Race Weekend -Part Uno- The Expo

This was my very first marathon expo! I was super anxious to get there. Luckily we got there super early because the crowds were pretty intense even though we arrived at opening, 9AM.

The process couldn’t have been easier. Honestly, my hats off to all of the volunteers and coordinators for the expo. Their hard work really showed! My friend Nicky (I’ve mentioned her on here before!) was one of the volunteers for the weekend! 🙂

We checked in, got our swag bag and race bibs.

I had to change corrals because when I initially registered for the race I thought I would finish in 6 hours! I was sooo off! It was so easy switching corrals though, it took only one minute, if that. I wound up in Corral #17 instead of #32.

I wish I knew of a way to pose less awkwardly! haha 😀

(In case you’re wondering, the orange thing on our race bibs is called a D-tag. It’s our chip timer that we removed from the bib to loop in between our shoe laces so that the race officials could log our splits and finishing time.)

Next, we cruised around the expo. It was so packed! There was a lot to sample, see, and do.

I’m not really a fan of having advertisements shoved down my throat, especially if it’s something I don’t particularly believe in. So in short, the expo made me want to make a B-line for the exit! There were just way too many people telling me to sample their sports bar or energy drink. If it’s not natural I really don’t care for it! I did sample something from the CLIF booth though 🙂 Before heading out, my parents and I posed for some fun photos..

The San Diego Rock ‘N Roll is pretty famous for it’s running Elvi!

After the expo we headed to Whole Foods (AWAY from the downtown madness!) and I grabbed what I like to call a FREAKING BAD ASS SALAD.

It had: bean sprouts, fresh parsley, feta, chick peas, artichoke hearts, carrots, beets, hummus, wheat berries, spring mix, kale, swiss chard, and some sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. So good and fresh!I think it definitely could have served two people.. but I needed to have a nice healthy full tank for race day!

My parents and I had some time to kill before checking in to our hotel, and we also wanted to stay off of our feet as much as possible. Basically we were waiting for dinner time and then hitting the sack. So, to fill up the time between lunch and dinner, the first thing my mom and I wanted to do was to go and get manicures!

We couldn’t convince my dad to join in on the fun, so he napped in the car for the mean time.

After the manicures, we headed to a nearby theater and saw Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. I’ve wanted to see the movie ever since I saw the previews. I usually get bored at the movies, so for me to say I enjoyed the film means it must have been somewhere close to good! It was really action packed, kind of long, but I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys epic tales in far off lands.

Finally it was dinner time! We went to a new Thai restaurant we haven’t visited before, Taste of Thai. The food was AMAZING!!!!!

We each ordered a dish and then split the servings three ways. In honor of the official night to carb-load we ordered pad thai with veggies and tofu, curried rice with veggies, and spicy noodles. So. Ridiculously. Delicious. I will definitely be visiting that restaurant in the future!

So finally the time came around to head over to the hotel. After check in the concierge gave us each a chocolate chip cookie.. that was still warm! I was stuffed from dinner but the aroma was so enticing I couldn’t resist. One pinch lead to another and that cookie was history! It was so good 🙂

I called it a night shortly after at around 8:30PM.

Marathon Weekend Recap Part 2-Race Day will be posted tomorrow!

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June 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm 7 comments

Oh The Places You’ll Go!

I’ve pre-planned this post for y’all!

This journey has been incredible to say the least.

Some of you may be wondering why the heck I decided to run in such a race. When telling friends about the distance of a marathon it never fails that I receive the same repeat surprised reaction followed by something that sounds like “Whoa! You’re crazy!” The good thing is, I’m not that crazy, there are hundreds of marathons every year with thousands of ‘crazy’ participants..hee hee 😉

Well I think it’s about time I truly tell the story of how I wound up registering for this event!

For me, I think it really all started at the beginning of the year. I had been a consistent runner, capping my distance at an average of five miles per day about 5-6 days a week. With the spirit of the new year, new beginnings, and setting goals I was really trying to find something to challenge myself with. I wanted to push myself in a way I had never pushed myself before.

I began running outdoors a lot more and found that I enjoyed it better than being on the treadmill. I could run further too! Before I knew it I was running almost 8 miles a day without any strain.

One day, my friend who was working at the gym at the time told me that I should try running a marathon. My reply? “YEAH RIGHT!!” I assured him that marathon runners are crazy for running 26.2 miles and that I could never ever run that distance! Well those words came back to haunt me… The rest of the week I kept hearing myself saying ‘never’ and I before I knew it, my stubborn stance turned into questioning myself “Why not?“.

By the end of the week I really started taking the idea of running a marathon into consideration. I think what helped seal the deal for me was hearing that my friend Camille (she is currently running too!) was planning on running in a marathon as well. The wheels in my head started turning..

