Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Headed back to Cali, Cali

I'm on leave! Going to San Diego for my college bestie's wedding. 

Ran 3 miles this morning trying to keep a 10k pace, about 11 min miles. Went pretty well even though my plantar fasciitis was acting up. I've been rolling my foot on a frozen golf ball, it's like heaven. 

Hit up CrossFit tonight as well. We did 8 rounds of a clean progression: tall clean, hang power clean, and hang squat clean with 55#. 

The MetCon was 3 rounds of 7 Front Squats 65#, 14 Burpees, 21 Wall Balls 12# with 2 minute breaks between rounds. I finished in 11:20, not too shabby. 

Run in the morning then off to California!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another weekend of epic failure

Well, at least as far as running is concerned. I will blame it on my being a last minute packer. I remember looking at my running shoes and telling myself "Don't forget to pack them." And I did. And I didn't realize it until I was back in Detroit, and considering that I missed my first flight, had I realized it sooner I totally could have gotten them. Oh well, it was a good weekend except for that. And I got to hang out with my cousins for a bit before my flight and didn't have to pay for parking, though I will NEVER drive to BWI again, I will always take the metro and MARC. 

Everyone in my family loves chocolate, yes all of them. 

I headed home for my friend Emily's birthday, she's in town from Switzerland while she waits on some paperwork for a work visa. There was also a first birthday for my friend's baby. It was an adorable party, the theme was "You are my sunshine" and there were lots of suns cut out of paper plates with Maggie's hand prints on them and HUNDREDS of pictures hung on twine with mini clothes pins like streamers all down the walls. There was also tons of great food and I got to hang out with three of my best friends from high school. 

Book that doubles as a birthday card? Yes!

She loved the clothes too. 

We left the party after a few hours because my friend Steph had to work them Emily and I went shopping, that part was pretty phenomenal, we purchased a whole outfit in about an hour from three stores. Emily is basically my personal shopper and the reason I don't just wear Penn State shirts everyday and my huge Casio G-Shock watch everywhere (she had to talk me out of wearing it to prom). I got a dress at Marshalls, some AMAZING sandals at Famous Footwear, and jewelry at JCPenny. A great trip and I wore the outfit out that night and will probably wear it for the rehearsal dinner this Thursday. My favorite purchase was by far the sandals. 
Aren't they cute! [Source]

That night we went out in Royal Oak for Emily's birthday after her dad made us a wonderful dinner. We met up with our friends Ryan and Alexa who she went to school with and I used to hang out with in San Diego, but they just moved to Austin so Ryan can start the MBA program at UT. I was so glad to see them! They had just had dinner with some of their other friends so we all hung out to grab a drink. We started out at a bar called Goodnite Gracie, but it was way too loud for conversation so we went down the street to a seafood restaurant with a good looking bar and hung out there for another couple of hours. I had such a great time and am grateful that I got to spend Emily's birthday with her for the first time in a long time.

Sunday morning I grabbed breakfast with my parents on our way to the airport then headed back south. I hung out with the cousins a bit more then headed home to run... then I may have fallen asleep on the couch. Whoops?

Today was great because I got a call in the morning (while still laying in bed talking myself into getting up) that there was a water main break and to hold off on coming in. They eventually fixed it, but because I already had my computer here they let me work from home. Win. I had another chiro appointment after work and then hit up Crossfit tonight. 

We worked on shoulder press progressions. 
3-3-3 Strict Press - I got up to 75#
2-2-2 Push Press - I got up to 95#
1-1-1-1-1 Push Jerk - I got up to 120#
Pretty proud of myself for all that. I think those are all PRs. 

The MetCon was really fun. Okay maybe not. Two rounds of 200m run with 45# plate (25# for ladies), 200m farmer's carry with as much as you could carry (I did 35# kettle bells each hand), and a 200m sprint. I finished in 8:36 so I was really happy with that as well. 

Now I'm going to hit up the foam roller and get some sleep because I do actually have to go to work tomorrow. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Man am I lazy

This may be why diaries have never worked for me before, oh well, I'm back now. 

So last Friday I took my off day with pleasure, went to the chiropractor, worked from home then had a great night with friends. First we went to Truckeroo, which is an awesome food truck event at the "Fairgrounds" by the ballpark, so only about 3 blocks away. 

