According to the Daily Mile, I ran over 1100 miles in 2012. That includes marathon training, which I’m sure made up for the 6 weeks I was off for the demon back injury and the last 6 weeks of the year, when I didn’t run because I was completely burnt out and jaded and pouting.

Now that I’ve finally gotten back to a place where I’m enjoying it and feeling healthy, I figure I should ruin it work toward something and run a race. Yes, I realize this may be a bit premature given that I’ve been back to running for exactly 8 days, but there’s no time like the present, so why not?


If you’ve been reading this blog forever (which probably only applies to my mom and Paula), you may remember that I did this race 2 years ago. It was a shit show. Given that, I’m not entirely sure why I thought running this as my first race back was a good idea, but it’s happening. Redemption? Sure. Let’s go with that.

Honestly, though, I’d really like for this race to go well. I need a come back race to help me find my confidence again.

The race is a month away, which is plenty of time to train. Roo helped me out yesterday. She’s still kind of an asshole at running (which is entirely my fault), but we were able to maintain a 9 minute pace, and I managed to stay upright the entire time, so I’d call it a win.

roo run

I also knocked out half a half marathon on Saturday while everyone else in D.C. was busy getting drunk.


Incidentally, this run nearly killed me. My endurance is definitely not where it once was. Oy.

In other news, I spent my Saturday night watching old Bon Jovi videos on YouTube.


Ugh. He’s just so hard to look at.

My 16 year old self was swooning. I also ate the spiciest chana masala I’ve ever made and spent a fair amount of time pinning books I liked when I was a kid. And laughed at this. A lot.


A Case of the Mondays

Guys–I’m depressed.

I know you’re all, “Oh poor you, you just went on a beautiful Caribbean vacation, and now you’re boo-hooing because you’re back in the real world.”

trini pool


Well, kinda.

But I came back to freezing rain and frigid temps in DC, which isn’t helping. But the thing I think I’m most bummed about? Running.

Yep, running. That thing I haven’t done in 2 months because I was impossibly burnt out. I figured I’d get back to it when the urge struck, and yesterday when I woke up there it was.

I bundled myself up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Runner, leashed up the pup, and set out for an easy (EASY!) 2 miles. Not far, not fast, just something to get the old legs moving. Lo and behold, a half mile in, my hamstring/hip/back issue, which hasn’t bothered me in at least 2 months, started to get uncomfortable. I figured I was just using different muscles than I’ve been using lately and that it would ease up. Ha. Silly me. Nope.

Totes doing this if I ever have a baby.

Totes doing this if I ever have a baby, btw.

I made it through the rest of the run, successfully avoiding Roo’s attempts to knock me on my face. In her defense, she was just hunting squirrels, but she needs to get herself under control. Or something. But I didn’t feel good. No runner’s high, just pain. Does this mean the whole marathon training thing (that didn’t even lead to me running a marathon) ruined my running abilities forever? :(

So that was disappointing. Other things bumming me out:

  • My haircut. Yes, still. I am a long hair girl and have vowed never to chop my hair off. Kind of a bummer when someone takes that choice away from you. So now I have a very short layer on top that does not fall right at all. On someone with thicker hair, it’d be fine, but on me, it looks like I accidentally chopped my own hair off. Ponytail city. Boo.

    That face!!

    That face!!

  • Not being home with Roo. I know–stupid. But I missed my dog while I was gone, and all I want to do is snuggle her and take her for walks and play ball with her. She’s just so sweet!
  • Mean people. Some people at work are sending me not nice emails. This seems unnecessary. That’s why this is my wallpaper at work:be kind
  • My birthday. Even though it’s over, and it was a lot better this year than it’s been in a long time, something about it just makes me feel bad. For some reason, it’s lingering this year.

I’ll quit complaining now. I know I don’t have it terribly bad, and I am just feeling sorry for myself, but sometimes, you just need a day to feel blue. I’m going to attempt a quick Daily Hiit workout when I get home and maybe a new vegan recipe for dinner.

Here’s hoping your Monday is better than mine!

2012 in Review

Oh hey.

It’s me. 

Yes, I went to Michigan for Christmas and sort of forgot about blogging. Oops.

Holiday roo

But seeing as it is the end of 2012, um, today, I would be remiss if I didn’t spend some time reflecting on the past year. It’s been one of my toughest years, but also one of my best, and I think that warrants some recognition. After sitting down and really thinking about it, I realize there’s a lot here. Let’s break it down, shall we?


