Sep 8, 2014

Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2014 - Week 2 Training Recap

This week's training did not go as scheduled. I was away on business for two days this week, and we currently have visitors staying with us. Our first visitors to New Mexico actually!

We are also in the midst of remodeling our guest bathroom. Just another project in our 6,000 home improvement projects!

I thought I had taken before pictures, but this gives you an idea of the horror that was in the bathroom. There was three different types of tile: all different sizes and not matching. The floor was partially tile and partially laminate. The hardware and electrical outlets didn't match either, and also was not our style. 

This is what the bathroom looked like after day 1 of demolition. I'm so happy to see it go!

September 1 to 7, 2014
Monday: rest
Tuesday: Yoga Flow at home (25 minutes)
Wednesday: Travel to DC, ran 1.65 miles, - Post Workout Stretch Yoga for Athletes (9 minutes)
Thursday: Travel back from DC
Friday: rest
Saturday: help with bathroom remodel
Sunday: help with bathroom remodel

Total mileage: 1.65 miles

Sep 4, 2014

{Product Review and Giveaway} AMRAP Bar

This month, AMRAP Nutrition will be launching their new line of AMRAP Bars in three flavors. A group of Sweat Pink Ambassadors had the opportunity to test out and review the bars before the official product launch. I was very excited to be included in this group!

A little bit about AMRAP first. AMRAP, which stands for As Many Rounds As Possible, believes in creating unprocessed food that is 100% Paleo, gluten-, GMO- and dairy-free.

Their new line of AMRAP Bars come in three varieties: Cashew & Vanilla, Fig & Cacao and Almond & Honey. The bars are recommended as a meal supplement or replacement or pre- or post-workout snack.

Using whole foods is a top priority of AMRAP, which is evident in the limited ingredients found in their products.

Almond & Honey AMRAP Bar

The first bar I tried out was the Almond & Honey. The ingredient list consists of raw almond butter, unsweetened coconut, egg white protein powder, raw sesame seeds, raw almond chunks, raw honey, ground cinnamon and sea salt. Only eight ingredients and all things I can pronounce!

I am actually not a big fan of coconut, and I could definitely taste the coconut in the bar. It was not overwhelming though. I also loved the huge pieces of almond that you could see in the bar and also gave the bar an extra dimension of texture.

The Cashew & Vanilla was a different story. I found the coconut in the bar to be too much and I did not finish the whole bar. Again, the ingredient list was very limited, made up of only cashews, honey, cashew butter, unsweetened coconut, egg white protein, vanilla extract and sea salt.

The final bar, Fig & Cacao, was by far my favorite. I am a sucker for figs and cacao. The bar is also made up of dates, egg white protein, almond butter, almonds, unsweetened coconut and coconut oil. I also love dates, so I think the coconut flavor was masked by those three components.

I tried each of the bars as an easy mid-day snack. About half of the bar was enough to satisfy me during an afternoon lull, and I saved the other half for later. The bars are between 270 and 320 calories.

What's my take: Although I do not subscribe to a restricted diet, I enjoyed the Almond & Honey and Fig & Cacao bars. The bars would be a good way to get through the afternoon and keep me going for a post-work workout. I especially like the limited number of ingredients found in the bars.

Giveaway time!
AMRAP is giving away one AMRAP Bar Variety Pack (12 bars/$48 value) to a Will Write 4 Travel reader! Giveaway ends on September 10, 2014 at midnight EST.

**UPDATE** Instead of one winner, AMRAP Nutrition is now offering THREE winners the chance to win a box of 8 bars in their flavor of choice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DisclosureI received three AMRAP Bars from AMRAP Nutrition for the purpose of this review. AMRAP Nutrition will also be providing the giveaway prize. No compensation was provided for this post. All opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure here

Sep 2, 2014

Rebel Donut Dash 5K (Race Recap)

Over the long Labor Day weekend, I ran my first race in New Mexico! It also happened to be my first obstacle race and my first race since surgery. Raisin Bread and I signed up for the Rebel Donut Dash 5K. Although there was not much information available when we registered, it looked like it would involve running, obstacles and donuts. Not a combination that had crossed our paths previously, but why not?

We arrived at Balloon Fiesta Park around 7:35 am on race day for our 8:00 and 8:15 am start times. We picked up our race shirts and heard an announcement that we would not be starting until 8:30 am. Um...great.

There wasn't much to do but sit around and wait.

Rebel Donut van

So we took selfies and sat in our car to pass the time.

We finally started by around 8:35 am and just ran together since the event was starting so behind schedule.

