foothill 5k challenge [race recap].

21 Sep

I’m a week behind in getting out my race recap from the Foothill 5k Challenge benefitting Back on My Feet, but I guess better late than never, right?

This was a unique event because trail races are normally longggg distances (read: 50k), so this was a fun way to get a trail run experience without being out in the sun all day.  The race started and finished at the Glendale Sports Complex, but we ran up in the foothills through some rolling hills, switchbacks, and one pretty gnarly grade.

The race kicked off around 8:20 or so.  I was a moron and went out the night before, and slept for about 2 hours before it was time to head out to the course, so my goals were anything but lofty (finishing sounded good).  I wasn’t hung over (because, tank) just wrecked.

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At the start with my fellow BoMF Homeboy Industries volunteers – Phil and Brian. Phil won the thing.

At the start, we met this trail runner who had a SICK tattoo of the original Nike shoe (the Nike Cortez) engulfed in roses.  I don’t have any tats but have always sort of wanted one.  This has gotten the wheels turning…

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At the start…

The race was a lot of fun and definitely made me want to get on trails more often — but I need to buy trail running shoes because I found myself having to brake SO much in order not to completely lose it on the downhill portions.

Here’s the view from the top:

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I traded places with one guy the last mile or so — I’d pass him going up and he’d get me coming down.  He was so chatty afterwards and thanked me for pushing him (I returned the thanks obviously — I would have slowed down a lot without him on my tail).

I finished in about 25:50 which I was happy with it considering the difficult course and extreme heat. It felt a lot SLOWER than sub 9-minute pace so I’ll take it.

I was 17th place overall I believe and was the second woman, so I scored a Run With Us gift card and a free month to Yogaworks! I need to make those things happen.

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There was a strong showing from #DTLARunning, as well as my eyelids. My buddy Andres crushed it, clearly an indication of the PRs he is about to smash this fall racing season…

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 8.31.35 PMIt was a great event and I loved being out there supporting an organization that is so close to my heart.

Tell me:

Have you done a trail race? Where? Distance? Tips for trail running newbies?

Is there an organization you support? Tell me about it! 

 

 

fun thing a day (or how i spent a month doing nothing).

16 Sep

So . . . some of you may know that I had 5 weeks off between the bar exam and starting work.  I had a nice trip to Turks & Caicos, and then I spent about 4 weeks “on vacation” in Los Angeles.  It was relaxing and fun — and I vowed to do one fun thing a day, every day (which can be surprisingly hard when most of my friends were, you know, at work).  I wanted to share some of the fun things I did here…

  • Ventured to the The Last Bookstore (this photo is taken in the $1 room – every single book is $1. Insane).

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  • Blue Bottle opened in LA!! I definitely went a few times…

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  • My parents have a friend who works at Capitol Records, and he invited all of us to a preview party of Mary Lambert’s new CD at No Vacancy in Hollywood.  She was amazing and funny and very quotable — and also super talented.

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  • One afternoon, I headed out to Santa Monica to read. I dusted off this book pretty quickly.
  • I hit up a summer institution in East Hollywood — Friday night wine tasting at Barnsdall Art Park with my friend Eric
  • Dinner at Industriel + post-dinner beer at Casey‘s w/ my HS friends AK, Andrea, Bryan, and Eric.

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  • Kayaking in MDR with my law school friend Colleen

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  • Dinner for my friend Aviva’s birthday at Della Terra
  • I went on an amazing run with my high school cross country team on the fifth anniversary of the death of one of my classmates and former track teammates, Brian Wolverton, who was killed while serving our country in Afghanistan. It was a nice way to honor him and made me proud to be a graduate of OPHS.

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  • I hit up a DTLABA Mixer with some of my fav Loyola 2Ls.

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  • Bike Ride to Venice Pier w/ Whitney
  • Rosenthal Winery w/ Whitney

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  • Mini “staycation” in Hermosa Beach with my family which included watching my brother host open mic night at Saint Rocke.

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  • The morning before we left, my mom and I rode bikes over to the Redondo Beach pier.

