The was my last trail run with Kate before the SOB 50k.  After a lazy and overcast morning in Encinitas, we grabbed coffee from Ironsmith and headed down to Alpine.  After an hour of driving, we arrived at our destination, or so we hoped/thought.

We parked in the apparent lot and spotted the sign “Espinosa Trail –> Secret Canyon rail.”  By the time we made it out east to the trailhead, the temperatures had risen.  No need for an outer- or wind-layer and we both stripped to tanks and shorts.  We headed out with the intention of running 10 miles.  The trail was wide and evident, and we followed along this main trail for 5 miles.


At this point, we had never reached Secret Canyon.  I guess the big indicator should have been the fact that we continued to gradually climb and never dropped down into a canyon.  In our defense though, the climb was very gradual and we didn’t realize it until we turned around to run back.  We did take some walking breaks on the way up, but I just assumed that I was out of shape/getting my bearings back (not the greatest feeling the week before the race).


On our way back we also realized we clearly missed the split off for Secret Canyon.  It was maybe a mile or so in, but at a quick glance, the small wooden sign was misleading.  It clearly said “trail –>” but since I didn’t read it and the wooden sign was kind of shaped like an arrow in the opposite direction, we just stayed on the Espinosa Trail the whole time.

The Espinosa Trail extends 7 miles out.  Kate was obsessed with how green it was and kept exclaiming “it looks like Ireland!”

Although we ran the wrong trail, it just gives us another one to try the next time!

Espinosa Trail

Entrance: 21697 Lyons Valley Rd, Alpine, CA
Route: From the trailhead parking lot walk to the trail.  Espinosa is the main trail and will take you out 7+ miles.
Miles: 10 miles +




Back and at the trails!! One week after my 50k, Elisa and I took to Iron Mountain + Ellie Lane. Iron Mountain is a very popular hike in San Diego, however this was my first time visiting the trail. Elisa suggested we take the offshoot of the Ellie Lane loop because it’s less trafficked and it adds a little distance to the run/hike.


Even pre-holiday weekend, it was still pretty busy, especially when we reached the top. My legs were still tired from the weekend before and were definitely feeling it. We took the casual approach of walking the uphills, and running the downhills. However, in general it was really nice to get out. I couldn’t imagine running if it had to be on the road, but the trail was exactly the freedom and diversity I needed.


And because PB&J sandwiches are my FAVORITE (and such a large staple in my diet now) this post is filled with pictures of me stuffing my face!!!

Iron Mountain + Ellie Lane Loop

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Entrance: Hwy 67 & Poway Rd, Poway, CA 92074
Route: Follow the Iron Mountain Trail until it comes to a split. Head left for Ellie Lane. Continue on this until you meet back up with the main Iron Mountain Trail.
Miles: 10 miles



Elisa and I ran this trail probably 2 weeks before my 50k.  This trail run ended up being a lot more hiking than running.  However, I think it ended up being good preparation!  With over 4,000 feet of elevation gain, there were some good, steep sections of climbing.  It also allowed for a lot downhill.  Meaning, getting those legs used to rolling, feeling the impact and dodging stones.



It was warm at the start, however, once we got to the highest point, we realized we were severely underdressed compared to everyone else (donning full pants, jackets, etc. while I was merely wearing a tank and shorts).   Our favorite part of any trail run are the breaks at the top (to eat our PB&J sandwiches, always).  However, after we scarfed down our snacks, we were quickly on our way, experiencing huge goosebumps from the settled sweat and cool breeze.



We ended up running all the way down.  I don’t think I’ve been this sore in a long time!  This run definitely took a toll on my calves on the uphill, and for sure my quads on the downhill.

El Cajon Mountain in the El Capitan Open Preserve

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Entrance: 12777 Wildcat Canyon Rd, Lakeside, CA 92040
Route: Begin at the staging area just off Wildcat Canyon Road and walk .5 mile uphill to the proper trailhead. Continue along the main trail to the summit.
Miles: 11 miles



SURPRISE!  I signed up for my first 50k on December 12th — the Malibu Canyon 50k.  Piggybacking off the training and mileage I established for the NYC Marathon, I’m excited to embark on this new and fun adventure, with absolutely no expectations.  Although I originally signed up to do this with my (future) ultrarunning buddies who are no longer able to do the race, I’m still committed to filling up the next couple of weekends with long runs on Saturday (~2 hours) followed by longish trail runs on Sundays (2-3 hours).

