Category Archives: All About Running

In this section, I’ll talk about training whether for a race or just merely to improve myself with all my adventures (ups and downs) that will go along with it.

Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 4: Jackson Hole, WY

Hi everyone! How’s September treating you? For me, I am loving it! I love running in cooler weather!

I’m excited for this next recap. This is my most favorite part of our trip!

Our next stop…

Orlando, FL  {recap here}
Los Angeles, CA {recap here}
Boulder & Las Vegas, NV (& a little bit of Arizona :P ) {recap here
> Jackson Hole, WY —> BREATHTAKING!!!
Seattle, WA
Spokane, WA
Vancouver, BC (Canada)

Jackson Hole, WY

WARNING: Words like …AMAZING, …BREATHTAKING, …BEAUTIFUL, …GORGEOUS will be used a lot in this post! 🙂 I can’t even begin to put into words how BEAUTIFUL this place was.

We included Jackson Hole to our Coast-to-Coast trip ’cause my mom was going to be there with her friends for a vacation. When she told me about that, my husband and I decided to take a trip to Jackson Hole too and meet my mom there. 🙂

So, after LA, we flew in to Jackson Hole! 🙂 Unfortunately, our flight was delayed. Our supposedly brief layover in Salt Lake City became an overnight stay. Our flight the next day to Jackson Hole was at noon so, there went our day for the supposed Yellowstone National Park tour. Delayed flight sucks! 😦 What could we do? 😦

Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole is about a 45-minute flight. I recommend a seat by the window so you can look out and see those fabulous Tetons when you land <– AMAZING! We flew in on just a small airplane (puddle jumper). When we exited the plane, there was no jet bridge. Instead we took the stairs to the airport entrance. The moment we stepped out of the airplane, we immediately smelled  the crisp mountain air of Jackson Hole along with the beautiful scenery of the Tetons around you. I loved it!!!)

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After getting our luggage, we took one of the shuttle buses to the rental car place (we rented a car from Alamo) which was in the city proper, about 15 minutes away from the airport.

After picking up our rental car, we headed to our hotel and checked-in. We stayed at Wyoming Inn and it was a GORGEOUS hotel. Aside from the Keurig coffee maker in our room (ah, perfect for a coffee lover like me), we also had the most BEAUTIFUL view of the mountains from our window. Can’t complain! 🙂

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The day we arrived was actually the day we were supposed to do the Yellowstone tour. Since our flight was delayed we already missed half day of the tour. After we settled in, we still went ahead and drove to Yellowstone and just met my mom and her friends to the place where they were already at from the tour.

On our way to Yellowstone, we had to drive through parts of the Grand Teton National Park.
The scenery didn’t disappoint. 🙂 Absolutely BREATHTAKING! I was speechless! 🙂

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As we drove along, we were on the lookout for wild animals. I was hopeful that I’d see a bear crossing the road. The only animals we saw were horses from the horseback riders and an elk that was running like a Kenyan that my Iphone camera wasn’t able to catch up for a picture. 🙂

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The drive to Yellowstone from downtown Jackson was approximately 3 hours. We met up with my mom and her friends at one of the parks in Yellow Stone called Mud Volcano and Sulphur Cauldron – which were exactly what they sound like – muddy, sulfury and smelly geysers and mud pits.

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This place was pretty cool! There were bubbling mudpots, splashing hot springs, and the large, steaming Dragon’s Mouth Spring which is a cave that has boiling water coming out of it

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I read somewhere there that it was called Dragon’s Mouth because when the original settlers of the area came upon this cave, they had thought that there was a dragon that lived inside because of the steam coming out of it and the roaring noise that the boiling water was making as it was coming out. Pretty cool. It’s amazing that boiling water can actually come out of the Earth, naturally. 🙂

This place has a short trail (1/2 mile) that loops around and passes through more mud geysers and mud volcano.

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Unfortunately for us, this was already the last leg of my mom and her friends’ Yellowstone tour (ugh flight delays!). But it’s ok. At least we got to see a little bit of Yellow Stone. I was looking forward on seeing more like the Old Faithful but they say, it’s another hour to get there and it’s already getting late. Oh well, next time! And please no more delayed flights!

On our way back to our hotel, we stopped at several spots to admire the views and take photos.

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You can see the mountains pretty much the whole time you’re driving through the main highway.

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We were surrounded by beauty everywhere we looked!

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The Tetons were so majestic and this was our view the whole time we were here. 🙂

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DAY 2:

My husband and I woke up early the next day and started our day with a morning run. We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to go for a run in this BEAUTIFUL place. Had to be done! 🙂

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We ran at the National Elk Refuge, located just at the edge of downtown Jackson. It’s a nice paved pathway that runs several miles long. It is wide open and next to the main road where a lot of cars pass by so, I didn’t have to worry much about startling wildlife. Yes, it would be awesome to see some wild animals (far away from me),  but I don’t fancy elks and grizzly bears joining me on my run! LOL!. 🙂

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It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL run. We got in a nice little 4-mile out-and-back and took in a lot of BEAUTIFUL sights. This pathway goes a long stretch, so you can easily go for more if you want to. We just had to go back right away to our hotel and get ready for the day’s planned activities.

That day, we rode the Jackson Hole Tram up to the Rendezvous Mountain.

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This place is actually a ski resort in the winter. We are definitely putting this place on our list to go for our snowboarding trip! Jackson Hole ski area boasts the largest vertical drop, double black diamond trail in the US. The trail is called “The Peak” of Rendezvous Mountain. You canNOT make me go snowboard down that trail even if you pay me millions of dollars. No way! That thing is very high and very steep. I’ll leave that to Travis Rice! LOL! Definitely not for the faint of heart like me. It’s worth the trip up there though if you are for nothing else than the views. 🙂

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The tram was about 9-minute ride from the base of the ski resort and glides 4,139 vertical feet to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. To really appreciate just how big the Jackson Hole Valley is, you need to ride this tram.