St pete half

Frustrating and disappointing. That’s how I’d describe this year in running. I remember signing up for not one, but two marathons last year on January 1, confident I’d train seriously and kick the marathon in the butt. Not so much. While I did run 2 half marathons this year, the full just wasn’t in the cards. After a painful hip and back injury during my first go at training, I hesitantly began training for NYC in the summer. It wasn’t nearly as manageable as I’d thought. I was exhausted all the time and didn’t enjoy running the way I had in the past. I was frustrated with myself–and disappointed that I wasn’t better at the whole marathon training thing. After all, I’m a runner–we runners seem to think we can do anything. And many of my friends in the running world had successfully trained for and become marathoners. It was just really hard on my body in a way I hadn’t expected. Couple that with the fact that my evil injury returned, and I was doubly frustrated. But by the time NYC rolled around, all the frustration was gone. I’d had a great final 20 mile training run a few weeks earlier, and I felt ready.

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And then it was cancelled. I know it was a freak thing with the devastation of the hurricane, but it was really tough to have all that training thwarted by Mother Nature. I attempted Richmond the following week, but my knees weren’t up for it. Essentially an entire year of training wasted. I ran a half the following weekend and haven’t run since. 

I’d love to say I’m ready to get back to running again in 2013, but I’m not. I have zero desire to strap on my Garmin and pound out some miles. It’s not that I’m bitter; a marathon wasn’t for me, and I’m ok with that. I just think I got seriously burned out. Hopefully my love for running will return at some point, but for now, I’m ok with taking a break. We’ll see what the next year holds.

Health Issues

I know I’ve mentioned some health issues over the last several months in an obtuse way, and I’m not going to discuss them here, but I do think I’ve overcome them–at least I hope so! Between the stuff that was going on with my health and my running injuries, it’s somewhat strange for me to look back and realize that I wasn’t in great health this year. But I’m feeling great now and excited to keep myself healthy!

Vegan salad

Here’s what that’ll look like:

  • Drinking 3 liters of water a day (I used to always do this, but I’ve fallen off the wagon, so to speak)
  • Continuing to eat a mostly vegan diet
  • Incorporating strength, cardio, and stretching (yoga) into my regular workout routine
  • Getting lots of sleep–8 hours a night would be amazing. We’ll see. ;) 



I had no idea how much becoming a puppy mother would change my life. Having Roo is the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. She’s my companion, my friend, sometimes my antagonist, but always one of my greatest sources of happiness. 

I wrote a guest post on how she taught me to be resilient, and its success surprised me! Feel free to check it out over on Pick the Brain. :)


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Happiness has been something I’ve chased for a very long time. I couldn’t understand why other people were happy and I just–wasn’t. It was always something I had to work at–something I had to convince myself of. But I realized that it’s a practice, just like anything else. Some people show a natural affinity for a lot of things. They’re good at sports or singing or, I don’t know, Quiz Bowl . . . but the rest of us have to practice. I finally understood why I wasn’t happy; I wasn’t practicing. Instead, I was practicing being unhappy. Feeling sorry for myself. Sprouting negativity. Always seeing what could go wrong instead of what could go right. You know something? It was exhausting. I didn’t even realize how exhausting until I stopped doing it. As many things in life as there are to be down about, there are twice as many to be happy about. We live in an awful world and a wonderful one, but if you keep dwelling on the bad, the wrongs, the betrayals, that becomes your reality. You have to choose–and it is a choice.  As I say to Roo all the time, you have to choose your choice. 

Next chapter


This year I have met some of my best friends. I couldn’t exist without my daily email exchanges with Paula or my weekly Skype dates with Corey. It’s weird to think that a year ago, I didn’t know these girls very well, and we’d never met in person. Now, Paula’s been to D.C. to visit me, and I’m spending my birthday in Trinidad with Corey. If you think blog friends aren’t real friends, it’s just not true. They are there for me in a way that most of my “real life” friends never have been. I am so fortunate to have such amazing people in my life.

Friends 2012

That’s not to say that I don’t have other fantastic friends that I haven’t met through blogging. But all of my best friends are in Ann Arbor or Richmond or New York or Seattle or Orlando or Port of Spain, which makes my existence here in D.C. a little lonely. It’s tough because I realize that I don’t really have any friends in here. No best friends anyway. Tonight, I’ll ring in the New Year with my puppy and a bottle of champagne and probably be asleep before midnight. I’m ok with that, but isn’t life meant to be shared? It would be so nice not to be alone, but I’ve got Roo, and for now, that’s enough.



