Moving Through the City

Hey guys! Sorry for leaving you guys for a bit-this week has been kind of crazy! I get kicked out of my housing this weekend, so I’m moving to a house across town. On top of that, I’m going out of town this weekend to visit family in upstate New York! I have until my laundry finished to type up this post!

Crossfit wise, I am happy to report I PRed my split jerk this week! And my handstands against the wall are getting worlds better. On the running front, things are looking pretty good as well. Each week is a bit faster than the last one. Running club is making a huge difference, and I consider it the hardest workout of the week. I went tonight, and it was short but sweet because I’m doing my 10 miler tomorrow-since I’m traveling, that was going to be a mess to try to figure out once I’m in NY!

I went to November Project this week, and it was PR week, meaning we run the stairs 13 or 17 times straight for a time. I did the scaled version, but I felt 1000x times stronger than PR week a month ago! Progress!



Food-wise, there’s been some of the same, some more exciting, and some me being lazy and failing to take a picture.

For lunches, I’ve been splitting it into two parts-salad/veggies and then yogurt mix.

Heirloom tomato salad:



Green bean salad:



And then yogurt with sunflower seed butter and blueberries:



As for dinners, I’ve made a couple of “quesadillas.” I couldn’t actually find tortillas at the grocery (what??) so I got some type of whole wheat flatbread thing-it’s pretty similar when filled with cheese and then cooked on a stove.

Round one was stuffed with cheese, tomato, and avocado:



And round two was filled with ground turkey and veggies from the freezer:



On the more exciting dinner front, I went out to dinner yesterday because one of my friends here is leaving this weekend! It was a super late dinner-we met at 9pm. I classily satisfied my post workout hunger before hand with milk from the carton and sunflower seed butter from a plastic fork.

For my main dish, I went with salmon with fried plantains and creamy herb sauce.



And of course, dessert was necessary. I chose the bread pudding, which was delicious (but not as good as my family recipe-I need to make that sometime!).



A perfect end to the night. Needless to say, I’m running on fumes. I didn’t get back until after 11 last night after waking up at 5am for November Project. Hopefully I’ll have some time for some much needed rest this weekend!


Getting Back Into It

Well, who’s ready for another week?

Today, I want to talk a bit about something a lot of runners may be familiar with-getting back up to that fitness level we tend to expect from ourselves.

When I ran my last half in April, I was coming off a winter of training with lots of speed work. I crushed my training runs at good paces. I was so much faster than I had been before.

But now it’s July. And while it’s not like I wasn’t running at all prior to the official start of my training, I certainly wasn’t running as much. I thought I was semi-prepared because I was putting down decent paces for my Crossfit Run Club runs, yet here I am at the start of half training, still searching for some semblance of speed.

Today, I did my “long” run-6 miles. It felt fine. Nothing of great excitement. I got it done, but it wasn’t fast for me. I wasn’t really pushing the pace, but I wasn’t dilly-dallying either.

It can be frustrating-knowing that once in the recent past, you were knocking out runs at a much better pace.

But I’m here to say-it’s ok. The speed and fitness will come back. Just put in the work, and you WILL get there. Heck, I’ve been knocking off seconds on my paces on ALL my runs in 3 weeks. And while I may not be where I’d like to be now, I am confident that I will be ready come race day!

In other weekend news, I refueled from my run with brunch! Brunch is a magical, magical thing, and it’s been far too long.

I met up with some friends at Ted’s Bulletin, famous for its homemade pop tarts.

I got a blueberry cheesecake one.

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While it was good, I thought it could have used more filling!

For my main course, I got an egg sammy.



While delicious, it was probably about 80% butter.

We then did some touristy things. First up was the Botanical Gardens.

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We were lucky to be there on a relatively cool day, so it wasn’t too hot! We’re currently in what people here are calling a “polar vortex.” As in, maybe 80-85 degrees? It’s fantastic. The other day, it was probably in the 70s, and I walked outside to COOL air! Crazy!

We also went to the Smithsonian art museum. I have never felt so uncultured as I did in the presence of modern art. I just don’t get it. At all. Why is one person’s big rock better than another’s?

Later in the afternoon, we walked over to get frozen custard. I got mine with lots of chocolate-but it may have been a biiit over the top!



Anyway, across the street was an American art museum, which was much more suited to my tastes. It had all the portraits of the presidents, so I really enjoyed looking at that!

And in other life news, I finally started Breaking Bad. I feel a little too united to Chemistry given the insane amount I’ve taken, so I kind of like the aspect. I’m “studying” right?

What TV shows do you watch?

Fitness as of Late and I Made a Casserole

Happy weekend!

I wanted to talk a bit about fitness as of late, more exploring DC, and the big milestone in my life.

