DC Holiday Lights Run

Hello from Washington DC

DC Holiday Lights Run

My days have been very full here. I’m trapped in the office til 5, do a quick change of clothes, then a dinner date to catch up with an old friend, come back to the hotel around 10 and crash. Repeat x 5. It’s funny because I’m not exactly Miss Popular yet it turns out a lot of my friends have ended up in DC.

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Packing for race day – 5k to half marathon

All is quiet on the blog front because my personal life is chaotic right now while I get ready for a trip and a move. I did a loooong and cold 15 mile long run on Sunday.


Physically, I was ok but mentally I was losing it. Remember, Jeff has me doing long “runs” at the crazy pace of 15 minutes per mile, so I am running 15 seconds and walking 45 seconds. I feel silly telling people I “ran” 15 miles that day because really, I walked. But I trust the system and do what coach tells me to do. Anyway, at mile 6, I was like hey I can do this, it’s easy and not too cold. Only 4 more long runs and I’ll be ready for a marathon. By mile 10 I was like This is sooo long… Howww will I ever be able to do this for 3 more months? I guess we’ll talk about that later.

No time to think about that because now I’m packing up for my trip – I’ll be in DC and then straight to Atlanta for the Jeff Galloway Half Marathon. I have to be “on” the whole time I’m in DC, and I’m nervous about doing well in my goal half marathon. Then the day after I come back from Atlanta, I’m moving out of my apartment. I am a giant ball of anxiety.

I don’t know if you know this but I really love packing for vacations. But now throw in a business trip and a race, and apartment moving, and I’m not loving it so much. This is only my 4th time traveling for a race but I feel like this part of the packing part was easy compared to everything else.

All of my race day stuff went into a packing cube (shown on the right)

  • clothes including undies and socks
  • throwaway long sleeve shirt
  • fanny pack, headphones
  • Bodyglide
  • ziplock of hair elastics, bobby pins, headbands
  • even my gear check bag and its contents fit into the packing cube

packing for a race

I also have a standard gear check bag (yellow bag on the left) that I use for races and quick hikes. All of this stuff just lives in this bag so I can grab it & go whenever:

  • drawstring bag – this was a free giveaway bag; it’s bright yellow so easy to identify in a pile of bags. If the race only allows clear plastic bags, I can just dump out the contents and fold up the bag
  • face wipes – to be fresh during the after party
  • mini emergency kit – little ziplock baggie that contains band-aids, moleskin, aspirin, sample packets of Biofreeze gel, Aveeno ointment, and safety pins. Except for the moleskin, it’s just all free junk I grabbed at race expos.
  • foil blanket – My first half marathon was cold and raining, and they ran out of space blankets by the time I was done. Brian found one that someone left on top of a trash can and gave it to me; lovely. I also saw someone who had run the full marathon who was wet and turning blue, with no clothes and no blanket. Soon after that, Hurricane Sandy happened and I got a real life lesson in stocking an emergency kit for the house. I bought a pack of 10 on Amazon and keep one in my race gear bag, my car, and camping kits.
  • snack – Always have at least one, if not two extra snacks at all times! Even when I run a 5k, by the time I finish it’s usually 2 hours or more since the last time I ate, so I can’t go too long without food. This way, if I forget breakfast or the race runs out of food, at least I have something convenient. I rotate them out so the protein bar doesn’t get too old.

So that’s my race packing strategy. Now if only packing for the apartment move was this organized.

See you in the south!

Pie is evil

Ahhh Thanksgiving leftovers, the good and the bad. I love the dinner leftovers. When I went home for a family Thanksgiving on Saturday, I took home all of the turkey! I’m not a douche, that family doesn’t eat leftovers so it would just go to waste. I was able to meal prep a few lunches and snacks for the week with the leftovers: my paleo stuffing, brussel sprouts, and shredded turkey. Lunch is done.

thanksgiving leftovers

And then there’s the bad. The desserts. Brian made our pie on Thursday, so that’s like, 6 servings of pie for 2 people? And then I brought home the rest of a lemon meringue pie from mom’s. So every night since Thanksgiving I’ve had a piece of pie for dessert. I told Brian, do not offer me pie tomorrow night! There is 3/4 of a lemon meringue pie that will be thrown out tomorrow. Hopefully. If I have the willpower.


To counteract this pie, I bought a book and joined a gym. Just kidding, I joined the gym because I want a warm place to run and I’m getting bored with my home workout routines. I haven’t joined a real gym in many years. Last year I joined Planet Fitness just from December to March to use the treadmills, and cancelled right when the weather gotcold. I didn’t even use any equipment other than the treadmill. The price for this gym was very good – $30/month with $40 annual fee. It made more financial sense for me to join this full gym rather than Planet Fitness – they really hiked up their rates. I can’t wait to take advantage of the classes at the new gym. I think my progress is stalling because I’m limited by my home workout videos. Well, and pie, but let’s not talk about that.

On Monday, I met up with a trainer for my orientation tour. I thought they were going to take weight & body fat analysis but thank goodness they did not because to do that on the Monday after Thanksgiving would be cruel. She answered some burning questions I had about nutrition. First of all, she told me that I DO NOT have to stick to 1,300 calories. MyFitnessPal and the brief time that I tried Weight Watchers give me 1300 calorie allowance and it kills me all the time. Second, she introduced me to macros. I’m just… clueless about macros because, hello, I don’t even know how many calories I’m supposed to eat. I really liked the trainer I met and I’m considering some coaching with her in January. I was ready to start right away because I hate the “I’ll start on Monday / I’ll start Jan 1″ excuse. However, I’m going to be gone for half of December so it wouldn’t make much sense.

And the book? Amazon had a sale, so I bought The New Rules of Weightlifting for Women. I get all of my cardio from running, and I want to keep running so I don’t lose my progress. Meanwhile, I need something different to help me to get these last 10 lbs off. I don’t know anything about lifting weights other than the tiny bit of time I spent at Crossfit, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

Pre-holiday detox, part 2

Continuing from last week’s pre-holiday detox, I figured I might as well keep it going for three more days til T-day. The weekend had a few cheat meals, but we got in a few more healthy dinners. This week it was:

Monday – quinoa salad
Tuesday – baked eggs in kale, sun-dried tomatoes, and boar sausage

baked eggs in kale

This was my first time trying baked eggs and eating boar sausage. We wanted to give the sausage a test-run before making stuffing with it. It turns out boar sausage is very lean! It was very good and not quite right for stuffing, but it will be great in a white bean soup.

Wednesday – Vietnamese marinated chicken with braised cabbage

chicken and cabbage

I got the marinade recipe from Billy K on Instagram. It definitely would’ve been better with pork , but the flavors were good for being a healthier version with less salt and less sugar than the usual. I wanna talk more about Billy’s recipes sometime.

And that brings us to today! Thanksgiving! I toyed with the idea of doing a Turkey Trot but after last night’s storm, I didn’t wanna commit to freezing my butt off. I slept in, made a big breakfast of eggs and sausage, but then I did a HIIT workout and had a green smoothie for lunch.


You know, so I don’t spoil my appetite! Now we’ve got some local cheese & beer warming up for the real food fest to begin.


I’m hungry already. Let’s eat! Enjoy your holidays.