This past weekend London and I visited Malibu Creek State Park for a quick overnight camping trip, with the intentions of checking out parts of the 50k trail.  While we didn’t actually end up surveying the route (damn Daylight Savings time making the sunset at 4:45pm…), we did come up with some good camp hacks, tips and recipes to share.

So stay tuned for a lot of trail running and a little camp vibes content coming soon!!




In less than one week I’ll be running my second marathon. Woot! While my ultimate goal (as is everyones it seems) is to qualify for Boston. My qualifying time is 3:35 (or sub now, probably more like a 3:32). However, I would be happy with anything in the 3:40 range or even just a PR (current best is 3:56).

For my first marathon (Chicago), I focused on getting the miles on my legs. At the time I was still living downtown so I wouldn’t make the extra early-morning effort to drive north. Instead, I would run straight out of my house, which just meant long, flat runs.

Round 2 (Mountains 2 Beach) and I haven’t missed a long Saturday run. I’ve been making the group runs which means varied terrain, HILLS, and integrated race pacing. I already know this combination has made me a stronger runner. I’ve been finishing with negative splits and strong final miles in my 18-20 milers.

This round of training essentially started with the winter/spring cycle of my running group (~January). Since then we’ve been doing 3 weeks of hard workouts with 1 week of rest/recovery cycled in.

I’ve pretty much been adhering to the plan except for when a lot of travel in March interfered with my training. Meaning missed speed workouts or even just completely missed mileage. I already know if I don’t achieve my ultimate goal for this race, I know that next time I will need to hanker down on Monday night workouts (one of my “running” New Year’s resolutions), make all/most Wednesday night speed workouts, and continue with Saturday long runs.

Stay tuned for race day essentials and an marathon updated playlist!



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I recently came up with the most ingenious idea. Transportable, mid-day, post-work/workout, ice cold, smoothies!

With the hot weather we’ve recently been come into, having an ice cold protein smoothie for recovery (especially after a hot yoga session and before a warm run) is SO IDEAL. This is definitely my favorite way to #fuelyourbetter! Plus it motivates me to work hard during my first workout knowing I’ll have a reward waiting for me before my second.

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So what do you do?

Easy- pick your smoothie. Whether it’s green, very berry, mango, or “pro-yo” style, choose how you #fuelyourbetter. To each/any of these, I add in vanilla #VegaSportProtein powder for a complete, plant-based protein blend. This performance protein is formulated to:

  • Improve strength and exercise performance
  • Repair and build muscles
  • Reduce recovery time between training

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How to make your on demand smoothie:

  1. The night before, blend and package in a sealed mason jar.
  2. The next day, store in a freezer/refrigerator until an hour or two before desired consumption.
  3. At this time, leave your smoothie out to thaw.
  4. When you’re ready for it, it will be ready for you.

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What do you use to #fuelyourbetter and improve your training?

Disclaimer: Through my relationship with Fit Approach, I received complimentary Vega Sport product. As always, all thoughts, opinions and ideas are my own.


Today I am so honored to share this month’s Fit Chick, Savannah.  We both grew up in Modesto and went to the same high school (2 years apart), but we never hung out and were always just acquaintances.  Recently, I’ve been following her amazing fitness journey and realized our common interest in fitness/working out.  Since she now lives in San Diego, I put the dots together and realized we could meet up and hang out.  So a few weekends ago I introduced her to Yoga Sculpt, followed by breakfast at one of my favorite places, The Naked Cafe.  She is an amazing  source of inspiration, especially in how far she’s come.  Check out her instagram (and read more below) for motivation and positivity towards learning to love the process of working out and achieving your goals!


Introduce yourself: Savannah Powell A.K.A @savsmiles123

How did your fitness journey start? Honestly? One day I was SO fed up with being uncomfortable with my body and not FEELING great that I turned the negativity into pure motivation, I ran two miles that day with ease and that’s a struggle even today for me, hah!

