The Great Disappearing Act

I am sorry I have been absent for the last few months. I pulled quite the disappearing act, so I thought it would be a good idea to fill you in on what I have been doing with my life lately.

In April, I ran the La Jolla Half Marathon. I  ran the race at the end of April with Ray and my brother-in-law, Matt. I am happy to report that I achieved all of the goals I set for myself. I ran the entire race without stopping and finished it in 2 hours and 9 minutes (just under a 10 minute mile).

The three us before the race started.

La Jolla Half Marathon Start line 2014

I have been a beach bum.

sara beach day aug 2014

Did you happen to notice the huge chunk of my towel missing. I have Cooper to thank for that. He is still quite the chewer.

I traveled a ton. Cooper wasn’t too thrilled that we went on so many trips over the past few months. Now whenever he sees the suitcase he gets completely depressed.

Cooper sad packing 2014

Our travel has ranged from backpacking trips with friends, to hanging out in Cape Cod, to a road trip up the California coast.

In May, Ray and I went on backpacking trip to Havasupai Falls in Arizona along with 4 of our friends. Simply put, Havasupai Falls is magical. You hike 10 miles in the middle of the desert, through a canyon, past the Indian village of Suapi, and then out of nowhere there is lush greenery, waterfalls, and pools of crystal clear, blue water.  We spent three wonderful days exploring waterfalls, hiking, playing cards, and just overall enjoying the simpler joys backpacking has to offer.

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In June, Ray and I along with our friends, Brian and Laura, hiked to the top of Mt. Whitney. Mt. Whitney is the highest summit in the 48 states on the North America continent and has an elevation of 14, 505 ft. The hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney starts at Whitney Portal and from there it is an 11 mile climb to the summit with an elevation gain of 6, 100 ft. Round trip the hike is 22 miles long and took us two days to complete.

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The hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney was grueling and was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was worth every step to see the view from the top and being able to take a celebratory photo at the summit.

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In July, I turned 30! My birthday celebrations included beach days and fun dinners with friends and family in San Diego as well as a weekend away in Los Gaviotas.

Jen, Kristie, and I having a cocktail before dinner at George’s Ocean Terrance. Of course, I had to have a lemon drop martini!

Jen, Kristie and I San Diego 2014 2

The weekend before my birthday Ray and I headed to Los Gaviotas with a group of friends to celebrate my birthday, his birthday and our friend, Martyn’s birthday. Since all three of our birthdays are within a week of each other, we figured what better way to celebrate than a weekend in Mexico. Los Gaviotas is gated community in Baja that is just south of Rosarito.

Mexico 2014

The gated community includes a private beach, which has a beach volleyball court and a great surf break. I didn’t surf but I did play my share of beach volleyball.

Mexico 2014 2

Picture of the whole group at dinner in Puerto Nuevo.

Mexico 3

In August, we went to Cape Cod to visit my friend Farah and her family. When Ray and I lived in Boston it was our tradition to spend a weekend on the Cape with my friend Farah at her house in Eastham. Even though Ray and I live in San Diego now, we still make it back to Boston at least once a year for our annual Cape trip.  I have only missed one year since we moved, but that was because I was planning my wedding and was a bridesmaid in two other weddings. The Cape weekend is always full of great company, tasty food and wine, plenty of time lounging in the sun, and runs along the Cape Cod Bike Path. Even though Ray and I went last month, I am already looking forward to my trip next summer.

Farah and I in Chatham before dinner.

Sara and Farah Cape Cod 2014

In September, we took a road trip from San Diego to Berkeley. Our first stop was Santa Barbara. We explored the Santa Barbara Harbor and had the best fish sandwich and tacos from On the Alley.  The fish sandwich and tacos were so good that we made a special trip to Santa Barbara on the way back to San Diego just to eat there again! Of course, a meal full of fried fish wouldn’t be complete without ice cream.

Cooper and Sara Santa Barbara 2014

Ray and Cooper SB

Our second stop was San Jose to see my Dad and Mom. We celebrated Labor Day by going on a hike with my Mom and eating Chinese food and watching a movie with my Dad. The Chinese food was good, but the movie, Neighbors, wasn’t our cup of tea. I swear every time the three of us see a movie together it always ends up being horrible. Maybe we will have better movie luck over the holidays.