My friend Sam enjoying some potstickers from Hot People. 

Next we went over to the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden for Jazz in the Park. It was very fun, we got to hang out and talk, listen to some music and drink some really overpriced sangria. 

Genuinely no idea what this is supposed to be. 

Again, no idea, but it looks pretty cool. 

After that we headed to Momoyama sushi for some dinner, it's pretty much the only sushi restaurant I've yet found within a reasonable distance, and it's cheap and delicious. 

National Gallery of Art on the way. 

Also a statue of a Union General Meade near the restaurant. 

So after some awesome sushi we headed to Iron Horse in Chinatown. They have skeeball, which to me says awesome bar, but I didn't get to play because some people were hogging nearly all night. It was really fun because one of my old shipmates moved into town and made the trek from Georgetown to hang out. It was really great to see him, we haven't hung out since before I went to Iraq and he went to Afghanistan. 

DC Court of Appeals on the way to the bar.

Saturday was supposed to be a trip to the beach with my family but it was storming all morning so that went out the window. We ended up dong some shopping at the ReStore, it's a store that sells really cheap home improvement stuff and furniture which has been donated to Habitat for Humanity that they can't use for one reason or another. My cousins bought a huge coffee table for their basement which is the perfect height for kicking up your feet and for little Mackie to draw on. The night ended with Love Actually from Netflix, my cousin's wife had never seen it and I could not let that continue, such a great movie!

Sunday was fun filled and action packed. It started with mini golf at the National Building Museum. 
Sam again. 

This hole was really creative, but I didn't do so well at it. 

My friend Jacob at the hole which is a model of the park going in by my house. 

Each hole was designed and built by a DC firm and had a DC theme. 

This may have been the most creative one, it's a model of the Potomac River's topography, or whatever the underwater equivalent is.

Jacob giving it a shot. 

Our whole little group. 

While this outing was really fun, it took FOREVER! We got there at noon (it opened at 1100) and had to wait in line for tickets, then in line for the actual mini golf. Sunday probably wasn't a good choice, but they are only open until 1700 on weekdays and I don't think my boss would let me take off early to go play putt-putt. 

My friend Diane ended up coming into town Sunday night and we grabbed some dinner on 8th street and caught up. She ended up staying until Wednesday morning, which is part of why I haven't written in forever. 

In any case, running didn't really happen this weekend so I tried to make up for it on Monday with 5 miles. Then we did hills on Tuesday, running up Capitol Hill four times. Wednesday was four miles. Today was supposed to be six, but I was whipped, Christine and I ended up walking three this morning and I walked three on my way home from Crossfit. I want to get the miles in, but I also don't want to overtrain or burn out. I think not skipping weekends will keep me on track. 

I felt exhausted this morning and then all day, I really think I need my rest day tomorrow. 

Did Crossfit Monday, it was a double Tabata workout with kettle bell swings and V-situps. I used a 25# kettle bell and got over 200 total reps in the 16 rounds (8 of each). I can't remember the number, whoops. 

Screen on the Green walking home from Crossfit on Monday.

I really love the way the Capitol looks all lit up. 

I really can't remember what building this is, or why I took a picture. Oh well. 

Went back to Crossfit tonight, it was a benchmark WOD, these are used to measure your progress through time, so I think we'll do it again in a month or so. Today was "Isabel" it is 30 Power Snatches for time. I used 65# and finished in 4:08. I'm pretty pleased with that, the coach said four minutes is a good time and means you were scaled appropriately. I'm pretty sure if I tried to do the Rx'd 95# I would have collapsed. 

After the WOD I felt revitalized and wanted to run home, but had brought a bag which would have been cumbersome and annoying, so I just walked, but I took a new route. 

Smithsonian Castle with amazingly few people around, in fact the whole mall was pretty barren. 

Statue outside of the National Museum of the American Indian. They apparently have amazing food which I will have to check out soon. 

Part of the Botanical Gardens and what I believe is the Longfellow building behind it. I hadn't noticed before today that there was even a fountain in this garden. 

Now I'm home, just finished a protein shake and watching a lightening storm roll in. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hump Day

Went for a three mile run this morning, which should have been easier than it was. Christine and I were both SUPER tight and had trouble getting moving. But we finished and I even did some striders afterwards to try and stretch my legs out. 

