Uncategorized

Ran so Far Away: A Review.

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After our day run. Los Angeles, California. April 2016.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the 2016 Color Fun Fest color run that some of my family completed on Saturday and while there were some nice things about this run, there were also quite a few disappointments.

But to start on a high note, this run, like almost all fun runs raised money for charity so in the spirit of philanthropy, any run is a good run. This specific run (or the company which did the run) raises money for children’s charities which is a big reason they promote the run as a family run.

Because of the ‘family friendly’ drive and the setup of the racetrack, this was also a short track measuring 1.8 miles for a single loop which you could choose to run 1, 2, 3 or even 4 times in a row depending on how you feel. The short track was great for families with young kids who couldn’t make it the full 5k (or whose parents couldn’t, at least…).

This is, however, where some of the cons came in.

I’ll start with the tickets. As stated last time, my family purchased the VIP tickets which, granted, included extra color packs, a color run T-shirt, a bandana, the choice to run more than one run (this last perk was the real reason that I spent the extra money on the day) and they waved the $5 day of pick-up fee. With the short course, however, and the choice to run however much you wanted, really anyone could run any run they wanted.

Part of this was due to extreme lack of organization. The course was unclear – there were cones marking out some but no helpers pointing which direction to move in or where to turn – and because of the lack of helpers or security no one was looking at who was a night runner, day runner, or a VIP runner who could run as many times as they want. If I had known this was the case, I wouldn’t have spent the extra money.

This was advertised as a family fun run, as the vast majority of fun runs are, however for this run, the organization – or lack thereof – made this an impossible run. Simply put, this was a walk, not a run. There was no corralling system and to get ahead of the massive crowd of walkers – many of whom took shortcuts ahead of where runners were anyway – and the start line was blocked by the party crowd (I’ll touch on this in a minute).

Most of the walkers at this run didn’t seem to understand runners’ etiquette either. Where this can’t be blamed on those who organized the event – except that they did make comments about not being a race and don’t worry too much about runners in the color zones (less than helpful) – the lack of organization/volunteers meant no one was calling attention to where walkers was supposed to be.

One big case in this was unclear directional sides. Walkers looking to watch cars race (slowly) walked on the wrong side of the running course blocking walkers and runners trying to fight their way up through the second half of the loop. Walkers note: pay attention to runners especially when you are a big party stretching across the whole course or when you are crossing runner traffic – keep your head on a swivel!

So coming back to the other big note: this is a party run – much more party and much less run. Every run started late after a lot of hyping up of the crowd and throwing of huge color packets. There was live music from a few unknown bands and some electronic music playing in parts of the course as well, which was fun, but it was inconsistent.

There were two color posts but runners more than volunteers were the ones playing in them/throwing the powder at runners – not so fun for actual runners! – which meant that it was a war zone that came to a frenzied stand still you couldn’t fight through. When you could fight through, you were basically clean of powder anyway.

The last little grievance I had – I’m sorry this turned into a bummer post – was that there was a bit of an advertising error in how the night run was set up. They said something about color being sprinkled down on you and about a black lighted course but the black lights were almost nonexistent and the powder set up didn’t change from day night to night run. The powder also so light, you could barely tell it was there unless you really piled it on. Oh, and watch out for runs on a racetrack – the road was still really tacky from the heat and regular ill treatment (by the cars).

But now I’ll try to end on a brighter note!

This run was comparably cheap, which was one of the big reasons that there were so many people/families of all shapes and sizes out in mass. It was amazing watch little kids in strollers and youth sports teams together because they could afford to come out and have fun together.

If you are in a large, battle ready group who loves to walk, this is the fun run for you! If you want to run in a run to show off your training or just push yourself, pick a different fun run.

  • Taylor Gallagher

 

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Fashion, Shoes, Uncategorized

Dressing for Events the Right Way.

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Godparents and Fashion? Yes, Please! Los Angeles. April 2016

This past weekend I was lucky(?) enough to get to attend three different events stemming from/surrounding my family’s parish/school. Despite the commonalities between these events, each one required a very different fashion approach.

The first event (last Friday night) was a parish wide gala held at a local country club. For me, any event like this (a gala!) is a chance for you to pull out all the sparkles and the glamour – very few of us regularly get the chance!

On the flip side, this is also a school and parish event with both school teachers/staff and the parish clergy in attendance. As someone who works at the school in attendance with many of my students parents, this was also a work event (in terms of thinking about coverage).

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Gala Night Fashion.

Part of why I make this note about coverage comes directly from some of the fashion choices I saw on the dance floor. We had a large contigency of school moms in barely there outfits – painted on bandage dresses, don’t-drop-the-soap hem lines, and sometimes a combination of the two. I need to add, I am not saying this to fashion or body shame anyone. I am simply thrying to point out that you should be aware of where you are and who you are with – you are always making an impression so you may as well make them count!

