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Find your flock

School made it easy to find friends as a kid. You were best friends with your neighbor down the street. You rode bikes together, climbed trees together. Heck, in 6th grade you even let her dye one of your eyebrows a different color to see if your parents would notice because they were super strict.  But as you get older and become an adult, it seems harder and harder to make those lasting connections. When I went to college, I was lucky enough to be paired with a stranger that remains one of my best friends. But aside from her, it was difficult finding “real” people.

I went to school full time and was putting myself through college, which meant working 20-25 hours a week during my 1st and 2nd years with dining services on campus as a staff lead and 25-45 hours a week my final years (plus my PT internship senior year) in the study abroad office and as a nanny. I had early morning classes so that I could put in 15 hours a week at the office and anywhere from 10-30 hours a week as a nanny. I’d work overnight nanny shifts (their parents were nurses), get the kids up and off to school, drive to school myself, take a few classes and be back to pick them up in the afternoon, feed them dinner and give them their baths. Who had time to eat or sleep, much less make friends!? I’m an introvert, hopelessly awkward and oblivious, shy, I have confidence issues and I don’t trust easily (I swear I’m a fun girl!). Making friends as an adult is hard ya’ll! 

Then I joined Team in Training in San Diego and it was like instant family. Representing 3 different decades, the Three Muskateers were inseparable! Heck, they even jumped out of a plane with me on my birthday! 

Then in November 2012 I moved back to the Bay Area and struggled big time. I wasn’t the same 18 year old girl I was when I had left in August 2003. I didn’t want drama and avoided it at all costs. I started working full time and commuting 5 hours a day. I barely had time to get myself through each and every day, so when the heck was I supposed to have a social life!? I struggled to get back to running. I didn’t have the same support I did in San Diego and hated always running alone, feeling there really wasn’t a reason or purpose to it anymore. Then in early 2014 I heard about Oiselle and their tiny team that they called The Flock. A small group of girls who loved an up and coming womens running apparel brand. I followed their activity on social media, but missed the application period for 2014 by 2 days (I was so bummed!), so I waited patiently for them to open up in 2015.

I’ve been part of the group for just over a year now and it’s completely changed the last 13 months of my life. I may still be exhausted from commuting endless hours a day, but finally feel like I belong again. 

Find your flock and stick with them through your darkest hour and your happiest of days. Cheers to you ladies! Thanks for filling that missing piece in my little heart!

Trick or Treating with the Hulk

Over a month late on Halloween… Don’t worry, I still have plenty of drafts from the past few months to make myself feel better about this one!  Little dude went Trick or Treating until he was tired of carrying his candy pale, and then we headed to their church for some fun and games (he was more interested in throwing a ball at, well, anything, than the rest of the games and the candy)

So bummed this one came out blurry. Little dude was trying to show his muscles and my hair looked halfway decent!

I don’t know why I was trying to show him what to do – do you see that chicken arm I’m “flexing?!” … also, my left leg is NOT that skinny. So weird to see it look like that.

Hulk SMASH!

National Running Day

Yesterday was National Running Day and I was actually going to be staying in the city, so that meant I could actually participate in an event this year! Last week I saw that Rock n Roll San Francisco was going to be partnering up with A Runner’s Mind in SF to host a little event at their store. Yes please!

After work I headed up the hill, put out what I was going to wear for the run (note: I overdressed as usual. The weather in SF can be super tricky and change in a heartbeat. Plus I run pretty warm), downed a bottle of Tropical Nuun, took a 15 minute power nap (much needed) and then headed down to my Lyft that was going to take me to ARM.

I met up with Laura and Steve for an awesome event! The turnout was great, Mamma Chia was there with squeeze pack samples (if you’re counting, I ate 4 while there… and then took one for the road, which I ate when I got home. They are delicious!) and Saucony was demoing some of their shoe models. We decided to give them a try on the trails.

Laura and I brought up the rear of the pack since we thought she might be injured/my calves were PAINFULLY tight/everyone else was just speedy, and enjoyed the trails and beautiful views that SF has to offer.

