Tuesday, September 29, 2015

30 Lessons for 30 Years

I’m almost 30 – give me two days and I’ll say I am. I think I freaked out about this for a hot second, but really, it’s like, Alright, new decade. Time to get my life together and conquer what I want! I’ve got my eye on 18 different prizes and I feel like this is the time to start making things happen.

So here it is. 30 life lessons I’ve learned, primarily in the last seven years since stepping out into the "real world" post-grad school, and things I want to use to continue propelling myself forward as I tackle a new decade with these goals, plans, and dreams in mind.
1.      Own your mistakes. 
2.     Take care of your body.
3.     Take care of your mental health, too.
4.     Be present.

5.     People cannot read your mind.
6.     Give back.
7.       Keep your word. Do what you say you will.
8.       Travel. Go where you please!
9.       There’s something about turning pages of a book.
10.   Put down your phone.
11.   Set goals. Meet them.
12.   A rainy day fund isn’t just a suggestion.

13. Try new things.
14.   Do sometime that scares you regularly.
15.   Never stop learning.
16.   You don’t have to be friends forever and that’s okay.
17.   But hold on to the good ones.
18.   It’s okay to change your life plan.
19.   Go outside your comfort zone.

20. Sarcasm isn't always the answer.
21.   Criticism isn’t always bad.
22.   Live somewhere else.
23.   It’s okay to ask for help.
24.   Apologize when you should.
25.   Stand up for yourself.
26.   Find your thing- that thing that gets you fired up, excited, and inspired. 
27.   Indulging is okay! Treat yourself.
28.   Find a mentor in your field.
29.   Say thank you.
30.   Be kind.
I'll take a cupcake from you if you've got one!

What other wisdom do you have for someone wrapping up their 20s? 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

Yawwwwn. It’s only Monday? This weekend was ridiculously fabulously awesome, but man… having a life and having fun is TIRING, yo!

Friday night, of course, is football night, and I headed out with Doug’s mom to their homecoming game on Friday evening. Not the outcome hoped for, so boo to that, but it was a beautiful night out and made it feel like it actually hadn’t been 100+ outside earlier in the day.

Saturday morning I was back at run club after missing last week due to work. We had an awesome 6 mile run at race pace planned but Jacky and Monica were planning on more (because they’re both about to rock some fulls in a few weeks), so after they all came back, we went out for 4.5 more to round up to 10.5 (in my case). I needed to get in the direction of home, so I planned on doing 2.6 more at home on the treadmill to get to 13.1 ‘caus why not? And then discovered that the fans in the gym didn’t work and it was already 90+ outside, so there was no way that was about to happen. Nuh-uh. I was a little bummed, but took it as a sign to get home and chill for a bit before I headed out with my mom and sister to get wedding-ready!

My sister came in to town just Thursday evening and was only here until Sunday morning, so I'm glad I got some extra time with her over manis & pedis - plus I'm the one that picked her up from the airport since I couldn't take Friday off to go kayaking with her and my parents. Womp! 

We clean up pretty good.
A long-time family friend got married Saturday evening – by long-time, I mean my mom grew up with her mom in the LA Hungarian circle, so this was much a reunion for folks I hadn’t seen in a LONG time! Doug got to meet a whole bunch of folks who he had met once like two years ago, but it was a great night of celebrating, seeing old friends and of course, wine. Doug and I had been up and going since 6:30 am, so getting back from Malibu at 1 am was beyond exhausting…

Family selfie!
My sister & I with the gorgeous bride. <3
… so sleeping in until 9:30 am on Sunday was DELIGHTFUL. So very needed. I felt a little guilty not getting up and getting my run in (goals to meet, people!) but sometimes… it’s just needed. We headed out for lunch with my grandma and uncle who just got back from their two-week trip to Italy, so we finally got to hear all about it!