In an effort to stretch we decided to go to the free yoga in Yards Park again tonight. It was great and went really fast. There was all sorts of activity tonight, kinds in the fountain and pool, a couple shooting pregnancy photos by the water and the Capitol area Army band was doing a concert!

After we finished we walked over and heard the last few songs. We could hear them all through the yoga class as well. I was tickled that they played "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" that song makes me think of my dad because he and I talked about it after I saw this video.

They played a couple fun patriotic songs at the end like a service medley and "The Stars and Stripes Forever." They were really good and it was a fun little thing to end the night.


Now I'm fighting with HBO Go and will probably end up calling them. Grr.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Hill is alive!

Started this morning with hill runs, and what better place to do that than Capitol Hill? It's about .2 miles long and gets pretty steep. Christine and Matt from CrossFit joined me, which made the workout so much more fun.

We ran up from our apartments and called that the first hill, then did three repeats around the Capitol. I like getting the running out of the way in the morning and it definitely puts me in a better mood for the day, but I need to start going to bed sooner! Six hours of sleep is not enough.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A little sore

Ten mile run down! It was brutal for sure, I sweat through EVERYTHING I was wearing and I emptied my water bottle twice. I also forgot to bring the Clif Shot Bloks I bought... to try out on the run. I could have used the extra fuel, the last few miles were really hard. I was lucky that my friend Christine joined me for the last three miles, she helped me finish strong and I really didn't want to run the Anacostia Riverwalk by myself at night. The first seven miles was down the mall all the way to the Lincoln Memorial. 

 I'm certain I will never get sick of these views. 

Today was a rest day, well from running anyway. I could not get moving this morning. Work seemed to drag on forever. 

After work (and a short nap) I headed over to CrossFit.

1.) Back Squats 5@ 75%, 3@85%, 1+ @ 95%
2.) 3 sets of the following: 
a.) 8-10 reps Single Leg Box Step-ups with DBs Rest 60 Seconds
b.) 4-6 reps Chin-ups Rest 60 Seconds
3.) 3 sets of 3 minute AMRAP: 
3 Burpees
6 Air Squats
9 KB/DB Swings (54/35lbs)
Rest 1 minute in between sets.  Begin each set at where you left on previous set.
I was able to finish 10 rounds +6 kettle bell swings in the three rounds with a 25# kettle bell. Unfortunately back squats didn't go quite as well as they could have, on my 95% attempt I had to bail and drop 5 pounds down to 150#. 
After that there was a leisurely walk home. 

Gorgeous sunset on the way home, and a red sky means nice weather tomorrow!

There seems to be a concert on the Capitol lawn every night. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mud run... not so fun

Where did we leave off? Friday, did not start with a run, which turned out to be a great choice. I was still a little sore from the stairs on Wednesday and the lactate threshold testing ended up taking up a lot out of me. 

The purpose of lactate threshold testing is to find the optimum heart rate training zones for various levels of training. In my case I'm trying to find the heart rate I should train at for the marathon, a rate which I can maintain and will help me complete the race. The test is pretty straight forward. First, I had my blood pressure taken, then a baseline lactate level from a drop of blood from one of my fingers, thankfully I'm a good bleeder and I only had to get my finger pricked once. In order to get a accurate graph there must be at least five samples, a sample is taken after running at a different speeds for 6 minutes each, giving enough time for heart rate to stabilize. I started at 4.5 miles per hour speeding up half a MPH after each test finishing at 6.5, which was a little difficult, I clearly need to work on my speed work. 

It looked a little like this, except not being an elite athlete.

I'll get a full read out of the results on Monday, but the initial estimate is I should be training between 167-177 BPM for endurance. 

I spend Friday night up with my cousins near Baltimore, hanging out with my favorite little 2  year old. 

Saturday morning came early, even though I got to sleep in until 8. Then my cousin and I had to get ready to drive over to Monkton, MD for Rebel Race. We signed up for this race FOREVER ago and for some reason we thought 11 am would be a good wave time. WRONG! It was near 100 degrees when we got there at 10 am. We ran into one of his church friends who ran the race before us and upon her recommendation (and because the race was poorly organized and we could get away with it) we went with the 1030 wave instead. It was still incredibly hot and humid and very challenging. 

