Friday, July 29, 2011

Softball Win and My Seven Links

Our softball team won again last night, putting us in first place in the division going into playoffs! I got on base both times I was at bat, although I made a stupid base running error that my team did not let me live down the rest of the night.

I did manage to sort of redeem myself by making one hell of a catch at home plate though. One of my teammates threw a rocket in from the outfield that I managed to snag to stop more runners from advancing. You should have seen the jaws drop on players from both teams when I actually caught it.

Unfortunately I'll miss playoffs next weekend because I'll be out of town for a work trip, but I'm sure they'll do just fine without me.



My 7 Links

Kristen over at the Concrete Runner nominated me to play along in the latest trend sweeping the blog world. So without further ado, here are my 7 links:

Most beautiful post: My MCM Decision

The post where I decided my heart wasn't into running a marathon in the fall of 2010 and that I didn't want my running to feel pressured and miserable. (At least that's how I felt in April, but September I was ready to run a marathon, since next link for more).

Most popular post: My Philadelphia Marathon recap.

Almost finished

I think you all just enjoyed looked at the pictures of me crying as I finished the race.

Most controversial post: Don't really have one. I write a fairly non-controversial blog. But I guess this post I did on the cost of eating meat is probably the closest thing to a controversial post.

Most helpful post: How to Plan a Run-cation on a Shoestring Budget

I love to travel. I love to run. And I definitely love to combine the two. But race registration fees and traveling aren't always cheap, so I shared my best tips for playing a run-cation on a budget.

A post whose success surprised you: Trying out BodyFlow

Even though this review of my first BodyFlow class is more than two years old, it continues to be the most popular thing on my blog and it's hands down what drives the most Google traffic each month. I guess most people know what BodyPump is, but BodyFlow seems to be less well-known

A post you didn't feel got the attention it deserved: Laura's First 5K 

HCWDF2

For a race recap, I was surprised by the lack of comments on this post, usually my race recaps get a lot of comments, but this one didn't for some reason.

Most proud of: I'm Too Slow

BlogHer 5K Times Square
Running with friends in NYC at BlogHer last year

I finally admitted that I was terrified of running with a group because I didn't want to be the person holding everyone back. Even though I was definitely the slowest runner there that day, I still had a good time and started to embrace running with friends.

If you haven't done this and you want to jump in, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Your Hill Workout Questions, Answered

Lots of people left me comments yesterday asking me the specifics of my hour-long hill workout.

Basically I've become super obsessed with the "Hill" setting on the treadmill at my gym because it pre-programs hills of all different lengths and steepness and I don't have to worry about messing with any settings while I'm running. Normally, I'm not a fan of treadmill running, but I recognize it can be kind of useful in some situations, like when you need to run really steep hills.

Treadmill settings:
  • Hill setting
  • Level 10 (my treadmill gives me the options of 1--20. I've found 10 and 11 are plenty of butt kicking enough, especially for longer workouts)
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Speed: 6.0/10 minute miles (Pick a speed that's similar to what you run up hills outside, but adjust based on length of your workout)
The Warm-up:

The program starts with five about minutes of what I call "rolling hills." The incline isn't very steep, but you do a lot of up and down to get your legs ready for the steep climbs later in the workout.

Once your warmed up, the real workout starts.

The Workout:

The workout is broken into cycles that are about seven to eight minutes in length. In each cycle, you spend one minute climbing and then one minute recovering and the hills get progressively larger each minute within the cycle.

For example, my first hill was a 4.5, the next was 5.5, the third was 6.5 and the last was 7.8.

Then after a minute of recovery, the cycle would repeat again.

It was a pretty brutal workout and unless you live in a super hilly area with hills of all different sizes, I don't think it would be all that easy to replicate outside. So as annoying and boring as treadmill running can be, I think there are certain instances when it's valuable.

Plus I get a real kick out of watching the little hills show up on the treadmill monitor as I'm covering inclines. Watching the hills come and go on the screen almost takes my mind off the fact that I'm stuck in a gym on the treadmill.

I hope that answers your question about my hill workout, but if it doesn't or if you have more questions just let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Kick Butt Hill Workout

Last night I had a hot date with the treadmill.

And when I saw hot, I do mean really, seriously hot.

It was a little bit stuffy in the gym when I got there, so I knew I would be a giant ball of sweat by the time I finished my run.

My plan was to do one hour of hill repeats. If that sounds like torture, it's because that's kind of what I was going for.

