Running in the Rain and Training Yourself to Walk

Since the beginning of June, Maryland has been getting pummeled with storms. We may get a day or 2 between storms, but another one is guaranteed to stroll on through.

Can we not share this ample amount of water with other areas of the world that are in drought?

Anyway, I switched my Saturday long run for the 5 miler planned for Sunday. They were calling for some pretty nasty storms all day on Saturday, so I didn't feel like soaking myself for 16 miles or devoting that much time on the treadmill.

I had every intention on hitting the 'mill late in the evening to get that 5 in, but as I was driving from the grocery store that morning, I had an urge to run in the rain.

...and I did.

This morning, I was kinda bummed I still had my long run to do. Although the temps were down (a definite plus), I just wasn't feeling it. Still, I was committed completing what I planned!

Nearing mile 8, the halfway point, I decided it was time to try that walking thing. When you train for an ultra, you have to train yourself to walk. I know it may sound odd. Walking should be pretty easy, right? But the more I read about ultras, the more training yourself to get acclimated to walking makes sense. You have to get the most out of your miles and energy conservation is key. You can't exhaust yourself by running up a steep hill, knowing that there are 48 more miles to go, right? It's best to learn what works best for you. Whether it's walking hills, running 20 minutes and walking 5, or a combination of both. Everyone is different and everyone has a method to making it through.

Anyway, today, I decided I would walk just the hills. It not only gave me the opportunity to conserve my energy, but I was able to get some good pictures.

I am not certain how long it took me to finish and to be honest, I would rather not know. I think that it would put me in a bad mood knowing that my time was probably slower than normal. That is one of the main reasons I dumped the watch to train for the JFK.

Though I did walk some of my run, I am still pretty beat from it. I don't think it really matters how acclimated I get to the summer weather. Running in the humidity (no matter the temperature) is exhausting.

I am still going to try to tough out a run on the AT tomorrow. There's no rain in the forecast, so I want to take advantage of it! After that though, I think a rest day is definitely in order!!!

How do you feel about the weather in your area? Ideal running conditions?

Do you run in the rain?

Do you ever walk during a long run to conserve your energy? Do you just walk hills, or do you do running/walking intervals?

Monday Ramblings

So I love the Reebok Classics shoes. I love them so much, I wore my pair for 4 years. It wasn't until recently that I decided it may be time to get a new pair. I forgot what they looked like right out of the box.

No wonder I had foot problems, right? Ha!

Speaking of which, the foot feels better. Maybe it was a false alarm. Maybe not. But I felt good enough to go for a run this evening. Because Peter wanted to run to, we decided to partner up on the Appalachian Trail.

The caption is correct. I did fall. But if I had to fall, I would chose no other way to do it. The ground was very soft from our recent string of thunder storms and there weren't any rocks or roots were I planted my hands (talk about pain if there were!). We were also on an incline, so it was easier to catch myself.

The run itself was just seconds under 50 minutes. We covered more ground during this session so it shows that we have improved this time around. Still, I have a long way to go before I am JFK ready!

Tomorrow will be a run-free day since I know I will be sore after this, but I do have a new toy to keep me occupied.

Peter brought his bench and weight bar that was at his parent's. It is going to be a great addition to the gym room. Strength training is also such a big part of my personal training book so knowing/learning the moves will be beneficial to me and my future clients! :)

Anyway, I hope you all had a great Monday! We are through the hardest day! The rest should come easy! Right?

What is your favorite brand of non-running sneakers? 

Have you ever fallen on a run? 

Is weight training a part of your training plan?

Happy Father's Day

We've had our differences over the years, but I do know one thing for sure...I am his guts. My hair, my temper, my stubbornness...I am my father. Whether that may be considered a good or bad thing, I love him nonetheless.

A photo posted by Lindsey Szakacs (@lindseyszakacs) on

The Return of Sesamoiditis???

I am not a fan of waking up early on the weekends. Intuitive running or not, I am not going to suffer through the heat to run my long distance for the week.

