First Run of 2014

Over the holidays, Ray’s brother was talking about running his first half marathon and asked if Ray and I would be interested in running it with him. Ray and I ran the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in 2011, but since then we have only done a few 5ks and 10ks and our running has been pretty sporadic. With all of the running talk over the holidays and the wonderful weather we have been having in San Diego, I thought it was time to grab my running shoes and go for my first run of 2014.

running shoes

I have not been running since I completed the Father Joe’s 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving (which by the way was a ton of fun), so I thought it would be best to ease myself back into running and not push myself too hard.  I decided to run from Windansea Beach to La Jolla Cove, which is about 3.5 miles.

windansea run LA Jolla Cove

I love running this route because you spend the majority of the time along the ocean, which provides you with amazing views and great people watching. I always find that the views and people watching are excellent distractions and really helps the miles fly by. The route is mostly flat, but does have a few hills!

windansea la jolla cove run 1

While I was running to La Jolla Cove the other day I couldn’t help but think about the first time I ran the route.  It was the first run I did in San Diego after Ray and I moved from Boston and oh boy did it kick my ass.  Ray discovered the route and one weekend he dragged me along with him. I struggled through the whole run especially on the hills and had to walk multiple times. By the time I finished the run, I was red, hot, dripping with sweat, and almost completely out of breath. I swore I would never run that route again! After I recovered from the run, I was mad that I had let the route get the best of me and made it a goal to run the whole thing. I couldn’t let the hills get the best of me! It took some time, but eventually I worked up the strength and stamina to complete the run without stopping.

It is funny that three years later that route is my all-time favorite run and I am able to complete it easily. I actually look forward to the hills now! After my run, I was a little hungry so I threw together a post run smoothie to hold me over until dinner.

In the mix was:

– 1 serving of chocolate protein powder

– Half a banana

– 3/4 tablespoon of peanut butter

– Approximately 1 cup of almond milk

– Ice


I will admit it isn’t the prettiest looking smoothie, but is was super tasty and hit the spot!

Did you know that if you workout at a moderate to high intensity level a post workout snack can help you replenish your muscle’s glycogen (sugar or energy) storage and repair muscle tissue? According to Ace Fitness, your post workout snack should be consumed within 30 minutes of your workout and include easily digestible carbohydrates and protein. The American Dietetic Association recommends that your post workout snack include 1-1.5 grams carbohydrates and 10-20 grams of lean protein per kilogram of your body weight. I didn’t strictly follow these guidelines when I made my post workout smoothie, but my smoothie did have a good mix of carbohydrates and protein and wasn’t too high in calories.

Even though the Windansea Beach to La Jolla Cove run isn’t as challenging as it once was for me it still gave my knees quite a workout because they were sore afterwards.  If I am going to run a half marathon this year I need to keep my knees in good shape, so I iced them for 30 minutes.

knees with ice

At first Cooper kept trying to still the ice pack from me, but he lost interest quickly and passed out next to me.

cooper asleep on bed

While I was icing my knees I picked up an old version of Health magazine and noticed an interesting article on Walking vs. Running that I must have missed on my first read through. I was surprised to know that with some extra time you can achieve the same calorie burn from walking as you do from running.

walk vs run

Later today I am going to my first Pilates Reformer class. I will let you know how it is.

Enjoy the rest of your Friday!


The Benefits of Walking

With the holidays around the corner trying to balance work, getting ready for Christmas, and taking care of Cooper (since Ray is traveling so much) has left me very little time to workout. In order to still fit some exercise into my schedule I have been taking Cooper on lots of walks. Walking might not seem like tough exercise, but you would be surprised at what a difference those extra steps can make.

According to the American Heart Association, besides burning calories and being easier on your joints than running, walking has a lot of other benefits.

