new year’s race [alternate title: that time i was a 10k vigilante]

9 Jan

On Saturday, January 3rd I ran my first race of 2015 at the New Year’s Race in DTLA.  I jumped on the New Year’s Race bandwagon late in the game since a bunch of people from my DTLA Running crew were participating and I had a serious case of FOMO.  A lot of them decided to run the half marathon, but I am nowhere near 13.1-ready right now so I opted for the 6.2 mile distance.

(Fun fact:  I signed up to run the 13.1 two years ago with my BFF Jenn, but I ended up bailing on her when I got invited to a wedding that same night.  As it turns out, the course was a beast and that may be Jenn’s first and last 13.1.  But who am I kidding, she’s friends with me so I’ll get her to do another one).

(Even more fun fact: I recently took the Meyers-Briggs personality quiz and I am an ENFJ, which explains this “make my friends do ridiculous things” trait I have.  The more you know…)

ANYWAY.  Things I would not suggest doing prior to racing 6.2 miles:

  • going wine tasting
  • wearing shorts in the coldest LA weather we get
  • not charging your iPod shuffle
  • not looking at the course map at all
  • not checking gear so you are freezing at the finish line

Despite those small bobbles, it was a fantastic race experience and set the tone for lots of miles and PRs in the year ahead with my running peeps.

We met up about an hour prior to the start for photos, selfies (I think 2014 was the year of the GoPro/Selfie Stick, and I don’t hate it), and pre-race encouragement.  I had no goals for this race (again, out of running shape), and I have no fast-twitch muscle fiber so I didn’t plan to run fast, oh, and this course is a hilly beast. (Turn-around point is the entrance to Dodger Stadium).

Here are the only photos in which my eyes are open.  Not sure how I managed to blink in photos taken at night with no flash, but I digress.

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I ran into Linzie of Sharp Endurance at the start as well as Andrea Barber!  She humored us with a photo.

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My plan was to hang with my buddy Andres who was running the half — we are similar in pace so I thought that would be no problem since I was running half the distance he was.  Easier said than done).

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start line at 7th & Grand.

The race started and I went out too fast (what else is new), but got into a little bit of a rhythm.  My Garmin got a little messed up going through a tunnel, but I think the first two miles were (relatively flat and thus) sub-7.  I slowed down on the third mile, heading toward Elysian Park, where Andres passed me.  I train on this course a lot, though, so I liked the fact that even though the course was challenging, I knew where I was in relation to the finish the entire time.

As we headed toward the turn-around, I noticed there were three women ahead of me who were running the 10k.  I remember thinking “Sweet, if you pass one of them, you’ll make the podium.”  I also remember thinking “You have NO KICK so you need to do it sooner rather than later.”

As I headed down the hill coming out of Dodger Stadium, I saw the woman who was in 3rd intentionally cut-off the woman who was in 2nd and she passed her.  I assume it was intentional because (a) there was no one else around and (b) the woman who was cut-off had to visibly change her stride to accommodate this woman.  I was maybe 50 yards back at this point and said, out loud to know one in particular “Oh my god.”  What made this whole thing even crazier was that I recognized the woman who did the cutting off through healthy living blogs/social media.

Caution: SUPER attractive photos ahead.

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Don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Anddd that was a Taylor Swift reference. #WHOAMI?

As I headed back toward the finish at Grand Park, the 10k course converged with the 5k, making it harder for me to spot these two women.  By the time there was less than a mile left to go, the woman who had done the cutting off was now in 3rd, but still a solid portion ahead of me.  With less than a quarter mile to go, I realize I had a little bit left in me, and she was not picking up her stride.  I passed her in the last 100 m or so — something that literally never happens.

I finished in 45:30, 7:23 pace per mile.  I was the third woman, and 2nd in my age group. (997 total participants).  The story behind getting 3rd made it even sweeter, and one of my running buddies (Abel) dubbed me a “10k vigilante.”

gassed out.

gassed out.

After the race, I kept the Angel City beer garden warm for my friends who were running the 13.1.  Great idea in theory, but pro tip: if you’re a girl alone at a post-race beer garden, dudes will come hit on you.  Wearing shorts and having good taste in beer probably didn’t help, but whatever.  Finally my DTLA Running crew showed up and we talked about the race, shared our experiences, and obviously staged photos for the ‘Gram.

