New Coffee & It’s So Good

Ok, so I went to a coffee festival a few weeks ago in San Francisco… Yeah, I know. It sounds maybe silly, maybe pretentious, maybe a bit overzealous in my love of coffee. BUT, and there is a but, it was totally worth it. So many local coffee roasters in one place. I would never know about half of these coffee roasters, and I walked away with some new delicious coffee beans. That was a win in my book!

The first new coffee I have tried is Proyecto Diaz Coffee El Carmen. El Carmen is a light-roast Oaxacan coffee and I find it aromatic and delightful.

This weekend, I was able to spend some quality time with my Chemex and enjoy a few cups of Proyecto Diaz coffee. In addition to fine tasting coffee, the company seems pretty darn amazing. They source coffee exclusively from small-scale producers and co-ops. They are working toward sustainable farm infrastructure and farming practices. Props to these guys. I’ll definitely be buying more.

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Housekeeping Progress

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now… I finally bought a medal hanger for my race memorabilia. About 2 months ago. Finally hung it up this weekend. There area few that didn’t fit, but that’s ok because there are more runs coming. I’ll have to find another one soon. Until then, at least these are no longer weighing down the light fixture in my bathroom. Small victories! Onward, friends!

Just Tried The Brooks National Park Collection Cascadias

Recently, Brooks Running partnered with REI to celebrate national parks across the U.S. The national parks collection features Brooks Cascadia shoes and Brooks t-shirts highlighting specific national parks – Great Smoky Mountains, Mt. Rainier, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. Brooks is donating 5% of the wholesale cost of each piece in their national parks collection to the National Park Foundation, up to $50,000.

I love Yosemite National Park. Last year, I did the Yosemite Half Marathon! So, bought a pair of Yosemite Cascadias. This is my first pair of Brooks trail shoes (I’m on my third pair of Brooks running shoes). I have worn them several times on walks to break them in… Finally, I did my first trail run in these shoes. While they are comfortable and I didn’t have any issues during my break-in walks, my right sock kept getting unceremoniously pulled down into my shoe. 5 times. 2 within the first half mile. These weren’t new socks or anything like that. Completely annoying. Otherwise, the shoes felt good – not as grippy feeling as my Saucony Peregrine 6’s though.

The Brooks Cascadias have a 10mm heal-to-toe drop, and are made of synthetic mesh. Midsole is EVA and outsole is carbon/blown rubber. These shoes also feature something called a ballistic rock shield. What is it? It’s a thermoplastic sheath used in the forefoot area to disperse the pressure of landing on loose objects. Certainly doesn’t seem to add bulk or weight and will come in handy on my rockier trail runs. Overall, I’d say these are solid trail shoes.

I’m going to try again this weekend to see if this sock issue gets any better. I really like these shoes and this gives me a great opportunity to talk to anyone and everyone about Yosemite National Park – Did I mention that I love it? I might re-lace my shoes to see if that will help. Stopping so many times on a run is frustrating. Anyone out there have a fix for falling socks? If so, please leave a comment. 🙂

Spotlight on Accomplishment and Body Shaming

I just watched a YouTube video from REI featuring Mirna Valerio and was so inspired by her. She does things I can’t even begin to imagine training for – like running a 50K. She does weight work that puts a lot of us to shame… But. It’s a sad state of affairs when someone feels the need to tear someone down because they don’t “look the part.” Read the REI blog here: The Mirnavator

Please watch the video.

Watch it especially if you don’t think you look the part, or you don’t think you are a runner, or you feel like you aren’t making fitness progress. She will leave you inspired.

Mirna has also been featured in Runner’s World.

Disneyland Half Marathon Recap

Hi everyone! It has been a while since I posted. Time just keeps slipping away from me. So, what have I been doing? Getting ready for the Disneyland Half Marathon, which I completed on Sunday, September 3. The theme was “Celebrating Pixar!”

I have a 4-year-old son, so we made this his first Disney visit. It was definitely magical for him. He got to meet Mickey Mouse and ride most of the rides. We’ve learned 2 things: 1) He’s an adrenaline junkey; 2) 100F makes for a slightly less magical experience. Haha!

The half marathon was hard. Prior to race start, it was ~85F. Did I mention that the race started at 5AM? Yikes.

I chose to dress as Minnie Mouse before I knew the theme

At race end, it was somewhere around 95F. I am not used to running in anything over 60-65F, so I was pretty miserable. At every water station, I drank some and then poured the rest on my head.

After Mile 4, I was sweating like I was at Mile 10! I ended up walking a lot because I couldn’t take the heat. That being said, running through Disney’s California Adventure and Disneyland was pretty cool.

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Disneyland

 

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California Adventure

We also got to run through the Anaheim Angels’ stadium, which was fun.

I wish I had gotten better pictures, but they had characters along the way within the parks. You could stop for a photo op, too. They even had performers, like acrobats.

We were all hot and tired after the race – couldn’t convince my son to do a picture with me at first. Here we are in all our glory. Hahahaha!

Luckily, he changed his mind a little bit later. 

Next time, I’m going to pay more attention to the time of year and regular/average temperatures because… Wow, that was hot. Not sure we are up for another long trip, but they do have a Star Wars half in Disneyland coming up in January… Whoa, there. Maybe I’ll look for something closer. We’ll see.

Back to School Can Be Expensive

Every year, through work, I put together two backpacks of school supplies for kids in need. I always pick one boy and one girl, grade varies.

This year, I went with lower grades, which made things a little less expensive, but still… School can be expensive. I ranted to my husband for close to 10 minutes about the prices of the backpacks. The cheapest ones were $35. I’m not complaining about spending the money – please understand that. But, I can definitely see how these costs can add up and if you are struggling to make ends meet, $35 for a backpack is ridiculous. Because you still have all the other things to buy.

My total cost was about $127 – not too bad. When I pick high schoolers, it’s more because you need calculators and compasses and all that stuff. Out of $127, $70 went toward the backpacks – that’s over 50%. Luckily, kids can use backpacks for more than one year… Yeesh. My son will start Kindergarten in 2018, so I guess I should get myself prepared. 🙂

Here are my 2 finished backpacks:

Woohoo!