Standard

Happy Wednesday! How has your day been?

I started mine off with some cross training at the gym before work (discussion for another post, but why yes- I’m still training for the Nike Women’s half marathon, despite my uncertainty), and just got home from a fun little happy hour that allowed me to enjoy a few drops of the gorgeous weather we’ve been experiencing lately.

I’m a BIG fan of enjoying the great outdoors when it’s so nice outside, and I especially love being outside when it involves yummy food or drinks. It’s one of my very favorite things to do in the summertime.

Obviously when my friends suggested meeting at this German style beer garden after work today for happy hour, I couldn’t refuse.

I don’t about you, but I think there’s something about those two words together that just sounds magical: beer + garden…. right? What does that even mean?

Now, considering I spend 9+ hours of my day in a cave an office with zero windows, I’ll take basically any excuse to soak up some sunshine. (We won’t even talk about how upset I am that the tan I got in Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend is already starting to fade.)

After pushing past an army of 10 year olds trying to solicit me with boxes of cookies on every street corner – awkward – I eventually found myself at this new-to-me Belgium beer bar on U Street, called the Standard.

They only have about 8 different Belgium beers, and pour them out into one of a variety of fabulous glasses, depending on the brew you select. 

Totally casual.

Apparently – despite knowing nothing at all about Belgium beers besides the fact that they taste delicious – I picked the one that came in a beer larger than my head. No big deal. I may have been still drinking this as my friends were about ready for their thirds. Yeah.

This place was great though! Totally no frills – just good beer and bench-style, community tables to sit outside with friends, that’s it. And really, isn’t that all you need?

They also sell some sandwiches and sides, like pretzels, burgers, and pulled pork sandwiches. 

Sadly I didn’t try any of the food… my super-sized beer was demanding too much of my attention.

I also sort of love the little pig at the top of the menu, which is reason enough for me to return here another day.

You know what I also love?

That I was able to walk home at nearly 9pm and it was still bright outside!

Summer is my absolute favorite time of year… nothing can be too terrible when it’s bright and sunny out :-D, and I choose to walk home whenever humanely possible here in D.C. I know  a lot of people love the subway system in the district (the metro), but I find it extremely unreliable and frustrating to stand around waiting for a train…

If I walk, I get to set my own pace and can control how soon I get home (depending on the distance of course).

Control issues? Yes.

Plus it’s just nice to know I have the option to walk home – when I lived in Los Angeles for college, that was definitely not an option 99.9% of the time.

Now it’s time to get my booty into bed… I’m on a continual mission to get to sleep earlier on work days. I’m usually unsuccessful, despite a very early 6am wake-up call.

Night!

What’s one of your favorite ways to enjoy summer??

Quinoa hoarder

Today’s been one of those days. You know, where you end up using your running shorts as a faux umbrella because you get off the subway and suddenly there’s a freak, un-forecasted rain storm.

I mean, for instance.

And maybe by the time you get to your apartment to pick up a real umbrella, the rain stops completely.

D.C. weather has no rhyme or reason. It can hail one second and be sunny the next. Clearly I’m a meteorologist and know about this stuff.

You know what I also know about? Quinoa.

Yes, that’s right- the fluffy, almost-rice grain that apparently is super amazing because it has so much protein.

And apparently I’m also a quinoa hoarder. Uh, yeah- I think it’s weird too. I don’t exactly know why I have 3 boxes of the stuff considering I actually prefer brown rice, but I figured that meant I needed to start making meals starring quinoa.

I cooked a 1/2 cup of quinoa and combined 1/4 cup of its fluffy goodness with some sauteed vegetables – corn, edamame, bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and asparagus – and roasted chicken breast. The rest went into some tupperware to be utilized at a future meal this week. I was beat today (didn’t sleep well- womp, womp), so work + a short 3 mile run left me hankering for something quick – i.e. a stir-fry, my go-to meal during the work week.

