Quick Fun Weekend Getaway in Portland

I initially requested the week off from work for the possibility of a week long international vacation with one of my girlfriends, but that got postponed and so “Nike Shoe” (the shoe in my Insta-Stories) and I decided to head out to Portland for the weekend.  I’ve heard so many amazing things about Portland so was extremely excited for this trip.  We packed as much as we can in one weekend, but there is so much one can do, that a re-visit to this beautiful city will have to happen again.  

For the first time I had no itinerary planned for a trip.  I’ve been taking more of a “laissez a faire” approach to traveling lately and it has been such a liberating experience to wake up and go, rather than rushing to one planned activity onto the next.  It made traveling with “Nike Shoe” spontaneous, adventurous, and fun.  Since nothing was officially organized and to keep this blog post simple, I will outline the highlights from my Portlandia adventure.

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Hiking:  Once we landed in Portland, we decided a hike to the famous Multonomah Falls was priority.  It was the perfect opportunity to get blood flowing in our legs after the 3 hour flight.  The Columbia Gorge is absolutely breath taking.  I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada, so the greenery made me reminisce about my youthful days. Oregon’s beauty gave me the chance to live in the past for a moment and made me realize how I took the outdoors for granted as a child.  My eyes sparkled throughout the whole trail as we hiked to several beautiful waterfalls that day.  I absolutely can’t wait to return.  Multonomah Falls is only a 45 minute drive away from the city, so renting a car is a must.  However, if you want to stick to the city and to do some outdoor hiking, I recommend visiting the Forest Park, which was just as stunning and literally minutes away from Portland.  They offer several hiking/running trails, it the perfect place that gives you the feeling of being away from the city, but still near the city.

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Running/Biking: We stayed at the Marriott Waterfront and it is literally steps away from a biking and running path.  SWEET!  I love the ability to lace up my running shoes and explore any city with my own two feet.  Since “Nike Shoe” doesn’t run, I woke up early one morning to explore the path on my own.  It’s such a fun way to explore a city.  After my run, I wanted to venture further along the path, so “Nike” and I rented City bikes from Biketownpdx.  I’d recommend downloading the Biketown app on your phone when you get a chance, so you can map out your adventure for the day.  They have several stations around the city where you can easily pick up a bike, ride, then park your bike and go.  When I return to Portland, I’ll be taking full advantage of this mode of transportation again. Here’s a link to easily plan your biking adventure: https://www.biketownpdx.com/    

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“Run-derlusting” Around Portland

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Wining & Dining:

Now this list is endless.  One of my friends recommended watching a Day of Gluttony in Portland which gave us a list of 24 hot spots:  coffee, juice, burgers, pasta, wings, beers and desserts; You name it, these guys packed absolutely everything in 24 hours.  Here’s the link if you are interested: https://youtu.be/IVW8UTBbu1I .  We used this youtube as a guide along with several other recommendations from our friends.  It was the perfect way to structure our spontaneous food adventure.  

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A few places to name that we had the opportunity to visit :

Water Avenue Coffee & Kitchen :  We visited this joint twice for their delicious coffee.

Kure :  “Nike shoe” has never had an Acai bowl before and it was literally love at first bite.  We had to re-visit this juice bar again the next day to get Nike’s Acai bowl fix.

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Cheese & Crack: We venture to this joint prior to an afternoon of wine tasting.  I’d call it a cheese lover’s joint.

Four Graces, Stoller Estate Wines & Basecamp: Oregon is known for their breweries, but I’m known to be a wino.  I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to check out a winery minutes away from the city.  But Basecamp’s marshmallow stout was definitely something I didn’t want to miss out on either, so we chose two wineries and a brewery to fulfill our minimum alcohol requirements for the weekend.

We also checked out Pine States Biscuits, Moberi, Tabor Tavern, Pok Pok, Grassa, and the famous Portland Food Carts.  If I had more time and room in my stomach, I would have loved to visit all the recommendations suggested, but I will have to save that for another visit in the near future.

I loved everything about Portland.  From the hiking, running, biking to the eating and drinking.  Everything was so easily accessible.  It was a perfect way to spend a weekend away from LA.  So until my next exciting adventure … thank you for reading.

