Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hey, Hey Jealousy

My BFF and co-blogger Liv likes to talk about how she's too "busy" to blog lately. And to her credit, that has been pretty much true lately as she crunches numbers and uses acronyms that I swear accountants make up just to make normal people feel stupid. 

BUT in the interest of full disclosure, I think it's only fair that everyone knows where she really is right now...

Though today, it looks a bit more like this...

That's right, friends. Liv is at the Nat's opening day game today, while I sulk in a state of bitter jealousy in my cube. I'm letting out an audible sigh right now. I hope she can hear it.

Jk. Jk. It's a well-earned day off for dear Liv. I just need to muster up the energy to get through my self pity fest and knock out a good run today. [Insert an even louder sigh here]

I could trip over my bottom lip it's hanging so low right now. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Happy Day

Did you know March 29th of 1886, Dr. John Pemberton brewed the first batch of Coca-Cola? And on March 29th of 1961, the 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, allowing D.C. residents to vote in presidential elections. 

Well, guess what else happened on March 29th? Our very own Liv got hitched to this guy...
Happy 3rd Anniversary to you both!
March 29th also marks the day our sweet friend Nina sent a much-needed pick-me-up to my office. 

Aaaaaaand March 29th is also the day I stumbled upon (albeit a bit tardy compared to the rest of the Internet world) this video that had me craughing (crying + laughing... that one is for you, Mikey) at my desk. Gotta love this gal's determination...

Happy March 29th to all!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just a Music-less Monday

Since I spent most of the weekend dealing with this, I'm now getting a crash course in how exactly you "old school" runners get by without music. I didn't really think it would be my cup of tea - music is kind of my "thing" and one of the great joys of running for me is being alone with my tunes. But yesterday, I actually enjoyed the sound of silence. Okay, okay... it wasn't actually silence. Thanks to the cherry blossoms being in full bloom, I basically just eavesdropped on fanny-packed tourists for 8 miles... and probably ended up in about 300 of their photos.

Anyway, I'm going to continue testing out the sounds of nature this week to see how well those crickets pump me up when I'm dragging. Or... let's be honest, I'll probably just be singing this in my head the entire time...

All of that to say, no tunes from this chickadee this week. But thanks to the best mom in the world (and my birthday in a few days), I will hopefully replace the stolen ipod by next week and be back in action with some new tunes to boot. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Day. New Kicks.

Time to leave yesterday in the dust. Moving on with my brand spankin' new kicks. Thanks for the help Georgetown Running Company.

Just shook out the final shards (sidenote: "shards" is a ridiculous word) of glass in my Alpine tights, too. Onward and upward!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Good and Mostly Bad News

The bad news is that this happened...

Some punks thought it would be fun last night to throw a rock through my car window and terrorize my poor already-neglected Pathinder. 
  • GPS? Gone.
  • Favorite puffy jacket? Gone.
  • Backpack full of sweaty gym clothes? Gone. (Would love to see their faces when they unzip that backpack).
  • Ipod full of all my very favorite tunes? Gone.
  • My BRAND NEW and highly-debated-before-actually-purchasing yurbuds? Gone. 
  • Running shoes??? Gone. (Does this get me out of running 8 miles today??)
  • Brand new never worn Cole Haan shoes & Ray-Ban sunglasses? Gone. 
  • Sister-in-law's birthday present and card? Gone. (Sorry, Sus. Oh and Happy Birthday!).
So, not exactly the best of mornings. I can't say I'm particularly loving dear ole DC at the moment. But  I promised some good news in this post, so here goes... Beneath the rubble of all the shattered glass and trash the dear punks left for me, guess what I found? None other than my lululemon Alpine tights. That's right! Sticky fingers didn't even know a good thing when s/he saw it. So even though I'm mad at the weather and pending snow that is supposedly coming through tonight (seriously weatherman?? It's almost April!!!), at least I have my oh so warm Alpine tights to get me through this mess. That is, of course, once I buy some new running shoes :(

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Fishy Foodie Friday

As much as I love seafood, it is something I shy away from cooking at home. I guess it's the fear of the unfamiliar? However, this is one recipe that honestly cannot be messed up. If you can mix ingredients in a bowl, and turn on an oven - you can make this dish.

