Giant’s Race 2015

Hello! Guess who did a race this past weekend?


The Giant’s Race finishes in the Giant’s ballpark. It’s awesome. It was my first ever race! This year I did the 10k, not the half like I did the past 2 years. I had a hard time with my training for my April half because I was so sick, that I was just not up for it. That, and I had no time or energy to train with work. This summer I was on my feet 8 hrs a day, and half marathon training plus that would have torn up my feet!

So, I settled on the 10k.

It’s so crazy to me. 4 years ago, I ran this race for the first time.



I was about to start my freshman year of college. Where the heck did the time go?? When I ran it 4 years ago, I actually won my age group. I was in my best shape of my life at the time, and followed a strict training schedule to work up to that distance (at the time a PDR). This year, I ran the race about 7 minutes slower. Instead of moaning about how much slower I’ve gotten, I’m appreciating how my body has changed to allow me to run this distance without issue, essentially without training.


I didn’t have any expectations for the race. I didn’t want to die, but I wanted to run a decent pace. I was actually a second away from my last minute goal time. I mostly just wanted to enjoy this race. It’s an amazing course-along the Embarcadero, under the Bay Bridge, and out past Fisherman’s Wharf. Bonus-the 10k is flat. The half marathon course actually goes to Chrissy field, with a fantastic view of the Golden Gate.


The energy of the runners is amazing as well-lots of like-minded people (aka Giant’s fans). Plus, finishing on the field never gets old. I definitely enjoyed this race!


After the race, I met up with my mom and grabbed a complimentary post-race beer, just because I could. Yayy for 21. I only had a few sips though because we had other plans for beverages that morning!



There was also a little sandbag toss, for prizes. Of course, I had to take part. I nailed my first 2 bags right in the whole. I still have some softball player left in me, and walked away with some new sunglasses!

After my coffee exploration in New York, I figured I should use a trip to the city as an excuse to try some of the best San Francisco has to offer! I picked out a place, and it turned out they had gourmet and gluten free doughnuts! Dynamo Donuts. We arrived minutes before they opened.


I had a chocolate raspberry and a lemon buttermilk gluten free donut. Both were delicious, and you definitely could not tell they were gluten free.


Plus, OF COURSE a cappuccino. Excellent as well. Good coffee is just so much smoother, and without the bitterness.


Overall, it was a great morning!

Tell me-where’s the best coffee?

Why Caffeine is Not a Substitute for Sleep

How’s everyone’s week going? My week has finally slowed down and I feel like some of the fog has lifted. My midterm is over, my allergies took a turn for the better today, and a good night’s sleep helps!

I’m also on Day 2 of my caffeine detox. Granted, it’s a forced detox after I got so sick from coffee, but it’s still led me to reflect a bit. Also-caffeine withdrawal is very real. I felt like I was in such a fog yesterday, but thankfully it seems much better today!

Since skipping the coffee these past few days, I’ve realized how I feel so much more in tune with my body. I was drinking it so often this quarter that I felt like I had a constant buzz. Before overdosing on it, I was wondering what effects it would have. It made me happier, perkier, more engaged, but it was always there, and I would often be at the verge of mild overcaffeination.


But more importantly, I feel like I was using it as a crutch. Don’t have enough time to sleep? That’s fine, I’ll just drink coffee. I was trying to do it all-stay on top of work, socialize, workout early every morning-and I neglected sleep. I could stay awake because COFFEE but after a few weeks of this, I was starting to feel worn down. While coffee may seem like a great solution when you’re tired, it’s important that we don’t use it to mask a symptom of a deeper problem. Sure, you may FEEL better, but lack of sleep can wreck havoc on your body. Here are some of the ways how:

1. Interferes with ability to concentrate and learn new things.

2.Impairs decision making and creativity.

3.Weakened immune system.

4. Weight gain: “Sleep deprivation increases production of the stress hormone cortisol. Lack of sleep lowers your levels of a hormone called leptin, which tells your brain that you’ve had enough to eat. In addition, it raises levels of a biochemical called ghrelin, which is an appetite stimulant.

