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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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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.


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?

dtla dad’s day.

16 Jun

I wanted to stop by before bar study: week 5 commences to share a few photos from my family’s father’s day festivities yesterday.

My parents, brother, and my brother’s girlfriend, Olivia, were nice enough to drive all the way downtown for brunch so I could make it to the gym AND study the rest of the day.  They did it to be accommodating, but I also think they love DTLA too so it’s all good.


We had a delightful brunch at Artisan House and we all loved it.  Four out of the five of us ordered variations of the same thing (eggs & bacon, because duh).


All aboard the paleo express…

We didn’t participate in the bottomless mimosa deal (sad face) but we all got our money’s worth in terms of bottomeless coffee…


It was so nice spending a little time with the fam in DTLA.  We had a great time brunching and I think we decided to make Father’s Day brunch a “thing.” Love you, Dad!


(In case you’re wondering, I gave my dad QuestBars so he can become obsessed too and a Kings hat.  My Dad is somewhat of a Kings fan but doesn’t have any gear. I feel like the Stanley Cup win merited at least a cap).

Hope you all had a nice Father’s Day!

How did you celebrate?

Favorite LA brunch spot? 

because I’m happy.

16 Apr

I have about a month left of law school – so weird.  Before bar studying consumes my life and this little blog goes on an inevitable hiatus, I’ve been enjoying frolicking around DTLA and doing fun stuff when I’m not pretending to study or working out. Here’s a little glimpse of what’s been making me happy lately…

Last Thursday, I went to a reception for admitted students to my law school who are also scholarship recipients.  I talked to a bunch of 0Ls about the perks of choosing Loyola and soaked in this epic view from the City Club. Major #swoon.


I recently moved — but only a block from my previous apartment.  Jenn moved in with her fiancé, Daniel, and I’m doing the solo thing. So far, so good!  My mom was a HUGE help in moving me and helping me furnish the apartment.  My mom also spent the day with me last Friday to do some major furniture shopping.  I fell in love with this coffee shop at a random Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It was a steal, is one-of-a-kind, handmade, and all the money goes to Habitat for Humanity. Love. 10155400_10103002199040863_7297606057553916044_n

After #WESTWeekend, Whitney and I went on a walk and ran some errands together in Santa Monica. I love where I live SO much. 10155157_10103008183947063_195483132211681008_n

On Monday, I kicked off the week with a 3.5 mile run with Back on My Feet.  I love Team Homeboy and how we all support (and make fun of) each other.  At our turn-around point, I made Gordy, Brian, and Gavino take a selfie with me.

The funniest part of the morning occurred when I jokingly said “vamanizos” when a light changed and we started to run again.  My friend Andres immediately says “Gillian, you’re trying to hard to fit in.”  So funny, and probably true.


love mah homeboys!

My DTLA Running Group — I started running with them exactly a year ago (the day after the Boston Marathon last year).  It has been amazing getting to know this diverse group of people who constantly push and challenge me to be a better runner.

unnamed-1As an added bonus, on Tuesday’s run my friend Kristina joined us.  Kristina is SUPER fast (she BQ’d at LA last year, and her 13.1 PR is sub 1:30). So that was pretty awesome!unnamed

What is making you happy this week? 

law talk tuesday: semester wind-down.

17 Dec

“1L they scare you to death.  2L they work you to death. And 3L they bore you to death.” 

This was my first semester of 3L and it was SUCH a huge change from 1L and 2L.  The above adage has been completely true for me.  

1L was crazy. I studied every day and didn’t really do anything else besides study and prepare for class.

During 2L, I had the routine of how to prepare for class down, but I was so busy with extracurriculars. I was on the board for two clubs (Phi Alpha Delta and the Women’s Law Association), was on the Entertainment Law Journal, competed on the Vis Moot Court team, and externed full-time one semester. Gross.

My responsibilities have waned considerably during 3L which has allowed me to pursue hobbies outside of school. Unfortunately, my classes were pretty boring.

I loved my Trial Ad class. It was an awesome experience with a passionate and fun professor. (Loyola/USC students — take a class with Judge Dan Buckley).

photo 1 (1)

My other classes weren’t so hot.  You might have read my hate live-tweets during them.

In one class, the professor didn’t break down any of the material so it was digestible.  I am not interested in copying down verbose sections of the probate code verbatim from a slide. SO frustrating.

My other class was…not challenging? I liked the subject matter but struggled at how little class participation/novel thought there was. My friends made fun of me for that because we had very little reading and the final was not too hard to prepare for, but sitting in the class was a challenge for me.

Other than class, I also fulfilled my pro bono requirement with the Team Prime Time Mock Trial. This was a ton of fun and the kids always made me laugh, smile, or remind me that my mascara was not evenly applied (Thanks, Serenity!)


