#WeRunSF Round 2

Well, I’m usually better at blogging right after an amazing event but life is busy!! & a lot of my friends ran the Snow Canyon Half today so I thought.. why not tonight? Also, the NYC Marathon was last weekend & I literally shed tears watching the snap story because WOW.. people are amazing. With that said, I ran my 2nd Nike Women’s Half Marathon race. Nike seriously knows how to put on an event.

When I ran my first Nike Race last year (you can read it here) I knew I was going to sign up to run in 2015. I just had to.. because I had the most AMAZING experience when I ran it my first time.  The months before this year’s race.. I was ready to sign up & get training started! Every year, Nike sends out the sign-up email in June & everyone has to enter through the raffle drawing unless you’re a college student & you get in automatically.  I was tempted to use my college ID since it hadn’t expired yet but I felt bad so I decided to sign up through the raffle.  I posted on FB to let everyone know that I have signed up and I wanted to create a team so other women can experience what I experienced last year.  Surprisingly enough I had a total of 10 girls on my team sign up for the raffle!

I kept checking back on Nike Women’s FB page to read comments & posts on what was going on and when they were going to announce who got in.. Finally in July everyone started commenting on their FB page saying that they got charged $200 (which meant.. you were in!) but no one officially said that they got their confirmation email. So I checked my bank account, I got charged $200…. Then in the afternoon I got my wonderful confirmation email!!

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Plus my whole team got their confirmation emails! Some friends were stoked, some friends were nervous and thought “what the heck did i just sign up for?!” But, I reassured them that it is the BEST THING EVER. Flights were booked, Steven & I had a place to stay & we were ready for SF!!

Then we got our training schedule… that’s what I dread most is training for a half marathon.  It takes up soooo much time, I’m always hungry, and i just want to avoid it.  But, I started slow since I haven’t ran since my last half marathon (2014). I ran 2 miles, then 3, then 4, then 6 & I went all the way up to 12 miles before the race. So I thought if I could do 12 miles I definitely won’t die at 13.1.


I got to leave work early on Friday and then Steven & I caught a flight from Provo to Oakland! We got in early and since we were staying with Brittany & Joram, they were still at work! So our plan was to take the BART to the station closest to their house & then take an Uber to their home. Not gonna lie, I LOVE public transportation.. well really I just missed the city life back in Boston & NYC.. but I do LOVE the luxury of taking Ubers & Lyfts. We took the BART and I was so happy!! To be in SF, to be traveling with Steven and to be running this race again. Life was great.

That night, we had a chill night with Brittany & Joram. We all went to dinner at The Counter Burger  & it was SO GOOD. Then we went back to their house & played Sequence & girls vs. guys & Brittany & I won AHHAHAHAHA!! So we won back massages from our husbands!!!


We woke up early so we could explore the city all day! We took the BART to downtown Union Square to pick up my race bib & run the 2 mile shakeout run with Nike.  But…. we got off the wrong stop (my fault) & the 2 mile run already started cuz right when we got out of the station, the runners ran right past us. hahaha we were hungry so we went and got breakfast bagel sandwiches & went to go pick up my race kit!! We walked by Nike Town Union Square and I saw my name on the wall!!! It was exactly like last year’s & I was so happy! I picked up my race packet & sadly there wasn’t a huge expo this year, but instead they had an earring scavenger hunt. There were 7 earrings that you could collect if you went to all of the different locations where they sell Nike apparel/shoes.  We only waited in line for one of the earrings because all of the lines were like an hour long.. so no way haha. But, being in the city was so great!

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We met up with Kim & her husband Steven Houghton & we got our one & only earring at Union Square! They had a crazy night driving to Vegas & then flying from Vegas to SF… One hour of sleep.  I know how they felt because I did the no sleep thing because Jaime & I drove through the night from Provo to Palo Alto.. Crazy. I’m so glad we got cheap tickets months in advance! They were hungry so we went to this cute brunch spot that Steven H. knew about from when he interned in the city some summers ago.. I don’t remember but it was a really cute, healthy spot! Since we ate already we didn’t eat much!


The view outside the restaurant!


