Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekly Review

I hope everyone had a good weekend! Mine was nice and relaxing which was appreciated after being away last weekend.  Work ended up being pretty busy since I was catching up from a couple days away.  Therefore, I wasn't able to get away for yoga during lunch but made it up at home.  It was a good workout week overall.

Monday was a rest day and Tuesday was strength training at home in the evening. Wednesday was track work with the training group again.  It was 5 laps (400m each lap) with a 2 minute walk in between each lap. I also did a lap for warm up and a lap for cool down (not included in the garmin stats below).

There was a youth group using the track and they were a really big group.  They were also really unruly and kind of all over the track.  So there was more weaving around than there should be for a track workout.  This group is supposed to be there for the next three weeks so our coach decided we would move to another high school for those weeks.

Thursday was running at the gym at work in the evening. I forgot my knee brace so I did 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I felt pretty good afterward so went ahead and did 15 minutes (around a mile) on the treadmill as well. I apologize for the blurriness of the 2nd photo.

Friday was another rest day.  Saturday, Mike and I did 60 minutes of DDP yoga at home.  I definitely felt it in my thighs and hamstrings the next day. 

Sunday was my first long run with the training group.  It was a beautiful morning, around the mid 60s though a bit humid.  There was another girl who ran around the same pace as me and was also doing run walk intervals so we ran the first half together using 4/1 intervals. It was an out and back and she decided to turn back after 20 minutes since she was having some IT band issues. I kept going for another 5 minutes and turned around. I got back to the parking lot having done 3.6 miles.  I still felt good so decided to go out and back again for a couple minutes to make it 4 miles.

The plan for this week is rest on Monday, yoga on Tuesday, Track workout on Wednesday, yoga on Thursday, run on Friday, run on Saturday and rest on Sunday. We're flying to Ohio on Thursday evening  to spend the 4th of July weekend with my family there so I'll have a couple runs while I there.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday five - things about me

It's Friday and time for another Friday Five link up worth Mar, Cynthia and Courtney.  I'm working from home today, which I love partly because I get to work while cuddling cats.  Though I'm a bit miffed with them currently, as you'll see below.

1.  I mentioned last week that I was a fan of the health at every size (HAES) philosophy but I've also mentioned that I'm trying to lose weight.  This might sound a little inconsistent but the weight I was at was not healthy for me.  I've had high cholesterol since I was a teenager and lower weight as well as eating healthy and working out helps the cholesterol stay somewhat in control.  And I've been concentrating on the things in my control (food and activity) instead of focusing on the weight.

2.  The high cholesterol thing is a little bizarre since I've been a vegetarian my whole life.  My parent are vegetarian and raised my brother and me that way.  It's pretty easy for me since I've never had meat and therefore don't know what I'm missing! My mother also has high cholesterol and she doesn't eat cheese or eggs.  So I'm pretty sure this is a genetic thing.

3.  I love my kitties but they've been crazy lately.  They have numerous little spats throughout the day and Shelby has been trying to get in the bedroom in the middle of the night.  Someone shared this on Facebook and it is sadly true.

The sound of Shelby's people is loud meowing and crashing sounds as she throws her body against the door trying to open it.

4.  World Cup fever... I do not have it.  My Facebook feed is very amusing during the games as I can pretty much tell whether the US is losing or winning just based on the comments.  Who need to actually watch!?!  Also, work apparently gave up on people actually working through the game yesterday.  They set up big screens in the cafeteria, had free food, and people gathered together to cheer on the US team. Even our CEO was down there. I only know this through hearsay since I stayed at my desk.

5.  I just learned one of my cousins is getting married in India next February.  I'm trying to juggle and vacation days to see if I can make it over there for the wedding.  It's such a long flight that it really doesn't feel worth it unless I can stay more than a week.  Hopefully I can make it work.  If so, you know the next step is to see if there's a race going on while I'm there!


