29 February 2012

Leap day!

This year we have an extra day! An extra day to #makeitcount as Nike would say. So don't waste it. 

I hadn't really thought about leap day much (why do we call the one day we don't leap the leap day?) till I read this article about ways to celebrate leap day.

My favorite suggestions to "take a leap":

3. Compliment a stranger. “What pretty eyes you have.” “You have such a warm smile.” “I love your outfit.” Everyone has had his or her day made by an offhand compliment from a stranger. Turn the tables and dole out some warm fuzzies yourself. If you are afraid of sounding creepy, just wait until you are in a retail situation and compliment your barista, server or auto mechanic.
Example 1: I once told a girl on the New York City Subway that I liked her shoes and then exited the train. Creepy maybe? Or maybe I made her day.
Example 2: As I ran up Meridian hill last week I met another female runner, she said "You go girl" as we passed each other. Made my day... made my week.
4. Say “yes” to a bizarre invitation. Unknown, uncontrollable social situations make some people break out in hives – but if you limit yourself only to the familiar, you are missing out on a world of fun. The next time you are invited somewhere and have the urge to automatically turn it down, say “yes” instead and watch your horizons broaden.
I don't have an issue with this, if I'm free I'm going to say "yes". But often I get weird excuses when I invite others to do things. Recently they included- "My husband doesn't like that band" Well good thing I didn't invite your husband.
8. Wish upon a star. When is the last time you looked up in wonder and said, “Star light, star bright?” Find your favorite sky diamond, close your eyes and make a wish.

Did you guys see this the other night? The Moon, Jupiter, and Venus lined up. Ok those aren't stars but I went to my rooftop and wondered at them for a good while.

9. Dance. Don’t think. Don’t judge. Don’t feel silly. Don’t stop. Just dance!

So DC has country radio! I spent some time on Sunday practicing my two-step around my apartment.

12. Wish “Happy Leap Day” to everyone you encounter on February 29. They will probably think you are weird and may give you a funny look. Relish it.

I WILL be doing this.

28. Tell a joke in a crowd. Figure out your favorite joke and practice telling it in the privacy of your own home. When the next party rolls around, take the plunge and tell the joke to a group of friends and strangers.

I'm bad at remembering jokes, but recently I made it a point to memorize and tell this one:

Why didn't the lifeguard save the hippie? He was too far out, man. (still makes me laugh)

What will you be doing to celebrate?

28 February 2012

Lions Tigers and Elephants (oh my)

On of the sweet things about DC is most of the museums are free this is including the National Zoo. Now the National Zoo is no Kansas City Zoo, but it does have animals. Since its free you just walk in and get to work. My favorites were:

The Lions

 The Tigers

 and the Elephants

When I reached the Elephants they were getting ready to feed them and having one of the elephants do tricks, which was really fun to watch.

27 February 2012

True Grit week 6

How did everyone do with their posture? Stand a little taller? Demand presence when walking in to the room? I didn't notice any difference, but have noticed myself speaking up more lately. Maybe its related?

This weeks challenge is de-clutter and release.
- Create a map of your living space and identify clutter areas, clear one item away from a heavy clutter area
- Clear your inbox to zero
- Think of something that frustrates you and brush its energy away from you
- tackle one nagging task that you have been postponing

These goals align closely to The Happiness Project Chapter 1: Vitality where she worked to toss, restore, organize and tackle a nagging task.

One thing I've been doing a lot lately on the subject of "Think of something that frustrates you and brush its energy away from you" is remind myself that its not me its you.  For example on my walk home tonight a car honked at me even though I was in the bike lane where they shouldn't of been driving, then they ran a red light. At first this made me mad, but then I reminded myself that the driver must be having a bad day and was running late to something very important. And then I realize how little the honk really impacts my life.

Do you have any habits or mantras that lets you de-clutter and release?

23 February 2012

Fuel yo self

A few weeks ago I first saw Nike announce the fuel band.  And I immediately preordered one... well I waited till they went on preorder at 5pm that day and snatched one up. Yesterday it arrived.  

If you haven't heard of it yet, its a bracelet that tracks calories, steps, and "fuel" (it also functions as a watch). NikeFuel is basically the measurement of movement. You can set your daily goals and there is a light scale on the band to show you how far you have to go. There is a nifty App that shows you how you are doing (which also includes miles, but I haven't figured out how accurate that is yet) and you can see your results (and other peoples) online.

So far its pretty cool. I set my goal for an Active lifestyle and I hit my goal by 7pm. I was most active between 7-8 am and least active during a staff meeting from 1-3 pm (excluding sleep time).   

The weather was warm and beautiful in DC today so once I got home I spent a little time on the rooftop.

How to celebrate Presidents' Day weekend: Day 3

Truth is I didn't do anything too Presidential on the actual Presidents' Day. The crowded museum on Sunday kept me from attempting one of the official activities. After a morning run and lazing around my apartment I walked over to Georgetown and bought an iPhone. I've wanted one forever and have been pleased thus far. The rest of my day was spent figuring the phone out and grocery shopping and making broccoli salad for the office Mardi Gras potluck on Tuesday.

