Updates, News, and Adventures

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Crashing in the UK
: I’m jetting off on my first adventure to London next week in search of cousin Matthew, crumpets, and a few quality crashes. Yes, that was a shameless Downton Abby reference. It’s Friday and I’m a fan, so it’s happening. I’ll be traveling with my best running buddy Jenny to visit our college roommate, who is now living the expat life and promises to show us around the best galleries, pubs,  parks, and running trails. I’m doing some research into possible crash locations, but if any of you have favorite London studios/gyms to recommend, please point me in the right direction. I’m looking for Madonna arms, Middleton legs, and a midsection worthy of Sporty Spice.

Gently down the stream: Beginning the first weekend of April, I’m learning to row row row a boat with the Capital Rowing Club. This month-long “learn to row” program is taking my dedication to crashing to a whole other level. I can already see the callouses, capsizes, and awkward tan lines now. Have I ever been in a boat? No. Do I have any idea what I’m getting myself into? Not even close. So, dear friends, please share your advice and check back regularly to laugh along with me as this experience unfolds.

Google Reader going away: If you haven’t heard the sad news, Google is eliminating its Reader beginning July 1st. If you need an alternate way to keep up with DC Fit Crasher, I recommend trying Bloglovin‘. It’s how I keep tabs on all of my favorite blogs and hope it can help you do the same.

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Happy Friday!

 

A New Quick and Healthy Breakfast Idea: Bell Pepper Eggs

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Good morning crashers! I’m stopping in for a short post about a new breakfast idea I found on the interwebs. I can’t take credit for this clever way to cook eggs, but thought it was so fun and easy that I had to share.

bell-peppers

Just clean and cut bell peppers into one inch circles. Place in a pan and let them cook for about a minute so that they start to get tender.

bell-peppers-egg-pan

Now comes the fun part…crack an egg in the middle of each pepper. Voila! I had an issue with the egg spilling out of the sides a little bit, but just because they look mess doesn’t mean they don’t taste good. I let the eggs cook for a few minutes on one side before trying to flip them over.

bell-peppers-egg-finished

The entire process took less than ten minutes. The best part? These puppies are portable. I popped them in a plastic bag and was out the door with a nutritious, healthy breakfast on-the-go. Try it and let me know what you think!

Georgetown Pilates: The Best High-End Sweat Yet

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Crash Course:  Georgetown Pilates is a small, boutique, classical Pilates studio focused on quality instruction and attention to detail. They offer private reformer sessions, group mat classes, tower classes, massage, acupuncture, and muscle activation techniques. A private Pilates apperatus session will deliver a tailor-made workout integrating breath work, stretching, and various strength-building exercises. It’s not cheap, but the level of care and personalized approach were truly second to none. The experience was luxury fitness at its best. For a full list of services and prices, check out the Georgetown Pilates website.


where: 1230 1/2 31 Street NW

bring: yourself

perks: filtered water, one-on-one instruction

sweat score: 4 out of 10 

wear: comfortable clothes

instructor: Lissette Valdes

cost: single private apparatus session is $103* 

 

gtownpilates-outside

The Georgetown Pilates studio is really tucked away, located in a gated collection of offices called Hamilton Court. If you’re having a hard time finding it, it’s almost directly across from the Georgetown Post Office on 31st Street. The gate should be open during normal business hours, but if not, there’s a call box to buzz in.

gtownpilates-window

Walk all the way to the back of the courtyard and head to the the right, where you’ll find a small pathway that leads to the front door. The entrance is hidden from the main area – I had to be directed via hand signal by one of the instructors already inside.

gtownpilates-door

Ta-da! Found it. You’ll be greeted at the front desk by one of the trainers, who will walk you through new client paperwork and give you a little tour of the studio. From the first moment I arrived, I knew this place was special. Everyone was extremely warm and welcoming, and the entire space gave off a calm, serene, spa-like vibe. There were no loud noises, there was no smell of sweat, there was plenty of space to move around in, it was well lit, and a member of the team was always available to answer questions. And the entire studio from top to bottom was gleaming with clean. Be still my heart.

