June 23, 2014

It's finally starting to feel real

This weekend, I went home to New Jersey to see my mom. Similar to our Vegas experience, the flights were a bit of mess and I ended up taking the last flight out of DC, landing in Newark around 10:30pm.

Mom picked me up, drove me home, and we sat on my bed talking and catching up. Shortly after midnight, I decided I needed to get some sleep, so I headed upstairs to get ready for bed.

Hanging on the door of my mom's office/sewing room, was my sister's bridesmaid dress in its Weddington Way bag. I said, "Oooh is this Tati's dress?" and went to open the bag to see it. Pushing a little too hard on the door, the door swung open and there it was, my wedding dress, draped so beautifully on the sewing mannequin my mom bought, finished, and complete.

I gasped and immediately started crying.

See, up to this point, I've only ever tried on pieces of my dress. The lining, the top, the sides, but never a full dress, and I had never even seen the skirt (which is really what makes the dress), yet here it was, fitted perfectly to a mannequin that's just my size.

The last time I had a fitting, it just wasn't quite right and there were a lot of tears in trying to figure out exactly what was wrong (it was just the fit), but this time, I knew, without even putting it on, that it was perfect.

Saturday morning, my mom and I headed back to the fabric shops in NYC to scope out some smaller details for my dress. Once we got all of that sorted, we stopped off at Heartland Brewery for lunch (and the end of the Argentina v. Iran match) before heading over to RK Bridal to shop for dresses for my mom.

We didn't realize that they were closing in 45 minutes when we got there, and my mom didn't think she'd be able to find a dress. My mom is very fashion forward and didn't at all want a typical mother of the bride dress (they're all so frumpy looking!), but with the help of Malak, a super sweet woman who worked at RK, we found my mom exactly what she had been looking for, and were even able to get it at a discount! My mom's dress is gorgeous and she is going to be one hot mama!

With dress in hand, we headed home to finally get me into my wedding dress! It fit perfectly. Right now, the dress is hand stitched together, so that it would be easier for my mom to make adjustments in case it doesn't fit, so it isn't completely finished, but she said it only needs another 2 hours of work or so, and I don't need to have any more fittings, which is so exciting!

So, there I was, standing in my bedroom in my wedding dress and I just loved it so so so much. It was so perfect! When we went shopping for ideas, I didn't really like anything I tried on, but here I was, in a dress that my mom designed and made by hand, and it was more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

My mom started tearing up, and then I started crying, and then we sat there hugging and crying and it was so emotional and so special, and I'm so excited to walk down the aisle in the most beautiful dress I've ever imagined, that was so much a labor of love.

This weekend, I assembled a sample of our invitations and tried on my entire wedding dress for the first time. With less than three months to go, our wedding is finally starting to feel real and I couldn't be more excited!

Sunday, my sister came over with her girls for breakfast, along with my aunt, and we all just hung out together before I made my way to the airport and then to the train station after not getting on a flight. I took an Amtrak to Union Station, had The Pilot meet me across the street to watch the USA game (ugh) and then headed home to call it a night.

It was a very awesome and very special weekend.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, I'm sure you understand ;)

June 19, 2014


Feeling... good. I biked to work for the first time today! I've been saying I would do this for months and I finally did. I got a little lost when my bike path ended and I had nowhere to go, but it only took half an hour and was an easy ride! Rookie mistake? Wearing flip flops. Only downside? Not being able to read on the Metro. MAJOR plus side? Not dealing with the Metro.

After yesterday's PT session, I'm also feeling a lot better about my botched run on Tuesday. ART works miracles and I'm hoping to be running again this weekend.

Reading... Lolita. Every bit as controversial as it's been made to be, but an excellent read so far.

Eating... A banana.

Drinking... Water. 

Watching... Sherlock! Season 3 is on Netflix which is saving me from ruining my relationship and binging on Orange is the New Black while The Pilot is away. The rate we're going though, it'll take us all summer to get through!

Anticipating... assembling our wedding invitations! I've enlisted the help of some friends for the task. We've gotten just about everything in now, I just need to pick up the invitations from the printer and grab a few items from Paper Source and we'll be good to go!

