Mary’s Secret Garden Review plus an Instagram Weekend

Alan and I were in Ventura over the weekend. We got home kind of late on Sunday and I was in no mood to open up my computer. So I apologize that I don’t have a new recipe for Meatless Monday today. However, I’m still linking up with Tina and Deborah today because we visited one of the most popular vegan restaurants in Southern California on Saturday, so I’m sharing pictures and my review.

Mary’s Secret Garden

Marys Secret Garden Review. One of the most popular vegan restaurants in So. Cal, this little gem is tucked away in Ventura, a few blocks from Main St.

Mary’s Secret Garden is a tiny, funky little restaurant tucked away on Fir Street, a few blocks from downtown Ventura. With a beaded entry to the kitchen, messages printed on the ceiling, and a casual atmosphere, it almost feels like stepping back in time. The music, selections from the 60s, helped cement that impression.

Marys Secret Garden 6

Marys Secret Garden 3

We had called ahead to make a reservation, but it really wasn’t necessary. There were many open tables, though most of them filled up as the evening went on. Our server was quick and friendly, and introduced the specials briefly before she went to fill our drink orders. I had a glass of chardonnay, Alan tried the homemade ginger ale. I had to give it a taste, and I’ll say that it was different than any other ginger ale I’ve ever tasted. It actually tasted of ginger, something you rarely get notice in the canned version.

Alan and I decided to share an appetizer and an entree. Because of our almost four hour drive, lunch had been a little late, so we weren’t super hungry. For the appetizer we chose the Cheeze Trio ($15). It is served with three raw vegan nut cheeses: Macadamia Chive, Chipotle Cashew cheeze, and Curried Almond cheeze, along with cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and raw gluten free crackers.

Marys Secret Garden 2All three were excellent. The curried cashew cheeze was deliciously flavorful, with a bite of curry, smoothed out with other seasonings. The chipotle also had a little spicy bite, and the macadamia chive (my favorite) was creamy and was probably the one that tasted the most like real cheese. The crackers were good too, and they went quickly. Our order for a second serving of the raw crackers was $4.

For our entry we chose to share the Cilantro Chycken Sandwich ($14). It came with grilled veggie chycken, chipotle cashew cheeze, cilantro pistachio pesto, avocado, red onion, grilled jalapeno peppers, and tomatoes on a whole grain bun. We chose to add the Fakin Bakin ($2). It was served with a choice of soup or salad. I selected the Coconut Broccoli Lemongrass, which was the soup of the day.

Marys Secret Garden 4First, the soup. I love lemongrass soup, and this was no exception. It was very flavorful, with just the right amount of lemongrass. Alan, who does not care for broccoli, enjoyed the soup too, even though there were a few pieces of the vegetable in our bowl.

The sandwich was very good. The chycken had a good flavor and texture, and it was made even tastier with the chipotle cashew cheeze and pesto. It was served cut in half, so it was easy to share. It was quite large, so a half was just perfect for the two of us.

Of course, we had saved room for dessert (a bonus for sharing our entree). Mary’s has a Jumbo Cupcake du Jour ($8), and the offering that day was Chocolate Peanut Mousse. Our server suggested we try the vanilla coconut milk ice cream. I’m not sure of the price as an add on, but a serving of the ice cream alone is $8.

Marys Secret Garden 5I loved the presentation. And both the cupcake and ice cream lived up to it. The cupcake was moist and chocolatey, and the peanut mousse was delicious and oh, so rich. The coconut milk ice cream was light and creamy, and a great complement for the cupcake.

Mary’s, as always, came through with a great, healthy meal. Yes, it is a little pricy, but all of the food is natural, organic, much of it raw and gluten free, and made on the premises. The service was friendly and the atmosphere is comfortable. Whether or not you are a vegan, Mary’s Secret Garden is a great option in Ventura.

Mary’s Secret Garden Organic Vegan Bistro
100 S. Fir St.
Ventura, CA 93001
(805) 641-3663
Reservations not required but suggested

Meatless Monday

My Marvelous Weekend (the Instagram version)

Other than that, Alan and I had a marvelous weekend in Ventura. While the desert sizzled at around 107 on Sunday, we were a little chilly in the overcast, cloudy weather on the coast. Still, it was good to get home and see the pups. I’m even glad it’s Monday, which is why I’m linking up with Katie for MIMM!