My choice for the evening was my little sisters old prom dress. The dress was bought from Forever 21 a few years back for about $20. I love the drama of it – the high-low hem line paired with sky high velvet platform wedges let me show some skin while the sequins and jeweled necklace added shine to the top, pulling up the eyes. The skirt oves to catch the air – again adding to dramatics – and since the dress was a little large on me, a simple black belt helped to pull in the waist.

Since the dress says so much and is so dark – great for night events – I poped some color in by adding a bold lip and a smiple double braided side ponytail. For make up, I added a little sparkle and pulled my winged eyeliner out a little bit further and bolder. In these events, it’s all about balancing.

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First Communion Fahion.

The second event was our second graders first communion last Saturday. I was working this event as an assistant photographer so as well as being event and location appropriate, my dress also had to be functional for working with the kids and positioning myself around the curch without blocking views.

My choice for this event was a Target steal – $13 on sale! – floral, salmon-based, floor length dress. Since it’s hot here in California already, I loved the cut of this dress. the thin translucent overdress is thin enough to allow movement of air while the underdress is long enough for modesty. The overdress also has slits up both sides which came in handy when having to crouch down for pictures.

For chruch, the length of the dress also offsets the sleeveless top. Also because this is a day event, I suggest keeping a frilly dress like this paired with small accessories. Paired with sime thick heeled peep-toes and a belt-clinched waist, and you are ready for summer but with the easy sophistication to either run around a music festival – this was one mothers take on the outfit (besides that she loved it) – a picnic or, like me, a first communion.

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Baptism Fashion.

The third event was my niece’s baptism where I served as Godmother(!). Because Mags was all in white (of course) I wanted a bright bress for her to pop against. For Gilmore Girls fans, yes, I asked if a baby went with the dress before choosing it that morning.

This was another Target find – not on sale this time – that I paid $22 for.

I love the dresses high neck line and the pop of surrles aroung the sleeves. For Easter, I wore a much bigger necklace, but for this event I kept a shiny but simple silver necklace to pull the eyes up but that wouldn’t get in the way of the little one snuggling in.

Again, this was a day event so I made sure the makeup and hair stayed simple, with added day-time details like a floral cinch-belt and peeptoe heals (which switched to braided sandals for the afterparty). Add in some after-church shades and you are all kinds of set.

That’s it!

I’ve already talked about my other big social dress up days (look up my boat party post) which covers a very different kind of social event and setting.

So, here’s my sum up: look for appropriateness based on the who(s) and the where(s) of your event, pay attention to balance for your details as well as in your color palette, and (a big one for me) as much as you may want to spend money on an outfit because you have an excuse, you don’t have to spend much to make something work for you!

  • Taylor Gallagher
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Uncategorized

Run so Far Away.

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I have pink hair! Color Run, Los Angeles, California. November 2013.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that thanks to the ZombieRun app, I’ve been doing a 10k training program these past few months. And now (finally!), I’ll be putting it to use!

My dad, sister and I just signed up for Color Fun Fest 2016, Los Angeles. This is an all day (well, 3:30-9:30 really) day event which includes 2 day and 2 night color runs and a carnival during, between and after them.

If you are a local (or currently local) I really recommend signing up. We used the CARNY  code to purchase adult VIP tickets for a discounted price. This gives us a few extra goodies each as well as the choice to run multiple runs (we’re planning one day and one night run) for a really good price.

This will be my second (closely followed by third) color run but my 5th (and 6th) fun run – I’ve also done a mud run and a 5k through Universal Studios backlot.

For anyone who doesn’t like running or is just starting out, these are amazing ways to get out and get yourself moving. You never have to run – as long as you are keeping a relatively good pace you are fin – and the obsticles from color throwing stations to obstacles in a mud run give you distance goals a moments to either sprint or take a break.

This doesn’t even mention running as a team! Fun runs are amazing for people ready to work in groups together and one of my favorite things about them is watching other people or groups running in themed costumes – like the superhero crew classics (Marvel or DC) usually featuring  color specific tutus.

I can’t wait for this run in a little over a week but there are plenty others I am looking forward to – there are LA river runs that look amazing (and a 10k as well) as well as looking into mud runs happening this summer.

And remember, you’ll want to bring a towel for your car, a few snacks for between runs, and a water bottle. Be smart, run happy, and I’ll see you next week,

  • Taylor Gallagher
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Uncategorized

Notes from the sick house….

Don’t breathe to deep! Just kidding (kind of).