Wishing for... a vacation. Yea I know, we just came back from Vegas, but jetting to the airport after work, hopping on a flight, landing at 1am (4am EST) when you've been up since 6, spending 28 hours in a city and heading to the airport at 4am the next morning is hardly vacation. I'm talking a week off from work, some sun and sand and sleeping in. Good thing I have a honeymoon planned for September!
Loving... that I biked to work today! Not sure if I'm going to bike home yet but we'll see!

June 18, 2014

Book Review: King of Cuba

From Good Reads: Vivid and alive, Cristina Garcia's new novel transports readers to Cuba, to Miami, and into the heads of two larger-than-life men;a fictionalized Fidel Castro and an octogenarian Cuban exile obsessed with seeking revenge against the dictator. In King of Cuba, the National Book Award finalist and author of Dreaming in Cuban, writing at the top of her form with humor and humanity, returns to the territory of her homeland.

El Comandante, an aging dictator, shambles about his mansion in Havana, visits a dying friend, tortures hunger strikers in one of his prisons, and grapples with the stale end of his life that is as devoid of grandeur as his nearly sixty-year-old revolution. Across the waters in Florida, Goyo Herrera, a Miami exile in his eighties, plots revenge against his longtime enemy, the very same El Comandante, whom he blames for stealing his beloved, ruining his homeland, and taking his father's life. Herrera would gladly wear chains on his ankles, chisel stones for his remaining days, even become a goddamn Democrat for the gratification of personally expediting the tyrant's journey back to the Devil, with whom he'd obviously made a pact.

With her masterful twinning of El Comandante and Herrera, along with the rabble of other Cuban voices that combine to create a chorus of history's unofficial stories, Garcia plumbs the passions and realities of these two Cubas on the island and off; and offers a pulsating story that entertains and illuminates.

My Thoughts: I really wanted to like this book, but it just fell flat. The characters weren't well rounded, or well developed. The introduction of Goyo's children into the story did absolutely nothing to advance the plot, and in the end, it was remarkably anticlimactic. Garcia tried too hard to make El Comandante like Fidel Castro, while simultaneously trying too hard to say that it wasn't Fidel Castro. She even went so far as to describe the dictator's relationship with Che Guevara. At that point, just come out and say that you're writing a fictionalized Fidel. 

I expected the book to dive into the intricacies behind the Cuban culture in Miami, and instead, it was about an aging old man who is obsessed with the dictator...a plot line that I, of Cuban descent, found difficult to believe. On Good Reads, I rated it 2 stars, generous because I found it at some parts humorous, but I wouldn't recommend it.

June 17, 2014

Rock Bottom

I've heard people say that a running injury is like a break up.

Well, until this point, I've been Susie Sunshine! It'll get better sooner or later. I'll be running again in no time! This is a chance to work on all of those things that will help me be a better runner.

Well guess what. I'm fucking done.

*Please excuse the profanity. I can't promise it's going to stop as I continue to write this post.*

Yesterday, my PT told me I can start to ramp up to 4 or 5 miles, slowly.

This morning, I pried myself out of bed to get in a 4 mile run before work.

My knee gave out 2.5 miles in.

2 and a half fucking miles. It's never happened that early.

I'm done. I QUIT. I don't want to do this anymore. I'm tired of giving it time. I TOOK 6 MONTHS OFF. I'm tired of following instructions. I did my PT exercises every day twice a day.

After Nike, I thought, well maybe I just came back too soon. After Alexandria, I thought, well maybe I just need a second opinion.

After today? I'm fucking done. I'm over it. I'm tired of being optimistic and hopeful and THINKING that this is going to get better when it's been a fucking year and it STILL isn't better despite doing EVERYTHING the doctors and therapists I'm paying a fucking FORTUNE for are telling me to do.

RUNNING is who I am. It helped my 22-year-old self through my first miserable job. It got me through grad school. It got me through my second miserable job. It was there for me when my then-boyfriend now-fiance and I went MONTHS without seeing each other. It's me and I DON'T want to give it up. Not running is NOT an option.

