickness hit (well, a little spell hit before but let’s not talk about how I attempt to charge through even when barfing).

This week I’m hoping to get back to normal and hit at least 20 miles for the week. Baby steps and baby goals guys, amiright?!

Weekly Workout Recap (12/28-1/3)
Sun – 4 mi hike
Mon – Rest
Tues – 7.25 mi
Wed – Rest
Thurs – Rest
Fri – 4.5 mi
Sat – 3 mi
Total Weekly Mileage: 14.75 mi
2014 miles: 1511.5 mi
2015 miles: 7.5 mi

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This is a total late post!!!

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From Palm Desert for Christmas to Santa Barbara for the weekend, this past week was filled with traveling. On Saturday, I make the trek from PD to SB, picking up London from LA with a quick pitstop at Urth Caffe.

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In Santa Barbara we stayed at the Hotel Indigo on State Street which ended up being conveninetly located right around the corner from “The Funk Zone,” where we semi-embarked on an Urban Wine Trail, starting with Santa Barbara Winery, and moving on/finishing at Oreana Winery. We also ended up at Joe’s Cafe before calling it a night.

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Sunday morning we woke up and headed to Carpinteria for coffee at the Lucky Llama Coffee Shop and breakfast burritos all around at the Cajun Kitchen. Kokoro showed us around his hometown and even picked us some avocados from his tree! We spent the rest of the day, back in SB shopping around State Street before we worked up an appetite. Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. called to us with an open atmosphere where we indulged in a flight of beers and the best pizza. I even ended up ordering a growler for the road of some Double IPA (oops).

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London and I both took Monday off from work, so we spent the day getting back on the healthy boat. But first, breakfast! With a breakfast wrap from Tupelo Junction Cafe and a hot cup of coffee, we were ready to embark on a moderate hike in Montecito. The hike up to Saddlerock trail ended up being 4 miles round trip. It was a good way to break a light sweat and we were able replenish with some Pressed Juicery located in the shopping center just down the hill from our hike!

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As for running, it was a good, nice mileage week, and I was able to keep active during the holidays.

Weekly Workout Recap (12/21-27):
Sun – 5 mi
Mon – 5 mi
Tues – 5 mi
Wed – Rest
Thurs – 6.3 mi
Fri – 10.5 mi
Sat – 5.2 mi
Total Weekly Mileage: 37 mi
2014 Miles YTD: 1504.25

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