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Posted on May 5, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food, Pup Posts | 23 comments

La Italia Famiglia

Good morning, friends! Happy Vampire Diaries Day Thursday! We’re over halfway through the week and the weekend is in sight, so rejoice! I don’t know about you guys, but this week has felt incredibly looooooooooong.

So yesterday in honor of my Shoe Dog running analysis and brand spankin’ new Sparks BROOKS shoes (I almost got it right this time!) I literally hit the pavement for a quick jaunt to start breaking them in.

Bam! Proof! I didn’t end up going very far – just about a mile, but I was actually running toward a destination. See, Ben‘s car broke down and he was waiting at a repair shop very close to the house. So I figured I’d do my sisterly duty and go keep him company.

The shoes felt pretty good, and I’m really digging the insoles that I bought (not custom, but nice!) but I still am having a lot of trouble with running outside. I think it may be because I started running on a treadmill, and the only REAL outdoor runs I’ve done have been for actual races or when I’ve been running with someone else who helps me keep pace. Otherwise, I always start off waaaaay too fast, and then get tired and winded very early, and the pavement’s not like a treadmill where if I just stop or slow down I fall off so… I stop. It’s lame, I know. But at least I’m trying!

At least when I went to go meet up with Ben at the auto shop, we got to see this:

It was the biggest, clearest, most vibrant rainbow I think I’ve ever seen in person! Now, granted it was no double rainbow, but it was still very pretty. (But check out the storm clouds looming in the background… yeah.)

See, I can get on board with nature! Just stop stinging my foot and biting my dogs and we’ll get along okay. 😛

So last night, post run and auto-repair, the bro, the mama, and myself all went to dinner at Argia’s, a local Falls Church Italian joint that has the option to eat “Famiglia”, or Family, style. Being a half-Chinese family, we’re used to doing dinners family-style, and when we asked how much food it would be they told us that it should feed “2 to 3 people.” Remember those infamous words.



OMG. It was SO much food! 2 to 3 people? Try 3 to 5… maybe. We ordered mussels in white wine sauce, caesar salad, and spaghetti al pesto. It was all delicious, but we had no idea it would be so much! We had actually gotten 2 orders of the mussels (yipes!) and then the salad came out bigger than life itself. We did manage to polish both of those off though (naturally, haha) so by the time the pasta dish came out it was game over. I put like 3 bites of it on my plate and was donezo. I guess at least we have plenty of leftovers!

The star of the show were the mussels for me, so if you’re ever in the area with a hankering for some old world Italian food, get ’em! They’re half-price on Wednesdays. Mmmm.

So that’s what I’ve got for you for now! Oh, but before I let you go, let’s get in today’s gratuitous schnauzer pics, shall we?

Somebody’s been grroomed! Daxter came out looking kind of like a poodle but it’s really cute so I’m okay with it. I’ll just tell everyone he’s a schnoodle and it’ll be extra exotic, ahahaha.

What are your tips for running outside? How do I better pace myself? Make sure I don’t get ahead of myself? As it’s warming up and the weather is getting so beautiful, I’d really love to be able to start, y’know, enjoying it on a run. Thoughts?

23 Comments

  1. Yummy food! I love eating family style with crowds! I miss it a lot because you have to be uber-comfortable with your party to know what you guys can all agree on 🙂

    I haven’t ran outside yet actually. It’s all on a treadmill but I’ve wanted to but I’m nervous to do it by myself.

    • I know a lot of runners say that running on a treadmill is nothing compared to running outside, but I agree that since it’s really all I’ve known I’m finding it hard to make the transition!

  2. Running outside is definitely a lot more challenging- I can’t even do a treadmill because they give me shin splints. Try using that runkeeper app- it shows you your current pace at any given point so you can see if you’re going too fast. It just takes getting used to in order to know your comfortable pace- keep at it!

    • Yeah I do try to keep Runkeeper going — but it’s hard to look at the app to make sure I’m keeping a steady pace and also not run into things, hahaha!

  3. I hate running outside, I’ve come to realize during my marathon training. I have a whole slew of reasons for this… I should really write about it.

    I don’t have a GPS watch or anything like that so I usually map out my run on gmap-pedometer.com and take note of where the mile markers are and then check my stop watch when I hit them… It’s a bit backwards if you’re trying to keep pace but it lets you know if you should slow down or speed up.

    What kind of running pants are you wearing there? I need a pair like that! They look really good on you 😀

  4. I hate running outside, I’ve come to realize during my marathon training. I have a whole slew of reasons for this… I should really write about it.

    I don’t have a GPS watch or anything like that so I usually map out my run on gmap-pedometer.com and take note of where the mile markers are and then check my stop watch when I hit them… It’s a bit backwards if you’re trying to keep pace but it lets you know if you should slow down or speed up.

