West Coast Road Trip Part VIII: Portland to Crater Lake to San Diego


Our final adventure. 

I don't remember when I decided that Crater Lake would be the last stop on our great West Coast Road Trip. I think I was looking at a map trying to see if there were any significant parks or sights on the way home and I noticed a giant lake east of the 5 freeway. I had never heard of Crater Lake before and figured it was no more than a lake that you could drive up alongside, park and marvel at. 

So that was the plan: we'd pick up some lunch in Eugene and maybe have a picnic by the side of this big ass lake. 

I had no idea that Crater Lake just so happens to be one of the most gorgeous, surreal, picturesque bodies of water in the world.

West Coast Road Trip Part VII: Seattle to Portland


The last time I was in Seattle, I raced through the city in the 2 hours I had to explore it, managing to cram in the first Starbucks, the Space Needle, a drink at a speakeasy and a stroll through downtown during my sprint through the city.

This time around though, I had a whopping 6 whole hours at my disposal... and they were just as packed! We managed to fit in Bill Speidel's Underground Tour, Gum Wall, the Public Market and the Great Wheel on an easy Saturday with beautiful weather.

West Coast Road Trip Part VI: Yachats to Seattle


Looking back on our last day along the Oregon coast, I can't help but wonder if we rushed this leg of the trip a bit. Sure, there wasn't that much to look at and after a while all the large rock formations in the ocean can start to look the same. But Oregon sure is beautiful and next time I feel like I should take more time to appreciate its natural beauty... and its breweries. 

Shortly after we left Yachats, we stopped in Newport to have a little breakfast alongside the historic bayfront. This is the area we were supposed to have reached the night before to make a stop at Rogue Ale's Bayfront Public House. By the time we got there the next morning it was too early to stop for beer but it was the perfect place to stop for breakfast. 

The entire bayfront area felt super quaint and reminded me a lot of Maine, but with warmer weather and seals. For Oregonians, I'm sure it's the perfect spot for a lowkey weekend getaway. 

West Coast Road Trip Part V: Crescent City to Yachats


As we drove into Oregon on Day 5,  I couldn't believe that it had taken us four whole days to get through California. Four of our eight vacation days. There was math in there that seemed somewhat unfavorable given the itinerary ahead, but I willfully ignored it and drove on.

This day, the first day in Oregon, was meant for exploring coastline. Miles and miles of what I assumed would be cliffside or beachside driving. Instead, one of the very first things that I learned about the Oregon coast was that most of it would be hidden from the 101 by trees lining both sides of the road.

But behind the trees, it did not disappoint.

Spiced Fruit Bake


I don't have many family recipes.

In fact, I really only have one. When I finally started to fall in love with cooking in my mid-20s, this realization really bummed me out. I found myself deeply saddened by the fact that there was nothing that had been passed down through the generations in my family. No special sauces, no baked goods, no holiday staples...

Except, of course, for Spiced Fruit, which is sort of all three of those things.

West Coast Road Trip Part IV: San Francisco to Crescent City


Even though I planned an entire day of the road trip around California's majestic redwoods and sequoias, I had a secret: I felt really guilty because I wasn't sure if I'd be too impressed by them.

Like most things in my life, I blame this on growing up in Connecticut. It's hard when you grow up in a forresty area to muster the same amazement for tall trees. Your formative years are spent taking them for granted because they're all around you. Plus, you're a tiny human then, so even Connecticut's comparatively short pine trees seem enormous.

But when I confessed this to someone before the trip, they assured me that I had nothing to worry about, that it was impossible to not stand in awe of these giants.

They were right.

West Coast Road Trip Part III: Santa Cruz to Napa to San Francisco


As soon as I first started planning our West Coast Road Trip adventure, I realized I could kill two birds with one stone off of my 30 Before 30 list. While the road trip itself was always something I'd wanted to do, going wine tasting in Napa was also on my list and this road trip presented the perfect opportunity. So after a night at The Dream Inn in Santa Cruz and an obligatory coffee stop, we headed north for a day of wine tasting. 

But first, we tackled another new experience for me: driving over the Golden Gate bridge. 

New York City Marathon 2016 Race Recap


This past weekend I ran the NYC Marathon.