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  • Drinks w/ Aviva at Pour Vous
  • Malibu Wines with Whitney, Riley, Molly, and Ellen

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  • A 7-mile hike through Malibu Creek State Park with my mom

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  • …and a visit to the Reagan library to check out their baseball museum. #GoDodgers

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  • On Labor Day, I kicked it with Whitney on the beach in Santa Monica and then high-tailed it over to the Shangri-La rooftop for a little beer + view action.

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  • I spent my last weekend of “freedom” in San Francisco!  Whitney and I drove up Thursday afternoon and spent the night with my Aunt and Uncle in Oakland.
  • On Friday, we headed into the city — Whitney went to work and my Uncle and I went to Mo‘s for breakfast..  My uncle went to work so I hit up Blue Bottle and then went for an amazing (and hilly) run and post-run lunch with Kristina who is a 1L at Hastings!

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That night, Whitney and I had dinner at Mamacita on Chestnut and she indulged me by going to one of my favorite bars, ever. Bw0v0SiIgAAg-gk

  • On Saturday, we headed back to the East Bay for some standard Cal game pre-gaming with my Uncle Casey at Henry’s before watching Cal destroy Sac State v. Cal

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  • On Sunday, we woke up and drove home — and I got ready to start my job! (more on that to come!)

What’s the most fun thing you did this summer? 

why i’m a paleo bandwagoner.

8 Sep

If you follow me on any other form of social media, you’ve probably seen me throw around the hashtag #paleo in somewhat of a haphazard fashion, and I realized I never shared on my blog what that whole thing is all about.  So here we go…

Up until recently, I went by the “I am a runner and I work out a lot, I can eat whatever I want, it’s fine” rule of thumb.  Sure, that worked out well — I maintained my weight and was a marathon runner.  While this is true, I wasn’t really “toned” and I think that could be largely attributed to the fact I was not fueling my body with healthy, nutritious foods but instead I was loading up on carbs and lots of things that are, in hindsight, healthy junk food (read: oatmeal and ALL THE PEANUT BUTTER).

This is a photo of me on July 4, 2013.  I had run a full marathon one month before, and so I was essentially in the middle of a running hiatus and not really giving a thought to how I was eating or the amount of beer I was drinking at law firm events or anywhere else for that matter.  I had the exercise portion of being an athlete down but my diet was probably not doing ANYTHING to aid my efforts.  I know I look “fine” here except for the fact that my bikini top is completely ill-fitting and I was wearing a ratty old shirt I had literally owned for 7 years, but the point is I was essentially sabotaging what I was doing at the gym.  “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet” proved to be true for me.

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I have never been comfortable “dieting” — it is just not me.  I refuse to count calories or restrict myself, and have always been a proponent of “everything in moderation.”

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(5k time: 23:34)

Last April, a few of my friends from the gym and I decided to create a “paleo challenge” amongst ourselves for a few months.  For two months, I eliminated carbs (no bread, baked goods, french fries, oatmeal, pasta) as well as sweets, soda, and other junk. After the first week, I was fully adjusted — and you know what? I LOVED IT.  I loved how I felt, and I also loved that I could still eat A LOT with relatively little thought, and yet I was eating more nutritious food.

I didn’t weigh myself, but I noticed that I was more toned or lean, if that makes sense.  Here’s a photo of me from July 4, 2014.

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(5k time: 20:41)

When our challenge formally ended, I kept it up all the way through the bar.  I took the month after the bar relatively easy on myself and cheated here and there.  After Labor Day, my gym fam kicked off cleaner eating.  I am again going paleo, and this time adding the additional challenge of cutting out dairy (I relied heavily on greek yogurt and cheese, so I am challenging myself to also give those up for three months this time).

Obviously I am not an R.D., but I wanted to share what worked for me and that I’m not #paleo just because it’s trendy or bougie or expensive.  It is easy for me to work into my life, and it has made me a better athlete.

Here are some of my tips:

There’s a lot of websites/literature out there that talk about how important it is to get certain types of organic meat and how you should cut out dairy, but I don’t really follow that – I just cut out all carbs (except for fruits and vegetables) and sugar.

