Category Archives: weather love

Today is Good because…

I woke up a little bit extra early with a specific route in mind. It’s not always something I have time to do, but the route wouldn’t be too long and either way, well worth it. Because of this run, I’m having one of those days – the best kind – where I’m head over heels for this city, this sport and this season.

One of my first thoughts as I headed south on Connecticut Ave and towards the National Mall? Today is good. Why? Because…

…I can run, and I did.

purple-nike-pegasus-shoesMall route

…I live close enough to this scene to take advantage of its trails at sunrise or sunset. Usually it’s the latter, with the lululemon crew, but today it was an early date.

Good morning DC

…DC & I are both morning people. Hello, gorgeous.

Lincoln memorial front

…I have a job that allows an early morning run. I saw way too many suits walking to the metro at 6:15 a.m., and thought with comfortable certainty “that will never be my life.”

…I have a smartphone that captures these moments.

…I know these streets well enough to map a perfect 7-miler, hitting all of my favorite spots.

sunrise reflecting pool DCsunrise WWII memorial

(The time difference between these two shots? Approximately 5 seconds. The other difference? A shot facing west, and a shot facing east.)

sunrise washington monument side 2sunrise Capitol bldg

sunrise Pennsylvania avenue Capitol
Sunrise post office pavilionsunrise Willard hotel
Sunrise Lafayette square
sunrise White House
Sunrise farragut northSunrise Dupont circcle

From the top: Washington Monument & the Capitol from the Mall; Capitol from Pennsylvania Avenue; Post Office Pavilion (left), Willard Hotel (right); Lafayette Square; White House; Farragut North (left), Dupont Circle (right).

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I woke up and got to sweat.

What makes today good for you?

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Filed under DC, early morning, running, things that make me Happy, weather love

Friday Faves: What Happens in One Week

Sometimes the rise and fall of the 5-day work-week seems to stretch and defy the 60 minute hour and the 24 hour day. For whatever reason, unbeknownst to me, this week decided it deserved more of my time.

Alright, week, that’s fine as long as you let me squeeze in some extra goods, too!

This week, things stretched out on Sunday. And by things, I mean our agenda, our road-trip entertainment and our walking legs.

TED3 Fave: TED Talks! I downloaded the TED app in the car – one of those apps I’ve had my eye on for a long time and just never took the time to search, click and open (because that’s just such a process…). We listened to talks the rest of the way home, and I will never think of time in the car the same!  This is now my go-to for the morning work-commute, too. I learn something and proceed to spread the knowledge, usually unsolicited, to my coworkers.

You’re welcome, guys. Learn something new every day!

In DC, we were met with 85* sunshine and no humidity. This is such a rarity in August that we didn’t even think twice about dropping off our packed bags, throwing on our walkin’ shoes and heading out the door. We stopped by the Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, FDR* and Thomas Jefferson Memorials! Hey, when in DC…

Fave: playing ‘tourist’ in our city, and taking in a gorgeous summer day. *I didn’t even know this memorial existed…hidden gem? Discovered.

Driving into DC view

I love that the drive home from any trip is greeted by this scene.

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Sunday set the tone, and opened the door to a few other faves this week…

Fave: Early mornings in this city! This what I see on a run, or in this particular case, a walk with Kate…

sunrise Lafayette park DC 1Sunrise Lafayette Park DC 3

Sunrise White House

Good morning, Obamas!

Fave: Yoga in the park, a la lululemon Logan Circle. The weather has made this my absolute favorite way to spend a Wednesday evening. Cool temps, sun slowing down and rush hour surrounding a quiet scene.

Yoga in the Park

Fave: Using those stretched hours to get in some reading. These sites and posts are swirling around in my pool of thought – they’re worth a glance or two:

4 Qualities of “Lucky” People – alternatively titled “How to decide what you want, meet good people and be the best version of yourself”

100 Days of Real Food – this is your body, on the good stuff. This gal knows how to take on a challenge, and “Real Food” is only one chapter in her book.

