It’s Monday night, and I recently returned from a whirlwind adventure to the East Coast. I got back Sunday night, and being home and going to classes all day made the experience even more surreal. But let’s back up, shall we?
I’ve talked about the fact I was doing the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, but training details seemed to get lost in the hubbub of every day life. But training happened. I kind of made my own training plan, which included long runs of 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 miles.
So, let’s back up. On Monday, I started having horrible allergies. I get them the same week every year, so that was nothing new. But then Thursday morning I go to Crossfit and feel like I have zero energy. I napped the rest of the morning before subbing a noon spin class. After spin, I really felt like I was hit by a truck. Everything ached and I was chilled so I took my temperature, and sure enough, I had a fever. Great, the day before I was supposed to fly across the country to run 10 miles in 30 degree weather, I was sick.
Friday morning, I woke up feeling a tad better, but still with a fever. I took Tylenol and went to my one mandatory class (despite it being a big pet peeve of mine to go to class while sick), and then headed to the airport.
I was feeling pretty decent with Tylenol, but I was worried about when it would wear off! Luckily, the hours on the plan ticked by since I had had my Tylenol, and the fever never came back! For the record, I was committed to not being stupid. If I had still felt lousy come race day, I planned to drop down to the 5k race.
Saturday morning, after a quick breakfast at the hotel, it was time for our first event: cat cafe! When I found out that Georgetown now has a cat cafe a few months ago, I immediately booked an appointment for our trip. What’s super crazy is that the location is literally 2 blocks from where I lived in Georgetown a couple of summers ago, but it didn’t exist then!
We signed wavers, and then came in to meet the kitties! The ones by the front windows were especially sweet.
The upstairs kitties were more playful.
For anyone interested, the way it works is you can reserve a 75 minute session for a small fee, and then have the option of ordering coffee and/or macarons upon arrival, which they fetch from offsite for you. We ended up not getting anything, since we were kind of distracted!
Batman and I fell in love. He climbed happily into my lap, and was there for quite a while until it was time to go.
All the kitties are from a local shelter and are available for adoption. I follow Crumbs and Whiskers on Instagram, so I’ll know when Batman finds a home!
Next on the agenda was Sweetgreen, because 1. I love it and 2. My parents had never been there! Crazy since I went about 1x/week that summer.
I got the Beets Don’t Kale my Vibe, a seasonal salad. Beets, grilled chicken, goat cheese, wild rice, tossed in balsamic vinaigrette.
After wandering around Georgetown a bit, we hopped on the Silver Line and headed out to Tyson’s Corner. My parents used to work in that area many years ago, and my great-grandpa once owned a grocery store out there. Plus, I wasn’t 100% health-wise and a movie sounded perfect.
As we entered the mall, we found a Shake Shack, and after I raved about their frozen custard, we of course had to stop. I had the vanilla custard with fudge sauce mixed in. SO delicious.
Our movie of the day was Zootopia. I’m in a class that talks about animal behavior, and it was recommended that we see this movie because apparently a lot of the behavior portrayed in the movie is pretty accurate.
After the movie, which I liked!, it was dinner time. I was excited to try Le Pain Quotidien.
I started out with an interesting drink: warm lemon honey ginger. Although I was feeling better, the air there was pretty dry and I had zero voice so this helped a bit.
For my main dish, I had a chicken and smoked mozzarella tartine on seedy, gluten free bread. It had sundried tomato spread and basil oil. Delicious! The bread was chew, dense, and delicious.
At this point in the day, we had walked about 6 hours and my still sort of sick self was tired! We went to bed early, but I was too excited to fall asleep quickly!
Sidenote: I actually realized that I went to a Le Pain Quotidien in Alexandria that summer without making the connection!