This is one of the many interesting sights we saw the last time we were in India.

I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead of them!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Belated weekly review

I'm a little late on my weekly review since we got home from camping yesterday and I was exhausted. But better late than never!  I had a good workout week, though not a lot of photos.

Monday was strength training.  Tuesday and Thursday were yoga classes during my lunch hour.  I'm lucky enough to work in a building with a gym that offers classes, including yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I hadn't been going since January since my beginning running group met on Tuesday evenings. Now that my new training group meets on Wednesdays, I'm able to get back to these classes. I definitely felt them in my thighs and abs later in the week!

Wednesday was my first run with the new training group.  It was above 90 degrees and humid for my first track workout.  I felt like I was going to die but I made it through and that felt great.  I did 2 laps at an easy pace for a warm up. Then it was laps at a faster pace.  For the beginning half marathon plan, it was three laps, 2 minutes walking, 2 laps, 2 minutes walking, 1 lap, and then ending with a cool down.  It went well but I'm definitely the slowest person in the group. Here's the garmin information.

So about 2 miles, closer to 2.5 with the warm up and cool down. The average pace is 11:24 which includes the times spent walking. This is pretty good for me since I did the 10k in a bit less than an average of 13 minutes per mile.

I also ran on Saturday but that wasn't as successful. I was supposed to do 3 miles but only did around 2. The terrain was a bit rougher than I expected and it included tree roots, gravel, hills etc. it was much more tiring than a normal run on paved areas. I also wasn't sure of the area so I kind of did laps in the same areas.

Friday and Sunday were rest days but we did a lot of walking/hiking and were definitely active while we were out there.  According to my fitbit, I exceeded my 10,000 step goal on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The plan for this week is strength training today, track work Wednesday, yoga and a run on the treadmill on Thursday, rest day on Friday, yoga on Saturday and my first long run with the group on Sunday.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Five more random things

This will be a quick post since we're heading off for a weekend of camping :) I'm linking up with Courtney, Mar and Cynthia again for the Friday Five. 

The theme for the week is beating the heat but I'm going off theme since this is the first summer I'm running in the heat and don't have a lot of tips of my own yet, just things I've gathered from the internet. So here's another random list of 5 things on my mind.

1.  Interesting Article from Competitor Magazine about training for recovery.

2. I forgot to post a photo of the medal I received from the Lawyer's Have Heart 10k!  Here's a photo of it along with the medal from the virtual Star Wars themed race I did earlier this year.

3.  I just read that wearing sunglasses can help you feel less hot. I'm not sure if it's true or not but I definitely feel like it is. It might just be in my head but any little bit helped on Wednesday when it was in the 90s during my run!

4. I've been practicing henna and here's a sample that I did the other day.  It's another fun little hobby of mine.

5.  Here's another interesting article about the health at every size philosophy (which I agree with) and the way it intersect with ideas of optimal running weight.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lawyers Have Heart 10k

Well, I've finished my first 10k and had a great time!  Thank you all for the encouragement along the way. Without further ado, here's my review of the race.

The race proceeds benefit the American Heart Society. Once I registered for the race, there were regular emails related to fundraising.  It was kind of cool because they would have different drawings for prizes and people could get entries based on the amount they had raised.

Packet pick up was at a Pacers store in DC.  They had pick up times on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning before the race. They mentioned that someone else could pick up the packet for a runner so Mike picked up our packets since the store was on his way home from work. He said he went right in, didn't have to wait long at all, and it was all very well organized.

Mike also came along on race day to cheer us on!

The 5k started at 7am and the 10k started at 7:30am. The race was in Georgetown and we knew we'd rather err on the side of being early.  My friend spent the night at my place so that we could car pool. We left the house around 5:45am.  The race organizers had sent an email listing the various parking garages, the opening times, and a voucher for $7 parking.  We saw one of the garages close to the start line opened at 6am so we planned to park there. Well, we got there at 6:27 and the street leading to that parking garage was already closed! The other parking lot was full.  Thankfully there was plenty of street parking since we were so early so we just parked on the street.  The meter didn't seem to be working but we thankfully didn't get a ticket.