What I do:

The HARDEST thing for me was to give up carbs in the morning.  I SWORE by oatmeal + peanut butter + protein powder in the morning and thought I “needed it” so I was so hesitant to give it up, but now I literally wake up every morning CRAVING eggs.

Here are my staples:

 

Breakfast:

3 eggs cooked in coconut oil + breakfast sausage or bacon over kale/mixed greens
Paleo Egg Muffins (like mini quiches w/o the crust, you can make these on Sunday for the whole week).
Oatmeal Minus the Oats” w/ Almond Butter for days when you just want something sweet.  Sounds weird but is DELICIOUS (can also substitute canned pumpkin for the banana, which I may even like better)
Chia Seed Pudding (also delicious)

 

Snacks:

- Celery/Carrots/Peppers cut up
- Fruit
- Hard-boiled eggs
- NUTS!!! (Almonds, Cashews, Pecans…whatever. ).
- I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Quest Bars (not 100% paleo, but VERY low-carb).  Great for pre- or post-gym. Stick them in the microwave for 10 seconds and your life will be forever changed.

 

Lunch/Dinner

I am the worst cook ever (seriously besides being athletic/smart/funny my husband needs to know how to cook because I SUCK) so I normally make a bunch of chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, or steak or something and eat it for a few meals along with vegetables, also makes it easy to take to work/school.  Some of my old-faithful meals:
- Chicken + Veggie Stir Fry + Soy Sauce (pretty self-explanatory)
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Chicken or Steak Fajitas Minus the Tortilla
- Any type of salad
- Cauliflower Pizza (surprisingly good)

 

Eating Out

- It makes it so much easier to just decline the bread/tortilla chips (you won’t miss ‘em)
- Chipotle is HUGE for me because it feels like a treat — just order a salad and don’t skimp on the guac!

 

 

#clowclanstaycation

29 Aug

Earlier this week I spent two nights in Hermosa Beach with my family for a little “staycation” action.  My brother recently started working at a music venue in Hermosa (Saint Rocke) as a Digital Marketing Assistant, and he also hosts their Open Mic Nights on Tuesdays.  My parents wanted to see him in action, but making the trek home to the Conejo Valley didn’t sound too appealing to them, so my mom booked an awesome beach house via VRBO for all of us for two nights.

Our #clowclanstaycation began on Monday.  While my brother was at work, my parents and I had an early dinner at the Hook & Plow on Pier Ave.

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I enjoyed this Atticus IPA from the local Strand Brewing Co. (Torrance, CA).  For my dinner, I had a delicious salad made with arugula, buratta cheese, a peach, and organic chicken. Yum!

After dinner, we headed to Saint Rocke’s trivia night.  My brother was too cool to play on our team, so my parents and I tried to be contenders.  We named our team Santos L. Halper (because #EverySimpsonsEver).  We started out pretty well and then TANKED.  There was an entire round on movies about magic where we got zero right.  I’m not the biggest movie fan (they’re SUCH a commitment and most movies suck) so I’m okay that we didn’t get those right.

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Proud of my Dad for getting a bonus question right (you have to not only know the answer but be the fastest team to tell the guy the right answer). The question was: “What is the name of the song that begins ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.'” Answer: “The Christmas Song.”  My Dad knew it right away (I knew it, but it would have taken me a second).  Glad I was raised on Mel Torme!

A question I am embarrassed I didn’t know: What is the most popular wine varietal in Australia and what is the same grape called in France? Answer: Shiraz/Syrah.  #notawineo.

The next day, my parents and I spent a lot of time walking around Hermosa — we walked to the Manhattan Beach pier and just spent some time enjoying the strand and the pier. We also had a delicious and inexpensive lunch at The Standing Room. Loved my $7 kale + candied bacon salad!

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That night, we spent a couple of hours enjoying Saint Rocke’s surprisingly delicious $1 tacos and $5 margaritas, and watching my brother channel his inner Carson Daly during Open Mic Night. There were some good acts! 10603558_10103422063324473_4671654060378486421_nOn Wednesday morning, my mom and I took a couple of bikes (included in our vacation rental!) out for a bit.  We rode just a few miles to the Redondo Beach pier and back, but I was glad to add another thing to my “do something fun every day before I start work” list.

