OC Half Marathon 2017 Recap

WHAT A RACE! I cannot believe I completed my 3rd OC Half Marathon, my 2nd as an ambassador. Crossing the finish line on Sunday. I was beyond thrilled to be crossing. The race started very rough but I really pushed myself to get a PR of 4 minutes. My training for the OC Half was not as much as wanted but of course incorporated plenty of speed work thanks to Orangetheory.

We parked at the start line as we have found over the years, it works the best for us (meaning I HATE waking up early). As we were getting our gear ready it started to not only pour, it started hailing. We were in shock because just days ago we had 90 degree weather as we sat by the pool. We tried to wait it out until we had 15 minutes to go and needed to get moving. The rain was a slow drizzle as we made our way to the start line. As we were waiting in lines at the porta potty, it started pouring. Not gonna lie, I may have stayed in the porta potty longer than needed just to avoid the rain. We got stuck in one of the last corrals and ended up starting about 15 minutes after the first wave.

The first few miles were crowded but I stayed a steady pace for the first few miles. At miles 2ish, you turn the street and hit the mansions alongside the beach. It is my favorite part of the race and the time when it started pouring again. I was trying to run around puddles until I got splashed by someone else so I decided to embrace the rain. My clothes were soaked, my shoes were heavy filled with water but around miles 4 I realized that despite the rain, my body felt good. At miles 6, I realized my pace was still very steady and no aches or pains had started yet. Around miles 5 is usually where my back or knee starts to hurt so I enjoyed the fact that I was not hurting just yet. By miles 7, the thought of a PR really started to pop into my head. Thankfully by this time, the rain has stopped as well. Between miles 8 and 10, I just kept telling myself a PR was in site. The mantra that kept me going through was “You are going to hurt after either way, you might as well hurt with a PR.” After Ragnar (maybe one day I will get to that recap), the hill at mile 11 seemed like nothing. It even seemed smaller than I remember. By mile 11, I was start to ache but being that close to the finish line, I put on my favorite songs and pushed myself to the finish line. I crossed the finish line 4 minutes faster than my PR and 14 minutes faster than last year.

At the finish line, I got my favorite – chocolate milk, along with the other snacks before taking a few pictures. I met up with the hubby and some Orangetheory friends. We did not stay too long after the race because we were wet and just wanted to get back to our car to change into dry clothes. I really felt this race was even more supported than last year. As usual, it ran flawlessly. From sign up to race pickup and actual racing, it just ran perfectly.

As I crossed the finish line, I was filled with such amazement at what my body continues to accomplish. This race reminded me why I run, sign up races and genuinely like running. It has made me excited to do more races in the next few months. For now, I am going to bask in my PR and enjoy our vacation to Puerto Vallarta this weekend!

Thank you to the OC Marathon for having me as an ambasssador for another year, to the race coordinators and the wonderful volunteers! 

Weekly Workouts: Revel & OC Half Training


Happy Monday! This weekend was a nice weekend filled with some family traditions and plenty of working out. On Saturday, I taught cycle class before heading to the pumpkin patch with the husband, my mom and sister. We have a yearly tradition to visit a local pumpkin patch as well as go apple picking so we got both done in one day.

The weather was absolutely perfect with clear skies and warm weather. Although I would prefer to be wearing flannels and boots while doing fall activities, the warm Cali weather is a good second choice. The husband and I enjoyed a nice dinner at Brio (their grilled salmon is to die for) to finish off our Saturday. My Sunday started nice and early teaching 4 classes at Orangetheory. The rest of the day was low key with relaxing, packing and napping.


This upcoming week is going to be a rough one of workouts. It is Hell Week at Orangetheory this week. I got a glimpse into the workouts of the week and needless to say, it will be a week of intense workouts. This past week, my running really got skipped over. This next week, even with Hell Week workouts, I need to ensure I get plenty of mileage in with Run Revel only 2 weeks away.

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – 1 hour cycle class followed by arm workout

Wednesday – Orangetheory class

Thursday – Shoulder and back workout, 20 min elliptical workout

FridayAb workout, 3 mile run

Saturday – 1 hour cycle class

Sunday – Rest Day

Tell me: Have you been to a pumpkin patch or apple picking this year?