It's weird to type that or say it or think it right now. Growing up in Connecticut, I thought that NYC was the only marathon. I didn't even realize that other marathons existed until I was a teenager. And even then, I kind of felt like other marathons didn't really matter.

I entertained the idea of running it off and on throughout my high school cross country years and into my early 20s and then almost-seriously considered it when I lived in Manhattan. But I never thought I could or would actually ever really do it. When I left New York and moved to San Diego in 2010, I left any notions of running New York behind too.

Then, earlier this year, I entered the lottery on a whim. I had a lot of different reasons for doing so, but I still don't think I really expected to get in. After all, over 85,000 people entered the lottery and they offer spots to less than 20% of entries. Plus, it was my very first time entering the lottery! Deep down I figured that if I didn't get in and found myself bummed out about it, that I would keep entering and shoot to get a guaranteed entry after getting rejected three years in a row. But on March 8th, I received a charge on my credit card for $255.

I had been accepted into the NYC Marathon.

Since then, it's been a long road to New York: five months of training, over 350 training miles logged and 20+ Saturday mornings spent sweating in the summer sun all over San Diego.

And it was all completely, absolutely worth it.

New York City is the best marathon in the world.

OB Love: 1502 Candle Co.


I have been saying for the better part of two years that I want to do more posts highlighting my sweet little neighborhood of Ocean Beach. However, like most things blog-related I haven't had time during this frantic year-long race to the finish of my MBA. #MBAproblems

Here's the thing: I knew OB was home the minute I first set foot in my friend Keri's apartment complex 7 years ago. Something about it just felt like what I'd meant whenever I said I wanted to move to San Diego. It was the vibe and community I'd been searching for my whole life. And even though it took me five years after moving to San Diego to move to OB, now that I'm here I don't ever want to leave.

San Diego is home, but OB is home.

Marathon Monday: Taper Time


Scenes from my last double digit long run...

There's so much that I want to say about these past four or five months, but I don't even know where to begin. So instead of writing this recap the way I normally would, I'm just going to bullet out my thoughts as they come. Here goes:
  • I just reread my first training recap from back in June of this year. So many bold statements... that I would learn from my first marathon and actually do strength training and yoga, that my diet would be better, that I was going to focus on time... None of this happened. #marathonerproblems?
  • I've been complaining a lot over the past couple of weeks when in fact I should be incredibly grateful. During the course of training, there was not one but two serious health scares that, if realized, would have definitely taken me out of the race. When those situations were going on, I just remember thinking, "Please, please, please let me be able to run New York" over and over (because... #marathonerpriorities?). It's been so easy to forget how scared I was at one (or two) point(s) that not running this race was a possibility. 
  • Speaking of not running, the two people whose training I was following along with for the past several months are both not sure if they can run the race. Due to an injury and health issues respectively. So when I was sweating it out (AKA melodramatically "dying") in 80° heat on my final double digit run on Saturday, I tried to think of them and how much they would gladly switch places with me. Again, gratitude. 
  • Everyone keeps bringing up the race's biggest question mark for me: the weather. Because of it, my time may be lowered dramatically. I've been training in 80° temps and humidity for months, so theoretically a chilly day could seriously change this for the better. But in true pessimistic New Yorker fashion, I am quick to add that a potential psychotic NYC snow blizzard from hell or a random hurricane would undoubtedly do the opposite. #noshitsherlock
  • I've run 350 miles in preparation for this marathon compared to around 320 that I ran in training for my marathon in 2013. One big difference? This time I trained for 5 months compared to 3! 
  • I've had 7 million people ask me if I'm ready. My answer? As I'll ever be. 
Not the most articulate of posts, but as real as it's gonna get tonight. 6 days until Go Time!

NYC Marathon Training Week 19: 10/17/16 - 10/23/16
  • Ran 3 Days For a Total of 20.98 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'31" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 1x

NYC Marathon Training Week 20: 10/24/16 - 10/30/16
  • October Total Mileage: 83.03 miles
  • Ran 2 Days For a Total of 13.01 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'34" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

Burgers and Trivia at Nicky Rottens Coronado


Television and celebrity gossip. If you were recruiting me for a trivia dream team, that's what I bring to the table. I mean, the first website I check every morning is People.com. Sad? Almost definitely. But my weakness for celebrity gossip becomes my greatest strength at Trivia Nights. It's where I finally feel appreciated for who I really am.