Hubster and I cannot get enough of Ina Garten, aka - the Barefoot Contessa. Just wikipedia the woman - she's fascinating. She is where she is today with no formal culinary training - she's learned through entertaining - i.e: my dream is to be a professional dinner party host/entertainer. Last year for hubby's bday I cooked him the best dish ever from Ina that I suggest you all cook at some point - Pastitsio.

The dish I attempted last week is Ina's panko-crusted salmon, straight from Ina's newest cookbook How Easy Is That. There are so many dishes we've already tried and loved out of this book. It's actually the only Ina cookbook I own, and based on how much I'm loving it....more please.

Serves 4

2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons good olive oil
4 (6 to 8 ounce salmon fillets, skin on
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

In a small bowl, mix together the panko, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir until the crumbs are evenly coated. Set aside.

Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on a board. Generously brush the top of the fillets with mustard and then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Press the panko mixture thickly on top of the mustard on each salmon fillet. The mustard will help the panko adhere.

Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch case iron skillet or large heavy ovenproof pan. When the oil is very hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and sear for 3 to 4 minutes, without turning, to brown the skin.

Transfer the pan to the hot oven for 5 to 7 minutes until the salmon is almost cooked and the panko is browned. Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the salmon hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges.

I served it with a spinach salad with mushrooms and caramelized red onions - yum!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Madness

Yes, I'm aware there has been some radio silence on this girl's end. It's that time of year for me, the last two weeks of March - "Liv's March Madness" if you will - where I am trying to keep my head above water at work while we go through last minute fire drills that accompany filing a 10K, while simultaneously celebrating a husband's birthday and a 3 year anniversary. Not to mention I finally took the plunge and joined Weight Watchers online and this week have been spending all available free time figuring out just how this thing works and calculating how many points are in all of my favorite foods and recipes (so far so good but more on that later). 

 So just bear with me, I'll be back in full force soon enough. And yes - I'm still running (a little worse for the wear with some nagging runners knee - also more on that later). That, and DDY are the only things getting me through. So for is my mantra:

and this one also does the trick:

Which by the way, to give credit where credit is due - those hilarious takes on the "keep calm" prints can be purchased here on a super fun Etsy site.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So about that...

It has been over 4 months since Liv + I developed our Pre-Training Training plan to kick our bums into gear so we could even begin preparing for the 2011 MCM. And I have to say, we've done pretty darn well.

Would I have actually stuck to this plan without my trusty and determined training partner? Not. A. Chance. I would have given up on this whole thing many, many moons ago. But thanks to Liv (and this blog, of course), I am feeling rather proud of us right now as I look back on our progress.

Now, we have certainly veered off the plan from time to time. I don't know that I've run more than 3 times a week to date. But I have been mixing in lots of some cross-training instead, and my body is beginning to feel more balanced. I think that doing anything more than what I've done thus far would have left me feeling burnt out. Liv has been much better at mixing in weight training and various classes into her routine, but I swear sometimes she only does it just so she can use the Kiehl's products at her gym (jk. jk).

Nevertheless, I'm proud of what we've done so far. And I now feel confident that we can keep it up once we kick our routine into full gear for the actual marathon training.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just Another Musical Monday

Love this song, but not a clue what it has to do with its Roman Imperial period-set video. Enjoy it nonetheless. Ponder its possible significance while you get your jog on and report back.

Fare thee well,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

For Immature Audiences Only

WARNING: This article contains graphic images that may not be suitable for mature adults. If you are one of those people (like me) that closes your eyes whenever there is a drop of blood on TV, then you should probably not read beyond this point. Oh, and this content is restricted whilst eating any form of food. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top of the Morning To You

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all! Liv + Sal are celebrating with a little 8 mile run home from work (nbd) along the Capital Crescent Trail, ending at the Georgetown waterfront for some green beers with friends. Not a bad way to spend a beautiful nearly spring day, eh? 