Fancy fancy toast

Then I wanted to take Steven to the Fortune Cookie Factory in Chinatown & we made our own fortune cookies with our fortune inside it.. I think I said something like “You will have cute babies one day” LOL But, then I think we left our fortune cookies at Brittany’s place when we left hahaha.

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Ancestors would be so proud 🙂

Unfortunately, when we were in Chinatown a pigeon pooped on Steven so we ran to the Nike store back in Union Square to meet up with Brittany & Joram so we could buy a shirt for him! While we were there, I had to get all of the photos from the Nike Half Marathon! It was worth the wait because that’s what I came to SF for! & we got cool Nike shirts (Thanks Brittany!)

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After Union Square and all of the Nike festivities, we went to Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf since Kim hasn’t been there! We had mini donuts, clam chowda in a bread bowl, saw the bush man and took lots of pics!


Alcatraz right behind us! (One day I will go!)


Clam CHOWDA (This is the only thing Steven wanted to do on this trip.. eat this)

After the pier, we went to my favorite spot of the Golden Gate Bridge.  It’s on the Sausalito side called Battery Spencer & the view is AMAZING.  It was actually a perfect day with no fog & a perfect sunset. & we got prime parking because Kim & steven rented the perfect little pink car for us to drive around the town with.

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It started getting dark, but i really wanted to show Steven, Steven H, & Kim Seward Slides. Ammon said they closed at 5PM but I didn’t know they actually barricaded the entire slide…. Next time haha. We got hungry so we went to the Mission District & met up with Ammon at La Taqueria!!! I was so happy to see him even if it was just for a little bit!! I’m sad I wasn’t able to hang out with him in the city the entire day since we had it planned for months but La Taqueria super tacos & Bi-rite creamery was perfect. We were all tired so we drove back to Brittany’s after a long day of exploring the city to get some shut eye before the race!

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Woke up at 4:45AM… Still dark outside, made a bowl of oatmeal & left the house at 5:20AM to make it to Union Square for the race!! SO MANY WOMEN. SO MANY RUNNERS. It was just like last year & I was stoked. Brittany, her friend Aimee, Kim & I were all in wave 3. Kim decided to stay back behind us so she wouldn’t feel she needed to catch up with us so it was just Brittany, Aimee & I in the middle of Wave 3. Wave 1 & 2 had started & we were on our way to the starting line. Then we were off! We started the race at 6:58AM & there we were running with 25,000 other women in downtown SF. Miles 1-5 were kind of a blur. I remember at mile 2 or 3 there was a gospel choir!  I was following right behind Brittany & Aimee from miles 1-5 and before I knew it, we were running a 9:55 min/mile. In my mind, I was like “crap, I am going my fastest..” I started getting thirsty & hungry so at mile 5 I had to stop and get some water and eat the granola bar the volunteers were giving out.  Brittany & Aimee kept running when I was getting water so I was behind a little bit. I knew I had lost them, so I started running at a slower pace.  I ran to mile 7 and my mind just kept saying you’re tired, you need to walk.. I didn’t want to walk but I had to.  I had blisters on all of my toes and i was in so much pain! I felt like the bottom of my soles were so close to the concrete and it felt so painful. So I started walking & by that time.. I just knew I wasn’t going to beat my time, I want to just finish this race no matter what and that I’ll never want to run a full marathon EVER. Those were the thoughts in my head while I was walking.

I finally started getting the energy to run again & ran all the way to mile 10 and my goal was to not walk on mile 10 because that is the steepest & hardest mile of the race. Sadly, I walked, ran, walked, ran that stupid hill. But, the view was AMAZING. There was no fog & you could see the Golden Gate Bridge perfectly. Nike knows that it’s the hardest mile, so they have volunteers, family members, pacers, & coaches all lined up mile 10 & while I was running I just felt this spiritual experience.  First, I saw a sign that said “Jesus Christ Loves You” & then another sign that said “They cheer because you inspire them” & I just started crying. It was so crazy and weird because I’ve never cried during a race. EVER. But with all of the pain and adrenaline and just wanting to finish this race all of this emotion just happened all of a sudden.  I got this random spurt of energy almost at the top of the hill & I started high fiveing everyone at the top of the hill! It felt so great to be done with that dumb hill!

