June 25, 2012

Another DC Weekend

The frequency of my trips to DC has lately started to make me feel like each time the wheels touch down at Washington Reagan International, I'm home.

I can't even begin to explain how much I've fallen in love with DC over the last few years and, especially the last few months.

Washington, DC has lately become, in a way that New York City was for so long, my home away from home. 

This weekend's trip to DC involved a lot of firsts.

It was the first time I didn't get lost.
It was the first time someone asked me for directions and I was able to give them directions, without saying, "I'm sorry, I'm not from around here."
It was the first time I saw the monuments at night.

Oh the monuments at night...we'll get there in a second.

I got to DC on Thursday morning and Andrea picked me up from the airport, swung me by her place to drop off my stuff and get changed and head to my first meeting of the day.

In between meetings, I stopped at Shake Shack to fulfill a major craving. Shake Shack in DC? I fit in here really well.

At Shake Shack, on a Thursday afternoon at 2:30, there was a bridal party chowing down on some burgers and fries. Awesome.

I headed to my 2nd meeting and then spent the afternoon wandering around DC before meeting up with Emily for some quality marathon talk over a few beers.

Friday involved trekking out to Friendship Heights (Maryland) for another meeting and then some quality shopping in the area where I bought an amazing dress for a summer wedding for only $25. Score!

I made my way back to Alexandria and Andrea and I headed out for beer flights, fro yo and a Harry Potter movie night. Low key at it's finest.

Saturday morning, we headed to Rock Creek Park for a gorgeous 6 mile run through the trails in the park. I didn't bring my Garmin and it was the perfect way to start the morning. Rock Creek Park is beautiful. After our run, we had some French Toast and then lounged around by the pool for the afternoon.

Andrea and I in front of The Capitol
The Pilot was due to land late that afternoon for a long DC layover so we met up with him and made our way to Eastern Market for dinner. We walked around the area for awhile before making our way toward Penn Quarter for drinks and then heading out to see the monuments at night.

First up, The White House. The Pilot had never seen the front of The White House (I don't think) so that's where we headed.

See that light on in the window between the 1st and 2nd columns? Let's zoom in.
That would be Malia and Sasha Obama dancing in the window of the White House. What other little girls would be dancing in the windows of the White House at 10pm?

After savoring the moment of being closer to the Obama family as I will ever get, we headed toward the Washington Monument to meet my friend Adam and see the rest of the monuments.

Me and my handsome Pilot
The WWII Memorial has always been one of my favorites...at night, it's absolutely breathtaking.

We spent a lot of time just sitting on the water looking out toward Mr. Lincoln and just chatting. It was a warm summer night and it was a perfect moment.

Last but not least, we walked up to see the ever impressive Lincoln Memorial.

It was the perfect night in DC. If you live in DC and have never seen the monuments at night, do yourself a favor and go see them. If you're planning to travel to DC this summer, make sure you plan a night to stroll through the monuments and see them up close at night. Those white marble monuments are beautiful but at night...they're simply breathtaking.

Sunday morning, I was up bright and early to catch my flight to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky where I am for the next few days relaxing with my best friend and her family. It's times like these that make me love summer.

Tell Me: What did you do this weekend? Have you ever seen the DC monuments at night? Do you have a place that you consider your 'home away from home?'

Have a GREAT week!

June 21, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. A Week Away - As I said on Monday, I'm DC bound today! My all too frequent (yet not frequent enough) trips to DC have been all about work and play (the perfect balance) so this time around, I'll be in meetings today and tomorrow and staying with my baseball loving twin for a great weekend. Sunday morning, I'm headed to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to spend a week in Cincinati and Northern Kentucky with my best friend from high school. It'ss going to be an awesome weekend/week full of running, baseball, brunch, and staying up entirely too late and I can't wait.

2. Serious Workouts - With the heat advisory in effect for yesterday, I decided to play it safe and bring my run indoors for the day. The Pilot and I headed to the gym after breakfast and I got 3 miles in on the treadmill before jumping in the pool for a few laps. Positively spent from that, we refueled at Chipotle and then decided to bring his golf clubs to the driving range so that I could learn how to golf. Now, my boyfriend isn't a serious golfer and I don't know that I learned very much but we had fun and OMG golfing is a serious workout! My arms were so sore when I got home last night that it hurt to carry water to the table. I will never mock golfers again and if I ever learn how to hit the ball in the direction I want it to go, I may actually take up the sport as a new hobby!

3. New Reads - Lately, I've been drifting from the normal books I usually read - Classics, Fiction, Political Affairs & Global Issues - and reading out of the sports section. This has been totally unintentional but so far I'm liking the change. It's nice to read something completely different than what I'm used to. Last week, I finished "Boweman and the Men of Oregon," a biography of Bill Boweman, famed Oregon and US Olympic Track Coach (of greats like Stev Prefontaine, Frank Shorter and Bill Dellinger) and co-founder of Nike (with former Man of Oregon, Phil Knight). The book was absolutely fantastic. It was the first time I've ever read a book about running and I'll definitely be reading more.
Currently, I'm reading "The Bad Guys Won" subtitle - 'A Season of Brawling, Boozing, Bimbo Chasing, and Championship BASEBALL with...the 1986 Mets, the Rowdiest Team ever to Put on a New York Uniform - and Maybe the Best"...a book that makes me love my favorite baseball team that much more!

So that's that! It has taken me approximately 12 hours to write this post so it's time to finally put it (and me) to bed.

Now tell me: Are you a golfer? Have you ever golfed? Any tips? Have you ever ventured from your favorite book genre? What are you currently reading?

June 14, 2012


This weekend, I made my way across the border to Toronto with my mom for a short little weekend away.

