best of january.

7 Feb

I have been the worst blogger, ever. I’m trying to find “balance” in all of my ridiculous hobbies and I let the blogging slip last month.  Whoops!  I realize I like this little outlet so I’m going to try and make a concerted effort to blog more often.  Here are some of my favorite moments from January:

Favorite Race

Well this is easy, since I only did one.  I had a great time racing drinking beer(s) after the 10k at the New Year’s Race.  The course was tough, but I managed 3rd woman overall.

10390567_10103861442759563_8399435667676911507_n

Favorite Run

This is a toss-up.  I haven’t run REALLY long since marathon training last year, and I hadn’t seen double digits since December.  But when I heard DTLARunning and Blacklist LA were teaming up to do a 16 miler from North Hollywood metro through the LA River bike path, I had to be part of it.  It was an amazing run and I realized my speed has improved significantly over the last year.

10302103_10103843705809553_6178471090269231116_n

Two weeks later, I joined Blacklist LA and DTLARunning for an epic 18-miler.  We started at the Culver City metro station and ran along the Ballona Creek bike path to Dockweiler Beach and back.  I started struggling around mile 14-15, but still had a great time, and my crew helped me through those last few miles.

10470999_10103881802159163_5208363002167662107_n

Best Trip

I made an MLK-weekend jaunt up to SF to visit my friend Whitney who recently moved up there, and I LOVED seeing some of my best friends from my sorority in college.  I also made pit-stops at one of my favorite Oakland eateries, visited the new SoulCycle in SoMA, sipped on both Blue Bottle and Philz coffee, and worked out of my firm’s SF office.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 10.56.54 AM

Best meal

A couple of weeks ago, I got to check out a new LA restaurant called The Lost Knight (think British pub fare with a gastronomic twist).   I’ll definitely be back!

1779869_10103875167230613_68877246946026778_n

Best beer(s)

I celebrated my birthday with seriously the best mix of people at Angel City Brewery.  I loved being surrounded by friends from high school, college, law school, the gym, and my running group.  It was an epic day and I am SO grateful to have such a diverse array of amazing people in my life, who also put up with my ridiculousness.

10957727_10103883838463393_8465023097784966758_n

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 10.52.28 AM

Andres taking a picture of me taking a picture of him taking this picture.

see?

see?

 

there's cool art there, too.

there’s cool art there, too.

Best street art

I fell in love with this piece by Tristan Eaton in DTLA’s Arts District.

10931105_10103828321684463_8338133867237989101_n

Best randomly fun thing

My law school friend, Ross, has epic themed birthdays every year.  This year, we all dressed up as bananas (well, some of us wore yellow.  I learned my lesson and will take next year SUPER seriously) and then raided a couple of bars in Newport Beach.  Ross dressed as a gorilla.  We met Dennis Rodman (really bizarre experience). So much fun.

10897006_10152558707081456_4213043165755973772_n

this birthday was bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S

this birthday was bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S

February is off to a more low-key start.  What was your favorite memory from the first month of 2015?

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.

10897907_10152997762846369_5574261588459688112_n

10387557_10152997762736369_1209076935327486945_n  10361373_10152734020860967_6244902124230302503_n

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

10888769_10152734021435967_1746837843281035060_n

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).

2015/01/img_0390.jpg

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.

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 5.37.41 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 5.37.00 PM

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.

IMG_0399

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.

IMG_6073

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.

10489944_10103302134373053_1927472385363858327_n

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.

10482717_10103456830565643_2081265721593564926_n

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.

1910535_10103593980131813_1041418290413616066_n-1

1901787_10204135891174955_9121161386027992761_n

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.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 6.30.05 PM

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.

unsplash_52b326f55b5f9_1

  • 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.

unsplash_52b6b4db7397c_1

  • 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.

unsplash_52b11a38ccf91_1

  • 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:

unnamed-20

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.

1535038_10103716230995103_5714149149585692395_n

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.

unnamed-21

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.

 

10363804_10103693616654423_505219783694206682_n

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.

1471950_10103716537785293_1125240759879233349_n

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.

B4gHQPFCQAAlz8q

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).

1457497_10102682632050673_1890876481_n

IMG_4115

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).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,284 other followers