Monthly Archives: August, 2012

A Summer in Summation

We’re not doing Friday Favorites this week. I lost my iPhone on the cruise (wahhhhhhhhhhh) and then I got an insurance replacement but of course it’s a piece of crap refurbished phone so I hate it and I’ve kind of been avoiding it. Therefore, I didn’t take any pictures of my “favorite happenings” of the week this week. Let me think of a few of my favorite moments of the past week right now: Mike and I went whitewater river tubing in Harper’s Ferry, WV for our one-year anniversary on Saturday. Then we went out for pizza at Pete’s New Haven Apizza (the site of our very first date actually… and he let me order a WHITE PIZZA woot woot). Then he gave me this šŸ™‚ (ok I lied, I took one picture this week… but the lighting isn’t good b/c my apartment is like a cave.

Woohoo my very own motorcycle jacket!!!! And it’s awesome because it is purple / pink with a sparkly design on the shoulder. He even got the size right… good for you honey! Now I really wanna go for a ride.

I digress… other favorite moments of the week: I ate Carvel Ice Cream Cake which is absolutely the best ice cream cake available and my friend Bryan and I ALMOST won a cornhole tournament at our company picnic yesterday. We lost in the championship game… womp womp. Anyways, that’s it. I’m really, really looking forward to this holiday weekend because Mike and I are visiting his family in Charlottesville!! I cannot wait to get out of the city and enjoy some sun, fresh air, and lake water.

It’s Labor Day though which means that another summer has come to an end (I know the season isn’t technically over, but I run my seasons more on a monthly basis meaning June, July, August are summer and then September, October and November are Fall). So today’s post is a summer in summation!

Here are my favorite things I did this summer, and the posts that go along with them šŸ™‚

Bonnaroo Day 1, Bonnaroo Day 2, Bonnaroo Day 3

Hiking w/ MikeĀ 

Father’s Day

One Year Anniversary with Mike

My trip to Europe: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3

Trail Running

A Day at the Beach

Now I’m setting my sights on the Fall and thinking about the exciting things that will be happening this season! Monday, there’s another seasonal checklist coming your way so stay tuned and HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND!!! Here’s a picture of Fig just to keep you going…

You Gotta Acknowledge Your Crazy

I haven’t written a post in several weeks now with updates about my “quest for resolving my issues with food” but the other day I received a really nice Facebook message from an old friend from high school that inspired me to put together a new post.

Confession time blog friends: I have been hardcore reverting to old habits in the last month. I actually felt pretty good about my vacation. I tried to stay mostly healthy while indulging in some treats here and there… but our schedule most days was so crazy that I barely had any time to work out for the last seven days of the cruise! Granted we walked everywhere and did a lot of active things, but I found myself reverting back to those old feelings of obsessing over the need to exercise for hours and hours. This started a slow but steady backslide into what I refer to as “my crazy zone”.


It’s kind of hard to admit but I can’t help it… I just start to obsess. I obsess over everything from what food I’m eating to scrutinizing myself in the mirror (There were these large mirrors in our staterooms on the cruise ships that weren’t laying completely flat so that had a mini-fun house effect to them. I literally couldn’t even look at myself in them. Even though I knew they were distorted, I couldn’t look. Haha you thought you had problems. Just kidding!)

I got back from the cruise and I was convinced I had gained weight. I literally felt bigger. I was suddenly disgusted with myself and my appearance. Of course, this cued my unreasonable fear of my scale so I didn’t weigh myself (so much for that whole “i’m taking back control of the scale by weighing myself every day” hahahaha yeah right). I just stared at myself in the mirror and told myself I had put on a ton of weight and I was getting fat again. Cue the intense self-loathing that I am so particularly good at!

Well this morning… I finally got up the nerve, stopped making excuses, and got on the scale. And guess what? I’m exactly the same. Sometimes, you just have to acknowledge your crazy. Pretending that these issues aren’t a part of me isn’t going to get me anywhere. They are a part of me, and I have a long road ahead of me before I overcome them forever. But today, I’m recommitting to working on that.