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Looking forward to more races this year, I have a few goals, but nothing too TOO crazy.  I want to specate the heck outta the LA Marathon (for my mom and for DTLA Running and because I am in a wedding the night before), run Ojai Mountains to Beach (ideally in 3:34:xx because Boston), and run a few halves.  The New Year’s Race was a great kick-off, and next year I will probably run the half so I can run inside Dodger Stadium and lessen any remaining FOMO feelings.

Happy Running in 2015! What are your goals?

2014 rewind.

30 Dec

Welp, the time has come for my favorite blog post to write — and it’s sort of hard to believe I’ve been doing this for 5 years now.  If you want to compulsively follow my previous mash-ups of the years past, check out:

I love a good pop song and also reminiscing about the past year, so here’s my overview of the year with one song that illustrates the month for me for one reason or another — sometimes the significance goes beyond “I like playing this song in my spin class” and sometimes that’s all there is to it. Also, you should listen to this year’s DJ Earworm track, United State of Pop 2014 – Do What You Wanna Do.

2014 had a lot of milestone events, but it was also filled with a lot of different transitions.  Normally I am sad for years to end — and while this was a great one, I am stoked for the fresh start (and fewer transitions) that 2015 will bring.

January – Type of Way (Rich Homie Quan)

What can I say, I loved playing this song throughout all of 2014 in spin, workouts, and just whenever.  January was mostly filled with marathon training and kicking off my final semester of law school, but I also spent New Year’s in SF and went on a gorgeous run on New Year’s day through the Presidio and the Marina.  At the end of the month, I celebrated my birthday with a little dive-bar action at King Eddy’s Saloon. I loved combining people from all facets of my life — law school, high school, my family, undergrad, gym buddies, and my running group.  This year’s fiesta has a lot to live up to.

#becausebirthday

#becausebirthday

February – Drunk in Love (Kanye Remix)

This song more or less became somewhat of an anthem for me — well, actually just the mostly-profane Kanye intro.  My  life motto may or may not be the following: “know them haters talkin, always had us very wary/Yup! On the 35th of Nevuary.” #TeamYeezy

February was pretty low-key, I got in a long 20-miler pre-LA Marathon (on a Monday, before my school day began, no less).  I also partnered with Thirty48 to test out some socks and compression.  Otherwise,  I was busy with school, and took some fun classes my final semester (Reality TV – yes that is a class, and Sports Law) as well as some that proved crucial for the bar and beyond (Remedies, Business Associations – THANK GOD I took Biz Ass).

stopping point on my 20-miler.

stopping point on my 20-miler.

March – All of Me (John Legend – Tiesto Remix)

This song will always remind me of the first mile of the LA Marathon, heading out of Dodger Stadium onto Sunset Blvd.  I spent the first week of March nervously fretting over what I had built up to be a huge race — I was more nervous for this than for any of the three days of the bar exam. #nojoke.  While I didn’t BQ in March, I had an incredible and memorable race and my parents were the best spectators.  I also got to meet Ryan Hall thanks to Asics.  Post-marathon, I hobbled around for about a week, went to law school prom, and made the big girl move to my own apartment.

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post-race.

law school prom.

law school prom.

April – #SELFIE  (The Chainsmokers)

The question heard ’round the world this spring was: XXPro, or Valencia?  This song was integral to my Ragnar experience (a highlight from 2014, for sure) as well as #WESTWeekend (labeled that because my best friend’s initials are W.E.S.T. and her two college best friends and I kidnapped her for a weekend of beer and (mildly) bad decisions in San Diego).  So fun.  I also finished my last law school classes and made some blog progress by attending a fitness event with Lorna Jane + Sweat Pink in Santa Monica as well as FitTrends event with Jamba Juice and Venus Williams.

Ragnar :)

Ragnar :)

happy place.

happy place.

May – Happy (Pharrell Williams)

May had lots of little awesome moments — I saw my sweet high school friend Kelsey get married, studied and took my final finals, graduated from law school (still weird), and then immediately started studying for the bar exam, literally the next day.  I also ran the #LiveUltimate “Quarter Marathon” and got to rub elbows with Ryan Hall yet again.  I also started a pretty intense Paleo challenge, and lived to tell about it.

#stappcoach

#stappcoach

well this is weird.

well this is weird.

