Races, Races, Races

Aside from loving to run, I love racing. B None of my friends are runner, runners so the only time I get to test my speed is during races. B Problem, races cost money. B When you try to explain to people that you are paying to run you get a few funny looks. B I guess those funny looks make you doubt your spending. B Then again how is $60 on a race any different then spending $60 on dinner and drinks. B Are my morning excursions any worse than your evening ones? B Do I really warrant that look?

None the less, I still registered. B Twin Lights Half MarathonB 5/12/2012 inB GloucesterB Massachusetts! B Two weeks before Boston’s run to remember; another half marathon. I love the half marathon distance. B Its long enough to warm up and still speed up. B Another reason why I’m excited for the Twin Light Half is because its a small race. B The race is capped at 1,000 runners. B That means no corrals, no waiting half an hour for a potty, no 10:40 AM start, no hour long bus ride several hours before the race. B Score!

This evening I did a post work run. B 10.49 miles in 1hr26min for an 8:11 Pace. B The weather was perfect! B Perfect evening before our predicted snowstorm. B Why we’re getting a snowstorm after 70 degree weather? B Because its New England.

MyB splits (look at me getting technical)B are a bit all over the place because some parts were on a trail, some had street lights, some I ran with Tony, some I ran with myself

Gearing up (or lack of) for Boston

Total Miles for the day – 14.5 , 2 runs but more on that later

The Boston Marathon is sub 3 weeks away and I am having minor freak outs!

I know, I need to close my eyes, count to 3 and say my blessings.

I’ve been told that Boston Marathon is huge and to be prepared. B I got my packet in the mail to remind me just how close it is to the race.

Although there are only 9 corrals, it seems there are 23,999 or more runners. B We’re going to get close, real close… Sweating on each other yoga close. B I’ll be in the last corral with other charity runners sadly instead of 4-6 (estimate based on my recent running times). B I am incredibly gracious to be running for the Boston Medical Center; but a small yet very loud part of me is very anxious of the start. B I had a panic attack for several miles at Rock n Roll marathon when I started late due to a broken train with the slower pace runners. B I felt trapped, and myB adrenalineB rushed up! B Although, I think my fear of the crowd and ultimate desire to get away kept me running at a faster pace than what I would normally be running. B Maybe an overwhelming need to catch up to other runners will keep me motivated to run faster!

Now thisB athletesB village thing and the bus thing isB intriguingB and yet frustrating at the same time. B Do I really want to drag my butt into Boston, onto a bus 3.5 hours before the marathon. B I might as well just run there and then run back in that time! B I find this athlete village exciting though. B I am contemplating having Tony (whose taking the day of in my honor ❤ ) drop me off instead. B Decisions, decisions..

I also found this mile by mile guide of the Boston marathon that’s making me pretty excited all over again. B Mile by Mile Boston Marathon Guide B Aside from potential knee pain of going downhill, my lack of gear or skill to know my pace and possibly the dullness of running through framingham and all those other places; the race seems easier than DC. B Maybe, just maybe, if its not insanely hot, and I’m not insanely hungry and cranky from being up several hours before the race, I can PR and go sub 3-24. B I like to dream big, or pretend. B Maybe I’m just on a high from despite having an stressed work day, I have not one but TWO GOOD runs.

Hi good runs, I missed you! B I feel like after DC all my runs have beenB mediocreB at best due to me constantly feeling stressed that I have no time for anything. B Its okay, April 15th is almost here and in reality I only really have one week of work busyness left.

8:29 pace on a 3 incline… My fastest lunch time run yet on that incline. B It hurt, but I knew I wanted to de-stress and I felt much moreB pleasantB as a human being afterwards.

6.9MPH, 8:41 pace on incline 2… I took it as an easy evening run. B I could have gone faster, but I wanted to not over-stress my body so I took it easier than I could have just to get in more final miles. B Overall I felt pretty good about running again.

Also, I’m back on the juice and by juice I mean high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring that can only taste so good from M&Ms. That might be why my runs went so well today.

They stopped having the M&M 240 calorie bags available in the snack closet. B They changed it for something healthier, almonds or something like that. B However, I realized that I can go up to the cafeteria and just raid the frozen yogurt toppings instead. B Although, if you fill up 3 little cups of these, the purpose of portion control might have been slightly defeated.