So my goals for the next week or so (until my next post) are to get back to the basics:

  1. Pay close attention to hunger / satiety cues.
  2. Eat to nurture my body and to enjoy it!
  3. Think about the motivations for my food choices and decide if they are healthy
  4. Practice self-love

Operation Spend Less Money

You would think that writing a blog where the main focus was originally intended to be about living on a tight budget (I may have gotten away from that a little bit whoopsies) would make me spend less money. But admittedly in the last six months or so I haven’t been as tight with my wallet as I need to be. I haven’t been extending over my budget / running into debt or anything… but I also haven’t been saving as much as I would like.Ā Additionally, there are a couple exciting things in my works in my personal life that will increase the importance of sticking to my budget. Also, it is worth mentioning that I think financial health is an important aspect of overall health! Learning to live on a budget and be responsible for finances is important!! (Omg I am SUCH a loser for saying that on my blog… please keep reading!)

I think it’s time for … drum roll please… OPERATION: SPEND LESS MONEY

After reviewing my budget over the last several months, identifying some trends in my spending, and evaluating certain expenses I have come up with this list:

  • Spend more time at the things I already pay for. Namely: my gym and my yoga studio. Basically I need to get more value out of things I choose to pay for.
  • Spend more time doing things that are FREE.Ā I need do more research to find free events happening in and around DC or come up with fun free things to do with Mike or friends.
  • Read Books that are free. I LOVE books and I have a HUGE bookcase in my apartment that is positively loaded up with books. Admittedly though, I haven’t read all of them. I am not letting myself buy any new books until I have read every book on that bookcase. The only exception will be the classics (which are almost all available FO FREE for my Kindle. I downloaded Anna Karenina after my trip to Russia, might be time to actually read it).
  • Lose the booze. Honestly, I love socializing but drinking makes me sick and bloated. Sometimes I’m really in the mood for a glass of wine or a great beer, so I’m going to try and stick to only one drink when I’m out (and only if I’m really in the mood).
  • Experiment more with DIYs. This goes for home improvement, gifts, and even beauty care.
  • Stop buying new clothes and shoes. Just stop. I seriously don’t need them. I don’t need anything. I have more clothes / shoes than will ever be necessary.
  • Stop eating out all the time. This is such a nasty habit! I just need to make a commitment that I will eat 21 meals per week, and only 3 of them are allowed to be “out”. That includes lunches during the work week and brunch on the weekends… not just dinner! Mike and I eat out basically every time I go over to his house, but last night he actually cooked for us! It was pretty awesome.
  • Spend less at the grocery store. I live in a city and food is really expensive here (I see some people’s grocery lists on blogs and then they say then spend $50 a week on groceries, I literally like choke when I see that. I am LUCKY if I can keep it under $75 a week right now). Right now I am grocery shopping at Harris Teeter because it is so convenient but I think even that is too expensive. I’m planning a whole post on overhauling my grocery shopping so you have that to look forward to šŸ™‚

Look out for recurring posts happening here on POTR on how I will try to live a still fabulous and fit life on a spartan budget šŸ™‚

And for no reason in particular… here is a picture of me stuffing a turkey. (I felt like the post needed a little something extra)

Time to Shake Things Up

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my fitness routine and I think it’s time that I shake things up! I went through a phase where I really wanted to just do what I felt like doing without a schedule. But recently I’ve been feeling the pull back towards intense training, but I haven’t seemed to get myself back in gear. It’s time to get back in gear šŸ™‚

