Category Archives: Trips

The Good, the Bad and the Broken

Let’s start with the good.

I recently decided to get a little crazy in the kitchen. I had 3 pretty nasty looking bananas to deal with, which obviously calls for a banana bread! I didn’t want to make something uber unhealthy, so I ended up following this recipe here and making a few adjustments with whole wheat flour. The end result was tasty and relatively healthy for a banana bread!

Yeah, I MADE that (it's really some kind of miracle).

The only downside to this bread? I totally trashed the kitchen in the process. I really can’t help it. I also made a pretty gross crock pot dish that I’d rather not talk about. Let’s just say I don’t know how to make salsa and sour cream should never go in a slow cooker. Behold the mess…

I cleaned it eventually...

Now for the bad. I had the.worst.run.of.my.life. last weekend. It was a 9 miler and it was seriously the worst run I’ve had in YEARS. The weather was about 58 or so, so I wore a long sleeved top with shorts. I felt just dandy for the first 4-5 miles until I stopped at a park water fountain to re-hydrate. The damn thing was OFF. Uggg. Richmond needs to realize that we don’t really have “winter” and there is no need to turn off water fountains! I was depending on that water to get me through the end, and when it wasn’t there I kind of crumbled. I ended up running in the sun and it was HOT. Looking back I know I was seriously dehydrated and should have just gone home. Instead I stopped at Dot’s Back Inn (a yummy diner) because I saw Brian’s car there (he likes their burgers and I don’t eat meat so he occasionally goes alone). I ended up waiting about 5 minutes for a glass of water which just caused my legs to stiffen up. And I was still 3 miles from home. SO AWFUL.

I was hot, dehydrated, stiff, annoyed and just blah. I was really close to tears about 1 mile from home.

The splits don’t lie.

9 Miler of Doom

I contemplated quitting running after this. Alas, I am back on the bandwagon.

Moving on to the BROKEN.

I went to DC after the 9 Miler of Doom to visit 3 of my closest college chicas. It was a whirlwind trip but super fun. I was able to recover from dehydration (it was NOT FUN) in time to make it up to see them. I’m so glad I didn’t bail. Wine is hydrating, right?

Anyway, after a night of fun my friend and I walked to my car to hit the road. She had a flight to catch so we were in a bit of a hurry. But LO AND BEHOLD, some idiot had punched out my window!!! And not a main window…one of the little triangular ones in the back. WTF. They didn’t even steal anything. In fact, the locks weren’t even reachable from the broken pane. I mean, who does that crap?! Just a random act of violence. Lame. Karma will get you evil person!!

NOT COOL. EVER.

My insurance deductible is $500 and this little baby only cost $250 to replace. So that meant I had to drop $250 senseless dollars. SO ANNOYING. Oh and I had to tape up the whole thing with a trash bag since I was driving straight into a snowstorm. I was totally “that car.”

Oh well, I’m moving on the greener pastures now! Here’s to good runs and intact glass from here on out…

Awesome runs, crappy runs and a haircut

Let’s start with awesome.

Bri and I took a much needed mini-trip to PA this past weekend. We left Richmond on Thursday evening and had a whole jam-packed 3 day weekend planned. It was BLISS.

Part one of the awesome weekend was an 8 mile run on Friday morning. Pretty much the ONLY time I can convince Brian to run with me is when we are up in PA. He likes to show me around his old stomping ground. We decided to tackle the 8 miles in Ridley Creek State Park, not to far from where Brian grew up. I really wasn’t expecting much going into this run, especially because of the hills. Richmond is just so darn flat compared to PA, so I didn’t set my expectations too high. I thought maybe a 9:45 pace was reasonable.

We ended up doing a 4 mile out and back, with the first 4 miles essentially uphill and the last 4 basically back down.

Despite the hills and the icy patches, we were able to kick some serious butt. I don’t know what it was, but once I was through the first 2 miles, I knew I had it in me to make this run GOOD. Having Brian by my side certainly helped, and I was happy to just keep up with him. He knows that course like the back of his hand, so he was constantly telling me that it was going to flatten out, or that we only had 1 more hill to go. Very motivating. In the end, we finished with an overall pace of 9:19. Seriously amazing for me considering the hills!!

I rode that runner’s high for a while after that run.

That is until today.