I’d love to tell you all that I’m this fabulous chef with culinary talent up the wazoo and nothing but time on my hands to perfect recipes, but sadly that is not the case… most times I’m just trying to prevent the stuff in my oven from exploding and setting off fire alarms.

I mean, not that I’m the kind of person who’s ever set off a fire alarm in her apartment and then, during the mandatory whole building evacuation, denied having even turned on her oven that night. No way, not this girl.

Anyways! What was I saying? Oh yes- the quinoa stir-fry.

It was delish, and now I’m ready to plop my booty onto the sofa with a pre-dinner apple. Here’s hoping I sleep better this evening, because I’m not sure I can take another complimentary greeting from my boss similar to the one I got this morning:

“Ah, you look terrible!” (Look of concern)

Awesome.

You’ll be relieved to know I don’t work for an organization focused on improving people’s sense of body image and self confidence.

I hope you all have a great night! 😀

How were your Tuesdays? What’s your go-to meal when you’re tired??

A few Monday things

1. I’m currently dying over this article, sent to me by one of my best friends, Annie:  Wired’s 11 Secret Meanings Behind Punctuation in Text Messages

“A semicolon in a text message is the equivalent of putting on makeup to go to the gym.”

And no, Annie and I weren’t English major nerds back in college, why do you ask?

2. I had a regular check-up at the doctor this afternoon. After listening to my stomach with her stethoscope, my doc asked me if I was hungry.

Um, have we met? Aren’t I always?

3. I meant to whip up an amazing dinner tonight, but then Trader Joe’s decided to do that thing where the checkout line wraps in and out of the aisles making you feel like you’d be clinically insane to do anything other than drop your basket and back out of the store slowly.

Instead it was an omelet and veggies kind of night. I have the patience of a 4 year old when it comes to food.

4. I’m starting The Happiness Project – has anyone read it? I’ve heard great things!

5. I entered this contest from Real Simple today. 🙂

6. Fingers crossed that my dishes are washing themselves right now in the sink. For one tiny person, I make a big mess in the kitchen, and still have yet to figure out the dishwasher in this apartment works.

Time for the Bachelor.. Have a great night!

How was your Monday!? I want to hear all about it! 

Test run

Hi! How’s everyone’s weekend going?

Mine’s rolling along! Last night we went to Bar Dupont, which – unbeknownst to me – happened to be ground zero for the D.C. Gay Pride celebration. Cue tons of people running through the fountains at Dupont Circle, and a lot of sparkly hats (I feel like they must have been giving them out somewhere). You know, pretty casual.

I’m pretty much a grandma and usually find myself yawning by 10pm (I’m embarrassment to all former sorority girls), but some nights I find myself on a mad hunt for tortilla chips at Walgreens around 1am to wash down the overpriced drinks I just had. Or something like that.

Today, though, I woke up and decided it was mandatory to test out my new running shoes… even though I didn’t end up getting my booty dressed and out the door til 1pm when it was already at sauna climate outside. 

I ended up doing a 3 miler, although I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my hip flexor hurt the majority of the run, from the middle of the first mile, on. I ventured through the city a bit, and then toward a lovely little path along the Potomac River. 

But hey- at least I got to enjoy some pretty D.C. skies and soak up the great outdoors before I head back to my cube tomorrow. 🙂 I swear, if it wasn’t for the funny hats I’d consider becoming a park ranger, if for nothing else than the ability to sit on a bench outside all day long.

What?

I’m completely logical, obviously.

I had grand plans for doing all of this apartment cleaning and cooking for the week.. but instead I ended up catching up with my friend Clare, and attempting to shop at Trader Joe’s before being horrified at the length of the checkout line.

When the line to check out starts at the store entrance, you know there’s a problem… you’d think they’d get the hint.

But it’s cool Joe- I’ll just continue to eat my way through this bag of tortilla chips and waning jar of green chile salsa.. thanks!

Okay, my disaster of an apartment is calling for a scrub down.. I know, I know, I’m so glamourous. Don’t be jealous. Enjoy your evenings!

