Monthly Archives: March 2012

Always learning something new

This past weekend, I was up in NYC visiting my friend Sarah.  As always, we had a great time.  However, this time, I did learn a few things.

1) Central Park is a veeeery large circle and it is easy to get lost.  Saturday morning, I left Sarah’s apartment for a quick 40 minute jog.  Since she lives just a few blocks from Central Park, it only made sense to do an out-and-back there.  Plus, I had done this before.  Well, my 40 minutes turned into over an hour, and I ended up doing 7+ miles.  Once I hit the turn-around point (after about 22 minutes), I headed back exactly how I came.  Except, I couldn’t remember exactly which way that was.  I headed one way, doubted myself, and the retraced my steps to head the other way.  After running about a quarter-mile in that direction, I realized I was wrong and turned around to go the way I had the first time.  I followed the road around to a park exit on 69th Street.  Yessss! Sarah lives off 69th!  I was so proud of myself, and felt like I could easily navigate myself in this huge city! I got about 3 blocks down the road when I realized, Sarah lives on EAST 69th Street, and I was on WEST 69th Street.  UGH. I headed right back to the park.  So then I followed the straightest path possible right through the park to end up on East 69th.  And arrived at her door, an hour later.  Yes, Central Park, next time I will carry a map.  Or my phone.  Probably both.  And maybe ask for directions too.

Definitely not my finest hour. Literally.

2) Yummy tacos come with an odd/cool/unique decor.  For linner (we skipped lunch in lieu of seeing The Hunger Games.  BEST. DECISION. EVER.) we went to this little restaurant called Cascabel Taqueria.  We started with the guac and it was perfect!  I order the carnitas tacos, and they came topped with crispy rice.  It was delicious! The tacos were so over stuffed, that you really only need 2 to make you full.  The first one I attempted to eat like a real taco, but the second one, I had to go at it with a fork.  And then there was the decor.  Reminded me of Nacho Libre (I think that’s what that movie was called?).  Was a cute, fun theme.  I DEF want to come here again (ya heard, Sarah!).  There are soo many taco options to try!

3) Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean are AWESOME in concert! Yep! We headed out of the city, to New Jersey (i know..) to the IZOD Center.  There we witnessed the awesomeness that is Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean.  It was seriously so much fun! Also, must note, Luke Bryan’s attempts to dance were just so freakin’ cute!

(Sorry, no actual pics of Jason.  I’ll have to get Sarah to share some)

4) I like coconut water, but not tropical fruit coconut water.  I thought it wold be awesome.  I mean adding more tropical fruits to coconut sounds like perfection and happiness.  But no. Eww. Gross.  I feel betrayed by the pretty pink carton design.  Eww.  Can’t even talk about it.  Just don’t make the same mistake I did.

All in all, it was a great weekend get-a-way.  Next time, Sarah PROMISES to take me to one of the many cycling studios in her hood.  So, I look forward to that adventure someday.  :)  But for now, I need to take an adventure to Rite Aid to stock up on candy! Can you believe my candy drawer at work is empty??!!

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Few Things Friday

Because I have no idea where this post is really going :)

  • NYC Weekend! I’m heading up to the Big Apple tonight to visit friend-Sarah! I haven’t visited her there in about a year, so this visit is long over-due.  I’m VERY excited.  Although, I am less than pumped for the weather forecast.  It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly not the 80 degree, sunny day we’re currently experiencing here in DC.

  • Lunch today! I was a bit of a hungry, hungry hippo today, and needed different things to satisfy me.  Enter, Smoothie King, Pop Chips and Potbellys.  I LOVE the child-size smoothies! They are the perfect amount.

