Spring Cleaning: New Season, New Goals

Although, we are still having some chilly days, Spring has officially sprung. My winter blues are finally gone. It is amazing what a difference the spring air does to my mood. I am much more energized these days.

Along with the start of this new season, and this new found energy, I am setting some new goals. These goals range from, diet and fitness to house and garden – this Spring there is a lot on my agenda.

Home & Garden

I am going to begin with my home.

My husband and I have owned our 1945 duplex in the DC area for about 3 years now. I have written blog posts about it in the past, but for those who are new to reading this blog, when we moved in we had absolutely no furniture. It sounds a bit weird, but none of the furniture we owned previously was worthy enough to move over to our new place. By leaving our old stuff on the curb, it left us with a blank canvas for designing our new home together. I highly recommend this! It is important for couples to move into a place together and build an interior space that really reflects both of them as individuals, but also expresses their identity as a couple.c44fe257f8631560a0f6e3f0a5e135f4Over the last 3 years, little by little, by collecting things we love, our house has become our home.

Having patience is key!¬†Although this is a tip of mine, it definitely was a struggle at first. When moving in I desperately wanted to feel settled. This unsettling feeling can make you take the easy way out, and just buy whatever for the time being, but I didn’t want to waste my money on temporary pieces. I wanted to purchase higher quality furniture, that would last. However, along with higher quality comes a greater expense. I also didn’t want to just fill the space with pieces because I need them, I wanted the right furniture for the space. Older houses have smaller spaces. So this put me on an epic hunt, for furniture that had the charm I was looking for, but was small enough. I had to get creative, and have patience, but as time went on, I fount my house filling up. It is a successful mix of new higher quality staple pieces, with vintage finds.

This is how we went about it..

The first year we were here, we focused on purchasing some big items, couch, bed, dining room table. We wanted these items to be high quality pieces that would last. So we spent the money on custom made pieces from Ethan Allen.

The second year, we focused on accent pieces, such as side tables, lamps, rugs, shower curtain, etc. We also used our front porch to make a peaceful outdoor space. It is there that, we can enjoy a latte while lounging on the wicker love-seat.

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This last year, I finally purchased some major pieces that I was on a desperate hunt for. My major challenge has been finding furniture to fit such small spaces. Because most USA furniture is larger, I had to get creative. I ended up refinishing an old antique dresser. I finally found a beautiful hutch for my kitchen/dinning room, to store my Vitamix and other kitchen appliances. I replaced the ugly old dinning room over-head light with a beautiful rustic chandelier. And then, my husband made a coffee table from an old whiskey barrel, that we found in Fredericksburg. It is the prefect hight, width, and gives us that rustic feel that I love.

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dresser diy

 

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This spring we have some new house projects to accomplish. Some are fun, others are necessary.

  • Replace Windows – which we just accomplished on Easter Weekend! They are beautiful!¬†
  • Replace Furnace
  • Replace Fence
  • Put up new blinds or shades
  • Paint 3 rooms
  • Clean up Yard
  • Start Garden

We did our research, and finally in March, we decided on a custom made window replacement. And this Easter weekend, Window Nation came over and completed the project. So one of the necessary house project is now checked off the list. The windows are beautiful and much more energy efficient. Soon we will be picking out blinds or shades.

dining room

As for the others on the list, we are still coming up with a game plan, but I would have to say one thing I am most excited about is my veggie garden that I will be starting up again this season. I normally do a garden every year, but last year, because of my wedding, it was impossible for me to devote the time to a garden. I missed it so much.

This year I can’t wait to watch things grow, and enjoy fresh veggies from my backyard. I also can’t wait to hit up all the local farmer’s markets. I hope you look forward to some gardening posts in the near future.

Diet & Fitness

As for diet, like always, my plan is to eat well balance meals that are made up of fresh organic food. Lately, fruit is the number one thing I crave and my refrigerator has been stocked with it. However, fruit taste so much sweeter when it is in season. I am really excited to eat watermelon again, and have tons of fresh fruit to make juices and smoothies. I want to be cooking and grilling up a storm this summer. I am looking forward to trying new recipes and keeping things colorful.

