February 26, 2013

Training while Blogging...or Blogging while Training

I started my blog about two weeks before I started training for my first half-marathon and have relied on it to chronicle my training, seek advice from other runners and just reflect on how things are going.

This time around, since I'm going with the no plan training plan for the Potomac River Run Marathon, I've been much more quiet about my training and have relied on my Believe I Am Journal and DailyMile to keep tabs on how things are going.

Today though, I realize just how important it has been to keep all of that information readily available.

Yesterday, on my way to work, I got hit with some pretty sharp pain on the outside of my left foot. It hurt to put any kind of weight on my foot and the pain has continued through today.

That's where it hurts

This happened to me while I was training for Marine Corps and I distinctly remember blogging about it but don't really remember the outcome. Insert the search feature of my blog and what do I find: I had this exact same problem 3 days before I went to my friend Devon's wedding in Texas 2 years ago.

Ironically, I'm going to a wedding this weekend and have the same pain.

According to my experience with this, I took a few days off, RICE-d and was absolutely fine in one week (and still managed to dance my face off at the wedding).

I'm staying optimistic that it's the same case so we'll see what happens. I'm just hoping I'm in shape for my the 17 mile run and wedding reception dance fest I have planned for this Saturday.

Hopefully I'll be back on my feet foot without jeopardizing too many miles!

Now, I'm still going with the no training plan plan, and writing about things as they pop up, but for now, I'll just say that aside from this small set back, training is going really well and I'm really happy that I'm not glued to a spreadsheet. I've been doing regular hills and speed work and am starting to feel like the paces I've always been terrified of, are getting way, way easier which is awesome.

Do you use your blog to write about your training? Ever gone back to look something up and found your old posts to be useful?

February 25, 2013

Love/Don't Love

1. Oops...I went home to see my Mama this weekend. I was in the not so great state of New Jersey for approximately 36 hours, during which it rained cats and dogs, I stayed up entirely too late every night talking to my mom and got to see all of my family. Love.

2. I. am. exhausted. Staying up until 1am, taking an early flight out back to DC then running 15 miles does not exactly make for an easy Monday morning. I woke up with no problem but man oh man was I moving slow. Don't Love.

3. I watched the Oscars last night (I never watch Awards shows) and I kind of loved them. I think that secretly I don't watch them, because I still feel like I should be a movie star, but I'm 26 now. Time to get over it. Plus, this guy was on my TV all night. Love.

I just can't. He is so gorgeous.
4. I signed up for Foodie Pen Pals on Lindsay's blog and didn't think I would do it again because I was really angry that it cost me $22 just to ship my package...but then my partner received her package and loved it and I got mine and got hooked up so I'm definitely going to do it again. Go check it out! It's awesome! I'll be posting on Thursday about my goodies, but here's a little sneak peek! Love.

5. Oh so that whole...Oops, I went to New Jersey this weekend...definitely keeps me on track for my 2013 goal of getting on a plane at least once per month. So far, I'm at 3 plane rides in January (Newark > Dallas > Houston > DC) and 2 in February (DC > Newark > DC). Even though it's only a 40 minute flight, it still counts! Love.

6. I ran 15 miles yesterday. It was hard. It also looked like this. Don't Love.

Whoever said there are no hills in DC lied their face off.
I had never gone past Mile 5 on the trail because I always either crossed the bridge or turned around...this time I decided to keep going...and this is what happened. Mile 7.5 was my turn around, FYI...I can't wait to see what lies beyond that...not.

7. Today, I woke up feeling pretty great after yesterday's run. Then, I got off the Metro to make the long walk to work and realized that it hurts to put any weight on my left foot unless I walk on the inside of my foot, with the outside up in the air...which results in me walking kind of funny. Don't Love.

8. Was anyone else surprised that Anna Karenina didn't get more Oscar nominations than it did? I definitely think it should have won Best Cinematography. The movie was so beautifully done. I liked Life of Pi, but I think Anna took risks in film that worked and resulted in absolutely beautiful moving picture. Don't Love.

