Apr 052017

On Sunday morning, Fabio and I ran the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler for the second time! Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Here’s my recap!

Waking up & Getting there

In years past, the metro has been open for this race, but this year it wasn’t because of Safe Track updates (ugh). I knew requesting an uber was going to be a nightmare, but we had plans for after the race so I didn’t think biking to the start was a good idea either.

In the end, we decided to set the alarm for 5:50 a.m., giving us plenty of time to get ready, walk Jack, and request an uber. Usually when we request an uber or lyft the car arrives within a couple of minutes, and since the race is only about 10 minutes from our house, I thought we had plenty of time to get there by the 7:30 start time.

When I requested the uber at 6:25, the app told me a car was 9 minutes away but was going to cost me $57!! Holy cow!! (Typically this trip would cost about $12.) Luckily I didn’t cancel because the uber wound up taking more than 20 minutes to arrive, and I was a nervous wreck the whole time.

I absolutely hate when things beyond my control go awry, and I was getting really anxious watching the minutes tick by and seeing that the driver was still so far away. In the end, I went back upstairs to make the bed, straighten up, and eat my CLIF bar while Fabio watched for the uber. This wound up being a really good distraction and was a much better alternative to me watching the little car on the app get closer verrrrrrry slowly. Ha!

Finally at like 6:45 our uber driver arrived, and we were on our way to the race start (after spending nearly $60. Sheesh!). Fabio and I put our bibs on in the car so we’d be ready to go as soon as we got there.

We wound up arriving later than we wanted but still with plenty of time to spare. Phew!

The Start

When we got out of our uber we could see that it was looking like a gorgeous day, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the low/mid 40s. Perfect!

People were already starting to line up in their corrals by this point, so Fabio and I quickly joined the masses in the blue corral. We were lucky to spot my friend Kathleen right away!

Kathleen and I were both running as part of the Cabot Fit Team, so we got to wear these fun “cheesy” tanks! Kathleen was brave and wore hers by itself, and though she was freezing at the start I think that was probably the better choice. I wound up being hot in my long sleeves later!

The corral started to fill up quickly, and we had a nice time chatting and stretching while we waited.

Eventually we found Anne and her husband Matt, who had also had uber problems in the morning. I’m glad we all made it on time!

Before long, we started moving forward in the line as the other waves started running. At this point I was focusing on a couple of last-minute goals/reminders for the race: don’t start off too fast, remember to focus on breathing, and aim for a pace between 8:45 and 8:50 if I want to PR, but don’t worry too much if that seems out of reach. I just wanted to enjoy the day!

One last selfie before the race!

And then we were off!

Miles 1 – 4

For any of you who have run this race before, you know that the course takes you from the Washington Monument toward the Lincoln Memorial and across Arlington Memorial Bridge. At this point all of the sites of the monuments are really exciting, and there’s pretty decent crowd support. I remember seeing one of the National’s bobblehead costumes on the bridge last time and high-fiving him, and I did the same this time. 🙂 I snapped a photo on the way back over Arlington Memorial Bridge because I couldn’t get over the gorgeous morning! Can you see the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument below?

Our next leg took us down Rock Creek Parkway under the Kennedy Center and then looped back toward the Washington Monument.

The first two miles included a lot of bobbing and weaving to try to find a good pace with all the people around us, but it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. Maybe the fact that I knew I’d have to do that helped as well.

I was feeling really great during this part of the race, and I even remember at one point around the end of mile one, I had a good song playing in my ears (I listened to Hamilton since that worked well during my training) and a big smile on my face, and I reached down to squeeze Fabio’s hand. (He’s a trooper and always runs beside me.) I was just in a happy place!

Despite the congestion, we were able to stick with our pace goals during this section too, even if we did go a little fast for miles two and three. (Like usual.)

  • Mile 1: 8:56
  • Mile 2: 8:38
  • Mile 3: 8:36
  • Mile 4: 8:53

Miles 5 – 7

Around mile 5 we passed the Washington Monument again, and I was hoping to spot my dad and sister who I knew were coming to spectate. Sadly I didn’t see them, but there was a ton of crowd support and I was feeling pretty good. I also knew the “boring” part of the race was coming up, so I tried my best to soak up the energy of the moment.

After the monument, we passed the Tidal Basin (the cherry blossoms were still in bloom and looked great!) and then made our long trek down Hains Point. This area is a lot quieter than the rest of the race, and is basically an out and back along a long peninsula, so it takes a while and is just kind of boring.

Of course now looking back at this picture of beautiful cherry blossoms and the Potomac River I feel like such a jerk saying it could be anything but amazing, but it’s just not my favorite section of the race.

At one point I felt a cramp coming on, but I focused on breathing slowly and deeply and I was able to keep it away. Phew!

In between miles six and seven I couldn’t remember if we were on mile six or mile seven, but I started to get pretty tired and the run no longer felt as easy or mindless as it did in the beginning. I was still doing ok, but I remember noticing a difference. I also stopped looking at our pace at this point because I didn’t want to feel disappointed if we were going too slow — I just wanted to keep going.