June – Fancy (Iggy Azalea)

So June may have actually been the opposite of fancy — aside from a fun Father’s Day brunch (with my Dad, surprise surprise) and a 10k supporting the Midnight Mission, June was pretty regimented with bar study.  “Me time” consisted of morning work outs and the occasional (okay, incessant) social media binge.

father's day brunch.

father’s day brunch.

10k with Jenn...

10k with Jenn…

...and my gym buds.

…and my gym buds.

July – Rather Be (Clean Bandit)

This song LITERALLY was my anthem the month of July.  I mean I listened to it every morning before bar prep, as a break in between practice essays or MBE sets, and again at night.  Whatever works, right?  Besides studying like a crazy person, I ran a fun 5k in Redondo Beach on July 4th, and enjoyed a total break from studying the rest of the day with a little day-drinking action.  I also joined some blog buddies for the Griffith Park Marathon Relay, which was an awesome experience.  The last three days were spent bar-ing.  While I would NEVER want to do it again, the exam itself was not nearly as bad as it could have been, and the lunch breaks alongside the hotel’s pool weren’t so bad.

america.

america.

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August –  Believe Me (Lil Wayne f/ Drake)

Not sure why I like this song so much.  Must be the lyric “diamonds on my roly face/cannot be exfoliated.”  August was awesome.  I spent a week relaxing and doing outdoorsy things in Turks & Caicos with my bar studdy buddy, Aviva.  I joined the rest of my fam for a staycation in Hermosa Beach, and I tried to do one fun thing a day in DTLA — this included kayaking, beaching it, going out, etc.

blissed out.

blissed out.

September – I Mean It (G-Easy f/ Remo)

September was a pretty big transitional month — I started working at a law firm!  I also kicked off the end of my “summer” with a short stint to the Bay Area with Whitney to see the Cal home opener and to see my Aunt and Uncle.  We dragged my uncle to Henry’s — he loved it — and he took us to Cal players’ post-game BBQ, thanks to his awesome connections.  So fun.  I spent the month slowly adjusting to work — lots of trainings and small assignments.

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October – Tuesday (Makonnen f/Drake)

Um, short of my body manifesting stress in literally every way possible, October was incredible.  The highlight by far was my experience at the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.  I’d done this race twice before, but this weekend was pure magic.  From getting to run the day before with Shalane Flanagan and Joan Benoit Samuelson (and then seeing them again mid-race), to the brunch I attended c/o @NikeLA, to the unexpected PR, this race goes down as my favorite, ever.  The rest of the weekend was great, too — I got to work out of my firm’s SF office, saw old college friends, and attended the Cal game vs. UCLA with my uncle, Dad, and some of my best friends from college.

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Henry’s line with my dad.

Also in October, I ran #RnRLA with #DTLARunning.  Not a PR, but a fun local event with my favs through my city. Obviously “Tuesday” was on the playlist for both races.

DTLA squad. #crushedit

DTLA squad. #crushedit

November – Blank Space (Taylor Swift)

I hate that I love a Taylor Swift song, but I love this.  Whoops.  The first three weeks of November were spent nervously anticipating bar results (I passed, in case you’re new here).  I also spent some time at home over Thanksgiving weekend, saw my hometown favs and ran a Turkey Trot with my mom, and hit up the Malibu Soul-Cycle (meh).  I felt like November was pretty crazy, but when I look back on it, I mostly worked, saw friends, and worked out…so I think the first three week’s nerves were sorta the focus.

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bar passage marg. (just one)

Turkey Trot :)

Turkey Trot :)

December – Dangerous (David Guetta)

Well, well, well what can I say about December.  I got sworn into the CA Bar, which was pretty awesome…and my law school also had a nice breakfast honoring some of us who were inducted into an honor society.  I normally don’t love ceremonies, but the swearing in was so nice and I actually enjoyed the speeches. The first weekend kicked-off the month with my firm’s holiday party, and a half marathon the next morning out in Irvine for the #LexusLaceUp series.  That same day I flew to Vegas for a quick 24-hour stint. (Still mad we didn’t stay at Light long enough to hear what I am sure would have been the dopest remix of “Tuesday”, ever).  December was also home to my very favorite day of the year, the SANTA Monica Pub Crawl in which IPAs were imbibed and a festive time was had by all. Countdown to next year is under way).  I also got involved with some interesting assignments at work, and enjoyed some downtime over Christmas with the fam.  December was a doozy, but that’s how I like ‘em.