That's that! I've got a To-Do list a mile long this week!
How was your weekend? Attend any Oscar parties?
I just might have to throw one next year! 
Happy Monday! 

February 22, 2013

Random Facts Friday

1. I can't remember if it's Random Facts Friday or Random Friday Facts but I'm too lazy to look it up on Katie's blog.

2. I absolutely loathe peas. I think they're absolutely disgusting.

3. I also hate marshmallows. The idea of a 'smore' does not appeal to me.

4. When I was little, I used to spend the summers at my dad's house. I threatened to run away from home at least once a summer but never made it further than half way down the street before the wild dogs and coyotes started howling and I ran back as fast as I could in sheer terror with my Little Mermaid backpack bouncing along on my back.

5. Also when I was little, one of my big sisters used to tell me I looked like a Gremlin and it always made me cry. She also told me I came from the Cabbage Patch.

6. I'm drinking a really bad cup of coffee right now and it makes me sad.

7. I know I've only been here for 2 months but I don't think I ever want to leave. Unless it's to move back to London...in which case, my bags would already be packed.

8. I still haven't signed up for my marathon yet and it's giving me anxiety.

9. I've always had really good handwriting (I blame Catholic school) but I think it might be deteriorating, so I've made it a point to start writing every night just to keep my handwriting nice.

10. I've been a vegetarian for almost 7 years. I very occasionally eat seafood and never, ever meat...unless, you roast a pig and put it in front of me, in which case, I can't resist...but that's only happened once since I've gone veg.

11. I don't like Oreo cream. I prefer the cookie. Most people think that's weird...I think I'm the best friend ever because I will always give you the cream side of the Oreo. 

February 21, 2013

Workout Crazies and Homemade Yogurt

I have an embarrassing confession to make.

Last night, I did hill repeats on the treadmill at the gym. 7 repeats for 6 miles. It was tough. My legs were absolutely crushed from Tuesday night's hot yoga session at Downdog and I had had a pretty exhausting day, but I needed to get my workout in.

It was tough and everything about my gym was bothering me. The news was on with no sound and I was giving myself a headache trying to read subtitles. The news wasn't displaying the time. There was a man next to me on the treadmill with his 6-year-old son on the treadmill next to him and he kept yelling things in Chinese at the little boy. Another guy on the treadmill was on his phone the whole time yelling into it. It was just a mentally tough workout.

So, what did I do? I turned my now almost 2-years-old mix of pop songs (Rihanna, Miley and Ke$ha, of course) on full blast and I coached myself through the workout like I was a spin instructor. (all inside myself, don't worry - I was not yelling to myself at the gym). It was the most ridiculous thing I have ever done to get myself through a workout, but hey - it worked.


After my workout, I poured myself a glass of wine, ate the rest of my birthday macaroons, and watched reruns of The Big Bang Theory with a very needy puppy and a very tired puppy and PASSED out.

<3 these two
For a 3 day weekend, this week has been exhausting. I'm ready for the weekend already. Welcome back to my life marathon training. I'm hitting higher mileage than I've ever hit this early in training but I'm feeling strong and happy, albeit tired and ravenous. Last night, after dinner, I was standing at the kitchen table, looking at The Pilot, when he says, "Are you ok? You look like you want to eat me right now." Clearly one dinner is not enough for this marathoner in training anymore.

Speaking of eating, my February plan to 'Commit to Cooking' is going amazingly. I've tried so many awesome new recipes and can't wait to share them all! My most recent endeavor: Homemade Vanilla Greek Yogurt. It came out a little bit thin but I think I figured out why, so stay tuned while I perfect the recipe!

For the amount of yogurt I eat, this will definitely be a way to save on my grocery shopping once I manage to perfect the recipe!

What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get yourself through a tough workout?
Have you made your own yogurt? What's your favorite thing to make, rather than buy?