But at this point, I really, honestly have to ask myself. Is it worth is? Is it really fucking worth it anymore? What can I possibly do differently at this point? It's been a YEAR since this started, exactly a year, and I'm in the exact same position I was a year ago. I still haven't been able to run a solid race, hell, I still haven't been able to have a solid run.

This morning, when I headed out, I kept thinking about how much I love my running trail and how much I don't want to move at the end of this year because I love my trail so much. I've probably run on that trail 8 times this year, so does it really even matter anymore?

Right now, I'm just rambling and I'm sorry but I needed to write. I needed to get this all out and push it out to the world to see if somebody, somewhere has been through this and can tell me not to give up because it will get better, because I need that, because right now, I just can't do it anymore. I can't keep hoping for something that just isn't happening.

June 16, 2014

Oops...I went to Vegas!

Ahhh the joys of flying as a non-revenue passenger.

This weekend, The Pilot and I decided to get away. We were hoping to go to Geneva. It's been seven long years since I've been to Geneva, and I've been itching to go back and show The Pilot the first place in Europe (well second) I fell in love with.

So, Friday after work, we headed to the airport with our passports in hand, hoping to get to Geneva. The flight was looking pretty full but we were counting on the major delays going on throughout the country to get us two seats on the flight.

It didn't happen. I won't get into how furious I was about the six passengers who leisurely strolled up to the gate in the last five minutes before departure without a care in the world. Who shows up to an international fight FIVE MINUTES before the plane takes off???

When we couldn't get on the Geneva flight, we looked into Rome, Madrid and Zurich. Unfortunately, every single European flight out of Dulles departs within 35 minutes, meaning that we couldn't just hop on the next flight. Dejected, we thought about trying for a 10pm Dublin flight that was oversold by 3 seats, when we saw a near empty flight to Las Vegas that was just starting to board.

"Vegas?" I said to The Pilot.
"Yea! I've never been to Vegas!" The Pilot said to me.
"Let's go to Vegas!" I said.

Ten minutes later, we were on the plane. After an almost two hour delay, we finally took off. Shortly after midnight, we were in Vegas.

I had booked us a hotel shortly before we took off through Expedia...well, I tried to, actually, but since they're app wouldn't let me, I called Mom and she booked it for us. It took us forever to get to our hotel, but by 1am, we were finally at Harrah's. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and walked around the casino a bit before calling it a night. It was 4am EST after all!

Saturday morning, we were up around 9 and made our way over to Paris for breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi. I had a croissant sandwich with eggs, avocado and tomato and The Pilot had a ham and cheese crepe. The food was great and after breakfast, we meandered through Paris and then spent the day meandering in and out of hotels and casinos.

Around noon, we stopped at Caesar's Palace for a couple of drinks before continuing our walk through the hotels and casinos. We really wanted to watch the England v. Italy match so when it came time for lunch, we stopped into Yard House to watch. I had never been to a Yard House but I was super impressed. The Pilot said he didn't think he had ever seen me clean my plate, but the ahi tuna salad I had was heaven!

We finished lunch at the same time that the first half of the match ended. We wanted to relocate to somewhere that had sound, so we made our way to Cabo Wabo for the rest of the game. After England's loss (ugh!), we spent more time walking along the strip. We walked around The Venetian, The Bellagio, Mirage, Planet Hollywood, and all of the big hotels on the strip!

We saw a lot of weddings. (Don't worry, I didn't get any ideas!) I had gone to Vegas 6 years ago (to the day!) for the Olympic Trials but I didn't really have time to see much so it was fun to spend some time exploring the strip and getting to let loose a bit!

Oh hey Andy Warhol!
The last thing The Pilot and I wanted to do was see the fountains at The Bellagio. From 8-midnight, they do the show every 15 minutes, so we stuck around for about half an hour to catch two shows before heading back to our hotel and going to bed.

We decided to catch a 6am flight out on Sunday morning to minimize our chances of getting stuck in Vegas! Luckily, I slept the whole flight and had an easy time adjusting back to East Coast Time. We spent the rest of the day watching World Cup soccer.