And in the spirit of all things Irish, how about a little jingle (the iambic pentameter only works if you say it aloud with a shoddy Irish accent and swing your arms from side to side while attempting a jig)...

A Shoes Full of Feet Limerick
There once were 2 gals with 2 feet
But those feet did not hit the street
So they strapped on some shoes,
Said goodbye to their blues, 
And together they could not be beat.

(Yes, we recognize that we can, in fact, be beat. And we will be beat... over and over again by many, MANY runners who are infinitely faster than us. But we needed something that rhymed. And it's more of a metaphor in that, well at least the marathon won't beat us, okay?? Just go with it)

"Oh, hey y'all!"- from one of Sal's freakishly adorable nephews. And yes, he's in a bar... like any good Irish baby should be.
And as long as we're exploiting the holiday with the most obviously Irish things we can think of, we give you the man himself...

We would normally say farewell here, only we just pulled an Irish goodbye while you were watching Bono. Suckers!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crawling to the End

Last week, we were jogging along when a colleague came zipping past us on his bike. We smiled and waved and returned home to find an email from him, in which he gave us props for running so early in the morning and asked if we were training for anything... and then he included a link to this video...

Does that mean we reminded him of this video??? I really hope we looked at least a little better off than these Ironman ladies. Especially considering we were only on mile 2.5.

Oy vey,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Uptight (Everything's Not Alright)

As a dancer for most of my life, I used to pride myself on my flexibility. I could high kick all day and pop into the splits with ease. While I'm not exactly the Black Swan these days, I've been fairly attentive to my muscles and made every effort to keep myself as limber as possible. 

That is, at least, until I started running. For one thing, this whole running in the morning thing usually leaves me with far too little time to properly stretch after a workout. But mostly, I feel like running just makes me stiff... period. Maybe it's the repetitive motion and the constant beating on my feet and legs, but lately, I've noticed that the old men in my "Ab Lab" class can pull their legs up further than me. 

I don't particularly love the constant stiffness, so I'm challenging myself to take this whole stretching thing more seriously. And to incorporate more yoga into my routine to see if I can find my once-lithe self again. 

And wouldn't you know it? The oh so lovable Jenny H. has some helpful flexibility exercises to get me started on the right track...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just a Jonsi Musical Monday

Since funds are running low lately and the first thing to go is my iTunes budget, these days I'm just mixing in a couple of new songs per week to keep me going. Recently I've found that Jonsi (of Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros)'s latest beats thrust me into a full sprint. 

Though this particular song is slightly way overplayed on some commercial lately (Maybe Banana Republic? Maybe a car commercial? Can't remember), it still gets me going - and it forces me to breathe in the moment and enjoy the motion of putting one foot in front of the other. 

ánægð gönguleiðir 
(that's "happy trails" in icelandic... duh)

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Stalk Little Girls

I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's true. I like to stalk them online to find out where they are and then track them down to meet in person. C'mon - admit that you're into it, too. 

No? Too creepy? Okay, then maybe I should clarify before I have to join Pedofiles Anonymous and go door-to-door through Georgetown introducing myself to neighbors...

My name is Sally, and I'm a Girl Scout Cookie-aholic.

Every spring, I force myself into a full-on cookie coma... completely self-induced and utterly horrific. I don't know what it is about those little morsels of heaven, but I lose all self control and somehow justify eating 8 cookies in one sitting. Maybe it's because I know that I can only have them for a limited amount of time? Maybe it's because the packaging makes them so easy to grab? Maybe it's because sweet little Girl Scouts lace them with crack?? I don't know what it is about them, but I... CANNOT... STOP!  

