Weekly Recap: SLO Marathon Training & Yoga

This whole work thing is taking its toll on my marathon training.

SLO Marathon Training, Week 7

While I’m happy overall with how my training is going, I still keep having to cut some of my weekday morning runs short because, well, money. If I have a client that wants to see me at 7:00 in the morning (or even 6:00, but that hasn’t happened yet), I really need to take them. Because in about three months they’ll be gone for the summer. It’s called making hay while the sun shines.

So, while I’m getting in the runs, they are shorter than I have on my schedule. In the coming week I’m going to work on getting out a little earlier, but I don’t like to go too early because I’m running by myself and, well, I’m scared of the dark. Here’s why…

This was a cutback week though, with my long run scheduled for 10 miles with five at marathon pace. That went well, though I did four at MP pace instead of five. I was running with my neighbor Christina, who is a new runner, but tough as nails. She did the whole run with me and kept me going during the faster parts. She even challenged me as we approached the end to pick it up to the corner. Bitch! I keep reminding myself she’s young enough to be my daughter. That helps.

run 3The picture above is from a couple weeks ago. Same crew though. Alan was with us but he had a steady pace 10 mile run on his schedule.

Here’s my post-run selfie. Mostly because I like taking pictures of our wind-kitties.

Run2

So I ran four times, 19 miles total. I’m still not happy with my total weekly mileage, but I’ll be working on that this week. I started off this week with a three mile run, and I managed eight 1/4 mile intervals, so I’m pretty happy with that.

The countdown to the SLO Marathon is on! Two months from today! Yikes, better get going. I have a 16 miles run on the schedule for the weekend, which is good, but I think the key is to get in my mid-week mileage.

By the way, the price will be going up on February 28, so if you’re planning to join me in San Luis Obispo on April 23 now is the time to register! You can save an extra $10 with my code WOODAMB. Do it!

slo

Take the Leap Challenge

At least my yoga is going well. I have managed to practice a little yoga every day since February 2. I haven’t made it to as many classes as I’d like, but I’ll do a few sun salutations to warm up, some hip opening and hamstring stretching poses to cool down, and take the time daily for a pose-of-the-day.

We working on a warrior series this week. Here are my first three days:

Week 3Warrior I

Humble WarriorHumble Warrior

Warrior 2

Warrior II

I’m so happy with this Take the Leap Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink. The support of the other participants is amazing, and I love working with prAna. Not only do they make amazing clothing, but they care about creating a lifestyle of sustainability, kindness, and focus. My goal, once the challenge is over, is to continue on with my practice, maybe not daily, but several times a week. Yoga is good for my soul.

Random Stuff: Movies & #Vegan Food

Alan and I went to see McFarland, USA on Saturday. In a nutshell, we loved it! As a cross country coach I appreciated everything about the story of how running (and a good coach) helped to change the lives of the children of migrant workers in Central California in 1987. It was based on a true story, so even though it seemed a little formulaic, I didn’t care. I believe in the power of running and high school sports to help develop successful and confident adults.

We headed to lunch at Whole Foods on Sunday. We had their vegan Artisanal Cheese platter again. It was so good! And we shared the Taro Burger. Sadly, they no longer have the Jackfruit Crab Cakes on the menu {sad face}, but we did enjoy our meal.

lunchI also cooked up a great Tofu Scramble this week. In fact I’m still enjoying the leftovers!

Tofu ScrambleHave you seen McFarland, USA? What did you think? How was your training week? Any events, races, or great meals? Share!

My Life on Instagram and Other Updates

I have been very prolific on Instagram this week. Between cross country, Whole Foods, dog running, and Huntington Beach (and a new job…yay!), I’ve been uploading a lot of photographs. I thought it would be fun to update my life from Instagram from this week. (Do you follow me?)

Let’s start off with the best. I was in Huntington Beach this week with the cross country team (more on that below). After our meet, we headed to the beach, where the waves were, as Alan would say, pretty gnarly. In fact, I was so nervous watching the kids with no lifeguard on duty that I didn’t take my eyes off the water and was relieved when most of them chose to go grab some food after about a half hour.