It ended up being a beautiful morning.  The temperatures were in the 60s when we got there. There were a ton of people and already lines for the port a potties.  Also a long line for picking up bibs. I was glad we already had ours.  We saw off the 5k runners and then made our way to the beginning for the 10k. This was the largest race I've done so far and I'm glad I got to experience the feeling of corrals at the start being so crowded, being in the corrals for a while before actually being able to begin, having to look around before slowing into my walk intervals, etc.

My friend and I had agreed to do 6/1 run walk intervals and we stayed together for most of the course. It was a nice course. It started near the harbor, ran up an overpass to The Whitehurst Freeway, on M Street a but, and then on canal street before turning around and coming back.  You can see on the map below that the course is along the river but you couldn't really see the river for most of the race.

The course was relatively flat with the overpass being the most of the hilly part. 

There were plenty of water stops and around mile 4 they gave us a wet sponge that felt amazing when I squeezed it over myself.  There were tons of volunteers and they were amazing.  The course was shaded on the way out but sunny on the way back. I know you're not supposed to try anything new on race day but I'm glad I wore my new sunglasses I bought with birthday money. Sadly I don't have any photos of the course because I haven't mastered the ability to run and take photos at the same time.

Around mile 5 my friend began to flag and I kept going.  I kicked it into high gear when I passed the mile 6 marker. I had a goal of finishing in 1 hour and 20 minutes and as I approached the finish line I could see that the clock was around 1 hour and 22 minutes.  I knew we had been in the corral for a bit so I thought I could still make my goal and pushed it.  Long story short, I made my goal and finished in 1:18:52!

There was a generous pacing requirement for the race.  Basically, the roads were closed until 9:30am and everyone had to be finished by then. So that was 2 hours available for the 10k.  There was an after party with music, snow cones, and other food by the harbor after the race. They also had a guy in a heart suit and a guy dressed as a briefcase for people to take photos with.  I'm not gonna lie, that was a little strange.  The race organizers also had an agreement with one of the restaurants to open early for brunch. So we headed straight for brunch after the race.

All in all, I would recommend this race to anyone.  It was a good course, a lot of energy and people, a good cause, really well organized, and so many lawyer themed puns on running shirts to keep you amused during the race :). The only downside was the parking situation at the beginning.  So just know to get there early if you're driving.  I can definitely see this being a race I do every year.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekly review

I had a pretty good week and hope you did too! The beginning of the week was difficult running wise since allergies were hitting me hard.  I think it might be due to come construction at work. Anyway, I did strength training Monday and the same on Tuesday since I wasn't able to run due to coughing.  Wednesday was a rest day and then I ran on the treadmill Thursday.

Friday was yoga and then Saturday was my first 10k race. It ended up going really well and I had a great time!  Full recap to come later this week :)

Post race brunch, complete with mimosa.

Sunday was a rest day.  I got a massage and did lots of stretching and foam rolling since my quads and hamstrings were pretty tight.  I also went to the orientation session for the PRR distance training group, which starts this Wednesday. So the plan for this week is yoga class at work Tuesday, first run with the group Wednesday, yoga again on Thursday, and running on my own Friday.  We're going camping this weekend (and trying out our tent for the first time!) but hopefully I'll still get in a run on Saturday morning.  

Practice run setting up the tent in our backyard.

I hope everyone has a great week ahead of them!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Five - random things

Yay for Friday! I hoes everyone had a great week and now it's time for the Friday Five link up with the DC trifecta.  Thanks to Cynthia, Courtney, and Mar for hosting.

There is no theme today and I'm a bit all over the place so today's Friday Five will be a random collection of things on my mind.

