Motivation Monday: Hiking Big Sur


No less than two days after I proudly declared that I was going to start logging legit running miles each week...

I took a vacation.

Last Wednesday, Ryan and I drove up the coast for five days of camping in beautiful Big Sur to celebrate four years together. And while I had the best intentions of going on some trail runs while I was there, there is a motto in Big Sur that I had no choice but to respect: "Do nothing."

But seriously, yeah I did pretty close to nothing the whole time I was there. Nothing active that is.

Not that I didn't want to! There were plenty of cool, challenging hikes that we really wanted to take, but unfortunately, Big Sur trails are pretty much closed off to dog-faced wonders. Two of which we happened to have with us.

We did find one hike that was dog-friendly, so we threw the dogs in the car and drove up to the trailhead inside the parking lot at the Big Sur Ranger Station. The trail, Pine Ridge Trail, is a 10 mile hike full of redwoods and waterfalls that ends at Sykes Natural Hot Springs.

10. Freaking. Miles. And we hiked every last inch of it.

Motivation Monday: Two Truths and a Lie


In my Instagram bio, I list that I am a runner, writer, and yogi. And for the past year, one of those things has been a big, fat lie.

I've mentioned before that SanBriego essentially started out as a running blog, way back in 2013 when I was training for my first marathon. But after the marathon was over, so were regular running posts. Instead, for the next year or so, I stuck to sporadic Motivation Monday updates and half marathon race recaps.

Except I ran and recapped my last half in March 2014. I posted my last Motivation Monday eight months later. And even that was almost a year ago. Running and I have had a tough time this year and I don't really have a good reason for it. Work, school, the humidity, blah blah blah. They're all excuses and not even good ones.

Three weeks ago I decided to start running again. Which went great... for about 5 days. Then it was two more weeks of pizza and beer and a little bit of yoga. In the form of savasanas... in my bed... in the AC. That counts right?

Needless to say, I am in the absolute worst shape of my life and I have decided that I'm basically over it. I will not gain another pound. I will not let 2015 go by without running a single half. I will not claim to be a runner when my sneakers are literally hidden under cobwebs (gross and terrifying). That ends today. And it starts with accountability. Because posting my weekly workout recaps here on the blog is extremely motivating to me and a good record of my running progress.

So here's to new running clothes and miles and regular Motivation Monday posts again. See you on the pavement (anddddd right here, same time, next week)!

9/7/15-9/13/15 Fitness Log: 
  • ran 4 days for a total of 12.1 miles 
9/14/15-9/20/15 Fitness Log: 
  • ran 0 days 
9/21/15-9/27/15 Fitness Log: 
  • ran 0 days 

Road Tripping to Seljalandsfoss


Yeah. I don't know how to pronounce it either.

But that's Iceland for you! The land of positively unpronounceable towns, people and waterfalls. The last of which happened to be the destination of my Icelandic road trip across the South Shore: the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. 

Hint: you know it's a waterfall if it ends in "-foss." 

When our day trip across the southern coast to the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon was cancelled due to an insane and sudden blizzard that whited out the Ring Road, I was supremely bummed. I had wanted to see two of Iceland's most famous waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, and the lesser known Gljúfrabúi waterfall. I had wanted to look for the semi-hidden plane wreckage, see the basalt columns on Reynisfjara's black sand beaches, then visit the little town of Vik. And most importantly, I had wanted to hike the ice caves of Svartifoss.

As it turns out, Iceland had other plans and we spent the day getting drunk instead. The next day we went and had an amazing time snorkeling Silfra. And when we got back, we still had our rental car and three hours until sunset. 

"Three hours," I said to an exhausted Ryan. "Hey, that's just enough time to drive to Seljalandsfoss and back!"

Ryan didn't buy it. 

Snorkeling the Silfra Fissure


If there is one thing I can confidently say that I thought I would never do, not in a million lifetimes, snorkeling in water that is just barely above freezing temperatures would be that thing.

Granted, two years ago I never thought I would go snorkeling at all on account of the fact that I couldn't swim, but even that wouldn't have mattered in Iceland's 35°F waters where special dry suits keep you impossibly buoyant. 

Still, swimming capabilities or not, who voluntarily jumps into water that cold... in the middle of winter? 

Crazy people, that's who. And, well, me. Because when you have the opportunity to snorkel in the fissure between two tectonic plates, in some of the clearest water in the world, you take it. 

Wine Tasting in Ramona


Ryan and I have an ongoing joke about Ramona.... that maybe isn't even a joke (I'm still trying to figure out if he's kidding or not). But every time we are confronted with the painful reality of the price of houses in San Diego, Ryan says we're moving to Ramona.

Ramona is about 30-40 minutes east of where we live and is ideal if you want to build a big house on lots of land for a fraction of the cost of living in or around the city. And apparently it's also ideal if you have ever had a secret fantasy about growing your own vineyard and starting a winery.

Prior to this weekend, I had no idea that there are over 20 wineries hidden in the vast expanse of Ramona. Even more of a plus for us, many of the tasting rooms are dog friendly. So when our friend Jason planned a Labor Day weekend camping and wine tasting trip there, we loaded up the dogs and hit the highway.

Ramona, we're coming for ya...