Weekend Fun: Hiking

I’ve done a lot of hiking in the last couple of weeks – tons of hiking on our vacation to Canada (more on that on tomorrow!) and two trips to Great Falls on consecutive weekends! Last weekend, I went hiking and camping with Vivian – we were supposed to go to Shenandoah, only to find out all the campsites were full :( So we called around and found Lake Fairfax Park near Great Falls had a few spots – perfect.  We drove over and set up camp in the late afternoon.

IMG_20171014_183103.jpgAnd then headed to Great Falls for a short hike. We opted to do the River Trail, which wasn’t too crowded at that time of the day.

It was a perfect hike, and the views of the falls were beautiful.  So grateful to have such gorgeous scenery not too far from home.  After our hike, we hurried back to camp to get the campfire going.  I was certain I knew how to start a fire, since I had seen my dad do it tons of times as a kid…but after going through an entire newspaper in my efforts to get it started, I admitted defeat and asked the family next door for help.  The dad was happy to help – he came over, restacked our wood, added some firestarter and tons of leaves/ cardboard, and we had a roaring fire in no time!

IMG_20171014_195204.jpgVivian prepped the food and brought hot dogs, veggies and baked beans in foil packets, and smores in a cone.  Nothing tastes as good as food cooked over an open flame, especially when you’re hungry after a hike.

First camping adventure was definitely a success, and we’re hoping to make it to Shenandoah in the spring!


Weekend Fun: Mike’s Bday!

We celebrated my amazing husband’s birthday this weekend with one of his best friends and friend’s wife – Charles and Cathy – who flew in for the weekend! Our celebration started on Thursday night with a dinner at Ruth Chris’s steakhouse.  Great views, okay food if I’m being honest.  I think their famous sizzling hot plates result in overcooked steak :\I had to work on Friday, so Cathy hung out at the Korean spa while Mike and Charles played a round of golf.  When we got home, Cathy cooked up an amazing meal of dukkbokki and odeng (she’s quite the chef and insisted on cooking for us) – Korean comfort food at its best!Followed by some games and cake for dessert.  Sweet potato cake from Tour Les Jours might be my new favorite.Saturday morning, I went for a run with Charles (he’s training for a 10 miler in October) and the miles went by quickly as we got caught up.  I love running with friends.  Lunch was a quick affair at our favorite “cheap” sushi joint Sushi Yoshi, and then the guys got ready to check out the new MGM casino in National Harbor, while Cathy and I headed over to Georgetown for some window shopping and dessert.  Treats from Baked and Wired – my strawberry ice cream sandwich was delicious but enormous – Cathy and I could have split it and still not finished it.We went over to National Harbor for some outlet shopping (I got a new vest from J.Crew factory #winteriscoming) and then met up with the guys for a movie! We watched the new Kingsman movie, which was entertaining if a little gross at times. We ordered Bonchon on the way home, which was amazing with some beer when we got home for a late dinner.  Cathy and Charles had an early flight the next morning – so sad to see them go after such a fun weekend together.

Happy birthday hon! Here’s to many, many more.


Friday Faves

Hey friends! We have a fun weekend ahead of us because it’s Mike’s bday! Our friends Charles and Cathy flew in last night and we have lots of activities planned – hiking, climbing, and lots of eating :) Here’s some of my favorite things from the week.

Hidden Singer show on Netflix – this is such a fun Korean variety show.  The premise is that there is one famous singer and five impersonators singing behind closed doors, and the audience needs to pick out the real singer.  The singers and host do such a good job making the show funny and warm-hearted.

this tee – my friend Vivian picked this up for me – she knows me so well! Something about fall weather turns me into the most basic girl on earth, lol.  I’ve already picked up pumpkin spice cheerios, pumpkin spice bread mix, and my first PSL.  This is pretty much me.  And I just bought the pumpkin spice deodorant mentioned in the article.IMG_20170919_171045

new TOMS – my first pair purchased in 2015 are well and truly worn out (and smelly), so I picked up this pretty pair for our trip to Vancouver in a few weeks.  I’ve been wearing them around the house to break them in before the trip.

My new office with a window – I got a promotion recently at work and subsequently  got moved to an small office with a window for the first time in my nearly 10 year career (not counting the short time I shared a window office with Alexa when I first started work in 2008).  The view isn’t amazing or anything (parking lot), but the natural light makes a huge difference in my mood – I look forward to going to work every morning so I can see the sunrise from my desk, and I feel calmer throughout the day.

My Poshmark obsession has been strong lately and I’ve bought a bunch of great clothes for fall and our Vancouver trip – an Athleta jacket, couple of sweaters, hiking pants, and a couple of other things.  Prices are amazing and the clothes often look like new – I got this BR dress for just $5!

Have a great weekend!

This Week’s Workouts: 19.5 Miles

This week was pretty busy at work (I’m getting ready to hire a team), but I managed to get my miles and workouts in.  My workouts have been a mix of all sorts of stuff lately, but I’ve finally used up the last of my ClassPass credits, so I’ll be focusing on running/ strength/ climbing from now on.  I’m really enjoying climbing right now, and I’ll probably be signing up for a monthly membership since we’re going at least once a week.

Mon: rest day – slept in and missed Pump 

Tues: 7 X 400 meters on T/M – my speed is starting to come back; intervals at 7.3-7.6 felt more comfortable.  I’d like to see that number go up to 8.0 in the next couple of weeks!

Weds: rest day

Thurs: 6 easy outside (9:50 pace)  – this was a great run with some cooler weather (low 70s).  I made sure to carry water this time and zoned out to podcasts.

Fri: Elevate Interval Fitness class via ClassPass – this was similar to OTF but with a more involved strength training portion, which I liked.  I also tried a Woodway treadmill for the first time and I understand the hype – they’re so smooth and comfortable.

