{Wayfarer’s Half} Week 2 Training Log

We celebrated my birthday this weekend with some fun activities and lots of food :) Saturday kicked off with a CycleBar class for the two of us – compliments of the studio! We treated ourselves to Duck Donuts afterwards – my happy place.

After getting a couple of chores done, it was time for lunch – I wanted to try Jinya, a new-to-us ramen bar in Mosaic.  It didn’t disappoint – I loved the thicker noodles and rich broth here, and the soft shell crab bun was soo good.

Sadly, dinner didn’t pan out – I picked a tamarind baby back ribs recipe that Mike offered to cook, but we both really didn’t like the taste of the marinade :( So we ordered some sushi rolls instead while watching The Greatest Showman at home.  Loved the songs in the movie!IMG_20180407_175616.jpg

Sunday was church, followed by a disappointing brunch at Kapnos Taverna.  My egg dish was overcooked and accompanied by potatoes so sour that I had to let the manager know.  Thankfully, they didn’t charge us for the dish.  The pita and dip trio was excellent though! IMG_20180408_123418.jpgWe had a light dinner at home, with my favorite dessert to cap off the weekend – “hostess” cupcakes from Buzz Bakery.  IMG_20180408_175022.jpgAfter all that eating, it’s a good time to talk about how last week’s training went!

Week 2 Training Log

Like I mentioned last week, I’m training for the Wayfarer’s Half in early June and loosely following the FIRST plan with three key workouts and cross training in between.  Here’s how last week went:

  • Mon: rest
  • Tues: XT – OTF
  • Weds: Was supposed to be 3 X 1600 meters, but it turned into more of a reverse ladder workout.  After a half mile warmup, I ran 1600 at 7.3 speed (~8:15 pace), then 1200 at 7.3, and ~1000 at 7.3, each with 400 meters recovery in between.  I’m adjusting all the other 1600 workouts in my plan to 1200 meter repeats instead, which are mentally more doable for me.
  • Thurs: rest
  • Fri: 4 tempo miles on the T/M with a 0.5 mile w/u and c/d – it was nearly 80 degrees by the time I got home, so I opted to do this workout on the treadmill and it went pretty well! Tempo miles were around 8:45 pace.
  • Sat: XT – CycleBar class
  • Sun: 3.5 miles on T/M – this was supposed to be a 6 mile long run, but I wasn’t feeling great.  I decided to call it instead of forcing myself to try to run/ walk the rest of the way.

I wish I had finished my long run this week, but given that I ran 5 miles on Friday, I know I can easily run 6.  As long as I can make my long run this weekend, I think I’ll still be on track.

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{Wayfarer’s Half} Week 1 Training Log

Weekend Fun

Friday kicked off with dinner at a fun new local burger joint in Shirlington called Damn Good Burger.  Mike got the Hot and Hefe with pepper jack, grilled habenero and serrano, and pico de gallo, while I opted for the Horseradish Bourbon with muenster, bacon, bourbon caramelized onions, tomato jam, and horseradish sauce (whew, need more ingredients?) without a bun.  The burgers were awesome and we’ll definitely be back!

IMG_20180330_180230.jpgI spent most of Saturday driving to and from Richmond to help my mom with her taxes at an H&R Block – the five hours I spent driving went a little faster thanks to Lauren Graham’s memoir, Talking as Fast as I Can.  I loooved Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, so it was fun to hear about what it was like filming those shows, and I liked her philosophy on life (don’t get sucked into electronics), diets (they all boil down to eat less, work out more), and plastic surgery (age gracefully! don’t staple your neck to your ears).

Sunday was Easter! The kids went crazy for the egg hunt, candy, and fun crafts.  We went to service (my mom came up to spend Easter with us, so I saw her 2 days in a row!), lunch, said goodbye to mom, and came home.  Mike cooked up some amazing lamb chops in the sous vide paired with a yogurt mint sauce, and I made a greek salad.  Soo good – lamb has really grown on me over the years.

