Perhaps it didn’t seem like an eternity for you but without posting in 4 days I feel disconnected! We had our annual volunteer weekend (now called Grassroots Leadership Summit to make it as formal as possible) for work and I was in Washington DC from Friday morning until yesterday evening. Here are some highlights on the running and eating I did over the past few days:
My first long run was scheduled for Saturday and I had been fretting about fitting it in before our meetings began at 9. My plan was to get on the trail by 5:45am and hammer out my 14 miles by 8am which is easy to say but I haven’t run over 8 miles since December. 14 is typically not a daunting number and I do have a solid base of 25-30 mpw but I wasn’t quite sure how doubling my peak run would feel.
Our events team hammered out our meeting prep like the champs we are and had nearly 3 hours before our volunteer reception kicked-off and I took full advantage of this new free time. I told them I was going to get my run out of the way since it was 1) daylight 2) 44 degrees and 3) NOT 5:45am. I won’t lie, the sudden change of plans made me a little anxious but I was thrilled to be able to get this monster of a run checked off. Luckily the hotel we always stay in is 1/4 mile from the Mt. Vernon Trail. The first time I realized this and tried it out I swear angels were singing the entire run!
My long runs should be done between a 9:30 and 10min/mile pace and my first 2 miles clocked in at 8:45; needless to say, I was feeling good, but needed to slow it down. The weather had everything to do with this and to not be freezing felt wonderful! By mile 5 I was feeling that old runner’s high and managed to steady my pace closer to 9:10s which I was happy with. I crossed the Arlington Memorial Bridge that brings you to the back side of the Lincoln Memorial and from there you have a plethora of paths taking you around the Washington Monument, Reflecting Pool and World War 2 Memorial; my favorite. Crossing back over the bridge I ran to the entrance of Arlington Cemetery and by the time I hit 10 miles my confidence had returned! I did another loop around the Monuments (fitting in an emergency potty stop just before mile 11) and had a huge smile on my face when I got back to my hotel room. Marathon training: I can do this!
The next morning Heather and I did 7 miles, leaving a little before 7am and enjoyed the early sunlight. My legs felt heavy but we averaged a 9:15 pace and chatting during our run made it really enjoyable.
The hotel food wasn’t terrible but not worth writing about so I’ll skip to lunch on Sunday that I took myself to in Georgetown after our meetings were over. Georgetown is such a cute area and a straight shot over the Key Bridge at the base of our hotel. The sunset the evening before was beautiful on our walk the previous night.
But I digress. I had my book and wanted something low key and quick and found Cafe Tu-O-Tu (4 stars, 147 reviews) which fit the bill. I got coffee and their salad combo where you can choose 3 fresh salads; I went with:
Spinach Artichoke Salad
Baby Spinach Leaves tossed with Artichoke Hearts and topped with toasted Pine nuts and shredded Parmesan Cheese and Dill
Pear slices with Dried Cranberries, Parmesan Cheese and walnuts served on Arugula
Strawberries, Dried Cranberries & Spinach topped with Parmesan & Goat Cheese
Now onto dessert! My coworkers and I found Pie Sisters (4 stars, 122 reviews) over a year ago and it’s now a tradition. They make full size pies but the best thing to get are their Cuppies; individual pies. It’s nearly impossible to decide on one so the past few times I’ve gone I get 4 different Cuppies to bring back home. This time I got their Key Lime, Bourbon Chocolate Pecan, Apple Caramel Crumble and Jumbleberry!
Being honest, I really wasn’t looking forward to this working weekend but, aside from being mentally exhausted from being “on” the whole time, I had a pretty great weekend. Between my 14 mile run in the spring weather and the delicious pies Brett and I are still enjoying, I’m in a dang good mood for a Monday!