In the Name of Love: a Gala, a Mocha, and a Mile

While this story does not involve a race it does envelope the essence of what has inspired me to start this blog. As I mentioned, my affection for running developed in conjunction with my long-distant relationship with my beau. In an attempt to make the most out of our quality time, despite group outings we try to steal moments just for us. New Year’s Eve weekend was a perfect combination of lovers, lobbies, and lounges.

—- A Gala —-

It started with the 2018 Black Tie New Year’s Eve Gala hosted by the International Club D.C.! I’ve attended this phenomenal event the last two years … and let me tell you … for a little over $100 my ticket got me a 10:30pm entry, multiple ballrooms with different genres of music, open bars in each room, and yummy (like my inner fat girl almost lost her damn mind, yummy) international desserts. Mannn listen, if it weren’t for making sure my belly didn’t bulge in my dress this girl would’ve hung out with the desserts all night. Eh, um, I digress … oh yes … there’s also champagne and a balloon drop at midnight in a couple of the rooms. It’s really a no fuss occasion and a perfect event to get all decked out in a beautiful cocktail dress and suit (despite the name, the dress code is “black tie optional, cocktail attire requested”).


We celebrated with a group of friends … occasionally our posse would ride out from one room to the other to check out the live bands, the DJs, or spend some time in the Karaoke room. Umm, yeah so… friends shouldn’t let friends sing drunk … EVER … just sayin’. Anyway … all in all, this event holds a special place in my heart because it’s like time stands still as I share a special moment with my beau … the count down from 10 -> 9 -> 8 -> 7 … the anticipation … 3 -> 2 -> 1… the “Happy New Year!” that rings throughout the room with such excitement … and then we share a kiss (or two) … ahhh … it’s so romantic. We had sooo much fun and made wonderful memories with our group of friends – some of which were recorded … and for a small fee will disappear forever … I’m totally kidding!.

—- A Mocha —-

After departing the hotel (more on that in another blog) we relied on our trusty google maps for nearby options for breakfast. I woke up in the mood for some damn bacon (I love bacon, not that damn turkey stuff, REAL bacon). So we found two options, the first (the DINER) was a few miles from the hotel. Unfortunately, there was a 35 minute wait (did I mention that I was hungry which is nearly synonymous with hangry). So we turned on our heels enroute to the second option. However, walking along the sidewalk back to the car, we noticed the Tryst Coffee House that conveniently had a menu displayed on a stand outside. My beau asked “do you wanna try this place?” as we both hastily inventoried the menu — personally, I was looking for two things (1) was it still serving breakfast and (2) was there an option for bacon? We both decided it was a good choice.

The moment we walked in, I was intrigued by the set up … instead of boring tables set in a uniformed manner, my eyes danced around the room noticing families and friends sitting on sofas, love seats, at kitchen nooks, country tables, or bar stools. There was no question it was a “seat yourself” kind of place. We quickly spotted two stools at the bar. It wasn’t long before a very casually dressed waiter greeted us with menus and a smile. He quickly took our drink order (a mocha for me and a latte for him). After that, my beau and I played the “what are you thinking about ordering game”… he has a gut of steal and can easily opt for something like the Breakfast Burrito (with bacon … yup, that’s my man). Despite my burning desire for bacon, The Nina looked really delicious. Once we placed our orders, I went back to surveying the room … my beau and I both noticed how eclectic the patrons were. I sat there for a while, then I exclaimed, “hey, this set up kinda reminds me of the cafe in Friends” (neither of us could remember the name) … then I added very matter of factly, “only, there’s more black people here … and other folks for that matter,” he smiled and agreed.

Out came our coffees accompanied by two animal crackers on the saucers! I don’t care how old you are … animal crackers tug at everyone’s inner two year old! That was hands down the best mocha I’ve tasted … now, I say that as an average bear … not some highfalutin coffee connoisseur (so please, lower your brow and put your pinky down … you know who you are), but Tryst (unbeknownst at the time, is known for their coffee).


About Tryst

Wanna Know More about Tryst?

Then came our food … have you ever recalled something that tasted so good that you’ve contemplated making the trek for another serving? Yeah, my Nina cuddled up with kettle chips was “I’m not gonna talk to you right now, much less offer you a taste,” kinda good. We both bit into our meals with an approving “Mmmmm!” It was delightful … I eventually offered him some … but … by then he was full (timing is everything, isn’t it).

—- A Mile —-

Speaking of timing, our intent that morning was to grab breakfast and then take a trip to the Washington Monument to ceremoniously culminate our Amerithon Challenge by walking the last mile to the Washington Monument. We had our medals in tow and I was so happy that my beau (the sentimental one in this duo) came up with the idea. Okay listen, it was COLD as —– that morning. Yet, we found parking, gathered our medals, and the Garmin watch. Quickly snatching off one glove, he set it to “walk,” pushed “start,” and then we scurried through the parking lot, braving the wind and the bitter cold, as we walked the distance to the Monument. If it weren’t so friggin cold, I probably would have shed a tear. It was so monumental (pun totally intended) to finish this race and complete this challenge with him!


Team Love is Bliss


Run/Walk/Swim/Crawl the Distance

Tis the season to self-reflect. If you’re like the general public, you may have thought about signing up for a virtual challenge as a source of motivation. In 2017, I participated in two challenges: I Love to Run’s 1,000 miles in 2017 challenge, and Run the Edge’s Amerithon Challenge. Now, both of these challenges encourage you (or a team) to run, bike, swim, or walk your way to accomplishing your goals (heck, there was no way I was running 1,000 miles in 2017). The Amerithon Challenge doesn’t have a set time for completion – it’s totally up to you. My beau and I, aka “Team Love is Bliss,” started on 4 July 2016 (took us about 17 months).

Comparatively Speaking …

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The I Love to Run 2017 and the Amerithon Challenge Medals

Bling: The Amerithon Challenge medal is AWESOME … you actually add pieces as you progress. I ordered the “get it all” package which comes with a map, badges to add to your “passport,” as well as the medal. There’s also a “finisher shoe” that comes with this baby. In all fairness, the 2017 I Love to Run medal was smaller than the 2016 medal, and judging from the website, I believe the 2018 version is going back to the previous size (2017 left much to be desired).

Navigating the Website: The Amerithon Challenge’s website was easier to navigate (via cellphone and computer). There were less clicks to log my miles on a regular basis. However, I Love to Run’s website synched with the MapMyRun app, so as long as the “synch my accounts” function worked … presto!

Milestones for Motivation: Hands down, the Amerithon Challenge provided daily motivation by counting down the miles to the next milestone, providing stickers to put in your passport, and sending emails commemorating your milestone. However, I Love to Run does offer inspirational articles and posters on its website. You can also purchase a pretty cool visual calendar.

Price: Both of these virtual challenges give you options so you can get the most out of your goal. For example, on I Love to Run, you can opt to run 1,000 miles; 1,500 miles; or 2,000 miles in the year OR run/walk/exercise 100 days in the year. With the Amerithon Challenge you can opt to purchase the basic, deluxe, or “get it all” package.

New Year, New Challenge!

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Team “Love is Bliss” has begun our challenge!

This year, “Team Love is Bliss” has signed up for the Run the Year 2018 Challenge we are beyond excited to log 2,018 miles by the end of the year. So, here’s to finding challenges and committing to a better version of yourself! Go hard in the paint!