Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The cat's out of the bag...

Good evening!  I have been in a good mood all day because I RAN BEFORE WORK THIS MORNING!

Yes...I snoozed from 4:45 to 4:54 am...

Finally it wasn't too icy or too cold.  I was still really sore from Saturday and Sunday (I went to spin class on Sunday), so I ran pretty slowly.  I was just happy to get out!  Getting my run in in the morning is just the best feeling.  No, the 4:45am alarm isn't so much...but you always have to remember how you feel when it's over.  There is a GREAT article on runnersworld.com about this.  The Remy's World articles are always great.  I think about this one every time I'm debating sleeping in.  Find it here.

Moving on (and backtracking...) I came home on Sunday to these:

These + 3 more
I had an "ah-ha" moment and decided to make banana bread.  I'm not an impromtu baker or chef usually, so I was quite proud of myself.  Now that my brother, Thayer, and I are making bread all the time (read: he is making bread in my presence), I feel a little more confident.

I used this recipe from allrecipes.com.  It was very simple - I also added cinnamon.

Source: allrecipes.com

Because it's just me around the house these days and I have an overabundance of bread, I decided to mail the loaf down to Drew as a nice surprise for him.  Well turns out I ruined the surprise.  My friend Sierra was on her way over when it was baking and I sent her this text message: "I can't even handle how good the banana bread smells.  It's for Drew but we may just have to eat it ourselves ahhhhh!"  Only I didn't send it to Sierra - I sent it to DREW!!!  The classic mistake of the "wrong text."  SHOOT!!  Oh well - the cat was out of the bag.  Sierra and I still had to test my creation so I sent it to Drew with a sliver missing - he is used to me eating his food anyway.  :)

Speaking of cats, the bread arrived at Drew's today:

Stella is skeptical.
I guess it's good!!
Since living on my own (for 2 days) I've been very productive with chores, walking my dogs, and cooking healthy food, i.e. roasted veggies.  Roasting vegetables are delicious and so easy.  I just put olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes on them, and broil for 10-15 minutes.  Not represented in the pictures below, I also do this with sweet potatoes by cutting them into wedges or medallions.

That's all I got for ya. :)

1.  Are you a morning runner?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Frostbite 5-Miler RECAP

This morning I ran the Frostbite 5-Miler ; my second year dong this race.  My one goal was to beat my time of 41:14.  AND I DID!  My time today was 39:33 - 7:55 min/miles.  I am VERY happy with that time.

A few things about today in no coherent order:

1. This was my first time going to a race alone.  I didn't mind it at all actually.  Yes it's nice to have people there cheering me on, but I just like the crowd in general.  This was a big race so there were tons of people and spectators.  It also gave me time to focus in the beginning without worrying about anyone else. 

2. The race started 15 mins late in order for some ice to melt.  Besides the black ice, the weather today was BEAUTIFUL!  It was about 43 degrees at the start, and wonderfully sunny.  Hey look there I am! Ha.

3. Speaking of the race starting late, the Mayor of the town this was held in spoke a few words in the beginning.  By that time everyone just wanted to get on with the race!  The poor woman was talking and people were CLEARLY not paying attention.  I think some people were even yelling "Stop!  Let's race!"  It was pretty funny...

4. Although I know this is a bad idea, I decided to start out "too fast."  I wanted to get as far into the race as possible before I realized how much I was hurting :)  It actually was an okay idea!  Although my first mile was clearly the fastest, it sent me on a good pace instead of leading me to crash and burn.  I only dipped below an 8 min/mile a few times.  Like I mentioned earlier, this course is very hilly.  The entire last mile is uphill.  It hurt.

5. It hurt so much, that I produced the most horrible batch of race photos in the history of the planet.  I can't even post them on here because they're that unflattering.  I always try to smile and clean up my form when I know there's a photographer.  Today I was a) unsure if there was on at the finish and and b) too focused on sprinting for the last couple feet.  All I can say is "woof." 

 6. Lastly, the course was long I think.  My watch said 5.06 miles with a time of 39:33.  Apparently that's my official chip time too, so the course must be long.  Oh well!  I placed 5th in my age group.  Not bad.

After the race I went to have breakfast #2 with my family.  My last meal with my mommy until Easter!  We went to Zake's Cafe and Cakes.  It was so delicious!!  I took lots of pictures for once.

 Eggs Benedict with ham and avocado.  Yes please.
Braden's pancakes: Honey and Lemon with caramel sauce.  Easily the best I've ever tasted!!