MiMMWe were in Ventura because Alan was announcing the Father’s Day 5k and 10k. At the last minute I decided to run the 10k. I have not really been training, just running, so I had no expectations. I though it would be a good tempo run, plus, the weather you know, how could I not enjoy that?

Here are some Instagram photos from the weekend (do you follow me?), that pretty much tell all about our Marvelous weekend.

VenturaSome would call it gloomy and cold. We called it wonderfully cool and a great change from the desert.

WineWe stopped and bought a few things for the morning before the race, plus I bought a bottle of wine. It wasn’t until we got back to the hotel room (or rather motel..Motel 6 that is. Ah, the glamorous life of a race announcer!), that I realize that I forgot to bring a wine opener. I have a lot of these. I seem to buy them every time we travel, then forget to bring it along the next.

RaceWe got to the race venue early. Before the race director actually. Alan likes to be prompt. That meant I had a few hours to wait around until the race actually started. There was a nap involved.

Race 2The race was fun. I had no real goals, but as I got going I decided I’d like to finish under an hour. It had been about 13 years since I’d run a 10k. In the last one I ran 44:04, was first woman and fourth person overall. I also won my 40-44 division (oh, and I was 44). I think four was my lucky number that year.

Race 4This year I accomplished my goal of coming in under an hour by about 45 seconds, 59:14. I was also second in my age group (the first woman in my age group was second woman overall!), and eight woman overall. Yes, it was a small race. It was also flat and cool, basically out and back on the bike path. Very well organized. Oh, and they had a great announcer too.

Race 3As part of the Father’s Day theme, there were team divisions: Father/Son, Father/Daughter, Grandfather/Grandson, and Grandfather/Granddaughter. The winners of each team division took home a cruiser bike! I passed this little cutie above on the way back. She did the whole 5k with her dad! When I passed her I gave her a thumbs up and said something like “great job!” She smiled and said “thank you very much!” Adorable.

They also gave out four cruiser bikes to random bib numbers. Sadly, I did not win.

NatashaThis is Natasha, not from over the weekend but earlier last week. For those of you who have asked: She’s doing just fine. She is 17 years old (so is her “brother,” Boris). She’s in great health, but lately she has been losing a lot of weight. We found out that she is hyperthyroid, a common condition in older cats. She also has a little UT infection. She is on medication for both and is doing much better. She should start to gain some of that weight back now, though she will be on the thyroid medication for the rest of her life. Happy ending!

Whew! Got a little wordy on this one didn’t I? Well, for those of you who stuck with me I hope that you had a marvelous weekend as well. Any events, delicious food, or other fun stuff? Do please share!

Top of the Local News: OUR Anniversary!

It’s Our Anniversary!

Fifteen years ago today, my husband Alan and I woke up at about 4:00 in the morning, dressed in running clothes, and drove to Palm Springs to run the Tram Road Challenge. We had done this many times, in fact, we had met each other three years previously at that race. In 1999, though, it was different. It was our wedding day.


We arrived early at the event because we had to meet our family, our non-running friends, and our minister, and make sure that they were transported to the finish line before the race even started (obviously, our friends and family must love us very much).

We then waited for the race to start. I, like many brides, was wearing white. The difference was, I was in white satin running shorts, a white lace running bra, and, of course, a blue and white garter. As we ran the race together, we experienced what usually only elite runners experience, someone filming your every stride, sitting backwards on the back of a motorcycle. It was pretty cool!

When we finished the race, we hurried off to freshen up. I had two pairs of shorts made, so I changed, added a lacy white t-shirt and a veil, and I was ready to go. Alan changed into a pair of running shorts and a morning coat. Then we waited.

The Tram Road Challenge is a tough race. Really tough. With over 2,000 feet elevation gain in about 3.7 miles, it is an accomplishment to finish whether you’re running or walking. We didn’t want to take away anybody’s spotlight, so we waited until almost everyone had finished the race, then we joined our family, friends, and minister, who by now had been waiting about three hours (did I mention that they love us?). We stood on the finish line and said our vows.


