Archive for November, 2011

Nervous Nellie

Posted on November 29, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I’m running a 15k this weekend, which is the longest distance I’ve ever run…have I mentioned that yet? I’ve run in plenty of races before, and have completed two triathlons, and yet for some reason I am having major anxiety about this race on Saturday. I don’t really have a race routine and am starting to think that I should adopt one to avoid feeling this way because I plan on doing a lot more races moving forward (hello, Olympic-length triathlon in June!). I’ve been trying to sort through what is going on in my head and here’s what I’ve come up with so far and what I’m going to do about it.

Anxious Head: Have I trained enough?

Sane Head: Yes you fool! I followed Hal Higdon’s 12 Week Training Program (it’s designed for those running their first 15k). Sure, I may have skipped the first two and a half weeks and yes I didn’t run for the past 5 days, but I really did follow the rest of it fairly well. The fact that I can run 4-5 miles with ease is a miracle and all due to the fact that I’ve followed a training program.

Anxious Head: What if I’m wear the wrong clothes and am either sweating my butt off or completely frozen?

Sane Head: You sweat a lot and know that already (duh!). I do sweat a lot, especially when it comes to athletic activities. I’m not one of those girls that can squeeze out a lunchtime workout and get away without showering. I usually end up beet red and in desperate need of a shower. Once I get running I always heat up so I think the outfit I have planned will work out just fine: running tights (new!), my blue Sparkle Skirt (new!), a favorite short-sleeve t-shirt I know is super comfy and an old long sleeve t-shirt (I feel confident it will either end up around my waist or tossed to the ground). I have to wear what works and not worry about it.

Anxious Head: What if all of your co-workers totally burn you and you have to stop and walk?

Sane Head: Did I mention I’m doing this with a bunch of co-workers, including my boss? And you know what, who cares? It’s because of these co-workers that I even signed up for this race in the first place. I’ve been training with two of them for the past month or so and even if they all blow me away (they could all be secretly super speedy), at least I’m still out there, running, reaching a new personal goal and improving my health. Go me!

Anxious Head: What if I get lost, never find the parking lot and am late to the race?

Sane Head: You’re going to pick up the race packets at the expo on Friday so you’ll know where to go the next day. C’mon, that’s just embarrassing.

Anxious Head: What if my stomach totally freaks out and I have to run to a restroom?

Sane Head: On only a handful of occasions has this ever happened to me. I’ve experienced the beginning of a few stomach rumbles that could have gone wrong during a few training runs recently but I pushed through them and was totally fine. I also don’t have a history of stomach issues and as long as I eat something I’m used to – banana and either part of a bagel or a granola bar – I think I’ll be fine through the race. After I gorge on all the melted chocolate post-race, I may have some issues to worry about….

Clearly, everything will be fine. I’m going to do one last “long” run tonight (possibly on the treadmill because it won’t stop raining today), some cross training on Wednesday, a super short run on Thursday and rest it up on Friday. Hydration is my new middle name. And I know that when I finish this race I will feel energized and amazing and will probably sign up for another one right away like a fool.

Anxiety be gone!

Stephanie

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Giving Thanks

Posted on November 28, 2011. Filed under: Thanksgiving |

I’ve been up since 4:30am. I’ve had one cup of coffee (I predict the first of many), a piece of Kringle (Wisconsin specialty I’ve been told) and a New York bagel with schmear. I think my stomach is still expanded from Thanksgiving because it’s asking for more food. Back off, stomach! While I didn’t do a Turkey Trot (go, Addy!), I did have the chance to eat a large amount of delicious food and spend solid time with my family. Every year, and even every day, I am thankful for many people/things however, this is what I am especially thankful for after this Thanksgiving weekend at home:

1. Amtrak – Roundtrip ticket home for under $100 and I get to keep my sanity because I’m not driving alone on 95 in massive amounts of traffic. God bless you, Amtrak.

2. Cranberry log – The canned log of cranberry is my favorite dish at Thanksgiving. My mom buys one for me every year and we bring it to whichever family member is hosting. Everyone makes fun of it and says it looks gross and then without fail they all eat it. Layer turkey, cranberry log and gravy. Hello, heaven. Cranberry log

3. Pizza – There is just something about NJ pizza. And yes I have had lots of delicious pizza here in DC but nothing compares to an NJ slice. My perfect slice has green peppers and onions. To enjoy follow these steps: pick up, see the droop (the key to the perfect slice), fold and throw head back to chow down. Perfection. I consumed four slices on Saturday night and kind of wish I had some right now.

This is real pizza.

