Off The Beaten Path: February 24, 2017

I’m trying something new with some of my blog posts. Late last year, I brought back my old “Running and Reading” posts because I realized that I was reading a lot of great articles that I wanted to share with others. I admit, it got burdensome to keep the posts fresh and light and relevant. Most of what read, given what I do for a living and where I reside, is all political. Not necessarily one-sided, but issues-oriented. I want to steer clear of that. There’s enough of it out there, and I need a break from it, too.

Also, when I relocated to DC back in 2014, I used to write posts called “Off the Beaten Path” to update friends and family back home in Nebraska about what I was doing in DC besides “running all the time” and working my “I’m not sure what she actually does in DC” job. I attempted to revive that recently, but then I sat down to write it and realized that I really don’t have a whole lot going on right now. Or at least not enough to keep the post going and keep it interesting. I get the sense that readers gravitate toward bloggers who “keep it real” but there’s a fine line of keeping it real and oversharing that I enjoy a graceful dance with, so I could write about how I am struggling to accept where I am in life… or I can keep it on the sunny side up.

So, I’m going to try consolidating things and see how that works. Even if no one ever reads it, I swear sometimes I keep up this blog because I just really enjoy the simple art of writing. Let me know what you think! Continue reading “Off The Beaten Path: February 24, 2017”

Creative Ways to Stay Motivated During the Winter Months

Last night, I bundled up to run 3 miles across the Key Bridge into DC. It was somewhere around 36 degrees, the sun had set, and there was a breeze that felt like gale force winds once I got outside. The inevitable dilemma of wondering if I had dressed warm enough came to mind numerous times, and it went back and forth from, “I totally overdressed,” to “I definitely should have worn that fleece-lined quarter-zip instead.” It happens with winter running. Sometimes you just don’t know until you are out there, and it’s not like dressing for summer running for … Continue reading Creative Ways to Stay Motivated During the Winter Months

An Open Letter to Drivers From Runners

Hi there.

It’s been a long day, hasn’t it? I suppose that’s as much the reason why you’re rushing to get home as it is for me being out on a run right now. You’re aching to get home and shake the day off, and I’m lucky to already be out here doing just that. Shaking off my day with a run.

But the thing is, you almost hit me with your car.  Continue reading “An Open Letter to Drivers From Runners”

6 DC-Area Turkey Trots To Consider Running This Thanksgiving

I’m just going to say this because I know I’m not the only one out there thinking it: How on earth did Thanksgiving 2016 get here so fast!?!?! Maybe it’s the unseasonable warmth that has blanketed 2016 in complacency or perhaps we’ve all been a little too disconnected from reality thanks to a blistering Presidential campaign and (for some) election. Whatever the reason, we are very much overdue for a day of gratitude and giving thanks. Continue reading “6 DC-Area Turkey Trots To Consider Running This Thanksgiving”

How to Build a Home Gym In Your Studio Apartment

When you’re single, over 30, and live in a major metropolis, you find that you never completely leave that awkward phase of having to explain to friends and family in the Midwest why you’ve been here so long and haven’t bought property yet. It’s hard to do that without number-dropping: “Well, for a space about the size I am living in and for the neighborhood I’m in, a condo would be about [insert that voice used in Charlie Brown commercials when an adult speaks] million dollars.” The million dollars part is typically all they hear, even if you prefixed it with “quarter of” or “half a.” Or even if you euphemize it with “hundred thousand dollars,” they still somehow hear millions. Truth be told, I think it’s crazy to buy property here in DC when you can get a literal mansion and farm in Nebraska for the price of a 1-bedroom condo in Arlington, Virginia. And since I don’t know when or if I will leave DC, the dream of home ownership seems pretty far away for me.

One thing I know, if I ever do own my own home, is that I want a home gym. I envision having a place where I can set up a treadmill (as much as I hate them but they seem to be a reasonable compromise for when you have kids which I assume will be the reason I do venture into home ownership), a weight stand, my library of Jillian Michaels DVDs, and a few key must-haves, like a Bosu ball. Things that I can have because space is not an issue. The walls will be wallpapered with my race bibs, medal racks, some race posters, and my favorite race photos. There might even be a filtered water cooler and a ficus in the corner just for a touch of posh. Continue reading “How to Build a Home Gym In Your Studio Apartment”

My “Happy Place” Playlist

Last summer, when I told my colleague that I was going to the beach, the look on her face was one of shock. “But it’s so far away!” she lamented. DC is about 3 hours away from the coast, which to a native San Diegan might as well be a transatlantic flight to Portugal. For me, a Nebraska native, 3 hours was almost too good to be true. Growing up landlocked, any trip to the shore felt like I was on vacation because that’s the only time I got to see it. And now I can take weekend trips and even day trips to the beach anytime I need it. I love that my happy place is within reach and that I can take off and just go when I want to. All I need is a tank of gas.