Sat: 4 miles on T/M (10:22 pace) and climbing! We tried some harder routes and my forearms were so sore after, so I think that counts as a good upper body strength workout.

Sun: 4 miles on T/M (10:20 pace)

I’m focusing on taking rest days when needed so I don’t get burned out or injured while my mileage increases over the next couple of months.  I’m happy I got in one run outside, and if we don’t get crazy thunderstorms this week again, I think I’ll be running outside more!

Last Week’s Workouts: 18 Miles

My mileage ramp-up is still going well! Whenever I’m coming back from injury, I generally stick to the “less than 10%” rule – any mileage increases from week to week are less than 10%.  This helps avoid ramping up too fast and getting re-injured.  Since I ran 16.5 miles last week, I ran 18 miles this week.

Mon: Body Pump

Tues: 4 X 800 meters on T/M – After a mile warm-up, I alternated 800 meter intervals with 400 meter recoveries.  This definitely pushed my fitness, even at a conservative 7.2 speed.  Hopefully I’ll see my speed and endurance improve!

Weds: rest day

Thurs: E60 class in Arlington through ClassPass – this was an intense circuit program that went by quickly! We did rowing, treadmills, medicine ball exercises, boxing, and lots of core work.  My core was sore for 4 days afterwards, lol.

Fri: 3.5 miles on T/M (10:33 pace) – Since I ran half a mile during class the day before, I cut my run short on Friday.

Sat: 6 miles on T/M (10:16 pace) – I wanted to do this run outside, but I woke up late and didn’t have much time before a rock-climbing date with a friend.  I’ve gone rock-climbing every weekend this month – it might be time to invest in some gear!

Sun: 3 miles on T/M (10:21 pace)

I’m glad I got in my miles and a decent amount of strength work this week, but I need to start taking my runs outside this week.  I know from experience that too much treadmill training translates into poor race times for me.  My goal this week is to do all my runs outside, with the exception of speedwork.  Hopefully the weather cooperates :)

Friday Faves

Happy Friday friends! Any good plans for the weekend? I have a 6 miler on Saturday, then maybe indoor rock climbing.  Mike and I also have to start prepping to tutor a girl at our church for the fall PSATs – remember those days? Here’s a few things I’ve been loving this week:

Zen Koi – I don’t usually play a lot of phone games besides Sudoku (weird, I know), but I’ve been spending a lot of time at the acupuncturist and this game really helps pass the time (and ignore the pain, lol).  The design of the game is beautiful and very low-stress. I’ll talk more about why I’m getting acupuncture next week after I (hopefully) start seeing some results!

Halo Top ice cream – I was so hesitant to try a low-cal ice cream after trying Arctic Zero years ago (pretty gross), but after seeing so many positive reviews for Halo Top, I grabbed a pint of mint chocolate chip at Target.  It’s actually pretty good – very creamy and filling and minimal taste of artificial sweetener (after the first bite, I don’t really notice it).  I’ll report back after we try the other flavors!

Eyebrow razor – this is a weird one, but after I complained about how my eyebrows were growing bushy too quickly between waxes, a friend introduced me to eyebrow razors! They’re so easy to use and hard to mess up (unlike waxing at home, which I couldn’t get the hang of).  I bought this cheap set of three on Amazon.

Buzz bakery specialty cakes – this is for any DC local readers out there – Buzz has the best specialty cakes for baby showers! We’ve had a few showers for ladies in our small group recently, so I’ve picked up cakes both times and gotten rave reviews.  The cake is so moist and delicious (we’ve tried red velvet and cookies & cream) and the decorations are gorgeous.

 This super-easy recipe for “spaghetti cabbage” – I was scrambling for a fast dinner idea a few nights ago, and I realized I had a bag of shredded cabbage to use up and I vaguely remembered this recipe off of Detoxinista’s website.  I used jarred spaghetti sauce and added some chicken sausage and it came together in no time. We’ve been trying to eat more vegetables at dinnertime, so this was perfect.

Last Week’s Workouts: Running Again!

I am slowly ramping my mileage back up after recovering from an Achilles tendinitis injury back in early January – probably the longest recovery I’ve needed from a running injury yet.  I got a chance to talk to author Matt Fitzgerald in April (I’m going to be in his new book!), and he mentioned that his AT injury sidelined him for two years, so this injury is no joke.  Given the length of time I took off from running and desire to avoid re-injury, I ramped up much more slowly than I have in the past – weekly mileage started at 12 miles 5 weeks ago, then 12, 14, 13, and 16.5 this past week.  I did no speedwork the first 4 weeks, and introduced a short speed workout last week.  Here’s how last week’s miles went:

Mon: 6 X 400 meters on the treadmill – I did a one mile warmup, then 400 meters around an 8:10 pace, followed by 400 meters of walk/ jog recovery.  Finished with a half mile cooldown. The last two intervals felt tough, but doable.

Tues: rest day – had to travel for work

Weds: XT day – Body Pump in the morning, followed by a cardio dance class at Kazaxe with a friend at night.

Thurs: 3 easy outside (9:14 pace) 

Fri: Zengo cycle class

Sat: 6 miles outside (9:34 pace) – this was a tough run; it was about 75 degrees when I started, and I didn’t bring water because there’s a water fountain around 2 miles in on the path.  The water fountain wasn’t working, but I decided to keep going since I wasn’t thirsty yet.  As the temps rose into the low 80s and the sun came out, I didn’t feel good so I took frequent breaks during the last 2 miles to cool my body temp down.  Definitely carrying water for any runs over a few miles from now on! I went rock-climbing with a friend later that day for a little upper body exercise too :)

Sun: 3.5 miles on T/M (10:13 pace) followed by some yoga