There was also a sandwich, but I ate it too quickly

  • Apparently I’m terrified of speedwork.  I attempted to go out for a tempo run 3 times (2x in the early AM, and once post-work) and something always came up.  WTF?! When did I become such a wimp! Must get this out of my system FAST!  I finally decided that my “A goal” for the GW Parkway Classic will be 1:25, which is an avg pace of 8:30.  Clearly, I’ve got a lot of work to do.  But last year, I finished in about 1:27, so I’d be so great to beat that.  And the only way to get there is through the speedwork that I’m avoiding.  Whomp whomp.  Officially 4 weeks to pull my sh*t together.
  • Sarah and I didn’t get into the Mt. Washington Road Race! Although that means there’s a gap in my race plans, I’m VERY relieved I will not be racing it.  Don’t get me wrong, the feeling of accomplishment that would come from running 7.6 miles uphill would probably be AWESOME.  But, during those 7.6 miles (and the 2+ hours that it would probably take me) I would most certainly be cursing myself and Sarah for even coming up with the idea.  Maybe next year, when I am more mature and have more confidence in my training abilities…
  • Crock-pot Goodness! My mom had an extra crock-pot that she never uses, so I finally decided to cart it off to my apartment.  Now that I have this crock-pot, I have no idea what to do with it.  So far, I’ve heard pulled pork/chicken, apple butter and roasting chicken (from Maria!).  Anything else?  What are your favorite crock-pot recipes?

  • I’m stupidly excited for snack time.  So for my birthday, Kevin gave me a box of 90’s candy.  It had some awesome throwback candy from the days of my youth (oh how i miss those days…).  I’ve been saving the best for last, and it’s finally time for be to enjoy some POP ROCKS! (haha but not with soda.  I was never brave enough to try it.  And I’m still not.) And of course, to remain balanced, I’ll have some carrots and tomatoes too.  :)

Any fun plans in store for this weekend?

Is anyone else freaking out over the weather? If it’s 80 degrees in MARCH, whats July going to feel like?? I’m scared…

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Patience is a virtue

But does it equal a PR?

In an attempt to stay injury free, I’m beginning to add a few recovery runs to follow hard/long runs.  Doing a recovery run sounds easy and fun, right? Well yes, unless you’re me.

You see, I have trouble slowing down. (which is funny, bc I’m not at all fast!) I like to go out for every run and run at a comfortably hard pace.  I only feel good, and like I’ve made a difference, if I’ve pushed the pace a bit.  But this new strategy tells me to do otherwise.

Yesterday, I went out for my long run – a little over 6.5 miles.  About a mile into it, I decided, since the distance isn’t so great, I could push the pace a bit.  So I did, and I finished with an avg 8:53 pace.  In the grand scheme of things, the pace isn’t amazing, but I’m happy with the amount of effort and work I put into it.  I feel that I really challenged myself, when I could have easily just taken it back and relaxed.  In the end, it was a great run (with Kevin!) and I’m pleased with it.

Following a long run, I’m supposed to do a recovery run the next day.  So today, I planned to run 4 miles at a nice easy pace.  And since my new shoes just arrived, I decided to start breaking these babies!

Rocking the Brooks Adrenalines again!

I decided to bring my watch, but left the footpod at home so I wouldn’t have pace or distance (yes, i’m about the only person that doesn’t have GPS.  Waiting for a racing breakthrough so i can “earn” it!).  Again, it was VERY challenging to not pick up the pace.  Especially when there are people constantly passing you. :( not happy.  I focused on my purpose and my mission (get strong and stay healthy!) and maintained control.  Finished 4.2 miles with a 10:08 pace.  Still, looking at that pace makes me cringe a bit, but I just keep reminding myself that I will soon be capable of so much more!

Everyone always tells me that patience is a virtue.  And I get that.  But i really, REALLY hope it’s a PR too! :)

In other news, HUGE CONGRATS to everyone that ran the Rock and Roll USA Half & Full yesterday! I made it out to spectate and cheer on two of my friends for their first half marathon! Congrats Jane and Maria! It was a perfect way to start off St.Patrick’s Day! (I look forward to running some races with y’all this summer!)

In true spectating fashion, I busted out markers and glitter.

And this one was made with special reference for Krystal-Rose and Rachelle! You ladies did great! 2016 will be our turn for the Olympic Marathon!

At first when I started watching, I had a bit of race envy.  But then I just had so much fun spectating, and was so proud of everyone that I was really glad I was on the sidelines!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!

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What have I done?!

Before I recap my lovely Wednesday for you, I want to share with you my Tuesday evening surprise!

Elephants! To promote the upcoming circus, there was an elephant parade (and some horses, but those were less exciting) through the streets of DC! We caught the tail end of it, and even saw some circus performers.