And from there, naturally, we didn’t stop, but headed down to Carson to get to the second to last Galaxy game of the season! Doug is now good luck, as they’ve always won when he’s gone, and as the Galaxy are tied for second and only one point behind first, we needed it! 3-2 win, for the books – you bet I’m dragging him to the last home game in a few weeks!

Galaxy win, woot!
And finally home again for some last-minute weekend work, and crashed hard at 11 pm. Ugh, Monday. You can always expect they’re going to suck… and they generally do. But it’s the first Monday of the first full week of classes on campus, so there’s a new kind of buzz going around too and I like it! Happy Monday – going to make it a good one and I hope you do, too!

I hope to make someone’s Monday by finally announcing the winner of the Tiux giveaway from a few weeks back after Ventura! Congratulations to

Aileen, you've been emailed and have until Thursday, October 1 to claim your prize! Congratulations!

How was your weekend?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Favorites #4

You can run this virtual race with me anytime September 26 - October 8. Register here with code MEGAN to save $5 on any of the race distances. Includes race bib, technical race shirt, LED running armband, bag of snacks, finisher's medal and a mystery prize! 10K and half-marathoners receive an extra armband! I hate running at night, but I’m all about the glow sticks and neon fun, so count me in! Join me?

2.       School’s Back!
The university I work at is on the quarter system – it’s still SO WEIRD to me, but whatever. Yesterday school finally started back up again, so it’s awesome seeing the buzz and life back on campus! This week has been all KINDS of insane, and therefore not a lot of miles goin’ down which makes me super sad, but oh well. Such is life, right, and sometimes the paycheck takes precedence over getting in a few miles. I’m hoping tonight before football!

We held two inaugural programs that have certainly been eating up all of our time, but turned out beyond awesome. First, our New Student Convocation which is like the official welcome to our new students from returning students, faculty and staff from all over campus. We had a full house and heard some great things so I think it paid off. The second program (my big baby) is a series of “Ask me!” tables around campus (think like info tables) to give directions, help new students find buildings, get folks to the correct offices for help, and so on. It’s 5 days, 10 hours, and a total of about 550 1-hour shifts to coordinate. Amazing. It’s just day 2 now, but so far, so good… and TONS of great reviews. Hard work pays off, yo.

3.       Birthday Week!
My birthday is alllllllllllllmost here (next Thursday) and I’ve got tons of awesome gifts and prizes to give away, so I’m super stoked. Many thanks to so many amazing companies who are contributing to my #30thbirthdayblogblowout and giving YOU GUYS the chance to win some super sweet birthday presents!

So much fun stuff to give away and I just can’t wait! See more next week for all that it entails – and GET EXCITED!

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fall Race Schedule

Fall in Southern California is pretty awesome because though it's still sometimes blazing hot during the day, mornings are (generally) cool enough so that races are still tolerable in terms of weather. I'm also super stoked because I've picked up a good number of pacing gigs with Beast Pacing, so I get tons of opportunities to still run half marathons, but am far from RACE pace but still get the mileage and fun!

I've got a busy fall, but a super awesome one at that.

First up, it's the #30halfsfor30years birthday extravaganza (and duh, by far the most exciting piece of all this!):

Sunday, October 4 
State #8!

Saturday, October 10
State #9! 

After this race, I get to hang out for the post-race concert featuring this guy, and then hop on a plane back to LA for...
Sunday, October 11
Use code RUNLBAMBMJ for $5 off and join me! 

And from there, really, the fun continues:

- Lexus Lace Up Irvine 10K, October 17
- Revel Canyon City Half Marathon, Saturday, November 6 (2:10 pacer)
- Lexus Lace Up Palos Verdes Half, November 14
- Surfer's Point Half Marathon, November 15 (2:30 pacer)
- USA Invitational Half Marathon, November 21
- Lexus Lace Up Riverside Half Marathon, December 6 (2:15 pacer)

Remember that for any of the Lexus Lace Up series races, regardless of distance or location, you can use code laceupmegan for 15% off your registration too! I'm not able to make Ventura this year due to a conference out of town, but if you complete all 4 Lace Up races (any combination of distances), you earn the bonus fifth medal too! Bling bling!

