The November Project DC & Our New Addition

Have you guys heard of the November Project? It’s a totally free, outdoor, grassroots-style community workout that a couple guys started up in Boston to help them stay motivated to work out during the winter.


I first heard about it from my friend Tina’s blog, but I didn’t realize they had started a DC chapter until recently, when they started chatting with me on Twitter. #JustShowUp , they said! Well, okay! The DC chapter meets every Wednesday (not just November – it will continue year round!) at 6:30 a.m. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial – steps you will later be running. Over, and over, and over. ;)


You guys know I’m always up for a new workout adventure, so Mary and I made plans to check it out yesterday morning with our husbands in tow.


When the four of us arrived at 6:30, bleary-eyed, it was still dark out, but the view alone was worth leaving our warm beds for. I think even Matt (who is NOT a morning person) realized with one look why I get out of bed so early to work out most mornings. This is why:




As for the workout, it was fun! I’m not sure if they mix it up every week or not (hopefully?), but this week they had us running up and down the stairs with pushups and burpees in between.


It went by really quickly, and the end of the workout was our favorite part – everyone in the team (ours was just the 4 of us) held a plank…


And then one by one we sprinted up all the stairs. When one person reached the top, a next one went, until everyone was up there. Everyone was cheering each other on – it was really fun. Nothing like a good competition to get you sprinting up the stairs you were just painfully jogging up a minute before, too! ;) We all said that it would be cool in the future if they did more of that sort of thing vs. just having us do the same workout on repeat.

Either way, it was a fun morning and a great way to start the day! Matt commented that he felt so much more energized than usual the rest of the day… so much so that he even came with me on a 4 mile run this morning before work! I seriously never thought I’d see the day… ;)


We’ll definitely be back, and I encourage you guys to check it out, too! It’s a great way to make some new friends and get in a workout at the same time. If you don’t have any workout buddies this is a perfect solution for you, too! I hear rumors they might add another day to the mix… and they also just added a 5:30 a.m. option for Wednesdays as well, if you need to get back home and to work earlier. Check out their website for more details, including a list of the other cities they’re in. This time, the 4 of us drove down (parking on Ohio Drive was really easy), but next time I think we’d run it, just to add to the adventure.

In other news: you already know about this if you follow me on Instagram, but I’m super excited to introduce to you the newest member of the Mauney household: beautiful little miss Zara!


Isn’t she the cutest thing ever? Matt and I have talked about getting a cat for years; at first, we waited because we weren’t super stationary with the move to NC and back for my grad school and lots of travelling, and then once we moved back to DC we were worried our apartment was too small (it’s a pretty jam-packed one bedroom). Well, last weekend I suggested we go check out the local animal shelter… you know, “just to look.” ;)

Umm, yeah, clearly you guys know how that ended! We immediately fell in love with a few of the cats, and one in particular, but couldn’t take any right away because we were leaving a couple days later for Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving. By the time we made it back this week the cat we originally wanted had been taken (you can’t place holds on the animals for more than 24 hours), but everything happens for a reason, right? I think Zara was meant to be ours. :)


She’s a super sweet and friendly 1 year old, and we got her from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which I’d really recommend if you’re in the area and looking for a pet. The staff were all really nice, the whole place was super clean, and the animals seemed well cared for and happy. It was all we could do to not take all of the cats home!

They didn’t have much information about Zara (the name they gave her at the shelter, and we decided it suited her), but she has a Tabby pattern with maybe a little Maine Coon mixed in (her tail is super large and fluffy). She’s adorably small, though – only about 7 pounds and very petite in length/size.

For those of you that aren’t into cats, don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into a cat blog. :) But expect a few photos here and there – especially over on my Instagram page! Since I work from home the majority of the day when I’m not out meeting AnneTheRD clients or doing corporate wellness presentations, it’s so nice having a little furry buddy to keep me company!


Speaking of work – I wanted to mention that I started offering a gift certificate option for my AnnetheRD nutrition counseling services! It could make a nice Christmas gift if someone you know is interested in receiving the gift of good nutrition. Also, along the same lines for those of you in the DC area – another fun gift idea is gift certificate for a Healthy Dinner Party from my friend Sarah, a fellow DC dietitian who hosts nutritious cooking parties for you and your family or friends! She comes to you and brings all the food and equipment and even cleans up, and shares nutrition tips along the way. I went to one of her dinner parties earlier this year and reviewed it in this post – it was so fun. If you’re interested, when you contact her tell her I referred you and she’ll include a complimentary wine pairing as part of the dinner party gift certificate, too.

And now – back to work, with a sleepy kitty by my side. I hope you all have a wonderful day!


  1. 1

    I love Zara’s long hair especially the hair coming from her ears. It makes her look so fabulous and the name definitely fits her!
    This DC workout thing is SO cool. If I lived in a place like that I’d be all over doing that kind of thing even though I’m not a morning workout person. Talk about a motivator!

  2. 2

    I’m not a huge cat person…but she’s still such a little muffin!

