Monday, August 31, 2015

Cork & Draft Festival Review

This past weekend was filled with laughter, beer, wine, friends, and good food. I had been looking forward to this weekend for the past few weeks and it sure didn't disappoint. Our good friends came down from LA to celebrate with us along with some friends here in San Diego. The Cork and Draft Classic was a great little festival that helped ring in my birthday a few days early.

 First off we had to get some food in our belly if we were going to consume lots of alcohol.

I have been on a Tacos Perla kick and honestly I make any excuse to go back. Their tacos and quesadillas are sooo good! Probably what makes them so good are the home made tortillas and the variety of sauces. Oh yeah and they have amazing aguas frescas with free refills. 

After we ate, we still had time to kill. So we went next door to Under Belly. Under Belly has these amazing noodles but since we had just eaten, we decided to hang out by the bar. The bar is completely open and has such a great vibe. Of course we made time for one beer before we meet up with our friends at the next location.

After Under Belly we headed to The Balboa. It's a bar in Hillcrest area and one step closer to our final destination. I hear they have these really good hamburgers but we opted to share a drink. At this bar there are these delicious jalapeno margaritas. 

I just love the tangy drinks!

The Cork and Draft Classic was in the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego. The views were to die for but it was a bit too hot. Okay it was only 85 degrees but for some reason it felt hotter. 

The festival consisted of an assortment of both wines and breweries. Knowing how hot it was I opted to stick to one. We seriously were moving from shade to shade to keep cool. 

I have attended other wine and beer festivals and there were some things I liked and didn't like about this one. I loved the fact that benefits were towards the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a foundation that I am very proud to say I have helped out in the past. The official festival cup was actually pretty cool. It was double sided for both beer and wine. Unfortunately my husband broke his and then happened to forget mine at dinner. The ambiance was nice given the location and views.  They even allowed dogs on leash. Oh and they had a really good band performing reggae music. 

Here were some of the negative things about the festival: The pours were very small. I mean they were REALLY small.  

Also there were very VERY limited options for food. I really could've gone for some food trucks to soak up all the alcohol.  Overall though it was a great time. We managed to get some reservations after the festival at a really good Mexican restaurant.

I guess the smart thing would have been to just eat the food and then head home. But of course we had margaritas at the restaurant. Apparently we had three pitchers worth and then caught another Lyft ride back to our house. That part is a bit blurry and some of us decided to continue drinking...yeah yet another horrible decision. 

And then this is what we did pretty much all day Sunday. Recovery time, movies, Little League World Series, and food.

Hope you guys had a great weekend! Time to buckle down and start training again for my next race. 

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with SpoonsHealthy Diva Eats and Her Heartland Soul

Thursday, August 27, 2015

5 Summer Favorites!

Can you believe that September is almost here? That means two things: my birthday is coming up and summer is close to ending.  With August almost to an end, I wanted to take the time to reflect on what an amazing summer it has been. This city has so many things to offer from great restaurants, festivals, concerts, and of course the beaches. I've been soaking it all in and have truly enjoyed every second. I marvel at the fact that people come here for vacations and it just so happens to be my new home. San Diego is such a wonderful city but the summer just makes me appreciate how beautiful this city really is. Here are some of the top 5 things I have done this summer:

  • BEACH TIME!:  Honestly this has been the best part of my summer! I've enjoyed getting reacquainted to the many beaches around me. I still haven't visited all of them but it's nice to know that I have many options at my disposal. Living in Fresno for seven years really made me realize how much I took San Diego for granted. Honestly when I lived here before I rarely ever visited the beach and now I can't go longer than a week! My husband is still pinching himself that he lives this close to beaches. 
  • QUALITY FAMILY TIME: The primary reason I moved here was to be closer to family and this summer I have really made an effort to prove this. I see my parents almost weekly. I have monthly lunch dates with my cousin Elia. My niece and nephew often spend the night over at our house. I visit my grandmother and I hosted a house warming party at my house. I've also been extremely supportive and making myself available to my cousin Bianca as she undergoes her cancer/chemo/radiation treatments. My family is know how Mexican families can get! My grandmother had 13 children so that kind of gives you an idea. I honestly don't even know how many cousins I have! Obviously there are some family members I haven't really been able to spend time with but I have the rest of my life to catch up with them. There is no doubt in my mind that this was the best move for me and my family. 