Weekly workout schedule? Typically Monday-Thursday boot camp from 730- almost 9 and then a switch up of Saturday boot camps on the beach at 9am in Oceanside (come join me! Rain or Shine!) Or a new start of Sunday Yoga classes at yoga six studio so far I have only tried a sculpt class that has kicked my butt! :)


Favorite workout at the moment? Anything that gets blood pumping to that booty, but at the moment I am learning to master weight training to the best of my 5’2 abilities!

What’s your favorite go-to healthy meal? Garlic and lemon chicken with Brown rice and asparagus, I could eat that everyday… I almost do! Lol that’s my “mindless” prep.

Favorite indulgence? Anything with Nacho cheese? Oh god that hurts just saying that ha-ha

When I wake up I… Usually look in the mirror, best time to see any changes!


Motivation to stay in shape? The way my body feels now in comparison to the way I felt 6 months-a year ago is CRAZY even my mindset on how I handle certain hiccups in my life has changed, fitness has molded me for the greater good! So thankful!

What are your current goals? I’m hoping to put on some weight! I really have a small stature and it’s been cool seeing my muscles but it’s time to BULK and that’s my current goal/setback.


What’s your biggest struggle in living a healthy lifestyle? Constantly reminding myself that it’s about balance, and to eat enough you can hurt yourself just as much but not eating ENOUGH food when working out. It can really set you back, not taking any shortcuts would be the conclusion of that I guess. :)

Best tip for leading a healthy lifestyle? Consistency, trust the process. I used to work out for 3 weeks and stop for two, do it all over again and wonder why nothing worked for me… keep up the hard work it will pay off if you don’t stop! I’m not saying it will be easy… but it will be worth it :)



Last Friday my friend Devon and I went to the grand opening of Lorna Jane in La Jolla. We attended the “Intensity Training” class which proved to be, well, very intense! However, it wasn’t our favorite class as the teacher was high intensity but provided very low motivation.  Nonetheless, we managed to break a sweat and increase our heart rates in a short 30 minutes.


I also ran into Debbie from Live From La Quinta at the opening/workout class too!

I love the concept of the new store, being an “Active Living Room.” I think it’s a great marketing piece to offer free classes to get people in the door because you won’t be able to walk out without buying something!


All the girls at Lorna Jane were amazingly beautiful, Australian, super nice, and extremely helpful!  The girl who helped me was named Ashleigh too.  She had me trying on outfits I normally wouldn’t, but I ended up loving.  I wound up with 3 shirts and a pair of leggings (they were a gift with purchase).  Here’s what I snagged:



Team LJ Excel Tank // Barbey Excel Tank // LJ Halter Excel Tank // Everyday 7/8 Tight (similar here)

So far I’ve worn the Team LJ and Barbey Excel Tanks to run in, the LJ Halter Excel Tank to yoga sculpt, and the Everyday Tight for lounging!  Some of my favorite details include the unique backs of the tops (including the ones I selected), as well as the wide range of colors Lorna Jane has to offer!  I feel like all of the pieces are very versatile and can work for any sport, from yoga and running, to weights at the gym.

Disclaimer: Through my ambassadorship through Fit Approach I was compensated via a gift card for my use.  However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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My long runs usually fall early on Saturday morning’s with my running club.  Here’s what a typical night-before, day-of preparation and execution looks like for me:

Friday Night:

  • Do nothing. Do not pass go.  Do not have fun.  Jk, but usually I’m so worn from the week, and Friday’s are my rest day, I don’t do much.  However, it leaves me free to watch (rather binge) on some good ol’ TV,  go out to eat with friends, see a movie, etc.  But basically, I don’t do too much.
  • Set out running clothes for the next morning.  I put out everything (bottom layer, top layer, sports bra, shorts/leggings, socks, sweatshirt to wear post-run, and watch).  I also set out any fuel I will need, and prep my fuel belt (fill it with water and stick either sporty beans or ProBar chews in the little pouch).