It had been way too long since I'd gotten in a run and I knew I wanted to do something that was super high intensity to make up for my slacking. (And to make up for all the guacamole I have been eating this week.)

Twenty-five minutes into my run, sweat was dripping in my eyes so badly I could barely see. I kept trying to wipe them on my shirt, but it was soaked through. By the time I was finished, I could have literally wrung the sweat out of my sports bra and shorts. 

I obviously looked super cute! (But no post-workout picture today. I was afraid the camera would slip out of my sweaty hands and break.)

The workout was intense and the hills were really killing me at the end, but honestly, nothing feels better than finishing a run and knowing you don't really have much more left to give. I love walking out of the gym knowing I actually worked hard and didn't just phone it in.

And it turns out that a good run was all I needed to clear my head of all the stress. I slept like a baby last night as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Chances are I won't have time to fit in another run until Friday, but I have softball to look forward to tomorrow night, which is at least some mild physical activity.

Do you follow up time off from running with super intense workouts, or do you ease back into things more slowly?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I Think About When I Can't Sleep

Someone please tell me why I woke up at 2:30 wide awake the last two nights, but when my alarm went off at 6 a.m. I felt like I had been hit by a bus.

Maybe it's because I spent the hour from 2:30 to 3:30 trying to sort out all the million things that kept swimming around in my head and no matter what I just couldn't fall back to sleep.

Stress will do that to you I guess.

Curious what was keeping me up? Here's just a glimpse of my inner dialogue. Don't laugh too hard.

  • My work trip to San Diego is in a week! Wheee!! So excited, but so much to do to get ready!

  • Why do I have to fly to San Diego on Southwest? Flying stresses me out to the max in usual circumstances, but flying on an airline where I don't have a reserved seat and could potentially get stuck in a middle seat for a five and a half hour cross-country flight makes me hyperventilate a little bit. Don't panic, self, it's going to be fine. Deep breaths!

  • I didn't blog yesterday and I felt like there was a small void in my life. That's sad.

  • I'm the world's laziest person ever and I haven't worked out in like a week and now I feel like crap. The stupid heat just makes me so unmotivated and I can't stand the thought of another treadmill run. But if I would run, then I'd have something to blog about. Stop being such a lazy bum self!

  • I have so many fun plans scheduled for this week! I am so freakin' excited, but I'm seriously overbooked. Oops. So much for finding time to fit in a run.

  • Ugh doctor's appointment tomorrow. I really hope they don't need to draw blood.

  • Why does my credit card statement not reflect that fact that I paid the bill already like weeks ago? Why was customer service not at all helpful when I called in a tizzy? Yes, I know paying off the bill in full every month is good for my credit score, that's why I do it, but I just wanted to know if my payment went through.

  • Why do I talk so much in situations where I'm nervous?
And I'm sure there was much, much more.

You know what would probably help clear my head a bit? A good run. I really need to find the time to make that happen, even if it means sucking it up and using the treadmill. I also need to learn to get my inner dialogue under control.

When you're stressed to the max about a million different things, how do you handle it? I'd really love to be able to sleep through the night like a normal person again.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beer League Softball

The other day my friend Jon asked me to sub for his beer league softball team.

DSC05791

I can only assume he asked me to play because I met the basic requirements:

1. I'm a girl.
2. I'm mildly athletic.
3. I don't actually drink beer, so I could drive if needed.

Softball sounded like a fun idea when Jon first asked me. Of course, I didn't realize the game would end up being on one of the hottest days of the year.

DSC05786

I headed to field last night armed with Gatorade and water, nervous not only about the heat, but also about just how rusty my softball skills were. I hadn't picked up a bat or fielded a ball since back in my intern days when I played in the D.C. media softball league.

Flashback:
express softball
Express softball team circa 2006

Anyway, despite the heat, last night's game was awesome! Good people, lots of fun, and we won!

I even managed to put the ball in play on my first try!

DSC05793

We celebrated the victory with nachos and margaritas. There's nothing quite like a softball team rolling into a bar smelly, sweaty and covered in dirt. What can I say, we're a classy bunch.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Monthly D.C. Blogger Dinners

Who else woke up early this morning to watch the space shuttle landing? Just me?

Shuttle landing from NASA
(Photo by NASA)

Lately my job has turned me into a huge space nerd and I've been following the last shuttle mission extremely closely. I think it's fascinating that we can send people in to space, build a space station and explore the solar system.

I bought my dad the "When We Left Earth" DVDs for Christmas last year, and I know exactly what I'll be watching next time I'm home in PA.

