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

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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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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Better Late Than Never

I apologize for the delay in posting on my blog, but a lot has changed in my life the past few months and so I needed some time to to take care of myself before I shared aspects of my life again.  I was initially going to post my goals in January, but haven’t had the time to sit down and type them all out. To keep things short, I will be sharing my goals that pertain to my name – Three-E- Beverley: Exercise, Eating & Expenses.

Exercise

  1. I’m currently training for my first half marathon.  Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances last year I was not able to attend my first race in San Diego.  I was experiencing right knee pain and the doctor highly recommended that I lay off my knee and work on strengthening exercises to build muscles that will help with my running.  I was bummed, but knew I didn’t want to create any further injury to my body.  So these past few months I’ve been working on strengthening my gluteal muscles and with all the hard work I am happily re-training for my first half marathon again.  I’m extremely excited because I was lucky that an opening became available for the Zion Half Marathon two months before the race.  This National Park has been on my travel bucket list for a while now, so I’m extremely excited to explore the Park after my race.  I have less than 3 more weeks till race day – nervous and excited, but my goal is to enjoy the running journey… even if it may take me 3 hours to complete the race.      

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  1. Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide aka BBG – I first heard about the guides after a Shape Up Event from my girlfriend Debbie.  I loved seeing all the inspirational transformations on Instagram so in January when Kayla Itsines announced re-starting BBG 1.0 all over again, I figured I give it a go as well.  I’m currently on week 10 and am loving the whole fitness journey.  I’ve been sharing all my sweaty selfies with my fitness friends on my Insta-Snap and it’s been such a good way to keep myself accountable on this fitness program.  I definitely feel my strength growing everyday.  

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( Transformational photo – you can follow my fitness journey on  Threeebeverley on Instagram )

Eating

  1. I love to eat, but who doesn’t?  I’m pretty dedicated to meal prepping, but would love to dedicate one month to Whole 30 or not having any type of Sugar aka Candy for a month … well maybe 2 weeks … ok I take it back … for at least one week…I CAN’T HELP IT…. candy is my stress reliever! What’s yours?  With all that said, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day these past few months.  I’m in love with local organic products and have been incorporating them into my meals in the morning before a hectic 12 hour shift at the hospital.   Whole 30 will be a tough commitment for me to dedicate myself to because I’m in love with eating toast these past few months.   I still have 9 months to decide, right?   Anyone tried whole 30?  Would love to hear your thoughts about the tiger blood- it’s such a mystery to me.

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Expenses

  1. I closed escrow in the month of January.  Crazy eh?  I bought myself a beautiful house.  I can’t believe I took this huge financial step in my life, but I believe it’s an investment that will benefit me financially in the long run.  They say that buying a house, getting married and having kids are the three most stressful events you will experience in your life.  I can definitely account that buying a house was extremely stressful for me.  However it’s been such an amazing experience and I look forward to the hundreds of hiccups that will be heading my way.  I plan to continue to max out my 401k, roth IRA as well as my HSA, but we will see how my finances develop this year …I wake up everyday in awe of my new home.  I still can’t believe I have a house of my own where I can turn up the music, sing, and dance as though no one is listening and watching …because no one is …and it’s been the most liberating feeling.      

Well there it is!  All my goals for 2017 –  Will update you on the whole journey and thank you for following along.

xoxo – Beverley

Many Happy Returns

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July is my favorite time of the year because (1) it’s summer and (2) it’s my birthday month! Yay! This year, my boyfriend took me on a sweet romantic trip to Maui–one of the Hawaiian islands I had not yet explored.  We shared some incredible, unforgettable experiences, like running along the beach, hiking, zip-lining, snorkeling and relaxing.  Although I was sad to wave goodbye to the island, I returned back to LA to celebrate my birthday with my dear friends, exploring one of my favorite exercise endeavors!

I initially started “Three-E-Beverley” this past February in an attempt to keep myself accountable for my bike training in preparation for the Solvang 1/2 century ride.  It was going to be my first long bike ride and I wanted a way to journal my progress.  I took spin classes at various studios around the city before work, after work, or on my days off–rain or shine, I wanted to stay committed.  With the help of Classpass, I have been able to experiment with several different studios within the South Bay area, and around the city of Los Angeles.  When you shop around to multiple studios, you’re bound to find your favorites.  Bespoke Cycling Studio is definitely at the top of my list.  In fact, I love this studio so much, I thought, why not throw an amazing birthday party for myself and friends?  My birthday was the perfect opportunity to introduce my friends to my favorite studio, whether they’ve been spinning before or if they are first timers.  Not only is Bespoke conveniently located off the 110 freeway, they provide free parking, free spin shoes, and free alkaline water.  And the cool eucalyptus scented towels at the end of class is always just the cherry on top.  Once Bespoke gave me the OK to throw my birthday party at the studio, invitations were sent out and my Sunday Funday Birthday Spinning Party planning began.

