Posts tagged ‘Run’

March 13, 2013

Snow Daze

Spring is just a week a way and although I’ve been loving the longer days (not to mention look forward to reintroducing pretty pastels/florals back into my attire,) this past weekend I embraced the last of the cold white stuff for a wintery weekend. A 6-mile morning run with my Mandi along the shoreline was the perfect precursor to a trip up north to VT with the family. Sunshine, 40-degree temps and amazing conditions for the last board of the season…is there anything better? I feel like I was sporting a toothy grin all Sunday as I cut through the buttery slopes. I was in my happy place. Let’s just say my legs are still feeling that burn. And I like it.


My main man and his gals

I may have returned to the city last night, but my mind and heart are still slowly road trippin’ it back from the Green Mountain State. Can you blame me?
Are you ready for spring?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

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March 4, 2013

Clarity

If I learned anything this summer, it was the power of the mind. I have a tendency to push myself beyond my limits, often relying on rushing endorphins to power through above and beyond. The good news is that now, when I start to feel myself reaching my breaking point [insert headaches, fatigue, etc., here…] I force myself to slow down, take a deep breath and embrace some much needed downtime. This weekend, I rebooted and boy, did it feel good. Saturday I slept in, clocked 8 miles, hit up the grocery store and spent the day enjoying Mike’s company. Although we originally had a Broadway show ambition, we settled on a lazy afternoon full of goofing off and planning for some exciting stuff in the works. Ahem, we may not be city slickers for much longer. More on that to come! A delightful salmon dinner by moi later on made things all the more perfect. Gosh, I love the fish market near our apartment. So fresh!

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My guy was off early yesterday morning for work so I got things started off on the right foot with a solid gym pump. Bikini season is closer than you think, ya’ll! I’m determined to have fiercely lean, sculpted arms by then. Besides that, I had quite the productive “me” day. My lunches for the week were all prepped, as were my outfits (pressed, accessorized…the works.) A hair and facial mask were completed, followed by a gal pal gabfest for over an hour on the phone. I find it funny how rarely I actually talk on the phone nowadays. It’s all texting and I don’t like it. Would you agree? After hanging up, I chose a new book over television (win!) before whipping up a simple stir-fry dinner with spaghetti squash and tofu shirataki noodles. See you never, pasta! My makeup brushes were then cleaned for the first time in, well, too long and a fresh coat of pink polish was applied with some sparkly accents. Love! Before I knew it, I was hitting the sack early to get my beauty rest to tackle the week off recharged and bright-eyed. Yep, this was just the weekend I needed.
How do you prep for success? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

August 7, 2012

Green Monster

I love sneaking veggies into my smoothies, especially after a long run for that extra little oomph I need to recover. Yesterday, after completing the hilly, humid and hot soundRUNNER Sea Leg Shuffle, all I could think about was a green smoothie. In. My. Belly. And fast. The fact that there was basically NO food left after I completed my 10 miles (um, thanks 5k participants for hogging ALL the watermelon) certainly didn’t quench any post-workout fuel need. So once I got home, guess what I did? I made a killer green monster smoothie. It was powerful and just what I needed, despite the fact it was a little scary looking. Full of greens, healthy fats and, of course, protein. 

Ingredients
8 oz. almond milk (or soy, coconut, water, etc.)
1 scoop of protein powder (I’m loving my new Vanilla Garden of Life)
Handful of spinach or other greens
1/2 of an avocado
1/2 of a frozen banana
2 tablespoons of chia
2 tablespoons of hemp hearts
1 teaspoon spirulina (so energizing!)
Stevia, vanilla extract and ice, if necessary

Yes, it was the same color as grass, but it tasted great. I pinky promise. Reminder: I prefer my smoothies on the thicker side and eat them with a spoon! Therefore, add liquid as needed. Who needs frozen yogurt or  ice cream when you can make a smoothie in a bowl? Oh and in case you were wondering, I finished in 1:30:43 (which is 9:05 splits). I’m pretty content with that, considering the grueling weather circumstances. Although it was rough and a mental challenge, physically I felt strong. I’m confident my second half-marathon is in the near future. That makes me really happy.
Do you like green drinks?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

July 30, 2012

Conquer the Mountain!

I completely underestimated my race this weekend in Vermont. When my dad asked me if I had been training for it, I replied, “I can do a 5K in my sleep.” Uhh, well karma can be a “you-know-what” because the Okemo Mountain Challenge was no cake walk. Let’s just say my goal of running the entire thing was completely disregarded half of a mile into the climb to the summit. At times, speed walking with long strides proved to be more efficient than a slow-paced jog. At least that’s what I kept telling myself…

 

Sweat dripped off my nose as I concentrated on the placement of each step, careful to not twist an ankle on the rocky terrain. I kept imagining myself slipping in the grass and somersaulting backward down the narrow, steep trail. My brain kept questioning my abilities, telling me to quit. My legs felt (and still do!) like jello. Whoever named this event was right. It was a challenge.