I am an OC Ambassador.. again

Over the weekend, the husband and I ran a local 5K race. The race was rough. It was hot and it was significantly uphill but the post race high kicked in immediately after. It has been 5 months since I ran a race (the OC Half marathon) but this was the perfect start to my upcoming races. I have been doing consistent running at Orangetheory which made the sprint to the finish line yesterday feel just like an all out pace. Outside of Orangetheory I have been running at the gym and am excited that it is finally cooling down at night for some outdoor runs. In terms of races, I have a lot of exciting stuff to look forward to.

OC Marathon 2017

I am so thrilled and honored to be a part of the OC Ambassador team again for 2017. I don’t know yet if this will be the year I will do the full marathon but the half is a likely race. This will be my third year completing my favorite half marathon to date. This year they are adding the “OC Combo Crush” which is a challenge to complete the 5K on Saturday and the full or half marathon on Sunday. This lover of medals would love three medals for two races!! Be sure to sign up online and chose ‘Samantha Bruce’ under ambassadors.

OC Marathon Ambassador 2017

Run Revel Canyon City

Our next big race on the books is Run Revel in November. This is my first Run Revel and I am thrilled to be running with the husband. I have been ensuring that my training involves a significant amount of stretching my calves and KT Tape to prevent shin splints. Especially being that the race is downhill, I want to ensure my shins are kept in the best shape I can to prevent injury.

Ragnar So Cal 2017

Our So Cal Team from 2015 is getting back together. We entered in the lotto where I thought the chances were small that we would be picked but we were lucky to be picked. The team will be re-uniting in April and while I am not looking forward to a lack of shower for the weekend, I am looking forward to redeeming myself from the last race. The beach, spring weather and running 200 miles – it sounds so crazy but so exciting.

Happy Monday!


Yep, I did a little ghosting over the last few weeks. I would have the intention to sit down on Sunday nights and write but something would come up. I have a handful of drafts started and a list of ideas that are in process but I decided to focus the last weeks of living up the last of summer. Our weekends have been pretty busy with birthday celebrations, a USC Game, tons of teaching, house stuff and spending time with family. Even though we have a few weeks left of summer, I would be completely content with my summer if it ended today. Luckily, it is not over just yet because we have a beach day this weekend for the hubby’s birthday, wine tasting in Temecula the following and a 5K to wrap up the month. I plan to be back for Travel Thursday tomorrow to finally share the wineries we visited in Napa. First, just a little catch up over the last few weeks in mostly pictures.


I have been teaching every Sunday and going to classes throughout the week. The husband got a membership so now we get to go together which I have been loving. When I taught at LA Fitness, we both had a membership so our nights would be in class or working out together so I love getting back to how our nights used to be.

USC Game

Last weekend, my sister and her family came down for our yearly tradition of a USC Game. Although it was blazing hot, the game was a lot of fun. The Trojans killed Utah State! It was a blast to have the whole family together.


On Labor Day, we decided to hike in the morning since it has been overcast before noon the last few weeks. There is a local trail that neither of us had been on so it was the perfect day to try it out. The trail was fairly steep but the best part was the waterfall at the end. Despite the drought there was a nice small brook that was a perfect reward at the finish.

Orange International Street Fair

For my Southern California readers, this is one you want to make note of for next year. After years of hearing about it, I finally made it to the Orange International Street Fair. Lined with countries from around the world, you can walk around booths that have food and items specific to countries. We got so excited to eat food from Greece that reminded us of our honeymoon. Although there were a lot of countries to choose from, I could eat hummus by the buckets so Greece was an obvious choice. Unfortunately, we learned the husband is allergic to sesame oil so our night was cut short. Even more reason to go back next year!

Tell me: What country has your favorite food? Mine is either Italy or Greece with France as a runner up. 


Race Weekend

Race weekend came and went just like that! We spent Saturday at the expo for the OC Marathon before enjoying the beautiful weather! The packet pickup is so simple for the race that you can get in and get out quick if you wanted. I appreciate a race that is very organized. At the expo I stocked up on more of my favorite headbands – Bic Bands! I’m determines to get one in every glitter color they have.. I might almost be there! We walked around the expo to get Gu and look for tape for my knee. We enjoyed some of the vendors before leaving in the early afternoon.

When we left for the expo, the weather at home was overcast and drizzling but by the time we drove to the beach, it was perfect. A light breeze, blue skies which makes for great race weather. So after the expo, we enjoyed the beautiful weather with a walk along the beach and a delicious lunch at my favorite restaurant in Newport Beach. Crab Cooker, always has been and always be one of the best meals I can have! Fresh fish, coleslaw and potatoes are a pre-race meal I would eat every single time!

