Monday, January 26, 2015

A Restaurant, a Run, and a Museum

My mom visited me for the long weekend last week! It was so great to see her, I do miss getting to spend weekends with my parents every month or so…adding a whole day of flying sure makes that more difficult.  We had a great 4 days filled with sightseeing, eating, shopping and walking…lots of walking.  I thought to showcase a bit of what DC has to offer plus recap my visit from Mom I would do a restaurant, a run, and a museum review:
metro selfie!

The Restaurant

I picked up a groupon for a 3 course Italian dinner with a glass of wine for a Dupont Circle Italian joint, i Ricci to use when my momma came so we did that first thing when she flew in Friday.  I will say right off the bat there is no way this place is worth the price without the groupon.  The caprese salad appetizer is usually $17…for tomatoes and mozzarella!  However, the groupon was a great deal and we enjoyed a delicious dinner!  Plus it’s always fun to treat mom when she treats me all the time.

The appetizers: Caprese salad and polenta with balsamic mushrooms.  I need to find a recipe for the mushrooms...they were the best part!

Jumbo lump crab cakes with toasted fennel, basil puree & roasted corn salsa for dinner for me!
It was a fun experience trying a new restaurant in a new city with my mom and we left full and satisfied! Would I go back here and pay regular prices...probably not, but maybe a glass of wine and happy hour would be fun!

The Run

While my mom slept in Saturday I got up for my group run with my Fleet Feet group.  The weather was MUCH more bearable compared to last week’s long run and we enjoyed a balmy ;) 30 degrees for the whole run.  I kept with a fun group of ladies as we ran south through Rock Creek Park to meet Abe and turn around.  Our couch, Jo, likes to give “extra credit” so we ran the Lincoln stairs and then had to do again to get a photo…it was worth the photo!  The 8 miles felt pretty effortless and I’m starting to feel like a strong runner again. 
Up the Lincoln stairs to the theme of Rocky!
I then added another 6 miles of walking with my mom around the monuments and visiting Lincoln again to make it a 15+ mile day…hello tired legs for a couple days!
Trying to teach mom how to pose for a selfie

The Museum

Okay, nerd alert…I’m kind of obsessed with Abraham Lincoln. It all started with the book Killing Lincoln, then the movie Lincoln and just learning about his presidency fascinated me…especially since I moved here.  Did you know during his presidency people just walked into the White House, lined up and told him their problems? Could you imagine that in this day and age? So when I mentioned wanting to see Ford's Theater and museum to my mom and she was all in I was pumped! We upgraded our tickets (about $7.50 a piece) and got the headsets so we could learn even more.  While the museum does go into great detail on Lincoln’s assignation and hunt for all the conspirators it also goes into detail on his presidency…all the way from choosing his cabinet, all the generals he went through and the Civil War. 
Theater box, gun used to kill Lincoln, and Petersen House where he died

FUN FACT: Lincoln was the president who instituted Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday.
After the museum you get to go into Ford's Theater and see the box where he was shot…you can still see plays there, but not from that box!
The inside of the box where Lincoln was shot

You then travel over to the Petersen House, otherwise known as the house where Lincoln died, which is directly across the street from Ford’s Theater.  Even though he was shot pretty much point blank in the back of the head he actually lived through the night and didn’t die until early the next morning which kind of fascinated me considering the level of medical care available during that time. 
I would 100% recommend this stop if you ever visit DC, especially if you are looking for something a bit smaller and less all encompassing than the Smithsonian's.

Hope you enjoyed a little piece of DC along with me! Have a great week.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Getting in My Groove

Settling into living in a brand new city has taken a bit longer than I expected. Of course I really had nothing to judge it on...the only other times I've moved it was to college or to Seattle where I moved in with friends and already had tons of friends! It took me a couple of months to realize that staying active is what makes me happy and that is how I want to meet people...big fat duh I know considering that is exactly how I've made some of my great Seattle friends over the past few years...I'll just blame the stress of moving ok?

This week I am most definitely learned what a legit winter looks like living here on the East Coast and how Washington DC actually freaks out of snow MORE than Seattle…I thought that was literally impossible but it’s true.  We had our first snow/super freezing temps  last week and I think kids didn’t go to school for like three days with about 2 inches of snow on the ground.  Add the threat of freezing rain this morning and add another snow day.  Of course the weather was not great motivation for my first week of Rock and Roll DC half marathon training but I managed to get outside for two runs and I’m certain I won’t go out in temps like that again!