In fact, just the other day, Liv + I had a G-chat exchange that went like this...

me: must.stop.eating.girl.scout.cookies
  which i typed as i added the next girl scout cookie sale at safeway to my outlook calendar
4:26 PM Olivia: see - you haven't even bought any yet have you?
  from the troop you've been stalking
 me: nope
 Olivia: which by the way, there is a box of thin mints and samoas over my left shoulder on this file cabinet behind me that you know who brought in
  want any?
4:27 PM me: mother effer
  of course i want a samoa
  but i've had 5 thin mints and 3 do-si-dos already
 Olivia: so is that a yes? want me to get you one
 me: yes. but just one.

Seriously, what is wrong with me? I'll analyze this problem later - gotta go meet Troop #3613 at Safeway.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

5 Mile Therapy

Whenever we have a 5-mile day, Liv + I don't even have to discuss our route because our feet naturally move along the following path...

We typically meet up on the corner of Liv's street while it's still dark and the city is empty. 

We then run through Burleith, pass by Visitation (and  my old house) and continue toward Palisades by way of the Georgetown  Hospital.

Georgetown Visitation by John W.
From there we run past the cutest farm house in all of DC (Okay, that's debatable but we love it. We'll snap a photo when it's not so dark in the morning) and then sprint downhill to (illegally) cross Canal Road. Next we hop on the Capital Crescent Trail at the Fletcher's Cove Boathouse and enjoy the solitude of the early morning. 

There are so few runners and bikers in the early hours, that we sometimes spread out across the entire path... until we hear the jingle of bikers' bells politely asking us to share the way. 

As we round back into Georgetown along the water, sometimes we continue on the C&O Canal (depending on whether or not we feel like racing up the stairs to get there). 

C&O Canal by M.V.Jantzen
Photo by rwoan

And other times, we finish down on K Street...
Key Bridge by JosephLeonardo.
We then head up to M Street toward home... by way of Starbucks for a little morning boost. 
Photo by Jim Malone.

M St. by Geetarchurchy
We begin sipping our coffee as we stroll home - taking in the early morning sounds that will soon transform into a yet another boisterous day. Our favorite days are when we catch a certain mom on 31st Street sending her children off to school on the bus - she always looks so sad to see them go each day and gives them such an endearing farewell (I wish we had a photo - but I'm pretty sure that she has already noticed us staring at her, so she might take out a restraining order if she see's us with a camera).

We take in the softness of the morning as the wind blows through the trees (my attempted poetic mush is nearly over, I promise).

And as the sun begins peering through the trees, I scurry home along Q Street to get ready for the day. 

Not too shabby for an early morning run, eh? I think I needed this reminder of how lucky I am to live in D.C. considering how much I'm hating the process of finding a new apartment right now (sigh)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

GU Time?

So, I did it. This past weekend I completed my longest run to date - 10 miles. I was pretty proud of myself, and as promised...self-rewarded, accordingly. It was a perfect day for a long run in DC. Temperature in the 50s, not too windy and slightly overcast. Miles 1 through 8 felt fantastic and I was really in a rhythm. Miles 9 - 10...notsomuch. My run turned into something more like a shuffle and on the 10th mile I was basically willing my legs to finish. Any sort of hill or incline was out of the question.

This complete lack of energy and inability to finish strong like I normally can when running 5, 6, and even 8 miles got me it GU time?

In my brief research, I've found varying times at which it is appropriate to refuel and replenish the glycogen store during long distances. Some sources say anything over 75 minutes is the magic number, others say the 90 minute mark is a good threshold. I guess it's time for me to begin experimenting with what works best for me.

So I ask you, what is your threshold? When do you find yourself needing to refuel? Also, what are your favorite forms of refueling: jelly beans, gels, sports drinks?

Along these same lines - Sal recently purchased wrist strap water bottle. I still haven't given way to running with water yet. What works for you? Do you like the belt that has multiple water bottles? I think that would annoy me. The wrist strap water bottle? The Camelbak? I imagine the straps of the Camelbak cause some chafing on the neck and shoulders?

Just full of questions today and ready to be enlightened,