Tag Archives: Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll

The Weekend That Wasn’t

4 Sep

Happy September, everybody! Hope you all had a relaxing, enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

You know how you can plan things out as well as you want to and then life has other things in mind? This weekend was one of those. As I had excessively mentioned before, Stefano and I were headed down to Virginia Beach for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. On Saturday morning, we braved the vehicular exodus from Washington and were on our way down.

The traffic wasn’t super horrible, but we definitely hit a few rough spots along the way.

Luckily, I had great company to help pass the time.

Stef takes his air guitar very seriously

We ended up driving straight to the convention to pick up our bibs and swag bags.

I don’t know if every Rock ‘n’ Roll convention has a runner’s heaven, but we had one, complete with an angel playing the harp.

We had a great time walking around, trying the free samples, and doing a little window shopping for gear and shoes. Stefano was looking for new running shoes but didn’t find any that he was crazy about. We dropped by the sign-making booth and made each other some motivational posters for our respective runs, though I never got to use mine (cue foreshadowing).

On our way towards the exit, we caught some of the experts’ panel, that had some great speakers, like Olympic gold medal winner, Frank Shorter. They talked about what they liked about running, how to get past mental blocks, and why it’s so important for people to stay active. Frank said something I really resonated with, which was that some just don’t like the bio-mechanical movement of running and should look for other activities that use different movements. I completely agree with him, because I have tried time and time again to enjoy running and I just can’t seem to get there. I do like the race environment, but running has always been, and continues to be, a real struggle for me.

After the convention, Stef and I decided to hit the beach for a stroll, before grabbing an early dinner at Tautog’s, just off Atlantic Avenue. The beach was definitely crowded, but Stef and I were excited to put our feet in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time! In his words, “we lost our Atlantic Ocean virginity”. Thanks for that, Stef.

A couple of kids on the beach had made a pretty impressive sandcastle, which was dangerously close to getting swept away by the incoming waves.

When we got to the restaurant for dinner, it was super busy and the wait was over an hour long. We decided to get drinks and the bar and, upon finding out we could order dinner there, just decided to stay there for the rest of the evening! We both ordered the crab soup as a starter, which was creamy and delicious, filled with lots of crab meat.

Pardon the flash! It was pretty dark in there.

The sandwiches were looking delicious, so Stef went for the crabcake sandwich while I ordered the Bronzed Fresh Fish with Lettuce, Cheddar Jack Cheese, Red & White Salsa in a Soft Flour Tortilla – yum, yum.

Now excuse the dark photo…that’s what happens when you don’t use flash in a dark place.

After a really delicious meal, we called it a night and walked back to where we were staying for an early bed.

The wake-up call was a cheery 5:30 AM and we did a short jog down to the race line to get ourselves warmed up. I was in Corral 12. but Stef was all the way up front in Corral 1, with a predicted 1.5 hour finish time (more foreshadowing). We wished each other luck and off we went (as Stef would say, like a herd of turtles)! At the start line, cheering us on, was Francena McCorory, one of the women on the winning 4×400 USA relay team at the London Olympics! So exciting.

The day was muggy and warm and I will tell you now that the run was a slog for me. The bands were great, though, and I felt okay by the time I finished my 5K in 30 minutes and 53 seconds, which is a hair under a 10 minute/mile. My goal was to get sub-10, so I am pretty pleased, especially since I didn’t really train and the humidity was killer (the most foreshadowing).

After collecting all my yummy freebies, picking up the gear bag, and wiping myself down with a cold towel (brilliant idea, by the RnR planners), I was by the finish line, waiting for Stef to finish up. His estimated finish time was 1.5 hours, so I got my camera out and was ready for when he crossed the finish line. Then it was an hour and 45 minutes and still nothing. When two hours had passed and he still hadn’t showed up, I knew something was wrong.

About that time, I received a phone call from a paramedic at the marathon, saying that he was with Stef and they were transporting him to the mobile clinic that they had set up for the race. Panicking, I raced over there and saw them taking him out of the ambulance on a stretcher and into a tent. It was a few horrible minutes before someone came to meet me and explain what was going on. Because of the humidity, Stef’s body had lost A LOT of water during the run and he eventually passed out while running on the course. The paramedics had picked up him and were giving him fluids through an IV.

Of course I was terrified, but I knew that he was in good hands and there wasn’t much I could do. The real terror set in when another medical volunteer came over to me and told me that they were taking him to the emergency room because his body had reach 107 degrees and they wanted to cool him down ASAP. WHAT?!?!?! After getting the address of the ER, I ran back to where we were staying (which brought my total distance for the day to 5 miles) and pick up the car. Luckily, the ER was close and I was there within minutes.