Our evening was much more low key as we got ready for the race, setting our stuff out for a 4:30am wake up call. One of the things I was excited to add to my race outfit- my new Fitbit Alta!! I got an early (Dog) Mothers Day present from Emma and the hubby. My Fitbit Charge was getting a little worn and since they released the Alta, I have been lusting over it! Even better I got to see how I liked it through a 2 hour race! Another thing I added to my flat runner was KT tape and I am so glad we did! It really helped support my knee throughout the race!

I will post my full race recap this week & my Fitbit Alta review soon but for now I am going to eat whatever I want, live in compression socks and ice the crap out of my knee. See you tomorrow!

LACMA – A day in Los Angeles

Another weekend come and gone. I have been going through some issues the past few months but I have been very fortunate to have a supportive husband who has let our weekends be exactly what I need – relaxing and fun. This weekend we visited the Carlsbad Flower Fields which I wanted to visit before we left for Greece. With the half marathon next weekend, this was really the last weekend we could visit. But before I recap this weekend, I have to share our fun day in Los Angeles, last weekend (it seems my life is 5 steps behind lately).

I have mentioned before that traveling doesn’t mean you have to get on a plane or train. Traveling means taking a journey and this weekend our journey was to Los Angeles. We had tickets to the Rain Room exhibit that we purchased months ago. We decided to make a day of it by stopping at The Grove in Los Angeles before heading to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

The Grove Los Angeles

Although I had visited The Grove many times for shopping, I had not been to the Farmer’s Market. Located on the outskirts of the mall, the Farmer’s Market has all different types of food stands, unique shops and fresh food markets. I was in the mood for mediterranean food (getting ready for all the hummus I plan to eat in Greece) so we picked a stand in the middle of the open market. Before we ate however, we walked the entire market at least twice. They had so many options – Cajun style from Louisiana, make your own pastrami, Thai, donuts, handmade ice cream. You name it and they had it. In addition to the food choices, there were many unique shops like a hot sauce shop with all different spicy sauces from around the world. After walking around, I enjoyed a delicious falafel and hummus plate. I wanted to leave for Greece after that meal. We walked around the stores at the Grove before stopping at Sprinkles Cupcakes. I mean you can’t go to the Grove and not get a cupcake. Luckily the weather was perfect and we enjoyed our dessert outside before heading to LACMA.

LACMA & The Rain Room

The Rain Room exhibit was the best I have yet to see. Before actually seeing the exhibit, I had some many questions on what it actually was. Of course, I won’t spoil it but it was absolutely amazing. Well worth the wait and money. My only complaint was that I felt the exhibit was a little rushed. Each group gets 15 minutes in the room and with the amount of people, we both agreed that at least another 5 minutes would have been great. The exhibits they currently have are amazing. I loved the exhibit “Gravity” which made for some really cool pictures but I won’t lie, I was a tad timid walking underneath it. We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the main museum with art from around the world. Overall I was very happy with the museum due to the location, the ease to get there and enjoy the museum and the many exhibits to see.

Los Angeles LACMA Rain Room

Los Angeles LACMA 2

Los Angeles LACMA

If you do visit LACMA, there are many more spots within walking distance including the La Brea Tar Pits, the Peterson Automotive Museum and the Berlin Wall Project among many. Enjoy!

Visiting the LA Arboretum

My Easter weekend was an active filled weekend which started on Friday thanks in part to a floating holiday at work. On Friday morning after sleeping in (seriously, what a difference it makes to sleep in) the husband and I headed towards LA to make a stop at the LA Arboretum. The name is a little misleading as it not actually in the city of Los Angeles but it is in Los Angeles county. Thankfully, we live about 45 minutes east of the Arboretum and were able to get there fairly easily. Upon first walking into the Arboretum, we spotted two peacocks but heard over 10 peacocks calling out to each other. It was pretty remarkable how loud they were and how far you could hear them. The males were just gorgeous in person. I could have just looked at them all day with the beautiful jewel toned feathers. Luckily, the peacocks roam free so we saw them very frequently during our visit.