I am running the Baltimore Half Marathon in seven weeks and I know it’s gonna be a tough one (there are a lot of great hills on the Baltimore course). I want to do well in this half and I think that I can! So I turned to my favorite favorite favorite running tool in the world… the training plan (one of my FIRST POTR entries… what what). I always start with Hal Higdon because he is awesome and provides training programs FO FREE (there’s an update coming soon about the POTR budget and it’s about to go from tight to soviet so I love things that are free!). I decided to bite the bullet and go for the Advanced Half Marathon training. I’ve shied away from it because of the number of days per week you have to run, but I’m ready for the challenge. Please keep in mind that this is an advanced program and only because I have been running for some time / have run many many many half marathons and one full marathon do I think this is healthy / safe for me. This is a twelve week program so clearly I’m a little late to the party. At this point, I feel confident in my fitness level / current running patterns to jump in 5 weeks into the program (this is like the #1 thing they tell you NOT to do when training for a race but again I’ve done this many times and know my body very well. This would NOT be advisable for everyone to do!). Here’s what it is going to look like:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 8 x 400 5-KĀ pace 3 m run +Ā strength 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength Rest or easy run 90 min run (3/1) Rest or easy run
2 4 x 800 10-KĀ pace 3 m run +Ā strength 45 min tempo 3 m run + strength 4 m pace 1:45 run (3/1) Rest or easy run
3 3 x 1600 race pace 3 m run +Ā strength 50 min tempo 3 m run + strength 5 m pace 1:45 run Rest or easy run
4 5 x 800 10-KĀ pace 3 m run +Ā strength 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength Rest or easy run 15K Race Rest or easy run
5 4 x 1600 race pace 3 m run +Ā strength 55 min tempo 3 m run + strength 5 m Pace 2:00 run (3/1) Rest or easy run
6 6 x 800 10-K pace 3 m run +Ā strength 60 min tempo 3 m run + strength 3 m pace 2:00 run Rest or easy run
7 6 x 400 5-KĀ pace 3 m run +Ā strength 30 min tempo 2 m run + strength Rest or easy run Baltimore Half Marathon Rest

I’m pretty excited to get back on a training program but I’ve played around with the workouts a little bit to work with my personal schedule. I really prefer to do my long runs on Saturday as opposed to Sunday, but it is really more ideal to do pace work the day before the long run as opposed to after. Therefore, I decided to do my pace runs on Fridays, Long Runs Saturday and do the Rest or Easy Run days on Sundays. I also switched the “easy days” to Tuesday and Thursday since he suggests strength training those days and I like to go to my cardio / strength intervals class on Tuesday and Thursday during lunch. As far as yoga goes, my plan is stick with around 3 classes per week and focus more on stretching and core / upper body strength and less on killing my legs.

Right now my half marathon PR is 2:08:01 (which is a 9:45 min / mile). I would LOVE to run a 9:30 min / mile average this fall (which would be 2:04:27). So that is what I’m going to use as my goal pace for my tempo / pace runs. I usually do 8:30 min / mile for my 5K pace and 9:00 min / mile for my 10K pace for speed work, but those are really just estimates (I rarely actually run 5K and 10K races).
My ultimate goal is run a sub-2 hour half marathon but you know baby steps. Also, I totally realize that many people run sub-2 hour halfs like it ain’t not thang, but I think at this point we’ve deduced I’m not most people and I’m kind of slow… SORRY I’M NOT SORRY! Whenever I get down on myself for being slow (like pretty much every time I get annihilated while running by some skin and bones chick with a six pack and no shirt) I try to remind myself that at least I’m not 200 lbs like I used to be (haha fun fact about me) and I’m a RUNNER, which is pretty fabulous šŸ™‚

Conquering Cabbage

You know those foods that you were basically certain you hated as a kid but then came to realize as an adult they were the This happened to be about a year ago with brussel sprouts… HOW COME NO ONE TOLD ME???? And most recently, it happened with cabbage. My only real experience with cabbage before this was A. drenched in mayo in coleslaw… yum, and B. pickled and stinking up our entire kitchen in a pot ofĀ sauerkraut… gross. This was not a great introduction to cabbage. But recently, I decided to conquer the cabbage at home by following this recipe that I saw on KERF. While it seemed simple enough, this ended up being quite the undertaking in my teeny tiny kitchen (please refer back to this post, for a picture of how laughably small my kitchen is). I made the rice in my handy dandy rice cooker… because that’s just how I roll.

