Vancouver: Seawheeze Half Marathon Recap (August 2016)

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Race day! 6AM.

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A lot of entertainment along the way.

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After the finish line, everyone waited on a crowded line to get to the goodie bag and freebies… and of course, the free runner’s brunch!

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Even the brunch line was long.

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We saw the Japadog truck nearby and I realized I didn’t have any Canadian cash, but a stranger overheard us and gave us cash to buy this! She was a fellow Seawheezer from California and didn’t ask for anything in return. She just wanted us to be able to try it because it’s just so good! Thank you!

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After we went back to our Airbnb to rest up, we came back out to the Convention Center for the shuttles to Stanley Park for the Sunset Festival. But on the way, we got another Japadog…

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The croquette was SO good, crispy, tasty sauce, with a hot dog underneath. It was perfection.

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With the Seawheeze band that they put on us at the Expo, we can access the Sunset Festival too.

We got shuttled by old school yellow cheese buses to Stanley Park.

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Once we got in (after we showed them our IDs), there was a huge line forming… to the exclusive store! We had to line up immediately because we wanted to get our sizes. My friend stayed on the line while I explored the vicinity.

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There were lines to get food, but not nearly as crowded as the one for the store.

And beer…

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You’re allowed ONE beer per person. And you were not allowed to bring one back for your fellow runner. It was a safety precaution I guess, but silly.

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The Lululemon brand beer! They have one every year. This year, it’s called the “Courageous Blonde” — it’s very light and didn’t have much depth. Easy drink.

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More photobooths.

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Another yoga session!

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Stanley Park Summer Ale

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Stanley Park pilsner

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Poutine & corn dog!

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And the night ended with a concert.

Now…

Onto my goodies!

The freebies post-race:

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It was kinda annoying how they gave everything one by one. It took so long for everyone to grab everything along the way and people kept crowding around to get their stuff. They should just put everything into the bags ready to be handed out. I really like the runner’s cap, although it’s one size fits all and I feel like my head is on the larger side. It still fits nicely though! The water bottle is plastic, which I’ll probably never use but will sit nicely on my dresser. The sunglasses also. The Saje essential oils are cool, stress relief anyone? Nuun tabs and Kind bars.

What I purchased from the Expo store:

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  • Fast Lane Singlet: $58 CAD
  • Run with the sun tank: $58 CAD
  • Speed Short: $58 CAD
  • Hotty Hot Short: $64 CAD

What I purchased from the Sunset Festival:

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  • Scuba Hoodie III: $138 CAD

“Mission Accomplished”

 

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Travelogue: Hong Kong Day 2: Eat & Run & Eat (Dec 2015)

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Day 2 in HK. Random pics from this day:

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Pandan ice cream and pandan eggettes from Modos.

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Knockbox Coffee Company — recommended by a friend.

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My latte was pretty good.

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They featured coffee from Africa, Central & South America.

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I didn’t get to try their beer on tap!

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I love walking around the shopping malls for holiday decorations. This was at Olympian City.

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I got to run during this trip yay

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Time for seafood:

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Let’s pick them out…

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Hehe

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Next, we go into the restaurant and feast!

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Seafood Thai

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2015 Nike Women’s Half Marathon – San Francisco (Recap)

On October 18, 2015, I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, infamous for the Tiffany’s finisher pendant in the little blue box. The weather was perfect in the 60s and the hills were challenging but SO MUCH FUN! The route was picturesque; I visited SF two years prior and already knew the neighborhoods, which added the nostalgia factor to the run. (Check out the route here)

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Saturday morning at Union Square:

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People lined up for hours to take a picture in front of the “We Run” sign.

I was surprised that there was no *real* expo; there was a packet pickup in the Westin, and everything else was scattered around Union Square.

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At the wall that has all the names of the participating runners.

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Inside the Nike store, where huge lines formed for the free earring (Note: ONE earring per location — Nike store was only one of them, and you had to go to another store to line up for another 1-2 hours to get more)

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The earrings. The Nike store gave out (big surprise) the Nike swoosh. You must have the QR code that was emailed to you in order to validate that you are, in fact, a runner.