20 Ways to  Make your Monday Awesome – oldie but a goodie. I refer to this list often; it’s especially useful on any of those hour-stretched weekdays.

Dooce’s Stuff I Found While Looking Around – this series in starred in my reader every time it pops up. If nothing else, read these for the tweets at the end.

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Fave: mapping out a 16 mile run for tomorrow. The legs & I have some sites to see, and miles to conquer! And with that, we’ll end this long week on a runner’s high and with a couch-recovery-date on the afternoon agenda. 

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What’s topping your list of faves this week?

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Filed under random, running, things that make me Happy, weather love

Cross-Country Weekend: San Diego Days

Over the long holiday {Memorial} weekend, my little Sister and I executed a plan that was eloquently made months ago, after a few fruity umbrella-topped drinks in Hawaii. It was time to take a weekend trip, together, to wherever we felt like going! Or, to a destination in which the airfare from Albuquerque & DCA were comparable.

After some searching, it turned out that would be the California coast.

Downtown San Diego water view

We spent four days exploring the city streets and beaches of San Diego. Immediately after landing I felt refreshed to be out  West – the strong southern sun will always hit the spot. Open spaces, water-front views, palm trees and that true Mexican cuisine? This combination woes me in every way.

Ferry to Coronado
Coronado Beachbeach buddies
On the ferry from downtown San Diego over to Coronado Island. We walked straight to Hotel Del Coronado, where we’ve stayed before with the parents, and onto the beach.

Hotel Del Coronado signHotel Del CoronadoHotel Del Coronado front

Below – our favorite eats: fish tacos at Rockin’ Baja (Gaslamp District), one of the best iced coffees I’ve had to date (saying a lot, from a non-coffee snob) and the “Health Nut” omelet at Zanzibar cafe, and dinner at The Linkery (too dark for photos, but well worth the cab drive to North Park!).

San Diego fish tacosChips n' Salsa bar
Zanzibar Cafe Omelet
Zanzibar Cafe iced coffeeZanzibar Cafe San Diego

The trip consisted mostly of rest and relaxation, with a lot of walking miles and a few miles on the run. We explored the mercado  in Old Town and the trails of Balboa Park, and dined only on the recommendations of the locals.

Balboa Park gardenBalboa Park Run

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California, you’re a dream. Thanks for a weekend get-away and some much-needed sunshine!

Next time I head west, it’ll be with D & the whole fam, in the state we call home.
July, hurry up!

What’s on deck for your next trip? If I could spend my life traveling, I would! Until then, I’ll settle for these types of long-weekend getaways and also live vicariously through you.

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Filed under family, things that make me Happy, travel, weather love, weekends

Harpers Ferry: Hiking the Heights

Driving merely one hour outside of this city will land  you in the corner of three different states – Maryland, Virginia & West Virginia. You’ll find yourself at the intersection of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, with a view on every side.

Harpers Ferry 4.12 022

This also happens to be the intersection of the C&O (Chesapeake & Ohio) and Appalachian trails – almost exactly halfway between Maine and Georgia.

Harpers Ferry 4.12 010

In need of a healthy dose of wilderness, a day out of the city and a reminder of what hiking all afternoon does for the mind, we drove the 60 minutes to this historic town and set out to explore.

Harpers Ferry 4.12 001Harpers Ferry 4.12 004

Surprised to find more than one lunch shop that offered “veggie options”, we filled our stomachs with more fuel than needed for this short 4-mile hike, and topped it off with a rare treat – Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, on a cone.

The guide at the Visitors Center talked our ears off about Civil War history, while briefly mentioning the “Maryland Heights” hike. This is the most popular route in town, leading you up approximately 1,100 ft to an Overlook. It only takes a little over an hour, and you only need to check your sanity once or twice – thanks to the gnat infestation that will not leave you alone.