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Some pretty gnarly waves, as my husband would say. At Huntington Beach yesterday.

View on Instagram

Whole Foods

The week started off with a visit to Whole Foods. After attending the pre-opening party last week I had some coupons that were set to expire, so I went there to stock up on some vegan essentials. Note: You know you’re in line behind a blogger when she does this to her grocery items on the belt:
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There were a few things I didn’t buy while I was at Whole Foods, including vegan doughnuts, vegan sushi, and vegan chick’n salad (sense a theme here?).

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I don’t even know if these are vegan, but they reminded me of my friends Alexandra and Kymberly, the Boom Chicka Boomers.

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Truth be told, I’ve already been to Whole Foods three times, twice since the grand opening. The third time was just to pick up some lunch. Unbelievably, it didn’t make it to Instagram.

Whole Foods

New Job

The reason I stopped at Whole Foods for lunch was because I started a new job!! As I mentioned in my jobless update post, I will be working as a personal trainer at a country club in Palm Desert. Even though I won’t really start until November, I had orientation on Wednesday

, plus met with my first client! I’m really excited. I already know some of my co-workers (and my boss), the fitness center is beautiful, and I’ll get a chance to really work with clients again. To prepare for my first day I did this:

Instagram 2Because a mani and pedi is just what I needed to feel confident and ready to go. Also to prep for my new job (and to make sure I get paid for my cross country coaching) I renewed my CPR/AED certification. I’ve done it for so many years (I actually used to teach CPR for the Red Cross), but I love that things are always changing because of research into what works the best. My class was held at the Weil Institute of Critical Care, whose founder, Dr. Max Weil was instrumental in the research and development of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices.

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Team Eleven by Venus

As you know, I am an Ambassador for Eleven by Venus. Always known for her fashion flair on the courts, Venus Williams now makes her unique style available to all of us. EleVen by Venus goes beyond clothing and encompasses a healthy, fit, and confident lifestyle. This week our Ambassador pages went up! Here’s mine (check out all the other amazing Ambassadors):

Team Eleven

 Dogs and Sunglasses

You know I like to post pictures of my dogs on Instagram. I can’t help it, they’re just so cute! Even if they are just sleeping to recharge their batteries so that they Johnny can destroy another pair of sunglasses (this week alone, besides the sunglasses, two of Alan’s Giant’s hats, my only pair of “interview” shoes, my favorite running skirt (he ate the crotch out! So embarassing!)). This in spite of our trying to put things out of reach and behind closed doors when we leave. Good thing we love him.

Instagram 8Sunday is run day with all the dogs, but Lily and Olivia were the only ones that got their pictures taken.

Lily OliviaHow can you not love that face? He seems to be blind in his left eye, which makes him all the more endearing.

JohnnyFortunately, the $16 sunglasses are easy to replace at Target.

Sunglasses

 

This skirt!

 

RnR18Speaking of Running

Did you participate in Lorna Jane Active Nation Day? It has come and gone (can’t wait until next year!), but the one thing that was missing arrived this week. I just love the Lorna Jane bracelet, with the little active living heart.

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I was sent these Airia Running shoes to try out and review. They are specifically designed to make you run faster. The jury is still out (I’ve just had a couple runs in them and it’s been so hot, it’s hard to be fast no matter what shoes you’re wearing), but they look cool and the concept is very original.

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Just another day out on the beautiful trails near my home in La Quinta!

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Cross Country

This week our invitational meet was in Huntington Beach. My girls did great, finishing fourth in our division. It was very hot, about 90 degrees at race time, and a lot more humid than we’re used to in the desert. Still, they ran well even though we were missing our number five runner, who was sick. Here they do some positive visualization before their race.

Cross CountryThis was the boys junior varsity race.

Cross Country 2Seen at the park. I just don’t get it. As my cousin said on Facebook, people should know the difference between their dogs and their dolls.

Instagram 13Even though it was late when we finished, we let the kids have a little time at the beach. As I said above, the waves were pretty huge for So. Cal., but they still had a good time.

