Monday, December 26, 2011

I Like Bike

You're never too old to get a bike for Christmas.

Welcome the newest member of the I Like Hike family!

I can't wait to cruise around the District on this bad-to-the-bone lady,
aptly named: The Adventurer

Addy for short.

She's flexible too.

Watch out world.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Joy of Cooking

In continuing to capture the holiday spirit this week, I made Peppermint Sugar Cookies for my coworkers last night!  Full disclosure: I need to make cookies for my book club on Sunday and last night was a much needed test run - my coworkers are just benefiting from the product.  Also - I hate going out and buying the ingredients for one specific recipe and then having the leftovers go to waste.  So I'm going to make these cookies until I run out of flour, sugar, and peppermint extract. I hope you like them, Interface.

This is the recipe I started with:
Let's talk about peppermint extract - If you live in a big city with tiny grocery stores, call ahead to be sure they have it.  Trader Joe's didn't have it.  Safeway didn't have it.  Whole Foods had it - and apparently a "topical" peppermint extract as well, but I told the employee I just wanted it for baking, not to bathe in. Thanks.

Also, in regards to the recipe, I hate peppermint about as much as I hate bananas - so I added some white chocolate chips to balance out the minty.  I started to get everything ready and I wanted my evening to be super Christmasy so I went to On Demand and put on the Christmas Yule Log.  Unfortunately, it only lasts for 5 min - but luckily I have the DVD!  "Really?" you're asking yourself...Yes, really.  Don't ask me why, but I have the yule log DVD and mine is better than the On Demand channel because it makes very realistic fire crackling noises.

I'm just warming myself by the fire.

Then I put my apron on - courtesy of Mrs. Fish

Then I laid out my ingredients - leaving out the ones that weren't in pretty Trader Joe's packaging.
Then I realized how hard it is to be a food blogger - your house has to be SO clean so weird stuff doesn't wind up in the background of your picture.
Luckily, the fire was blazing and compliments this picture quite nicely, I think.

Ok - I was totally ready to start.  Now comes the entertaining part because I'm a terrible cook.  The first hiccup came when the recipe called for room temperature butter.  Well...call me crazy, but I keep my butter in the refrigerator, so it was chilled.  I was worried this would mess with the texture of my dough - so obviously, I lit a candle and let the butter sit next to it while I prepped the other stuff.  As you might have guessed, the candle plan failed.  Disclaimer: I don't have a microwave, which would seem the obvious solution.  So my next idea was to preheat the oven and sit the butter (which is already in a measuring cup) on top of the stove.  That didn't work either.  My last remaining option was to heat the butter in the oven.  Don't worry, I didn't place the measuring cup directly on the rack.  I put the cup in a pan and put that in.  Guess what happened next?!  The measuring cup melted!!  But so did my butter - so boom.  Problem solved.

My next obstacle arose in attempting to break the peppermints into little pieces.  I couldn't find my hammer, so I used something else heavy and metal.  I unwrapped the peppermints onto a piece of tin foil, folded up the tin foil to make a peppermint pocket of sorts and then started banging.  I didn't anticipate that the foil would start tearing with every whack.  But it did.  So I got out a big knife and cut every peppermint into fourths.  I'm not kidding.  If you have a solution to this peppermint predicament - please let me know by Sunday, as I'm not looking forward to cutting more peppermints like steak.  Thanks.


The final problem was the dough.  I guess sugar cookie dough is supposed to be all crumbly - but mine was as smooth and creamy as mashed potatoes.  But whatever, I pressed on.  I didn't want to do the extra work of rolling the dough into a cellophane log anyway.  

My dough.

My cookies. 
(Excuse the terrible light)

The website's cookies.  Oops.

My cookies didn't wind up looking like the picture, but they taste really yummy! Success! And the white chocolate chips are a really nice addition.  They may not look like sugar cookies, but they were made with a lot of love.  Love, toxins from a melted measuring cup, and tiny flakes of tin foil.  







Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's a sad day for DeMartini, Kathryn

Well, the results of the Cherry Blossom 5K lottery are out, and as you can see I was "not selected."

Bummer.

The good news is that if I don't get picked next year, I automatically get to run in 2014.  And if I volunteer this year, I can automatically run in 2013.  And then, if I run it for 10 years, I never have to do this lottery thing again.  These are all ok alternatives, I guess.  But they're also alternatives for neurotic people who plan their running schedule years in advance.  