It was quite a surprise, but a great way to end Tuesday (of course, after I skipped my run for margaritas :) )

And now onto Wednesday…

So after being a lazy-margarita-guzzling bum, I decided I needed to turn my life around. I started the day with some blackberries sprinkled with Splenda, as my breakfast.  I don’t know how/why I’ve never done this before.  Usually I just tough it out with the really tart berries, never realizing that a little Splenda can go a long way.  Life changed!

To continue “staying healthy,” I ventured down Connecticut Ave to visit Sweetgreen for lunch.  I hadn’t been there in a while, and since our office will be leaving Dupont soon (tear :( ) I figured I should take advantage and go.

YUMMM! Had a delicious salad of romaine & spinach, with avocado, red onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, bacon and almonds, with their champagne vinaigrette.  Seriously SO GOOD.  I have to apologize to my cubicle neighbor for the shoveling sounds I made while eating at my desk.  I just couldn’t devour it fast enough!  Eating healthy never felt so good!

But, I couldn’t stay strong for too long.  Around 3:30 pm, I had a craving.  And some refined sugar products were needed. So I convinced some of my co-workers to accompany me on my trip to Rite Aid.

Yup.  It’s physically impossible for me to leave Rite Aid with just one bag of candy.  I consider it complete restraint not having left with four bags of candy! :)

After my candy-feast (note: i did not eat ALL of both bags, just a significant portion of one) it was time to get in running mode.  With about 4 weeks until my 10 miler, I was ready to start getting my butt kicked in workouts.  (To be honest, the butt-kicking is WAAAAAAY overdue, I’m just slow).

In the plan:

  • 1 mile warm up
  • 2.5 miles with at least 6 fartleks thrown in
  • 1 mile cool down

Welp. I did it.  Can’t say it felt good.  At all.  In fact, I can say it felt not so good.  Plus, my late afternoon candy-feast bounced around in my stomach the entire time.  Sometimes Daphne makes bad candy decisions.  Eating candy is not one of them, but eating lots of candy 45 minutes before a run is.  Lesson learned.  It’s for real a hard knock life.

So now I have fully come to realize that I am pretty out of shape, fartleks are hard, and jelly beans and reese’s pieces are not great pre-run fuel.  It was one of those moments (and by moment, I mean all 2.5 miles of the speed part) where I regret all those missed workouts, crunches, planks, etc.  WHY DIDN’T I WORK HARDER SOONER?

But hindsight is 20/20, right?  Today, the future is bright (and 80 degrees!).  I will have a nice relaxing recovery run.  (but no jelly beans immediately before it – see, I learn quickly!)

What are some of your favorite butt-kicking workouts?

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(late) Weekend recap

Happy (end of) Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend, daylight-savings-time-switch, Monday! Here in DC, the weather was great, so it was all time well spent (or lost).  Although, I did have a slow start this morning, which I’ll blame on that critical hour lost. I’ll recap you day by day (because I know you’re all dying to find out what I did). :)

Saturday:

I woke up feeling sneezy and gross.  It was affirmation that I was, in fact, getting sick, so I popped some vitamin C drops, had a slice of toast, and decided to hit the road for some hopefully nasal-clearing miles.  After I got dressed, I realized I was dressed in different shades of blue.  So obviously, I had to throw a wrench in that plan.

i really love these socks

I figured the highlighter-yellow socks did just the trick!

So I hit the road with the intention of making my way to the Lincoln memorial, and see how I felt as I ran.  As predicted, a nice easy run cleared my head up a bit, and I ended up doing about 6.5 miles.  I did learn a few things on this run:

  • Tourist season has begun.  I need to start staying away from the National Mall and monument areas.  Which is a shame, bc those are some of my favorite routes.
  • Construction on the reflecting pool sucks.  With all the construction vehicles, gross emissions, and path closures, that area was a mess.  Must avoid.
  • Capitol Hill is a big f**** hill.  And I’m terribly out of shape.  Both contribute to an awful last mile.  Of every. freakin. run.
  • Capitol Hill causes me to have a fast first mile and a slow last mile.  No fair! (i guess i could just get better a running hills, huh?)

I basically spent the rest of my Saturday going from running store to running store, to the mall and back to another running store, looking for a size 9 in the Brooks Pure Cadence.  I was beginning to loose hope (everyone either had an 8.5 or a 9.5, or had this color) and then FINALLY! Charm City Run saved my life!  (and Kevin ended up getting a pair of Pure Flows)

(aaaand a huge thanks to Kevin for basically chauffeuring me around until I found the perfect pair!)