After last week’s Easter break for most of my house hold everyone but me is sick. From my parents to sister to constant visitors (my other sister and her 3 month old) have something germy and persistent ranging from a basic hacking cold to bronchitis. On top of this, when I’m not home looking for regular work, I fill in as a substitute at a TK to 8th grade elementary school filled to the brim with its own Petri dish of bacterial growth.

Again, I’m the one person who seems to have escaped this round of infection which has led to a few people asking me how I’ve managed this feat.

I’m not a medical professional, so I can’t say that anything that follows will work for anyone else, this has worked for me.

I’m lucky enough to have a relatively strong immune system and I’m stubborn which means I’ll actually stick to my rules harder than anyone else I know. A lot of this comes down to the fact that when I do get sick, it knocks me on my but hard which makes me crabby because I’ve done everything right and still manage to feel horrid.

Anyway, onto the rules.

We’ll start out with the basics: Cleanliness!

I’m not talking about walking around with hand sanitizer in your pocket and wet naps disinfecting everything before you touch it. This will not only give you a pounding headache due to overexposure to fumes but I’m a firm believer that having limited contact while maintaining other safeguards can help you build up that immune system. There is also some evidence supporting the negative effects of overusing hand sanitizer, so watch out and do some research if so inclined.

Instead, wash your hands a few more times a day, wipe down your shared public areas especially highly used ones like door handles and cooking spaces. These activities will increase depending on the habits of those who live with you – hand-coughers/sneezers? Wipe things down a few times a day; work with kids? Up the hand washing and make sure you remind them to use tissues and wash their own hands properly.

Even though I hate it, Avoid Dairy!

When you are sick, dairy causes a lot of the mucus to build up making your coughing worse, tearing up your throat, and basically making you feel lousy. If you are avoiding getting sick, I say you should avoid this preemptively. If you have/get a touch of something, less dairy-induced phlegm will also help you get everything else out more quickly.

Next boost your Vitamin Regiment!

I take vitamins off and on. For years, I’ve tried different kinds but just haven’t kept anything up (again, yet!). But as soon as Illness settled in this house, I started taking my vitamin C, fish oil, and zinc pills once or twice a day depending on exposure rates. This is like taking Emergen-C but in higher doses. Vitamin C is water soluble which means you can’t overdose on these pills, however, you can overdue fish oil and zinc so always check your doses and take all medication seriously!

Whenever you get the chance, Air it Out!

I’m home a lot if I’m not working at the school – again another germy hotspot – as are multiple sick people. Air can be as dangerous as any surface in these situations. Air inside of the house can get stale and just holds everyone else’s breathe and coughs. So, as long as you don’t sleep with wet hair – remember this can make you sick as well – opening your window during the night for air ventilation and avoiding enclosed rooms with anyone ill will help you avoid more airborne contamination.

The last immediate thing you should do is Increase your Fluids – Especially Water!

I carry a water bottle with me at all times and the only other drink I have regularly is a cup or two of tea – so basically leaf water. With my new water bottle, I drink about 12 cups a day – about 96 oz daily- as a minimum. This minimum is a must on days surrounded by sick people and while working out (a must which I’ll touch on later).

Beyond just water, I always increase teas when I feel any kind of tickle. It’s a great way to break up anything that might be settling in your chest. Plus with a lot of choices in teas you can make combinations that help you stay awake, sleep better, or just clam yourself. I tend to switch between a basic black and cinnamon combo and a ginger green tea brew.

The best way to keep off any illness, however, is to work out long term strategies – basically Eat Well and Exercise Regularly!

Right now I am in the middle of both training for a 10k and on week two of the 21 Day Fix. I’m not doing the meal plan but I am watching proportions. I am working on upping my veg intake as soon as I get to the market! Maybe I’ll be able to put up a few healthy recipes getting me through these weeks in a few of these posts.

P.S. Get some Sleep!

I know that in our world sleep can feel overrated and no matter how much we love it, there always feels like there are so many other things we can/should be doing. But, let’s be honest, there really is little else that does as much good for us overall. Proper amount of sleep – with REM cycles and everything – is the point when longterm memory is stored and when your body gets its recovery time. Without sleep, it doesn’t matter how much caffine you drink to stay up, a few days without proper rest basically has your system in drunk mode. And how are you meant to get anything done – especially for your health – if your body is malfunctioning  and malnourished because you couldn’t be bothered to sleep!

The fact is your overall health is the main factor which will dictate your ability to fight off any kind of illness. None of these pieces of advice will do you much good of you start after you are already ill – then you are just playing catch up. Making healthy choices when you aren’t sick will be the one thing that can really keep you from getting sick, even when the world around you seems to be coughing without any relief.

Still no matter how healthy you are and what steps you take to avoid illness, it can always hit so send me happy thoughts for another week without catching whatever it is circling and I’ll wish you the same.

  • Taylor Gallagher
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