On a Sunday morning, almost one week after I said I couldn’t.. I convinced myself that I could run a marathon! I registered the same day and started my training!

What I’ve learned over the past six months…

I couldn’t be more pleased, inspired, exhausted, and humbled by what I have learned and experienced through the course of my training for this race. It has really taught me that with great determination, anything is possible. Also, it has also reminded me (constantly) to RESPECT my body for all I put it through. I still can’t believe how amazing the human body is. I look back at all the miles I’ve been able to travel thanks to good health and all I can say is that I’m so grateful! 🙂 Balance has definitely been key, too.

With that said here is a list I’ve compiled: What will be pushing me through the race on Sunday:

  1. Anyone who has ever said “I can’t”. You have to be your own push in your life. No one can force you in to anything. If there is something you want to achieve ‘reach out and grab it‘ because no one else can do it for you.
  2. Anyone who has ever looked in the mirror, and has felt that they are less than perfect. There is no such thing as an ideal perfect. You are amazing just the way you are! If there is any reason that makes you feel less than that, then do something that makes you feel good inside. I used to weigh myself and allow the number on the scale control my life.. well I’m glad that I no longer weigh myself! The number means nothing, unless there is some dire need for me to know my weight I’ve vowed to never weigh myself. ‘The number doesn’t define you, find something that does’.
  3. The person who dwells in the past. I am sometimes at fault for this and I think that it’s perfectly acceptable because that is human nature. Even so, I’ve learned to let things so and to carry forward. Past decisions that you cling on to are only heavy weights that keep you from leaping bounds in the present. Sometimes it’s easy to move on, sometimes it’s hard, but no matter what you have to live for the moment and embrace what is before you.
  4. The local farms and farmers who feed our world. You all know how passionate I am about sustainable food systems! I will most definitely be thinking about all the local farms I’ve been fed from, and their work and time they have invested in cultivating the earth to produce real, honest, pure, organic food. They are the backbone to our food’s future and without them how the heck would I be in the health I am in to run 26.2 miles??? They are true heroes.

Always believe in yourself and you’ll be surprised with the places you’ll go! 🙂

June 6, 2010 at 9:00 am 2 comments

Tomorrow!

The race is TOMORROW.

Here is a recap of some of my most memorable runs over my training 🙂

My adrenaline is pumping and I can hardly think about anything else except the marathon. This energy is insane!

So for breakfast, I just devoured this yummy bowl of oats..

I made a batch for my parents and myself. My portion was approximately~

  • 1/2 oats
  • 1 cup diced fruit (naner, donut peach)
  • coconut butter, honey about 1/2 tbs each
  • cinnamon, walnuts

Sooo filling! I also enjoyed a cup of Teeccino Chocolate Mint ‘Coffee’. It’s not really a coffee it’s more like an herbal tea coffee replacement.

I’m just about packed and ready to head out to the race expo to pick up my bib and other race goodies. I’m heeding the warning given last night at the pasta dinner to NOT TRY ANYTHING NEW!

I think it makes total sense! I’ve been training on water, coconut water, and CLIF shots all of which have worked for me for the past 6 months, so I don’t plan on trying a new product that may upset my stomach or something else during the race. I’ve worked too hard for there to be a mix up!

I treated myself to an outfit from Lululemon, to wear for the race! I tested it out earlier this week on my four mile run I did on Tuesday, just to make sure it felt good. I give it two thumbs up! I’ll also be wearing my lucky compression socks, and also my snazzy Pacetat! I’m hoping to finish in the 4 hour range, running at a loose 9 minute mile pace. If I finish a little later than that I won’t be devastated.

I’ve also pre-packed breakfast for tomorrow: oats, pb, and a banana. I’m hoping to use the bowls at the hotel and maybe a microwave oven (even though I’d rather use a stove) to heat breakfast. My favorite power breakfast before my long runs . Pre-packing it is the only way I’ll know everything is organic!

Well this is it! Next time I post, I’ll officially be a marathon finisher! Can’t wait to tell you all how it went!!

P.S. I will DEFINITELY be jamming to this on Sunday!! 😉

June 5, 2010 at 6:42 am 5 comments

Meet Meb

Around mid morning I headed out for a 3 mile run. It was at a very relaxed pace, I didn’t even take my Nike+ with me so I’m just assuming with was 3-miles. It was so warm out! I guzzled water as soon as I got back to my car. I was hoping to run one mile tomorrow, but I don’t think I’ll have time. Ohhh welllllll!

For lunch, I enjoyed some crackers and a nice salad with an avocado vinaigrette I whipped up. Our avocados are super ripe here at my house so I had to use one in something!

The salad was a mix of mizuna (from JR Organics), onion sprouts (Suzie’s), sugar snap peas (my garden!! :grin:), fava beans, sprouted black-eyed peas, dill (JR) and red leaf romaine (JR).

