Posts tagged ‘Half-Marathon’

December 8, 2012

Vegas (According to Instagram)

The past week or so has been a blur–especially with the time change/travel–and although I got back from my Vegas adventure Monday, I have yet to unpack. My apartment is a mess, I’m behind on all of my favorite shows and haven’t read a single blog, let alone blog myself. So let’s rewind. Last Friday started off er, well…interesting. I guess “an adrenaline rush” would summarize my trip to the airport. My reserved car service never arrived, I went to the wrong airport (how you mix up Newark from LaGuardia, I couldn’t tell you…) and I paid over $200 in cab fare to make up for my blonde moment from hell. I learned my lesson so I guess something good came out of the whole thing but still, I’m not made of money! I considered that my “loss” in Vegas. That’s right, who doesn’t hit the slot machine or play a little black jack in the gambling capital of the world? This girl. It could have been worse. Somehow I made it my flight with time to spare and, after treating myself to a blissful holiday cup of red eye perfection, I boarded my flight. Phew! Four hours and three friends later (25D, 25E and a fellow racer), I landed in Sin City. Watch out, lame soon-to-be 23-year-old coming through! (NOTE: birthday countdown = 9 days. Ew. Let’s not talk about it.) 

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Remember my friend Chelsea? She met me and my parents out there, how freaking awesome is that? The now brunette has been living in Cali since this past summer–tough life, I know–and brought a whole lot of fun to the trip. First item of business? Bury Grandma. No, I’m not joking. My mom carried her on the plane (yes, United Airlines was aware and yes, this is what she wanted…to be laid to rest out there with her late husband) in a lunch box. Burial? Half-marathon? What kind of Vegas trip was this? Not your typical one, that’s for sure. Need another example? Chel and I had fully intended on hitting the Strip like normal people our age a few nights (she even brought me club appropriate ensembles, since clearly my J. Crew wardrobe wouldn’t cut it) but we never made it out past 11:30. We preferred our luxurious Imperial Place hotel room, I mean Palace…ahem, please note the sarcasm. (The first “a” in “Palace” no longer lights up outside of the construction site. Little did my mother know that when she booked it. “But the photos online looked so nice!” Yeah, mom. That’s what the place will look like in a few months.) Anywho, more to come on my second half-marathon and all…I just can’t think straight at the moment. It’s officially the holiday season! Holy craziness.
Have you ever been to Vegas?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

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October 23, 2012

Get Muddy or Die Trying

Yesterday I crossed another fit feat off my bucket list: a Tough Mudder. Just wanted to give you a head’s up that I survived…well, barely. Looking back, it was a great adventure and one that I’m incredibly proud of but let me tell you, it was tough and COLD. Every time I took the plunge into muddy water, I couldn’t help but think about a hot shower and big bowl of Pumpkin Chili. So that’s exactly what I did when I got home from the Jersey obstacle course of hell…I somehow found enough energy to whip up a homemade batch of heaven. Recipe to come! Believe me, you’re going to want to check it out and make a pot-full for yourself. Super tasty!

In other news, exactly six weeks from now I will be on a flight home from finishing my second half marathon. Remember? Let the training begin…although I started it off today with a much-needed recovery day. My battle wounds needed some major downtime. Can you blame me?
Have you completed an adventure race?

Sprinkled with Love and currently covered in ice packs,
Lauren

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 13, 2012

Fitspiration Friday

At this time in two days I will have completed my first half-marthon. The journey hasn’t been easy. Early alarms could have easily been snoozed, the dreadful commute from school to New York City ever week could have easily prevented me from sticking to my routine but all in all, I powered through it. My diet has never been cleaner, my legs are stronger than ever and I have honestly never been as proud of myself. This race has come at a pivotal moment in my life, as I can hear Pomp and Circumstance play faintly in the distance and prepare to conclude this chapter to start anew. Besides the incredibly supportive and encouraging individuals I have in my life, I’ve had a few mantras that have catapulted me forward in pursuit of my goal. Here are some words that helped me get my butt in gear 