I was out of bed at 6 yesterday and on the canal by 6:30.

It was humid and sticky, but despite it, I was comfortable. I ran at a pace that was challenging in the heat, but definitely doable. I do not have a clue how long it took, but honestly, I don't care. The point is that I finished 14 miles.

I also met a turtle.

Even if I am having the worst run ever, seeing cute animals on the canal puts a smile on my face.

I also stopped and took the necessary Dam photos.

After the run, I started to experience an all too familiar ache in my left sesamoid. I babied it all day. I RICE'd like there was no tomorrow. Peter even gave me multiple foot rubs.

Today, I did a foot soak in Epsom salt to try to further improve it.

Then I took my PediEgg to the oversized callus underneath it. I read that an excessive callus may contribute to sesamoiditis. It was definitely meatier (if that's a good word to use) than my other foot.

In all honesty, I blame it on the Hoka's a decided to try out. I am not saying Hoka's are bad shoes, but they are NOT for me. I have had blood blisters and growing calluses ever since I began running in them.

Needless to say, I am no longer wearing them.

I decided that today's run was out of the question. My sesamoids were in no way painful, but it was lurking deep inside. I knew if I pushed it, it would only get worse. I thought the best thing to do was to nip this in this bud now and skip my plans for running.

Instead, I biked about 13 miles and sweated my heart out! A cross-training workout is better than none at all, right?

After the bike ride, I ate this amazing dinner...

Sweet potatoes, baked chicken, and more veggies than you can imagine. One of my favorite dinners to date!

So I am not sure what this week has in store with me. Right now, there isn't any issue in my foot, but I will make sure it will not be a problem. If I have to cross-train, so be it.

Do you take a chance on running with the possibility of bringing on an injury?

Have you ever tried Hoka's? How did they work out for you?

Have you ever tried Epsom salt foot soaks? How did it work out for you?

What is currently your favorite dinner?

Silent Saturday

I Skipped a Run...Then I Didn't

I was on the fence about running today. I wanted to go to the AT, but my run yesterday was pretty difficult. It wasn't long into the workout that I was breathless. I did finish 5 miles in good time, but I was paying for it today. I thought this may be one of those opportunities to listen to my body and call it.

So I skipped my run today. To me, I think that if I did go out to the AT, I would have been more likely to injure myself. With exhaustion and sore body parts, I don't think I would have had the focus to navigate the technical terrain. Within minutes, I would have probably twisted my ankle.

Rather than head straight to the AT, I came home, ate a grilled turkey sandwich on some gluten-free bread and slurped on tomato soup. It was just what I needed! But within an hour, I surprisingly wanted that run!

It was raining, so the AT wasn't going to happen. Instead, I decided to head up to the treadmill, pop in Hood to Coast, and run as far as my body wanted to.

And I got new shoes in the mail today so that made this surprise running session more exciting!

I ended up doing a solid 6 miles and felt pretty awesome. It just proves that intuitive running is the way to go! I listened to my body by not running as soon as I got home. In fact, I gave myself the opportunity to not run at all. Yet, on it's own, my body decided to alert me later that it was ready. It resulted in a wonderful run!

Have you ever skipped a run, then later changed your mind?

What motivates you to run on the treadmill? New shoes? A good show/movie to watch?

You Can Run When You Want To...

...well, not really.

For most of us runners, we have other obligations other than running. Unfortunate, I know, but most of us have jobs, school, spouses, kids, you name it. It definitely compromises when we run or even if we run at all.

For me, I have to get my shorter distances in after work. I will lace up around 5:30, hit my route and come home for dinner. Weekends aren't much different. I will run in the morning to beat the heat or because I have a 10 foot long list of things to do within the day. So whether I like it or not, I run because if I don't, then I know I won't later or at least think I won't.

Running when you don't want to can really mess with your spirit. It may even make you feel rushed, fatigued, or stressed. Now, 99.9% of the time you will be happy that you did go out there and run, but again, we want to make the best of our sessions. We want to feel good from beginning to end.