Before the race... throw away clothes.

Challenging course
Lots of fun people on the course
Some water features which cooled us down during the run

Check-in was disorganized
The shirts were kind of cheap
Some of the obstacles were not built very well (specifically the monkey bars where the bars weren't secured and I fell on my ass and the clibming walls which only had foot holds on one side)
The race went through a horse farm so most of the mud smelled like horse poop
Parts of the route were poorly marked and the volunteers on the course weren't really prepared (a few didn't have walkie-talkies and didn't have a way to call the medics and counted on runners to yell for them)
The "shower" afterwards took forever (and for the 15k runners in the afternoon they almost ran out of water) I don't mind hosing off but we had to wait half an hour in the sun, it would have been better if there had been drinking water available for the wait
When we tried to get our "free beer" they were asking for IDs and my cousin had left his in the car because we had just run three miles through mud, and that's when we decided to peace out. 

After... even the shoes got thrown out. 

All in all I was disappointed that such an established race was so shoddy. I'm hoping the tough mudder I'm signed up for in September goes a little better. 

Now that it's only 86 degrees I'm headed out for a ten mile run!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I cannot express enough just how grateful I am to
1. be an American
2. serve in the world's finest Navy
3. actually be in the United States to celebrate our independence. 
Last year I was in Baghdad and we had several incoming alarms throughout the day. The year before that I was in San Diego. 2009 I was in the Indian Ocean in the roughest seas imaginable. 2008 I was in Sasebo, Japan. And 2007 I was in Jebel Ali, UAE on shore patrol keeping sailors in line. I feel so blessed that I got to spend this year in our nation's capitol watching fireworks after several years overseas. 

Anyway, workouts. Tuesday I ran 4 miles in the morning with Christine doing Fartleks, it was not very fun, especially after the workout on Monday. That night I headed to the baseball game with one of my shipmates and a battle buddy from Iraq. 

Clutch seats!

Hello Bryce Harper!

We ended up leaving in the 6th inning with the threat of a storm and the promise of a ride on a yacht. We didn't actually get to leave the pier, but I can safely say that was the nicest ship I have ever been on. We really wanted to take it for a spin, but that wasn't in the cards.
Full moon over the Kennedy Center from Georgetown. 

Wednesday began with a hellacious Crossfit WOD at the "Exorcist stairs." I've never seen the Exorcist and I have no great desire see that movie, and even less now that I've had to run up those damn stairs! Here's a picture of the WOD, and what I looked like after it: 

Basically it was as many rounds as possible doing 10 squats with a sandbag, then running up the stairs, then 20 mountain climbers as you could do, but in the 30 minute AMRAP you also had to get in 30 pull-ups and 30 dips. I finished 5 rounds and all of the pull-ups and dips, my goal was 4 rounds, so I was very happy with my effort.

I didn't count, but someone else said there were 72 steps. 

No surprise this is straight out of a horror movie.

After that Christine and I went and got Pinkberry (the line for Georgetown cupcake was far too long). It was a delightful treat.

I bummed around the house the rest of the day catching up on my DVR until one of the girls I work with and her husband came over to watch the fireworks. My balcony worked out perfectly and I will definitely be planning a party next year. 

A little blurry, but I didn't want to include McDonalds in the foreground. 

Today should have been a 4 mile run, but I was a wee bit sore from the stairs and got up late because I had a half day at work. These are all excuses, I'll probably run in the morning to make up for it. 

I did make it to Crossfit because the WOD didn't look that bad, overhead squats and pull ups. 
10-9-8...1 Overhead Squats and
1-2-3...10 Pull-ups
I used 55# for the overhead squats and used the aide of the box for the pull-ups like a champ. I finished in 8:41. Biggest thing I saw was that I need to work on my pull-ups! I was one of the only girls who couldn't do them. 

Tomorrow I have my lactate threshold test at the Pentagon which should help me find my optimum heart rate for training. There may or may not be 4 miles in the morning. Then Saturday I'm doing the Rebel Race with my cousin in Maryland, it will be muddy and super fun, I can't wait!

