Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon: Las Vegas Style

Hi friends!  I did it again!  I registered for the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon. A few things happened last month that led to this decision.  First, my Spooktacular half marathon was bumped up a week to October 12, which happens to be the same day as my Pink concert. (Don’t worry, I have a game plan).  Second, my Frozen Hot Chocolate 10k race in September was postponed… indefinitely! What is going on with these race organizers?!  Is this a common thing?

Naturally, I was looking for a replacement race after I heard about the “postponement.” That is when my beautiful friend, Brittan, contacted me about doing the half marathon in Las Vegas.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity.  Las Vegas? Running? Two of my favorite things!  Plus I haven’t seen Brittan since…forever!

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Brittan and I met in college.  I remember the day clearly. It was the beginning of our junior year.  She sat next to me in one of our many finance classes and said, “Hey! Aren’t we in three other finance classes together?”  We have been friends ever since.  We have had some good times!  Everything from swap meet adventures to rolling 20s birthday parties.

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And of course we graduated together in 2009, both with a degree in finance.  Do we work in finance? That’s another story.

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As you may remember, I was contemplating about doing the Rock ‘n’ Roll half in L.A. but decided to do the Spooktacular race instead.  I am so, so, sooooo excited for this race!  I don’t think I have been more excited for a race yet!  For starters, the course is through the Las Vegas Strip. I have ran the Strip before, but of course it will be different this time since they close the entire Strip down for the race. (Yay for no stairs!) Secondly, it is a night race! This will be my first night race, which I hope will work towards my advantage since that is typically when I train.  Last but definitely not least, I get to see Brittan again!

Question of the day:

Have you had any experience with race “postponement” or rescheduling? 

CSA Box + Summer Cucumber Salad

Today I want to share with you something that I absolutely love.  For the last four weeks, I have received CSA boxes filled with organic fruits and vegetables.  “What is CSA?” you may ask.  Well, it’s the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) where local farmers fill a box with seasonal produce each week.

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Each Sunday I picked up the box from a local church down the street from my house. The boxes were filled with such a variety of fruits and vegetables.  One of the reasons I love these boxes is that it forces me to cook seasonally for the last month.  It also re-introduced my love for juicing fruits and vegetables.

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Since I did not know what would be in the box each week, it got my creative juices flowing in the kitchen. I also discovered a few new vegetables.

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I had never tried an Armenian cucumber before, and I have to say they are delicious!  Armenian cucumbers are a little sweeter than regular cucumbers and they look adorable with the ribbon edges.

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Summer Cucumber Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2
 

Ingredients
  • 1 Armenian cucumber, diced
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Mixed olive oil, balsamic vinegar and basil in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Combine the diced cucumber and tomatoes in a bowl.
  3. Top with dressing and enjoy!

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The great thing about CSA boxes is the produce is ultra-fresh because it does not have to travel thousands of miles to get to your local grocery store.  Plus, it helps support local farmers and reduces our environmental footprint. The CSA boxes were a gift from our good friends, Brett and Beth, but I definitely plan on continuing the service. :)

Thanks to CSA boxes, I have a ton of wonderful recipes to share with you in the next few weeks!

Pacific Coast Duathlon

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Whoa!  That was a tough race!  I knew the Pacific Coast Duathlon would be a challenge as soon as I arrived in Laguna Beach.  The Pacific Coast Highway was hilly!  Then I saw the course at the Expo, which consisted of a lot of sand and even more hills.  On the plus side, I do have to say the course was stunning!

IMG_5979-sPhotography courtesy of the Bear, who is a master behind the lens!

Race day started at the crack of dawn.  We live an hour away from Laguna Beach, so we got an early start at 3:00 a.m.  After setting up my bike and gear at the transition area, the Bear and I sat and relaxed on the sidewalk to enjoyed the scenery.  (The Bear was the sweetest for waking up so early after a long week working in DC!)  About 30 minutes before the race, I got in a quick warm up run around the course.

