All smiles

December 11, 2011

First off, sorry for not posting on Friday night – it was a straight from work to Brandon’s Holiday party kind of night.  Enjoyed spending the evening with a few of his younger coworkers.  It was really nice to be around people my age for the first time in awhil

Lets see – shall we recap the weekend??

This weekend I…

Finished a book i’ve been reading, Madame Bovary.  Has anyone else read it?  Normally I plan on loving the main character, but this is one character I could NOT stand.  I’m still working on my Vegan nutrition book and trying to rebalance my life to get some more reading on that in.

Got some fun shopping in at some of my local consignment shop haunts.  If anyone is in the Baltimore area, definitely go check out la chic boutique (  This lady is so sweet and keeps a really clean shop.  She’s fun, she’s definitely “one of the gals” the minute you walk in.  Not to mention some great merchandise.  Lets just say, two HIGH end, name brand jackets, for less than 100 bucks?  I’m in.  (One’s a Christmas gift for my mom…side note, can anyone ELSE believe its only a few more weeks until Christmas??? Am I the only one who has NOT got all of her Christmas shopping done yet?!).  We also visited an Antique shop in the area and another home goods consignment shop, where we picked up a great Christmas gift for my brother.  I love the idea of getting some gifts on consignment, that have a vintage or retro feel to them.  And usually the gifts can be really reasonable in price.  I’m also planning on a few DIY gifts this year.  I love some of the ideas from over at whatiwore (  Those no bake cookies are too cute and I LOVE the coffee bean candle idea.  Plus, can we just talk for a second about how interesting that Hot chocolate mix sounds?!? SPICY Hot chocolate…I love that idea.    I’m going to be making some scarves and hats and maybe some infused olive oils for the family this year too.  What are your ideas for DIY Christmas gifts???

We also ate at a few great restaurants too.  For lunch we went to a local Cajun/Creole type restaurant/cafe.  Ethel and Ramones.  The food and service were BOTH fantastic for lunch.  Just enough spice in all of the food to make the flavors really interesting, but not overwhelmingly so (I had a salad with spicy roasted veggies and feta cheese).  I can’t wait to head back to try out the Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice for dinner!!!  We also hit up one of our new favorite bars in the area, An Poitin Stil, which I wrote about a few weeks back.  The only bummer for this, is that their menu doesn’t really offer a ton of Vegetarian options.  I only saw two on the menu that weren’t in the salad options.  I love the black bean burger here, so I may keep the visits limited to when i’m really craving that.  But it was still a lot of fun to go and hang out at the bar and watch the Army Navy football game.

And what did I do today!?  So glad you asked…


Race #3 - COMPLETE! 🙂

That’s right, today I ran my 3rd and final race of 2011 (not to mention, the third race ever).  This was the longest race of my own little triology, an 8k (5 miles).  Lets recap, shall we?  I wasn’t really looking forward to the race.  All weekend I was tired and just wanting a day to ourselves at home, instead of getting up early on my Sunday morning and working our way to DC and back.  I know I know, all of this just sounds SO pity me.  But this again, is why I think running is such a mental sport.  Its so easy to talk yourself out of going for a run, that half the challenge is getting yourself TO go for the run.  Suffice to say – I went. I had great support, reminding me that I would be so disappointed in myself if I DIDN’T go.  And if I were to be completely honest with myself, they were right. Going and finishing this was the most important part of this training.  Fast forward a few hours.  I’m shivering at the starting line (it…was…cold) with about 4000 other people.  There was a nice little delay which had everyone a little annoyed at the end.  But we finally got underway.  The course had a few hairpins and was relatively flat with one or two inclines.  This is only the 3rd or so time that I’ve run 5 miles straight.  I mentioned during my last 5k that its pretty clear I run at a more comfortable race pace than a “push myself” pace.  I kept that in mind and tried to really concentrate on moving faster, rather than settling in at a comfortable for me pace.  I think I did a pretty good job and was feelin’ it at the end of the run.  My goal for the race was to finish without any walking breaks and to hover around a sub 60 race time.  Realistically, I was anticipating 50-55 minutes.  So…you can imagine my smiles when I hit a personal best mile pace for ANY of my runs.  My final time clocked in at 45:51!  SERIOUS?  The whole time while running the race, I kept thinking “there’s no way I’m going to sign up for a half marathon after this, this is miserable”.  Now, I’m not so sure.  Was it REALLY as miserable as I kept thinking?  I was a little winded, yeah.  I was cold in the beginning and then pretty warm in the end, yes.  I had to take a satisfying few minutes to catch my breath after the run.  And tonight, my legs are sore and tired, my hip flexors need stretched (I should REALLY get back into yoga…must find studio or DVD, pronto!).  It took up our entire morning and has left me feeling tired.  But.  I feel satisfied.  I feel like I’ve accomplished something, I feel like I’ve really tapped into a secret of how to get better at things.  I have to remind myself that I’ve only been doing this since October.  I haven’t been training for months and months on end, i’m still getting used to it.  Now that I have a chance to sit back and reflect, I can’t really remember what it was that I was so cranky about during the run.  I’m going to give it a few days and really think about how I feel about it all.  I like training for things and having something to train for.  I think, if I do the half marathon, the best thing for me is to be doing that distance more than once or twice before the race itself, right?  And stretching and some support (hi guys!).  I dunno, what do you think?  Do I? Don’t I?  There’s a race at the end of March I have my eyes on…

In other news?  Tonight I’m trying out a new recipe(ish?) for some homemade tomato soup. Its a cold night here and soup just sounded perfect.  We’re big fans of the grilled cheese tomato soup combo.  So today, I decided to try my hand at my own.  I’ll let you know how it turns out tomorrow night 🙂  For now, I’m going to spend some curled up on the couch, finishing up some things and relaxing with a (well deserved, no?) glass of red.  🙂 Hope everyone had a GREAT weekend.


2 Responses to “All smiles”

  1. candicepeak Says:

    I totally agree that running is a mental sport. Its amazing how different a run can go based on your mentality before it. I’m glad you ended up doing the race! Congrats!

  2. […] 11th, 2011 –  The biggest race of the year! My 8k (5 miles or so) race in DC!  It was a cold delayed start, which had everyone […]

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