Where do I get to see you this fall?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Firefly Run Virtual Race FUN!

I've only participated in one virtual run before, and really I was doing a race of the same distance anyway, so it was just like I got double medals, but I like the idea - especially for bigger races (like Santa Hustle since it's not in California anymore!) where you just can't feasibly travel but want to 'participate' with all the perks. 

Firefly Run is no different. Though you certainly miss the perks of seeing thousands of glow-sticked, lit-up people all together, you can still participate and have your own fun because why not? 

Especially as it's starting to get dark earlier, this is still a fun way to get your run done in the evening but to spice it up a little bit too! The super fab folks at NowRuns (a partner of the Firefly Run) is offering the 5K for just $25 - complete with ALL THIS STUFF:

For just $25, you'll get:
- A race bib
- Technical race tee
- Glow in the dark medal
- Snack bag of runner-friendly snackage
- LED running armband
- A runner mystery gift! (oooh surprise!)

I think this looks like an absolute blast, considering I don't run at night, but this is something I could totally get into. Want to see what it all really looks like when it comes together? Check out the fun!

Want to join me - either virtually or somewhere in my 'hood? Register here, use code MEGAN to get your $5 off (you'll apply it after you click Check Out) and let me know if you'll be playing along! If you want to participate in the actual Firefly Run, you can check out upcoming race locations and events here

Will you run virtually with me?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Favorites #3

Aaaaah, Friday. Best day of the week, because obviously... WEEKEND! This is my first Friday back at work (we have Fridays off during the summer) so it feels a little odd being back to a 5-day work week schedule, but because classes haven't started yet, it's still quite mellow and therefore, awesome. 

I've got all kinds of goodness going on today because it's the best day ever, so enjoy!

1. Sparkly Soul Fall Cleaning Sale!
Obviously the number one reason today's already a great day but add to the fact that much like their spring cleaning sale, SS is back at it with a FALL cleaning sale! Get a 6-pack of headbands for just $30 (bear in mind that a wide headband alone is normally $17, thin $15) so this is a GREAT deal. Count me in for two - I'm going to hope I get a few random ones I don't own, but it's also a great time to stock up as small pick-me-up gifts and even stocking stuffers for running friends for the upcoming holidays (can you believe it's that time?). Purchase your packs here!

2. All the Race Discounts!
We're going to feature Long Beach today because it's in just three short weeks (wheeeee!) and I'm super stoked about it being part of my birthday shenanigans (see below). Long Beach is truly one of my favorite races in Southern California and I'm super stoked to be one of their inaugural ambassadors! Doug's running this race too as part of his three-peat to get one of those golden seashells... but I digress. Join me for Long Beach, won't you... or any of these other awesome races?

3. Birthday Shenanigans!
So what I'm officiall dubbing #30halfsfor30years is creeping up on me! As of yesterday, it's just two weeks until my big 3-0 and I'm flying coast to coast and back again for three half marathons in 8 days and adding two new half marathon states while I'm at it. We booked our Portland flights just the other night, so it's making it really real and I'm beyond giddy excited. Check it out:

Saturday, October 3: to Portland
Sunday, October 4: Portland Half Marathon (half #29)
Monday, October 5: Home from Portland
Wednesday, October 7: to New York City
Saturday, October 10: Rock 'n Roll Brooklyn (half #30!) + flight back to LA
Sunday, October 11: Long Beach Half Marathon (half #31 for good measure)

Can you say AWESOME SAUCE? I can! Much more to come on all of those, but I have discount codes here for all the above races, so join me at some point!

4. Tiux Socks Giveaway
Today's the last day to enter for my Tiux compression socks giveaway - soft, cushy, and who doesn't like pink and lime green together? Enter here so you don't miss out on the chance to win! Show your legs some recovery love...

and last but not least...