With Love,

Beverley – xoxo

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Running with Pain

As some of you may know, I was training for my first half marathon last summer.  Unfortunately–I didn’t go on to complete this goal due to challenges in my personal life.  My ex-boyfriend and I decided to end our relationship two weeks before the race.  When we broke up, I initially thought I could press on and complete my goal, but as time passed, the thought of running my first half marathon with a broken heart seemed impossible–  especially since my ex-boyfriend had planned to run this race with me.  It was supposed to be a momentous occasion that we would share together.

I can recall a conversation via text message we exchanged when we first met.  I sent him a picture of the sunset at Manhattan Beach after just running 3 miles.  I wasn’t a big runner then, and still learning to love the exercise, but he told me that if he lived in LA, he would run my first half marathon beside me.  It was a sweet gesture at the time, but as you now know, that story ends in me withdrawing from the race after things between us fell apart.

While I may have had a few emotionally trying moments this past year, I still am grateful for the time that we shared, and for his inspirational gifts throughout our relationship, and even now after we’ve parted ways.  To be honest with you, I was hesitant to share this story because it’s deeply personal, though in the end I have chosen to do so because our relationship made a significant impact on who I am today, and that’s something worth sharing.

If you were following me on Instagram last year, you would have learned that during my half marathon training, I developed right knee pain.  The dull ache in my knee was unrelenting. After our break up, the pain intensified as I pushed myself to train harder as a way to cope with my broken heart.  As you might have guessed, I aggravated the injury, thus limiting my ability to train for my planned races the following months. Nothing quite gets in the way of a fitness goal like a worsening physical injury.

Looking back on this emotionally and physically painful time–I can officially say that I was doing a textbook tour of the stages of grief.  I want to share with you what grief looked like for me, and allow you to see the parallels between processing my heartbreak and my knee injury.

  1. Denial:  When the pain first hits, you tell yourself, “It’s not that bad, we weren’t right for each other, I don’t feel anything”.  I kept telling myself during my runs that my heart wasn’t broken and I didn’t feel any pain in my knee.   So I kept pushing myself to run, and thus aggravated the injury.  But the truth is, the pain was there no matter how hard you try to ignore it.
  2. Sadness:  At some point, pain is pain, and I realized I could no longer run away from it or hide.  During this stage, I finally gave myself the opportunity to be sad and engage with the pain, emotionally and physically.  I acknowledged it, allowed myself to feel it enveloping me, and developed ways to deal with my physical pain by way of physical therapy, and emotional pain in the form of talking with a therapist.
  3. Confusion/ Anger:   I definitely had my moments of confusion and something like anger. Was this the right decision? Are our personalities that different? Could it have worked? Why doesn’t this freaking pain in my knee go away? I want to run! I should be over this relationship now!  I went to a therapist to sort through my emotions, and a physical therapist to deal with my knee injury.  Both therapists helped me explore strategies on how to work through my pain.  I was given exercises that encourage me to learn from the situation, and to improve it.    This helped me discover new perspectives, and I started feeling like myself again: physically and emotionally.
  4. Motivation: After dealing with my feelings, I realized that the pain in my right knee, and the pain in my heart, were only temporary.  This was a tunnel–not a cave. This gave me the determination to heal my heart and finally realize my goal of completing a half marathon.
  5. Acceptance :  I am grateful for the time I had with my ex-boyfriend.  We both realized how different we were from one another, and understood that it wouldn’t have worked out between us.  I honestly believe we are both now happier after going our separate ways.  Finding closure in the relationship and spending time in physical therapy allowed me to complete my first half marathon without any right knee pain! In fact, I completed my 2nd half marathon with a better time than the previous, and I’m looking forward to race in my 3rd half marathon in November.

