Why I’m not an InstaRunner.

If I posted all my runs on instagram you’d be unimpressed. My marathon training is slow and boring. Leading up to Boston I’d often do double runs, struggling to maintain a 8:45 pace in the mornings. It was probably because the evening before I’d done an 8 miler after a long day at work. Principal hours should be calculated towards milage. These runs were mentally exhausting, mimicking the fatigue one might feel in the final miles of a marathon.

Nothing is impressive about the following runs leading up to my 2016 Boston Marathon.

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None of those three runs were worth posting on instagram. I probably wasn’t wearing a cute outfit. I probably wasn’t super pumped and excited. I definitely had nothing to brag about in regards to pace.

But they led to this. 0028.jpg

Before Long Beach I looked back at my Garmin runs in hopes of being motivated to believe I could run hard and sustain a steady pace. Instead what I found was a bunch of 8:30 paced runs. Maybe twice a week I’d push it and throw in some mileage in the 6s. I basically never ran in the 7 minute mile range. It was either fast or easy. Never that middle zone. Rather than freaking myself out and running a bunch of unnecessary milage in the 6:50 range in the week before the race when I had decided to go for it, I just tapered. I trusted the importance of logging easy milage and getting rest before the race.

I think runners feel pressure to impress others with their instagram posts. I wonder if them feeling the need to show off their pace ultimately hurts their race performance. I’ll admit I question my ability when I see runners with slower PRs rocking their mid-week runs and pushing the pace when I’m just trucking along in the 8 minute mile range. I don’t post every time I run for many reasons, but one of them is because I don’t want to feel like I have to go faster than what feels easy on any given day. Maybe I got 6 hours of sleep, ran around my school for 13 hours, and came home to run 6 miles barely under a 9 minute mile pace. I’ve learned to be OK with that and to trust in easy milage (thank you Gisele). I encourage other runners to resist the urge to compare, and to stay loyal to the easy run. Recognize that easy one day may have a completely different different pace from another.

Ok ok I’m done rambling about running. I was just starting to feel like all my posts were a bunch of pictures of cute EQ3 scholars and wanted to share some food for thought. I will leave you with a few photos of what’s happening in life. Last week we had Fall festival at EQ3 🙂 The day before I went to the First Girl I Loved Movie Premier. On Thursday I witnessed the best warrior 2 I’ve ever seen in 1st grade yoga. Saturday we ran to the top of inspiration point with the Nike Run Club Santa Monica.

Until next time.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Crazy how one day I’m running a sub-3 marathon…img_5504.png

And the next day it’s back to this…

I love it though 🙂 That’s our future astronaut presenting his solor system model he made just for fun. Not a project or anything, he was just curious. Things are really starting to fall into place and I am so happy at work. If you like delayed gratification, work in lower elementary. September is rough, but once the kids get the routine, it keeps getting smoother. I don’t take being happy at work for granted because there were so many years where I felt so anxious and stressed at school. I always knew I was doing important work, but I didn’t always have fun during school hours. On Friday Alaina was in Philly for a wedding, and she was sending me a bunch of photos from her trip. It was strange to actually feel happy for her and not completely envious that she wasn’t at work.

Here are our scholars making models of the brain with play-doh as their choice learning activity. 

And our 1st graders participating in outdoor yoga.

We work hard and have fun at EQ3. Friday scholars earned free dress if they had been on-time and present for two weeks straight.

The chick magnet shirt is the BEST!


With marathon recovery comes lots of time for cooking! I’m proud of this beauty. It’s essentially my Mama’s picadillo but with rainbow carrots, spinach, and murasaki sweet potatoes. Made a huge batch and will be using it for nachos tonight and tacos during the week.

I also invented this meal, and it turned out pretty well. Spaghetti squash roasted then sauteed with pesto, spinach, and sausage. As far as running goes, who know what’s next. I’m cutting the milage for a bit, and I’m thinking about trying to run a faster 5K or 10K. Who knows! For Long Beach I didn’t have a strict plan, and that seemed to work well for me…so we’ll see what happens.

And did anyone see this? img_5509.png Crazy fast!

Long Beach Marathon Race Review

Yesterday I did something crazy. After finishing the Ventura Half Marathon in 1:24 a bunch of people asked me if I was shooting for a sub-3 full marathon. I honestly did not think it was possible. I plugged my stats in this race time predictor and it seemed like a stretch. It said 3:02:31. Considering it’s LA and we’re always running races in the heat, MAYBE a 3:05, but 2:xx?! Yeah, it felt too scary to even try, but just for the heck of it I decided to do a little experiment. Part of me wanted to show Brent how insane he was for thinking I could pull it off.


There was absolutely nothing to lose. Long Beach is a 30 minute drive from home. I wasn’t trying to qualify for Boston. I went into yesterday thinking “This is sub-3 attempt #1.” I thought I’d get a good training run in and see how long I could hang. I was fully prepared to DNF if I was hurting. I figured I could maybe recover and try again another time. For that reason I didn’t tell many people I was running the marathon. If people asked, I didn’t lie, but I wasn’t advertising it. Being the goody-goody I am I felt bad not telling Mama and Papa. I tell them everything!

Brent was in Chicago for a wedding, which worked out well because I didn’t want to do much on Saturday besides sit around and eat carbs. Saturday I had oatmeal with almond butter, blueberry jam, and coconut chips for breakfast.fullsizerender

A bunch of snacks at the expo followed by this roast beef bad boy.


And a few tacos for dinner. I think I overdid it with the carbs. Miles 23-26 I felt like I was going to throw up, but I managed to finish with no chunks. Turns out when you are tapering you don’t have to eat like you’re running 50+ miles a week.

I slept from maybe 10-3:30 on Saturday night, which isn’t too shabby for the night before a marathon. I had my morning coffee and could only handle half my bagel PB&J because I was still full from the day before. I sent Brent this selfie and was off to meet Ellen, Peter, and Alaina.

We got to Long Beach and parked in no time. There were absolutely no lines for the bathrooms and I had about 30 minutes to kill before the race. I felt dumb making my way to the front of the starting line. I felt like I didn’t belong there with all the intenso looking guys. At 6:05 we were off. It was still a cool 61 degrees, and I was eager to get started before the sun came out.

14543703_10154025061725829_8834440773061573493_o.jpgUnlike Boston where I didn’t get a good groove much of the race, I quickly fell into a 6:50 pace. It felt hard but smooth. I kept reminding myself to relax my shoulders, and smiled and thanked all the water volunteers as a way to stay calm. At the 5K point I was happy to still be on pace. At 10K I still felt OK. When I reached the half at 1:29 I though, “Hey, even if I drop out now I’ll have run a 1:29 half.” I felt good, but was nervous. The rough teens were approaching. IMG_5463.JPG

I started passing more men, and that was motivating. Many of them had started fast and were slowing down. I tried to make friends and chat with the few people around me. Sadly nobody was in the mood to talk 😦 I knew Alaina and my new awesome co-worker Kevin (he lives in the LBC) were going to be at mile 16. They gave me a huge boost of energy before I entered Cal State Long Beach. Kevin even made the sign that said Optimism + Grit = Lowry. (Two of my favorite Equitas Values) Fun fact: I spent 6 weeks at Cal State Long Beach the summer I moved to LA when I was in teacher training for Teach For America. Brent and I also had our first kiss on Long Beach’s campus pretty much on the path up the 18 mile hill on the course. Thinking about Brent and I first meeting powered me up that hill 🙂 At this point (I thought) nobody was around so I started talking to myself. Turns out there was a guy right behind me. I’m hoping he appreciated the pump up talk. I then looped back off campus and saw Alaina and Kevin again at 20 and gave them a thumbs up that I was ok. img_2005.jpg

At mile 23 my stomach started cramping up. My pace still felt maintainable, my legs were tired but I knew I could hold on, mentally I was feeling strong, but my stomach was not happy. I’d grazed on honey stingers and pretzel nuggets in the early miles, but fuel was sounding absolutely disgusting at this point. I told myself it was just a lazy 3 miler to the finish line, and used all kinds of positive self-talk. At this point the marathon course met back up with the half that had started at 7:30. At my mile 25 I ran into Peter who was finishing up the half. It was so exciting to see him and have someone to finish with. Peter looks a whole lot happier than me!

FullSizeRender.jpgI dug a little deeper and pumped my arms knowing it was close. We turned left to the finish. It wasn’t until I had less than 800 meters to go that I believed what others had told me they knew was possible. I looked at the clock and saw 2:58. Peter looked surprised and said “You’re going to finish under three!” I tried to soak in the moment, knowing that it was something I’d never forget. 2:58:19. FullSizeRender_1.jpg

Gisele (who works for Run Racing and organized the event) surprised me at the finish line and ran up to me and gave me a hug. Alaina was there too. I  was in shock and just kept saying “I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it.”


Ellen finished the half in 1:34 just 2 minutes after I crossed. She reached her goal of sub-1:35! It was an awesome reunion of Alaina, Gisele, Peter, Ellen, and I at the finish. Lucy, a friend from Equitas who lives in Long Beach was there too. I was annoyingly excited.


 I called Brent first, then I called Mama and Papa who didn’t even know I was running a marathon and sounded a bit confused.

o.jpgAfter eating smoked salmon and drinking a mimosa in the VIP tent (the only things that sounded good) we grabbed coffee at my favorite spot, Recreational Coffee. Things were getting hot at that point. FullSizeRender_2.jpg

We drove back up to LA, Marta came over to hang out. We picked Brent up and went to The Tripel, of course. Long Beach, you’ll always have a special place in my heart. Gisele, I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work in organizing such a well-executed event. I’ll never forget crossing the finish line and seeing you and Alaina run up to me with your huge smiles. Thank you for making that experience possible. I am so lucky to have you as a running role model and as a friend.

Also, special shout out to Alaina for waking up at 4 in the morning to come cheer for me. I’m so lucky to have you as a BFF. Seeing you at 16 and 20 was what I needed to make it through the day.

Thinking of running the Long Beach Marathon? You should. During the entire race I kept thinking “Why did it take me so many years to run this marathon!?”


  • Early start for the full
  • Mostly flat course with lots of variety
  • Post-race tents and celebration area was so much fun! Plenty freebies, massages, a huge run club village, beautiful view of the boats and the Queen Mary, lots of palm trees, space to sit outside on the grass.
  • Well-organized expo and easy packet pick-up
  • Big city race feel without the crowding on the course
  • Plenty of water on the course
  • NUUN ON THE COURSE! (extra points for this)
  • Honey Stingers on the course
  • Shirt size swap at the expo
  • No porta-potty lines
  • Lots of spectators, fun bands, cheerleaders and other course support
  • Great snack bags at the end. The bag was awesome. Always annoying when you’re trying to hold your phone, bananas, water, etc.
  • Cold towels at the end


  • Temps might affect you. I think it was 73 degrees when I finished, but well into the 80s an hour later.
  • Didn’t love this year’s shirt, but I do like the official merchandise!