This past Sunday I ran 11 miles. I finally hit double digits, and this half marathon feels within reach. In three weeks’ time, one way or another, I will have a half marathon under my belt. That is a huge achievement for me, and one of the biggest goals crossed off my list. The question in the back of my mind though as I’m finding myself enjoying the challenge of these long runs is… what’s next?

My first goal with running was to be able to run a mile straight. Then it was to be able to run a 5K. Then it was to be able to run a 10K. For a while there I did aim for PR’s and to improve my speed, but distance has always been my biggest interest. I don’t mind if I finish slow and steady; I feel more accomplished the farther I go.

At some point I’m going to get tired of taking 3 hours on a long run that could, feasibly, take me 2 hrs 30 min. That’s the difference of an extra 30 minutes sleep or a shower and getting dressed for my day. If my next distance goal is logically going to be a full marathon, I’ll really want to run a better pace so I’m not spending half a day on long run training.

My tentative short and long term goals are:

  1. Complete a half marathon
  2. Complete the Nike Womens Half in under 3 hours
  3. Complete a 5K in under  30 minutes
  4. Complete a 10K in under 1 hr 15 min
  5. Complete a half in under 2 hrs 30 min
  6. Complete a full marathon

I’ll be completing the first two in less than a month (eek!). After this half and recovery, I’m going to focus on improving speed before jumping into full marathon training. I’ll need to find a good speedwork training plan, like from Runner’s World or Hal Higdon, and start working on reducing my 5K pace time.

Do you know of any good speed training plans?

New Distance PR

We’re in the last month of training before the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco, and shit is getting real. I’m having to run farther than I ever have in my life, and as intimidating as it is, it’s a relief when the run is over and I realize I can do this. Long distance running has always seemed a lofty goal, but it’s quickly becoming a reality, and it make me feel badass.

It is still blazing hot in Southern California, so I got up extra early to beat the heat. I gave myself time to wake up, have some water and breakfast – not rush into getting dressed or out the door. I ran with music and the Zombies, Run! 10K mission, both of which did a great job keeping me entertained and motivated.

Yesterday I ran 9 miles in the middle of which I stopped home for water and energy gummies. By the end of the run my right knee was sore and my legs were noticeably tired, but my mental game was still on point. Overall I felt great, and was really getting into the rhythm of distance running!

Running Gear

  1. Nike dry-fit cap
  2. Nike Epic Run Lux shorts
  3. Garmin Forerunner 220
  4. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32
  5. Nike cushioned/compression running socks
  6. iPhone 6+ with Apple earbuds, listening to Spotify and Zombies, Run!


  1. Water (pre-run)
  2. Clif Shot Bloks (1 serving pre-run, 1 serving mid-run)
  3. Banana (post-run)
  4. Lemonade (mid- and post-run)

I was interested to see what kind of post-long run ailments I might suffer. Chaffing has never been a problem for me, and I still seem to be escaping unscathed (knock on wood). My sports bra gave me a couple small hot spots along a seam, but they were inconsequential and are already long gone. My socks, shoes, shorts, tank top, and hat all felt comfortable and did their job keeping me dry (or as dry as possible).

Today is a rest day and this week has a few short/medium runs upcoming, but next weekend I’ll be looking at11 miles. Double freakin’ digits. Here’s hoping I can meet my race pace and find my groove like I did yesterday!

Abundant Harvest CSA

We bought a recurring membership to a local CSA called Abundant Harvest recently. We had tried out another CSA previously but found their boxes and produce to be disappointing. Abundant Harvest, however, had beautiful fruits and veggies, the folks involved were incredibly friendly and generous, and they include a ton of information (i.e. farmer contact information, recipes, storage info) with each box weekly.

CSA refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. (Wikipedia)

The cost is about $20 for a small box (they also have large boxes for about $10 more). They offer shipping for a fee, but they also have numerous pickup locations so we’ve opted to pickup the box each week. The boxes are always packed full, fresh, and ready to go!

There isn’t much else to add to our experience with Abundant Harvest, but I wanted to include some pictures of our weekly hauls and a few dishes we’ve made with our farm fresh produce. Enjoy!

Abundant Harvest week 3 #fresh #organic #csa

A photo posted by Aimée (@cestaimee) on

Roasted veggies incoming #healthy

A photo posted by Aimée (@cestaimee) on

Abundant Harvest: Week 6 #local #fresh #csa

A photo posted by Aimée (@cestaimee) on

Abundant Harvest: Week 8 #fresh #local #csa

A photo posted by Aimée (@cestaimee) on

Before and after: summer veggie tian (thank you @delthatcher for the recipe!) #csa #healthy #fresh

A photo posted by Aimée (@cestaimee) on

Garmin Forerunner 10: First Impression

I finally took the plunge and purchased a GPS watch. I’d always told myself it was an excessive accessory, given that my phone had always been enough to track my runs. I’m not a competitive runner, so precision was never a priority of mine, and the phone was never THAT inaccurate. However, I recently upgraded to a much larger phone (iPhone 6+) and have found myself wishing I could lighten my running load. I also found myself wishing I could easily sync my runs to multiple trackers for the social groups since I have friends using various platforms.

Instead of running the various apps on my phone to track the same run, it seemed simpler to purchase a GPS watch that had the capability of importing, automatically or manually, to the sites I wanted to use (i.e. Runkeeper, Nike+). Add to the mix Amazon’s recent introduction of free same day shipping, and it was a perfect storm for the Garmin Forerunner 10 which arrived on my doorstep 2 days ago.



