Dec 31, 2012

Weeks 8 and 9 Training Update + Goals

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is ready for the new year! It's coming!

I had an eventful two weeks of quality time with the hubs and family. As we were traveling to join our families, Raisin Bread and I got into a road accident, which was probably the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I am thankful that my husband and I are okay. The car is another story.

As you can see below, my training regime is a little off right now due to the weather and the holidays, but I have been playing catch up.

Week 8
Tuesday - ran 3 miles
Thursday - ran 2.8 miles

Week 9
Thursday - ran 2.8 miles
Saturday - ran 4 miles

I received some welcome news last week. I got into the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in April! Yay! So excited to run this race.

In addition to lots of good food and company, I got a bunch of gear off my wish list from my awesome family members and in-laws:

A headlamp and pair of reflective armbands for night running.

Waterproof jacket from The North Face

Two running skirts. Guess which one is for my Princess Half outfit!

Not running gear but also items that will encourage my physical activity. Bike helmet and bike lock

I'm excited to take all of these gifts on a test drive
Finally as this year draws to a close, I started thinking about what I want to accomplish over the next year. I typically don't make new year's resolutions. I prefer the concept of goals instead. I also find it helpful to write  those goals down, so with that, my goals for the next 6 months are:

1. Finish my MBA
2. Finish my first 10 miler
3. Finish my first half marathon
4. Exercise three times a week
5. Participate in Meatless Mondays regularly - I have been doing this on and off for a while but would like to be more consistent.
6. Eat out less = save money

Dec 17, 2012

Weeks 6 and 7 Training Update

I just realized that I missed a weekly update. Apologies! Finals, holidays,'ve heard the excuses before. 

I've been trying to mix up my workouts with running and other activities, but have not been super successful so far! 

Week 6
Sunday - strength training
Tuesday - ran 3.1 miles and strength training
Friday - 55 minute Pilates Jumpboard class
Saturday - ran 4 miles

Week 7
Sunday - ran 2 miles
Tuesday - ran 2.8 miles and strength training
Thursday - ran 2.8 miles
Saturday - ran 8.6 miles (Whoa!)

I found myself in New York City this weekend so I decided to work my long run into my trip. I ran from Downtown Brooklyn, across the Brooklyn Bridge, continuing west and around the tip of Manhattan and back. Walking Running across the Brooklyn Bridge was one of the things that I have always wanted to do but never got around to it. I was happy to have the chance to finally do it!

Brooklyn to Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge

It was a beautiful day for running and once I got to the perimeter of the island, the crowds dissipated and I was left in the company of just a few fellow runners. I also got to see this lovely lady. Tiny from here! 

Statue of Liberty

Getting back to Brooklyn, I hit a snag and lost my way for a bit and got extremely frustrated, but I eventually made it back.

Stay tuned for more on my trip to New York!

Dec 8, 2012

After run treat!

From Crumbs Bakeshop

Crumbs Bake Shop
2839 Clarendon Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201

Dec 3, 2012

Week 5 Training Update

Twelve more weeks to go! Let me just say that running in the cold is getting more and more difficult and it is still only December. Don't know what I am going to do for my long runs once it starts getting for reals cold.

Luckily, running gives me the opportunity to enjoy some of the sights in this fair city even it is does require braving the nippy temperatures. Here are a few of the sights my past training runs have taken me to so far.
Marine Corps Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, 
World War II Memorial, The White House, the National Christmas Tree in the Ellipse, 
Albert Einstein Memorial and the Washington Monument

Tuesday: Ran 2.03 miles
Friday: Ran 2.77 miles
Saturday: Ran 7.29 miles (new distance record!) 

Nov 29, 2012

Meet Dear Kate

A few months back, I had the opportunity to meet the team from Dear Kate at the Getting Gorgeous event in NYC. I immediately thought what a fantastic product they created for active and busy women! Their "underthings" are made using performance fabrics and have three absorbent and leak-resistant layers.