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The views were AMAZING on the way to the top!

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And views got even better as we made it to the top!

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GORGEOUS view!

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Once you are on top, it will give you a bird’s eye view of the region and trails that offer some great day hiking opportunities. Don’t forget your bear spray! 🙂

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We spent the whole morning exploring the mountain

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Words are inadequate to describe how AMAZING this place was!

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Also, on top of this mountain, you’ll find a casual dining restaurant called, The Deck and a fine dining, Couloir. I read good reviews about these restaurants. We will have to try them next time. Just imagine dining-in with awesome views on top of the mountain – MUST DO!

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For our next adventure, we went horseback riding. 🙂
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In the pic below, our guide was just telling me (casually, like it was no biggie) that we’re going to climb to an elevation of 8,000ft up the mountain. Say wah?! Uhhhhm, I, who have never been on a horse, and here you are telling me we are climbing those steep mountains – that kinda freaked me out! LOL! Then, I asked him if I can back-out. 😛

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Well, as you can see in the pic below, I’m still there …looking so helpless. LOL! 🙂

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I am glad our guide didn’t let me back-out or I would miss this AMAZING experience. He probably knew I would regret it had I chosen to be left behind. It was definitely a wonderful two-hour ride with everyone  (my husband, my mom, and her friends). My nervousness went away and got the hang of it as we went on. The steep up and down was manageable and enjoyable for all of us.

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The part where we were literally climbing up by the cliffside was a little scary for me but I learned to calm myself down. Deep breaths! I had to woooooosah a few times. Haha. 🙂

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Once we reached the top, the view again was of course LOVELY! 🙂

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I love the experience. It kinda made me feel a little like real cowgirl! 🙂 I already miss my horse, Clinton. He was very good and so gentle to me. I barely needed to guide him because he was trained and knew the trail so well.

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After that, we had dinner at the barn included in the package for the horseback riding. Then, everyone called it a day, back to our hotels, and end of DAY 2. 🙂

Onto our Day 3!: 🙂

We went to the visitor center to ask for an easy, short, and nice scenic trail to go for hiking. They highly recommended the Jenny Lake Trail.

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There’s so much to do in Jackson Hole! Can’t decide which one to do first!

Jenny Lake is not far from the city proper and is located just inside the Grand Teton National Park. It is one of the most popular trails that it was crowded when we went. So much so that we couldn’t even find a parking spot after multiple orbits of the main lots down near the campground.

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Once parked, we paid for a shuttle boat to take us across the lake to the trail.

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From there, we started hiking up to Inspiration Point

The hike followed this river/stream.

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Half way through the hike, you’ll pass the Hidden Falls. I really love waterfalls, so I loved seeing this gem! So BEAUTIFUL!

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The pic below was a spot where people climb up to get the best view of the falls.

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After Hidden Falls, we continued our hike up to the Inspiration Point.

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We allowed ourselves to rest during the hike and enjoy the scenery.

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It was a bit of a strenuous climb and might be quite a challenge for some, but it was a lot of fun! My husband and I got some good exercise that day. 🙂

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And finally, we made it to the Inspiration Point at 7200ft.

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With a BEAUTIFUL view like this, definitely worth the hike. 🙂

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We stayed for a while to enjoy the GORGEOUS GORGEOUS view!

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Back down to the trail head, we took the shuttle boat again back to the parking lot. The ride across Jenny Lake was definitely lovely and refreshing. 🙂 It was hot that day but the hike was a lot of fun!

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After our hike and much needed lunch (whew, that hike made us really hungry), we were then off to our next adventure.

We went White Water Rafting! YEAH!!! THAT ONE WAS SOOO MUCH FUN and probably the highlight of our Jackson Hole trip. 🙂

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For the whitewater rafting, we were 9 on the boat including our guide and each were given a paddle.

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After being given a short lesson on paddling, we were off down the Snake River.

In case you are wondering, whitewater rapids fall into 6 different classes/categories. 6 is the toughest. This one we did was Category 3.

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Our guide gave us instructions on what signals he would give us at the appropriate time in the rapids.

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Everyone in the boat, including me, was a first timer. In situation like this, I can’t help but feel anxious. Naturally, I didn’t know what to expect.

P1020141We drifted for a while to become acclimated, but as we got closer to the rapids we were instructed to paddle through it. We went down a total of eight miles of the snake river.

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Some waves were stronger than others that felt like I was going to fall off the boat. LOL!

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But our guide had instructed us on how we should position our feet underneath the folds of the raft so that we’d be less likely to fall overboard. And oh, we got really soaked! Our group was laughing and getting drenched happily as we rode wave after wave.

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We were also fortunate enough to see bald eagles, ospreys, and their nests along the way. Our entire trip through the snake river was like a picture postcard….BEAUTIFUL!

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About 3/4 through the ride, our guide took us to a nice spot for a picnic-style-BBQ-dinner-by-the-river which was already included in the price.

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Dinner included a 9oz. sirloin steak or trout, potato salad, pasta salad, garlic bread, corn on the cob, dutch oven cobbler and hot/cold beverages.  My husband got the steak and I got the trout and both were exceptionally tasty. I love the peach cobbler too! Everything was actually good! 🙂 $80 for 3-4 hours and a solid dinner is definitely well worth the price! We also had a chance to get to know our fellow raft mates during the picnic and ruminate about how great the day was. We stayed there for about 30-45 minutes and then off to hit the water again. 🙂

Ja on the RUNThe rapids along the Snake River each have different names. I forgot the other ones but what I remember the most was the “Champagne”. It’s the deepest part of the river and the oxygen in the water bubbles up like champagne. Pretty cool!

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The entire journey lasted about 4 hours. All in all, it was a great and exhilarating experience.

I couldn’t resist buying these photos for $45/each (notice that I’m not really paddling, LOL :P).

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I can now cross this off of my bucket list! And I will definitely do it again!

