San Diego, CA: Running My 1st Half Marathon

 Greetings from San Diego!

Greetings from San Diego!

Dates Traveled: 10/28/17 - 10/30/17

Hello, friends!

It has been a very, very long time since written a post (the last one I posted was from December - eek!). I apologize for the seven month long unintentional hiatus but I definitely needed the time to sort out a few things.

As you can imagine, a lot can happen in seven months - I got engaged to person of my dreams, started a new job and, most notably, I am going back to school! After some deliberation, and with the support of my family and friends, I have decided to pursue a degree in Nutritional Sciences in hopes of becoming a Registered Dietitian.

With all this change going on, I feel like I have lost touch with things I normally enjoy doing, such as working out. It has become increasingly harder for me to find pockets of time to do the things that bring me joy and even if I have the time, I am usually too exhausted to do them! It is a very vicious cycle as you can see. But July has given me the break I badly needed - I am only taking one class and work has lightened up tremendously - so I am finding the time and energy to #treatyoself.

I took advantage of this glorious summer break to go for a run this morning and it reminded me of how much I love running! Running had become a way to deal with my anxiety and was something I looked forward to at the end of a long day. I loved it so much that I ran my first half marathon in San Diego last October!

 Crossing the finish line!

Crossing the finish line!

I ran the Kaiser Permanente THRIVE Half Marathon to raise money and awareness for Headstrong Project. Headstrong is a nonprofit that provides free, confidential mental healthcare to post-9/11 veterans. As someone who’s dealt with anxiety and depression, I know how unbelievably helpful treatment can be. Thank you to all the amazing people you donated to this cause! Together we were able to donate $900 and help better the life of a brave veteran.

Training for the half marathon was a real test of self discipline. I relied heavily on the Nike Run Club’s 18 week program and ran at least three times a week, averaging about 15 miles per week. Towards the end of the program, I was running 10 miles at a time which was just as mentally challenging as it was physically. On race day, I was a ball of nerves beforehand. But once the race started, I was in my zone and ready to go! In all honesty, it didn’t hit me that I was running a half marathon until I hit Mile 11. After 2 hours and 28 minutes of running my heart out, I made it to the finish line to find Tejinder standing there with arguably the best sign possible.

 Now let's get pancakes!

Now let's get pancakes!

After laying on the grass and recharging for a bit, we made our way back to our hotel, the Bahia Resort, for a well deserved nap. I did, after all, wake up at 5 AM for the race! After napping for a solid hour or so, Tejinder woke me up and took me to Richard Walker's Pancake House to fulfill his promise of getting me pancakes after the race. And because I just wanted all the carbs at that point. I enjoyed a steaming plate of buckwheat pancakes and a frothy cup of hot cocoa. The staff at Richard Walker’s was as amazing as the food.  They congratulated me on finishing the race and yes, I wore my medal all weekend. 

Once my stomach was filled with delicious pancakes, we decided to head over to Balboa Park for some sightseeing.  We started at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, then made our way down El Prado, stopping by the pond in front of the Botanical Building and enjoyed watching a magician in front of the Museum of Photographic Art, before finding a spot to sit near the fountain by the Fleet Science Center. It was an absolutely stunning day in San Diego and we enjoyed slowly, very slowly, walking through the park and watching all the attractions. I highly recommend paying a visit if you’re in the San Diego area.

 The pond in front of the Botanical Building

The pond in front of the Botanical Building

 Flashing my medal in front of the Fleet Science Center fountain!

Flashing my medal in front of the Fleet Science Center fountain!

The next day, I was pretty sore still but was feeling adventurous so Tejinder and I decided to rent a couple of beach cruisers and bike around Pacific Beach. We biked down Ocean Front Walk until we hit South Mission Beach before turning around and biking to the Pacific Beach Pier. Since it was Monday, the esplanade and beach were so quiet - it felt like we had to whole place to ourselves. By this time, we were getting a bit hungry so we stopped by Crushed on Garnet for some flatbread pizza because, of course pizza. After filling up on cheesy goodness, we somehow managed to find ourselves on the Bayside Walk. We slowly biked along the bay, enjoying the quirky and cute houses along the walkway and taking in the salty air. By the time we made it back to our hotel to return the bikes, it was time to catch our flight back to San Francisco.

 View from the Pacific Beach Pier

View from the Pacific Beach Pier

 Enjoying the sites along Ocean Front Walk

Enjoying the sites along Ocean Front Walk

 Pacific Pier pitstop

Pacific Pier pitstop

Our short trip to San Diego serves as a constant reminder of two important of things:

1) I love traveling with Tejinder. We have so much fun together even if it just sitting in front of a fountain because I am too sore to walk. He gives me so much energy and his support during the best and worst of times is invaluable. During the last mile and half of the race, I saw him walking to the finish line and called out his name. Just seeing his face smiling at me as I was running up the steepest hill of the race gave me the boost I needed to finish strong!

2) You CAN accomplish anything you set your mind to. There were times during training that I felt like I couldn’t do it and was ready to throw in the towel. But I pushed past those negative thoughts and preserved. And now I have a beautiful shiny medal hanging by my desk to remind me that I can do anything I set my mind to whether that is getting an A on my midterm or finding time to enjoy the things I once loved. You. Can. Do. It.

Now that the race is done, I can focus on my next challenge - school. I hope my story inspires you to push through whatever journey you are on. Remember that you are capable of so much more than you can imagine. Also, remember to take the time to love yourself! Find the time to do your nails, bake cookies, go for a run, whatever it is that makes you happy. Because what’s the point of doing it all if you aren’t having fun!?


Until next time (which hopefully is sooner than seven months),

xoxo, EK