July 29, 2013

He asked...

...and I said, "Are you serious right now?"

Thursday was perfect. 

I woke up slightly worse for the wear after drinks with Emily to celebrate her big move. I headed to work and took my lunch break to go for an easy 3 miles around the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool.

I got back to the office and The Pilot called to say that he had just gotten back from another trip and asked what I wanted to do for dinner. I had an acupuncture appointment but we made plans to meet up somewhere in Dupont afterward and grab dinner.

My acupuncture place is right across the street from the Shake Shack, so naturally I told The Pilot to meet me there.

We ate and talked about his trip and what had been going on over the last 3 days since he had been gone and then he suggested that we take a trip down to the National Mall to see the Washington Monument. They just relit it about a week and a half ago and we had yet to see it, so we moseyed on down to the Mall. It was an absolutely gorgeous night in DC.

My knee was bothering me so we sat down on a bench between the White House and the Mall and just sat there talking. The sun was just starting to set and I was telling him all about my run and how much I love living in DC and being able to just go for a run around the monuments or take an evening stroll and walk off dinner. 

Then I suggested that we walk down to the World War II Memorial, which is my favorite monument in DC.

Little did I know that I had just kicked his grand not-so-planned plan into gear. We walked over to the WWII Memorial and sat down on the steps between the Memorial and the Washington Monument and just sat there staring at the Monument as the sun was setting.

The Pilot looked over at me and asked me if I remembered the first time we came to this Memorial. Of course I did, it was 3 years ago...the summer before I started grad school. We were with Andrea and my friend Adam and his little sister. He made a comment about how far we've come since then, moving to DC together, etc. 

He told me he loved me and asked me if I minded standing up for a minute. I asked why and he told me not to worry about it. I stood up and he got down on one knee with a box in his hand and asked me to marry him. 

My immediate response was, "Are you serious right now?" He laughed and said, "Yes" and of course, I said, "Yes." 

He got up and we started hugging and kissing and I was jumping up and down before he finally said, "Well, do you want your ring?" and he put the most beautiful ring on my finger and said, "We're engaged! You're my fiancee now!"

I had absolutely no idea that this was coming. He took me by complete and utter surprise and he honestly couldn't have planned it more perfectly if he tried. Of course, my phone had died about 2 hours before he proposed so calling all of our family and friends was somewhat challenging, but we managed.

We left the Mall and got in touch with Jenna to see if she wanted to meet up. I was too excited to just go home right away! So, we met up in Chinatown and Jenna took us to RFD and bought us a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

It was the perfect ending to the perfect night which kicked off the best weekend of my life. All of the phone calls and text messages and voicemails from all of our family and friends have showering us with overwhelming love and support has made me so unbelievably happy right now.

We're engaged!

July 25, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. On Not Going to Yoga - Last week, I tweeted that I was kicking off my 30 Day Yoga Challenge Take 2. That lasted a total of 2 days before I realized that my OCD major Type A cannot start something on a random Tuesday and that it would probably be best to wait until August 1. It's a good thing I did this because I had grand plans of going to Yoga in the Park last night with Emily who, upon meeting up in Dupont Circle informed me that she had just gotten some incredibly exciting news and immediately need to celebrate in a form that was more craft beer than crow pose.

2. Acupuncture - When I hurt my knee before the NYC Marathon that wasn't, my doctor recommended acupuncture. Brief history of my relationship with needles: When I had my knee surgery in 2003, I threw a tantrum that would show up a 2-year-old for a solid hour before letting them inject me with an IV drip. I don't do well with needles but when your doctor tells you that needles are going to get you across the Finish in your goal time, you go for needles. Recently, I found an acupuncturist in DC and went for my first session last week. I have my 2nd today and am planning to go at least once a week until I get my knee pain sorted out. I've had a good week so far and have had some pain over the last 2 days but I'm optimistic.

3. #Throwback Thursday - I see these posts all over the internet every Thursday and have never had anything to contribute. Well, this weekend, my sister sent me this gem that my grandma gave her.