The Cherry Blossom races run on a lottery system because in 2009 the runner capacity was reached within 2 hours and 45 minutes of opening online registration.  Way to ruin it for everyone, running enthusiasts.  

In other running news, registration is officially open for The Crescent City Classic - which I'd like to run this year without getting sick.  Aim high!!  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting in the Holiday Spirit!

This is supposed to be my last week in DC before Christmas Vacation (we'll see what work dictates...) so I'm spending the week getting in the holiday spirit - which I've admittedly been feelin' since decorating the tree with my parents at Thanksgiving and the hot toddy incident.  The JATW was a great way to kick off the week, and last night I went ice skating with friends in the Sculpture Garden.  It was freezing and magical and very very fun.  The only thing missing was a little *spiked* cider or eggnog to warm us up post-ice.  Take note DC street vendors.

Katherine, Megan and Nick

Hi Amy!

We are fearless and ready!

Zamboni Time!

I was pretty nervous to get on the super slick ice post-Zambo, 
but it was actually easier and more fun to skate on the clean ice!
Who knew? Not this Florida girl.

video
You guys are pretty smooth on the ice...


Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Jingle All The Way

On Sunday morning, in freezing temperatures, I ran the Jingle All the Way 8K.  I had run this race 3 years ago when it was the Jingle All the Way 10K in Potomac Park.  I'm not sure why they shortened it - but I'm not complaining.  There's plenty of complaining for later.

I have said multiple times that after running a half marathon with my mom in college (sans training) and a 10K with strep last year in New Orleans (below sea level and 90 degrees by 9 am) - that I just don't have the desire to run more than a 5K.  Ever.  Enter Amanda and the Jingle All the Way 8K - which she insisted was only 4 miles but is actually 4.9.  I was sucked in through trickery and the absence of the math skills necessary to convert kilometers to miles.  And though I was crabby before the race started - I'm glad I did it.  In all honesty, I'll most likely be running the Crescent City Classic, a 10K, with my aunt next April too - because that's what I do: I sign up for things and then complain about them.

The JATW race is a really fun DC event.  They hand out jingle bells to tie on your shoes (so you can jingle all the way...) and everyone wears Santa hats or some form of holiday attire, including - but not limited to - reindeer antlers, elf ears, Will Ferrell "Elf" costumes, and one girl dressed as a menorah.  FYI: I am anti-dressing-up for races.  I just don't get wearing tutus to run and I'm still trying to wrap my head around "running skirts."  I digress...

But this year, I put the bells on my shoes.  Humbug.

And I have to admit Amanda's hat was pretty dern cute, and I'm sure it kept her very warm.

Other holiday running attire at the starting line

The worst part about the race was the course.  Maybe I'm the only person who thought so - but it was tracked in a way that you could almost always see people running the opposite direction towards you, and what you assumed was the finish.  What I'm trying to explain is that I thought I was "almost done" the entire time.  In actuality, there were just so many loops and turnarounds that someone may be running towards you, but not even be close to the finish!  There were also only 2 mile markers (mile 2 and mile 4) and seriously - as a testament to how terrible I am with the concepts of distance and time - when I saw the mile 2 marker I was shocked because I thought we had to be at at least mile 4.  
I don't know why this is "Stop the Silence" 8K but this WAS the course from JATW.  And see what I mean? FOUR turnarounds!  And we ran all over the freaking place from the White House, to Union Station, back over to the House Rayburn Building, around past Federal Center metro, up Independence to the Air and Space Museum, turn around AGAIN and on and on.  Then they kill you with the last leg of Pennsylvania having that weird snake around on 12th.  
I get it - I'm a whiner.  
The course was "flat and fast" but STILL - talk about the running tour of NW DC.  

The JATW was a typical run/walk.  I ran the first 2.5 miles - ran/walked a little in the middle - and from mile 4, finished strong running.  My total time was 57:04 - which I'm not disappointed with, as I'll never be one of those people who runs a 7 min mile.  Hell, I'll probably never even be one of those people who can run a 10 minute mile.  But actually, Amanda's watch tracked the race as being 5.1 miles and not 4.9 - so I may have been a little speedier than I thought.  

