Three Things Thursday

1. Star Trek Into Darkness. HOLY CRAPOLA is this movie fantastic. I went to a special “sneak peek” last night with my friends M and H. M was able to get us the tickets via awesome Trek fan club-ness. It is no secret that I’ve always been a huge fan of the Trek, since the days of my youth obsessing over Captain Picard.



I loved the first reboot movie, and have been so excited for the second installment…in no small part due to its featuring none other than the amazing BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH! as the identity-to-be-revealed villain. Cumberbatch can act the crap out of most anyone else on screen, whatever screen he’s on, and this was no exception.


I can’t say too much about the film without spoiling, but I was NOT disappointed! In fact, I was BLOWN AWAY. I will most definitely be seeing it again (and again…and again…) In conclusion. GO SEE STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. Run, do not walk, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Get yer booty to a theater and see it. That is all.

(Full on review and thoughts to follow later this weekend…maybe….)

2. Night out. Tonight Hubz and I decided to go out for dinner instead of sitting on our butts on the couch and just shoveling food into our mouths as fast as possible. We drove just down the street to Bloomingdale to try out The Red Hen. It was quite good. We had smoked trout crostini and prosciutto crostini, fusillio cacio e pepe, wood grilled hen, and fried artichokes. Also on the recommendation of our server, I tried a glass of orange wine. What? Yeah…apparently it’s a thing. In the processing, the white wine grapes spend some time with the macerated grape skins, giving it the oranger color. I had a pinot grigio version and it was pretty good!


3. Rita’s. Yes after weeks of threatening we FINALLY made it to Rita’s for some post-dinner treats. We weren’t in the mood for fancy restaurant desserts so we figured it was the perfect opportunity. We *might* have overdone it…slightly.


Totally worth it.

Anyone else seen Star Trek yet? What did you think?!


Three Things Thursday

1. Ironman’s new SwimStart Initiative, announced today.

Ever since I signed up for IMLP last July, one of my biggest fears has been the chaos of the mass swim start. I prefer to avoid being kicked in the face and/or lung, thankyouverymuch. Today’s VERY exciting news: IMLP will be testing a new rolling start system this year:

“Athletes will enter the water in a continuous stream through a controlled access point, similar to how running road races are started. An athlete’s times will start when they cross timing mats under the swim arch.

Athletes will be directed to self-seed on race morning based on their projected swim time. Volunteers and staff will be in the staging area with signs and will assist with this process. Self-seeding will not be mandatory, but will be encouraged. At both events, all athletes will have access to a dedicated warm-up area in the water located adjacent to the swim start.

Age-group athletes will begin entering the water at 6:35 a.m. for IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene and 6:30 a.m. for IRONMAN Lake Placid, and will have the two hours and twenty minutes from the time the last athlete enters the water to complete the swim. An athlete’s time does not begin until he or she crosses the timing mat located below the swim arch. All athletes are expected to start by 7:00 a.m. at both venues, thus keeping all other timelines and cutoffs the same. This will ensure that all participants have at least the full 17 hours (subject to intermediate cutoffs) to complete the event.”

Since I’m neither a crazy strong fast swimmer nor a lunatic, my plan was always to hang back and let the super competitive folks go out first. Now, I get to do this officially, and my time won’t officially start until I cross the mat! Big fan of this move, WTC!

In addition to Lake Placid, Coeur d’Alene will also have a rolling start.  Mont Tremblant will be seeding by age group, and Tahoe and Florida will have self-seeding into corrals. Personally, I think the rolling start with time chip probably makes the most sense to avoid traffic jams and dangerous conditions, while still preserving somewhat of the traditional mass start feel of an IM. But what do I know, this is my first.

2. It’s storm season in D.C.

photo by Brett Thompson via

photo by Brett Thompson via

I’ll admit, all this rain lately is putting a bit of a damper on my outdoor riding. Knocking on wood that it won’t interfere with my long ride Saturday morning! But I also cannot deny that I absolutely LOVE a good thunderstorm. Something about growing up in Nebraska develops a deep love in a person for crazy loud, awesome, freaky storms. We’ve yet to have a big one here this spring, but the forecast has been teasing it for days now….

3. CICADA INVASION!!! Bring. It. On. So they’re gross and a little freaky looking. But how amazing are these little creatures? This brood has been laying dormant for 17 years and will soon begin emerging all throughout the Eastern U.S. as soon as the soil reaches the proper temperature. They burrow out of their underground hiding spaces, shed their shell, and become full fledged adults. When they are out and about, they feed on various plant life. AND they are little musicians as well…the male cicadas “sing” as part of their mating practice. In mass chorus, the sound can be almost deafening.