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Where is your favorite place to #staycation?

Do you have any vacation traditions? 

 

booze + sweat (aka what i did when i wasn’t studying).

13 Aug

I know you’re all sick of hearing about the bar — I’m sick of talking about it — but I WAS able to squeeze in (very small) pockets of fun throughout the summer.

The weekend after the test, I met up with my parents for a mini Conejo Valley IPA crawl of sorts.  Our first stop was The Lab Brewing Co.  I enjoyed their house DIPA and we all shared some candied bacon.

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We headed to dinner at my very favorite place just down the street — Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie — for brews, chow, and to watch the sunset (my mom is also a sucker for a good one).

They didn’t have my fav beer of all time on tap (Cheseboro IPA) so I opted for my second favorite, the aptly titled Ladyface IPA. I also tried a sampler of a new IPA they offered – the Cataclysm IPA.  This one wasn’t my style, it wasn’t hoppy at all.

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Ladyface IPA with Ladyface Mountain in the background.

Notice how the mountain looks like a woman’s profile? Imagine the woman is lying on her back…

And then my dad caught me in the act…

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Also that weekend, I celebrated with my BFF Whitney at a bar down the street from her apartment called The Chestnut Club.  Would definitely recommend.

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When I haven’t been boozing, I was doing what I normally do (working out, obviously).  On July 20th, I ran the Griffith Park Trail Marathon Relay with a team formed last-minute with some social media friends. When Tiffany reached out to me via twitter, there was no way I could say no, and I’m so glad I didn’t!  We had a blast each running 5.25 miles through the super-hilly Griffith Park trails, and soaking up the morning.  I would definitely do this race again.

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On the team:

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Race bling in the form of a STICK!!!!

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so worried I was gonna drop my phone…

It was a great morning.  I love doing relays because I love being surrounded by “my people” — meaning people who “get it.”  These guys understand the compulsion to wake up super early on a Sunday to go run 5+ miles through hilly terrain with people you barely know.  I am also so grateful for the power of social media connections for making this team come together!

The week before the bar, I heard about an event taking place at my favorite building on the planet – the Ritz Carlton/J.W. Marriott in DTLA. I dropped everything and RAN when Whitney wrote about a free yoga/mini-spa treatments event taking place at the Ritz spa. I got a hand massage and headed up to the rooftop for a short and very relaxing yoga session.

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#swoon

That about rounds out the fun things I did during the bar (I told you, it wasn’t a ton).  I start my job in a few weeks and until then have a lot of downtime, so I’m trying to enjoy the relaxed schedule and do some fun LA-only events. Please drop a comment if you have suggestions on fun things I should do!

post-bar thoughts

12 Aug

Ok so the bar exam is done.  I won’t get results until November, so there’s no point in stewing over it.  That said, I wanted to share my experience just in case a future examinee stumbles upon this post.

I took the exam at the Century Plaza Hotel location in Century City.  I opted not to stay at the hotel and just drove to and from the test each of the three days, to save money and to get to sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, and remove myself from all of the really intense crazy people. This was THE BEST decision.  It minimized stress (except there was bad traffic coming home each day).  I would 100% recommend not staying in the hotel if you live close enough.

My friends and I all met up in the morning and at the lunch break by the pool each day, and we packed lunches so we didn’t have to stray too far to make sure we were fed.  I was also surprised by how relaxed the proctors were (more or less). I was lucky that I didn’t have any hiccups with my plan (didn’t forget my laptop or the charger on any of the days and my car didn’t break down!)

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During bar studying, I was ALL ABOUT routine.  I woke up at 5 every day, worked out, headed to school by 8, studied until 4 or 5, came home and either took the rest of the night off or sometimes took a break (possibly to work out again) and then did some more studying in the later evening.

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Oprah quotes + caffeine were pretty clutch.

I also made law jokes whenever possible…

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I am so grateful for my family and friends for supporting me while they could literally watch me go crazy…

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…and my gym people for being around to talk to me about something other than the bar.

