On Saturday, I fell in love with running again.
It’s not that I really fell out of love with it, it’s just that I hadn’t had one of those super awesome, I absolutely love this runs in awhile. Well, Saturday fixed that. 🙂
Chelsea and I made plans to run on Saturday morning in place of our weekly track workout because we decided sleep won out over the track on Wednesday morning (it was also like 8 degrees outside, no thanks).
She’s currently training for a December half marathon and had 11 miles on the docket. I’m just, you know, training for life, so I told her I’d be up for 6 or 7 most likely, but I’d see how I felt.
It was super cold (my phone said 28 degrees when we met) but really sunny – my absolute favorite running conditions. We met up at Iwo Jima, ran to Arlington Cemetery, and set out down the Mt. Vernon Trail towards Alexandria, planning to turn around at mile 3 so I could split off when we arrived back near Iwo Jima at 6.
Well, I felt awesome, the weather was great, and I was having such a fun time chatting away with her that I decided, what the hell? I’ll keep her company for the whole thing.
Luckily I had planned ahead in case I wanted to go farther and wore my old friend the Nathan hydration vest. I had also tossed a Kate Bakes bar into my pack for after the run, and ended up eating it slowly from about mile 8 until the end – I shared some with Chelsea, too. This French Toast one is a new flavor – it was probably a little sweet for me for a normal snack (the Banana Cinnamon Oatmeal is my normal everyday fave), but it was AWESOME as running fuel. I will totally bring one of these with me again for a long run! Loved the maple flavor.
I planned to stop at 10 when we got back to our meeting spot, and Chelsea was going to finish out the last bit on her run home from there, but by the time we got back near my car she was struggling a bit and I didn’t want to ditch her. Let’s do this! No walking in the last mile of a run, nope!
By the time we finished (11 miles in 1:40 – 9:09 pace), I was sufficiently endorphin wasted, as my buddy Theodora would say. I had forgotten how good long runs felt!
Thanks for the AWESOME run, Chelsea! Definitely would not have randomly run that far without you. 🙂
I think part of why I felt so good was that I got in some serious fueling on Friday night! I received an email from the PR team at Jardenea Restaurant in the Melrose Hotel in Georgetown/Foggy Bottom, inviting me and Matt to a complimentary dinner to experience their new fall menu. They focus on seasonal, local ingredients and sounded right up my alley, so I was happy to oblige.
Matt and I decided that instead of getting what we would normally order when we go out (beet and goat cheese salad and some sort of fish entrée for me, Caesar salad and steak for Matt), we would be adventurous and mix it up. First up: some fall cocktails! We shared the Pumpkin Spiced Martini and the Bacon Old Fashioned.
The Bacon Old Fashioned won out as the clear favorite. So smoky and unique! Plus, bacon. 🙂
For our starters, we did go for the Caesar salad, but because it sounded really unique! Cool looking, right?
We also shared the Pheasant Terrine & Aged Gouda Soufflé appetizer. The soufflé was the best part of this – yum. Everything paired really well together, though – I loved the addition of some pear to balance the savory!
As for our entrees, I had the Braised Rabbit Cassoulet with stewed tomatoes, black lentils and northern white beans. This was SO good. Great flavor and I loved all the beans! Rabbit tastes a lot like chicken, in case you haven’t had it.
As for Matt, he went for the Cast Iron Seared Duck Breast with orchard apples, parsnip and duck confit stuffed brioche with double smoked bacon and Brussels sprout slaw. That’s a mouthful, literally! He loved it.
We packed up about half of our entrees to enjoy as leftovers. 🙂
As for dessert, we shared the Cinnamon-infused Profiterole, which was like a cream puff. Amazing! Loved that it wasn’t super sweet and that the portion was small (this is a small plate) – right up my alley.
Thank you again so much to Jardenea for having us! We’ll definitely be back. 🙂
As for the rest of the weekend, it was really low key! Matt is in grad school (I’m not sure I’ve mentioned that here on the blog yet – he started a year long masters program through UVA in August… they mostly meet in DC but occasionally go to Charlottesville) and still working full time so weekends have been filled with a lot of work for him lately! To make him feel better I got caught up on work, too. 🙂
As for last night, I whipped up my old favorite Sweet Potato Lentil Chili (<—click for recipe) for us to enjoy this week. I’ll probably freeze a lot of it since it makes a ton! I tossed in some black beans just for fun – good addition. Try it!
Have a wonderful day, friends! I’ll be back tomorrow with a post sharing some tips for how to eat well (and mindfully) during the holidays while still enjoying yourself.
Until then – if you’re in DC, enjoy this randomly warm day we’re having! 🙂