If you'd like to learn more - the Jingle All The Way is part of a DC series which I definitely plan on completing at some point.  St. Patty's is next.  Being that it's an 8K as well - maybe I'll shoot to beat this weekend's time.  But, eh...who's counting, most likely I'll register with Amanda and then complain about it until the finish line.


Pssss - how pretty is DC during the holidays?


Friday, December 9, 2011

And to think I was excited for 13 seconds

This afternoon I saw this tweet:


Well, I think we all know I have no idea who Kevin Durant is... but that didn't deter me from clicking through with excitement that maybe Nike had created some type of running shoe that is weatherproof, won't get your socks wet in the rain, maybe heats your feet in the cold and cools them in the summer.  The possibilities for a shoe that is ALSO a weatherman are endless!!  I realize now those are lofty goals from a running shoe, but whatever - lots of people in the 80s thought we'd have hoverboards by now, so let's move on.

It took me 3 articles and 2 videos to figure out that the "Weatherman" is: 
1.  A new basketball shoe (gross) 
2. Has no weather neutralizing benefits for your feet 
3. Has no weather predicting technology
 4. Is only called the Weatherman because the colors look like a Doplar Radar.

Womp Woooomp.

This Washington Post article describes the Weatherman as "A hot electrifying forecast for your feet."  Why would I not immediately assume that this shoe can somehow tell me the outside temperature and/or the temperature of my body while I'm running?
  

And check out this picture!  
This lead me to believe the bottom of the shoe was testing the temperature of the ground, predicting earthquakes, snow, and rain.
It turns out it's just a color scheme.

Further research informed me the shoe is weather themed because apparently this Durant character wanted to be a weatherman when he was growing up.  Instead he became a millionaire pro basketball player and famous designer of questionable, misleading sneakers.  Thanks for that. 

Maybe one day shoes will be as innovative as my brain, but until then, I suggest Nike put a disclaimer on the box that says this shoe is weather colored but can't actually predict the weather.


Monday, December 5, 2011

The Hot Mess 5K

On Saturday I ran the Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate 5K with Amanda, Hawi, and Kristen.  We all woke up at 4:30 AM to carpool and make it over to National Harbor in time for the race's 7:30 AM start time.  The race, sponsored by Ghiradelli and organized by RAM Racing, was a total disaster with a delayed start time and a disastrous, if not dangerous, course.  I had every intention of writing a scathing review this morning, but last night the owner of RAM sent around a pretty heartfelt apology email explaining what went wrong Saturday, and being that it's the holidays and all, I'm in a forgiving spirit.  They had also fed me chocolate at the end of the race, so my chagrin was quickly forgotten.

From what the email said, I feel bad for RAM because it seems as if everything that could have gone wrong on Saturday morning, did.  I'll start with my initial experiences and give the RAM version later.  Hawi, Kristen, Amanda and I arrived at the starting line around 5:45 AM.  We wandered around looking for the physical start (we had been led to believe we'd need to take a shuttle there), and not a single volunteer could tell us where to go.  Finally we realized we were parked about 20 feet from where we needed to be, so we sat in the car to keep warm.

Not long after we arrived, there were 2 traffic-stopping accidents on the Interstate inhibiting participants from getting to the parking lots and starting line.  Because of this, race officials delayed the start over and over again.  It was like the Valentine's episode of 30 Rock where Liz and Matt Damon are flying to their romantic getaway and Pilot Damon keeps saying "30 more minutes, folks."  Amanda and I were more of a "You snooze, You lose" crowd, meaning if you didn't wake up early enough to get to the race (like we did), then too bad.  But, it wasn't up to us and the race didn't kick off until 8:15.  Annoying.

Once the race did start, it was the worst course I've ever run in my 26 years.  About 2/3 of the race was on a bike trail that couldn't have been more than 8 feet wide.  So unlike other races where the start is crowded and then after the first half mile people have spread out, we were running on top of each other for most of it.  At points, I was literally jogging in place.  There were no openings in the crowd to get through and no system or room for passing.  To top it all off, runners still attempting to get from the parking lots to the starting line were walking the same trail, upstream.  So while we're running, people are walking along this trail going the wrong direction.  It's a wonder no one fell off into the harbor.

I was running so slowly in this packed crowd that I was able to snap a picture of how dense it was.