5. Football Fridays are BACK!
Doug's back to coaching season - though he has been for a few weeks now - but I just love the fall. He's coaching at a new high school, closer to us and where we moved to, but with a few coaches from his last team along for the ride too. I get to join in on the fun via grandstands, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Fall has actually been creeping in during the evenings, so Fridays are jeans, hoodies, and all kinds of cheering for our Eagles! Though games are stressful from his end, of course, I enjoy getting to wind down my week that way - good fun away from a computer, away from chores and life at home, and enjoying watching these kids do their thing. 

And that's that - it's a good day. Beautiful day outside, despite hights of low 90s, it's going to be gorgeous. I'm hoping that once 'fall' starts on Monday, we'll actually get to see some of that weather?! Please and thank you, I'd appreciate it.

Have a GREAT day and a GREAT weekend, friends! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Review + Giveaway: Tiux Compression Socks

I'm very much a believe in compression socks - though I don't always wear them during a run, I certainly use them for recovery after a particularly hard workout or a long run to let my legs recuperate. It's more often than not that I wear them to bed and really let my legs recover overnight.

A few weeks back, Tiux contacted me about checking out a pair of theirs - I'd never neard of Tiux, let alone their socks, so I was certainly intrigued by this fairly new company. Though small, Tiux has a lot of advantages that I really liked:

They're truly homegrown and a small, thriving group at that! I was curious to check them out for sure.

The other cool piece is that Tiux is philanthropic as well. 1% of revenue goes to MAG (Mines Advisory Group) to help save lives and protect communities from landmines, unexploded ordinances (UXO) and other weapons that remain after conflict. This means that 1% of every purchase goes towards providing a safe and secure future and life for children, women and men affected by violence and conflict. 

I picked out a super fabulous pink, lime green and purple pair - becaue duh, color is better.  Styles currently only come in three colors, which is difficult for me because I prefer all the colors rather than just black - so naturally, the pink ones were the first ones I flocked to.

Tiux's socks are designed for use during your activity - whether it be running, lifting or even yoga, rathern than during recovery (though you still can, of course!). My perfect opportunity was when I paced at Ventura this past weekend - again, sometimes I'm good about wearing compression socks during those long runs. Conveniently, the lime green in the socks matched our pacing shirts as well. Win! 

Despite having never worn them before (because, you know, no new things on race day!) , I was a little nervous about if they'd rub or slide around in my shoes, but I had zero issues with them. Perfectly snug, but in all the right places.

These socks are incredibly soft, and I feel like the bottoms are padded just a little more than ordinary socks. Not super thick, but just enough to feel a difference as your feet start to yell at you for treating them this way. I loved the hot pink pair and might be scooping up the lime/blue ones in the near future (at just $35 a pop, why not?).

I'm also super stoked that they're letting me give away a pair to YOU, too! See, there's always something good out of this!

Giveaway begins Wednesday, September 16 and ends Sunday, September 20 at 11:59 pm PST. Only winner will be notified. Prize available to those in US and Canada only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Are you a compression sock believer?

Tiux provided me these socks to use and try for said review. I received no compensation otherwise to review this product. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Race Recap | Ventura Half Marathon

Ventura Half Marathon | Ventura, CA
September 13, 2015

A couple of months ago, I got asked to be a pacer for Ventura - I've wanted to do this race and have just never made it work into my schedule or budget in time, so you know I jumped on the chance to get it on my schedule by being a pacer! Heck yes! I love pacing for Vanessa and Beast Pacing, so it was just another chance to help someone else out on a race!

Doug had football Saturday morning, so I headed out to run club as normal for our 9 race pace miles (whew!) and headed home to do laundry, get packed, and be ready to head out the door to Ventura as soon as he got home. Packet pick up closed at 6, so I knew we'd just squeak in as we didn't get to leave until nearly 3:45. Thankfully the drive was pretty easy so we got to Ventura just about 5:40 - though all the vendors were gone already! Womp.

Ready or not, here we go!
I made the realization on Saturday that this was my first race since Fontana in June! I always seem to forget about that summer stretch where it's too hot to do anything and any of the destination races (ie San Francisco) I just haven't put into my race budget yet. But that's another story for another day. This was ALSO going to be my last race and last half in my current age group - eeeep!

After pick up, Doug and I headed back to Camarillo, about 15 miles away to get checked into the hotel and find dinner. A quick bite to eat, back to the hotel to unpack and make sure I had everything - after San Diego, I was a little paranoid to say the least, so I'm pretty sure I packed everything I could ever think of. I laid down to watch the end of whatever college game that Doug was watching and I'm pretty sure I passed out before even 9:30 pm.

... for a 4:15 am alarm clock, I'd say that's pretty good. Though we had a drive into Ventura, it was super easy and empty at 4:45 am. We were meeting as a pace team at 5:20, so I wanted to be sure we had enough time to get to the city, get near enough the pier and find a place to park. Doug walked me down to the pier, and eventually made his way back to the car for a sort-of nap while the races started and he had to wait for me.

Beast Pacing, comin' atcha!
The full marathon starts at 6 and the half not until 6:30, so we had quite a bit of time to kill before we lined up. I was pacing Team 2:15 with Helen, who's a total badass runner (qualified for Boston at her third full and took her marathon time from 5 hours to BQ in just six months!) but was pacing for the first time ever. I felt like a pro - and still managed to run too fast. Ha!

We lined up about 6:20, just in time for folks to find us by our signage and get comfortable and set where they wanted to be. The full has only about 1500 runners and the half about 4500, so I was surprised there were no real corrals, just signage to help people guesstimate where they wanted to be.

It was a super gorgeous morning, but there was not a single cloud in the sky so it was bound to be a hot day, let alone a warm morning. Many folks commented on how muggy it had been on Saturday, along with some rain, so Sunday felt better, but I tell ya, it still wasn't super runner-friendly.

Helen and I got about a mile out before we started working with our group to see who was planning on hanging with us, who was a first-timer, and who was looking for a PR. We had a handful of newbies and a few folks looking for PRs, so a fun mix of brand new runners and folks who had some serious goals in mind (one lady was looking for a 7+ minute PR).

My Garmin was spot-on with the mile markers up through mile 6 and I knew the turnaround was near, so to my surprise, the turnaround didn't click on my Garmin until nearly 6.8. Heading back, my Garmin was dead-on .6 miles further along than the mile markers! 9 mile sign? 9.6. 10 miles? 10,6. Seemed weird, considering they were spot on up until halfway-ish, so I didn't get too worried. As we counted down miles, Helen and I got louder and louder to runners around us: "2 miles to go!" "1 mile to go!" ".1 to go!" ... and then I looked up and realized the pier was a LOT further than .1 miles away. Awwww man!

Yeah, that's not even close. I usually slide with .1 or so for variance in the course, mostly because I'm a terrible tangent runner, but a full half mile (or then some?). Nuh uh. I heard one of the timing folks announce at the end that "There's a little variance in distance, so we'll see what we can do!" and that's all that was said. By this morning, however, they'd already adjusted times so our adjusted time is a 2:12:20. I think that's well over-adjusted but I won't complain.

I recognize that an RD certainly doesn't have time to check the entire course on a race morning, but I would hope that race staff would know where a race marker is supposed to be and that it is accurately done. Honestly, it's just a half - I'd be more concerned if the marathon had been that far off. Ventura is a huge BQ race and I'd be devastated if their BQ opportunities were ruined because a marker had been placed incorrectly.

All in all, a super fun Sunday with so many running friends all over the place! New friends on the course, folks that found me on Instagram afterward, and folks just cheering in everyone else! I love race days - such a blast! 

These medals don't hurt either - marathon, half, 5K. 
Another successful pacing gig in the books at least, minus the whole distance snafu! Otherwise a great race, despite being stupid hot, with tons of opportunities for PRs out on the course. Flat, fast and easy, though certainly dead in places with little to no course support. I give major applause for free race photos (!), as that is certainly much appreciated!

Have you ever run a race that was significantly too long (or short!)? Was your time ever adjusted?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Stitch Fix 3 | August 2015

I've been such a super slacker at posting my Fixes, which have been both a mix of 'meh' and 'awesome', just not always in my budget. I didn't even like most of July's so I think I even sent it all back and didn't even do a post about it! See? Megan fail.  Despite selecting my price ranges for items, and the fact that I have total control over that, it's still hard in my head to break outside the Target price range and allow myself to buy better, nicer things. I know it's an investment that will last me longer than cheapy stuff, but sometimes... that's just hard. August's fix was no different.

If you've been living under a rock, Stich Fix has you fill out an online style profile, which provides outfits for you to rank your interest in (which is hard, because I'll love half the outfit, and then hate the other half), but then also indicate what you're interested in receiving - accessories? Bags? Jewelry? Then, from there, for $20 a month, a stylist will choose 5 items of clothing and/or accessories (jewelry, bags, scarves) based on a style profile you fill out about yourself. You can also use your Pinterest board to show your stylist what you're into, which I think they do a great job looking at. I also love how they piece together outfits and ideas of things you can wear with the things they send:

June's fix.
Because this box came right at the end of Orientation season and I was pretty much a walking zombie, I didn't get to take decent photos, so they're all floor-mirror selfies. Classy, I know. I also didn't even manage to keep the profile on all the items I received! Super fail. That's one thing I wish you could do on your Stitch Fix profile, is go back and see past boxes to either a) order or b) just remember what it was you sent back. I think it'd be neat, especially in the case that you just love a top or dress but can't afford the box that month, why not be able to order in the future?

Again, being that I have no idea what these were called, who they were by, or even what the prices were (generally), this is going to be the worst review ever. Take it or leave it, as I did with some of these items!

I had mentioned that I was going to an evening wedding on the beach at the end of September, so I wanted an evening-appropriate but beacy-easy-going dress to wear. This is actually really a pale peach color with tiny black polka dots in the lace. I loved everything about it, minus the fact that it was like $75 - just a tad outside what I wanted for a dress. Though I knew I'd wear it a lot, because it'd be great with a blazer but also great with a jean jacket and sandals. This was hard to send back.

Though I loved the almost body-con idea, this had ruching and hugged in ALL the wrong places - looking like I have a belly much? I mean, I do, but not like that! Wore it for three seconds and put it immediately into the send-back-bag. 

I'm still asking for new tops for work, and I loved the color of this one and how light the fabric is. This was a keeper, even with the $45 tag. I also asked for skinny jeans and while these were beyond comfortable, it was hard to say yes to $100 jeans that I'd still have to get hemmed for another few bucks. Meh. 

Just long enough to be awkward and not quite the 'skinny' style.


I also finally checked off that I'd like some accessories too. This was my first piece and while I also loved it a lot (I don't have anything like it), the price tag was hard ($50ish). It was super fun, but also with the new addition of Rocksbox in my line up, I've got a new way to get my jewelry fix, too!

All in all, all I kept was the teal top and wore it work immediately. Despite having tons of blues in my closet, teal is one color I'm short on and wore anything I had in teal - tops, dresses, earrings - for about a week straight. I guess I go through some color phases a little bit.

I've actually also downgraded to receiving my fixes every other month. Until I can justify, again, or convince myself that the budget is worth it, I've opted to ease off and let myself really decide what I like. I'm not shopping for clothes between receiving them anyway, so receiving them every other month won't be devastating to my closet or leave me desperately wanting more. We'll see how it goes - one more box in a few weeks and then not again until November. 

Have you tried Stitch Fix? Or do you  prefer doing your own shopping? :)

All Stitch Fix links in this post are referral links. Should you sign up for Stitch Fix or Rocksbox through those links, you benefit me in my referrals and bonuses! Thank you in advance if you do! :)