Then we headed down to the beach for the start of the race.  Oh, did I mention that the first run was on the sand?!  Yeah, that was fun!  Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I expected.  Plus, one nice thing about this race was that I got to see the male triathletes enter the water. Now I know what to expect for my first triathlon.  But back to the run… which happened to be a half mile along on the sand and then a super steep hill up the cliffs to the transition area.  No big deal!

IMG_5995-s IMG_6001-sThat guy is my hero!  He was in his seventies and passed me up on the hill.

The transition took about a minute before I was on the bike.  The bike course was a little longer than the last race at 12 miles.  It also had a ton of hills.  Up and down the PCH I went.  I loved going down the hill reaching a speed of 30 mph, but biking uphill was torture. I repeat, TORTURE!  Lesson learned: bike more hills in training!  I finished the bike course in 43 minutes and arrived back at the transition area.

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After transition, it was time for the 5k run.  The first mile went pretty fast at 8:58.  The second mile was not bad at 9:28, but the third mile… OH, the third mile was on sand!  My pace slowed down a bit but I was feeling pretty comfortable.  Then I began closing in on the end of last mile.  There it was, the holy grail of all hills.  Before I could even get to the steepest hill of all time, I had to run from the shoreline through the fluffy quicksand that never seemed to end.  I am not going to lie here. I tried to run up that hill but I had to stop to walk. It was okay because I had a game plan:  walk up the hill and sprint to the finish, so that’s what I did!

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I finished the entire race at 1:28, and I am not complaining!

One thing I took away from this race is that I need to train much, much more on the bike.  I also want to improve my running pace uphill.  I was so impressed by the athletes at this race.  It was like a different breed of athletes. These kids do not mess around.  I found this race much more competitive than the last duathlon.  It’s time to step up my game before my first future triathlon!

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Love this sign! I want to be her friend. :)

How was your weekend?  Did anyone participate in one of the many triathlons or duathlons this weekend?

“Target Practice” Friday

I am going to jump right into Target Practice today.  As you know from yesterday’s post, it has been a busy week and workouts have been almost non-existent.

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

Duathlon -  Being the smart person that I am, I decided to register for the Pacific Coast Duathlon when I really should be resting.  My body was tired from many late nights so I only got a spin class in this week.  Who needs training when you can enter races?! :) Of course, I am super excited for the race this weekend.  The first run is on the sand! That should be a new challenge.

Improve Pace - Again, I didn’t work on pace this week.  Sometimes life happens!

Handstand - This week will probably go down in the books as the worst training week ever!  No handstand practice this week either.

Half Marathon – I wish I could give you good news here; I really do.  Saturday I ran with the Pasadena Pacers.  I was supposed to run 10 miles.  My body had other plans. I struggled through 5 miles.  On the plus side, I got in 6 easy miles this morning.

Eating Clean - Yay! I finally have something good to report! My eats were super clean this week.  The Bear was in DC on travel for work (he’s coming home today!!!), so I was able to eat all the veggies my heart desired.  As most of you know, I am one of those weirdos who actually loves all things green!  Anyways, I should have some awesome recipe posts coming soon.

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I also discovered Dark Chocolate Dreams this week! This stuff is amazing on a whole wheat english muffin with a little honey.

Next week I really need to get back into a training routine.  I have had two “bad” weeks in a row and it’s time to find focus again.  I hope this race will get me in the spirit!

Enjoy your weekend! 

Adventures for the Soul: fun. Addition

I have been a little MIA from the blogging world lately.  It has been a busy week! This Sunday the Bear and I went to the beach, Monday we went to a BBQ,Tuesday I went to a fun. concert with my good friend, Danielle, and yesterday I traveled for work again.  One sign that is has been a busy week is that I have over 300 blog posts to read on Bloglovin’!  Another tell-tale sign of a busy week is functioning on 5 hours of sleep each night.  For someone who regularly gets her 8-9 hours of shut eye, that’s rough!  But this post is about my week Adventures for the Soul, so let’s start with Sunday.

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Sunday we traveled to Santa Monica for a beach day.  We love to ride our cruisers on the bike path through Malibu and Venice.   If you live in SoCal, you know how diverse the beach towns can be within a few short miles.  Anyways, Sunday was absolutely the perfect beach day.  It was in the mid 80s, the water was warm, and the sky made beautiful backdrop with big fluffy clouds.

