It’s my birthday

I’m 27 today!!!  And I’m gonna partay chow chow like it’s my birthday!

In lieu of a birthday post (which I will save for tomorrow) I am going to instead share yesterday’s eats, as well as my offish results from the San Francisco Nike Marathon…I actually have plans for today that don’t involve working or blogging 🙂

By now, you all know I love running.  I ALSO happen to love my readers (which is a simple and very understated way to put it, but for now it will have to do).  So, when a certain commenter (ahem, Caitlin) stroked my ego and asked me to write more deets about last weekend’s race, I was happy to oblige.  Well, next thing I knew, my response to her comment was half a mile long, which made me think, maybe I have more to say on the subject than I originally thought.  Now, the LAST thing I want to do is bore you all with an “ode to running” manuscript.  SO, if you have no interest in what I’m about to share (or think I’m full of myself), please scroll ahead. 

Consider yourself warned.

My time was 1:43:43 which averages out to 7:55 minute miles.  Considering the hill factor, I was quite pleased with this.  For comparison’s sake, last month’s half marathon time was 1:42:07 which is a 7:47 minute mile pace.  I’m not a robot, I swear!  I was a little bummed since I was trying to beat that time, but that was before I realized that I would be climbing 75 degree inclines for miles on end. 

As an avid runner, I consider races to be the pinnacle of the sport for me.  It’s not just the path getting there (training, pushing myself, etc.) but it’s also the thrill of competition AND simultaneously of camaraderie.  When I’m running I feel surrounded by others who all share this passion for lacing up our sneakers and putting our best foot forward, time and time again.  At times it seems annoying to sacrifice sleep or socializing when training, but during races, it all comes to fruition and I feel a bond with others who made similar decisions to get to that place.  Crossing that finish line.  WOW.  There is NO better feeling! 

Throughout the race I felt AMAZING.  Sure there were moments in which I was exhausted (aforementioned hills), but the crowds were so supportive, and I truly felt strong and in shape and prepared for all 13.1 miles.  Never once did I feel like I couldn’t go on. 

In terms of my training, I’m not what you would consider a model athlete.  I don’t follow any organized plan, I have never done any research on how one is “supposed” to train, and I have no clue if the miles I log leading up to races are what’s recommended.  I’m pretty sure I could improve my time if I made racing more of a priority, but I have a job and a life and I consider running (not racing) my passion.  So, while I like being timed, and competing, I am also happy with my more mellow approach to events such as the Nike half marathon. 

Additionally, running that early in the morning is usually NOT my cup of tea.  In fact, most days I work out in the afternoon because I prefer to eat lunch (for energy) and allow time to digest before getting physical.  I have heard that you are supposed to train in “like conditions” to the race for which you are training.  However, for me, that would mean 5 am wake up calls on my days off of work, which in my book is NOT cool.  So I basically disregard that out of comfort.  I am NOT a morning person.  I require ample amounts of coffee to make a sentence coherent.  And for that reason I will NEVER EVER share my race photos (they are SO horrible).  Shockingly enough, I went to bed early before this race (10:30 pm is early for me), and got nearly 6 hours of sleep, so I felt pretty alert for it being 5 am.  Side note: due to the insane winds, my eyes were tearing the entire race long (no joke, I had streaks all down my cheeks), but it didn’t really even phase me…I only discovered it when I took a (rather scary) look in the mirror on the ride home with my sister.  Oh, and then I saw the photos on the Nike website…anyone know how to burn virtual pictures?  These MORE than need to be confiscated.

Anyways, as far as my mental state during the race was concerned, I wasn’t paying attention to mile markers until about mile 6.  In past half marathons I have done (this was #3), I have had a WAY more trying time.  Psychologically speaking, it can be hard to ignore the mile markers and not keep a count down going in your head, so I really heavily on music to entertain me for such long hauls.  This race, however, had so much going on on the sidelines that I was pleasantly distracted and the first half of the race flew by.  The crowds were amazingly loud and cheerful for 7 am.  There were live choirs, bands, bagpipes, free style and street dancers, and people with cow bells and clappers.  It was crazy.  Miles 7-9 were almost all hills, though, so I was really digging in and focusing.  Not on the distance really, but more on trying to keep up my pace and not fall too behind (because I felt like I was running at a stand still)!!  Throughout these miles there were also awesome crowds, including people with trays of orange slices (don’t mind if I do!), Luna moons and mini-bars, halves of bananas, and of course water.  I think I got more orange on my chin and sleeve than actually made it into my mouth (but really, I was so nasty, who knows what was sweat and what was orange…).  Around mile 10 I felt like I was home free…the time and miles flew by.  We were in Golden Gate Park by that time, so there weren’t really many major hills left.  Next thing I knew I saw the finish line.  What a sight that was to behold!!  My goodness, there is no better view.  As I crossed it I burst into a smile (I know this based on the race photos).  I was so elated to be done and to have accomplished such a feat.  Each and every person volunteering for Nike (from the tuxedo clad man handing me my Tiffany’s necklace to the teenage kid offering me a towel) said “congratulations” in such a sincere way, it made me really proud of myself and all the other runners.

Here’s the breakdown of my time over the 13.1 miles:

5K – 24:07    10K – 48:38      15K – 1:13:37    (ummm, steady much?)

Moving on to the FOOD now.

Thinking I wouldn’t need it, I set my alarm for 10 am as a back-up.  Boy was I wrong!  I don’t actually remember turning it off, but when I finally came to consciousness, the clock said 11:00, so clearly something happened there. 


I broke the fast with coffee and donuts. 


For the record, I only bit into this to show you the texture my hideous cuticles…I popped the rest in my mouth whole.  Averie’s raw vegan chocolate donut holes and macaroon blondies were the BEST way to start my day.  Granted I haven’t had real donuts (or holes) in ages, but these were pretty authentic.  They had a more “bread-y” inside than I was expecting and they weren’t super sugary.  Who knew a light donut could exist?  The macaroons were just as amazing as last time I had them.  The coconut was perfectly balanced with the rest of the ingreds, and they crumbled in my mouth.  So good.


A bit later I got my fruit fix, while perusing the latest NY Runner mag and some trashy tv. 


Look famil?  I added some of my ‘fu fest leftovers to some quinoa and topped it with soy nuts.  I like multi-texture dishes, so this fit the bill perfectly. 


Maxed out soy intake – check!  After digesting playing catch up with the tivo, I decided to hit the gym.  It felt great to get back into the routine, but weird because (a) I had nothing to train for, (b) my iPod was is still broken so I was tune-less, and (c) the gym was eerily empty.  With the NYC marathon coming up soon, it’s very rare to find a gym with open machines, but I guess the weather was nice enough that people took to the streets instead.  7 miles later, I headed home sweaty and high on endorphins. 


I had a snack of home-made ghetto pumpkin butter (WF canned pumpkin, NuNaturals vanilla extract, cinnamon, WF vanilla protein powder, and Xagave agave syrup) with apple slices.  Not gonna lie, I was pretty pleased with this poor man’s version of pumpkin butter, especially because (unlike the canned versions), this one didn’t have enough sugar to send me into a diabetic coma.  Success!  After this snack I headed off to my hot date physical therapy appointment.  I cheated on my regular PT because my spine was in desperate need of some man-handling (and he’s only avail on Mon/Wed). 

On the way home I stopped at WF for some basic groceries, and then got home to prepare dinner.


Here’s the arame seaweed soaking (ironically it is ON the stove, but only because there was nowhere else to put it).  After 15 minutes, it was soft and ready, so I drained the water, and added in the rest of the Tokyo seaweed salad.  The excess oil and vinegar from the packaged salad coated the arame that I made, so in the end it was a less saturated dish. 


On the side, I had some vegan sushi.  You’ve seen me eat this several times before.  It is actually my go-to meal before races because of the perfect ratio of carbs to fat and protein, and it is very easy on my stomach.  I love brown rice in sushi and even more, I love TVP in sushi.  I wish more sushi restaurants went with vegan options aside from simple avo and veggie rolls.


How amazing does this look!!  I think I am in a seaweed rut. 


Dessert was fruit.  What else? 


OK!  I’m off to celebrate my birthday 🙂

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Comments (56)

  1. amy

    happy birthday and congratualtions on a great race in san francisco (my favorite city)!
    amy from los angeles

  2. devan

    I made arame salad just yesterday! and totally thought of you!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! you deserve the greatest day!

  3. blueeyedheart

    Happy birthday!! 🙂 🙂

    <3 <3

  4. Lyss


    seriously though, go balls to the wall today. you deserve it. if i don’t see you on the news tonight, it’ll mean you didn’t go crazy enough. make me proud.

  5. The Foodie Diaries


    At first, as I was reading, I thought you were giving us a post about what you’d already eaten today–and I was like whoa, you really packed in a lot considering you only woke up an hour and half ago!? Haha estoy estupida.

    Have a ridiculously delicious, hummus-by-the-pound birthday weekend!

  6. VeggieGirl


    Awesome marathon recap!

  7. Leah

    that vegan sushi is so amazing!! I’m not even vegan, and I loved it…it may not taste like regular sushi, but it is its own special dish!! I wish we had it where I live

  8. Nellie

    HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! i hope you have an amazingly delicious, hummus filled bday weekend!

  9. Quinn

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Welcome to the 27 club!

    Loved the recap and your “ode to running.” You gotta play up those strengths!

    As for Halloweenie weekend – I am HERE! FoodBuzz is the following weekend – so I would love to meet you if you have time / are around. As for vegan spots – you’ve gotta go to a place called Java Green – it’s on 18th between K & L. There is a sushi / Indian place next door for your friends, but honestly I think they’ll be happy to oblige you here. Geoff is very meat and potatoes, and he dug it.
    Brikskeller is a very dingy, beer staple in Dupont Circle. They’ve got a Bible of beer if your friends are into that.
    Busboys and Poets is also a pretty awesome spot.
    Georgetown Cupcake is a must. There are always lines, but the cupcakes are to die for. Not sure if they have vegan versions.
    Clyde’s and Old Ebbitt Grill are also very “DC,” but again, not vegan.
    My friend’s friend is an owner at Mandu, a Korean place, that features vegan items. In a good location too.
    Lauriol Plaza is an amazing Mexican restaurant (can you say margarita) that is always yumpin’. They have veggie fajitas.
    Pizzeria Paradiso is awesome, there’s a small one in Dupont Circle and a larger one in Georgetown (it has a beer cave downstairs) and they do vegan cheese and I think chick pea crusts.

    Hope that helps, but definitely hit up Java Green. I hear they do brunch too.

    Let me know if you want to grab coffee or a drink or something while you’re here!

  10. Katherine

    I love love LOVE your race recap and your relaxed approach to training!! Keeps the passion for the sport alive right?


  11. Tay

    Happy Birthday!! Great recap I loved it!!

  12. Andrea

    Dude, you are fast! Like lightening fast!
    Very impressive Birthday Girl!

  13. Bekah

    happy birthday my dear! hope its a great start to a fabulous and yummy weekend!

  14. Julie

    Happy Birthday!!!

  15. allijag

    Happy Birthday pretty lady! 🙂

  16. elise

    thanks SO much. these all sound great. cant wait!!

  17. Abby

    Happy BIRTHDAY! You are exactly 2 months older than me!! Hope you have a super day! 🙂

    PS.. your strawberry/apple mix looks sooo delish! 🙂

  18. ksgoodeats

    I love your race recap because I’m too lazy to run my own race. I kind of feel like I ran it with you – tears streaming thanks to wind, ugh hate that!

    Averie is a genius in the kitchen! Seriously, some things she comes up with just blow my mind!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVER!!! Hope there are lots of vegan desserts and brewskis in your near future!

  19. lora

    happy birthday to you!!! and awesome race!!! what a time 🙂

  20. brianna

    happy birthday elise!!! I’m totally impressed with your time for the half marathon, way to kill it girl! 🙂

  21. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A VERY SEXY HOT AWESOME INTELLIGENT LOVELY AMAZING WOMAN: YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hope your day is filled with fun, great people, great food, and great gifts are a bonus but not even necessary. But I hope you score. However considering you just scored some Tiffany while in CA, you’ve already scored this month.

    Secondly, thank you soooo much for the props in your post on my unbaked good. You are a doll and I am so glad that you are enjoying them. If only I could get you to do PR for me, we’d be a match made in raw donut hole heaven 🙂

    We’ve discussed the absurdity of early a.m. start times for races. Nuff said. There is no reason to start that freakin early. No one puts up a better time, in fact, probably put up a worse time, b/c you had to get up at 4am to get to the race on time. So lame.

    And in conclusion, I agree w/ every single word in this paragraph and it describes me to a T. Perfectly. On that note Happy BDay Elise!!!!
    “In terms of my training, I’m not what you would consider a model athlete. I don’t follow any organized plan, I have never done any research on how one is “supposed” to train, and I have no clue if the miles I log leading up to races are what’s recommended. I’m pretty sure I could improve my time if I made racing more of a priority, but I have a job and a life and I consider running (not racing) my passion. So, while I like being timed, and competing, I am also happy with my more mellow approach to events such as the Nike half marathon. ”


  22. Annabel @

    Hey Elise! Happy birthday and congrats on the marathon! your timing was fantastic and I love your mellow approach to the whole thing. very inspiring!

  23. homegirlcaneat

    Even though I am on a blog hiatus I had to at least stop by and comment for the first time in a mofudging month and say..



  24. ethel

    Maligayang Bati from lala land! Your blogs get more and more inspiring and I swear if I could smile wider every time I read a new one, it would literally be a grin fro ear to ear. I’m thinking that instead of going around Silverlake just once tomorrow morning, I may have a go around it twice! Look what you’re doing to me…haha

    I MISS YOU AND HEART YOU! (oh and kile too) Enjoy your bday extravaganza, it’s your final bday as a “single” lady…hehe

  25. Mama Pea

    Happy Birthday to my favorite nurse/hippie/hummus lover/best metabolism owner in the world!!! We love you!!!

  26. Missy Maintains

    Happy Birthday!! Great recap and congrats!!

  27. Low

    Happy Birthday Elise!

    Thanks for the race recap! You’re awesome!

  28. carolinebee


  29. verbalriot


  30. Katie

    Happy Birthday!! I loved hearing about your race – and I am SO with you on destroying those heinous post-race pictures that they take…does anyone actually buy those?!

  31. Ada

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRLIE!!! We must celebrate soon at Peacefood or UWS Whole foods:) Also, awesome job on the half marathon, you totally rocked it!

  32. adrianna

    what an awesome post. congrats on all fronts! you rock, and happy bday!

  33. broccolihut

    Kudos on totally rocking your race!!

  34. caitlin

    aaaaahhh, I’m SO HAPPY to see this post 🙂 Love it. Thanks a million for sharing. You described so many of the sensations that runners share, in such a lovely way.

    and happy birthday, can’t wait to read about how you celebrated!

    and again, the fact that you don’t have a training regimen, the hills, the wind, the early time, the teary eyes. . . and you still run that fast! so impressed.

  35. glidingcalm


    I love the seaweed action! 🙂

  36. Clay

    Im making up some Ghetto Punkin Butter as we speak, you have full inspired me, so thanks!

    I wish i could take down a half marahon one of these days, but one step at a time… congratulations and enjoy the day of Birth!!!!

  37. nikala

    Happy birthday girl! 27 is a good one, so enjoy it! oh, and just a side…ALL race photos, esp mine, are HID. I kind of wish they would just stop taking them. From the contorted facial expressions and strange bodily shapes made from impact…yuck! So, I hear ya sister!
    The eats look yummy, as always. I recently concocted a boiled spinach and edemame dish and thought of you =) keep up the good work, amiga

  38. Tracy

    Happy birthday! Have you thought about running a marathon? You are super fast!!

  39. Shelby

    Happy 27th Birthday! 27 is my lucky number so I’m passing some of my luck on to you! 🙂

  40. Tabitha

    And Happy Birthday from me too!

  41. Emily

    all of your chow chowin’ looks delish!!! 😀


  42. lilveggiepatch

    Happy late birthday, my dear! I consider your birthday time to be the whole week (or maybe… month?), so enjoy it!

    And dayuuuum lady, you are a machine. 7:55?!

  43. Peanut Butter Bliss

    dang, 7:55 miles – i envy you girl

  44. Hangry Pants

    Happy Belated Birthday! I know you will have a wonderful 27th year!

  45. suzannern

    Happy Birthday!! Hugs!

  46. Whole Body Love

    Congrats on a race well run and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Can’t wait for the birthday recap!

  47. janetha

    EEP! i am so behind on blogging! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY GORGEOUS!

  48. julie

    ahhhhhh i hope you had a kill killa time for your birfdayyyyyyyyyy!

  49. Lika

    Happy Bday!!! Awaiting your bday recap 😀

  50. MarathonVal

    Happy birthday Elise!!!! Also, I’m so glad your race went so well 🙂

    Hope you had an amazing birthday weekend!!

  51. Krissy

    Happy Birthday Elise! You share the same bday as my Mom and my Puppy!!! Hope you had a wonderful day – looking forward to the recap 🙂 xoxo

  52. shell625

    happy birthday! I love reading your blog
    hope you check mine out 🙂


  53. elise

    thanks so much for all this info. im not sure what we have planned, but i would love to try and meet up, even if its just for a quick coffee!

  54. Pingback: A is for… « hungry hungry hippie

  55. Jessica

    Wow, I stumbled across your blog and it is wonderful. I am so similar to you (IBS, Endo, love for running and clean food) reading your blog makes me laugh and think you must also be a determined fun loving women. Keep up the fabulous work. I have my third half marathon in 5 weeks and would love to beat 1 hr 50 mins you have inspired me to try a little harder. Jess, 28, kiwi.

  56. Elise (Post author)

    hi jessica! thanks so much. im glad you found me 🙂 good luck on your next half marathon!

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