Obviously, I had to test these babies out for a recovery/shake out run the next day! :)

Sunday:

Kevin and I decided that we wanted to get out of the city and check out some nearby trails.  So we headed over to the Patapsco Valley State Park to see what it had to offer.  We just had 3-4 miles in the plans.  Nothing more.

Until we got lost.

Using paint is clearly one of my strengths. And yes, Kevin's face is red. He's a ginger-face and blonde-head. Also, notice the sweet kicks we're both rocking! :)

And when you’re lost, you may as well keep running, right?  Well in total, we ended up doing about 5.5. :)  It was all good though, because the weather was beautiful, and obviously trails offer great scenery.  And, my shoes were AWESOME! I know it’s early in the game, but I think it could be love. :)

I’m a little over 4 weeks away from the GW Parkway 10 miler, so it’s finally time for me to start getting more serious.  And these shoes will help me, right? (right, of course!)

Final thought: I feel like Spring is really here.  Yesterday was in the 60s, today was about 70 and tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70s.  And, I’m seeing these everywhere:

(source)

DaffNEdills make Spring official :)

And now, I’m sitting with a glass of wine (to celebrate the extra evening daylight!) and watching the Bachelor! Argh! OMG! Thoughts?!!!!

What’s you’re current shoe obsession? I still love my Brooks Adrenaline’s, but now there’s a chance that the Pure Cadence could win my heart. 

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Ready for round two

Well, I guess I should say I hope I’m ready for round two.

Last year, on October 30th, I completed the Marine Corps Marathon, my first marathon.  I was incredibly nervous leading up to.  I spent days and weeks in a panic about how I would get through all 26.2 miles of the marathon.  And then the day arrived, race day.  I ran, and felt great all the way through mile 22.  And then I hit the wall. On top of that, my knee started hurting (which I now know was actually ITBS).  That being said, those last 4.2 miles were hands down the worst miles of my life.  No question about it.  Awful. Just awful.  I remember seeing my friends around mile 24, and I was not happy.  At all. I crossed the finish line (right behind Drew Carey, but still ahead of his time!) pledging, PROMISING never to run a marathon again.  As I was funneled through the chutes, grabbing food, meeting up with my friends, enjoying brunch, I knew that I would never attempt 26.2 again. Why do that again?  Running was supposed to be fun! And that, was definitely not fun.

Well, that was 4 months ago.  I guess I’m a changed woman now?

Yep, I registered to run the Marine Corps Marathon, again.  Not only that, I waited, patiently, for registration to open at 3pm yesterday.  And then I waited, patiently again, for the site to pull itself together.  Yep, I was there, at 2:55, ready to register.  Ready to repeat that last 4.2 that ruined my first marathon.  As awful as those last miles were, I feel like I need a re-do to prove myself.  I finished in 4:29, which certainly is not a bad time.  But its not the time I wanted.  Its not the best I can do.  (also, it’s not better than Sarah Palin’s marathon PR!) So I will be back.  And will get my sub-4 hour marathon.

Somethings I plan to do differently:

  • Train.  Yep, get out there and consistently run.  Right now, I’m thinking 4 days a week, maybe 5 if I think my body can take it.  And, I would also like to extend my longest long run to 22 miles.  Last year I maxed out at 16 (was supposed to be 18, but I fell apart).
  • Cross train.  I literally live 2 blocks from a FREE pool.  There’s no excuse.  I hope to will get my butt there 2 times a week.
  • Strength train.  I know this is something I should do, but always steer clear.  I’ll have to get over my embarrassment of starting out with the 5lb weights.
  • Ice baths.  I iced some last year, but only when things hurt.  This time around, I need to be several steps ahead.  And ice baths seem to be the way to go.
  • Tempo, speed and hills.  I did a little of each last year, but not enough.  I wasn’t very consistent (hence the goal to train), and often decided against doing the speedwork.  Must, must, must incorporate Yasso 800s.  They work for so many people, so they must work for me, right?
  • Stretch.  I know, I’m lame.  But sometimes at the end of a run, I just want to sit.  But not this year, stretching & rolling will be part of hte routine.