Anyway, enough nerd talk for one morning.



We're still under all sorts of heat advisories in D.C. this week, so yesterday I hit the treadmill again for my run. In order to keep things interesting I used the treadmill's "Random" setting on level 10 and knocked out a quick three miles on my lunch break. I kind of enjoyed the random setting. It was a good mix of hills and flat and wasn't quite as predictable as the "Hills" setting I used earlier this week.

After wrapping up work for the day, I headed downtown to meet some lovely D.C. bloggers for dinner at Ella's Wood Fired Pizza.

DC bloggers at dinner
Allison, Katie, Kacy, me, Gretchen

The place was packed when we got there and when we finally got a table we were all starving. It's safe to say I pretty much inhaled my pizza. You know I'm not a food blogger because I don't have a picture of it. I was too busy stuffing my face to stop and take one. The important thing is the pizza was delicious and I didn't leave with any leftovers.

You know you're out to dinner with food bloggers when everyone starts pulling out their cameras.

Gretchen taking a pic

Kacy and her camera

We all had such a great time last night that we decided to make D.C. blogger dinners a monthly happening. D.C. has tons of amazing food places that we want to try, so we decided that the third Wednesday of everything month, we'd try a new place and whatever D.C. bloggers or blog readers are free that day are welcome to join us. More details to come, but right now we're eying Graffiatto as our next place.

Shoot me an email (jess@jessruns.com) if you want to get updates on our D.C. blogger dinners and I'll make sure you get added to the list.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On the Treadmill to Avoid the Heat

With the heat index as high as it was yesterday and the weather folks advising the air quality was poor for outside activity, I took my workout to the treadmill.

It's been months since I've run on the treadmill, since it's pretty much my least favorite form of running, but the weather is out of my control and you've just gotta do what you've gotta do.

I decided I'd mix it up to keep things interesting and ended up with a killer 40-minute hill workout.

I used the treadmill's pre-programmed hills setting set to level 10 for the first half of the workout. The workout started with a long, gradual climb and then alternated between one minute of steep climbing and one minute flat. The steepest elevation I climb in the first half was the 7.0 setting.

I paused the treadmill half way through to stretch (my left quad was tight from hiking on Sunday) and grab some water.

The second half I kicked the elevation up a notch and alternated running up steeper hills. I think this time the highest climb was and 8.0 or an 8.5.

Mixing things up like this actually made the 40 minutes go by pretty quickly and it was a killer workout. I was completely drenched in sweat by the time I finished.

Post-hill workout

It kind of looks like I just stepped out of the shower.

The forecast for the rest of the week is just as hot and humid as yesterday, so I may be spending a lot of time on the treadmill this week. If you have an entertaining treadmill workout, feel free to share it in the comments so I have some variety this week!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hiking the Billy Goat Trail

It's safe to say I'm not really an outdoorsy person. My idea of a fun time outside is curling up with a good book on the beach or next to the pool.

Chilling at the beach
My idea of outdoor fun

But when my friend Rachel was rounding up some people for a fun day of hiking at Great Falls, I was so in.

Great Falls is a park that spans both the Virginia and Maryland sides of the Potomac River with miles and miles of hiking and biking trails. I had been to the Virginia side back when I was in college, but had never hiked the extremely popular Billy Goat Trail on the Maryland side.

Our group met in the parking lot to head out for our hike. The park warns the Billy Goat trail is a little bit strenuous and cautions against hiking it if you aren't in good physical shape.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but we had a great time scrambling over rocks

Climbing at Great Falls

taking in the beautiful views from the look-out points

Taking in the views

Great falls

Potomac River

and climbing down this big rock face.

Crazy steep rocks
Yes I was scared

Steep rocks
But I made it in one piece

I saw lots of families out on the trail with little kids, but I would definitely say the trail was challenging and a great workout. 

I did slip and lose my balance once, but I fell right into a small patch of grass and wasn't hurt in the least. I wore a pair of old running sneakers that probably didn't have the best traction, and I did notice I slid a bit from time to time. Rookie mistake, I guess.

It was a hot and sweaty hike, but I had such a blast scrambling over rocks and hiking along the trail. I think it helped that there were several experienced hikers in our group who were more than willing to help me navigate some of the trickier parts of the trail.

Our hiking group
Thanks guys for not letting me plummet to an untimely death! 
(And thanks to Rachel for the picture!)

We celebrated our awesome hike by stuffing our faces with Chipotle and fro-yo.

It was pretty much the perfect ending to the perfect day. 