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I tucked around the corner to the small bathroom to change into my workout gear. There is no changing room, but the bright, cheerful purple bathroom does the trick in a pinch. It’s stocked with a few essential toiletries should you need to freshen up after class. There’s also a hallway with a row of hooks and hangars for your coat or clothes. I’m so used to rolling up my work clothes and smushing them into my backpack, being able to hang them nicely was a total luxury.

gtownpilates-pup

I almost forgot to mention this handsome fellow – the rescue pup who serves as chief-greeter, frazzled-nerves-corrector, and mayor of the studio. I’m sorry the photo is blurry, but the little guy was wagging his tail so hard it was difficult to catch him in stillness. Can you could see his amazing mustache collar? So fashionable! As an animal lover, it was a delight to be able to chill and de-stress with this dude before class. I know studies show animals in the workplace make for happier employees, but I think the same goes for customers too. Love!

gtownpilates-layout

The session I had with Lissette was unlike any other Pilates class I had ever been to. I’ve tried the reformer at Reformation Fitness, and done mat classes at Fuse in Dupont and other places. But this was something else entirely. From start to finish, the entire class was tailored for my specific needs, whether I knew what those were or not. I mentioned a few target areas I’d like to work on, but as the session progressed, I realized that often times we would work on muscle imbalances or weaknesses I didn’t even knew I had (until I was hanging over the cadillac machine, shaking like a leaf, wondering where my core strength went).

gtownpilates-cadillac

Every move, every breath was carefully guided and closely watched. I couldn’t get away with cheating if I tried. Lissette was right there to make sure every inhale and vertebrae was exactly where it needed to be. We worked on stretching, strength, and everything in between. I was pleasantly uncomfortable the entire time and sweating within 5 minutes, and it was wonderful – I knew I was in professional hands and trusted in the technique. After the warm up, I blurted out, “wow, I didn’t know Pilates was hard,” and got a few approving smiles and laughs. But really, I have never been to a class or session so focused or so challenging. It was absolutely wonderful.

gtownpilates-me

This smile is fake – the chair machine torture device was absolutely my least favorite part, probably because it so clearly highlighted my biggest weakness: my knees. A few reps on this thing and I was toast. My thighs were burning, my core was shaking, and I was looking at Lissette with an “are you serious” face of panic.  It was an eye-opener for sure, and made me realize how much work I still have to do to make sure my muscles are balanced. She calmly guided me through the exercise and encouraged me to do just a few more reps than I thought possible. That said, I was happy to leave this machine behind!

Here was my initial reaction after walking out the door:

It truly was mind blowing in every way. The studio was beautiful. The class was the most carefully constructed yet challenging Pilates session I had ever been to. It was completely customized and I never had any doubt that I was in the best, most professional hands available. I was greeted by name and spoken to genuinely. My clothes hung neatly on a hanger. The floor and equipment was sparkling clean. I got to pet an adorable dog.

Now, let’s get one thing straight – I’m a federal employee paying grad school loans and live within very real budgetary boundaries. At $103 per session, it should be this mind blowing and you pay for what you get. The honest truth is that I could not afford to come to this studio regularly, no matter how much I would love to. It’s just not in my budget at this point in my life. But if it is in your budget and you are looking for an incredible, one-of-a-kind Pilates studio to get you into tip top shape…this is the place for you. I wholeheartedly recommended the awesome work they do.


What’s your favorite high-end exercise indulgence?


*Georgetown Pilates generously waived the fee for this session. This review, including all of my opinions, are my own.

The Crash Report Roundup: March 19

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Last week’s “The Crash Report Round Up” got rave reviews, so I’m back this week with a fresh collection of crashes to share with you. If you have any ideas or suggestions for making this column more helpful, please drop me a line!

And let’s not kid ourselves. You probably want to know why I’m showcasing a photo of my spilled smoothie. Well, I can’t seem to figure out what kind of photos would best compliment this new column, so until I work through that dilemma (ideas welcome), I’m treating you to a random assortment of odds and ends from my camera. Consider it your daily dose of visual awesome. And now…on to the round up!


Wicked Healthy Washingtonian crashed a power flow yoga class at Stroga

not only was the power flow class I went to really well done, the space is absolutely gorgeous.

Heather from Dietitian on the Run crashed the Ex2 Adventure Series Backyard Burn 10 mile trail race in Wakefield Park

We totally lucked out with what was deemed the “flattest” course of this Backyard Burn Trail Race Series (5 total). It also seems to have been the least technical, only including “a few shallow stream crossings” and a lot of twisty, windy, up-and-down sections.

Anne from fannetastic food also ran the Backyard Burn 10 miler (followed by a hike at Fountainhead Park in Fairfax – whew!)

