Weekend in DC

So guess what I’m doing right now?

I texted Chelsie (the woman who not only convinced me to take a pregnancy test back in December cause she knows what’s up, but who has been an absolute guru throughout this process), and I asked her if she knew of a way to make something more loafy, and less cakey.  She gave me an answer before she was like, “wait…what are you doing…” and I confessed that I really wanted to eat Funfetti.  She encouraged me to just make funfetti, but we did find a recipe for fufetti banana bread, which is either going to be really disgusting or awesome.  I will let you know.

I spent last weekend (kinda a gross weekend, weather-wise) in DC.  I’m still working on convincing Austin that we need to move there.  Lately, I’ve been thinking that it may be a cool place to raise an interracial child.  Not that Raleigh is a bad place, Raleigh is actually pretty progressive, but I think a big move one of these years may be in the cards for us.

On Friday, I drove up and went straight to the Rent the Runway storefront, which they have in DC, and New York City.  I had to pick something up for a gala I was attending since all of my stuff fits pretty snug.  The girl was very sweet – I told her that I just needed something in my size.  She brought out a few choices and I think I went with something I found already in the dressing room from the shopper before.

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The store was cool – you pick something, and they run back and grab it in your size for you to rent, similarly to the website.  It was a godsend for me.

After that, I drove to my friend Jeff’s, and we Uber-ed over to the gala.  I met Katie Couric, and I really wanted to stick around and chat with her longer, but suffice it to say that she was a lovely, lovely woman with a really sharp sense of humor.  I hope our paths cross again, because she was just that fantastic.  And little!  Everyone is so much shorter in person than you think!

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I hate hate hate flats on fancy occasions, but felt good in them since my feet were kind of exhausted.  If I could live in workout clothes, I totally would!

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Leading up to the weekend, Jeff and I had planned to go to Soul Cycle on Saturday morning with friends. The first time I’d gone, I was a little mehhh on it. The class itself was really good, but I’d gone in Georgetown, and it was a very homogeneous crowd, which made me really uncomfortable, almost as if there was some purposeful reason that there were no people of color there.  This time, I went to the Mt. Vernon location, technically Chinatown, and it was FULL of people of color.  We actually went to a Beyonce vs. Rihanna class on Sunday, and it was probably about half black people, Asians, and Indians.  It was so, SO cool to be in a place where black women are working out, and I was right in the thick of it!

By the way, check out the way that Soul tricks you into leaving your phone in your locker.

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We need this at the Y. There was a woman sipping a coffee and checking her phone the entire class again this morning until I really turned the heat up. The rest of the class can thank that woman for how much I beat up on them today.

Saturday evening, I met up with Scott (who’s been mentioned a few times here), and he took me to the coolest little party, a bourbon tasting party.  I sipped on water with the other pregnant girl, and we actually had a blast.  And Sunday, we met up with even more friends for brunch at some amazing bread and cheese place.  DC has zero shortage of good places to eat.

Sunday evening, after another Soul class (the Beyonce vs Rihanna class), my check engine light came on, despite the fact I had just taken the car in for maintenance on Tuesday.  After a few calls to my poor husband (who probably was panicking with his pregnant wife wandering around the city with a broken car), we decided to get the car towed to the dealership in Alexandria.

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The tow truck driver was really kind, and I rode down with him to the dealership, and then caught an Uber to a nearby hotel. Long long story short, the car had some sort of valve issues that made it not super drive-able, and on Monday, instead of working from work, I worked from Centerline Digital, where I’d met a friend for lunch.

Side note about that – the people from Centerline were ridiculously nice to me, and they had no reason to be.  In addition to my friend, Andrew, multiple people, after hearing what had happened with my car, offered for me to sit in a conference room or an office to work there, instead of finding my way to another coffee shop with all of my bags.  I am so thankful for that.  That’s kinda southern hospitality, right?

So how was your weekend?  

Why do women do this?

Yesterday, as I was still sitting in DC, I found myself, once again at Pound the Hill, to finish up some work I’d kind of let go the wayside while I was running around and having a great time.