We did the race a couple more times after that, but when we started coaching cross country, we had a conflict every year because the race is held on the same weekend as the Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational.

Anniversary7Fortunately, this year our division three school will run on Friday, Alan is no longer coaching cross country, so that leaves us free to participate in the race. Alan was asked to announce, so I decided that I would run it (though that might be a little optimistic considering my recent training (did I mention the race was really hard?)). Apparently KMIR, the local news channel, got wind of this and they asked us down for an interview on Wednesday.


Anniversary4It was a lot of fun. We were interviewed (I video taped the interview on my phone, so you can see it below), they asked about our wedding and our life since then, then we took a little tour of the studio. I’d never been there before so it was fun. We even got a chance to sit behind the news desk!

Anniversary2While we were taking our tour, the local movie reviewer, Manny the Movie Guy, walked into the room. I, of course, yelled out “Manny the Movie Guy! Can I get a picture?” #noshame He was very obliging, and we took several pictures together.

AnniversaryIt was a fun way to celebrate our anniversary. I love that I live in a small town, where things like this are celebrated.

Alan and I will both be out there on Saturday! He, with a mic in his hand, me, struggling to run the race without embarrassing myself too much.

Here is the video that was shown on the news. I just recorded it from the television, so the sound isn’t great. It’s still pretty cool though. We were so young! And our shorts were so short!

What kind of wedding did you have? Or, what kind of wedding would you like? Ever think about a running wedding?


Skechers2October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am proud to be working with Skechers and promoting their line of Awareness products. They are working with the American Cancer Society and donating a portion of their proceeds of these products to fight breast cancer. Learn more here.

Big Bear: Cooler Weather, Triathlon, Running, and New Friends

If you follow me in Instagram (and if not, why not?), you know I spent the weekend up at Big Bear Lake. Alan was announcing the Big Bear Triathlon, and I was along for the ride (and the run, a little challenging at 6,700 feet elevation and above). That was Saturday. After the event, we moved bases over to a friends house, where we spent the night and, amidst a few glasses of wine, chatted while Alan reacquainted himself with a high school friend (that’s about 45 years ago!).

It was a great weekend, but also a long one, so I hope you don’t mind if I share most of our time in pictures, with just a little bit of explanation. And, we’re off…


We arrived on Friday afternoon. We checked into our hotel, the Robin Hood Inn, which was right across the street from the event. Nice hotel, with only two drawbacks. One, in addition to hosting the triathlon (including the post-race party), they were also hosting a Corvettes West event, so the hotel was full of partying Corvette owners. Again, all fine and good, but it meant that, to avoid the noise of their evening event, we were put in a room that faced the street, and was very noisy and hot.

BearHot, you say? You guys are from the desert, where it was 105 degrees when you left on Friday morning. Well, the temperature in Big Bear hovered in the high 80s over the weekend, pretty hot for a place that doesn’t have a whole of of air conditioning. And for a hotel room with a lot of windows that seemed to face the sun both rising and setting.

Bear4After checking in, we ambled over to the event transition area, where Alan met the race director and discussed last minute details.

Bear2While Alan was busy, I wandered around the marina, and was enchanted by the above sign. It was easy to see why it was necessary.

bla bla blaThen we headed over to meet up with Alan’s friend Cheryl. He went to high school with her, lost touch, then reconnected a few years ago through Facebook. They hadn’t seen each other in about 45 years! That didn’t seem to matter, as we all got along so well, and Cheryl and I had a great time getting to know each other.

Bear6I found a Mexican Restaurant called Azteca that had a few vegan options on the menu. Alan and I both ordered the veggie burrito. It was okay, but had too many bell peppers for either of our tastes. It did fill us up though.

Just a few words here about eating this weekend. I was not proud of my efforts. Although I had brought fruit, bars, and a few snacks, I seemed to do an inadequate job of fueling myself (and Alan too). We were either really hungry, or eating bars or snacks. I need to work on that for travel of more than one night.