The course was set up so that we completed most of our mileage first and then did the obstacles. We ran about 1.5 miles out and back and then wound up in the field where all of the obstacles were set up.

At the water stations, water and donuts were available!

Cinnamon sugar donuts at a water stop

The half dozen or so obstacles were all pretty simple and easy to complete, which I liked. They were also optional, so if you wanted to skip something, it was up to you. I don't think I could hack a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder type obstacle run, but this was just the right difficulty level for my clumsy and easily bruised self!

There was a tire...I mean donut run.

A wall climb

I wasn't quite sure what we were supposed to do at this obstacle besides maybe crawl through the tire, but it seemed like a good photo op!

Some strips of bacon we needed to jump over

A teeter totter

A balance beam

The last obstacle was a run through foam, which I skipped.

We crossed the finish line at 39:16! Not bad for taking our time through the course and not having run very much at our new high altitude location!

After crossing the finish line, we each got a donut! Yum! I only got through half of it before I went into sugar overload.

Overall, I thought the event was a lot of fun, especially as I start back up on my running and half marathon training. I was also impressed that the race was chip timed. All of the fun runs I have done in the past were not timed at all, and some other races were only clock timed. There were some issues with the organization of the event, such as the late start and not communicating event details until the last minute. It was still a fun start to our long weekend though.

We also went home with donut-themed t-shirts, koozies and keychains.

Sep 1, 2014

Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2014 - Week 1 Training Recap

Only 66 days left until I head out to Walt Disney World to run my third runDisney half marathon! Now that I feel sort of settled into a routine here in Albuquerque with my job and new puppy, I have finally started up with my training program. 

I actually do not have a goal time for this race because I am planning to run/walk with my sister and brother-in-law (who will be doing his first half marathon). I still want to get the mileage in before race day just to get myself back into running mode. 

August 25 to 31, 2014
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2.75 miles
Wednesday: - Detox Quick Flow (20 minutes)
Thursday: rest
Friday: 2.43 miles
Saturday: Rebel Donut Dash 5K (recap will be posted tomorrow)
Sunday: - I don't want to do yoga but I should (17 minutes)

Total mileage: 8.28 miles

Hope you are enjoying the long Labor Day weekend! I will leave you with a picture of Gus. He is now 12 weeks old!

Aug 11, 2014

Life with Gus: Week 1

This year has certainly been a year of change. Raisin Bread and I experienced another huge change in our lives this month when we added a new addition to our family. Say "hello" to Gus the Goldendoodle. We decided to name him after a character from Psych, one of our favorite television shows.

Gus was born on June 7th. Here is a photo of him around three weeks old.

Over July 4th weekend, we made the trek to our breeder in Taos to meet our little furball. At this time, he was four weeks old and the most chilled out puppy in the land. 

We also got to meet Gus's mommy and daddy and all of his brothers and sisters too. Mommy looked overwhelmed with so many puppies!

Finally, last weekend, we made the trip back to Taos to take Gus home with us. His first car ride was rough. Taos is about 3 hours away and high up in the mountains on lots of windy roads. Gus did not hurl but he was definitely on the verge of carsickness. He was droolly and snotty the whole way.

Our first couple of days were doozies. Gus was hooting and hollering all day and night. He would whine whenever I left the room and would even whine when I was in the same room but not paying attention to him. 

Like any puppy, Gus has his moments of hyperactivity and then exhaustion. He is so small at this point that he thinks he is a lap dog. Since Gus is a standard goldendoodle, he will soon be too big for us to pick up and hold, so I think I am going to savor our time now. 

When Gus is in his active states, he becomes quite the leaper! Here he is planning his escape from his travel crate. 

Having a puppy is hard work, there are sleepless nights and moments of frustration from his puppy-ness (too young to be trained fully, learning to be housebroken and the fact that we can't take him everywhere with us since he isn't done receiving his shots).

But then I look at this sleeping little bundle of fur and can't help but want to be by his side all the time and make sure he is content.

I'm planning to take pictures of Gus with the giant manatee every few weeks to keep track of his growth. He is still such a little doodle!

Jul 10, 2014

Final Fun in DC + Moving Time

I'm backtracking a couple of weeks here. Over my last weekend in DC, I got to check out a new event with a friend and visit one of my favorite museums for the second weekend in a row.

On Sunday, my friend and I went to the Safeway Barbecue Battle in Downtown DC. We did not know what to expect because the website did not give much information. There was competitive barbecue-ing going on but also a ton of vendors handing out free samples and swag. We most certainly did not come prepared. The first item of business was to find reusable totes to put all of our goodies in! 