Now, if you’ll recall, Pound the Hill was home to the Nutella Latte that I’d enjoyed so well.

photo 1And of course, as I was sitting next to these two women, I was 1000% eavesdropping on their conversation, and my mouth was dropping at the things they were saying.  I actually took notes on the conversation I was so shocked.

So green shirt lady was talking about her live-in boyfriend.  And here’s what she had to say.

  • She had been crying and yelling at him for the better part of the last week.
  • He has been acting really really weird in front of her friends.
  • I don’t think he pays rent – he gave her money upfront for his stay there (at her home), but that’s about it.
  • She changed her eating habits for him, as in went from vegan ->non vegan for him, not for herself.
  • He does not have a “real” job.
  • She hates his friends.
  • She wants kids, he does not.

She explained the aforementioned behavior by this.

  • Maybe he would “change” once he got a real job and got some confidence, because she could tell that when he was confident, he would be better.
  • He worked for PETA and because he was around so many PETA people, he did not know how to act around her friends.
  • That even though he didn’t want kids, a friend suggested that she should have an “oops”.
  • That he was an only child, and maybe this was why he did not know how to act.
  • And in general, she explained away all the behavior that pointed to the fact that he was not interested in her.

All the while, he friend listened, and just made affirming noises.

I sat there in horror, wanting so badly to turn to green shirt and to tell her to run far away, and never look back at the guy who was living for free in her home, but I didn’t , because the woman didn’t know me from Adam and was obviously not asking for my advice.

But why, why why, do women do this?

What would you tell this woman?

Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Recap! Friggin epic post!

Hi!

I had an amazing weekend, which I’m guessing you can gather from all the tweets and the FB posts that were all “omgomgomgomg I love it here!”.  I’m trying to figure out how many times I can tell you guys I’m having and epic weekend before you start to suspect that I do nothing but traipse around with no other purpose but to write about it, but rest assured, I have a real life too!  My weekends have just been insane this past month or so.

So anyways, I headed to DC this past weekend, the best city in the land, to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA half marathon, and the weekend literally gets a 10 out of 10 from me.  I’ll totally tell you why.

P1160264So I stayed at the Westin in Georgetown, and the first thing I saw when I walked in was this.  A big, giant, comfortable bed, with a robe on it.

P1160267Then I saw this, which I immediately decided would be put to good use before I raced the following day.  And use it I did.  Following a quick pre-race dinner of a sandwich and some greens, I immediately set about to fill up this tub, take a quick swig from my bottle of Skinny Girl California White, and soaked in the tub with a Demi Lovato book (don’t judge) until i was too sweaty to continue.  Baths usually go that way for me, I get too sweaty to enjoy it after awhile and I have to get out!

P1160272Westin has this sick program, where, for $5 a day, you can skip packing you workout clothes (which always take up a good bit of room), and sort of rent/borrow some New Balance apparel.  I believe they also guarantee that you will leap about like the model does in all-white clothing.  Added bonus!

P1160268More tub!  P1160276You didn’t think I was going to leave the hotel without trying on the robe, right?  It was comfy, and there’s my mug without makeup.  What do ya think?  And with all of that, I hit the sack for about 3 or 4 hours, and got prepped for the race, the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA!  (And don’t worry, I will go over all the good, the bad (none), and the awesome in a minute, just enjoy the photos for a second!)

P1160277What I wore!  The trusty Brooks Glycerin, my printed Nike tights, a muscle tee from Fabletics, and a little Fabletics Yoga hoodie.  As for socks, I went with some Smart Wool to keep my toots warm.
P1160278And let’s skip ahead!  Mama finished 13.1 and is still smiling, even after a bout with some Norovirus or something funky this week.

P1160279The Rock ‘n’ Roll VIP Tent!  Best post race thing ever!
P1160280More VIP celebrations!

P1160281Me and the beautiful Carrie Keagan hung out before and post race.  Side note, her parents are friggin adorable, and by the time we left, we were referring to each other as Mom, Dad, and their long lost dark-skinned daughter.

P1160282Back stage at the concert – The Head and the Heart.

P1160283What a crowd!

P1160284More more!

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And I finished off the weekend with a shower and friends!

So now that you got to see my wonderful pics, let’s talk about Rock ‘n’ Roll USA!

