June 30, 2015

Chicago Marathon Training Week 1

Last week I was committed. I always enter a training cycle with fantasies of never skipping a run but sometimes that just isn't realistic...or even smart.

I didn't want to start this training cycle off with any skipped runs, especially since laryngitis and a bad cold forced me to skip a run last week and finish up base training with 18 miles for the week, rather than the 21 I had planned for.

After taking Monday and Tuesday off from everything, I headed out for 4 miles after work on Monday. My legs were tired, my chest hurt and post-nasal drip made the run really uncomfortable. I pushed through and spent the night on the couch. The rest of the week went similarly.

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 1
Total Mileage Last Week: 25
Missed Workouts: Cross-training. I didn't do any form of it at all which isn't good.
Trouble Spots: Really sore hips post run...numbness in my feet indicating a need for new shoes.

Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: 9 miles

Yup, that face is a pretty accurate representation of how I felt on just about every run last week.   

Planned Mileage this Week: 28
Goals for this Week: Don't forget to cross train; try and add in some core work.

As you'll see, I ran from Wednesday to Sunday without day off in between. Yesterday's rest day was very welcome.

Was this the smartest way to train? Probably not, but it's what worked and I made sure to try and space my runs out as much as possible and take it easy so as not to really push it. I didn't actually feel good on a run until Sunday, but I felt great on my long run. I was worried that it was slower than I would have liked but when I got home and looked at my training plan, I saw that I was right on pace for where my plan wants me to me which is awesome!

I'm also thrilled to have wrapped up the month of June with my highest monthly mileage total since August of 2013...right before I got injured. It feels so good to be back!

How's your training going?
Have you ever gone on a run streak just to get your runs in?
How did you feel afterward?
What are your favorite ways to cross train? What should I do this week?!

June 29, 2015

If We Were Having Coffee...

Good Morning! Are you excited about this week? Shortened weeks are always so wonderful, aren't they? Since I've been pretty quiet here this month, I thought I'd write a coffee date post, so sit back, grab a cup and let's catch up!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I'm so grateful that it was nice and cool in DC yesterday. I wasn't going to be able to get my long run in until the afternoon and that wouldn't have been possible if it was close to 100 degrees but it was cool and overcast which made for an awesome long run dodging tourists around the National Mall.

I would tell you that I'll have a full update on marathon training up tomorrow but that yesterday's run wrapped up my first full week of training and I feel great.

I would tell you that The Pilot and I went on a much needed date night this weekend. With him being in training  and his schedule being really sporadic, we hadn't been on a date night in months. He surprised me and took me to Columbia Heights for some Cuban food which brought me right back to my grandmother's kitchen growing up. The food was incredible (except for the croquetas...they were delicious but no one makes them like my Abuela!) and the place was packed! After dinner, we headed to the movies to see Pitch Perfect 2. It was so funny; I actually liked it better than the first one.
Date night food!
If we were having coffee I would tell you that I'm so excited for my trip to Portugal! I've been planning it all out and there are so many awesome things to see and do in Lisbon! I wanted to go there after running the Madrid Marathon but it just didn't quite work out. I've wanted to see Lisbon for quite awhile! It'll be the 14th country I've visited in Europe!

I would tell you that my summer is filling up quickly! A few weeks ago, I was telling people I was free all summer and now that doesn't seem to be the case! I hope I'm not trying to cram too much into the summer but winter was so long and miserable that I'm excited for a jam packed summer!

I would tell you how happy I am about the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same sex marriage. #Lovewins

I would tell you that this weekend marked 2 1/2 years since The Pilot and I moved to DC. I've fallen in love with this city in a way I never thought possible and I can't wait to see what other DC adventures await us!

What would you tell me if we went for a coffee date?
Is there a certain type of food that brings back childhood memories for you?
What are your plans for the holiday weekend?
 {Linking up with Tara for the Weekend Update!}

June 25, 2015


Feeling... better. I definitely got sick like I predicted last week. I had the worst case of laryngitis I've ever had and felt awful. I still have a pretty bad cough but only at night...so I guess that's good?