LA Arboretum 6

LA Arboretum 5

LA Arboretum 3

I have been wanting to visit the Arboretum for a few years and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! We walked around for almost 2 hours (which was a perfect day for a Fitbit challenge) and could have easily stayed for another 2 more. The map is spectacular filled with a rose garden, a lake, a pond, multiple green houses, an herb garden and two water fountains. My two favorites were the Aquatic Garden waterfall and the Grace V. Kallam Perennial Garden. I had no idea that they had a waterfall until we received the map at the entrance. The Meyberg Waterfall was (by far) the highlight of our visit. Not only was the waterfall beautiful at the base, you could walk up stairs to get the top. At the top, there was a spectacular view of the San Gabriel Mountains above the Arboretum. Looking down the waterfall from the top was a great view as well. In the Perennial Garden, a mix of colors made for an inviting and mesmerizing walk. I also found my new favorite flowers- the Chinese snowball. They remind me of a more perfectly round hydrangea. The garden also reminded me of some of my favorite jardines in Paris.

LA Arboretum 4

LA Arboretum

     LA Arboretum

We will definitely be making a return trip to the  LA Arboretum again as it would be a great Sunday spot to enjoy a picnic on the lawn, next to the lake. I would highly recommend setting plenty of time aside to see everything. The entire Arboretum is 127 acres and warrants a full day exploration.

Tell me: What is your favorite flower? 


You Ate It, Negate It – Easter Candy

I’ll be back later today to share the recap of my weekend, including a day at the LA Arboretum but first one of the highlights of my weekend – Easter candy! I LOVE Easter candy more than any other holiday. Give me some Peeps or Reese’s Pieces Eggs and I’m a happy girl. However, a few Reese’s Pieces Eggs can easily become 20 in a matter of minutes. When I look at the calorie count of candy, it is surprising how much a small piece of candy can be. It definitely makes me try to limit how much I am eating or follow my candy consumption with a workout. Today I have a “You Ate It, Negate It” workout for some of the popular Easter candy that was probably consumed this weekend.

Easter Candy Workout

5 JELLY BEANS- 30 calories
10 JELLY BEANS- 60 calories
5 JELLY BEANS- 15 pushups
10 JELLY BEANS- 6 running laps

1 PEEP- 28 calories
3 PEEPS- 98 calories
1 PEEP-  20 Bicep Curls
3 PEEPS- 20 Squats, 20 Burpees and 25 Straight Leg Crunches

½ CADBURY EGG- 75 calories
1 CADBURY EGG- 150 calories
½ CADBURY EGG- 3 Running Laps, 25 V-Ups
1 CADBURY EGG- 25 Jump Squats, 25 Mountain Climbers, 25 Jumping Jacks, 25 Burpees, 25 Crunches, 25 Tricep Dips and 25 Reverse Crunches

1 ROBIN EGG- 28 calories
4 ROBIN EGGS – 105 calories
1 ROBIN EGG – 12 Bent Rows and 12 Iron Crosses
4 ROBIN EGGS – 20 Bicep Curls, 20 Hammer Curls and 20 Windshield Wipers

½ REESES PEANUT BUTTER EGG – 3 Running Laps, 15 Shoulder Presses and 15 Chest Flys
1 REESES PEANUT BUTTER EGG – 25 Jump Ropes, 25 Ice Skaters, 25 Mountain Climbers, 25 Jumping Jacks, 25 Lunges, 25 Sumo Squats, 25 Diamond Pushups,  25 Bicycle Crunches and 1 Running Lap

Tell me: What holiday has your favorite candy? What is your favorite Easter candy?

Disclaimer: Although I am a fitness professional, I am not necessarily your personal trainer or instructor. The workouts and calorie burns are not only estimates but they might not be the right type of exercises for you. Please be sure to consult a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routine.

Week 1: OC Half Training

Let me tell you, for the past week I had, I am patting myself on the back for working out and meeting my step goal all but one day! I had to push my half training out a week due to the upcoming crazy weekend.  Before we get to the workouts though, a little rewind to the long (and much needed) President’s Day weekend.  This weekend was all about finishing the final wedding details. Don’t even get me started about my feelings on everything that goes into the details of a wedding. That is a different topic for a different day. On Friday night, we went over our best friend’s house after a very hectic day at work. Luckily, there was a cute baby to hold so all the stress of the week was forgotten for a bit. My night involved an unscheduled rest day with In-N-Out (hey at least I skipped the fries) but at that point I did not care.