My mom gave him a Mr. Incredible action figure.  Win!

Because today was gorgeous I had to take these babies out.  A blog post would not be complete without them.

I just got home from dropping my mom off at the airport.  Off to her new life overseas with my dad.  LUCKY!!!  I'll miss her and I miss my dad so much.  I can't wait to see them again soon!  I'm off to go have dinner with friends so I don't think about it :)

1. Did you race this weekend?

2. What gets you out of a sad mood?

3. Favorite breakfast food?

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Last night I went over to the race course to re-familiarize myself with it and do an easy run.

My legs were WAY sore from the night before, and I was worried about making them overtired with only 3 days to the race, so I ran 3 of the 5 miles.  Man is this course HILLY, as you can see from the elevation map.  The hill in mile 2 is a killer - long and slow.  Then pretty much the entire last mile is uphill.  Maybe it was because my legs were so tired yesterday, but I started psyching myself out - how in the world did I run this in 8:15 min/miles last year?  Hopefully today's rest, a swim tomorrow, and foam rolling with put be back in good shape.  Sheesh!

Last night I was mauled while foam rolling:

He just doesn't get it.
Tonight we had a last dinner all together before my mom leaves :(  We went to a really cheap, authentic, delicious Mexican food place by my house.  So good - I was looking forward to it for days!  Let's be honest, I was full off tortilla chips within 5 minutes, and it felt so good.

That arm on the left is my brother, Travis.  It was hard to get everyone in the shot!

So since my parents will be officially gone and I'll be forced to make new friends (kidding...kind of), one of my goals this year is to find an extra-curricular.  In high school I was a part of evvverything - sports, theater, community service, etc.  In college I was always busy, and again, a part of so many groups and organizations.  I thrive on a busy schedule.  However, since college I've become very complacent coming home from work, working out, eating dinner, and going to bed.  I really want to find something else to occupy my time so I'm not just watching Sex and the City every night!  This is of course when I'm not hanging out with my friends who, yes, I do see sometimes!! :)

Anyway, in addition to joining a running club, I want to volunteer in some other way.  Tonight I applied to:

I've always wanted to do something like this.  I find that I love having someone to "mentor," maybe because I'm the youngest in my family and crave a leadership role in other ways.  Anyway, I just filled out a very simple online application, so who knows if it will amount to anything.  But even if it's through another organization, I'm going to volunteer in some way starting this Spring.  It will happen!

I leave you with the Valentine's Day card given to me by Drew's cat, Stella (FYI - I named her).  I forgot to show you the other day:

So thoughtful :)

1. Do you volunteer?  Are you a part of any organizations outside of work?

2. Favorite thing to get at a Mexican restaurant?

3. Do you dread running hills as much as I do? 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My legs don't work in the evening.

Let's talk about speedwork!  I need to start incorporating actual, planned, tried and true speedwork back into my routine.  A couple friends and I started going to the track some nights in the fall and we had the best time - can't wait to get back to that!

Anyway, every time I'm on a treadmill I do some type of speed play but tonight I actually followed a workout from Runners' World.  Side note, one of the main reasons I love speed workouts is because they're quick and dirty.  This one was not quick - just dirty:

400m @ easy pace
400m @ 15k (tempo) pace
400m @ 5k pace
Repeat 4 times.

I did a 2 mile warm-up including my 5 minutes of walking.  I did the "easy" interval at 6.0-6.5 mph; 10-9:13 minute/mile pace.  I did the "tempo" at an 8:27 pace, and the "fast" at 7:00-7:30 pace.  Between sets I did some walking for a few seconds.  5 miles total, and I was DONE.  I walked for 5 minutes for a cool down.

Can you relate?
Working out in the evening used to be my thing - I had so much energy at about 5 pm after my classes (we're talking about college).  Now it's the opposite.  While yes, I still have a terribly tough time getting up at 4:45 am to run, I almost dread the evening run more.  Especially on the treadmill.  My legs just feel heavy and my tummy is full.  Oh well - I actually felt pretty strong today, but it was still very hard. Hungry Runner Girl posted about speedwork today, too, actually.  She mentions how important it is to get used to pushing through on tired legs, so I channelled that on the old 'mill.  

I don't think one speedwork session is going to make me lightning fast before my race this weekend, but it can't hurt!  Since I went hard tonight and last night on the spin bike, I'm taking it easy for the rest of the week.  I'm going to run the course tomorrow after work I think, nice and slowly.  Then I'm gonna have a lovely swim on Friday, and spend lots of time with my foam roller.