Fitness wise, I will admit I have taken it down a notch. When it comes to running, it was too snowy and icy this winter. I look forward to getting some short easy runs in once the weather warms up. But what I have really am getting into is yoga and swimming. I also want to attempt some hiking this season.

So those are my future healthy lifestyle goals. Yesterday was 75 degrees. And this week is suppose to continue to stay in the  60s.

This weekend, my husband and I are heading down to Del Ray Beach, and South Beach Miami. I can’t wait to soak up some sun, and eat some Cuban food.

I want to hear form you…

What are some of your home projects? What are your goals for the spring?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

Spring Cleaning (your diet)!

Today is the first day of spring…

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Hellooo Spring!!

Goodbye effing Winter!! 

During the cold winter months, fresh, local, colorful, produce has been nonexistent. However, I have been avoiding heavy comfort foods and staying true to my clean organic lifestyle by eating tons of spicy soups. They have kept me warm and satisfied during this brutally cold winter. ( If you haven’t read my soup posts do it now. )¬†My soup recipes are easy to make and you can freeze a pot full for later.

Soon though very soon, temperatures will warm up and farmers markets will open. Plus, I love to grow some staples of my very own in my backyard garden. Herbs such as basil, sage, mint, and rosemary are easy to grow and add flavor to many dishes. They are great additions to urban gardens for those who live in city apartments/condos. They also add a refreshing burst to fresh brewed ice tea.

So first comes first, it’s time to Spring Clean your fridge and kitchen.

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Eliminate all processed foods and all foods that are not clean and organic.

Reduce sugar intake.

This is a hard one but it makes a huge huge huge difference in preventing disease and in your waist line. Trust me, I know, I use to drink my sugar. According to the American Heart Association the average woman should get no more than 30 grams of added sugar a day.

Added sugar can be hidden in juice, tea, non fat milk, milk replacement products, yogurt, granola, oat meal, salad dressings, sauces, and many more foods. Easiest way to reduce your added sugar intake is by reading labels, eating whole foods, and making your own sauces, dressings, and granola from scratch. For more information read my post on added sugar and try making making Scott Jurek’s vegan granola by following the recipe I posted.

Also clean your kitchen of any foods that have chemically made sweeteners, aka sugar replacements. If it is made in a science lab it is not a clean food.

Research your oils.

I have many oils in my kitchen. Different oils have different flavors. My stash includes Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, and Coconut Oil. Make sure all oils you have in your kitchen are cold pressed. This means your oils are truly what the label says and not mixed with any other oils. Also make sure your oils are unrefined. Along with cold pressed this means they have the highest standard of processing. If it is not unrefined during processing your oils may have been heated too hot. When heated too hot the nutritional value may be in jeopardy. Also keep in mind that some oils have more saturated fat then others. For example: The American Heart Association recommends no more than 16 grams of saturated fat a day. 1 table spoon of coconut oil has 12 grams of saturated fat. Although, coconut oil has many health benefits, use it is small doses and be careful not to heat it over 300 degrees. I like to use my coconut oil in substitute to butter or cooking sprays when greasing baking sheets.

Increase your raw food intake.

Although, I had fun making pots of homemade soups (Broccoli with Pickled Ginger, Chicken with Sweet Potato and Chipotle in Adobe, Farro, Pumpkin, and Vegan Chile) by now I am ready for some veggies in the raw. I am not going completely raw, but the plan is to eat as much raw fresh produce as I can. When it is the season, raw is way more sweet, flavorful, delicious. Why cook and ruin a good thing.

Eat the Rainbow.

The more colorful your food is the better. Rich, bright, vibrant color means more fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants!  Runners especially need antioxidants because of the wear and tear/ stress that is put on the body daily.

Hydrate!

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Drink water. After the winter months, the air has been cold and drying. This leads to dehydration. It is time to up our water intake. I recently purchased a new water bottle that I plan to bring with me everywhere. Every chance I get I plan to refill. Having adequate amounts of water helps regulate metabolism and cleans the body of toxins. Another tip I do, is add lemon to my water. The lemon is a natural cleanser. So by adding it to your water I will be hydrating and detoxing at the same time.