I don't know about you, but I am one of those ladies who has a secret stash of undies (aka granny panties) for that time of the month. I've always wished I had the confidence to wear pretty underthings and not be stressed about ruining them. Now I can...with Dear Kates!

Dear Kate was created by women for women. The founder utilized her chemical engineering background to develop this new line of undergarments.

I recently tried out a pair of Dear Kate's Friday Night Fabulous Bikini with mini lining. Conveniently, I also had the perfect occasion to sport them to: my brother's engagement party! This style is made with microfiber and trimmed with black lace. I loved the super soft fabric, making for a comfy, functional and sexy pair of undies! This style is also available with the full lining. 

Other available cuts include: hipster, thong, cheeky and high-rise. Pre-orders are now being accepted for shipping on December 5th. Dear Kate is also generously offering $10 off to readers until December 31st. Just use this coupon code.

To find out more about Dear Kate:
Visit their website:
Follow them on Twitter:
Like them on Facebook:

Disclosure: I received a pair of underwear from Dear Kate for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure here

Nov 28, 2012

Run Recap: 30th Annual YMCA Bethesda Turkey Chase 10K

On Thanksgiving morning, I ran in the 30th Annual YMCA Bethesda Turkey Chase. This was my first 10K and the longest distance I have ever completed. For the Princess Half Marathon, runners are required to submit a proof of time in order to be placed in a starting point other than that last corral and the proof of time also needs to be from a 10K or higher. So running this race served a purpose other than trying out my pink running skirt, which I previously told you about.

My hope for the run was to beat a time of 1:15.

On Wednesday night, I laid out my race outfit, which Raisin Bread found quite amusing.

Originally, Raisin Bread was slated to run with me but he has not been feeling well for two weeks now. He was there to cheer me on though.

We didn't arrive very early so I had just enough time to pick up my race bib, tie on my running chip and visit the bathroom before it was time to line up.

Pinning on my race bib
There were some turkeys getting their gobble on.

Then we were off!

The course was extremely hilly and not very scenic, which made for a challenging run for me.

So how did I do?
1663 241/278 2021 Irene Stirling 32 Arlington VA 1:24:22 1:10:30 11:21 

I beat my goal time by 4:30! Woohoo! And I went home with a tech shirt in women's large. When will race organizers realize that they need to order more small sizes?

Nov 26, 2012

Week 4 Training Update

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and was able to take a break! I am back to the grind today with 3 weeks left of this semester. Then it's four weeks of winter break (can't wait!) before I enter the final stretch of business school. 

Not much to report on the training front this week. My breakdown was:
Wednesday: Ran 2.8 miles
Thursday: Turkey Chase 10K
Sunday: Ran 3 miles

On Saturday, I met up with a friend for lunch at Georgia Brown's. The restaurant was weirdly empty almost the entire time we were there. On the other hand, it made for a good environment to catch up! I went all out and got the fried chicken with mashed potatoes, collard greens and gravy. The chicken was moist and the skin was crisp, which makes good fried chicken in my book! 

Georgia Brown's
950 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Nov 22, 2012

Week 3 Training Update #sweatpink

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! I know this update is slightly late, but better late than never, right? I was in Los Angeles for a few days, celebrating my brother's engagement, so that wonked up my schedule a bit. While I was there I was able to procure my favorite fruit, persimmons. How I love thee! Thanks, Shirley!

Anyhow, I am happy to announce that I am a Sweat Pink Ambassador! What is a Sweat Pink Ambassador? you ask. In a nutshell, Sweat Pink Ambassadors "sweat hard, play hard, and inspire those around them to achieve their best selves." I am super excited to be a part of this program and can't wait to see what opportunities are ahead for me to get connected and learn from this community of women. 

I also got me some pink swag. If anyone needs a pair of pink shoelaces, hit me up. They make you run faster, really. 