Oh and let me say that one part again…they have been laying dormant for 17 years. 17 FREAKING YEARS! You just gotta respect that. Seriously. 17 years ago I was cruising around my suburban neighborhood on rollerblades and making mix tapes of alternative rock songs recorded off the radio. I hadn’t even started high school yet. That’s when these little Cicada eggs were burrowed into the ground. It’s mindboggling.

This Magicicada website has an incredible amount of information about our little friends, including tracking maps of brood emergence patterns around the country. Worth a browse, as they are truly fascinating critters. Then you decide, Cicada: annoying pest, or TOTAL AND COMPLETE BADASS?! I’m going with badassery.

(Btw, I also love The Onion’s take on the Cicada re-emergence).

I’m sure I’ll encounter many on my long rides out into rural Maryland in the coming weeks.  What do you think, new bike helmet style to consider?


Three Things Thursday

1.  Lost and …. found? Yet again I find myself packing for a tri weekend and completely unable to find my race belt/bib thingy. I swear this happens EVERY time and then I end up buying a new one at every single race expo. I must have like 10 of them by now…but where are they hiding?!

LOLcat hide

2.  Snow way. My facebook feed is packed with photos of May snowfall from my friends and family throughout the midwest. Dudes, it’s May. Why you gotta play that way, climate change?

Snow falling on my sister's car in Kansas...on May 2nd.

Snow falling on my sister’s car in Kansas…on May 2nd.

3.  FRO YO. Tonight Hubz requested a ride home from the bar for himself and Big I. Seeing as I was just sitting on my rump watching the teevee, I figured I could be a nice person and chauffeur them home in the Soul (who, btw, still needs a proper name). My demand was a stop for fro yo on the way home, and thankfully Tangy Sweet delivered.

images (1)

Ok, so that’s not mine….it got a little melty on the way home and didn’t look nearly as pretty by the time I got to inhale it. Mine was also much, much chocolate-ier and m&m-ier, natch.

Also, due to Hubz poor post-beer fro yo choices, we learned that coconut fro yo + fruity pebbles = disgusting soapy taste. Just say no, kids.

Three Things….Friday.

Sorry folks, my butt couldn’t get moving enough yesterday to get the Three Things posted on time.  Sense a theme in my blogging (and every part of) life?  Yeah, it’s slacker-tude.


So, tomorrow I am going on my first proper long ride of the season!!!  I have demanded that D join me for this glorious celebration of (late) Spring and (later) start of tri season.  We’ll be heading out for a solid three hours after which I am resolved to actually do my brick run as scheduled.  The weather is finally cooperating and I could not be more excited.  Ok, so tomorrow’s high is only 55, and it will only be in the high 40s when we head out in the morning.  But then on Sunday…I’ll be greeted with high 60s and perhaps even low 70s for my 1 hour ride + 1 hour run combo.  HUZZAH.

2.  Dinner parties.  Hubz and I bought and moved into our beautiful home last December. (Brookland rocks!)  We have an amazing dining room space and I immediately started dreaming of all the glamorous dinner parties we would be hosting.  Fast forward 4 months, and not a single one has transpired.  But this weekend we will be hosting our friends from Baltimore for dinner on Saturday night so I’m claiming this as the first!  Because we are terribly fancy we will be taking a stab at fine gourmet cuisine with… tacos.  Ok.  So maybe let me ease into this fancy dinner party hostess thing a little.  I think I will try to recreate the amazing fish tacos from Rosario’s in San Antonio (honestly, I was a little obsessed during the year that I was living there) with this copycat recipe.

San Antonio, some days I miss you so....

San Antonio, some days I miss you so….

We’ll undoubtedly be pairing them with a giant bowl of Alton Brown’s guacamole. My sis got me AB’s Good Eats (The Early Years) cookbook for Christmas and we’ve been loving it….especially the guac which we’ve made several times now for various gatherings, and it’s always a hit.  Plus, who doesn’t love them some AB?

Weight-Loss-Alton-Brown-and-Watermelon3.  Cherry blossoms.  The powers that be have revised the projected peak bloom for this year to April 6-10.  Perfect timing for anyone running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler!  In recent years since Spring has been coming earlier and earlier, the 10 miler has been well after peak bloom.  But this year due to our wacky late winter weather, the timing is perfect. Good luck to anyone running and have a blast enjoying the beautiful blossoms!  Personally, I’ll be avoiding the tourist masses.

Cherry Blossom hijinx from years past...

Me and T in cherry blossom hijinx from years past…side ponys represent.