Reading... "The Underground Girls of Kabul" by Jenny Nordberg. Carolann sent this to me a few months ago and I'm just now getting around to reading it. Less than 50 pages in and I'm hooked. This is one of the best books on Afghanistan I've read and, having written part of my grad thesis on Afghanistan, that's saying a lot.

Watching... "The Astronaut Wives Club." I loved the first episode. It was great. The Pilot and I are also slowly watching "Orange is the New Black." We're only 3 or 4 episodes in but I really like this season so far. They brought a lot of the characters I like back as regulars which is great.

Listening to... Bette Midler on repeat. One of my mom's ultimate bucket list things has always been to see Bette Midler, so for her birthday this past year, I bought her tickets to see her in DC. The show was Monday and it was incredible. My mama was so happy which made me equally happy. The best part? Her donning her Winifred wig and singing "I Put a Spell on You."

Thinking about... South Carolina. It's so devastating and once again, it's sparking a lot of debate in the US. Yes, mental health is an issue in this country but let's not pretend that someone who taken pictures of himself burning the American flag and posing with the Confederate flag is anything but a racist who committed this heinous act because of hatred.

Working on... planning out my summer. All of a sudden, I went from not having a busy summer to a very busy summer. I don't hate it.

Loving... the wedding we went to this weekend. It was a blast. We had such a ridiculously fun time and it was our first time seeing that whole group of friends since our wedding, which was awesome. We heard some crazy stories about what went on after we left our wedding!

I just love getting dressed up for weddings!
Grateful for... The Pilot flying again. He's out of training and still on reserve which I'm hoping won't be for much longer. His reserve schedule is...erratic and I hardly ever know when he's going to be home.

Excited about... marathon training! This is it! Week 1! I have some catching up to do since I was sick for the early part of the week, but I'm excited to kick it into gear and see where this cycle takes me!

That's all I've got. Sorry for the absence but with being out of town, my mom coming down and getting sick, blogging has been at the back of my mind! I feel like all of June has been like that though...I'll be back to my regular posting schedule soon though!

Happy Thursday!

June 18, 2015


Feeling... like I'm getting sick. I think it was the cold weather in Milwaukee that did me in but I've had a sore throat, a cough and some congestion since I got back.

Reading... "The Astronaut Wives Club" by Lily Koppel. I saw the previews for this TV show a few weeks ago and it looks really good! When Katie posted that she was reading the book on Instagram, I decided to pick it up as it fits the "book turned into a TV show" category for my 2015 book challenge. I like it so far!

Watching... "Orange is the New Black." You might be shocked to learn that I'm only 2 episodes in but i just haven't had the time or energy to binge watch anything lately. I went to bed at 9:00 on Tuesday night. Yup.

Thinking about... this weekend. I feel like it's going to be a busy one.

Working on... work. This month has been so insanely busy. I've had jobs where week to week I felt like I had reached the end of the internet, so this is a welcome change! I'd much rather be busy plus, everything I'm working on is pretty exciting.

Loving... this picture from the wedding on Saturday that Andrea snapped. Ir pretty much sums up the whole night our lives.

Grateful for... my mama. She's coming to visit this weekend. I bought her tickets to see Bette Midler for her birthday at the Verizon Center on Monday night so that's on the agenda. I've only seen her once since Christmas...seeing as how I was flying home once a month for wedding dress fittings last year, I'm missing her a bunch!

Excited about... my trip to Portugal! It's getting close and while I haven't had much time to look up what I want to do there, I'm still really excited!

What's going on with you?
Are you an OITNB fan? Have you watched the whole season or are you taking it slow?
Ever been to Portugal? What should we do?!


June 16, 2015

It's All About that Base...Week 6

I wrote all about how base training is going last week and then never finished the post. Oops.

This is it. Week 6. I originally planned on only base training for 4 weeks and training for 18 but with my focus on building weekly mileage, I decided to keep up with another 2 weeks of easy base training to get me to a good place - long run and weekly mileage-wise - before kicking in a full training cycle.

What base training has looked like...by the week.
You might not think there's much of a difference but marathon training brings in hill repeats, speed work, tempo runs, timed runs and a lot of cross training. Base training? I run easy, I do some yoga and I make sure I'm feeling good about getting back into a routine.