In addition to that, my stomach was really upset all weekend long. Without going into too great of detail, I will say my dinner did not appear to agree with me. It got so bad during my run on Saturday morning that I had to turn around early to go back to the hotel (because I didn’t know any other bathroom options). It continued all the way into Sunday, so that ended up being one down side of our weekend away.

Bear7While Alan was busy announcing the race, I took the opportunity to take a short run. I ran along the race course (I was out there well before the athletes took to the run). As I said, I had to stop back at the hotel, but I went back out to get in my three miles.

Bear8Bear9It was so pretty up there. And while it was pretty warm by the afternoon, the mornings were lovely and fresh. Though all the layers of undershirts, gloves, arm warmers, and jackets that I had brought with me went unused (the forecast said 45, pretty darn chilly for this desert rat!).

Bear11After my run I went back to the hotel to shower and check out. Then I returned to the venue while Alan finished up.

Bear10Our friend Amanda, who owns the best triathlon store in the desert, Brickhouse Multisport, was there, with last minute gear, wet suit rentals, and, well, pretty clothes to buy. That’s her on the far right of the picture. In some of those pretty clothes.

After the race, Alan also had to MC the post race party and give out the raffle prizes to those that attended. We ourselves finally got to eat some real food (of which I didn’t take a picture). They had a garden burger wrap on the menu which was good (and we were starving). Then, he was done with his obligation. So we headed back to Cheryl’s house, where we were going to spend Saturday night.

We had another nice evening of chatting. Alan and Cheryl had a lot to catch up on, but I didn’t feel left out. We all seemed to have a lot in common, and it was fun getting to know her. I ended up cooking dinner, because we didn’t want to chance another restaurant. Using what Cheryl had on hand, I made a nice pasta with sauce.

bear12The picture of the pasta box is pretty bad, but I think it was gluten free. I liked it a lot, and will try it again at home.

Bear17Alan and I took a run on Sunday morning. We started slow because Alan’s asthma can really cause some problems in the altitude. We ran about three miles, which was plenty. From Cheryl’s house, we ran to the lake…



Bear16Alan had to test the water. It was chilly.

Then we ran back, past Cheryl’s house, to Snow Summit, the main ski resort in Big Bear. Obviously they don’t do any ski business this time of year (plus winter was so warm they didn’t do much then either), but it is huge with mountain bikers. The parking lot fills up early every morning, and cyclists can do their own thing, or take the ski lift to the top and ride down. There are also hiking trails. We didn’t do any of that (maybe next time), but we did stop for some pictures.

Bear18The hill we didn’t climb.



Bear19Afterward, it was just a short walk back to Cheryl’s, where chatted some more, then showered, packed up, and got ready to go back down the mountain. We had to take at least one more selfie though.

Bear22Then, it was goodbye to Cheryl and to Big Bear. Back to the desert, where it was 105 when we got home. At least we are back to familiar food and regular meals, so my stomach will hopefully be back to normal. All that aside, though, we can’t wait to go back.

Bear23Bye bye, Big Bear!

How did you spend your weekend? Any travel, races, events or fun family times? Share!

My Weird Nostalgic 12 Mile Running Tour of Palm Springs

I had a very “not much to write about” week of running, so I’m not going to bore you with the details of each run. Suffice it to say that with the exception of a fairly decent tempo run, the week in running was, well, weak. Good thing it was a cut back week because that is exactly what I did.

After such a poor week I felt that I needed to have a strong long run on Sunday. Because it was a cut back week I was planning to do one of my favorite distance workouts, a negative split run. It involves dividing your run into thirds and running each third faster that the previous one. In my case, I planned to start out slower that my marathon goal pace for the first three miles, then pick it up to pace for the next three, then run even faster, another 15 seconds or so per mile for the next three. Since the goal was 12 miles, that left three more, which I planned to use as a cool down/rest/recovery ending to my run.

PS Run Alan

The only issue is that Sunday was also the Women Running Wild 5k in Palm Springs. I usually run it, occasionally train for it, and Alan always announces it. I love to go along just to see running friends that I haven’t seen in a while. I decided that I could have it all. I’d go to the race with Alan, hang out until it got light (yes he gets there that early), then take off for my 12 mile run.