  • RUNNING/HIKING: Well this one is a given since I love to run.  But what I have truly enjoyed this summer is finding new running locations in San Diego. There are so many places to check out and I haven't even made a dent on my list of places to explore. This summer I also managed to run two half marathons: San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon and the Hell of A Half.  Both were a lot of fun but unfortunately no PR in either one. I still have three more to go so here's hoping I land a PR! Oh and along with running I have really enjoyed hiking and hitting some trails. You wouldn't of guessed it but San Diego offers many hiking trails throughout the county. It has been a great way to cross train this summer. The views are pretty amazing which make the hikes worth while. 

  • BEER TASTING: San Diego is a huge craft beer mecca! I read somewhere that there are over 200 craft breweries within San Diego county. Crazy right!?!? Honestly you would never be able to check all of them out since so many keep popping up and others close in the process. It has been fun trying though! Also it seems like every weekend there is some type of beer festival. It just so happens that this Saturday we are checking out a beer/wine festival. Our good friends are coming down from LA to go with us.  I am super excited since this is my birthday present from my husband. 

  • PETCO PARK:  This summer my husband and I have been able to attend some baseball games at Petco Park. The park is the home of the San Diego Padres and it is amazing! It's newer and located in downtown so there are so many things to do before or after the game.  Any seat in this stadium gives you great views but unfortunately the Padres haven't had a stellar summer. Their chances of making the playoffs are pretty slim. Oh well! At least I have great time when I am there. We've even talked about getting some season tickets in the future...way way way into the future!


Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

 I am linking up with with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC,  Mar from Mar On The Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What? for Friday Five.

Finding The Right Gym: 101

I love the gym. I know a lot of people hate it but for me it's been a great place to let out frustration and release some endorphins. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to just lace up my shoes and go for a great run outside. But there is something about lifting some weights and doing other cardivascular exercises that gets me going.

I've made no secret that since moving here I needed some time to get settled before I joined a gym. Since I wasn't sure where I would end up living, I didn't want to end up stuck in a contract. Now that my husband and I are all settled in, it's time to make that commitment once again. In order to find the right gym though, you have to really sit down and ask yourself what are you looking for?  What are you really needing in a gym. Does cost play a big part on making your decision? Are you looking for fancy machines? Each person's needs are different.

