Archives

What To Do When I Can’t Run??

It has been 7 weeks since I strained the peroneal tendon in my right foot, and I still am not able to run. What do you do when you can’t run?

Sit at home binge-watching episodes of The Voice while moping? Glare at all the stoopid people running around the city when you are stuck in your car at red lights? Definitely NOT not updating your running blog. NO! Because I am a mature adult and that would be incredibly self-loathing.

I’ve been keeping plenty busy in other ways, which hasn’t been too difficult with the holiday season in full swing and my bestie’s upcoming wedding.  For one, my house gets cleaned regularly. I’ve been doing lots of housework and even redecorating! That makes me sound SUPER fun, I know, but it IS nice to get our place ready just before the holidays.

Cooking! With all the time spent NOT running, I have loads more time for making fancy dinners. There will be no grab-n-go dinner salads for me, not whilst I am injured. Instead, I can make homemade pizza (yup, this is fancy to me), made with veggies, chicken sausage, feta cheese, “Rustico” spaghetti sauce and a whole wheat crust (the latter 2 from Trader Joe’s!).

PizzaMashUp

Before and After cooking mashup

And you can’t forget dessert; a girl has got to live! I made these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies for work on Halloween.

CookiesPumpkin

I replaced the canola oil with olive oil, used dark chocolate chunks (high in antioxidants!), and organic ingredients, including organic whole wheat flower, and they turned out soft, fluffy and amazing!

But I promise I don’t just do housework and gorge on pizza and cookies all day long. I’ve had some pretty amazing goings-on during this running layoff. My boyfriend and I saw Frank Turner at the Fillmore…

FTFillmore

Vibin’

FTFillmore2

…And I celebrated my best friend’s upcoming wedding with a bachelorette party in Disneyland!

Disney2

Shameless selfie stick-ing. Also, shamelessly drinking champagne before noon.

Disney1

We are indeed so happy!

As far as workouts go, I am very limited but giving it my best. I’ve been occasioning the stationary bike at the gym (exhilarating, I know), and doing Pilates as much as I can without irritating my foot. Next up, I will be working at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, representing the Berkeley Half Marathon! So even though I can’t run, I am keeping busy, and my mind engaged. My wise ol’ boyfriend likes to say, “when you can’t exercise your body, exercise your mind.” There are plenty of running mantras, so why not have an injury mantra?

Happy Running! (or not!)

-J

Summer Adventures

Summer is starting to wind down, and so is my hectic schedule! This year has easily been one of my busiest and most adventurous to date, leaving little time to blog! Lately, it feels like I am either working or traveling, but I can’t complain!

Rich and I returned from our European vacation (True story-it still feels surreal to say that!), in late spring/early June, which I will save for another belated post. I spent most of June recovering from the Slane flu (a pesky Irish meecrobe I picked up in Slane, Ireland), working, and training for The San Francisco Marathon. I had zero time to return to my internship, and the only free weekend I had was spent road tripping to Arizona to pick up our pooch from the dog-sitter, aka my best friend’s house.

July was a fun one. The week before the San Francisco Marathon, Rich and I went camping and white water rafting with friends!

RaftingGroup

We arrived at the glamp…er…campgrounds, which was near Sacramento, on a Monday afternoon. The grounds were quite luxurious as far as camping goes-we had access to running water, flushing toilets and even showers! We spent the rest of the day swimming in the river, tossing frisbees, drinking beer, BBQing and Cards of Humanity-ing.

RaftingFrisbee

CampingBugs

The following day we headed out to the Middle Fork of the American River! This would be my first time white water rafting, and I was super nervous and excited. I am a decent swimmer, as in I’ve got a mean doggie paddle and I’m good at wading in the water drinking margaritas, but the thought of being submerged under white water was a little terrifying to me! But once we boarded the boat, we were flying down rapids and there was no time to be afraid!

Rafting1

Our trip included a full day of rafting, plus a lunch break. I have to say, it was one of the most exciting things I have ever done. We tackled Class 3 to Class 5 rapids, and my friends and I laughed and screamed all day long!

Rafting2

I never fell out of the raft (yay!), but we were allowed to jump in the river twice and float down with our life vests, which might have been just as fun as cruising down the rapids in the raft. It was a fantastic experience, and I will be heading back to the white waters as soon as the next opportunity presents itself!