  • Helps maintain your body weight and lower your risk of obesity
  • Improves mental well-being
  • Helps strengthen your bones and reduces your risk of losing bone density
  • Improves your blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Reduces your risk of breast and colon cancer and type 2 diabetes

Cooper and I have a few different walking routes that vary in length, but all of them range from a mile to a mile and a half long and include Windansea beach. Recently, I have been taking Cooper on two to three walks a day. In the morning, Cooper pretty much starts barking at his leash the moment I get out of bed and lately has been practically pulling me down the street.

cooper leash

I guess he is just as I excited as I am to get down to the beach. I love walking along the beach because I can watch the surfers and the waves whereas Cooper only cares about watching the squirrels. Here are some pictures from our recent walks at Windansea beach.

winansea 3

cooper walk 3

windansea 2

Those black dots in the water are surfers. I am always amazed at how many surfers there are in the morning. It must be so cold in the water!

windansea 1

windansea sunset 3

windansea sunset 1

Sometimes while we are on our walks Cooper will just plop down and refuse to move. He can be such a goofball!

cooper walk grass

cooper walk grass 2

cooper walk wallAs you can probably tell I love walking at Windansea beach and look forward to my walks with Cooper there every day. Some of my other favorite places to go for a walk in San Diego are

  • Balboa Park
  • Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
  • La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Seal Beach area
  • Walking/ bike path from Pacific Beach to Mission Beach

If you want to increase your calorie burn or kick your walking up a notch, check out these walking workout routines from

If you try any of the workouts from, let me know how you like them.

A Walk with Cooper

I hate being sick and this past weekend I came down with a nasty cold. I don’t even remember the last time I was sick, but whatever I caught has had me down for the count for the last few days.  Ray and I traveled two weekends in a row, which I think might be part of the reason I got sick. The first weekend we went to Northern California and then we traveled to Boston to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary.

Ray had a work conference that started on Sunday 9/29/2013 in Boston, which also happened to be the date of our one year wedding anniversary.  Ray and I used to live in Boston so we thought it would be fun to go a few days before Ray’s conference to celebrate our first year of marriage. We had a wonderful time in Boston and we lucked out with the weather. We had the perfect fall weather – it was warm and sunny, but the air was crisp.

We spent a lot of time walking around Boston and Cambridge, visiting  our favorite spots and restaurants and seeing friends and family. Some of the leaves had even started to change colors, which was awesome to see. When we lived in Boston I loved watching the leaves turn from green to the vibrant fall colors – red, orange and yellow. It always mad me sad when a storm moved in and caused all of the leaves to fall off the trees. Even though we couldn’t spend all of actual anniversary together, I was glad that we were able to get away from our normal routine and spend a few days in Boston together.

Ray got home from Boston last Wednesday, on Thursday he woke up with a cold, and on Saturday I woke up not feeling so great.  I did my best to fight getting sick – I took it easy, got plenty of sleep, and even got a Jamba Juice full of vitamins. IMG_1346 However, my efforts failed because on Sunday I woke up with a full blown cold. I had already been feeling pretty lazy since I got home from Boston and this cold has not helped metters. I have pretty much been lounging on the couch watching shows I taped on my DVR. IMG_1357

After almost 5 days of laziness, I got home from work today and decided I need to shake myself out of it. Ray and I live near Windansea Beach in La Jolla, California and I love walking Cooper by the water.IMG_1363

The beach wasn’t crowded today, so we were able to walk along the water on the sand for a little bit.


After hanging on the beach for a little bit, Cooper and I continued on our walk.  We stopped occasionally to watch the surfers. Well, I watched the surfers


and Cooper watched the squirrels.IMG_1365

I swear the only thing Cooper likes more than hunting for squirrels is his bones. On a side note,  Cooper loves to bury his bones in the backyard, let them sit for a few weeks, dig them up, and chew on them.


IMG_1269We walked at a leisurely pace for about 45 minutes.


IMG_1368Even though I was pretty tired after my walk it felt good to get my body moving again and get some fresh air.  Hopefully with another good night sleep and some medicine, I will be better by tomorrow. I need to get better  before this weekend because Ray and I are going to Phoenix for his sister’s wedding!