Another nice thing, there were bathrooms and changing rooms in the parking area. So, I grabbed my dry clothes from the bus and changed. 🙂  It was nice that I didn’t have to be soaking wet and shiver in the cold on the way back to the city proper. So, BRING EXTRA CLOTHES!

Mad River let us rent their waterproof camera which had like a floating device attached to it so it just floats in the water if you accidentally drop it. You can ask for one If you plan to take pictures. 🙂

It really was a fantastic experience and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I challenge anyone who for whatever reason tend to play it safe by sticking with the usual mundane activities on holidays to TRY THIS! Dare to try something different!

Day 4: Last day 😦

We spent our last day exploring downtown Jackson. 🙂

Our flight that day was not until later in the afternoon. We decided to check-in our luggage first thing in the morning at the airport. We did that so we didn’t have to worry about getting late for our flight while we explore and make the most of our last few remaining hours in Jackson Hole.
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Jackson Hole Airport and the Tetons in the background! GORGEOUS!

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IMG_3764After checking-in our luggage, we were off to check out downtown Jackson.

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There were lots of t-shirt stores, souvenir shops, bars, and restaurants.

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And if you missed your chance to get a photo of the antler arch at the airport, there are 4 antler arches in the town square.

_MG_8307We searched in Yelp for good restaurants in the area for lunch. We decided to try Sweetwater. We went there and got a table at their patio outside. We were in the middle of summer days that time and it was extremely hot. So, I asked if we could be seated in the dining room inside where it’s cooler with a ceiling fan on. Unfortunately, they weren’t opening that inside area for that day. So, all diners had to be seated outside and sweat in the blazing heat! Combine that with a waiter who was lacking in interpersonal skills, not to mention SSSSLOWWW. :/

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Anyway, I ordered their Veggie Wrap and Vanilla Pear soup which was yummy! So, that kinda compensated the situation. Ha! Just feed the hungry lady already so she can stop complaining! LOL! 😛

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Last meal in Jackson Hole!

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After lunch, we roamed around some more, bought souvenir stuff, returned our rental car, and
took the shuttle bus to the airport. 😦
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It was hard saying goodbye to this BEAUTIFUL place. We had a bit of rough start with our flights being delayed but we definitely had a wonderful time! There were no dull moments. We were on the go from morning-to-dark everyday taking in all the Jackson Hole area has to offer and we still didn’t get to do everything! There’s so much to do! Now, that we finally got a taste of it, we are definitely going back!

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So long Jackson Hole! It was one helluvah fun adventure!

If you have never been to Jackson Hole before, go there! I highly recommend it. Prepare for your first visit to be mind-blowing. The people are AMAZING and the scenery is out of this world!

There you go! Three more stops to go and I am completely finish with my vacation recaps. Then back to my regular postings! 🙂 STAY TUNED!

Have you been to Jackson Hole before? Which one is your favorite activity?

Xoxo, Ja

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> MY BLOG’S FACEBOOK PAGE: JA-ONTHERUN BLOG
> CHECK OUT MY SILLY PHOTO ADVENTURES ON INSTAGRAM: @JA_ONTHERUN
> FINALLY, I HAVE A TWITTER! I HAVE A TWITTER! : @JA_ONTHERUN

Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 2: Los Angeles, CA

{Part I here}

Hi all!  Hope you’re having a great day!

Gosh these past few days have just flown by. Since I had been eating like there’s no tomorrow during our month long vacation, I’m back to working out and running again! Yup, back to our normal routine and I have so much catching up to do!

Ok so here’s a recap of our next stop…

July 6-9: Orlando, FL  {recap here –> Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 1: Orlando, FL}
> July 9-11,14-15: Los Angeles, CA
July 12-13: Boulder & Las Vegas, NV (& a little bit of Arizona :P )
July 16-19: Jackson Hole, WY —> BREATHTAKING!!!
July 20, 26-27: Seattle, WA
July 21-23: Spokane, WA
July 23-25: Vancouver, BC (Canada)

Los Angeles, CA

After our fun trip to Orlando, we flew to La La Land next. 🙂

I’ve been to L.A. several times long time ago before I even moved to the U.S. During my vacation from school in the Philippines, my family and I would fly to the US for vacation and California was one of the places we would visit. I had a lot of fond memories back then. After many years, it was nice to visit LA again. Going back this time with my husband and friends was definitely exciting. New set of people, new memories! 🙂

We landed at LAX late at night and starving. Our first stop in Cali…

In N Out Burger!
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Hmm …fast food, while on vacation? Sorry, but it had to be done. There wasn’t much open  in Palmdale after 10pm. Plus I had to try this fast food chain from all the hype I’ve heard. I got the double cheeseburger which was ok. I don’t exactly know what I’m missing here but in all honesty, it was just a burger. There wasn’t anything too special about it or maybe the built up expectations from all the rave reviews let me down. People seem to love it as if this would be some blow your mind, can’t live without, amazingly delish burger. But …it’s not. I’m sorry to those who loves it but for me it was just an average burger. It’s decent, but no more, no less. (*sorry* :|) Well, at least I got to try it …and that’s enough for me. 🙂
Related: Great American Bites: Is In-N-Out Burger overhyped?

What do you guys think of In-N-Out Burgers?
Do you love it? Or do you think it’s overrated?
What’s the best burger place you had so far? Please do share! 🙂
– For me, nothing has yet beaten Wham! Burger. It’s the best I ever had so far!

We stayed at my husband’s aunt’s place in Palmdale. We slept right away after having our “most overhyped” dinner and woke up early the next day – too early because our body clock was still used to Eastern Time. 🙂

I loved the time difference though. It seemed like I was a legit morning person there. Haha. My husband and I would be wide awake by 5am and ready to roll. 😛 So, what did we do wide awake early dawn?

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We went for a run.

Hubby and I would go venture out her aunt’s neighborhood streets.

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And during our runs we discovered this scenic route that goes up to the desert mountains.
I was pretty amazed of the desert-y landscape you get in the Southern California.