1.  Part of the reason I'm so glad it's Friday is that I'm working from home today and not going into the office over the weekend either.  There's some construction going on in my office and it's been making it a bit hard to breathe. I hear everyone complaining about head aches and coughs.  My coughing was so bad earlier this week that it impacted my ability to work out and sleep. But it should be over soon.

2.  My first 10k and longest race to date is tomorrow!  I'm super excited. I'm planning to use it as proof of time to hopefully move into an earlier corral for the Tower of Terror 10 miler at Disney World in October. It's supposed to be a flat course so hopefully it will go well.

3. I'm running the 10k with a friend and I'm excited about catching up over brunch after the race.  Usually when I'm running with friends I don't care too much about time and just run enjoy running with the friend. But as mentioned above, I have time goals for tomorrow.  Thankfully, I talked to my friend earlier in the week, told her about my plans to use this race for proof of time, and she very graciously encouraged me to go ahead and do as needed.  I'm thankful for close friends I can talk things out with and have minimal awkwardness.

Yay for running friends!

4. I'm hoping it's not too hot tomorrow.  Aside from the obvious, last year the race was changed from a 10k to a 5k because of the heat.  I definitely don't want that to happen as I'm excited that this race is my first above the 5k distance.  And Disney doesn't allow the use of a 5k for proof of time.

5. So much to do today!  I'm working from home so I have the usual amount of work to do, plus laundry, cleaning, making dinner, and a trip to the bank. I'm trying to get all this done before the evening since the friend I'm doing the race with is coming this evening and spending the night. I love working from home but it does seem to result in more work since I try to do both office work and house work at the same time.

I hope you all have a great weekend ahead of you :) And don't forget about the give away for a three pack of bani band headbands!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bani bands review and give away

As some of you may remember, I went to an amazing blogger brunch the weekend of the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC. I had a great time meeting all the wonderful bloggers there and the organizers put on a great even with some fun swag.  One of the things we received was a headband from Bani Bands.

Here's me after a run wearing the bani band from the brunch.  I was recently contacted by the company about doing a review of their headbands and I agreed because I really like the product. And in addition to sending me another band to review, the company is providing a three pack of bani bands to a reader.

Well, on with the review. The interesting thing about these headbands is that they're adjustable.  The strap is similar to a bra strap and changes sizes easily.

Here's a close up of the adjustable strap.

I've worn the head band from the brunch on several runs at this point and it stays put! I love that this particular headband doesn't look especially "sporty" because I've even worn it to work. The genius of the adjustable design is that I could wear it loosely for work so that I didn't have a headache by the end of the day.

Here is the bani band that the company sent for review.

You can see the this is a much skinnier, braided band.  The texture on this one was a little rough, presumably because the glitter on the fabric. This one is in Georgetown colors and would be great to wear at a game! The narrowness of it makes it not work so great for runs for me since it doesn't keep my hair off my face as well as the wider band.

The great thing is the company has a wide variety of hair bands, all adjustable! I feel like that gives them great flexibility to wear at different occasions, looser for less active times and tighter for runs.  Here is some additional information from the company's website:

"Our headbands are adjustable so they are truly a one-size-fits-all product. They adjust small enough to fit a toddler and large enough to fit a person with a head up to 22" circumference. With function as our first priority, our headbands are the preferred brand for female athletes no matter what your sport....Wondering where our headbands are sewn? We make some in China and some in the US. All of them are made by home-sewers though! Our China crew is manned by a friend whose relatives sew the bands. Our US crew is headed up by our sister Bonnie and assisted by our mom- aka 'Grandma Julie'. We have a whole network of home sewers who are stay-at-home moms, veterans, college students and grandmas who make our Bani Bands. You are supporting a true cottage industry and helping moms stay home with their kids, grandmas earn a little more on an otherwise fixed income, and students eat more than Ramen noodles. Thanks for choosing Bani Bands and supporting a Veteran-Owned business!"