That is me at 3-years-old rockin' some sweet shades, a Care Bear t-shirt and my first pair of roller skates. I was basically a 90s style icon. 

July 24, 2013

Right Now

Reading: "The Stolen Child" by Keith Donahue. I love not being in grad school anymore and having endless amounts of free time to read. It is wonderful. I just started this book yesterday and don't really have an opinion yet, but check out my books page to see what I've been reading this summer!

Drinking: Coffee. Ever since I came back from California, I just cannot wake up in the mornings. I'm looking forward to a weekend of sleeping in and getting back on track with morning workouts next week!

Watching: 90s movies. Monday night, I watched "Shakespeare in Love" courtesy of Amazon Prime on the Roku. I'm slightly embarrassed to say how excited I got when I realized that "Winning London" is also available on prime. Mary Kate and Ashley movies were my jam as a 90s child.

Also, re: Shakespeare in Love? EVERYONE was in that movie! I remembered Gwyneth Paltrow but that was about it. Colin Firth? Rupert Evertt? Geoffrey Rush? Professor Umbridge? Arthur Weasley? MR. CARSON FROM DOWNTON ABBEY? I was entirely too excited about this.

Missing: My nieces. This is the furthest I've ever been from my sister Tati's two girls and I miss them like crazy. The little one turned 7 (!) on Friday and it broke my heart to have to wish her a Happy Birthday over the phone.

Anticipating: The METS being in town this weekend!

Wishing For: Good news and big changes.

Laughing At: References to the Royal Baby living in a Harry Potter World

Beginning: Marathon Training! With a strength training routine built in courtesy of my friend Steph's husband who is working to be a Personal Trainer.

Listening To: "Somewhere Only We Know" - Keane and "When I'm Gone" - Anna Kendrick (They played this at Barre Ride on Sunday and now I'm obsessed...and no, I have never seen Pitch Perfect)

There you have it! Happy Wednesday! What's going on with you right now?

July 22, 2013

This Weekend

After spending last weekend in California, I spent the week attempting to recover from jet lag while catching up on work and life.

I woke up Friday with a bad cold which I tried fighting with endless amounts of Sudafed, Zicam and cough drops while simultaneously jam packing my weekend. Not a great combination.

Friday after work, I headed home, took out the puppy and plopped myself on the couch for the rest of the evening. I felt absolutely miserable and was in bed by 9.

Saturday morning, I rallied and The Pilot and I were up bright and early to drive out into rural Virginia to go tubing for Andrea's birthday. We spent the day lazily rolling down the river making jokes, being inappropriate, and just having fun.

Post-tubing, we stopped off for ice cream and headed back home to shower and change really quickly before heading to the Nationals (v. Dodgers) game.

We're more than half way through baseball season, and I have to say...The Pilot and I will not be buying season tickets to the Nationals again. I'm not sure if it's the section we sit in or what, because every time I've gone to a game and sat elsewhere I've never had a problem, but we're at the point where we're thinking about selling the rest of our tickets for this year. 9 times out of 10, we cheer on the Nationals when we go but the fans in our section are AWFUL.

They think that EVERY call is a bad call and get violently angry about it. They drink way, way (way) too much and it's just become somewhat unenjoyable which is a shame because no matter what team we support, at the end of the day, we just love baseball and that's why we agreed to buy season tickets this year.

Sunday I slept until 10am (glorious) and felt awful. I had plans to make my way to Revolve DC (read Virginia) with Teri and Jenna for a Barre Ride class. I was not up to going but their cancellation policy is 5pm the day before. Well, at 5pm on Saturday, I was feeling much better!

*I think fitness studios should have a cancellation policy of 60-90 minutes before a class starts. Sometimes, you wake up and you don't feel well or things happen!*

Not wanting to be penalized $15 for canceling, I sucked it up and went to the class. It was a little harder than I think it would have normally been because hi, chest congestion, but I loved this class.