Yes, this is representative of my work life: wine and Wheel while catching up on email in the evening. :)

Last but not least: work. Lots of changes this year. I moved to a new city for a new job and continued to work my old job at the same time for 5 months. Not recommended. And one more change: as of last week, I left the job I moved here for. I got a call back in November to interview for a job I had applied for back when I began my initial search. It was my dream job, and (I figured) a long shot at that, but interviewing couldn’t hurt, so I went. The interview couldn’t have gone better. The women I interviewed with were amazing–so talented and smart. But the thing that struck me the most was that I could tell they felt excited about me. I know that might sound odd, but to feel like my skills were valuable was something I hadn’t felt in a while. And it was a good feeling. When they extended the offer, I knew I had to accept. It just feels right, and I can’t wait to get started. 

Three Things Thursday

1. Dog Shaming

Have you heard of the trend of dog shaming on Facebook and twitter and blogs and all the other places people are being social online? There’s a whole site dedicated to Dog Shaming. I’m not going to lie. At first, I thought it was kind of mean. Poor little puppies!  

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But then, I came home Tuesday night to a destroyed apartment. Roo had herself a little party that included:

  • Eating our blanket basket
  • Tearing apart the bathroom trash and distributing it around the bedroom
  • Jumping up on the kitchen counter and eating 6 oatmeal cookies, one banana, and a tupperware lid
  • Chewing through a lamp cord
  • Taking a mouthful of wine corks (I keep them in a glass bowl on the coffee table) and chewing them to bits
  • Scratching a large spot in the drywall
  • Peeing and pooping all over the new carpet in the bedroom
  • Tearing a hole in the duvet cover

I did not photograph the mess because, well, I don’t like messes, and my first thought was to clean it up, not to shame my dog. So while I cleaned, she went into her crate to think about what she did. 

Sleeping vizsla

Yes, I actually told my 11 month old puppy to “think about what she did.” You can tell she took it very seriously. 


2. Tapering

In other news, I am officially tapering. I haven’t gotten the taper crazies I’ve heard about yet. Instead, I’m enjoying the extra hour or so of sleep in the mornings and just letting myself rest. I’m also focused on hydration (lots of water, no alcohol) and nutrition (veggies/carbs/protein, low/no sugar). I’ve gotta say, it wasn’t fun the first few days of really bucking down on operation hydration/nutrition, but now that I’m over the hump, I feel pretty fantastic. Not that I ate so horribly before or drank so much, but you know. 

Hydration nutrition

Another thing I’m noticing about tapering? I’m crazy emotional. But just about running. Every time I read a running quote or story, I’m a wreck. I read Megan’s recap of her first 26.2 in Chicago and was seriously struggling to keep it together in the middle of my office. I’m choking up about basically anything running-related. But I’m not nervous about the race, just really excited and READY. Please tell me this emotional feeling is normal??? 

3. Random Inspiration

Also loving this from I <3 to Run:

<3 to run


And this from my mom’s trainer, who posted it to my FB wall. 

Never underestimate 26 2

Basically awesome, no? 

Oh, and especially this: 

To be a runner

Being a superhero version of ourselves? LOVE IT.

Brazilian Keratin Hair Treatment

I don’t know if you’re aware or not–because really, why would you be?–but my hair in the summertime is a hot mess. 


A few weeks ago when I was Skype-ing with Corey, she told me I had to get a Brazilian Keratin treatment to tame this mop. Living with the hot weather in Trinidad, she claimed that the treatment had completely transformed her hair. Since DC hasn’t exactly been kind with the humidity this summer, I figured it was worth the investment to see if it would help. 

I mean, really, can you blame me??


So I investigated and found Sophia La Belle in DC. Here’s the low down:

This revolutionary hair-straightening process in Washington DC replenishes and conditions your hair without harsh chemicals, giving you smooth, shiny, manageable locks, while protecting your hair from heat and water damage. Using keratin—a completely natural liquid form of hair—this process penetrates and replenishes hair from the inside and provides a protective coating on the outside. 

Instead of having this ridiculousness going on, I would have straight, shiny hair without having to blow it dry or flat iron it?

The entire process took about 2 1/2 hours and consisted of the stylist shampooing and conditioning my hair with whatever special stuff they use, blowing it dry, then coating it with the keratin treatment and flat ironing the whole thing. Even though it took a while, it didn’t feel terribly long. In fact, I kind of liked having someone take care of me for that long! 

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The finished product? Smooth, shiny, I-can-be-seen-in-public hair!


The only catch was that I couldn’t wash it or get it sweaty for 2 days–so no workouts. Also, no pony tails, barrettes, or putting it behind my ears. Now that was challenging. By day 2, I felt like a total grease ball, but all in the name of beauty, right? 

Last night, I finally washed it, then went to bed with it wet. This morning?

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Yeah. That happened. I didn’t even have to do anything with it! Life changing.