I ran all the way to Mile 12 with lots of energy & Mile 12 was the chocolate mile. Yeah, I definitely took a bite of that chocolate & then I started walking haha by that time, I was so sore & tired.. I just wanted to enjoy that dang chocolate! I found Steven at Mile 12.5 and he started running with me and he kept cheering me on saying “You got this Liz, you got this!” But, I was in so much pain!! I turned that corner & finally saw that beautiful finish line. I finished at 2:25 and I was so happy that it was over.  I took a ton of chocolate milks, got my Nike water bottle & Whole foods bag with tons of snacks & got my Tiffany & Co Finisher Medal.  I met up with Steven & everyone to take our photos (but not with the guys in black suits haha). After the race, we went to Hollywood Cafe & ate the yummiest french toast & delicious HUGE fruit bowl!

Our flight wasn’t till 9PM that night so we relaxed at Brittany’s, took a sunday nap & made crepes before we had to go to the airport. Our flight got delayed so we didn’t get home till 2:30AM.  Shout out to Kyle Bergsma for picking us up & taking us back to Provo!

This race weekend was so much fun & I definitely learned a lot.  I don’t think I’ll ever be fast enough to qualify for a Boston marathon or to beat my PR by a ton… I think I made the mistake of going my fastest in the beginning and that’s why I got so tired.  Maybe next year I’m just going to stop at every photo opp just to enjoy my time throughout the race. I saw a lot of women stop in front of the golden gate bridge, a waterfall, all of the Nike signs, and everyone looked so happy! I know for sure I’ll sign up for this race every year!! Until next time, SF!




Course map


25,000 women about to crush the hills of SF


Thanks for being the best host, Brittany!!


Steven was the cutest & got this pic of me running. I had the chance to see him at mile 4, 8 & 12!


This was at Mile 12!!


Top of the hill at Mile 10


Brittany’s husband Joram got this perfect pic of us 🙂


No matter how hard you try to look cute for the photographer, it’s impossible.

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All of the signs that kept me going!

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I love him so much!

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New & old friends 🙂


Our Tiffany & Co Finisher Medal


Union Square


My Results.  I didn’t beat my time but, it’s alright!! I finished!!!! HOORAY!!


Whole 30: Day 15 (HALF WAY!!)

For those of you that know me, you know that I’m ADDICTED to sweets.  Anything that is a doughnut, ice cream, cookie, pie, cake – I will eat without hesitation.  I also love BREAD, CARBS, any type of roll, toast, etc. But, if you really REALLY know me, you know that I do eat healthy most of the time.  My junior year of college, I taught myself on how to meal prep, exercise daily, lift weights, cardio, etc.  I have ran 3 half marathons and I sometimes work out twice a day.  After all of this working out and semi – eating healthy.  I still didn’t like the way I was feeling.  I would do sooo well on monday-thursdays, but then the weekend will happen and all of my hard work on eating healthy would go right out the door.  I had cheat weekends. EVERY WEEKEND.

Our lives rely on food.  I know mine did.  Food is the social thing to do.  Food is what brings people together. Food KEEPS US ALIVE!! I knew I needed to change my ways when I noticed that buying sweets was a daily ritual instead of a reward on the weekends. I knew I needed to change when all I could think of when I was bored was “What can I buy right now to eat?” In the beginning of the year, Steven & I did super well on cooking our meals and going to the gym regularly.  But, then we started eating out A TON because it was more convenient for us.  The one thing that makes me so sad is that we would go out to eat knowing we had food in the refrigerator we could make that night! So 1) LAZINESS 2) we wasted a lot of money going out to eat when we already bought groceries!

So, I found out about the Whole 30 through my friend Hallie Keenan – (check out her fitness & food instagram!) I started see her food posts on instagram because she was doing whole 30 at the time and the food she was cooking looked SO good.  I started researching whole 30 on their website to learn more about this “way of life. ” So the Whole 30 (based on what the website says)

“Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat – even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?
Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health. The most important reason to keep reading?
This will change your life.”

Okay, so sugar, grains, dairy and legumes.. well HOW THE FREAK IS THAT POSSIBLE?! That’s what I was thinking.  Well, it is possible!! So this is how I started the Whole 30…

1. I bought the book “It Starts With Food.” By: Dallas Hartwig, Creator of the Whole 30 Program.  This book teaches you the scientific reasoning on why those 4 food groups are not the best for you.  (I didn’t say why they are BAD for you, I said why they are not the best foods for you to consume).