However according to wiki George Washington frequented Georgetown and Thomas Jefferson lived there while serving as Vice President under John Adams. 

19 February 2012

How to celebrate Presidents' Day weekend: Day 2

I started day 2 how I like to start all Sunday mornings with CBS Sunday Morning. Today's show was full of presidential stories so perfect for the weekend. 

After a slow start I made it to the Newseum a little after one. I was hoping bad weather might keep people at home however the bad weather never came and the museum was CROWDED. Lots of groups of children, which I found odd for a Sunday, but apparently not. Also there were a lot of videos playing with everyone circled around them. Most people apparently didn't have the energy to read the displays.

I'd heard the museum was amazing. Yes my opinion was clouded by the crowds of preteen girls, but I just thought it was decent. There was a special exhibit on the Presidential Campaign and the president, which was fun and some photos taken by the official photographer of the President.

Non-president related exhibits I enjoyed were the sports photographs, News History, and Tim Russert's office.

Berlin wall and watch tower

View of the Capitol from the Newseum (Canadian embassy on the left)

I took a quick self portrait completely blocking the Capitol

9/11 Newspaper headlines

On my walk home I noticed all the cranes at "the pit" (my name for the construction site on 9th street) all flying American Flags.

Happy Presidents' day!

18 February 2012

How to celebrate Presidents' Day weekend: Day 1

After contemplating for two weeks where I should go for Presidents' Day weekend (or Washington's Birthday weekend as the Federal Government apparently calls it) I ended up going nowhere.

After seeing this tweet 

I realized I was in the best city for celebrating this holiday and I should take advantage of it. Today the weather is beautiful, high of 55, sunny, not a cloud in the sky (calm before the storm I hear). So I decided to go visit all my favorite Presidents.

Starting out from my apartment I ran about a mile before waving hello to Obama, I continued on another mile to salute Lincoln, Jefferson just got a wave from afar, but I went up to and around Washington's twice, for good measure I went down to the Capitol, and then back to the Whitehouse in case Obama didn't see me the first time around.

I went 7 miles! That is two miles more than I've ever run. I thought it was going to be a 6 mile run, but when I wasn't going to make it back to my apartment in 6 I decided to keep going because I felt good. I credit, runner's world training calculator for telling me I should run at a 11:30 pace (oops missed it by a minute), jog.fm for suggesting songs perfect for a 11ish pace, the sightseeing along the way (both the statues and the people), and the beautiful weather.

In case you didn't believe me
The weathermen are calling for nasty tomorrow, so I might try to take in a museum or two.

14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you spend the day loving everyone special in your life. I'm spending the day at work, attending a ladies lunch, and going to Mia's always amazing spin class.

To celebrate the holiday I tried one of the current nail trends, a two toned french manicure. I think it turned out pretty good and is subtle enough for the office.

or should I have gone for hearts?

12 February 2012

Race Recap: Love the Run You're With 5K

Today was the coldest day of the year. So of course it was the day of my first race of 2012. 
I woke up at 7 am and had some oatmeal, I figured since it was two hours till race time I would eat something substantial. I then spent a good 30 minutes trying to decide what I should be wearing and checking the forecast. It didn't matter how many times I checked, it was in the 20s. So I decided to layer. Shorts, pants, tank, long sleeve, windbreaker, and gloves. I also threw on a winter coat for the pre/post run.

We had a bit of snow here on Saturday and on my walk to the Metro I noticed several spots of black ice... not good for running.

Riding the metro prerace
The race started at the shops at Pentagon City, a fairly quick metro ride away. It turned out to be a great location as there were plenty of spots to duck inside and keep warm (and nice restrooms!). The race route was heavily salted, which made for a rough surface, but also kept me from falling on ice, so that was a plus. 

Since the race was Valentine's Day themed when registering one had to register as either:
Single- green bib
It's complicated- yellow bib
In a relationship- red bib

The race swag was perfect for the weather, a fleece blanket. Many people were wrapped up in theirs on their way home.

Monkeys in love
 The race started right at 9. There were no pace groups and most people looked pretty athletic so I just chose a spot in the middle back. It turned out I had a pretty good spot. I had to do a little dodging, but not much.

The course was an out and back. Right off the bat we ran up a huge hill, but then had some gradual down hill for awhile. My first and last mile were both 9:03, while my second mile was the slowest at 9:07. As I was going back up that gradual hill in the third mile a girl was cheering. She said "No regrets! Pass 5 people on the downhill!" for some reason this hit me and I put it in the next gear and passed ten people on the rest of the uphill. Take that uphill! I passed a few more on the downhill, but took it semi carefully with the road conditions. As soon as we turned the corner we could see the finish line and got a huge boost from a frigid wind to our backs. When I saw the official race time hadn't hit 29 yet, I pushed as hard as I could and finished in 28:28! A new PR for me.