After my run, I decided Tony needed something special from me for coming home so late, lately. B I emailed him this.

Yes, in our household instead of sexting, we do sweatexting. B And by we, I mean me because I take full pride in the buckets of sweat I produce from just one hour of running.

Do you think you sweat a lot? A little? Just enough?

Do you have a guilty pleasure snack that makes your runs go faster? B Mine are M&Ms. B Milk chocolate M&Ms or chocolate covered acai berries. B Yum Yum.

What I ate Wednesdays…

I wish i could be cool and post pictures of what I ate today; but I doubt anyone wants to see another photo of my microwaved frozenB broccoliB with ziti, marinara sauce and extra cheese. B I call it lazy hobo nuke ziti. B PureB culinaryB talent.

Or better yet my lunch of I’m too lazy to go outside and my stomach can’t handle any more cafeteria food this week so let me throw some baby spinach, orange peppers, 3 hard-boiled eggs and twice slices of bread and call that a balanced meal. B M&Ms are always an acceptable side.

No I’ll spare you the photos, I’m sure the description was bad enough. B Instead, I’ll post pictures of what I ate Tuesday. B I prefer Tuesdays over Wednesdays anyways. B Wednesdays are awful, Wednesdays are those days where you think o crap it’s not Thursday which means it’s nowhere near Friday. B Anyways back to Tuesday.

ItsB restaurantB week in Boston. B From March 18 to 23 and March 25 to 30, 2012 Boston’s best restaurants will be offering tasty prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner for an incredible bargain:B 2-course lunch for $15.12, 3-course lunch for $20.12, and 3-course dinner for $33.12.

This time we made reservation atB Mistral. B Needless to say I was excited. Tony went B double steak while I went double salmon and myB iPhoneB camera flash came along. B Our friends Brian and CJ came along but I spared them the wait of me fiddling with my Iphone so I can take photos of their food as well.

Our Appetizers arrived:

Beef Sirloin Carpaccio, Black Truffle AC/oli, Parmesan & Toasted Brioche

I don’t know the elegant name of this but basically its smoked salmon, avocado in a oil vinegar dressing. B Its amazing and you can call it anything you want.

Grilled 12oz Sirloin, “Potato Lyonnaise”, Port Wine Reduction, Gorgonzola Butter – Wine reduction sauce was decent but the cut of meat was too tough for my taste. B Good thing Tony was the one eating it. Even the photo makes it look disappointing.

Grilled Scottish Salmon, Cracked Mustard & Cider, House Cured Bacon, Beluga Lentils & Thyme – Also disappointing as I thought it would have a strong mustard flavor vs. butter but I guess the French do love their butter.

Luckily the dessert saved the meal back to amazing! B We picked two and went halfsies.

Classic Profiteroles with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Dark Chocolate Sauce and Pistachio Croquant

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Candied Nuts & Salted Caramel

Does your city doB restaurantB week? B Do you partake??B We always try to do one place that we want to check out and where the entrC)e alone usually costs 33 bucks. B Its also a good excuse to get together with friends.

Our household is so healthy even our cat tries to eat celery

After playing hooky on my long run this weekend, I tried to catch up a bit on Monday & Tuesday

Monday 14 miles 6 during lunch and 8 after work

The first run of Monday went well with an incline 3 and good average pace of 6.9MPH

The second run was a disappointment. B I got on the treadmill expecting to be flying after taking the weekend off for the most part with no 20-miler. B What B actually occurred was a struggle of 8 slow miles at 9 minutes pace on incline 2. B 6:30PM start runs are rough for me on work days. B My afternoon lunch just isn’t enough, and a snack doesn’t help. B By 6:30 I’m want to be on the couch, not running. B My mentally completely broke me down and I quit as 8 instead of the planned 12 I was doing post work a few weeks ago (although that was a 5:30 PM). B No picture taken as I marched off (and by marched off I mean slowly staggered) of the treadmill in defeat. B Maybe I’ll pretend I’m on a 4 week taper for Boston.

Tuesday 12 miles 6.3 during lunch for speed interval training and 5.7 random miles post work

Finally a good, happy treadmill run! B I missed those.