4. Family – Yes. Obvi. Duh. But I’ve been living in DC for 6 years now and while I love it, I do go through tough periods of homesickness. They come out of nowhere and hit me hard so when I get home and get to see my family for four days, it’s truly amazing. My parents, my sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents – so much family – all of them so wonderful in their own way and there are days when I do wish I could see them on a daily basis (or maybe just a little more regularly…).

5. 10 Year High School Reunions – If I couldn’t feel old enough lately (I know, I know I’m not old), my 10 year high school reunion was this past Friday. I was on the planning committee that consisted of me and my two guy friends and I have to say, we totally killed it. We had a great venue that was easy to get to, tons of great food, decorations, a slideshow and a rockin’ playlist. We ended up having a bigger than expected turnout of classmates and it was really great to see everyone (even if certain cliques did act exactly the same as they did in high school).

6. Gingerbread houses – Every year my Mom makes a gingerbread house for a holiday show. She has the patience of an angel and has my younger cousins come over to help her decorate. It always results in a slightly odd looking house with too much frosting and candy globbed on (and on the kitchen floor as well). One year we tried to make one together but has some serious creative differences and it didn’t really work out. This year though, we totally clicked and my mom created a masterpiece. It was truly the best house she’s ever made and she went a little Tracy Flick and only allowed the little cousins to help with the fence. Whatever, I can’t blame her, it is her best house ever. I’d like to live there if the mortgage wasn’t so high and don’t even get me started on the lawn maintenance…

Ariel view of the Gingerbread House.

7. Friends – I will always be thankful for the diverse group of friends I have in my life. They range from people I met when I first moved to DC, colleagues from various jobs, college girlfriends, childhood friends and of course, high school friends. I’ve been really fortunate to have a very close-knit group of high school friends and seeing a bunch of them this past weekend reminded me how lucky I truly am to have all of them in my life.

Man, that’s quite the list. I am one super lucky gal.

Now I have to go mentally prepare for the fact that I have to run over 9 miles on Saturday and haven’t run at all in the past 4 days. Talk about a long taper…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stephanie

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Team Sparkle Debut

Posted on November 28, 2011. Filed under: Thanksgiving |

I ran in our second annual Turkey Trot for SOME on Thanksgiving morning in D.C.  I love this race for many reasons, it’s for a great cause, it’s a great way to get some exercise before stuffing your face later and it’s so much fun to run with my family.

The fam, post Turkey Trot

In addition, this year was the debut of my green sparkle skirt.  Stephanie mentioned the company in a previous post and I have to agree, they are amazing.  The skirt was delivered within two days and included an email following up to ask if I had any upcoming races.  I totally appreciate the online small business community – where even a brief handwritten note is included in the package, thank YOU Sparkle Skirts!

Fun with Sparkle Skirts

I will be wearing this skirt again this coming weekend during the Hot Chocolate race.  I, however, will only be doing the 5k while Stephanie rocks the crap out of the 15k in her skirt.  Not to worry, I will be there at the finish for the skirts to re-unite!

I am trying to pick up my running game and have signed up for my very first half marathon in D.C. on March 17.  I’ve only ever run a 10k, so this will be a new and exciting challenge for me!

Back to Thanksgiving before I wrap up this post.  The food is always the highlight of the day for everybody, right?!   This year was no different for me and for that reason I decided to make mini pumpkin whoopie pies for dessert.

My masterpiece and oh so tasty

You can’t really go wrong with pumpkin cookie and cream cheese filling – with plenty of butter to boot!

Hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Addy

 

 

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D.C. to NYC

Posted on November 24, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

People from New York City often try to compare Washington, D.C. to their city.  In reality, D.C. can never really stack up to New York, but that doesn’t mean D.C. doesn’t have a lot to offer in it’s own right.  After all most of the inspiration for our blog name is the city in which we live.  While I did have a blast exploring NYC this past weekend, I’m always happy to return to my home.

I traveled to New York with my husband, Justin, to visit our friend Emily.  As soon we got to town, we made our way to get some yummy bagels.  En route,  we spotted Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell and their twins!  Really great celebrity sighting 1 hour into our weekend!

As we continued to walk around Emily’s neighborhood, I couldn’t get over the convenience of everything, around the corner from her place she has a movie theater, within one block of her place there is a Lululemon store!  And right next door to her apartment is a cute little coffee shop for all your chai tea needs.

In Washington Square Park

Maybe its the neighborhood where I live now here that makes me miss all those things in arms reach.  Admittedly, I’m not necessarily in the most happening part of D.C., but I do at least get the urban feel, I walk to all the necessary places for my daily errands and have the convenience of public transportation at my fingertips.  I cannot, however, walk to Lululemon – ultimately a good thing.

Overall what I’m trying to say is that New York City can’t be beat, it’s an amazing city, where the big lights do indeed inspire you, but D.C. has been my home for the last 8 years and I can’t think of a better place to be!