All kidding aside, Ryan and I have often discussed trying to find a fun trivia night to go to and last week we may have ended the search after a great night at Nicky Rottens Restaurant in Coronado.

Dream Inn Away in Santa Cruz


Just a few weeks away from the start of our trip, I still hadn't figured out where we were spending the night in Santa Cruz.

The plan had been to camp anywhere we weren't staying with friends or family, which was the case for our stop in Santa Cruz. The only problem was that there didn't seem to be any camping options in walking distance of all the things we wanted to do: the Wharf, the Boardwalk, downtown Santa Cruz, West Cliff Drive and Natural Bridges State Park.

Well as it turns out, it's actually pretty hard to even find hotels that are close to all of those things. With one bright, shining exception: the Santa Cruz Dream Inn. Located directly on West Cliff Drive, the Dream Inn overlooks the Wharf and Boardwalk (not to mention the water!) and is walking distance to downtown, Natural Bridges,  and the Surf Museum, making it the perfect location for our night in Santa Cruz!

Marathon Monday: Three Weeks Out


I started trying to write this post yesterday. First I tried to think of motivational things to say about marathon training, then I tried to think about witty things to say, then I just tried to regurgitate the facts. Anything to form some semblance of a legit training recap post.

Instead, all of those thoughts were thoroughly exhausting to me.

At this point, I got nothing. I'm tired of running, I'm tired of talking about running, I'm tired of thinking about it, writing about it, complaining about it. I really just want it to be done.

My heart and body and head weren't really in it for the past two weeks. I've decided multiple times that 5 months was too long of a time to train. I keep telling myself the marathon itself will be easier than my long training runs because for once it won't be 7 million degrees out but what if it is? Or what if it snows or hurricanes? I'm not prepared for that AT all. Nor am I prepared for hills because I've done very little hills training. I feel guilty for complaining anytime I read Ali's blog or think about the parallel universe in which I can't run because of some health or physical circumstance and Can't Run Bri tells me I'm the worst for taking my health and bod for granted.

And on and on these thoughts go.

So there's my motivational, witty post for this week. 21 more days.

NYC Marathon Training Week 17: 10/3/16 - 10/9/16
  • Ran 1 Day For a Total of 7 miles
  • Average Pace: 10'59" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x
NYC Marathon Training Week 18: 10/10/16 - 10/16/16
  • Ran 3 Days For a Total of 22.03 miles
  • Average Pace: 12'16" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

West Coast Road Trip Part II: Big Sur to Santa Cruz


After a quick stay in Big Sur, it was time to cruise on over to Santa Cruz! (Sorry, I had to.)

On our way there, the original plan had been to maybe stop at Point Lobos, a gorgeous state reserve great for hiking and whale watching, but one that is unfortunately not dog-friendly.  Since this was the first time we'd been in the area dog-free, I had thought that maybe we should take advantage of it. But parking was backed out onto the road and we'd already hiked once that morning and besides... I wanted to make sure we had enough time to stop at the first (but definitely not the last!) tourist trap of our trip.

What tourist trap, you ask? Well... I don't want to keep it too much of a mystery. Heh. Heheheheh.

Next stop, Santa Cruz!

West Coast Road Trip Part I: San Diego to Big Sur


20 months. That's how long it's been since I first shared my extremely ambitious 30 Before 30 list. Not surprisingly, 30 came and went without me crossing more than a handful or two of the items off. FYI.... 30 things is a lot of things!

This was hard for me to (not) do as a person who is pretty perfectionistic about the crossing off of lists. But instead, I bargained with myself a little: I amended my interpretation of 30 Before 30 to mean before my 30th year was over, not before it began.

So I turned 30 and with the generous time extension I gave myself (thanks, Bri!), I immediately set out to continue tackling the rest of my list. The most pressing of which?

Roadtripping the West Coast.

Marathon Monday: Run The World... Or At Least The West Coast


People tell me it's October. 