Post work run was just a catch-up for the abandoned miles on Monday, but none the less went well enough. B Both were on incline 2.

Or maybe it was my new pink workout top from target that kept me happy onB Tuesday. I have a sick love for pink and purple, the brighter the better if you haven’t noticed.

It’s funny howB as soon as I started complaining about how hot outside it was; winter came crashing in with negative temperatures below zero after a week of 70s.

What did I do on Sunday instead of a long run? B I pretended that it was raining hard and went to brunch instead. B Bloody Marys are of course a requirement.

Shrimp & Avocado salad with endive, grapefruit, tarragon at Sportello, a Barbara LynchB restaurant that feels just like eating in your own kitchen.

The best part though is the bakery…

Baked goods like all things should always come in three (or that’s I tell myself) so of course I got a black berry macaron, a dark chocolate salted caramel cookie, and a dried cherries and walnut cookie.

And no, none of these things made it home with me by the end of the day. B But don’t worry, we’re all healthy here even the cat.

On Sunday I also checked out the Boston Crafts fair which was a complete waste of time unless you like paying $749.99 for a painted beer bottle cap. B Yup, I guess that’s some talented crafts right there. B Needless to say, I did not buy anything.

Do you feel guilty when you skip your weekend long run?

Are you still training, tapering, or going with the flow?

Malden Rotary 10K Recap

On March 24th, before the horror of going through my first home inspection in the house buying process (which on a sidenote is really so not cheap!) I ran a 10K.

Malden Rotary 10K is an annual race that’s held every year in my humble city that’s within the Boston Metro Area right off the subway =)

There’s also a 5K which is a lot more popular and by popular I mean 187 runners vs. 117 runners.

I woke up at 8AM, annoyed that the race didn’t start until 11:40. I have a deep hatred for late start races that break up your day and give you fours hours to eat crap before your run. By the way, in case you didn’t know; giant apple turnovers are not ideal pre-race fuel. Even if they’re homemade and even if you’re only running 6 miles.

I thought about doing a long 20 mile run and ending with the 10K but I wanted to race my friends so I stayed home and grazed to harvest that energy in my legs (or so I used as my excuse).

I had this silly idea that it was warm and sunny outside. 12 hours ago I was walking around in flip-flops and a dress; how much different could weather be a night later. Also, P.S. although it may look that way, I promise I do not live in a ski lodge!

I was so excited for this race that I convinced 5 other runners and nonrunners to sign up; 4 of which ran! I have a deep appreciation of local events. Tony skipped out because he wanted to be on time to our house inspection. I decided if I run fast enough, I can do both =).

Chris & Steph ran their first 10K with me and I think I have some serious local competition!

My two other friends ran the 5K. Because the 5K started 20 minutes after the 10K I missed seeing them pre-race. However, I saw Ana at the 3 mile mark where the 5Kers met the 10Kers before I kept running.

Being a local race, the organization was the not the greatest. There were two different start times 11:30 and 11:40 listed. The actual race started at 11:35 so to be safe we shivered a bit at the starting line. I ended up running with the Puma long sleeve the whole time with no regrets!

This is the number one reason why I love local races, besides the lack of driving, I can feel special! Two minutes short of first place and I kept up with that crazy fast girl for the first 3 miles and then I got lazy. Can you hit a wall at mile 3 if its a 10K? Steph finished right behind me! Last year I ran the same race in 51:34 so I can’t be too upset with a 7:30 minute improvement on a 6 miler.

After the 10K, the draining inspection and a much-needed shower, my night only got better. Tony’s parents took us all out for a belated Christmas present at Alfresco in Davis Square, Somerville. I got the seafood linguine cooked to perfection. None of the weird fishy after taste, no closed shells, just pure delicious perfection!

Sadly, there was no leftovers, but I still had plenty of room for desert! Especially when its homemade baklava.

Growing up ain’t easy…

When I was 16, I thought picking a college was the most complicated thing in the world.

When I was 20 I thought picking my first college job & finding an apartment was the most complicated thing in the world.

When I was 23, I thought quitting my job for a new job in a city I didn’t know I want to keep living in was complicated.

I’m 25 now and have reached a new definition of complication. B No, I’m not getting married, I’m not having a kid. B This is potentially a far greater commitment. B Buying a house.

