28 June 2012

Not my Grandpa's BLT

Sunday I sat down for lunch and thought to myself, now this is a meal my Grandpa would appreciate. A BLT, sliced tomato and cucumber, and cottage cheese. Then I thought of all the adjustments I made...

Grandpa's meal (my meal)
ice & tap water (chilled sparkling water)
full fat cottage cheese (1% milk fat cottage cheese)
garden cucumber (persian cucumber)
white toast (whole wheat sandwich thin)
pork bacon (turkey bacon)
full fat mayo (light mayo)

25 June 2012

Race photos- Father's Day 8K

An evening run on the C&O canal (paired with a small race field) made from some pretty cool race photos, so I thought I'd share them.

taking off! Kristen took no time in losing me

Kristen coming in for the finish

nice hands

here I come

just do it

22 June 2012


Hey readers!
I made a few changes to reflect my current life. 
1. Header- My older header was the subway platform outside Yankee Stadium. I still love that picture, but I thought a photo I took this spring of the Cherry Blossom's reflected DC better.
2. Blog description- This may still be a work in progress. What do you think my blog is about?
3. Blog name- Changes to font and size... I think I'll keep the name the same even though its not quite accurate anymore, thoughts?
4. I added a race recap and PR page. Probably more for my benefit than yours, but now running posts are all organized together.

So what do you think?

21 June 2012

Race Recap: Father's Day 8K (aka 6.5 min PR)

When my speedy sister called me a few weeks ago to discuss her upcoming trip to DC, she had two requests:

1. Run everyday

So in a addition to thinking about some runs around the monuments, Rock Creek Park, and Run club, I set out to find a race for when she was here.

The Father's Day 8K stood out to me for a few reasons:

1. 8K distance is not as common 
2. It was on the C&O canal (a place I hadn't yet run)
3. Race was capped at 300 people (DC has some big races)
4. The path is flat
5. The race was at 6:30 pm (no crazy early morning wake up)

I mentioned the idea to Kristen and immediately she was on board.

We spent the day walking around Georgetown getting "warmed up". Then we stopped by Dean & Deluca for some pre race hydration and used the restrooms to change into our race gear. The race seemed a little hap hazard like all the race bibs were left over from other races (hey, I'm a fan of reducing waste too!), there wasn't any electronic timing, and the small t-shirts were huge. 

Luckily when we lined up for the start we were only a few seconds back and once we started the field thinned out quickly. Mostly because we were racing with some FAST people.

The 8K out and back course was on the C&O canal towpath, which is crushed rock and some uncrushed rock. There were a few washout hazards, but mostly a smooth path for running.

As soon as the train whistle blew we were off and soon I could no longer see Kristen. I took off fast propelled by those around me and I finished my first mile in 8:19. A little before I reached the second mile marker a biker was heading towards me warning that the lead runner was on his way back. I looked at my watch, the race had started 15 minutes ago, this guy had less than two miles left. When he flew by I could tell that indeed he was running 5 minute miles. His energy lead me to finish my second mile a little faster at 8:09.

Soon after the lead runner I saw the first female runner in the middle of a male pack and I started counting ladies. I only got to thirteen when I saw my sister heading back! I gave her as much as a "go Kristen" as I could muster. In doing so I lost my lady count, but soon hit the turnaround.

I kept my pace through the turnaround and finished mile 3 a little slower at 8:13. By mile 4 I was getting a little tired and a few people passed me back, but I kept my pace at 8:19. One person who passed me back was an older man (later I figured out he was 70 years old). My competitiveness kicked in and I was wasn't going to let him beat me. I stuck to his heels till I could see the finish. I decided at that point to make my move at a slightly faster pace. Only some other man decided he was going to sprint past me. He was not going to sprint past me. Thats when I picked up my pace to full out sprint for the last 100 meters or so. We tied and my pace for the last 0.97 mile of the race was 7:33.