It was a great little getaway weekend. I'm bummed we didn't make it to Europe, but I'm happy we got to go somewhere! It was The Pilot's first time in Vegas and we had a lot of fun. Plus, it was great to get away in the middle of all of the business gearing up to the wedding! Side note: Vegas is HOT.

Have you been to Vegas? 
What's your favorite thing to do there?
I hope everyone had a great weekend!

June 13, 2014

Wedding Things IX: Starting up again

Today, June 13th, marks 3 months until our wedding day! It's so exciting!!!

I haven't written a wedding post in a few months because there really hasn't been much going on. We got such a head start on planning our wedding, that the last few months, we've really just focused on being normal, enjoying The Pilot's weekends off, and not thinking about the wedding every day. It's been great!

Now that we're 3 months out though, things are picking up again. The biggest thing on our plate has been the invitations. My sister, Tatiana, has been designing them and they're just about done. I'll send them to the printer on Monday and we have some supplies due to arrive next week and then, the assembly begins!

I can't wait to show post our invitations! They have turned out so perfectly! I'm not really a by-the-book kind of girl, so we're sending them out early...in about 2 weeks actually. I'm hoping that we get a better sense of our numbers by sending them out early on but I know the horror stories associated with wedding RSVPs, so we'll see!

Also, the bridesmaid dresses came in! We ordered them through Weddington Way (full review coming soon) and they actually arrived a month earlier than they were supposed to! I had to change my Junior Bridesmaid dresses a little bit late in the game so we ordered those through WW, but they haven't come in yet. All of the girls dresses fit them perfectly, and they look great!

As for my wedding dress? It's almost done! I should have one or two more fittings before it's ready to be packed away until September! I can't wait to see it when it's all done! I think that when I finally put on my wedding dress, it'll start to feel so real!

I'm also really excited that we were able to hire a videographer. It's something we were both really against for awhile (we've seen some awful wedding videos), but after seeing some that our friends had posted, I started to really want one. We were able to find someone who happens to go to our church who gave us a great deal on a package and was really flexible with our budget, so I'm really happy about that!

In other exciting news, we booked our honeymoon!!! For the time being, I'm keeping it a surprise where we're going, but I can't wait! I wanted to go some place we've never been before and that's exactly what we're doing.

So, that's where we're at with three months to go! On the agenda in the next few weeks:

  • Print, assemble and send out invitations
  • Finish designing programs and have them printed
  • DIY Centerpieces
  • Favors
  • Guest book
  • Finalize the menu at our tasting
We'll be busy, but I'd rather be busy now and spend the last month before our wedding soaking up the sun at our pool! 

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

June 12, 2014


Feeling... ready for the weekend. I had a jam packed weekend with The Pilot's parents in town and this week hasn't been any slower. I'm in desperate need of some sunshine and R&R.

Reading... King of Cuba. It's a little slow moving, but I'll read anything that has remotely anything to do with Cuba.

Eating... a Cranberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bar from Cassie's cookbook, Cooking with Greek Yogurt.

Drinking... coffee...I don't drink a lot of the stuff, but this week, it's a necessity.

Watching... Orange is the New Black, Season 2. I'm only two episodes in. I absolutely hated the first episode. Twitter tells me it gets better. We'll see.

Anticipating... My next dress fitting with Mama...which, according to her, should be my last!!!

Wishing for... Our wedding invitations to put themselves together and send themselves off. I'm planning to bribe some local friends with wine and food in exchange for helping me assembly line our invitations in the next two weeks. We'll see.

Loving... The Pilot's weekends off. It's been four months since he's had to work on a weekend and it's been awesome. July bid packets are out now, so here's to hoping his lucky streak continues!

That's what's going on on my Thursday!
I've got a double date with Andrea tonight and am hoping for some fun weekend plans!
We'll see!

June 11, 2014

My New Running Routine

Last week, I told you all about my new physical therapy and how I'm working on correcting my form. Unfortunately, I couldn't get an appointment for this week, so I'm just working on putting everything together while I'm running.

My PT doesn't want me running more than 3 miles right now (which means I'm running exactly 3 miles, no less). I've been running during my lunch hour because for the last few weeks I just can't get out of bed in the morning.