So what to do?

I decided to test out an idea. Whether or not I have run that day, if my schedule allows and I get the feeling that I want to run, I am going to run. It doesn't have to be a long session. Maybe a mile or less. I want to give my body the opportunity to have its own input on when it wants to run.

I tried this yesterday since I had nothing major on the agenda. I woke up and did not want to do my morning run. I was more amped about making waffles and finishing out some wreath orders.

It wasn't until about 6:30 pm that I actually had the urge to run. So I went out there and ran a route I have never touched before. In fact, it doesn't look like many people touch this route at all because the road went from asphalt to gravel and continued that way for a couple of miles.

I found this exciting to say the least, but the road which had just trees and farmland, eventually led me to the Antietam Battlefield. At that point, I decided it was time to head home.

Upon arriving at my front door, I looked at my phone and realized I had been out running for over an hour! My intention was to run an hour or less just to have about 6 miles in. When I mapped it out, it turned out I ran 7.74 miles!!! It didn't even feel like it!

I definitely need to experiment with this more to gather sufficent evidence that it has an overall improvement to your running session. Still, I encourage you to try it! If you feel like running, do it! I am not saying up and walk out of work to run while you are on the clock. Try it when you are sitting at home on your rest day and you suddenly have the urge. Or if it is a scheduled running day, try to find a time in the day where you have more desire to run and not just because you have to. Changing the time alone may create excitement since it takes you out of the norm.

Do you follow a running schedule where you have set times that you run?

Do you ever run on impulse?

Have you ever gone out on a run and ended up doing more than anticipated?

The True Test: A Naked Long Run

I first mentioned naked running last week when I decided I would go sans iPod and watch for my 6 mile run. I left my expectations behind and decided that it was all up to my body to decide what it wanted to do. In the end, I had a great run! Going with zero pressure was very freeing. I did just what I wanted to do without guilting myself over not holding a certain pace or not getting a specific finish time. Who really wants to feel bad after they run? Running is to make you feel better, not worse!

Anyway, I decided to put the naked run back into motion yesterday. It was my long run day and I intended on getting 12 miles down. This time, I thought it would be fun to not only ditch the iPod and watch, but to go out without a predetermined course. I would go where my heart told me to go and hope that the run would equal out to about 12 miles or 2 hours total.

I woke up at 6am just to beat the heat and humidity.

I thought it was comical since I can barely get up before 6:30 am to get ready for work.

Anyway, when I first started running, I focused on my internal pace monitor. Simply put, I found a pace that felt good and stuck with it. It may have been a 9:00 minute pace or a 10:00. The point was, I wanted to be comfortable based on the heat index.

I ran north on my road for quite some time and enjoyed the rolling hills, but then I decided to mix it up and hit some side roads off the main stretch I had been on. There was a lot to take in since I did not frequent these roads often.  In fact, I have probably been on them a total of 2 or 3 times in the last 3 years.

Also, early morning runs are gorgeous and the scenery looks fresh & new that early in the day! It really kept me going!

Don't be fooled though. It was hot, but still, I was comfortable. I barely noticed that my iPod was missing.

When I started getting close to my house, I did check my cell phone to make sure that I was still on schedule for a 2 hour run, which ended up nearly perfect. I left my house around 6:20 and arrived to my front door at 8:21. Eggs and potatoes were waiting for me on the table.

I mapped out my run once I got home and wouldn't you believe that I was just at 12 miles? I thought that was nuts how I managed that. The fact that my pace was about 10:00 min/mile was a little disappointing though. Still, I had to give myself credit. I woke up early, didn't have breakfast, it was hot and I was without my watch or iPod.

So I listened to what my imaginary watch told me instead.

I liked that result better.

So what benefits did I gather from running naked?