Francine was our Instructor and the class was about 40 minutes of spin plus 15 minutes of evil, evil chair plus 5 minutes of barre. Just kidding. It was more like 20 minutes of barre but it felt like 15 minutes of chair.

I feel like this class would be a great addition to marathon training and am very seriously considering getting a 5 or 10 class package to go once or twice a week during training which...

...starts today! I'm officially 14 weeks out from the Marine Corps Marathon and have found a few different training plans that I'm going to be working from to slowly get me back in shape and ready to start tackling high mileage.

Today, I'm going to run a whopping 3 miles. My long run for the week will be 6. I haven't tried to go longer than 4 since injuring myself and I'm hoping that the rest + acupuncture will be enough to let me tackle 6 miles this week. For now, I'm going to take training week by week (really run by run) until I can get myself up to 10 miles (hopefully by week 3) and from there, I'll assess my fitness level and develop the rest of my training plan.

Wish me luck! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! I'm at work today and planning on an easy 3 miles after work today and then snuggles on my couch with the puppy, some popcorn and a movie!

How was your weekend?
Are you running a fall marathon?
Have you started training yet?
Have you ever been tubing?

July 18, 2013

Ballpark #22: Petco Park

Let's talk about San Diego for a minute.

I expected San Diego to basically be paradise. Perpetually warm weather, sunshine 360 days out of the year, a city on the bay, what's not to love? San Diego was all of these things, but it wasn't quite what I expected. La Jolla was way more of what I expected San Diego to be.

That's not to say that I didn't like San Diego, it just was different than what I had imagined.

In a city that is always warm and sunshiny, I expected their baseball stadium to be absolutely stunning and everyone to be happy all the time and wonderful.

Woah was I caught off guard. The baseball stadium is gorgeous. The baseball fans are some of the worst fans I have ever come across in baseball...and I lived in the Mets/Yankees/Phillies trifecta for half of my life.

Let's start with the stadium.

It is literally in the middle of downtown. My mom and I had dinner in the Gas Lamp District and our waiter laughed when we asked him where the stadium was. It was one block away.

It was 'Fedora Day'...weird, but ok...the fedoras are actually really cute and I will definitely be rockin' mine on straight hair days this summer.

We walked into the stadium, and immediately went to the Team Store so that I could buy my pin (I've been collecting them at each part and am going to display them in a shadow box by order of when I went there once I'm done) and then made our way around.

The ballpark actually has a huge...sidewalk (for lack of a better word) where they had food trucks and stands, a live band and a big park area where people were picnicking. They even had a little league field! It felt way more like a park than a baseball stadium but I really liked it!

Somehow (Stubhub) we managed to get Box Seats for $50...probably because the Padres are one of the worst teams in baseball. The area around our seats felt a little bit like a hotel, but in a good way...I think (the jury is still out on that one).

Our seats had a great view of the park and a waitress...which was not at all as glamorous as it seemed.

She was way more interested in flirting with the men in our section (about 25 years her senior) then actually taking orders or bringing anyone food. The two guys who were sitting next to us were ordering from her and the guy next to me literally hit me in the face twice in the process of reaching his arms across to to give her his credit card and talk to her. She never once said a word to my mom or me, which was fine because I'm not one to be catered to at a ball game.

So the game starts (yes, this was all before the game started) and in the first inning, the Padres scored there one and only run of the game. So, I stood up and started cheering. The guy behind me, dressed head to toe in Padres gear, yelled "Sit the hell down!" Ummm what?! We're at a baseball game and I'm standing because YOUR team just scored a home run. I'm sorry for blocking your view of him running the bases.

By the 3rd inning, we were really sick of our seats. Between the waitress coming up and down, and everyone in our section getting up a hundred times an inning, we needed a change of scenery so we went to take a walk of the park. There wasn't really all that much to see. It seems like everything at Petco is outside on that little sidewalk area, but we did find a sweets shop which sells cookies, brownies, candy and...

Apple PIE a la MODE! 
Genius! What's more American than baseball and apple pie? This is the best food find I've found at ball game, hands down!