It was an out and back, with your turnaround being at the bottom of a set of stairs (so mean).

But then this was your view from the bottoms, so can we really be mad?:

And from the left side:

The views from SF running routes NEVER get old.

They hid 2 shoes along the running route, each giving the finder an entry to either Rock n Roll SF 1/2 next March or one of Marathon Matt’s trail 1/2 marathons this August. We didn’t find either shoe but weren’t super bummed since both of us are already registered for RnRSF next year and I can’t do another race this year (I just signed up for RnR San Jose 1/2 earlier that day).  Most of the run was on the Bay Area Ridge Trail, aka just beautiful scenery. You’re in the middle of nature. Your nose is assaulted with awesome smells (nature smells, not typical city urine smells), you become aware of your surroundings because of potential coyotes. You forget you’re in San Francisco.

When see beauty like this, you just have to stop for a couple pictures because things like this make you forget about the craziness of life for a brief moment and just make you feel incredibly grateful that you’re out on a run.

After the run you got to sample some SOS Hydration (I had my own Nuun though), Mamma Chia squeeze packs, Hint water and Michelob Ultra. I passed on all except the Mamma Chia.

We made it!

They also had a board that if you wrote down why you run, you could then put your name into the raffle. ARM is going to display the board year-round in their store.

Raffle time and I won! $30 gift card to ARM that had to be spent that night, so I got to shopping right away and walked away with a nice Nike tank top for only $14.

Laura and I went to dinner afterwards in Laurel Village (delicious) and then headed home since we both had to work tomorrow.  When you run, that’s automatic permission to have pizza and truffle fries and wine… right? Speaking of, tomorrow is National Donut Day. I’m all over it.
  

 Did you celebrate National Running Day? What was your favorite part?

Sentence per picture

When you don’t have the time to blog in length consistently anymore (insert sad face), quick sentence per picture posts can be fun!  I’m going to try to do these maybe once every two weeks (you know, if I do anything remotely interesting…) I think these pictures are from the past month-and-a-half because I’m that lame.

 

 

  I feel like Grumpy Cat just gets me on Monday mornings.  Working super early on a Saturday morning isn’t that bad when it involves this view, trail races and Nuun! #katbean friendiversary reunion in SF for Rock n Roll SF 1/2 marathon!  The view from the quad-killing Lyon Street steps  Baseball makes me happy!  Tess Henley‘s ladypipes are the best present you could ever give yourself, trust me.Watching the Boston Marathon (and the Americans leading at this point) always gets me super emotional, even through my computer screen.    Lola broke her hip, so hospital naps are needed when you’ve been going nonstop.  This is what happens when your co-workers challenge you to a photo contest on your walk to a bar after a baseball game.So this happened (don’t worry, it’s just the first half marathon).  #TeamDeflateGate was ready to take on Bay to Breakers!

Log Off Shut Down Go Run Virtual 10K Recap

Happy Wednesday! (did anyone else wake up this morning really pumped because they thought it was Thursday? womp womp womp). A few weeks ago I mentioned that GoneforaRun.com was hosting a virtual race at the end of April.

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Last Friday we were rocked (in a not good way) when we found out that our big global work trip for this summer was cancelled. The trip that a lot of people were scheduling their vacations around. The trip where I was going to get to finally see the family that I au paired for in college. The trip that I was tasked with all of the logistics, planning, organization, budgeting, etc for our entire (45-person) global team – accommodations, room rental, bus hire for transportation, catering, 3 more formal dinners at restaurants that I had researched, etc. To say I was bummed would be a severe understatement.

Because of this, Sunday was much needed! We had already planned a 5k for our students and we were psyched. The students were getting excited (and so many more signed up than last year) and we registered a 15 person staff team. We were all getting competitive as well, so we were all looking forward to it.

The staff before picture (before the race and before the rest of the staff showed up!)