Sleep deprivation prompts your body to release higher levels of insulin after you eat, promoting fat storage and increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

-This basically means sleep messes with the hormones that regulate appetite to cause you to eat more and store more fat.

5. Risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.



Although caffeine treats the symptom (sleepiness), it is definitely not a replacement for sleep. I’m definitely going to try and make sleep more of a priority. I know we’re all busy, but it IS possible if it is important to you!

Do you get enough sleep?

WIAW-Rough Morning

Guys. It was a rough one over here. But let’s still celebrate food as of late with Jenn!


I figured out that whatever weird sinus-y thing I’m dealing with is allergies, not illness. Unfortunately, that still kept me up a bit last night! On top of that, I was up fairly late doing homework. I woke up for 6am Crossfit, which was definitely not enough sleep. The workout was a good one though-and getting off campus helped my allergies. For strength, we did overhead squats and toes to bar. The conditioning was a 15 minute AMRAP of:

5 dumbbell ground to overhead (I used 25#s-ground to overhead means clean to shoulders and then push press or push jerk to overhead)

7 pull ups (banded for me)

9 squats (no weight)

I finished exactly at 9 rounds! This was one of those that ends up being pretty hard because none of the moves are terrible so you can just get tons of reps in.

The roughness started afterwards when I decided I needed a big cup of coffee to get me through the day. I normally drink espresso drinks, so I don’t have as good of a gauge of how much caffeine is in regular coffee. Normally I do half a packet of instant in milk, but this time I did a full packet.


I basically chugged it on an empty stomach and was about halfway through my banana with sunflower seed butter when I realized I felt pretty weird. And it quickly dawned upon me that I had made a terrible mistake. My heart started racing and I started shaking. Besides feeling awful, being over caffeinated also really freaks me out. I felt really nauseous and shaky for the morning, but it was a lot better by my 11am class. Even now, in the evening, I’m not feeling 100% but definitely a LOT better.

Lunch was super lame and picture less because I was scared to eat anything too heavy-2 crackers and an English muffin. After lunch, I felt a lot less shaky. The good news is I have still managed to get a fair amount of studying done for my midterm tomorrow despite this!

I was starving mid-afternoon and feeling better so I heated up the last slice of my drowned cranberry bread.


I was starving again around when dinner opened-and it smelled delicious through my window! I went with pretty basic foods still.


Mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, a little roasted cauliflower, and chipotle turkey soup. I was feeling god enough for a few bites of peach crispy as well-note that this plate is actually much smaller!


So…that was my day. Rough. I’m officially on a caffeine detox. I think these past couple of weeks I was depending a bit too heavy on coffee to get me through the day instead of sleep anyway, which wasn’t sustainable. I need to make sleep more of a priority!

And since today’s food was kind of boring, here are a couple of other meals!


I have a new batch of lunches! Chicken and mashed yams are same old, same old, but this time I have roasted garlic broccoli to accompany them!


A basic dinner-some type of vinaigrette based black bean salad with strips of something unidentifiable, BBQ chicken, and sweet potato fries. How pretty is that plate? So colorful!

And now, I have to get back to studying!

Coffee-yay or nay?

Fed Up

I just finished rewatching the movie Fed Up. That movie is amazing-I think it is something everyone needs to see. It’s about the food industry and the obesity epidemic. One of the biggest things I really think was important was the discussion of our food environment. Junk food is everywhere we look. We are actively fighting to eat healthily. Given how addictive these foods are, this basically gives us no chance. (One study they brought up was roughly the following: mice were dosed cocaine until they became addicted. Then, they were given access to either sugar water or cocaine. 40/43 chose the sugar water. The COCAINE ADDICTED MICE chose SUGAR over COCAINE.) I wrote a research paper last spring on drug addiction, and I really examined the pathways of addiction. Half of addiction is dependent on environmental cues (for those interested, the glutamatergic pathway). How are people supposed to fight biochemistry? I definitely fall prey to my environment. And it’s not like you can just avoid the real world!