Coif'd with my law school rival/partner in crime (and his mom, and my parents)

Coif’d with my law school rival/study buddy? (and his mom, and my parents)

laced up.

vayyyygus

vayyyygus

Wishing all of you a happy 2015 — looking forward to more guilty pleasures and their accompanying (ridiculous) memories in the year to come!

2014 resolutions: how’d i do?

27 Dec

This was a great year for me — but it was also a year FILLED with transitions. While I checked some academic/professional milestones off the list (law school graduation, studying for and passing the bar, and finally entering the real world…not the show because too old) as well as conquering some fitness goals, a year ago I set some additional goals to try and tackle throughout the year.  As it turns out, I only did okay on these.  For 2015, I want to set a few attainable personal goals and really focus on accomplishing the things that matter most to me, and be easy on myself when I slack on others.  Here’s a recap of how I did with my 2014 resolutions.

  • Do yoga 50 times this year.  Yoga is hard for me, but I love how refreshed I feel after a class.  Also, yoga has been helpful in preventing injury for me as a runner.  I’m aiming for one yoga class a week.  (I’m also planning on keeping up with the cross-training — mostly spin and body pump).
    • HAHAHAH FAIL.  I was really great about doing yoga once/week up until the LA Marathon (soooo maybe a total of 10 times?) and then I never did it again the rest of the year.  Definitely going to refocus on this for 2015.
  • Buy a (cheap, used) bike and get comfy with it.  (Because, triathlon.  Eventually).
    • Again, fail.  One day.

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  • Travel.  I love to explore — so this year I’d like to get away as often as possible — and ideally plan a longer, more extended (exotic) trip for after the bar exam.
    • I got a few tripsin in 2014!  Here’s where I went:
      • New Years – SF and Oakland
      • April: San Diego for a girls’ trip
      • August: Turks & Caicos bar trip
      • September: SF and Berkeley with Whitney
      • October: SF and Berkeley for the Cal game/Nike Women’s Half
      • December: Las Vegas
  • Expand my blog.  I’m thinking collaborations, working with sponsors, and maybe going to a conference.
    • I did okay on this — I was honored to be selected to run Nike Women’s on behalf of @NikeLA, worked with a couple of brands (Thirty48 being one), and met an amazing group of lady bloggers on my Ragnar team.
  • PR in the marathon. I’m running the LA Marathon on March 9th and my goal is to shatter my previous PR of 3:49.  The key to this is long runs, injury prevention (see above yoga goal) and not dying miles 19-26.  I’m not setting a goal for number of races — I’ll pick a few and go from there.
    • I did PR with a time of 3:44.  Not a BQ and still a long way to go, but an incredible and memorable day. An unexpected surprise was a PR in the 13.1 at Nike Women’s (1:36:04).  I also ran #RnRLA, the Lexus Lace Up half in Irvine, and a few smaller races throughout the year.
  • No Regrets Bar Studying.  I’d say “take and pass the CA bar exam” but that sounds like asking for a jinx.  I want to study smartly so when the exam comes I don’t have any regrets about what I should or could have done differently.
    • THIS.  I studied effectively and passed, thank god, because there is absolutely nothing I could do differently.  And if I had to retake it I would be totally lost because, again, I am not sure what I would change.

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  • SUP more often and learn to surf.  Nothing too crazy, but I love the sun and being out on the water, so it seemed like a logical next step.
    • I SUP’ed a lot this year — with Whitney in February, a few times in MdR in August and September, and several times during my bar trip.  I did not, however, learn to surf.

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  • Get out of my comfort zone.
    • Maybe?  Unclear.
  • Begin working as a lawyer and make it work for me.  I’m not sure if I’ll fall in love with my first “big girl” job, but I want to spend the last 4 months of the year enjoying it!
    • Accomplished, more or less.
  • Spend more time with those who matter. 
    • Check

Overall, I enjoy setting goals for myself and trying to accomplish them, and I think I did pretty well considering how busy I was.  That said, there is definitely room for improvement for 2015.  Onward and upward!

Do you have any goals or resolutions for the new year? Share one below! 

eat sleep race repeat.