After being distracted by some of the booths, we made it to the Safeway Sampling Tent, where we got stuffed. While we were in line, we noticed that other patrons had brought their own tupperware and boxes to carry all of the samples in! So funny. 

Waiting in line at the Safeway Sampling Tent

I ate some things while we were in line but I still had a huge plate full of food.

We walked around some more and found the section where the competitors' booths were set up, but it did not appear that they were cooking at that time.

There was also a row of stands with food for sale. We were so stuffed that we did not need to purchase any additional food. 

Look at that huge pile of ribs!
 Mmmm....fried stuff.

My highlight of the event was seeing the Oscar Mayer weinermobile in real life!

We ended our visit with a trip to the Ben and Jerry's stand, where we got some free ice cream! 

After the barbecue event, I headed over to the National Gallery of Art. I actually went to the Gallery the previous weekend with the same friend who went to the barbecue battle. We checked out some temporary exhibitions, but I decided I needed to go again to see some of my old favorites from the collection. 

For dinner, I went to Endo Sushi, where the staff was very sad to hear that we would be leaving DC. Raisin Bread and I had many, many meals there, and I will definitely miss it! 

The final week in DC was a blur. Moving day was especially stressful and chaotic. 

The apartment on moving day

I was so happy to get to the airport and be done with it all. I thought I was going to have a heart attack on moving day.

I got one last look at the Washington Monument from the window of the plane. So beautiful!

Since there aren't any direct flights between Albuquerque and Reagan, I went through Dallas. On the way, I was treated to this gorgeous sky. 

 I had a short stop in Dallas before my flight to Albuquerque.

Finally, made it.

I was so happy to final arrive in Albuquerque. Not only was moving extremely difficult, but I got to see Raisin Bread for the first time since mid-May. It was a happy reunion, and I was ready to start my new life in New Mexico! 

I only stayed one night in Albuquerque though because the next day, we headed to LA for my friend's wedding. More on that later! 

Jul 1, 2014

Empty House

My last day in DC has come and gone. I will try to update you on some other fun things I was able to do before I left. Moving day was an absolute disaster and so incredibly stressful. I spent one whole night in Albuquerque before Raisin Bread and I flew out to Los Angeles for my friend's wedding.

We are back "home" now. As a first time homeowner, things have been much more difficult than I was expecting. The house needs a lot more work than we thought it would. The seller did absolutely no cleaning. I would not be surprised if she did not pick up a broom since we put in the offer. On top of that, our water heater broke on Sunday! Despite all of this, I must say that the house has a lot of potential. It is going to take some time, a lot of elbow grease and some money. Maybe in a year, it will actually be what we want it to be!

The empty living room

Our belongings have also not arrived yet since they just left Arlington on Thursday. I am sure that once we get our things, it will start to feel more like home.

Now, I have to get back to scrubbing down the bathrooms!

Jun 24, 2014

My Last Days in DC

If you follow me on any of my social media outlets, you know by now that I am moving back across the country. Raisin Bread and I are packing up and heading back west. We will be calling New Mexico home!

With the knowledge that my days in DC are numbered, I have been trying to soak up as much as possible before I leave. Since moving here four years ago, I have had a love/hate relationship with DC. Two of the things that I DO love about this city are the history and the world-class culture that is accessible here.

Over my second to last weekend in DC, I decided to visit a place that has been on my to-do list for a long time - the Library of Congress's Jefferson Building.

Exterior of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress
The Court of Neptune Fountain

This place serves a scholarly purpose but is also amazingly beautiful. I wound up hopping on one of the Library's docent-led tours to learn more about the architecture and artistic details of the building.

The Great Hall of the Jefferson Building
Marble floor of the Great Hall
Stained glass ceiling windows

Every corner of the building is decorated with ceiling paintings, mosaics, sculptures and more. 

Of course, many of the details focus on learning and scholarly pursuits.

Mosaic of Minerva (Goddess of Wisdom)
The Main Reading Room

After the tour, I decided to take a detour. Directly across from the Library is the US Capitol Building. There is even a tunnel between the two buildings.

But where I was truly headed was the Supreme Court building. It was a beautiful weekend. Just look at that blue sky! 

I even walked up the steps of the Supreme Court to check out the bronze doors. The bas-reliefs depict major events throughout history pertaining to justice.

My last stop for the day was Union Station, where I hopped on the Metro.

Columbus Fountain, outside of Union Station

When I got home, two of my bunny friends were outside my apartment eating some lunch. I will miss these little furry guys! 

Eastern cottontails in Arlington