So, yes, we got back to our seats to enjoy our apple pie and watch the Padres get absolutely slaughtered by the Giants 10-1. (Tim Lincecum, who is one of my favorite pitchers, would go on to pitch a no-hitter at Petco the very next night.)

One thing that I didn't understand...during every Giants' at bat, the Padres would display some info about the player on the scoreboard...the GIANTS player. Some of them were about their baseball career, others were just really random facts about them...like the fact that Gregor Blanco has brothers named Gregory and Gregsman. When the Padres were at bat though, they didn't give you any information about the Padres players. The Padres don't have at bat songs either, which was strange. 

I get that they were playing another California team and that a lot of the fans were Giants fans, but why would you display info about the other team without giving some info about your own players? It was really weird. 

The Padres pitcher was a rookie pitching his first game in the Majors - losing 10-1 is not how you want to start your career - and hit a triple on his first at-bat, giving him a batting average of 1,000. If you look closely below, you can see it. I just thought that was pretty cool! I've never seen someone with a 1,000 batting average!

I like the Giants (my sister lives in SFO and her husband is a huge Giants fan) so I was really happy that they won, especially given how awful the fans were. I wish I could say it was just the fans, but the hospitality was just as bad. Between the waitress and the ushers who didn't bother showing us to our seats when we asked, it just wasn't a good experience. 

As my Mom and I were walking out of the park, we could see the bullpen pitchers warming up (we left just before the 9th inning, I honestly just couldn't take the people in our section anymore), so I stopped to take a picture and an usher came over and said "Walk down the stairs NOW." I said, OK just a minute, and tried to take the picture again and he said, "I said NOW" to which I just stormed out of the stadium. I was done.

As awesome as the fans at Dodger Stadium were, the fans at Petco Park were equally bad. It's one thing to have rude and obnoxious fans, but when your hospitality staff is just as bad? That's a deal breaker. They get an A+ for the stadium and food, but that's about it. I don't think I would go back to Petco. (Holly visited this season and had a similar experience.) I wouldn't call it one of the worst parks I've been to, but fan experience is a huge part of a game, so it's definitely going to be ranked toward the bottom for these reasons and because of the fact that the park catered more to Giants fans than Padres fans.

So there you have it. 22 ballparks down, 8 to go! 8! I was at 18 when this season started, and now I'm at 22. There are at least 2 1/2 months left of baseball season. Who knows where I might go between now and October!

July 17, 2013

Ballpark #21: Dodger Stadium

Let me preface this post by saying that I hate that The Pilot couldn't come with me. If the Brooklyn Dodgers still existed (or, if he had grown up in Southern California), my boyfriend would be a diehard Dodgers fan.

His family lived in Brooklyn and his grandfather was a huge Dodgers fan. I've already promised him that we'll go back this year because it sucked being at a stadium that he has so long wanted to visit without him.

Dodger Stadium was awesome.

I was in LA visiting my mom's cousin who got a job this year as an usher at Dodger Stadium...so basically, we got the hook up.

One thing I really didn't like about the stadium is the parking lot. I'm bringing this up first, because it's the first thing I noticed.

The parking lot is huge and when we pulled in to pay for parking (only $10), they tell you what parking lot to go to based on where your seats are. This meant, that we had to go in through a gate in Right Field that honestly, could have been a service gate. So there was no walk up to the main entrance of the stadium, which is one of my must-sees when I visit a new park, so that was disappointing.

Dodger Stadium is the 3rd oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball (behind Fenway Park and Wrigley Field) but it didn't disappoint. It absolutely felt like a stadium that was built in the 1960s but it has been up kept and renovated to both maintain the integrity of the old park while keeping up with the times.

They also feature a lot of history through the stadium paying homage to their days in Brooklyn, which I very much appreciated (I didn't see that at AT&T Park where the SF Giants play).