Good thing I can monitor the blooms’ progress on the NPS webcam and hustle down for a run around the tidal basin when things get pretty!

Happy weekend, all!

Anyone running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler this year?  Any other races on the docket for this weekend?

What will you be doing to celebrate Spring/good weather this weekend, if you have it?

Three Things Thursday

1.  Spring? Despite the fact that yesterday was officially the first day of Spring, it’s 35 degrees out and not looking to improve too much anytime soon. A brief dalliance with the upper 40s and 50s tomorrow and Saturday, and then back down in the 40s with threat of rain and snow on Sunday and Monday. UNBELIEVABLE. Of course, we will Scope it Out in rain or shine, but could I get a break? Just one day for a pleasant bike ride outside in the sunshine would be nice! Not to mention that I’m totally ready for cherry blossom season to hit in full force!


2.  March Madness. I do not follow NCAA basketball at all. Or any basketball for that matter.  But the allure of March Madness is irresistible. It has become a yearly tradition for Kittay (numero uno) to fill out a bracket based on his feline-related mascot preferences.

Just what really goes on in that master-feline-mind?

Just what really goes on in that master-feline-mind?

Criteria #1: feline alliances (NO DOGS ALLOWED). Criteria #2: tastiest prey. Exceptions made only for #1 seeds. Two years ago he came in second place in a 13 person pool, so I think it’s just as good a strategy as any. So Kittay submitted a bracket again this year.  (Kitteh #2 is still a bit young to grasp the nuances of bracket strategy. Perhaps next year).  Time will tell just how clever the kitten brain is…

marchmadnesslolcat3.  Chocolate of the week! I often stop at the Whole Foods hot bar for dinner before my Monday night class, and also grab whatever fancy-pants chocolate bar happens to be on sale this week (I can’t possibly afford full priced chocolate when spending approximately 50 gold doubloons/ounce for the hot bar goodness). This week, I happened upon this deliciousness:


The creepy finger shadows really capture the ambiance of the downstairs dining lounge in my class building…

It’s the perfect balance of dark bittersweet awesomeness with just enough actual sweet to make it AMAZING. The best part? It’s actually TWO chocolate bars in that package. Two for the price of one already very expensive bar! I’ll be hitting this up again.

Three Things Thursday

1. Daylight Savings Time.  Seriously cramping my early morning workout style!  I suppose the extra hour of daylight at the end of the day is nice, but I’m really hurting for it in the AM.  Sunrise at 7:15 AM just doesn’t help me for a 6:30 AM workout.  Ironman training is tiring enough – I don’t need the extra encouragement to stay in bed in the morning, nor the extra added exhaustion that comes from my body clock being so thrown off!


2.  Monetizing things that should not be monetized.  I got an email from the Rock and Roll race series yesterday advertising runner tracking for Saturday’s race (I’m running the half).  I always send out emails to my family and close friends before a big race asking them to track me.  (I like attention. A lot.)  I also like to sign up for the tracking texts/emails for myself, because I am obsessed with numbers and it’s much faster to look at a text than wait for the official results to come up on the website several beers hours later.  Plus, I’ve used tracking for years to keep tabs on and get cheering notifications for my friends when they are running important races.  In my memory, all these tracking options – be they live online, by text, or by email, have always been 100% gratis.

So you can imagine my surprise when I clicked through to the Rock and Roll site yesterday to learn that it would cost me $2.00 to track an athlete (plus $1.00 for any additional athlete).  Plus, it would cost me $5.00 just to email 5 of my closest friends and family and encourage THEM to sign up – presumably also for a charge!  Unbelievable.  Poor form, Rock and Roll.  Your races are already super expensive, and this is not helping to endear me to you.  Grr.


3.  Rain, rain, go AWAY!!!  The forecast for Saturday morning is calling for rain, rain, rain and temps in the 40s.  Yuck!  I am considering investing in one of these for the race:kelsey

Three Things Thursday

1. Humility. This morning I did a long-ish swim and about halfway through another person joined me in the lane. Turns out she was very pregnant. At first she was just kicking with a board, all chill-like. About 5 minutes later she started swimming for real, and girl was FAST. She totally put me in my place. I only hope to be that rad when I’m preggers.


2. Treadmills…are the worst. Today I had to fit in my run at lunch. It was super windy and I didn’t want to fight downtown lunchtime traffic, so I powered through on the ‘mill. I kept my heart rate in zone 2 as required, and it felt SO miserable. A far cry from my pleasant outdoor zone 2 runs.

zombie treadmill3.  Can we please stop with the Harlem Shake?  Please?  OVER IT.