  3. 3
    Chris Anne says:

    I love her! I adopted my Sonoma from the SPCA here in Annapolis and if I could get her a buddy, I would. She is a great friend to me, even though when I got her, they told me she was a short haired cat, but she grew up into a long haired cat and with my asthma, sometimes it gets rough, but she is only allowed on the leather recliner in the living room and a blanket on my bed, but she prefers one of her (it seems like 1,000 cat beds) in the house. Just put out a box and she will love that to sleep in!

    • 4

      We were saying we need to get her a cat bed!

      • 5
        Chris Anne says:

        I got Sonoma a great one at HomeGoods. It’s the same one they sell in Plow and Hearth, double decker, bottom is like a cave and top is open so she can look out the window. They also have great ones shaped like bowls, that plug in and generate warmth from their body. She loves that one as well. And a plain old box works as well.

      • 6
        ilovefetacheese says:

        our kitty has never used his cat bed…he much prefers his cat trees for sleeping. that way he can tower over us and watch over the house :)

  4. 7

    She’s beautiful! Congratulations!

  5. 8

    best cat ever!!! zara is a winner, i can tell already. and thanks for bringing us out to the lincoln steps — let’s do it again soon (with some variety) :)

  6. 10

    Awww Zara is so adorable and photogenic! I’ve been wanting to adopt a cat for a while too, but it just isn’t the right time for me … yet!

  7. 11

    I think you need to start a second blog – ZaraIsNotImpressed

  8. 13

    Awww she is too cute! Having a sleepy kitty by your side really is the best.

  9. 14

    Yay!! When can Jack and I come over and meet her? She’s adorable and soon you will wonder how you ever lived without a pet. Congrats!

  10. 20

    Zara is too precious!

    Have you seen the PetMAC store in Arlington?? It’s run by the nonprofit from which we adopted our orange tabby pair. They have some awesome foods there — Weruva was our favorite until we needed to switch to a prescription diet.

    • 21

      I haven’t seen that – great tip! I actually need to go out and buy her some more food today so I’ll check it out. Would be nice to support them vs. something big/commercial. :)

  11. 22

    … US Boston folks are awesome huh? ;) JK. BUT I have known about the November project for a really long time and have wanted to try it. BUT it be super hard to fit in my schedule with even going to the 5:30AM one! Maybe one of these days!

    And I am not a cat person at all… but that cat is adorable! :)

  12. 23

    All three of our cats (and our dog are rescues). Yes, three cats. Don’t worry, I’m still one away from crazy cat lady status. Our last cat addition is part (or all) Maine Coon. He is hilarious!

    • 24

      Haha I’m not surprised you have 3 – we were deciding between two yesterday and were tempted to take both! It nearly broke my heart to not be able to take everyone home!

  13. 25

    I’m more of a dog person but she is very cute!!!

  14. 26

    Sweet, have to do this soon!

  15. 27

    I need one of those early workout groups here in Puerto Rico. However, since I might be moving to DC in January I might joined them! Finally I’ll have a workout buddy! Let’s see what happens (if I end up moving) Thanks for sharing!

    I think it’s great to have your husband working out with you early in the morning! ;)

    Got to say that I’m not a cat person, I prefer dogs that aren’t too hyper :D

  16. 28
    Stacey M. says:

    OMG … Zara looks *just* like my grandmother’s cat! She’s also a female, pretty petite for a cat, but is probably 10+ years old now. Looking at your pictures is like looking at her … how weird! Hope you both enjoy your newest addition!

  17. 30

    Congrats on becoming pet parents! We adopted our two cats from the Washington Animal Rescue League three years ago and they’ve been great! Zara is beautiful and looks like a wonderful companion!

  18. 31

    Congrats on your new cat! Is she a member in good standing of the cat union? My little Gracie had to forfeit her card since she comes to me when called—way too dog-like!

  19. 33

    Zara is just gorgeous! I’ve been wanting to check out the SF November Project – the only downside being that they run hills every Friday morning – and not just any hills, but incredibly steep SF hills! If I can recruit someone to come with me I’m in!

  20. 34
    Elizabeth says:

    I didn’t realize there was a DC Chapter of the November Project! I’ll definitely check this out – thanks!

  21. 35

    Your cat is cute! The November Project sounds like a fun way to change up your workouts. They don’t have one in my city, but they do offer in Madison where I went to undergrad. I can only imagine how much fun that would’ve been while in college.

  22. 36

    Ahh, Zara is adorable. She still looks a bit skeptical if you guys are going to keep and love her, but she’ll be a big loving fur ball soon, kneading next to you, whenever you work on your computer.

  23. 38

    She is absolutely beautiful!! I really wish my husband wasn’t allergic to cats, otherwise I would get one in a heartbeat. My parents have two and they are so fun to play with and extremely friendly and personable.

    I think I need to look up the November Project in the Boston area; it does look like a lot of fun!

  24. 39

    I am so jealous of people who live inside the city. I live just outside DC so I’m juuuust far enough away where I can’t make it to these awesome meetups. It sounds like so much fun! And Zara is adorable! Kitties are the best :)

  25. 40

    Zara is so pretty! What a great addition to you life : ) Rescued pets are the best!

