Monthly Archives: June 2014

OutRun, DC Workouts, and Friends


I have had a busy day, and loved every minute of it!

But first, I have to back up to last night to talk about some food things-new to me places and baking!

For dinner, after passing a multiple Sweet Greens on my way home, I finally decided to stop in. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s a salad place. I was a little surprised by how expensive the salads were but they were made with all local ingredients so I guess you get what you pay for! I went with the guacamole salad (because avocado!) which really did taste like fresh guacamole! It was really lime-y, which I normally don’t love but it was really working here!



After dinner, I stopped by the store to pick up some ingredients for banana bread. I haven’t made it in forever, and while I may not have many cooking utensils, I did get a loaf pan! (And I know I still owe you guys the lemon poppyseed banana bread as well!) Banana bread is my thing. I modified a recipe and I’ve never made a variation that hasn’t worked. On tap for last night was blueberry banana bread! I used my banana bread recipe (adapted from Nancy Clark’s recipe) and omitted sweetener, and added about 3/4 c fresh blueberries. I have a friend in DC for the sumer as well, so she came over to bake with me! I quickly realized I didn’t buy a mixing bowl….so pot it was! My oven is also really weird and tiny, and for some reason the bread was only cooking on the top until I moved it to the bottom wrack, but it still came out well!

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I have a 4th of July variation I really want to make-what do you think of red, white, and blue banana bread?

Saturday morning, I was in for a treat. I signed up to do a free OutRun! It’s basically a boot camp mixed with running, for a 90 minute workout, put on by Roam Fitness. The 90 minute weekend runs are free, but there are shorter ones during the week that are not.

Before the workout, I fueled up with banana bread and cherries.



Then, it was go time! I took the metro to get there, and it was a fairly easy trip.

When I arrived, everyone was super welcoming and friendly. I don’t have a lot of pictures from the workout but it was a good one! I think we covered about 4 miles, with bootcamps interspersed. We did all kinds of things, but to name a few: jumping jacks, planks, Indian Runs, stairs, stairs with a parachute, ladders, and abs. The list goes on. It was super fun, but definitely hard. I loved getting to explore the city on foot and go to new places! And guess who I ran into?



Anne, from Fannetastic Food! I actually found out about this workout from her blog, and since I’m now in this city, I figured why not check it out? She was really nice and fun to talk to, and even hung back with me while I was dying going up a hill with the backpack of water! Plus, she answered my constant questions about where we were, since I’m really trying to learn the lay of the land! For more pictures, check out her blog because I’m sure she got more than I did!

Running up said hill was definitely worth it for the view of DC though.



This was a fabulous workout. That being said, you definitely need a fitness base. There wasn’t a huge group today so I imagine the pace groups would split up more if there was, but I definitely found myself pushing the pace a bit, and it was hard! It was so much fun though, and I know these types of workouts and the work I put in now are what are going to help my PR in the fall. Like I’ve said before, I need to run fast to get fast!

Also, you know it was a great workout when you’re starving all day!

Before I go into the rest of the day, I want to spend a moment talking about the DC fitness community. It’s seriously fantastic. I’m soaking up every bit of it and loving it. Just this week I’ve:

-run through the monuments

-run up the Lincoln Memorial stepsx100000 at 5:30 in the morning

-PRed twice at a Crossfit named the best box in DC

-got my butt handed to me at a super hard run club run along the waterfront

-gone to OutRun

It’s a lot for a week, but there’s seriously so many awesome things I just can’t help myself! I’m sure things will slow down once half training really kicks into year, but until then, I’m just going to continue to love it. Plus, everyone is so nice and welcoming!

Ok-back to the regularly scheduled programing (aka food). For some reason I decided that a hot cappuccino was perfect after a hot and sweaty run.



I then snacked on some dried mango while I made some scrambled eggs with Manchego and spinach.



Also, maybe it’s the heat, but grapes have become the greatest thing ever in the past week.

Later that afternoon, I met up with some friends from school who are also here, and we went to the Folklife Festival, which is a cultural type of festival that the Smithsonian puts on in the National Mall. This year’s focus was China and Kenya. We wandered around and watched some shows, and cooking demos! Also, we saw professional storytellers from Kenya! What a cool profession!

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Afterwards, we walked over to an Asian Fusion place for dinner. It was fairly far, but I wore my trusty new pink running shoes to save my feet, and man was it a good decision! I walked everywhere tonight! (Hence the above collage.)

For dinner, I had mixed veggie an chicken stir fry.



