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

16 Sep

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Kayaking in MDR with my law school friend Colleen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2014: #getafterit.

3 Jan

I have never been THAT into New Year’s Resolutions — but I realized about half-way through last year I was checking off some pretty big goals, so I like the opportunity to reflect on what’s important to me and set some goals at the beginning of the year.  Without further ado, here’s what I’d like to get after in 2014.

  • Read 12 books. During law school, my “reading for pleasure” has been reduced to skimming blogs while in (boring) classes. I want to commit to reading a book a month — which might prove difficult while I’m studying for the bar — so I’ll settle for 12 total.
  • 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).
  • Buy a (cheap, used) bike and get comfy with it.  (Because, triathlon.  Eventually).

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  • Travel.  I love to explore — so this year I’d like to get away as often as possible — and ideally plan a longer, more extended (exotic) trip for after the bar exam.
  • Expand my blog.  I’m thinking collaborations, working with sponsors, and maybe going to a conference.
  • 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. 
  • 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.

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  • SUP more often and learn to surf.  Nothing too crazy, but I love the sun and being out on the water, so it seemed like a logical next step.

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  • Get out of my comfort zone.
  • 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!
  • Spend more time with those who matter. 

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

#XMASPARTIES

24 Dec

[The title of this post is inspired by my latest obsession, #XMASJAMMIES.  LOVE THAT FAMILY].

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the abundance of Christmas parties that take place during the month of December.  Last year, I went to my law school friend Chris’ “Hawaiian Christmas” party — and not to be outdone, I ended up going to four different Christmas bashes this year.

To kick it off, I went to a Back on My Feet Happy Hour with some members of Team Homeboy and Team Union Rescue Mission at El Escondite downtown.

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Later that night, I drove down to the South Bay to go to my friend Heather’s best friend’s “Nightmare Before Christmas Party” (Friday the 13th in December = perfect theme).  Fun fact: I have never actually seen that movie.  No photos from that one (huge blogger fail), but I always have a good time with Blake and Heather.

The next day marked what is probably my favorite day of the year — the SANTA Monica Pub Crawl.  This is the third consecutive year I’ve done this with my best friend Whitney, and her friends from college. Last year we did the Wilshire route, and the year before we raged on Main street. This year we upped the ante on our attire and went as Santa’s “Reinbeers.”  I called dibs on “Dasher.”

Riley is Whitney’s best friend from college — so we took our annual “best friends by transitive property picture.”  Riley is one of my favorite people and I love that we have become friends over the years!

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Me, Whitney, Riley

We made multiple stops along the Wilshire route — Sonny Mclean’s, The Charleston, O’Brien’s Pub, The Gas Lite,  JP’s, and Tinga. 

Apparently our unofficial uniform is the cross-body, chained purse:

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There is a rule in my family that if you do something two years in a row it is a tradition.  Well guess what, immediately after going to The Gas Lite and before continuing on the crawl, we now have to have a late dinner at Poquito Más.  This also requires running into a Loyola classmate.  (Yes, that happened two years in a row, #typical #3LOL). IMG_5267We ended the night dancing and making fools of ourselves at Tinga.  It was a great night — however I felt the repercussions of it the next day.  Still — if you’re in the LA area, seriously consider making the SANTA Monica Pub Crawl a tradition. So fun.

The following weekend was also filled with fun Christmasy events.  On Friday, one of my friends from my running club, Jeremy, threw an Ugly Sweater Party (that also had a heavy hip hop theme as well).  This song was on repeat, I kid you not.

I wore a fantastic ugly sweater –> unnamed-4

Other fun highlights: I made cookies inspired by HRG. I made mint chocolate chip cookies and pressed a Dove chocolate mint into the center of each one.  They went over well. We ended the night at a club downtown and witnessed a cat fight.  Christmas party success.

