Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012


This past Saturday I set out for a 12 mile run.

The plan was to meet my running group at 6am. I got in the car at 5:40 and before I had driven two blocks the rain started to fall. I braced myself for a soggy run (and was SO glad I wore my old shoes - don't want soggy new Mizunos). By the time I got to the starting point, the rain had stopped. Unfortunately, it rained again before I reached the 1 mile marker. I was wet from the beginning of the run until the end.

Our course was an out and back on the Mount Vernon Trail. It was a pleasant run despite the rain.

I ran all but the last mile alone. It was an enjoyable run.

I ran without music until mile 7. I decided I wanted to try to pick up the pace for the last five miles and needed some music. I turned on my music and took off. With a mile left to go, I realized I may be able to average less than 9 minutes/mile. So I really started to pick up the pace. At this point, I ran into two others from my running group. I ran past one guy and caught up to the second. I mentioned to him that I was close to running my fastest long run ever. Excited for me, he encouraged me to pick up the pace again.

Running together, we got faster with each step.

We approached our stopping point, stopped my Garmin, took a deep breath, and looked down. This is what I saw:

Fastest training run EVER.

So excited that my training is going so well.

Bring on 16 miles this weekend!

Friday, July 20, 2012


First, my new Mizuno's arrived yesterday. I them. 

Second, the Albert Einstein Memorial was Yarn Bombed last night.

Photo credit

According to the,

The National Academy of Sciences' memorial of Albert Einstein was covered in yarn from head to toe, resulting in a colorful oddity that greeted researchers and other staffers on their way into the office. 

The surprise shroud is mostly pink and purple, with splotches of black and teal, turning the the bronzed image of Einstein sitting in repose into something resembling a pastel monster.
The likely culprit is the yarn-bombing artist Olek, a Polish-born crocheter and sculptor whose principal motif is to drape large objects and public installations in colorful yarn. Her best-known example of this came in 2010 with "Knitting Is for Pussies," in which she covered an entire Lower East Side apartment in yarn, right down to the mannequins standing in as tenants.

I hope to visit Mr. Einstein tomorrow.

Third, both my kids are sleeping. I am soaking in the quiet.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Today I left work early -- don't judge me. With a 9 month contract I don't even have to work during the summer.

So I left work early. Allowing myself time to get downtown, park, run 5 miles, drive home, and be on time to let our nanny leave. Everything was going according to plan. I even scored an excellent parking spot (without a meter). As I sat on a nearby bench to put on my shoes, I heard the first rumble of thunder. It sounded far away and the sky wasn't too dark so I decided to run.

Exactly 0.98 miles into my run H-U-G-E raindrops started to fall; 0.02 miles later I spotted cloud-to-ground lightening. I realized I wasn't going to finish my run before the storm. In fact, I started thinking I couldn't make it back to my car before the storm hit.

So I decided to seek shelter with our 16th President.

And about half of the tourists in DC.

The Lincoln Memorial is a great place to wait out a storm. It is high enough to provide great views of the Mall and Arlington. It was also relatively dry. And it is a solid structure. When the winds picked up. I felt safe along side good old Abe.

The Memorial also gave me plenty of time to people watch. I chuckled (out loud a few times) listening to tourists talk. My favorite overheard conversation was of a guy on the phone with family/friends who were riding out the storm in one of the museums. The guy kept insisting he was at the Jefferson Memorial. Seriously... there are four Presidential memorials/monuments on the Mall (Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, and FDR). It is not that hard to keep them straight!

I left my shelter at the Lincoln after about half an hour. The storm looked like it had passed. About half a mile into my second attempt at a run, the skies let loose and I was soaked by the rain. This time there was no shelter in sight - so I ran.

I ran 3.0 miles in the pouring rain. Not the 5 that I had planned, but I'm proud of myself for just getting out there. We are expecting more storms tomorrow. We'll have to wait and see what adventures that brings...

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Being THREE years old is hard work.

Our days are truly the best of times and the worst of times. K can go from being a delightful fun-loving child to a monster at the drop of a hat. And by monster I mean a tantrum-throwing, unable to communicate, sometimes inconsolable child.

Let me tell a little story about Friday afternoon...

Neither one of my kids napped particularly well on Friday. We got to sleep a little late, and K had a hard time getting settled before falling asleep. She woke up in a foul mood. She was grumpy and whiny. I offered to go back to bed with her - a little more rest never hurt anyone. She refused. I offered food; thinking maybe just maybe she was hungry. Again she refused.

About 15 minutes later - after much whining - she was back to her fun-loving, adorable, three-year-old self.

We went upstairs to put some clothes away and play.

I was putting away some things in our room when K came running in speaking a mile a minute.

She locked C in their room. I tried using a bobby-pin and a pair of tweezers to open the door. That failed. I then instructed K to talk with C while I looked for a screwdriver. I ran down the stairs and found the first available screwdriver. When I got back upstairs, I found out the screwdriver was too big to fit into the door. By this point C was SCREAMING. I ended up taking the doorknob off.

Within minutes I had the doorknob off and C was rescued.

K showed little remorse for locking C in their room; however, she was distraught over my putting her in a chair (with instructions to not move a muscle) while I took the doorknob off.

After C was rescued, we all went down to the basement. I had some laundry to do and we needed a change of scenery. Upon getting downstairs, C wanted to be held. I had to put him down to move clothes from the washer to the dryer. Upon being put down, he started crying. And so I started moving at lightening speed. K decided at this point that she wanted to help. By the time she expressed interest in helping I was nearly finished and I told her her help was not needed.

And she lost it.

She stood still for a moment. She dug her heals into the ground. And she screamed.

I'm talking top of her lungs, ear piercing scream.

And as she was screaming our house alarm went off.

It took me a minute to realize that the alarm was going off. I told K to stay in the basement as I ran up the steps to determine why the alarm was tripped. As I ran up the steps, it occurred to me that K's scream could be the cause of the alarm. We have a glass break detector in our basement. Is it possible that her scream was so loud and so high pitched that it resembled glass breaking?

After determining no one was in our house, I turned the alarm off. The follow-up phone call from the alarm company came within a minute. Sure enough, they confirmed that the alarm was tripped by a loud noise in our basement.

K's scream was so powerful she set off our alarm.

My ears have not stopped ringing from the alarm. And now every time K raises her voice in protest we are able to remind her that she needs to lower her voice unless she wants to set off the alarm again.


This week I was back training with my running group (after a week in Pittsburgh visiting family and recovering from my sprained ankle). It was a terribly hot and humid morning. We set out for a 14 mile run...

This week's run took us through Georgetown (where I was rudely kicked off of Wisconsin Ave by a movie crew -- they were about to start shooting a film). From there we made our way to the Capitol. We back-tracked along The Mall and then headed over to Haines Point. After rounding Haines Point, we crossed over the Potomac and reached our starting point.

It was a good run. 14 miles. And I maintained my sub-4 hour marathon pace.

Unfortunately, like my last long run in DC, I fell during this run.

This time I was running along the Potomac, right in front of the Watergate, when I hit the ground. I believe I slipped in some mud along the path. I slid along the path. Thankfully both my ankles were ok after the fall. I have some brush burns and bruises, but I'm ok.

It was a great run -- longest since I ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2010!

I'm planning to crush Richmond.

Monday, July 9, 2012


We planted a garden this year. In our 10 x 3 foot box, we planted beans, tomatoes, snap peas, regular peas, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach. A few days after planting an animal started munching on our tomato plant. At one point the plant lost all of its leaves. Same thing happened with our wax beans. And then our garden dried out - I failed to adequately water it. Our spinach died (mostly do to no water, but animals munching on it also lead to its demise). In mid-May, we got a sprinkler and we started tending our garden with care. We also covered our garden to prevent animals/rodents from munching on our harvest.

And our little DC garden has thrived. 

Today we harvested wax beans, green beans and snap peas. And our little nearly dead tomato plant is thriving. We have nearly a dozen green full-sized tomatoes growing.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Last week I went to Med Express Urgent Care TWICE.

I made my first trip after I tripped on my run last weekend. With the swelling and the bruising, I knew I needed to see a doctor. My trip to Med Express was fantastic. I was checked-in in a matter of minutes. I was then seen by a physicians assistant, who was AWESOME. They took some x-rays to rule out a break. Thankfully my bones looked good. I was fitted with an air cast and sent on my way. I was in-and-out in a half hour.

I made my second trip to Urgent Care with C. Several days before our trip, C was grumpy. He wasn't sleeping well. We also noticed him was pulling, hitting, and laying down on his left ear. We thought he probably had an ear infection. So to Urgent Care we went...

Less than half an hour after entering the center, C was registered, seen, diagnosed, given a prescription, and filled a prescription. He has a "raging" ear infection. He is on an antibiotic (though it is terribly hard to get a 9 month old to suck down a nasty tasting liquid medicine).

Both C and I are on the mend - I'm up and running. C, however, is struggling lacking with sleep these days.


At the beginning beginning of the summer, K made a list of all the things she wanted to do this summer. This past week we checked two of the many things to do off of the list: she swam at the pool by my parents house and caught fireflies.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Last Saturday I had a 10 milers on the schedule. On Thursday I got an email from my coach saying it would be a hilly 10 miles. And it was! The course was also an obstacle course. On Friday night a terrible storm ripped through DC. The trail we were running on was covered in debris and there were numerous trees lying across it. Trees were up-rooted in some cases and in others they had just broken in half. Not only were there hills to conquer, but I was also dodging trees, branches, leaves, and other debris. It was a killer run.

At mile 6, I tripped on a crab apple. My ankle gave out. The pain was so intense. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach; the wind was knocked out of me. I cried instantaneously. 

After the trip, I walked a bit, got my breathing under control, and ran the remaining 4 miles.

My ankle didn't bother me too much. As soon as I was finished running and I took my shoe off, my ankle started to swell. I ended up going to urgent care. Three x-rays confirmed that I did not have a broken bone, but I did sprain my ankle. I got fitted with an air cast and was given instructions not to run for a week.

It has been five days now with no running.

I know my ankle is healing, but it still needs some more rest.

The chances of me getting my 12 mile run in this week are slim to none.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Last Friday K's best friend, A, came over to play. It was a wonderful day. Together they played with pretty much every toy in our house. They also went to the spray park for a little water play. After lunch, A, who is an avid baseball fan and knowledgable about every aspect of the game, tried to organize a baseball game between himself and K.

K knows nothing about baseball.

A started by explaining how one person is responsible for throwing/pitching the ball and the other hits the ball with a bat.

K, who has a dominant personality and can at times be a little bossy, had enough of listening to A. She wanted to play, and she wanted to be in charge of how the game would be played.

As soon as there was a pause in conversation, K shouted:

"A, you be the batter; I'll be the gooder."

And that is OBVIOUSLY how the game of baseball is played.