Posts tagged ‘13.1’

January 2, 2013

Hello, 2013. It’s a Pleasure to Meet You.

My birthday, the holidays and ringing in the new year has officially come and gone in the blink of an eye. What a whirlwind the last month or so has been! Ever since Vegas, I’ve been go, go, go. As you can see, blogging has been low on the priority list between all the celebrating, baking, working, ’tis the season shopping and wrapping. Welp, sue me. Let me get you up to speed. The night before my birthday, my nearest and dearest gathered at my apartment for chili, wine and Christmas cookies with tons of laughs in between, just what I wanted. Mike was out of town on business for my actual birthday and I may have had a mid-20 crisis/breakdown (ahem, when I say mid-20, I of course mean 23…), but luckily Emily came to the rescue for a quick sweat sesh and dinner at the new Tommy Bahama restaurant. Hey, it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to. Our meal was too good, as was the company (Em, her dad, Bob, and Bob’s girlfriend, Dianne). Live music, a tropical setting–I literally felt like I was on vacation–and birthday cake? Perfection. Thanks again! Mike made up for his absence the following day with a perfect-for-me dinner of salmon and roasted veggies over quinoa and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. I’m. So. Spoiled.

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Soon enough, it was Christmas. I headed back to Connecticut for good food, family and thoughtful gifts (13.1 was a common theme!) with new traditions and a new stove…FYI the holidays are never a good time for a stove malfunction but luckily, ours went on the fritz the day before Christmas Eve. Plenty of time to scramble and get a new one, right? 2012 had its fair share of ups and downs. I was in and out of New York interning, cruised with some of my bests for spring break, graduated from UConn, mourned the loss of two family members, enjoyed a summer of a whole lot of nothing, moved into Manhattan with my boyfriend of 5 years and started my dream career. I ran [my first] two half marathons, tackled a Tough Mudder and ran up the mountain I’ve skied down since I was a tot. I went dairy and gluten-free after suffering from tummy troubles for years. Fellow recent grads can probably relate when I say that this has been a weird limbo chapter of my life but certainly an exciting one. I’ve embraced city living more than I ever had expected although I still all too often find myself retreating to my comfort zone. This year, I need to start living, as I’ve put it. I have an itch to explore, learn and try new things. I have set an ambitious goal of six half marathon races this year, I want to get my spin on (SoulCycle every other week with my old roomie, Allie, why not!?) and have decided my body needs yoga again. Like desperately. Oh, and I have already signed up for another obstacle mud race in the summer. I never thought I’d say that. If 2012 has taught me anything, it is to be grateful for all that I have, appreciate loved ones and be patient, for hard work always pays off in the end. So cheers to 2012 but boy am I glad to start fresh this year. Let’s do it.
What fit goals/resolutions do you have set for 2013?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

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April 19, 2012

I Run For ______.

I have always considered myself an athlete but never a “runner.” Runners enjoy long distances, eat energy chews or gels and pay a boatload of money to participate in what many consider hell. After completing my first half-marathon, however, I guess I have earned the title I’ve always held on a pedestal. With 13.1 now under my belt and a few days of rest to allow for my adrenaline levels to balance out, I’ve been mulling over the excitement Sunday offered. I feel so accomplished and learned quite a bit I’d love to share with you. Here are 10 half-marathon tips from a first timer’s point of a view. Enjoy some of the mouthwatering meals I’ve been fueling up on, too! I’m on an edamame hummus, canned salmon and seeds/nuts kick, as you can see…