I love running at lunch time. Good day? Bad day? Doesn't matter, it's such an excellent way to break up the work day.

With the new drills I'm working on, I really only have time to run about 3 miles, so here's what I'm doing once I get to the gym and get changed.

-1 minute standing on one leg in runner 'pose' position. When running, you're essentially standing on one leg, than switching to the other. The purpose of this 'exercise' is to strengthen my standing leg. I do one minute each leg. Eventually I'm going to work up to two  minutes.

-10 "ski jumps". These don't actually involve jumping. Basically you stand in the pose above, but with both feet on the floor. You tense up your whole body, and start to lean forward, when you're about to fall and need to take a few steps to prevent yourself from falling, you do. The point of this, is to get that forward motion going. When my PT video taped me running, he noticed I was arching my back each time my foot hit the ground, so this will help me stop that.

-10 feet of Penguin walks. Literally waddling like a penguin. I run with my legs to close together, this is to help me spread em just a bit.

-10 feet of skipping.

-10 feet of slow marching while squeezing my glutes the entire time.

So once I do all of this, I start running (either outside or on the treadmill). Doing all of these exercises beforehand basically gets my body prepped for running the way it's supposed to. I'm also doing a number of hip/glute strengthening exercises...well, I'm supposed to be...I forgot to do them all weekend...and this week...oops.)

When I get back, I stretch everything out, do about 5-10 minutes with the free weights, hop in the shower, change and get back to my desk! It's wonderful having  the ability to work out at lunch time. My office is relocating this summer...to a spot without a gym, so I'm definitely making the most of this while I still can!

Tell Me: What kind of warm up do you do before a run?

June 9, 2014

Summer 2014 Book Challenge - An Update!

I've always loved to read. I was fortunate that my mom taught me to read as early as she possibly could so I was always a book worm. I used to love participating in the Book-It Challenge at school and trying to read more books than anyone in my class to get free Pizza Hut.

What can I say? I've always had a competitive streak.

Now that I've finally finished all of the books I bought at last year's library book sale (with the exception of about 2), I'm starting to dive into other books. When Megan posted about her 2014 Summer Book Challenge, I jumped on the opportunity to try and read some books that have been sitting around my Amazon Wish List. You can click over to her blog to read the rules, if you're interested, but today, I thought I'd post my book list (now that I've decided which books I'm going to read) and how I'm doing in the challenge!

The highest total possible is 200 points, and the first five people to get to 200 get the opportunity to guest post on Megan's blog and get to choose a book for her Winter Challenge! So, here are the categories, what I'm reading, and where I stand!

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long. Three Junes by Julia Glass. Finished 5.20.
10 points: Read a book that was written before you were born. Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov.
10 points: Finish reading a book you couldn't finish the first time around. (You must have at least 150 pages left in the book to use it for this category.) Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.
10 points: Read a book from the children’s section of the library or bookstore. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Finished 5.27.
15 points: Read a book that is on The New York Times' Best Sellers List when you begin reading it. Either The Book Thief by Markus Zusak or Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
15 points:
 Read a historical fiction book that does not take place in Europe. Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
15 points: Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
20 points: Read a book with “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title. Haven't picked this one. Any ideas?
20 points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
25 points: Read a book written by a blogger. (Submitted by Jessica of The Tangerine.) My Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz.
25 points: Read a biography, autobiography or memoir. My Guantanamo Diary by Mahvish Khan. Finished 6.5.
30 points: Read a pair of books with antonyms in the titles. King of Cuba by Cristina Garcia and The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory. (King/Queen)

Current Points: 60 (as of 6.5)
Currently Reading: King of Cuba.

Have you ever done a Book Challenge?
Have you read any of the books on my list? 
What's on your summer reading list?