The San Francisco Marathon was only days away after returning from our rafting trip. I promise to publish my painfully long review of the race, but that’s for another post. I will mention, however, that Rich and I contracted the stomach flu, resulting in a less than spectacular race day. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I could feel signs of it coming on during our rafting trip, I just didn’t realize what was happening at the time. I’ve been sick too many times this year, and I will attribute that to a complete lack of sleep. A busy life is great, but I think too many sleepless nights have caught up with me.

In August, my focus was work. I did get to volunteer at the Giant Race with The San Francisco Marathon, but for the most part the month was a quiet one. However, I was able to save up for our last big event of the summer. I found Rich the PERFECT belated birthday present: 2 tickets to Riot Fest in Chicago! I found ultra-cheap plane tickets on Frontier airlines (hooray red-eyes!), and we were housed by friends in the city, so I was able to swing one more mini-vaca. This would be my first visit to Chicago, AND my first 3-day music festival!

RiotFestSign

Riot Fest is a punk-rock themed festival, and was held this year at Douglas Park on September 11th, 12th and 13th. We spent 3 days jumping and dancing in the mud to some of our favorite bands!

RiotFerrisWheel

A few of my personal favorites…

RiotNoDoubtFlower

Front and center for No Doubt

RiotFloggingMolly

Flogging Molly

System Of A Down

Rodrigo Y Gabriela

RiotFestModestMouse

Last but not least, Modest Mouse

On Day 2, we attended a music discussion panel with Henry Rollins and 2 of the 3 members of the West Memphis 3. If you don’t know who they are, they were teens convicted of murder in the 1990’s based on shoddy evidence, such as they listened to Metallica and wore black clothing. It took them 18 years to be released. The panel was fascinating!

There was also a carnival inside the park. We rode the ferris wheel, which provided us with amazing views of the festival!

RiotFerrisWheel2

On Day 3, we checked out the Lagunitas Brewery, which happened to be right next to Douglas Park.

LagunitasBrewery

LagunitasFlights

We had to fly home on Monday evening, which left us a half day to explore Chicago…

RiotChiSky

…We decided Millenium Park was a MUST:

ChiTheBean

Obligatory touristy “Bean” photo

We then headed to Wicker Park for some drinks at a hipster saloon with our house hosts.

ChiWickerPark

Some Mezcal-y drink…mmmmm

Our last day went by so fast, and we were back at the airport in a flash. Chicago was beautiful and fun, and the midwestern friendliness was very real! I want to go back and explore more of the city (just not during the winter!).

There you have it, my summer adventures! I am home for a little while, until the wedding extravaganza for my best friend, Allison, begins…starting with the bachelorette party in Disneyland at the end of October! I am currently gearing up for a loooong training camp for my next batch of races, which includes the Berkeley Half Marathon, and, gulp, the Los Angeles Marathon. Stay tuned!

-J

Fire

Hello Everyone!

I was JUST about to finally share my race review of the San Francisco Marathon, but something unexpected happened this week that I just can’t fail to discuss.

I live in a small residence in San Francisco that consists of three buildings-one large house with two small buildings behind. My boyfriend, Rich, and I live with our dog, Emmi, in an in-law studio in one of the smaller buildings. On Monday night, the top floor of our neighbor’s house caught fire, and the flames eventually jumped to the second story of the large house. I was at work when the fire broke, but Rich and Emmi were at home. Rich called me to tell me the news as soon as they left our house. Thankfully, everyone was able to get out of both residences safely.

There is a fire station only a block away from our home, and firefighters were able to arrive on scene and take control of the fire quickly. I arrived home from work as they were extinguishing the last of the flames. The 2-alarm fire was out in just about an hour and a half. Our street was blocked off for hours, and we all waited at a local bar for news. Little by little residents were escorted back in to their homes, but since our place was directly involved in the fire, we would not be able to remain at home. The American Red Cross was on-site and provided temporary housing to all of us displaced by the fire.

To our relief, the fire never reached our little studio, and we were allowed to return home after just one night. Sadly, the neighboring house, which serves as a senior care facility, is destroyed on the inside from fire and water. We do not have an official verdict on the future of the large house, but things look positive. I have never experienced anything like this in my life, and I still have a little anxiety left over from the events of that night, which is probably why I decided to write and publish this-it is therapeutic. I am so grateful to the San Francisco Fire Department and the American Red Cross for helping all of us that night, and for dedicating their lives and careers to aiding those in need. True heroes.

I promise to be back soon with my race review!