Sunday morning came, I picked up a coworker and we drove over to Lake Merritt in Oakland and surprisingly found nearby parking really quickly. We walked to the Pergola to check in, use the bathroom and meet up with everyone. My allergies had started going haywire at 7am, so I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but knew that I had to split my 10k into 2 separate 5k’s because of the race and my allergies.

I started off too fast (not surprised) and was quickly dying haha. I haven’t run much this year because of work and commuting and realized that maybe you should practice and train for these things! It was only forecasted to be about 60 degrees which would have been perfect, but before it even started, all the clouds had left and the sun was out. It was easily 70 degrees when we started and the sun continued to beat down on us all morning.

And the after shot!

I was the #2 female until I had to stop and tie my shoe and was passed by about 10 people (bummer). Buttttt, the best part? Staff killed it. We took #1 male and #1 female (and our #1 male brought his wife and she took #3 female!). I was #4 staff which I’m ok with, but know I could have done better, had I been in better shape.

After the race we had a BBQ for them, and then I trekked it the hour drive home. After passing out for 45 minutes on the living room floor (yes, I’m that person after a hot, sunny run), I threw my laundry in, realized it was still windy and my allergies had taken over my life, so I had to do the second 5k in the garage on the treadmill with the door down. 

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Please don’t mind the mess – it’s a garage for a reason! And nursing a blister on the outside of my foot, I ran it barefoot! For some reason (maybe it’s not just me), running on the treadmill barefoot just sometimes feels way better than anything else.

 

 

Disclaimer: As a Gone For a Run ambassador, I was provided a complimentary race entry. No other compensation was received. All opinions are, as always, my own!

Hill life in San Francisco

I’ve mentioned it before, but I normally commute about 4ish hours PER DAY for work. It’s torture and I’m often exhausted by Friday morning. When one of my awesome coworkers mentioned she was housesitting for her aunt in the city and if I’d like to join, I didn’t even consider saying no.

It was so nice to have a 20 minute train ride and a 15-20 minute walk instead of a 10 minute drive + 10-40 minute wait in line outside for carpool + 60-75 minute drive into the city + 20-25 minute walk to work. #idie

Just a few awesome photos for my temporary abode last week!

Killer view of the city!

 

Dolores Park is the place to be in the neighborhood. Someone said on a really nice day, it’s like Coachella. I’ll take their word for it.

But now it’s back to regular commuter life and I’m already hating it again!  But then someone sent me this article/quiz about how “guessable” the rents are for certain apartments in the city and after taking it, cried a little, died a little inside and then thought my 4+ hour commute a day wasn’t all that bad after all.

Tristan Prettyman concert

I was going to write this super amazing post about that time I went to a concert by myself. The truth is,  I don’t mind doing that so much. I’ve gone to quite a few shows by myself, and sometimes those are the best effing shows on the planet because they’re smaller, more intimate, you know everyone there is ready to jam and you don’t have to worry about the person you dragged along with you and if they’re having a good time.

So here’s what you do: have a long day at work, ride Muni after work all the way to the Mission with all your stuff in tow, drop it off at your friends, attempt a 7 minute nap that fails horribly, hop back on Muni to head to the Fillmore, stuff your face with Subway when you get off Muni, arrive at the Fillmore early enough to wiggle your tiny self to the very front of the barricades and then wait as patiently as possibly to have your mind blown.

I’ve been listening to Tristan Prettyman since May 2005 when I was in college.  I was living in San Diego and randomly agreed to go with a coworker to a show at the Troubadour in LA to see a band I’d never heard of (John Butler Trio).  When we got there, there was a little paper sign that said the opening act was Tristan Prettyman. I was like “huh, never heard of him!”  Then SHE got on stage and her first song was a Britney Spears cover of “Toxic” and I”m pretty sure it was love at first listen. She was amazing and dare I say, more enjoyable that night than JBT (though they are also awesome).  Add to her performance that she’s from San Diego and it was perfect! She told us her first album was dropping later that summer and I knew I had to buy it. While waiting for it to come out, I purchased her first EP (Love) that came out in 2003 and listened to When it Rains on repeat.  When the new album finally came out around my 20th birthday in August (holla!) I purchased it and a little while later, received a bubble envelope in the mail with a handwritten note. Get this… her mom shipped all her cd’s and TP signed a little note for every cd sold. It was pretty amazing, as was Love Love Love (also on repeat).