My Christmas party season was rounded out in a fun way.  Cynthia, also a member of my DTLA running club, threw a White Elephant Christmas gift exchange at her apartment.  We had amazing appetizers, lots of beer (duh), and delicious homemade tamales. The rules for the game were simple — everyone had to come with a running-related gift. We drew numbers to see who went first, and the next people to open could either steal a gift or open a new one.  Gifts could only be stolen twice (or a third time if the stealer was willing to take both a shot of vodka AND a shot of tequila…runners are serious).

I brought a box filled with different running gels and chews — and included my fav flav. My friend Andres ended up getting my gift!  My number was first so I picked the most creatively wrapped gift — a shoebox wrapped in LA Marathon ads!  I got a pair of running gloves (so necessary for the early a.m. runs) and some Clif Bloks. BcEEM6DCUAABY0H

It was so fun seeing things people brought — a foam roller, water bottle, beanie, Starbucks gift card, a gift certificate to a yoga place, etc.  Such a fun way to celebrate!

I love how these parties allowed me to see different groups of friends throughout the holidays.

Weigh-in: Did you go to any fun themed holiday parties this season?

 I want to host a White Elephant gift exchange next year — or a cookie exchange. Or both!

#elf4health week 4 in review.

22 Dec

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This was the last week of #Elf4Health — which is sad!  This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had doing any sort of online challenge.  I met some cool new people and challenged myself a little bit along the way.

Here’s how this week went down:

Monday’s task was to meditate.  I am not a big meditator — but I tried a new-to-me spin instructor at my gym and he played a song where we were encouraged to close our eyes and relax.  I took some deep breaths and tried to tune everything out.  Not totally meditative, but about as close as I get.

Tuesday’s wall sit came after a body pump class — so my quads were shaaaaaky.  I hung in there for 2 minutes.

On Wednesday, I linked up with Samalee to share our respective areas of expertise.  I posted about how to become a spin instructor, and I published her post all about de-coding your cholesterol numbers.

On Thursday, our challenge was to eat at least 3 food groups at every meal.  Breakfast included: toast with butter (carbs + fat), 3 eggs (protein/dairy) and a bunch of veggies (kale, spinach, and red pepper).   photo 1 (5)

I picked up lunch at a local sandwich place — that checked off a few criteria: bread (carbs), mozzarella (dairy), prosciutto (meat/protein), tomato (vegetable), and a side of a banana (fruit).

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Dinner was consumed post yoga and spin — and although I had worked out hard, I wasn’t really all that hungry. I went with my old faithful — the Green Monster. (Spinach – vegetable,  Peanut Butter – Fat, Banana – Fruit).  Later a beer and some french fries were consumed at Villains Tavern.

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On Friday I jotted down 6 things I love about myself — 3 physical and 3 non-physical. Woot.

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Saturday’s new fitness goals are three-fold:

(1) Do yoga 50 times in 2014. (More on this later)

(2) PR at the LA Marathon

(3) Actually foam roll.

My friend Angela and I at YogaHop last week.

My friend Angela and me at YogaHop last week.

Finally, on the last day of #Elf4Health I made a donation.   I dropped off the bags of clothes from last week’s closet clean-out at Goodwill.  I also made a couple of small monetary donations to charities that are important to my brother for part of his Christmas gift. (Direct quote: “Don’t get me anything for Christmas. Just donate to charity”…so we’ll see how this actually goes over).

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I had a great #Elf4Health and will look forward to participating in it next year!  I especially loved finding new blogs/tweeps/fitness freaks.

Elves — what was your favorite part of #Elf4Health?

I really enjoyed the variety of the tasks as well as reading everyone’s different ways they completed the challenges on social media.

santa to the sea half-marathon recap.

19 Dec

Alternate title: PR City, Population 1.

On Sunday, December 8th, I ran my 13th half-marathon (Number 5 for 2013), the Santa to the Sea Half in Oxnard.

TL;DR version? I PR’d by two minutes.  [1:36:58]. I sort of joked when I crossed the finish line that I would never run that fast again.