Its terrifying! B It means giving up that dream of quitting my job to still go backpacking through South America, and Asia before its too late. B It means making my final implant into living in Boston, into living with Tony…

It means a lot more but mostly it means planting my feet further into adulthood. Am I ready for that? B Do I want to be? B I’ve always grown up fast. B Graduated high school at 16 and move out of my parents house, city and state to Boston. B Finished college at an age before I can legal hold a glass of champagne. B Those came more of necessity then want, but its just how things happened. B Now I’m in a position where I have to decide do I want this? B Am I ready to go into debt? B Am I ready to live in a house that is much more space then I need now nor intend to need in the next few years? B Do I want to beB committedB to something that will need constant fixing?

I love the house. B Correction I love the inside, but its an old Victorian from like 1890. B While the detail of it is beautiful; it was not maintained in the greatest way. B This house will require a lot of love, and by love I mean time and commitment. B Am I ready for a relationship with a house? B Am I ready to deal with a mortgage, real estate taxes, sewer fees, paint and all that fun that comes with a house.

Suddenly paying a condo fee in a cityB high-riseB doesn’t seem so bad.

Sorry for the off topic post but I had some things floating in my head I wanted to get out. B 10K results to follow!

Malden 10K

Twas a brisk chilly midday. B 10K crossed the finish line at some time around 43 minutes I think. B Waiting for official results!

Also, aside from being busy at work, I cut my run to just 10K because we’re home-buying! We did our inspection today and it was a bit frightening.

Anyone know of any good Victorian home renovation blogs/books etc. =)

Recovery Week Count down

Summary of workouts during “recovery week” post the Marathon debut

  • Monday 10 Mile Easy Run 9 min pace outside
  • Tuesday 10 Miles on handless Elliptical & 10 Mile easy run outside 8:38 pace
  • Wednesday Super busy work day but IB sneakedB in a 6 Miles Incline 3 horrible sticky treadmill run during lunch. 9:04 pace lots of walk breaks. B Did I mention that I hate humid runs! B Summer will be rough!
  • Thursday NOTHING, unless typing away is a workout
  • Friday Another sneaked in 6 Mile Runs at 3 Incline, 8:39 pace. B Much better, a lot less humid. B Keeping my fingers crossed for a Bikram workout.
I have a local 10K at 11:40AM onB Saturday. B Last year I ran it in 51:30, so I’m curious what a few months of marathon training will do to my 10K speed. B It’ll be humid, but 6.2 miles takes a lot less time then 26.2 =)

It’s been gorgeous the past few days in Boston!

But sadly due to a certain time of year, I’ve been seeing very little of the outside world.

I don’t actually see client anymore, but I still have the same deadlines.

At least on late workdays I get to expense dinner from Red Lantern. B Duck Buns! B Soooo good!

The rest of my dinner that got consumed in 10 minutes. B Duck buns, Salmon roll, cucumber salmon roll. B I’m becoming a speed demon when it comes to eating! B All these tax forms make me hungry =)

Jack hopes everyone has a Happy Run week!

2012 SunTrust Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Marathon Recap

On Saturday March 17th, 6:20 my alarm went off. I muttered a slur, rolled over and got up. 6:20 seemed to be a good compromise with a goal to leave the hotel at 7AM. My thoughts were; how much priming would a race require? If I wasn’t so nervous, I would have set my alarm for 6:40; if I didn’t have an insane fear of oversleeping.

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I made a list the night before. Wake up, brush teeth, sports bra, tank top, running skirt, socks, (yes, I’m that paranoid; I take no chances in forgetting to wear pants), yoga underwear (a few runs I would forget and lets just say that hours of running and lacy thongs don’t make the greatest experience for those areas.), remove all jewelry, headphones, metrocard, black tea (I need caffeine, but coffee makes my tummy unhappy if I’m running), sunblock (weather report said it was going to hit 75), bodyglide (I have never ran in this outfit before and wasn’t sure how some things would rub me. I was not impressed with bodyglide at all and will say more on it later), and most importantly two Immodium pills (Not to be gross, but I wasn’t sure how those empanadas from this place that was only one level up from a street food cart; eaten the night before would make out on a 26 mile run, and they certainly did not seem to want to make their way out when I woke up (I tried and I know I’m gross)