-J

Back to Training, and Birthday Wine Tasting

Hi runners! I have been an absentee blogger as of late, but now that my post-holiday life has officially calmed down, I’m back to regular training once again. My mileage is still relatively low, but I’m up to running 3 times a week again. I have also been making it to yoga class, and I’ve done some strength training at the gym, so I’m happy with where I am at right now. I should be good and ready when it comes time to train for my next big race! Now for the fun stuff…

Bday15Cupcake

On Friday, January 16th, I celebrated my 33rd birthday! Some people dread their birthday, but I’ve always loved mine. I think it is important to celebrate your own life-it truly is a gift and I’m grateful for the chance to experience another year on this earth! Rich planned an epic birthday for me-a trip to wine country! Even though I have lived in the Bay Area for 3 1/2 years, I had yet to go wine tasting. So, we met up with a couple of friends, and took a shuttle on a tour of Sonoma County!

Bday15Group

My partners in crime

On the shuttle, we were treated to a keg of Lagunitas Pilsner!

Bday15Shuttle

First drink of the day at 11:08 AM…you know where this is headed!

We stopped at a total of 4 wineries, and sampled a TON of local wines-everything from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, dessert wines and even Port!

Bday15WineTaste

Bday15WineTasting Bday15WineClass

The weather was slightly dreary outside, but the fog and mist cascading over the vines and hills was absolutely stunning!

Bday15PhotoShoot

Photo shoot!

When you taste wine, you are given only a small pour. But over the course of 6 hours, the small pours add up (plus, the aforementioned Lagunitas keg PLUS we had a bottle of Cab on the shuttle!). You CAN spit or pour out the wine so as not to drink too much, but why waste wine??

Bday15Classy

Classy people do NOT waste wine

Needless to say, I was feeling pretty good by the end of the tour!

Bday15ChristopherCreek

It was an amazing birthday treat and I would LOVE to go back and visit some more wineries!

Bday15Winery

The following day Rich planned a brunch with friends (including Taylor!), and then we went to see Foxcatcher (such an eerie movie btw, you won’t even recognize Steve Carell!) at the Sundance Kabuki Theater in the evening. It was definitely one of my most memorable birthdays!

In other news: I’m about to face a drastic schedule change at work and I will be working more weekends and longer, later hours. On top of that, my internship will be starting very soon. PLUS, it is time to start training for some races! In order to accomplish all of these things, I’m going to have to be a little more organized and disciplined, as my days will be longer and my free time will be reduced. I’m anxious yet excited to tackle this new chapter in my life. But there is no time for fretting-the pay off for all of the hard work will be immense! By working more, I will be able to save money for my trip with Rich to Europe in May, AND I will be gaining invaluable experience as I transition out of my life as a bartender into a new career in health and fitness!

-J

Exciting News!

Hey everyone!

I returned from Las Vegas on Monday afternoon, but between work AND the crazy STORMAGEDDON that struck the Bay Area, I haven’t had time to recap my amazing trip! However, I am going to save that for another post because this week I received some AMAZING news. I have been offered an internship at a personal training gym in San Francisco! Starting after the new year, I will begin my training as a fitness coach! The gym I will be interning at is not your typical gym. They offer private or group fitness classes that focus on movement, and instead of a room full of bench presses and other weight machines, they focus on strengthening and conditioning: free-weights, kettle bells, TRX ropes, monkey bars, and the works. I will be learning to use all of the equipment, as well as teach fitness classes!

I have considered moving toward a fitness and health focused career, but I have been a little discouraged by what I see in the fitness industry. There is so much focus on the superficial-selling products and services to achieve the obligatory “bikini body.” After visiting the gym and talking with the owners, I can see that they are truly focused on helping people live healthy, active lives: something I can truly stand beside! I am so grateful for the upcoming training opportunity and I can’t wait to start this new chapter in my life!

-J

A Day of Pampering and Another Runway Show

Although nothing quite compares, I do-on occasion-like to do other things besides run (I know, I know it is a hard concept, but bear with me!) Yesterday, I worked my 3rd runway show for Bay Area designer Ellen Brook and it was a blast! I have previously walked in 2 other big productions for the designer, but this event was much more low key. The show took place at Eli Thomas, a high-end menswear retailer in San Jose, CA, for the store’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Instead of the all-day hair and makeup extravaganza I’ve experienced for the previous 2 shows, I was instructed to do my own hair and makeup and had a 6:30 PM call time in San Jose. I coincidently already had a hair appointment for the day, so it worked out nicely.