Last week was a step back week. I ran 13 miles total for the week and only ran 3 times. That part of it was unintentional but when my coworkers took me for a 10k run instead of the 4 we had planned on and long travel days fell into place, that's just how my week went and I was perfectly fine with it.

This week, I'm gearing up for training. I'll run 21 for the week with a long run if 8 miles. I'll go to a spin class (which I did last week...except the instructor never showed up). I'm still pretty tired from this weekend so I haven't been able to get up for a morning run, but as long as I'm getting everything in I'm not too worried about it. This time of year, evening runs are sometimes better than morning runs because it's not as hot.

As for a training plan...I finally decided what I'm going to do. I'm going to do exactly what I've done for every other marathon I've run. I've run five marathons and have always used the same plan...it hasn't gotten me to a sub-4 finish but it's gotten me damn close. I don't even know if I'm aiming for a sub-4 at Chicago, but I'm going to stick with what works. 

So there you have it. I'm so pumped to start training for my first marathon in THREE YEARS! I learned to love the distance at my last marathon and I can't wait to tackle it again. I'm excited for this training cycle. I think I'm going into it smart and healthy and I'm excited to see what I'm capable of on October 11th! 

Moving forward, these weekly training recaps are going to look a lot different. They'll feature what I'm doing, my highs and lows, lessons learned, areas to improve on, etc. For the first time, I'm also going to be featuring other runners and how their training is going! If you'd like to be featured, let me know! 

What do you think of my training so far?

June 15, 2015

A Wedding Weekend in Milwuakee

A few years ago when I was living in New York, Andrea mentioned that her and her best friend were planning a girls' trip to NYC and looking for hotel recommendations. Having never met Ange, I told Andrea that they should stay with me! Ange and I hit it off immediately and became fast friends. This weekend, The Pilot and I jetted off to Milwaukee to see her tie the knot.

Friday morning, we woke up at 4:30am to try and catch a 7am flight to Chicago. We didn't get on the flight...or the next 4 flights after that. Looking at all of our options around the country, we saw a flight to Cleveland boarding and hopped on. After a 4 hour sit in Cleveland, we finally arrived in Milwaukee...12 hours after we first got to the airport in DC. This is what flying standby looks like in the summer...flights oversold by 6 or 7 seats and standby lists a mile long. 

Immediately upon landing and renting our car, we made our way to the Lakefront Brewery for the best brewery tour I've ever been on and lots and lots of beer.

 After the tour, we made our way to Miller Park for what was finally my first game of the season. It wasn't my first trip to Miller Park so it wasn't a new stadium for me but they played the Nationals (and won! securing the Mets slot at the top of the NL East) and the sausages raced and there was baseball and all was right with the world (except for the fact that it was crazy cold!).

We made our way back to the hotel and fell asleep immediately.

Saturday morning, we headed down for breakfast before a slow 3 miles through Milwaukee's cold, humid weather. Then it was time to get ready. My hair was...interesting given the humidity and it took me a lot longer than normal to get ready but before I knew it, it was time to go!

The ceremony was really sweet...the pastor made a lot of baseball references...my favorite being that their wedding day was their Opening Day. We headed to a brewery afterward with the groom's family (also Andrea's family!) and ate cheese curds ( a WI must) and drank spiked rootbeer  (holy yum!) before making our way to the lakefront cocktail hour and reception where I had the biggest piece of salmon I've ever seen along with delicious cheesecake and more popcorn than I care to admit from the popcorn bar before dancing the night away.


Sunday, we thankfully had a way easier time of getting home to DC. I finished "The Buried Giant" on the flight and started (and almost finished) "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." When we landed, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then passed out on the couch with Peyton.

It was a great weekend...old friends, new friends, and friends I've heard everything about but had never met and instantly clicked with!

So there you have it, a whirlwind wedding weekend in Milwaukee complete with as many true Wisconsin experiences as I could muster into one short weekend. I kind of love it there and will definitely be back!

Did you go to a wedding this weekend? 
Instagram seemed to show that everyone was at a wedding!
Have you been to Milwaukee?
How was your weekend?
{Linking up with Tara!} 

June 11, 2015


Feeling... disconnected. Things have been so busy lately that I haven't had time to post or read any blogs at all since this month started! I'm hoping things slow down soon and that that changes!