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Week 1 Training Log

It’s been a while since I’ve published a training log. It’s also been a while since I’ve run a race – nearly 2 years, in fact.  2017 was a busy year adjusting to a new job, and I focused on cross-training for the first couple of months this year – I didn’t feel much like running.  But I’m finally ready and eager to start training hard for my next race, which is the Wayfarer’s Half in Annapolis on June 2nd! I’m loosely following the FIRST plan with three key workouts and cross training in between; here’s how my first week went.

  • Mon: rest (recovering from flight)
  • Tues: Orangetheory
  • Weds: 4 X 800 meters on the T/M, intervals around 7:55 pace.  These were hard, but not impossible.  Went climbing in the evening!
  • Thurs: rest
  • Fri: 3 tempo miles with 0.5 mile w/u and 0.5 mile c/d.  I did these outside on a windy, drizzly day, and was shocked to see that I surpassed the 8:45 goal pace for all three miles (8:21, 8:34, 8:42  = average 8:32)
  • Sat: rest (drove to and from Richmond to help with my mom’s taxes #adulting)
  • Sun: rest

I’m disappointed I skipped my long run on Sunday, but it was just six miles and I have room in the schedule to repeat it this weekend.  My goal for week 2 is to get in at least one more cross-training session and a little yoga, even if it’s just 30 min on one day.

Friday Faves

Hi friends! I’m popping in to share some Friday Faves today.  We got back from Korea late last week, so I’ll be sharing another Korea post later on (probably next week).  I’m starting to get better at recovering from jet lag both ways, thank goodness!

This salmon dish.  It’s the Vietnamese caramel salmon dish on the NYTimes site and from Melissa Clark’s Dinner in an Instant cookbook.  I’m not a big fan of salmon normally, but we’ve made this salmon three times already and I’ve devoured it each time.IMG_20180327_181525.jpg

Regular chiropractor visits – I’ve never been to the chiro before, but my coworker suggested it might help with the sciatic pain I’ve been dealing with for the last year.  There’s a Joint Chiropractic near me, which offers 4 visits a month for ~$80, so I’ve been going regularly and while it hasn’t helped my sciatic pain yet, my neck and spine have highly improved range of motion (I had no idea how stiff my neck was before…)

My new gym bag.  I got tired of lugging around separate bags for the gym, work, and lunch, so I bought the Lululemon Go Getter Tote, which holds a change of clothes, shoes, makeup bag, my lunch bag, a laptop, my coffee mug and water bottle with room to spare.  It also held all my essentials on the long flight to and from Korea!

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Outdoor running – the weather is finally starting to get a little warmer in DC, so I went for my first outdoor run today – in shorts and a tank, no less! Each year when I transition from the treadmill to the outdoors, I’m reminded why I love this sport so much.  I don’t hate treadmill running, but it can’t compare to running outside on a perfect day.

Orange is the New Black (season 5) – I wasn’t feeling well this week, so I ended up staying home one day and binge-watching the latest season.  Seriously one of my favorite shows on Netflix – they explore difficult issues with a great blend of humor and gravity.

5 Things I Did in Korea

Mike and I made our first trip together to South Korea in early November – me to see my grandma, and Mike to work! It was a short one-week trip, but I managed to see a lot during the day either solo or with my mom (she also went for a few weeks) and had a great time spending time with my grandma and getting to know her a little better. There’s so much we can learn from the older generation, and many of them lived in interesting times. Here’s a few things I did on the trip:
1. Toured the palaces
Korea has some beautiful palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910); I visited Gyeonbokgung with my mom one day and Changdeokgung with Mike another day.  Both palaces require a small admission fee and offers tours for no additional fee in multiple languages every day.

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2. Ran…indoors!
I had intended to run outside, but the pollution is pretty bad in Seoul.  Lots of people wear masks to deal with the air quality.  Thankfully, I was able to stay with Mike at the Sheraton, which had a great gym.

3. Shopping in Insadong and Myeongdong
Korea is known for its shopping scene – from high-end clothing and bags to unique cultural items to makeup/ skincare (have you heard of K-beauty?).  I spent a morning browsing in Insadong, which is known for cultural items (I bought a pair of wedding ducks) and Myeongdong, known for K-beauty and tiny cute things. I’ll post some of my favorite skincare/ makeup products on a Friday Faves.

4. Hiked Bukhansan
Korea has some beautiful mountains nearby, which are absolutely stunning in the fall.  My mom and I took a bus out to Bukhansan, which is one of the mountains in Seoul.  We thought we could do a hike to the top, but apparently it’s a six hour round-trip, and we weren’t prepared for how steep it was! We hiked up about an hour and then came back down.  I’d love to finish the hike on a future trip!

5. Explored the street food scene…and ate lots of other food
Another thing Korea is known for is its interesting street food scene, which pops up in several areas around the city around late afternoon.  One of the BEST things I ate this trip was bung-geo-bbang, which is a fish-shaped red-bean filled pastry and costs about $1 for 2.  I ate them almost every night for dessert :)IMG_20171108_183714.jpgSome other top eats:

  • Korean BBQ at Cha Iyagi (the meat was just okay, but the rice and side dishes were really good)
  • Viennese coffee at Hakrim Dabang, one of the oldest coffee shops in Korea
  • Snowbowl (Korean shaved ice)
  • Fresh sashimi at Noryangjin (korean fish market)
  • Samgyetang (korean ginseng chicken soup) at Tosokchun
  • mung bean pancakes at Kwangjang outdoor market
  • Soft serve ice cream from Baekmidang

Some travel notes:

  • It’s really easy to get around Seoul – there’s a robust and easy-to-navigate subway system with English signs, and taxis are cheap
  • Not everyone speaks English, but many people in service industries (hotels, restaurants, shops) speak enough to communicate
  • Koreans wake up late and party at night – most shops/ restaurants/ attractions don’t open till 10 AM or later, and you’ll see plenty of people out and about at 9 PM or later even on weekdays
  • Wi-fi is widely available in most public places, but if you need to stay connected, you can rent a portable “wi-fi egg” at the airport or many other locations for less than $4/ day
  • The city is very safe! South Korea is ranked as one of safest cities in the world in terms of crime

I really enjoyed my time in Seoul and felt like a week was a good amount of time to get acquainted with the city once again (I’ve visited a few times in my life, most recently in 2009).  I’m planning to go back a little more frequently from now on to spend time with my grandma as she gets older, and am already looking forward to my trip next year :)

Life Lately

It’s been a busy month! I was looking back at recent pictures to see what I’ve been up to since I last posted in November…here’s a summary:

Went to Korea! It was my first visit since 2009 or so.  More on that in a future post.

Thanksgiving at our place.  Mike made an excellent turkey, we ordered sides from the local market, and relaxed at Spa World on Friday :)

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Threw a bridal shower for a small group member, Anne.  Mike and I took care of the food, minus dessert – we set up a pasta bar with several kinds of pasta, sauce, toppings, and salad.  It was a huge hit and pretty easy to put together!

Decorated for Christmas – we don’t put up our tree every year since we’re never here for the holiday, but I decided to put it up this year, along with a few other Christmas decorations (a lantern I won at our holiday party, Christmas kitchen towels, and other small decorations).  It’s nice to have our place feeling so warm and festive.

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I’ve also been cooking a little more lately (this chicken dish is phenomenal), climbing pretty regularly, and starting to run a little more – I love winter running this year :) Good way to work off some of the extra sweets and treats that seem to be in abundance this time of year.

Friday Faves

Happy Friday! I’m getting my relaxation on this weekend – I leave for Korea in a few days.  It’ll be a short trip but I’m looking forward to it all the same.IMG_20171006_194340

Let’s get to our Friday Faves!