Despite low crowd support going down Hains Point, there were two notable exceptions: a female DJ complete with a turn table and huge speakers, and a table that was set up with free beer and Oreos. As we got close to the end of Hains Point Fabio asked if we were getting close to where the spot where the free beer/Oreo people were set up last time we ran this race, and I said we were. Once we saw them he asked if I wanted a beer and when I said no, he sprinted over and drank some! Haha! I kept chugging along (pun intended) and he ran back to meet me once he was done. Haha! Typical Fabio.

  • Mile 5: 8:39
  • Mile 6: 8:46
  • Mile 7: 8:46

Miles 8 – 10

I was feeling pretty good for mile eight and just kept telling myself that I only had two miles left to go. Just two! I could do this, and maybe even PR (I still wasn’t looking at my watch, but just tried to keep up a steady and speedy pace).

I sort of hit a wall at mile nine and regretted not ever making it to the full nine miles during my training, but I knew I was so close. I also knew we had a big hill ahead of us for the finish, so I think that was getting in my head a little.

Eventually we rounded the corner and I was so thankful to be done with Hains Point and back among the big crowds — plus I knew my dad and sister were there somewhere! As I looked for them, I knew it was time to sprint up the long hill to the finish. Fabio sprinted a bit ahead of me at the very end, but I still threw in everything that was left in the tank!

  • Mile 8: 8:52
  • Mile 9: 8:46
  • Mile 10: 8:48

We crossed the finish line with big grins on our faces, and when I looked down I saw that my final time was 1:28:28! I knew my last 10 miler PR was also 1:28, so I quickly scrambled to look up my last time. It was 1:28:35! Fabio and I PRed by SEVEN seconds!! (Our average pace was 8:45, which was exactly what I was aiming for.) I was pretty ecstatic at this point, and just remember feeling so happy that a) it went so well and b) it was over. 🙂

After the finish

Sadly my dad and sister didn’t see us cross the finish line – there were just sooo many people – but they met up with us as soon as we were done. It was so nice to have them there supporting us and adding to crowds!

We also met up with a bunch of our friends at this point, including Fabio’s fraternity brother (and groomsman), Jason!

Go Terps!

We hung around with Jason’s family for a little while, who also ran the race. Go Team Hershman!

And before long, we also found Anne and Kathleen!

Woohoo! My favorite workout buddies!!

A little while later, all the members of the Cabot Fit Team met up by the monument for a group photo. Everyone did so great during the race!

Meanwhile, I was just happy to have my favorite running buddy by my side. Fabio really is such a trooper for running the race with me (I know running is not his favorite) and for sticking by my side the whole time. I wound up weaving a lot throughout the course to try to stay at our pace in the big crowds, and he never lost me once! Having him there is a big mental boost, even if we didn’t talk during the race. He’s the best!

And of course, I have to thank my awesome dad and sister for coming out to cheer us on!! It sounds like they had a nice time, even though they didn’t see us until after the race.

All in all, this was an awesome first step back into the distance running scene. I hadn’t run a race since December 2014 because of my foot surgery, and this race showed me that I can absolutely still do distance runs and my fitness and endurance levels haven’t changed.

I also noticed a big change in my attitude toward running this time around; I didn’t put as much pressure on myself which allowed me to really just enjoy the moment. Hopefully I can focus on doing this more often!

And now…should I sign up for another race? I’m thinking about the Across the Bay 10K in November since I’ve always wanted to run that one but used to have a conflict with work during that week every year. Now that I’m in a new job I think this might be the year to do it!

Question of the day: If you ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, how did it go for you? Have any of you run the Across the Bay 10K before?

 Posted by on April 5, 2017
Mar 252016

Yesterday morning, I joined my friends Anne, Kathleen, and Sarah for a 5 mile run around the tidal basin, which gave us the opportunity to get up close and personal with DC’s famous cherry blossoms.


Photo via Anne

Every year I make it a point to try to see the cherry blossoms, but it can be tricky since they are only in peak bloom for a day or two, and for the last couple of years their peak has been on a weekday. Trying to view the cherry blossoms on a Saturday when they are a) no longer in peak bloom/starting to fall off the trees and b) swarming with crowds is definitely not my cup of tea. Seeing them during a morning run – on peak bloom day no less – is much more my style!

We began our run by the Georgetown waterfront since it’s not too hard to find parking over there so early in the morning. The sun was just starting to rise when we got there, and the moon was still out which was really pretty.



As usual, we chatted during the whole run which made the time fly by. It was fun having such a big group of us yesterday morning; running with four people is so much more fun!

Soon enough, we came upon the Washington monument right when the sun was rising. So pretty!


And then before we knew it, we had arrived at the tidal basin!


The cherry blossoms were just as beautiful as I remembered. It was so worth getting out of bed early for this!



Even though it was early in the morning, there were still tons of people at the tidal basin. We saw lots of photographers, other runners, and people in suits who were – we assume – heading right into the office later. We saw people taking prom/quinceanera photos, engagement photos, pregnancy photos, and newborn photos.


Fun fact: Fabio and I actually wanted to take our engagement photos with the cherry blossoms, but then we decided to get them done somewhere else instead. 😉 Sorry to tease you, but you know I’ll share them with you when it’s the right time!