Monday, July 2, 2012

"Off" Day

I was pretty exhausted after the run last night, but had a feeling I have a cold coming on so I took some Nyquil and called it a night. Getting out of bed this morning was nearly impossible. I refuse to get sick so I hope that sleeping in today was enough, along with the Sudafed and Delsym I took during the day. No big worries because tomorrow is a half day at work! I just have to get up and run beforehand, and since I'm meeting Christine I'll be motivated by guilt. 

Ran FEP today and made everyone do a Tabata workout like I did last week, the other CFLs were wary of my "16 minute workout" but everyone was sweaty by the end. We did pushups, squats, sit-ups and jumping lunges. Afterwards, partially because I was so sore and to take up the rest of the hour, we did some yoga focusing on where I am most sore since starting to run more. Lots of pigeon pose. 

Tonight Crossfit was hell hard. We started with back squats, which went surprisingly well, with 3x70%, 3x80% and 3(3x90%). I got up to 135 for 90% which is right on track for 150 max rep and I felt much better and stronger than I did last week. 

The met con was 21-15-9 reps of dumbbell thrusters, box jumps, and burpees. I used 20# for the thrusters, 25# was Rx for women, but I think 20 was plenty for me, I was able to do the first round unbroken but had to take a break on the next two. I also biffed on number 18 of the first set of box jumps, of course I jumped up and said I was fine when someone asked, but my knee was hurting! I shook it off and finished in 11:58. I didn't notice until I got home that my arm was all scraped up. The box wins again. 

Damn you Box Jumps!

Had a nice walk home as the sun was setting and the bands for the 4th of July were practicing outside the Capitol building which was pretty fun. Still no idea what I'm doing for the 4th, I have a feeling it will turn into hanging out on my balcony by myself watching the fireworks. Oh well, the drinks are cheap and I don't have to worry about how I'll get home. 

The moon rising over the Botanical Gardens. 

The reflecting pool looking beautiful as the band plays. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

One very long weekend

Got up to run three miles on Saturday morning around 7, trying to beat the heat, didn't really work. It was cooler after the wicked storm on Friday night, but still on its way to being ridiculously hot. There were all sorts of branches and debris all over from the 80 MPH winds the night before, and I'm pretty sure it affected the GPS tracking because I'm very sure this isn't right: 

The rest of the day was pretty fun, I did a Segway tour of DC with a friend who was in town. It was very informative and entertaining, I bought the tickets from Capital Segway and while a little pricey I think it was worth it. I was absolutely terrified to get on, and the tour guide sensed it and picked me to get on first and I pretty much looked like an idiot. Once on I was alright, but getting on and off scared the bejesus out of me. 

We saw the White House and Executive Staff buildings, the mall, the Navy Memorial, the Capitol, and everything in between. 

I'm sure I will never get sick of seeing the sights around here. Next, I need to start going in all the museums. 

The rest of Saturday was really fun, I got a pedicure and hung out on the rooftop pool with Christine. Want to talk about motivation to go for a run, try getting in a bathing suit in front of strangers. There's a reason I never do that. 

Finished the night off with dinner in Chinatown with another friend at Royal Thai, and it was fantastic, then we had a drink at Fado. We had a great time catching up on what we've been doing for the past five years and I'm really looking forward to hanging out more now that we're in the same city. 

I got in pretty late last night and decided that an early morning 8 mile run was not in the cards, so I slept in until I had to get up and get ready to meet my friends to see Magic Mike. I liked it, wasn't as amazing as I was hoping, though watching Channing Tatum strip was well worth it. Got a little long in the middle. All in all enjoyable though. 

I spent most of the rest of the day chilling out, I made a move to go grocery shopping but Whole Foods was crazy and half way on my detour to the commissary I decided to abandon it all together. 

Finally, I went for my run a little after 7. I made the mistake of eating about an hour beforehand I I felt AWFUL for a good part of the run and had to walk for a bit of it. Lesson learned. But 8 miles done and I even had my buddy Christine there for 3 of them. Now it's beautiful outside! Too bad I've got that whole work thing that keeps me from being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. 

This is outside the Department of Transportation, they have all sorts of boats and ships in the fountain. Obviously, I'm a fan. 

And someone stole the name for my autobiography.