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I loved this race.  I knew that this where SR had her PR, and I thought I *might* have a chance of PR’ing as well.  I did not go into the race expecting it though.  My training was minimal — I ran 9 miles on Thanksgiving but beyond that hadn’t seen anything over 7 since October.

My parents’ house is a little more than half-way between where I live and the race, so I slept there on Saturday night and got my Invisible Gillian ready to go.

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At the starting line, there is a HUGE Santa figure (hence the race name) and everyone is encouraged to bring a toy to donate for Toys for Tots.  I had never heard of “Doc McStuffins” but I liked the fact that she is a doctor.  Even if she’s a doctor for stuffed animals.

Source: conejovalleyguide.com

Source: conejovalleyguide.com

My parents dropped me off at the start.  My mom was running the 5k, as was my friend Bryan, so we all carpooled. The 5k start and finish was close to the 13.1 finish, so it worked out well.  It was uncharacteristically COLD on race day, so I brought a throw-away sweatshirt to wear while I waited to start the race.

I loved the announcer and the fun, cheeky Christmas songs they played while we waited to start. My new absolute fav Christmas song is “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses. So 80’s and so awesome. I talked to a couple of fellow runners and seeded myself in the 1:35-1:50 pace group area. I thought I’d run between 1:45-1:40 depending on feel.

The race started and I went out FAST — 7:17 first mile.  My hands were cold but the rest of me felt fine. The course is a point-to-point and the steepest section is a freeway overpass.  We ran through different parts of Oxnard — agricultural areas, a business park, downtown, historic homes, and then the marina/harbor area where the finish was. I tried to see how long I could hang at that 7:17ish pace.

Mile 1 – 7:17

Mile 2 – 7:06

Mile 3 – 7:17

Mile 4 – 7:18

Mile 5- 7:24

Mile 6 – 7:19

Another thing I loved about this race was how everyone dressed up — and it was such a community event.  There were five high schools out there cheering with signs (some even had their bands there). Post-race, we got a survey to vote for our favorite. Loved that cute touch.

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This photo was taken at about the half-way point — Plaza Park. The crowd was so festive and energetic at this point!

The course was fun — the only thing I didn’t love was that we were running streets that were not completely closed off.  I never had to stop to let a car pass, but a couple of times it seemed like I might — just a weird thought to have while busting out 13 miles.

I realized I was holding a pace right around 7:20 for the first 5 miles.  My goal at this point became to hold this until I hit the half-way point, at which time I could re-evaluate, since I knew this pace was clear PR territory.  I still felt good at the half-way mark, so I decided to try and hold the pace til the 10 mile marker.

Mile 7 – 7:28

Mile 8 – 7:22

Mile 9 – 7:19

Mile 10 – 7:27

After mile 10, I thought, I could drop to 8 minute miles and still bring home a PR.

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Mile 11 – 7:33

Mile 12 – 7:38

Mile 13 – 7:28

I slowed down those last few miles, but managed to never dip below 8:00. Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 7.29.17 PM

As I approached the finish, I saw my parents and my friends Bryan, Jenn, and Jenn’s bf Daniel.

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The clock time said 1:37:xx, which I was THRILLED with, but then I remembered I started a few seconds after the gun went off.  My official time was 1:36:58, which comes out to about 7:23/mile pace. I was thrilled with such a huge PR. The take-away for me is more mileage does not equal faster times. Strength and cross-training has been KEY for me.

Bryan ROCKED his first 5k ever in 24:51 (8:01 pace//4th in his age group) and Jenn and Daniel also did really well and had fun out there.  It was really a great day.

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My mom may not have PR’d but she won the “most festive” family member award (she made a Christmas headband and a scrunchie — so cute).  My Dad is nursing a foot injury and didn’t run, but 2014 will be his comeback year. *Older sister comment ahead* –>  My brother doesn’t exercise, so here’s hoping 2014 is his year as well.