The treatment itself should last 4-6 months, but of course, my hair will grow during that time, and the new growth won’t come in all shiny and lovely. Still, I think it was definitely worth it. It wasn’t cheap, but for the transformation, I’d say it was a good investment. I’ll keep you posted since technically, I’m only 3 days in, but so far? I love it! Thanks, for the recc, Corey!  

In other news, this little lady turned 8 months old yesterday! 

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We celebrated with a trip to the dog park, kibble mixed with scrambled eggs (birthday girl request), and a long snuggle on the couch. 

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There was also some celebratory vino. Roo insisted. ;)

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Keratin treatment–have you had one before?
Doggy birthday celebrations–yay or nay?

Puppy Mother: Party All the Time

Puppies take a TON of time. You’ve got to commit not just to training them, but also to daily walks, playtime, potty breaks, and of course, some snuggling. It’s really tough if you’re single and doing this on your own because if you’re anything like me, you feel guilty 99.999% of the time you’re doing anything but spending time with the dog, who, unless you’re there, is cooped up in her crate probably napping blissfully desperately missing you. In reality, I’m sure Roo is fine when I’m not there, but I want to be a good puppy mother, and I hate to leave her in her crate too long, so I do feel guilty. Especially now that I’m not working from home all the time, she’s alone much more than I’d like. At first, I had a dog walker come in to take her for potty breaks during the day, but I didn’t feel comfortable having a stranger in my house and Roo seemed to be able to make it through the day without it, so we’ve worked out a new schedule.


Ugh–Mom. You are SO embarrassing!

Our days look like this:

6 AM

My alarm goes off. I hit snooze. Roo cries and howls a bit because she heard the alarm, too.

6:09 AM

Alarm goes off again. Desperately want to hit snooze, but Roo howls so more, so I get up and get dressed/brush my teeth/put in my contacts before I get her up. Otherwise, she would be all up in my biznass and probably would pee all over the floor. I haven’t tested this theory yet.

6:15 AM

Sing Roo her morning song because I am a total cheeseball. Give her morning snuggles and hugs. Potty break (for her–not me).

6:25 AM

Bring her back inside to her crate with some toys. Go for a run or workout.

7:15ish AM

Morning walk around the neighborhood. Bird chasing. Sniffing. Jumping on other dogs and sometimes people (much to my mortification). I try to control myself, but I just can’t help it. 

7:35 AM

She goes back in her crate, and I shower. Otherwise, she will be in the shower with me.

7:45 AM

She comes out of the crate and plays with her toys/barks at me/jumps all over everything while I get ready. This is alternately endearing and annoying.

8:10 AM

Feed her breakfast in her crate. Get her set up with toys for the day. Go to work

8:11 AM

Feel guilty


Let me be right in your face!!!

10:30 AM

Miss Roo

1:30 PM

Miss Roo

3:30 PM

Miss Roo

5 PM

Dart out the door to get home to my sweet little girl.

5:30 PM

Get home and go for a long walk. Assorted sniffing and bird chasing as described earlier. Or sometimes, we go to the dog park, which she loves.


Why can’t I ever get that damn tail?!?

6:10 PM

Pour wine. Play with puppy. Make my dinner while she plays/jumps all over me/gets into everything.

7 PM

Feed Roo in her crate. While she’s eating, I eat. Sometimes she can handle playing and not being obnoxious and begging while I eat. Usually not.

7:30 PM

I try to relax and/or do a little more work. Roo plays and acts irritated that I’m not paying attention to her. I feel guilty and play with her instead. Which is more fun anyway.

8 PM

Evening walk. We don’t always do this, but I know she loves it, so I typically forgo TV/blog reading time to spend time with her.


She legitimately sits on my lap like this all.the.time. Must be touching Mom at all times. True story.

8:30 PM

Cuddles on the couch which typically consists of her climbing all over me and stepping on me in uncomfortable ways.

9:30-10 PM

Roo’s bedtime. I try to put her to bed about the same time each night, but I never put her in the crate before I go to bed. That would just be mean. :(

Now, this isn’t every day. Some days, I come home after work, take her for a walk, then she goes back into the crate while I go out to dinner or something. And I feel terrible. Every.single.time. But she survives and doesn’t even seem too mad at me when I come home and take her for another quick late-night walk before bed.

I guess the moral of the story with regard to time is that she requires a lot of time. She keeps me busy. And when I’m not with her, it’s guilt-city. But when I am with her, it’s the best.


Stop trying to take my picture, Mom. I am not going to hold still. 

More to come!

Do you have a dog? Can you relate to puppy-mother guilt?