28 July 2013

Biggest Loser 5K Race Recap

If you talk to me for more than a minute about exercise I'll bring up something that Jillian Michaels has said. So when I saw there was a Biggest Loser race coming to DC I was interested in checking it out. Then my coworker decided to organize a work team and I signed right up.

The Biggest Loser race series is hosted by Dan and Jackie Evans from season 5, but they had a few other former contestants participate as well.   

 photo IMG_2816_zps31b93132.jpg

The race website was well designed and easy to get around, which can not be said about the actual race. I was not the target audience for this race. It was clear that it was for people running or walking their first 5K. The race started at RFK stadium but otherwise they were tight lipped about the race course until the week before the race when we found out that it would be circles around the parking lot. To all those planning races out there... the course does matter! And running around a huge parking lot on a hot day, wasn't the best choice. 

There were no signs at the start indicating where the runners and walkers should start. When we moved over to the starting area, there was no way to work up to the front even though there were obvious walkers in front of us. 

The course was poorly marked off by traffic cones and the first mile involved a lot of dodging around others. We ended up having around 30 people run in our group and we all wore orange so I spent the middle part of the race looking for friends and cheering them on. The race signage was also confusing. Around mile one of the race there was a sign that said mile 2 then at two and a half miles in there was a sign for mile 1. I still haven't figured out what was going on.

I had stayed out late the night before with this fun. So my expectations for the race had been lowered. And I felt like this for most of the race:

 photo nuvision_action_image_storefront_2310653_zps5d599c36.jpg

But a 5K is only 3.1 miles and I was able to pull it together and run like this for most of the race:

 photo nuvision_action_image_storefront_2307135_zps0b131b71.jpg

And finish strong with a funny finish line step. I finished with a time of 23:57 good enough for 6th place in my age group and 43rd overall (and only 15 seconds off of my PR).

 photo nuvision_action_image_storefront_2318630_zps2e3436b8.jpg

After the race we were treated to a concert by Dan Evans and our team earned a finish line tent to hang out in.

 photo IMG_2832_zpse555529f.jpg

They are hosting these BL races around the US. I recommend only signing up if you love the show and /or Dan Evans. Although we did get a shirt, backpack, finisher's medal, and free race pictures for a very reasonable registration fee of $25.

 photo IMG_2834_zps9455bd9d.jpg

26 July 2013

Bastille Day DC Block Party

July 14th was Bastille Day, we celebrated in DC on the 13th with a block party hosted by L'Enfant Cafe in Adams Morgan. When I arrived I was welcomed by an aerialist.

 photo IMG_2818_zps7f3a289e.jpg

Then things got better...  There were french maids and burlesque type dancers all around. As the sun set King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette took the stage and tossed out feathered masks and they started pumping the dance music.

 photo IMG_2820_zps1d846cc8.jpg

I'm not sure if this is how it is celebrated in France, but I think they would be proud.

25 July 2013

Feats of Strength

We had a little fun with my dad's skid steer. In a little thing my dad and brother put together called a skid steer rodeo. They set up an obstacle course, gave us each a quick overview of the controls, once practice round, then set us loose on the course. We were judged by time and had penalties for hitting obstacles and missing challenges.

I ended up getting second for the females... I had lots of issues with the gravel.

 photo IMG_1320_zpscd17e3cb.jpg

 photo IMG_1326_zpsb71260f3.jpg

After the rodeo we had a brother carrying contest. My little cousins won. I attempted to carry my brother with the help of my sister, turns out little brothers aren't so light when they get older.

 photo IMG_1340_zpsfc55e5dd.jpg

Then we finished up with some good old fashion tire flipping. I got second AGAIN. But my sister who beat me had been training flipping real tires.

 photo IMG_1399_zps2c2930a8.jpg

24 July 2013


I recently had a work trip to Chattanooga, TN. After some less than impressive scenery along the highway from the airport; the downtown really won me over. Not only were there at least four different ice cream parlors within a five minute walk there were also some great parks, a beautiful river, the longest footbridge in the world*, an art and garden district, a brewpub, and an aquarium that all the locals were very proud of. Also on my run I noticed the local theater was putting on a production of Legally Blonde one of my favorite musicals.

Everyone was super friendly including every single one of our cab drivers who gave us free tours of downtown and made promises that they kept.

Because of flight delays I had an extra day in town... then I almost stayed.

 photo IMG_2812_zps62178de7.jpg
foot bridge and art museum

 photo IMG_2813_zpse0ae3e4f.jpg
aquarium on the left

 photo IMG_2814_zps3ab02b8c.jpg
River and pink sky from the foot bridge

*unconfirmed fact from a local, but I did run across the bridge and measured it at a half mile long.