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As we reached the top of these desert mountains, we were greeted with
a gorgeous sunrise and a nice view of the neighborhoods of Palmdale.

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There’s no better way of touring a new city than running it.  🙂

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Then, I had a deep conversation with this dog after our run. I was telling him about this beautiful place I went to. He’s been living in Palmdale all his life and had no clue where that place was. LOL! 🙂

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We started off our first two days here meeting up with friends and family. I have a couple of friends and relatives who live in California and one of the things I looked forward to coming to LA was reuniting with them. Since this was only a short visit and our schedule was pretty hectic, we only managed to see a few of them.
(TO THOSE WHOM WE DIDN’T GET TO SEE, NEXT TIME WE VISIT, WE’LL MAKE SURE TO MEET UP WITH YOU. :))

On our way to visit friends and family we had to go through a lot of LA traffic. It’s endless! I lived in the city when I was in the Philippines and I think the traffic in LA is just as crazy as there already. I am not used to it anymore. I would sometimes complain here in Cincinnati about our “traffic” which isn’t bad. After seeing LA’s, I have nothing to complain about! Nothing! LOL!

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First, we visited one of my best friends back in the Philippines, Aiko.

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Her babies are are too darn cute! Aiko moved to California with her family a few years ago. It was definitely fun seeing and catching up with her and her super kind family. 🙂

Next, hubby and I met up with our dear Godparents. 🙂
(Remember the story about the origin of my name? I wrote about it here.)

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Gave them personalized Cincinnati Bengals beer mugs. Gotta represent! 🙂

 They knew we don’t get much Filipino food here in Ohio so they invited us for dinner and prepared delicious Filipino food for us. Awww-some!!!

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I had to save my appetite the whole day for that. It’s been quite a while since I had good Filipino food. I can only cook the simplest ones (like adobo) but other Filipino dishes are just too meticulous to make so I don’t cook them. LOL! 🙂

Soo good! 🙂

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My favorite was the pancit palabok (bright orange dish in the middle). It’s a Filipino noodle dish with shrimp sauce topped with cooked shrimp, boiled pork, crushed chicharon, and hard boiled eggs. It was very tasty that sure relieved my hunger and cravings. I had a couple of servings of that! So good! Oh and the crispy pata! That one was good too! Mmmm. Creating this post is now making me hungry! LOL!

Our friends, Tammy and Paul arrived that night too. They flew in from Houston to join us on this trip. I was beyond excited when I learned that they were joining us! Our trip was even more memorable with them! We definitely had an awesome time together! 🙂

My husband left for a bit to pick them up at the airport, then back to our Godparent’s place with them.

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They too enjoyed some good Filipino food for dinner! 🙂

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It was awesome catching up with all of them that night.
Great food, great company, what more can you ask for?! First few days in LA – definitely a thumbs up!!!

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The next day was our trip to Hoover Dam and Las Vegas, which I will have to recap on a separate post. 🙂

Before heading to Nevada that day, my husband and I talked about bringing Tammy and Paul to that scenic place we discovered in Palmdale. We just had to bring them there. It was too beautiful for them not to see. 🙂

So we woke up early and we took Tammy and Paul for an early morning desert run and stroll. 🙂

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We didn’t stay out too long. We headed back home after a few hours, ate breakfast, freshened up, and prepared our stuff for our trip to Hoover Dam and Las Vegas. We were so excited!

Stay tuned for a separate recap solely dedicated to our adventure in Nevada! 🙂 This post is just all about LA! 🙂

We stayed in Las Vegas overnight and headed back to LA the next day early morning. I told you, our schedule was hectic! We got back in LA and planned to roam around the rest of the day! 🙂

We went to grab some lunch first at a Filipino fast food chain, Jollibee.

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I was actually amazed as to how popular this fast food chain was there. They have Jollibee everywhere in the West Coast!

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Since my husband and I are so deprived of Filipino goodies here in Ohio, we splurged a little bit here. 😛

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Halo-halo 🙂 – so good!

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Peach Mango Pie, a dessert made out of baked flaky pastry
filled with mangoes and peaches – YUM!!!

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Filipino sweet spaghetti!

My husband got the Amazing Aloha burger which he devoured right away before I could even take a photo of it. That burger was actually featured in Anthony Bourdain’s show <– must watch! …must watch! 🙂

My husband’s uncle and aunt actually took time off from work for us so they can drive and tour us around. Aren’t they amazing?! They were such awesome hosts! They took us around downtown LA, to Beverly Hills and a little tour of some stars’ homes. Yeah, tourist stuff! 🙂

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We visited Venice Beach per Paul and Tammy’s request. They have never been and were ecstatic to play in the Pacific Ocean for the first time. 🙂

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It was already late in the afternoon, a little chilly and gloomy. The water was freezing cold, but we enjoyed playing with the waves and walking around on the beach.

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After numbing our toes to cold water, we decided to walk around a bit on the the strip along the shore. There were mini amusement parks, restaurants, and shops around the area. There wasn’t really much to see actually. The street was lined with small shops selling pretty much the same things; clothes, jewelry, and souvenir items. For me, Venice Beach is something I’d go visit just to see, but I wasn’t moved enough that I’d need to go back again. 😐

We had a quick dinner at a Korean restaurant, Genwa, went home and called it a day! 🙂

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Onto our last day in LA, we did more tourist stuff!

We had breakfast first at this diner, Crazy Otto’s!

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I LOVE this place! I love their decor of license plates all over their walls. I love the ambience, it’s very homey and their food is delicious! I ordered the Chorizo and Egg and was HUGE!!! They have great service too! I love everything about that place. 🙂

Leo’s uncle made everything so convenient and possible for us when we were there. They made sure we hit all of the “Hollywood Must Sees”!

First we headed down to Hollywood Blvd to look at the famous hand prints in the cement and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 🙂

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The boys are a big fan! 🙂

We also went to Griffith Observatory to get the best view of the Hollywood sign.