My breakdown for the week was:

Wednesday: Ran 2.27 miles
Thursday: Ran 2.38 miles
Saturday: Ran 6.12 miles

For my Saturday training session, I had the chance to run with my sister who was also in Los Angeles for the celebrations. It was awesome since we will be doing the Princess Half together, plus the scenery was beautiful as we ran towards the ocean and the weather was gorgeous!

Today, I completed my first 10K race so stay tuned for that!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Nov 14, 2012

Farewell, Cape May

For the past three years, I have been attending Raisin Bread's annual family trip to the Jersey shore. This year marked what will likely be their last trip, so we made an extra effort to go this year even though it was only for one day.

First, we celebrated a wedding in the Poconos. The next morning, we had breakfast at the piggy-est restaurant ever: Hickory Valley Restaurant in Swiftwater, PA. Everything was pork-tastic and there was quite a collection of pig paraphernalia.

Then we went to pick up my brother from Philly and finished the drive to the shore. The shore season had ended by this point in September so it was much less crowded than other years when we had gone in August, but still as beautiful and tranquil as ever. 

We saw some old favorites, like Congress Hall, and some new sights as well, like the sunken ship.

I will miss you, Cape May but I am glad I got to spend time there with my husband, his family and my family!

Nov 12, 2012

Week 2 Training Update

What a week! I'm sooo happy that the election is finally over. This was my first presidential election cycle living in a battleground state and it was super annoying, with the ads on the internet and television constantly, but also knowing how much money was being wasted on the election was extremely aggravating. Now, can we all finally move on?

I had a long weekend for Veterans' Day so I had some free time to cook. I decided to make some kimchee after attending a kimchee making class. I went with spring onions. It will still be a few days so I am still waiting patiently to see how it turns out!

This week was kind of rough for me on the running front. My body just felt so tired so I'm glad I didn't have to up my distance this week.

Tuesday - Ran 2.82 miles
Thursday - One hour Circuit class focusing on arms, glutes and inner thighs plus ran 2.15 miles
Saturday - Ran 2.67 miles

Nov 7, 2012

Easy, breezy in Puerto Rico

Well, it looks like fall is finally upon us. The colder weather has me thinking about warmer climates so now seems like a good time as any to share about our trip to Puerto Rico this past January. Raisin Bread and I spent two days on our own and then met up with a friend from NYC. 

We arrived in San Juan very late on our first night and simply picked up our rental car and drove to the hotel in the business district of San Juan.  

Our first day was packed with lots of activity. Unfortunately, over the last nine months, we managed to lose all of the pictures that we took using our underwater camera. Our first stop was Pelayo's for breakfast, where we had a difficult time communicating and, yet, were able to procure some yummy sandwiches, flan and coffees!

Next, we drove an hour to the east to visit El Yunque National Forest. We climbed to the top of Yokahu Observation Tower, which gave us amazing views of the forest, and we visited two waterfalls, La Coca Falls and La Mina Falls. There seemed to be a taekwondo club doing a photo shoot the entire time we were there. We went to La Coca Falls first and when we came back, they were still there!

We continued our drive east to Luquillo Beach and found ourselves a nice piece of sand for a short nap before we had a late lunch at the kioskos. I wanted to sample every stall along the beach but we finally settled on ceviche! So delicious!

We kayaked in the bioluminescent bay, which was my number one must-do for this trip. It did not disappoint. The moon was bright and after making our way through the mangroves, we were transported to another world of dinoflagellates. 

Our grand plan for the evening was to attend the San Sebastian Festival in Old Town San Juan but it was not meant to be. We gave up on the public transportation and everyone we talked to urged us not to drive downtown. Instead, we found ourselves a pile of chicken wings and a mountain of mofongo at Waiter's Bar and Grill. 

The second part of our trip was spent in Rincon, where the surf rats go to chill. While we aren't surf rats, chilling sounded like a good idea. 

Along the drive from San Juan to Rincon, we stumbled upon an extremely popular empanadilla truck and were treated to beautiful views of the coast line. 

