Lately – December 2017

There’s been a lot going on lately, which partially explains the lack of posts. The main things are:

  • It’s budget season again. I talked about this briefly in this post. Budget season typically starts in September when we (OMB) receive budget submissions from agencies. And it ends in February with the release of the President’s Budget. Last year the timeline was different because the Administration changed in January, so budget season shifted to the spring. Anyway, all of budget season is crazy, but October and January are the craziest. So that’s happening. I’ve been working more than usual.
  • We’re buying a new house! New to us and new new. It’s a few miles away from our current house (which we rent and where we’ve lived for almost five years). It’s new construction and will likely be complete in March or April. I’m expecting we’ll move in April. It’s been a lot of fun to pick stuff out (first floor floorplan, cabinets, tile, hardwood, carpet, countertops, sinks, etc.), but it’s also taken up a lot of time. And there have been a lot of meetings, both during work and outside of work hours. Plus all the general house-buying and mortgage paperwork.
  • I’m pregnant! 16.5 weeks. It’s going great, but I was more exhausted than I could ever imagine feeling in the first trimester, so sleeping cut into my free time more than even normal. My 9pm bedtime became 7:30 sometimes. With two naps every Saturday and Sunday. It was the worst weeks 5-10 (so, late September through the beginning of November). Plus, there’s been prenatal appointments and ultrasounds and lots and lots of reading, so it’s been keeping me busy.

Needless to say, I’ve been a little lazy in the kitchen. I went through a period of relying heavily on Sweetgreen and Taylor Gourmet salads for lunch, but I’ve mostly resolved that. Then I started picking up the pumpkin spice yogurt pots from Pret in the mornings as I made my way from the Metro to my office in DC. I’ve also been voting for pizza delivery somewhat frequently – not quite once a week, but not too far from that either. Often on Sunday nights when we’ve had a busy weekend or been out of town.

My diet in general in my first trimester kind of went downhill. Not terribly. I still ate mostly really well. But I was definitely more lenient with the Halloween candy that was around the office and the frequent pastries people brought in. I also was testing out my recently-resurrected sourdough starter and making/eating much more bread than normal. I got it together for several weeks before Thanksgiving though, and since Thanksgiving it’s been so so. Better than before, but not awesome. Starting to sort of slide downhill again. This week has been a week of holiday parties and socializing (and treats – so many treats!). I’m thinking of doing a Whole30 again in January, as I’ve done the last two years, but maybe including grass-fed (usually Greek) yogurt which I just can’t get enough of. We’ll see.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Things I’ve been reading:

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This was for bookclub (I hosted this month!). I really enjoyed it, but it took me a long time to read.
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. This was our last book club book – my recommendation. I loved A Visit from the Goon Squad, and Jennifer Egan happens to be Dan’s best friend’s cousin, so we’ve anticipating this one for a while. LOVED it.
  • Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James Clapp and Catherine Cram. Made me feel better (and optimistic) about continuing to CrossFit through pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin and others. It took me a while to get into this because it launches pretty quickly into making decisions about birth itself, and I was still in a what-should-I-expect and whats-okay during pregnancy stage. But I’ve started to transition, and now find this really useful. It has a clear but fairly subtle bias toward unmedicated childbirth (which I am interested in), but I feel it presents other options objectively and fairly without speaking negatively/judgmentally about them. Mostly, it just explains the processes of labor and giving birth and post-birth in detail, which is really helpful. Because I’ve never done it before!
  • The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. I’m not really into this one yet. It’s much more biased about preferring midwifery (which I’m using) and unmedicated childbirth (which I’m interested in), but at this point, I’d prefer the information being presented to me without judgement and with facts about all options. I can’t even remember where I got the recommendation for this. We’ll see if I get through it.