Saturday Morning:

  • With my new housing location, I usually wake up about an hour before our run (I used to skim by with 20-30 minutes).
  • Every other morning I’m a “coffee first thing in the morning” person, but not before a long run.
  • I’ll get up, wash my face, brush my teeth, get dressed, tape my foot (plantar fasciitis), and eat a Quest Bar.
  • I’ll usually leave the house 30-40 minutes before our running start time.
  • Get to our meeting spot, assess how much clothing I need to wear and if I’ll need my fuel belt.  I usually will take it on runs 10 miles+, even though I don’t follow any fueling regimen, such as eating or drinking at a certain mile*.  I just wear it as a literal safety belt.  *One thing I’m going to start working on is taking in 2-4oz of liquid every 15 minutes, and a carbohydrate every 45 minutes.
  • Turn on my watch…wait to find the damn satellites.
  • Run and chit chat for a looooong time.
  • Finish the run, then…the best part…
  • EAT!  I don’t swear by any type of refueling.  But I lately, I get a mocha (cuz chocolate milk is the best for refueling, right? Mixed with some espresso…) and whatever I’m feeling like that day (most of the times savory, e.g. eggs, vs. sweet, e.g. acai bowl).
  • Replenish electrolytes with some Nuun throughout the day.

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Favorite things for a long run:
Garmin Forerunner 610
Athletic tape
Quest Bar
Amphipod Fuel Belt
ProBar Chews // Sporty Beans

Best tips/advice for a long run?

I am so excited to be filling in for Ashleigh today as she moves into her new place! I have been running for seven years and I am crazy about it. I run all different races but my favorite are the half marathon and marathon distances. Today I am going to write 13 things on what I have learned about running through training and through races.


1. Everyone has a beginning. I don’t think I have read a running blog where the runner starts out at a 1:20 half marathon. Most of them start above 2 hours and through time, hard work, and determination they beat their personal records. Run your own race and don’t compare your beginning to some one else’s middle.

2. It’s all in the outfit. Find a good pair of shoes and comfortable running clothing. Your gear doesn’t have to be expensive but it does need to be comfortable when you are running.

3. Love running. Some people aren’t able to run so love every minute you get to run.

4. Sometimes you may have to do things that aren’t socially acceptable. Need to use the bathroom? There’s a forest over there. Need to blow your nose? Your shirt is just like a tissue.

5. Body glide, the foam roller, a lacrosse ball, an ice bath, a roll of toilet paper, will all become your best friends. Trust me.

6. Try something new on race day. I know, I know “but everyone says don’t try anything new on race day!” I have tried something new on every one of my races and nothing goes wrong. One time I ran in a brand new pair of shoes and PR’d in the race. Basically, don’t stress yourself out trying clothing or shoes or fuel before race day if you aren’t able to. Enjoy the race and learn from what happens!

7. Not every race will be a PR race. Not every race you will feel perfect. Whether it is good or bad, you should be proud of yourself. Forget the bad races because you will probably run many more.

8. Follow your dreams. As cliché as that is, it is your life and you have dreams that aren’t always the same as others. Some people will support you and some people will leave you.

9. Pace groups are awesome. Usually in larger races they have runners who have a sign with the pace they will run. Run with them. They are usually really good at pacing. When I ran my marathon in November I stayed with the low 4-hour pacer and we hit the exact time. If you want to run a certain time at a race, stay with them. But that also brings me to…

10. Run for the finish line not for the finish time. If you are running your first half marathon or first marathon forget about a goal time. Seriously. If you focus on a goal time and don’t beat that time you will end disappointed and it won’t be fun. It’s your first race- go out there and run to say you finished.

11. Smile for the camera! During my marathon last November I was sweating, I had Gatorade and water all over me (am I the only dysfunctional one who can’t drink out of those paper cups without spilling it?), I had “gotten sick” that morning, and I was completely disgusting, but I didn’t stop smiling at those cameras. I was determined to not have every race day photo turn out bad. Plus, smiling keeps you focused on having fun.


12. At my first marathon I dedicated my last six point two miles to others (my friends, blogger friends, those affected by the Boston tragedy, my family, my dad, my sister, and myself). Each one of those groups had a special place in my heart whether I was running for them or they supported me through my entire training cycle and it was so rewarding to be able to think of others during my race. It helped me get through the hardest part of the marathon.

13. Never give up! This is the most important thing I have learned. There are hard days (and good days too!) but on those hard days it is easy to feel defeated. Last fall when I was on week 14 of 20 of training for my first marathon I could have easily given up. I was exhausted, I over trained, I was defeated. But I didn’t give up. I kept thinking I WILL run this marathon and I did. Never ever give up.


You can check out Sara’s blog here: Run Sara Run.


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