Tag Archives: half marathon training

Brunch at SeaLegs Wine Bar

A couple of months ago Karla and I decided that the only way to proper celebrate our last long run of half marathon training was to treat ourselves to a delicious brunch.  We decided to have our celebratory brunch at SeaLegs Wine Bar after stumbling upon a groupon that included an entrée and bottomless mimosas for $15.

Our brunch was set for 11 AM, and after running 11 tough miles that included a strong headwind, almost getting attacked by poodles and aggressive transients on PCH, we were more than ready to get our grub on.  And apparently we weren’t the only ones as the line to have brunch at SeaLegs Wine Bar was out the door when we got there.  Thankfully Karla made reservations and we were seated right away.

brunch at sealegs wine bar champagneAs promised, our meal started with champagne and orange juice, which was a nice way to start brunch while we perused the menu.

The Englishman (who is also training for the Big Sur Half) decided to get things started on the right foot by ordering the “donut of the day” which was a chocolate maple bacon donut.

brunch at sealegs wine bar donutSince I have such a high standard for donuts (thank you Sidecar), I didn’t end up sampling it but he said it was tasty, however not on the same level as Sidecar’s donuts.  Noted.

For my entrée, since the runger (it’s a word I swear) was in full force, I went with the Vegetarian Omelette which came with kale, mushrooms, and truffle oil with a side of roasted potatoes.  I also ordered an extra side of avocado and fruit, because why not?

brunch at sealegs wine bar veggie omeletteI was pleasantly surprised at the portion size of my dish.  The omelette was cooked perfectly and was nice and filling, and the potatoes were a great compliment.

Karla followed suit and ordered the shrimp omelette which I did not try but will seriously consider ordering the next time I have brunch at SeaLegs Wine Bar.

brunch at sealegs wine bar seafood omeletteKarla’s boyfriend Jesse got the Chilaquiles, which included braised chicken and a poached egg over tortilla chips.  I couldn’t partake because of the corn component, but everyone else raved about them.

brunch at sealegs wine bar chilaquesI had told the Englishman there was a chicken and waffles dish which he immediately ordered.  The verdict was it was good and possibly better than famous Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles which is a pretty high compliment.

brunch at sealegs wine bar wafflesThe only knock I would give SeaLegs is that the service was a little slow and it looked like dishes were coming out at inconsistent times.  I do love the venue and their extensive wine list, so I think I’ll be back for happy hour and some tapas.

We all left brunch feeling pleasantly full and then proceeded to have post run/brunch naps, which is one of the best things about half marathon training.

Thanks Karla and Jesse for being such fabulous brunch companions!

On Running a Half Marathon

So obviously Sweet Potato Bites is a food blog, and you are probably wondering why this post is titled “On Running a Half Marathon.”  In addition to making and eating delicious food, I also like to run.  I just completed my first half marathon with the Englishman, and I wanted to share my thoughts here.  But not to worry, I have an awesome “power cookie” post coming up later this week!

On Running a Half Marathon:

I remember when I ran my first 5k about four years ago.  One of my friends had talked me in to running one with her and I remember crossing the finish line in just under 30 minutes with a sense of pride and accomplishment.  Prior to that 5k, I had never run in a race ever, and only ran on the treadmill off and on.  After that 5k, I ran another, and then another, and eventually did a 10k but never progressed further than that.  A half marathon was always on my “bucket list,” but I never thought that much of it, because quite honestly the idea of running 13.1 miles was kind of terrifying.

The Englishman started running with me and we began doing short 3-4 mile jaunts around the neighborhood, and even ran in a few 5ks.  Then we moved to a new neighborhood surrounded by wonderful running paths and the idea of a half marathon began to slowly creep back into my head.  Could I run 13 miles?  I decided to make it my resolution for 2013 and before I knew it the Englishman and I had signed up for the OC Half Marathon on May 5th.

I decided to put together a training plan that had us running no more than 3x a week since there are other workouts we enjoy like Barry’s Bootcamp.  The plan ran from January to May which gave us lots of flexibility should any conflicts arise (illness, work, injury, etc.).

Of course starting a training plan in January meant lots of runs at 6am in the dark, in the cold, in the rain and in the fog.  I’ll be honest, March and April were my favorite months of training.

There were good runs and not so good runs.  Runs where my legs felt light and our place was flying, and runs where my legs felt like lead and were so sore that I wanted to cry (and I did cry, which I’m sure other runners on the trail appreciated).  And as we ticked off each long run, my confidence began to grow.

Which brings me to race day, the day that we had been anticipating for 4 months.  I had a few rough time goals in my head but had no idea how I would do since I had a few rough runs in the weeks prior, and my garmin had conveniently stopped working, which meant I was going into this race blind which in hindsight was actually better.  We lined up in the corral and got ready to start.

OC Half marathon startThe horn went off and we started making our way around Fashion Island and down towards PCH.  The first few miles seemed to tick by, especially since we started on a nice downhill.  We made our way into the fancy neighborhoods in Corona del Mar and before I knew it we had hit the 10k mark.  I knew we had some pretty intense hills coming up (since we ran them on our long runs), so we both tried to pace ourselves and started taking our Honey Stinger Chews (love these btw!).

We started to make our way into Costa Mesa and hit our first big hill and ran up that with ease.  The next couple of miles were a bunch of rolling hills with the exception of one unwelcome hill around mile 9.5.  After that it was a bit more downhill and one more big hill push before we started to make the turn to head into the finish line.  I’m not going to lie, those last few miles were hard.  My legs were burning and I just wanted to be done.  But then I saw a dude running in a target sundress and spandex shorts and encouraging everyone to give it one final push so I gave it my all and sprinted towards the finish line.  I was shocked to learn my finish time was 2:05:21, which was one of the “A” goals I had given myself going into this race.

OC half marathonNow I’m not a super fast runner by any means, but I am incredibly proud of the Englishman and myself and how we ran this race.  We trained smart, tapered smart, and ran smart.  And I ran a half marathon!

The point of all these ramblings is that anyone can run a half marathon.  Really.  If you put in the time, and put in the training, you can and you will complete the race.  I fully believe this after running the race that I did.

So will I run another one?  Yep, but probably not for awhile.  The Englishman and I started to get burned out on running towards the end of training and are ready to try new workouts such as crossfit and focus on short distances for awhile.  But I definitely hope to achieve a sub-2 hour half marathon one of these days.

And those are my thoughts on running a half marathon.  Next post will be all about food, I promise.