Happy Thursday

February 20, 2013

The Birthday Weekend

I had a fabulous birthday weekend complete with good friends, good wine, delicious macaroons, a fantastic massage, oysters, running, quality time with The Pilot basically all of my absolute favorite things. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

Speaking of cupcakes, they were from this place...sent by Mom.

Georgetown Cupcakes - star of the show DC Cupcakes
(Sadly, I have never seen the show, but now I know I need to!) Now, my mom has always subscribed to a very simple rule in life - calories don't count on weekends or on your birthday. So, when I opened the box to find a dozen cupcakes, I knew I had to abide by Mom's rule and not let these babies go to waste. So, I had two on Friday night, two on Saturday, 1 on Sunday and refrigerated the rest and am down to 3 left, which I definitely dove into after hot yoga last night.

They've surprisingly kept quite well in the fridge.

I also did some shopping this weekend courtesy of major President's Day weekend sales. My favorite purchase? This top which I wore out to drinks at Jaleo on Saturday night.

If there hadn't been 17 people in front of me at The Gap and only one person at the register (seriously?), I would've bought in every color they had but I didn't realize that it was on sale until after I had already been wrung up. Rude.

The Pilot was home this weekend and we also took a trip to my new favorite store ever, World Market, to pick up some things for the apartment.

On Sunday, we went to check out the Newseum. I've been wanting to check out this museum dedicated to all things news and journalism since it opened a few years ago and I was not disappointed. It's one of the few museums in DC that you have to pay for but it's well worth it. So much so that The Pilot and I bought an annual membership! They have a JFK exhibit opening in April and I can't wait to go back and check that out. The museum is definitely overwhelming and we missed quite a bit but some of my favorite things were:
  • The History Gallery featuring front page newspapers dating back as far as the 18th century with top headlines including: the sinking of the Titanic, the abolition of slavery, Marilyn Monroe found dead, the Beatles' first trip to the US, etc. 
Original copy of The New York Herald - the morning after the Titanic sunk
  • The 9/11 Gallery featuring over 100 newspaper front pages from September 11, as well as a tribute to a journalist William Biggart who went into the WTC site as everything was unfolding. His last photo, timestamped at the exact time that the 2nd tower fell, shows the tower coming down right over him. It was really powerful.
  • The stunning views from the Terrace.

I had Monday off and, I laid pretty low, commemorating President's Day by going for a run among the monuments dedicated to the presidents. It was frigidly cold, but it was well worth it.

Yesterday, it was back to work followed by an insane sweat fest with at Downdog Yoga.

So that's that! How's your week shaping up? I love that it's already Wednesday! Three day weekends are the best!

February 14, 2013

Obligatory Valentine's Day Post

Happy Valentine's Day y'all! My date tonight is a puppy who is really depressed that her owner is gone and made me want to tear my hair out when she decided to go absolutely nuts at 3:30 this morning.

Seriously though...sad puppy much? She curled up into a ball after The Pilot left and didn't move until I took her out...and then she crawled back into her little ball and stayed there until the next morning.

Sad puppy much?
I promise I take good care of her. She just likes him better.

So yea, I stayed home from work yesterday after leaving early on Tuesday with I don't know what. I just felt awful and had no energy whatsoever. It was clearly a 24 hour thing because by 4pm yesterday, I felt fine and the 20 second failed treadmill run I had tried earlier in the day turned into 6 1/2 miles of hill repeats on the treadmill chased with a 45 minute yoga DVD.


My goal for doing yoga at least twice this week has been achieved.

I found this on the website for the yoga DVDs that I've been doing.
It's Valentine's Day so it's appropriate. 
Let's try and keep that up. If I get a strength workout in this week, hell is freezing over. We'll see though. It's my birthday week so I may just surprise myself.

