Life is full of important questions: Can I get away with yoga pants at work if I pair them with nice earrings? What came first: General Tso’s love for deep-fried chicken, or the chicken itself? Is this still a running blog if I haven’t been writing about running?

Yes, I started writing weekly posts about my LA Half Marathon training and then completely skipped recapping the past four weeks and hoped you wouldn’t notice.

I know you’re smarter than that and I’m here to say I’m sorry.

LA half marathon post race

I was NOT, however, sorry to be drinking beer at 10AM last year after the LA Half.

I’m still “training” for the half at the end of October, but I’ve thrown my training plan out the window and have been taking it week-by-week. This past Saturday I ran 7, glorious, pain-free miles. PAIN-FREE! (You’d think I’m 75 years old but no, just a ripe 31.)

The first 3 miles I was still on edge, waiting for some random pain to pop up. The next 2 I was cautiously optimistic. The last 2 I was downright giddy. Finishing 7 miles (even though my original training plan had me at 11) feeling completely healthy was the best. I live for these moments!

playa del rey running trails

Can’t lie, I’m pretty impressed with my photography skills.

Why no pain, suddenly? I have no idea. Last week I had a bunch of appointments and things going on after work, so I just didn’t work out. I literally exercised for 20 minutes total until Saturday and barely did my stability exercises. My worst fitness week in a long time. I didn’t even go to the chiropractor. IT MAKES ZERO SENSE. But I’ll take it.

And because now I’m in a good, endorphin-fueled mood, I want to share some things that help make my runs great:

The “I’ll Have Another” Podcast: The episode with the girls from Black Girls Run was so fun and I immediately tried to stalk them online afterwards in hopes I could convince them to be my friends. Loved the conversation full of laughs and honesty. (I’m a huge fan of podcasts on runs.)

My other favs:

Mike & Mike – For sports fans

Zen & The Art Of Triathlon – For triathletes and endurance athletes 

Another Mother Runner – For all runners (moms or not!)

Elvis Duran Show – For every human ever; it’s my favorite radio show based in New York. Hilarious and real. I have the I Heart Radio app for this one.

Hoka Clifton 3 shoes: When it was time for new shoes a couple weeks ago, I initially bought the Brooks Ghost 9s and did a short treadmill run with sprints and then a 5.5 mile run. I knew immediately they weren’t for me. I went back to The Village Runner and tried out a ton more options, ultimately settling on this one. They’re SO cloud-like and comfortable and I feel like maybe they’re the answer to my non-injury prayers. #knockonwood

La Croix water: I KNOW. I’m just like everyone else. For the longest time the only beverages I’d drink were water, wine or beer. (I know, what’s wrong with that?) I never drink soda and for the most part I avoid other sugary drinks unless I’m at a UCLA game in which case I buy a huge $9 strawberry lemonade because I feel like I get hydration and calories at the same time. (AKA I’m too cheap to buy food and a drink because it’s all freaking expensive). I’d find myself wanting wine every night because, well, I love wine, but I also get bored of regular water. I jumped on the La Croix bandwagon and have noticed a huge decrease in my alcohol intake. It’s my distraction, especially when I have a morning workout the next day. Sooo…maybe less wine = better running? (I don’t want to believe it; jury’s still out.)

la croix water

Anddd drinking one right now. ISN’T THIS ANOTHER GREAT PHOTO?!

Be As You Are (JordanXL Remix) by Mike Posner: This is one of those songs I’ve been listening to on repeat while running. I love the lyrics: “There are moments when you fall to the ground, but you are stronger than you feel you are now.” “Life is not always a comfortable ride, everybody’s got scars that they hide, everybody plays the fool sometimes, just be as you are.”

What keeps you running? What are your favorite things right now?

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