With chippity chip chopsticks! Yeahhhh!

The rest of the afternoon, I worked as hard as I could to channel my energy towards house duties (have I mention how much laundry I’ve been avoiding lately?) but it was so hard not to think about the marathon!

As I mentioned a few days ago, my friend Karon is part of the San Diego Track Club. She was so kind as to invite my parents and myself to the pasta dinner they were putting on for all of the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon participants who participated in the Track Club training program for the race. My parents and I are so sneaky!

The dinner was served buffet style and there were quite a bit of bellies to be filled! I will be honest with y’all on here.. I wasn’t super-duper crazy about the options.. eeek!

So I picked at the vegetarian lasagna, ate a few veggies, and at a 1/2 breadstick (plus one half not pictured). I think that was ziti on the bottom part of my plate. All in all I think I ate about 1/3 of what I served myself. It’s not that I wasn’t hungry but it was just way too overloaded with cheese for me. I’m not even a big cheese person to begin with. I think the only cheese I could really ever swoon over is goat feta. I gave this dinner a fighting chance though!

The rest of the program was really wonderful!

The keynote speaker for the evening was Meb Keflezighi!

If you don’t know who he is, he is the 2009 NYC Marathon Champion, as well as the 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist for the Marathon.. among other very well respectable titles. He is also a San Diego local. Remember Steve from last Saturday’s post? Well Steve was his high school coach! So cool!

He gave such an empowering story of where he came from and what motivates him to run. As I listened to Meb talking I couldn’t help but look around the room at all the runners sitting with me and think how each of us have a drive within us that is going to empower us through the race on Sunday. The great energy in the room was so alive that it gave me chills.

Karon and I got a snapshot with Meb as he left after giving his awesome speech:

I’m so grateful that Karon invited my parents and I to the dinner! We had a great time together with her parents who flew in from Texas, and her husband John.

On our way home, my parents and I topped off our evening with some good ole frozen yogurt! My favorite!

I do the same ritual at each fro-yo establishment..

  1. Fruit on bottom. This time it was diced mango and diced strawberry
  2. Two cubes of cheesecake bites.
  3. Two-Three squirts of yogurt. This cup had vanilla, choco-peanut butter swirl, and strawberry.. I guess that kind of makes it four squirts instead of three!
  4. Some sprinkling of granola. Can you just admire the organic hemp granola hugging the slopes of the yogurt peaks for a second? Gorgeous!

So I think it’s pretty clear that it’s too late for me to be awake. I’m getting up early to finish packing and head over to the race expo and hotel!

GOOD NIGHT!

June 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

Proud Daughter

It is definitely down to the wire! TWO DAYS left until the big race! I won’t be posting tomorrow since my parents and I will be leaving in the morning to the marathon expo, but expect a double marathon re-cap will all the details included about this coming weekend!

For breakfast I had about a cup of greek yogurt with diced strawberries, a few walnuts, sprouted buckwheat groats (sprouted here at home!), cinnamon, and a squizzle of agave. Side of java juice.

Yummy!