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HB 2We left just as the sun was setting, meaning we didn’t get home until after 9:00. A long day, but fun and satisfying.

HB

Food of Instagram

Of course I shared a few photos of my food of the week, starting off with dinner at Chipotle. I love their vegan Sofritas, but please, please, please Chipotle, can’t you separate your onion and green pepper veggie mixture? I love onions, hate green peppers. Fortunately, our server was really efficient at giving us mostly onions!

InstagramYum, shawarma!

Instagram 3After my shopping trip to Whole Foods I enjoyed trying out some of my bounty. Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausage, Earth Balance mac and cheese, and, topping my salad, Follow Your Heart blue cheese dressing. All vegan of course. And delicious!

Instagram 10And for desert…So Delicious Almond Milk Minis, mocha almond fudge. They were, well, so delicious.

Instagram 6How was your week? Any fun events, competitions, or new jobs? If you posted a favorite Instagram picture, go ahead and share it in the comments. And follow me!

Pre-Opening Party at Whole Foods

 

Partying at Whole Foods!

Alan and I were invited to a private pre-opening party at the new Whole Foods in Palm Desert on Monday. Today is the grand opening and I couldn’t be more excited! We’ve been waiting a long time for Whole Foods in the desert.

Whole FoodsWe obviously weren’t the only ones invited. There were a lot of people.

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I saw a few people that I knew, including one with whom I used to work who is now working full time at Whole Foods. There were some people who I didn’t see, but read later on Facebook that they were there. Yes, there were a lot of people.

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So the party was scheduled to start at 6:30, which is right about the time we arrived. I have to say I was a little surprised, not only to see a long line in front of the store, but to see a lot of people already inside. Hmm, were we the second party shift?

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The line moved quickly though and soon we were inside the new store. While it seemed smaller than I expected, it was everything that you’d expect Whole Foods to be. A great produce section chock full of organic fruits and vegetables, a wine section fully stocked with interesting labels, and best of all, such a huge variety of vegan items that I was almost panting in anticipation of future shopping trips.

Whole Foods 2Clockwise from the top left: First and foremost from Alan’s point of view is the vegan frozen treat section. Pints of coconut milk and rice milk ice cream (the almond milk version doesn’t show in the pic) and on the right bars, sandwiches and other goodies. While it is getting more common to see Daiya at most supermarkets, you can count on Whole Foods to have the full selection. Lots of faux meat choices on the bottom right and left, and finally the full line of Follow Your Heart vegan dressings (Vegan Blue Cheese! I’m in heaven!).

Whole Foods 12I was happy to find my favorite Sweet Earth seitan plus a few other brands as well. And that is Beyond Meat chicken strips tucked in there on the left.

As we wandered through the store we enjoyed little nibbles, including some potato samosas, fresh mango salad, vegan sushi, popcorn, and my favorite, cauliflower tabbouleh. There were more choices of course, I’m just including the vegan items.

Whole Foods 11Taking a look at the non-dairy milk options. But first, let’s take a selfie!

I finally worked my way over to the crowded restaurant/wine bar, where I picked up a glass of chardonnay. Alan and I slipped outside into the small patio, probably the only place that wasn’t packed with people.

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We chatted for a bit with two of my former co-workers, the mom of one of our former cross country students, and a few other people. There were many interesting people attending the party.

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After making the full circle of the store and wandering down a couple aisles we slipped out to go home. We each were gifted with a nice goodie bag, which included some snacks, coffee, tea, coupons, a pen, and the bag itself, a reusable grocery bag. Thanks Whole Foods!

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I am really excited that we finally have Whole Foods in the desert. I won’t shop there all the time. It is a little expensive, plus it’s in Palm Desert, about 20 minutes from my house (and I don’t drive by daily like I used to coming home from work). But, for specialty items, and some of their food bar items, I will be there. And, while I haven’t seen the menu, this Whole Foods will have a full service restaurant and bar, which will, I hope, have some plant based options.

Do you have a Whole Foods near you?

