Happy New Year’s Eve!

Based off my “Goals” section, here is what I was hoping to achieve in 2014:

Surprisingly, and successfully, I achieved every one of those goals on that list.

I forgot, I also wanted to run 2,014 miles in 2014, but I came short and only ran 1511.5 miles.

Here’s what I’m hoping to achieve in 2015:

  • Qualify for Boston (3:35 marathon)
  • Qualify for NYC Marathon (1:30 half)
  • Start swimming again
  • Do a (sprint) tri
  • Find balance with working hard and having fun!

What are you goals for this new year?


Time to set some new goals, and recap last month’s while we’re at it.  In terms of my “Three Things April,” 2 out of 3 goals were a success.  A brief recap:
1. Go Meatless! – Meatless Monday was a huge success.  Not only did a go meatless for all April Monday’s, but I succeeded in going veg for an additional number of days too.  The recipes I made and shared include:
2. Run with a four-legged friend – I ran with Piper at least once a week for a total of  34.1 miles.  This is something I plan to continue, primarily on my easy/recovery runs.  I enjoy having her along, especially in the early morning, because she gives me a sense of safety and I enjoy the company (even if she tends to move unexpectedly)!
3. Complete a photo challenge – On the failure front, I participated in the Run This Year photo challenge for..oh, two days?  I’m just not good at daily photo challenges!  I like Instagram, but it’s too hard for me to stay that consistent.

Okay, now, onto May.


1.  Spectate at a race –  Recently I’ve been craving just spectating at a race.  I never do this because I always seem to find myself running every race.  This might be cheating because I already know I’m going to accomplish this tomorrow…but maybe I can just go for the “best spectator/sign-maker award.” (image source)

2. #ThrowbackThursday – Share posts and recipes that I’ve failed to share in a timely manner.  Maybe drafted or made one, two months ago and have just been sitting on the back burner. (image source)

3. Take the stairs – One thing I hate is taking the stairs.  I am definitely far from a stair master.  Twice I’ve taken the stairs up to my apartment, which might be psychotic since we live on the 18th floor… but my goal is to opt to take the stairs at least once a week, maybe on a rest day, to get in some additional steps. (image source)

What are your goals for May?

So on Sunday I’ll be running the Carlsbad Half Marathon for my fourth year in a row.  The past 3 years have been pretty consistent (2011 – 1:45:22, 2012 – 1:46:56, 2013 – 1:44:09).  This year my goal is to run a 1:40.  People keep asking me if I’m ready and my response has repeatedly been “I don’t know, I hope so.”  Ever since I blew that half marathon last August, I always have a glimmer of doubt in my mind.

My goals for this race are:
AMAZING – sub 1:40
On point – 1:40
Ideal – 1:42

Thinking about running a consistent 7:37 pace makes me nervous.  Nervous like I won’t be able to do anything else (like drink water, take in fuel) during the race but run.  However, I think this is the most prepared I’ve been for a race.  I’ve been running 5 days a week, incorporating speed work, tempo runs, and consistent long slow distances.

If there’s one thing I really need to keep strong/tap into is my willpower.  Luckily (if all goes according to plan), I’ll have my friend out there pacing me.  I always seem to run better when I’m not paying attention to my pace or psyching myself out.

How do you push past a mental road block in a race?
Mantra?  Music?    

I know it’s the 2nd of December, but let’s finish up the “Three Things: November.”  For my last thing, I wanted to “cook something new,” specifically, cioppino.  Originally, I thought this would be something that would take all day; that’s why I set my sights on Thanksgiving (side note: it didn’t take more than maybe an hour and a half).  As a result of this decision, my Thanksgiving was the most unconventional thus far.  No turkey. No stuffing.  No sweet potatoes.  No pumpkin pie.  However, it did produce the best leftovers known to mankind…or maybe just me, since I am the cioppino fiend.  Everything was amazing, and for once I didn’t feel stuffed to the brim, or sleep-induced by tryptophan.

Cioppino l

by Giada De Laurentiis, slightly modified
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound scallops
1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets, such as sole, cut into 2-inch chunks

  1. Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste.
  3. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
  5. Add the mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp, scallops and fish. Simmer gently until the fish, scallops and shrimp are just cooked through, and the mussels are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any mussels that do not open).
  7. Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

The other 2 recipes I made were from Bakerita. They both looked beautifully delicious on her website, and when it came down to it, they were both extremely easy to complete.

Parmesan Pumpkin Bread Rolls l

Parmesan Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Caramel Apple Crumble l

Caramel Apple Crumble with Pumpkin Ice Cream

November – Thing Three: Cook Something New
See: Three Things – November l November – Thing One l November – Thing Two


My bucket list for three things to do in November:

  1. Run something new.  Whether it’s an inaugural race, a race that’s new to you, or even just a new running route, try something new.  This month I’m doing an inaugural 10k beach run that starts at 12 noon (Surfing Madonna 10k Beach Run)…all of which are pretty new to me!
  2. Get active on Turkey Day.  Whether it’s football with the family, or a Turkey Trot, get your body moving before the big feast.  This year I’m doing my first ever Turkey Trot (Father Joe’s Village Thanksgiving Day 5k).
  3. Cook something new.  Maybe a new side dish for Thanksgiving, or maybe just some new festive treats.  Needless to say, I’m dying to make some cioppino (pictured recipe).  Can’t a girl holla for a TV show?

What are you hoping to achieve/complete this month?

The winners of the Quest Bar Giveaway are: Paige Callahan for leaving a blog post and  Ryan Weber for liking Quest Nutrition on Facebook!  Please email me at

P.S. October Thing Two was completed…but I found adding a few baskets to my closet organizer didn’t warrant a separate blog post.