  • Increase in body awareness - Music and pace can mask what's going on with your body. Instead of listening to your favorite song, listen to your body! It may be telling you your overusing something! This will help prevent injury.
  • Increase in environmental awareness - Don't crank up the music, especially when there are cars around. I live on a busy road and I have witnessed many slide into the shoulder from having their attention elsewhere. Do your part to avoid an accident by keeping your attention to what is going on around you.
  • Less gear = Less stress - Should I stop my watch if I stop to take a breather? Is it going to rain and will my iPod get wet and stop working? Will my battery work this entire time or should I charge it before I go?
  • Breathing habits improve - Music can tune out your respiratory functions. Focusing on your breathing and providing the oxygen your body needs can help decrease muscle fatigue.
I am sure I will discover more benefits as I continue to do this and will share them along the way!

Anyway, today starts week 2 of my 24 week training plan! I haven't started running yet, but will be by the end of the day! As for the rest of you, hope your running schedule goes well this week!

Do you run with music? Why?

If you are a naked runner, what are some benefits you get from it?

What are disadvantages to running naked?

Run Naked & My First Trail Run

I have a very different outlook on running since I have started training for the JFK 50. I know I am only on day 3, but I am confident that my running is going to change.

Let's take yesterday's run as an example. I decided that I was going to run naked. Well...I still wore clothing, but I ran without my watch.

I knew how far my route was, but I thought that knowing my speed was pointless.

For me, training for an ultra is not about speed. Finishing is the priority. That means letting my body intuitively run. It will ultimately decide how fast or how slow I need to go to finish the distance I set out for. I feel that a watch will only exhaust me if I try to maintain a specific pace. I already know that my times are going to be completely off from what I am used to.

I also ran without my iPod. I declared earlier this week that I will now be iPod-less through my training. The JFK 50 does not allow headphones so I may as well get used to it. In the end, it too is a distraction from listening to my body just like the watch.

I did pretty well without the technology. I knew when to slow down and I knew when I could speed up. Based on the clock in my car, I still finished 6 miles in about 50ish minutes. So who needs a watch!?

Now on to my favorite part of this week!

Today, I made my first appearance on the Appalachian Trail. It's official. I lost my trail running virginity!

Peter came with me to embark on this new journey with me. He lost his trail running virginity as well!

Trail running very physical, more so than road running. It also seems like it could cause some mental exhaustion as well since your mind is busy on prepping itself for the peril ahead. It's true when people say that you must keep your gaze to the ground just a few feet in front of you. You don't want to trip or twist an ankle!

I became breathless pretty quickly. Muscles that I never knew I had were waking up for the first time. They had to be prepared if I needed them for a quick step or sudden turn. Still, with trying to be very cautious, I still managed to roll on ankles every now and then. Nothing crazy, but for an inexperienced trail runner, I am sure that this is unavoidable. You learn by doing!

It may sound like it was difficult out there and I am not saying that it wasn't, but it was also really fun! There was not one moment during this adventure that I was not thrilled to be where I was. Peter also surprised me! At one point, he pulled ahead of me and got some distance. He seemed to adapt well. It looked pretty effortless for him.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we ran north on the trail for 25 minutes, then journeyed back to the car. When I later mapped out how far we went, it was only about 3 miles!!! We did do some walking in the more difficult areas or when we were fatigued, but I hope to improve on this number as I become more familiar with trail running.

We are already looking forward to the next time we head out!

Do you run without a watch? What about your iPod?

Do you or have you ever run trail before? How long did it take before you were comfortable with the terrain?

What is your preference: Road or trail?

The Beginning of a New Chapter

Run Freckles Run got a facelift yesterday! After 2+ years of showing off my heel strike (which I am now a mid-foot runner), I think it was time for a much needed change! There may be a couple more changes to come, but the bulk of the redesign is complete! Let me know what you think!

Anyway, I have a little gloating to do before I dive into running. Last Wednesday, I became CPR/AED Certified! It's been over 5 years since I took a CPR class, so it was time to get a refresher.