We got to the stadium a little over an hour before game time so that we could walk around, head to the team store, etc. My cousin Bruni had been there much earlier, so she took her lunch break shortly after we got there and gave us the grand tour. We went into the Executive Suites and got to get right up behind home plate. We later found out that we could have sat there, had my cousin Luis not decided to skip out on the grand tour! Boooo!

Touring the Suites area

Mama and I behind Home Plate
Our seats were up in Left Field. Once our grand tour was over, we headed back to where our seats were to grab some food.

Grilled cheese w/tomatoes + fries and ranch.
The game was completely sold out and it was practically impossible to find tickets online! As we were making our way to our seats, I looked around and quickly realized that my mom, cousin and I were the only people around that were NOT wearing Dodgers gear. I have never been to a stadium where 1) the game is completely sold out and 2) everyone is wearing the team's colors. Dodger Fans get an A+ in that aspect!

A sea of blue and white!
The game was so much fun, and the Dodgers absolutely crushed Colorado 6-1. Capuano (a former Met) pitched a great game with 8 strike outs and Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers (and all of baseball's) new Cuban hot shot went 2-4 before being pulled out of the game.

The view from our seats, rainbow in tow.
Dodger fans were so much fun! They cheered, they threw beach balls all over the stadium (shockingly, the balls never landed on the field) and they did the wave about every 5 minutes. EVERYONE was into the game. No one got up mid-game to get food, no one was talking about anything other than the game...it was just a great baseball environment and I loved it!

Sadly, we left after the 7th inning stretch. The Dodgers had a steady lead and I wanted to stay more than anything but my flight had gotten in super late the night before and jet lag was setting in to the point where I could barely keep my eyes open.

Either way, Dodger Stadium gets an A+ ranking in every category and I can't wait to take The Pilot back there! Hopefully later this season when the Angels are also in town!

Have you been to Dodger Stadium?

Check back tomorrow for my recap of Ballpark #22!

July 16, 2013


Last Wednesday, I left work and boarded a flight for the West Coast.

Despite a number of delays, I managed to hop on an earlier flight than planned and was bound LA.

When I hopped off the plane at LAX (sorry, I couldn't resist) I headed for my cousin's apartment where I stayed up way too late talking before passing out.

*Note: You cannot see the Hollywood sign from the 'right' of a vehicle leaving LAX airport. I have now been to LA twice and still have not seen the Hollywood sign. I'm convinced that it is one of those things that you only see in the movies.

I wasn't in LA for very long (36 hours) and only did one thing of importance: visit Dodger Stadium to cross another ballpark off my list. (Post to come later this week).

There was no rain at Dodger Stadium, but there was definitely a rainbow.
Friday morning, my mom and I headed south for San Diego. Once again, it was a short trip. We were only there for about 24 hours, but had just enough time to gorge ourselves with Mexican food and catch a Padres game before heading on to our next destination.

Saturday afternoon, after brunching and driving around San Diego, we drove out to La Jolla. Oh my goodness. San Diego, wasn't at all what I thought it would be. La Jolla, was everything I thought San Diego would be and more. It was absolutely beautiful. I didn't ever want to leave.

We were in La Jolla for the wedding of one of my mom's coworkers who I've bonded with over our mutual love for running. The wedding wasn't until Sunday so on Saturday night, we went out to dinner with some of my mom's coworkers and then went out for drinks at Karl Strauss Brewinc Company.

Sunday, my mom and I went for a long walk around La Jolla. We went in the ocean, watched the seals and checked out all of the little shops. We had crepes for lunch and just enjoyed the afternoon before getting ready for the wedding.

The wedding was hands down the most fun wedding I have ever been to. Considering that I knew a grand total of 2 people before the wedding, that's saying a lot!

Me with my  Mama
First, the venue. The ceremony and reception were at an auditorium at UC San Diego. The ceremony and cocktail hour were outside, with the reception held mostly inside (but the food and bars were outside).

The ceremony
First Dance
The view of the ocean from the venue was absolutely spectacular, and watching the sun set from inside was even better.

