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It’s H-O-T, HOT!

Like, should I get those tiny tight shorts she is wearing?

Whatever part of my brain thought it was a good idea to train for my first marathon in the dead of summer is regretting it right about now (and training hasn’t even really started). It is hot outside, like hard to breath hot. Getting my runs in mean they either need to happen on the treadmill (yuck), early in the AM or late at night. None of these are appealing, but they have to happen.

Other behaviors:

      • Most Used App On My Phone? I’ve become obsessed with checking the weather.  My run of the day is planned based on when that humidity level and temp are optimal. Even if it means 8pm (thanks for still being light outside!).
      • Running Away from the sun. I used to thrive on being super duper tan in the summer. Now, I run away from the sun, as in crossing the street to be in the shade so it isn’t as hot.
      • Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head I hate running in the rain, that always damp feeling never leaves me…that is when it is cold outside. Seriously, it looked like rain the other day and I went for a run, hoping to be rained on.
      • Shorties I’m typically a crop pants runner, but have invested a lot of time and research into finding the perfect shorts for summer running. Still contemplating those tiny little biker looking shorts if I get really desperate.
      • Water Accessories Like my shorts, I’ve been researching every type of potential water apparatus. Right now I am using the little hand held strap, taking recommendations on belts now!

Any other things I should do?


Summer Bucket List

Last Wednesday marked the first day of Summer, and if I wasn’t sure the high temps are sure sign that it is time to start thinking about summer activities. Last Summer was a little hectic with first moving here and then the wedding so we didn’t get to do a lot of the fun things I wanted. To keep us from being sucked into our well air conditioned apartment, here’s a list of things I want to do.

  • Stand Up Paddling: Not a day goes by that I yearn to try this. On my runs over Key Bridge I see a ton of people kayaking, paddle boating and SUPing (?). I have been DYING to SUP. I will do this before the weather turns chilly.
  • Jazz in the Garden: Jazz is one of the music genres the hubby and I agree on. Not to mention that the Sculpture Garden is one of my favorite places. If it isn’t too excruciatingly hot you will find us here on a Friday night.
  • Summer’s Favorite Pastime: I’ve been and so has Josh, but we’ve never actually caught a game together.  We live separate lives (just kidding).
  • Waterpark: Nothing makes me happier than channeling summer camp field trips to the waterpark. I just love a good water slide.
  • Nantucket: Josh’s Aunt has a house, we just have to get there for a weekend filled with fun in sun.

Dressed Up Mexican

We recently over stuffed ourselves at Mike Isabella’s second DC restaurant Bandolero. Similar to our night at Graffiato we went with the tasting menu to ensure a little of everything.

We started with La Cata a smathering of dips including guacamole, and totopos — tortilla chips dressed with cold ranchera salsa and served with a side of crem. The third sauce sikil pak —  pumpkin seed, jalapeno, and orange dipping sauce with fresh pomegranate seeds on top– was by far the most impressive and tasty sauce. The totopos packed some heat, but just slightly fell flat on the execution for us…too soggy to be delicious.

The next course was “ceviche” or Isabella’s take on it. Three different taquitos, tuna, blue crab, and red snapper. The tuna was delicious. The flavors paired with the fresh fish were incredibly refreshing. The blue crab was a little too salty for our group’s liking, but I liked the blue corn taco it was in.

"ceviche" tacos

Then came the tacos course. We were served the Mahi Mahi, BBQ chicken, and suckling pig. I really liked the Mahi Mahi, the chipolte aoli was a perfect accompaniment. The BBQ chicken was OK, good flavor but I feel like a soft taco wasn’t the right choice for something also soft. Josh felt the suckling pig was the perfect combination of salty and sweet–the pork cooked to perfection.

It didn’t stop there. Short ribs with a mole sauce (I tasted the sauce, superb.) From what I hear the meat was ridiculous as well. The Sopes–lamb picadillo, chipotle goat cheese–had nice flavor. The empanada was OOC. The flautas were alright. The meat wasn’t as flavorful inside. The dish we could have done without in this course? The queso fundido–duck confit, maitake,  manchego, sunny egg–it was just really rich on top of everything else.

We also got the crazy corn which was corn on the cob rolled in chile, cheese and corn nuts. I never knew corn nuts could taste so good. This was a meal highlight for me.