Also, this is step 1 towards earning my Personal Trainer Certificate, so I definitely consider it something worth getting excited over!

Speaking of the PT certification course, I began the first unit of my book today.

Since my vacation is over, I need to buckle down and get this started. I have a lot to cover, but I have no doubt I will find this beneficial for my personal and professional use. I cannot wait to share with  you what I learn!

Now, on to running! Today marks my first day of my ultra-marathon training plan. This is the beginning of a very challenging 24 week schedule.

I will be returning to a 5 day running week or a 4 day plus 1 cross training day depending on the week or how I feel.

Today wasn't too intimidating though. Just a 5 miler on the treadmill.

The weather was calling for some nasty storms so I enjoyed my workout inside while watching Breaking Bad. Since it was also my first day back to running, I took it nice and slow so I didn't put my muscles into shock. Still, I felt great and was happy to get a workout in. No more burn out for me!

This week, I hope to get out to the AT to invest some of my training time. It may not be full-on running, but still a workout for sure. I am just waiting on the storms to pass and some of the mud to dry up before I make my first attempt on the trail.

Speaking of which, did you guys hear about Scott Jurek? He is hoping to run the entire AT in 42 days. Maybe I will see him when I head there this week! What dedication. You can track his progress via Instagram (@scottjurek).

What do you think of the new website look?

Have any of you earned a Personal Trainer Certification? Through ACE, NASM, ISSA? How did/do you like it?

What is your recommendation to a runner making their first attempt at trail running?

Product Review: For the Love of Suja

Suja Juice did not ask or provide compensation for giving this review. This was simply to share with you my experiences with the product! The opinions in this review are my own.

I have a new addiction and it is called Suja Juice. I was first exposed to the brand in San Diego when I participated in the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon weekend and it was love at first sip!

Suja, which translates to "long, beautiful life" is a line of cold-pressured beverages that are packed full of raw fruits and vegetables. All varieties are also certified organic, non-GMO, gluten and soy-free!!! Have I gotten your attention yet?

My first sip of Suja was outside the San Diego Convention Center at the Rock 'n' Roll Race Expo. A Suja representative provided my husband and I with free bottles of Suja. He was given the Mango Magic and I received the Cucumber Chill. I had a sip of Peter's first and it was immediate bliss. I knew that I was in love. I opened my bottle of the Cucumber Chill soon after.

The taste was very light and you could clearly identify the cucumber. I am a HUGE fan of infusing cucumber in my water, so this juice really satisfied me. It was not quite as flavorful as the Mango Magic, but it seemed to focus more on being a refreshing drink than anything else. It would be perfect on a hot day, hence the name Cucumber Chill, right?

When I returned back to the East Coast, I immediately used Suja's store finder to locate their juice in my area. My local Target had their Essentials Line and I nearly cleared them out.

A photo posted by Lindsey Szakacs (@lindseyszakacs) on

 I bought two of each flavor of all available so both my husband and I could try them all!

A photo posted by Lindsey Szakacs (@lindseyszakacs) on

The first one I tried was the Berry Goodness.

A photo posted by Lindsey Szakacs (@lindseyszakacs) on

For those of you who have a sweet tooth, this will help kick any naughty cravings you have. The juice was so rich in taste and you could literally pin-point each ingredient from the banana, lemon, strawberry and then some! It didn't take long for me to gulp this one down. I will be buying Berry Goodness again!

The following morning, I tried the Sunrise Probiotic.

A photo posted by Lindsey Szakacs (@lindseyszakacs) on

I replaced my normal breakfast foods with this. I was a little anxious about ditching solid foods for a drink instead, but I was surprisingly filling! The smoothie included ingredients such as almonds and chia seeds that would help satisfy hunger. It was sweet, refreshing and pure. Perfect breakfast or meal replacement smoothie. I would buy again!

Later in the day, I included the Mighty Greens Juice with my lunch and the Sweet Beets for a snack. I suck at filling myself up with a variety of fruits and veggies through out the day, so I thought that these would be the perfect help!