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You’d also get a nice panoramic views of the whole city from up there. I remembered this place being too crowded when I first went here years ago. Good thing it wasn’t as busy this time. :). We were able take a lot of pictures without other people photobombing our pics. LOL! 🙂

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Ja on theRUNThe Observatory itself is beautiful, and so were the views. I remembered going to a planetarium here before and they have like an open telescope in the dome to view stars in the sky. We were obviously there during the day, so we missed that, but I’m sure that would be a cool experience with them.

And of course Universal Studios Hollywood! 🙂

I said hello to this place once again. It was like a travel down memory lane. First time I went here was when I was in high school and I remembered the Jurassic Park ride being my favorite back then. It was pretty much the same when I rode it this time. They still used the same mechanical dinosaurs that spit on you and when you look another way, you get spit at from another. Haha. I thought that was pretty funny and entertaining.  I liked it because the ride is pretty lame at first and you won’t expect the big drop at the finale. Of course this time, I knew about it already and that we would end up soaking wet. It was still fun though. 🙂

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The crowd that day made us so thankful we got the Front of Line passes. We didn’t have to deal with waiting in long lines in the heat of summer days …of CALIFORNIA!!! We got to do literally everything at a good pace. Front of Line passes are definitely the way to go! 🙂 It definitely saved us a lot of time and got pretty much done early. 🙂

Ja on the RUN

Along with In-N-Out, Randy’s is another LA staple. Arriving at Randy’s, we were greeted by this huge donut on top of the place. That was actually very appealing! It makes you wanna get some doughnuts! 🙂

Ja on the RUN

I got the apple fritter which was delicious! That was actually a great way to cap off our long, fun day! 🙂

So that about wraps up our time in LA.

All in all we had a great time exploring the city and spending time with wonderful friends and family. This visit with my husband and friends was definitely a complete different experience from my previous visits.  It was fun, fun, fun!

Bless you for getting to the end of this. That was uuber long! I wanted to get everything of LA into this post. 😛 Stay tuned for the next part!!!

Much love,
Ja

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Banana Split, Running in the Heat …and Going Vegetarian (say wha?!)

I have so many things to share.

Let’s start of with Saturday.

Hubby and I went to the sweetest festival on earth – Banana Split Festival. 🙂

Banana Split Festival

This small town in Ohio claims the origin of the first banana split. They commemorate the event each year in the month of June with a Banana Split Festival in honor of this classic dessert.

Ever since my husband and I lived here in Ohio in 2010, we come to this festival every year for the banana splits, car shows and events. It’s a great place to find local crafts too. I, of course like and support anything local.

A featured attraction at the Festival was the “Make Your Own Banana Split” booth where you choose how many scoops, what flavors of ice cream and toppings you want.

Banana Split Festival

Banana Split Festival

TOP (Mine): I had 2 scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt (uhm, if you haven’t checked out my crazy FroYo addiction, head over to this post). Topped with chocolate syrup, rainbow sprinkles, almond nuts, whipped cream and cherries! YUM!

BOTTOM (Hubby’s): He had 1 scoop of vanilla and 1 scoop of chocolate ice cream, and went crazy with the toppings. 😛

Banana Split Festival

Now dig in – Yum…Yum!

After we devoured our dessert we stayed some more and enjoyed the festive mood. It was really a street fair in nature – just good old fashioned fun. 🙂

I got so excited when I got my Runner’s World in the mail that day! I was touched by this issue’s cover photo. It has a photo of a finisher’s medal with a piece of black tape across it . It portrayed a very powerful message showing support for those affected in the bombing. I thought this issue is mournful but optimistic in a way to remind people to be stronger, move on, and never stop doing what they love. I will treasure this issue forever.

Runner's World July 2013

I wasn’t aware at first that I was wearing the colors of Boston Marathon that day
’til I I saw my copy of the Runner’s World in the mail. Such a coincidence! 🙂

Runner's World July 2013

I was so inspired so I grabbed a copy of one of these too.

People June 2013

Moving on…

I planned a 10-mile run on Sunday but I woke up late again. By the time I got my lazy butt up, it was already close to 8:00 am. I knew it’s going to be hot as hell after 8:00 am. It was supposed to go as high as 82 degrees later that day. I was debating with myself if I’d still manage to run outside or not, but I didn’t give in. I thought of heading to the trails to seek some shade and …. just run!

Just run

Southwest Ohio is generally pretty cool in the mornings for running. Usually, a run before 8:00 a.m is perfect around here. The “getting up really early” part to beat the heat is a challenge for me.

It’s funny that after living here in Ohio, when I hear people who run outside during the winter in negative degree snowbound weather, I don’t react weird about it; but when they tell me they went running during 95 F weather, I’d think they’re crazy I mean, bad ass!

My ideal running temperatures would range from 50º-55º. For me, that’s perfect! I’ll be flashing a big smile on my face throughout my run in that temperature. Greater than that, I’ll have issues… I’ll die! (Lol! Just kidding!) 😛

What is your ideal running temperature? When is it too hot for you to run?

I’ve only been running for just over a year now and within the year I’ve read some useful tips from the running gurus on training during hot days:
– Run really early or later in the day after the sun starts to set to avoid the heat of the sun.
– Avoid getting out there between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
– Wear loose light-colored clothes.
– Run on shady trails or indoors
– Stay hydrated

Just Run

How do you run in the heat and not die? What are your hot weather running tips?
How hot would you say is too hot to run outside?

I usually run with a hand-held water bottle but I knew I wouldn’t get through 10 miles in the heat and humidity with just 8oz. water, so I thought of running with a CamelBak. This was actually my first time I had to bring one on a run. I don’t like carrying stuff with me on my runs, but that day I was thanking myself for thinking of it. I was able to stay hydrated throughout my run and I realized, carrying a CamelBak wasn’t bad after all. 🙂

Just Run

I didn’t have to stop for water but I planned my route where I can stop for water just in case I run out. My husband was on call for work that day so I ran by myself. I did multiple short loops in the trail staying close to where I parked instead of a long run out and back. That way, if I get too exhausted and dizzy, I can head back to my car easily to rest or stop early.