Things I’ve been watching:

  • Fine, I admit it. I’ve been watching the entire series of Gilmore Girls. Again. Really, for like the millionth time (more honestly probably the tenth or so). I start it every Fall and watch the whole series. I don’t actually watch most of it, it’s just on in the background as I cook, fold laundry, etc.
  • Stranger Things Season 2. Dan and I are trying to watch this together. I think we’ve made it to episode… 4? Maybe 5?

Fitness I’ve been doing:

  • CrossFit 3x/week. So far so good. I maybe missed one or two workouts during the first trimester to prioritize sleeping, but as usual, my energy is highest in the morning and it’s later in the day that I start to flag. So workouts were mostly fine. My gym offers three sets of suggested weights/programming for each WOD – ‘fitness,’ Rx, and Open. I worked up to being very comfortable with the fitness weights through my first year of CrossFit, and before becoming pregnant had started to work towards Rx. But since becoming pregnant, I’ve mostly stuck to fitness. I was still doing strength maxes, though. Starting around week 10 or 11, I started to scale back on those as well (opting to do more like 70% of my 1 or 2RM), and also to pay closer attention to whether I would be able to converse during WODs. Now that I’m in the second trimester, I’ve decided to stop kipping pull-ups and any sit up things and will instead do things like strict pull-ups, ring rows, and planks.
  • Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon. This was when I was about 9 weeks pregnant. My pace was 8:50 (total time: 1:55:51), which is slower than my half marathons from the past 3 or so years, but still respectable. Training runs were tough leading up to it due to how tired I was. I’m also just less into running lately, and don’t think I’ll keep doing half marathons twice a year. But, got ‘er done and was pleased with it. The weather was amazing (high 60s, low 70s, sunny – actually felt hot at points).
  • Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K in Grand Rapids, MI. My sister, her boyfriend, Dan, and I all ran this. This was my 6th or 7th year doing a 5K on Thanksgiving Day. Pace: 8:34, Time: 26:35.
  • Upcoming – I’ll be running the Celtic Solstice 5-mile run in Druid Hill Park this Saturday. It’ll be my third year in a row.

Hikes I’ve Been On:

  • A friend couple came up from Houston for a weekend in early November. We went camping in Catoctin Mountain Park at Owens Creek Campground. Before heading to the campsite, we did the 8-Mile Loop Trail. Dan and I had done this once before with his mom (or maybe just a part of it.) The leaves were beautiful, and there were a couple of nice overlooks. The weather was slightly on the chilly side, but it was really nice to hike in. As we drove from the end of the hike to the campground, it started raining. And it continued to pour through the next morning. We attempted a fire for a while, but finally gave in and gathered together in one tent to eat trail mix and play cards.

Things I’ve Been Listening To:

  • Holiday music!
  • The Modern Mamas Podcast. Trying to binge-listen to get up to current, but they keep just putting more out! I’m only up to number… 13 I think. I’ve most enjoyed hearing about Laura’s birth story and being introduced to Aware Parenting concepts.
  • Occasional Girls Gone WOD podcasts, but I’ve definitely fallen behind.

 

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Lately – February 2017

Lately:

Things I’ve been reading:

  • The Bone People. About three people – a man, a woman, and a child – all damaged. Set in New Zealand. Really beautiful, really hard to read at points, and really wonderful.
  • Big Little Lies. I read this on a short vacation in Park City last weekend. I was in the middle of reading Underground Railroad, but switched to this so that I could start watching the HBO series. I thought I had read it already, but I hadn’t. (Instead, I’d read The Husband’s Secret by the same author.) Anyway, a quick, fun, suspenseful read!
  • The Underground Railroad. Currently reading. Isn’t everyone? I’m going to a book club for this book on Wednesday (in three days!) and I’m only 30% into it. I should not have deviated last weekend to read Big Little Lies. Sigh. Anyway, I’m into it, it’s not that I’m not into it. I was just feeling a little beaten up after The Sympathizer and The Bone People and not wanting to read something with torture and abuse. Hence the deviation. But I’m back at it, and maybe I’ll be able to read enough by  Wednesday.