June 6, 2014

Book Review: My Guantanamo Diary

From Good Reads: Mahvish Khan is an American lawyer, born to immigrant Afghan parents in Michigan. Outraged that her country was illegally imprisoning people at Guantanamo, she volunteered to translate for the prisoners. She spoke their language, understood their customs, and brought them Starbucks chai, the closest available drink to the kind of tea they would drink at home. And they quickly befriended her, offering fatherly advice as well as a uniquely personal insight into their plight, and that of their families thousands of miles away. For Mahvish Khan the experience was a validation of her Afghan heritage—as well as her American freedoms, which allowed her to intervene at Guantanamo purely out of her sense that it was the right thing to do. Mahvish Khan's story is a challenging, brave, and essential test of who she is —and who we are.

My Thoughts: This was a fascinating read, particularly in light of the current controversy over Bergdahl exchange. I had hoped the book was more about Khan's work to get these prisoners a trial, rather than just the experiences of the detainees she met with. Their experiences were harrowing and I can understand why a lot of critics called her a sympathizer, however, she really brings to light that so many detainees in Guantanamo were there simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or that they had enemies who took advantage of the bounties that the US were offering. I felt that she should have gone much more extensively into this, but I still enjoyed the stories. The book was very much the detainees' stories, and that isn't what I expected. I thought it would be more of a call to action...that guilty or innocent, everyone deserves the right to a fair trial. That's what she was working to do, so I would have liked to see more about that. I give it three stars.

June 5, 2014


Feeling... Excited! Our wedding app flashed this little reminder today...

100 days until our wedding!!!

Reading... I'm about 20 pages from finishing My Guantanamo Diary. Next up? The King of Cuba which I picked up at the library last night.'

Drinking... Coffee.

Watching... I finished Scandal Season 3. It wasn't as good as the first two seasons and didn't really end in the usual OMG-what's-going-to-happen-next-season way which is typical of dramas, but it was ok. The Pilot and I also finished Orange is the New Black. Season 2 comes out tomorrow!

Anticipating... a potential getaway...

Wishing for... said getaway to actually happen...

Loving... that I'm running through PT and might soon see an end to this injury saga.

So, there you have it! 100 days till our wedding!
It's finally starting to feel close!
What are you up to this Thursday???

June 4, 2014

The Running Injury Chronicles

If you're new here, or haven't been around that long, here's how it all started. Last June, I was running home from work when my knee gave out about 3 miles into the run. I went to the doctor, he prescribed rest and a month later, I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon. Training was going well until, on an 18 mile run, my knee gave out at Mile 12. Shortly after, I dropped out of the race. I started going to PT in November and took the months of November - February completely off from running.

With the ok from PT, I started slowly training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon. Training was going ok, not great, and at Mile 8 of the race, my knee gave out. Two weeks off and a few visits back to PT and I ran the Alexandria Running Festival Half...where my knee gave out at Mile 6.

So, here we are, a year from when this first started and this is where I am.

After the Alexandria Half, I decided it was time to see a specialist. I had heard a lot about the Endurance Athlete Center, but never really looked into it because the location, Falls Church, VA, seemed prohibitive. After the race, a few more people recommended I try them, so I decided to look into them.