  26. 41

    Aww congrats on your new fur baby! Cats are the best when you want a snuggle-buddy/lap warmer. The workout meetup sounds awesome. We don’t have anything like that where I live (that I know of!), but I bet my DC friends would love to hear about it!

  27. 42

    I saw it on Tina’s blog too…such a cool idea! Googled it for pig iron with “Ireland” on it…think it’s something I need to set up! How long was the workout this morning? Was it for time or a rep challenge?

  28. 44

    OMG Zara is so cute!!! Congrats on the new addition!!

  29. 45
    Roadrunner says:

    Zara is adorable and very sweet-looking! Congratulations! And well done on the early morning run, Matt!

  30. 46

    Zara is SO CUTE! I wish my apartment allowed for pets!

    I read about the November Project in Runners World – I’m bummed the SF chapter is located a little too far away from my apartment for me to make it to morning workouts.

  31. 48

    Your kitty is the cutest thing ever, I’m in love with her! Enjoy your new family member :)

  32. 49

    Hi Zara! You’re gorgeous! Congrats on your new addition.

    I read about November Project on Tina’s blog as well and thought it sounded cool. While Boston is a lot closer to me than DC, neither of them are feasible with me being in RI. Very cool idea though!

  33. 50

    LOOOOOVE your new kitty!!! She’s adorable! I’m totally a cat person so you can post away. Perhaps a “cutest cat pic” contest might be in order sometime on a future post?? ;)

    Hope you’re doing great!

  34. 51

    That is a very cute cat! I am not a cat person but she is totally cute!

  35. 52

    I’m admittedly a cat-lover so feel free to turn it into a cat blog! I love dogs too though, I never understand why people have to pick being a “cat-person” or a “dog-person”- so silly! Maine coons are badass though and she IS SO CUTE! You are going to be so glad you got her! I am currently looking into professional petsitters for christmas and FYI it seems like DC has a lot of great options so that is something to keep in mind :) Cats are pretty low-maintenaince which is great.

  36. 53

    What a sweet kitty! Congratulations and great choice to adopt!

  37. 54

    Congrats on the new addition!! ;) What a sweetie!

  38. 55

    What a cute kitty!! Josh and I adopted a kitty from a local shelter about two months ago. We moved across the country and were desperate for a cute lite furbaby to spoil. He is perfect and we love him. Unfortunately we don’t think pets are allowed in our lease so I can’t blog about him! Haha oops!

  39. 57

    Congratulations on getting the kitty!!! I’m so happy that you went to a shelter – thus saving a life – rather than going through a breeder or a pet store. That’s wonderful. And don’t worry about having a small apartment – any animal you save from a cage in a shelter will be infinitely happier in your home, no matter how small it is. Zara is happy to have your love and a forever home, no matter how small it is.

    My suggestion now… consider getting a second cat :) It’s so much better to have two. They cuddle and play together and keep each other company when you are out. And even in a small apartment, two cats aren’t that different from one.

  40. 58

    OMG Zara is so so so cute!!! I am a huge cat person!! We can’t get one in our apartment as our landlord won’t let us but when we eventually move we will definitely be getting one.

    I love the idea of those workouts too, sounds like such an awesome project. Plus what a great view to wake up so early for :)

  41. 59

    Congrats on getting Zara! Can’t wait to hear how she fits in and adapts to being part of your family! I’m more of a dog person myself though-they make great running buddies!

    • 60

      Yeah we definitely want to get a dog once we have a larger living space/better access to the outdoors! Would love to have a walking/running furry buddy.

  42. 61

    i want a November project here. That sounds like the BEST way to start the day. How fun! And yes Zara is the cutest thing ever.

  43. 62

    Congrats on Zara! She looks so cute! I’ve had my cat Ginger for 14 years and I always say she’s been there for me through it all. It will be nice for you to have company at home :)

  44. 63

    She is sooo cute!

    Being at home most of the day is definitely a little sweeter with a fluffy buddy by your side/on your lap/occasionally on your actual computer keyboard, ha!

  45. 64

    Congrats she is lovely! I’m so glad you went to awla! They are great organization! We adopted our dog there many years ago.

    Thank you too for adopting from a shelter :-)

  46. 65

    Congrats on your new addition. Zara is a great name!
    Madison has the November Project and I’ve been meaning to try it out…but it has been about 0 degrees at 6:30am for the past couple of weeks and that’s tough for an outdoor workout!!!

  47. 66

    Thank you so much for adopting! I work in rescue in my spare time, and I’m always thrilled when someone makes the choice to adopt and save a life. Enjoy your new addition, she’s beautiful!


  1. […] monuments. When I arrived at Lincoln, I discovered the November Project workout was in full swing (remember when I hit it up in December? <— more info on Nov Project in that post)! Oh yeah – I totally forgot it was Wednesday […]

  2. […] and I first hit up the November Project in the fall with our husbands in tow, and I stumbled upon it again last week when I was out running and remembered I should make the […]

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