Monday, April 23, 2012

10K Recap - 1:06

We did it!  10K.  6.25 miles.  Done.

Our day started at the crack of dawn and by 5:30 AM we were waking up on a bus playing loud Dominican rap and highly inappropriate music videos.  A couple hours later we were in Santiago, and in true island time, the event started at least an hour after its scheduled start time, allowing for the sun to fully come out and shine down upon us tired and sweaty runners.  

The Start & Finish Line
The race was much harder than I thought it would be!  I wasn't expecting the majority of the race to be uphill, and especially not the final stretch!  The whole run I thought to myself, Positive energy, Tia, just think to yourself that you're actually enjoying this, because I honestly felt like death!  I grabbed the water and Gatorade at every chance I got and poured the majority of both over my head.

The best part was about halfway through when we passed by a man at the foot of his driveway with a hose.  I ran toward him at full speed with arms flailing - he probably thought I was going to run him over - but sure enough he hosed me down with water.  I began the second half sopping wet; its a miracle that my iPod and earphones still work!

Before & After
Its funny how races work.  The whole time I couldn't wait for it to be over, but now that its over I look forward to doing it again.  Why do we love the pain?!  Beats me.

Right after the finish line - Not my prettiest moment
Our 15K is in one month.  
I'll try and remember to smile and look happy upon completion!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A 10K

We signed up and we may be crazy.  Tomorrow morning we'll be taking a bus to the city of Santiago (home of yaroa!) to participate in a 10K with thousands of other runners.  Why should this make us crazy?  Because it means we are waking up at 4:45 AM on a Sunday morning - our only day to sleep in - only to run 6.1 miles in a very hilly and disgustingly hot city!  I've been feeling low on energy today but I believe that the scenery of a new place and the race day adrenaline will be enough to get me past the finish line.  Plus, since this distance fits perfectly in our 15K training, it should be a breeze, right?...  Right.

Now its down to the last minute decisions:
Shorts or running pants?
Breakfast or something light?
To set a time goal or to run freely?

Thoughts?  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Today I came across this video on A Blog About Love.  I admire this 14 year old girl so much!  Since I've already watched it twice, I thought I would share.  Watch it when you have 4.5 minutes to spare!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Memories from the weekend:

After a 5 mile run on Friday night, we met friends at Barriga Llena.  I replenished by eating this whole casserole dish of yaroa - a Dominican version of "loaded fries".  Always hits the spot.

After dinner we went to the drive-through bar.  I never thought I'd be saying that.  No worries, we didn't drink and drive, instead we sat on their patio listening to the many cars blasting reggaeton pass through the drive-thru..  Awesome live music, haha.

On Saturday morning we went to a tiny bakery/cafe that we discovered on FourSquare.  We both had croissants filled with cream cheese and guayaba.  Lately I'm loving anything guayaba, it tastes like a sweet berry jam.  On Saturday night we saw This Means War and it was the funniest movie I've seen in a really long time!  Highly recommended.

This was our view on the way to the beach on Sunday.  Doesn't the water just make you want to jump in?  Instead of buying a beach chair, we plopped ourselves under a palm tree.  I tweeted that our biggest stress of the day was deciding where to sit so that we wouldn't get knocked out by a falling coconut.

On Sunday night, we went to Formosa, my favorite bubble tea place.  They were out of bubbles!  So we tried their hielo fino {shaved ice}.  Imagine a creamy snow cone (probably made with evaporated milk) covered with fresh ripe mango and strawberries..  Delicious!

Hope your weekend was just as nice.  Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Happiness Lesson

{from The Power}
It would appear that I'm on a self help/happiness quest lately because I've read The Secret, The Happiness Project, and The Power all within the last two months.  It doesn't take a genius to understand their common message:  

Change your thoughts and you'll change your world; 
Show gratitude and you'll feel happy, 
Feel happy and more happy things will come your way.

So, to show gratitude, these are some things I'm loving right now:

the Flinstones bookshelf in my living room

hearing this song on the radio - even though its in Portuguese

my - only slightly sore - legs that are surviving the 15k training

the company of my trusty iPhone everywhere I go

the endless palm trees I get to see all day long

my new yoga classes

the good laugh I had today when all my employees laughed at me because I told them they couldn't drink alcoholic coffee drinks on the job.

the two rainbows I watched during my evening run - I thought of gold, boyfriend thought of Skittles. 

Be grateful.  It will benefit you in more ways than one!