Well, on to the other parts of life.  We made more bread last night - this time with raisins, walnuts, and maple syrup on the crust:

It worked out okay!  We made two loaves and one of them (above) definitely worked out better than the other.  My brother wouldn't let me post a picture of the bad one :) They both were delicious obviously, just the raisins and walnuts didn't blend into the dough as well.  The smaller one was "better":

My nephew - who I'm just realizing I've never mentioned on here before - went to Disney World last week.  Tonight I saw him and he told me all about it.  I know you all have no view on this, but my nephew is getting SO BIG.  I can't handle it - I feel like he was just born.  He just keeps getting better and better though.  He's so smart - I love having him tell me stories, and seeing how articulate he's becoming and all the things he just knows now.  I'm not a teacher or a parent, and I'm the youngest in my family so I'm pretty naive, but it's amazing to me how quickly kids can pick things up - how they just absorb the world around them.  

"No pictures!"
My mother is a trooper.
Tonight after dinner my mom and I devoured a bowl of her famous pan-popped popcorn.  I have not mastered making it on my own, so she makes it for us as much as possible!  It's so salty and buttery and delicious.  Better than dessert (almost).

Forgot to get a picture till we were almost done!

Till next time!

1. What was your workout today?

2. Do you crave salty or sweet foods mostly?

3. Any nieces or nephews? 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Out of the routine

Oh hello, is this a running blog?  Oops...I must have forgotten.  I have run ONE time since the 5k last weekend. I know my readers have been waiting in suspense for me to end the radio silence this week (Hi mom, hi dad, hi Drew!)  Jokes aside though, I think it's important for me to keep posting as if I have tons of people reading, because isn't that the goal?  If I didn't want to gain readership I'd just be telling these things to my parents!  I started this blog because all I talk about is running; how much I love it, how much I dread it sometimes, how much joy it brings me, how I want to get better, how much better I've gotten, to offer any tips I may have, to listen to others' advice, etc. etc.  So I must get back to the task at hand.  

I know a few posts ago I was really sick of talking about what a doozy this winter has been, but it's time to talk about it again.  My life is totally thrown off right now - as is lots of people's lives I'm sure.

My life.
Last week started out pretty normally - work was the usual, although I'm pretty behind because of the snow days, but everyone is so it's okay.  I was able to make it to my favorite spin class, then on Tuesday I did some swimming.  On Wednesday we had a work event and I wasn't able to get a workout in - damn you snow and ice (I can't wait to be able to run before work again - right now it's too dangerous).  We got more snow on Wednesday night and school was canceled so I haven't been at work since Wednesday!!  I know it is hard to complain, having all this time off, but see the above picture!!  I am out of my element.   On Thursday my mom and I were stranded, and our workout was hours of shoveling.  I have a very, VERY, long driveway - my mom and I tackled the whole thing over the course of three hours.  We felt very accomplished :)
This picture is after 3 more inches fell on our shoveling job.  The driveway also curves down to the left for about 50 more yards.

The snow sure was gorgeous Friday morning though!
Friday was Valentine's Day!  I was able to make it to the gym in the morning to run, then I headed off to Drew's for the weekend.  On Friday we went to Franklin's...obviously...and on Saturday we went to our real Valentine's dinner in DC, at Sushi Capitol.  Hands down BEST sushi I have ever had.  If you're in the DC area you should certainly look it up!!!

My valentine.
Beautiful PURPLE flowers from Drew.  Purple is my favorite :)
Sometimes Drew and I are extremely productive when I come down for the weekend.  In the summer we like to go running, hiking, go to museums, wineries, explore DC, go to the movies, etc. etc.  Well - this weekend was not that way.  Have you ever felt the dilemma when you're doing nothing, that, you really feel like a waste of life, but at the same time it's SO hard to get up and do something when you don't actually have to?  I am so bad about that.  Case in point:  Drew and I had big plans to go running on Saturday - we had nothing else to do besides the fact that he had to get some schoolwork done.  But it was cold and rainy/sleety/disgusting, so he worked and I caught up on Parks and Recreation.  All day!!  I felt bad about being so lazy but at the same time we didn't do anything about it.  I always have a personal battle with myself over those types of days.  I guess I should just enjoy them!