Did you hear that? Tomorrow is my birthday! It's funny, I have a bunch of friends who have turned 26 in the last few weeks (including The Pilot) and I seem to be the only one who doesn't feel like 26 is OMG soooo old! What?! People - calm down!

My grandmother is 87-years-old and still salsa dances like she's 22...which means I have at least 60 years ahead of me before I start to feel old. Age isn't just a number - it's what you make it. 26 is the new 25 and I'm gonna have some fun this year enjoying my youth while the 'old' 26-year-olds continue to lament about how 'old' they are.

You know why 26 is amazing? Because it's the number of miles in a marathon! I wish I was badass enough to run a marathon this weekend but I'm not. Don't worry - I'll definitely get in my fair share of 26.2s while I'm 26. After all, it's only fitting.

So while I'll most likely be spending Valentine's Day getting it on with my treadmill and my yoga mat, I'm excited that The Pilot finagled his schedule so that he would be home tomorrow to celebrate my birthday...after I get a massage, courtesy of my place of employment...and eat a fistful of macaroons, courtesy of the macaroon place that I just discovered in Georgetown.

Happy Valentine's Day!

How are you celebrating tonight? Whether single or spoken for, I sincerely hope it's by stuffing your face full of sweets!

PS: Don't forget to check out Planes, Trains and Running Shoes on Facebook

February 12, 2013

Recipe: Quinoa Mac & Cheese

Sunday, after spending the day running long, cleaning dog hair off of every surface of my house (it never goes away) and realizing that I was running low on groceries, I decided to try a recipe that I had tried once before (but didn't quite work) and make it better. Take two of my pantry staples: quinoa and cheddar cheese, and you've got a fantastic combination!

I basically looked up 17 different recipes on Pinterest and combined them all into my own sort of amalgamation based on the ingredients in my pantry and what I actually like, so I bring you:

Quinoa Mac & Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes and Broccoli

1 cup quinoa
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used soy, but you can use regular just the same)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (or any kind of cheese you like, as long as it melts!)
2 vine tomatoes
1 1/2 cups broccoli (or vegetable of your choosing)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp dried basil
Pinch sea salt & black pepper
Crushed red pepper (optional)
Breadcrumbs (optional)

For the Roasted Tomatoes
*So I actually made these 2 nights before for another meal and forgot to put them in said meal so I recycled them in a way. Also, the recipe called for plum tomatoes but I bought the wrong kind*

Clearly, I am a chef in the making.

-Preheat oven to 400
-In a bowl, mix yellow onion, sugar, olive oil, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Add halved tomatoes, making sure to coat evenly.

-Coat a cooking sheet with olive oil, vegetable oil or Pam (whatever you like, I used Pam)
-Arrange tomatoes on sheet, cut side up ad roast for 20 minutes
-When they finish cooking, cut them into quarters (or bite-sized pieces)

For the Quinoa
-Cook quinoa according to package directions (if your package doesn't recommend that you rinse the quinoa first, you should. Read why here)
-Cook your vegetables (I boiled the broccoli)
-Whisk 1 cup milk with 2 eggs in a large bowl
-When the quinoa has finished cooking, add it to the milk/egg mixture

-Add the cheese and stir, allowing some of the cheese to melt
-In a baking dish coated with cooking spray (I used 8x8), add the roasted tomatoes and broccoli and pour the quinoa & cheese mixture over it.
-Sprinkle with crushed red pepper (if you want) and evenly pour bread crumbs on top
-Bake for 20-30 minutes
-Serve and eat!

Sorry, not the greatest picture but it's really tasty!
*Notes: Cooking/prep time is approximately 40 minutes.

Have you ever made quinoa mac and cheese? Think you'll try it out? If you do, let me know and I'll be sure to post some of your variations!

Happy Cooking!