A photo posted by Lindsey Szakacs (@lindseyszakacs) on

First up, the Mighty Greens. Because I already had two sweet juices within the last 24 hours, I was expecting the same of the Mighty Greens. That was my mistake. When you are expecting something to be sweet and get the opposite, it can really dampen your perspective. The taste reminded me of V8 Juice, but green. Though I was not a fan, I did drink the entire bottle knowing that what it included was much more important for my body than disposing it. I felt extremely focused and energetic soon after drinking. Definitely a great drink to set your body straight.

Now, it's time for my snack! I tried a sample of the Sweet Beets at the expo, but didn't have enough time to fully enjoy the flavor as we were in a hurry, so I bought it to give the juice a proper second chance. I like beets by themselves, but I don't have them often. It was great that when I tasted this juice, it definitely had the flavor of beets in it! Including the sweeter fruits like apple, banana, and pineapple, really spruced this juice up to have quite a unique flavor. This will definitely be purchased again and again!

In the evening, I decided to indulge in a snack. Was it ice cream? Cookies? Chips? NOPE!!! I had something 937498273 times better! The Sunset Protein Smoothie!

A photo posted by Lindsey Szakacs (@lindseyszakacs) on

This was hands down my FAVORITE flavor that I tested. It was creamy, sweet, and like Peter said, "tasted like a cookie." For it being only 160 calories of feel-good ingredients, it was 100% guilt free! Definitely satisfied my nightly sweet cravings and I felt good about indulging in it!

The next day, I indulged in my final two Suja's. :(

A photo posted by Lindsey Szakacs (@lindseyszakacs) on

I had the Carrot Crush as a side with my lunch that day. This is also one of my favs. I have always loved carrots. Cooked, raw, in name it! You get a hint of carrot, but a whole lot of other yummy flavors. It's definitely sweet, so it works if you have a hard time getting your veggies in.

For snack, I gulped down the Mango Magic and it definitely put a spell on me. I shared some with my co-worker and we analyzed the flavor together. When she mentioned she tasted the ginger, that's when I was able to locate it in the variety of tastes. That is one major reason I love Suja. You can taste EVERYTHING. You look at the ingredient list, take a sip, and you will find each fruit or veggie on your taste buds. This was also one of Peter's favorites.

To sum up my review, here are my top picks for the Essentials I tried.
  1. Sunset Protein
  2. Berry Goodness
  3. Carrot Crush
Seriously, all were good and it was hard for me to pick my top 3. I will definitely buy more than these, but the above are going to be staples in my house!

Taking a break and Ultra Training

Now that I am back home, I am taking a much needed break from running. After feeling burnt out for quite some time, I feel it is necessary to take some time off so I can get pumped up for my ultra marathon training. The last thing I want is to start training for a 50 miler feeling exhausted.

I do have some training ideas in store though. I plan to start hiking (not running yet) the Appalachian Trail at least 1 day per week. This will allow me to become acclimated to the trail I will be running in November. I have never trained on a legit trail before. I do not consider the C&O Canal as such since it is relatively flat with little to know rocks or roots to watch out for.

Once I do resume running though, my long runs will take place on the C&O Canal since just over 50% of the ultra is on that path. I can't tell you how happy I am to be taking my long runs back to the canal. I have been sticking to the roads for so long to ensure I was prepared for the marathon. Now that it is over, I can go back to canal running for a while!

As for my shorter, weekly runs, they will alternate between road, canal, and trail. Treadmill days may be possible due to the summer heat and humidity.

One of the biggest changes between marathon training and ultra-marathon training is going to be learning how to walk. Though I am not a stranger to walking crazy hills during training or a race, this training will involve walking when there aren't hills. Like I said, the C&O Canal is flat, but you are still using energy regardless and it is best to conserve that energy for the later hills on the JFK 50 route. I will have to learn to alternate between running and walking at set intervals.