 Although it was tough, I’m really proud to say I finished in 44:53 minutes, earning third place in my division. After Mandy, Brian and I made it to the top, we waited to cheer on our crazy 10-miler, Adam, to make his way back down (he had to climb a little higher before making his descend to the base).

 

I am still in awe…like who does this? Maybe next year…

My favorite part of the race was obviously taking the chairlift down. Although it was cool, overcast and cloudy (could we have asked for better running conditions?), the sun came out just in time for our scenic ride. The view was breathtaking. Tips up!

 

After the three of us hydrated and made friends with other racers, some whom ironically live in our neighboring Connecticut towns, Adam finished strong. He certainly earned that bbq meal card! And then some. Rain and small thunderstorms came our way the rest of the afternoon, putting a damper on our plans however I think we were all a little relieved to have an afternoon/evening on the couch with the Olympics, a movie and lots of snacks. Sounds like a vacation to me!

So just another race to check off my bucket list. I hope that by next year I’ll forget how challenging it truly was and be up to conquer the mountain again. Maybe go the full ten? We’ll see. In other news, my running pals and I aren’t finished with our summer races just yet. The Guilford Sea Leg Shuffle is this Sunday. See ya there?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

June 19, 2012

Branford Road Race 2012

I like running. I like doing so waterfront. I like the thrill of friendly competition. I like live music. And I like watermelon (endless supply at the finish line? Don’t mind if I do!). That’s why I was stoked to participate again this year in the Branford Road Race. Well, that and the fact that I got a discount on my new Mizunos (third pair of the Wave Precisions in a row!) if I signed up at SoundRunner. Pretty enticing marketing ploy…

I’m proud to announce that this past Sunday, Amanda and I beat our time from last year by a landslide. Hey, 5 miles are nothing to us now after our half-marathon! I ended up finishing 644th (out of the 2117…such a great turnout!) with a time of 41:49. Not too shabby, especially since I was NOT feeling it when I dragged myself out of bed that morning. Coffee and the smiling faces of my fellow runners above got me out of my fitness funk.

Amanda and Adam pushed me through the somewhat hilly course and I was extremely fortunate to have my biggest fans cheering me on at the last stretch. Kudos to my mom for another great, mid-stride action shot and happy father’s day again, Dad!

Let’s just say the tradition will continue on next year. You’ll find me at the same place, same time…with the same amount of watermelon in hand, surrounded by the same love and support.

Sprinkled with Love,
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

September 16, 2011

If You Like Piña Coladas…

I had a little incident with a particularly sharp bread knife last Friday, resulting in a mighty kitchen battle wound. Three stitches later, the knuckle of my left pointer finger is on its way to recovery but preparing food and typing have been difficult, alongside showering, upper body weight training, etc., but I digress. This morning, after a nice 4-mile run, I decided to end my blogging funk by making a protein smoothie. With fall quickly encroaching on the last few days of nice weather, I decided to whip up (more like “blend” up) a concoction reminiscent of bikini tan lines, warm beaches and, my favorite piña coladas

Ingredients
8 oz. vanilla soy milk
2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
Heaping 1/2 cup of frozen pineapple
Handful of frozen blueberries
Flaxseed meal (optional)

Simply blend together the milk and protein powder before slowly adding in the frozen fruit. I added a sprinkle of flaxseed meal to thicken it up a bit. Too thick or sweet for your liking? Add in a little water!

This tropical beverage was the perfect breakfast and recovery drink. My Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender made it convenient for on-the-go sipping as I headed to my 9:30 class! Isn’t it just the cutest!? 

What is your favorite smoothie add-in?  

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

July 15, 2011

“There’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.” Linda Grayson

Hey all! TGIF! Boy, has this week whizzed by! Here are some of my foodie highlights. 1) I had the privilege of attending a Chile 101 Boot Camp and family-style lunch at Rosa Mexicano (Union Square) on Tuesday, hosted by Culinary Advisor, Susana Trilling and Culinary Director, David Suarez. At the event I learned all about chili peppers from how to prepare them to the different types. Although I never considered myself to have a palate for spicy schtuff, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to taste-test and discovered I’m quite fond of the variety of flavors (smoky, fruity, hot, etc.)!

The restaurant’s atmosphere and food was fabulous…I can’t wait to go back! FYI the Guacamole en Molcajete is TO DIE FOR. 

2) After getting out of my internship, I met up with Laura and her friend, Steph, at Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar for dinner. I was still pretty full from my incredible lunch but ordered the Wild Smoked Salmon Salad (with mixed field greens, tomato, cucumber, capers and extra virgin olive oil dill dressing), which was delightful. Light but just the perfect portion, leaving room for…

Tuesday’s Ladies Night Out! AKA complimentary chocolate shots and Belgian chocolate covered strawberries!

Doesn’t get much better than that, huh?

Perfection. By the way, it was a sticky 98 degrees that day. Traveling on the subway and walking around was not the most pleasant experience but completely worth it, of course. 

