Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Football and Feats of Strength before 7am

I'd like to say I'm going to go with the flow and do a Wordless Wednesday post, but I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. In fact, sometimes I have to type stuff out and delete it. But then I can't even leave it at that, I have to TELL people that I've typed stuff up and deleted it. You know what your mom said, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

But these pictures ARE something nice, and so was my run and even though there's absolutely no need to explain any of these photos captured along the route of my morning run, I am going to.

<Unlrelated Tip> If you really do need to do an easy run, bring your camera (or your phone) and take pictures of stuff. It makes it difficult to go too fast when you are running, phone in hand ready to snap anything nifty or awesome that comes across your path. </unrelated tip>

Lucky me. I have an amazing morning run route. I get to go past all kinds of wonderful things that people travel from all around the country just to get a glimpse of, take pictures of, and experience. My run starts off with this view of the White House. The Monument is just peeking out from behind. Pretty cool. 

I headed down 15th street and got to see the Washington Monument just as the sun was just coming up. No words needed.

When I got over to the mall is when the fun began. Look at these dudes doing feats of strength. Shut up! They are carrying heavy things down the mall. This is so awesome for so many reasons. What you can't quite see is the guy on the right is holding something really large and presumably heavy over his head as he walks. The guy in the middle has 2 rather large kettlebells. RAR! I love feats of strength. They make me happy.

This is the merry-go-round near the Smithsonian. I didn't realize how sad they were if they weren't on and spinning around and playing music and kids weren't dancing around and laughing. Don't worry, merry-go-round, you will see some action this weekend. I'm sure of it. It's going to be another one of those super busy, lots of stuff going on, people everywhere, beautiful Washington, D.C. weekends.

Morning sportz! These people were playing football right in front of the Capitol. This also made me happy. Football! At 7am! In front of the Capitol! Imagine! I love it! Good job, footballers!

Here's the Capitol. Watching the game. Quietly glad neither team is "skins".

This guy wins for best running outfit, possibly ever. Neon orange arm warmers. Tattoos everywhere (you can't see them, but I promise they are there.) [And, I know tattoos aren't technically an outfit per se, but I am counting them as part of his ensemble. Because it's my list and I can.] Sort of camo, sort of weird patterned cargo shorts. Blue headband. Compression socks. Guy, I hope your run this morning was as awesome as your outfit. You win.

Why I can't get closer to the Washington Monument right now. (You probably can't read it but it's still shut down from the EARTHQUAKE, aka, when I saw my life flash before my eyes because I was on the 12th floor of a building that shook like crazy and I knew, just KNEW I was a goner.) [But everything was fine.] {Well, except for the Monument.}

But it's still looking pretty good. And all the flags are doing their job representing. So I took another picture. Mostly because I love America. Especially this morning.

That was fun. Who knew that phone cameras would be able to take such clear pictures of wonderful things? Happy [Non]Wordless Wednesday, people. I tried. Well, not really.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Friday Fashion Facts

I've seen a lot of bad fashion this week (well, I guess there's a lot of bad fashion every week, but this week stood out.) This always happens when we're sort of in between seasons. It's chilly in the morning, and everyone hopefully wears their adorable tights and sweaters and then by the afternoon, it's sunny and warm and everyone is sweating. You just can't win. I've been wearing a lot of generic, boring, noncommittal outfits in an effort to stay under the fashion radar.

In my best effort at giving back, I've consolidated a list of Friday Fashion Facts to share with you. I feel ok admitting that some of these fashion disasters were of my own making. On the other hand, there are a couple of genius ideas in here, so it's turned out to be a very Seinfeldian (new word?) Even Steven kind of list.

Guess what I got in the mail this week from a one Ms. Ali on the Run?

If you guessed an I HEART SWEAT shirt, you guessed right. This shirt is proper for every occasion. Warm out? Wear it with shorts. Cool out? Wear it with arm warmers. Cold out? Wear it over an Under Armour shirt. Race day? Perfect. Training day? Also perfect. See? You can't lose.

Be glad that you can't smell this shirt, friends. I have already broken it in, and pulled it out of my laundry for this photo op.
  • Friday fashion fact: I HEART SWEAT shirts work like a charm to help you negative split your run. I knew those shirts were awesome, but I never dreamed they could help me with pacing. Thank you, Ali!  

The BAD:
I issued a PSA this week after I drove into the city for a pre-work spin class. It's obviously dark at that hour, but people (like me) are still out there getting their sportz on.

Trust me when I say I'm all about sportz at all hours, but you guys, wearing all black when it's dark out is a recipe for disaster. See this guy running down the sidewalk in my neighborhood?

No? My point exactly. He's wearing all black. In the dark. #notgenius
  • Friday fashion fact: Wear bright colors for sportz in the dark. Better yet: wear a LIGHT. Thank you in advance.

The Not That BAD:
I heard about Pilates in the Park this week from @washwellbeing . I easily convinced a couple of sporty chicks to join me. It was weird and wonderful. We were working our core in the middle of the rush hour chaos taking place around Farragut Square.