10. I Run For _____. This was the quote that was plastered to a racer’s back that I ran behind for a good chunk of my race. It stuck with me and gave me goosebumps as I mentally prepared a bullet list of “why’s.” Yes, you set the goal but why are you putting yourself through this? What’s the reason behind the struggle, the pain, the buzzing of that 6 a.m. alarm? Reflecting on what has motivated me to make this commitment not only kept my mind going, it reminded me of the reasoning behind the madness. I haven’t been too vocal on this touchy subject but I currently have two family members battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. It’s been hard on my family as a whole, especially already having lost loved ones to this disease, but it has served as a huge wakeup call. I’m in control of my body, my health, my well-being and can help myself for the future. Running and the regimen I followed was a way to dedicate myself to a fit, strong and healthy lifestyle, while serving as an outlet for the stress this crazy last semester has presented. It was a goal that kept me going, fighting and committed to other aspirations, too. So set a “why.” Whatever it may be, let this understanding propel you forward whenever doubt stands in your way.
9. Know your body and listen. Working your way up in mileage is no cake walk so naturally you’re going to be sore and there is potential for injury. If you feel a tweak, continue with caution and don’t be ashamed if you need to take a day or two off. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry! Stretch, ice, stretch some more and take pain relievers, if necessary. Schedule a doctor’s appointment, of course, if the issue continues or worsens.
8. Be ready, even if it seems neurotic. The night before the race I was nervous, excited, scared and uber prepared. Laying out your running ensemble, iPod, bib number, SPIbelt, etc. will save you from any unnecessary stress in the morning. Bring tissues or toilet paper because porter potties will be stripped by the end of the race or maybe sooner!
7. The early bird catches the worm—and scores sweet freebies. I’m a stickler, ok borderline overzealous, when it comes to time. Get to both the expo and race early so you can grab awesome gift bags full of goodies and not have to wait in lines. I mean, you don’t want to tucker yourself out the day before the race standing around or plowing through crowds. The less anxiety, the better.
6. Hydrate. Fuel. Hydrate. Fuel. Hydrate. Fuel. Get it? Got it? Good.
5. Stick to your norm. Don’t try anything fancy or different just because 13.1 is looming in the immediate future. You know how your body reacts to certain foods, caffeine, sleep, etc. so keep it balanced the week or so leading up to the race. With that being said, forget about the energy gels, beans, chews, etc. if you haven’t been using them before. (A special thanks to Sam for lending me this advice! I would have been WORSE in the tummy trouble department if it weren’t for her!)
4. Don’t second guess yourself. You can do this! 13.1 sounds daunting but after all the conditioning, strengthening and time you devoted to this goal, you have to trust your abilities. To make the course less intimidating, break it down into manageable distances and celebrate every mile marker. When I got to 10, for example, the three remaining miles seemed like nothing and totally doable!
3. Pace yourself and don’t think about it. As Amanda put it before the race, “We’re just going for a casual jog in the park. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a typical long run day.” Over-thinking a race will trigger nerves and God knows what else. The finish line isn’t going anywhere so start slow and work up your pace. There’s always time to take it up a notch! Having a running buddy and a playlist full of inspiring beats also helps with this.
2. Race Shirt Swag. I read somewhere before my race that wearing the race shirt before you complete it has some bad “joo joo.” Earn it before you sport it and wear it with just as much pride as the metal itself! Note to self: have one of my “cheerleaders” hang onto it at the end of the race so I can shed the sweaty top for post-race pictures.
1. Enjoy and celebrate your success. Like I mentioned, I didn’t break the time I wanted. Who cares? It was my first race, I worked my butt off for months and I crossed the finish line. Be proud and know that tomorrow’s another day, with many races in the future.


What do you run for?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

April 16, 2012

I Did It!

It’s still sinking in that I accomplished the 13.1 mile goal I set for myself months ago. Long cold runs in the snow and rain, healthy eating, hard work and dedication all l lead up to one race. 2 hours and 10 minutes through Central Park. Amanda came in early Saturday afternoon and after dropping off her stuff at Mike’s apartment, the three of us headed toward the More/Fitness Magazine Health & Wellness Expo to gather our race numbers and gear. A hot pink SPIbelt and matching Sparkly Soul headbands were purchased before we wandered along the High Line, where we casually bumped into (Amanda literally sort of did…) Cameron Diaz. No big deal. Love her! We worked up an appetite after a few hours of exploring so grabbed salads, alongside some groceries (all for $10.49 somehow!) for dinner later on before heading back to sit out on Mike’s balcony and relax. Countless Nalgenes-full of water later, we got started with our night-before-the-race feast, an energizing spread of grilled chicken, eggplant, peppers and broccoli with roasted parsnips and sweet potato. We were hungry. Before we knew it, it was time to catch some z’s in preparation for the big day. 5:30 a.m. came too soon. I didn’t feel right and had barely slept. Coffee, scrambled eggs and an apple with soy nut butter were consumed but still something was off. I chalked it up to nerves. Amanda and I caught a cab to Columbus Circle and we walked to the starting area where we met up with Em. We worried about a few raindrops, were corralled into place and before I could blink (although in reality it was over an hour later…), the race started.