I attempted a 5 mile “Easy” run during lunch today. The sky was perfectly blue, the temps hovered around 55, I really couldn’t ask for better conditions. But man oh man did this run SUCK. I only got through 4 miles and that was a huge struggle. I have no idea why I felt so crappy. I’m not sick or anything?! My lungs felt OK but my legs just didn’t want to move. I couldn’t even mentally psych myself up. You would think this should have been easy considering the elevation…

But my splits say otherwise…

HOW did I do so well on Friday and then absolutely collapse on Monday?? Uggg.

In other news, I chopped off all my hair. I have a poor excuse for a ponytail now, but I’m making it work. It feels so FREEING!!

Celebrations and Crappy Runs

Brian and I spent the weekend in Staunton, VA – probably one of our favorite places to visit for a weekend trip. We got a PHENOMENAL deal on our hotel and some other sweet stuff and decided to use the weekend as our Engagement/Valentine’s Day celebration.

Let me break down this deal for you. It was really just that kick ass.

$99 ($108 after taxes, etc) got us:

  • 1 night at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel (right in the middle of town and an overall nice place)
  • Free breakfast for 2 (nice buffet normally priced $12.95 pp)
  • $20 gift card to Shenandoah Pizza (our FAVORITE pizza place in all the land)
  • 2 tickets to the local movie theater (a 3 minute walk from our hotel…normally $8.50pp)
  • Free parking (normally a few bucks a day)

Oh and the hotel had a wine festival IN IT on Saturday…so we definitely hit that up.

I got in my 5 mile run on Saturday AM then we hit the road. As a thank-you-for-proposing-and-happy-Valentine’s-Day-gift I took Brian to three breweries that were all on the way to Staunton.

Heaven.

Three breweries may have been a bit too much…he barely made it through the wine fest. We ended up touring Starr Hill Brewery and sampling all their beers, scoring a quick lunch at Blue Mountain Brewery, and then rounding out the beer intake at Queen City Brewery. I tasted most of the beers along the way, but left the actual consumption to Brian since someone had to drive.

I got my kicks at the Winter Wine Festival in our hotel that we promptly entered as soon as our bags hit the floor of our hotel room. Between Queen City and the wine fest I ended up walking away 5 bottles of wine richer 🙂

I can often be seen with a wine glass in my hand, so this isn’t too crazy or unusual.

Yum, fermented grapes.

But I like (good) beer too.

Oktoberfest...Munich 2007. I had 5 liters cause I'm hardcore.

And bubbly champagne.

Perfect for celebrations (and putting out cupcake fires)

Anyways, now that I seem like a total lush (which, sad to say, I’m really not…I can’t party like a rockstar like I used to), back to our weekend.

We spent an hour or so after the wine fest in the room to recoop (I watched E! and Brian took a much needed nap) and then we headed to dinner at our favorite restaurant in town, Zynodoah. I had a yummy ricotta gnocchi. Then we saw “Unknown” at the cute little theater. It was surprisingly entertaining and I’m proud of myself for staying up till 11:30 to watch it. Go me!

Sunday we lazed around, ate our free breakfast, lazed around some more, then hit up Shenandoah Pizza for garlic bread and a yummy pizza pie. All in all, a FABULOUS weekend with my husband-to-be.

After all this fun and relaxation I decided to check out a yoga class at our gym on Sunday afternoon. I contemplated not going, but I had it in my calendar and didn’t want to feel guilty about not going. Is that weird? It ended up being a great class and I’m super glad I went. I plan to go again on Wednesday night.

On to crappy runs. I had one today. I’ve been feeling pretty great the last few weeks, so I imagine it was about time for a crappy run to come my way. I intended to whack out 5 miles (which is what my training plan called for) but I ended up only making it through 3.3. I literally had no will to continue on and my legs were just DONE. I felt pretty defeated.

Blah. I think I need to focus more on what I’m eating, how much water I’m drinking, and how much stress I’m under. I tend to to A LOT better when all these things are in check. I thought wearing my fun pink Nike shorts and pink socks would make me feel like running with the wind, but they didn’t do a damn thing.

So much for looking the part. Sometimes that can help (yay for new running clothes!), but I should have know from the look on my face that this run was going to suck.

I’m officially resting up like crazy tomorrow (i.e. not doing anything active AT ALL), drinking a boatload of water, eating a balanced diet and grasping my trusty stressball furiously. No more crappy runs please!