Meal Prep.

This is something I am constantly working on. I love it when I have done it but it is a hard one to do. But if you can do it – well done! For those that don’t know what meal prepping is… I’ll explain. First you must plan your menu for your week. Second, get to the farmers markets or grocery store and buy your food. I normally do this on Saturday. Next thing, prep all food by washing, cutting and portioning raw foods. Cook foods that need to be cooked. Portion all meals with a protein, complex carb, and healthy fat. Follow your macros for portion sizes. These meals are now portioned and prepared ready to go. If you are eating clean you should be eating a small meal every 2-3 hours about 6 meals a day. The meal sizes depend on your calorie intake and macros. If you can do this, it will save you. It will help you avoid ever getting “hangry” and impulsive. It will help you avoid the need to eat out at restaurants. It will keep you high with energy and your metabolism speedy.

So that is it, thats my advice to spring cleaning your diet.

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So get in your kitchen.

Let’s clean, shop, and cook!

This post was inspired by an article in Runner’s World (march.) I love their idea to use dandelion which is high in vitamin A, C, and K in salads and pesto. They also mention fiddlehead, ramps, and rhubarb. I’m definitely keeping my eyes open for these!

What are your nutritional tips for spring?

© 2014 sweatdaily

It’s not your regular old gym clothes…

This last year, I took a business building class. At this class, I had to describe my daily fashion identity by using only one adjective. This was a very hard task. I thought to myself, I am so many things. Some days I feel artsy, other days I feel sporty. Some days I dress edgy, while other days I wear vintage. I love mixing and matching. I easily find inspiration, everywhere.

Although, all of the above is true, I stared to narrow it down… there is one thing that all the above share. And whether what I am wearing is edgy, vintage, artsy, or sporty, what I realized is that in one way or another, they are all girly and feminine.

Do you remember Clueless?

This is by far one of my favorite movies from the 90s. I was 10 years old when it came out, and I remember watching this movie, thinking how cool all of their outfits were.

Look at those gym clothes…

Clueless

Now looking back, I realize that I was the Clueless one, and the point of putting them in these outfits was to show how clueless they were too.

There is no way that those gym clothes were functional. Try running a 5k in those and you would end up with horrible chaffing. Although, they were not functional, what they were, was trendy.

Trendy and fashionable is what I loved about the gym clothes worn by Cher in Clueless, back in the 90s. Today, Trendy, fashionable, and functional is what I look for in my running gear, yoga, and workout apparel.

I love fashion.

I love expressing myself.

I have done previous blog posts on fashionable gym clothes and functional running gear. Why? Because it is important! When you look good, you feel good. Specific clothing is made, for specific sports. When you wear the proper gear for whichever sport you are participating in you preform better.

So although the gym clothing in Clueless were not functional, they were trendy. Now a days you can have the best of both worlds. Now a days workout clothing, running gear, yoga apparel is both fashionable and functional.

I normally love lululemon, and I have to admit most of my wardrobe is lululemon. However, lately I am loving Athleta. In the past, I always thought Athleta looked older, like it catered to my mother’s age group. But right now it is looking trendy, for the younger fashionable athlete. I am loving everything.

After I made a couple purchases in the store, at the register, I was asked how I had heard about Athleta. I have always known about Athleta however, I was inspired to go to the store, because of this image I saw on instagram.

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Who wouldn’t want to go it to the store after seeing this amazing image? I actually have been finding most of my inspiration from images posted on instagram. It is by far my favorite form of social media. I now follow Athleta along with some of my other favorite stores, and people. If you aren’t following me on instagram yet, do it, @dorseyml.

These are some other inspiring images. I actually have those pants!!

What athletic brands are your favorite? Do you shop at Athleta?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Other posts you may like…

I got lucky!!

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I’m in!! The Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my very first race and I have been running it every year since. Because of popularity the last couple of years race organizers have changed the race from first come first serve to a lottery. I am always nervous I might not get in, but thankfully I got lucky. This will be my 7th time running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler! I now have spring fever. I am super excited for this race and more to come. I am also looking forward to announcing my future races for my running season with you guys after the holidays!