Upon arrival, I gave his name to the receptionist, who promptly told me that there wasn’t anybody in their system by that name. I explained that he had been brought over from the race course and she suggested that maybe they hadn’t arrived yet. I had a hard time believing this, because they had left much earlier than I, but I waited in the visitors’ room for news. A few minutes later, the phone rang again. It was yet ANOTHER medical volunteer who was apologizing profusely for mixing up patients and saying that Stefano had, in fact, been released from the medical tent on the course and was NOT being taken to the ER.

As relieved as I was, another wave of panic set in, as he was walking around the boardwalk by himself, without his cell phone to contact me (I had checked our gear bag and had picked it up after the race). Luckily, he borrowed somebody’s phone and called me, so we found a place to meet and were finally reunited.

When I picked him up, he looked awful – his face was pale and he was really out of it. We had to stop on the way back to our place for him to vomit (sorry for the TMI) on the side of the road. After taking a quick shower, he went straight to bed and stayed there for the rest of the day. He had been so dehydrated that the medics had to put over two liters of fluids into his body before they deemed him fit for release. Needless to say, the rest of the trip was pretty subdued.

When it was time to leave on Monday, he was feeling much better, having had a good night’s rest and plenty of fluids. We were lucky not to hit any traffic along the way, though we did get pulled over for speeding, which I thought was a totally bogus ticket. Stef has never been pulled over in his life, so go figure it would happen after the previous debacle. It was just not his weekend.


We made it back to Washington safe and sound and spend the rest of the day catching up for the work week ahead. Thank goodness it’s only four days! Hoping for a low-key next few days, because this weekend was eventful enough!

On totally unrelated note, my breakfast today was a yummy smoothie and a classic PB&J on an English muffin. Simple and delicious.

Quick Question: Have you ever had an accident or injury during a race/game/meet/match/etc.? Has one of your loved ones ever gone through something like that?


Breakfast of Champions

27 Aug

Good morning, sunshine(s)! It is the start of another week and we have a wonderful, three-day weekend to look forward to at the end. I am going to be antsy for the weekend all week, because Stef and I are going on our first out-of-town trip since moving to the District. Not only that, but it’s to Virginia Beach for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon! He will be running the half and I am sticking with the 5K…baby steps, people, baby steps.

I promised you guys details of our amazing Sunday breakfast, so without further ado, I present to you…

Breakfast of champions. Seriously, homemade French toast cannot be beat. French toast is always something I order when I go out to breakfast because I never seem to make it myself. WHAT HAVE I BEEN THINKING?! This is seriously easy. I am about to fill you in on the secret to amazing, super simple French toast. It doesn’t involve any fancy ingredients or special preparation: the secret is in the bread. Namely, the challah bread. If you use challah for your French toast, I don’t see how you can fail.

Here is a very basic, simple recipe for French toast, that will give you a moist, fluffy French toast that you can top with a variety of toppings to make it your own. Are you ready for this?

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (soy/almond/rice will be fine if you don’t use regular)
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon (you can even add a pinch of nutmeg if you’re feeling adventurous)
  • butter

That’s it. If you run out of mixture (like we usually do), just use those proportions to make as much or as little as you need. Beat the eggs, milk, and cinnamon and get your pan on medium heat. Slice up the challah about 3/4″ thick and soak in the egg batter for a minute or two (challah is thick, so it soaks up quite a bit of liquid).

Stef soaking the delicious challah

Add a pat of butter to the pan and wait for it to stop foaming, then add your slices of bread. Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes, then eat immediately, or put on a plate and place in the oven to keep them warm.

After you’ve made as much as you think you’re going to eat, get your toppings going. I love to have lots of different toppings, so I put some some fresh blueberries, sliced strawberries, crushed walnuts, raisins, peanut butter, Trader Joe’s maple syrup,  and some Greek yogurt.

We used a whole load of challah bread, which used double the mixture I posted above, but we had my roommate help eat it, so don’t be shocked when I tell you that the plate you see in that picture? Totally empty by the time we were done. Whoo, baby. My first two slices were in the picture at the top, with maple syrup, fresh blueberries, strawberries, and a sprinkle of walnuts and raisins. I decided to have one more slices and spread some peanut butter on the top, before topping it with walnuts and raisins.

Holy yum, guys. French toast that is this easy to make shouldn’t be allowed to taste so good.

Stef is always camera-ready.

Just like the pesto I told you about yesterday, this recipe is super fast and is simple enough that you should be able to make homemade French toast whenever you crave it. Especially on lazy Sunday mornings.