Away for the Weekend: The Vegan Food

You’d think after following a plant based diet for several years I wouldn’t panic when traveling to a town I’ve never been before. A small(ish) town, famous only, as far as I know, for being the home of Raging Waters, one of the oldest and largest water parks in Southern California. A town that Happy Cow, that favorite website of vegans everywhere, draws a blank on (a little artistic license here, there are a few choices in the surrounding area). After all, it’s not that hard to find vegan food.

Yet I still do. Not panic exactly, but worry, studying my options before we go, checking addresses and maps. Eating vegan in a non-vegan restaurant means I have to ask a million questions, quiz the servers, who in turn quiz the chefs. All this for one little overnighter in San Dimas. So you can imagine how happy I was to find a restaurant with a vegetarian menu, that was not only within walking distance of our hotel, it also served Mexican food, a win/win as far as I was concerned.

Casa del Rey assures customers on their menu that no lard is used in their food prep. They also assured me in person that their rice was made with water not chicken broth. So I was able to easily take the vegetarian menu and, simply by removing the cheese, make it vegan. I had the vegetarian tacos, which were pretty good. We took our food back to the room (after our Dog Rescuer experience). I also ordered a burrito, but it was so huge I saved it for the next day. It was good too, but I forgot to take a picture.

Vegan Food

On Saturday, we left San Dimas to visit our family in Orange County. Vegan eating in Huntington Beach is much easier. We picked a standby, The Bohdi Tree, which is completely vegan, even though you can’t tell by the menu.  All items on the menu are called after their real meat names, like chicken, pork, fish, or even lobster. Kind of a weird feeling but the food is good.

Of course, that made it easier to convince our grandsons, who came with us to dinner, that they were eating “real” food. Before you call us out for lying to them, it worked, so there. They had the Sloppy Joe Sliders.

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

Alan and I started with the Thai Coconut Soup, and I had a coconut water to drink. That is, coconut water out of a real coconut (it tastes so much better that way!).

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

I had the Jackfruit Salad (my new obsession..I need to find it and try cooking with it myself!), and Alan had the Lemon Chicken with Rice.

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

Vegan Food - Bohdi Tree Huntington Beach

They were both good. The salad was served on some crispy air puffed things (I have no idea what they were) that tasted too much like pork rinds for me to enjoy.

The next day, after my 10 mile run, I thought I’d earned a treat. There are several Native Foods in Orange County, so we decided that was where we’d have lunch. I also wanted to go to Whole Foods (our desert location won’t be finished for a year or so), because it would be my opportunity to pick up some Beyond Meat.

If you’re not vegan you may not know this, but Beyond Meat has been praised as the first meat substitute that has actually fooled meat eaters into thinking they were eating the real thing. I had heard about Beyond Meat, but didn’t realize that it was on the market until I read a review over at Vegan Miam. That sent me on a hunt for the product, which is basically only available at Whole Foods and a few other places, none of which are anywhere near my home.

Thus the desire to stop at Whole Foods on the way home. I felt very fortunate to find out that Native Foods in Tustin is right across the street from Whole Foods! So that’s where we went to lunch.

The Chicken Run Ranch Burger was on special, so that is what I ordered. Alan had his favorite, the Scorpion Burger. What can I say? Lunch at our favorite restaurant. Everything was delicious.

Vegan Food - Native Foods Tustin

Vegan Food - Native Foods Tustin

We sat out on the patio, which is much appreciated coming from the desert where we won’t be sitting outside for a few months. It was a bit of a dangerous experience, though. About 100 feet away a swarm of bees were, well, swarming above a restaurant across the way. Neither of us have allergies, so we didn’t panic, but there were a few people hiding inside the restaurant.

NF Bees 2

If you click on the picture you get a little better view of the swarm.

After lunch we made our stop at Whole Foods, where I picked up two packages of Beyond Meat. How did it taste? Well, you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow for that review along with a recipe for Peachy Quinoa Salad with Beyond Meat.

Vegan food - Whole Foods

Did you have any interesting “food” experiences last weekend? A new restaurant, an old favorite, a new recipe? I’d love to hear about it.