PS Run Debbie

My only concern was my route. The only times that I run in Palm Springs is for this race and for the Palm Springs Half Marathon. I thought I could try running the course for the half, which would put me on fairly quiet streets. Alan suggested I could run the 5k course four times, but, um, no. I did live in Palm Springs a long time ago when I was first starting to run, but that was over 20 years ago. That did get me thinking though.

I have a long history with Palm Springs. When I was a kid (and living in Orange County) my parents used to stay there, either in a hotel or renting a house, in the summer. They loved the dry heat. They must have, because I have clear memories of being in Palm Springs when we landed on the moon the first time, in July of 1969. July!

Anyway, I thought a personal tour of Palm Springs would be feasible within 12 miles. The park where the race takes place is fairly central, and within just a few miles of the first few stops on my nostalgia run. By the way, I decided all this during the first mile of my run, without any real planning, so thinking it would fit into 12 miles was just wishful thinking an estimate.

So, are you ready? Let’s get going, shall we?

Mile 1.7: Apartment on Sahara Road

PS Run 1This is where I was living when my youngest son was born. It was tiny, just one bedroom, and didn’t have central air conditioning, just the window models. Not ideal and it wasn’t long before we moved. I do remember some good parties from that time though (before David was born, of course!).

Mile 2.4: The Monkey Tree

PS Run 2I was kind of amazed that this little hotel on Racquet Club Rd. is still here and looks pretty much the same (as far as my memory goes). We stayed here a few times when I was young (maybe when the house we used to rent was in use? Not sure, my parents didn’t consult me). It was called the Monkey Tree back in the 1960s. It is now the Terra Cotta Inn and is a clothing optional resort. I found this out, not from experience, but from Google. I also found out that the Monkey Tree was a “celebrity retreat” and was designed by Albert Frey, a modernist architect quite well known in the desert, back in 1960. It was a favorite for stars like Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, and Spencer Tracy. Who knew?

Mile 4.7: The House on Ventura

PS Run 3

This house is actually less than a mile from the Monkey Tree, but I had to run up and down a few streets to find it. I knew that it was on a street called Ventura, and the approximate location, but hey, it is about 45 years since we stayed there. It had a huge backyard, a big pool, and was almost the only house in the area. It was surrounded by open desert back then (not anymore!), and I remember spending time chasing a lot of lizards. We always brought girlfriends with us, and my parents had some great parties out by the swimming pool. And yes, I watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon when we were there.

Mile 6.9: We move to a bigger apartment

PS Run 4This was the two bedroom apartment I moved to when my youngest was a few months old. Much bigger and nicer than the place on Sahara, it was also walking distance to work (Bob’s Big Boy at the time) and shopping, not to mention the airport, City Hall, and the police department. That was good because we were a one car family at the time.

Mile 8.1: I was attacked

I’ve written about this before, but in a nutshell, I was running very early in the morning, over 20 years ago, when I was attacked, thrown to the ground, while the man tried to tear off my clothes. I managed to get free and ran away. While it still affects the way I look at things like running in the dark and traveling alone, it doesn’t freak me out to run by the location.  I do take mental note when I go (run, ride or drive) by though.

Mile 8.3: The Culprit’s House

PS Run 6I’m pretty sure that the man who attacked me lived right down this street. As I ran past a house there, I smelled cigarette smoke and the garage door was open. I’m not sure if that is evidence, but it was enough for me.

Mile 9.3: I lived here a month

PS Run 7I had just moved to this apartment complex when my mother passed away. They wouldn’t let me out of the lease, so I paid rent for over 10 months on an apartment I wasn’t living in.

Mile 9.6: The pink apartments

PS Run 8

I really liked this place. The apartments were big, they had their own washer and dryer, and huge balconies. The only reason I moved (to the place above) was because they were hiking the rent when my lease expired. Jerks. I do like that they are still pink. This is where I was living when I was attacked on the run.

