26 November 2013

Farm Share

This fall I signed up with two friends for a Vegetable Farm Share. For seven weeks we get a box full of vegetables straight from farms in the area. We've been dividing the share by three, but I still feel like I have to stuff every meal full of vegetables to finish them by the time the next box arrives.

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Catherine and her box of goodness
A few things I have been eating-

Kale, broccoli, radish, carrot, onion salad (I added some leftover spinach and salmon)
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Collard greens and onions

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Parsley, Leek, and Potato soup

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Root vegetable fries- Carrots, Parsnips, Rutabega, turnip, and one golden beet.

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Now does anyone have a good Kohlrabi recipe?

24 November 2013

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, AKA the race I was going to run with my sister, Kristen, in October, but that was postponed over a month because of the government shutdown. The majority of the race is on the George Washington Parkway, which is managed by the US Parks Department and therefore they couldn't grant special event permits during the shutdown.

So over a month later I found myself waking up at 4:30 am alone to get ready for the race. Not only did I have to train for another month and run alone, I also had to run in colder (and darker) weather by a month. But I managed to get another few weeks of long runs in and was feeling ok for the race. At 5 am I got an Uber Car and directed him to Hoffman Plaza where I had to catch a bus to the start. The trip went smoothly and we arrived at the parking lot at 5:30 and I was on a bus soon after. 

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riding the bus to the start
Runners on the bus were mostly asleep. We arrived at the starting line at 6 am and were forced of the warm bus. Not long after we got there the sun started to come up.

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starting area
My bus arrived right before the huge rush of people so I was in and out of the porta potties in no time and just picked a spot near the bag check to hang out awhile before handing over my warm clothes.

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pretty trees by the bag check
I wasn't as unbearably cold (even though I hadn't planned for the 5 degrees colder it was in Mt.Vernon than in DC) as I expected and decided I would go forth with my plan to wear shorts a T-shirt and gloves. I headed over to the start around 6:50, easily got to the 8-9 min pace corral and after a short speech and national anthem we were off at 7.

For those of you not familiar with Mt. Vernon or the GW Parkway, it is positioned along the Potomac River and surrounded by trees. For the first two miles it was silent but for the pounding of feet. There was also a little morning fog in the air and I felt very one with nature. The parkway is full of rolling hills and the first two miles of the race were mostly downhill, which makes it hard to go out slow. I decided to take advantage of the downhills and my second mile was my fasted (not exactly ideal).

The first eight miles were absolutely gorgeous. The trees were all shades of fall and we had river views every once in awhile, but it was a lot of the same, which made it hard for me to keep my pace up. There were a few people cheering along the parkway. Several people were on bikes riding on the trail and I saw them cheering several times along the route (thanks!). 

Soon enough we could see the bridge and it looked massive. The hill on the bridge wasn't terrible, but we were on the pedestrian path, which narrowed from the road quite a bit. A few people started walking on the bridge which made it hard to pass people and keep my momentum up.

Apparently the photographers didn't want to spread out and were stationed one after another on the other side of the bridge. 

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I started eating my Gu right before mile 8 and was still working on it here at mile 10.

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I had read in a few race recaps that there was a major hill on the Maryland side of the race right before the finish, but I didn't know how major. So when we had a few uphills I thought maybe we were done. Until I got to the actual hill at mile 12 and knew this was the hill they were talking about. According to my watch it was an elevation gain of 130 ft in one mile and I slowed down by almost a minute to climb it. Luckily after that hill there was some downhill, but then we hit the gravel portion of the race. I read that it was like 70 ft, but either I don't know distance or something changed because it was more like a quarter mile on gravel.

I saw the 13 mile sign and decided to kick it up for the final .1. Only we couldn't see the finish line and with every turn we made and I still didn't see the finish line I think I slowed a bit. There had to be 6 major turns in the last .1 as we looped through the National Harbor shoreline. Finally the finish!

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Official time: 1:51:40 an overall 8:32 pace. 

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finish line selfie the namesake bridge in the background
At the finish line we got a medal, gatorade, water, a banana, bagels, and a beer. They didn't have any heat blankets or anything, but bag check was quick. They had a band playing and a few booths, but I exhausted my interest in the area before they got around to announcing the winners. We had to walk a few blocks back to buses to take me back to the Hoffman Center where I jumped on the Einsenhower Metro.

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The bridge, the Potomac, the course, and me!

11 November 2013

Run for the Parks 10K

Yesterday I ran my 4th half marathon, but before I recap that race I need to tell you about last week's Run for the Parks 10K. I signed up a little last minute. During the week I was sick and sitting on the couch I thought about how I wasn't doing enough racing and in a cold medicine induced decision I signed up.

I ran this race last year. And set a PR (it was my first 10K) on a recently rolled ankle. This year the race was a little later in the year but the weather was nicer. It was chilly, but no rain. 

Last year I met up with my friend Jayna at the race. This year we didn't chat about it ahead of time, but she thought to look on the registration sign for my name then came and found me. It was nice to have some one to chat with before and after the race.

I didn't want to push myself too much knowing I had a half marathon in a week so a few times during the race I allowed myself to slow down a bit. I think it was the right thing to do, but when my finish time was 50:55, a minute and one second slower than last year, I doubted the decision.

It was still a fun run through Potomac Park. Many races use this course (I think there was a Veterans Day 10K there yesterday), which is nice because it is pretty and I know what to expect, but kind of boring knowing what is up ahead.

I wore a new shirt for the race, which is a race day don't, but it was only 6 miles. Well the shirt really shows sweat. I need to just wear black head to toe. I also wore my leg warmers, which I have raced in before, but right off the starting line, one of them began to slip down and I raced the whole thing with one up and one down.

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that guy in the Pabst shirt passed me soon after this pic

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all sweaty and approaching the finish line
The trademark of this race is a nice jacket of some sort. This year the ladies got purple NB hoodies (modeled by me below).

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two years in a row- Jayna, Washington Monument, and me
I rode my bike the two miles to the race and the two miles home. It was a very fall day so I took a few pictures on my way home.

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Art in the bike lane "Make us bicyclists look good" 

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the White HOUSE

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fall leaves in front of the WH

05 November 2013

Pumpkin painting

I bought two pumpkins back when I got one to carve. My carved pumpkin has shriveled up and been composted, but my other pumpkin has just been hanging out. I decided to paint it so it would live through Thanksgiving. At first I decided to paint chevrons around the pumpkin in gold. Only once I started the gold paint turns out was more just a glitter paint and it looked weird. So I decided to just paint the entire pumpkin in glitter. Then I took a black paint pen and drew some triangles. 

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I like the way it turned out, kind of tribal, but with gold pizzaz.

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02 November 2013

Fall fun

The leaves are a changing here in DC. Last week I took in some beauty on the Mall.

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rumor is the scaffolding is about to come down
Me at my favorite long run pit spot... the bathrooms/water fountain just southwest of the WWII memorial.

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Due mostly to an arm twisting friend, I've gone to the Dupont Farmer's market a lot lately. This week the apples were out of control. I took the picture below for my Aunt Nancy, she always impresses me with knowing about 35 different varieties of apples.

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They were also selling monkey balls...

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