It was free of charge, but for some odd looks from passersby. There was one woman who walked through the park pointing and laughing at us, while she smoked a cigarette. Um, lady, you are SMOKING and we are doing sportz. 6 pack abs > lung cancer. #wewin

Scissors, anyone?
 However, the grass is itchy, and running shorts are not built for pilates.
  •  Friday fashion fact: When doing pilates in the grass with strangers during rush hour, wear tights.  

Whenever possible, I ride my commuter bike. I usually don't *need* to ride it, DC is quite walkable or metroable or (my personal favorite) bus-able. But, riding a bike is going to be the most fun option, and that's all I really need to say about that.

The main problem, of course, is that work clothes aren't usually condusive to biking. Still, I've ridden in the rain (and had to dry my work pants with a hair dryer before a meeting), I've ridden in a skirt (and realized that non-stretchy pencil skirts are not built for straddling bikes) and I've changed clothes in my garage to avoid the two aforementioned bikerideFAILS.

But today I came up with a truly genius way to keep my work pants out of my drivetrain:

  •  Friday fashion fact: Animal print binder clips make great pants clips for bike riders wearing work clothes. Reaow! Am fashion genius!
  • Related: Nikes look great with black work pants.

I had an epiphany this week while dealing with the after effects of a run and sporting some really awesome compression sleeves under my work pants. They were kind of peeking out of the bottom, and I really didn't feel like dealing with questions from my always curious co-workers. I had just ordered some new boots online and see where I am going with this, right?

  • Friday fashion fact: Those fashionable, fun, fall boots that we all love? They hide compression socks beautifully. You're welcome.

Hope your weekend is filled with sweaty spandex!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Confessions: I just ate a piece of popcorn off the floor

I feel like I'm under a lot of pressure to create an exciting blog post after my first "real" post got so many views. Whoa. But all I can come up with this rainy turned sunny turned happy hour Friday are some confessions. I know. We've barely met and I'm already airing my dirty laundry.

For example:

I think I just bonked at my desk. I felt so hungry I was dizzy and was feeling malnourished and stupid for being so hungry at work in the middle of the afternoon. That makes no sense. I actually went out and bought a sandwich and popcorn to rectify the situation. At 3:30 in the afternoon, I'm eating lunch again. Note to self: soup does not make a lunch. (You'll notice in the picture that the sandwich has already been consumed.)

Not in the picture? The fact that I just ate a piece of popcorn off the floor.

Also: I forgot to wear a helmet this morning when I rode my bike to the gym. The gym is only a few blocks from my office, but it's WAY faster and, ok, actually more fun to ride my bike. I didn't realize I wasn't wearing my helmet until I got there, so there was nothing I could do. I think as punishment for this crime, it was pouring rain when I went to leave. So...I rode my bike back in the pouring rain. In my work clothes. So that made me have to...

...take off my pants in the gym at my office and use a hair dryer to de-rainify them before my 9am meeting. That was fun. I'm actually very lucky that there IS a gym in my office and that there are hair dryers, because, let me tell you, I was DRENCHED. Almost as drenched as I was last night, when...

...I ran in the pouring rain, and I LIKED IT. It started off as a sprinkle, but within a half mile it was raining, and in the next few minutes it turned into a downpour. Once you're wet, you're wet, so I just kept running through puddles, dragging my friend with me (what a good sport!) One of the good things about running in the rain? You don't have to wash your hair after. Speaking of hair...

I'm considering blowing off happy hour because I'm having a bad hair day. Like, really bad. This is ridiculous, I know. But I am.

Whew. I feel better now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hello, my name is Karen and I'm a SportzJunkie.

I think I might have a problem. You tell me. Here are some of the symptoms.

I've been known to challenge friends to see who could amass the larger pile of sweat under a spin bike.

I think pictures in front of enormous Gatorade bottles are cool.

I get more excited for sales at than I do for Ann Taylor.

There are currently no less than five pair of smelly sporty shoes sitting at the front door to my house. (Under a bike.) (And two pair of animal print flats, but that's not really a problem though, is it?)

I own 5 pairs of the same long distance tri shorts because I keep wearing them out.

I have trouble keeping my belly full. I eat Lots Of Food. Constantly. (It's not always healthy.)

I own multiple bikes and I like to ride them all.

I think 5am is a reasonable time to wake up if there is something fun to do.

I sometimes go entire weeks without showering at home.

I have more plastic bike water bottles from races than I have cabinet space.

My car contains equipment for any swimming, biking, running, yoga or strength training that could occur at a moment's notice. And shower supplies, should they be required. Oh, and snax for sportz. It used to smell like a new car. Now it kind of smells like a sports car. No, I mean sportz car.

Since there is all this sporty stuff in my car, I sometimes throw in an extra workout rather than sit in rush hour traffic. Running > gridlock. #duh

I've run in the pouring rain, in the falling snow, in code red in the summer, in the mud, up hills, at sunrise, over bridges, gotten lost, and I've WALKED a MARATHON. (That is a bit of a long story.)

I know I am lucky to be able to do this stuff, and I am even luckier to have friends to do it with me. I'm going to keep it up as long as I can.

Hello, my name is Karen and I'm a SportzJunkie.