2. I planned out my schedule where I can do this Whole 30 knowing that I don’t have any big events coming up in my life (AKA: weddings, BIG parties, work events, etc.) I started the whole 30 after Easter Weekend, so Monday, April 6th, 2015.  I knew I wanted to eat as much Easter candy I wanted on that weekend and no one was going to stop me muahhahhaa! Also, the program ends for me on May 6th, right before Kim Johnson’s wedding!

3. I pretended I was on the Whole 30 a week before I started so I can try out some recipes that I liked and see if it was even possible to do.  But, I didn’t restrict myself from sweets obviously because this was just a practice run.

4. Tell people you’re doing the Whole 30!! Put it on social media! I have a fitness/food instagram account where I post everything fitness and food.  So everyone following me knew I was going to start the program!

5. Do it with someone! My AMAZING Fiancé, Steven decided that he was going to do it with me and also my roommate Jaime wanted to do it as well. This helps SOOOO much because you have people supporting you throughout the entire program.

Honestly, I was so nervous to start the whole 30.  I’m not the one to finish a diet program! I always make goals like “no sweets for a month or for a week” and i’ll last literally 30 seconds and then I’m at Provo Bakery. I really wanted to make sure that I succeed in this because I wanted to see for myself if I can actually accomplish something this hard but so rewarding.  Since I had my “practice” food that I started a week before the program, I had a lot of leftovers for my first few days of the Whole 30. When day 1 started, I was ready.

I thought I was going to get headache withdrawals from the no sugar thing, but I was feeling fine the first week! & everyone says that the first week is THE HARDEST THING IN YOUR LIFE. Honestly, I was feeling good.  I remember though, on Day 3 – I was feeling so tired, I had to take a nap.  Then Day 4, I tried doing a HIIT workout and I felt like I was going to puke cuz I was so dizzy.  (I think it was because it was right in the morning and I hadn’t eaten anything! oops!) Then comes the weekend.  To tell you the complete truth, I have eaten so many sweets on every weekend of my life.  I don’t think I’ve gone a weekend not eating something unhealthy… I was scared that I was going to lose my self-control.  But LUCKILY, I persevered and made it through the entire weekend happy and full of whole foods in my stomach!

I’m on day 15 (half way through) and I am feeling so great.  I’ve gotten past that hump where I can truly say no to sweets or grains when they are given to me. I’ve never gone this long not eating sweets and I am truly so surprised!!! Sprouts is mine and Steven’s second home.  We are there probably 3 days a week buying fresh produce and meat/seafood.  What I love about our grocery trips is that we learn something new every time we go.  It’s also so crazy how much added sugar is in your normal foods like Chicken broth, drinks, and even meat!! Whole 30 teaches you to look at the nutrition labels – I’m constantly on my phone googling to see if it’s “whole 30 compliant.” But, honestly there is a ton of stuff that you can eat that is so tasty and hearty! Yes, I do miss going out to eat and the convenience of it but I am so happy that I get to cook something new every night with my cute man of mine! A lot of people said I couldn’t do it, and I’m definitely proving them wrong.  A lot of people also say that the whole 30 is not good for you.. But, it’s because they don’t know why those 4 foods can do so much harm to your bodies.  I have not felt this good with my body in so long!

My first week, I ate a ton of fruit for my sugar intake because that’s what i crave the most.  I ate so much fruit that I kinda started to get bloated.  So on week 2, I cut my fruit intake and Steven & I found our new favorite snack.. CASHEWS.  They are heaven in my mouth.  But, week 2 I started eating so many nuts that I almost got sick from that! So, I’m trying to find my happy-medium.  That’s what the whole 30 teaches you!! What’s good for YOU and your body!! I know that some grains and legumes aren’t bad for me, so I’ll slowly incorporate those back into my life once I’m done with this program. But, for now – it’s only 30 days.  30 days of NO sugar, grains, dairy and legumes.

