I guess that’s why they call it #zincity

11 Mar

Alternative title: I planned a bachelorette party by some miracle.

A few short weeks ago, my best friend Jenn’s bachelorette weekend took me and 9 other women (girls?…unclear) up to Lompoc (north of Santa Barbara) for some wine-tasting, “girl talk” and general debauchery to celebrate Jenn.   Although Jenn was quite the “rager” in college — she was literally always stopping at various fraternities to say hi to people — she was pretty adamant that she didn’t want a Vegas bachelorette, or anything super typical.  Fine by me, since I was planning it and I’m the least “OMG!!!” person there is. (That’s a type of person, FYI).

Anyway, thanks in large part to my mom’s incredible ability to find anything on the internet, we booked an amazing renovated barn that comfortably slept all of us – and it included a large kitchen, bathroom, TV, wifi, and dining table. I would definitely recommend checking out Hidden Canyon Ranch in Lompoc via Air BnB.


There were also animals on the property, to the extent you think that’s cool:


Before we arrived, I again enlisted my mom’s help in buying all of the food we’d need for the weekend. (Thanks mom, everyone would have starved without your guidance).  I also put together “survival kits” for everyone — I didn’t nab a picture, but they included a wine glass, a mini bottle of champagne, advil, a water bottle, gum, and a Lara bar in case of emergency.

The weekend began for me on Friday night when I picked one of mine and Jenn’s BFFs from Cal, Kathleen, up at LAX.  I was in the middle of a crazy document production, and battling a cold, but picking Kathleen up was an instant mood boost.  We high-tailed it out of LA and stayed with my parents in the Conejo Valley, which would put us a little closer to our final destination.  S/o to Kathleen for balancing out my crazy as I stayed up pretty late reviewing documents.


In the morning, we packed up the car (s/o to my parents for being the best) and made a mandatory pit-stop.


Kathleen and I gabbed for about two hours and arrived at the barn to set up before everyone else arrived.  Around 11 or so, everyone was there and the day began! In attendance were two of Jenn’s best friends from law school, four friends from elementary school through high school, Jenn’s sister, and then Kathleen and I held it down for the college/sorority contingent. Go bears.


I worked with 805 Wine Tours to set up a four-hour tasting tour through the region. They were affordable, knowledgeable about the area and the region, and professional.  Our favorite winery ended up being one that I had not booked ahead of time, but our guide called during the day and squeezed us in.

During the course of the day, we stopped at Babcock, Foley, Huber, and Melville wineries and had full tastings at all of them.

girls on a tractor.

girls on a tractor (like snakes on a plane except not at all)


I think everyone liked Huber the best because they had a dog, but I liked it because their wines were a cut above and they had snacks. Chicks and dogs, man.  I don’t get it.




Our final stop of the day was Foley – by this point everyone was having a good time.  Except for me in this photo?



After the tour, we headed back to the Ranch.  Some of the girls went into town and brought back tacos – best. call. ever. While others of us tried to keep drinking due to tank-status.  Ugh.


We played a few low-key games — Jenn and I told stories from our college days when we were both wrecks (compared to now that it’s mostly just me).   I’ll spare you the funny stories about Jenn’s college days because her fiancé reads my blog and also because I’m a good friend and also because blackmail.

I also had Daniel fill out a version of the “newlywed game”-type questions which was HILARIOUS.  Here’s an example of how funny his answers were.  I may have cried:


We spent the rest of the time relaxing, napping/drinking, playing Cards against Humanity, and talking about Kanye.  Oh wait, that was just me.  Whoops.


We cooked dinner together and ate a ton of dessert (What’s a wedding with a #PiTheeWed hashtag if every event does not feature pie?)  Anyway,  my alcohol consumption never really hit me, until everyone else decided they were going to bed and I could not stop laughing.  It all started when Blanca asked me why I like Kanye so much…and that turned into a hyperbolic explanation that I think he is the “Steve Jobs of music” and that he could “stop making music tomorrow and become an architect.”  So I may not have made any friends on this trip, but at least Jenn is stuck with me?  Bahah.

We got up in the morning and headed back to LA – but not before stuffing our faces some more and hitting up a drive-through coffee stand in Lompoc.


I was a stress case (event planning is not my specialty, but I am a great event-attender) but I think everyone had a good time and that this was something off the beaten path.  I’d definitely recommend where we stayed and 805 Wine Tours if you’re local and looking to do something similar!  Thank you to everyone who came :)

Also, LOVE YOU JENN!!! Can’t wait for this weekend and to pepper every social media platform with #PiTheeWed (well, after the moratorium on social media is lifted, of course).

What sort of bachelorette parties have you been to? 

I can’t wait to check out Austin, Texas for my friend Riley’s bach in July!

wow, temecula.

11 Mar

So, a few years ago my mom told me she has a secret nickname for me. What is it, you ask? “PFD”…which is short for “Princess Fairy Dust” because apparently magical things just happen to me.  I beg to differ, but then sometimes she’s right.

Example:  last week when I was ending a very crazy month at work (and in my own mind, but that’s a story for a different day and really no different from any other month), I noticed that a blog I follow, FinerThingsLA, was running a contest for two tickets to the Temecula wine region’s World of Wines Barrel Tasting (#WoW) event.  I left a blog comment and tweeted, and a couple of days later found out I won!  Luckily Aviva was game to trek out to the IE with me on a Sunday afternoon.  We were SO glad we did — I loved Temecula and the five wineries we made it to in a short 2.5 hour tour.

While my tickets were comped, I’d totally go back next year.  Here’s what a $99 two-day ticket gets you (or $89 if you do pre-sale):

You’ll enjoy a self-guided wine country tour that will take you to all our member wineries, each of whom will be offering varietal wines from barrel, tank or bottle. The wines will be paired with scrumptious food samplings which exemplify the perfect marriage of food and wine. Ticket holders will receive a map of the Temecula Valley, a passport which allows a visit to each participating winery and a souvenir glass. The event is held from 10am to 4:30pm. 

I’d never been to Temecula before, so we decided we start at the first winery and just sort of bop around for a bit.

We started the day at Callaway Winery.  We enjoyed tasting their 2011 Special Chardonnay and their 2011 Special SElection Cabernet Sauvignon.  Oh, and this view.


I take back everything I ever said about the Inland Empire.  Or most things.

We spent some time enjoying live music at Europa Village, as well as their 2013 Syrah and 2014 Muscat.  I noshed on a pulled pork slider and an incredible blue cheese gingersnap cookie.

From there, we skedaddled over to Baily Winery.  I was as obnoxious as possible, sipping on my Riesling and captioning the photo below with a Kanye lyric.  Because instagram. I also sipped on their M&M – a blend of Merlot and Malbec, and tasted their pork stew and German chocolate cake.



Aviva and I agreed we loved the vibe and setting at Miramonte – I think there I sampled the 2012 Bin #380 and the 2013 Verdelho.  I think this was our favorite location, up until this point.

We rounded our our trek with a stop at Mount Palomar, which was way up on a hill. The wines were just okay there, but the views were epic. Their chicken skewers with peanut butter dipping sauce were top notch, though.


“Winter” in southern California.



Thank you to Temecula Wines and FinerThingsLA!  I will definitely be back.

Favorite place to go wine tasting?

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.


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.


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.


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.

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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!


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.


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




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.


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.


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.


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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.


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).


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.


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.



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.



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.



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.




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.


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.



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.



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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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:


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.


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


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.


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.



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? 


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