So after a long night of dancing and drinking, I was up before 6 to catch my flight back to DC. It was a rough morning and a not so easy flight, but I was happy to be back home with The Pilot and the puppy watching the Home Run Derby at CitiField (though, it would have been immensely better if I had actually been at the Home Run Derby).

It's back to the grind here in DC, but hey, it's already Tuesday so it's a short week for me and I can't complain about that.

Have you ever been to La Jolla or San Diego? Did you leave? Please tell me yes so I don't keep telling myself that I was absolutely crazy!

July 10, 2013

On Juice Cleansing and Detoxing

If you've ever thought about doing a juice cleanse or a detox, head over to
Heather's blog to read my guest post!

Meanwhile, I'm off to spend my weekend in San Diego!

Happy Friday!

July 9, 2013

Class Review: Yoga Hikes DC

I mentioned yesterday that I went on a Yoga Hike this weekend with Yoga Hikes DC. Yoga Hikes are a combination of vinyasa yoga and hiking done in roughly 15 minute intervals over the course of either 90 minutes or 2 hours, depending on which hike you choose. There is the option of an Urban Hike and a Nature Hike, both of which have different starting points throughout the city. Urban Hikes explore some of the side streets and green spaces around the city, while Nature Hikes tackle trails.

The Facts
Class Length: 90 minutes - 2 hours
What to Bring: Water, a backpack if you're carrying anything (no yoga mats necessary)
What to Wear: Sneakers and socks. I recommend yoga pants (I wore capris) since there are tree branches, bushes, etc. that you might brush up against.
Cost: $25.00

Classes are led by Danielle who founded the company just 6 weeks ago! Danielle is a fantastic Instructor. A runner who hated yoga and spent her time in savasna making her Trader Joe's grocery lists, she turned to yoga after battling one too many running injuries, fell in love and headed for teacher training to build on her practice. I love her honesty about her yoga journey and can definitely relate as I've been only been (very) recently practicing yoga regularly.

I headed out for a Nature Hike which started in Woodley Park, took us into Rock Creek Park and through Dumbarton Oaks and Montrose Parks. Being new to DC, it was absolutely wonderful to explore so much nature in my back yard. I had been to Rock Creek Park once for a run but had no idea just how big it was!

My favorite spot on the hike...our 2nd yoga stop.
We met just off the Metro and headed to the a clearing near the entrance of Rock Creek Park to start a basic vinyasa flow - lots of down dogs, forward folds and planks! Then, we headed in for our brisk hike.

The thing I loved about Danielle, and the class in general, is that rather than trying to tune everything out, as is typical in a classroom yoga class, Danielle encouraged us to take everything in - the traffic, the birds, the wet dogs running around us while holding crescent lunge...

The hike included some steep hills, but just when you really start to work up a sweat during each hike, it's time to start another yoga routine. It's such a great way to break up the two different activities, which go surprisingly well together.

Photos courtesy Danielle, Yoga Hikes DC
The 90 minutes went by surprisingly quickly and by the end of it, I was a hot, sweaty, slightly dirt-covered mess.

I'm already planning on attending another Yoga Hike before the summer is over and highly recommend it to anyone either living in or visiting the DC area!

Have you ever been on a yoga hike? Is this something you would try? Do you want to join me on my next one???

July 8, 2013

4th of July Weekend

Long weekends are the absolute best. They're such a great way to reset when you get stuck in a little bit of a rut.

This weekend was no exception. 

I had originally wanted to head out of town for the weekend but had to work on Friday so that put a damper on my getaway plans but one of my sisters reminded me that DC is quite possibly the best place to spend the 4th of July, so I got over it pretty quickly. 

Wednesday, I got out of work and headed to yoga. It was a small class, which was perfect ad afterward, The Pilot and I went to pick up some things for the bbq we were hosting on Thursday.

We ended up being out later than normal and decided to ride bikes to a pub around the corner for dinner and beer while watching the Mets game. 

Thursday morning, I woke up bright and early to get started on prepping for friends to come over. We parked over at my pool and spent the day in and out of the water with The Pilot manning the grill. 