It was a little hard to keep running with all the people everywhere, but that just meant we could stop for more photos. 🙂


So beautiful!



At one point we noticed there was a wall of photographers set up in a specific spot, and although we knew it was really pretty we couldn’t figure out why this particular part of the tidal basin was so much better than the others. And then we saw it: the sun shining through the Jefferson memorial!


So beautiful, right?? I love how you can see the silhouette of the Jefferson statue.


Clearly these photographers know what they are doing. They were very serious about their picture taking!

After making our way 3/4 of the way around the tidal basin it was time to head back to Georgetown. We wound up covering 5 miles which was pretty awesome considering we mostly just wanted to see the cherry blossoms. 🙂 What a fun morning!


Another photo borrowed from Anne

Question of the day: Have you ever seen the cherry blossoms?

 Posted by on March 25, 2016
Mar 162016

Look at that – we made it to hump day! Is this week flying by for anyone else?

I had a really nice day yesterday and I always enjoy reading day-in-the-life style posts on other people’s blogs, so I thought I would share a recap of my day yesterday in a similar (if less detailed) format. Ready? Here we go!

My morning began with a run on the National Mall with Fabio and Jack! It was super dark (definitely a downside to daylight savings time) and a little rainy out, but I’m glad we made it out there anyway.

We began our run in front of the Capitol building, looped around the mall by the Washington monument, and then ended again at the Capitol! Seeing this view (even with all the scaffolding around the Capitol) definitely made me think of House of Cards. I love this city! 🙂


Sorry for the crappy photo!

Initially we had plans to run with with our friend Dan, but apparently we had a miscommunication about the time we were meeting and he didn’t have his phone with him, so Fabio, Jack, and I waited around for a little while before running on our own. Next time we will be more coordinated!


It was a lot of fun running with my two favorite guys; Fabio doesn’t join me for runs nearly as often as I’d like. The spitting rain was a little annoying, but it was worth it for these sights!


Yay! 🙂


In the end we wound up covering only two miles, but a two-miler on a cold and rainy day is still a lot better than no run at all. 🙂

When we came back home, we downed some of our fresh juice (this week’s batch has a lot of beets in it!) and then I made some avocado toast using Dave’s Killer Bread, 1/4 an avocado, a slice of turkey bacon, sliced tomato, and cheddar cheese. I popped the whole thing under the broiler for a few minutes to make the cheese melty. Yum!


I’m actually trying something new in regards to meals this week; I’ve been stuck at the same weight for a couple of years now and I’d really like to lose a couple of pounds before our engagement party in a few weeks. I’ve been trying all my normal tricks and although I’m back down to the bottom range of my usual weight, I would love to go a little past it. I’ve been reading lately about the benefits of a low-carb, high-fat diet, and decided to give it a try. I’m loosely following a meal plan I found online for that type of diet for this week, and I wind up liking it I’ll be sure to share it on here. So far I’m feeling great!

After I got into work, I sipped on some tangerine-flavored “positive energy” tea that my coworker brought in for me. It was yummy!


Soon enough it was time for lunch! The meal plan suggested turkey club wraps with spicy sprouts, with the wrap being a kale leaf. To make this, I spread some Laughing Cow cheese on a large piece of kale, then layered in sliced tomato, turkey, turkey bacon, and sprouts that I had tossed with some sriracha.


While this was a good idea in theory, my kale leaf was a little too small for all those toppings and things got really messy. I wound up ditching the kale for the second one and just wrapped everything in the piece of turkey, and it turned out much better. The spicy sprouts were especially tasty!

At around 3:30 I broke for a snack: two celery sticks topped with peanut butter. Does this remind you of childhood or what? All that’s missing is the raisins! Also, the celery sticks look massive here but it was actually a pretty small plate. Then again, they were pretty big…


Works for me!

One benefit of daylight savings time is how light it is when I get home! I got home yesterday and the weather was just beautiful, so Fabio and I took Jack on an extra long walk. We even spotted some beautiful crocuses on our way, and you know what that means: spring is coming!


Also don’t be fooled into thinking I found a beautiful meadow in the heart of DC – this is just a vacant lot where we let Jack run around off-leash that happens to have some pretty flowers growing. 🙂

Once we got home, I snacked on one of these Walkers shortbread cookies that the company sent me to review.


Holy moly, are those things dangerous. So buttery and sugary! After tasting one I made Fabio hide them (haha!) so I wouldn’t go back for more. There’s something about the simplicity of a shortbread cookie that makes me feel like I could eat 10 of them. Yum!

I also snacked on some raw almonds; clearly I was starving and just couldn’t wait for dinner! Eventually I got things going in the kitchen.

I wound up making this recipe for broiled salmon with a honey soy sauce and some simple roasted asparagus.


It turned out so well, and I will absolutely use this recipe again. The sauce gave the salmon such a good flavor! We actually bought this salmon from Costco and froze a bunch of it, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing this meal pop up again soon. Yum!