And I laugh and I laugh because it can't be October. For it to be October, I'd have to have run like 400 miles by now and I've only run... 266. So obviously, it can't be 16 weeks into marathon training. Because if it was that would mean I was terribly undertrained!

Only it is and I am and here we are. New York is 34 days away and not only am I undertrained, but I'm unprepared. I don't know if our AirBnB is legit or not because the host called me Marisa in the confirmation email and asked me for my address so she could mail me the keys (wtf?) and I didn't book our return flights yet and I haven't at all planned out the family and friend visits I am supposed to conduct while there, so yeah. 


Despite the disaster that has become this training, there have been a few wins. The first being that I ran on our summer vacation... not once, but twice, in Santa Cruz and Seattle respectively. More details on that amazing road trip to come very soon!

Which leads me to my second win, my fastest run of training, which occurred in Seattle. 9 minute miles! What? I haven't seen those in years! Although, it doesn't surprise me that I run my best when it's 50° and misting (thanks, Connecticut!). 

But by far, the most important win was surviving my first (and only) 20 miler this past weekend here at home. I ran, I hobbled, I watched Grey's Anatomy on Hulu because seriously 4 hours is just too much time alone with my thoughts, I stopped for snacks and coconut water, I stopped to stretch, I ran some more and then I took a sweaty Uber ride home. It was a day. 

And the next time I run that far, it will be November 6th! Ready or not, here we go October!

You can tell how uncomfortable I am taking selfies by this picture... "What do I do with my hands!?"

The view from my quiet sunrise run down to Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz

A little Seattle on top, a little San Diego on the bottom

There's no place like home... gorgeous sunrise runs back at home in San Diego

NYC Marathon Training Week 10: 8/15/16 - 8/21/16
  • Ran 4 Days For a Total of 28.46 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'23" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

NYC Marathon Training Week 11: 8/22/16 - 8/28/16
  • Ran 4 Days For a Total of 22.02 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'27" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

NYC Marathon Training Week 12: 8/29/16 - 9/4/16
  • August Total Mileage: 64.6 miles
  • Ran 2 Days For a Total of 11.04 miles
  • Average Pace: 10'30" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

NYC Marathon Training Week 13: 9/5/16 - 9/11/16
  • Ran 1 Day For a Total of 4.04 miles
  • Average Pace: 10'30" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

NYC Marathon Training Week 14: 9/12/16 - 9/18/16
  • Ran 3 Days For a Total of 22.05 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'26" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

NYC Marathon Training Week 15: 9/19/16 - 9/25/16
  • Ran 3 Days For a Total of 24.26 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'03" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

NYC Marathon Training Week 16: 9/26/16 - 10/2/16
  • September Total Mileage: 59.43 miles
  • Ran 2 Days For a Total of 24.07 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'16" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

One Fun Broad


A couple of months ago, Ryan and I took a day trip to LA to wander around and wandered straight into the Museum of Contemporary Art. Later that day, on our walk from the MOCA to its sister museum, The Geffen, it was hard not to notice the incredible lines at the museum across the street.

Hundreds of people were snaked around the corner of one of LA's newest museums, The Broad, which opened only a year ago in September of 2015. And still, a year later, people regularly wait in the 90+ minute line to enjoy The Broad's colorful collection.

I wanted to be one of those people.

Marathon Monday: Life, Happening


Part of the reason that marathon training seems so daunting to most people (aside from the fact that it, of course, is), is that you can't pause your life to do it. You decide, months, sometimes over a year, in advance that you're going to run this race. You train for four, sometimes five months, prior to the race, and all of this without any guarantee that you'll actually be able to run this thing, that you'll be able to follow through on this huge commitment. Because guess what? Life happens. 

So that's my theory. That for a lot of people who say they want to run marathons, and even for the people who mean it, the reason they don't is because of a fear of commitment. There's just too much of a time runway and too many things that can go wrong in that time that people worry they won't be able to follow through on this huge life achievement that they've committed to.

I don't have that fear. Why? Because I've already backed out of two marathons that I registered for in the past and shockingly, the world didn't end. [insert cry laughing emoji here] 

But barring any serious injury, I am absolutely not backing out of New York. I am fully aware of what a once in a lifetime opportunity this is. Which is why I am so stressed out about the fact that I effectively stopped training over the past two weeks. 