After spending the day soaking up the sun, we made our way to the National Mall for fireworks. Lying on the lawn of the Washington Monument looking up at the fireworks was absolutely the best possible way to spend the 4th of July.


Baby you're a fiiiiiiiiirewooooork
Post-fireworks, it took us about 2 hours to get home in crazy tourist/Metro traffic. 

On Friday, I spent the better part of the day working from home. I did manage to run 4 pain-free miles that morning which was super exciting and then headed to yoga after work. After class, I headed out to Yard's Park to meet up with Leanna and friends for a picnic/concert on the park. It was an absolutely perfect evening and we had way too much fun having an epic 90s sing-a-long to all of the greatest boy band songs of the 90s. 

Yard's Park
Saturday morning, I was up early for an easy 2 1/2 mile run on the treadmill before heading out to Woodley Park to meet Teri for a yoga hike! It was so much fun! We started off by doing yoga, then hiked into Rock Creek Park, did more yoga, hiked some more, did more yoga...you get the picture. I loved it (and am planning on writing a more detailed post about it later this week).

This is in the MIDDLE of DC. 
After getting our Om on, Teri and I headed to the Nationals game. It was a great game. The Nationals played the Padres and it was a close game right up until the end with the Nationals taking the win.

After the game, we headed over to Leanna's apartment for what was basically an adult sleepover in that, there was wine. We watched Madagascar 3. Have any of you ever seen that movie? I call Bolshevik on its PG rating. That is an adult movie made in cartoon form and it was hilarious. After Madagascar 3, we watched Empire Records...my favorite movie...ever. 

Sunday morning, I headed out for a 6 mile run. I made it 3 before I had to stop and walk the rest of the way home because my knee started hurting. Chalk it up to overdoing it this weekend but I was absolutely crushed. I think my run put a damper on the rest of my weekend because I was really out of it for the rest of the day. I still spent the day lounging poolside but called it an early night and headed home to snuggle with the puppy and watch movies before going to bed.

It was such a great weekend and just another classic example of how much I love living in DC. Good friends, good food, and good times permeated this weekend and I loved every second of it. 

It's tough to be back at work this week...but not really, because later this week, I'm heading out to the Left Coast!

How were all of your weekends? Full of fireworks and bbqs I hope!

July 2, 2013

July: Overcome Aches and Pains

Let's talk about running. This is, after all, a running blog.

I haven't run much in the last two months. I'm ok with that. I wanted it that way. I needed to take a break after tackling 3 marathons last year and jumping into a 4th training cycle.

Now, I'm ready to run. I'm craving an 18 mile run like you wouldn't believe.

Except that right now, I'm just a little bit sidelined. Not too much, just a little bit.

Saturday, I ran 1 mile. Last night, after an amazingly intense yoga class, I ran 2.5 before my knee started to hurt. I'm going to call it progress, especially since it isn't hurting today. The theme for July according to the Runners' World Guide to a Fitter, Faster You is Overcoming Aches and Pains.

I guess that's a fitting theme for the month while I'm struggling with a case of IT Band Syndrome. (I'm pretty sure my muscle strain is healed since I'm no longer experience pain in my hamstring).

We all know that stretching, foam rolling, cross training and strength training are good for us as runners. Yet consistently, I read blog posts and hear runners talk about how this training cycle, they're actually going to do all of those things and they do...for the first month or so of training and then running comes front and center.


I have always been great about stretching and foam rolling. Strength and cross? Not so much. You know what else I'm not good at? Warming up, and I'm starting to see more and more that a dynamic warm up is just as important as all of the above. So, this month, on top of everything else, I'm adding warm ups to my run.

I'll be running on the treadmill until I'm not experiencing knee pain anymore, so last night, I headed up to the gym and walked briskly for 10 minutes before heading out to the roof deck (my gym is on the top floor of my apartment building) and doing a series of warm-ups - high knees, butt kicks, and grapevines -  followed by some light stretching, before starting up the treadmill for an easy run. (This article has some great warm-ups tailored specifically to the kind of running workout you're doing.) After my run, I stretched, foam rolled and iced my knee for an hour (20 minutes on, 20 off and then on again).