To round out my semester, I was a Research Assistant for my favorite professor. I did a range of research assignments related to juvenile DNA collection.  It was a great way to do a little bit of work outside of my really boring less-than-exhilirating class line-up.

Anyway, that about rounds up my first semester of 3L. I am hoping next semester’s classes are a little more…stimulating?  Either way, I can’t believe I have one. semester. left. Eeek! I’ll pick up these LTT posts when classes resume…

Who was your favorite professor/teacher and why? 

turkey trot la.

30 Nov

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  I had a great couple of days spending time with my family and eating delicious food.

I kicked off Thanksgiving Day with the Turkey Trot in Downtown LA. I decided to run the 5k and the 10k back-to-back because it was a good deal ($50 to race 9 miles? DONE) and because I am crazy.

My roommate decided to do the 10k, and her mom and sister were walking the 5k, so they picked us up and we all carpooled together over to City Hall.

It was a gorgeous day to be out there. 1454857_10102651680477873_1300274210_n

The 5k started at 7:45.  I dropped a few cans of food I brought for the drive the Turkey Trot was doing for the LA Regional Food Bank.  I know this race was for-profit, but I like the fact they still made it about something bigger than itself.



There was a slight delay — but beyond that, it was a great race.  I used bag check (possibly for the first time ever at a race) because I had to change chips out for the second race.

I moseyed to the start and ran into my friend Kevin from my running group and his little brother.  I also knew Katherine and her boyfriend were there but didn’t see them before the race got going — and I had checked my phone at bag check…social media fail.

The course was challenging — we started at 1st and Spring and had a hilly first mile.  The second mile was gentle downhill all along Spring street, out to 8th or 9th. We turned around and came back the last mile, which was gradual uphill.

My goal was to try and race the 5k and to hang on for the 10k and run it as a shake-out run.  I was happy to see some familiar faces out on the course (I saw Katherine in Mile 3!) and to run through DTLA.  My splits were as follows (I think they reflect the difficulty of the course)

Mile 1 – 7:00

Mile 2 – 6:45

Mile 3 – 7:00

Finish: 20:48  (My Garmin had the race distance at JUST over 3 miles). I was super happy with the speedy time.  I finished 2nd in my age group (25-29), 8th woman overall.


photo (2)

I had maybe 20 minutes to change my timing chip, re-hydrate, and to approach the starting line again.  For the 10k, I wanted to just run controlled.  My goal was to hit 8 minute miles and to enjoy it.  I wanted to run strong but I knew my legs were tired (I’d worked out pretty hard on Wednesday).

Surprisingly, I felt better and stronger than I realized.

Mile 1 – 7:54

Mile 2 – 7:09

Mile 3 – 7:32

Mile 4 – 7:53

Mile 5 – 7:26

Mile 6 – 7:37

0.16 – 2:26

I was surprised I was keeping everything under 8, even on the hilly first and fourth miles, but I’ll take it. My Garmin had my finish at 47:57.  I was 6th in my age group, 89th woman overall.

I immediately put on my compression sleeves and headed to meet up with my roommate’s sister and mom to cheer on Jenn as she finished.  She was smiling and happy every time I saw her on the course. She broke 65 minutes which is definitely a strong time on a challenging course!


I really had a great time at this event.  It was well-managed, the course was fun, and I liked that they gave out trucker hats as opposed to the usual cotton T I wear only to bed.  I also loved running in my ‘hood (I love DTLA and want everyone to love it as much as I do), getting to run with some of my running club peeps, getting to share the experience with Jenn, and this epic Christmas tree in Grand Park:


9 + miles, one trucker hat, and 3 medals later = GET AT ME PUMPKIN PIE

photo (3)

Did you Turkey Trot? Where/When/details please!

monday mojo.

25 Nov

Happy Monday everyone!  I thought I didn’t have anything blog-worthy going on and then I forgot that I am really good at being over-dramatic and hyperbolizing things. Alas, a blog post was born!

Today is the first day of #Elf4Health — a healthy living challenge taking over the blogosphere (hosted by Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean  and Elle @ Nutritionella).  The four-week challenge includes a task or goal for each day, and we have two different “elves” we’re matched with (each one for two weeks).

photo 3 Today kicked things off with “Meatless Monday.”  I was at school almost all day (finals season), so my cooking “skills” didn’t get to shine, but I can’t wait to try some of the recipes I’ve seen floating around.

Speaking of meatless Monday, this is my latest obsession: three eggs scrambled with some kale, topped with avocado and pico de gallo. Get in my belly.

photo 3 (1)

It has been fun starting to get to know my “elf,” Nicole @ Fruit ‘n’ Fitness, as well.  I’m looking forward to “unsubscribing” tomorrow — I get SO much junk mail and love Cori‘s idea to use a website called

In other news, I was the lucky winner of Whitney’s #Movember contest over at To Live and Diet in LA.  I showed off my Mustache Dache medal, made a dork of myself, and get to go to heaven Soul-Cycle for free! Thanks, Whitney!

photo 1 (3)

anything in the name men’s health and tapping. it. back.