At the end of July I was doing great. I had hit about 90% of my scheduled runs, almost broke triple digits for mileage that month and was feeling pretty good about my training plan and progress overall. Then life, as it's wont to do, happened. Something had to give and it was running. 

But instead of dwelling on it, this week I plan to just jump back into my scheduled runs without skipping a beat, stop beating myself up about the past two weeks and take the sore legs and exhaustion as punishment. 

Month 3 of training may be off to a pretty worthless start, but it definitely can't end that way!

NYC Marathon Training Week 6: 7/18/16 - 7/24/16
  • Ran 4 Days For a Total of 22.34 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'17" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x
NYC Marathon Training Week 7: 7/25/16 - 7/31/16
  • July Total Mileage: 95.6 miles
  • Ran 4 Days For a Total of 25.52 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'46" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x
NYC Marathon Training Week 8: 8/1/16 - 8/7/16
  • Ran 1 Day For a Total of 3.11 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'47" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x
NYC Marathon Training Week 9: 8/8/16 - 8/14/16
  • Ran 1 Days For a Total of 5 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'41" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

¡Viva la (Avenida) Revolución!


Growing up in Connecticut, all I knew about Tijuana was that it was the place where Marissa Cooper overdosed in an alley and almost died. God, The OC was such a great show. 

And as a San Diegan for the past 6 years, all I knew about TJ was that none of my friends liked the idea of going there. The ones who grew up here, including Ryan, and had gone all the time as kids, had spent the past 15 years hearing how bad it had become. And whether they grew up here or not, no one was really sure what there was to do on the other other side or why it was something that couldn't be done, if not better then at least safer, here in San Diego.

But slowly, over the past year, more and more of our friends and friends of friends started taking day trips to TJ and telling us just how much our neighboring city has evolved. 

With it's blossoming reputation as a foodie destination, it's vibrant art community, and it's deeply discounted tequila (watch out, you can only bring back 1 liter per person!), I was determined to make it to TJ before my 30th birthday as part of my 30 Before 30 list. And since our first trip in January, we've been back several times already! 

So to encourage more San Diegans to head south of the border, I've put together an easy little Tijuana daytrip guide. I say easy because all of these places are located on or very near to Av. Revolución, Tijauna's main street... essentially TJ on training wheels. Vaminos!

Marathon Monday: San Diego Pride 5K


As far as I can tell, it's been almost three years (!!!) two years one year since my last 5k. And I'm not going to lie... like a lot of other long distance runners, I tend to be a bit of a distance snob when it comes to the 5k. Which is a shame because it can really be a great little marathon training boost of confidence.

I signed up for the Pride 5k at the suggestion of my friend Megan who has run it the past two years in a row. Mostly because I wanted to just have fun hanging and running it with her, but also because: 1. I regrettably had yet to experience any of Pride weekend in San Diego over the past 6 years and I wanted to make sure I didn't miss out again; 2. the proceeds go to a wonderful cause, to support LGBT Youth Housing Center and Pride Charity Giving; and 3. because I'm getting to the point in my training where I will find any excuse to not have my training runs be just me and my thoughts.

Because who wants to be alone with their thoughts for 20+ miles a week?

Marathon Monday: Baby You're A Firework


...on a Wednesday! Because I was too busy enjoying great company and these fireworks to finish this post on the 4th. 

But if I had posted this on Monday, I would have started by saying how grateful I am that Mondays and Fridays are rest days for me in my training plan... they're the hardest days for me to find motivation on, especially when one lands on one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year.

Well, Week 3 of (pre)Training is done and in the books. I'm slowly but steadily dropping time and anticipate to be able to start doing some marathon pace short runs in a month or so. 

I've found myself wanting to get my runs out of the way earlier and earlier to avoid the humidity. This past Friday I jumped out of bed at 5:15am to make breakfast and get out running by 6am. It's exhausting but worth it to avoid the sun. 

This by the way, is something I'm still in denial about: the fact that I'm going to log 400 miles in the hottest months of the year. 

Anyway, by this time next week pre-training will officially be over and I'll have a month and 75-ish miles under my belt. And then the real fun begins. Cross-training, Yassos, hills, running 5 days a week instead of 4...

