Friday, March 14, 2014

LA Day 2 & Pre Marathon Eats

Originally, I had planned on running the LA Big 5k because it came with our international marathon registration, however, with all of my foot issues, I decided to opt out. Nikki from Slow is the New Fast wrote a great race report of the hilly course here.

Instead, we had planned to "sleep in". When you're a mom this is harder than it would seem. I always think if I have the chance, I would sleep all day and enjoy the peace and quiet, but in theory it never works that way. Both of us woke up on cue at around 7:30AM. My sister is a 'dog mom' and I think her dogs might actually wake up before Griffin.

Anyways, I took my time getting myself together and trying to relax, all the well knowing a mere 24 hours later I'd be in the midst of running a marathon. We headed out in search of healthy breakfast. I really loved Santa Monica, but I did notice that not a lot is open before noon in the way of restaurants at least near the beach.

We stumbled on Cafe Crepe and the wait was quite short so we sat down to enjoy some lovely sunshine and oatmeal!

SIDENOTE: This is why my sister WINS at instagram (@shandandherdogs). Also, why I learned the iPhone camera is actually really lame, currently very seriously considering the idea of an android phone. I can't believe it actually captured the steam coming off my tea...

I find that in general, breakfast the day before the marathon sets the tone for the rest of my day. So as tasty as a crepe sounded, I've been caught in the port-a-potty during a marathon before regretting my pre-race eats...
Earl Grey Tea
Steel cut oats with raisins and brown sugar
Cup of fruit.

Next up, we decided to attempt to meet the girls up at Griffith's park to get a pic of the Hollywood sign and check out a really neat view of the city. By the time we got up there parking was a total nightmare. Unbeknownst to me, this weekend was the 1st weekend of Spring Break so everywhere we went was pretty busy, but this was by far the most insane. The girls had found a parking spot that was at the bottom of a very large hill. Normally, I wouldn't care, I mean lets be honest, I wouldn't be pleased, but I will do a lot of things for a cool picture! However, on this day, I was doing my best to save my feet for the next day and I knew that anytime my foot/arch hit an uneven surface there was going to be added pain. So after a few attempts to get closer parking and finally being turned around by security saying there was absolutely no more parking within a reasonable walking distance we headed back down the hill towards the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The other girls decided that they wanted to head back and take a nap so they didn't end up joining us. We wandered a bit and had a great time! First up, we looked for a quick lunch. After all the driving at Griffith's park and knowing that we were headed for a very early dinner we knew our time for lunch was running out. I knew there was an In n' Out a mere 2 blocks off of Hollywood boulevard and my sister had never been there so off we went. It was extremely busy as usual, but delicious as ever. I never took a photo unfortunately. I did the next day though as I ran by:
I could have stopped, there was no line!
Not the best pre-marathon lunch, buy hey, In 'n' Out is probably the best and freshest fast food you can get. We will just call it carbloading...
LARGE cup of ice water.
Fries (skip the animal style... only this time!)

After a short walk up and down the walk of stars, checking out the hand prints in front of the Chinese theater, and getting a glimpse of the Hollywood sign from the top floor of the mall, we found ourselves standing in front of Madame Tussaud's wax museum. Obviously, I've heard of the wax museum but I've never been. We asked how long it would take and they said a half hour/45 minutes so we decided to check it out!
We had a great time! At first, I was totally freaked out because the first exhibit is supposed to be like a Hollywood party and the figures are just interspersed throughout the room. Out of the corner of your eye, they totally look like real people about to move. You are allowed to touch the figures everywhere but their hair and face, so we took that opportunity to get some pretty hilarious pictures!
I was hoping for Ryan Gosling, but Ryan Reynolds would have to do.
My sister got an epic selfie with Betty!
For the record, I am not a Belieber.
Grease was one of our favorite movies as children, so this had me in tears laughing!
I am all too familiar with how nasty LA traffic can be, so I decided that we should head to the spot where we intended to meet the other girls for dinner. At this point in the day, I didn't want to do much more walking so we found a parking spot and walked a block or so off of Beverly Dr to get a picture of the famous Rodeo Dr and then we went to sit down at the restaurant.
Seeing all of the signs mentioning the road being closed the next day for the marathon really started to hit home... and the nerves once again were alive and well.

For dinner, I had suggested Cheesecake Factory, not because I wanted cheesecake but because of the amount of menu items. I thought that at least everyone there could find something to eat out of the 100's of options. The only problem with this is that it is always so difficult to decide! I almost changed my mind at the last minute, but ended up being really happy with what I got.

I chose to have a marinated steak salad and at least 5 or 6 glasses of ice water. I have found that eating light for dinner, making sure to include a little bit of protein is usually my best bet. I even had a bite of Nikki's cheesecake before realizing that I still had a bit of a cold and it wasn't a great idea to give it to everyone else before their race... oops.

After dinner, I just wasn't ready to go back to the hotel room. That would mean that it was time for bed and this was all really going to happen, and I was in all honesty, completely terrified. We walked into a few of the stores before finally saying our goodbyes and heading back to Santa Monica.... or so we thought... The GPS had other plans.

Up until this point, we had relatively good luck with the Tom Tom and it's navigating skills. However, on my quest to find a Whole Foods to get some breakfast for the next morning, we found ourselves terribly lost.

The next morning, I would realize that we inadvertently drove most of the marathon route on our "little" detour. And unfortunately in the end, Whole Foods didn't even have what I was looking for! Thank goodness I had bought a couple of Kind granola bars at REI the day before.

I went to bed far too late even before you factor in daylight savings time, at around 11:00PM, thanks Tom Tom. I NEVER want to hear "keep left, and then keep left" again.

Next up, finally, my LA Marathon Race Review!


  1. Yay! Super fun! I was out there running the LA Marathon last weekend too! I enjoyed reading your day before eats and activity!. Yum!