Bulletproof coffee (BPC) – I’ve been following a low-carb, high-fat diet for a few weeks in an attempt to mitigate some auto-immune issues I’ve been having, and as part of the diet, I’ve been drinking BPC for breakfast.  If you’re not familiar with this fad, it’s a combination of coffee, butter, and coconut oil blended together.  I didn’t like the original BPC, but a few things made it a little more palatable for me – triple filtered coconut oil (has almost no coconut flavor), flavored coffee (I use pumpkin spice :), and good butter.  I also add collagen powder for additional staying power and this keeps me full till lunch! Oh, and blending is key – I bought a cheap milk frother and it does the trick.

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Jaybirds – I was looking to switch to wireless sport headphones, and I bought the Jaybird X3s on sale a few months ago, but it wasn’t till recently that I really liked them after fiddling with the fit.  The Bluetooth connectivity is excellent, and they don’t slip out of my ears no matter how much I sweat (and I sweat a lot).  I appreciate that they included several sizes of earbuds and fins in the box!IMG_20171102_181433.jpg

Trader Joe’s kettle corn – This was an impulse buy on my last shopping trip, and it’s the one high carb indulgence I can’t seem to quit :) If you’re looking for a salty sweet crunchy snack, I think you’ll enjoy TJ’s kettle corn.IMG_20171101_111213.jpg

Tiny hedgehog goes camping – so cute, I die.

I bought a pair of these joggers for lounging and they are sooo soft and comfortable.  Also, love this tee!

What’s one thing you’re loving this week?

(Vacation} 5 Things We Did in Vancouver

Continuing my vacation recap to Canada earlier this month, after we spent a few days in Whistler, we drove back down to Vancouver to finish out our vacation.  Vancouver was definitely the relaxing half of our trip – we spent plenty of time in the mornings and evenings relaxing in our hotel room, and even got a massage in the hotel’s spa facilities.  I love baths, so I couldn’t resist soaking in this glorious tub just about everyday:DSC04868.jpgBut here are a few of the fun things we did in the city:

1. Biked around Stanley Park – Mike had the great idea that we should borrow bikes from the hotel and bike around Stanley Park! Given the fact that I haven’t ridden a bike in over a decade (almost two), I was a little nervous about my ability to stay upright, but after a few wobbly minutes, I picked it up right away.  This was one of the highlights of our time in Vancouver for me, and I enjoyed our 1-hour bike ride around the park so much.

2. Visited Vancouver Aquarium – You’d think after visiting probably a dozen aquariums world-wide, I’d be tired of them.  But no.  We spent hours at the Vancouver Aquarium –  looking at the jellyfish, watching the whale show, and…the otters.  I almost took one home.

3. Ran near the waterfront – I didn’t really feel like running in Whistler with all the physical activity we were doing, but I ran almost every day in Vancouver! The weather was perfect, and there’s a running path right near the water.

4. Visited a Chinese garden – This was a little random, but one of our last days there we were looking for things to do, and we came across Dr. Sun-Yat-Sen’s classical chinese garden in the middle of the city.  To be honest, I didn’t think the garden was worth the $12 entry fee (it’s pretty small), but the space was beautiful and tranquil.IMG_20171006_155800.jpgIMG_20171006_154801-EFFECTS.jpg

5. Ate…a lot – now for the REAL highlight of our Vancouver stay – the food! Some favorites below:

  • Japadog – Asian-style hot dogs and flavored fries.  SO good.
  • Crackle Creme – Flavored creme brulee! The macarons were also adorable – we brought some home for the kids in our small group
  • Chambar – really interesting drinks and great mussels
  • Dinesty Dumpling House – Shanghai soup dumplings and other Chinese food.  Basically the same as Din Tai Fung
  • Fanny Bay Oyster Bar – great seafood, but expensive and very slow service

And that’s a wrap from our Canada trip! We had such a good time – Canada is beautiful, has tasty food, and is easy to get to/ navigate due to proximity to the U.S. I think we’ll be taking more trips to Canada in the coming years.