NYC Marathon Training Week 3: 6/27/16 - 7/3/16
  • June Total Mileage: 47 miles
  • Ran 4 Days For a Total of 16.13 miles
  • Average Pace: 10'31" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

Marathon Monday: If You're Looking to Run, Well Then You've Already Ran


Running by surfers making the sketchy cliffside hike up and down from the waves at Sunset Cliffs on Friday morning

This week I discovered something life-changing: Spotify Personalized Running Playlists.  

I say this at the risk of exposing the fact that I live under a rock. Because this seems like something so obviously obvious that I should have discovered much, much sooner. 

And yet, there I was last week, running to the "Eat Pray Love" audiobook like a chump (one could argue there are multiple layers of chumpiness involved in that admission). 

The difference in running to Elizabeth Gilbert whining about her struggles with meditation versus a playlist of music I either love, just found out I loved or forgot I loved, all timed to match my pace is truly, as I mentioned, life-changing. 

Not only did I find some great new bands that I'm now obsessed with, but it got me through all four of my runs this week, two of which involved me running through my hangovers like a champ (Alternative post title: From Chump to Champ). 

So there you have it. The secret to NYC Marathon (pre)Training, Week 2. 

Sometimes it's the little things. 

NYC Marathon Training Week 2: 6/20/16 - 6/26/16
  • Ran 4 Days For a Total of 15.94 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'07" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

Living La Vida MOCA


When I was 21, I spent 3 weeks living in London visiting roughly one museum a day, most of which contained some of the most famous and important art in history. My favorite? Warhol's Marilyn Diptych at the Tate Modern.

Personally, I'd take a Warhol or a Rothko over a Da Vinci or a Michelangelo or any of the other Ninja Turtles any day.

True story. I mean, while I barely passed Art History in college, I've always loved, loved, loved modern art. It inspires me to see things from new perspectives, which in turn has influenced my own creative projects. So honestly, I'm kind of surprised that after all of my visits to LA and all of my years living in Southern California, that it took me this long to finally make it into a single modern art museum on the west coast.

Ryan and I went up to LA over Memorial Day weekend just to get out of town for the day and see what there was to explore. We ended up starting off our adventure downtown near Little Tokyo and after a couple of false starts (specifically: a failed attempt to tour the Disney Concert Hall and a too long line at The Broad), we found ourselves at the Museum of Contemporary Art, otherwise known as MOCA. 

Marathon Monday: Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of


So... I'm running the New York City Marathon in November. 

I'm not really sure how this happened. Maybe it was because NYC was the first marathon that ever made me consider wanting to run a marathon when I was in high school.... it just seemed so cool, the idea of conquering this city one borough at a time with my feet, all in one day. Maybe it's because New York and I have a complicated past and this marathon seemed like it could symbolize some closure for that chapter of my life. Perhaps, over the course of 26 miles, I could even finally find something to love about a city that I've vehemently denied even liking ever since I left. 

Maybe it was because, at the time that I entered the marathon lottery in January, my uncle and godfather was dying back home because of cancer caused by a genetic mutation that I may or may not have inherited. The sadness that I felt over losing him, and about his condition and not visiting family on the east coast as much as maybe I should have over the years, made me look at this marathon as an excuse to have at least one east coast visit on the books for the year. And the confrontation with mortality and my own health, both in its current and its genetically predisposed state, made me look at the marathon as a real opportunity for motivation to get back in shape and start taking my health more seriously.

Or maybe it was because I was turning 30 a few months later and had been loosely planning to run another marathon during my 30th year. When I look back on this year, I wanted something big to remind me of entering my third decade. 

Whatever the reason, I entered the lottery on January 25th. And when I checked my credit card account on March 8th, there it was: a charge for $255. My NYRR account updated a few hours later... I had been accepted into the New York City Marathon. 

Fast Metabolism Diet: Week 3... More is More


I mentioned this last week, but it bears repeating: the Fast Metabolism Diet is not about deprivation. Ultimately, Pomroy has a great way to drive her philosophy home by asking why, when it comes to dieting, do we expect that we'll get more by doing less? We don't expect to become stronger by exercising less, so why would we expect to become healthier by eating less?