Here are some criteria to consider when finding the perfect gym for you:
  • COST: You need to find a gym that isn't going to take all your monthly savings. Are there extra signing fees? Find a happy medium where the gym won't break your bank. Finding the right gym is a big financial commitment, so it’s even more important that you research your options before signing on the dotted line.
  • LOCATION: If you are planning on sticking with the gym, I would highly suggest picking a gym close to you.  If you choose a gym on the other side of town, will you really make it there consistently to work out? Finding a place close to home, school, or work would be ideal if not   you'll eventually find the excuse that the gym is too far to drive. I've been that person.
  • HOURS OF OPERATION: Nothing worse than signing up to a gym where they have very limited hours of operation. Wether you prefer to workout in the morning or evening, make sure the gym is open long enough or early enough to get a good workout. Also how busy does it get during the hours that you are interested in attending? 
  • EXTRA AMENITIES: One of my favorite things in the gym is to finish my workout with some deep stretching in the dry sauna. I look forward to it every time. Some gyms unfortunately do not have this amenity. Newer gyms are even offering tanning beds and massage tables.  So make sure the gym you pick has the amenities that will keep you coming back for more.
  • POOL: Technically having a pool is like an extra amenity but I did want to list it on its own since having a pool has great benefits. When I was training for a triathlon I logged in a lot of hours and miles in the pool lanes. 
  • CLEANLINESS: I am pretty sure this one goes without saying. Look around the gym and see if they offer towels to wipe off the equipment after each use.  Peek into the locker rooms and showers, especially if you’ll be using these often. Look at the toilets, sinks, and showers themselves to see that they’re properly maintained.
  • STAFF: Is the staff friendly and approachable? The staff members of the gym should be supportive and courteous. They should be ready to answer questions or spot you on a machine if needed. They are there to help you make the most of your workouts. Before selecting a gym, ask about the certifications of the staff members. Are they qualified to guide you through your fitness routine? And if you are interested in a personal trainer, what are their rates?
  • EQUIPMENT: Are there enough of the popular machines to go around, or do members have to wait in line to use them? Of course every gym has their busy times, but will you have to wait 30 minutes for a treadmill? Are there time limits on cardio equipment and is it enforced? If you run on a treadmill for an hour, then a 30-minute time limit won’t really suit you.
  • EXERCISE CLASSES: Before signing up for a gym, take a look at their class schedule. Are they offering the classes that you are interested in or would be interested in? I am a big fan of spin/cycle classes, but I have come across some gyms that charge extra for these classes. If that's the case then is it worth the cost?
When choosing a gym, set up a tour and bring a list of questions you want answered. Try to set up this tour during the time you will usually exercise. Most gyms will offer you free week or day passes to check out their facility.  The free pass will allow you to try out the equipment, classes, and other amenities firsthand. When picking your gym my biggest advice it that you should feel relaxed in your exercise environment, not embarrassed or intimidated. Some gyms are co-ed, while some are same-sex only. Others attract individuals of certain age groups. Will you be comfortable exercising around the current members? On your tour, does the gym seem overly crowded? Everyone responds differently to those around them, and you should keep this in mind before you choose a gym.


Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Places to Run In San Diego: Torrey Pines

Happy Wednesday! Just wanted to share with you guys yet another place to run in San Diego. This time I headed to Torrey Pines (located between La Jolla and Del Mar) to check out some new trails. Torrey Pines is a beautiful state natural reserve that runs along the southern California coastal line. Honestly the views along the cliffs make this a destination spot not only among locals but tourists all over the world.

Getting there is pretty easy. Torrey Pines is off of the 5 freeway. Exit on Genesee Ave and follow the signs.  From the San Diego International airport it will take approximately 10-15 minutes depending on traffic. Since I live a little east it takes me anywhere from 25-35 minutes to get there. There are two parking lots for Torrey Pines: North Beach and South Beach. I usually enter through the South Beach entrance and pay the parking fee. This fee varies depending on the day of the week and during major holidays. For the most part the park fee ranges from $10-$15.  

 Trails, Trails, and more Trails

Torrey Pines consists of six major trails. None of which are very difficult or long.  I've done three of the trails and they were very manageable. Most are relatively flat but getting to the beginning of the trails there is one major hill. This hill is shared with not only runners, walkers, but cars as well. Once you venture off of the main road, the trails begin. Most trails even link up to other trails. Every trail is properly marked which makes it very easy to navigate through. Unfortunately some of the trails are pretty narrow which makes it very difficult to run among all the rest of the walkers and hikers.  

So far my favorite trail is the Beach Trail for obvious reasons.  The views are amazing. I've only been to Torrey Pines in the morning, but I have heard the sunset views are pretty amazing.  I'm hoping to make it sometime soon for those evening views. 

  • The views are absolutely amazing
  • Trails are clean
  • Trail access to Torrey Pines State Beach
  • Bathrooms at the park entrance

  • Trails are narrow, can be hard to run during certain parts
  • Cost to park ($10-$15)
  • No dogs allowed
  • No drinking fountains due to water drought

If you find yourself looking for a new running route in San Diego, I would recommend checking these trails out. You can make it a short run or as long as you would like by doing all six trail runs. Who doesn't love a nice beach trail? Happy running everyone! :)

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

Linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama

Monday, August 24, 2015

Feeling Like A Zombie: Night Shift Problems!