Reading... "The Buried Giant" by Kazuo Ishiguro. It's ok. To me, this feels like a book that I'm going to forget about in a few weeks. There doesn't seem to really be a central plot and I don't find it tremendously compelling. My mind has been wandering a lot with this book because quite frankly, it's a little boring.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is up next!
Watching...  "Mad Men." I've been talking about this for awhile now but I'm committed. Here's the thing...if I was watching this show in real time, I would have no compulsion to watch it from week to week but that fact that I'm watching it on Netflix leaves me curious enough to keep watching for long enough to find out what really happened when they alluded to something five episodes ago.

Thinking about... the fact that I spent two days working on a training recap from last week and never finished it. Training wasn't anything crazy last week, but I just didn't have time to finish the post!

Working on... planning some blog posts for the rest of the month!

Loving... running. The two year injury road that I've finally bounced back from made me hate running. For two years, running was a horrible relationship that sometimes made me feel great, and other times made me feel awful. I'm glad I've moved past that and can finally enjoy my sport again.

Needing... to go to a baseball game. We are two months into baseball season and I still haven't been to a ball game. It's awful.

Grateful for... The Pilot finally being finished with training. He started in early February and was supposed to be finished by mid April. He finished on Sunday. He still doesn't have a 'regular' schedule yet and we don't know how long it will be, but I'm praying it will be soon because these last few months have been really, really hard.

Excited about... wedding season!

What's going on in everyone else's world this week?
Do you have any weddings coming up?

June 8, 2015

A Slow, Lazy Weekend

I felt so lazy this weekend...not even in the I-don't-feel-like-doing-anything-let-me-just-relax kind of way. I just didn't feel right.

Friday after work, I headed home...finally finished "The Bully Pulpit" and then enjoyed a glass of wine while catching up with a friend on the phone. I stayed up a little later than I wanted  to after starting to read "Shatter Me" and fell asleep with the book in hand. It had been such a long week and I was exhausted. 

Thankfully it wasn't going to be too hot on Saturday so I slept in a bit before heading out for a long run  of 6 miles. I tried to find a new trail that I had heard about but got a little lost. Luckily I still found my way home without having to make up too much distance. After a long stretching and foam rolling session, I spent the afternoon on the couch reading before heading out for the night to babysit a friend's little guy. It was their anniversary so I offered to watch their 9-month-old baby. It was a nice, quiet night in which I was definitely grateful for.

I woke up Sunday morning to The Pilot walking in from a 4-day trip. I made a big cup of coffee and the  we took Peyton to a little bakery to grab breakfast. We spent the rest of the day outside while I painted a shelf that we needed for our laundry room...only to later realize that I painted the wrong shelf. A quick grocery run followed by dinner and I was out of commission for the rest of the night. I went to sleep before 9!

I'm not sure why I was so out of this week. I was a little dehydrated during my long run but I felt good through it, when I got home though, I was exhausted. It had taken a lot out of me. 

I'm so glad I finally finished that 1,000 page book...it was a mountain, that's for sure! I liked "Shatter Me" enough but it didn't leave me itching to read any of the other books in the series. I was interested to read it though because the author, Tahereh Mafi, is married to Ransom Riggs, who wrote the Miss Peregrine's series, which I love.

Have you ever feel just "off" over the weekend? I'm hoping this week is better! How did your weekend go? What are you reading these days?

{Linking up with Tara!}

June 4, 2015


Feeling... like I'm training for a marathon again. I had such am incredible National Running Day run! Four of the fastest miles I've run in months...maybe years can do a lot for your confidence.

Reading... "The Bully Pulpit"...the neverending 3 week endeavor. "War and Peace" was easier to read, then again it was fiction. I have less than 125 pages to go. I will finish this book tomorrow.

Watching... Nothing exciting. I really want to go see "Aloha." 

Thinking about... signs. Do you ever think about doing something...and then start seeing signs for it everywhere? Or it keeps coming up in conversation? That's happening right now. 