I purchased a half zip-up long sleeve and a tank top with the Golden Gate Bridge on it:

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We then went to the Finish Line store inside Macy’s to get the wing.

I bought the special edition Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 with the Golden Gate bridge on the lip and the insole. They were sold at Finish Line as well as the Nike store. But at Finish Line, you also get a shoe carrier bag for free.

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We had brunch at Nopa:

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Ice cream at Bi-Rite, which was next door.

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The flavors were so unique and creamy, but I had to choose…

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A scoop of creme brulee on top of honey lavender.

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Since we were in the neighborhood, why not visit the Painted Ladies? Hellooooo ladies.

Dinner at Koja Kitchen, a new Korean-Japanese (hence, Ko-Ja) casual spot in Inner Richmond.

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Their garlic fried rice buns (in place of the traditional wheat buns) distinguish them from other places. You can add an egg to any dishes, which of course must be done.

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Short rib koja is where it’s at. Fantastic flavor in the galbi, add an egg to kick it up a notch. Their braised pork is also very good, but galbi has my heart. Umami fries also have pork in them. The ahi tuna bowl is a nice addition to your meal if you want something lighter. The tuna is also very fresh.

The next morning, we woke up around 5AM.

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The corrals spanned entire blocks in Union Square. It was not too cold, but totally dark. So many people, as this is one of the most anticipated races in the country.

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I was hoping to run and enjoy the moment and NOT take any pictures during the race… until Mile 10, when everyone slowed down and stopped to take pictures. So I figured, I guess I will too.

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Mile 10 is the hill that everyone talks about. It’s the steepest elevation in the entire race. I loved the hills, because I can finally say I ran the hills in San Francisco.

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Looking back at people behind me. They’re taking pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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People are walking now… Not a motivating sight.

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Another view of the bridge after “The Hill” — and that’s the last picture I take until after the finish line.

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There it is! I was expecting men in tuxedos with silver platters handing it to us like previous blogs have written about, but it turns out they had several lines where boxes were on top of boxes and a girl handed it to you after checking it off your bib. Not as magical, but I’ll still take it!

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At the marina, where everyone lined up for the finisher’s boutique inside a tent.

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I bought a finisher’s hoodie, which is extremely soft and comfortable.

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I also purchased the finisher’s t-shirt, and I LOVE that color.

 

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Inside the goodie bag every runner received.

And that’s it for the race recap! Now onto the rest of my trip (aka all the food pics)…

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We had lunch at Turtle Tower.

It was here that I learned about Northern style pho — no bean sprouts, basil, or hoisin sauce. The broth is also more bland but GOOD! The noodles were so different than what I’m used to; they’re wide and flat.

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BEST SPRING ROLLS EVER. EVER.

Around the corner was Brenda’s French Soul Food, where we got their beignets to go.

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We took them to China Beach… what’s in China Beach, you say?

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This was the crawfish beignet. The others were original, chocolate, and cinnamon apple.

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Bubble tea (or as they call it on the west coast, boba) at Purple Kow.

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Dinner at State Bird Provisions.

On my last day in SF, I woke up early to try to catch the sunrise at Twin Peaks. I ordered car service via Lyft Line, and they actually drove me up there. The other way is to hike up. Lyft and Uber are extremely cheap in SF because they’re in major competition with each other. During this weekend, I spent an average of $5-7 per ride using Lyft Line.

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It felt so peaceful being up there, a bit chilly but the sun warmed the whole place up.

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Before the fog set in, I made some new friends with strangers as we all took turns taking pictures for each other.

After that, I met up with my friends at Mr Holmes Bakehouse.

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The Cruffin, a croissant muffin.

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Inside the Cruffin — that day’s special was chocolate peanut butter.

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California croissant: a croissant with salmon and nori inside, and you dip it in soy sauce. As weird as it sounds, I actually liked it a lot.

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Boba Guys. Easily the best bubble tea (boba) I’ve ever had. I love that they don’t use powder, but REAL tea. I got a rose black milk tea and my friend got hojicha (I was jealous of hers, and very excited that they’re going to open a location in NYC soon!)

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Sushirrito. I had the Sumo Crunch: shrimp tempura & crab meat — like a giant tempura roll. So good. The fake imitation in NY can’t even compare.

