Sunday, November 1, 2015

Running in DC and Halloween

Last week I was sent to Washington DC for training for work. Which turned out it was for naught, but that's a different story. I'm not going to lie, I did a lot of eating while in DC, but I also did some exercising. I walked everywhere, because who wants to drive around a city I've only been to a couple of times...

Monday I traveled to DC which wasn't bad at all. I didn't hit hardly any traffic. Got to my hotel with no problem.
That evening I hung out with my cousin and aunt. We went to Old Town Alexandria. It was really pretty and of course I loved the old buildings. Even got some tea :) We went along the Potomac River.

Tuesday I started training, but I was out of work by 3:30 everyday so I had plenty of time to go exploring. I went for a run around the monuments, just because I've wanted to do something like that ever since I started running! I love the idea of exploring a place by running.

Sorry for all of the Selfies, but this is what you get when you have to go out by yourself! Thankfully I had really nice weather all week to go exploring. There were so many runners out too. That is a really nice thing about a city compared to the more country, small town scenes of West Virginia. No one cares what you're doing or even really looks at you, because there are so many people out doing the exact same thing.

I went out to find something to eat on my own this night. I wasn't overly hungry since my work had taken me out for lunch that day. But I found this shop dedicated to nothing but salads and I was in heaven. I took it back to my hotel which was perfect.

Wednesday after work, I went to the hotel gym and worked out on the elliptical and did some strength training. Then I went to Founding Farmers for dinner with a friend that I haven't seen in years that I met while studying abroad in Wales. For some reason I didn't take any pictures :( The meal was amazing though and I had a great time catching up! If I go back to DC I'll definitely go there again!

Thursday I was a little daring a took a Soul Cycle class! It was right around the corner from my hotel. I had a couple of hours before meeting my cousin and his boyfriend Matt for dinner. But when I looked online it looked like they were all booked up. Bummer! I decided to get dressed for running and check it out just in case they had some cancellations. So I signed up online to get a newbie discount and headed out. Thankfully, it turned out they did have openings! They must keep a few empty for walk-ins. I was pumped. It was still $20 to take the class, but since we don't have any Soul Cycles in WV, I figured it was probably worth the experience. And it was nice to be a newbie since the shoe rental was free the first time. You have to wear biking shoes with clips.
So I got my bike set up and was ready to roll.

 The class was packed. It was a different experience. The lights were turned off except for on the instructor who made it feel like a night club. The music was thumping and his mike was turned up loud. He could even manipulate the lights around him to have it pulsing. I had a great time! I think I kept up pretty well and thankfully my back didn't break! haha. If I lived near one and they had a good deal for classes I could definitely see going to these often. I was dripping with sweat by the end!

After that I ate all the food! I walked down to Georgetown, which is another place I had never been.
They decided to take me to one of their favorite Italian restaurants, Filomena's. They make homemade pasta right there in front. These two ladies were working away. Old school style. Though I'm sure they have more modern machines in the kitchen since they are very busy, it's nice to think that the pasta I had, which was delicious, was made by hand.

 After dinner, we headed a couple of blocks to the famous Georgetown Cupcakes. I felt like a total tourist, but I've heard about this place so much that I had to check it out! There wasn't a long line, which I think is rare so we decided to head in. I was not disappointed! My cupcake was excellent. I had the peanut butter and chocolate cupcake. Yum!

I took a couple home, which weren't as good the next day, but still pretty darn good. There was a pumpkin spice cupcake (which I gave to my sister), a cookies and cream mint cupcake (which I gave to Richard, a chocolate ganache (I ate while stuck in traffic the next day!), and I took one more peanut butter one home.

On Friday before I left to go back home I hit up Trader Joe's and Starbucks. It was a good time. I didn't take a picture of all my goodies, but I picked up pumpkin rooibos tea, pumpkin biscotti, pumpkin soup, spice popcorn, spicy chile lime cashews, Speculoos cookie butter, some organic peanut butter....and I think that might be it. It was a nice haul. I picked up a Washington DC Starbucks cup to go with a couple that I've gotten from my travels abroad. :)

On my way out I noticed the signs for the Marine Corp Marathon! That would have been fun to spectate if I had realized sooner it was the same weekend. It went right by my cousins apartment too!

Maybe one day I'll get to run in this one! That would be so much fun!

Unfortunately, for some reason my trip to DC put me in a weird mood and I overate and under exercised all week. I was in a binge type of mood all week. I'm ready to remedy that this week though. It just stinks since my weight went way up. Same story all of the time! It would be nice if I could get out of this cycle and just stick to staying in check. Takes time to get there mentally I suppose. Just have to keep moving forward and keep striving!

Now though I'm relaxing from celebrating Halloween last night! I participated by being Hermione from Harry Potter. It was a good time!

Try not to be jealous of my tie I made with a Walmart tie and some duct tape! Here you have Hermione, Princess Aphmau (from Mine Craft), kid zombie, and Super Girl! We had a good time. I indulged in some candy, but will try to stay away from the leftovers that Richard kept!

Stick and Stones May Break My Bones

This is a bit delayed, but life has been busy lately. I'm laid up on the couch after going trick or treating in hills last night so I figured it was a good day to catch up.

On October 10th I "ran" the Stick and Stones 15K. I put ran in quotation marks due to the fact that I walked up all of the hills and for most of the last mile, ha. Due to my back I felt like I would suffer a lot more if I tried to run up them.

This was a trail run and it rained the entire week prior to the run. So I went out and got some new shoes for the occasion ;)
These beauties are the Brooks Pure Grit 4. The local running store rushed ordered them for me since I have a foot the size of Big Foot. (Size 11's!). But I got them on Tuesday and therefore I was able to get a whole whopping six miles in them before the race. But it was fine. I liked them a lot and they were pretty comfortable. I did roll my ankle a couple of times, but I don't think that was really do to the shoe I think that was more due to wet ground and my clumsiness.

The race was located at beautiful Babcock State Park, which is around 40 minutes from my house. So I got up bright and early. Driving there was fun, it was a cool morning with lots and lots of fog.
You can kind of see the fog behind this building at Camp Washington Carver. The race was a point to point, which I love. So the buses dropped us off here for the starting line.

The fog was already clearing up as we began. The first mile was kind of frustrating. It was single track and where there were spots to pass people, I kept getting stuck behind couples that liked to run side by side and not move over. I eventually just had to start asking to pass people. But the field started to spread out after the first mile to where I could get into a comfortable pace.

The first half of the race I loved. It was mostly downhill :) The scenery was beautiful the entire time. I don't like to wear headphones on the trails, especially in new places. I'm glad I didn't here so that I could hear the rivers and little waterfalls and the people that would eventually pass me as they were coming up behind me around the massive uphills at around mile 7.

These bridges were extremely slick! I was holding on to the sides for dear life.

 When we started climbing the hills, I knew I wasn't ready to run them. I would get a bit of pain every time I tried. It was beyond frustrating to walk for so long. One hill lasted for over a mile.
One of the few places that was on paved road.

Then by mile 7.5 or 8 it got very steep in some places and that just wore me out. My legs were spent even though I was walking them! I guess it's not that surprising since I haven't been able to really practice that many hills lately. But my overall time was not that bad.

     Place   Name     Gender CityStateCountry  Clock
     Pace   Age

108    Alisha Lilly F     Beckley WVUS         2:24:34   15:31    29



I was actually kind of pleased with the time. Hopefully next year I will get even better results if I can get myself stronger and practice some hills!