Once in Rincon, I believe we spent entirely too much time at Tamboo, where I will admit to having at least one pina colada, and proceeded to purchase the "Pirate Special" at Villa Cofresi. But hey, it came with a free sunset. 

After dinner, we headed back to our vacation house to settle in for the night when, lo and behold, there was a birthday party at the clubhouse! As we were walking past the sliding glass doors, the birthday boy waved us in. That is how we ended the night with some super fun locals and Banda Kamaleon

The next morning, my ears were still ringing. This iguana we found laying by the pool seemed to have the right idea. 

Instead, like any reasonable person, I decided to follow through on my original plan to go to a detox yoga class. I'm happy I did. It was the first time I've done a yoga class outdoors. Being outside on the beach, where it was peaceful and quiet, was just what I needed. 

We eventually made our way back to San Juan, where we had a few hours to explore Old San Juan before heading home to D.C. 

Nov 5, 2012

Week 1 Training Update

I thought that it would probably be a good idea for me to keep track of how my training for the Princess Half is going, so I will be providing a weekly update of where I am. Things so far have been going great. I'm lucky that Raisin Bread has agreed to go running with me whenever I want. He's a great running buddy! 

Before I give you the update, I went the Hurricane. As I said before, I'm pretty new to running. Therefore, I had no idea that running skirts existed. Of course, I had to buy one when I found out about them though. Cute and functional! I bought this pink skirt. There are shorts on the inside with side pockets and a cable outlet. I'm pretty set on wearing this during the half marathon, but first, I will have to take it on a test drive. 

My second purchase was a fanny pack. I've been using this Nike Running Shoe Wallet for years now to hold my house keys and carrying my cell phone in my hand. It finally dawned on me that I would be extremely unhappy if I dropped my Samsung Galaxy S3 on the ground. Something like that was bound to happen eventually so I decided to get the waist pack. 

So far, I have only attempted to put my house keys and my phone in the pack and both have fit fine. I've been on two runs with it so far and haven't found it to be uncomfortable. It also doesn't bounce around much, which I was afraid it might do. 

Now for the update:

Sunday - Ran 1.36 miles
Tuesday - Ran 2.19 miles
Thursday - Ran 2.26 miles
Friday - One hour Reformer class focusing on upper back, obliques and thighs
Saturday - Ran 5.38 miles

Hooray! Super proud of my progress so far!

I'll leave you with a photo of me all bundled up for Saturday's run! It's gotten very chilly.

See you for next week's update. Until then, keep moving!

Oct 31, 2012

I'm training for a half marathon? plus Ai Wei Wei: According to What?

So what happens when I get stuck at home for four days straight? I sign up for a half marathon! Yes, folks, it looks like I have 18 weeks to train for this. My sister should get at least 75 percent of the blame, but I am both excited and anxious about how my training will go. You see, I have never run anything longer than a 5K so this is going to be quite a challenge. My goal is to follow my training regime to a tee over the next 18 weeks and just do what feels right on race day.

Today was my first official training day and I managed to follow through with it despite the rain and 45 degree weather. I think the most difficult part will be getting in runs before work since on some of my training days, I go straight to school after work. It is going to be tough getting those runs in!

Any advice for a first time half-marathoner would be appreciated!
On Sunday, husband and I were walking around and saw this Lululemon store boarded up for the impending storm. I didn't see any other stores boarded up but we also weren't out and about much after I took this photo.


Last weekend, my schoolwork wasn't as heavy so Raisin Bread and I had some time to check out Ai Wei Wei's According to What? exhibit at the Hirshhorn. I found this exhibit to be quite fascinating in terms of the subject matter and the variety of mediums he uses.

Oct 30, 2012

The Day after Sandy #frankenstorm

Grateful that there wasn't much damage in my neighborhood. Stay safe, everyone!

Oct 22, 2012

Eating and Museum-hopping in DC

The baby brother and the baby brother's future wifey came to visit us in August. It gave me, at least, a time to step away from the computer and enjoy some of the things that DC has to offer and I rarely have the free time to take advantage of.