The Beast in the FLESH

So the recipe said to tear off the “outer leaves” of the cabbage. How many leaves is that? I had no idea. When they stop being super green? That wasn’t many leaves. Que freak out number one. I also didn’t really understand the whole dunk them in boiling water thing. It felt like kind of a waste but what do I know? I don’t have a dishwasher so I really try to avoid excess dish dirtying, so this did not make me happy.

As the rice bubbled away, I chop, chop, chopped away. And my pan filled up quickly… this was a lot of stuff!! I waited and waited for the cabbage to cook down (like spinach does!) but it never did. Whoopsies. Que freak out number two. I could barely control this pan. There was cabbage EVERYWHERE. Dis-as-ter.

I regrouped and moved the whole concoction into a pasta pot instead of a frying pan. This made me feel MUCH better (except for the fact that this meal had now dirtied almost every single pot I own. I mentally resigned to enlist Mike to help with the dishes… which he was happy to do!)

With the mixture complete, it was time to roll these bad boys up. That went pretty well until I filled all 8 of the cabbage leaves I had prepared and there was still a TON of mix in the pot. Like… a TON.

So after I topped the rolls with tomato sauce and cheese, I dumped the rest of the mixture into a bread pan and topped that with tomato sauce / cheese. CABBAGE FOR EVERYONE! Threw it all in the oven and finally breathed a sigh of relief. Until I saw this…

Hurricane Cabbage blew through the POTR kitchen!

Whatever! Nothing that a glass of white wine and a piece of Trader Joe’s sourdough bread can’t fix.
Fig photo bombed me.

Despite this whole ordeal… they came out of the oven looking PRETTY boss.

And they tasted just as good too!! I actually liked the inside mixture better than the rolls (my cabbage leaves were kind of hard to cut into without a really sharp knife… and who has money for that kind of stuff besides like married people?) Next time I might just forget the whole rolls business and just do the shredded cabbage as a casserole.

Anyways… fears faced, cabbage eaten, and kitchen demolished. Pretty standard evening šŸ™‚

One Year

This week is a special edition of “Friday Favorites” It’s technically tomorrow BUT I want to take the opportunity to say Happy One Year Anniversary to my absolute (not just on Friday) favorite, Mike. Technically we went on our first date on July 28, 2011 (shut up I’m just good with dates!) but we only had two dates before we were both traveling for three weeks so we decided we would start counting after that three week hiatus (we got stranded on the runway for almost 4 hours flying back from Nashville in the spring and so we ended up having an in depth discussion about this because there was really nothing else to do… my Kindle died!).

My feelings about this date are sort of contradictory. One one hand, this past year has absolutely flown by. I can’t believe it has been a whole year. But on the other hand, I feel like I can’t even remember what my life was like before Mike. He feels like such a natural part of my life and we are so close, I feel like we have known each other forever.

I wouldn’t consider myself someone who has been extremely “lucky in love” up until this point, and I spent the majority of my adult life single, which most days was really fine. I developed wonderful friendships and never ever lacked for wonderful life experiences. I always prided myself on the ability to get through the tough stuff in life on my own. I depended on me. But for the first time in my entire life, I feel like I have a partner and it is better than I could have ever imagined.

This year has come with it’s challenges and having Mike by my side eased the burden so much. He was there when a knee injury sidelined me from running for almost two months, when things at work got really rough, and when my mom had a pretty significant health scare. However, this year has also seen unthinkable highs, including having him there as I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, a goal I would’ve never dreamed of setting if he hadn’t encouraged me.

But besides all the mushy gushy stuff… Mike and I HAVE FUN when we’re together. We are always running around (pun intended) racing, traveling, laughing, and exploring together. So below are some of my favorite pictures of us from the last year.

