Two Weeks of Training

Since the vacation week of workouts was easy (and boring), I combined the last two weeks of training into one post.

January 18-23 (The Warm Weather)

Training during my vacation week was low key.  My husband and I ran together, but we didn’t stress about running.  I didn’t do any workouts because I was recovering from the Carlsbad half marathon.

We ran easy miles and enjoyed the beautiful weather and change of scenery.  Easy miles are boring and except for the-the views, nothing eventful happened.

Speaking of views:

Watching the sun rise was one of the best parts of our runs.  Especially since we never left East Coast time, it felt like we were running at 10 am.

me coronado

As I mentioned on Friday, I jumped into a local 5k last weekend.  In summary,  the race was on a moderate course and after running and hiking all week I was extremely pleased with my time.  It was my second fastest 5k in the last two years (behind my PR).  We weren’t expecting to race so we didn’t taper.

January 24-31 (The cold weather)

Monday: Easy run at Point Loma
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 6X1 mile repeats (6:24 pace) 4 miles warm-up, cooldown
Thursday: Easy miles
Friday: Easy miles
Saturday:  Easy run
Sunday: 10k tempo run
 Total:  70 miles

Monday was my favorite run because we were still in California. running california


Workout Wednesday: 6×1 mile hill repeats (average 6:24 pace)
I took Tuesday off which is probably why my average pace was significantly faster than usual (8 seconds per mile is a lot).  I felt good during the workout.

I slammed into a wall of negativity during the 5th mile.  I was breathing hard, my quads were on fire, and I was cold.  Luckily I toned my negativity down and reminded myself I just had 15 mins left.  I ran a 6:35 mile regrouped and came back on number 6 to run a 6:17.

I was surprised when I got home and saw that my miles repeats were the fastest I’ve done.  It did not feel effortless, and I knew I had been working hard.

My Saucony Zealots have a lot of miles on them now, so I decided to replace them with the Saucony Kinvara.  I’m surprised with how much I like them.  I’ll post a review when I’ve run a few more times in the Kinvaras. workout wednesday

I wasn’t going to run on Friday, but my husband asked if I wanted to join him.  We ended up running 7 miles around the neighborhood.

Saturday was another easy run and Sunday (today); I did a 6-mile tempo run.  I felt good during the tempo.  It did not feel as if I was going “all out” and racing but it did feel challenging.

There aren’t too many races this month which is fine because I’ve raced plenty in the last six months.

Both weeks went well for me.  I had a great month of training and racing for January.  My plan for February is to get quality workouts in preparation for a few bigger Spring Races.  I will jump into a few races in February, but I’m not planning to taper for any.

Questions for you:
What was your best workout recently?
Would you rather run in the snow or on the treadmill?
If it’s icy and snowy, I’ll run inside.  It’s not worth another fall to me.

Studio Diner

Studio Diner (San Diego, California)

During our vacation to San Diego, we visited two diners.  The first, the Studio Diner, is located just north of downtown San Diego.

Studio diner

We arrived at the Studio Diner during lunchtime on Sunday, which is usually the busiest time of the week.  Despite having 4-5 parties in front of us, we sat within 15 minutes.  I was impressed because it was a relatively small diner.

Studio Diner Atmosphere: A

The Studio Diner was featured on the Food Network.   As the name indicates, the theme is being at the studio or “on set.”  One thing I love is how every detail matches the theme of “the studio.”  The interior is decorated as if you’re on set!  It was probably the closest I’ll be to becoming an actress.  The Studio Diner is small, but there is still plenty of space to sit comfortably down.

Studio Diner Coffee: A
The coffee at the Studio Diner was good.  I can only imagine it needs to be for how long producers and cast work.  I’m kidding of course, but I found it unique they added two straws to keep the whipped cream from falling into the coffee.

studio diner coffee

Studio Diner Service: A
Despite the Studio Diner being full, there was a minimal wait, and the waitress was very attentive.  She gave us plenty of refills, and our food was brought out quickly.