Things I’ve been watching:

  • Big Little Lies. I’ve watched the first two episodes. I think it’s good. It’s so hard to watch things based on books I’ve read. So far, it has only minor deviations from the book. I think it’s good. Certainly good enough to have on while I’m cooking dinner!
  • The Putin segment of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I don’t actually usually watch these types of shows (I group this with The Daily Show, SNL, Colbert, etc.). But I always wish I watched them more, and on the particular evening I watched this, I really wanted some perspective and comic relief on the media.

Things I’ve been eating:

  • Many of the recipes from Cassy Joy Garcia’s Fed & Fit book, including:
    • Cold Cut Roll-ups
    • Basic Pork Tenderloin and Easy Parsnip Mash
    • Roasted Fruit Pops
    • Anti-inflammatory Smoothie (I added spinach.)fullsizeoutput_aa9a
    • Buffalo Ranch Bison Burgers and Braised Greens (Really enjoyed these, and have been eating the leftovers in a salad with roasted sweet potato chunks and leftover homemade paleo ranch dressing, also from the book.)fullsizeoutput_aa99
    • Plantain Protein Pancakes with Salted Raspberry Jam (Yum.)
    • Sausage & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash with Rosemary Orange Cream Sauce (thought I would love this, but I think I could have cooked my acorn longer, and citrus-y anything is really hit or miss for me. The orange cream sauce was a bit of a miss.) (Photo is from before I cooked it. You couldn’t see any red after I cooked it.)fullsizeoutput_aa98
    • Lemony Kale & Sausage Soup (wasn’t sure I would like this because, again, citrus. But turns out it was delicious and the lemon wasn’t lemon-y tasting, just bright.)
    • Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash Casserole (quite a lot of prep but pretty good).a2e19108-4b8a-401e-ba8e-3a1021aea263
    • Buffalo Chicken Casserole (made for the Super Bowl, and made with spaghetti squash instead of potatoes, which I didn’t have. Very good.)

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  • And… HelloFresh! Dan and I tried it out for two weeks. We meant to only do one week (we had an introductory offer), but I forgot to cancel it in time. I have to say, all the meals were really, really, really good. Easy to prepare, not too time consuming. I’ve always sort of pooh poohed these home delivery dinner things, since I have no trouble prioritizing grocery shopping and making dinner. But. It was convenient and delicious. And I was able to make them all paleo/Fed&Fit compliant. We’re trying Blue Apron with an introductory offer next week 🙂 (but those will be more difficult to make paleo/compliant). Some photos:

Races I’ve registered for:

Fitness I’ve been doing:

  • Still CrossFitting at CrossFit Federal Hill. 3x week, except the past two weeks. I developed some fairly intense low back pain throughout January, and it got so bad a few weeks ago that I totally put the halt on everything. Then I saw a PT and met with the gym owner and gained back some confidence to keep moving but taking it easy. So now I’m back at it, with lower weights.
  • Still running 2x week. Yesterday, I did a 6-mile trail run in Patapsco State Park. I combined the Soapstone Trail with the Grist Mill Trail and road, then the River Trail, and returned on the Grist Mill Trail from the swinging bridge. Clio had a blast (so did I). It was near 70 degrees! I’ll be doing more trail runs to get ready for the half marathon. Fun!
  • Easy C1 yoga at CorePowerYoga in Fed Hill and Canton. This has been amazing for my back. I hadn’t been in a while, but have been 3-4 times over the past two weeks.
  • Skiing at Snowbird and Deer Valley in Utah last weekend.

So that’s that! I’m going to do a cooking class tonight with Baltimore Delta Gamma alumnae at Pier Point Restaurant. Looking forward to it!

Tri Tri a Duathlon

Exactly a year ago, I saw my new neighbor, hot and sweaty, carrying her bike into her house. She had just finished the Iron Girl triathlon in Columbia, MD. I’ve always been interested in doing a triathlon, and she was very supportive (in a motherly I’ll-take-care-of-you-and-make-it-not-scary sort of way), so I pretty much decided on the spot to do it with her the following year. She stayed on me throughout the fall to make sure I signed up. It’s 1,000 m swim, 16 mile bike, and 5 k run.