Wednesday I went to Crossfit and worked on cleans-as I already stated. I did some single leg RDLs after. Not a lot, and not heavy. But my legs were SOOOORE. Plus I was really sore from all the cleans. But holy hamstrings. Whew. I decided that my hamstrings have gotten weak and inflexible so I’m going to tack some single leg RDLs on the end of my workout every week or so. But not right before run club…

Lucky for me, run club was easy on Thursday. The fast people weren’t there, so we just did a basic 3 mile route at a reasonable place. Super easy.

Friday morning, I had a 4 miler at an early hour. I was taking it easy, but my taking it easy this week was faster than my taking it easy last week, so that’s always good to see! Getting faster!

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Friday evening was Crossfit. We did bench presses and negative chin ups. Despite doing bench press most weeks since I’ve been here, I can probably still count on one hand the number of times I’ve bench pressed. For some reason it was just one of those things I almost never did, so I’m sore from that!

Saturday morning I went to another OutRun. This week was the same instructor as the first time I went, and it was a much faster pace than last week’s OutRun! Lots and lots of hills too-I guess I don’t have to worry about the SF hills for my half!

This afternoon, I went to a big mall to get my iPod fixed. I dropped it on an early morning groggy run and jammed the power button down. I had to exchange it, but I’m happy I got the same model-I like that it has a clip!

Afterwards, I stopped at Arlington Cemetery on the way back.

It was so peaceful and quiet there. I don’t think I can accurately portray the sense of respect and honor, so I’m not going to try.

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I walked up high onto the hill, with an amazing view of the whole city. I sat there for a while, just looking down on everything. It’s amazing to me how much I’ve fallen in love with this city in such a short time.



On a much lighter note, my milestone is that I’ve officially made a casserole. That makes me officially old.



It has quinoa, spinach, corn, milk, and various types of cheese.



It was good but not great.



Then again, I just threw things together so I had no idea what to expect! Also make note of my loaf pan-aka the only pan I have.

Have you ever made a casserole? How did it turn out?

WIAW on Stormy Days

Happy Wednesday! (Feel free to ignore the fact that I’m posting Tuesday night. You get the idea.) As usual, I’m celebrating WIAW with Jenn!


I have lots of good things to share, including a recipe! Yay!

Before I get to food, let’s talk about workouts. I was all set to go to Crossfit after work Monday, but I walked outside to a giant storm, and then the Metro stopped running, so I missed the class, and didn’t feel like going to the late class.

Anyways, this meant Monday was rest and today was a 3 miler! After pouring all afternoon, I decided to take a chance and go for it during a break in the rain. I did my usual 3 mile route.



Yeah. I live here.

And this is not a bad turn around point:



Yes, the Washington Monument is EXACTLY 1.5 miles away, so it should be pretty clear why this is my typical route now!

On the way back, storm clouds began to threaten. It started POURING right as I was running up my block. Talk about lucky!

The run also felt fantastic. I was running on rested and not “just woke up and it’s 6am” legs, plus I’m been working hard in my training, and it’s certainly paying off. This is week 3, and each week I’ve done this route. I’ve done it faster each week, and each week it feels better. Week 1 was super slow for me-10:18 pace. sat week was 9:48, and today was 9:29. And it wasn’t like it was an all out pace, so it’s a good start!

Now onto the part everyone actually cares about. Food.

Breakfasts have been the same old-sunflower seed butter with lots of fruit! Plus chai tea since I’m laying off the coffee.




Lunch Monday was leftovers of Cheesy Mushroom Quinoa plus some yogurt.



Lunch on Tuesday was extra special. I was on trip at work, and the food they prepared us was amazing and beautiful.

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I’m not sure how much I should talk about work on here, but I will say this gives me so much hope for the future of America’s school food system!

I piled my plate high with all kinds of delicious salads. One of my favorites was a ginger root salad. This is the first context in which I’ve actually enjoyed beets!



I also got to take leftovers home with me, which made a great pre-run snack/dinner.

And finally-for the recipe!

Coconut Flour Arepas

*Edited to add: this is based on the fantastic Blogilates recipe for healthy quesadillas!




2 T coconut flour

1 ear of corn

2 T water

6 T egg whites

1/8 t baking powder

salt to taste


1. Mix together coconut flour, water, egg whites, and baking powder in a small bowl.

2. Remove the corn from the cob, and add to mixture.

3. If mixture is too thin, let it sit a moment. The coconut flour may take a bit of time to absorb the water, but this will still be fairly runny. Add salt if desired.



4. In a large pan, add a touch of olive oil and heat the pan.

5. Once pan is hot, pour mixture into pan.



6. When bubbles begin to form on the surface, flip and cook through.



7. If desired, sprinkle with salt, and fill with desired fillings. I used smoked gouda.



Delicious, and comes together in minutes!

What is your favorite type of cheese?

Not for everything, but I love goat brie. If you haven’t tried it, you absolutely need to!


To Get Faster, You Need to Run Faster

This title sort of sounds like a “No, duh” right? Well, it’s amazing how true that actually is!