February 11, 2013

Love/Don't Love

1. Today, today, today. Today is one of those Monday mornings that feels like a Monday morning. I hate that. Don't Love.
2. You know what we need to talk about? Music. There is so much good music out today. Mumford & Sons? Imagine Dragons? The Lumineers? For the first time since high school, I want to listen to music all day, every day. I love that my long runs are getting longer so that I can just listen to great music for hours on end. Even though I've been long running without music this training cycle, that's all going to change with this weekend's run. Love.

Imagine Dragons - "It's Time
Mumford & Sons - "I Will Wait"

These songs are enough to turn my Monday morning around. 
3. Downton Abbey. Last night was the first time I've been able to watch the show when it actually aired since I've just been catching up with it. I can't get enough of how good that show is. Maggie Smith is just so unbelievable. Love. 
4. I was sick this weekend. I'm still feeling kind of under the weather but  Saturday? I didn't get out of bed all day. I tried to do a yoga video and got 20 minutes into it before I had to lay down. Don't Love.
5. Last night, I made quinoa mac & cheese with roasted tomatoes and broccoli for dinner. It was amazing. The Pilot had 3 servings of it and I still had enough for lunch! I'll be posting the recipe soon so look out for it! Love.

6. #runchat was so awesome last night! If you're a runner and don't participate in the bi-monthly Twitter chat, I highly recommend you do! I met so many amazing runners last night and can't wait to follow all of their blogs/tweets. Love.
7. As part of my 'Commit to Cooking' plan for this month, I made a great breakfast this morning. I get tired of my standard - frozen waffles with peanut or almond butter and bananas or apples - routine and made this oatmeal mixture that I found on Pinterest. It was delicious! Love.

1 mashed (very ripe) banana, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, dash of vanilla (I used way too much but it was so good), 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds (optional).
Original recipe found here.
8. I've been doing ok with meal planning but I get so frustrated when I go to the grocery store and they don't have something I need. It throws off my whole meal plan. Don't Love.
9. My boss just told me that on our birthdays, they send all employees out for a massage. I'm so excited for Friday now! Love.
10. Yea, about that...Friday is my birthday! Love.

So that's that, 10 things I'm loving and not loving so much on this Monday morning. I'm now 12 weeks out from the marathon, so it's time to start incorporating more strength, cross and yoga training into my weeks! I'm taking today as a Rest Day and planning to do a yoga DVD when I get home from work.

I did some work on my blog this weekend - I updated all of my pages and made a blog button! Feel free to grab it! I also made a Facebook page for the blog so make sure you check it out and 'Like' it here. 

What are your plans for the week? Anything going on for Valentine's Day? Does anyone want to be my date on Valentine's Day? (The Pilot will be out of town) I'm thinking yoga and maybe some Sweet Green to chase it down? DC area peeps, let me know!

Happy Monday!

February 9, 2013

On Running

When an email from the #RunChat team popped up in my inbox the other day with a chance to win some sweet prizes by simply writing a blog post about why you love running, I jumped at the change. While I consider my entire blog to be a profession to my love about running, why not take a chance to do one of my favorite things - make a list about it.
So, here it is - the things I love about running (in no particular order).

1. A sense of accomplishment. Whether it's nailing a tempo run, PRing in a race, executing a race to near perfection, finding the time to run on a day you didn't think you would, running offers so many opportunities to feel accomplished.
2. The camaraderie. I've met some of my absolute favorite people through running and I've become a better runner because of all of them. We've all been through this before and most of us never had runner friends when we decided to do this and that, in itself brings us all closer together.

I get bonus points for posting a pic of me with the #runchat guys right? RIGHT?!
3. Time to Think Things Through. A bad day at work. A fight with someone you care about. Writer's block. Whatever it is - running unplugged gives me a chance to forget about everything, settle into a nice comfortable pace and just get lost in my thoughts. I would never have finished my Master's thesis if I wasn't training for a marathon while doing so.
4. Race Bling. Who doesn't love race bling? People who don't are weird to me. Like people who don't like chocolate.