I want you all to know that I originally wrote this article early this year, but didn’t yet feel emotionally ready to share something so personal.  But healing changes things. Working through the stages alters your perspective. In the end, I felt the need to share my story because it may be personal, but it is a significant part of my life that has shaped me into the person I am today.  I will end this blog post with one last quote that I absolutely love, and read to myself  over and over following the break up: “Everything heals.  Your body heals.  Your heart heals.  The mind heals.  Wounds heal.  Your soul repairs itself. Your happiness is always going to come back.  Bad times don’t last.” – The past may help shape our present, but it is our present that will shape our future… and I am looking forward to my future. ❤

Thank you for reading! xoxo ~ Beverley

Rocking my 2nd Half – Race Recap of San Diego Rock n Roll { June 4, 2017 }

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I did it! I was able to accomplish a half marathon race under 2 hours and it felt really good.  When my friends invited me to run Rock and Roll San Diego I was hesitant to sign up for the race at first.  I wasn’t officially training for any races, but since I was still running occasionally here and there, I figured, “why not?”.  My primary goal was to complete the race and explore a new city by foot and luckily I was given the opportunity of combining both a fun weekend get away with fellow fitness enthusiast and exploring the city by foot via the race.  What more can a girl ask for?

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that the highlight of this trip was being able to surpass my first race time by 22 minutes.  This personal record made me feel really accomplished and I’m beginning to understand the concept of a running addiction developed among runners, especially after finishing a race.  San Diego was a completely different adventure from my first half marathon in Zion and while I loved my first race because it was my first (you will always remember your first ;p ), San Diego Rock and Roll was such an amazing and fun experience that I’m really happy I chose it to be my second race.  While runners have always been inspiring along my running journey, my biggest inspiration during this race were the fans who cheered for the participants.  It was so nice to observe hundreds of people supporting and encouraging their close friends, family and strangers during the race and I believe this is what makes San Diego Rock and Roll unique and memorable.  While I didn’t really have anyone cheering for me, it was heartwarming and uplifting to see all the fans cheer for their family members, friends and strangers along the way.  The excitement and energy in the air was infectious and for a brief moment, I felt as though I was a part of the San Diego community. I couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere; the weather was perfect, the rolling hills were to be expected and the fans were the biggest prize in my eyes.   They made the race go by quickly that before I knew it, I was enjoying a refreshing cold beer with fellow half marathoners.  It was definitely a sweet treat.

The race was so positive and uplifting that I’ve already signed up for my next race though that race isn’t until November, so there is a possibility that I will be looking for another course that will fit my schedule prior to this date.  Will start training for the Malibu Half Marathon by the end of the summer, but if anyone else has any other race suggestions, I would love to explore my options, as I might just jump onto the band wagon again.  Thank you for reading and happy training.

Beverley – xoxo

 

 

Cultivating a Grateful Heart

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“Happiness is letting go of what your life is suppose to look like and celebrating it for everything you have.” – 3 ways on how I cultivate happiness and gratitude into my life.

  1. Give Thanks

We live in a world where society has created these ideas that we need to achieve certain milestones in our life in order to be happy.  While achieving these milestones is great and gives us a sense of satisfaction, it may not always ensure a path to happiness.  I will admit, I am at fault of being disappointed with myself if I fail to achieve certain goals in my personal life, but for the past few months, I’ve been making a conscious effort to give thanks to the things that I currently have in my life and achieved to this date.  This has helped me put things into perspective so now I ask myself when times get tough or when I’m dissatisfied with a situation; what are you most thankful for at this moment?  I am thankful I have my health, a rewarding  job that helps me put a roof over my head, and the loving relationships I share with my family and friends.   

  1.  Focus on the Present

Being present is one of the most difficult task to accomplish at times.  Focus on what you are thankful for this present moment.  It can be as simple as the sun basking on your face, the beautiful weather, the ability to hear the birds chirping, ocean waves crashing and to feel the breeze blow through your hair.  This morning I was thankful for the few minutes of silence while sipping a warm cup of coffee.

  1.  Thankful Growth

When difficult situations occur, it is easy to focus on the negative and I will admit, I am at fault at times for negative thinking.  The emotional pain that arise can take over and one may focus on negative factors, but know that this too shall pass.  Look forward to the opportunity that you had to learn and grow from any situation and understand that one day you can look back and know why things had to happen the way they did.