So, Sunday. As a California girl, let me lay it out for you. Friday: 70 degrees when we landed at 11pm. Saturday: rainy, sort of chilly, but nice. Sunday: temperatures in the 30s, 20-30 mph wind with gusts up to 50 mph (they decided to not use any signs during the course due to this), wind chill in the 20s. Luckily weather.com is a thing, and I was prepared for this, but jeez. Seriously?
The good news was, I woke up Sunday morning feeling really good, and much better! I woke up at 5:30am, aka 2:30am CA time. I ate my Luna bar, got ready, and then it was time to begin the layering and head to the metro.
I really think the amount of marshmallowing speaks to how much I am a CA girl. But I did feel properly dressed. My outfit consisted of long pants (only one layer though—legs were definitely going numb at the start), fleece-ish lined shirt (well, minus one sleeve because the shirt is faulty…it’s weird), leg warmers on my arms, a sweatshirt, and then my north face. Plus gloves, ear warmers, and hand warmers.
And then we were there, freezing our butts off, with 10k people just as crazy as I was! Despite the temperatures, it was a beautiful morning. I anxiously awaiting the start, excited to get moving!
Sadly, the cherry blossoms peaked a week early this year, so there weren’t many on the course. Here’s a lone one!
At the start, I handed off my north face to my parents and got ready to go! It was weird because there was no flag indicating the start/finish line, so I didn’t know how close I was to the start!
And then we were off! I had a blast, I quickly stripped my arm warmers (which was interesting: they were under my sweatshirt so I did this really cute thing were I ran with my iPod in my teeth and yanked with all my might). It was surreal to be running here, in this place. Where I spent so many hours running. A place filled with history. I had the biggest smile on my face the whole time.
I was expecting crazy winds crossing the bridge into Arlington, but it wasn’t too bad. Plus, the sun was coming out and it was warming up! I tossed my sweatshirt (bought from the thrift store for this race) coming back across the bridge.
During the race, I felt really good. I’ve definitely gotten faster. I was determined not to push the pace, to stay comfortable and enjoy the scenery, but I still wore my watch to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid like come out at an 8:00 pace (which it turns out would not have been possible; it was super crowded). As I was running, it struck me how much faster and fitter I am now than a couple of summers ago when I was running these same roads. And I thought I was in good shape then! I feel like I’ve come really far since then.
I ran about a 9:30 pace the whole race (my old long run pace was 10:00), but unfortunately lost 7-8 minutes during a porta potty stop due to a huge line. Overall, there were not enough of them, but to add to that, about half of them had tipped over in the wind! Crazy!
(Cherry Blossoms as seen from the car later in the day).
This race flew by. Seriously, 10 miles has never passed so quickly! I ran past the Washington Monument to the finish line with the biggest smile on my face. I love it here!
After meeting up with my parents, we went back to the hotel to clean up before heading out to brunch! Being the exciting person I am, I chose the Georgetown Le Pain Quotidien. I get really nervous with my stomach when traveling, and I knew it was a same, solid, and delicious option. Being the even more exciting person I am, I got the same thing. Well, sort of. I got the ginger drink about because #30degrees, and then split the chicken and mozzarella and avocado toast with my mom.
After eating, we walked around a bit, headed for the main event.
CUPCAKES. Seriously, you can’t come to DC without getting some. My cupcake of choice was Baked and Wired, where I got the gluten free option. It was a chocolate cake with cherries folded into the icing, and subtle cherry frosting. In honor of cherry blossoms!
We walked along the waterfront before heading out, then drove the sights a bit.
We were at the airport with plenty of time, and after the longest day ever, I made it home! In SFO on the way out to DC, I got an amazing GF snickerdoodle. We passed the same place on the way back in, and it was open, so of course I had to snag a chocolate chip GF cookie. SO amazing.
Check out that thick, gooey cookie! And the sea salt. Ahh. I looked it up and it turns out the little market only exists in the SFO airport.
I was surprisingly doing pretty well energy-wise until I made it back to my dorm and totally crashed. Longest day ever, but what an amazing weekend.