What I'm Into Wednesday - The Canadian Edition

This past weekend was the 2017 SeaWheeze Half Marathon. In case you don't know, SeaWheeze is lululemon's signature race. It takes place in their hometown of Vancouver, BC and pretty much takes over. 

To give you an idea of the fanaticism surrounding this race, here are some details:

- It sells out in about 12 minutes each year. 10k runners. 12 minutes.

- The exclusive runner's store (where you can buy - for full price - exclusive prints and colors of their clothing) opens on Friday at 7AM but people line up starting around 7AM on Wednesday. 

- This year's fan favorite, the rainbow reflective clothing collection, sold out within 23 minutes. You can buy yourself some run tights on eBay for about $1000.

And what's crazy to me is that this is all about the clothes for many of the people, which totally overshadows the amazing race itself and the post race festival.

This was my 3rd year pacing (as a Pace Beaver, they call them in Canada) and each year gets better from logistical, entertainment, and support standpoints. 

Plus Vancouver is one of my favorite cities of all time. So in honor of that, this week is all about the trip!


In the yoga world there is no shortage of people to look up to. Longtime teachers, Instagram celebrities, and talented local teachers abound. One of my teachers and mentors in the yoga game is Goldie Graham. I've learned so much from her and share many of the same values and opinions in terms of the yoga world as her. We're lucky enough to have her as a local teacher here in San Diego (sorry, Bostonians) and she was selected to teach at the Sunset Festival post race. Over 8000 runners showed up to practice yoga in beautiful Stanley Park before the evening concert from Cold War Kids and Young the Giant. Goldie was calm, collected, commanding, present, and nailed teaching this class. It was so fun to be a part of, to listen to, and to watch go down. 


This is an obvious one: RUN THE RACE! In my third year as a Pace Beaver I've had a few opportunities to reflect on just why pacing this race is so much fun. The course is fantastic, the crowd support and support from lululemon is unparalleled. But it's really about the runners and my fellow pacers. Pace Beavers are all ambassadors from around the world who are selected to come to Vancouver and pace a time anywhere from 1:35 to 3:00 in the half marathon. We're there to be your time keeper, your safety watcher, your motivator, and your entertainment. It's so much fun to help people crush goals, to watch the human spirit tackle the half marathon, and to do it all with other badass ambassadors by my side. I'll be back as many years as lululemon will have me!


My knowledge of food of different cultures is very, very limited. I'm a picky eater and I get nervous to try new foods. Vancouver has an amazing food scene and I was determined to take advantage of it. Enter Kosoo. This Korean fusion restaurant was near the hotel we stayed in our first night in Van and was amazing. It smelled so incredibly good, had lots of veggie options (meat weirds me out), and tasted just as good as it smelled. Check it out if you find yourself in Vancouver!


I'm dedicating this to all of the breakfasts on our trip. Looking for donuts? Go no further than 49th Parallel and Lucky's Donuts. Something more substantial? Our last morning in town we hiked up the Grouse Grind (get there too... worth the sweaty mess you'll be afterwards) and then headed to Red Wagon. Why? Pancakes topped with in house smoked pulled pork and pork belly and jalepeno cornbread just to name a few reasons. Moral of the story? Sweat hard to eat harder. 


Grizzly bears. Yup. If you climb the 1.3 miles and 2800 feet straight up Grouse Grind you'll get to a mountaintop with a lumberjack show, a wild bird show (hello, bald eagle!) and GRIZZLY BEARS. Two orphaned grizzlies now live at the top of Grouse. When we got up it was cold and rainy, which resulted in most of the other tourists seeking shelter but clearly didn't affect the grizzlies, who walked straight up to the fence. I'm talking like 20 feet away. It was amazing, breathtaking, and really freaking cool. Climb yourself up there!

What I'm Into Wednesday - FUN.

When I compiled this week's list of things I'm digging I was reminded of how lucky I am. My life is "busy", can be "stressful", and I have "adult" things to do...but overall it's really not that difficult. Much of what I do on a daily basis is fun - work and play both fall into this category (and they cross over quite often). And I have to say, for that I'm thankful.

So this week is all about FUN. 


One of the things I find to be the most fun is eating. And I love trying new restaurants. Angelo and I went out on a puppy-less date on Saturday night and checked out Tribute Pizza in North Park. A few friends had recommended this joint and they were spot on. The space is big, bright, and airy and the food we got was awesome. Foccacia with roasted garlic, a big salad, and a vegan pizza with a squash sauce and roasted veggies. YUM.


Let's just continue on the food train. Good friends of ours host a Thursday night themed dinner at their house and this past week's theme was "vaguely Asian". So I Googled Asian desserts and an Asian pear crisp came up. Upon further review, the only thing Asian about it was the variety of pears but considering the theme was "vaguely Asian" I figured it worked. Asian pears, orange juice and maple syrup made up the fruit portion. The crumble was oats, coconut, almonds, and crystallized ginger - with coconut oil as the fat. It turned out amazing! And smelled so good. 


This Saturday was one of my favorite races in San Diego - the Balboa Park 8 Miler. It's one of the oldest races in town and is a longtime fundraiser for the San Diego Track Club. It's put on by my favorite race directing company, High Performance Movement, and takes you on a serious tour of the roads and trails of Balboa Park. I'd been hesitant to run it due to a flare up of some foot problems in the past few months so instead I planned my normal run to head past the race finish so I could cheer in some friends. My brother in law crushed his race, my Ashley Lane Fitness girls had a blast, and (of course) there were plenty of November Project peeps repping the #grassrootsgear. While racing is fun, watching your friends and family cruise across the finish line was a blast.


That leads into do: RUN! Specifically, run without pain or discomfort. Last week I stopped by Milestone Running and harassed them for about two hours. We talked about all my weird foot pains and problems (and my f-ed up feet) and tried on just about every shoe. In the end, they gave me a returned pair of Hokas to try out. Let's preface this with the fact that I've avoided Hokas like the plague because, honestly, they're pretty ugly. But I'm at the point where I'll try anything. So I tried them for a long run Saturday. AND THEY WERE AWESOME. 14 painfree miles later and I may be hooked (for now). While they won't fix the problem, they are a good part time solution. So I went back to Milestone Sunday and bought myself a pair. If you see me running in them, try not to laugh. I promise to stop laughing at other runners wearing them too.


When I go on solo long runs I occasionally like to take headphones with me. But I don't listen to music, instead podcasts. So here's another one for you: RadioLab (again) and their episode titled Breaking News. It was all about new technology on the horizon that is basically like Photoshop for audio and video. Yup, you will soon be able to edit audio and video - making yourself (or others) say and do things that never actually happened. While the tech is cool, it's also a little terrifying. They dig into it pretty well here. Give it a listen. 

Maximize My Month - August

Well here we are, the last month of summer (if you live somewhere other than San Diego). Once again, the month snuck up on me. July was a planned quiet month and I (wrongly) assumed that would make it go by slower. And while I'm sort of shocked that August is here already, I'm excited!

August sees us go off to Vancouver for my 3rd (and Angelo's 2nd) experience pacing SeaWheeze (the lululemon half marathon) as well as going up to Bateaux Cellars for my second Vinyasa and Vino retreat! So I'm looking to August to be full of fun, excitement, and with a goal of staying present through all of it.

I noticed while teaching a class today that my mind was somewhere else completely. And that my ability to stay present has taken a nosedive recently. While I previously had a different idea in line for August, I've decided to focus more on presence. Here's how:

1. Leave my phone at home more. Don't take it on walks with Angelo or Arlo. Disable notifications. Limit the timeframe in which I'm free to peruse the internet/social media. I've talked about wanting to take a full blown detox, but I do use social for much of my business promo and connectivity - so instead I'll apply boundaries.

2. Run or workout solo at least once per week. Whether it's a yoga class, a gym session, or a run, I used to rely on my solo workouts as some moving meditation time. And I miss that.

3. When I eat meals, just eat. No reading, no phone, no computer, no Broad City. Truly savor the eating process.

4. Last but not least, meditate for 5 minutes per day at a minimum. It's coming back. It needs to.

What do you think? Anything you'd add to work on presence?

And how did July go for you? Did you find an accountabilabuddy? Did you guys stay in touch? I have been good about doing the mobility and strength work that was desperately lacking BUT I wasn't so good about checking in with my girls. Allie? HP? You both still doing your thing?

As always, way to stay committed to the little things. They do turn into the big things, after all!



Maximize My Month - July 2017

Sometimes you have great ideas that you're chomping at the bit to engage and sometimes you're fresh out of ideas and just waiting for inspiration. I love when that inspiration strikes!

Let's back up. June's goal was to do handstands every day. I put an entire year (2015) into learning how to do handstands. And like anything, if you don't use it you lose it. And I had felt like I lost it. But it was really fun and fascinating to see how quickly that movement pattern came back this past month. It really is like riding a bike - muscle memory is there and it's powerful. And sometimes flipping your perspective (literally) is very necessary.

Back to this month's inspiration. Last week I got to Ashley Lane Fitness a few minutes early for a session with a client and I took advantage of it to spend 10 minutes working hip and ankle mobility. Only 10 minutes and it was the best I've felt in months. I mentioned this in passing to my friend, and Vajoggy founder, the HP (and tiny, bread making magician Allie) and they were in agreement that it was an area they needed to be working on. This is the moment of inspiration: accounta-billa-buddies. Every day we'd text each other to remind each other to take 5 minutes and work on something we know we need to be doing daily (for us, mobility work). 

So that's July's goal: get yourself an accounta-billa-buddy. Find someone with similar goals. Commit to each other to keep each other in line to do those small things that you would forget about/postpose/procrastinate on your own.

Together, we're stronger!



What I'm Into Wednesday - Sore Muscles, Full Hearts

Do you ever come off of a good weekend on a serious high and someone asks you why your weekend was so good and you can't really articulate it? Nothing was extra-ordinary about this weekend but it was exactly what I wanted/needed it to be. And here I find myself in a brand new week with sore muscles and a full heart - just the way I like it.


A few months ago we were lucky enough to have gotten some serious (for SoCal) rain in San Diego. And that led to a blooming of wildflowers like nothing I've ever seen here. Places like Tecolote and Mission Trails transformed into bright yellow fields. Trail running was magnificent. And now we're back in more of a normal climate and those wildflowers have died off... but it's left something unique in its place. These chest height reminders sparked a conversation about the life cycle of plants - and how special it is that these plants (that are no longer serving a visual purpose of beauty) will soon fall and decompose to provide nutrients to the plants that will grow in their place. Nature, man. It's special.


The weekend started on Friday afternoon with a dinner par-tay of sorts with some of my favorite humans. Our friends, Lou and Amanda and Napoli, hosted Puerto Rican night at their house. It was part to just spend time together and part to christen their brand new (and beautiful) picnic table (that was built by my brother in law!). It started with homemade sourdough bread (thanks to the bread queen, Allie) and chorizo and tostones (fried plantains) and then moved to pork shoulder and a rice dish and finished with pineapple rum upside down cake. All deliciousness was washed down with a rum and passionfruit cocktail. To say the house smelled good would be a very serious understatement. And the vibes were perfect for kicking off a weekend!


This is one of those weeks where I couldn't be happier that smell and taste are under two categories - because I kind of get to double dip. Here's a dirty little secret about me - I LOVE Souplantation. And I love it even more because my trail running friends love it too. From giant salads to chili and cornbread to the gluten free coconut muffins, I'm in heaven. It's extraordinarily mediocre, and there's something special about that. Our NPSUMMIT house reunion on Sunday consisted of Tecolote trail runs for breakfast and Souplantation for lunch and it was bomb diggity. 


If you've ever taken a yoga class with me, you know I love me some Sylvan Esso. A while ago I was introduced to a new song of theirs, but kind of forgot that with new songs eventually (usually) comes new albums. So I was pretty pumped to come across their 2017 album last night. Give it a listen.


Less. Do less. Plan less. Go with the flow more. While I did have some specific things planned for the weekend (workouts, classes, etc.) I largely left this weekend unplanned. And that was part of what made it so perfect. It left time for wandering, exploring, hitting snooze, chatting a little longer with friends, cracking more jokes, eating extra food, and just generally choosing activities based on what I wanted to do, not what I had to do. So when you can, do less and experience more.