The thing I'm realizing is that...in almost every training cycle I've gone through since I've started running, I've had to take at least a full week off from training to do some malady or ailment. I've been very fortunate that I've never been forced to back out of a race because of an injury (knock on wood) but maybe the reason I haven't gone sub-4 just yet, is because I'm not taking my training seriously enough.

Just running isn't enough.

If I'm not making the time to do all of the things that are going to make me a better, faster, stronger runner then, what's the point? So, that's the plan for this month. Keep doing yoga. Start working my arms and legs. Warm up before every run. Take rest days. Work my core. Work my muscles. Running is the easy part. I can get excited about going for a run. Warming up and lifting? Not so much. But it's time to change that mindset and approach all of these other parts of training as just that, integral parts of training that are just as important as tempo runs and track workouts.

If I can make it to 6 pain-free miles this weekend, I'll feel great going into marathon training. Right now, though, I'm just taking it one step at a time.

July 1, 2013

Love/Don't Love

This weekend was glorious.

Friday afternoon, after cabbing it home amidst never-ending rain, I switched into sweat pants and promptly parked myself on the couch for the rest of the evening. Love.

Saturday morning, I woke up early to participate in a Google Hangout with First Lady Michelle Obama on the subject of girls' education in Africa. (Cue my nerdiness here). It was pretty cool to be a part of, but it didn't quite hit the points that I would have liked it to make. Oh well. Love.

Post-hangout, I headed up to the gym to try out a run. I decided to be smart about it and did a 10 minute brisk walking warm up on the treadmill, then headed outside for some high knees, grapevines, and butt kicks before coming back in and turning up the treadmill. I was feeling good and made it 1 mile before my knee started hurting. Not major pain, but nonetheless, I stopped to be smart. I was really upset about it and resolved to stay inside and be grumpy for the rest of the day. Don't Love.

When I got back to my apartment, I realized that my favorite yoga instructor was teaching pilates in 20 minutes. So I packed up my mat and headed to class. It was an oh-so-good and oh-so-hard ab crushing session that left me in brighter spirits so I headed back home and packed up my stuff for a day of pool lounging with friends. Love.

I made my way over to Chinatown to hang out at my friend's frat party rooftop pool. We lounged and drank and spent the perfect afternoon enjoying DC summer before heading to Matchbox for pizza. Love.

Rooftop Pool Party
Then, Sunday rolled around. June 30. The last day of the month. I realized that I hadn't been on a plane yet and I was about to break my goal of hopping on a plane at least once per month. What's a girl to do?! I had had glorious plans of hopping on a flight to Savannah with The Pilot on Sunday when his flight plans were drastically changed due to weather. It's ok...I really only wanted to go to Savannah to go to Paula Deen's restaurant...and well, maybe not anymore. So, I called my mom and asked her if she wanted to have lunch...and I headed to the airport and flew home to Newark where my mama picked me up and brought me home for lunch. Love.

My sister and her girls came over and we played dominoes and ate entirely too much food and laughed and hung out. Then, I headed to my grandparent's house to visit my Abuelita and Abuelito. My grandfather has pretty advanced Alzheimer's so you never really know what you're going to get when you see him, but I love telling him that I live in DC and run marathons and seeing how impressed he gets...every single time. Love.

As we pulled out of their house to head back to the airport, I checked on my flight only to realize that the next 3 flights back to DC had been canceled. So, I headed to the train station and boarded an Amtrak train back to DC. I was gone for approximately 9 hours...and I still managed to get on a plane just once. Love.

When I got home, this cutie pie was waiting for me. Love.

So, it was the perfect weekend. Lounging poolside with friends, spending some time with the family, hopping on a plane...it was great. Oh! And despite only being able to run a mile on Saturday, my knee wasn't bothering me at all yesterday, so today, we're going to aim for 2 miles!

Wish me luck!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...