10 miles
Have you ever not run because you thought it was too hot- or what do you do to make sure you’re properly hydrated?

It was exhausting, but I finished 10 miles without collapsing. 🙂 I headed back to my car, rested for a bit, and had my much needed recovery snacks before driving back home.

Post-run fuel

I like to refuel with banana and coconut water/juice. 🙂

What is your favorite way to refuel after a run?

While having lunch at home, I watched this interesting documentary on Netflix titled, Vegucated.

Vegucated
It is about these three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks and learn what it’s all about. The director of this film, Marisa Miller Wolfsonused to make fun of her vegetarian friends until she became one. Like her, I used to never understand why people go meatless. Although I know greens are the way to go for healthy life, I grew up also knowing the importance of the nutrients we get from meat. That thinking slowly changed when I became conscious about my health and watched several documentaries about the importance and benefits of changing our diets to plant-based. I have seen quite a few videos about the meat and dairy industries but they did not affect me like Vegucated did. Among the films I’ve watched, this one, this particular documentary hit home the most for me!

I’d like for you guys to watch this trailer just to get an idea of what the film is all about.

After watching it, I felt sorry for the fish I just ate for lunch (Ugh! I’m so sorry fish). I was aware of how animals go through in slaughter houses from local news and newspapers but it never really sunk in to me until I watched this documentary. It showed what actually takes place in slaughter houses and how it’s really like for those poor animals. These cows, chickens, and pigs are no way different from the dogs and cats you love in your homes. It’s really emotional to see what these animals have to undergo JUST for us humans. I shed a tear and it opened my eyes to things I had not previously consciously considered. It changed my outlook on a lot of things. It’s been 2 days since I watched the film and I haven’t had a single meat intake since and I am feeling great. 🙂

I just can never look at meats and enjoy my half rack ribs the same way again. I don’t know how long I can handle not eating meats. As of now, my heart is still melting whenever I remember the film. I can’t say it yet if I can go all the way vegan but I know I want to. I am very inspired at the moment by this educational video to become a vegetarian. 🙂

So if you’re thinking or interested to go vegetarian/vegan or adapt a plant-based lifestyle, watch this film! I tell you, this documentary will DEFINITELY inspire you to do it!  It’s available on Netflix. And even if you choose to continue to eat meat, Vegucated will definitely teach you a lot of things. It isn’t the first film I have watched on this subject matter, but it is the first film that changed me.

Do I think everyone should be a vegan? No. Not necessarily. I don’t think vegetarian is for everyone. I think food is a personal choice. However, I do think that everyone could benefit from more plants and less meat and dairy. I totally agree that a mostly plant-based diet is generally better for your health and better for the environment

Have you seen Vegucated? What do you think of the film?

On a last note before I end my post, we recently celebrated National Running Day and enjoyed National Doughnut day, but did you know that it was National Iced Tea Day yesterday? I didn’t ’til I got this email from Dunkin Donuts! 🙂

Well, in this heat, every day is National Iced Tea Day for me!

National Iced Tea Day

Have a great day everyone! Stay cool!

Xoxo, JOTR
> Like my blog’s facebook page: Ja-ontheRUN Blog
> Check out my silly photo adventures on Instagram: @ja_ontherun

Back-To-Back

Hi everyone!

First of, Happy National Running day to all runners out there. Hope you all had fun celebrating this special day. Here’s a shot of Gu! 🙂 Cheers!

If you’re not a runner, give that runner in your life a high-five today, or at least don’t rag them about their “weirdness” posting a status on their facebook about their love for running. If National Running Day isn’t your thing, don’t fear, National Donut Day is coming up on Friday. 🙂

So, why do I run?

National Running Day

Running gives me FREEDOM!

When I run, I determine my own pace, I choose my own course and think whatever I want. Nobody tells me what to do. It’s for myself; my own freedom! 🙂

I’m not actually scheduled to run today, but since today is a special day dedicated to my favorite sport, I squeezed in 3 miles this afternoon. I ran 3 miles after doing an hour of weights class and an hour of kickboxing. So, I’m kinda a little wasted creating this post now. 😛

I was only going to attend weights class today but I felt so pumped up and ended up staying for the next class which was kickboxing. And to cap the day off, I ran 3 easy miles with my husband.

So, this was me earlier after the back-to-back workouts.

National Running Day

I feel so wasted but I had fun working out today. So, I’m off for now for my much needed rest!

Goodnight!

Have you done back-to-back fitness classes? Do you ever stay for more than one fitness class? 

Xoxo, JOTR

> Like my blog’s facebook page: Ja-ontheRUN Blog
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Runs, Bike Rides and “Some” FroYo

Hi everyone! 🙂

Well, I have been a busy girl since last Friday. My husband and I woke up around 8:00am that day, a little late for our morning run. We were successful to run 9 miles but let me tell you – it was HOT out there that day! I felt like I almost got into a state of dehydration. It was my first time I had to rip my tank top off in my downright desperation and ran with just a sports bra in the last few miles. And wow, that felt better! Never did I think I’d feel okay running in just a sports bra – I’m way too shy. I don’t have that “perfect runner’s body” to flaunt. 😛 But that day, I did not care at all. I just had to do it! I felt weird and conscious for a while but I had to do what was necessary or else I would die in the dreadful heat! :/

Have you ever ran with just a sports bra or are you conscious like me?
What are your thoughts on running with just a sports bra?

After lunch we went out to run some errands and later that day, I was able to FINALLY get my FroYo fix. 😛

I had been craving for FroYo since forever! I see them everywhere in everyone’s blog posts and it’s making my craving even worse. LOL!

Hubby and I headed to Orange Leaf. It’s a self serve frozen yogurt place. They have large cups, which did not help me from getting just a small amount when your eyes and stomach are playing tricks on you. This place made me feel dizzy inside. I am a horrible decision maker and they have a wide selection of flavors and toppings. I was going decision crazy! LOL!