I knew that by starting a new job I would have to start from the bottom and work my way up. I lost the seniority I had at my other hospital but that's okay. I truly love my new job and have really been learning a lot of new things. But of course since I am at the bottom of the topem pole it means that I am forced to work whatever shift they ask of me. Beggers can't be choosers in this field. You take what you can get and don't complain. When the economy tanked a few years back, it made it very difficult to find jobs in my profession. Even now it still remains competive. When I applied for this job, I was among 150 other applicants fighting for 6 positions...CRAZY RIGHT?!?
I now realize how lucky I was to even make it to the interview panel. My resume stood out among all the other applicants. For this I do credit my husband and sister-in-law because they completely revamped my resume. Well now that I am here I really don't plan on moving anywhere anytime soon which means with time my seniority will climb again. In the mean time, I am stuck on night shift.
Well I guess I should be pretty honest here, night shift isn't really that bad. It definitely has its perks but the major downfall is the zombie feeling I get. It just isn't normal for me to sleep during the day. My body just hasn't quite adjusted to the change. Our bodies operate opposite to its circadian rhythm when working nights. That internal clock that tells us when we should be sleeping and when we should wake up is completely thrown for a loop.

Here are some the negative things I've experienced from working nights:
  • Zombie mode
  • Unable to sleep during the day
  • Fatigue from lack of sleep
  • Slower metabolism
  • VERY irritable (my poor husband)
  • Weight gain (I eat to stay awake)

The list seems pretty crappy huh? Well I did say there are some perks from night shift but I'm still not sure if they completely outweight the bad. Yes the pay is great and not having upper management down your throats is always nice. But not being able to shake off this zombie feeling is quite annoying. I know people that love working nights. They wouldn't have it any other way. Those, of course, are the people that have done this for years and they know their routine. I am still learning the ropes of what to do in order to live a normal life.


I miss being able to work out before or after work. Before, regardless of how tired I was after working a 12 hour day shift, my body was still able to get in an hour workout. Now I just look forward to trying to atleast get some restless hours of sleep during the day. When I wake up my body feels so disorientated that working out or going for a run is pretty much out of the question. I honestly feel drunk when I wake up. I am finishing up on three night shifts in a row and let me tell you my body is begging me to get back to normal.

I'll sign off with probably the greatest things about working nights. I can have an alcoholic bevarage pretty early in the day without judgement. :)

Other places you can find me:
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons, Healthy Diva Eats and Her Heartland Soul

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hell Of A Half Marathon Recap

Happy Monday! Well I can happily say that I completed my fourth half marathon this past weekend. I knew it would be my toughest for the year, but I am absolutely proud of myself for finishing strong. Now I only have three more to go! If you may remember one of my goals for 2015 was to complete seven half marathons...crazy right?? Well I am more than half way there, but for now I get to relax the next few days and hopefully squeeze in a pedicure or a massage.

The race was out of town in Exeter, CA. The drive to get there from San Diego took 5 hours which may sound far but honestly it went by super fast. I left very early on Friday and didn't reach any traffic!  Luckily I have friends that live there so I had a free place to stay. The hubby wasn't able to come with me for this race.  He had a trip to Vegas planned in advanced for our friend's birthday. 

I picked up my race packet on Friday with my friends. One of them is running the race as well.  I will say this...BEST RUNNING SWAG! I got the typical running shirt, an insulated water bottle, really nice sandals ($60 value), and a visor. This race is run by my old local running store, Sole 2 Soul. Man I miss that store! All their local races have the best amenities. Oh yeah and all their employees are amazing and truly love running. 

Afterwards we carb loaded with some local pizza. Definitely hit the spot!

This race was actually on Saturday which was awesome because I was able to rest up on Sunday before the long drive back home. We got to the start line about 45 minutes before the race started. Honesty it wasn't really that necessary. It took us a mere five minutes to get there. It at least gave us the opportunity to hit up the bathrooms before the lines got long and some stretching before the race started. This race gets hot...there is a reason they call it Hell of a Half. They even offered people the option to start half an hour earlier to avoid the heat. Once there, I debated on just starting early but I opted to just stick it out.

I felt great for the first four miles. I felt loose, no pain, and was honestly enjoying the run. I knew that would change shortly after the mile 4 marker though. The first main hill was coming and I could feel it. I can't even tell you how hard of a hill it was. My pace dropped drastically since I had to walk during some parts of that first hill. It's length was a little over a mile but felt so much longer! That hill was deceiving. Just when I thought it was over, I'd make a turn and see the hill just keep on climbing.  
There was a brief moment of flatness around the 5.5-8 mile markers, but after that the last hill came and it was worse than the first! Yet another mile long uphill. At that point so many of use where just plain out tired and just walked.  The heat was unbearable and although they did have water stations throughout the course, my body was still not dealing with the heat very well. I had forgotten how hot it can get in the Central Valley. 

Once I got to the top of the last hill, I knew I only needed less than three miles to go! I tried to go as fast as I could downhill to catch up for some lost time walking up the last hill, but my legs felt like jello. It didn't help that I could feel plenty of blisters forming.  I saw my friend at mile 12 which was just what I needed to finish strong. She managed to take a picture of me running.

I swear I knew the finish line was close by, but I just couldn't see it. It was frustrating knowing I was so close yet felt so far away. Finally I made a left turn and saw the last 200 yards to felt like another mile long though. I tried to give it my last kick but honestly I was done. The arms were moving faster, but the legs were barely going anywhere. I gave it my all and finished strong with a 2:17:51.

My goal was 2:10 but I under-estimated how hard these hills would be. I knew I wouldn't hit a PR but I wanted this challenge. This has been the hardest race I have ever ran, but I still loved it! The course was very beautiful and I would run it again next year if given the opportunity. 

Here are the things I loved about this race:
  • the running swag
  • the beautiful course
  • the breakfast burritos and watermelon at the end
  • the medal
  • the race staff
Here are the things I didn't really care for:
  • the race is far away from San Diego
  • during the course, there weren't many porta potties
  • the hills

So now what's next? My next race will be the completion of the Sole 2 Soul series. But I am planning on taking a few days off and just relaxing. I am in desperate need of a pedicure so that will be a priority this week. 

Hope you all had a great weekend!
Anyone have any races? Great runs?

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with SpoonsHealthy Diva Eats and Her Heartland Soul

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Happy 1 Year Blog Anniversary!!

I can't believe it has been exactly one year ago today, when I decided to start this blog. I was so inspired by so many of my favorite bloggers to start this but really didn't know how long I would keep it up. It initially started off as a way to keep myself accountable for my training and workouts, but it has changed into so much more. I have posted not only recipes, race recaps, treadmill workouts, and personal stuff. I am currently working on reviewing products and hoping to start a vlog on YouTube with easy home workouts to do. Honestly there is still so much more I can do with my blog!

I am pretty proud that given all the chaos that has gone on in my life this past year (father's cancer, cousin's cancer, relocating back to San Diego, selling my house, buying a new house, and starting a new job), I've been able to keep at it. There have been days when I thought about just stopping and something inside me always stops me and pushes me to continue. If you have been following me the past few months, you may have noticed I've slowed down a bit. I used to blog a few times a week and for awhile I was only blogging maybe once a week. I truly plan to change that this following year! My life is finally getting back to a normal routine and it excites me to see the new changes I have in store.

Here are a few things I am hoping to accomplish by next year:

  • Enroll in a running coach certification (unfortunately very limited classes in the US, so this might be a challenge) 
  • Come up with more recipes
  • Review more products
  • Start a Vlog on YouTube
  • Attend Blogfest or something similar
  • If I have time I will obtain my personal trainer certification
  • Continue to inspire others to love running and a healthy lifestyle!

Writing these goals for the following year really gets me pumped for what's to come for year number 2! Everyone needs an outlet and this blog has been a great way for me to express myself. I've shared my injuries and struggles with running. I've been down and have been motivated to keep at it by not only my followers but the rest of the blogger community. I really do want to take the time and thank my friends who have been loyal readers and to all my followers who continue to inspire me. This blogger community is absolutely amazing.  I can't wait to see what the next year brings! Once again...from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU!!

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons