The massive recap that never ends

Seriously, I hope I’m not boring you all, but this trip home was so epic, that even the Cliff’s notes version is miles long… I guess I will continue from where I left off (Saturday PM).

Since the Nike half marathon started at 7 am (and I had no desire to commute into the city before that ungodly hour) I stayed at my sister’s apartment the night before.  At least something positive came out of last month’s half marathon pre-race disaster (i.e. 4 am wake up calls are NOT conducive to a happy hippie).  Spooning with my sissy-poo in her San Francisco bed was the best option.  As a gracias, I took her to a fabby din din in her own ‘hood the night before the race.

ALIVE Vegetarian Cuisine


This place was bananas good.  As if my taste buds weren’t already wowed enough from our lunch at The PLANT cafe organic, this dining spot upped the ante to a place I didn’t enough know existed.  It was only described as “vegetarian” but as far as I could detect, the menu was all vegan with a high percentage of raw dishes (anything cooked was noted on the menu).


To start, we split the Astragulus Mushroom Miso Yam Soup (which was cooked), with flaxy dehydrated crackers on the side.  Sorry the pics are so crap-tastic, we sat outside so it was dark (thus flash was necessary).  The soup was delicious, and of course the yams (which were almost certainly sweet potatoes) were the best part of all.


After soup, we split the Spicy Red Curry Avocado Wrap, which was out of this world.  Both of us were in shock and awe, commenting on the amazing ingredients and new flavors that emerged with each and every bite.  If When I go back, I want to order 10 plates of this appetizer alone and just go to town on it.  It was THAT good!!


California is sure doing it’s darndest to keep me from returning to the East Coast because DAYAM.  My entree, the Garlic Miso Seasonal Vegetable Ribbons with Pinenuts, is why I need to move home a spiralizer.  GAH.  Best sauce, best flavor, best dish.  Period.


The photo really doesn’t do it justice because underneath all the fun on the top was heaps of gorgeously spiralized fresh veggies.


My sister got the Shiitake Mushrooms Sun-Dried Tomato Torte with Basil Walnut Pesto, which she liked, but after tasting mine, she agreed, I got the better dish.  I can’t say enough about my pasta’s sauce (and I don’t even LIKE garlic!!), not to mention the fabulous crunch of the sprouts and veggies.

We walked back to her apartment full and happy, and crashed pretty soon thereafter.  I was starting to get pre-race nervous butterflies, so sleep was the safest way to quiet my inner psycho jitter voices.


On Sunday (race day), I woke up bright and early (5:30 am), dowsed my face with H20, stepped into my new Nike threads (love), and dragged my bleary eyed sister to her car.  Neither of us was really awake, but she managed to drop me off as close to Union Square (in SF, not NYC) as the po-po would let her.  Thanks for the ride Laura!


No friggin’ way to explain how jam-packed Union Square was.  And yet, I was pleasantly surprised at how organized it was for 20,000 peeps!!!

My nerves were gone at this point and all I felt was PURE excitement.  😀  I checked my bag, strapped up my Polar F6 HRM, and made like a cow got into my corral.

It was still dark when the race started, but after the first (annoying) mile of mass chaos, I hit my stride.  I even managed to figure out my iPod shuffle, so with the music pumpin’ I was in the zone.  I have NEVAH participated in a race with such crowds cheering me on.  Who ARE these people that wake up at the crack of dawn to cheer on random crazy runners?

It was so fun.

And then there were hills.

Can you believe I used to live in this city and run these hills?  Nope.  I don’t know how I forged ahead given the insane inclines.  There were certain points that I was SURE I wasn’t even moving.  Some climbs stretched on for-e-ver.

I tried to make up time on the flat parts, but there’s only so much you can do.  The views were breath taking.  The cheering was inspiring.  [Running high].  And I (again) realized how lucky I am to be able to race.

I could write pages and pages about every emotion I felt with each mile, so I’ll just cut it off here.  As I crossed the finish line, I was handed this beautiful little box.


For those who don’t know me personally, I’m a big fan of Tiffany & Co. (what girl isn’t!)…so much so that my bridesmaids’ dresses will be this color.

And for those who asked, here’s what the necklace looks like:



“Run Like a Girl”    NWM  SF  2009

After I had collected all my free loot (and got a post-race massage), my sister picked me up and we headed back to the East Bay.

My eats on Sunday were very “S”-ified (snacky, scattered, and salty).



TJ’s White Bean Hummus.  WOW.


I dipped everything in it, and I mean ERRRRTHANG, so don’t let the limited pics above fool you.  The white bean hummus was delish, and needs NO further promo.  Not only does Joe know how to Trade, but he also knows how to make a good white bean hummus.



While watching football, more snacking ensued (savory and sweet pumpkin seeds, labeled accordingly).  Throughout the PM, I fought off eye drooping with a ton of errands (Costco, BB&B, Target, Apple store, TJ’s etc.) – I was quite the efficient shopper/returner.

By 5 pm it was clear I was fading fast, so we had an early dinner.



In our family, on birthdays (or other important events), you get the “special plate.”  Sunday was that day for me 🙂


On my special plate was leftover lentils plus roasted root veggies (brussels, sweet potatoes, BN squash, and parsnips) and a side salad (apples, dried cranz, and balsamic vinaigrette on spinach & other greens).

I got a second wind after dinner, which probably had something to do with the massive helping(s) of apple cranberry cobbler I had.


It was even better this day.


And again.  Who WOULDN’T?!?  I nearly demolished it, but like the angel that I am I saved some for my mom and dad.  Don’t mind me, I’m just polishing off my halo…


On Monday, I woke up early for even more errands.  I swear, I am more productive at home than I am in NYC.  I was busy all effing day long.  I did some noshing in between, though.


Leftover PLANT burger (even though it was only a few bites, it was DEF worth saving)…I don’t care what waiters think of me, I’ll doggy-bag soggy lettuce if it’s tasty!


I heart bread.  The fresher, the better.



The bread’s aroma was intoxicating, I was quadruple dipping it into the white bean hummus.

It was pouring, but I still forged ahead with the day’s errands.


Kona was at the fence to greet me when I returned – completely caked in mud.  Good thing I hadn’t yet gotten to the “laundry” part of my to-do list.


I amused my bouche while cooking dinner watching mom cook dinner.  I was tirrrrred!


This BN squash soup made up the base of the stew-age.  The rest of the ingreds:

  • yellow potatoes (4)
  • zucchini (2)
  • yellow squash (2)
  • mushrooms

The potatoes were first cooked with veg broth (in a separate pot), while the other veggies browned in the bottom of the big pan with EVOO.  Once they were both cooked, they were combined along with the BN squash broth.


In addition to the soup, I made a nice ensalada with blood oranges, beets, and spinach.



These babies were juicier than the OC Housewives.


All togethah now…



Mmmmm…sadly this was my last supper at the parentals casa.

All my bags were packed, I was ready to go…


You may be of the opinion that a flight leaving at midnight doesn’t warrant quite as much snackage as I had, but you can’t be too prepared right?  Fortunately, this flight went WAY better than my last one.  After checking in, I ABC-ed it (apple, Benadryl, Chai tea).  Don’t worry, there’s not enough caffeine in tea to do anything to me, I was zonked the whole flight long (and a bit of the train ride back to the city, too).

Can I just say Brrrr…what happened to Fall?  When I left it was in the 60’s, now it’s barely 40’s.  Not cool man, NOT cool.

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Comments (0)

  1. blueeyedheart

    Don’t worry, it will be warm for the rest of the week. :p You missed the best weather! :p

    I KNOW it’s in SF 😉 My brain lapses are short sometimes. That is a lot of people… it looks like the Canyon of Heroes :p

    Love the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses … and not because it’s Tiffany blue! 😉

    <3 <3

  2. Angharad (Eating for England)

    Woah. That restaurant does look bananas good. I love that you say bananas good. One of my favorite uses of that word….
    Congrats again on the race! I thought the hills in my Minneapolis (right-in-the-middle-of-the-effing-prairie-flat-midwest) were bad!! San Fran would kill me. Bravo.

  3. ksgoodeats

    This is the song that never ends, it goes on and on my friend….. 😉

    A post race massage and a Tiffany’s necklace is worth those ass-busting hills! Way to power on!!

    Get out of here with your fresh bread and hummus. Heck, I’d run hill after hill just for that!

    PS. Thank GOD the OC Housewives are coming back soon. I’m not a big fan of Atlanta, no lies.

  4. Quinn

    How friggin’ adorably is Kona!?!?!

    Ummm, you’re right, what girl doesn’t love the little blue box? In fact, I have too many of them. Also have some jewelry from ex boyfriends I need to get rid of – in case you’re ever in the market. But, seriously, that is a kick a$$ way to finish a race.

    I’m in San Fran in two weeks for the FoodBuzz Festival and have GOT to try that vegetarian place. Those avocado wraps look delish!

  5. jenngirl

    Wow congrats on your race, sounds like your pre-race plan worked out well!

    Glad you had an awesome trip home, those can be wonderful ways to recharge before getting back to reality 🙂

  6. carolinebee

    hahaha amused your bouche, i just LOLed for sure. Sounds like the best trip aaaand that is sweet they gave u a tiff necklace, score!!

  7. The Foodie Diaries

    I shit you not–my contractor just came over to me and asked me if everything was okay because I was looking at your food porn with the MOST INTENSE look on my face ever. like i couldn’t look away. like i want to move to san francisco now–if only for that restaurant.

    And uhh best race gift EVER.

  8. Courtney

    I am in love with your family’s “special” plate–that is too cute! We always got to pick what we wanted for dinner, but no special plate on our birthdays 🙂

    I am glad you got home safely and that your return flight was better than your trip there!


  9. Lyss

    hahahahaha i have that special plate!! my fam uses it as the “birthday plate!” too funny… it’s been around for years!

    and what a beautiful necklace!!! that’s one tiffany’s necklace you won’t see on the neck of every single middle schooler…

  10. Naomi(onefitfoodie)

    omg I am in love with Kona!! great picture you captures!

    that special plate is amazing! that would certainly brighten my day 🙂

    that tiffanys necklace is beautiful!! you deserve it girl!

  11. snackface

    Ho K, we are moving back togetha. It’s offish. Your man’s just going to have to deal.

    I can’t get over the amazing food, and I didn’t even eat it!

    What a fantastic necklace! I’ve never owned anything Tiffany, but I love the color of the boxes.

    And welcome to the freezing cold. It’s a beezy. XOXO 🙂

  12. Katie

    Dang. I don’t even think I can attempt to make dinner after reading this post – everything will just pale in comparison to your amazing eats this weekend.

    Also, boo for the cold. It’s snowing in Colorado.

  13. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    My herbalist in San Diego used to tell me to make Astragulus Soup. I never thought it could be that good so I never did. Damn. Now that I see your pics, I need to get on that! And so immune boosting, too. Awesome!

    As for the Tiff necklace. Wow, every race I’ve ever entered, the nicest swag is like 3 Luna bars, not 2. And a 100% cotton tshirt, not a 80/20 cotton/poly blend. And you get a Tiff necklace. Some girls have all the luck.

    Referring to growing up on a vineyard of course 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed my hummus post today. I thought of you when I wrote it. And the White Bean from TJs is really good, isnt’ it.

    Glad to hear you also dont like garlic. I HATE IT. Nor does Gena like it. So I guess I am in good company 🙂

    Stay warm!

  14. verbalriot

    what a BEAUTIFUL necklace! I LOVE Tiffany’s as well! 🙂

  15. Jessie (Vegan-minded)

    I am in love with TJ’s white bean hummus! Unfortunately for me, TJ’s do not exist down in Florida, so hardly ever get to enjoy it. I need to figure out a way to replicate the recipe 🙂

  16. broccolihut

    Agh! I want to eat everything on this page (aside from the Tiffany necklace!).
    I totally have that same “You are special” plate:)

  17. Emily

    epic weekend for SHO! all of those eats look amazing, and that necklace is the sweetest!