23 July 2013

Legos in the Garden

Powell Gardens, a botanical garden outside of Kansas City, MO, has a temporary lego statue display. Garden statues were sprinkled throughout the entire gardens made entirely out of legos (some had some internal structure support) by New York artist Sean Kenney.

Here are some of my favorite:

 photo IMG_2758_zps9afa497f.jpg

 photo IMG_2762_zps4f5b9bad.jpg

 photo IMG_2788_zpsbae8f3e5.jpg

 photo IMG_2786_zps7f074653.jpg

22 July 2013

4th of July weekend

After the 5K  we hurried back to the house to make homemade ice cream. My family's homemade ice cream is my favorite food ever. I may of had a quart in two days....

 photo IMG_1174_zps73b8ac3b.jpg
it freezes faster if you watch it
I went all out for my 4th outfit. Because when else can you?

 photo IMG_2732_zps93e2260e.jpg

The rest of the day was full of BBQ and yard games. Then we shot off some fireworks and had a great view of fireworks blasting off around the entire horizon. 

The next day we had a delicious breakfast at Old Drum Coffeehouse and Bakery then for the rest of the weekend....

The pony rides were really for the children but I hoped on for a spin.

 photo IMG_1294_zpscc7a9bc7.jpg

The cows were checking me out so I checked them out.

 photo IMG_1410_zps370c4c4e.jpg

My brother took me for a spin on the 4 wheeler. 

 photo IMG_2802_zps4b8b0cde.jpg

And I found this face rock in the creek.

 photo IMG_2801_zps900a9ca9.jpg

21 July 2013

Warrensburg Freedom Fest 5K Race Recap

I've fallen a little behind in blogging, but instead of skipping the last few weeks, I'm just going to let you know what has been going on.

I was in Missouri for the 4th of July so I joined my sisters, dad and cousin for a 5K in Warrensburg, MO. For the occasion I stopped by one of the tourist shops downtown DC and picked up some 3/$12 USA t-shirts for the family.

The race was small for DC standards but there were probably 60 or so people running and some walking. The race organization was a little willy nilly. They told us to line up at the starting line and soon after we got over there we were just chatting and the air horn went off for the start with no warning. I did an actual jump in the air what is going on dance then set off. 

With in a few feet my sister Kristen pulled ahead of me along with two other girls. I settled in and after the first two blocks ran the entire race without anyone near me. The first part was a small loop that brought us back by the start, which was nice because we had a small four person cheering section rooting us on. After the first loop it was a long straight away, a larger loop, and a short straight away back to the finish. The entire route was rolling hills. I kept thinking I should catch my breath on the down hills, but then I would think instead I should try to take advantage of the downhill. In the end I think I did a bit of both.

At the turn to the larger loop I looked back and didn't see anyone behind me and the girl in front of me had also created a bit of a gap. So I just tried to push myself.

 photo 1017385_10200093993574898_1282082699_n_zpsa9b3f759.jpg
patriotic running
I finished as the 4th Female in 23:42! My first 5K under 24 minutes. This year they had two age categories, 18 and under and 19 and over. The first place female and third place were both 18 and under so my sister Kristen and I came in first and second for 19 and over female. My cousin Matthew also came away with a second place in 18 and under males. 

 photo 1013128_10200094119698051_2089709312_n_zpsac2f5cb1.jpg
medal winners and a Gretchen

02 July 2013

Captain Cookie

 photo IMG_2723_zpsa904ac56.jpg

Today for lunch I had an ice cream cookie sandwich. Well it was for desert, but I should of just had the one sandwich. I headed with a coworker over to Franklin Square to finally track down the  Captain Cookie and the Milkman truck. For $4 you pick two cookies of your choice and an ice cream flavor. I chose a chocolate chip cookie on bottom, a Nutella cookie on top, and black cherry ice cream in the middle. The Nutella cookie really just tasted chocolately, but both cookies were soft and gooey. The black cherry ice cream was my second choice (the daily special blueberry ice cream was sold out), but was full of flavor. The Nutella cookie was much smaller than my chocolate chip cookie, which made for a messy sandwich from the beginning. I had to go back for a spoon to eat most of my ice cream that squished out the sides.

Captain Cookie also sells cookies without the ice cream and about 5 different types of milk.

All and all it was delicious. We both thought that it was pretty sweet and a pretty large undertaking and that next time we might just get a chocolate chip cookie... because they were pretty close to perfect.

And that concludes my longest food review ever... and yes it was based on an ice cream cookie sandwich.