Saturday was a much different story. By 10am, I had taught a class, got a workout in, stopped at Starbucks and the bank. I love my weekend classes for this reason, they force me to not be a sloth all the time. From the moment I returned home, we cleaned, organized, planned, packed and ran more errands, all for the wedding. This week I am only working three days as we will be driving out to Malibu on Friday. Therefore, I knew I had to stay on top of everything I needed to accomplish. I worked on our map seating chart which I will be sure to share after the wedding for my fellow travel lovers. We did enjoy a nice BBQ at night with my parents. brother and future SIL.  Sunday was a repeat of Saturday with another cycle class and more preparations for the wedding. Our night ended on a nice note because we got to watch Deadpool. Although I did not like waiting in line (face palm for thinking Valentine’s Day night was a good idea) the movie was very funny and entertaining. I would highly recommend it!


FullSizeRender (1)


We finished our long weekend, down by the beach in Malibu. We had our last venue meeting which is 10 miles north of Pacific Coast Highway. After our meeting, we drove down to PCH which was insanely crowded. It took forever to get to find parking, let alone a restaurant. I guess everyone else had the idea to enjoy the unusually warm weather we have been having in California. We finally made it to a restaurant and enjoyed a delicious, ocean view ‘linner’ at Duke’s before we relaxed on the beach. The traffic heading home was bumper to bumper, we called it a night when we got home, exhausted and tired.


It has been quite awhile since I did a Weekly Workouts post but with my half training in full progress, they will be making a comeback. As seen above, my major fail this week was my Friday.  otherwise, I was happy with the workouts I squeezed in. My mileage is increasing just a bit this week but I know for a fact I will need to switch my Friday REST day with Saturday. I will not be running at all on my wedding day, unless running around like a chicken with no head counts? Here are my workouts (on the schedule vs actual) from the past week.


On the Schedule: Strength/ Cross- Training
Actual Workout: 1 hour cycle class and free weight arm workout


On the Schedule: 2-3 miles (easy)
Actual Workout: 3 miles, untimed


On the Schedule: Cycle & Strength Training
Actual Workout:  1 hour cycle class followed by a mini bootcamp session (2 rounds of sprints, burpees, wall squats, bicycle crunches and lunges)


On the Schedule: 3 miles (easy)
Actual Workout: 3 miles, untimed


On the Schedule: Rest
Actual Workout: Rest


On the Schedule: 3 miles
Actual Workout: REST (oops, with In-N-Out)


On the Schedule: 2-3 miles
Actual Workout: 1 hour cycle class followed by 2 miles


On the Schedule: Strength/ Cross- Training
Actual Workout: 1 hour cycle class and free weight arm workout


Tell me: What do you do for your President’s Day weekend? 

What I’ve Been Loving Lately..

I will be keeping it short and sweet today as I play catch up. We finally got back home Saturday morning. Why is it so wonderful to be back in your own bed! After getting back I slept for almost 6 hours. Sunday was spent catching up on sleep, laundry, some Christmas pictures and unpacking. Since I skipped Friday Favorites, I thought I would share some of my favorites from the past two weeks.

Of course, my favorite over the past 2 months was first and foremost, the amazing sunsets along the beach filled every night in Phuket. Watching the sun go down every night over the ocean was just how a vacation day should end.


Getting this email made my day! I am so excited to be a part of BlogFest 2016. BlogFest has been something I’ve really had a desire to be a part of it so I cannot wait until July!
FullSizeRender 40

World’s Top 20 Cities According to that Dude who Visited Every Country” – MSN Travel

Is Travel Insurance Worth It” – Los Angeles Times

Fresh fruit – dear lord, I am going to have the hardest time going back home to mediocre fruit. I loved having fresh fruit, cut off the tree every day as well as pressed fruit. Food wise, that will be the only thing I miss from the country. I also found one of my new favorites is dragon fruit. I absolutely loved trying new fruits.

Every time I travel I am reminded how much I love to walk. Walking to places instead of taking a taxi is a great way to stay active on vacation as well as enjoy the city in a different view. I wish I had brought my FitBit to track how many steps I took throughout our vacation.

Meeting new friends was a definite highlight of our trip. We met so many amazing people from around the US that shared the same passion as us, to travel. I enjoyed so many intriguing conversations and was even sad that some of our new friends lived on the other side of the US. Excuse the poor quality picture but these are the people we spent with during the entire trip who helped make it an amazing one. We had the best tour guide who lives in Thailand and I will miss having her guide us each and every day.

FullSizeRender 41

10 Most Charming Italian Cafes” – Huffington Post

Tell me: What was the highlight of your week? What is your favorite fruit?