Friday, July 15, 2011

Guest Posting

Happy Friday! I don't know about you, but I'm pretty thrilled the weekend is just about here.

I'm guest posting over on Matt's blog today, while he's in the middle of moving from one state to another. So head over there for today's post!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Zico Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the ZICO coconut water giveaway. You guys had some really interesting thoughts on what the phrase "all-natural" means and I really enjoyed reading your answers.

I used my friend Mr. Random.org to select a winner and the lucky winner is Kathy from Newly Wed in DC.

Congrats Kathy! Please send me an email with your shipping address so ZICO can send you your coconut water.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why I'm Reconsidering Shorter Races

Until last Sunday, it had been almost two years since I had run a race shorter than a 10-miler. After a less-than-stellar experience at an overly crowded 5K, I swore off short races, chalking them up to being a waste of time and money and quite frankly kind of like amateur hour.

I will fully admit, I turned into a little bit of a running diva snob after that race.

5K
With friends before the dreadful 5K.

I was frustrated and annoyed at my experience, and figured, if I wanted to run short distances, I could do it on my own time for free.

In my mind, it just wasn't worth it to shell out money to participate in an event that I knew I could finish without a problem.

But the 5K I ran this weekend changed my mind.

HCWDF2

Running short races isn't pointless. In fact, it can be fun. And if you want, short races can be challenging.

You might have noticed in my list of potential races for the fall, I included several short races, instead of my usual handful of half marathons.

That 5K kind of lit a fire under my butt to get back in the racing game, but not to burn myself out with long distances all the time. I love distance running. I love training for long races. But after several years of training for nothing but marathons and half marathons, my mind and body are craving some running variety.

Frederick half
It's not always all about the medals...even though I do love them.

Shorter races are less stressful. I know I could wake up tomorrow and run a 10K if I wanted. Sure it might not be very fast, but I could do it.

Starting with that baseline gives me more flexibility in a training plan. I don't have to just focus on building mileage and I don't have to have a panic attack if I skip a run or need to shuffle things in my schedule.

I'm excited to spend some time focusing on shorter distances this fall to see if I can set some new PRs. It's been ages since I've taken a legitimate crack at my 5K or 10K PR and I think I could probably see some big improvements in my times.

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

I'm also hoping that mixing in some shorter races will help me achieve my goal of having a better running/life balance.

The 5K this weekend was a nice reminder that running shorter races isn't pointless. There's more to racing than just distance running and crossing a finish line is fun whether you've run 3.1 miles or 26.2.

Philly marathon

It's a shame I let one bad experience with a 5K sour me on shorter distances for such a long time. I guess I just needed one positive experience to change my perception.

Has a bad race experience ever turned you off from running a certain distance or a certain race?


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tentative Fall Race Schedule

Running the 5K with my cousin this weekend reminded me how much I love racing and that commitment-phobia I was having toward fall races is slowly starting to fade.

In fact, I spent a large part of my day yesterday pulling together a potential fall race calendar.

My friends have been suggesting all sorts of races, so I pulled together a master list to see what was feasible and just how much it would cost me.

Race: Date: Cost:
Kentlands 5K 9/3 $26
Kent Island 10K 9/10 $25
RNR Philly 9/18 $95
Tough Mudder 10/22 Already Paid
Marine Corp 10K 10/30 $45
Philadelphia Half Marathon 11/19 $100
Hot Chocolate 15K 12/3 $65

Then I totaled up the cost of all the entry fees and cringed. $356, before any of the extra fees. Ouchies. Whoever said running was a cheap sport was so wrong.

The Tough Mudder is the only event I'm already registered for. Nothing is final with the others, though the Philadelphia Half and the Hot Chocolate 15K are definites in my mind, I just haven't paid the money yet.

I may punt one of the September races. Three weeks of back-to-back racing, even if some of them are just for fun, might be a bit much. But I'm still undecided.

So bloggy people, help me make a decision here. I'm much more inclined to run a race if I know other people are doing it.

Are you doing any of these races?

Have you done any of these races in the past and are they worthwhile investments?

Am I crazy if I decide to do them all?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Laura's First 5K Recap

Yesterday's race with my cousin Laura was a huge success!

5K finish
Hot and sweaty after the finish

We finished in 29:30, the fastest Laura has ever run three miles!

Race morning got off to a rocky start for me. Either my alarm didn't go off or I just slept right through it and woke up at the exact time I was supposed to meet Laura at the race start. I had a moment of sheer panic and then frantically threw on my race stuff and literally sprinted out the door to my parking lot. Wake up time to drive time was exactly 7 minutes.

I had a spazz attack every time I got stuck at a traffic light during the drive to the race start, but I eventually made it with time to spare.

We even had time to snag a pre-race photo.

Before the start
Our race numbers were exactly 100 numbers apart.

Then we lined up at the start with about 400 other women, the race director made some announcements and we were off.

Women lined up and ready to go
Ladies at the start

The course started on a downhill, making it hard to not start too fast. At one point I looked down at Garmin and saw we were at a 7:52 pace. We backed off the speed after that and settled into a pace that ranged from 9:15 to 10 minutes depending on the hills.

Taking off down the hill
Big downhill

HCWDF2
Running down the hill (photo courtesy of the Howard County Striders)

Laura had two goals for this race. The first was to finish. The second was to run the whole thing.

We knew finishing wouldn't be a problem and I was confident we'd be able to run the whole thing.

HCWDF3
(Photo courtesy of the Howard County Striders)

We even ran through the water stop at mile two, where both of us ending up spilling more water down the front of our shirts than what we managed to get in our mouths.

Laura looked strong the entire time, even toward the end when we were both uncomfortably hot and drenched in sweat.

Running and hot
I don't take attractive pictures when running

When we got onto the last road before the finish, the course narrowed and we were just running on the shoulder, but Laura was dodging in and out of the cones managing to pick off people as we went.

With less than a tenth of a mile to go she took off at a full sprint. I took off right after her and we managed to pass a few more people before the finish line.

I wish there were finish line photos because we both probably had the biggest, corniest grins plastered on our faces as we were sprinting for the finish. At least I know I did.

In fact I probably looked a lot like this:

Running and smiling
Hardcore cheesin'

Laura might have looked super fierce. I couldn't see her face, I was too busy eating her dust.

I can't say enough good things about this race. It was the perfect size, it was extremely well organized and we got an Under Armour top as the race shirt. Huge thanks to the Howard County Striders for putting on such a fun event. I'd do this race again in a heartbeat.

And a big congrats to Laura for kicking some serious booty in her first race! Hopefully I will be able to convince her to do many more in the future!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Trying Coconut Water and a Giveaway

Coconut water is all the rage these days. I feel like everyone and their mom has blogged about its awesomeness, but I had never tried it.


See I really can't stand coconut so I just assumed I wouldn't really like coconut water either.

But when the people at Zico reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in trying coconut water and hosting a giveaway of the water for you guys, I decided to give it a try. (Don't say I never do anything for you.)

Like most coconut water, the Zico brand is packed with electrolytes, and as an added bonus, there are no artificial colors, sweeteners or preservatives in the Zico coconut water.

After trying out several of the flavors, here's what I learned:

  • Coconut water does not just taste like coconut-flavored water. It's much creamier, and that took me a while to get used to. I kept expecting it to taste like regular water with a hint of flavor, but there was more to it than that.
  • I wasn't a huge fan of the unflavored natural coconut water. Mainly this goes back to the first point. I kept expecting it to be just like water with a hint of coconut flavor and it wasn't.
  • I really enjoyed the flavored varieties, especially the Pomberry flavor.
  • Coconut water is definitely best served ice cold. It makes for a deliciously cooling drink on a hot day.

Zico has kindly offered to provide one of my readers with some coconut water to try.

Here's how to enter for a chance to win:

1. Leave a comment answering the question, "What does being all-natural mean to you?" Lots of products use that claim. Some definitely are and some certainly aren't. I'm curious how you define it.

2. For a second entry visit Zico on Facebook and either like the page or leave a comment to pledge to the Naturally Powered campaign. For every pledge Zico will make a donation to the Challenged Athletes Foundation. For your second entry to count, you must leave a separate comment here letting me know.

Entries accepted until Sunday night. Contest open to U.S. residents. Yes, FTC, Zico sent me the product for free.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Laura's First Race

Remember my cousin Laura who got married last month?

Laura wedding
Hint: she's the one in the pretty white dress.

Well she's running her very first race this weekend!

I'm really excited because Laura and I have been trying to run a race together for the last two years.

Our planned first race, a five miler in Baltimore, got snowed out.

Then life got in the way. Laura was busy with work and wedding planning and I was focusing on running longer races.

We talked about squeezing in a short race in the spring before the wedding, but it was just too much to try to jam into Laura's already packed schedule.

When Laura emailed me after the wedding asking about doing a race in the fall, I pulled together a list of great local options, everything from a 5K to a 15K. She picked a couple that sounded fun and we planned on a fall race.

I was super surprised when she emailed me a few days later asking about a 5K that was three weeks out. It was an all-women's race close to her house on a loop she was familiar with. She wanted to know if I thought she could be ready for it with the small running base she had established.

It sounded like the perfect first race: All women, low key, on a familiar course.

Obviously I told Laura I definitely thought she could be ready and that if she wanted, I'd love to run it with her.

So Sunday morning, we'll line up at the start together. We won't be racing for time, just to finish.

And hopefully by the time we're done Laura will have been bitten by the running bug and there will be lots of cousin races in the future!

(Sometimes Laura drops by the blog, so feel free to leave her good luck wishes in the comments!)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

July Running Goals

This summer has been one big party between trips and BBQs and nights out with friends.

jess and megan metro
Classic Metro shot with Megan before a night out in D.C. (photo from Megan)

I have been having an absolute blast, but my running has suffered a little bit.

Normally I spend my summer months hardcore training for fall races, but this summer I've backed off. I've been running when I can, fitting in some shorter mileage, and I've been happy with that.

But now that July is here and my schedule is hopefully going to settle down, I'd like to set some loose running goals.

July Running Goals:
Hit at least 15 miles each week. 
That's not a very big number, but I haven't been anywhere close to that lately.

Re-introduce weekend long runs.
It's been too long since I've done a dedicated weekend long run. Sometimes I fit in a quick three miler, but I want to get back up to 6, 8, and 10 milers. The key here will be to allow for flexibility. It doesn't matter to me if the long run happens on Saturday or Sunday. I'll play it by ear each weekend and make it fit where I can.

Find a better balance.
I tend to either be so dedicated to my running at the expense of a social life or so dedicated to my social life at the expense of my running and I want to find a happy medium. I'm hoping that by starting with lower mileage, I can adapt my life around my running, instead of diving head first into an intense training plan right off the bat.

Iron out my fall race schedule.
I have been waffling back and forth on several races for this fall. The only one I'm about 99% certain that I'm going to do is the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November. I'm also kicking around the Rock N Roll Half in Philly in September and a 10K in Maryland the week after Labor Day as well as some other things throughout the fall. For some reason, I just can't make myself commit to anything. (I'm sure there's a mildly inappropriate joke in there somewhere.) I want to have my race commitment-phobia under control by the end of the month, and fork over the dough for the entry fees.

None of these are super ambitious goals and I'm pretty confident I can accomplish them all, although I'm sure I'll struggle most with finding balance.

What are your goals for the month?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Half Way Through Summer

June was a crazy busy month for me.

I traveled to Disney for a work conference.
Me and Donald

And managed to squeeze in a short run.
Disney running

I ran the Baltimore 10 Miler, and did OK, even though I was terribly under trained.
Baltimore 10 Miler

I watched my first U.S. Men's National soccer team game in D.C.
USMNT game

Then I traveled to Philly for another work trip and only managed to run one day out of the entire trip.
Running in Philly

And just like that, June was over and I was doing my first run of July. June was a fun month, but definitely crazy. I'm looking forward to July being a bit more normal. I don't have a single work trip and I'm hoping to get back to a more consistent running routine this month too.

I can hardly believe summer is half over already. There are still so many things I want to do before fall rolls around, but I'm running out of free weekends. Does anyone else have that problem in the summer? Too much to do, not enough free weekends.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend.

I spent my long weekend at my parents' in PA celebrating at numerous family picnics.

We grilled.
Chef Tony
My cousin Tony grilling

We goofed off around the pool.
Mom playing by the pool
My mom splashing my uncle.

And we played with my cousin's dog.
Tyson
Me and Tyson

But like all long weekends, this one came and went way too fast.

candle

I'm heading back to DC today ready to dive back into a million projects at the office and set some new fitness goals for July. I'll share my goals for the month later this week, and give you an idea about which races I'm eyeing for the fall.

Friday, July 01, 2011

First On Camera Interview

Normally I don't share a ton of work stuff here, but this is fun and worth sharing.

Yesterday I had my first on-camera professional interview about the blogging platform we use to run our work blog.

(We use Tumblr. The work blog is blog.usa.gov if you're curious.)

Anyway, here's the video. It's pretty short. I appear right around the 35 second mark. For having pretty much no prep time, I think I come off sounding fairly intelligent.

Tumblr opens doors to government agencies from Medill Washington on Vimeo.


You can find the full article about the government using Tumblr to open information to the public, if you're interested.