Studio Diner Food: A
The Studio Diner has all of the traditional diner staples from breakfast to lunch items like sandwiches and salads.  The American Diner has the lunch staples from poached eggs on toasted bread, eggs benedict, eggs on a toasted English muffin, pancakes, all served with hashbrowns and choice of toast. Then fun, unique lunch items like lobster rolls, clam roll, fish and chips, steak sandwich, to prime rib sandwich, salads, chicken pot pie, and so much more. The one thing I found funny was “the boob” sandwich: which came with chargrilled marinated chicken breast, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and jack cheese on grilled sourdough.

I saw someone’s pancakes while sitting down and I thought they looked fantastic, so I ordered pancakes, sausage, eggs, and toast.  My eyes were a little bit bigger than my stomach.

studio diner pancakes

As a pancake snob, I can say these were some of the best pancakes I’ve ever had.  They were massive, and they had the imprinted design of a studio reel.  The pancakes alone made this diner worth it.  The toast and sausage were excellent as well.  The Studio Diner one of the best diner breakfasts I’ve had!

studio diner toast

Studio Diner (San Diego) Cost: $$
For the coffee, toast, sausage, eggs, and pancakes, it was $15.

Overall thoughts/ Would I come back to the Studio Diner (San Diego)?
If I’m back in the San Diego area, I’ll be back.  There was nothing I didn’t love about the Studio Diner (San Diego).  I wanted to come back while we were delayed, but we never made it.  If only our flight were delayed longer…

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food: A
Cost: $8-15
Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What are your favorite pancakes? (or breakfast)
Have you ever done any acting?

Carmel Valley 5k (18:40)

As most people know, we got stuck in San Diego for an extra few days.  Since we were stuck on a weekend, we looked for another local race.  After Pring at the Carlsbad half and spending the next week enjoying steep hikes and runs, neither of us had any race goals.  Until the day before we didn’t even know we would be racing again.

San Diego is also much hillier than where I live in NJ, so all of my runs were on a much different terrain.  I loved it though!

I knew the race wouldn’t be another PR but who cares?  I enjoy running and thought it would be fun to do another race.

We got to the race a lot later than we had hoped and we had to cut the warmup short.  We got around 2.5 miles and quickly ran to the start.

To my surprise, they had self-seeded, corrals with rope dividers.  There were over 1000 racers and luckily I found a spot near the front.  Before the race started, they let the corral ropes down and all of a sudden 20 young children headed to the very front.  HA, I guess the ropes defeated the purpose.

The race started at 7:30 and we were off.  The course immediately went uphill and then back into a dirt trail.  It was a gorgeous view.  I passed two women and found myself as first female overall.

There were a few cracks in the trail but nothing to prevent speed or footing.  We passed the first-mile marker just under 5 minutes.  I thought to myself, “wow I have gotten so fast these days”.  I knew the mile marker was not in the correct spot… My Garmin beeped about 40 seconds later.  I did run my run my fastest mile in about two years (5:39).

The second mile began rolling hills as well as uphills.  It reminded me a lot of the mile hill repeats I have been running back home.  It was one of the hardest miles I’ve run in a while.

By the end of the mile, my quads were screaming.  I heard a woman coming up behind me.  She made it seem effortless as I’m about to vomit on the side of the road.  I hit the second mile in 6:19.  I thought: hopefully I can, at least, maintain that pace.

The last mile was a lot less stressful.  I just focused on the end.  My quads and muscles were tired.  The 5k is a funny distance, you feel great, and then you feel awful.

It’s all of the pain, and lactic acid of a longer event compressed into the final mile, every single time.  I was extremely tired but focused on the finish line.  I could see my husband as well as several people including the women in the finish shoot and I thought, “why can’t that be me”.  Luckily it wasn’t too far off.  I ran the last mile in 6:07.