Three Things Thursday

1.  Swim test.  Tonight I did my first swim test of my training.  Two sets of 400 as fast as possible.  Exhausting.  But I actually ended up with a slightly better pace than I expected, so it was a win.  I’ll be re-testing about once a month to see whether my hours in the pool are doing any good.

swimmy pool

2.  Weather woes.  It looks like my crew will be scrapping the plans to ride the Bike to Beach Polar Bear Challenge on Saturday.  The forecast is for rain all day.  I can handle riding in highs in the mid-40s if it’s dry, but the thought of doing so while soaked to the bone is not enticing.  Plus, I’m not sure yet if I’ll have my bike back before Saturday anyway (see below), and I think it advisable to get used to the new config on the trainer for a couple rides before heading out in downtown DC traffic…especially *rainy* downtown DC traffic.  So I’ll probably knock out my 2 hour run on Saturday (maybe before the rain hits?) and then trudge through a 2 hour trainer ride on Sunday morning.  All good calorie-burning preparation for Oscar watching (i.e. dress critiquing) with the lil J on Sunday night.  Large amounts of wine required, natch.

Yes, my kittays will be attending in black tie attire.

Yes, my kittays will be attending in black tie attire.

3.  Still bike-less.  The folks at CycleLife called tonight to let me know that my new handlebars have arrived, but we’re still waiting on the saddle.  I’ll be able to pick up my bike Saturday and use a loaner saddle to ride this weekend, but I won’t be up and riding the fully new improved Rio for a few more days.  I’ve been spending some quality time on the spin bikes at the gym, but I’m anxious to get back in the groove and get accustomed to my new set up!


Three Things Thursday

1.  Threshold heart rate test: the run installment.  I did my run test this morning.  It was cold as crap and I ran around a tiny little track at the local rec center as many times and as fast as possible without collapsing.  It was mostly terrible, and I am, to put it nicely, destroyed.

I just hope that whatever data my little Garmin is holding becomes the key to my running success.

2.  Nemo.  The super monster winter storm isn’t going to hit the Disco, but it is heading straight for our family north and east of us.  So Hubz may have to cancel his plans to head up that way.  Stay safe, warm, and dry folks.

nemololcat3.  Chocolate.  Or rather the lack thereof.  Our house is out of chocolate.  UNACCEPTABLE.  Unfortunately, the combo of the cold air outside and the tired, sore (and thus now lazy) muscles inside means I might have to suck it up and eat some yogurt.

Three Things Thursday

Random thoughts for a random day.  (Also known as a new strategy to keep the pithy blog commentary coming at ya.)

1.  The weather.  WHAT is with the weather lately, DC?!   Slow last week, and Monday my office opened two hours late for an alleged “wintry mix” (total nonsense, but it was legit frigid all weekend).  Yesterday was practically tropical.  And now freezing temps and snow are on their way back to town and threatening to destroy Hubz and I’s glorious weekend hiking getaway plans.  I feel like I’m back in the Great Plains with all this climatic schizophrenia.  With all this back and forth our poor Kittays can’t decide if they’re warm or cold, and have lunged over a cliff into utter fits of fashion confusion.


2.  Bike tech troubles.  I’m a total clown hands with all things bike related lately.  My cleat keeps coming loose on my right shoe and getting stuck in the pedal.  No matter how many times I tighten it up it keeps happening.  This is especially problematic when it gets to the point that it just rotates and breaks off into the pedal rather than actually unclipping.  Especially when it’s a pedal on a spin bike at the gym.  And then you have to spend 10 minutes pulling with all your damn might to get in unclipped while the cranky ladies in their fancy color-coordinated fitness gear, who arrive to their spin class 30 minutes ahead of time to make sure they can reserve *just* the right bike (even though they are all IDENTICAL), look on in disgust.

Meanwhile, I’m having non-stop ish with my trainer.  I just can’t get it adjusted properly so that there’s actual useful resistance without burning the tread right off my tire.  It’s a bad sign when it smells like burning two floors above my basement bike cave, right?  Now my tire appears to be melting slightly as well?  I need help.

Hoping to get in for a professional bike fit next weekend and get some help with both of these in the process…..or learn some tricks from this guy:


3.  Nuts.  Specifically, deez nuts:

513FC0upBNL._SL500_AA300_Hubz brought these home for me as a surprise last weekend.  I have to pack snack size bags each day – I literally cannot bring the entire can with me to work for danger of inhaling it all at once.  They’ve probably got too much sugar on them to be considered a “healthy snack”, but why not throw some nutrition into your dessert?  (And why not consume 50% of your daily calories in nut form?  Healthy fats, RIGHT?!?!?!)