I’m grateful for Steven for sticking by my side and pulling me away when we’re at costco and I see those yummy muffins.  I love cooking with Steven and making new meals and discovering new vegetables, meats and fish.  I love this new energy that I’m having.  I don’t get tired at work anymore! I can work out without stopping and taking breaks.  Life is great! People say that you’re just going to back into your old ways after the 30 days.. Who knows though! Maybe I will, maybe I’ll take this as a lifestyle instead of just the 30 days.  I know that I’ll still eat a doughnut here and there, but Steven and I decided that we aren’t just going to go buy sweets for fun.  We’ll buy dessert for a date night or a special occasion.  We’ll go out to eat for special occasions or once a month to save money and cook together more. I love that since I’ve been doing the Whole 30 – my friends have jumped on the band wagon and have loved it so far! It’s honestly not that hard! It’s easier said than done, but these past 15 days – I’ve truly been at my best.

See the pics below for all of the meals Steven & I have made!



P.S. follow me on my fitness insta for more recipes and motivation!


First meal on the whole 30 – fried eggs, homemade sweet potato hash browns, homemade sausage patties & raspberries!


Grilled chicken, spinach, carrots, spinach, & zucchini


Chicken Broccoli Bake


Grilled chicken, broccoli/snap peas/carrot stir fry from Sprouts, garlic powder


Aidell’s Chicken Sausage (from costco), orange bell peppers, spinach, garlic powder


Sweet potato sliders! Recipe from Hallie!


All-day Frittata – by OurPaleolife.com


Zoodles! We bought this zegetti from Bed, bath & beyond & it’s the greatest thing ever. It’s $15.


We found out from the doctor that Steven needed to eat more seafood, so we bought fresh salmon! Honestly, Salmon is so much cheaper if you just bake it yourself.  Restaurants charge so much more on this piece of fish! I sprinkled italian seasoning and lemon juice on the salmon and baked it at 385 degrees for about 25 min! Also added zoodles and this homemade spaghetti sauce that we have made twice!


We had a Sunday Picnic with Steven’s sister Kim & her fiancé Steven H. Also Jaime & Tanner joined us in the sun as well 🙂 Chicken sausage, pineapple, watermelon and asparagus!


The best snack = apples, bananas & almond butter. YUM.


Orange Teriyaki meatballs, broccoli & orange slices! ASIAN dinner whaddupp.


Scrambled eggs with spinach + strawberries


Scrambled eggs with spinach and apple/chicken sausage + strawberries


Steven made me lunch this day! Chicken Chorizo, boiled carrots & asparagus, & red peppers. YUM.


Healthy crusted chicken strips (the bread crumbs are crushed cashews, chia seeds, & flax seed) + zoodles & spaghetti sauce!


Scrambled eggs with spinach, sweet potato hash browns, leftover cashew chicken strips & strawberries


Beef & broccoli! Honestly, this is all I had in the fridge and it’s SOOO good.  I didn’t use a recipe for this.  I heated some olive oil and once that was hot throw in chopped garlic and ground ginger. Sauté that for about 2-3 minutes and then throw in your beef stew meat.  Once beef stew is not pink/red anymore, throw in the broccoli.  Add coconut aminos (whole 30 soy sauce sold at sprouts), garlic powder, red chili pepper flakes, sea salt and mix that up and cover with a lid and let it cook for about 5 minutes so the flavor seeps in with everything! SO GOOD. We’ve had this twice so far.


This was Steven’s lunch: asparagus, carrots, grilled chicken & avocado


Baked salmon and orange cauliflower (what the heck? why is it orange?) Well, this is only sold in select grocery stores and we found this at sprouts and thought we would try it! It has 25% more beta-carotene than in regular white cauliflower and it tastes the same!


leftover cashew chicken, raspberries, scrambled eggs and we found whole 30 compliant bacon at costco! We bought 4 packs for $10!!!!!! You have to make sure the bacon you’re buying has no added sugar!


Chicken sausage, fried egg, strawberries & bananas.


This was my first time eating out during the whole 30 and I went to Communal! You can ask to change which oils to cook with! Luckily, our server has done whole 30 twice and she recommended the pancetta hash, poached egg and spring veggies and took off the horseradish cream since that had dairy! SO GOOD!


Micky mouse egg, bacon, bananas & almond butter! Also, Steven made his family’s favorite homemade salsa recipe!


Scrambled eggs with Kale, cashew chicken, ra