11 Dec

So I have been the worst blogger ever — I am overdue for two race recaps (which I realize no one really cares about but I mostly write for myself anyway so whatever).  I guess if this is technically at least partly a running blog I should share with the world when I actually, you know, run.

This past Saturday I ran the Lexus LaceUp Half Marathon in Irvine.   This is a new race series put on by Lexus and Equinox — there were races earlier this fall in Ventura and Palos Verdes, and the series finishes out this weekend in Riverside.  I was privileged to be selected as an Ambassador (so my race entry was comped), but that will not color my review or my experience.

I didn’t really set out to PR or anything — I didn’t really train for this because it had never been a “goal race.” Oh yeah, and I flew to Vegas that afternoon. Soooo my priorities were more along the lines of not dying rather than to gun for a PR.  Of course, I can say that to myself as many times as I want but as soon as the race is off of course I was trying to hang with the 1:30 pacer for a few miles.  COOL GILLIAN.

The field was itty-bitty:

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I ended up letting them go a couple of miles in and quickly realized I was DEEP in no-man’s land.  Literally, no one was around me almost the entire race which made trying to keep low-7s nearly impossible.  Around mile 4 or 5 I decided to wave goodbye to any PR dreams and just hang out at a comfortably hard training pace.  So glad I made that call.

The course itself was very favorable — it was almost entirely on a bike path, but it was also boring. Irvine is already boring enough, but there was almost nothing to look at and very little crowd support.  I am so glad I made the decision to treat it like a training run because  it was mentally tough slogging through those monotonous, solo miles.

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The splits (aka a primer on how to literally run slower every mile)

Mile 1 – 6:39 –> NO GILLIAN.  WHY DO YOU ALWAYS DO THIS?

Mile 2 – 6:55

Mile 3 – 7:17

Mile 4- 7:14

Mile 5- 7:29

Mile 6- 7:41  –> humbling realization that today is not your day

Mile 7- 7:42

Mile 8 – 7:37

Mile 9 – 7:40

Mile 10 – 7:38

Mile 11- 7:30

Mile 12 – 7:36

Finish 12.85 miles: 1:35:21 //7:25 pace

Although it was a little annoying the race was short (I think they likely didn’t account for the tangents on the bike path), I was not bummed at all.  I would have been bummed if I was on pace to PR, but since I was 90 seconds to two minutes off, I was happy to call it a day a little early.

This was not my best race by any means, but it was a nice reminder that they can’t all be amazing “oh-my-god-this-is-incredible” experiences.  As my Dad said during our post-race debrief: “it’s like an International Friendly soccer match.  Sometimes two teams just get together to play a game.  They don’t all have to be the World Cup.”  WORD.

Overall, I REALLY liked the race experience — it was a small field (250 people ran the half. I was the 6th woman and 2nd in my age group.  See, tiny) so parking and packet-pick up was an absolute breeze.  The size of the field made the race more challenging (I FEED off having other people around me during races.  And also pretty much all the time). The sponsors were top-notch, and there were free brunch options at various food trucks.  This race is also awesome because the official charity partner for the race was none other than Back on My Feet – I am unsure how much was donated but it’s great they recognized BOMF and likely spread the word and helped to raise awareness.

The race started right on time, and there were also 10k and 5k options.  A few of my homeboys came out and ran the 5k and 10k — and they made fun of me for being less than thrilled with my performance. Love them.

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So ultimately, I was impressed by Lexus LaceUp and would run a race with them again, but maybe not this exact course.

Way back on Thanksgiving Day, my mom and I ran the Conejo Valley Turkey Day Dash together in Thousand Oaks over at Cal Lutheran University! I’ve done this race before (in 2012 with my old friend Hannes).  In 2012 I finished in exactly 22:56.  This year I did the same thing in 20:56, so that was exciting. My mom has gotten a lot faster since she’s been SERIOUSLY training for the LA Marathon, and she finished in 31:21!

My splits:

Mile 1 – 6:26

Mile 2 – 6:42

Mile 3 – 7:11

5k total: 20:56//6:44 pace//2nd in my division.

ONE DAY I will run negative splits in a race.  ONE DAY.

 

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Another fun thing about this race is that it’s super local — I spotted a few people I knew from high school.  The COOLEST thing though was finally meeting Emily @ Haute Chocolate Runner in person. (Making friends through the internet? Not weird at all).  Anyway, she crushed her FIRST 5k ever.  Now if only I can use her legs in an eventual BQ attempt…

So that’s the race news for me — and I don’t have any races on the horizon (typing that made me freak out, I need to get something going STAT).