I settled for peanut butter frozen yogurt with strawberries, kiwis, cookie dough and sour gummy bears for toppings. 🙂 YUM! )

Saturday‘s weather was perfect to be outside! So hubby and I with some friends headed out to log some miles on these babies!

It was a perfect day for a bike ride. We did a total of 37 miles in the trail and I had a blast!
I love our trails here! It’s over 70+ miles stretch that goes from Cincinnati all the way to Dayton. It is shady for most parts and the view of the river is beautiful. Great for running or biking, paved, well-maintained, and not overcrowded.
The scenery along the trail is great, and can keep me entertained on my long runs. There’s a bathroom and a port-a-potty along the way which is crucial for me when I drank my way through an entire 2-liter Camelbak on a hot day.


This trail runs through Loveland which is my favorite part. Loveland has great places to eat and stop for your breaks. So halfway through our bike that day, we stopped by this place and grabbed an early lunch. 🙂

We finished up a long leisurely bike ride in a little over 3 hours. It was a pretty easy and fun ride. 🙂

After our ride and burning 1,000+ calories we headed up to Yoba to treat myself for some FroYo again. 🙂

Photo Jun 02, 11 35 35 AM
After my much needed FroYo, hubby and I were off to catch a movie, Now You See Me.

Have you seen the movie Now You See Me? What do you think of the magic tricks?

As we were walking to the movie theater, we passed by Old Navy, and this caught my attention.


The moment I saw that tank from outside the store’s window, I knew I had to stop and get one for myself! 🙂 I love it. It’s so comfortable and the length is perfect for covering just enough.
Photo Jun 02, 5 30 07 PM
On Sunday after church, we headed out for an early lunch at our favorite hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant. 🙂 After lunch, we went to our local running store to check out new running shoes, AND guess what’s beside it?  TWilly’s Yogurt! A FroYo place again! 🙂
I got the caramel frozen yogurt with strawberries, chocolate chips, cheesecake bits and those fruit flavored “popping balls” that are filled with juice and pop in your mouth – good stuff! Yum!
I’ve become fond of all these self-serve frozen yogurt places. Three days in a row of FroYo – perhaps too fond. Haha! 😛 I can see myself enjoying these places all summer. Crossing my fingers that I never become lactose intolerant.

Yesterday’s morning weather was beautiful. Cooler than what we had during the weekends. I couldn’t let it pass and did a quick easy run! 🙂 It felt good!
Photo Jun 03, 7 44 48 AM
My husband noticed my enthusiasm for FroYo over the weekend. So, when he got home from work yesterday, he brought me these. 🙂

YUM!!! …and
Photo Jun 03, 1 00 33 PM
YUM!
and more yum to more of my favorite food – Indian food and Piada 🙂
Piada
Don’t you love your husbands more when they come home with food? I do. That means no cooking for me 😛

That’s it for my fun FroYo-filled weekend.

Hope you all had a yummy weekend too like mine! 🙂

What are your favorite FroYo toppings?

Xoxo, JOTR

> Like my blog’s facebook page: Ja-ontheRUN Blog
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My Partner On The Run.

It’s Monday again!

Before anything else, I just want to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to my friend Jae for completing Ironman Texas last Saturday! He ROCKED IT!

Here’s a video of him at the finish line.

He’s the friend from my previous post whom my hubby and I cheered for last April in Texas during his Ironman 70.3. This time was the full one – Ironman 140.6. My husband and I were cheering for him from all the way here in Ohio. As we were tracking him online we were feeling the pain and the agony. That’s 2.4 mile SWIM, 112 mile BIKE, 26.2 mile RUN + TEXAS scourching heat! That’s insane but he killed it!

Congratulations Ironman Jae!

————————————————————————————————————————–

So last Friday, I gave myself a permission to schedule a little ‘me’ time. 🙂 I am firm believer in the importance of being good to yourself and I shamelessly indulge in “me time” every once in a while. 🙂

Photo May 17, 2 45 44 PM (2)

I had highlights done on the tips of my hair. My hair is normally very dark brown and the highlights turned out to be caramel-y. I’m happy with the outcome! Thanks to my hairdresser, Jamie! 🙂

Photo May 17, 5 37 12 PM (3)I like it when hubby is driving, I can take more shameless selfies! LOL! 🙂

Question: When was the last time you set aside a little ‘me’ time? How did it feel?

My husband has played a key role in getting me into running. He was actually the one who encouraged me to sign up for my first half marathon. I was doubting myself that time but he was more confident for me than I was. From there, I got hooked! So, thank you for that! 🙂 Im not sure I would ever have the guts to sign up without his wisdom and encouragement. He supported me so much through my running journey. I remember when he had to wait for me to finish in the cold and sleet during my last year’s race at the Monumental Half Marathon. I love him and I am truly blessed to have him. He’s my number 1 fan! 🙂

Our very first half! 🙂

So, this year, I am repaying the favor back. He signed up for his first marathon in September. Though I am not training for any races (as of now), I join him with his training. This is my small way of saying thanks! 🙂

Now with his first marathon on the horizon, he’s been diligently following a training plan. I join him in his long runs, easy runs, not-so easy runs, interval trainings… etc. It’s nice that I do this with him. We keep each other going when one is tired. Running together is a fun way for us to bond.

Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 9.16.31 AM 4-mile interval training

Photo May 09, 10 54 49 PM

Last Saturday was another long run for him.

I saw these old tracks along the way. I love railroad tracks!
309980_380632958712946_166962250_n

Doing my much needed foam rolling
Photo May 15, 9 47 56 AM

I had no idea how running weaved into our marriage. I realized that this has become a bonding time like an Iron man movie date night out for us. I am convinced that one of the reasons we’ve remained strong in our marriage is that we share the same passion and loves. My partner in life is also my partner on the run.