The Good

  • The start waves.  They nailed this one, better than anyone has ever nailed it before.  The waves were timed so well that although a ton of people were running, there was never a point where I felt like the situation was too crowded to move in.
  • The transportation.  If you weren’t familiar with the city, no matter because we were provided detailed maps in tons of ways to get to the start easily by the metro.  So seamless.
  • The course.  The course was sick.  Aside from an ungodly hill at mile 6 (that is all people were talking about after the race), the course was beautiful.

The Bad. 

  • Seriously?  I have 0 complaints.

The Awesome.

  • VIP Access.  Seriously, if you have never sprung for the VIP access, do it!  Because of my VIP access I had an early breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, I had a ride down the the start line, I had a charging station for my cell phone, I had a warm place to hang out pre-race, a separate bag check, and access to the heated VIP tent after the race, where there was a ton of food, liquids, and BEER after the race!
  • The concert.  So rad.  The Head and the Heart.  So rad.
  • The weather. Could not have asked for a more beautiful day.  I wore the yoga sweatshirt for maybe the first three miles, and then peeled it off and was able to get by in a muscle tee the rest of the race.

The verdict. 

Rock ‘n’ Roll USA was a 10/10.  I have run many a race, good and bad, and this one is up there as the best – the best organized, the best weather, the best course, and the best service of any race I’ve done, and from what I heard from my folks, Rock ‘n’ Roll has been like this in general.  Sign up sign up sign up!

[Disclaimer – I was given a race entry + VIP access, but I would tell you if it sucked or not.  Seriously, this race is a two thumbs up!]

RnR USA Preview + I love DC :)

I’m not gonna spoil tomorrow’s epic post about my weekend running DC for you guys, but I cannot tell you enough how much I love this city.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Raleigh, it’s where I met my future husband, and I love the little love nest we’ve turned Raleigh into, but I haven’t always felt that way about the city.  When I first moved here, I was doing a lot, too much in fact, and that soured my experience a little bit with here.  I moved right after I graduated undergrad, was prepping to go to grad school, was in the process of breaking up with someone, and I felt like I didn’t have any friends here, when the truth was, I did.  But when you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you really and truly convince yourself that you’re alone, and no one likes you, blah blah blah.

So anyhoo, the things that I’ve learned this weekend (without spoiling the epic race post I have for you)?

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My view from Saturday morning’s race!
  1.  My stomach is still healing from the little debacle I had last October, where I found out that I’d somehow developed gastritis.  I’ve been really good about taking my meds, but not as good at avoiding caffeine, and during the race, which went really well, my stomach definitely had a few moments where it tried to revolt a little bit.  I was able to breathe through it but it jerked me back to reality.  You can’t jump from gastritis to ultra marathons in a matter of a few months.  That’s just the facts.
  2. All that said, I think it might be a good idea for me to drop from the RnR Raleigh Full to the Half.  My stomach told me so, and I have to agree with her.  She needs more time to heal up before I start shoving Gu and stuff into it.
  3. I am a boss at this city.  I’ve been super open about my love affair with this city.  And nothing has changed, between the public transit, which I rocked at, and between being able to find stuff, I am so comfortable here.  So this blog might turn from a running blog, into a convincing-your-husband-that-moving-to-DC –is-a-bomb-ass-idea.  I’ll keep you posted J

How was your weekend?  What are you looking forward to this week? 

Calling all my social workers! A post on self-care.

imageSelf-care is a big buzzword in social work land.  (For those of you just kinda tuning in, I’m a runner, a Zumba instructor, a blogger, and a social worker, all usually within the same week).  Anyhoo, like I was saying, self-care is a big word in social work land, mainly because burnout in social work is really prevalent.  We work really really hard with very little pay, all because we love people, and we love to serve people.  If HIPAA wasn’t a thing, I’d talk to you all day and all night about my clients, and how phenomenal they are, but I guess I have to respect their right to privacy, right?

But it’s hard.  There were two weeks last month that I truly thought I wasn’t cut out for the work, after some clients were especially horrible to me, that after viewing the puffy stress eyes, that I was ready to quit the job, and blog full time.  But here I am, and I’m starting to recognize that self-care is really important, and not just something that we should be joking about in the office.

Self-care means….