Three years later I bought the Madly single and then she released her second album and I bought that one, too.  I caught her singing a little diddy at a cafe in northern San Diego County and it was one of the best live sets I’ve experienced.  I tweeted her asking for awesome taco shop and breakfast recommendations in North County and she actually replied.  I had to wait four more years for another album, so I just kept listening to the twentythree and Hello…x on repeat until Cedar + Gold came out.

Then she finally started touring again after recording a new album and getting married (2014 was a great year for her!), but I waited to buy Back to Home until I saw her in concert back in December. It was just as amazing as I knew it would be and more. Her cover of the night? An amazing TP rendition of Iggy Azalea’s Fancy. I’m almost positive it was 100x better than Iggy’s version.  After her set, more people came in to catch the headliner, Eric Hutchinson, and I took that opportunity to go to merch and grab Back to Home and then wait in line for a photo and siggy sig on my cd.

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And then I took what might possibly be the worst picture known to mankind. I told you, it was a long day at work.

FullSizeRenderI don’t live in San Diego anymore (I know, I’m crazy. 7+ years of my life down there in Paradise and I’m still not sure why I left!), but her music was a HUGE part of my college days. Days of confusion and growing up and living life and trying to figure things out and learning you really had no clue what life was all about. Lovetwentythree and Hello…x got me through those years. Love Love Love, Electric, Madly and California Girl (combined with many, many tacos) let me know everything was going to be ok. I moved from San Diego back to northern California when Cedar + Gold dropped. I wasn’t sure where I was going with my life after being out of college for a few years and still feeling no real direction. That album was all kinds of dark and contemplative – just what I needed during that time in my life.

In case you’re interested in lovely ladypipes that will give your ears a thrill and some song lyrics that will get down deep in that gritty place you didn’t know was still there, give her a listen. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

 

Macy’s Theatre of Lights – Old Sacramento

On Sunday my mom and I were supposed to drive up to Sacramento, pick up my niece, and then head to Old Sacramento watch the Macy’s Theatre of Lights.  Plans changed and my niece didn’t want to go anymore, so my mom and I decided to go anyways (adults need fun, too!)

It’s a free program that basically tells the poem of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, with Santa, Jack Frost (why is he always so naughty), him cancelling Christmas (instead wanting Frostmas) and the cheers of the people bringing Christmas back.  They shut down a section of Old Sac, so only pedestrians are allowed, and use the square as an interactive storyland.   The characters are dressed as pioneers, as they would have been in the 1850’s and they light up the entire square, which is pretty awesome.  Nearby, they are also running the Polar Express train ride, so quite a few families showed up in pj’s and robes!  It runs from around Thanksgiving to NYE and is fun for the whole family! The show itself lasts only about 20 minutes, but there is plenty to do in the area, restaurants, local, family-owned shops, etc.

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They lit the Christmas tree as soon as the sun started getting lazy.

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My mom and I were trying for a solid 10 minutes trying to figure out what that second word could have been… and also why someone would begin the House name with “what”

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It still looked light out, but it was already almost completely dark outside! Great job, night filter on my iPhone!

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Santa explaining that Jack is always on the naughty list (felt bad for a little boy near us named Jack – he was SO upset he was on the naughty list since “I’m a very good booooyyyy!”)

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During the story time, they lit up most of the buildings in this square – it was pretty neat watching the faces of people go back and forth between the two buildings. Jack Frost was on a balcony on one side of the street and Santa was on this balcony across the street.

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One final view of the completely lit up tree (it was also interactive in the story). When Jack Frost turned Christmas into Frostmas, all the colors disappeared and it looked like the tree was covered in white and blue ice. Don’t worry though, our cheers brought back the candy canes and sugar plums!

Have a wonderful Christmahanakwanzika!