It felt like we were being herded.  Baaah.

My last and final complaint about the course is that the last third to half mile were uphill.  A significant incline uphill, not a baby molehill.  Talk about a buzzkill.  My race strategy is generally to huff and puff and think about how much I hate running for the first 2 and 3/4 miles.  Then I open up, make up for lost time and sprint at the end.  Yeah, that just isn't happening on an uphill finish.  

We sat in the car for over 2 hours to keep warm.


Now, RAM had an explanation for all of this (except the uphill finish line) which really put things into perspective.  The accidents were actually more trouble than they seemed.  The police halted traffic to clean them up.  The Maryland parking authorities promised they could park more cars than they actually could.  The bus company delivered far fewer shuttles than they promised and the accidents halted those busses shuttling passengers from the metro meetup points to the start line.  And this is really the clincher: The lead biker who was guiding the start of the 5K was misdirected by the police and we literally ran the course backwards.  The owner says this resulted:  

"This action directed the 5K in the opposite direction from the way it was supposed to flow, insuring that the runners would run into themselves.  We had to open up the start line much faster than we would have liked, in order to avoid returning runners from running into outbound runners, which would not have been a problem if the lead runner was allowed to follow the planned course."

And this explains why we ran the narrowest part of the course first.  Good grief Charlie Brown.

At the end, I finished the race in 33:42.  Not bad considering the crowd and a few very steep hills (which, now that I think about it, we should have run downhill instead of up...)  

The most successful part of the race could be considered the afterparty.  We all received Ghiradelli hot chocolate fondue with a pretzel, apple slices, marshmallow, banana and rice crispie treat.  In seconds, my angst over the terrible course was eased.  Nothing like the calories you just burned waiting for you at the finish line.

Fondue

Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate

Fun Merchandise!  "Will Run for Chocolate"
  
Honestly, I talked to a lot of runners who had the same problems I did with the race.  And we swore that RAM Racing would lose any of our business in the future.  However, after reading RAM's apology, and realizing that it wasn't their poor planning, but the stellar execution by the Maryland police, I personally have decided that I'd be more than willing to give RAM a second chance.  I just hope the next race they organize is sponsored by Tiffany.  


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Up All Night

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, my mom and I decided we were going to run the Swine Time Festival 5K in Climax, Georgia.  On Friday, I thought I was preparing for the race appropriately, eating bananas and "carbing up" with leftover stuffing and potatoes.  I would've eaten those carbs anyway - being that it was the day after Thanksgiving because I've never been a fan of carbing up.  We used it as an excuse to eat a lot during college crew, but as my college body quickly showed - an 8 minute race does not 3 bagels burn.  I think I was doing it wrong.

Moving on, Mom and I thought we were race ready.  On Friday night we got into the Christmas spirit by decorating our tree, listening to holiday music, and drinking hot toddies by the fire.  My dad normally makes hot toddies by warming eggnog and adding a little brandy.  We found a new recipe this year that was delicious - Hot tea, brandy, lemon and honey.  Hot tea.  Black tea.  Black caffeinated tea.  What I'm trying to say is that the night before this race, my mom, dad and I did not sleep at all.  It was terrible.  And it was terrible to run the race exhausted.

At 7AM we were tired, but ready to go!

The course was more difficult than I normally run...I don't want to exaggerate so I'm just referring to the course as "rolling molehills."  There was enough incline/decline action going on that it slowed me down and wore me out.  I don't know the official time, but I finished somewhere between 33 and 34 minutes.  I actually finished 5th in my age group, 20-29...out of five people.  Just kidding.  I don't know how many people were in my age group.  I also know I finished 68th overall...out of 68 people.  Just kidding - Gotcha again!  

Finishers!

We had a blast!  I'm hoping that when I go home for Christmas there is another local race to run.  I'm also hoping we remember to drink decaf past noon.



Monday, November 28, 2011

The Long and Winding Road

On Thanksgiving day, after the Turkey was put in the oven and the sides all prepped, my mom and I decided to go for a hike around their and their neighbors' land.  For anyone who doesn't know, my parents live in the middle of nowhere off of a dirt road that is about 2 miles long and about 20 miles from the nearest town - which only has one stoplight.  Hillbilly.