  18. shell625

    Hey there 🙂 just wanted to let you know i’m new to the blogging world and trying to get used to this whole thing… love your blog! you have such good eats


  19. caitlin

    wouldn’t you maybe love to share your time/place, or at least how you felt about the run? 🙁 I hear ya that the views were great and it was packed, but did you feel good? strong? is it rough to run that early? Was this your first half-marathon?

    (sorry if you don’t want to share these things. Just want to let you know in case you forgot them with your long post, that your readers would love to hear more about the race!)

  20. The Voracious Vegan

    SO much good food! Seriously, each picture looks better than the last, I never know where to start. What a beautiful necklace and yay for hummus, my favorite thing ever.

  21. brianna

    Yay thanks for tiffany’s necklace picture =) Once again i’m so proud of you for completing the race. Loving all the cool new food in this post to by the way.

  22. julie

    tiffanys! SERIOUSLY!? Nike is stellar. I would have ran that race just for the blue box at the end of the rainbow.

    UM. you brought the sun home with you 🙂 it’s gorgy out today so thank you very much.

    I’m also moving to Cali after these series of posts. see ya later NY

  23. Holly

    congrats miss elise! you rocked it, and your whole trip sounds like an awesome time.

    safe travels 🙂

  24. Paige

    That Tiffany’s necklace is super cute!
    Glad your flight went well:D

  25. elise

    caitlin, it is so sweet of you to want to hear all those details. i have actually been checking the nike website rather religiously (if i do say so myself) to get said splits and my offish time. they are FINALLY up, so i will try to remember to put it in the next post. the reason i didnt go into too much detail was because i didnt (dont) want people to think im bragging or really into myself.

    as you know i LOVE running, and races are the pinnacle of the sport for me. its not just the path getting there (training, pushing myself, etc.) but its also the thrill of competition AND simultaneously of camaraderie. we all share this passion for lacing up and putting one our best foot forward, time and time again. crossing that finish line. omg. there is NO better feeling! since i have no written a paragraph JUST in response to you, it seems like maybe i SHOULD do a post about it!?!

    to answer your Q in a word, i felt AMAZING the entire course long. sure there were moments in which i was exhausted (aforementioned hills), but the crowds were so supportive, and i felt strong and in shape and never once thought i couldnt go on. i would be lying if i said i wasnt trying to beat last months time. i was definitely pushing myself to improve upon my 1:43 of september, but i also knew this course was WAY harder, and so i wasnt beating myself up over it. (this was my 3rd half marathon btw)

    my time was 1:43:43, and i averaged a 7:55 minute mile which i am happy with. i think i will try to best that in the future (duh!) 😉

    running that early in the morning is usually NOT my cup of tea. in fact, most days i work out and train are in the afternoon because i like to eat lunch for energy and have time to digest. i know you are supposed to train in like conditions (as the race you are training for), but 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 (or early for me), and got nearly 6 hours of sleep, so i felt pretty alert for it being 5 in the AM. my eyes were tearing the entire race long from the wind, but it didnt really even phase me.

    i wasnt paying attention to mile markers until about mile 6. miles 7-9 were almost all hills 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!! around mile 10 i felt like i was home free…the time and miles flew by, and next thing i knew i saw the finish line. what a sight that is to behold!! my goodness, there is no better view. as i crossed it i burst into a smile (i know this based onthe race photos). so happy. i wasnt even sore. i was so elated to be done and to have accomplished such a feat.

    thank you for your interest – i hope it doesnt sound like im just stroking my ego.

  26. Lara (Thinspired)

    Ok, I had a facebook friend who also ran that race and got a Tiffany necklance…that is SO AWESOME. I thought she and her friends had them made, but now I see that they just GAVE them out?! What?! I’m confused. Explain. Because if running can get me a piece from Tiffany’s, I’ll hit that treadmill right now!

  27. Jessica (jesslikesithot)

    So we all know what kind of hummus i’m getting over thanksgiving break…WHITE BEAN! Sounds glorious, who knows why i’ve always chose the three laya or med over it.