The race itself was awesome – since it was on a trail, we had to pay a lot of attention to our feet so we didn’t trip on a root or rock, so the time seriously FLEW by. I could hardly believe it every time my watch beeped another mile because I was so distracted by not falling (and by chatting with the girls)!

and gave a killer recap (complete with taking photos while running) of this weekend’s Rock ‘N Roll half marathon (congrats on the PR!)

I’m so proud of myself for getting out there and staying strong. What I really love about running is that unless you’re insanely good and actually winning races, running is totally a personal battle…Never say never! Just get out there and run and do the best you can, and the speed (and longer distances) will come.

Alex from The Run Within also ran the Rock ‘N Roll and gave a hilarious recap of her experience

Marvelous is… the hardest race course teaching me more about myself as a runner. I went into this saying I will not race it, I didn’t but I sure sucked air at some points. I ran this race last year with a different course. This year they added hills, and when I say hills I mean ‘holy shit is this a joke’ hills.

Amanda from Running on Waffles joined a few fitness blogging friends for a Revolve Real Ride spin class with instructor Stephanie

With the lights practically off and the music blaring, I did my best to zone out the pain in my legs and pushed with everything I had.  And it felt AWESOME!!!

Here’s Jen’s rundown from A Knack for Nutrition

By the end of the first song I knew this was my kind of place: loud music, dark room, and lots of motivated people.

And, last but not least, Ashley from Coffee Cake and Cardio added her recap of crashing the Real Ride at Revolve

Don’t let her fool you, Stephanie will make you SWEAT!! By the second song I was sweating profusely… It. Was. Awesome.

The Sweet Life with Ericka went to the South by Southwest conference and gave us a glimpse at what it’s like to join the Brooks Cowboy Run 

 We ran around a popular Austin trail so I was able to see the buildings, the water and different parts of the city.

Mary from Oh, To Have The World On A String ran the Four Courts Four Miler (which sounds awesome and is officially on my list for next year)

Race-wise, this is always a fun run. There is a leprechaun that starts about 17 minutes after the start, bangs out 5 minute miles and laps as many people as he can. If you beat the leprechaun, you receive a race premium at the finish line, and if you get leaped, Pacers donates $1 to the Arlington County Police Benevolent Fund.

Johanna Cracke from Vigor Fitness and Wellness crashed the St. Patrick’s Day 8k & Leprechaun Leap

ok, new favorite racing distance…8k! Had a great run this morning. It’s far enough to feel like you accomplished something, but man is it over fast.

Bianca over at Skinny To Be In DC wrote about her new favorite exercise addiction: Dance Trance

Sweat and move – like you have never before. No bulky muscles just lean, mean DanceTrance machine bodies being created here. While having fun. While smiling. While rockin’ out under disco lights. Oh yes. Come and check this one out to see it, experience it and believe it.

No Rain, Crazy Costumes, and a Goal Time: The Rock N Roll Half Marathon

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Saturday was the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon. Before I start my recap, I want to offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all of the kind, encouraging comments I received from Friday’s post. I put it all out there and the response was overwhelmingly positive. So thank you – all of you – for making this little blog a safe space for honesty and taking risks. And now…off to the races!


Let’s start with the expo. I waited until the last 15 minutes of the last day to head over to the Stadium Armory to pick up my race packet…and paid for it.

rocknroll-checkin

The place was a bit of a mad house with lines out the door and people frantically trying to make their way through as vendors were closing down. Not crazy enough, however, to keep me from taking a shameless selfie amidst the chaos. That’s right, I totally pulled this one off for the sake of the blog. Don’t judge me. I wanted to show you the cool mirror with “here is your inner Kenyan” painted on it. Wonder how I could get one of these in my apartment?

rocknroll-expo-selfie

I really have no right to complain about the stress level at the expo because I waited till the last minute. Lesson learned. One real complaint though: why were we emailed digital confirmation sheets but then required to transpose the information onto pointless paper forms before picking up our numbers? Made me wonder if they were going with the DC bureaucracy red tape theme or if it was really supposed to be that inefficient. Mystery.

rocknroll-nightbefore-food

I drove home and got right down to the business of making my traditional pre-race chow. I have a very finicky stomach, and when it comes to fueling up before a big event, blander is better. In college my go-to dinner before a triathlon was white rice with salt and butter. As you can see, I’ve upgraded to plain pasta, white chicken breast, and sautéed veggies with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. It did the trick and sent me to bed with a full (and happy) stomach.