Two years ago, when I was living in Nebraska, I spent a summer missing the beach. The best thing I had at my disposal was a pool with a pool chair– not complaining, but something about hearing waves crash and sizzle against the shore puts me in my best state of mind. Calm, present, content. So, I put together a playlist called “My Happy Place” with songs that remind me of sunny days with toes in the sand, a beer in my hand, and frolicking in the salty surf with the feeling of sun on my skin. Some of these tunes are chill and relaxing but still have a peppy island vibe, some are all-out beach party hits. Ahh, I can practically smell the funnel cakes and malt vinegar now. Continue reading “My “Happy Place” Playlist”

Trying Out Orange Theory Fitness

Photo Courtesy:
I got cabin fever…and the only prescription is getting the eff out of the house!

2016 has gotten off to a pretty dull start for me. With the exception of running the Dopey Challenge the first weekend of the year, I spent the rest of January indoors coping with a two-week long bout with the flu (which hurt far worse than any marathon I have ever run) and then Washington, DC got hit with a massive snowstorm that buried us under 2+ feet of snow. Both of these events lined up in sequence, which meant that I literally only left my house twice in eight days: once to go get my flu diagnosis and a strict order to sleep from the doctor (I wasn’t even allowed to crochet) and the other time to stock up on storm supplies. Hauling a case of water up to your apartment when you are sick and achy is a real bitch, by the way. 

Honestly, though, I was sort of okay with my mini-house arrest. The past few months have taken a lot of energy from me in dealing with personal and work life and not having my usual outlet of exercise to relieve stress. I sort of took the double whammy of the flu and blizzard as God’s way of forcing me to slow down. 

Fast forward three weeks to President’s Day weekend when I am not sick anymore; however, right now, we are all forced to stay indoors as the air outside is literally colder than my freezer and the winds are nearing 50+ mph gusts. I don’t even want to leave my apartment to get groceries, which is more of my personal affront to dealing with the annoyance of polar winds in your face than the cold itself. I will never understand God’s creation of wind.

Another three days indoors. Suffice it to say that I have some very serious cabin fever. I needed to try something new. Continue reading “Trying Out Orange Theory Fitness”

Off the Beaten Path: Just Go Grocery-Shopping

June 8 – 12, 2015

Welcome to the game, Vivofit.
Welcome to the game, Vivofit.

1) This has been the first week of using my new Garmin Vivofit 2, and I love it. It tracks your steps, miles, and calories burned even at rest during the day and your sleep at night. Plus, it comes with an alarm if you have been sedentary for too long (except at night when you’re asleep). I really needed that since I have a desk job and a sneaking suspicion that my hip pain is from sitting too long. Also, I bought it because, living in a city that is as walkable as DC, sheer curiosity of exactly how many miles I log on foot every day eventually got to me. I went with Garmin over other brands because I am brand-loyal and Garmin made my running watch. The first day that I used my Garmin Vivofit 2, I logged about 14 miles– 10 of which were from the Baltimore 10-Miler. The second day, a Sunday spent indoors and at the pool, I dropped down to just about 7,500 steps. Monday, I met my goal of 10,000 steps, but Tuesday was the winner so far in non-running mileage: 6.45 miles walked. That’s more miles than I run midweek during marathon training. It might be no wonder why I am always feeling exhausted, and now I’m wondering if I should be shooting for at least 9 hours of sleep a night instead of my standard minimum 8 hours. Continue reading “Off the Beaten Path: Just Go Grocery-Shopping”

Off the Beaten Path: I Miss the Sun….

Photo Courtesy: Annapolis Running Classic
Photo Courtesy: Annapolis Running Classic

1) I know this post is supposed to be about all things non-running, but it’s been a slow week and this is exciting news for me. In November 2011, about three weeks after I finished my first marathon, I decided that I would run the 2011 Annapolis Running Classic Half-Marathon. Back then, I felt sort of disappointed that I had nothing more to prove when I signed up for it. I was officially a marathoner; end of story. Bucket list was one item shorter. I have no idea why I didn’t think I couldn’t keep running races, but when a friend of mine suggested that we run the Annapolis Half-Marathon, I thought, Okay, why not. Obviously, I’m glad I ran it because that was when I realized I just found my “thing.” You know, that third thing that makes someone who they are besides their trade and association. This race made me say, Why stop there? Continue reading “Off the Beaten Path: I Miss the Sun….”

Off the Beaten Path: Two Trips to Annapolis and a Tick

May 25 – 29

I’ve had a lot of race recap posts lately, partially because I’ve been racing a lot this spring. Four half-marathons, two 10-milers, and five 5Ks between March and June. So, I’m restarting my “Off the Beaten Path” posts to share updates on what else has been happening lately…besides running… Continue reading “Off the Beaten Path: Two Trips to Annapolis and a Tick”