Is anyone else running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler? Do you have a favorite race you run every year?

Night Before Race Ritual!

The month of April has been a very busy month for me, especially when it comes to running races.

The first weekend of April was consumed with the Cherry Blossom 10 miler.

The second weekend of April was the weekend I headed down to Miami, for my best friends Bachelorette party – it was also the same weekend as the Boston Marathon.

The third weekend of April, last weekend, I ran the Parkway Classic 10 miler.

And tomorrow the forth and final weekend of April, I will be running in the Nike Women Half Marathon. I am beyond pumped to run this race. So once again here is a photo of my night before race ritual. For those who do not know, the night before a race, I always lay out my race outfit, and pack my bag. This helps me get ready quickly, in the dark of the morning. Tomorrow, I will be meeting up with E and L as early as 5:15 am.

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I will be writing posts about all of my races and their expos this week. I can’t wait to share my experiences with you, because each race so far has been fantastic!!¬†

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

The search for the perfect “brazilian” Bikini…

Spring has arrived.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been experiencing some serious spring fever – meaning I am ready for things to heat up! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t say that Spring in the Washington, DC area is the best time of year here. The famous Cherry Blossoms have come and gone, and if you have never experienced spring allergies you will if you come here.

Anyway, last weekend I escaped the DC area, which was undergoing the winter/spring transition, and instead I headed down to Miami. It was there, in South Beach, that I got a sweet taste of summer.

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I am definitely a beach girl. And so far, I have had the privilege to visit some pretty amazing beaches, including ones in Brazil, Barcelona, Greece, Turkey, California, Martha’s Vineyard, etc, and now I can include South Beach, Miami to the list.644653_10101076014355656_2139329044_n

Because summer is approaching, the average women uses spring to become beach ready. Being a hairstylist, I advise my clients to start growing out their bangs, and add some sun-kissed highlights, to brighten and refresh their darker locks. Some people hit the gym, while others try the latest trendy diet, in order to shed those extra pounds they gained during their winter hibernation. Most longing to look fabulous in a bikini, this leads to the hunt to find the most flattering swimsuit.

It has been interesting visiting international beaches and comparing their people and beaches to our very own. When I was Barcelona, I was able to observe, Australians, French, Spaniards, Italians, Japanese, and many more. Then when I went to Brazil, I observed Brazilians, and while in Greece, the Greeks. I came to the conclusion that most Europeans and definitely all Brazilians, are more accepting and more confident regarding their bodies. French, Spaniards, and Italians, all go topless, regardless of their age or body type. The Brazilians, do not go topless, but they are known to wear teeny tiny bikini bottoms, (side note: not considered a thong.)  But the majority of Brazilians wear these tiny bikinis, even when their bottoms might not be.

As for me, I am an American, who always wears a brazilian bikini. I can thank my best friends for that one.  My bff is brazilian, who ever since we became friends  fourteen years ago,  she has been bringing me back brazilian bikinis, every time she visits brazil. In 2006, I finally was able to travel with her, to Brazil. And again we shopped for more brazilian bikinis. So as you can see, I have a pretty big collection, of these colorful, skimpy swim suits.

Purchasing bikinis in brazil is much more affordable, and it use to be impossible to find brazilian bikini companies that would ship to the USA. However, times have changed. Brazil’s economy is booming. And now some, not all, but some of the best brazilian swimwear is available to purchase online in American dollars.

So since I was heading to one of the sexiest beaches in the USA, South Beach, Miami, and because I have trained so hard doing the Livefit trainer, it was time to treat myself to a new brazilian bikini.

I was a little nervous purchasing a bikini online. But I felt safe going with one of my favorite brazilian bikini brands, Lenny. While I was in Brazil, I was lucky enough to have had purchased two of them, and knew exactly how they fit. (Side note:  Sizing is definitely different in Brazil.) Why was I so lucky? In Brazil, I was able to get two of these bikinis for a little over $100.00. Now, this brand is a major splurge, costing me a hefty $230.00 for my new bikini.