We started by exiting behind the guest house through the fields that our neighbor rents from us and farms.  Usually they're growing cotton, which around Thanksgiving is at it's peak and ready to be picked - it's beautiful and my parents' house sits amongst a field of snowy white poofs.  This year - it was a little more brown.  As crop rotation would have it, Mr. Maxwell grew peanuts instead.

Peanuts left over from the harvest.

We walked through what was left of the peanut fields onto Maxwell Rd.  We took a right and headed to Cal Thomas which is about a third of a mile down the road.


The beginning of the 1.8 mile stretch of dirt road.

We walked from one end of Cal Thomas to the other and then back to the house.  It was about 4 miles and took a little less than 2 hours.  The day was beautiful and later our Thanksgiving feast was wonderful - We have a lot to be thankful for.

A small country church

This man was using a metal contraption - a stick with what looks like a hamster wheel on the end - to pick up pecans that had fallen from the trees.

Pecan Tree

Oh, Hay

Deer tracks

The other end of Cal Thomas - from here we turned around and went back.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tammany Trace

Last weekend I was in New Orleans and hiked with my cousin, Mary!

Being that a hike in Louisiana would not be part of my 60 Hikes book, I did some research online to find us a trail.  What I found was a really cool website and iphone app, that is a social network for hikers, called EveryTrail.  You can access trails and traveling tips online based on other travelers' reviews, download them to your account and then access them on your phone!  It is really very cool.

Using Every Trail, I saw a review for Tammany Trace which is across Lake Pontchartrain in Covington, LA.  The trail is about 27 miles and takes a whole day.  I had read on EveryTrail that the trail takes you right past the Abita Springs Brewery, and that it's only about 2 miles from the start of the bike trail.  My genius plan was to start at the beginning, walk to the brewery, have a little taste, and walk back to the  car, totaling a 4 mile hike.  Well, this is where EveryTrail gets fishy...The brewery wasn't on the trail.  It was no where near the trail, as the hike reviewer had suggested.  Abita Springs Brewery was actually on a very busy highway.  Mary, her dog Saphire, and I tried to rough it without a trail, but at the end of the day, concern for our safety told us to turn around.  We wound up going about a mile and a half into the bike trail/woodsy area and then turning around and heading back.  I didn't clock it, but I'd say we walked 2.5 to 3 miles total. 


Marsh.

Scary little house.

Although there wasn't a beer reward at the end, it was probably for the best.  I don't think drinking and working out are really the perfect pair anyway.  I was happy to have gotten a hike in on vacation...and Mary and I had plenty of drinks later!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Timelight Zone

Instead of hiking this weekend, I traveled to Iowa and entered what I'm calling *do do do do do do do do doooo* THE TIMELIGHT ZONE.  

You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Timelight Zone

Really though, my flights were ridiculous, uncomfortable, and the flight attendents were just plain weird.

My first flight from DC was delayed and my layover in Chicago was only an hour.  I was anxious because I already have a hard enough time figuring out if the "departure time" is the time they stop boarding or the time they take-off.  I've experienced both and it's very confusing.  The fact that my 7:20 flight didn't start boarding until 7:20 tipped me off that no matter how American Airlines calculates their itinerary, we were running late and I was at risk of missing my connector.  I voiced my concern to the flight attendant, hoping she'd offer to like, hold the plane for my royal visit to Dubuque, or something.  I explained that my connector in Chicago takes off at 9:30, and by the look of things we were clearly going to be landing later than our 8:30 arrival time.  I'm not sure if this will be as funny in writing as it was in my real life, but picture this: the flight attendant stared at me blankly and said, "But Chicago is in a different time zone, so when it's 8:30 here...." She then officially confused herself and she passed out.  Not really.  But as she trailed off I said, "OK, our arrival time is already adjusted on this boarding pass, so when it's 8:30 in Chicago...it's really 8:30 in Chicago..." I can't even think about it.   Neither could Flighty.   She said she would come back with more information.  Obviously, she didn't.  I have to assume something super important was on her mind, like the status of her application to Mensa.  You never know.

I had officially entered the Timelight Zone - which if you haven't figured it out yet, is my mixture of the Time Zone Twilight Zone.  See, I'm really funny like that.

Tonight's episode is a double feature, "Flighty 2: The Sequal."  Unlike other sequels I tend to think this one is just as good as the original.