I came home yesterday to spend time with my mom before she leaves again for the UK this weekend.  I am very, very sad about the fact that my parents are moving (but it's really exciting for them of course and will bring so many new fun memories for our whole family)!  But talk about out of the routine.  I will have to start adapting to my "new normal" very soon.  Right now I'm cherishing our time together.  One perk of all the time off work I've had - I get to spend lots of time with my mom.

Today I worked on getting back into the normal life.  I walked my doggies, hung out with my mom and brother, went to Monday night spin and ate a healthy dinner, quickly negated it with dessert (duh):

I tried to capture how deep the snow is - Winston is a full grown lab, and it is almost taller than him!!
Scrambled eggs and roasted sweet potatoes.
BEST ICE CREAM FLAVOR EVER (I"m not even a huge chocolate ice cream fan).

I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow and take on the week feeling recharged!  If we don't have a late start :)

1. Do you thrive with a routine, or do you like chaos?

2. How was you Valentine's Day?

3. How do you feel when you miss a workout?  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Oh hello there

It's been a long time!!  I'm writing from my iPad at Drew's house. Happy Valentines Day weekend everyone!! That is all. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Feel the Love 5k, and weekend, RECAP

First race of 2014 complete - with a new PR!

Flikr: runbmrc
Drew and I ran the Feel the Love 5k yesterday.  The race started at 3:30, which is a weird time to start a race.  I wasn't a huge fan of that actually...I'd much rather run at the crack of dawn.  But anyway, it was kind of nice to have a leisurely morning before heading down there.

Soo...it was freezing.

I told Drew to "look cold."  This is what I got.
With about a half hour till the start we finally got out of the car and did some warming up.  Warming up is the hardest part for me - I know it needs to be done, especially for a 5k, but I get so bored with it!  I did some plyos and a fast run for only about a quarter mile.  Drew ran for longer and stretched.  Drew stretches before he warms up which I have my thoughts about...but to each his own.

The course was 2x around a 1.5 mile loop.  Each partner ran in the opposite direction, so you passed each other at least 2 times.  I will own the fact that I started this race way too fast.  I started at about a 6:25-6:50 pace, which is way fast for me, but I didn't really care.  I ended up slowing to about a 7:30 average which is still good for me!  I was a) cold, b) really wanted to see Drew, and c) ready for it to be over :)  I saw Drew first probably at about 3/4 of a mile in.  He was right up there with the REALLY fast guys!  We high-fived and smiled.  I did the first lap in about 11 minutes.  It was mentally pretty hard to have to run the same lap twice, but on the other hand, when I was done the first lap I was like hell that wasn't so bad!  I saw Drew again soon into my second lap, and his face was looking a little more pained, haha.  He was certainly trucking.  Like I said I kept my pace pretty fast the entire time, but I sure did slow up a little.  I was hurtin'.  I don't remember when I saw Drew a third time, because to be honest I can't remember how that even works, the fact that I saw him three times, but anyway, we were both in pain.  Far cry from the happy high fives in the beginning!

When I finished the time on my watch said 23:41, which is a 1 second PR for me!!!  Then the official results showed 23:35.  I'LL TAKE IT!  I had a 7:36 average pace.  Drew had an awesome race and ran in 19:49 - 6:23 minute miles!  Our combined times put us at 14th out of 90 couples.

Instagram: annadamm
This race as pretty perfect for us because I could run my own race, but still had the camaraderie of a partner.  Sometimes when Drew and I run together I get too caught up in the fact that he's so much faster than me and it messes with my head!  This was perfect though, and we had so much fun.

This guy.
That night we went out to dinner with my mom and brothers.  It was fun.  We miss our dad though!! :(

My two favorite things: Drew, and a glass of wine the size of my head.

Drew left this afternoon :( but I'll see him next weekend for Valentine's Day!  My legs were pretty sore today so I was thinking about just swimming and maybe doing some core work.  Right as I was about to leave my oldest brother called me up and asked if I wanted to go to SkyZone, the place with a billion trampolines to play around on.  UH YEAH!  Way better than a workout.   But actually, my quads are going to be a thousand times more sore tomorrow from it.  We had a blast!!

Kids are amazingly talented.
Travis had a missed career in basketball.
Turns out there is a blizzard going on again.  It took us an hour and half to drive home when it should have taken about 40 minutes.  Driving in the snow is one of my most terrifying activities.  I'm so ready for winter to be over.

Speaking of winter, I laughed when I saw this on a walk with my dogs.   The cathedral by my house has the best hill for sledding.  Generations of people have been sledding on it their whole lives, and this year they have a mean old sign up.  Good luck with that...

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!