I did one 4 mile loop around the National Zoo Tuesday evening that left my toes numb and my face burning.  I attended my first Fleet Feet group run Saturday morning and the only thing that motivated me to go was meeting new runner friends. The temps were a “feels like” under 10 degrees for our whole run and I realized I need to invest in a pair of fleece lined leggings if I want to survive that again. BUT, I did meet a pretty nice girl and we share running goals so I think she will be a great buddy to have along during this training. We completed a little over 7.5 miles winding our way around downtown DC. 
Seen on my run outside the National Geographic Museum

Not enough layers on...
My goal this week is to get outside 3 times to run which should be doable since temps are supposed to come back up into the 40’s by the end of the week…downright balmy if you ask me ;). 
Other than running I’ve been enjoying yoga and strength classes at my neighborhood fitness studio, Stroga (Strength+Yoga…get it!).  The yoga is pretty darn fantastic and I can’t remember that last time I was as flexible as I am right now since I’ve been going at least 2x a week for the past month or so.  Add a couple strength boot camp classes and I feel like I’ll be one strong runner this year!
Along with all this physical fun I’ve been making an effort to eat cleaner, especially during the week.  Moving to a new city and walking by amazing restaurants every single day made my first couple months here a bit more indulgent than I was aiming for so I’m trying to get back into a routine.  Meals each day have been almost identical, making it easy to prep and just heat up each day. (egg cups with ham) (tuna salad)

A reminder that the next 8-week I Quit Sugar program starts January 22 and I’ll be sharing some food pics along the way! If you want access to the yummy recipes you’ll have to join before January 22…totally worth it. 
My goal for this week is running 3 times which shouldn’t be hard since I have a hills run with my Fleet Feet group Tuesday, hashing Thursday (will do a blog post on this once I fully understand it…google if you don’t know what I mean) and then Fleet Feet long run on Saturday. My mom is visiting for a long weekend so I’m doubtful much more running than that will occur.  
Have a great week all!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Welcome to 2015 - I'm Baaaccckkkk!!

Has it really been since August since I last posted? HOLY SMOKES! The time feel like it literally flew by.  I went back and forth with myself towards the end of 2014 on whether to keep blogging or not but now that my life has settled down a bit I think I’m going to give it another go…if I even have any readers left that is…if not oh well, I’ll write for myself.

So, what did the end of 2014 bring for me? One big life change…I moved to Washington DC (shocking information to you all I’m sure since I blasted it all over social media).  I took a one year detail with my current employer in the “other Washington” ßa friend of mine made me promise I would never call DC that…sorry, I’ll only do it this time.  Anyways, I’m living and working in the District (as the locals call it) and so far really loving it.  The HISTORY, the POLITICS, the DIVERSITY…I’m pretty much on sensory overload every time I step out my door and I love it!
Kicking off 2015 in new city!   
I’m still running…like a teeny tiny bit and still eating sugar free (with some cheats around the holidays) but looking to kick off 2015 with some new running goals and just getting to know my new city through running and new friends!  I hope to use this blog to not only talk about running and eating but to give my friends and family a glimpse into life in DC through museum visits, running around the monuments and more.  Plus, I made such awesome friends in Seattle through this blog so hoping it will do the same for me in my new city so if I happen to ever get any DC readers please don't be shy...say HI!
For now here are a few photo highlights of my first couple months in Washington DC!
I ran one race...the Ugly Sweater 5K, which was really just an excuse to buy a shark with xmas lights on it sweater.
Taking long walks to see the DC sights has become one of my favorite activities.  The first glance of the White House and Washington Monument on every walk still overwhelms me...I can't believe I live HERE!

I had my first visitors for New Years Eve. My cousin Kristin and her friend Angela came to visit me and we walked over 11 miles in just one day walking around the Mall.

What’s new for 2015…

Besides just settling into this new city and trying to make new friends I'm planning on getting back to running and just today I signed up for 10-week half marathon training group with Fleet Feet Wash DC and registered for the Rock and Roll DC half marathon in March.  I'm hoping the structured training will lead to a possible half mary PR, but more importantly I hope to meet some runner friends!
Also happening in 2015:
  • I’m continuing on as a Ragnar Ambassador for 2015!  This time I’ll be marketing the DC relay and I am sooo excited to run it. There are already talks about a mini re-Nuunion of some of my Hood to Coast ladies that live on the East Coast.
  • I got into the infamous Cherry Blossom 10-miler race. I entered the lottery on a whim and got in so I’ll be participating in my first 10 mile race ever…automatic PR!
  • The next round of the I Quit Sugar 12-week program kicks off January 20 and I’m staying on board as an ambassador to help people in the forums through the program.  Let’s be honest, after the holidays I’ll need the program as much as anyone.  I can’t say enough good things about this program and I promise it will be the best $$ you spend on yourself in the new year.    
Now that I'm partially settled in DC and trying to get back into running, I hope to keep this blog a little more updated than I have been.  Between the running, new restaurant eating, museum seeing, and more I have no excuse for not having anything to blog about! 
Question: What have you all been up to the past 5 months? Besides not blogging I haven't really been reading any blogs so fill me in...I promise I'll catch up soon, I miss all my blog buddies!