Unfortunately, during Week 3, that's the exact aspect of the diet that I struggled with, though not intentionally. I skipped meals or snacks on more than a few occasions this week when I wasn't hungry or prepared and I definitely felt the effects full force: I was tired and lethargic for most of the week. Granted this week had more social functions that had me out later than most nights, but still...it was a good reminder that Pomroy is absolutely right: more is always, always more.

Fast Metabolism Diet: Week 2... D.I.E.T.


Gorgeous view leaving the Point Loma Nazarene University Track after a Week 2 workout

I get a lot of emails and comments on my post "Everything You Need to Know Before Doing the Fast Metabolism Diet" that lead me to believe people have not read the actual book. If I write a revised guide for this meal plan, I think that's the first and maybe the most important thing you need to know: read the book. And not because I don't like answering those questions... in fact I'm happy to help. But because the book explains the science behind the Fast Metabolism Diet better than I ever could!

I spend so much time trying to explain the point of this meal plan to people who get stuck at the word "Diet" and don't hear me say anything else. Important things like how this "diet" is not about calorie counting or deprivation. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Which reminds me of one of the greatest takeaways from the early chapters of the book: Pomroy's acronym for D.I.E.T is Did I Eat Today?

FMD reframes the word "diet" into a question about whether or not you ate with intention or purpose to fuel your body that day. Which is an even higher purpose for starting this "diet" than weight loss. It also happens to be the mentality that propelled me through my second week of this new round of FMD meals.

Fast Metabolism Diet: Week 1... Here We Go Again


Well it's been a minute, hasn't it?

The beginning of 2016 sure brought a lot of big changes... some amazing, others not so much. And in the midst of it all. I lost track of a lot of things. This blog, for starters. But a lot of other aspects of my life fell by the wayside too.

Most notably? My health.

I think I was sick no less than a dozen times between January and March. I gained weight, I wasn't sleeping, I was up late diagnosing myself with some different and terrible health problem every night on WebMD. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times and I was kind of tired of the extremes.

I needed structure and balance and a healthier diet. So I went back to one of the only health plans that has ever truly worked for me: The Fast Metabolism Diet. The first time I did it, it changed my life. Since then I turned my back on soda for good, really started learning how to cook healthy meals for myself, and started to understand nutrition more. It didn't come without it's challenges, but in the end, I was a convert.

Like the first time, I decided that tracking and sharing what this diet looks like in practice was helpful for both me and anyone who was ever interested in trying it out themselves. The only difference? This time I'm doing it more or less scale-free since losing weight is not the most important part for me this time around. But more on that (and everything else that's happened over the past six months!) later.

For now, it's time to cover how my first week back on FMD went...

Shopped: Anthropologie, Westfield UTC


Nine times out of ten when someone asks me where I bought something, the answer is Anthropologie. In fact, people ask less and less... it's more of a statement now: "You got this at Anthro." Our duvet, our dishes, the sweater I'm wearing as I type this....

Hi, my name is Bri and I'm addicted to Anthropologie. 

(Hi, Bri.)

Baby Break A Sweat: January 2016 Workout Recap


I want to be very clear: it's not a resolution.

It's just a decision that from here on out, I am going to be active for at least 30 minutes everyday. Just 30 minutes of movement. Preferably spent running, strength training or doing yoga.

But you know what else counts? Walking around for 30 minutes straight shopping while you're on vacation. Catching up with your best on a five mile walk along some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. Or even just the thirty minutes it takes to walk the mile and a half to your friends' house so that you can Uber to the bar.

Whatever it is, I'll take it. Just a minimum of 30 minutes a day of movement. That's all.

Which! If you add it up, is just one week a year!

The One Week Workout. Coming to a clickbait article near you! (Just kidding, but yeah probably I will most definitely do a recap with that title when the year is over).

It's manageable. Most days I can find some way to move for 30 minutes, so it doesn't make me feel like I've completely failed if I couldn't go for a run or get to a class. Which in turn doesn't send me into a self-pitying pizza spiral. And on the two days this month that I couldn't bring myself to move for 30 seconds let alone 30 minutes (thanks alcohol!), I took some comfort in the fact that I definitely worked out for more than 30 minutes most days.