 And not so bad overall:

But my finishing photo is bad, very, very, very bad:

I hope I didn't look like this the whole race
I skipped the post race free beer and karaoke for a hot shower and nap. 

08 February 2012

True Grit 4 & 5

My luke warm participation continues.

Week 4: Radical Productivity- basically do the most important thing "MIT" first not the thing that is wanting the most attention.

I've heard this advice several times before. Especially at my old job, where you could come in to work and spend the whole day trying to answer emails as they come in instead of tackling the big project due for the day. At my current job its not so much a problem. So I did go in each day and start to work on the MIT, but it wasn't challenging.

Week 5: Walk the Walk- working on your posture. The big to-do is to imagine a string pulling you up every time you go through a door way. Therefore making a grand entrance. I think posture is important, but generally think mine is pretty good (one of my previous coworkers would always tell me mine was best of the ladies in the office at least), but I like the idea of making purposeful entrances into rooms. So I will try my best to check my posture at all doors.

Do you find it challenging to perform your MIT each day? How's your posture? Did you have any success with week 1-3?

06 February 2012

Pizza - Pizza

Another meal I've been making is a whole wheat pita pizza. Add some diced tomatoes, a little part skim mozzarella cheese, one artichoke heart, and a few shavings of green pepper and you have one delicious pizza pie.

I couldn't wait, I had to take a bite

03 February 2012


My blogger friend over at OMG I'm Back In DC tagged me in the following challenge, so here you go!

Here are the rules: You give five random facts about yourself. You answer the questions provided to you. 

Five random facts-

  1. I don't mind running on the treadmill, I like the temperature control and the convenience of it being right downstairs and the fact that in the gym no one comments on my backside like they do when I run around outside.
  2. Recently I discovered that Jillian Michaels has free podcasts on iTunes and have listened to oh about 30 episodes in one week. (Check it out!)
  3. I have a hard time not accepting free things, but I am getting better!
  4. I have a pencil collection, it started when I was a child on family vacations and all my parents would ever buy me from the gift shops were pencils.
  5. I have a mild crush on Matt Lauer (I don't think an explanation is needed here)
Questions from Leanna:

1. What's your favorite guilty pleasure book? I guess the Emily Giffin books Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Love the one your with, and Baby Proof.
2. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Homemade vanilla
3. What are you looking forward to most in 2012? I'm not sure, one thing that just popped in my head is the summer Olympics. I'm a sucker for the Olympics and especially the summer games. As a child I put my swimsuit on to watch the swimming events.
4. If you were going to plan your perfect weekend, what would you do? The perfect weekend would include sleeping in, touch football, cooking, exploring a new area, hanging out with friends, CBS Sunday Morning, and reading and maybe some shopping.
5. What's your favorite cocktail? I like a simple vodka tonic or rum and coke
6. If you could visit one city in the world, which would you choose? Currently I'm focused on Amsterdam and Madrid.
7. If you could only wear dresses or pants for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Dresses 100% Monday through Friday I pretty much live in dresses. However I like to workout and sleep in pants....
8. Do you like to plan your week out in advance or fill it with spontaneous events? I'm a mix, I plan a few things, but mostly fill it in with spontaneous events.
9. How do you like your coffee? With skim milk. I weaned myself off sugar last year when I (mostly) gave up soda.
10. What's the best practical joke you've played on someone? I'm not very good a practical jokes, but a few years ago one of my coworkers was heading to Europe for work and he had never been out of the US. He was going to Germany (where I have been several times) so I told him that in Germany you stand up when you sneeze. Thinking this was ridiculous and that he would never believe me, but he did. We let the joke continue for a few days, but we did tell him the truth before he left.
11. What's the biggest challenge you want to overcome in 2012? Making DC feel like home. Even though I moved here knowing some people, it still takes time to figure out where I my hangouts will be and how to make DC mine.

01 February 2012

One month down

Remember these? Let's track how I am doing.

  1. Refrain from using the snooze button- I made it all month with zero snoozes (even with a new alarm clock)!
  2. Run at least 6 races- Zero for January
  3. Track what I eat and when I work out-  Excluding my weekend in Texas where I lost partial track on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday I've kept it up.
  4. Knit something new-  Does the right rear leg count? I need to get on this one.
  5. Travel somewhere new- Lake LBJ in Texas was a first.
  6. Be friendlier to strangers- 
Be nice to strangers has made me the happiest of my resolutions. I did have some tricky times where I caught myself "ugh" to people who were walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk (walk to your right people) or walking four wide and I did my "what's your move" hand signal once. But on the other end I said good morning to a neighbor which lead to a fun conversation that lasted halfway to work and the security guards at work have become chattier which lead to conversations that started with "do you know John Lennon?". Needless to say I like these random conversations.

Right rear leg