Anyone have any fun races coming up in Jan or Feb? 

that’s tight. [pro compression sleeve review].

10 Dec

Disclosure:  Pro Compression sent me a pair of their calf sleeves to review through my relationship with Fit Approach/Sweat Pink.  Of course all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

So if you follow this blog or any of my (highly ridiculous) social media channels, you have probably figured out that I sorta like to run.  I am by no means an expert on gear or injury prevention or any of that stuff, but one thing that has worked for me over the years has been wearing compression sleeves or socks post-race to help aid my recovery.  Sometimes I’ll even wear them as I run when I’m feeling particularly gunnerish.

This past Saturday, I pulled a gunner move and ran 13.1 in the morning (well, technically 12.85 but that’s a story for a different day) and then high-tailed it over to Vayyyyygusss for a “girl’s weekend.” (In quotes because who am I?).

Anyway, I wore compression sleeves under my skinny jeans the whole first part of the trip. OH WHAT.

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As a compression sleeve fan, I was pumped to have the opportunity to take a pair of Pro Compression‘s sleeves for a spin this morning.   I have a couple other pairs of compression sleeves that I like (from Zensah and Thirty48), and some compression socks from Pro Compression, but had never tried their sleeves.

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My legs are still coming down from half-mary number 16 (see, gunner), so I wore them on a short 2.5-er this morning. What’d I think? Well, it seems only fitting that I break this down into a pro and con list. #punny.

Cons 

  • The fabric felt a little bit itchy at first, but I adjusted after a few minutes.
  • The sleeves feel slightly less breathable than the ProCompression socks.

Pros:

  • These babies were TIGHT.  My calves felt compressed.
  • I like the black – inoffensive and boss-like (although there are tons of different colors).
  • ProCompression has TONS of styles/colors  — they have a style of the month and tons of different themed options.  (I have a holiday pair and a patriotic pair which have come in handy.  I need to secure a Turkey-themed one for my annual Turkey Trot, though, to keep the running dorkdom meter off the charts).

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Interested in checking out ProCompression?  Use code PINK2  for 40% off here:  http://procompression.com/

#esquired.

1 Dec

So this post is long overdue — but I passed the California Bar Exam — so I thought I’d share some final thoughts about the whole (ridiculously long and arduous) process.

First, my biggest tip to anyone studying or about to study for the bar is to get on a schedule and stick to it.  Treat your study schedule like a job and take it day by day. Mine was a bit on the intense side and looked like this:

  • 5:00-5:15: Wake Up
  • 5:30- 7:00 (depending on the day) – work out – either running with BOMF or lifting at the gym
  • 8 AM head to school
  • 9-12: Barbri Lecture
  • 12-1 Lunch Break
  • 1-6ish: Review that day’s lecture notes, practice essays, practice MBE questions (aka whatever was on the Barbri schedule plus possibly some additional MBE questions if I was feeling particularly unconfident).
  • 6-on: Sometimes I would go home and call it a night (read: usually) and take the rest of the night off and either watch TV, occasionally see friends, or go to my running group or teach a spin class.  Sometimes I’d study for a couple of hours after (8:30-10:30 or so) but usually I called it quits around 6.

I was completely unwilling to let go of my weekend workouts, so for those I’d get up at 8, workout 9-11, come home and eat, shower, and be into the library to do whatever Barbri had me doing by 1. I’d be done by 6 or so.

My workouts SAVED me during this time — it was like beating the system getting to see non law people in the morning and having “me” time before an intense day of sitting and feeling like you knew nothing happened.  Also, all the days started to run together so it helped me to figure out what day it was by which workout I did in the morning (Sad, right?)

Other suggestions:

  • Follow Barbri (or whichever course’s program you select).  I opted to go with Barbri and I followed their instructions to a T.  Sure, I know people who deviated who passed. I also know people who deviated and didn’t pass.  I was not trying to take this exam twice so I did what they told me to do, when they told me to do it, how they told me to do it.  Sure, it was weird and annoying to take a practice essay in test conditions when you learned the subject 15 minutes ago and it’s not your favorite. But it’s also not Barbri’s first rodeo so I went with it.