    What kind of running pants are you wearing there? I need a pair like that! They look really good on you! 😀

  5. The rainbow is so pretty!!!

    Running outside — start off slow and do plenty of walking/running — doing that helped me build up my endurance. Running outside is tough!

    • Yeah, I may have to try more doing running/walking if I’m having issues pacing myself because then at least I’ll know I’m building up some kind of stamina even if I keep winding myself too early, hahaha. I guess walking is there for recovery, eh?

  6. I LOVE your hair. You are so cute!!
    I also love Brooks. 🙂 I have the Glycerin, and they work so well!

  7. I have zero pace tips, because I was totally sh!t at pacing myself until I got a Garmin…sad, but true!

    Lots of tasty Italian food 🙂

    • I’ve thought a lot about buying a Garmin watch or Polar whatever or something since I see them all over the blogosphere but I think I really need to actually run regularly (ha!) before I can make that kind of monetary investment in it. I’ve read/seen good things about them though!

      • I bought my 205 (which means no HRM, but I wasn’t really looking for that) for 88$ on Amazon during a black friday sale.

        I wasn’t much of a runner (only treadmill, few miles here & there) then, especially not outside, but my hope was the garmin would inspire me to become an outside runner & it definitely has. I’m a fiend for tracking my workouts, so I love to know my distance, etc. 🙂

  8. I just bought a Groupon for Argia’s. Hubs really likes it but I’ve never been. Looks DELISH! And I just went back to Brooks from Mizunos. Should probably work on putting a few more miles on them 🙂

    • Ooh! I saw that Groupon deal – Argia’s actually does a lot of deals on like Groupon, Living Social, Open Table, etc. Good on ’em! Anyway, I hope you lovelovelove it — you’ll have to let me know how it goes whenever you end up going (Mondays are 1/2 price bottles of wine, Wednesdays are 1/2 price mussels, and I think Sundays have a deal on all their spaghetti dishes just FYI!)

  9. Omg! This post makes me miss falls church so
    Much! That picture is taken by my old street, Cameron rd! Not to mention I LOVE argias!!! So yummy!
    I also do not enjoy running outside..I always take my dog with me, so that’s extra pressure to keep running. But since the ground doesn’t move, like said treadmill, it’s hard to not just stop. I’d say look for an app? For me right now I tell myself I am going to run to that lamp post, or sprint to that street sign.

    • Falls Church misses you too, Meredith! You have to let me know when (if?) you’re going to be back in town sometime – I’d love to see you!

  10. Gretchen you look sooooo amaze!! I’m so proud of you!

    • Suuuuuzie, thanks so much! Miss you, housie! 🙂

  11. I would suggest a GPS device like a Garmin to help you keep your pace in check. Its really easy to go out too fast so seeing your current pace and average will help a lot with your training. They are pricey but worth it in my opinion.

  12. You are lookin’ GOOD! Very impressive!

    I really dislike running (and it just hurts my feet.) One of the reasons I like the elliptical and, outside, why I am getting back into biking!

    Keep it up!!

  13. Hey dude! I loooooove running outside and hate the DREADmill! It’s probably all about what you’re used to. I just get really bored and frustrated running on the treadmill, watching the mileage slooowwwwly tick off in front of me. I try to plan scenic runs so I have lots of things to look at and distract me and I won’t get bored and quit! I use logyourrun.com to make maps of routes and then log [most of] the runs I do. I have a running blog I occasionally use to talk about marathon training with a few friends and we all put little logyourrun widgets on there to mark our runs and try to outdo each other! Ok. We don’t really do that. We mostly lament how empty they are, ha! Anyway, maybe you could set a goal for yourself and put a widget on here for your readers to admire. 🙂 As for starting too fast and getting winded… I’m the opposite! I always start slowwwwww and feel sluggish for the first mile or so then gradually start to hit my stride. The thing that helps me get out there and crank the miles out is to always have a race looming. Right now I’m looking at my first triathlon in June and I am petrified! So I’ve been biking almost every day to work (this was my “30 days to make a habit” goal!) and…tryyyyying to swim… and not running at all cause I hurt my foot. lol. Having a buddy is also *crucial*. I am completely lacking in self-motivation!

    ANYway. I ramble. Back to your shoe-post; I too have some Brooks (that I won for FREE at a Pacer’s fun run!), forgot which model, and a couple pairs of Asics Gel Kayanos. All are stabilizing shoes cause I am an over pronator as well! I just invested in a pair of Newtons though, http://www.newtonrunning.com/. They are one of these brands that are changing up the game in running shoe design. I’ll spare you the babble, you can read about it on the site if you wanna! I haven’t taken them out yet due to the foot injury, but I’m excited to eventually. Plus they are BRIGHT neon orange :D!!!

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