Source Unknown

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Simple Life

We spent Easter weekend in a typical country casita (little home) made of wood in Jarabacoa.  Boyfriend's sister, her fiancĂ©, boyfriend, and I relaxed all weekend, listening to the gushing water of the nearby river, roosters or crickets (depending on the hour of the day), and the heavy downpour of rain splashing against our tin roof - there was always perfect background noise for our mid-day naps.

Washing dishes with a headlight
As expected in el campo, we only had the luxuries of running water and electricity about half the time, so we made due by taking baths in the river.  I even washed my hair by standing in the rain, and I absolutely loved it.

We spent our time playing games like Phase 10 and Domino (a popular Dominican past time), watching movies, listening to music, and when we we felt extra motivated, we hiked halfway up a mountain that had what felt like an 80% incline!  The views of the very green landscape were definitely worth the sore legs we all had on Sunday. 

Surrounded by GREEN
The weather was chilly for us, so we ate lots of warm comfort food like homemade lasagna, potato casseroles, and toasty ham & cheese sandwiches.  We drank rum mixed with fresh coconut water - a much better version of coconut rum!

It baffles me how different of a lifestyle people have while living so relatively close to the capital.  I keep thinking of The Hunger Games and how the characters felt when arriving in the developed futuristic capital after growing up in their more primitive district - I wonder if Santo Domingo provokes these same feelings for many local visitors? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Peep-less Easter

This week is Semana Santa, the Holy Week, the most religious week of the year!  Over the next few days the churches will be brimming with people and activities, but outside the church, Easter feels almost non-existent.

When I think of Easter I think of pastel colored eggs, Easter bunnies, and chocolate-filled scavenger hunts.  So of course the American in me wanted to give boyfriend an Easter basket full of all the goodies I had growing up as a kid.  I had zero luck with gifting this idea.  Not even chocolate Easter eggs can be found here.  And no Peeps?!  Where's the Easter fun for kids??

I ended up buying A random candy that you would find at the grocery store checkout - a Snickers, LifeSavers, Starbursts, gummies, the works.  My makeshift Easter basket?  A stapled piece of white printer paper.  Its the thought that counts, right?

Easter is the busiest travel time of the year for Dominicans.  Most head out to the beach, but we are spending the weekend in Jarabacoa (where we went canyoning), one of the coldest places in the DR.  I'm looking forward to the slight temperature drop because all of my warmest clothing will finally get some wear time! {think: quarter length tops and some jeans}  

How are you spending Easter?  What are your Easter traditions?

Thursday, April 5, 2012


After countless months of a completely uninterested boyfriend, I finally convinced him to try yoga.  We were recommended a very affordable yoga studio by a friend of his, and on Tuesday night we attended our first class.  We've signed up for one month of yoga (two classes weekly) and I couldn't be more pleased!

I've dabbled in yoga over the years, but have mostly only attended classes offered at the gym.  What a difference it makes when you go to a class at a real yoga studio!  Our studio offers various types of yoga and has classes of different lengths - we are able to attend whichever classes we want.  

Reasons This Makes Me Happy: 
1.  Yoga does wonders for the body - physically and mentally.
2.  Yoga is the perfect way to balance our 15K training.
3.  I've been out of the classroom for what feels like an eternity, and so I'm excited to participate in a class again and learn something new.
4.  I can tell boyfriend I told you so in a month from now when he's completely fallen in love with our new hobby.

I already can't wait for our next class!  Try something new.  Its refreshing. 


Monday, April 2, 2012

What the Weekend Looked Like

On Saturday night we were offered free VIP tickets to an Enrique Bunbury concert.  What?  You have never heard of him?  Don't worry, I hadn't either, which is why I was completely astounded by the hundreds of mega fans belching out every word of his lyrics. 

To be honest, I hadn't wanted to go, I was so looking forward to a big Italian dinner with A.  But it turns out I was pleasantly surprised by this flame-suit-wearing, Shirley Temple-haired Spanish man that looked like a performing Brady Bunch kid.  His music was a combination of pop, rock, and country; and I loved that there was so much variety from song to song. 

On Sunday we did end up having that big Italian meal for lunch.  Boyfriend had a rich seafood risotto tinted by squid ink - love those - and I had an eggplant pomodoro tagliatelle dish covered in fresh mozzarella {perfect Monday left overs}.  After, we lounged around A's parents' house and I snacked on these tart mini cherries from el campo - they tasted like mini red peppers!  Boyfriend snacked on marshmallows {opposites attract}.