5. The reaction on people's faces when I tell them "26.2 miles" after they ask how long a marathon is. Priceless.
6. Having a seemingly never ending appetite after a long run. And feeling no guilt whatsoever when asking for a second order of pancakes and ordering a 3rd mimosa at brunch.

7. The nervous excitement I get at every start line. I hope that it never, ever goes away.
8. New running gear. Clothes, shoes, accessories, tech-y stuff. Whatever it is, there's nothing like new running gear to get you to want to lace up no matter how sore you might be from your last run.

So there you have it, my love list of running.
What do you love about running? Make your own list and spread the love on #runchat here.
If you do make a list, leave a link in the comments, I'd love to read it!

February 7, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. The Run Commute - Yesterday, I got up a little bit earlier than normal for work and had some time to kill around the apartment. It wasn't enough time to work out but I was looking at the weather and decided that I would try to run home so I packed a bag, brought my stuff to work and headed out at 5:15 to run home. I had forgotten my Garmin and purposely didn't bring head phones and it was great! It was such a great way to get my workout in. It saved me the $3 ride home and I got home at the same time I would have if I had taken the Metro! My commute is a little bit over 5 miles and I got to watch the sun setting over DC on my way home. I'll definitely be running home from work again!

The sun setting over DC on my commute home
2. Girl Chasers - I don't know if any of you have ever encountered the types of runners I like to call 'girl chasers' but I've noticed a few of them here in DC and decided it was time to bring it up. Picture this: You're out running, there are a fair amount of other runners around but you're on your, you're into a groove, you're feeling good. All of a sudden, you hear foot steps behind you, you don't think anything of it, it's just another runner. They're getting closer and closer and you look over your shoulder to see them right at your tail. They sprint ahead, pass you, get right back in front of you and SLOW DOWN. I like to call them girl chasers. It's always guys. They see a girl in front of them and think "I have to pass her" and then slow wayyyy down in front of you to the point where you have to go out of your way to go around them. Last week, when I was running long, I came up on 2 guys who were walking. Every time I ran up ahead of them, they would sprint ahead and start walking again once they passed me. It drives me crazy!

3. February - February is always one of those months that just flies by. Between The Pilot's birthday (tomorrow!), Valentine's Day, my birthday (next week!) and the fact that it's the shortest month of the year, it always just flies by...and then March comes in and drags on forever and a day. I was hoping to Oops my way to Toronto this weekend with The Pilot on one of his trips but this snow storm that we're expecting might seriously derail that! I hope it doesn't ruin my plans of getting on a plane at least once a month! We'll see!

That's all I've got for today! Have you ever commuted via running? 
What's your stance on girl chasers? Ever come across them?

Happy Thursday!

February 4, 2013

Love/Don't Love

1. I worked out this morning! I got in 4 miles before 7am ON A MONDAY. Y'all, this is huge. Maybe I can be a morning runner after all! Love.
2.I lost my camera somewhere between October and November and it has made blogging so much more difficult. I hate taking pictures on my phone so if I don't have my camera, more often than not, I won't take a picture. Don't Love.
3. My hair has gotten soooo long since the summer and it's finally at a point where I can where it naturally because it's a the "right" length for my curls. Love.

4. That being said, I'm getting my hair cut tonight. Not too much though! Love. 
5. I desperately need more yoga in my life. Don't Love.
6. This whole "no training plan" plan is going swimmingly runningly...I'm allowed to say that right? I've never felt so relaxed during a training cycle. Love. 
7. I had more on my mind than I knew what to do with last night and barely slept a wink but working out this morning totally cleared that out of the way so that I could start my work week with happy thoughts. Don't Love/Love.

My weekend was pretty low key... 3 hour champagne brunch with the girls, cuddling under blankets watching episodes of Downton, meeting Christine for the first time and running long together, having a Super Bowl party for 2 with The Pilot and going to bed during the black out...all the makings of a nice, easy, low key weekend.

That's that! Hope your Mondays are off to a great start!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...