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May 30, 2017

A Restful Memorial Day Weekend + Beyond Words Link Up

I was supposed to run a marathon this weekend. After the GW Parkway Classic, I decided to drop down to the half.  Then, I ran a total of 2 miles this month, on a Tuesday at the beginning of May,  and I haven't worked out since. Needless to say, I didn't make my way to Ottawa this weekend to toe the line of any distance race.

This month has been unspeakably hard.

I'm sorry for being cryptic but I'm not quite ready to post about why. For most of this month, I haven't left my house, except to walk Peyton. This weekend, The Pilot was finally able to get me out of the house. We had a relatively low key weekend but it was good to finally get out of the house.

On Friday, we went to Ikea. We didn't need anything specific but it was fun to just wander around and I finally got this mirror that I've been eyeing for years. Since we moved into our new place in December, I've really wanted to repaint our bedroom but don't want to deal with the hassle of having to repaint it when we move out (it's a hideous shade of pale yellow) but somehow, this mirror just helps brighten up the space.

Saturday morning, I started a DIY project that I've had planned for awhile. One day in February, I went out for a run and found this old secretary's desk on the sidewalk. I've always loved these old desks so I ran home as fast as I could and went back for it. It might not look like it but it needed a lot of work which I started this weekend. The Pilot was pretty skeptical of this little DIY project but I love the way it's turning out! I'll share pictures soon!


Saturday afternoon, we made our way up to Baltimore for dinner with our friends, Ally and Ted. We went out for pizza and then spend the evening enjoying a bottle of wine on their roof deck before making our way back home.

On Sunday, slept in and lounged in bed reading before I got up to make us some waffles. We haven't used our waffle iron in ages but I made one of my favorite waffle recipes (which I'll share soon!) and then I had to work for a few hours. When I finished, we made a trip to Lowe's to pick up a few things for our DIY project and then I spent the night in bed reading. I finally finished "The Wrath and the Dawn," the book chosen for the Beyond Words Book Club. It's one of only two books I've read this month but the other book is, coincidentally, the book we chose for our June pick, "The Handmaid's Tale."

I really loved "The Wrath and the Dawn." I normally don't like YA books but this book by Renee Ahdieh captured me from the first sentence. A take on One Thousand and One Nights, the book begins with Shahrzad entering the monstrous caliph's palace as his wife to seek revenge on the death of her best friend, Shiva, and all of the other brides he has killed before her. I've always been fascinated by this tale and I thought Ahdieh's take on the story brought a fresh approach to the centuries-old tale.

Monday, I slept in again and started my next book, "In the Woods," by Tana French. I had some work to do which I took care of in between painting extra coats on the secretary desk. When I finally wrapped up for the day, The Pilot and I made our way to Anxo, a new cider that opened in the Brightwood neighborhood of DC this weekend.


We sipped some cider and then headed to dinner at The Pub and the People. After indulging in a round of drinks and each getting dessert, we headed home and took Peyton for a long walk and a play date before settling in to watch Harry Potter. We finally got a new DVD player (after our old one broke almost 3 years ago) and we've started watching all of the movies again (outside of the Harry Potter marathons on TV all the time). Last night, we watched "The Chamber of Secrets."

I needed this weekend to try to get back out into the world. It wasn't exactly a great weekend but it was what I needed. I've got a long week ahead of me at work and I'm hoping I can get back to running and try to find my new normal.

How did your Memorial Day Weekend shape up?

If you read, "The Wrath and the Dawn," you can link up with Carolann and me here!
Note, some links may be affiliate links, which means, if you click, I get a small percentage of the purchase. 

May 18, 2017

April Recap

Sometimes you write a blog post and forget to post it. Oops. 


April was a pretty great month. See, in February, I got summoned for grand jury duty in DC. Grand jury in DC is a five-week, five-day per week commitment. In short, it's a full-time job. Except, I already have a full-time job, one that keeps me very, very busy. I dreaded my jury summons and what my life would look like being at jury duty Monday through Friday from 9-5 in a windowless room without access to a cell phone or a computer (yes, seriously) and then working every evening. 

On my first day of jury duty, I reported to the courthouse and, after several hours of processing, learned that they had selected one too many jurors. With Katniss Everdeen speed, I volunteered as tribute and was released from grand jury summons to petit jury service, which I finished that day. For the next five weeks, I woke up every single morning grateful that I didn't have to go to jury duty. Sometimes, it's the little things. 