rocknroll-gear

I laid out every single thing I would need to get ready in the morning, right down to the plastic zip loc bag for my iPhone. Having everything prepared the night before cuts down on time in the morning and calms my nerves about forgetting something. I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m., did a little bit of foam rolling, and called it a night.

rocknroll-scene-corral3

When I woke up, I immediately opened my window and checked for the forecasted rain. Nothing! What luck! I got dressed, made a bland breakfast of almond butter toast and banana, and spent a few last blissful minutes on the foam roller to get my muscles ready for the journey ahead. After hopping on the metro to Metro Center, it was just a short walk to the blaring music and huddled masses of the starting line.

rocknroll-before-race-photo

Despite the gloomy clouds, the temperatures were perfect for running and there wasn’t a drop of rain falling from the sky. Hooray! I moseyed over to corral three to wait out the final 30 minutes before the start with a few stretches. And then we were off! Well, at least the first corral was off. The Rock ‘n Roll race starts each corral in their own separate wave, so we had to wait for the first two corrals to go before it was our turn. Talk about building up the excitement and suspense!

rocknroll-race

As I crossed the starting line, I took a deep breath and decided to take the entire race one mile at a time. And as the first mile beeped in at around 7:30, I knew this was going to be an adventure. A few details:

Crazy apparel seen on the course:

  • Full suit and tie with “Jesus Saves” taped to the back
  • A denim jacket
  • Mini Mouse costume
  • Green body sock
  • Star-spangled full body spandex
  • Spectator in a ketchup costume, spectator in a gingerbread man costume, spectator in a Mr. Incredible costume dancing to disco music
  • Tiny gold lame shorts
  • Tuxedo t-shirt and black shorts

rocknroll-as-seen-on-course

Things I didn’t like about the race:

  • My watch clocked the entire course at around 13.5 miles. I can’t tell you how devastating it is to think you are just around the corner from mile 11 and then realize it’s another few tenths away. My watch consistently beeped way before the mile markers. Anyone else have this problem?
  • Calvert Hill at mile six

Things I loved about the race:

  • Great spacing out of the bands along the route
  • The spectator support was incredible (except for the guys offering beer – the smell was atrocious)
  • The route was really fun despite Calvert Hill
  • I never wondered when the next water/gatorade spot would be because there were plenty
  • Runners genuinely seemed to be having a good time
  • Lots (and lots) of free food at the finish area. Potato chips, chocolate milk, smoothies, bananas, Gatorade. I was in heaven!

rocknroll-free-food

My official finish time was 1:42:20 – about three minutes under my goal. I was so shocked and thrilled and shocked some more! According to my watch, my time at 13.1 was somewhere around 1:39, but since that’s not an official time anywhere other than my head, I’ll have to let it go. But breaking 1:40 is now in the crosshairs for next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time.

rocknroll-parents

An enormous thank you to my parents for coming from Ohio to support me on the course. The original fit crasher is an accomplished marathoner and she has been my chief coach and motivator since I took up running in college. My parents have been my race-day support team from the very beginning and I couldn’t have done it without them. And check out the sign they made – so official! Thanks guys! Another big thank you goes to Bonnie, Jeff, and Heather for spotting me on the course and cheering me on along the way.

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This is one of my favorite photos from the day. These are two of my friends from the Georgetown Triathlon Team, Jenny and Michelle. I don’t know how long it’s been since we’ve all done a race together, but part of me wants to put it way back to 2008. It was such a fun throwback to have a mini-reunion at the finish line. You ladies are the best!

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And what do you do after running 13.1 miles? You eat, of course! Well, you change out of the wet and sweaty clothes from the race and then you eat. I took my parents to Ted’s Bulletin on Capitol Hill for an enormous celebratory breakfast. Mom tried a home-made pop tart and some breakfast classics, dad went with the biscuits and gravy, and I inhaled the ten-grain hot cereal with toasted coconut and dried fruit. Oh, and a bottomless cup of hot coffee.

rocknroll-brunch-dad

We walked off breakfast with a trip to Eastern Market, and then it was time to call it a day. Whew! So many months of training and worrying and agonizing over 13.1 miles…and it is finally successfully behind me. What a wonderful sense of relief. This medal will be proudly hanging in my apartment as a reminder that anything is possible with a little chutzpah, faith, and a whole lot of good old fashioned hard work.

rocknroll-medal


Did you run the Rock ‘n Roll? Share your story!


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