Mile 9.8: My Safe Running Route

PS Run 9Seriously. I ran circuits around this parking lot for a couple months after my attack because I was too scared to run on the streets.

Mile 10.9: Palm Springs High School Track

PS Run 10This was the track on which I did my first speed training, before I really had a clue what I was doing. I would just run laps, speed up for one, then slow down for the next. Everyone has to start somewhere. It was also the place that I graduated to when I moved past the parking lot running. I’d drive to the school and park, do all my running on the track, then drive home. To keep track of my distance (long before Garmins), I’d move from one lane to the next for each lap.

Well, that was all the nostalgia I could fit in 12 miles. Or 13 as it turned out. As I was doing my run I started to realize that my distance wasn’t going to be right. In fact, I hit mile 12 about a mile from the park. Because I’d been running pretty hard (between photo ops), really wanted to slow down, but didn’t want to mess up my average pace from my 12 miler, I stopped my watch, reset it, and mostly walked/jogged that last mile to the park. Yes, I am that person who worries about those things.

PS Run Alan_DebbieEvery year, the race has a balloon release to honor cancer victims. I was so happy that I arrived just in time to get a balloon and send it off in honor of my sister Susan.

PS Run BalloonsAs I mentioned, I was really happy with my pace. I finished my run in 1:56, an average pace of 9:40. I felt so good through the whole run (okay, I was pooped for the 13th mile of my 12 mile run). I used the X2Performance before my run, and it really helped me stay strong through the run. I also recovered quickly, with a little stretching and a quick nap when we got home. The nap was needed more because I woke up at 3:15 than because of the run anyway.

Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 10:04
Mile 2: 9:58
Mile 3: 9:36
Mile 4: 9:22
Mile 5: 9:16
Mile 6: 9:29
Mile 7: 9:15
Mile 8: 9:27
Mile 9: 9:29
Mile 10: 10:05
Mile 11: 10:06
Mile 12: 10:00
Total: 1:56:09

This was exactly what I wanted. My goal marathon time is 4:15, which is a 9:44 pace. I am really happy with this run! Here’s the map with my nostalgia spots marked:

PS Run Map

This was the goody bag that they handed out to the dogs at the race (or their owners, actually). We were given seven, one for each of our dogs. What a great treat!

PS Run Dogs

Do you ever run (or ride or drive) past places that meant something in your past? Did you do a race this weekend? Or a long run? Or something else that was fun and exciting? Do tell!

I’m Published! Plus the Palm Springs Half Marathon (and a New Look!)

You may have noticed that my blog has a fresh new look. I changed themes, something I’ve wanted to do for a little while. More on this in my next post, but, yes, I did it myself.

I’m Published!

Have you received your March Runner’s World yet? If so, flip to page 30 and you will see…me! Well, my writing anyway.

Runners WorldPretty cool, huh? Believe it or not, this dated back to October (magazines have long lead times). I received an email from an editor at Runner’s World, telling me that he found my name on the RRCA certified coaches list, then read a little about me on my blog.

I was given the question with a week or so to answer it. Being edited by professionals is interesting. Every word is looked at, questions are asked to make sure everything is clear, revisions are suggested.

Thanks to a couple of Twitter pals for sharing the news. Lindsay posted a picture before I was even aware the magazine was on the stands. And Lea also congratulated me for making Runner’s World. Makes me feel famous!

Palm Springs Half Marathon

A couple months ago this was my goal race. Then December happened. I lost a lot of motivation, had a hard time running over five or six miles, and speed work…well it didn’t get done. So with my decision to run the Rock and Roll Marathon in June, I decided to use the Palm Springs Half Marathon as a training run, my first 13 mile run since last July.

My goal was to run the race at my long run pace, about 10 minutes miles or so. It is easy, though, to get caught up in the moment when you’re using a race as a training run. Strange thoughts enter your mind, like “this is my day!” or similar sentiments. You start running faster than planned and end up blowing up in the last few miles.

None of that happened. I did exactly what I wanted to do: I ran my own pace, didn’t get distracted, didn’t run too fast, didn’t have any asthma problems (that is huge!), and ended up finishing in 2:09:50, which is just under a 10 minute pace.