Thank you for reading – xoxo

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Wine Not? Creating the Perfect Wine Night!

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Hi there!

What’s better than knowing your are halfway through the week and you realize you need a break from reality, so you figured you celebrate Wine Wednesday.  I don’t work the usual Monday to Friday 9am-5pm so when I have an evening off from work this is my opportunity to pop open a couple bottles of wine, create a yummy appetizing spread, play some old skool jams and catch up with my dear friends.   As much as I love a good happy hour, sometimes it’s nice to sit in the comforts of your home to truly enjoy the conversations and company you keep.

How to Create the Perfect Wine Night:

  1. The Wine – I was lucky that Natura Wines offered to send me a couple bottles of wine to host a fun evening event with my friends.  I love drinking wine and to be honest I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and delicious it was to drink.  My friends and I taste tested the sauvignon blanc and merlot and both wines were smooth and soft on the palate, and the best part about Natura Wines is that it is organic and gluten free.  We polished both bottles and my girlfriend Wendy was vying to try another bottle.  (Here’s the link to their website if anyone is interested in trying out yummy organic and gluten free wine – http://www.naturawines.com )
  2. The Spread – I bought most of my products from Trader Joes.  I love how TJ’s has so many options to choose from, though I kept it simple:  One soft (triple cream brie), hard (Syrah Infused) & basic (Sharp Cheddar) – they were the perfect assortment of cheese to serve to my guest.  I also bought vegetables to roast, tossed them in olive oil and TJ’s garlic seasoning salt, roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes then voila!  What I love about cheese platters is that you can add anything to it to complement your wine & cheese: cured meets, jams , honey, roasted nuts, berries, your options are endless!
  3. The Company – I enjoy a glass and sometimes two, but the company you keep is what makes experience enjoyable.  There is no way I could finish two bottles on my own so I’m grateful that I was able to share it with a few of my dear friends.  At the end of the night the best part of the whole experience is the laughter, the conversations and the memories you end up sharing.

Thanks for reading and I hope your next Wine Night is just as memorable as mine.

xo

Beverley

Disclosure: Although I received these products for free from Natura Wines, all opinions are my own.

Coming Together: Wanderlust 108

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This past Sunday was my first Wanderlust event that I was fortunate to attend with a couple of my fitness girlfriends.  I’ve truly been blessed this year to meet so many new fitness minded people, so when asked if I wanted to attend the mindful triathlon, I naturally jumped upon the opportunity.  

The morning started with a 5k breezy, heart pumping run on the sand at the beach.  Nothing can compare to breathing in the fresh ocean air, having the sun shining upon your face, and wind blowing through your hair. The weather was almost too perfect and you can feel the excitement shared in the air.  I would have to admit that this is by far, my favorite 5k to date.

After completing a sweaty morning run, we headed up onto Santa Monica Pier for a group vinyasa dance flow.   I’ve always practice yoga in a small group setting or by myself, so flowing with hundreds of other yoginis who shared the same passion and love for yoga was an amazing new experience.  We connected, laughed and after a few sun salutations everyone gathered toward the stage and jumped and danced to the music to continue the electrifying energy that we experienced after the run.  Once the dancing stopped, we slowly walked back to our yoga mats and progressed through the final phase of the flow, preparing ourselves into Savasana.  It was the perfect transition to the meditation portion of our mindful triathlon.

To be truthful, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the meditation portion of the triathlon.  The thought of sitting still for thirty minutes made me feel uncomfortable due to the hot blazing sun and I believe many people left after the yoga flow for that reason.  However, I’m extremely grateful that I stayed for the remaining portion of the series, as it ended up being my absolute favorite out of the three.  It opened my eyes to the beauty of meditation and my heart to the practice.  It was a pleasant surprise and has truly inspired me to further and develop a more mindful practice; in my daily life, yoga journey and sparked a curiosity to develop a more meaningful discipline in meditation.  Thank you Wanderlust for creating a beautiful event to congregate like minded people to celebrate love, peace, and happiness using our mind, body, and soul.  It was the perfect end to my weekend.