 

  • Live lecture.  Not much more to say about this other than that NOTHING replicates being in a room with live person teaching you things. I’m sure there’s a study somewhere out there (feivel reference, y’all) that confirms this.

 

  • I sound like a broken record — but healthy eating and working out.  This thing is marathon and not a sprint.  don’t pull all-nighters or sabotage yourself before “race day.”

 

  • Support:  I had an amazing group of study buddies during this — you know who you are.  Huge shoutout to Aviva for getting me through every day (and often showing up in the morning with a Starbucks coffee for me). I also (randomly) made a lot of solid connections during the summer with people all over the country through twitter who were studying for various (read: non-three day) bar exams.  It was awesome being able to connect and commiserate with other social media freaks.

 

  • Minimize stressors/other things you normally have to think about:
    • My buddy Ross and I realized the smallest things started annoying us — traffic, people who can’t merge on the freeway, dumb people, etc.  So to the extent you can, get rid of it.
    • I did grocery shopping for the week and meal-prepped every Sunday (huge step for those who know me because I do not love grocery shopping).
    • At the same time, it’s okay to build in little breaks — I went and visited my friends Blake and Heather in Newport Beach one weekend before studying got too intense, did a couple of races, occasionally “went out,” and visited my parents a few times.

 

  • Test day(s) are weird.  People’s nerves manifest themselves in the weirdest ways.  I saw one girl (woman?)’s dad walk her literally into the exam room. Others were reading their outlines up until we had to go into the test. You’ll hear stories of the guy who passed out or the girl who was wheeled out on a stretcher during the exam. Heck, in the 1990s there was an Earthquake during the test.  You can’t control this stuff, but you can control how prepared you are walking in there.  I found the test itself to be straight-forward — there were not the insane curve-ball type-questions Barbri had warned us of and that we had practiced on. Some were even sort of fun to write (#glamping and undercooked chicken wings, anyone?) I also made the decision NOT to stay at the hotel (Century City) and to drive myself to and from the test each day. I am SO glad I did this — it was less stressful getting out of there then festering with a bunch of nervous people. Also, I brought my lunch each day (because lines) and sat with my friends by the hotel pool.

The time in between finishing the exam and getting results (approx. 4 months) is a little ridiculous.  I had no idea how stressed I was until I got my results and realized my body stopped physcially manifesting stress at that very moment.

Good luck to everyone taking Februrary and beyond — I’m happy to answer any questions (although I am by no means an expert).

#RnRLA recap.

30 Oct

Last Sunday, I ran my 15th half marathon — at #RnRLA in DTLA!  I am not sure I would totally recommend running two half marathons in two consecutive weekends, but I had a lot of fun at #RnRLA with my DTLA Running Group posse.

I headed to the expo Saturday morning.  I was obviously swooning over these themed pint glasses, but I saved my cash for some Nuun and a couple of Gu gels.

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I also hit up the Got Chocolate Milk? booth for a tweet-up hosted by Pavement Runner.  I met Pavey at this race last year, so it was cool to reconnect.  I also got to meet Andrea Barber and Michael @ Point One Miles.  I love a good tweet-up because I love having the chance to connect with people who share a hobby that is so important to me.

Later that day I obviously organized all of my stuff (I went with the Halloween colors theme, way too lazy and also way too gunnerish to wear a costume). Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 9.04.33 PMI also got a playlist together.  This was the perfect blend of heavy beats and some up-tempo tracks. Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 8.09.43 PM

On Sunday morning, I set my alarm for 5:30.  My first thought was “wait…why am I getting up? OH YEAH….13.1.”  That was weird.  I had some GF oatmeal and grabbed a coffee on my way to my running group’s meet-up spot at LA Live.  We chatted strategy and took some photos before heading over to the start in time for the 7 AM Race start. B04MIpIIUAAHxGL

 

I didn’t really have any discernible goals for the race.  Sure, a PR is always nice, but I knew that would be pushing it after my amazing race at NWM the week before.  My running buddy and training partner Andres was hoping for a PR.  Last year, I ran 1:42:42 on this course and he ran 1:46.  His goal this year was to go sub 1:40 which I knew would be a cake walk for him.

I know this course well after having done it last year and training regularly on the route.  It starts out really flat for the first 4 miles over to USC and around the Coliseum.  There’s a very gradual uphill on the way back.  I prefer the second half of the course – up Flower street to 3rd, down to Central, over to 6th and across the 6th street bridge, and then back.