My mom has an office in Toronto so she travels there quite a bit. I went up with her 2 years ago and we went to a Blue Jays game and visited the CN Tower. This time around, we aimed to do less tourist-y things and more seeing the city.

We landed on Saturday afternoon and after an enormous debacle of trying to rent a car and actually leave the airport, we checked into our hotel in the Financial District.

We had stayed in the same hotel the last time we went and it was nice and in a great location, but I think next time around, I want to stay somewhere else and explore some different parts of the city.

Our hotel was right near City Hall and when we parked the car, we had to walk across this little plaza to get to our hotel.

The hotel also had a waterfall where I spotted this little guy hangin' out.

Mom and I were craving seafood so we made our way to King Street to check out the restaurant scene there before deciding on Big Daddy's where we had the most incredible oysters and seafood.

I was pretty exhausted by the time we finished dinner since I had raced that morning, so we headed back to the hotel to call it a night.

Saturday morning, we made our way out of the city to my mom's company picnic but not before stopping at a fantastic bakery in The Bay to pick up some treats to bring to the picnic. Seriously? O&B Artisan? My new favorite place.

I've already eaten half of them. Oops.
Post-picnic, it was time to head back to the city and take a walk along the Harbourfront.

The weather was gorgeous and lots of people were out and about!
This is apparently what they call a "beach." Hmm.
Check out my gorgeous Mama.
After our walk along the water, we made our way for a late dinner before calling it a night. When we got back to our hotel, the sun was just setting and I snapped a picture of this beautiful sunset from our hotel window.

Monday, while Mom was at work, I spent some quality time by the pool before getting a much-needed sports massage and heading to the airport to make our flight home.

It was a great little weekend trip away, but after spending most of last week in DC and the weekend in Toronto, it's good to be back home for a few days before I take off on my next adventure!

Have you ever tagged along on a business trip with one of your parents? Where did you go? Ever been to Toronto? What do you like to do there?

June 12, 2012

Race Recap: NYRR Mini 10k

Hello! Welcome to Summer...when I am forget to write blog posts because I am too busy doing summery things like going to the beach running in the rain.

This weekend brought my blog's namesake to full force as Saturday involved running shoes, trains and planes on my way from New York City to Toronto.

First up, the NYRR Mini 10k. I had crashed at my friend Emily's the night before and after some proper carb loading with salads and 16 Handles, was up early to make my way to Central Park for my first NYRR event of the year.

Yes, I said first. I'd be perfectly content if the only other NYRR race I run this year is the NYC Marathon. After running 9 of them last year, I need a break from paying to run in Central Park.

The race...sucked. It did last year too. I think I'm hanging my hat and officially retiring from the 10k distance...or maybe I should run a flat 10k rather than the 3 I've done which have all been notoriously hilly and plagued by heat and humidity.

I didn't really sleep well the night before and was absolutely exhausted at the start. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good in the first few miles and pushed through. I didn't have a goal for this race but I thought a PR would be easy, given that I was much more in shape for this year's race than I was for last year's.

The Harlem Hills were much more difficult than usual. The humidity at the top of those hills was pretty brutal and I found myself out of breath on the descent. The tough part of Central Park's northernmost hills is that while, after the first hill, there's a pretty significant descent but after the second, the terrain just kind of evens out. Mile 4 was my slowest mile but I was happy to have been able to keep the pace sub-9.

Let's talk about a little thing called consistency, shall we?
This is probably the most consistent run I've ever done.
Well except for Madrid...which doesn't count since I bonked at Mile 20.
When we got to the last mile and a half or so, it was so humid, I just wanted to be done. I knew that my 10k PR from last year's Mini was in the 53 range and I was coming up on that. I crossed in 53:50...14 seconds off my PR. What bummed me out about it was that my Garmin measured 6.32...which would have given me that PR, but unfortunately Garmin distance doesn't count and running the tangents in Central Park is almost impossible.

But hey, at least I got a sweet medal out of the deal...and some popsicles...and the chance to hang out with some sweet runner girls.

I'm loving the "RUN FOR LIFE" motto on on the back
Jocelyn, Celia, Susan and Christine
Photo courtesy of Christine, taken by Kevin
Post-race, after hanging out in the park with the lovely running/blogging ladies of New York City, we made out way over to Whym for brunch. I had just enough time to down a Bloody Mary and some fruit before making my way to Penn Station to catch a train to the airport before boarding my flight to Toronto. Brunch was short and sweet but it was great to see everyone and rehash all of our race stories.

Next up on the blog: Adventures in Toronto.

Have you ever raced a 10k? How do you feel about the distance? Am I the only one who would rather run a Half than a 10k any day of the week?

Hope you all had a great weekend!

June 4, 2012

Love/Don't Love

1.I'm DC bound this afternoon for a few days of work and play! DC is seriously my home away from home. Love.
2. The weather forecast in New York for this week looks absolutely abysmal. Don't Love. 
3. The Mets' Johan Santana pitched the first ever No-Hitter in Mets' history. Love. Love. Love.

I think he's saying "Dios mio, no puedo creer que yo lo hice!"
4. I wanted to get up and go for a run before my flight this afternoon but it's raining and that means that I can't just run, dry shampoo my hair and hop on a plane. Don't Love.
5. I'm oddly excited for Marathon Training to start next month. Love.
6. As of 3 days ago, I only had 2 more races on my calendar for the rest of 2012. This weekend, I added a Half-Mari (MDI in October) to my schedule but I'd still like to add a few other races. Love/Don't Love.
7. I'm going to Canada this weekend! It will be only my 2nd trip (including Madrid) that won't be an "Oops" in almost a year...although, I did decide to go all of 2 days ago. Love.

That's what's going on this rainy Monday morning! 
How was your weekend?
What's on your race calendar for the rest of this year?
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