I had planned on snacking on some Greek yogurt and fresh berries after dinner, but the salmon was actually really filling (they were big pieces) and since I had splurged on the cookie already I figured I didn’t really need it. 😉

Instead I finished up the evening on the couch with my boys! We watched an episode of House of Cards (of course!) and then called it a night.

The end!

Question of the day: Tell me one thing about your Tuesday!

 Posted by on March 16, 2016
May 012015

Six weeks ago when I got approval from my doctor to start reincorporating low impact exercises into my fitness routine after having surgery on my foot, I decided to sign back up for ClassPass (you can read my full explanation of ClassPass here). ClassPass allows you try as many different fitness classes as you want for one monthly fee, and since I didn’t want to get bored doing the same low impact exercises over and over, I knew ClassPass was just what I needed. With ClassPass, I was able to take as many yoga, barre, pilates and spin classes as I wanted, and I thought the variety would keep me from missing running and bootcamps too much. (Spoiler alert: it did.)

My plan was to stick with ClassPass for the six weeks that I wasn’t allowed to do anything high impact, and then cancel my subscription once I could get back to running. I’m a frugal person by nature, and since running outside and doing bootcamp workouts in my apartment are both free, paying almost $100 a month for fitness didn’t seem realistic to me for the long-term.

Throughout the six weeks I took tons of classes all over DC and Arlington, and I loved every second.

Now those six weeks are over and I’m finally able to run and jump again, but suddenly breaking off my subscription with ClassPass seems a whole lot harder than it once did. After thinking about it for oh, I don’t know, five seconds, I decided that ClassPass is worth the expense to me, and I will be continuing my membership.

While I’m still planning to run (for free) outside, I’d like to supplement my runs with a bunch of different ClassPass classes to keep my body guessing and my metabolism up. This week was my first attempt at doing this, and here’s what it looked like:


FYI – you can read about my dry-erase workout calendar here.


As I already mentioned, Monday’s workout was a 6:00 am class at Barre3 in Georgetown. It was a great class, and I loved how it made my whole body burn from a tough strength workout. While this class didn’t make me break a sweat, my muscles were shaking and quaking the whole time.


In general I’ve been feeling more toned lately, and I think all these barre classes have definitely made a difference!


Tuesday’s workout was a fun class at Edge Yoga with Anne. We wound up taking a class with our favorite instructor Mark, who continues to push and challenge me each class.


This time I’m happy to report that I got into two poses that I’ve been working on for a while – the one-legged king pigeon pose and the supported headstand.





Of course I needed Mark’s help to get into both of these poses, but it’s definitely progress! 🙂


Wednesday was the first day I was cleared for high impact exercises, so of course I had to go for a run!


As I mentioned the other day, I wound up covering two slow miles during two runs. No matter how fast or far I ran, it felt so good to get back out there!


Rest day! I walked a lot on Thursday (13,999 steps – lol I couldn’t do just one more?? – according to my FitBit) but didn’t wind up doing any other exercise. I know it’s important to let your body rest and recover!


Today I decided to really take advantage of my new ability to do high impact workouts, so I signed up for a class at CrossFit Key Bridge. (This was also on ClassPass.)


The class was awesome, and I’m planning to write all about it in my next Fit Crasher review next week! For now I will tell you that my WOD (workout of the day) was four rounds of 15 ring rows, 10 dumbbell snatches, and one 400 meter sprint. I finished in 19:55, which I think it pretty good considering the ring rows were really hard for me, espeically by the fourth round.

It was a lot of fun, and I will definitely be back!


Planned rest day.


Planned rest day.

While I know ClassPass is way more than I used to spend on fitness, I’ve been loving it so much lately that I just can’t imagine giving it up. It’s so much fun!

If you’re interested in signing up for ClassPass, you can do so here.

Question of the day: What’s the most you’re willing to pay for fitness?

 Posted by on May 1, 2015
Apr 302015

Three and a half months after getting bunion surgery on my foot, my doctor has finally cleared me to resume all high impact exercises, including running. I have been dreaming about this day for months, and at times when I was hopping around my apartment on one foot and wearing the peg-leg, I thought it would never come.

This Tuesday was my very last appointment with my foot doctor, and he said everything healed up great! For some reason my scar healed a little funny and is more noticeable than he would like (he thinks I must have sensitive skin or may have had some type of allergic reaction) but other than that my foot is perfect! Of course a big scar on my foot is less than ideal, but I decided to get this surgery to relieve the pain I was feeling, not because of how it would look afterword. Right now I am so happy that I got this surgery out of the way, and I’m planning to write up a post  with all my thoughts soon. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, let me tell you about my first run!

To prepare for this day, I decided to treat myself to a new pair of running shoes. All of my old shoes are broken in to fit my bunion, and my foot isn’t shaped like that anymore! Plus I wanted to reward myself for going through this whole process, so I thought new running shoes were the perfect post-surgery treat.

Over the last few weeks I did some research and ultimately decided to purchase the Brooks Glycerin 12s after reading many positive reviews online. I wound up trying them on at Dick’s Sporting Goods a few weeks ago, and after feeling how comfortable they were on my feet I decided to pull the trigger!


All of my past running shoes have been Asics that I got for much cheaper, so investing in such an expensive pair of running shoes was a big deal for me. However, I figured that if there was ever a time to splurge on good shoes, this was it!