Mom, Cooper and I San Jose 2014

Our third stop was Samuel P Taylor for a two night camping trip. This was the first time Ray and I went camping with Cooper on our own. We (and by we I mean Ray) cooked great food, had s’mores for dessert every night, and went on a really fun hike.

Camping Samuel P Taylor 2014 4

Our last stop was Berkeley to see Ray’s parents who rented an apartment for the summer in order to avoid the Arizona heat.  One of the days the four of us ventured into San Francisco and we went to the Ferry building for lunch (I might have sneaked in a little shopping), we trekked to the top of Coit Tower, and we stopped by Pier 39 to see the seals.

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39.

SF 2014

Three of my good friends, Kirby, Kristie, and Jen, live in San Francisco and I was happy that Ray and I were able to squeeze in some time to see them. Jen and her boyfriend cooked us an amazing dinner of salad, steak, and pasta.  It is always so much fun catching up with them, especially over good food and wine. Even though I don’t see them all the time we are always able to pick up exactly where we left off.

When we haven’t been traveling our home has been a revolving door of family and friends visiting us in San Diego. Things have been busy, but I truly have enjoyed every minute of it. I only have one more trip planned – a girls night in Palm Springs this weekend. After that Cooper can rest assured that my suitcase will be safely stored in the closet (well at least for a little while) .

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting about my trips and adventures in more detail as well as my experience running the La Jolla Half Marathon. I promise not to disappear again.

You are not a dog

Some Mondays I dread more than others. It is always hard to get back into the work week after a fun weekend, but I was particularly not looking forward to today because I had been summoned for jury duty. Until today I have never had to report for jury duty, but from what I gathered by talking to those who had, it didn’t sound like a fun experience. I was at the Hall of Justice bright and early this morning armed with two books and my computer to help keep me busy and entertained while I waited to see if I would be selected for a jury.

While I was serving my jury duty, I spent some time searching for a quote to use for this weeks Monday Motivation and during my search I stumbled upon this quote:

Dont reward yourself with food quote

I started laughing as soon as I saw it because I do this all of the time.

Run 6 miles and enjoy a huge plate of french toast from Cody’s La Jolla (which, by the way is the best french toast I have ever had).

french toast

Go for a hike and enjoy a large ice coffee with vanilla powder from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

ice coffee

Complete a strength training workout and enjoy a bagel and cream cheese with bacon (this also happens to be my cure for hangovers).

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And I can go on and on. To be honest, sometimes when I have a reward in mind it helps motivate me to push through a challenging workout or is my incentive to do something active on the weekends instead of sitting on the couch. Although I think the quote is funny, it is something that I obviously don’t follow in my own life. I don’t think there is anything wrong with rewarding yourself with food as long as you are thoughtful about it. The key is to find a balance and strategy that works for you.

The first time I trained for a half marathon I used food as my rewards for completing runs a little too often, which I think was the culprit for why I gained a few pounds while I trained. This time around I am still using food as rewards during my training for the La Jolla Half Marathon, but only for completing  long runs and I am incorporating other types of rewards in as well.

Like getting a pedicure.

pedicure photo

Or treating myself to a Stitch Fix…check out my cute leggings from a recent fix.leggings

 

Sometimes my reward for working out hard or challenging myself is just knowing that I pushed myself and I made it through. Last Saturday Ray and I ran 9.5 miles and I completed it in one hour and thirty minutes, which is an awesome pace for me. We ran the middle part of the La Jolla Half Marathon course, which included the Torrey Pines Monster Hill (~1 mile at a constant 10% grade – and this is just one of the hills featured in the La Jolla Half Marathon).

This is a picture of the start of the Monster.

Torrey Pines Hill

When I finished I couldn’t help but think about how far we had actually run and how far I have come since we first started training. Just the idea of running up the Torrey Pines Monster Hill made me nervous and was enough of a reason for me not to do the race.  With a little time and work I have started to tame the Monster and I am feeling confident that I will be able to run the entire half marathon at my desired pace.

warm up quote

Previous Monday Motivation Quotes:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7