  • Going for my runs.  And I make sure I do it 5-6 times a week, but sometimes, I don’t bathe myself in the runs like I should.  I shouldn’t be thinking about notes, about deadlines, about my to-do list.  I need to do my runs, and be present for the runs.
  • Not mindlessly scrolling through my phone.  I’ve found myself, before bed, mindlessly scrolling through my phone before bed.  I don’t need to do that.  I need to actually sleep when I’m in bed.
  • Throwing myself into the things I enjoy.  I enjoy teaching, dancing, planning my wedding, reading, blogging, running, going to yoga, and I need to quit doing that thing where I divide my mind time.  If I’m running, I need to be present.  If I’m teaching, my mind is only there.  If I’m planning, my mind is all on me and what my future husband are doing.  Blogging? I’m all yours.
  • Recognizing when I’m tired.  There’s a difference between sleep and tired.  And sometimes I have troubles recognizing when I’m exhausted, tired, and when I just need to slow things down.  This weekend, when I opened my eyes on Sunday morning on Fripp, I was so happy, so in love with life, so in love with the beach, and I recognized that not only did I sleep like a rock, that I am tired.
  • Booking a room for myself at the Westin in Georgetown to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon.  I’m checking into a hotel in a beautiful part of DC, and I will be ghost, snuggling in a king-sized bed by myself, taking a bath, reading a book, and thinking about why my life is so beautiful! 

What are you doing to care for yourself, beautiful readers?  

Here’s What + Rock ‘n’ Roll USA

Don’t you guys worry.  No matter how many times I post on my wedding, how many times I whine about how my throat hurts this week, or how often I blog about my dog, rest absolutely assured that I will never, never forget how and where this started.  And that was a running blog.  That said, if you’ve missed my last few “Here’s What:  What Three Things am I Obsessed With” posts, here they are!

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So this week was the week from absolute hell at my real job, and that’s all I will say.  So Happy Friday, beautiful readers!  Now Here’s What Three Things I’m Obsessed with This Week!  

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  • Numero uno is powered by Rock ‘n’ Roll, and yes honey bunnies, I am running the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA 1/2 Marathon, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it!

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First off, DC is one of my favorite cities in the US, so that certainly doesn’t hurt a race weekend.  Secondly, Rock ‘n’ Roll USA has made some pretty sweet changes this year, a few of which I’ll list for you, real convenient-like!

  1. The 5k.  For folks who feel like they don’t have the time at this point to register for the 1/2 or the full marathon, or for those of you new to what Rock ‘n’ Roll is all about, the 5k will give you a little taste of what Rock ‘n’ Roll does.  At 3.1 gorgeous miles, you’ll still have the cheerleaders and the music to push you along, without necessarily having to commit to a scary distance just yet.
  2. The race is run entirely in the district, which means that you get to run with some amazing monuments as a backdrop.  Seriously, if you’ve never run a race in DC, running with the history of our nation passing you by is a really incredible feeling.
  3. The race is on a Saturday, meaning that it’s not gonna eat up your entire weekend.  And that’s pretty darn cool!

So if you’re interested in signing up, click here.  I will be there, and I will be talking about this race up til the big day, Saturday, March 15th.

  • Speedwork.  I’ve never really put much stock into speedwork before this marathon training (I’m running another Rock ‘n’ Roll in Raleigh in April,) but I’m finding that even though I have to drag myself, kicking and screaming to do it, that once I get started, I love the way I feel, and I totally love the way I feel afterward.  Seriously, I think the endorphins go into overdrive cause I am really, really feeling myself when it’s time to be done with speedwork!
  • Sleep.  I am slightly sick this week, with a little sore throat and some congestion, and all I can think about is sleep.

Early this week at work, I had to go into the utility closet for something, and I fantasized about going all the way to the back of it and napping for a while before my senses took back over.  Sleep, I just wanna hold you.  Mama loves you so much!

Your turn!  What three things are you obsessed with?  

[Full disclosure lady bugs!  I was planning to run Rock ‘n’ Roll USA in prep for April’s marathon, and as a member of the media, I was comped an entry by Rock ‘n’ Roll.  But have no fear because every last opinion is my own, and I will be giving my honest, heartfelt opinion!]