At my doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, my doctor actually suggested I purchase a new pair of running shoes before I hit the pavement to fit the new shape of my foot. Don’t worry Doc, I told him, I took care of that a long time ago. 😉 Haha!

Then yesterday morning, it was time to run!


The Brooks Glycerins felt great on my feet (they’re light-weight and cushy), and I love the bright colors too.


My doctor initially told me to spend a day or two speed walking and then slowly work my way up to running, but honestly I didn’t really think that was necessary. I’ve been speed walking for the last three weeks or so (I walk really fast when I’m getting to and from the metro) and I haven’t had any issues. I’ve also accidentally run a few times while trying to cross the street before a light turns or when trying to hop on a metro that’s about to leave, and none of that has been painful at all (in fact, most times I didn’t even realize I had done it until it had already happened).

Yesterday morning I decided to start speed walking for a block, and then once I was feeling good I started jogging a little bit. Nothing hurt or felt uncomfortable at all, so I just kept going.

My very first run was a casual (and slow!) one mile jog with Jack in the morning. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and I was so happy to be back out there.


Then yesterday afternoon Fabio joined me for another slow one mile jog up to the dog park. It was so pretty out!


Everything still felt really good, and I didn’t have any pain or swelling at all. If anything I guess I would say my right foot just felt a little stiff, but that’s honestly it.


These two runs made me feel like my foot is finally fully healed, and I could NOT be happier. Now it’s time to ease back into running longer distances, and getting some high impact cardio back in my routine! Woohoo!

Question of the day: Do you always follow your doctor’s advice?

 Posted by on April 30, 2015
Dec 292014

Today I’m probably doing this:

419981_10151261521335037_1654325356_n Photo from our last trip to Jamaica in Feb. 2012

Yep, by the time this post goes up, I will likely be on the beach enjoying a delicious frozen cocktail. Lucky me!!!

Thankfully, for all of you who are NOT on the beach and are hoping for a CET post, you’re in luck! Today I’m joining Miss Zippy’s year of running link up. I saw this survey over on Theodora’s blog, and I thought it looked like a fun one. Here we go!


Best race experience?

I would have to say the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler. I think 10 milers are my new favorite race distance because it’s far enough that you feel accomplished, but not as far (and exhausting) as a half. This was just a really good for race for me in general – the weather was great, I felt awesome, my pace was on target, the course was fun, my dad was there to cheer me on, and Fabio was by my side. What could be better than that?

Best run?

I don’t think I could really pick just one run, but I can pick my favorite route. This year I spent many early mornings running with Jack across Key Bridge into Georgetown, and I think I will always appreciate those runs more than any other. Georgetown is so beautiful first thing in the morning, and I love taking advantage of the deserted sidewalks that you will not find any other time of day in Georgetown. I also really love seeing the sun come up over the Potomac (or not…thanks, Winter) and spending some time with Jack first thing in the morning. It’s usually just a three or four mile out and back, but I love it.

Best new piece of gear?

My Spring Forward Jacket from lululemon! I bought this jacket for myself for my birthday, and it’s perfect for everything to walking to yoga in chilly/rainy weather to going for a jog in the rain. It’s great for when it doesn’t rain too, since the hood can be zipped away in the collar. Thumb holes are always a bonus too. 🙂

Nope, that’s not me. Here I am!


Photo courtesy of Anne

I just love this jacket!

Best piece of running advice you received?

When completing an 11 mile training run for my Holiday Half Marathon with Anne, we got to talking about mantras. She told me that when the running gets tough she likes to remind herself that there are so many people out there who can’t run, and that you should be grateful for the physical strength you have. You should remember that you are doing something you love and it makes you happy, and that should be enough.

Most inspirational runner?

My friend Catrina!! This year Catrina took up running as a challenge to herself. She has always said that although she generally likes most fitness activities, she hates running. Then she made a decision to jump in, started small, and slowly worked her way to a 10K this fall! She did so well and I am so proud of how she powered through. This is a good reminder that if there’s something you think you don’t like, it’s never too late to try it again!

Questions of the day: Who inspires you as a runner? How was your year in running?

 Posted by on December 29, 2014
Nov 262014

Hi friends! I hope you’re having an awesome Thanksgiving Eve! Today I’m actually romping around NYC (and will be watching the parade tomorrow – woohoo!) which means there hasn’t been a whole lot of time for sitting down to blog. Luckily, my good friend Catrina stepped up and is here today to tell you all about training for a 10K.


Me with Catrina this past summer

Catrina is new to running (though not new to fitness!) and it’s so refreshing to hear a real perspective from someone who is new to this activity that I have totally fallen in love with. I hope you guys can relate to her and appreciate her story! Take it away, Treen!

Chelsea, being the angel that she is, has given me the privilege to share my experience training for a 10k with you all while she heads to NY to celebrate the eat-a-thon holiday that is Thanksgiving!

A little background: Two months ago I packed up my things in NY and decided to make a huge leap of faith and move to beautiful sunny San Diego on my own (can you tell I love it here?).