I started in the second corral and just kind of tried to do my own thing.  I knew Andres and I would run similar paces, but he was in the third corral. I listened to my music and didn’t really focus on my watch.  For the first few miles, I was trading places with another DTLA Running buddy of mine, Kevin, who was running his first half-marathon!

My splits were a little bit all over the place, but I felt pretty good for the first half.  I thought I *might* have a chance of PR-ing because my pace was relatively similar to Nike Women’s and the course doesn’t have any big hills.  The start was pretty uneventful, except as always there were people who should not have been in the second corral that I had to dart around to avoid at first, but that’s okay.  In the second mile or so I saw Pavement Runner at the turn-around for the 5k — he is a beast and ran the 5k super fast and then did the half while they were still letting out the later corrals. I let out a “get it, Pavey!”

Out to USC was pretty fun and fast and uneventful.  I liked scoping out the costumes (the guy in the Dorothy outfit complete with Toto in a basket was…aggressive).  I kinda just did my thing out there for a bit.  I took water at every aid station for NWM and that worked for me, so I did the same for this race – except I took Gatorade when I could because electrolytes.

The funny thing about the way #RnRLA releases corrals is that you can see people in higher or lower corrals on two out and back portions of the course.  Last year I saw a bunch of DTLA Running people this way so I kept my eyes peeled.  At maybe mile 4 or so I saw my long lost friend Joe heading toward the Coliseum while I was leaving — he was super loud and energetic which put a little pep in my step.  Pavey told me later he said he saw me twice on the out-and-back portion, and YELLED  “Gillian” both times and then said in a softer voice “. . . is wearing headphones.”  Guess my music was a little too loud and I was in the “zone” for awhile. Whooooops.

On the way back toward LA Live, I could start to feel a little soreness in my IT band.  This is my least favorite part of the course — it’s pretty monotonous and there’s some gradual uphill.

The biggest hill is up the 6th street bridge — it’s not a typical hill, but it’s relatively steep.  This is where I saw some of my DTLA peeps — I saw my buddy Steve coming down when I was about half way up. I saw Andres *right* behind me at the turn-around, and I saw a few other people not to far behind him.  I bumped into speed demon/my running idol Cynthia going back through the tunnel.

I turned onto Flower and headed into the finish. In the end, I was pretty close  to a PR, but alas, no cigar.  I ran 1:37:02.  My Garmin has 13.51 total miles (7.11).  I know the course is a little bit long, but I think the 3rd street tunnel could mess up the GPS a little bit.

Andddd the splits:

  • Mile 1 – 7:02
  • Mile 2 – 6:50
  • Mile 3 – 7:08
  • Mile 4 – 7:09
  • Mile 5 – 7:25
  • Mile 6 – 7:34
  • Mile 7- 7:22
  • Mile 8- 6:51 (no clue, maybe some good music?)
  • Mile 9 – 7:20
  • Mile 10- 7:48 (hill)
  • Mile 11 – 7:22
  • Mile 12 – 7:51
  • Mile 13 – 5:54 (wrong, I think the tunnels messed it up)
  • + change – 3:30
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no clue how my feet function.

Although I don’t like to “lose,” I like it when my friends PR even better.  Andres finished behind me, but he crushed his PR by 10 minutes and beat me.  Pretty awesome. (Also, check out how close our paces were.)

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 11.36.12 AM

Kevin and Cynthia finished right with us as well — the four of us took a few pictures, grabbed some food in the finish chute, and headed to our obvious first stop, the free beer.

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Kevin, Andres, Me, and Cynthia.

Pretty quickly, I was getting antsy for actual beer. Andres and I moved the party over to Tom’s Urban.  I had an IPA  (obvi) and delicious breakfast sliders. There was some football on in the background but I was too busy social media-ing and riding the endorphin high to really engage.

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Overall, #RnRLA was a great event and I had a ton of fun with my running buddies and supporting some first-time half-marathoners. But, this course also made me HUNGRY to try and see a 1:35, which is scary to even type.

My body DEFINITELY took a hit on this one, though.  Walking was a struggle the rest of the day and all day Monday, but I felt better after lifting Tuesday morning.

Any suggestions for a 1:34:xx course? 

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