On Saturday, my 7:30 alarm came mighty early —  Friday night consisted of my final trial in my Trial Advocacy class, a fabulous dinner with Aviva at Little Bear, and celebrating my roommate becoming a member of the CA bar!

I started the day by leading my DTLA running group in a 6.5 miler.  We met downtown, headed out to Boyle Height’s Mariachi Plaza, and high-tailed it back. We ran at about an 8:10-8:15 pace which was fun and relaxed. Noel snapped this great show on the 1st Street Bridge.

photo credit:

photo credit:

After my run, I scarfed down some oatmeal (with peanut butter + chocolate protein powder, a.k.a my daily staple) and headed out to teach a little spin. I LOVE when the class is full, the regulars are there ready to work hard, and people sing along.

Current favorite song for a seated hill? Sorry I’m not sorry…

I delayed starting the Wills & Trusts outlining fiesta by actually blowdrying my hair for once and taking a selfie.  The real star of this show is obviously my new iPhone.

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After logging 4+ long hours in the library teaching myself a lot of boring things, I picked up my friend Aviva and met my parents at a West Hollywood institution — The Troubadour.  My brother manages a band, Dewey and the Peoples, and they had a show there on Saturday (along with Cisco Adler and Radical Something).  The show was a blast and I had a great time.  It was also great to see my brother in his element.

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On Sunday, I logged some hours in the gym with body pump + spin, back to back. I love the regulars at my gym — they fill me in on the gossip and joke around, and push me to work harder.  A new friend of mine from law school happened to be in class so she suggested we grab smoothies at Juice Crafters afterward.

photo 1I’m all about refueling post-workout, and often opt for a smoothie from my gym’s smoothie bar (my favorite has banana and peanut butter, duh), or make the legendary Green Monster at home. Juice Crafters was pricier, but delicious.  I opted for the “Lily w/ Strawbs” which consisted of fresh strawberries, almond milk, dates, granola, walnuts, and probably something else delicious I am forgetting.

I spent the rest of the day hanging out at school — it is finals time.  The last two years I have been crazy-diligent about being on top of everything, but I have slacked more this semester.  I have two finals in early-mid December, so the next few weeks is Operation: Learn Everything I Should Have Been Learning Since August, and Haven’t.

Just a heads up my posting might be even spottier than usual…

photo 1 (1)

at least this is the view from campus…

Hit me with:

Your favorite meatless recipe.

Your favorite smoothie.

Have you ever done an internet/blog/twitter “challenge”? 

link love friday.

22 Nov

Here’s how my morning went down:

5:03 wake-up call for Back on My Feet with my Team Homeboy people.  Love them.


Yes the extra 3 minutes are a game-changer.

We met up and did our run — some of the team is already up to 3 miles! I ran with Louis (who has perfect attendance) on a challenging route in Elysian Park.

I came home and fell back asleep for two hours.  No, I am not TOTALLY lazy.  I am a law student with a flexible schedule. I have a final tonight (Trial Advocacy) and want to not be sleep deprived, so morning nap FTW!

Now, I’m captivated by a special on the History Channel about the JFK Assassination.  Today is the 50th anniversary of that date.  Even though I wasn’t alive when it happened, it is undeniably fascinating. My Dad and I were chatting about via email, and he said this:

I still remember the second-grade teacher, Mrs. Russell, a polio victim, limping into my first grade class and whispering the news in my teacher’s ear. They sent us right home.

Before I get all trial-ready and practice my closing argument again, I wanted to leave you with my favorite links from around the web this week:

* Today is the last day to sign up for the Elf 4 Health Challenge via The Lean Grean Bean! I’ll be doing it — join me!

challenge accepted.

challenge accepted.

* This post about hugging made me smile.  I’m not a huge hugger (personal space, duh), but my experience at BoMF so far has definitely made me more huggy. The video in this post is so sweet — it made me tear up. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?

*This list of How You Know You Live at the Gym (Yes, I have a favorite front desk attendant).

*This toolish prank some Harvard kids played at Yale.

*This Kimye video. (No, not Bound 2.  I have a lot of thoughts about that one). You know, this one from SNL: Waking Up with Kimye! (The bit with the Kardashians playing their favorite instruments? Amazing).

Not technically a link, but I’m reading this book  (non-affiliate link, I’m not that cool).  It’s called Pink Ribbons, Inc. and is about the idea of cause marketing and how philanthropy has turned into a profit-driving mechanism for many companies.  I’d definitely recommend it — and I just learned there’s a film version. MUST find that.

What’s your favorite find this week from the world wide web? Link me, por fa! 

Alright, I’m off to do some final prep and crush this trial.  Have a great weekend!!

[Edited to add:  I’m thinking happy thoughts for those in California awaiting bar exam results!!]