Being the carb and chocolate lover that I am, during my last month in NY I ate as if everything was being taken from me and I would never see a bagel or a slice of pizza again. Then I got to California and ate ALL of the tacos. I mean all of them.

So after two months of non-stop eating, I decided I needed a workout plan I was going to stick to, to get my butt (literally) back in shape. As an avid CET reader I knew race training was something Chelsea has done in the past and has been able to stick to, so after discussing the idea with her I downloaded a 10k novice training program online and got to it!

She even sent me a “Will run for beer” shirt for my birthday to get me motivated. What a great friend right?!

run for beer

However, there’s a reason I’ve always chosen CrossFit or an elliptical over running…and that’s boredom. It has always been the reason I hate running. I get so unbelievably bored.

My body has been in and out of good physical shape my whole life, but running, no matter how fit I am, is hard for me.

That being said, here are a handful of tips/tools that I’ve learned that have helped to keep me going through this training process:

  • Running by the beach is way easier than running the streets. Not only do you have amazing views (the ocean, the sand, the men with six packs 😉 ) but there aren’t any streets to count as you pass by. I no longer have an internal struggle about how many blocks I’ve actually run compared to how many it feels like I’ve run.


  • I give myself set walking breaks. For example, if I have a 5 mile run I tell myself I am not allowed to stop and walk until 3.5 miles. This provides me a mental end goal that’s shorter than the actual run so I can keep working towards the next ‘goal.’
  • New music! I’ve gotten into the habit of adding at least 5 new songs to my “On the Run” (big Beyonce fan over here, could you tell?) playlist before each long run. This lets me rely on my older songs for the beginning of the run but have new ones when I need that extra push towards the end.
  • I’ve stopped skipping songs as much as possible. When I first started running, I had this incessant need to keep switching my songs after about ½ of it played, but it kept making me think “jeeze I already listened to 10 songs and it’s only been 2 miles.” Now I keep the song jammin’ until the end as much as I can.
  • Hold yourself accountable. My training sheet sits next to me at my desk, and each and every day I highlight an activity in yellow if I do it, and in pink if I missed it. Seeing those pink highlights is just such a horrible feeling and being able to pick up my yellow highlighter and check something off is so satisfying! I also take snapshots of my RunKeeper app and send them over to Chelsea after each long run. I think it helps because I’m sharing my journey and experience with someone whose been there and is SUPER supportive and helpful.

Hopefully this helped you think about your running strategies and what might work for you! Next week is the 10k so wish me luck!!! And of course thank you again to Chelsea for letting me share this with you!

Guys isn’t this awesome? Not only did Catrina pack up her stuff and move across the country alone, but she is totally rocking her 10K training and she doesn’t even like running. Go Treen!

Questions of the day: Do you like running? If so, how did you get there? If not, what do you do instead/in spite of that?

 Posted by on November 26, 2014
Nov 112014

Good morning, and happy Veteran’s Day! I hope you get to spend a few minutes today remembering those brave military men and women (and their families!) who help defend our country. Fabio and I both have off work today, so we are planning to attend some of the festivities around DC. If you’re off from work, I hope you’re doing something fun too!

Today I have a few updates for you guys, so let’s jump right in.

Dinner in Boston

I finished up with my Boston work event early Friday afternoon, and my good friend Britt swung by to pick me up! Unfortunately I failed to take a single picture of our evening together – probably a result of my brain-dead state and my excitement over seeing her – but I found some pictures online that I think will help explain our night. Thank you, Google.

We looked a lot like this, only much more bundled up and in a different city. 😉


Once Britt had picked me up, we navigated our way over to the North End of Boston, a cute little area with lots of Italian shops and restaurants. First we walked around for a while and she showed me a fun market with lots of fresh produce, where I definitely would  have stocked up on goodies if I didn’t have to lug them with me on the plane.

Then we sat down for an early dinner at Panza, just one of the amazing-looking Italian restaurants in the area.



We wound up sitting at a quiet little table by the door (which is not a good idea in Boston – it was really cold!) and had a lovely evening. We started off with glasses of wine before ordering some mussels in a white wine sauce. There was also some delicious crusty bread that I enjoyed dunking in the sauce from the mussels. Yum!

For our entrees, Britt got the butternut squash tortellini and I got lobster raviolis (when in Boston…). Both dishes were delicious!



It was such a fun night, and Britt and I talked for hours and hours. My flight was at 9:00, so eventually we had to leave the restaurant for the airport. Good thing Britt kept an eye on her watch – I was so brain dead at this point I let the time slip away from me and we wound up getting to the airport later than planned. Oops! I guess wine and good conversation will do that to you. 😉

I arrived at my  gate just in time for boarding, and after a quick hour in the air I made it safely back to the DCA airport where Fabio was waiting to take me home. I missed him so much!! It was so great to see my boys.

Grandpa’s Memorial Service

The next morning, Fabio and I dropped off Jack at my friend Megan’s house, and then made the two-hour drive down to my grandma’s house in the Northern Neck of Virginia for my grandpa’s memorial service.

The event was held at my grandma’s house, which was decorated in lots of gorgeous white flowers for the occasion.