With one month down, I'm looking forward to adding a fun new theme or challenge to each month going forward. This month, starting this weekend, I'll be doing another round of the Fast Metabolism Diet in conjunction with my workouts. I can't wait to share my progress as the year continues!

January 2016
Total January Running Mileage: 41.5 miles
Completed Daily Workouts: 29/31 days

Surfing Sayulita


After all the trips I've made to the sweet little surf town of Sayulita, there was one thing I had yet to do:

Actually surf.

I'd to point out that I still didn't know how to swim the first time I went to Sayulita, but that really isn't much of an excuse. Sayulita's perfect beginner break is exactly what makes it such a popular spot for non-surfers and non-swimmers alike to get their first taste of stoke. The warm water and tiny waves break onto a sandy bottom and there are designated sections of the beach for every level of surfer. The opportunity to learn how to surf on this perfect starter break is what got me interested in visiting Sayulita in the first place!

But despite spending more than half my life wishing I was a surfer and despite the fact that I surfed in the ocean before I could swim in the ocean, I am most certainly a beginner. A beginner, by the way, who's never had a proper lesson. So when I headed to Sayulita this time around, I was determined to fix this. I only had to find the best surf instructors around.

And that's how I came across the Lunazul Surf School.

Adios, Mi Tortuga Bebé!


As far as bucket list items go, I'll be the first to admit that participating in a baby sea turtle release is probably more of a fringe choice than most. Still, it was something that I had always wanted to do, starting as a kid way back in the 90s, when I asked for a sea turtle adoption kit for Christmas (likely because of the stuffed animal that came with it). 

Last year, I found out that there was a sea turtle rescue right in Sayulita and during high season (November-January) they release babies almost nightly. I was so shocked that I had never heard of this before... after all the research I'd done before both of my previous trips to my favorite little retreat, I couldn't believe it had never come up. I started following the group that does the releases, Campamento Tortuguero Sayulita, on Facebook and the more photos I saw of those sweet, tiny tortugas, the more I wanted to be a part of a release. 

Take notes, kids: this is how you justify taking a semi-spontaneous weekend trip to Sayulita. Saving the sea turtles! 

4 Days in Iceland: A Winter Travel Guide and Itinerary


Iceland is always a good idea. But, in my opinion? It's an even better idea in the winter.

Winter is the only time you can climb through ice caves, beat crowds at all the best tourist attractions, get the best flight prices, and oh yeah... if you're lucky, witness a little phenomenon known as the Northern Lights.

Better yet? You can do it all in a long weekend.

Sky Diving San Diego


I really, honestly don't consider myself to be brave. Or fearless. Or crazy. Or stupid. Or reckless or impulsive or an adrenaline junkie or blah blah blah.... any of the other adjectives people have suggested ever since I told them I was going sky diving.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. And it strikes me as funny that most of the decisions I've made that people have called "brave" are actually very much based in fear. Deep, opposite-of-crippling fear that I won't be alive or healthy or in a financial or lifestyle position to try all the amazing things that life has to offer.

I've always had an intense fear of regretting something I didn't do and I decided very, very early on that I would make that the guiding principle of my life. So I am constantly checking in with myself to ask, "What will I regret not doing?" and then making sure, whether it scares me or seems crazy to my friends or is, in fact, a little reckless... that I go do that thing. As soon as possible.

Sky diving just happened to be one of those things.

Peace Out 2015!


Photo by Horizon Light Productions

They say that your 29th year is when Saturn returns to the exact same position in sky as it was when you were born. According to astrology, the return of Saturn means crossing the threshold to adulthood... a time for taking stock, getting introspective and coming to terms with the direction your life is going. But for me and for some of my friends, 29 has also meant one last gasp of irresponsibility.

In many ways, I acted more carefree in 2015 than I have in my entire life. There have been weeks and months where it felt like I was purposefully indulging in one last free-for-all... not caring about my diet, my spending habits or my fitness. There's been a lot to celebrate and I used all the weddings, birthdays and good news as a chance to really let loose, take chances, and party hard.

Which, as I look back now, seems to have made for a pretty fun year...