Question: Do you run with your significant other? Or are you a solo runner?

Yesterday, my husband and I attended the Cincinnati’s 4th annual Yoga Takeover, sponsored by different local yoga companies. It was free (which is awesome) and took place at the Washington Park in Downtown Cincinnati.

977382_10201379930724367_1848841520_o

This was my first time doing a yoga class outdoor. It was pretty tough balancing on the grass, but the wobbling didn’t bother me. It’s getting close to summer season, so it was warm hot but everyone just seemed so happy to be outside.

There were 3 yoga instructors that led the class and they also had assistants who were walking through the crowd helping with adjustment and spraying us with water – such a sweet treat! So despite the fact that there were probably 200+ people out there yesterday, you still got a little bit of individual attention.

It was a great experience since I’ve never really got a chance to roam around to this part of downtown Cincinnati. The views were actually pretty cool. And doing a sun salutation when you’re actually reaching toward the sun is a pretty cool feeling! 🙂 And, oh, the “thing” I feared the most (see my last post), nope, nothing like that happened. LOL! It was a good day!

Question: How did your weekend go? Have you gone to an outdoor yoga?

Anyone raced this weekend?

Xoxo, JOTR

Like my blog’s facebook page here: Ja-ontheRUN Blog
Check out my silly photo adventures on Instagram here: @ja_ontherun

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It’s A Good Weekend!

(This post was supposed to be up yesterday but for some reason, my pictures were not loading properly. Oh well… here it is.)

Weekends come and go.  The best thing about it though is that it’s a repeating process. You get over one and you know there’s another coming up.  There is always opportunity to make up for a bad weekend by having a good one the following week.

So what made this weekend good for me?

My weekend was action packed with running and events.

Saturday morning, my husband and I were up bright and early and started our day off with our usual morning run.

Just an easy relax run, focusing on our breathing more.

Yup! As you can see, I finally got my “Runners for Boston” shirt! 🙂 Remember when I told you guys on my previous post that I wasn’t able to get one because my size got sold out quick. Well, when my husband and I picked up his new running shoes at the running store last Friday, I saw this booth where people picked up their “Runners for Boston” shirts.  I asked one of the sales lady if they still had any more shirts available and she told me that there’ll be no more stocks coming in. A lady at the counter about to pay for her stuff overheard and approached me. She told me that I can just have her shirt. I asked if she was sure, she certainly said yes. I got so excited! As I was giving her my payment, she said “no, it’s okay, you don’t have to, I was going to donate for Boston anyway”. I couldn’t stop thanking her. I hugged her!  She’s soooo nice. That became the highlight of my weekend. Runners truly are very kind people! 🙂

We also learned that our running store was able to raised $18,000+ to donate to the One Fund Boston. They just sent out the check that day. Wow!

After lunch, we headed over to the Flying Pig Expo. We did not run this race this year but we still wanted to check out the expo. I love to check out deals on running gears and see what kind of free swag we could get. :p

I was impressed at this expo last year when we registered for this race. For me, this one was definitely the best compared to the ones I went to for my half marathon races last year.

It’s sponsored by Proctor &Gamble (P&G is based in Cincinnati) so you’d expect a lot of freebies from the company.

We arrived a little late so it wasn’t so crowded. No lines. We meandered our way through the Flying Pig memorabilia area.

We got more Boston Strong shirts – more donations to the One Fund Boston. 🙂

We stumbled upon this Green B.E.A.N. Delivery. It’s a year-round grocery delivery service that hooks people up with local & sustainable food. My husband and I thought it’s a very cool concept. It’s an easy way to get local, organic, and humanely-raised food that’s hard to find in a supermarket. All you have to do is log on to your account online and choose the items you want. You can choose to set your delivery every week or every other week. It’s delivered right to your home (or office). You don’t have to deal with the chore of going to the grocery store anymore to get some good quality produce. Isn’t that awesome?!  I’m sure they have more options but you can just check out their website for more details.

We are considering getting the $35 bin, set to every other week delivery. This comes loaded with organic veggies and fruits. That would probably be more than enough for the two of us for two weeks.

Have you heard or tried this kind of service before?

The expo was easy to move through and still very well-organized as last year! 🙂

We weren’t able to make it when they were giving out sample freebies from Proctor and Gamble. Last year, we got several varieties of Olay skin creams, tampons (my husband didn’t want those), laundry scent booster, Dawn Power clean, and more! We missed out this time. :p

We got a lot of goodies though from the vendor section such as Bio Freeze, vitamins, assorted snacks, Koru yogurt, ice cream, Dick’s bag, gloves, seat cushions and a lot more, aside from the ones we purchased for an awesome deal!

They even had free photobooths. 🙂

On Sunday, after church, we headed back downtown again to the Flying Pig event to cheer for our friends who ran the marathon.

Friends, Tim (@ghstrnnr) and Nires (@therunnerfly), drove all the way from Chicago for this race. They’ve ran several marathons already and both love to travel to join races. My husband and I are so inspired by them. They’ve inspired us to train for a marathon someday.

AWESOME JOB GUYS! 🙂

We took them to a nice seafood lunch after their race.

It started raining harder after lunch but we managed to take a few good pictures of Cincinnati in the rain before we could let them go, back to Chicago. 🙂

Congratulations to everyone who ran and finished

the Flying Pig!

This last weekend was a great weekend for me.  I always say a good weekend for me would include the following:

* Spending time with friends.
* Exercising, like running, biking, or hitting the gym.
* Hanging out with the family.
* Eating! Good food of course!
* Downtime to relax and chill especially after a hard work week.
* Being productive

Those are the things that I would consider to be a perfect weekend.

What makes a good weekend for you?!

Do you enjoy going to race expos? What is your favorite part of going?

Xoxo, JOTR

LINKS:
Like my blog’s facebook page here:  Ja-ontheRUN Blog
Check out my silly photo adventures on Instagram here: @ja_ontherun

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Save 20% off now.

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