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I was lucky to have Elady agree to teach my birthday ride.  Not only does she bring a fun and inspiring energy to the classroom, but she always plays music that keeps you moving and grooving.  I feel so honored that she came into the studio, along with another incredible instructor named Jackson, to teach on her day off — what a special birthday treat.  My friends arrived early to the studio in preparation for my birthday ride; shoes on, bikes set, head in the game.  As we all clipped into our bikes and the music started pumping, Elady warmed us up and got the party started.  Her chemistry with Jackson was electrifying and the rhythm of the music got everyone motivated to conquer the next 60 minutes.  We danced on our bikes– tap backs and push ups, and Jackson introduced us all to the sexy body roll. Everyone, including myself, was sweating from absolutely every pore.  It was by far one of the sweatiest spin sessions I have ever challenged myself to.  After class, the guys in the group were joking about the pools of sweat they created around their bikes–mission accomplished!

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After 60 minutes of amazing cardio goodness, we all enjoyed a spread of mimosas, cold brew coffee courtesy of Sole Coffee & Tea, and fresh fruit.  Everyone was on an adrenaline high and I couldn’t be more grateful to the amazing host, Bespoke Cycling Studio, the hard working instructors, Elady and Jackson and to all my wonderful friends who woke up early (some hungover) to celebrate my birthday on a Sunday morning.

 

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“To ClassPass Or Not?” – That is the Question!

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It’s happened! ClassPass has officially increased its prices in Los Angeles.  Originally known as the best start-up app that gives you as many workouts all across Los Angeles for one low price, ClassPass is now known as the app that is only catering to those who are willing to fork out the cash.  I joined the fitness startup last year, on a recommendation from a friend.  It was an amazing deal.  Take as many classes across the Los Angeles region for one low price of $99/ month.  No commitments and no contracts so I gave it a try.  I initially joined Classpass in an effort to supplement my outdoor bike training with spin and yoga classes. I was having trouble committing to one studio, so this was a great opportunity to explore my options in the Los Angeles region.  The app was perfect since I work in Hollywood but live in the South Bay.  I had the option to either take classes before or after work and take classes near home on my days off.  Then they increased their prices in January up to $119.  Still a good deal in my opinion so it didn’t deter me from cancelling the app.  Then I heard that prices increased in NYC, so I knew that prices would eventually increase in LA.  I have to admit, I have been anticipating this day.  So what do you do?  $175 is definitely a bit steep, but the decision to stay or cancel will be based on every individual’s situation. The once beloved fitness app now has everyone agonizing over this decision, forcing every member of ClassPass to re-evaluate their love for this fitness application.  To continue their membership, drop to a lower tier, or cancel completely.

Benefits

  • Unlimited number of studios with different workouts for one set price per month
  • Changing your workout regimen from HIIT, boxing, pilates, yoga, spin, aerial yoga, rock climbing, paddle boarding and trampolining
  • No commitment to one studio or the application
  • Can take classes in the US and internationally – not set to one location, helps increases your opportunities to continue fitness within other cities (I just came back from Miami and was able to check out 5 studios during my stay) 

Disadvantages

  • Maximum number of classes you can attend is 3 classes per studio per month
  • Can only reserve up to 4 classes at a time
  • The unlimited package has become quite expensive, rivaling other fitness studios such as Equinox that provide luxurious amenities and unlimited fitness classes with no restrictions.  

Personally I love the ClassPass phone application.  It has definitely given me a wide range of fitness opportunities that I would have never initially thought of opening myself up to.  It forced me to change my fitness habits and embrace changing my fitness regimen.  Fitness classes that I would have never even given a second thought about has now become one of my favorite workouts that I attempt to incorporate into my fitness schedule.  It’s helped me foster my friendships with coworkers and friends and has created opportunities to develop relationships with other fitness enthusiast.  While it saddens me that the price has increased, it amazed me how Classpass has sustained themselves for this long.  While it would have been less painful for us that Classpass increased their prices incrementally, I’m not sure how much longer Classpass would have survived if that were the case.  You have Classpass users who completely take advantage of the system.  Guilty as charge! I am one of them and I also know many others users who seized upon this opportunity as well.  On my days off I sometimes would take 2-3 classes per day, maximizing my Classpass worth.  During the month of May, I took 32 classes in 30 days as a challenge that my co-workers and I had to encourage each other to stay active.  Classpass gave us that opportunity.  It was fun for us to take a class after our shift, near where we worked and it was fun for us to plan classes outside of our homes.  Classpass made it fun to organize fitness dates with friends.  It was easy and made working out enjoyable and affordable.  Unfortunately with the price increase we all need to re-evaluate our love for this fitness app.  My boyfriend joined ClassPass to create opportunities for us to workout together.  We had fun working out together, however it doesn’t suit his own personal fitness goals, so he lowered his membership to the base program in an effort to take a few fun fitness classes with me.  He’s a part of Equinox, so if ClassPass doesn’t further suit your own personal needs, I recommend you to check out one near you.  Don’t want to fork out the cash, many fitness studios have taken this Classpass price increase as an opportunity to offer new membership deals for previous Classpass users.  Now is the opportunity to take advantage of these deals.  Only enjoy certain classes then take advantage of the 10 classes per month and supplement your work outs with Kayla Itsines, running or biking.  We live in Los Angeles where we have an unlimited amount of outdoor activities that we can explore.  Yes, it’s a sad moment in which Classpass will no longer serve our every day needs, but maybe we can see this as an opportunity to be creative with our individualized fitness programs.              

* I’m currently training for my 1/2 marathon in July & August, so I opted to be on the base program (5 classes per month), but once I complete my 1/2 marathon I believe I will return to the monthly unlimited.  As for now, I will be using classes for cross training.