I have had the same blonde hair and highlights for the last 8 years and was ready to try something new for the fall and winter season. I told my stylist I wanted to try a subtle ombre, and darken the top of my hair.

FallNewHair

It turned out MUCH darker than I expected, but she used a semi-permanent dye and said that after a few washes the color will fade some and the ombre effect will pop out more. I’m still getting used to it, but I have been enjoying the change. Plus, my hair was extra shiny and healthy for the show!

After my hair appointment, I headed over to MAC Cosmetics at Bloomingdale’s to have my makeup done.

FallMakeupMACBloomingdales

I’m fairly basic in my daily life with makeup application, so I thought it would be best to enlist the help of a professional!

FallMakeupMAC

My makeup turned out so pretty, I could never have done this myself!

MAC will do your makeup for free, which is a bonus. Some locations require a $50 purchase but my makeup artist did not even mention any kind of fee. I’m sure the MAC employees work on commission though, so I bought a few things 🙂

MACgoodies

My goodies!

After my day of pampering, I was on the road to San Jose! It took me almost 2 1/2 hours to get to the venue in San Jose because of traffic, but luckily I made it with just 20 minutes to spare before the show started!

EliThomasFashionShow

Backstage

Thankfully, my makeup was already done and all I had to do was throw my hair up into a sleek ponytail. I was on the runway before I knew it, and although I was a little nervous, it was a small, low-pressure gig (maybe only 100-200 guests?) so I held it together well.

EliThomasRunway

There weren’t any professional photos taken this time around, the purpose of the event was mostly for Ellen to showcase her clothing line, and maybe sell a few garments-which she did of course!

EliThomasEllenBrook

Her collection is all one-of-a-kind pieces that are hand-painted on silk fabrics, gorgeous!

After the show, I mingled with guests and enjoyed some of the catered food and beverages.

EliThomasShowWine

Best part about modeling: all the free wine!

EliThomasRunwayEllen

It has been so fun working with Ellen, I am sure I will do it again soon!

This is just one of the MANY fun events I have planned for the rest of the year. I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2014 has in store!

-J

My Week As A Model

I’m going to take a little deviation from running posts to talk about my experience modeling at 2 fashion shows last week!

FashionArtMakeupTouchUp

I met Bay Area artist and designer, Ellen Brook, at the bar I work at. She asked if I would be interested in modeling one of her hand-painted silk designs on the runway. I thought it would be an interesting experience for me, so I took her up on the offer!

Fashion Art Santa Cruz

Saturday, September 20, 2014

FashionArtEllensCollection

On Saturday morning, I woke up early for a 10:30 am call time (in bartender hours, 10:30 am is EARLY!). I met Ellen and her hair and makeup team at the Michael Angelo Gallery in Santa Cruz.

FashionArtPreviousYear FashionArtPreviousYear2

A few designs from previous Fashion Art Shows featured in the gallery

Let me tell you, I have never worn so much makeup in my life! I had layers of primer, foundation, blush and eye shadow caked on. I was even airbrushed! Initially, it was shocking to see myself decked out in false eyelashes and thick eyeliner, but this was stage makeup. I decided to relax into my model character and just go with it! And it turned out to be crazy fun 🙂

FashionArtHair

Snapshot of my hair

At 2 p.m we headed over to the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, which would host the Fashion Art show.

FashionArtCivicAuditorium

There was a dress rehearsal at 2:30, and we were able to work on our runway walk. I have NEVER walked a runway before, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to do! But Ellen used a variety of models for her show, many with experience to show us newbies the ropes.

FashionArtStage

Don’t fall don’t fall don’t fall

After the dress rehearsal, it was time for hair and makeup touch-ups:

FashionArtMakeUp1 FashionArtMakeUpTouchUp2

If I were to estimate how long I spent having my hair and makeup worked on throughout the day, I would say at least an hour to an hour and a half…such an astounding amount of time! But the stylist, Teresa, and her assistant worked their magic to make all of us models runway-ready.

FashionArtBackstageSelfie

Just before showtime, we were treated to a small pour of Cazadores aka liquid courage…

FashionArtTequila

We had a nice little bonding cheers with the designer before heading out on to the runway!