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I grabbed a full sized plain Pita Bread (secured the night before from Roti) to eat on the train. We made it out the house by 7Am and were set to arrive at the armory around 7:20. However, the metro decided to foil our plans. The train we were on broke down! We were stuck in a packed train full of runners for over 30 minutes. By the time i got out of the train it was 8:03. Tony went to bag check since we run at different paces. We made our goodbyes and I set out in search of the starting line. I knew Rock & Roll races were huge, I didn’t realize how huge… I was supposed to start in coral 4. I have never ran a race that had corals or this many runners. I was dumbstruck. There were 20 something corals, by the time I made it near the starting line coral 18 or something was starting. I was stuck in a swarm of slower runners. My body went into fight mode and I just felt the overwhelming need to get out of the crowd.

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I don’t know what took over me; but I just had this overwhelming need to get past the crowd so I pushed myself forward. At mile 2 the first hill came and I cringed a bit inside. However, somehow by mile 6 or 7; I found the 3:40 pace group. That was probably that only thing that kept me from cringing as the hill at mile 6-7 was greater than expected. My ultimate desire to get away from the swarm of sweating runners propelled me forward.

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I don’t remember which miles I drank water on. I know I tried Gatorade at one stop just to remind myself how nasty it is and stuck to water afterwards. I usually run 10-15 miles without water at home so during the race I only got water every third stop or so. However, when I do get water, I make a full stop, stand to the side and gulp it down before restarting my run. It takes a few extra seconds but is slightly more pleasant than running while drinking amist a sweat/drip of other runners.

Around mile 9, there was GU. I grabbed the first one I saw, some kind of orange flavor and took a small bit into my mouth. Not my favorite to say the least. My instinct was to spit it out (I don’t usually fuel on my run, I’m either hungry or not). I kept 1/3 of the pack in my mouth for it to slowly dissolved and chucked the rest of it to the side of the road. Around this time I decided it was a good idea to send some text messages/Facebook tweets while running.

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I finished the half at 1:38:30 which is a new unofficial PR for me compared to my 1:40 finish before. Yes, there was a giant hill at mile 13 as the half marathoners were wrapping up. No, it was not fun.

After the split-off the crowd got sparser and I felt more at ease. Runkeeper tried to convince me I was at a 7:05 pace. Clearly wrong since it also told me that I was 14 miles in.

Around mile 15 was where I started to lose interest in running. However, I still felt strong. I’m not sure but I think I was kicking it with a 7:35 or so pace. It was around this point where I had this crazy idea I can catch up to Skinny Runner. I was starting to feel real modest about myself. The fact that RunKeeper kept trying to convince me I was at a 7:06 min pace didn’t help my modesty as all.

Then mile 20 hit. I was at 2:31:46. Images of BQ flashed through my brain in a happy dance. But little did I know, this is where the course ran out of places for us to run through. We started doing this random half mile runs just to come back that same half mile. We ran up and down stupid highway ramps. I wanted to die.

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Lovely die face right there. At mile 21 there was a second Gu stop. This time I had a grape jelly one. I held onto it for about a mile, until I finally was able to force 1/3rd of the packet into my mouth. This one tasted much better, but still not that pleasant while running. The rest of the pack went to the trash.

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Then mile 24 came. My legs, my body, my mind all decided they had enough. I hit the infamous WALL at the bottom of another giant rolling hill. I was sick of the crappy route, I was sick of the highway ramps, sick of the rap bands (I thought it was rock n roll, not rap marathon?) giving me migraines. I started compromising myself. Jog 3 minutes, walk 1 minute, walk up hill, sprint downhill. Somehow, the two miles came to an end and I started to see the finish line. I tried to sprint, but my legs refused to go faster. I also didn’t realize that marathon and half had their own finish line. There was no one around me and I was convinced I ran on the wrong side of the finish line!

Confused, ultimately confused and yet somehow I made it. When I crossed the line, the clock said 3:31 or something like that. Never did I imagine that I could run the fast. I later found out that my net time was 3:24:15. I felt out of my element in a good way!

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Tony ran the half marathon which he enjoy. He finished in 1:58:37. His slowest time to date but still an awesome job for a nonrunner!