Rooftop Party

28 Jul

Good morning! It’s the weekend!

When I left you last, I was headed to the gym for a personal training session, a workout, and then a rooftop screening of the opening ceremony of the Olympics. This was my last of the three personal training sessions that came with my gym membership. I enjoyed working with my personal training, who was fun and had some great workouts for me, but it is very costly and I don’t know if it would really benefit me when I can come up with workouts on my own.

After the workout with my trainer (approximately 40 minutes), I was originally going to take a boot camp class, but decided that I needed to do some cardio to prepare for the Rock ‘n’ Roll in Virginia Beach over labor day weekend. I went upstairs and hopped on a treadmill to do a 5k. I’m at a 10.1 minute/mile pace right now, but I took it really easy, so I think I could drop at least a minute off of that time.

After the workout, it was time for the rooftop party! When I got up to the roof, they were doing a yoga class to raise donation money for a yoga instructor who was beat up last weekend on the way home from his house and needed surgery. Like many people, he doesn’t have health insurance, so the fundraiser was to help pay for medical expenses.

As we were waiting to get the screen set up, a lady manning the drink station asked me if I wanted to try some kombucha. I have liked kombucha in the past, but I never buy it because it’s generally really expensive and I like to eat my calories instead of drink them. They had a couple of different flavors, but I ended up trying the lemongrass basil, which was super tasty! I find basil coming up in a lot of sweet things and I feel like it gives a refreshing flavor, much like mint does. Again, I’m probably not going to start buying kombucha, but I did enjoy this after a workout.

They started setting up the screen and so I, along with a girl from my boxing class who I ran into, went over to grab good seats.

The gym had ordered a bunch of pizzas from Dominos and even had a popcorn machine set up! I am not the biggest fan of Dominos pizza, but it was dinner time and I was really hungry after running that 5k, so I downed three slices of the veggie pizza. It actually turned out to be quite tasty! There was even spinach and feta on it!

And then it was time for the Olympics to begin!!! I was so, so excited and definitely got goosebumps, what with all the epic music and intense set changes. I loved how quintessentially British it was and thought it was hilarious that they included things like the National Health Service as highlights of the performance.

Later that night, Stefano arrived from Philadelphia and we are now officially living in the same city after 13 months! I am so excited. His parents also flew in late last night and we took them over to the place they were staying, so it was 3 am before I got to bed.

We are going to spend this weekend furniture shopping for Stefano and me and car shopping for Stefano. My hope is to find a bed today so I can move into my permanent house as soon as possible. I will let you know how things go and I hope you all have a great weekend!

Quick Question: Did you watch the opening ceremonies? What did you think of it?

Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll

18 Jul

Good morning!

I hope everybody’s Wednesday is getting off to a great start. I started off with a yogurt/bagel breakfast. The Chobani yogurt I used today was pomegranate-flavored and it was scrumptious. A few blueberries and strawberries on top and a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter on the side and I was good to go!

I don’t have huge plans for the day, but I am looking forward to my workout in the evening: Body Pump and then a Zumba class! Last week the Body Pump class tired me out so much that I didn’t have the energy for the Zumba class. I’m hoping today I can go ahead and do both so I can get some cardio in through Zumba. I should be getting outside or jumping on the treadmill for a run though, because Stef and I are officially registered for the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon! Well, he’s registered for the half and I’m doing the mini marathon, which is the nice way of saying the 5k.

I don’t particularly enjoy running and it doesn’t come easily to me, but I signed up for a 5k (well, 4.7k) when I was living in Rome, when the city hosted the marathon in March, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the race! The Rock ‘n’ Roll series sounds like so much fun, with the bands performing along the course and the post-race beach concert, so I am really looking forward to it.

Post-race in Rome!

I had originally hoped to make this my first half marathon, but I haven’t had a chance to do anymore 5k or 10k races to lead up to this and I didn’t want to throw myself into a 13+ mile race unprepared. The Rock ‘n’ Roll is coming to Washington D.C. in March, so hopefully I will be ready for the half then! Stef was captain of the cross-country team in high school and has been a regular runner since, so he is looking forward to this as it will be his first Rock ‘n’ Roll race.

Stefano and our friend Tommy after the Kirkland Half Marathon

It’s over Labor Day weekend so it will be great to get away from the city and down to the beach for a long weekend. Plus, the post-race beach concert that night is headlined by Train, a band I absolutely adore! If anybody has any tips for preparing for longer races, please share! I would love to be able to do a 10k and then half marathon in the next few months, so spill all of your running secrets.

Wishing you all a very happy Wednesday!

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