FashionArtEllen

Ellen Brook, in red

Stepping out on to that stage, in front of over 1500 people, was surreal and exciting! In my mind, I desperately wanted to do justice and show off the clothes that Ellen and her team worked tirelessly at designing and constructing. She used the song “Mercy” by Duffy for her segment of the show, and asked us to embody a “serious yet sassy” character to match the song, and her flirty clothing line. But Imnotgonna lie, my knees were knocking as I walked! Halfway down the runway I paused to pose for the first time, and when I turned toward the audience I was bombarded with flash bulbs! I was stunned by the number of photographers, it was like walking the red carpet…which was very intimidating! What an adrenaline rush though, to finally step out on to that stage!

FashionArtSantaCruzRunway2

Photo credit: Jana Marcus

I did the best I could, trying to channel everything I’ve seen on Project Runway!

Once I was finished with my solo walk, I was relieved to be done. We had to do one final walk-out, or cascade, with Ellen and all of us models. By this time, my nerves were gone and I was just exhilarated!

FashionArtCascade

Photo Credit: Mike Higuet santacruzwaves.com

Such a vibrant and beautiful collection!

After the runway, we attended a trunk show outside to mingle with the guests and talk about Ellen’s designs. It was around 10 pm by the time I was able to leave the show, and my first day as a model was complete!

Anne and Mark’s Art Party San Jose

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Anne and Mark’s Art Party was actually a week long event in San Jose, featuring all kinds of art exhibitions, including art displays, dance performances, and a runway show. Fashion Art Santa Cruz occupied the runway at 8 pm on Thursday, taking place at the Santa Clara fair grounds in the middle of an art gallery.

Call time for this event for me was 2:30 on the day of the show. We were on a much more limited schedule, so I spent a little less time in the hair and makeup chair. When I say less, I mean I was still decked out with false eyelashes and caked on makeup, but I had less time for touch ups. My hair was slightly different, which I like, pulled back tight in a high pony tail:

AnneMarkMakeUp

I arrived at the actual venue around 4 and had a few hours to kill before the actual show. There was no dress rehearsal this time, so a couple models and I scoped out the stage.

AnneMarkStageSelfie

It was significantly smaller than the one in San Jose, which helped me relax a bit more. The gallery would not be open to the public until 6, so we had some time to wander about and check out the art exhibits. Oh, and down a couple glasses of complimentary wine. The life of a model is rough! 😉

AnneMarkStatue

AnneMarkArtDresses AnneMarkFramed

AnneMarkElephant

AnneMarkCutOut

AnneMarkChand AnneMarkSkate

At 7:30, I found myself backstage getting dressed for the 8 pm show. The anticipation before the walkout is perhaps the hardest; waiting waiting waiting for that final moment when you hit the stage! Time moves so fast during the actual show: one minute I was waiting in the curtains, the next minute I was being escorted up the steps and onto the stage!

AnneMarkArtPartyScreenShot

Photo credit: Kathy Conroy

IG screenshot of the runway video

My game plan this time was to just pose a lot and let the photographers flash their cameras! I tried to pace myself much slower this time, which I think I did. I saw a video later, and there were a few corrections I wish I could make, but my pacing was much more solid than the first time around. After stepping off the runway, we continued to walk through the gallery with audience members lined up along the side so that they could get a closer look at the garments. This was a neat touch to the show, especially if someone couldn’t get a good view of the stage.

We had one final cascade for all of the models and designers in the show, and then after had time to wander through the crowd.

AnneMarkArtPartyAfterShowModels

Hanging with a couple other ladies…how beautiful are these fabrics?! And one of a kind! Such an honor to wear!

AnneMarkArtPartyGroup

Photo credit: Blue Donya

I was so happy because my boyfriend was able to attend this show too:

AnneMarkArtPartyRich

Fashion may not be his area of interest, but it was great to have some support in such a nerve-racking experience! Another long day had finished, and it was time to hang up my wedges and head home.

Modeling is not something I have ever set out to do, but the opportunity presented itself and I leapt in. The whole ordeal was surreal-from the dramatic hair and makeup, fittings, dress rehearsals, to finally stepping out on to that stage. It was like I was living a different life for a moment! It wasn’t easy to maintain my composure, while trying to keep my trembling nerves in check, but I’m so happy for the experience. Life is all about challenging yourself and pushing yourself to limits you never expected possible! (Which is why I love running 🙂 ) You don’t grow living in a bubble, so when the opportunity arises to step out of your comfort zone-take it…the rewards are limitless!

-J