Tell me about your weekends!

Getting to know each other

Happy Saturday! 

So since we’re all just getting to know each other here (or get reacquainted, if you used to follow my old blog), let’s talk about one of my main bad habits/hobbies, shall we?

I’ve been running for about 5 years now, and have come to realize that I’m injury queen of running land. In those years, I’ve tangled with quite a few running injuries that have kept me on the sidelines. I own more than one pair of crutches, mmmk?

(I know you’re wondering, and let’s just say crutching around New York City in the middle of spring is not as fun as you might expect. Surprised? Yeah, so was I.)

Nevertheless, I keep running.

I change brands of  running running shoes, and run again.

I complain and whine through my injuries, take some yoga, and then eventually run again.

I visit some doctors, get some x-rays, talk about my flat feet and then eventually run again.

I sign up for half marathons with big hopes only to hurt my little leggies and have to sell my bib.. and then – eventually – run again.

I’m stubborn and full of pent-up energy, so the cycle continues…… You know, like when I thought it’d be a fabulous idea to sign up for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Fran as a part of Team in Training.. Amazing cause that is very important to me + one of my favorite cities on Earth + running in ridiculous close proximity to my best friends’ homes and wine country? Obviously I had to sign up.

Everything was going so well! I got a free tshirt, which is a powerful enough incentive to get me to sign up for just about anything, I was running daily along the pretty Potomac and through Georgetown, and I was sticking to the Team in Training coaches’ plan religiously – better than I ever followed the rules in elementary school.

Cue Jaws theme song…

While I was in Florida last weekend visiting Penpal (my boyfriend, who is stationed down there with the military in sandy paradise), my lower body started to throw a tantrum. Despite the fact that I was running on the flattest land in possibly all of America, some pain started to creep in, probably a product of the hilly runs I had been doing the previous week.

Hip flexor! Pull it together, please! Knee? What is this- you’re fine! Buck up! 

Apparently commanding your body to cooperate during a run isn’t the most reliable training method.  By Monday I ended up laying on Penpal’s living room carpet, in pain that even pancakes couldn’t subside.

(Pecan praline pancakes flipped by Penpal – I die.)

Needless to say I haven’t run since then… Really, I could barely walk through the airport to get back to D.C. Slightly embarrassing, despite Penpal’s best efforts to throw Advil in my face and ability to ignore the fact that I was glued to his sofa.

And let me be the first to tell you- hobbling through the small nation that is the the Atlanta airport with a suitcase is a party you should all RSVP “no” for. Unless you’re hobbling because of too much wine… in that case, you have my blessing.

I’ve been left wondering whether or not I should do what no Type A personality ever wants to do – quit something you didn’t finish, and pull out of the Team in Training/Nike Half. We’ll ignore the fact that I’ve already had amazingly generous people donate to my cause, and just focus on the part where I signed up for yet another race that my body seems to be telling me it doesn’t want to participate in, especially considering the hills associated with San Francisco (someone didn’t look at the elevation map prior to registering for this badboy, ahem…).

That brings us to today- hello! I spent a good chunk of my day running on a treadmill for a friendly Kenyan (not kidding, he looked like he could smoke me at any race) at my local running store,  as he videotaped my moving feet and analyzed my gait.  According to my new friend, my old shoes (Asics Gel Nimbus and Mizuno Wave Inspire) were not doing me any favors, and I need more stablility, blah, blah, blah.

Moral of the story is I left Georgetown Running Company with this guy:

Brooks Adrenaline!

Plus some encouragement to lace up again, courtesy of aforementioned new friend . 🙂

We’ll see what happens.. If running was my husband, though, we’d probably need a divorce, or at least a break, since I can’t seem to quit him.

But now it’s time to go drink some vino with a few friends, which means I need to get my booty dressed. Speaking of bad habits, I’m chronically running late.. even when I start out being an hour early. 😉

Have a great night!

Got a bad habit or hobby that you just can’t quit (nothing illegal)?? Tell me please!

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