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So after I had purchased my Lenny bikini, I continued my search. Not because I was dissatisfied with my choice – I am actually in love with my new Lenny bikini and wore everyday while I was in Miami. But I continued my search simply because I was curious about what other brazilian bikini companies are available to the USA, and if I could find a new more affordable favorite.

During my search, I came across Midori Bikinis. This is a small company who makes affordable Brazilian Bikinis, and ships to the USA. They too were tired of paying $70 plus for 12 inches of material. They were founded on the believe that everyone deserves affordable high¬†quality swimwear. They have a variety of thong and brazilian bikini bottoms, including my favorite, the¬†“Kailua Classic.”

Our collection of unique Midori Brazilian Bikinis are especially designed for comfortable beach & surf wear. T‚Äčhey feature Extra Life Lycra which allow our suits to be¬†10x more durable than normal swimwear material¬†and¬†10x more resistant¬†to fadingA variety of skimpy backs provide some coverage- but by no means are they meant to hide those cheeks!” – quoted from their website.

Their website also says that Midori Bikini sells its own line of swimwear imported directly from Brazil and they ensure the highest quality.

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So let me give you some advice… I came across this company by searching the keyword brazilian bikini on INSTAGRAM. Yep, that is right, Instagram is not just for your own personal photos. It can also be used as a fabulous place to seek knowledge and discover new things. I highly advise you to follow this company Midori Bikinis on Instagram. By following them on Instagram you will be the first to receive updates about what they have in stock, and when they receive or upload new shipments of merchandise. Also, because this is a small company, but a fabulous one, when they upload their new merchandise it is gone quickly. And when I say quickly, I mean it. Do not wait a day. Trust me, with in hours all items become sold out.

I was lucky to be quick enough and was able to purchase two tops and one Kailua Classic bottom.  My total was under $100 for these three items. And to my surprise the delivery was quick, and they were waiting for me at my front door, way sooner than I expected Рa couple days.

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Another interesting thing that I realized when researching Brazilian bikinis was the models they choose to use. The models used for Brazilian bikini companies normally are curvier or more athletic. While the American companies that sell Brazilian bikinis use very skinny models. I remember seeing one bikini that when seeing it on a model chose by a Brazilian company, loving it. But then seeing the same bikini on a model chose by an American company and hating it. Ladies- Strong is the new Skinny.  See for yourself.

Brazilian Inspired –128 9

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American Inspired –¬†

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Questions for You…

  1. Which beach is your favorite?
  2. How are you preparing for spring/summer.

© 2013 sweatdaily

RUNNING under the sun and then through the snow.

“March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb…”

You may have heard the above quote time and time again. “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb…” and in most places this is quite true – but not here in DC.

Last night my morning meeting was canceled do to the possibility of a wintery mix. You may be thinking, why… it is the end of March? But here in the DC area, having a disgusting mix of wet rain and snow in early spring is not shocking.

For some of you snow bunnies from up North, you may find my rant about 1 inch of snow annoying. But let me tell ya, I love snow, and would rather have a beautiful light dusting, or actually, bring it on I’ll take a blizzard, over this wet, dirty, already melting wintery mix.

Ever since I became a runner, 5 years ago, I have become very weather sensitive/picky. And every year, I take note, and remember quite vividly what the weather is like in late March through April. Why so obsessed? Because that is when my running season begins. That is when I start running my races, starting with the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, scheduled for the first weekend of April.

I love this race, however out of the five times I have run it, I have only run under the promised¬†canopy of Cherry Blossoms once. Most of the time, we will have a hot week, and the Cherry Blossom will bloom, and then we will have a cold week, where the wind will blow the blossoms away. ¬†So as you can see it is a roller coaster ride… when it comes to the weather around here.

So this is what I am talking about…

Is it spring?

Is it winter?

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Cherry Blossoms covered with wet snow…

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Ok… enough of that… Lets talk about Running…

This last week, I continued with my Livefit trainer, but I have also taken my half marathon training up a notch. Or in other words, I have been doing some serious runs. What do I mean by serious runs? Well, because this spring I am only doing races between 10 and 13.1 miles, my long runs are really not that long. Because I am a marathon runner, I don’t really consider anything below 10 miles a long run. ¬†With that being said, because I am training for the 10 – 13.1 mile races, so far my weekend long runs have been 6, 7, 8 (if that makes since.)