Halfway through the year.  And it’s exactly 2 months until my birthday…that’s all I wanted to say.  Let’s recap and set some new goals.

June Goals

Nutrition: Started the 21-Day Sugar Detox but realized I don’t want to limit myself that much. I gained a lot of great recipes from the program, I just need to get back into cooking again.
Workouts: Cross-train more. Goal to cross-train 2-3x per week, and incorporate morning bikram yoga 2-3x per week.  Check. Cross training 2-3 times a week has been a success.
Running: Run less. Around 3x per week. And look into joining a running club or partake in local free runs. Check and check. Running 2-3 times a week, and joined a running club!

July Goals

Continue with everything, but add the most important thing…
REST! Lately I’ve been having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, even after 8 solid hours of sleep. I recently read an article on overtraining and I’m pretty sure this is the case. Although my running mileage is down, I feel like my body is being pulled in three different directions: fast runs, long runs, and resistance training. I’ve been constantly breaking down my muscle, without allowing adequate time to rest and repair.

Luckily it’s a holiday weekend and I will be relaxing/enjoying my sweet rest time.


All in the name of America…#USA!

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 10.02.44 AM

Yesterday I took a rest day from working out and instead spent about 3 hours in the kitchen prepping meals for my variation of the 21-Day Sugar Detox.  The 21-Day Sugar Detox is by Diane Sanfilippo, who also wrote the cookbook Practical Paleo.  I ordered the PDF and checked out the different levels (1-3).  3 is the most restrictive, but it is also the most ideal for someone who is following a paleo diet or has completed the Whole30.  A lot of the restrictions are the same, just more intensified (essentially no fruit).  I’ve gotten better about my fruit intake compared to a couple years ago when I thought it was fine to just eat an entire bag of grapes in one day, or a whole melon at one sitting.  Something that is healthy isn’t healthy when consumed in copious amounts.  I feel like meal prep is essential to success in this program, because as long as I have something to eat (that’s approved) when I’m hungry, I’ll be fine.  Ultimately, I wanted a new challenge, a new plan to follow, and a new goal to achieve.

Speaking of goals…let’s take a trip down memory lane to old May…

May Goals – I pretty much set goals that I didn’t follow through with.

-Nutrition: Eat Paleo.  The meals I make for myself are primarily paleo.  But then I found Chipotle salads, started drinking soda again, and dipped a little into fro-yo.  Sunday night tacos with chips and fresh ceviche from the Mexican market and fluffy potatoes with cobbs of corn on Rollswisserie Wednesday’s have become the norm.
-Workouts: Early Morning Workouts. Went to yoga once at the beginning of the month, and not again until the 3 days leading up to the Rock ‘n Roll Half (all early morning).  Had some early morning runs in there, but my blister got in the way of maintaining that schedule.
-Running: More Structured Workouts (e.g. Run Less, Run Faster program).  Totally nixed this in the beginning when getting to a track would be too much of a hassle.  Just went the other direction and decided to increase my mileage instead.

This month I’m more determined to follow through with my goals.  I will be smarter about running and training and not set myself up for any type of impeding injuries.  I also won’t be trying to work between training from one race to another in the span of 4 weeks.  I’m planning on focusing on my health, fitness, and well-being overall, and will turn my attention back to training for the AFC Half Marathon (Aug 18) in July.

June Goals

– Nutrition: Start the 21-Day Sugar Detox.  Modified to be 14-16 days.  My dad is coming down to visit again and when that happens it’s usually hard to stick to a restricted eating plan.
Workouts: Cross-train more.  Last month I ended up only cross-training 3 times (2 with trainer, 1 body pump class).  Goal to cross-train 2-3x per week, and incorporate morning bikram yoga 2-3x per week.
Running: Run less.  Around 3x per week.  And look into joining a running club or partake in local free runs.

What are you working towards this June?
What are your goals?

photoYesterday I got stuck at the Apple store, and ended up being too late to join in the #BostonStrong run at Movin’ Shoes Encinitas.  Instead, I ran 4 miles by myself, suffering from slight shin splints.  So last night and today, I resorted to recovering via PRO Compression Socks!  To bed. To work.  But I swear I pulled down my pants, and I swear I’m not just a Smurf!

I just finished reading Why You Should Taper Before A Marathon and came across a few good tips for building confidence the week before a race.    These include setting goals – amazing, ideal, and livable – that will make you feel accomplished, no matter what, when you cross that finish line.  I usually don’t set specific goals ahead of time.  I usually, like most people, just want to PR.  But when the race begins and I realize I might not do as unrealistically well as I want, I start the battle in my brain.  So instead, I think I’ll try jotting some realistic goals out now to free my mind.

Set multiple time goals, separated by 5 to 15 minutes so you don’t feel like you leave empty-handed:

  1. Fantastic – new PR, below a 1:44
  2. Really good – new course PR, below a 1:46
  3. I can live with that – 1:48 to 1:52 (preferably not the latter, but who knows).

Set general goals (i.e. not walking, finishing strong, or simply enjoying yourself):

  1. Staying confident throughout the race
  2. Not completely dying after the hill
  3. Finishing strong with a sprint

Visualize the race and what you want to accomplish in each part:

  1. Start – start off comfortable and strong.
  2. Halfway point – pick up speed slightly, or maintain pace.
  3. Mile 12-12.75 – pick it up as much as I can.
  4. Mile 12.75-13.1 – give it all I’ve got.  The last incline of the course with a downhill finish.

How do you set your race goals?

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