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I knew SR and Monica were there — but unfortunately I didn’t see them. Bummer! I did, however, spot a girl I remembered racing against in high school.  Only I would remember someone from their running form alone.

As we were driving home, I got the worst charley horse in my right calf, ever. I couldn’t straighten my leg fully, so I had to pull over to the side of the road in Newbury Park and walk around to get it to come back to life.  It did not feel fine until Wednesday/Thursday of the following week. ROUGH.

Anyway, I loved this race want to make it a Christmas tradition.  I am especially lucky and grateful for my parents for running/supporting me, and for my roommate Jenn for her constant gung-ho approach to either racing with me or spectating at my races.

[Side-note: I am a total Lulu convert. Running skirts = the most comfy thing, ever. I also liked this top — broke my “nothing new on race day” mantra, and the ProCompression socks worked out well too].

Have you done/are you doing a holiday-themed race?

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.

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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 unroll.me.

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!

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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: instagram.com/nottirednoel

photo credit: instagram.com/nottirednoel

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…

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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”? 

spin. run. repeat.

19 Nov

I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA this week!  I wish I had an excuse other than laziness.  Yes, law school finals are approaching, but I’m a 3L remember.  (Read: I am actually nervous about how laidback and relaxed I am feeling as finals approach.  And don’t think that’s because I’m already prepared.  Not even close.)

Anyway, here’s what’s been going on in my fitness world the last week or so:

Running with Back on My Feet LA.  You can read more about my experience here.  I am loving getting to know all of the members, and watching them grow and gain confidence.

I also had a lot of fun last Thursday at a BOMF Happy Hour in the Palms/Culver City area at a swanky little bar called Oldfield’s Liquor Room. It was a cool little spot and fun to meet some of the other volunteers from other BOMF teams.

BoMFLA

BoMFLA

Spinning. My blog friend (now real life friend) Katherine  came and took my class and wrote the sweetest blog post about it. I am so grateful for the support of the blog and fitness communities, and I love that Katherine and I became friends through our blogs. We’re so 2013.

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Me and Katherine.

My Saturday class was also stocked with supportive friends — my law school friends Armita, Jackie, and Alexis all came and crushed it, and my friend Dominique (who I know through my BFF, Whitney) came and took her very first spin class , ever, with me!

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Me and Dom.

The most amazing healthy fat combo, ever. 

On Thursday, I had dinner with Whitney at Tinga, a bougie Mexican place in Santa Monica.  The best thing we have both have ever experienced was guacamole with BACON in it. Yes, you read that right.

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Mustache Dache.  On Sunday morning I did a little race in Elysian Park after one of my DTLA Running Group friends suggested it.  I was more nervous for a 5k than I am for most half marathons (running fast is scary).

I had a lot of mixed feelings about the event — namely, the race was 0.5 miles short so the total mileage was 2.66 miles. (not a 5k).  While it was awesome to see a 18:55 on my Garmin, the race is essentially meaningless because of the distance.  What the race lacked in legitimacy it made up for in fun, though.  It had an impressive pre and post race expo, and a Sierra Nevada beer garden. We easily spent 5x as much time at the beer garden then we did racing, but whatever.

Things that are jokes, this alleged pace per mile.  Try again, Mustache Dache.

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Hahahaha.

I’m happy with my place and “time” (my miles were in the 6:45-7:00 range, I think).   All in all, it was a fun event, just poorly managed.

Champagne Brunch at Barnsdall Art Park.

After my “race,” I met up with my friend Armita, Eric, and Eric’s friend Alex for an event at Barsndall Art Park. For $25, we sipped on 3 different champagnes, and had a delicious lunch from a food truck they brought in.  Also, the weather in LA is (still) gorgeous.

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That’s all the news for now — on deck for this week is my final trial in my Trial Advocacy class — and you guessed it, more spinning and running (and probably drinking).