Working on... my 30 before 30 list! I've got to start making some plans! 

Loving... catching up with old friends.

Needing... a new computer. Mine is definitely on its last legs...so is The Pilot's.

Grateful for... our little apartment. I love it so much. We hated our last place so this is a very welcome change. 

Excited about... summer! If it ever gets here...I'm wearing a sweater and a jacket right now. Not cool June, not cool.

What's on your list?
Have you ever read a book that you probably should've given up on, but got too far to quit? 
If you have a 30 Before 30...or a 101 in 10001...or any similar list, what's #1?
Happy Pre-Friday y'all!

June 2, 2015

It's All About that Base...Week 4

Week 4! This was supposed to be my last week of base training before I kicked off an 18 week marathon training plan. What I didn't realize is that the 18 week plan I was looking to loosely follow starts off with 16 miles/week with a long run of 5 miles...which is exactly what I did last week.

Last week went really well. I felt great.  I did yoga twice (not three times like I hoped), I got all of my runs in as planned and I felt strong. Running is starting to feel a lot more natural than it has in a long time. I think this is the longest I've successfully trained for anything since before I got hurt. Even when I ran DC Rock 'n' Roll this year, I skipped a lot of runs because it was cold and just felt miserable through all of training.

At this point, I'm thinking of going back to my usual 16-week training plan and taking the next two weeks to step back and then add another run per week bringing my runs up to 5/week. I'm a little bit hesitant to do that, but right now, I don't feel like I'm running enough to feel confident going into a marathon. I ran 4x/week when I trained for my first 26.2 but have stuck with 5x/week since.

I've been doing yoga twice a week and it was really great to get into a class on Friday night. As much as I love the convenience of doing yoga at home, it's just different than being in a class. As for those PT exercises I keep telling myself I'm going to do...yea...

I also realized that I should probably start doing some strength training again. It's been 3 years since I've trained for a marathon and I'm suddenly remembering everything that goes into it. It's good though! It almost feels like I'm training for my first one again, which is awesome because there's no feeling quite like training for and running your first marathon.

So, that's that. This week I'm planning for 18 miles, yoga 2 (hopefully 3) times this week and finally (maybe) doing those PT exercises.

I should probably sit down and write my training plan too.

How is your training going?
How often do you run each week when training for a half or full?
Have you ever felt like you were training for your first race all over again?

June 1, 2015

Weekend Update

Happy Monday! It's finally June...my favorite month of the year AND it's a Monday...I secretly love it when the first day of the month falls on the first day of the week!

This weekend felt gloriously long. Friday after work, I met up with a friend at Embrace for a yoga class with Faith Hunter. It was such a great class...one of the best I've taken in a really long time, and afterward I treated myself to a much needed pedicure. I hadn't had one since my wedding!

Saturday was a rest day so I woke up,  made myself some coffee, spent some time reading and did a few things around the house before heading outside to help my landlords decorate for their 2-year-old son's birthday party. I pretty much spent the rest of the day helping them and then at the party itself. Saturday was beautiful and it was so nice to just be outside all day!

As for reading...I'm still reading The Bully Pulpit...this book is seriously a marathon. I'm so determined to finish it this week...mostly because I just don't want to be reading it anymore. 950 pages for nonfiction is a little ridiculous.

I made these!
Sunday morning, my friend Abby came over for a 5 mile run. I felt really good throughout the run. I've been starting to get bored on my runs lately so it was such a welcome change of pace to run with a friend!

Afterward, we went to Matchbox for brunch where we sat outside and saw a Sasha and Malia Obama walking down the street! It was my first sighting of the First Family since moving to DC which was pretty awesome! (Though I was in the same room as Mr. President while volunteering at the UN in grad school once.)

I spent the rest of the day running errands and doing some serious weekend warrior cooking. Of course, after packing lunch for today and tomorrow I realized that I had lunch plans...oh well.
It was a great weekend! It was beautiful out and I finished up another successful week of base training...but more on that tomorrow!

How was your weekend? Did you do a long run? Do you meal prep for the week ahead? It's time consuming but so worth it!

Happy Monday...and Happy June!
{Linking up with Tara for Weekend Update}

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