Dessert was a test on our will power. Four plates came out–tres leches, flan, sopapillas, and margarita  cake. My favorite was the tres leches and I am not a usually fan. The passion fruit gelee made it more of a fruit tart, which is a favorite dessert of mine. The dipping sauce for the soapillas was good, but as a whole not something to write home about. The margarita–tequila soaked almond cake, citrus salsa, salted crema, margarita granita–was an interesting twist but again was missing something.

We also all had the Casa En Fuego margarita–habanero infused tequila, patron citronage, strawberry, lime.   This was out of this world. The heat that hits you was seriously perfect.

Was Bandolero on par with Graffiato? Not yet, but the dishes are unique and have potential to get even better.

A Hotel That Fits Me

It’s been a full year since I transitioned into working remotely and traveling back and forth to NYC. I’ve stayed in everything from boutique hotels to Quality Inns (awful, just terrible). For awhile I was at the Roger on Madison Ave. The rooms were great, and the gym was a good size and workable. Then the price just sort of skyrocketed and I was introduced to the Affinia line.

Here is why I love the Affinias in Manhattan. Aside from choosing from an array of pillows, you can also have a “stay-fit kit” delivered to your room–free of charge. These kits include DVDs and everything that you need to complete them.

Affinia Hotel's "Stay Fit Kit"

I often bring my own DVDs, but regulate them to the no frill just using your own body because I don’t want to schlep weights with me. However, now that I can get yoga mats and blocks, weights and more from the hotel it has opened up more options.

Last time I was there I improvised and used a yoga block instead of a playground ball to do Physique 57.

With so many locations in the city I often don’t have to worry about not finding an affordable room–which makes work very happy. The Affinia hotels just fit me.

Happy Birthday Lululemon Clarendon: Tabata Workout

Lululemon Clarendon celebrated their fifth birthday this week with a “Tops Off Tabata Workout.” The tops off being optional. Shutting down Edgewood right across from Whole Foods, I joined probably close to 50 others for a 60 minute tabata routine led  by Matt Boehmer  of Energy Club.

I’ve done brief tabata workouts before we are talking 20 minutes or less, and NEVER one in the hot, hot sun. The actual exercises were pretty easy, and I loved that Matt gave us options. I took it easy on the plyos since I had training the next day and didn’t want to have non-fresh legs. I really liked the “touch jumping jacks” and the push ups that rotated into the side planks. I didn’t like the burpees, but who really likes those?

There were some technical difficulties but it didn’t put a damper on the day and everyone just went with the flow. Although we started earlier the heat really kicked it up a notch by 10AM, and the thought of waffles and grilled cheese was the only thing keeping me going.

It was a great event, and a wonderful way to celebrate Lululemon Clarendon.

Marathon Training is Freaking Me Out

Back when I lived in NYC I made the commitment to do New York Road Runners’ 9+1 program to qualify for the 2012 Marathon. I did it in record time aka before moving to DC–then a dear friend decided to get married on race day. I was not missing their wedding for 26.2 miles especially when I was now living in the city for the Marine Corp Marathon. So I postponed NYC and signed up for MCM.

Fast forward and now it is time to start training and I am completely freaked out.  I haven’t started my base training, nor run more than 8M on a good week. Work and moving, and a full summer travel schedule for weddings and what not has me more stressed about fitting it in than anything else.  Not to mention I recently injured my toe and had a doctor tell me running long distances wasn’t the best (I told him we could check back in after the marathon).

I know it is an enormous commitment to train for a marathon and I want that feeling of accomplishment. So this weekend I stopped by my local running store, got fitted for some new shoes and insoles to help with my injury, bought a little water bottle to hold during base runs, and Runner’s World Marathon Training guide.

New shoes, water bottle..all set now right?

On top of that a few people from the DC-Twitter-running community started a “long-run-email-list.” Now, that I have things mapped out I am feeling a bit more settled and know that I just need to get out there and DO IT.

ADVICE: I know I need to purchase some sort of water system to run with especially since my long runs will be in the height of summer. I’m pretty minimalist so not sure what my best option is..a belt with 2 or 4 bottles or a Camelbak? And do you have any suggestions on brands?