So, if you want to try these out yourself here's a chance. The company will give a three pack of bani-bands to the lucky, randomly chosen winner.

Disclaimer: I received one bani band at the blogger brunch and received a complimentary band from the company to review.  However, everything in the review is my honest opinion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - baked eggs with potatoes and cheddar

It's time for another Tasty Tuesday link up with Lean Lena and Fairytales and Fitness.  I've been craving various egg and cheese combinations recently...maybe it's my body telling me I need more protein? No matter since there are so many delicious ways to put these two ingredients together!

This weekend I tried a recipe for baked eggs with potatoes and farmhouse cheddar from food network. It ended up being absolutely delicious, pretty easy, fairly healthy, and economical.  A win all around!

Here are the ingredients for 4 servings:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 large eggs
1 cup extra-sharp cheddar, shredded 

The recipe started out with pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees and melting the butter in a pan.  I chose to make a change and added in half a chopped onion and half a chopped bell pepper. I sautéed the veggies and then added in the potatoes. I let the potatoes cook for 15 minutes and then added the parsley, garlic (I used garlic powder), salt and pepper.  I also added in smoked paprika because I love the way it tastes with potatoes.  Well, let's be honest, I love smoked paprika with almost everything.

I took the pan off the heat and started in on the eggs.  I pushed the veggies around so there were four pockets.  I broke two eggs into a bowl, checked to make sure there were no shells, added salt and pepper, and gently put them into one of the four pockets.  I did that three more times for a total of eight eggs.

Then the pan went into the oven.  The recipe was written for the yolks to still be runny at the end but I adjusted the cooking times since I don't like runny yolks.  I cooked the dish for 15 minutes, took the pan out to top with the cheese, and then put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.  The cheese was deliciously melted and the yolks were cooked through, just the way I like them. Definitely cook for less time if you want the runny yolks.

We had this for dinner (brinner?) but I think it would also be a great dish to serve guests for brunch or a special breakfast.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Weekly review

Today's my birthday! I had a great weekend. Mike made me french toast one morning and homemade oatmeal cream pies. Yum. We got together with friends later that evening and took the cream pies so I wouldn't eat them all. And Friday evening, I got a gift from my parents in the mail.

I'm so excited to use this more and learn about all the features.

As far as the working out the beginning of the week was a bit of a loss as I was at a conference. I tried to eat relatively healthy but didn't manage to get a workout in.  I had my first workout of the week on Thursday, a run on the treadmill at work.

I had about a 5.5 mile run on Saturday morning.  I used both the garmin and runkeeper in order to compare since I'm a bit of a data nerd.
This is definitely not right as I didn't feel like I went an average of 11:56 minutes per mile.  This would be fast for me.
This feels like it was probably closer to correct.  I was pretty happy with this run. It was hot and sweaty but I felt good at the end. I'm thinking I'm prepared enough for the 10k next weekend.

I ended the week with some strength training and foam rolling on Sunday. So only 2 runs and one day of strength training this week. I'm hoping this week will go a bit better.  The plan is to run on Tuesday, strength train on Wednesday, run on Thursday, yoga on Friday and race on Saturday! Sunday is rest and I already have a massage scheduled :)

I hope everyone has a good week!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Five things I'm going to do this summer

It's time for the Friday Five wiht the DC Trifecta again! I'm happy to be back after missing last week. The theme for this week is 5 things I'm going to do this summer.  I've definitely got a big list but here are some starting points!

1. Train for my Fall races! I have my first half marathon in November and my first 10 miler in October.  The October race will be in Disney World so I'm sure it will be hot and humid.  I definitely have to train in the summer for both of those.  I'm looking forward to the Potomac River Running training group that will be starting later this month.

2.  Go to the beach.  I love the ocean and we don't have any beach plans in the schedule yet.  But we have to make it happen as it's one of my happy places.  It may be just a day trip but that will at least give me a bit of a fix. And we got a tent so definitely some camping this year. Maybe even camping near the beach?