After dinner, one of my friends split off, and we ended up in an Uber right around the area I had run in that morning! I felt insanely knowledgable because I knew where we were, and how to get to the Metro. Gotta love fitness adventures to tell you where you are! We decided to get ice cream, so took the Metro to a place that ended up being closed. We wandered around until we found a burger and shake restaurant that had frozen custard. That was a good decision, after being out in the hot sun all day!

I chose vanilla custard with salted caramel sauce and chocolate truffle cookie dough. It was delicious!



We then hopped around the city again to see a movie. It was great, wasn’t awful, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

But what a day! I’ve been EVERYWHERE. On the schedule tomorrow is the Farmer’s Market! I have to make the most of this city, right??

Have you ever lived in a city? Any ideas what I should do while I’m in DC?


DC Workouts

So…I know I have a bit to catch up on but if I can write this post quick enough I can catch another Scandal before bed. SO GOOD and totally relevant to this city!

Yesterday I woke up at 5am (that’s 2am CA time for those keeping track) to run over to the Lincoln Memorial for November Project.



I was shocked by how light-and hot and humid-it was at 5:30am. Since where I’m from it’s always freezing at night, I couldn’t quite believe it!

We all gathered on the steps. Today was “PR day,” which meant running the stairs for time.

Well, for some reason I thought we were doing that once, so I sprinted up the stairs. And then no one was stopping. Turns out we had to do it 17 (or 13) times…I scaled and did 13, partly because I had to leave a bit early. Guys. The Lincoln Memorial has SO MANY STAIRS. Like, you have no idea. THE BURN! Somehow magically I’m not insanely sore today-maybe because I spent the rest of the morning hydrating like a mad woman, but it was definitely a good one, and so peaceful to be running the city so early!



I went to Crossfit that evening because apparently I’m crazy, and everyone seems to think it’s PR week. Well, I did get a PR! I PRed my deadlifts by 10lbs for a total of 245! And my form was way better than my previous PR so that’s good!

And since we’re on the topic of workouts, I went to a run club today that’s through my gym (which I get a membership to as part of Crossfit). I should also mention that it was 90 and humid today. And that I never have to run in heat because I’m from San Francisco and such a thing does not exist…

There were only 3 of us plus an instructor, and the other women looked pretty fast. On the schedule was about a 35 minute tempo run-10 easy, 10 min tempo, 5 min easy, rest of the run tempo. In theory tempo was a faster pace, or 10k pace. In reality, it was me trying not to die. I was doing ok keeping up with the easy pace-it didn’t feel too bad but it was about a 9:00 which is on the fast side for a longish run for me (My latest 10k pace was 8:45). But I was doing fine. I fell behind pretty quickly when the tempo part started but I did what I could. Coming back though, my legs were absolute bricks. During the “tempo” part, I was just trying to keep them moving. So fast runs in hot and humid weather build character, right? I’ll probably go back even though I probably slowed the others down, because it’s good for me and I’m sort of learning the area through a guided run. That was a little extra incentive-better keep up if I don’t want to get hopelessly lost! And hey-official half training starts next week! Although I’m going to keep up my weekend 6 milers until I get to that point.




I wasn’t sure if I’d have time for breakfast post-November project, but it was a non-issue and I had woken up HUNGRY. So this protein was much needed after 10245412342 stairs.

And I finally worked out my coffee situation. After waking up at 5am, this was a lifesaver.



As a side note, this is a 12oz coffee, which is the smallest size they serve. I had one again this morning and it was WAY too much caffeine, even though I was drowsy all morning. WHEW. Guess who usually drinks baby espresso drinks? THIS GIRL.

Lunch today was kind of awful. I made some cauliflower in the microwave and topped it with hummus leftover from the previous night’s dinner (picture will follow) and it was just a mushy mess. Ick. I also had scrambled eggs with manchego and spinach, which were ok but it was kind of a mess.



Here’s the aforementioned dinner. The craziest thing happened. I heated soup up on the stove. Not the microwave, the STOVE. Am I officially a real person? I took tomato soup and mixed in some fresh spinach, then topped it with cheddar. On the side was some hummus and pretzels, plus my new favorite thing-FROZEN GRAPES! I had some on the softer side which I hate, so I just stuck them in the freezer. SO good!

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The tomato soup was Trader Joe’s, and I was really disappointed. I forgot to check added sugar, and this had a fair amount-it tasted sweet. Ugh.

Speaking of which, on my way out of work today, I was hungry and wanted some quickly digesting carbs to fuel my run, so I picked this guy up from the restaurant.



It was pretty tasty, but SO sweet and oily. But my run went well (as well as it could have) so who am I to complain. I just don’t want to make it a habit!