Happy Anniversary Mike… in the words of Ben Folds, I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you

Watching the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2011. This was our first picture together (and the first to go on Facebook… so official)… I refer to it as our “coming out photo”

Before going to Richmond together for Mike’s second marathon in November 2011, he fulfilled a lifelong goal of mine and took me for a ride on his motorcycle šŸ™‚ He even bought an extra helmet so I could ride!

Freezing our patooties off at the Army / Navy Football game with a big group of my friends in December 2011

Ugly sweater party before Christmas 2011 in DC. We went to a vintage shop to buy these the day of the party and the pickings were pretty slim. Mike’s shirt is actually a plus sized women’s denim blouse with reindeer heads on it… WINNER.

Mike came down to visit my family the day after Christmas and after a couple days we went back to Charlottesville to stay with his family. My mom and dad took this right before we left and my friend Sarah told me it looked like our Christmas card (especially with Bernie in the background. He wasn’t posing he’s just old and slightly senile so he didn’t know what was happening).

Our very first race together – The St. Patty’s Day 8K in March 2012. We were both registered to run the Hot Chocolate 15K in December but my physical therapist said I couldn’t run yet šŸ˜¦ After a long winter (where Mike grew an awesome lumberjack beard), I was finally back in the game!

And we didn’t stop there. Mike and I both ran 12 races this past spring season. This picture was taken after the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in April 2012 (we also ran the Charlottesville 10 Miler the day before!) I knew he was a keeper!

At the finish of the George Washington Parkway 10 Miler in April 2012.

During the Country Music Marathon in April 2012, Mike ran four miles of the race with me. I am not exaggerating when I say that I would not have finished this marathon if he hadn’t been there. He was my rock, and is pretty much all the time šŸ™‚

BONNAROOOOOOOOOO. Something we both said we never would’ve thought of doing on our own!

We traveled to Pittsburgh in May 2012 for a weekend with my friends and to cheer on my friend Haley as she ran the Pittsburgh Marathon (her first!)

And finally in July 2012, we hiked up Bull Run Mountain on a beautiful summer afternoon. That’s one of the things I love most about Mike… he is up for any activity any time!

Vacation Favorites

I know I know I promised I would be back on Monday with all kinds of updates on my trip but I’ve been dealing with some serious jet lag this week, compounded by the need to get back to work after two (glorious) weeks off, and I am covered head to toe in an allergy rash (oh yeah… sexy stuff I know). My goal today is to find an allergist and get an emergency appointment! Anyways, about my vacation! I honestly can’t even say enough about this trip. I lack the words to describe what an amazing life experience it was… and so much fun! I could literally spend the next month blogging about this trip but I HIGHLY doubt anyone is actually interested in that. So here is a one post recap of my absolute favorite moments / events of the trip. (I also finally got pictures up on Facebook today. So if we’re friends… go there for more info if you want it!).

Spending a night in Tivoli Gardens and the G Man showcasing flowers at The Botanical Garden at Rosenborg Palace in Copenhagen

Dancing on deck as we sail away from Copenhagen!

The G Man posing at the Vigeland Sculpture Garden in Oslo, Norway

Traipsing around the Danish countryside in Aarhus… by bus, steam train, and foot!

The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

Leisurely day at sea with pool time and trivia sessions

General familyĀ sillinessĀ in Rakvere, Estonia. Sword fighting and vodka tastings

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, drinking 7 bottles of vodka with 15 other people and one guide on the “Fun Tour” of Russia, sunset on the water, and wandering the extensive gardens of Peterhof Palace

Climbing to the top of Temppeliaukio Kirkko (The Rock Church) in Helsinki, playing with horses at a horse breeding farm specializing in Finnish Warmbloods, and wandering the cobblestone streets of Porvoo eating toffee.

Freezing my patooty off in the Ice Bar at the Nordic Sea Hotel in Stockholm (The very first permanent ice bar!)

Relaxing final day at sea. Enjoying sun and unusually warm weather by the pool and watching Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows on the outdoor movie screen

Allow me to take one self-indulgent moment just to say thank you to my family for this once in a lifetime experience. I was so surprised how many people on the trip were astounded that we all still traveled together even though Doug and I are adults. I think it speaks volumes of the depth of our connection to one another. We aren’t perfect and we certainly have our moments, but I am thankful every single day for my family and this trip created memories that will last a lifetime.

Now vacation is over (sad face) but I am glad to be home to my baby Fig and of course Mike (I missed both of them SO MUCH). There is a still a bit of summer left here in DC so I am hoping to squeeze all the remaining juice out of this season before heading into what I think will be a really exciting Fall. Lots of exciting things on the horizon so stay tuned šŸ™‚




Wouldn’t Be Summer…

Without a trip to UNITY TOUR for 311!!! My brother and I go to this concert every year… it’s our summer tradition. This year Slightly Stoopid opened the show and it was great. Here is a collection of my favorite photos of the night. I ā¤ Nick Hexum. I also love how he’s wearing all white, so in the pictures he looks like he is glowing haha!

Slightly Stoopid


Taking a little break…

Hey party people!! Here’s the deal! I’m currently connected to satellite internet on the cruise ship but it’s really slow (too slow to upload any pictures or do any real blogging) and honestly I’m busy busy busy enjoying my vacation. I didn’t get all my posts pre-scheduled for this week so I think there are a couple but I’m not totally sure. Basically… POTR is taking a little break and I’ll be back next week šŸ™‚ Until then!

Friday Favorites

It will come as no surprise that this week’s Friday Favorites will feature all pictures from my couple days spent in Copenhagen. These are just a collection of my favorite “fun shots”. Hope you guys are enjoying the posts while I am away! I was able to sneak in one post about the trip yesterday but I’m on the cruise ship no so we’ll see how that changes! Love and hugs!!

“MySpace” style self-portrait at the top of the spire of the Church of our Savior (I was all by myself and I wanted photo evidence that I climbed all the way to the top!!)

Copenhagen is considered one of the most “bike-friendly” cities in the world… and people seem to know it! Apparently 1 in 3 people in Copenhagen travel by bike. This is a bike rack outside a metro station… ridiculous. They don’t even always lock them up either!! Obviously this is not DC.

My mom and I enjoying a delicious locally brewed Danish beer at dinner.

My dad and I tried the traditional “Shooting Star” at lunch. This dish includes boiled / breaded herring on a slice of bread with shrimp, asparagus, and caviar. It was… AWESOME.

Walking along the river one afternoon we found this weird trampolines! Obviously my mom and I wasted no time getting on them and taking many silly pictures. That Danish boy doesn’t look that pleased but we had a BLAST.

Week in Workouts: Thankfully I have been able to stay really on track and I feel great about it. My weekend got really crazy before we left on Sunday evening so by the time we landed on Monday morning I was DYING for a workout. Only complication has been all the treadmills measure km/hour and all the weights are in kilograms. I really struggle with the metric system so it’s been kind of trial and error šŸ™‚

Friday 8/3:

  • 60 Minute Spinning Class

Saturday 8/4:

  • Rest Day

Sunday 8/5:

  • Rest Day

Monday 8/6:

  • 8K Treadmill Workout (that is approximately 4.98 miles)

Tuesday 8/7:

  • 20 Minutes Inclined Walking on Treadmill
  • 30 Minutes Total Body Strength Training w/ Weight Machines / Free Weights
  • 10 Minutes Elliptical

Wednesday 8/8:

  • Speed Workout (referenced in a post earlier this week)

Thursday 8/9:

  • 20 Minutes Inclined Walking on Treadmill
  • 30 Minutes Total Body Circuit Workout w/ high intensity cardio intervals
  • 10 Minutes Stair Master