But let me back up to food pictures!

Saturday night, I brought a couple of friends home to have dinner with my parents. We had one of my favorite meals ever, Grilled Peach, Chicken, and Goat Cheese salads. Yummm.



My mom also made a really delicious mushroom and artichoke dip to start off with, but I failed to document it!

For dessert, we had another favorite: blueberry crisp! It’s so close to summer!

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We all had a great time chatting! I need to bring my friends back more often!

Sunday morning I was up bright and early…again…to run with my home Crossfit. I didn’t really have any preconceived ideas about how much I was planning on running-although I wasn’t planning on doing a ton! There were only 3 of us, and one guy wanted to do 8 miles. He claimed we would do a 10 minute pace, but we quickly picked it up! I actually totally forgot to bring my Garmin, so I wasn’t checking the pace the whole time. This was probably better because I didn’t get a chance to psych myself out! I knew I couldn’t maintain that pace for 8 miles, and ended up turning around at the 3 mile point-2/3 of us ended up turning back here. I’m not sure of our pace on the way back, but it was still a decent clip. My legs finally locked in and it felt almost effortless. Plus, chatting with new people is fun! We discussed Crossfit quite a bit, which seems to be a hot topic with that one Crossfit bashing article going around.

And, I finally broke out the new shoes! (I’ve worn them once.)



I’ve definitely gotten faster since I’ve started running with the group a few weeks ago. I’m excited to have a solid base for when I start my half training, but sad I won’t have running partners in DC this summer! I have some big goals with my halfs coming up, so I guess I might as well blurt them out here and finalize them. I want to PR on my race in September. I should be able to do this-I was just a minute off my PR in my last half when I wasn’t trying to PR, and that had hills on hills on hills. I’m standing true to my vow to avoid super hilly races for a while! I’m doing the Giant’s Race in September, which is not flat, but as flat as it gets in SF! I previously just wanted to PR, but now I’m going to go ahead and put a number on it. 2:05. That’s the goal. I think that’s pretty reasonable, granted I train hard this summer. However, half #2 is a much loftier goal. I want to break 2:00. A lot of people in this running group are doing RnR San Jose in October, which I am now planning to do as well. It’s flat, and I’ll have over a month of running with the group and working on speed to prepare. A lofty goal, but with more runs like today, it’s starting to seem reasonable. Plus, SJ is flat! Yay!

After the run, I came back and waited forever at Jamba Juice for an Apple n Greens smoothie and a spinach and cheese wrap.



Aaand blogger fail of the day: that was my only food picture!

I have one other exciting thing to recap: I went to Soul Cycle today! My dorm went, which meant I got into a class for only $10! I’ve been wanting to try it forever, but I never got around to it. Here was my experience: the bikes all have clips-they give everyone spin shoes, although I had my own and I appreciated that they were able to fit the clips. I got on my bike-the handle bars were a little different, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I had a friendly employee help me adjust everything. Here’s the thing-the handle bars are SUPER low, although maybe I’m just used to the really high ones at school. I think if you have back problems or are really inflexible, this would be a major problem. The bikes were really nice though-they had a great riding feel, and the clips were much tighter than other bikes which was really nice-on the junky bikes at school my shoes swivel around in the clips.

The class was a definite style. It was very fast paced. I would say it was more cardio than strength based, and involved a lot of very fast paces out of the saddle and a lot of bouncing. Soul Cycle is all about the rhythm so don’t sit in the front if you’re new! I think this si the type of thing you’d get more out of the more you go. I was sometimes able to catch the rhythm but not always! Overall, the class was fun and I might go back (although it’s really pricy). However, as a certified spin instructor (yes, I sometimes forget that I am too), I can’t really recommend this class. The things we do in class basically go against everything we’re taught to not do as Spin teachers, for safety reasons, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending it. There was a lot of bouncing around, and a lot of really high leg speeds, especially out of the saddle, which can be dangerous. To be honest, the only reason they can get away with such high speeds is that the bikes are very high quality. Also, we were taught that push ups and such on the bikes can be dangerous-which is true; you sweat a lot so the handlebars get slippery! There was also a small weight lifting portion on the bike-also kind of a no-no. The thing was, I felt like we might as well just have done that part off the bikes-we weren’t gaining much by being on the bikes!

Overall, I enjoyed my experience and worked up quite a sweat. But to be perfectly honest, I feel like this is one of those fitness trends that people are really, really into but are not necessarily the most smart thing. I think the classes are perfectly fine for experienced spinners, but people new to spin I think are a bit at risk for injury. But that’s just my two cents! It was really fun to be at a spin class not just in the corner of the school gym though!

That’s all I have for today-I have to give a big presentation tomorrow and I’m still without a voice from my cold earlier in the week so I need to rest my voice!

Have you ever tried Soul Cycle, or any spin studio? What did you think?