After the afternoon’s run, I stopped at Whole Foods to be lazy as well as to make use of my gift card. I picked up some fruit, carrots, super dark chocolate, and sun butter, plus dinner and lunch for tomorrow. Not having to pack lunch tonight is sort of fantastic.

My dinner was Mexican tilapia over beans, roasted potatoes, and garlicy cabbage and green beans. Plus lots of grapes with sun butter when I got back, and a bit of dark chocolate.



And now I’m at that point where I could go to bed nice and early, or watch another Scandal…decisions….

WIAW-DC Edition

So…I’m secretly excited that I get to link up to WIAW from the East Coast! I always feel so left behind when i wake up at a perfectly reasonable hour and all the East Coasters have linked up! Now that’s me!



I started my morning bright and early. Or something. At least for this jet-lagged CA girl! I have to get up at 3:30am CA time, and I haven’t had a chance to get coffee! Bad combo! Luckily, I’ve determined two nearby coffee places that should work!

Breakfast was plain Greek yogurt, mango+strawberry, and sun butter. I’m not a huge fan of the mango+strawberry for some reason. Trader Joe’s also doesn’t have the best frozen mango though-it’s never quite ripe-so it’s a bit solid.



Today was my first day going straight to Crossfit from work, so I had to commute in my Crossfit shoes because I couldn’t carry 2 pairs of shoes! Classy.



No pictures from lunch because it was a work lunch, but it was a whole wheat pita stuffed with veggies, chicken, hummus, and cheese.

Instead, here’s tomorrow’s lunch which I just packed!



After work, I finally worked out a good commute, I think. I made the Metro by 1 minute after arriving at the station by bus. Walking to Crossfit from the Metro was horrible. DC traffic and cars are the worst. So much honking, so much grid locking, so many drivers who will just run you over…and I had to walk through this horrible traffic circle with like 6 different intersections…Terrifying. I miss California drivers…

Anyway, I arrived much earlier than expected and was able to jump into an earlier class. The main strength was snatches, trying to PR. I wasn’t expecting anything crazy, but I got some good tips from the coaches and easily PRed by 5 pounds from just the hang position (which doesn’t have as much power). This was named the number 1 box in DC last year, and I can see why! And that’s saying a lot given how many there are! So far, each of the classes I’ve been to have had 2 coaches.

The conditioning portion was an 8 minute AMRAP of overhead walking lunges, burpees, and plate rows. I’m not sure what it was, but I felt like I was really able to push myself today!

I realized walking home that I pass Whole Foods everyday on the way back. And I have 2 Whole Foods gift cards. Does that mean I never have to cook? Maybe I’ll pack home cooked lunches for a while and pick up dinner. We’ll see.

I didn’t stop in today, but I had plenty of leftovers so dinner came together quickly. Chicken, leftover cumin cauliflower, roasted sweet potatoes, and some unpictured snap peas.



I picked up some dates and 85% chocolate today, so that served as dessert.



So, I’m tentatively planning on going to November Project DC tomorrow. At (gulp) 5:30am. My logic is that maybe I can shock my system into this time zone? Or drink lots of coffee? It’s a .75 mile run from my apartment, so I definitely need to try it at some point, and tomorrow may just be that point. I calculated that if I leave a bit early, I can get back in plenty of time to shower and catch the metro. But it’s early. We’ll see.

When was the last time you PRed?

Exploring DC

Well, I FINALLY have WiFi! It was a process but here we are. I’ve officially finished my first day of work! And my first day commuting. The Metro system seems pretty good but it’s still a tad stressful! And I’m totally the person who wears running shoes with fancy clothes to save my feet!



I have lots of fun things (read: delicious) to share from the past couple of days. Clearly the best way to explore a city is through the cuisine, right?

On Sunday while my parents were still here, I woke up on the early side, awake but definitely dragging. (The time difference really killed me around 2pm today!) I went and got my first Dunkin Doughnuts coffee! There’s one on campus where I’m staying. I think that no coffee was harmed in the making of the cappuccino-it was so milky!

For breakfast, I had a frittata with sun-dried tomato and ricotta from the restaurant at the hotel.



We spent the day moving into my dorm and gathering other supplies, so we stopped for a quick lunch at Panera. I love their Fuji Apple salad.



And it really should be no surprise that in my first 2 days here, I checked out the highly recommended cupcake shop, Baked and Wired.



All my friends from DC swear it’s better than Georgetown Cupcake-I guess I’ll have to be the judge!

My mom and I split a chocolate with buttercream and a lemon blueberry.