3. Enjoy our yard a bit more. We bought a house 2 years ago and it has an actual yard and everything.  I want to spend mornings on the back patio drinking tea and afternoons gardening so we have produce from the garden in our meals.  I might be romanticizing this a bit and it might end up being more about mosquitos and heat, but I do want to take advantage of the space we have. Hopefully have people over for backyard grilling once or twice.

4. Spend some time with my niece and nephew as they're growing up so fast! He's 13 so a teenager now, which is crazy. They live in New Jersey so I don't get to see them too often but I already have plans to meet up with them and their parents in Philadelphia one weekend.

5.  Take advantage of some of the amazing street festivals and fairs in the DC area. Summer's a wonderful time for that.  I'm looking forward to this year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 2 of the countries they're showcasing this year are China and Kenya.

I hope you all have fun plans for the summer too! I'm determined to make it a good one :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - rice and grilled vegetable salad

I'm hooking up with Lean Lena for Tasty Tuesday again after a break.

We had beautiful weather this weekend.  I didn't get to enjoy it on Saturday because I was sick but I wanted to spend as much time outside as possible on Sunday. So we pulled out the grill and made a delicious and filling salad. I used rice because it was the only grain I had in my pantry (crazy, I obviously need to restock!) but I think it would be good with almost any grain.

I started out cutting up peppers, zucchini and onions and marinating them.  This wasn't an exact recipe so I don't have specific measurements.  It's more of a throw things together and keep tasting until it's delicious sort of thing.  The marinade was the juice of one lime, cider vinegar, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil.  The vegetables marinated for a short time, 15-20 minutes and then went on the grill.  I also cut a lemon in half and stuck it on the grill as well as some cherry tomatoes wrapped in foil.  I tossed a bit of white wine in with the tomatoes as well as garlic, salt and pepper. Once they veggies were done, I cut them up into bite size pieces.

I also smooshed up the tomatoes so it turned into a bit of a sauce.

I also grabbed some thyme from the garden.  I haven't had a chance to plant anything this year yet but the thyme and oregano lasted from last year and are thriving!

Once the rice was ready, I seasoned it with some salt and juiced the grilled lemon over it.  I also mixed in the thyme.  Then I threw in the chopped up veggies and the tomato mixture as well as a 6 ounce package of feta cheese and a drained and rinsed can of chickpeas.

It was delicious! The grilled veggies gave it a great smoky flavor, the feta provided bursts of saltiness, the herbs and lemon provided a fresh flavor, and the chickpeas added protein. This is a super versatile salad as you can use any grain and veggies you have on hand.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Weekly review

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  This installment of my weekly review is going to be sadly short because there wasn't much working out. We flew back from Vegas on Monday and there was rain Tuesday evening, so I thought I'd do my run later in the week.  Well, I ended up being sick the later part of the week. It was sucky but I started feeling human again on Saturday.  I did some light strength training Saturday evening.

I was able to go for a run Sunday morning so it wasn't a complete waste of a week on the running front. I was a little worried about how it would go since I still had some breathing issues but I figured I'd take it easy and just go as far as I felt comfortable, even if it wasn't the full 5.5 miles that were planned.  I only made it 5 but I felt good and it was at a pace slightly faster than Vegas.

It was a beautiful day with lots of people on the running/bike path.  I surprisingly enjoyed the run in spite of getting over the sickness.  I even got in some photos of the scavenger hunt being run by Fairytales and Fitness.

I'm hoping this week goes a bit better with the working out.  I have a work conference Tuesday through Thursday so the middle of the week may be a bit of a wash.  The plan is to run on Monday and Thursday, strength training on Friday, running on Saturday and more strength training on Sunday. Saturday will be my last long run before the 10k (my first) on June 14th.  I'm planning for at least 5.5 miles so hopefully that should adequately prepare me for the 10k.

I hope you all have a great week!