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Finally, I met some fellow examinees via Twitter (through the hashtag #barpreplife as well as the handle @barpreplife ).  It was so nice to commiserate with people (even though they were strangers) and it was a nice reminder that we were all in it together.

How do you handle stress? 

turks and caicos #bartrip.

11 Aug

Hi everyone!  So about two weeks ago I was preparing to take the bar exam, and a week ago I left for 5 nights in the Caribbean (specifically on the island of Turks and Caicos).  I went with one of my law school friends, Aviva, and we had a great time!

We stayed at the Club Med there, known as Turkoise.  I wanted an easy vacation that required little thought and allowed lots of time for relaxation, sun, and outdoor activities, and Club Med delivered.  I wasn’t wild about some of the cruise-ship type activities (aqua jogging? choreographed dancing? third-rate (at best) “shows”? No thanks)  But I did love the wide array of activities to choose from, the gorgeous turquoise waters, live music, an endless open bar, the fact it was adults only so there were no loud parents screaming at their kids (I love kids, parents are usually the ones who are annoying), and all of the fun, talkative people I met.

Here are some highlights:

Stand-up Paddleboarding!

10599138_10152214129796456_5074804215555824643_nI could not get enough of this.  I love SUP-ing in LA but don’t do it enough.  I got out four different times during my vacation.

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Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 9.04.46 AMI didn’t take a sailing lesson while I was there (next time) but I did go sailing with someone who knew what they were doing.  I used to sail when I was younger (woo-hoo sailing camp when I was like 12), but it was great being out there!

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FINALLY reading for pleasure:

I crushed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in about two days and it is without a doubt one of my favorite books, ever.  It is an amazing blend of science, medical ethics issues, and law.  This non-fiction book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cancerous cells were taken without her knowledge in the 1950s and became the first “immortal” line of cells, proving to be valuable for subsequent medical research for decades. Fascinating.

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Before I left, one of my Dad’s friends who I don’t even know mailed me a book for my trip — incredibly sweet and surprising.  He knows I am an avid runner (and Nike fan) so he sent me a biography on Bill Bowerman – famed University of Oregon track and XC coach (Steve Prefontaine, duh) and the brain behind Nike.  I’m about half-way through it now and am loving it.

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Running

The resort had a running group every M/W/F head out for a 5k and I joined them twice.  It was hot and humid, but I loved running with some new people and we kept a nice pace.  I met a sweet Dad and son duo from SF and a guy from Germany who asked if running was my “full time job.” Hah.

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Even though the runs were SHORT, the humidity really got to me and it made breathing pretty difficult! 10501787_10103354850988533_7433380317236588020_nSnorkeling

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We took a boat out to a reef and spent about 40 minutes taking in all of the gorgeous fish.  I loved the Princess Parrotfish I spotted.

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Sunsets 

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I loved spending the evening hours at the local bar – weirdly named “the Sharkies” to hear some live music and to watch the sunset.

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This was also a great time to meet other members at the resort.  During this time, Aviva and I became friends with the resort’s lifeguard, the resident DJ who HOOKED ME UP on the last night and played an hour straight of hip hop, two guys from Montreal who are also Dodger fans, and an older guy from my hometown who had on a cap with my running store’s logo on it, and many others.

This was one of my favorite parts of the trip — I liked that everyone at Club Med was social — it felt like a higher-end hostel, and I LOVED the hostel vibe when I studied abroad in Spain and again when I lived there again after college.

“Raging”

There was a party every night at the resort which was great.  Aviva and I had the most fun at the Pirate-themed one (randomly packed a skull-print dress #winning) and the party on the last night was fun too.  We met a super nice guy (kid?) who was NINETEEN and  I have literally never felt older.

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We also enjoyed lounging poolside and by the ocean (even I came back with a pretty gnarly sunburn).  This was the view from our room: 10580132_10103352519031793_7583800574037898765_n

I also liked the fact that there was a gym with tons of weights and machines, yoga classes, and the food (buffet style) was pretty good and there were tons of options.

I’d definitely consider going the all-inclusive route again, especially when traveling to a place where all you want to do is relax.

Where’s the last place you traveled to? Most exotic place you’ve gone running? 

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