During the same flight my cell phone was off per FAA regulations and no one around me was wearing a watch. (See how spooky this sequel is getting?) I was starting to get antsy about my flight stati, so I called over flight attendant number 2 who WAS wearing a watch to ask the time and give her a rundown of my sitch.  Well - this lady is of course wearing a broken watch.  I can't make this up - we're officially in the Zone.  As I explained my angst over potentially missing the last flight for the night to the glamorous destination of Dubuque, she continued to check her watch - which we already established is broken - and kept telling me we'd be landing in about 20 minutes.  To be fair, I understand that her point was we were "almost there," but it didn't really matter how soon we were landing if it was, let's say, 9:10.  Get where I'm going with this?  Good, you're already exponentially more capable of being a flight attendant than this lady.

We landed at B21 and I had to hike it to L4.  
I made it - no thanks to the Earhart Twins.

The thrilling conclusion of this saga is that both flights were about a thousand degrees.  Not just because there was no air on, but because the vents were blowing hot air.  It was like the rainforest at 32,000 feet.  People in the back were complaining (and let's be honest, by people, I mean me) and Flighty kept saying something - which I still haven't figured out - like, "It's a *Something* Cockpit."  The gist of it was though, that the air flow was controlled by the pilot, and the pilot was in a sealed cockpit and there was no way for the flight attendants to communicate with him.  I found that weird...and then I realized, maybe the terrorists have won.  Ugh.

The irony about all of this was that I was praying I would miss my connector in Chicago so that I could race over to my brother's house and give a big hug to my niece and nephew!!  Alas, the Timelight Zone had other plans for me.  And in the words of Rod Serling, Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas; you've just crossed over into... Iowa.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

These are my confessions

Enter Usher and Real World analogies because I'm about to take it to the confessional and things are going to get real.

If I'm gonna tell it then I gotta tell it all...

On Saturday I put away all of my summer clothes and brought my winter clothes out of their suitcase/storage in the closet.  There is definitely something exciting about pulling out winter items that I haven't seen in six months...it's like shopping in your own closet, and it's free!  There's also something really sad about putting away summer dresses that I didn't get to wear this year because of my chubbiness.  Le tear.

But - that's what this blog is for, right?  Getting my chubbybunny tail back into shape and sharing it with you!  Therefore, I'm making a pre-New Year's resolution to keep hiking and working out through the winter, no matter how miserable the weather gets.  I've already lost about 14 lbs. since August and NEXT summer - when I'm sitting secluded in an edit suite because of the looming election - I will be in the cutest dresses known to fashion.  By that time, they'll be a few years old and I'll start referring to my wears as 'vintage.'  I can see it now.

You heard it here first - I have another 15 lbs. to go to get back to what I've referred to as "My 2009 Body."  Slowly but surely; one hike at a time; other motivating cliche here.  Thanks for letting me share this goal!  Something about putting it in writing makes me positive it will become a reality.

And feel free to call me on this next June.  Thanks.

Monday, October 31, 2011

5K for AIDS

I didn't hike this weekend because Amanda and I had registered for the Aids 5K on Saturday morning.  That's ok, it still counts.

Boy, was it miserable.  Saturday morning was freezing and rainy.  Amanda and I both contemplated skipping it, but because we had our "Oh Sh*t" moments at separate times of the morning, we were able to motivate each other to show up.  I woke up and saw that it was a light drizzle and very cold.  I texted her to say I would still show up, but was in no way running if it was pouring rain.  She said she would still go too, so even though I desperately wanted to climb back into bed (I'm rarely awake when it's still dark outside), I layered up and headed to Freedom Plaza.  Around 7:15, I was on my way and getting a coffee at Starbucks when I got a text from Amanda saying "Have you left yet?  It is REALLY gross outside."  I called her and said, yes I'd left but if she wanted to cancel, that was fine with me.  I stressed that the rain was just a drizzle so running wouldn't be so bad, and she agreed to go.  

True Story: A guy at Starbucks asked me if I was running in the race and said he was going to cheer on friends.  He said he felt really bad for us runners because of the terrible weather.  He was running the Marine Corps Marathon the next day and the forecast was perfect.  I laughed and told him not to feel too bad, I felt bad for him that he had to run 26.2 miles in any weather.  Ba dum chhhhh.