Zion Half Marathon Recap – [April 1, 2017]

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So I did it!  YAY! I finally was able to complete my first half marathon.  Two months prior to the race, my girlfriend mentioned that she found me an available bib for Zion and asked if I wanted to race.  I figured, why not, my knee isn’t hurting anymore and two months should be enough time to train and who could say no to a National Park run?  After watching Zion Vacation Races on Youtube, I was pretty confident that this half marathon was going to be epic and the perfect race for my first half marathon.  

I didn’t do all my training runs as scheduled, but I was able to accomplish most of my long runs.  I was running between 9 – 9:30 minute/ mile pace for most of my long runs and all my experienced running friends were confident that I was going to sub 2 hours for the race.  I was excited, nervous, and scared, but I was hopeful that I could accomplish this goal as well.  Along with my self directed running program, I was incorporating BBG, Classpass, and fitness events as cross-training sessions.  I was also more conscientious of my running form, doing my best to run less with a heel strike and more with a forefoot landing.  I believed incorporating all these fitness activities as well as being more aware of my running form definitely helped me reduce my risk for injury this time around during my training.  I was confident that I was prepared for race day and was eager to get it done.

Race day arrived and you can feel the excitement shared by the participants in the air.  I was nervous, but ready to get this run done.  It had snowed the day before so temperatures were in the low 30’s in the early morning.  Knowing this, many runners were prepared for the cold temperatures, but what we didn’t expect was the amount of mud encountered during the race.  I had heard from a previous runner who ran the race last year that there was a bit of mud at the beginning, but the course was a downhill road descent with spectacular views.  Little did we know, Vacation Races changed the running course from previous years to a new running trail and while many of us were expecting a road race, my lovely running shoes can vouch that we encountered miles and miles of mud.  I realized that not only did I sign up for my first half marathon, but I signed up for my first tough mudder as well.

My feet felt heavy from the mud and running up and down the rolling hills became extremely difficult, so I have to admit, it was really hard for me to truly enjoy the entire 13.1 miles.  There were so many rolling hills and several runners began walking the course feeling defeated by the trail of mud that weighed their feet down.  I remember thinking to myself after mile 9, when will my runner’s high kick in?  And why is this race so hard?  I’ve been pretty consistent with the high after my long runs, but this time around, I didn’t experience any of it.  I had to dig deep within and tell myself  “this is what you trained for, just keep going, no pain, no gain”.  It was difficult to keep a consistent cadence since I had to maneuver through people and there were points when I was forced to walk behind the runners during the race.  When I reached 12 miles,  I will be honest, I was disappointed in myself.  I really wanted to run a sub 2 hours as originally planned and I knew I told myself that I will enjoy the journey and the views, but this year’s course didn’t have the same views that were previously shown.  I’m known to be hard on myself at times, so after the race, I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed that I didn’t complete my race within the time frame I had originally imagined.

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A few days after the race, I had the opportunity to do some self reflection during my stay at Zion National Park.  After discussing with several experienced runners and scrolling through social media accounts, I realized one, it was a difficult race and many PR their slowest half marathon to date, and two, I did finish my first half marathon.  That is an accomplishment in itself and I did it with a PR time of 2:16:53.  While it may not have been my original PR goal, given the conditions and being my first half marathon, I realized I should be grateful and happy that I was able to run without any injuries and that I was able to complete the race in what many stated were difficult conditions.  This is my first personal record and that only means that I still have many opportunities to improve, learn, and train to be better for future races.  With that in mind, I’m researching for upcoming half marathons in Southern California the following months – thrilled to sign up for another race.  I believe Zion definitely trained me to be a better runner and gave me insightful tips to better my run every day.  However until my next race, I need to rest up and get over this bad cold I got from Mother Nature this past weekend.  

Thank you for reading and following along my running journey.

Beverley – xoxo

P.S. While the Zion Vacation Race didn’t live up to my expectations, I am extremely thankful that they did bring me to race in Utah to explore a beautiful state and National Park. Thank you for organizing these races, I understand that you cannot predict weather conditions, so I am grateful for the opportunity to explore and create memorable adventures after the race.

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