I also want to make a point, that no matter which distance you are running from 5k to 21 miler to ultra marathon, it is important to practice proper form. Even on the shortest runs, you can still have a serious, high quality workout.

Friday, 3/22

L and I went out on our 8 mile run. We ran south side of the MVT. It was a really great run, averaging a 9 min mile. It was cold but sunny. Good weather, happy runner!

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I ran a 4-5 mile loop, and did 5x hill repeats. I was averaging an 8:30 min mile. It was 55-60 degrees. I ran in shorts and a tshirt. It felt amazing. I thought spring was here… what a tease.

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Sunday, 3/24

L and I met up at 7:30 am to get a 4-5 mile run in before work. It felt really nice to wake up early and hit the trail. We ran the north side of MVT. I ran faster than ever, definitely averaged 8:30 min mile, sometimes running faster. Focused on short fast strides. ¬†Stopped to take this quick photo…

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Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Questions for You…

  1. What types of runs did you do this weekend? Fast? Slow? Long? Short? Hills? Flat? Training? Races?
  2. Is it snowing where you are? Is it spring or winter?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Yellowstone

WILD WILD WEST JOURNEY CONTINUES…

Two years ago after a client of mine told me of her amazing experience in Yellowstone, I immediately yearned to go. That same year my boyfriend headed to Idaho, for a visit and ended up going to Yellowstone without me.  I was so jealous. Visiting this National Park became on the top of my list of places to go.

After spending time in Idaho Falls, Idaho, my boyfriend and I , his Mom and  Grandma, all headed on a quick 90 min road trip to Yellowstone National Park. The minute we entered the park, my breath was taken away. It was that pretty. We started on the West side of the Park which is located in Montana and headed toward Wyoming.

When we were in Montana, it didn’t take long to spot a Buffalo, they are everywhere. It is sad to say, but before this the only idea I had of Montana and Bison was when I ate a bison burger at the restaurant, Ted’s Montana Grill. But finally I am here, in Yellowstone, seeing one for real, in his natural habitat.

Buffalo in Montana, roaming free.

It was a beautiful morning when we arrived to Yellowstone. Can’t you see and feel it from this photo?¬†The water sparkles, clean, and cool.¬† The air was so crisp and refreshing. I felt like I had never breathed better. In Yellowstone, in Montana, in total peace.

Yoga in Montana.

We continued on towards Wyoming and stopped to see the Geyser. They were bubbling all different shades of greens, blues, and oranges. They got up to extremely steamy hot temperatures, I believe around 150 degrees , maybe even hotter.

Geysers in Wyoming!

Photo Journalism.

One of the most interesting facts I learned about the amazing geysers, is that the dog family is one of the few animals that can not determine whether water is hot or cold, with out using their since of touch. Because of this fact, the park has lost some wolves and other dog types due to drowning in the extremely hot geysers.

However, by the looks of it, Bison must be different. 

The ground can become unstable and actually act like quick sand, sucking whatever is on the service under. The Bison herd came to the Geysers. The leader of the herd tested the stability of the ground, and the heat of the geysers, and then the rest followed. It was an amazing site to see.

©2012

I know its springtime when the Cherry Blossoms bloom

Ever since the early 1900 when, Japan gave the Cherry Blossom trees to the United States, they bloom year after year, symbolizing life and rebirth. 

In celebration of the gift of the trees, the Nation’s Capital puts on its biggest festival. Two of my favorite parts of the festival are the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and Yoga on the National Mall.

