Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Long Haul

Today, our training schedule called for a solid 8 mile run. After last weekends 7.5 mile run, I was hoping to conquer closer to 9 miles. In the end, my body decided a compromise would be best, so Jay and I successfully tackled 8.5 miles.

Now, I usually do not post my runs for safety's sake, but today's run was a little unusual for us because we did not start from our apartment. We started downtown at the Foggy Bottom Metro. This was a very convenient choice for us since Jay was there already, studying for an exam on campus and there is a Trader Joe's around the corner. I recently tried Trader Joe's Vegetable Marsala Burger after Emily posted about her homemade version. While I haven't tried her homemade one (it's on the "to-make-list"), I am in love with the TJ's version. I have proudly crowned it my favorite Veggie Burger variety.

The decision not to run our beloved Mount Vernon Trail was made yesterday when I was on the metro and noticed that it had not been plowed (and really why would it?). This morning, I quickly devised a more appropriate route after Jay consulted his friend Holli on the condition of Haines Point. Below you will see our 8.5 mile route, starting and finishing at the Foggy Bottom Metro.

We started by running down 23rd past the Lincoln Memorial. Jay carried his iPhone to accurately map our run. The iPhone's presence meant that I got pictures to show y'all!

Only a mile in and feeling great! The Lincoln was so pretty in all the snow!

Jay turned around to capture the frozen reflecting pond and snowy Washington Monument.

The next four miles were spent running around Hain's Point. This was a great decision!!! There was a 4ft wide path paved all the way around the point, plus the road was closed to cars. Hain's Point is dreaded by some runners because it is kind of boring. Today, I would definitely agree. I enjoyed the calm scenery and the company, but my body was just not into the run. I definitely noticed a change in motivation once we got back into the city.

From Hain's Point we ran up past the Washington Monument. The tourists were all over the sidewalk, which was ANNOYING, but their presence was very motivating!!

At the Washington Monument, we were thinking about running up past the White House, but as I mentioned, the tourists motivated me to push on towards the Capitol. We ran down Constitution and circled back around on Pennsylvania. I knew that if we made it all the way to the Capitol we would run 9.5 miles. My body was not excited about that number and the light changed at just the right moment. So, instead we turned on to 9th to meet Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, we cut the corner a little short resulting in the 8.5 mile run.

There I am running with my new water belt!! My legs were really feeling it at this point, but I was glad I pushed through.
We finished our run by dashing by the front of the White House. A decent size protest had gathered for the situation in Egypt.

The last mile was tough but invigorating! Our pace definitely picked up as we sprinted back to the metro! Overall, it was a great run. I am just thankful that we are still on track with our training schedule.

After a quick change and walk to Trader Joe's I headed home for a quick post-run snack. I have to say, my trip to Trader Joe's was a good idea. I kept moving and am therefore a lot less sore!

For my "snack" I had a Burrito Bowl but substituted quinoa for the rice.

It was delicious and just enough fuel to get me through until our dinner with friends.

I heated up black beans, pinto beans, fresh peppers, tomato, onion, chili powder, salt and pepper on the stove. In the microwave I cooked the quinoa. I did a 1:1 ratio for 1:30 and then added the 2nd part of water for an addition 2 minutes. The quinoa was perfectly cooked!!

I topped my mixture with Trader Joe's Corn Salsa and some shredded cheddar. DELICIOUS!

Do you run in the cold, or stick to the treadmill?

How was your Saturday?

After our run, shopping, eating and a shower, Jay and I went to dinner with our friends Hilary and Paul. We went to Taverna Cretekou and Pop's Old Fashioned Ice Cream. While Pop's is never a disappointment, neither was Taverna Cretekou. We got hummus as a Mezede (appetizer) served with warm pita bread. For the main course I got their vegetarian plate, which included grilled zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, red and green peppers and was topped with feta cheese and olives. It was delicious!! I highly recommend it!