    But Tiffany’s!? Shooo i’ll run for that 😉 And tiffany-colored brides maid dresses…that’s adorable!!

  28. caitlin

    Elise, thank you so much for taking the time to respond! And so thoroughly!

    1) you should absolutely post this and stop being shy about your insanely cool, talented self! I remember there was one incident a while back in which some nut wrote a bizarre comment about ego, but this is your BLOG! we’re HERE to read about YOU! I for one read to get a dose of your humorous writing style, your healthy and refreshing outlook on delicious eats, and your admirable fitness. You work hard long hours, but manage to prioritize workouts and your strength so that you can whip out a half-marathon. I love it, and so do your readers. And what follows of course is that I love hearing about any race you participate in – it is a snapshot of your accomplishments. that commenter? you know it. JEALOUS.

    2) frickin 1:43 in SF hills!!!!! You humble hippie you. You must have been burning 7 min miles on the flats to make your average mile under 8 minutes! rock on.

    3) Your description of how empowering the experience was – both for your self and the running community – was so inspiring. Seriously so happy you shared. I’m now itching to sign up for the nearest, soonest race.

  29. elise

    hehe, i just like teasing you 😉

  30. elise

    isnt it a fun phrase…somtimes i have to edit out my random phrases that i say because they dont translate to written words, but im glad when people catch some of them 🙂

  31. elise

    they are too ghetto for my liking…lets get back to the OG crew. theres another new one, too. i sense that vicki will not be her #1 fan….yessssssss

  32. elise

    are you in SF halloween weekend!? please say no, bc im going to DC that weekend.
    yes, you MUST go to alive and the plant cafe organic. both are freakin’ great.

  33. elise

    it was such a great trip. recharge accomplished.

  34. elise

    bahahaha…thats AWESOME!

  35. elise

    the special plate is one of our best fam traditions. we are such a nerdy family, we have many others that are not blog worthy, so im glad this makes us seem fairly normal 😉
    (since we both know im far from normal)

    ps, very excited to have discovered how easy arame is, next up, that kale seaweed salad recipe you gave me oh so long ago…

  36. elise

    really!?! thats awesome.
    this is my first tiffanys necklace, so it will be nice to know i dont share it with 1 million others (just the 20,000 that were also in the race)

  37. elise

    thanks! kona is so cute, i wanted to smuggle both my parents puppies home with me. too bad neither the airlines nor my parents were on board with that plan 🙁

  38. elise

    yesss…you need to return to NYC for longer than a day. and we need to get our hummus-faces on! (kyle would understand)

  39. elise

    snow!?!?! excuse me? thats UN-acceptable. its friggin OCTOBER!

  40. elise

    white bean heaven. i think it may be my fave yet (gasp), ok, ok, lets not get carried away…

    garlic is so annoying and often time restaurants abuse it to the extreme. its not a flavor id ever miss, vampires be damned, ill take my chances…

  41. elise

    no TJs in florida!?! what are they thinking…i thought they were stupid to only have ONE FRIGGIN store in all of manhattan, but you are way worse off. someone should get on that!

  42. elise

    really!?! so cool. hooray for fun dishware 🙂

  43. elise

    thanks shelley! its such a fun community, im sure youll love it 🙂

  44. elise

    hummus is THE BEST thing ever. period. end of discush.

  45. elise

    i know right?! its like dangling a carrot in front of me, but a million times better. (like dangling hummus in front of me?)

  46. MarathonVal

    My family had that plate growing up too, and my parents bought one for my husband and I – although we keep forgetting to use it, haha.

    I LOVED eating on that plate as a kid! How fun that you guys have that tradition too! 🙂

  47. elise

    i have no clue why, but apparently every year this race gives out tiffany’s necklaces as you cross the finish line. i had no clue when i signed up either!?! if you thought hummus at the end of the race was incentive, this was even better…

  48. elise

    yeah for fun family traditions!! so cute right?

  49. elise

    oh its soooo good. you must try it stat.

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