Ok, enough ranting for now. Today included a couple of things:

1. A timed mile

2. An “I don’t know what I want to do with my life” crisis


I went to the track first thing this morning for a timed mile. It’s been over a year since I did one. I also have done very little speed work lately, so there’s that. I was expecting it to feel terrible but it wasn’t too bad. Not as fast as I would have liked, but I’m also sore today (what’s new) so who knows how it would have gone. It’s fine though-a good starting point!


I was going to do a track workout, but my legs weren’t feeling it after the mile so I did a couple of laps of cool down and a few sprints.

Then, COFFEE. Track workouts mean a trip to my favorite coffee place I never go, since it’s on the way back! This cappuccino was amazing.


Then, breakfast was in the dining hall-banana pancakes with a bit of butter, eggs, and grapes.


Today I did something different-I spent my day phone less. It was exhilarating. Or maybe that was the caffeine…I was way more productive, although also somewhat lost. I was convinced it was a Wednesday…

Lunch was same old-same old. Grilled chicken with Greek seasoning from home last weekend, sage mashed sweet potatoes, and roasted asparagus.


After class today, I FINALLY got a haircut. My ends have been driving me crazy for far too long. Beforehand, I had some roasted carrots, a spoon of sunflower seed butter, and earlier a granola bar in class.


This is sort of embarrassing-after my haircut I DROVE to the gym. On campus. But I was already in my car, and I went to the far gym so…


I had to go though to practice my spin class one last time before tomorrow morning! It went really well, and I’m feeling pumped about my playlist!

Dinner back in my room was more wraps. One with salsa this time though, which was delicious! I just need some avocado now!

On the side, I had some sweet potato tortilla chips and persimmon.

And WHEW, now I’m ready for bed! I will say though, that movie really makes me want to cut out some more processed food!

Feelings on the food industry?

The Thing That I Never Mentioned

Hey guys! Who is pumped that it is Friday? I’m looking at an early night tonight. I got a weird bug bite last weekend-definitely not a mosquito bite-and since I have weird marks all up my arm. I think it’s probably some type of allergic reaction so I’m going to take Benadryl in the hopes that it solves the problem! I did talk to someone who is a doctor though and he confirmed that I am most likely not dying, so that’s always good!

Food and workout-wise, I was up early this morning to take a spin class at Soul Cycle. The 7am class was packed! It was a fun, good workout, but again-I’d never recommend that class. It really is meant only for very young, very fit people-they is plenty of potential for injury! One of my favorite spin teachers told us a story about how she went to a spin class and passed out getting off the bike because there was no cool down. She wouldn’t name names, but it was pretty clear where it was! COOLDOWN IS SO IMPORTANT!

I got coffee after class. Necessary.


Breakfast was same old, same old.


Lunch was TJ’s lemon pepper chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts with nutritional yeast.


After a long lab, I had planned to go to Crossfit because it seemed like such a fun one, but the dinner menu sounded delicious so I went to dinner instead. It did not disappoint.

Roasted carrots, roasted cauliflower, peanut free pad thai, thai chicken, lentil curry, coconut rice, candied yams. I got a little bit of everything!


And now onto the thing I haven’t mentioned.

I have a job teaching spin! It’s at the same studio I got certified at. I auditioned a few weeks ago, and now I’m on as a sub! So far, I’ve subbed one class, and it was awesome.

I ended up getting pretty late notice for that class and had to frantically get things together, but it was so, so awesome. The members are so great, and it was just so much fun! I’m still working on wearing a headset without breathing into the mic the entire time, but it was great!

I’m trying to put together playlists for everyone’s tastes-if anyone has good spin music I’d love suggestions! Here’s the playlist I used.


Since I am teaching, it’s essential I get some spin classes in that I take! Plus it’s easier to rationalize the Soul Cycle price tag…man.

Have you ever done Soul Cycle? Thoughts?