The whole day was really nice, and it definitely felt like a celebration of life rather than a sad funeral. My favorite part was when everyone went around the room and shared their favorite memories of my grandpa – it was so nice to hear how he affected each and every person there.

Although I got a bit emotional when it was my turn to speak, most of the stories told were upbeat and very positive. My grandpa had a great sense of humor, and his light-hearted an caring personality really shown through during the talks.

The next morning we hopped in the car and headed back home, but not before walking down by the water for a few minutes to think about all the time my grandpa spent down there.


It was a sad moment for sure, but it was a nice way to remember him.


The remainder of my weekend was pretty low-key and involved napping, unpacking my suitcases, meal/workout planning, and getting ready for the week ahead.

A Run in DC

On Monday, I had off from work due to all the extra hours I put in during my conference in Boston. After sleeping in a bit and having breakfast with Fabio, I set out for a nine mile run around DC.

When I got to the Georgetown waterfront, I noticed that a group of people were feeding the seagulls and ducks, so I stopped for a minute to enjoy the sight. With the sun shining on my face and the gorgeous view surrounding me, I couldn’t help but feel blessed for my life. I also thought about my grandpa a bit, and I thought he probably had something to do with this peaceful moment.



Then it was time to hit the pavement again. I headed along the Rock Creek Parkway path, which is a route I haven’t run in a while. It was just as pretty as I remembered.


Then when I got up to Adam’s Morgan, I turned onto Connecticut Avenue and ran along that road until I got to DuPont Circle.


From there I took New Hampshire all the way down to the Kennedy Center, and crossed Theodore Roosevelt bridge to get back to Rosslyn.

Once I was in Rosslyn I stopped at a red light, and then when I started running again I noticed a really sharp pain behind my knee. I tried to keep going but I wound up hobbling quite a bit, and since I didn’t want to hurt myself further I decided to walk the last mile home.

Still, I made it almost 8 miles, which was fine by me. Sometimes listening to your body is more important than checking a number off a list.


My pace was pretty good too, and I averaged out right at 8:49 per mile. For me, that’s fast!

Alright friends, thanks for letting me chat about these random updates today. Enjoy your Veteran’s Day!

Questions of the day: Have you ever been to Boston? Do you stop running when something starts to hurt or do you push through?

 Posted by on November 11, 2014
Oct 292014

Hi friends! Hope your week is going well.

Yesterday morning, I met up with Anne for our weekly track workout! Once again, it was totally dark when we arrived at 6:00 am. Lame! Hopefully our runs will be a little lighter after daylight savings time next week.

Here’s a breakdown of yesterday’s workout:

  • 3/4 mile jog to warm up
  • 1 mile of sprint the straights, jog the curves
  • Two 400s (sprinting the whole lap)
  • 1 mile of sprint the straights, jog the curves
  • 1/2 mile jog to cool down

Once we were done, we had covered 4 speedy miles of track. 🙂

I’m really liking this speed work, and it’s so nice to mix things up from my normal runs. Our overall pace yesterday was about 8:24, which also included our warm up and cool down laps. One of our miles during the speed work was 8:03! Nice! We are definitely getting faster. 🙂

As we ran, the sun slowly started to make an appearance in the sky.


By the time we were done running, we walked around the track one more time to cool down, and were treated to a gorgeous sunrise!


So pretty!

Then we did a little stretching/chatting, and headed our separate ways to continue the day.


I honestly can’t think of a better way to jump start my Wednesday!

Apparently Anne and I were feeling a little chattier than usual during our stretch time, because I didn’t wind up leaving the track until 7:15. Whoops! This meant I was running pretty late while getting ready for work, so I decided to grab breakfast to go instead of eating at home like I usually do.

I wound up grabbing a blueberry Dannon Light and Fit Greek yogurt, which I like because they are filling (12g of protein!) and not too loaded with sugar (7g, compared to Chobani which has 15g).



I also packed along a banana and some Quaker Oatmeal Squares, which gave me a filling and delicious breakfast. Plus some black tea on the side, in my favorite Kate Spade mug.

Oh, and I promise there is actually some yogurt under there 😉


There it is! Haha!


Yum. This was a great grab-and-go breakfast!

Life Updates

Before I sign off for the day, I just wanted to give you guys a heads up that I will be away from the blog next week because I’ll be in Boston for a work conference. Luckily I’ve pre-written a couple of posts for you guys, and have a fun guest post coming your way that I think you’ll really enjoy. I’ll also try to pop in if I can, but I’m not making any promises because my schedule in Boston is going to be crazy. We’re talking 6:30 am meetings and dinner events ending at midnight. Yikes.

The good news is that the conference is health and wellness focused, so I’ll be picking up lots of great information to share with you all when I get back! While I won’t have too much free time in Boston to look around, I will have a little time on Friday afternoon so if you have any must-do recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them!

Questions of the day: What’s your favorite grab & go breakfast? What should I see in Boston?

 Posted by on October 29, 2014
Oct 242014

*Don’t forget, there’s still time to enter my gummy bear giveaway! Details available here.*

Hey friends! Happy Friday! I’ve had a few fun things going on in the last couple of days, so let’s catch up shall we?