From their website:
Why Endurance Athlete Center?
Because we get it.
Endurance athletes are a different breed. General health care and fitness professionals can’t possibly understand the unique mentality or the physical requirements it takes to compete in endurance events. We know there is always a story behind the drive that gives you the motivation to persist.
Because giving up is never an option.
We have created this center to bring the best endurance specialists under one roof to establish a collaborative plan for you to reach your goals...We understand your goals and the demands of your training schedule because we are athletes too. Every professional at the EAC runs, bikes, swims, or participates in some form of what the rest of the world may define as “crazy”.
I knew I was in the right place when the initial paperwork at my first visit asked what my weekly mileage was, how often I ran and what my training/performance goals were.
Three visits in and already I can tell that this physical therapy is going to be radically different from anything else I've done. First, you get one on one time with your PT. At the last place I went to, my therapist often had 4 patients at a time. Second, he doesn't care that my knee hurts (well, obviously he does), but he's concerned with getting to the root of the problem, which is hip and glute strength mixed with a case of not great running form.
During my 2nd visit, I got on the treadmill and Gavin, my PT, filmed me running at a number of different angles. Then, we slowed down the footage and broke down where all of my issues are.
Issue #1: I run with my legs too close together. When I run, my left leg almost crosses completley over my right leg (a la model walk). 
The Fix: Focus on running with my legs a little bit wider apart. It isn't comfortable right now, but I'll get there.
Issue #2: My pony tail flops all over the place. What does that have to do with running (you might ask, I sure did)...it shows that my upper body is moving too much. My ponytail should move up and down, not swing from side to side. 
The Fix: Loosen up before my runs. 
The best part of all of this is that I can run. Right now, I'm running no more than 3 miles every other day, doing a number of drills before each run and then a number of exercises in between. Gavin is confident that I'll be in shape to train for a fall marathon (a full one!) and that this will definitely be an easy fix. There are a few other issues that I'm working on, but these are some of the main points.
Once again, I'm optimistic, but this time, it isn't cautiously so. I know I'm in the right place, getting the best treatment, and doing exactly what I need to to get myself back in order. 
Oh, and the distance? Not at all as prohibitive as I thought. It took me 30 minutes to get into the office this morning from the PT office via bus & Metro...though I could have easily walked from the office.
Have you ever seen a running specialist? Or any other sport specific specialist?
Disclaimer: If this sounded like a review, it wasn't meant to be. I sought out EAC on my own terms and am not being compensated in any way for writing about them.

June 2, 2014

A Blissful Weekend

I haven't had a weekend that was this perfect since college.

You know what's awesome? Having a job that you love. Having a job that you can put down at 5:00 on Friday and not think about until 9:00 on Monday morning. Having a job that doesn't have you spending half of Sunday dreading tomorrow. I consider myself tremendously lucky, especially given that this time last year, I was downright miserable.

On Friday, The Pilot met me at my office and we headed to the running store that I still work at part-time to take advantage of their Employee Appreciation. Hello 40% off the entire store. I finally bought a pair of Oiselle shorts (and seriously regret not buying 4 pairs!), got a bike helmet so I can start commuting to work by bike, and a pair of bike shorts for those days I want to bike to work and still wear a dress. We spent about $300...with the 40% discount. Worth it.

We had plans to meet some of my co-workers for my friend Katie's birthday and made our way to El Rey but decided to take advantage of the weather and walk the 30 or so minutes it took to get there, stopping for a bit in Meridian Hill Park, just to enjoy the day.

I hadn't been to El Rey, but holy moly, it was the best Mexican food I've ever had. The Pilot, who flies to Mexico a few times a month, said he felt like he was back in Guadalajara, eating from a taco stand on the side of the road. It was amazing. I had a bunch of tacos, chased them with some Natty Boh, and basically died over the corn on the cob slathered in cotija cheese. Yum.

Corn on the cob has never tasted so good.
After El Rey, we headed to another bar on U Street and danced/yelled along to some awesome 80s jams before calling it a night.

Saturday morning, I slept until 10:30am and it was glorious. The Pilot and I got up and made our way to Old Town to get him measured/start looking at tuxes for the wedding. Then we decided to take Peyton to play on the National Mall. It was the perfect day for it and it was awesome to let her off of her leash to just run around and roll around in the grass.

We spent the evening on Capitol Hill, had pizza at We the Pizza and then strolled around Eastern Market before heading back out to Old Town for some ice cream and a stroll on the waterfront.

Sunday, we packed some water and snacks, got Peyton in the car and drove out to McLean to take a trip to Great Falls. Hiking Great Falls has long been on my DC Bucket List and it was awesome. We hiked the River and Matildaville trails. Peyton was such a trooper, scrambling up hills and over rocks and we had a great day. The weather was absolutely perfect and the Falls were gorgeous. It was only $5 to get into the park and, since an annual membership was $20, we decided to upgrade and will definitely be back through the summer and fall.

After our hike, we went to dinner in Clarendon and by 9:30, I was fast asleep. It was a perfect end to a perfect weekend. It's so great finally having The Pilot home on weekends. We had so much fun exploring DC (and surrounding areas), playing with Peyton and just being together. It was pretty awesome.

What did you do this weekend?
Have you ever taken your dog hiking?

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