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They were really good, don’t get me wrong, but they weren’t anything special. They were solid but not the best thing ever in my opinion!

Despite the order of events, my last meal with my parents was at a little Italian place, and I had salmon.



I had more salmon this past weekend then I probably had the past 6 months combined…dining hall salmon at my school was rare and pretty badly cooked.

Then, I came back to my dorm/apartment to prep some food for the week. It is SO nice to have a kitchen!

I wanted to boil down strawberries and peaches, but couldn’t find peaches so I used strawberries and mango.

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This made for the perfect quick breakfast Monday morning-atop yogurt and sunflower seed butter.



I also packed lunch. I actually got to have an oven roasted sweet potato-not just a microwaved one! I made a sort of hash with eggs, cheddar, spinach, and salsa.



After work, I was eager to head out for a run to explore the area. I can see the Lincoln Memorial from the end of my street (I really want to go to November Project at some point! Not quite ready for morning workouts though…) so I headed out in that direction.

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It was such beautiful weather to run in! It was lateish evening, but it was still plenty light, and not too hot.

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I got some major DC sights in…on only a 3 mile run. I’d say I did pretty well for my first day of sightseeing!

Afterwards, I threw together a quick dinner. I had planned on roasting cauliflower, but the pan I bought is too large for the oven. It’s not a very big pan either….In fact, I’m not sure even what pans will fit in there! Anyways, I microwaved it a bit to soften it (although not enough) and then transferred it to a pan on the stove to sauté it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. I served it with some pre-cooked chicken strips dipped in ketchup.IMG_8225


Not a bad day of cooking, I’d say!

And definitely a good first work day overall! I’m excited for all that this summer will bring!


What Not to Do

Hello from DC! Today was my first day here, and I spent the day trying to figure out where things are and getting the things I still needed. I’ve been eating really well since getting here as well! I’m just going to do a brief recap since it’s around midnight here, but I’m sort of on the wrong time zone still so…

The first thing I saw on the drive to the hotel? First monument sighting!



When I woke up this morning, I was a bit dazed (thank you jet lag). The last couple of nights I’ve had dreams that it was morning and I was in bed after waking up…so it’s just confusing all around. For some reason when I woke up this morning I was sure it was Wednesday and that I needed to get my WIAW post up!

Naturally, coffee was necessary.



As we walk around, I’ve been making note of places nearby that have cappuccinos! For breakfast, we ate at the hotel restaurant. I ordered a side of eggs and a side of fruit.



After breakfast, I headed over to my new Crossfit! It’s at the bottom of what is probably the nicest gym I’ve ever been to-and a membership to the gym and all its group fitness classes comes with my Crossfit membership!



I’m sure I made a great first impression on my first day….guess who decided she wanted to have matching box jump scars?



Yeah…Not fun. At all. If you’ve never hit your shin on a box, you can’t truly understand the experience. I ended up patching myself up and (carefully) doing the rest of the workout, but box jumps are not something I would recommend you push yourself in because missing a jump is the WORST. I made the first one and it was a bit iffy-I knew I shouldn’t have done a second. I haven’t bashed my shin in over 2 years-and my scar on the right side is from doing it twice. It’s really, really awful. This wasn’t even a scrape-it was a dent where basically the skin imploded. I’m also bummed I got a bit of blood on my new Crossfit shoes…

This whole experience definitely shook me up-something about the shock of the injury, plus repeated exposure to lots of gore (I never wanted to see that deep into my leg….) For those especially concerned, we talked to my sister who is an EMT and she confirmed that an ER visit was not necessary, but this has still been a rather unpleasant experience, especially since we’ve basically been walking everywhere around here. After my bash, we walked to a nearby place for lunch, where they were kind enough to give me some much needed ice.

For my meal, I had a salmon salad with goat cheese-delicious! For some reason, I never see salmon salads on the menu, or never order them.



For dinner, we met with some of my parents’ old friends at a nice restaurant. The food was amazing! It’s been a while since I’ve eaten at such a fancy place!

To start, my dad and I split a crab stuffed avocado dish that came with greens with truffle oil dressing. And we know I will never pass up avocado…



For my main dish, I ordered salmon over purple potatoes, which was also excellent. I’ve never been asked how I wanted my salmon cooked before (Medium, Well done, etc), but I was asked twice today. Is this a normal thing? And East Coast thing? I think in CA it’s just always well done…



And for dessert-chocolate lava cake with a molten center.



And now I have to go-it’s past my bedtime in some time zone! And it looks like my run through the monuments won’t happen tomorrow, barring some miracle that magically closes the gash in my shin and makes the bruises disappear…