Every year, The Cherry Blossom 10 miler is packed with about 15,000 runners, including some elite runners. It use to be first come first serve, but because of it’s popularity, it is now a lottery sign up.¬†The race starts at the Washington Monument, goes over the Memorial Bridge, loops around the Tidal Basin and finishes back on the National Mall. My favorite part of the race, is heading toward the memorial bridge. It is there, opposite¬†of us average runners, ¬†who have just started to run our race, that you can spot the elite runners sprinting towards the finish line. Seeing them, creates an amazing energy, so amazing it is indescribable. ¬†I also love running by the Tidal Basin, but it can be a hit or miss. ¬†It is a hit, because a canopy of white and pink blossoms normally hang over your head, and when they do, it is breath taking. In that moment, I want to turn off my ipod, and grab my camera. But it becomes a miss when the weather gets too warm too fast, or too cold, or windy, the delicate flowers might be destroyed, making the Tidal Basin, bare and boring.

In 2008, the Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my very first long distance race, and I have been running it every year since. In 2008, it was rainy and cold, but in the spirit of the the Cherry Blossoms, my sister and I wore bright pink shirts.  We ran it in a consistent 9:48 pace, finishing in 1:38:09. That day, after accomplishing that race, I felt different. In ways, that race defined me as a runner, because it was then that I felt I could truly call myself that.

This year was a very special year because it was the 100th year of celebration of the gift of the trees, and it was my 5th time running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. My sister didn’t run this year, but my new running buddy, Lina, a coworker of mine, ran it for her very first 10 mile run. The friday before the race we headed to the expo, which was held at the National Building Museum, to pick up our bibs, and do a little shopping. On the Saturday, before the race, I headed to lululemon to find a fun running outfit. I know that it is usually a big no no to wear something unfamiliar the day of the race, but I actually like racing in something new. I prepared my running things the night before and headed to bed early.

I woke up at 5:30 am and then Lina and I walked to the Metro. We arrived to the start line around 6:30. It was dark and cold.

When the race began we ignored the fact that we were in different corrals, and we both squeezed in with the 9 minute pace group.  It is important to get in the proper wave because if you get stuck in the back, it will cause so much frustration trying to squeeze pass other slower runners. I usually start off a little slower to warm up and then I ease into my pace. I kept a good pace most of the race stopping a couple of the water stations to refuel. I ended up running it in, ‎1:29:26, making a new PR. Lina was not far behind me.  When we got to the finish line we got to chow down on bananas.

Lina has some bling bling on her shoe!

Although, this race was fabulous, so were the previous ones. The Cherry Blossom 10 miler is as you can see, very dear to my heart. It was my first race, one that defined me as a runner. It is not only the race that I do every year, but it also symbolizes the  starts my running season.

Below memories from previous Cherry Blossom 10 miler races.

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 2008

Cherry Blossom 10 miler 2009

Cherry Blossom expo 2010

Cherry Blossom 10 miler 2011

Cherry Blossom 10 miler 2012

© 2012

hello Spring

This winter disappointed me, badly. It flew by with it’s boring mild temperature days. No being snowed in, no exciting, beautiful, white outs to speak of, not even a light white blanket of dust. How ironic considering my boyfriend and I both gave each other snowboards. I did try once to race down the slopes hardly covered with so called “man-made” snow, but ice is a better word to use to describe it. It was then, that I finally accepted the fact that mother nature was not going to surprise me, by covering the mountains, with her fresh white powder. So I decided to embrace the mild temps and although, it was a bad snowboarding weather, it was actually perfect for running.

Honestly, I prefer running in cooler tempts. Maybe, it is because of where I live, but the summers here, are unpredictable and can be quite brutal, last summer, there were days that hit 105, but because of the humidity it felt like 115. Impossible to run in. Not being able to run, made me depressed and anxiety took over my body. So as you can see, I prefer to run all year, rain or shine. However, crisp sunny days, with a mild breeze, around 55 degrees, maybe 60, is ideal running weather.

Having a warmer winter made me wonder about the summer. The last two years we had extreme winters, with extreme summers. Will it be a brutally hot summer because we had a warm winter, or will it be a mild summer because it
was a mild winter? Whatever it may be, lets live in the moment, Spring is here and it has been quite lovely.

I recently heard the quote,”The Earth laughs in flowers,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and fell in love with these words. What a beautiful way to describe Spring. Now every time I see a tree blossom or a flower bloom I think of the Earth laughing with delight.

© 2012