Official time of 40:43
Overall- 106/228
Female- 31/100
Female 20-29- 17/46

Kristen finished in 36:55
Overall- 59/228
Female- 15/100
Female 30-39- 4/33

If you remember the St Patrick's Day 8K (why would you?) I ran it in 47:11, therefore I PR'd by over 6 minutes! I'm pretty happy with that time.

After the race there was water and Georgetown Cupcakes. My first of the famous Georgetown Cupcakes and I couldn't finish it because it was too rich.

I asked my Mom to use my iPhone for a quick photo... which turned in to a too long unsuccessful photo shoot in front of the canal (as demonstrated below).

photo #1 because it was Father's Day Kristen closed her eyes just like my Dad does

photo #2 ground shot

photo #3 demonstration on lightly tapping iPhone

photo #4 taken while I'm instructing how to  take a picture

photo #5

photo #6

photo #7 last ditch effort is unsuccessful 

Gretchen goes to Washington

This last week my Mom, oldest sister, and niece came to visit. Flipping back through my pictures you wouldn't know anyone but Gretchen (my niece) was here.

The week in pictures.

first Metro ride

sleeping in front of the White House

and at the WWII Memorial



listening at the FDR memorial

chilling with FDR's dog

writing on the wall of dreams

loving Ben's Chili Bowl

enjoying Meridian Hill Park

lunch in Penn Quarter

15 June 2012

Pride Parade

Saturday afternoon I was getting ready to go for a run and I heard cheering coming from outside. After a moment of confusion I remembered that the Pride Parade was Saturday and was probably going through my neighborhood. So I headed outside to watch for awhile (I happened to be wearing a rainbow striped tank top and fit right in).

I was impressed by the length (over 2.5 hours), quality (lots of elaborate floats), and community involvement (lots of politicians and churches).

drag at the judges table

golden men


13 June 2012

President's club

My former employer loves alumni (or maybe they just like drumming up new work and boomerang employees) and this week I finally got to reap the rewards at my first event. I work with several other alumni and when we received the email about the event at National's Park we all thought we would be watching baseball. About two weeks ago I noticed that they wouldn't be in town... interesting... then they sent out additional emails clarifying that there would not be a game, but we would get to see the dugouts! and the batting cages!

The stadium was empty other than our group in the President's Club. The President's Club is the place all the rich people hang out who buy those seats right behind home plate.

"May the sun never set on American baseball" -President Harry S. Truman



view from the dugout
After a delicious pulled pork topped mini hotdog, a mini hamburger, a regular sized taco, and some gross cold noodles, it was time to hit the cages. It was my first time having some one pitch to me in a batting cage. It was also my first time batting in a pencil skirt. Luckily I was wearing my commuting Sperry's and I didn't have to attempt batting in heels.  

first time with a wood bat too

ready for the big leagues

the widest stance I could manage
I'm expecting a call from the scouts any minute now...

12 June 2012

Air Force Memorial

I happened by the Air Force Memorial the other day just as a storm was passing in the distance. Made for some cool pictures.

10 June 2012

Take me out to the ballgame

Thursday I got the opportunity to take in a day game with some coworkers out at Nationals Park (don't worry I was not getting paid for the time out of the office). It was a beautiful day and with seats in the shade the temperature was perfect. The Nats however were not perfect and lost to the Mets 1-3. It was nice to see them play a team I'm pretty familiar with (David Wright!) and get to know the players on my new hometown team (Bryce Harper!).

In other random news, my cousin Taryn was also at the game and neither of us knew of the other's attendence. 

cheap seats

let's go Nats!

running of the Presidents. George won.

National Running Day

I'm a few days late posting this, but Happy National Running Day! If you didn't celebrate on Wednesday, get out and celebrate today. I went for a short two mile run, down to and around the Whitehouse and back. It was my first run trying out my new Bani band. Headbands today are what scrunchies were in the 90s. You can get them in any color or pattern for every occasion. These have velvet on the back to keep them from slipping and are adjustable for size of head (mine is extra large). So far it has performed fairly well, much better than other headbands who claim to be "no slip". 