I have been reading Relentless Forward Progress to better learn how to train for ultras.

They advise running for 20 minutes and walking for 5. I may not have to start doing this early in my training, but it will be useful when I am doing 15-20+ mile runs in training. My max training run is 31 miles!!!!!

I have no doubt that this training experience will be a challenge and I will most likely wonder why I decided to put myself through this, but it is one of many bucket list items. And who knows! Maybe I will love it and do tons. Maybe I will prefer running on the Appalachian rather than the canal and become a die-hard trail runner. I will never know until I try, right?

Our Trip to San Diego

This is not going to have a lot to do with running, but thought I would share with you all my epic trip to San Diego. 

I am presently on the plane home and I am not quite happy about it. I spent a total of 4 days in sunny California and have fallen head over heals for the city of San Diego. Upon touching down on Thursday, we were already exposed to one of the many perks of the city: The weather.  It was sunny, warm, and the humidity was no where to be found!

My first meal in Cali was at In-n-Out, a fast food joint that is no where near us in Western Maryland. This meal began a vacation filled with fattening food and gluten. :o)

My brother, Jonathan wanted to take us on a tour of the area, which was nothing short of amazing. I was most impressed with the views of the Pacific Ocean.

Mount Soledad was also breathtaking!

The next day, we got up and went to a restaurant called Hash House, where they have an INTENSE breakfast menu. I ordered the Chicken Hashes, which included eggs, potatoes, asparagus, and a biscuit. It was a HUGE meal and I barely put a dent into it.

Following breakfast, we went to the San Diego Convention Center for the Rock n Roll Race Expo. We didn’t stick around because we had a trip to the Safari Park on the agenda, but I was able to pick up a shot glass and a pretty cool bottle opener.

I also grabbed as many free samples as I could. From Suja juices to Power Bars. I really liked Suja’s Beet juice and Power Bar’s cola flavored gummies. When we left, Peter and I were also able to get free bottles of Suja. I grabbed their cucumber juice and Peter got mango.

The cucumber was okay, but the mango was pretty fantastic. I am looking to buy a ton on my next grocery visit!! :)

Anyway, once we met back up with Jonathan and my sister-in-law, Trisha, we began the trip out to the Safari Park. The views on the ride alone were phenomenal, but I had no idea that the sights in the park would be so epic.

My favorite exhibit was probably the gorillas and I was pretty amped about feeding the ducks.

But it was difficult to chose what was the best part of the trip. Everything was really cool there and the staff was very knowledgable. I learned a lot.

Peter and I hit the hay early once again because of having to wake up for the 5K. You can read the full recap here.

Following the 5K, we headed out to the Fashion Valley Mall. My iPod got messed up and the screen no longer worked so it was off to the Apple store! There was no way I was going to run the marathon without music. Luckily, they were able to give me a replacement for a decent price, so there was no passing it up!

Afterwards, we headed to a local skate park that Jonathan goes to. I have never been into skating or really ever exposed to it, but watching these guys was exciting. I think I could have stayed there for hours.

That afternoon, Jonathan and Peter dropped me off at the Jet Rhys, a salon where Trisha works. She is their senior colorist. So...I got my hair dyed a little bit more red.

Then we got drinks at the beach...

The next day, the marathon took up most of our day. After running, showering, eating, and napping, it was nearly dinner time. So we went to Stone Brewery where I had the best Yakisoba EVER.

I must figure out how to make this.

We went back to my bro's house, had some drinks and I cuddled with their pup, Jack before going to bed.

The next day, we had little time to really get into anything before our flight. So we just went to the beach, which I thought was a great way to wrap up the trip (as opposed to moving there).

I am super bummed to have left this wonderful city. I am convinced that I belong there and must move there. Is it bad that I am already looking up jobs and houses?

Have you ever been to or live in San Diego? If so, what is your favorite thing to do?

Where's your favorite place to eat in San Diego?

Does anyone know of any houses for sale or job openings? (kidding...but not really)
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