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go.” Patti Sue Plummer
“Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it.” Oprah Winfrey
“Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’ The answer is usually: ‘Yes.'” Paul Tergat
“The most powerful lesson you can learn in running? You’re capable of much more than you think.” Runners World
“I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.” Arthur Blank
“He who conquers others is strong, he who conquers himself is mighty.” Lao Tsu
“Failure’s not an option. It’s a step.” Nike
“Run hard, be strong, think big!” Percy Cerutty
“I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality and the last part with your heart.” Mike Fanelli
“Anything is possible, but you have to believe and you have to fight.” Lance Armstrong 

Tomorrow afternoon Amanda will be headed into the city so we can go to the Health & Wellness Expo and check in. I have to pick up a new running top (I’ve had my eyes set on this) and finally invest in a SPIbelt, too, along the way. Come on, I have to LOOK the part, too, right? Walking around will be a nice way to loosen up and a lot of stretching will be a must. Amanda and I already have a big, protein-powered dinner planned alongside an early bedtime, of course. I can’t wait and still get get over the fact that this weekend is already here! So surreal. T-minus 2 days. Let’s do this thing!
Any last minute half-marathon tips? How about fitspiring beats for my race playlist? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

April 9, 2012

Eastergrams

Hey there! Hope you all had an amazing holiday weekend! Mine was low-key, full of seafood (as you’ll soon see…) and was pretty good fitness-wise, if I do say so myself. Saturday morning Amanda and I ran from her house down to the water, a 6-mile jog with a solid, average pace of 9:30. I stretched out yesterday morning with a power vinyasa yoga class, yet struggled the entire time with my balance. I was kind of off but I guess that’s what you get when you pick fitness over church…I’m a bad person. With my race now just days away (I can’t believe it…my 15-week training flew by!), I’ve been trying to load up on fuel. Here’s a look at some recent eats and foodie adventures.

After interning Thursday night, I met up with Mike and his dad for a lovely, impromptu dinner at the famous Sardi’s in Time Square. I got the Seafood Cobb Salad, which was delish and really hit the spot! The crab meat was so fresh and I thoroughly enjoyed the calamari, even though I have been too scared to of it in the past. Something about thoe tentacles freaked me out…

Because of the holiday, I got out of work early afternoon Friday and headed home with Mike. We hit the gym and later met up with my gal pal, Bre, and her boyfriend for a double date at one of my favorite restaurants, the Guilford Bistro. It’s always fun to go out with fellow foodies! 

I ordered my usual, the Mediterranean Salad with Grilled Salmon. I love how the peppery flavor of arugula and bitter endive complements the sweetness of roasted red peppers and homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Three bottles of wine and too many football stories later, we proudly shut down the place. Bre and I were ecstatic how well our guys got along and guess what Mike and AJ? We’re already planning where we’re headed for our next date night!

Saturday was a lazy day. After my jog, I met with a friend for coffee and headed for an unsuccessful outlet shopping trip later in the afternoon with Mike. How adorable, I mean incredibly masculine and handsome, are his new Sperrys? Although I have two papers due this week, senior events for my sorority and an assortment of other things on my agenda, I got nothing accomplished. Oopsies…

With my sister not home this year for Easter, the dynamic was a little different. Like I mentioned, I went to yoga in the morning instead of church…I blame it on the fact that the Easter Bunny brought me new running shots and a yoga mat. After I got back, my parents and I did got in the spring cleaning mode, keeping busy before our stomachs began to rumble for brunch. Brunch was healthy and tasty, consisting of salmon with roasted brussels sprouts, onions and sweet potatoes. I guess I have started to rub off on them, huh? I’m off to tackle a paper or two due this week! Lots to catch up on, as you could imagine. Official race count down: 6 days. Let’s go!
What did you eat for your holiday meal this weekend? 

Sprinkled with 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

January 31, 2012

Week 1

My first week of training went extremely well, especially considering my circumstances. I was up at school Monday through Wednesday, had my first two days at my internship Thursday and Friday then headed home Friday evening to head up to Vermont for a weekend on the slopes.