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I asked the Bear to smile, and this is what I got!

Monday we went to my sister-in-law’s father’s house in Newport Beach for a BBQ.  My sister-in-law made the most amazing grilled Ahi Tuna recipe with mandarin oranges and avocado!

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Her father had the exquisite mirror from the 1600s!!! It was love at first sight and told him I’d be happy to give the mirror a new home if he ever got tired of looking at it! :)

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His house, aka the Chateau, also had the most beautiful view of Newport Beach.  You could see Catalina off in the distance.

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This sunset is a regular sight at the Chateau!

Lastly, on Tuesday I went to a fun. concert at the Greek Theater, you may remember the Greek from this movie.  One of my oldest friends, Danielle, came up from San Diego for the concert.  We started the evening with a delicious meal from my favorite vegan restaurant, Real Food Daily.  Then we went shopping at Lululemon because well, it’s the best!

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After our tummies were full and our wallets were empty we made our way over to the Greek.  Tegan and Sara were the opening act for fun., which was somewhat funny because everyone I told about the concert knew who Tegan and Sara were but not who fun. was.

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Fun. was pretty amazing too, but we actually enjoy Tegan and Sara a bit more!  Go figure.

Even though I have lived in L.A. for the last four years, this was the first time ever going to the Greek, so I have learned a few lessons for next time.

Lesson #1: Wear flats! You will be walking up big a$$ hills.

Lesson #2: Don’t plan on an early escape from the Greek.  You see, the Greek doesn’t actually have a parking lot for that many visitors. Everyone is asked to park directly behind one another.  We had to wait for 5 cars to move before we could even leave the dirt lot.

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Lesson #3: Bring a backup camera because you won’t remember that a banana smashed into the lens of your favorite point-and-shoot until you get to the concert!

Lesson #4: Bring a medical mask and hand sanitizer because the person next to you will undoubtedly be sick and pick their nose while coughing all over you!

Ending on a happy note :) … the concert was amazing, and I had a fabulous time with my good friend, Danielle.  Definitely worth getting sick!

Question of the day: 

What camera do you use for blogging pictures?  What camera do you use in everyday life?

Thai Thin Crust Pizza

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By now you all know that I love pizza. If I could, I would eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I do not discriminate when it comes to pizza either. Hawaiian pizza, vegan pizza, pepperoni pizza…I love it in all shapes and sizes. Not only is pizza my favorite food, it has become my cure for any aliment I may be having. Whenever I am having a bad day I crave pizza. Naturally this is not the healthiest habit, and a girl cannot live on pizza alone. Trust me… I’ve tried. Pizza was a staple during my college years.

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In an effort to keep pizza in my new healthier diet, I have been experimenting. One day while shopping in the grocery store lightening struck. I saw a Thai pizza in the frozen section. After looking at the ingredients, I decided to put it back into the freezer but I knew I needed to create my own version at home. One where I have control over the ingredients.

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Thai Thin Crust Pizza
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2-3
 

Ingredients
  • 3 slices of lavash bread
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup cooked chicken
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 handful chives, chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. To create the Thai peanut sauce, whisk peanut butter, water, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and garlic in a small bowl until combined.
  3. On two cookie sheets, heat the all three slices of lavash bread for 3 minutes on each side or until they become crispy.
  4. Remove lavash bread from the oven and equally spread the Thai peanut sauce.
  5. Sprinkle the chicken, carrot, bean sprouts, chives, and cheese onto the lavash bread.
  6. Heat for 7 more minutes.
  7. Top with fresh cilantro and try to share!

 

Lavash bread makes the perfect thin crust pizza!  Putting it into the oven before adding the toppings creates just the right amount of crisp.  The Bear and I also love traditional pizza on lavash bread.

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If you are vegetarian, you could replace the chicken with marinated tofu; just make a  little extra Thai peanut sauce!

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I easily ate this entire pizza and the Bear has been known to polished off two of them!  I think they were a success!