Revolve DC

Yesterday morning I went to a 6:00 am Body Ride class at Revolve DC. Have I mentioned lately how much I am loving trying out new studios as part of my free month of ClassPass? Well, I’m saying it now. It’s awesome! I could get used to this for sure.

Although there are tons of classes available through ClassPass, I constantly find myself drawn to ones with morning classes (you know me) that are about 10-15 minutes from my apartment. So far, I’m pleasantly surprised at the variety of options!

This week there was a morning spot available at Revolve DC, and since I had heard about Revolve from a lot of friends and fellow bloggers, I decided to check it out.

Before heading over to Revolve, I did some quick research on The Fit Crasher to see what I was in for (I learned my lesson after not researching reformer pilates) and I’m so glad I did! Once I read Meaghan’s review I realized there was plenty of street parking available near the studio, so I decided to drive instead of run there. This decision allowed to me to sleep in for an extra 5 minutes which was oh-so necessary. 😉

When I arrived at the studio about 5 minutes before class started, I was greeted to pumping music and a flurry of activity. By the time I arrived, I was one of the last ones to get settled! You definitely want to arrive early for this class; they start right away.


After signing in and filling out a quick waiver, I paid the $2 rental fee for a pair of spin shoes. Then I dropped off my bag in one of the combination lockers (love!), filled up my water bottle from their filtered water fill station (love!), and headed into the class.

Mara was my instructor for the day, and she was nice enough to come over and help me clip into my bike pedals since I am a newbie to clip-in bikes and had zero clue how to do it. Whoops. I’m so glad she was there to help!

Then as the music was pumping, the lights turned down low and the class began. I really enjoyed the darkness of the spin room – it helped you focus on your form and speed instead of worrying about how much the person next to you is turning up her bike resistance or staring at your reflection in the mirror and thinking about how you look like a sweaty sleepwalker, since it is 6:00 am after all.

For the duration of each song, Mara would guide us through different exercises. From one minute sprints with 30 second rests, to gradually “climbing” a hill for a whole song until you could barely pedal by the end, there was a lot of variety.

About mid-way through the class we brought out the weights that were hanging by the bottom of our bikes, and completed a great upper body circuit. I don’t know if it’s just been a while since I’ve worked out my arms in a new way or what, but my shoulders were burning! In the best way, of course.

After this we did a bit more sprinting in and out of the saddle, and then the class was over. Just like that, 45 minutes later, I was dripping in sweat and feeling like I just had a really great workout.

photo (1)Such a fun way to switch up my morning routine!

Fit Crasher Happy Hour

Then last night after work, I met up with my fellow DC Fit Crashers!

photo (3)

We’ve been blogging together for a couple of months now, and although I’ve met a couple of the crashers at fitness events here and there, and had met them all via Google hangout, it was nice to get us all together for a happy hour. Unfortunately Maggie got sick and wasn’t able to join us (feel better, Maggie!) and Meaghan was in New York so she obviously couldn’t join us, but it was great to get the rest of the group together.

We wound up meeting at Bar Charley, a nice bar in the middle of the DuPont Circle and U Street neighborhoods, which had some delicious food and hand-crafted drinks.

I wound up ordering a “shoulder to the wheel” for my cocktail, which was made up of  tequila, allspice, lemon, egg white, and whole bunch of other things that I couldn’t name. It was sweet and fruity – but not so much as to give me a headache – and I adored the frothy egg white on top. Yum.

As far as food goes, we decided to go with two of the “poutines and fries,” which were essentially french fries with delicious gourmet toppings. We got the Chesapeake (fries with Old Bay gravy (!), blue crab, and ricotta salata) and the Catalin (fries with avocado and some kind of chorizo, topped with a fried egg). The Catalin was really tasty, but the Cheapeake? Wow. As someone who was born and raised in Maryland, you better believe I was all over that. Yum.

Overall the food and drinks were great, and it was so nice to put faces to names and get to know this crew a little better 🙂

Run with Anne

This morning I met up with Anne for our weekly run! We decided to skip the track today since she’s running the Marine Corps 10K this weekend and wants to save her legs. Works for me!

We met in Courthouse at 6:00 am and decided to run into Georgetown, which is one of my favorite routes. It was a good one for today too since it was so dark and all the sidewalks are pretty well-lit (compared to some of our other favorite running trails which would have been pitch black).

It had been a little while since I’d seen her (we skipped last week due to thunderstorms) and we had so much to catch up on! We had so much fun chatting along the way.
photo (4)

I always love running through Georgetown, even when it’s this dark out!

photo (2)

After two miles we turned around and headed back up to Courthouse. Our pace was a little slower than usual (around 9:15 overall), but we stayed steady up through the mile-long hill of death home, which was really great. Once we were back, the sun was finally starting to rise, but we were too far from the water to see the sunrise. Boo. photo (1)

After our run we spent about 15 minutes walking for our cool down, which was so nice. It’s always so fun running and chatting with Anne!


Good luck to anyone running the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend!

Questions of the day: How do you feel about spin classes? Do you have a signature cocktail?

 Posted by on October 24, 2014