Although I was a little sore from pushing myself to the limit, I felt energized and empowered to keep up the good work. Until Sunday night. Somewhere along the line I must have caught some kind of bug because shortly after my 5 mile run, the stomach pain set in. Today is day two of flu-like symptoms and, of course, rest.

I feel pretty awful but what makes matters worse is the fact that my new Mizuno running sneaks been staring at me from across the room, begging me to take them for a spin. Aren’t they gorgeous? I can’t wait to break them in, once I regain my strength and appetite…

Until then, I’ll be plopped on the couch, alternating between the t.v. and The Hunger Games. Yup, I gave in…and don’t regret it one bit. Hopefully I’ll recover from the plague soon. I can’t deal with this much downtime!
What makes you feel better when you’re sick? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

January 24, 2012

Inspired

Some of my earliest memories running were with my father. I used to ride my bike alongside him as he jogged a 3-mile loop around our neighborhood. After gaining strength and working to increase my distance, I began joining him in my early teens. We’ve been running partners ever since, pushing one another regardless of the weather or terrain. The roads around the place I’ve called home since I was six are curvy, the miles of wooded area gets to be monotonous and the hills are, well they’re hills! Although dreadful to endure, the most important running (and arguably life) lessons I have learned are from my experience with these steep obstacles.

I must have been around 13. It was early in our run and we were half-way through the daunting hill that I always try to avoid. I studied my dad with my peripheral vision as I listened to him guide me with each stride. “Lift your knees. Let your legs and butt do the work,” he said. “Relax your upper body and breathe.” When we got to the top and caught our breath, he told me the story of his brother, the uncle I never got the chance to meet but the family member I most resemble. “When I hit a wall or think I can’t go any further, I think of Bo and how he never gave up. It gives me strength to keep going.” Those words resonated with me at a young age and still find their ways into my head when I least expect it. Whether it’s a word you implant in your head (like my yogi suggested during last week’s practice), a saying or even someone, inspiration like this helps you power through anything life throws your way. It’s that “little guy on your shoulder,” as my high school field hockey coach used to say, that pushes you to overcome whatever stands between you and your goal. Emily recently tweeted the inspiring “Runner’s Creed” to me and after starting my training yesterday, I figured I would share it with all of you. The clip made me really think about my newest endeavor and how devoted I am to succeed. “Cardarelli’s never give up,” was a mantra my dad used to say when my sister and I were kids whenever we threatened to quit and the one I have chosen to keep in the back of my mind for whenever that “hill” decides to stand in my way.
What inspires you? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

January 22, 2012

Here Goes Nothing!

Drum roll please…last night I signed up for my first half-marathon, The More/Fitness Magazine race through Central Park, to be exact. Let the 12 week training begin! Luckily, to keep me going and on track for the upcoming event, I have three amazing running buddies who will be competing with me: Emily, Brynne and Amanda. Now, this was not a spur of the moment decision whatsoever. Completing a half-marathon has been a goal of mine for quite some time now, but one of those things that I have let fall by the wayside with the chaos of school, work and internships. By signing up and forking out the $85, though, there will be not backing out this time. Plus, now that I have announced the news on the blog, I have YOU to cheer me on every step of the way.

I stay in pretty good shape with a mix of weight training, cardio and my new found love of yoga (Power Vinyasa is my favorite!), but I needed a concrete training guide to help track my progress. After a lot of research, I decided to create my own plan, based on what I personally have seen results from alongside what fits within my unusual spring schedule. I basically used a combination of Shape Magazine’s Half-Marathon training with Women’s Health cross training and P90x moves. I know things will change and there will be lots of rest days sprinkled in but I wanted to aim high. I plan to keep a fitness journal of reps/weight. Get ready for a lot more fitness-related posts over here on SWL! Anywho, after a tough week of workouts, I decided to take rest day today and celebrate Mike’s 24th birthday the best way we know how: lots of football and a new chili recipe (post coming soon!), which is currently simmering on the stove. I hope you had an incredible weekend!
Half/full marathon completers: any training advice? How do you stay inspired and on track? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren