san diego

What I'm Into Wednesday

Prior to beginning this post, I had a running list of what was going to be included this week and a general idea of what I was going to talk about. And while much of that running list has stayed the same, I want to start in a different fashion than I had originally planned.

I'm just going to open this post with a plea. To be smart (and to practice what you preach). Listen to your body. It knows what it wants. And sometimes it doesn't want to run a 50k. So why run it? 50k or not, you have nothing to prove to anyone besides yourself. And as my friend Mike so eloquently put it the other day, we all do this "fitness" thing to feel good - mentally, physically, about ourselves. If it stops feeling good, why are we still doing it that way?

So, 50k out - trail marathon in. And I'm feeling better already.

Onward.

SEE

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A couple of years ago I was introduced to a local San Diego sunglasses brand, Knockaround. We all know how it goes: buy super cheap and ugly sunglasses and they'll last you years but splurge on a fancy pair and you'll break or lose them within weeks. Knockaround solves that conundrum. Make super cool, unique sunglasses at a price that is easy on your wallet and that won't make you sad for days if something happens to them. Their stuff is the shit. Great colors, a few classic shapes, and fun designs. AND they're into community - they'll be throwing shades my direction for my 2018 retreat attendees!

SMELL

Again and again, the smell of coffee is one of my favorite things. Even coffee that is spilled allllll over the table, chairs, and floor in my living room. And it wasn't just any coffee. It was Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee. What? Yup. Tim Ferriss is my guy and a few months ago I finally got around to trying this superfood coffee that sponsors his podcast. They have two coffee variations - chaga and cordyceps and lion's mane and chaga. Cordyceps and chaga is their "stay awake" varietal while the lion's mane and chaga is their "think" varietal. They each only have 40mg of caffeine (way less than coffee) but keep me awake and focused without any caffeine headache or energy drop. A serving is less than $2 - well worth trying out, at least. I'm sold.

TASTE

Let's just stick with coffee. I'm on a neverending search for the best almond milk vanilla latte in San Diego (and the world). After a fantastic Sunday morning (more on that below) a group of us went to Copa Vida in East Village for coffee and brunch. My first time there and this fancy ass coffee spot did not disappoint, despite somehow completely losing/forgetting our order. When the AMVL finally did show up, it was one of the best yet. It's moved to top three in San Diego for me!

HEAR

My wonderful friend Amanda makes quite a few appearances in this blog and today is no different. She's (perhaps) the biggest Vulfpeck fan on the planet. Don't know who Vulfpeck is? You should listen to their Spotify immediately. And then specifically listen to their new release, Baby I Don't Know Oh Oh. They're magic. 

DO

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Bodies. In. Motion. The end. It really was the most fun. Here's the simple concept that Angelo and I have developed for BIM: bring people together, out of their comfort zones, to get their minds active and their bodies moving, in creative and unique ways, in new places in their cities, with people they don't know. It's a simple idea of comm-UNITY. And Sunday's re-kickoff to more regular events couldn't have been more perfect. 60+ people ran, rode bikes, or rolled on blades along the waterfront to a top secret location to practice yoga. They ended up under one of my favorite public art pieces in San Diego, Roman DeSalvo's Riparium in Ruocco Park. The morning couldn't have been a better launch to all of the amazing events to come. Follow on Instagram to make sure you don't miss out!

What I'm Into Wednesday - Bonuses

I consider myself to be lucky. I grew up in a well off family, in a good neighborhood. I had a good education and upstanding friends. This has all led to me being able to sit at 32 years old, at the kitchen table in my perfect cottage in one of the most expensive cities in the country, with my puppy underfoot, "working" - aka writing a blog. I find it important to remind myself that I am fortunate. That this isn't the normal reality for everyone. That it's a privilege, not a right, to be able to cavalierly share these random things I'm into with you all - for both me and you.

So in addition to the normal blog, this is also a reminder. A reminder that there are many whom are less fortunate than us. Maybe all the time, or maybe because of circumstances out of their control. We can, and should, help. How? There are so many ways. But this week I have just one suggestion: join us tomorrow. Thursday morning, 6AM, Law Street beach in North PB. Yes, it's a "free" run, but the suggestion is a $20 donation to the American Red Cross and/or that you volunteer or donate in some other way that speaks to you. We don't have to do grandiose things to give to others. We just have to do something. The fact that we can is a bonus for us, but it can literally change someone else's life. 

On to the silly stuff...

DO

Quarterly South Park, the neighborhood in which my little cottage sits, holds a fun event called Walkabout. Walkabout is designed to showcase the neighborhood, it's shops, restaurants, and bars. Places stay open later, offer drinks and discounts, hold art shows, and serve as venues for local bands. People come in droves, complete with kids and dogs, to wander up and down the tree lined streets. To me, it feels nostalgic of a previous time in America. Where neighbors knew each other, people smiled on the sidewalks, and you supported your local businesses instead of big chains. It's a lovely event and those 4 days are some of my favorites of the whole year. Personal fav spots? Graffiti Beach, Kindred, and Cafe Madeleine

SEE

Many of you know that I'm currently 5.5 weeks out from the North Face Endurance Challenge Series California 50k in San Francisco. This is an amazing trail race and I'm so stoked to be running it again. For the past few months (since my road marathon in May, really) I've been all about that dirt. Generally speaking, my body does better on trails. Sometimes life gets in the way of the best laid plans. For the next 3 weekends I have Saturday and Sunday commitments that will keep me from being able to do any more long, long runs. The next week is a taper week. After that I'm running Ragnar Los Coyotes (as an ultra team... 30+ miles each). And the next weekend is the race. Soooo...what's a girl to do? Well, this weekend became about getting in one last long, uncomfortable, and difficult run. I took it to the road. Which sounds weird in prepping for a trail race, but hear me out. I'm comfortable with my climbing abilities. What has been my biggest struggle this training cycle is long, flat runs. They just beat me up. So that's what I went for. It. Was. Brutal. Which I needed. Luckily, many of my miles found me ocean-side through Bird Rock and La Jolla. I've learned to mentally accept tough runs like Saturday. And in turn, that let me enjoy the views (and their toughness). Onward.

SMELL

I happened to catch a video clip on my Facebook feed of two girls talking about sage-ing and palo santo-ing their apartment. If you don't know, both of these practices are thought to cleanse the energy of the room or space that you clear with them. With both, you light them on fire (either a bunch of sage or a palo santo wood stick) and then use the smoke the fire creates to cleanse a room. We use palo santo frequently to clear out yoga studios between classes and I love the smell. I remembered that I had been given palo santo as a gift and hadn't used it. So I set to cleansing my whole apartment. I loved it. It smells great and the act of setting positive intention into a space was very meditative. Who didn't love it so much? The dog. He just kept looking at me like I was a weirdo. I might be, but I'm okay with that. 

HEAR

Podcasts galore this week! I knew my long run was gonna be rough from the beginning, so I had prepped a few podcasts. Yes, I listen to podcasts instead of music when I run long and solo. Why? I feel like I'm having a conversation (or getting to listen to people having a conversation) without having to actually talk. And I get to learn something. This week I listened to a This American Life episode titled DIY.  It's from 2005, but it chronicles the story of a young man who was imprisoned in 1980 for murder. He spent 21 years in prison for this crime. But, here's the kicker, he was innocent. How did this happen? And who finally helped him get out? It was a fascinating story, with intriguing people, and painted a layered portrait of American in the 80s. Definitely worth a listen.

TASTE

 I. Love. Grocery Outlet. Did you know a new one opened on 54th? Near west College/east City Heights. It's a good one! I frequent the "NOSH" aisles, which are where the Whole Foods overstocks (and other organic, GF, vegan, etc. items) can be found. Lately I've been stocking up on boxes of Mary's Gone Crackers. These babies retail for between $4-6 in the store but GO has been stocking them for $1.99. When a deal is that good, you have to stock up (since you never know how long things will last). Yesterday I also grabbed a box of Mary's Gone Crackers Ginger Snaps. Holy yum. Without being too unhealthy for you either! It's always an adventure at GO...and something good always ends up coming home!

What I'm Into Wednesday - The "Fall" Edition

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EDIT: This post was written prior to the events that happened in Las Vegas on Sunday evening, October 1st. It feels weird to post just another normal Wednesday blog but being able to live our normal lives without fear is one of the things that makes being an American special. So before we get to that normal Wednesday post, let me just say this: do something. Stop reading this blog, open another tab in your computer or on your phone. Schedule an appointment to donate blood, search for a non-profit that you'd like to donate to, send a quick email or phone call to your local representative and lobby for mental health or gun control or DACA or women's rights, go to the store and buy supplies for a hard hit area like Puerto Rico. Just take a moment, quit with all the thoughts and prayers baloney, and go do something. This blog (and everything that you do on the computer or your phone) will be right there waiting for you when you return. Because you're lucky. I'm lucky. We're all so very privileged. We can read and write these silly little blogs and go about our normal days. Not everyone can right now. So let's do something, collectively. 

End plea.

Onward

"Fall"

DO

One of my all time favorite meals is soup and grilled cheese. It's warm, comforting, and delicious. But nobody wants to eat soup in the summer heat. So we finally have had a chilly (I use that term lightly) evening or two and I took full advantage. My choice? Baron's Market. Not only do they have absurd brownies (with samples out, always) but they have a whole soup bar! I went with vegetarian chili - corn, beans, slightly spicy. Just perfect! These days I'm off the dairy so I replaced the grilled cheese with avocado toast. I don't care how "basic" that is. It will always be yummy. Do you have a favorite soup and sandwich combo?

HEAR

Time to spread the podcast love around. I just finished up How I Built This with Starbucks founder, Howard Schultz. We're all familiar with the current iteration of Starbucks but it was fascinating to learn the beginnings. I had no idea that it originated as just a store to buy coffee beans or how innovative they were with things like employee healthcare. While many of us (myself included) tend to poo poo Starbucks these days in favor of local, small roaster coffee joints - it was a fantastic reminder that none of the coffee scene as we know it today would exist without Starbucks. 

SMELL

While we may have a few hours during a few days that feel reminiscent of fall, it certainly doesn't smell like fall in San Diego. Saje to the rescue! Their diffuser blend called Mountain High fixes all of that! Mountain High has pine, balsam, and spearmint to make your home feel woodsy, fresh, and invigorating. 

SEE

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Another weekend, another long run. In the prep for the North Face Endurance Challenge San Francisco 50k in November we've been putting in some serious weekend miles. This weekend we took to Mission Trails for another shot at the 5 peaks and we were met with an unexpected friend: clouds and fog! It was perfect running weather for about half of the run and made for some incredibly stunning views. Yay for cooler temps!

TASTE

Trader Joes has done it again. They absolutely nail the fall and winter themed specialty food products. I'm not a pumpkin spice fan, so I usually fare well and come out unscathed during October. They tend to get me with the gingerbread and peppermint flavored items in November and December. But I did discover a new favorite item out now: Apple Cider Jam. Chunks of apples in a cinnamon-y jam. Reminds me of apple pie filling (not quite as sweet) and is absolutely delish with peanut butter on some toast! Get yourself some. 

What I'm Into Wednesday - Eclipse Week

As I write this it's Monday the 21st of August. In fact, we're just an hour or so shy of the solar eclipse. But guess what? I'm totally unprepared and don't have eclipse glasses. So I'll be shielding my fragile retinas while all you smart people stare at the sun.

Despite the solar eclipse being the center of most attention for the past week or so, this week's edition of the blog has nothing to do with sun!

Enjoy! 

LP

SEE

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I've been on a reading kick (yay!). I love reading, but fall off the train occasionally and it takes me far too long to pick up a book and start again. Last week I finished The Lost City of the Monkey God (a nonfiction book about an archaeological hunt in Honduras) and started a new novel, The House of the Spirits. It's long, and haunting, and quite frankly tough to read. But I'm enjoying it. I found that I needed something non fiction to intersperse with this novel, something to distract my mind so I picked up The 4 Hour Chef. I haven't read Tim Ferriss in quite some time and never read this book. I'm fascinated - in part because I know nothing about cooking and in part because the examples, stories, short cuts, etc are exactly what I love about his body of work. 

 

HEAR

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Podcast time!  I've talked about How I Built This from NPR on this blog before, but I want to highlight a specific episode this week. I've been feeling a little stressed/lost/unsure of my path for the past few days (nothing in specific, more of a general unease and uncertainty) and I came across the episode with Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. And while I've never worn Spanx, I'm so blown away by her as a female entrepreneur. This is from a different episode, but did you know that only 2% of female entrepreneurs and their businesses ever make over $1 million?? My mind is blown. This was great motivation to keep working, pushing, and edging towards some big goals.

 

SMELL

Sometimes you just crave familiarity. In surroundings, in people, and (for me at least) in food. This weekend I had the weirdest craving for cinnamon toast. My mom used to keep one of those pizza place shakers (that are usually full of parmesan cheese) full of cinnamon and sugar and one of my favorite snacks was toast with butter and cinnamon and sugar. Of course, back then it was white bread, margarine, and white sugar... but I can modify a little today. I used Alvarado Street Bakery bread (yay 6g of protein per slice), coconut oil, coconut sugar, and cinnamon. It was delish. And nothing beats the smell of toast and cinnamon together. 

 

TASTE

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I took Arlo on a half day trip up to North County this weekend. He loves car rides, sticking his head out the window, and going to new places - so this was a perfect outing on a hot Saturday afternoon. Our last stop of the day was at a bakery/cafe called 2Good2B in Encinitas. I simply googled "gluten free bakery" in San Diego county and this was at the top of every list. Holy crap, I can see why. Not only did the bakery case look amazing, but all of the food at the cafe was drool inducing. And EVERYTHING they make is GF, free of corn, and free of soy. I was meeting my friends Amanda and Antonette later in the evening so I picked up a few cupcakes for us to enjoy: coconut passionfruit and GF/dairy free carrot cake. I'm a carrot cake fiend, so that won for me. But I'll definitely be visiting them again!

 

DO

In Vancouver last week, we partook in The Crate Escape. Here's the gist: mobile storytelling event. Run (or walk) around your city to different landmarks with a milk crate. Someone (who volunteered to tell their story around a specific theme) gets picked, stands on top of the milk crate, and tells a story for 5-8 minutes. Then you move on to the next place and start again. It was so fun! A great adventure to see a (new for us) city and to hear stories you didn't know people had. It made me realize how much I love story telling (and truly how bad I am at it). We've become this short attention span, want info now and quick, culture and the art of verbal storytelling is being lost. There are storytelling events in every city. Get out and find one! 

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. 

Taste

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.

Smell

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. 

See

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.

Do

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.

Hear

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.