 It wasn’t easy and I hate to use the word “disappointed” because for goodness sake I ran 13.1 miles, what’s there to complain about? But what got me down on myself was the fact that after doing everything right from eating, stretching and hydrating days prior to the hours of training I had endured in preparation, I never would have guessed a stomach issue would prop up. The first three miles were all smiles. I had goosebumps, soaking in the sunshine and aroma of everything in bloom while my adrenaline rushed with each stride. Things were fine and I felt strong, in fact, all the way until mile 7, when my churning stomach hit. It wasn’t nerves, something else was wrong. A full 24+ hours later, I’m still not back to my normal self. Regardless, I’m proud that I had the mental toughness to push through those “uncontrollables” to cross that finish line. I feel accomplished running farther than ever before and strength-wise, I could have kept going! Moreover, I’m positive that I would have reached my under 2 hour goal if it wasn’t for this bug (or whatever it is). It was tough to have been moping at the finish line, though, especially with my crew of cheerleaders there. I can’t even put into words what it meant to have had my parents, boyfriend and best friend waiting for me. Seeing my dad poking his head out, urging me to push it the last few strides made my eyes tear up and my legs fly. I’m honestly still a whirlwind of emotions and cannot get over the amount of love, support, encouraging texts, tweets and sweaty hugs I have received. I’m truly one of the luckiest people in the world and cannot thank everyone enough for celebrating this with me. The popular question has been, “So now what?” Well, I’m nuts, stubborn (in a competitive way) and always looking toward the future with some goal in mind so naturally I have my eye on the next race. I have about 2 months to recover and prove to myself I can hit that 2 hour mark without tummy troubles. Wish me luck!
Have you ever been frustrated after a race? 

Sprinkled with Sweat (er, I mean Love),
Lauren

February 21, 2012

Instagramed Intern Fuel

Peanut butter, coffee, salad, repeat. Oh and a few restless hours of shut eye thrown in here and there. That’s what I’ve been running (literally!) on lately.

The spring semester of your senior year is supposed to be cinch. I mean it’s called “senioritis” for a reason, right?! Yeah, about that…

Mine has been anything but easy thus far but I can’t complain. The career-boosting, educational pros outweigh the tiresome cons. And then some. The good news is only TWO WEEKS stand between me and spring break. Let the countdown begin. I can’t wait to be cruisin’ through the Caribbean with nothing but a bottle of tanning lotion (spf 15, of course), a tiny bikini and a good book. Add in a refreshing beverage of some sort and you have one grinning, soon-to-be graduating gal! 

To compensate for my lack of Thursday/Friday “college life,” I’ve been eating a lot of good food. Dining out and trying new cuisine truly is my kind of weekend…I can’t feel guilty with providing my body the fuel it needs for training and commuting! My friend Laura and I checked out a new place a town over from us called Mad Gourmet, which I can’t rave enough about. Braised kale and beet greens stew with cannelli beans and grilled chicken? Someone just found the way to this foodie’s heart. I’m already thinking about what I’m going to try next!


My training is one of the few things that has remained consistent and strong ever since I made the 13.1 commitment. I’m so proud of how far I’ve already come and am glad that I have this one “constant” to keep me going. Only seven weeks until the big day!

I had to give you a little taste of the healthy meal I whipped up Saturday night. Powered by proteins, wrapped up in lettuce, this dish is going to blow you away. Save the drooling for when the post goes up hopefully today or tomorrow…it’s midterms week over here! Ew, bleh, gross. I know.

Ha, had to end on this note. I guess it’s time to do laundry when toe socks are all you have left. Injinjis are great, though, I do admit. Just take a little time to get used to.
What have you been running on? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren