I’m linking up with the fabulous Katie today because this weekend has been fun and marvelous!  What could be better than getting in the Christmas spirit and spending time with cats and family?


The first marvelous thing? I finished bringing my stuff home from school, including my plant. It’s a plumeria I got from Hawaii, and it’s thriving in my room. I guess the humid, warm climate that seems to mold everything is good for it? Proud plant momma right here!


Then, my mom and I shared an amazing sandwich-turkey and avocado from Ike’s, which is kind of a big deal around here (and there’s one on campus!) Yum!


Then I did some Christmas shopping. I’m really excited about some of my gifts this year, and I cannot wait to share it with you guys…after Christmas though!

Which brings us to Sunday. Sunday I did a Santa Run 5k. I did the 5k last year, which is the only 5k I’ve ever done. After finishing training for halves, I’ve been working really hard on getting faster. I had countless 6am wakeup calls for 30 degree track workouts. I really wanted to PR this race. 

For breakfast, I had something a little unusual-cottage cheese, cocoa powder, and a little honey, topped with raspberries and served with a persimmon.


Before leaving for the race that afternoon, I had super light lunch-persimmon, more banana bread, and a little spinach bread-like stuff. I was more concerned about having stomach issues than being hungry since this was such a short race, and I remember being stuffed going into it last year. 

The race is in its second year-it benefits Christmas in the Park, and Christmas display the city puts up every year, which was ranked top 10 in the world! Here are some pre-race photos-everyone dressed up as Santa, but I wanted something more comfortable to race in, plus my parents requested I wear something that didn’t blend in so much as they had trouble finding me in my last race, so I wore my Santa Run shirt from last year.


The race itself? It was tough. I was super nervous before the race, and they nervousness kind of turned to nausea as soon as I started running. I most likely definitely went out too fast; I didn’t wear my Garmin because I was worried it would freak me out, but I know my second half of the race was much slower than the first.

Lately during my races, I question why the heck I keep signing myself up for them! SO painful. At least halves are slower so you can enjoy the first half of the race or so comfortably and not be dying until the end…

I definitely did not feel as prepared as I should have been. I haven’t been out of breath in this way in a while. My endurance base? It’s great. I haven’t done much sprinting though, and that needs to happen. 

I didn’t PR this race. I realized that pretty quickly. My official time was 25:36, which is 37 seconds away from a PR. Here are some very unattractive running pictures:


I felt pretty awful right at the finish. They were handing out cookies and milk (cute, right??) which i grabbed for my dad.The thing about 5ks though? You recover pretty quickly, so it didn’t take long before I was game to try a s’mores pizza. Because why not?


It was pizza dough with nutella, dark chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers. It was delicious! And messy. Check out the aftermath.


Walking around after the race, my calf started to cramp a little. Nothing major, just felt on the verge of a cramp. After some salt, it was much better though!

I also got a new friend.


And here are some pictures from Christmas in the park:


My sister ended up meeting us there and then inviting us to her place for macaroni and cheese. It just so happens my favorite froyo place is on the way home…


A bit of tart with fruit, salted caramel pretzel, and pumpkin pie, with toffee, brownies, and chocolate pretzels. 

And after some time in front of the TV prepping for tomorrow’s trip (more in a second), a little snack that included cheese, crackers, and these guys:


Have you guys had Jo-jos from Trader Joe’s? Get them. Now. They’re decadent and addictive. They’re basically chocolate covered oreos but in cool flavors-these are gingerbread and peppermint. 

So my thoughts on the race? While I’m a little disappointed, I’m not really surprised. Based on my training, I knew hitting my goal pace would be really hard. I have two more 5ks in the next few months; the race made me both want to never run a race again and train even harder at the same time. Races hurt. But if I’m in better shape they hurt less, right? Or I just go faster and they hurt just as much. I have a couple of ideas of what I can do to get faster. I want to do more sprints-I need to do more agility types of drills anyways because my ankles are weak. I need to do longer runs OUTSIDE at my goal pace-like without breaks in the middle. I love doing workouts with intervals, where you get to rest in the middle. But you don’t get to rest on race day, so I need to prepare myself for that as well. And I need to click with the nutrition. To be perfectly honest, being lighter means instantly faster because there isn’t so much to carry around. I’m heavier than a year ago, and while some of that is muscle, it still has to be carried 3.1 miles. For the next couple of months I may put weight lifting more on the back burner and focus hard on running. 

As for the trip-tomorrow I’m going to Solvang, a little Danish town near Santa Barbara, which should be adorable and Christmas-y. In preparation, we had to re-watch the Psych episode where they go there. I can’t wait!

What did you do this weekend?


18 comments on “MIMM-Christmas in the Park and Santa Run

  1. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    That run looks so awesome- Everyone dressed as Santa!

    We have a themed run pretty famous here in australia…you only wear underwear doing it. Yep, we’re a shameful lot!

    1. Aurora

      Haha that seems painful! So much chafing!

  2. Julie

    All those Santas are so cute!

  3. Shawn @ Fruity 'N' Nutty

    Even though you didn’t pr, you’re still super fast in my book! 😀 Looks like you’ve had a wonderful weekend and the santa race looks like so much fun!!! Kinda regretting not signing up for a christmas themed race. 😛

    Happy Holidays Aurora!

    1. Aurora

      Happy holidays! And you’ll have to next year!

  4. Ashley @MilesonOats

    Don’t be upset about your race time! 5K’s are a brutal wake up call when you try to go for the full gusto and you normally do distance training or casual paced runs. Speed work helps, but those short burst are nothing in comparison to a consistent 5k stretch. A few weeks ago I did my own 5k for speed purposes, maintained a 8:10, 8:20, 8:30 pace. I almost threw up afterwards because I am used to running at my maximum speed! Normally I run comfortable 5-6 mile stretches (9:15ish pace) and the occasional long run (9:30-10:00 pace). Anyways, enough of me rambling, I think your time was great! Be proud, I am proud for you! And that nutella biscuit thing just made me insanely jealous haha 😉

    1. Aurora

      Thank you for this! I think a big part of it was just not being used to running that distance/speed-you’re definitely right! Oh well, I guess I’ve learned for next time!

  5. Miranda @ Lovely Wife Lovely Life

    I love that reindeer!! Hahahaha it’d be such a good White Elephant gift if you didn’t want to keep it! 😉 Also, way to go on that green thumb! I always kill plants!

    1. Aurora

      Thanks! Although I did kill my avocado plants that I raised from pits!

  6. jessielovestorun

    Sorry to hear the race didn’t go as you hoped, but like you said – you still have a few others to hit your target goal. Keep your head up beautiful!

    I love how festive your area is. I can’t imagine it being hard to not be happy & loving life w/ all that Holiday spirit happening!

    1. Aurora

      It’s awesome! Even if the race wasn’t as good as I had hoped, the Christmas cheer made up for it!

  7. smilemilegirl

    I’m glad you enjoyed the race (: That looks like such a fun one!! I love the park’s decorations. I know you can PR in an upcoming race. I know it’s really disappointing when races don’t go as planned, but there’s always another chance to PR. (:

    1. Aurora

      Very true! I have a good feeling about my upcoming races!

  8. Brittany @ DulceVie

    I loooooooove Ike’s!!! Seriously. They have the best sandwiches ever! Oh and we still need to meet up sometime!

    1. Aurora

      Yes, definitely! I’ll text you after break and we can arrange something!

  9. Marina @ PBlover and Runner

    You are the good fellow that ran! Worse or best of all, but you made it 😉
    Christmas jewelry such darlings and me the photo of thematic race is pleasant: ) Your days off look perfectly.

  10. carrotsandcandysticks

    What a great idea to mix cocoa with cottage cheese! I usually just use greek yogurt but now I have a new idea. Also, congrats on your run, it looked super festive and fun!

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