The event was today. I joined a gym from mid-June through July and have been swimming there at least once a week for the past six or so weeks. Dan’s been able to go with me. I started doing ‘brick’ (new term for me) workouts on the weekends maybe five weeks ago, mostly with my supportive neighbor and/or my husband. For the past three,  I’ve done almost the whole distance, swimming 1,000 m at Hammerman Beach, biking 12 miles, and then running 3 miles around the park. For the first several weeks, I kept up my regular schedule of running 3 miles every Tuesday and Thursday morning, but toward the end that fell off a bit. I kept it pretty light this past week. I started CrossFit Foundations classes on Monday, did that again on Tuesday, and ran 3 miles Thursday morning. I felt really good going into the weekend and really excited to complete my first triathlon.

And then we all found out Friday morning that the swim was cancelled!! For good reasons. We had a pretty bad storm last weekend (which caused major flooding and damage in nearby historic Ellicott City), and the lake water is still too toxic for swimming. So, you know, I’m glad they cancelled it. BUT I WAS REALLY DISAPPOINTED! Part of this whole thing for me was just trying to figure it all out. The things that have kept me from signing up for a triathlon ever before, honestly, were: 1) I don’t understand what you wear (even after I figured out that things like tri suits existed, I was still unclear about what to do about a sports bra for extra support) and 2) Transitions?! What? And like… swimming without lanes? So, I just wanted to figure all that out. But alas – no swim, so this morning, I completed my first duathlon! Run 0.25 miles, bike 16 miles, run 3.1 miles (but guys… that last ‘0.1’ mile was way longer than that).

Anyway, it was a lot of fun! And I still feel pretty prepared for whatever future triathlon I do.

Transition area yesterday and this morning pre-race:

Post-race!

For breakfast, right before I left home at 5am, I drank a smoothie I’d made a couple days ago with almond milk, almond butter, a banana, and spinach. At about 6:30 (an hour before the race), I ate another banana. Post-race, before the hunger set in, I had another banana! It was the only post-race food that was #Whole30-compliant! They also had chicken salad (weird, right), maple water (? never knew that existed), and bagels. Oh, and snow cones.

And then we sat around for an hour to wait for the awards ceremony because my supportive neighbor and another neighbor both placed in their respective Athena categories (!!!). And that’s when hunger started to set in. So I had… another banana. Four bananas before 11 am! Eeek. All day sugar high. We finally went back to the transition area around 11:30 where I had some nuts, and I shoved those in my face.

At home, after putting everything away and showering, I finally got to really eat. I heated up leftover roasted vegetables from last night’s dinner and a half of a leftover chicken breast from a couple days ago and then added two eggs and some chopped green onion. Since it was mostly from leftovers, it was super quick and easy (thank god!). Plus more coffee. (I’ve been trying to limit my coffee consumption to 1-2 cups per day this month, and so far have been successful. But… treating myself today. Sugar-and-caffeine-high-all-day-all-day!)

Overall, pretty good experience. I think I’ll do it again.

Humpback Rock

On a ridiculously foggy weekend in May, Dan and I drove to Virginia for a wedding near Charlottesville. On the way there, we stopped for a hike at Humpback Rock. My colleague, who’d been to both Veritas Vineyards, the wedding venue, and Wintergreen Resort, where all the wedding guests were staying, recommended it as a good workout with nice views.

I’m sure the views were very nice. We could only see about five feet in front of us. But it was still a lovely hike. We saw only a few other people on the trail, and it was a good uphill bit (maybe one mile) that got the heart rate up, followed by a leisurely, lower-grade three miles downhill. Another friend did the same hike the following (sunny!) weekend (after attending a different wedding at the same venue!) and posted pictures that looked great! Maybe someday we’ll go back.

And the wedding we went to was fun too!

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