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At the finish line they had fake Greek yogurt, bagels, bananas, apples, snickers marathon bras, some other organic granola bars and chocolate milk. Definitely enough food to feed your hunger. One tip, if you’re running with friends, pick a meeting spot before the race. The phone signals were jammed and I couldn’t make a single phone call in the area after the race.

Overall, if you ran the half, the course was a lot of fun. Hills are fun! For the first 13 miles… afterwards not so much. You run by the capital, brush against the Mall, hear some tunes, hear the crowd and are constantly in a rush of runners. The second half gets a bit rough but overall was still a good race in my book. If you’re interested here’s the course map and elevation chart. Although I think the elevation chart is very deceiving as sometimes you go through several rolling hills in one mile!

Course Map

Elevation Chart

If you’re curious what I did after the race or the day before the race, here’s some recaps.

Washington DC Day One
Washington DC Day 2 Post Marathon

Recovery Runs and Recap of DC day 2

Monday workout: 10 miles 9min pace 8.5 outside 1.5 on ghetto home treadmill easy slow & flat

How long to recover and yet not lose a day of training is the pondering on my mind. B Although I skipped my regular lunch treadmill run, I knew I wasn’t going to complete the day without a run. B My legs got really stiff from sitting at a desk all day and I knew a recovery run would be a prefect remedy.

I did my usual route that goes up and down on a very mild incline. B Although the rise in elevation felt easy and almost pleasant, even a mild decline re-awoke the muscle soreness in my quads. B I ran, and my muscles cringed! I started my run around 6:50PM and it started to get dark pretty quick after 7:30 so I picked up my pace more than I wanted to. The idea of being a 5ft tall girls while running on the side of the woods in the dark wasn’t too comforting and I wanted to get back on the city streets as soon as possible.

I called it quits around mile 8.5 and ran into my house due to nature call. B How I went a whole marathon without the need to pee (Not even once before the start) is still a mystery to me. B I knew I wanted to finish at a 10 mile (I’m OCD remember) so I wrapped up the final 1.5 on the ghetto home treadmill for a solid 10 as the cat watched me. B Majority of my legs and the rest of my body felt refreshed; however, my quads are still catching up.

Anyways, although I am still overdue for a race recap (my computer is still with my friend whose fixing it) I figured I’ll catch up on what I did after the race. B 26.2 miles of running wasn’t enough. B I had 26.2 more miles to cover. There was still a whole lot of sightseeing to do, and friends to see.

Race-Shower-Recovery Fuel

Lunch was classy and at the hotel as showered and rested our legs and inhaled subway footlongs.

Italian BMT footlong each for him and her. B I tried to convince my friends that compression socks and flip-flops should be a new trend, but they told me to change.

We passed by Chinatown. B I always love the gates!

We walked by two cool sculpture parks that close way too early (5pm) near the mall

I’m not touching him I promise. B His ear looks a bit infected too. B Rabbit you should have that looked at.

This house was super cool because its made of two pieces of cardboard but depending on which angle you look at, it has multiple dimensions.


We continued down the mall

We got lucky, the Cherry blossoms made their way out two weeks early and we got to enjoy the perks of its beauty.

We took a short break to enjoy the peace of life at the Tidal Basin.

However; hunger eventually roared and we decided to slowly wobble out for food.  After much debate we agreed on El Chalan; a Peruvian restaurant.

I have a deep love for Peruvian food after spending almost 3 weeks in Peru (Best travel trip ever)

We started with ceviche – Fish cooked in spiced lemon juices

And some Pisco Sours – a signature cocktail with Pisco (a liquor) lemon/lime and eggwhite with a small touch of cinnamon

I ordered Arroz la Chiclayana, chicken on the bone with rice cooked inB cilantro, peaces andB pimentosB

B

Tony orderedB Lomo Saltado

Good butB alpacaB tastes better than beef =)

While we ate, the girls got serenaded

Overall we all had a wonderful meal and if I ever came to DC again, I might be coming back to El Chalan.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel. We walked to complete our added miles of the day, got dressed into something sexy, I calmed my hair (flat iron <3) and we went out on the town for the night life. I’ll spare you the drinking photos but I assure you it was fun =)