Gratuitous sunset photo from tonight on our balcony!

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Show & Tell

Posted on November 21, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I feel like I’m having a new blogger moment as I’m try to find my “blog voice” and put all my crazed thoughts together into a coherent post. It’s not really working. Might be a case of the Mondays…or a case of too much Thanksgiving food from the weekend but regardless of the reason, this post is going to be like 3rd grade show and tell.

I got a new sparkly skirt I’m going to wear in two weeks when I run the longest distance I have ever run – 9.3 miles. Don’t judge. HUGE accomplishment for me. There will be chocolate there and I plan on eating a lot of it.

The company that makes these skirts is run by the nicest people ever. Not only did the skirt ship out in a mere hour after I had purchased it online but the owner sent me a thank you email. Talk about customer service! Check out their website.

I worked out TWICE on Saturday. What?! And I have officially decided that working out with someone is better than working out alone. I haven’t been a big believer in that thought for a very long time but there is a great motivating factor to having someone by your side as you sweat it out. The only reason I made it to the second workout on Saturday was because I knew my friend would be there and I didn’t want to let her down. And you know what, I’m so glad I went. Not only do I have a good workout sore right now, it gave me the go-ahead to eat a crap-load of Thanksgiving food the next day.

I ate a crap-load of Thanksgiving food on Sunday and it was delicious. All meals should be potlucks. My friends were super creative this year and among the delights were turkey sliders layered as follows: stuffing patty, mashed potatoes, turkey slider, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and fried onions. Go ahead and read that again and then envision it. Holy cow. I really should have taken a photo. Oops.

I was a baby hog this weekend. I’m having an obsession with my friend’s baby. Even before they arrived with said baby, I called dibs on holding her first in a room filled with people who hadn’t even met her yet. Baby hog.

Lastly, I am having some serious holiday fever this year which to be honest is very unlike me. I tend to be more of a Grinch. I really think it has more to do with the prospect of seeing my family for a solid number of days (instead of the usual 24 hour visit for a wedding) than the actual “holiday spirit.” Let’s get through Thanksgiving and see how long my jolly good nature will last.

Stephanie

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The Beginning

Posted on November 18, 2011. Filed under: About |

The first time I heard about a weblog, it was 2000 and I was a sophomore in college working in the study abroad office (this will quickly give away that I do not fit in the 20-something category, sadly).  One of my co-workers was introducing the idea of a weblog to our bosses in order for students to keep their family and friends up to speed on their travel/study abroad adventures.  I remember thinking, oh hey, great idea, but never really considered having my own.  Fast forward 11 years to where nobody would even dare call it a weblog anymore and I’m attempting to finally have my own!

I read numerous blogs on a daily basis, but never took the plunge to put myself out there. Like my district delights cohort, I am equally inspired by many things around me and starting this blog with a friend makes it a little less daunting and likely a little more interesting!

Hopefully together, we can inspire people (hey people, read our blog!) in a similar way!  In any event I consider myself locked in and ready to start sharing my thoughts on running, shopping, eating and perhaps a bit on celebrity gossip too.

Thanks for hanging around.

Addy

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Inspiration + Community

Posted on November 17, 2011. Filed under: About |

Oh look, another blog, by yet another two 20ish-something city gals. Innovative. Now just let me explain…

There are an infinite number of reasons why people start blogs – they want their voice to be heard, they’re bored, they are aiming for some sort of self-improvement, the list goes on and on. For me, there are only two reasons: inspiration and community.

Lately, I’ve been inspired by a lot of different people. I’m inspired by my cousin who recently overcame a health scare. She’s the pulse of our family and I’m not quite sure what we’d do without her. I’m inspired by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who showed us on Monday night that she is getting stronger every day. I’m inspired by the 4th grade student I mentor through a reading program. She is re-reading a book this year herself instead of having someone read it to her like she experienced last year. These three people, among many others, inspire me every day to be more positive and even more ambitious with my life goals. There really is inspiration everywhere, you just have to be willing to see it.

And for the past year or so, my Google Reader has continued to grow as I add on more and more blogs. I have a loving, large family, wonderful friends all over the country from all different aspects of my life and yet I see a thriving community of bloggers and I know I want to be a part of it. I want to live healthy, fun, enriched lives like some of my favorites – Tina, Emily and Theodora – and continue to learn from all of them and maybe even have a positive impact on their lives as well.

So, ok, I’m another young professional pontificating on a blog about working out, clothes, food and other mundane crap that I easily could talk about with a girlfriend over coffee. But I’m here and I’m ready to see where this takes me.

Stephanie

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    About

    Two friends living and working in Washington, D.C. writing about life, food, fashion, design and living an active lifestyle…so, basically everything!

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