Anywho, The race was a flat 5K starting at 12th and Penn, running up Penn towards the Capitol, and looping back to the starting line. I haven't gotten the official results yet, but I finished in about 31:00.

I prepped for the race by not working out at all the week before.  It sounds silly, but my calfs and shins have been killing me, so I wanted my legs to be really rested for maximum performance.  I have calf cramping issues, so I ate tons of Spinach for potassium the week before.  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before the race I also forced myself to eat bananas.  I hate bananas, I always have. (I love banana chips and banana bread though - don't ask me why.)  I hate the texture, the smell and the flavor, I hate everything about them.  But I know from past race prep, that banana potassium is my instant preemptive remedy for cramping - potassium supplements just aren't the same.  That was my prep and it worked!  I ran the whole thing without stopping, not even run/walking!  So proud!

Yum. No. Yuck!

Amanda and I - Ready to Run.  Love her parka, BTW.

Amanda also had an AWESOME tip for sneaker care after running or hiking in the rain:
Put newspaper in your kicks to soak up the water!  Less than 24 hours later, my sneaks were dry and they weren't stinky with mildew.  For those of us who can't stick our sneaks in the dryer because it'll cost $1.50, this is a free and awesome solution.  
Smarty pants.

Overall, I am so glad my lazy butt didn't climb right back into bed at 6:30 AM because the rain really held off and the race was so fun.  Amanda is much faster than me so she finished first, but right when I finished, a little after 9:00, the rain really started pouring.  I told her that if this was what the weather had been 2 hours earlier, there was no way I would have run.  So I guess in a way, my Motivation Cookie was right: It can't rain all the time.  Or maybe it should have said: You can't blame the rain all the time.  Close enough.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Are you ready for your close-up?

Well now, has everyone seen this article about "Party Politics" - the new reality series they're casting for young, hot, politicos who like their party and to party?



I know what you're thinking: Kat, this is your big chance to have reality show cameras follow you around!  Think again.  This show sounds utterly un-interesting to the 99% of the population living outside the beltway.  And should it turn into some type of Political Jersey Shore, I think it will only leave people more distrusting of politics than they already are.  You and I are, after all, the leaders of tomorrow and if anyone has ever seen what goes on on Pennsylvania Ave when the sun goes down - I think they'd definitely fear the future.

And then selfishly I think - yikes, who would ever hire you again after a show like this?  I have my future to worry about people, so I'll stay behind the camera, where I make magic happen.

I'll totally be watching though if this baby ever goes to air, and I'll most likely be jealous of their JShore success.  Oh well, we can't all be reality show stars like Matt...  But if you feel so inclined to audition, you can do so here.

You're on your own for the paper app.  But if you need a producer/editor for your video tape, I'm available for a nominal fee.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hiking in Heels

Continuing in the Halloweenie spirit - I went with friends last night to the High Heel Drag Queen Race here in DC.  It's an annual DC event, always the Tuesday before Halloween.  It's pretty much the closest DC gets to Mardi Gras - and I'd never been!

It was a ball.  They start with kind of a parade down 17th street.  The drag queens show off their costumes, interact with the viewers, pose for pictures, etc.  They're all so funny, and honestly some of them looked pretty damn good!  My favorite quote of the night was one queen commenting to the other, "Where the hell are all the eligible bachelors?  All I see are girls, girls, girls."  Le sigh, I have that thought every day, Priscilla, every.single.day.

Anywho, the race started at 9 on the dot and really only lasted about 3 minutes, but it was the best 3 minutes EVER.  Some of the queens were actually sprinting, but mostly, they sauntered down 17th.  I'll be going to this event again next year for sure!  What a blast!!


Black Swan was definitely the prominent theme of the evening.

Sprinting from the starting line!

The White Swan fell - I think the Black Swan pushed her.

Then they sauntered.

I have a lot of respect for these ladies running in heels.  Lord knows, most of the time I can barely walk in them.  I'm making them all honorary hikers.

This is the closest I've ever come to hiking in heels:
Alaska

As a closing thought, I was actually surprised I didn't see any Snookie costumes or other JShore themed queens.  But I guess the point is to dress up and look like women, and femininity seems to be lacking in my beloved Jersey characters.  Oh well, Snookie Waaaaaah!