From Instagram
From Instagram

I finished in 18:40 and second women overall.  I was pleasantly surprised since unlike my PR, the race wasn’t in optimal conditions. I’m glad we signed up for the race and enjoyed another California race.

Questions for you:
Is your area hilly?
Have you ever gotten stranded somewhere because of a storm?

Mini Trip to Los Angeles

Since Los Angeles is only a couple of hours north of San Diego, we decided to drive up there as well.  As I said yesterday, with our entire vacation, we did not have an itinerary. I knew I wanted to see the Hollywood sign but other than that we had no real plan.

We spent both days hiking, and it was such a great time.  I haven’t been hiking since college, so this was deinfetley a lot of fun.   While we didn’t see all of the ritzy things of LA such as Hollywood and Sunset Blvd, we enjoyed hiking and seeing the incredible views that way.  It was much more our style.

Hollywood Sign

We went on a hike to the back of the Hollywood sign.  You cannot get right behind the letters, but you can get extremely close.  The hike itself takes you over the peaks of LA, and then you hike across the top.  It was a moderate hike with about 1000 elevation gain and 4 miles round trip.  I’m not a hiker, but I made it through.

We are actually higher than a helicopter!
We were higher than a helicopter!

tim and i hollywood sign

A rattlesnake (hashtag nature)
A rattlesnake (hashtag nature)

We also enjoyed some great food while out there.  One of my favorite restaurants was the Green Street Tavern in Pasadena.  I ordered the Salmon with cous cous and butternut squash, and it was cooked perfectly.

Salmon and Cous Cous Green Street TavernFor dessert, I had the apple crisp which was topped with ice cream.  To say this was one of the best desserts I’ve had in a while is an understatement.  If you are ever in Pasadena, I recommend the Green Street Tavern!

Apple Crisp Green Street Tavern

Questions for you:
Have you ever seen the Hollywood sign?
What is your favorite dessert?

Touring San Diego

Last week I recapped my half marathon PR, but now it’s time to start a recap of everything else on my vacation. In summary, we had a great time.  We had booked the vacation to San Diego before we realized there was a race.  While the race was a nice addition; we did plenty of other things.

We began our journey in San Diego.  One thing I was excited to do was go to the zoo and the safari.  The San Diego Zoo is one of the best in the country.  The animals were active, but it is clear they are very well taken care of.

We arrived early because it was a weekend.  The zoo wasn’t crowded and we easily walked around and saw the animals.

A tiger eating a log
A tiger eating a log

While staying in San Diego, the majority of trip was spent hiking and exploring.  It was fun to have no plan or itinerary but just to find a trail or an area to explore.  We stumbled upon beautiful views in La Jolla, Coronado, Point Loma and even into the mountains East.  We skipped places like Universal Studios and Disney because those really weren’t our interest.

exploring san diego me

My dad gave us the recommendation to go east to the town of Julian which is 4000 above sea level.  It turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the trip.

My husband is the greatest.
My husband is the greatest.  It was chilly up there!

Mountain Julian San Diego

We also drove up to La Jolla Cove and enjoyed the beach.  There is a famous beach that seals hang out at.  There were dozens of them laying around napping.  At first glance, they look like rocks.

Seal Beach La Jolla

hiking la jolla

We also traveled to Los Angeles, which I’ll recap another day.  It was a gorgeous drive and a lot of fun.

As most people know, parts of the East coast including the greater Philadelphia region were hit with snow.  Our flight was the first to be canceled last Friday (the earlier flight from San Diego made before the storm.  I’m not a cold weather person, and I was happy to avoid the storm all together.

Cliffs La Jolla

The storm gave us a few more days of hiking, exploring and driving.  We put over 1000 miles on our rental car.  I had a great time and there wasn’t a part of the trip I didn’t enjoy.  We truly enjoyed exploring with no plans.


Questions for you:
Do you like the zoo?

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