I had breakfast pretty early, it’s not even lunchtime yet and my stomach is telling me to feed it! So as I’m typing this, I’m munching on about a 1/2 cup almond goji mix. Dear stomach…shush!

~~~~~~~~~~

I’d like to take time to give you all some insight into something I haven’t really had time to share on this blog since training for the race.

I have the most supportive parents I could ever dream of! Through every path I’ve chosen to follow in my life thus far, I never once felt as though my parents weren’t behind me all the way. They have had great influence in the heart and spirit of any success that has ever come my way and I’m so incredibly grateful to have such amazing individuals in my life. When I chose to sign up for the race, my parents encouraged me to take it on and told me that they would be there for me on race day.

My parents were never runners. My mom was slowly beginning to build up a tolerance for running on the treadmill and my dad who had a history of knee problems back in the day stayed away from running all together. Their workouts were at the gym with weights and short bike rides. Don’t get me wrong, they have always kept great shape, but never really got involved with running in races at all.

My parents, about a year ago..

Well shortly after signing up for the marathon, I encouraged my mom to run more in hopes that she could sign up for a 10K or something so that we could go on some runs together. That pretty much snowballed into my dad wanting to start running, which snowballed into my parents wanting to sign up for the Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon!!

So… somehow through signing up for the full marathon I managed to influence my parents (once self-proclaimed non-runners) into running their first ever half marathon! Pretty cool, huh? 🙂

Seeing my parents make this complete 180 in their life has been very inspirational for me. A year ago, they never ran at all! They have stuck with their training plan and on Sunday they will be running 13.1 miles! I’m such a proud daughter!

My parents – now!

Sunday is going to be amazing!

I’ll catch you all later today 🙂

June 4, 2010 at 9:21 am 1 comment

Team Running!

This morning I went running with my friend Karon and her running group, the San Diego Track Club.

Before heading out the door at 6AM, I had a piece of toast with some almond butter, and a banana.

We ran around the UCSD campus, for a 1:30 timed run. Unfortunately..my iPod battery went ka-putz so I don’t really know my pace or distance. Boo! 😦 I’m so used to running with music, I had to entertain myself by thinking of songs I’d listen to in my head. It kind of worked.. not really though! I consumed a CLIF shot while running.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances, it was an awesome run! I loved running with a group (about 100 runners I’d say) and the feeling of running with everyone was amazing. It really helped make up for no music.

Another thing I liked about running with the group was the amount of support. Normally I run by myself so it takes a lot of mental energy for me to help get myself through a difficult hill, or hard mile mid-run. Today while I was running, whether it was me or a runner passing each other we’d encourage each other by saying “Good job!”. It doesn’t really seem like much but just hearing little words of encouragement like that goes a long way. Maybe I’ll join a running club in the future? 🙂

After the run Karon and I met up with her running mentor, Steve, at a nearby cafe Come On In.

Karon bought a muffin for us to all shared, which I picked at.

I also ordered a bowl of fruit with some yogurt and granola. Nom nom!

Steve brought some berries from his garden so we all munched on some of them. They were really good!

After coming home, I worked in the garden for a little and then made myself a green smoothie, which I enjoyed in a bowl. SIAB!


Not sure what the rest of the day has in store but it sure is gorgeous out!

May 29, 2010 at 3:18 pm 2 comments

Clay and Sprouts

It’s officially summer vacation – wahoo!

Summer means sunshine and free time which equates to me getting to spend more time in the garden. Could I be any happier? 🙂

We have a strip of roses by a white picket fence near the front of my house. Even though we’ve got an alternation between rose and sage, the spaces between just seem so bare. First I wanted to plant sunflowers, until it also occurred to me.. why not plant some of my seed starts? I figured I’d be killing two flies with one slap because I could also try making a chicken wire cage to see if it really does work in keeping the gophers out while also putting my starts in a better home than their tiny containers.

Well, when I made my first attempt at this project it was an instant reality check. Sure, the top layer of the soil was nice and loose for easy digging, but about 4 inches down I hit solid clay. If you don’t know what I’m talking about.. this clay was almost like hitting pure rock!

As much as I rammed my shovel into the ground it wasn’t budging. So I soaked half of the rose bed with water in hopes that it would get nice and soaked so I could actually do some real digging.

This morning after breakfast I headed outside early to see if my plan worked. It did! I got to work right away so that I wouldn’t get caught in the mid-day sun and loose all the moisture left in the ground from the evening.

I started by digging up a 1′ X 2′ X 1.5′ hole in between one rose plant and sage bush.

Next I pushed a piece of chicken wire down as best I could.

I filled the hole with alternating layers of organic potting soil, horse manure (from my neighbor next door, she has so many horses!), and mixed dirt from the garden. I alternated about twice.

After the new soil was in place, I planted some of the beets that I started from seed. Remember when I planted them a few months ago? I thought they would be bigger by now, but they definitely will have plenty of room to grow in their new home!

I followed the same steps and dug two more holes. I planted one more with beets and the other with some radishes, both of which I started from seed.

It didn’t take as long as I thought it would! I listened to Jack Johnson and Ben Harper while digging, and hung out with Max and Chow Mein (my cat).

I definitely have my work cut out for me though. I had to dig up a ton of clay. Look at the second half of the bed.. sooo many weeds!

For lunch, I ate a de-e-licious salad.

It had pretty much everything except the kitchen sink. It consisted of: spinach and spring mix from JR Organics, buckwheat groats and red lentils that I sprouted, a variety of sprouts from Suzie’s, chia seeds, red walnuts from Terra Bella Ranch, diced apple from R&L Farms, dried cranberries…

…all topped with a tahini-ginger dressing I made. Mmmm!

With a naner.

Yes what you see in that photo are indeed chopsticks! I love eating with chopsticks as often as I can because it helps me enjoy every bite, slow down my eating, and really savor each item in the dish one by one.

Time to go for a workout run! Tomorrow I’m going to go running with my friend Karon and her running group. She’s running the Rock ‘N Roll too – in the half!

There are only 8 days left until the marathon, if you don’t count today. Oy! 😯

Have a good rest of your day!

May 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm 1 comment

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Hello! My name is Alexandra.


This blog is a chronicle of living a healthy lifestyle through food and fitness! I'm a student, a gardener, an environmentalist, an athlete, and I love to cook and eat food that is locally grown. I love our planet so much, and I think it's important to treat it right so it can treat us right in return!

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Always savor the sweetness that every day has to offer. Respect the environment and respect yourself. Be grateful for all that you have, and be love.

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