A tale of two cameras.

When I decided a few months ago that this blog would be a thing-thing, I also decided that I would need to graduate from taking all my photos on the iPhone, and start taking them on a camera.  Higher quality, and more permanence.

Side note:  I’d really really to get a real camera for the blog, and some real photos taken of me, but we’ll get there when we get there.

So two weeks ago, when I was headed to DC, I begged the husband-to-be to use his camera so I could take a few pictures when I ran up to the Capitol Building and ran around and stuff.  He obliged, but before he handed it to me, he said, “Please make sure I get this back in one piece.”  OF COURSE I will, why would I not bring it back in one piece?!

So I got to DC and was having a great time until the birthday/dinner party.  I asked this guy to take a picture of me and Scott, the host (pictured below)…P1020103

Which he gladly obliged by dropping the camera on the floor.

FACK.

The camera that I’d promised would be returned in one piece was now 100% broken, and I had to figure out how to make it right.

As soon as I got back from DC, I Google it.  Camera was discontinued.  Great.

Plan B.

I logged into my Amazon, and found that there was exactly one of these discontinued cameras left in the right model and right color.  So I bought it and sat in wait.

And waited.  And waited by the window until it arrived yesterday.

“Babe I have to tell you something,” I said.

And I pulled both of these out.

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I explained to him what I’d done, and that in wanting to make it right, I’d ended up replacing the camera.  And luckily for us, the memory card and the batteries were still good, so all of the picture were unharmed.  No harm, no foul, and I’d taken responsibility for what I’d done.

Now your turn!  What’s the most thing you’ve ever lost/broken?

 

 

 

Weekend update! We heart DC!

If you’ve been following along about anything here on the blog, you’ll know that I’m absolutely enamored of the District of Columbia.  So best bud Scott invited me up, and Friday, after work, I took off, and made the trip, that was a little over 4 hours.  Not a bad drive, right?

So Friday evening, me and the bestie braved the cold, and met some Elon friends out, and just enjoyed some tasty drinks.

The next day, we braved the cold temps and wind yet again, and hit this spot called Pound the Hill, a coffee bar that turns into a wine bar in the evenings.  We went earlier in the day, so we missed the wine, but enjoyed some ah-mazing treats nonetheless.

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Dear Scott, in front of Pound the Hill in DC.  It’s right next to a yoga studio – how genius is that, right?

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The space is small, but extremely warm!  These DC coffee shops get packed!  Best to get there early, grab a seat, and stay there.

P1020101Menus.  And I spotted Nutella.  Well, say no more, if there’s Nutella involved, I need to taste these.

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A Nutella latte with skim to cut the sweetness!  It was delicious – hot and creamy!

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The holy grail of things to eat!  This sandwich was a Nutella, banana, and honey sandwich.  SO sweet, but good if you’re into that….which I totally am.  If you don’t have a sweet tooth, just skip this one.  But I loved it.

I packed my running clothes.  I have big news, I’m running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on April 13th, and it’s time to up the mileage.  The wind slowed down, and Scott provided me with directions to get to Capitol Hill.  So off I went.  Are you ready for this?

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In one of the greatest cities, in the greatest country in the world, I got to run to the Capital building, peek a few blocks down to see some monuments, and run back.  The run totaled about 4 miles or so, and I didn’t feel too chilly, despite some good wind.

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Next, we hit a birthday party, where the girls based it around the coolest theme.

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So this doesn’t look like a whole lot of pizza right?  Well, that’s because the girls made 5, yes 5 (?!) pizzas, allowed us to taste each one, and then paired each pizza with a beer.  Very cool, and I was impressed by how much DC folks, friend’s of Scott’s were so welcoming and seemed to enjoy meeting me and hearing about what I did.  Seriously, DC folk seem like nice, genuine, kind people.

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And finally folks, no post would be complete without a picture of a pup, right?  This guy, Fitzgerald, was the dog of the house where we were staying.  I’m glad I left little Coco behind – she had not yet received her ThunderShirt, and the long car ride, plus Fitz’s high pitty energy would have freaked her out.  But I’m glad to be home with my lady.

So folks, what did you do this weekend?  Fill me in!