 

2015 Miami Half Marathon Recap (and other things)

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Back in January I flew solo to Miami for a half marathon. It was the best half marathon I’ve ever run (I’ve run Brooklyn, Staten Island, and NYC Half) for many reasons. First, the expo was so much fun! Lots of freebies, picture opportunities, presentations, etc.

Since I had to wait for 2 of my friends to arrive from their flight, I went to eat at Morenos Cuba, a great lunch spot that serves Media Noches and Cubanos with crispy potato sticks.

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I loved their mason jars and iced latte.

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Medianoche ($11): Ham, mojo marinated shredded pork, swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on Cuban sweet bread.

Next, I walked over to the Bass Museum of Art. They had several outdoor installations while I was there.

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$8 gets you inside the museum, which isn’t bad. Note: No DSLR photography inside; only phone cameras allowed.

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There was a Gold exhibition… yes, this McDonalds cup in gold.

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After I met up with my friends, we went to eat some more.

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Charlotte Bakery is great for snacking: empanadas, tres (even cuatros) leches, lots of pastries here and some seating.

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The next morning, we rolled out of bed and headed for American Airlines Arena for the big race. It was great because we booked an Airbnb apartment right next to the start line.

6AM. 45 degrees. Shorts and t-shirt… I was frozen waiting for an hour in the corral!

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What I LOVED was that as soon as we started the race, the sun was rising right in front of us. I was swooned by the palm trees on the left side and calm waters and boats on the right side. I didn’t even take many pictures during the race because I enjoyed every moment of it. It’s one of the most scenic races I’ve ever run.

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At mile 11, we got little cups of pineapples! It was so refreshing and also contributed to my love for this race.

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After the race, there were so many goodies to munch on! All kinds of fruits and fruit cups, even rice and beans!!!!!! Definitely the best post-race party.

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#MiamiFamous

For our post-race brunch, we walked over to NIU Kitchen

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Rustic and fresh, they serve Catalan dishes.

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Watermelon gazpacho
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Pa amb tomaquet
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Delicious coffee
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Steak Tartare
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Ous – two poached eggs, truffle potato foam, jamon Iberico, black truffle.
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Esmorzar – botifarra, bacon, fried egg, sautéed white beans.

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I love that almost everything had fried eggs on top. Highly recommend the “Ous” and “Esmorzar”!

Afterwards, we went to the beach where I got a text that informed me my flight the next day was cancelled due to weather in NYC. I was “stuck” here…

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We went to dinner at Tongue & Cheek. All amazing meals so far.

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Chilled Plate of Oysters with Carbonated Cucumber Mignonette and Lemon

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The most amazing oysters ever. Because it’s carbonated and enveloped in a way that when you put one into your mouth, it pops!

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The rest: fried chicken, brisket poutine, beef cheek burger… ALL DELICIOUS.

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The next morning, I got another flight and then cancelled again, and decided to head to the airport to talk to them in person. But first, breakfast at Versailles!

 

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I got on the last flight to NYC that afternoon and GUESS WHAT — I was 2 hours into it when the pilot announced that we had to turn back to Miami. Oh well, more food for me!

I was lucky in that my friends were staying longer anyway so they had a hotel booked… I met up with them at Joe’s Stone Crab.

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Everything was great, plus we got hooked up with free desserts because the waiter was also Cantonese and from Brooklyn. I was loving this trip, can’t you tell?

The next morning, I woke up early to watch the sun rise. There’s just something about Miami skies.

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It was so glorious and I loved being by myself in that moment.

My friends were still not awake yet, so I grabbed a cubano at Las Olas Cafe, a homey little place for cheap Cuban food.

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Yes, I might have overdosed on Cubanos this month.

I took a yoga class before my flight. If you’re in the area, drop by for a class ($20 includes a mat rental) at Miami Life Center — ashtanga style yoga definitely kicked my butt.

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736 6th St
Miami Beach, FL 33139
http://www.miamilifecenter.com/

And that’s all, folks. I loved every minute of Miami. From beach yoga to running a half marathon, to eating innovative and delicious food to taking in all the art… These are all the things I love about Miami.