Alan was announcing, of course, so I got to hear those cherished words, “here comes my favorite person in the whole world, my wife!” I also saw lots of old friends, and even another blogger (Monica from Run Eat Repeat).

Oh, Marilyn and Elvis were there too.

Palm Springs Half Marathon - Elvis Presley - Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn spent a little time with Alan too.

PS Half 2

I would have cropped the picture, but the day was so beautiful and the sky was so blue that I just couldn’t.

They had nice race shirts this year. Black and red long sleeved tech shirts. Nice change from plain old white. Coco liked it a lot!

bla bla bla

One thing I didn’t expect from the race was the terrible chafing that I have on both my legs and arms. I wore a race skirt that usually gives me no problems, but I was actually bloody after the race (no pics, sorry). For the rest of the day I walked around with my arms held out from my sides, that’s how painful it is.

Oh, and look what I found in my goody bag!


 As I mentioned the other day, I’m an Ambassador for the San Luis Obispo Marathon (even though I have a schedule conflict and can’t be there for the race). When I saw this in my bag I really did Feel the Zen. Remember, you can get a $10 discount for the full and half marathon through March 18 by using the code 2014AMFRIENDS.

As for the rest of the training week, it went pretty good. I did miss my Saturday trail run because I had to work. Total miles were about 22.

Tuesday: 3.1 miles before work. Easy pace.

Wednesday: 6 miles. This is supposed to be my speed or tempo workout, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Instead, I did a fartlek run, having a little fun with short intervals of high intensity alternating with an easier pace.

Sunday: The Palm Springs Half Marathon. 13.1 miles in 2:09:50.

I also taught a couple strength classes and a stretch class this week.

It’s finally time to create my marathon plan for Rock and Roll. While my total mileage dipped a little this week, now that my long run is up to 13, it is time to start the real training. I’ll share that next week.

PS Half 4Yes, my Garmin says 13.2 miles! Also, nothing like getting in over 27,000 steps by 10:00 in the morning! So you know how the rest of my day went, I have barely over 29,000 at 8:30. I’ve been sitting on my butt recovering for most of the day.

How was your training week? Did you compete in a race or other event? I’d love to hear about it!

CIF Cross Country, Malibu Marathon and a Shiner! (Part 1)

Did I mention that I gave myself a black eye last week? No, because I felt pretty dumb about it. In a hurry, as always, I was leaving work, getting into my car. As I stretched my right arm across the front seat to put my purse in the passenger seat, I managed to pull the door with my left hand, hitting with the corner right below my left eye. It hurt. A lot. I’m happy it didn’t actually hit my eye, but I’ve been dealing with the swelling, bruising and (a little) discomfort all week. I have found there are two types of people: those who will ask you how you got your black eye, and those who won’t.

Saturday, our varsity girls team competed in the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) Cross Country Semifinals at Mt. San Antonia College. They earned the opportunity by finishing fourth in our league.

We led a caravan of parents to the race (Alan and I needed to drive to Malibu afterward, so this was the best way). Quite a different experience to drive to an event for one race. We got there, they warmed up, raced, and we were done.

The senior on the far right? I love her!

Before the race, the girls are checked to make sure that they all match, are wearing no jewelry, no logo-ed head bands or other dis-allowed accessories. Then they head to the start line.

It was quite an experience. The girls did great, but this was our final stop. I’m so proud of them, and at the same time I am so sad. Five of the girls are seniors, which means I have to say goodbye to them, which makes me sad and happy at the same time.

The team

The seniors

After the race, the girls left with their parents, and Alan and I headed west toward Malibu, where he would be announcing the Malibu Marathon and Half Marathon the next day.

More on that tomorrow, but for now, I will leave you with a taste, a video of the start of the half marathon, about 2300 runners crossing the start line, plus a great rendition of the National Anthem for this Veteran’s Day (the singer was also running the race–he earned a spot at the front!).

Coming tomorrow:

An interesting city councilman

A missed meeting between bloggers

A vegan celebrity and author (who I also missed).

So, how was your weekend? Any racing going on?