05 June 2012

Epic Annapolis- race recap

Saturday I ran my first half marathon in the Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon. I ended up spending the weekend with a friend (and three other new friends) who also ran their first half marathons (and one girl who forgot to pack her tennis shoes).

We were set to head up to Annapolis right after work on Friday night. Too bad the weather had other ideas. The entire area was under Tornado watch and flooding warnings and pouring rain, wind, and stillness kept rolling through. So we went to plan B. Ordering in Carbs in DC and driving up late. We found a place that delivered pasta and incredible garlic bread, chowed down, and then hit the road after most of the danger was over.

So we didn't arrive in Annapolis until around 10 pm. I set out all my gear and outfit choices, showered, set several alarms, then climbed into bed to watch a little bit of "say yes to the bridesmaid dress" before drifting off to sleep.

View from hotel room upon arrival

I got up around 5 and had a cliff bar and coffee while getting ready. My hotel was about a mile and a half from the start, but I thought it would be a good warm up so I decided to walk over.

5 am wake up
The sun finished rising by the time I reached the Navy Stadium and there was a steady line of cars pulling in to the parking lot.

Stadium approach
I checked out the porta potties, checked my bag, jogged around a bit then headed to the starting line. I lined up half way between the 9 min mile pace sign and the 10 min mile pace sign. The announcer kept asking the pacers to hold their signs up, but the only one that did was the 1:40 guy... so I didn't know where the 2:00 lady was.

In the corrals waiting for the start... chillin right behind the 9 min/mile pace group
Soon after lining up, we were off! We ran around the parking lot a little bit then out to the road and headed downtown. I knew I was running a little fast (miles 1 & 2 were 8:56 and 8:45), but couldn't help it with the adrenaline pumping. This was my first race in a long time (excluding the Chilhowee 5K) where I didn't have to dodge around people at the beginning. It didn't seem like anyone started in the wrong group. 

After about two miles I spotted the 2 hour pace group in front of me. At that point I decided I was going to stick with her and finish in under 2 hours. Only soon after she took a super long water stop. I kept going. After about a half mile she was back with me, but then took another long water break. After that she never got back in front of me.

After a little brick running downtown we ran by the water and the Naval Academy, then headed to the Naval Academy Bridge. This was the only major hill on the course and we did it twice.

This was my first race where I actually noticed the camera men... apparently it didn't matter.

Bliss = eyes closed?

After we crossed the bridge we ran on a highway flanked by woods for a few miles then moved over to an asphalt trail for awhile. I wasn't sure I was going to run with music, but decided to at the last minute. I just picked one of my running playlists, but didn't make sure it was long enough. At mile 8, it went silent, and we were going uphill and I needed a boost. Luckily the Gu station was a half mile ahead. I pushed through grabbed a Gu, walked for a few feet to get my music going again and eat the Gu and drink my water. I'm not sure how anyone successfully drinks water from those little cups and runs at the same time.

Then it was back over the trail, road, and over the bridge. This time the bridge was a lot tougher. These, miles 7, 8, 9 & 10, were my slowest miles at 9:20, 9:07, 9:14 and 9:20.

Left, right, left, right, left, right
After we were back over the bridge there were several rolling hills and a little half mile out and back that I wasn't expecting and I didn't enjoy. At this point, with 2 miles to go I was ready to be done, but when I look back at my splits I didn't slow down at all, miles 11 & 12 were both at 8:56.

Heading to the finish

Giving it my all

A little bit more...

The race clock was under 2 hours so I knew I made it. 

Officially under TWO!

Then we celebrated
We. did. it.

oh. yeah.
this was a failed attempt, but makes me look like an amazing jumper
They gave us pretty necklaces instead of medals.

my "medal"
Perfect- Gorgeous- Weekend

downtown cuteness
celebration 1 (shrimp shooters)

waterside bar

celebration 2