Ice-cream in hand, we crossed the bridge and headed up!

Harpers Ferry 4.12 011 Harpers Ferry 4.12 012Harpers Ferry 4.12 013

Admittedly, the climbing was a little more challenging than it should’ve been. You don’t have a lot of distance to lead you up, and essentially you follow a dirt road that eventually narrows into a trail. Our Colorado-hiking legs would be ashamed at how long it’s been since we’ve busted out the boots and backpack, aiming for elevation gain. But, for the first hike of the season, this was just right.

Harpers Ferry 4.12 015
Harpers Ferry 4.12 016
Harpers Ferry 4.12 019
Harpers Ferry 4.12 021Harpers Ferry 4.12 018

While we aren’t looking out on any Rockies, this isn’t a bad view from the top! We see green for days, and D sees roads where he’ll be back to visit on the bike.

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Next up – Old Rag, and more of the Appalachian Trail (though you won’t find us in Georgia or Maine anytime soon).

What do you find one hour away from your doorstep?

Any other DC-ers with a hike to recommend??

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Filed under cross training, DC, hiking, weather love, weekends

The Run That Tells You

This training cycle has played a tough hand; I’ve had my fair share of days where I’m not thrilled about running for hours, or planning weekends around training, or looking ahead at the miles to come.

All of my long runs in DC have gone well, but the last 20 was a challenge. Slightly jaded at this point, I approached it without much thought; I didn’t pace myself well, and the last quarter of the run was a test as to whether or not this marathon thing would actually be “fun”.

Doable? Totally. Enjoyable? Well, that’s up for debate.

This exact sentiment ran its course last Fall, and I had one last long run to combat it. That last one turned into a 21, and I instantly knew I was ready, and able, to tackle 26.2 again.

So, this time around, what trick was waiting up my sleeve?
A 22 mile test, of course.

*****

This time I actually spend the week acting as though I’m in full training (ah, the epiphany!). I got enough sleep, paid attention to drinking more water, planned the mileage & meals, and had a low-key night before it all went down. Pizza dinner date, movie with friends, cupcake for dessert – that was my recipe for preparation.

Pizza never fails me. Nor does actually adopting the training mentality.

The Plan: meet Kate, run 10 miles around Northwest. Head into Rock Creek Park, run the next 12 on the trail, through the Mall, across bridges and back.

image

The Strategy: Race-sim! I didn’t stop to refuel; I did it on-the-run (no unnecessary stops on race day!). I mapped a route with minimal stop-light-pausing, hills (see above) & plenty of DC sight-seeing.

The Fuel: Camelbak with two Nuun tablets + water; 1 mini peanut-butter cookie Larabar (mile 8), 1 package of lemon-lime Shotbloks (miles 14,18).

The Result: perfection. This was the run that told me the legs & mind are ready, this race will be a challenge worth completing.

22MilerMCM

Kate & I kept the pace easy, tackling the ups & downs of that portion. I made one Garmin mistake, forgetting to restart after pausing at an intersection.

When I left her, and “only” had 12 miles to go, that was just fine.

I cruised along, totally taken back and charmed by the pure bliss of running in DC, in the fall. Changing leaves, green grass, sunshine bouncing off of the Potomac, and the monuments beaming because they know it’s Saturday and everyone is admiring them. If there is a perfect Fall day, this was it.

I texted D at mile 19, “Feel amazing, 3 to go!”. I resisted the urge to keep running until Garmin said “22”, because OCD runner I am not (right?). 22 done; if there were 4.2 more on deck, I would’ve happily kept going.

*****

How do you flush out the legs after 22 miles? Hop on the bike!
When Fall says “play”, we don’t argue.

bikeride10.15picnic.10.16

*******

Marine Corps, we’ll be good friends. Countdown: 13 days.

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Filed under DC, marathon, MCM, running buddy, training, weather love, weekends