There wasn’t much to pull out. There’s the watch itself, the USB cradle to plug it into your computer for charging/syncing, and a few quick-start manuals. The watch came completely drained so it needed to sit on the charger overnight before I could take it out on a run. (I don’t know how long it actually takes to charge, but it wasn’t very fast.)

I also had to plug the watch in and download a few software updates which required connecting the watch to the cradle/computer to download an update, unplugging the watch for the update to process, then plugging it back in to check if there were more updates. I had to do this three times in total, which was a little annoying given my excitement to explore the watch but understandably necessary.


First Walk

Ok ok, I know I said the watch was near-dead, but I was impatient and used the watch the night I received the delivery after ~30 minutes of charging. I wanted to see how Garmin Connect, Garmin’s data management site, functioned and I needed at least one piece of data to do that. My boyfriend and I went for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, and I honestly thought the watch wasn’t going to make it (the battery bar was empty.) We made it back on watch battery fumes!

My initial thoughts:

  • I put on the watch, and I was shocked at how light it felt. It was extremely comfortable.
  • The material it’s made with is also grippy, so I found I initially fastened the watch too tight; after we started walking, I was able to loosen it to the point that I thought it might shift around, but it stayed put.
  • I read in reviews that the initial GPS locking may take a few minutes, so I stepped out onto our stoop, hit the “run” button, and prepared to wait. Less than 10 seconds later, I was ready to go! (Note: I live around one-story structures with few trees.)


First Run

The next morning, I hit the pavement for my first run. I didn’t discover anything new with the run versus the walk, but I did use the backlight since it was early (4:45am!) and dark (spoiler alert: the backlight worked!).


First Sync

RunKeeper doesn’t support direct syncing from Garmin Connect, so I’ve imported the GPX files directly using their import feature, and it worked flawlessly. All data, including GPS, imported without a hitch.

Nike+, however, has proved a greater challenge. Despite Nike+ supporting Garmin Connect automatic sync, the map data did not import for my walk or my run. I tried deleting those activities from Nike+ and instead tried this Nike+ Convert & Uploader tool to no avail. Nike+ has proven itself to me over and over again to be a glitchy, disappointing piece of software, but that’s a discussion for another post.


Garmin Connect

I am in love with Garmin Connect. The interface has everything I could want to see: graphs, lists, even monthly calendars with weekly summaries of my activities. It’s surprising how difficult it is to find a simple calendar of your activities!

Garmin Connect also syncs to MyFitnessPal so I can see my calories in/out with my graphs and reports. If it weren’t for the social features of RunKeeper and Nike+, I think I’d be happy with MyFitnessPal and Garmin Connect by themselves!

Happy Easter!

I’ve neglected the blog lately due to a lot of things going on in life. Namely, we moved! There are a lot of things I want to write about – running, cooking, cleaning, design – but for now, just to break the silence, I wanted to write a quick update on a smattering of topics.


We moved from Long Beach, CA to the foothills! I’ve been both looking forward to, and dreading, this change of scenery.


We traded the ocean for mountains.

Some of the pros include: no port fumes; more room in our larger apartment; quieter neighborhood which is great for work; safer neighborhood which is great for running. Some of the cons include: fewer businesses within walking distance; less central to neighboring LA cities and friends; more expensive; hotter and hillier which is miserable for running.


Boxes everywhere a few weeks ago.

Our new apartment is a much more open floorplan than our old place. There are many windows and sliding doors to a large, sunny patio, making for a beautiful and bright place. I already feel happier here than in our old apartment, purely because of the sunlight and trees. We are on the ground level, with no neighbors above or below. We have only one shared wall, and that is with our property manager, which means little to no excess noise!


Our back patio has several large flowerbeds which I’m very excited to clean up and plant. We are leaning toward a hardier flowerbed with plants that won’t require much watering. Responsible for the environment AND less work for us? Win! We’ll likely look into cacti, roses, basil, and peppers but I’ll ask the nurseries for recommendations.


The flowerbeds need some TLC.

Part of the excitement is depleted though given the state of our flower beds. They’re full of weeds, shards of glass, and a watering system that isn’t installed properly. There is going to be a lot of work before new plants can be introduced.


With our new apartment too I’ve been making an effort to be very conscious of our cleaning schedule and decorations. I want to make an effort to keep up with cleanliness, and make the apartment look its best. We got a little lazy at times with our old place, which resulted in some serious deep cleaning when we moved out. I don’t want to have to go through that again.

I’ll definitely be making a post soon about the full schedule, what I like about it, what I don’t like about it, etc. I basically took an example cleaning schedule that included weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual cleaning tasks, manually imported it to Google Drive so it could be an editable spreadsheet, and adjusted a few of the items to fit our apartment and lifestyle better. So far, I really like the schedule. It keeps me accountable and my house clean without being overbearing or excessive. I’m excited to write about this!


I tried to go for a run the other day, but the route I chose had nearly all of the sidewalks blocked off, or no sidewalks at all along the road. I wound up turning it in after only a mile and a half.

To be honest, that run attempt was miserable, aside from the sidewalk problems. It was so hot and dry that I was wheezing more than usual after only being out for about 15-20 minutes. The run was mostly uphill, which is something I’m not used to but is unavoidable given our new surroundings. All in all, it was a wakeup call and we’ll hopefully be getting a treadmill soon so help get back into running shape while slowly acclimating to the change in environment.

In the meantime though, I’ve started Yoga with Adriene‘s 30 Days of Yoga! I’m only 3 days in but it’s really enjoyable stretching and strengthening my body in ways running can’t offer.


Whew, there are even more quick updates I can throw on here but that’s enough for now. We need to pick up some yummy dessert for Easter dinner with the boyfriend’s parents, and relax before the week starts!


I hope everyone has a lovely and yummy Easter!