It’s so silly that these are the things I need to do differently.  I knew these things before, and still didn’t implement.  Sometimes, I forget selectively ignore that I need to do more than just running, to stay healthy and strong.  But, like I said, I’m a changed woman! If all goes according to plan, this will be my last marathon! Fingers crossed!  Any other suggestions are obviously welcome!

Anyone else sign up for Marine Corps Marathon this year?

What was the first race distance that really challenged you, and how did it go?

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Surprise, surprise!

Whew! It’s been a while since I blogged! I apologize for my absence, but it surely has been a busy week.

To start out, I had my birthday last week! Yay!  Little did I know that my day would be full of surprises…

I’m a March 1st baby, so I woke up Thursday morning, ready to embrace my 27th 20-fun year!  Unfortunately, I had scheduled a 7:30am call with our partners in Sri Lanka.  Not how I ideally wanted to start my birthday.  But was excited nonetheless to chat with our partners! They’re always so friendly and happy!

First surprise: we couldn’t get a solid connection.  We called, then the call dropped, we called, then the called dropped, over and over again.  Skype is so useful in many situations, but when the connection is iffy, welp, its useless.  Eventually we were able to get enough of a connection for me to ask for another number, and I just called their land-line number. We finally got to chatting, and the call overall went well, and I continued with my day.  Around lunch time, my co-worker Melissa and I decided that we wanted to enjoy the sunshine and food trucks for lunch.  So we trekked down to Farragut Square to join the lunchtime food truck party.

(source)

SURPRISE: BBQ Bus was there! We had walked down with the plan of checking out the Kimchi BBQ truck, but then I saw this gloriously-yellow site.  I’ve had BBQ Bus on my food truck sights for a while now, so I was very excited to try it.  Sadly, they were out of the bbq pulled pork AND the bbq beef, so I settled for their bbq chicken with coleslaw. (was too hungry for pictures, sorry y’all)  Meh. It was okay.  But, I would def go back to BBQ Bus and try something else.  Hopefully we get another nice day soon, so I can drag more co-workers down to Farragut Square with me! :)

After we got our food, we hurried back to the office (yes, we took a cab) because Melissa had a meeting to get to at 1:30pm.  We got back into the office with about 2 minutes to spare.  #winning!

I got back to my cubicle with the intention of enjoying my bbq chicken sandwich at my desk.  I realized I needed a knife to cut my sandwich, so I walked into the kitchen, and… SURPRISE!  The entire office (haha, all 15 of us) was in the kitchen with a yummy KEY LIME PIE! For me! For my birthday!  Yay 20-fun!

I know that we do this for everyone’s birthday, but i was honestly surprised! It turns out that Melissa’s 1:30pm meeting, was my birthday surprise.  I totally got punked! (but a pleasant punk-ing, i will say!)  I enjoyed some pie (DELICIOUS) with my co-workers, and then returned to my desk to eat my lunch.  Haha, I totally had dessert first, but that’s okay, it was my birthday!

I think I had just finished my sandwich, when one of my other co-workers came by letting me know that I had a delivery.  I was immediately confused…

SURPRISE!  Someone sent me flowers!  I immediately checked the card to see who the flowers were from, but it was not signed! I literally spent the next day trying to figure out who they were from, because someone (ahem – KEVIN) would not admit to it.  Crazy boy.

After work, I met some friends for birthday happy hour at District Chop House.  I had a great time! Great friends, good drinks, what’s not to love.  And then all of a sudden… SURPRISE!  The bartender brought this little treat out!

You can’t really see it, but the candles on the piece on the left are in the shape of a 2, and on the right a 7.  The bar apparently didn’t have any candles, so Krystal-Rose ran out to the nearest CVS to pick some up! :) Too sweet!  The fun continued at another bar, and then at Johnny Rockets (I had apparently missed all food earlier in the night).

(It’s important to note that the bartender originally brought out a piece of chocolate cake w/o candles.  Needless to say, he was disappointed to hear that I didn’t like chocolate.  But, he totally redeemed himself.  I will be back for more happy hours, bartender-at-chophouse!)

I had a really fantastic day, and just might be ready to accept my 27th year.  BTW, I think it’s ALSO important to note that I received candy as a gift from my cubicle-neighbor, my sister and my boyfriend.  Now, that is WINNING! :)

How do you like to celebrate your birthday?  Do you like tons of surprises?

Any other March babies out there?!

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