Our first stop was the National Building Museum to see the LEGO Architecture exhibit. This exhibit displayed models of famous structures from around the world, like Fallingwater, the Empire State Building and Burj Khalifa, made entirely of LEGOs! Color me impressed.

Their visit also coincided with DC Restaurant Week, which gave us the perfect opportunity to try a new restaurant. We chose Jose Andres's Zaytinya because their mezze menu is perfect for sharing with a small group.

Since there was four of us, ordering was very easy. We just ordered one of everything from the restaurant week menu, with the exception of dessert which we ordered two of each.

The restaurant's food is inspired by Greek, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine. One thing that stood out to us almost immediately was their never-ending bread basket. We did not stop getting these baskets of puffy, warm pita breads the whole time. They must have switched out our baskets at least four times.

Our first courses consisted of hommus, imam bayildi (Ottoman style roasted eggplant stuffed with onions and tomatoes, karpuzi me feta (compressed watermelon, feta, kalamata olives and mint), and fattoush (tomato, cucumber, red onion, green pepper, radish, pita chips, pomegranate vinegar dressing).

Each dish was light and simple, which was a great place to start for our meal. 

For our second course, we had  seared salmon (Samke Harra-style with coriander, cardamom, pickled Lebanese chiles, pine nuts and tahini sauce), kotopoulo youvetsi (chicken, orzo, tomato, kefalograviera cheese), Ottoman pilaf (saffron rice, dates, pistachios) and shish taouk (grille chicken thigh, sumac, onions, garlic tuom, grilled tomatoes). 

The orzo dish was by far the most unappealing dish of our entire meal. It was simply unexciting. I was surprised by the flavorfulness of the chicken, however, so that was a welcome surprise. 

Then came some heavier dishes of crispy brussels afelia (brussels sprouts, coriander seed, barberries, garlic yogurt),  keftedes kapama (beef meatballs, feta cheese, rustic tomato sauce, cinnamon, allspice), garides me anitho (sauteed shrip, dill, shallots, mustard, lemon juice), and adana kebab (skewered ground lamb, house-made harissa, grilled tomatoes, sumac, onions).

The two dishes that I thought I would love were just okay for me due to flavor issues. I typically love brussels sprouts in any preparation. I had a hard time with this version though because I found the sauce to have the consistency of a mayonnaise, which turned me off a bit. I did think that the addition of berries was very interesting and tasty. I also found that they were a little heavy handed with the dill on the shrimp dish as well. 

Last but not least were desserts of Greek Yogurt and Apricots (muscat soaked apricots, vanilla yogurt cream, apricot sorbet and pistachio powder) and Turkish Delight (walnut ice cream, yogurt moose, honey gelee, orange-caramel sauce, caramelized pine nuts). 

Both were a nice ending to a pleasant meal. I didn't find either dessert to be overly sweet and I was happy that they were both relatively light compared to the meal we had just completed. 

Following lunch, we walked across the street to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art to see The Art of Video Games exhibit and walk around the permanent collection. Seeing this exhibit made me realize that I have pretty much been alive through the whole history that is explored in the exhibition. I am so old! 

The rest of the day was spend at the National Gallery's Sculpture Garden, eating Korean bbq and watching ParaNorman.

The next day we ventured to Kushi, which had previously been one of my favorite restaurants in DC, for their jazz brunch. The music was slightly too loud and the service was unacceptably slow. If it weren't for those two factors, the meal would have been enjoyable as I thought the food was just as good as it had been every other time I have been there.

The brunch for two people included two cocktails, one starter, two entrees and a dessert. I ordered their Yuzu orange mimosa and ocean's oyako don (salmon sashimi and salmon roe with scallion, nori and wasabi over sushi rice) and shared the 2-piece raw oysters and the sea salt gelato.

After brunch, we visited the Air and Space Museum before we had to drop off the sib and his betrothed to Union Station.

701 9th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Kushi Izakaya & Sushi
465 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001