With my life back, I dove right into a pretty relaxing month. Here's a look at how it went in numbers:

Miles Run: 

Minutes of Yoga: 90...if you count an hour-long barre class I went to as yoga. Ouch. 

Books Read: 2 (I'm pretty behind on my Goodreads challenge)

Trips Taken: 1 13 hour trip to Detroit (to be recapped soon!)

New Recipes Made: Ouch...I was really lazy in the kitchen in April and The Pilot did most of the cooking for me. 

Blog Posts Written: 3

30 Before 30 Items Completed: 0 but I'm one ballpark closer to seeing them all!

Highlights: 

Lowlights: 

  • Feeling burnt out from running and training. I took a lot of time off last month and, while I think it's what I needed, I felt pretty lazy.
Since it's already the middle of May, I'll skip "the month ahead" and let you read all about May in a few weeks.

What's new with you? How have your last few weeks shaped up?

May 8, 2017

Race Recap: The GW Parkway Classic 10-Miler

Earlier this year I realized that, despite living in DC for over 4 years, I've run an abysmal number of races in the DC area. Until this weekend, I had only ever run 3 local races since living here.
Part of it had to do with the nagging injury I had for the first few years I lived here but I'm not too sure what has kept me from racing locally since.


When one of my friends gave me the opportunity to run the GW Parkway Classic 10-milera few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance. Her company is a sponsor for the race and I was excited to run a race I had heard great things about but had never really considered.

Race morning rolled around earlier than I would have liked at 5:15 am and I quickly got ready and had some oatmeal. My friend, Abby picked me up and we made our way to Old Town Alexandria to pick up the VIP bus that had been arranged from Pacers (a local running store).

The GW Parkway Classic starts at George Washington's Mount Vernon and ends in Old Town Alexandria. Since it is a 10 mile race that runs the length of the Parkway, getting to the race is almost impossible without the shuttles that Pacers provides to the start from various locations in the area.
Since we had VIP Access, we started our morning at Pacers who had an array of snacks, water, and coffee for the runners before we boarded the bus. My stomach was a little unsettled so I grabbed some pretzels which definitely helped. The bus we rode to the start had a bathroom on board, which was amazing, and when we got to the start, we were able to sit on the nice, warm bus until the race started, which I appreciated since it was a lot colder than I expected.

Abby and I hopped off the bus at 7:45 to stretch, warm up, and line up at the start. At 8 am, we were off. The first mile is down hill, and flew by.

It was a chilly morning but I was really starting to need some water by the 2nd mile. The first water stop came at Mile 3 and, rather than rush through the station doing a half drink/half run, I took my time through it. Because we were running on the Parkway, we were running on a concrete surface, which was a lot harder on my knees than I'm used to for most road races I've run which are on asphalt. Three miles in and my knees were already achy.

This course is fast though and before I knew it, we were at Mile 5. This isn't a wildly popular spectator course but I appreciated the handful of people out cheering on the course. I was running with Abby so I didn't mind that it was quiet in most places. The course was also beautiful with full, bright green trees and the river along the entire course.

Around the 6th or 7th mile, both of my knees were aching. I knew I would hit that point but I was hoping it would be later in the race. By Mile 8, I had to stop to walk and stretch things out. I know people who have no problem running on different surfaces but concrete has always bugged my knees.
As we made our way into Old Town, the surface switched to asphalt, which gave a little more cushion but at that point, my knees were shot. I took another walking break at Mile 9. There was a "dreaded hill" at Mile 9 that I had been warned about but it was nothing. It looked a lot worse than it actually was so we walked just to the base of the hill and then ran up and toward the finish.

The last stretch of the race was full of spectators, which gave us an awesome push toward the finish. My knees were killing me but we pushed the pace and crossed.

My official time was 1:40:58 (only 1 second off from my watch time!). It was my slowest 10-miler by almost 20 minutes but it was exactly what I needed that day. I hadn't been feeling myself all week and was worried about lining up. I made it through the race with no problems (aside from my knees) and had a lot of fun running. The VIP access definitely helped!

This was only my 3rd 10-miler and I forgot how much I loved the distance but it was a bit of a wake up call and this week, I decided to drop down to the Ottawa Half instead of the Full. I think I rushed into Disney training after Philly and I'm starting to get a little burnt out. I'm leaning toward dropping down, running a fun Half, and then settling into training for Richmond in November, but we'll see.

Right now, I'm just happy to have raced another day and to have added another local race (and a new favorite!) to my resume.

What's your favorite race distance?
Do you have any races coming up?
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