3) I spent the night at Laura’s, giving me the opportunity to “sleep in” — which in my case is 7 AM. I ran 4 miles on the treadmill in her building’s gym before showering and grabbing some breakfast in a little place near my office. What did my favorite meal of the day include? An assortment of fruit (grapes, blackberries, blueberries, watermelon and honeydew), two hard boiled eggs, a plain Chobani yogurt and grande iced coffee from Starbucks. Great way to start off my day!

4) Lunch included a protein-packed salad (spinach, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, tofu, navy beans, chickpeas, edamame, pumpkin seeds and carrots with balsamic vinegar/olive oil) from Zeytinz Fine Food Market Place. I caught a few rays and people watched in Bryant Park while chowing down on my lunch break!

So there’s a look at my week through what I ate. I realized the other day that most of my pictures on my camera and phone are of food. Pathetic? I think not! Hopefully I’ll be able to cook something new and fun this weekend! (I’ve really been wanting to create my own gazpacho.) Although I love trying different fare in NYC, I miss the comfort of home cooked meals, not to mention having the time to prepare my own recipes.
Any quick, summery recipe suggestions? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

June 21, 2011

Monday Cuisine

Today started off early. I woke up — thanks to my own mental alarm clock — at 4:15. Yes, a.m. and yes, it was still dark out. After ignoring my sleepy eyes and tight hamstrings (as a result of the Branford 5-mile Road Race I competed in yesterday), I thew on my running shoes for a 3-mile course near my house. It felt great to breathe in the crisp, summer air and work out the kinks in my cramped legs, all the while be guided solely by the glow of a flashlight. I ate a solid breakfast, showered and before I knew it, I was on the train into Grand Central. Rise and grind! Gotta love Mondays…

I met up with my friend, Chelsea, for lunch in Bryant Park. (We commuted in this morning again together. Her last day of her co-op is tomorrow, total bummer. I’m going to miss my train buddy!) The weather was gorgeous — not too hot and not too cold — so I was psyched to catch a few rays during my lunch break! My metabolism has been running wild with the mileage I put in running this weekend so I indulged in a veggie-filled salad and roll of sushi (salmon, avocado and roe wrapped in cucumber) from Zeytinz Fine Food Market Place. It was just as good as it looks, if not better!

At 6, I got out of my internship and met up with my friend, Laura, for dinner in West Village after a few stops on the subway, which I might add I’m starting to get the hang of…somewhat. We decided that Hummus Place looked appetizing after coming to the conclusion we wanted something light, fresh and summery. It was all that and more…plus outdoor seating to enjoy prime people watching. Check out my gorgeous “Health Salad” made of freshly cut tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and onions. Crunchy and full of flavor!

For an entree, we split the “Hummus Fava” which was topped with fava beans, Tahini, hard boiled egg, olive oil and spices. DIVINE! Instead of eating it with the pita, I spooned it onto my salad.

Laura opted to do the same with her “Tabule Quinoa” dish. She was raving about it, respectfully so! Yum.

Before heading back to her beautiful apartment, where I’m currently enjoying the comfort of her couch, we stopped by Phileo Yogurt for some dessert. I got a heavenly combination of non-fat chocolate, cappuccino and strawberry froyo topped with fresh raspberries. Holy cannoli! It was glorious. I’m not one for sweets or desserts, but every once in a while you deserve to treat yourself. I savored every last bite. All in all, another great day in the city. Now it’s time for me to get some shut eye and be grateful to be able to wake up with barely a commute tomorrow…just a few blocks to walk! It will be great exercise. Special thanks to Laura for letting me crash on her couch! Night, all!
What are your favorite froyo flavors and toppings?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren 

June 11, 2011

An Assortment of Recap Ramblings

Hi! Hi, hi, hi! Have you missed me? Sorry for my absence. I feel like I have some explaining to do! First off, it has been quite a crazy week. Let’s just say I had my fair share of traveling. Between commuting in and out of NYC, running errands/getting pampered Thursday (I know, oh poor, Lauren…) and being in Jersey for a wedding this weekend, I’m pooped. I’m looking forward to hanging in on this rainy evening (see you in a bit, Gossip Girl Season 2) and catching up on sleep.

My internship officially began on Monday and I’m loving it. Time flies because I enjoy what I’m doing and it sounds corny, but I can’t stop smiling! I’m learning a lot, have met some great people already and sincerely look forward to the exciting things the next two months or so have to offer. After getting over the first day jitters, I was able to relax a bit on Tuesday, especially after running into a friend from high school on the train. We decided to meet up in Bryant Park for some grub during our hour lunch break and to take advantage of the wonderful weather, of course. Win.

I am proud that I not only was able to find my way there, but was also able to do so in a timely manner with a half hour to spare! (Note: Bryant Park is only a 9 minute walk from the office I’m working at…I took a few wrong turns along the way.) I attribute much of my success to Google Maps yet, being as directionally challenged as I am, I was slightly surprised to have the time to sit down and enjoy lunch in addition to my travel time. What was lunch, you ask? Spinach salad with edamame, carrots, asparagus, avocado, tomatoes and tofu lightly drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. Hit the spot!

After being in and out of the city (which is around a 2 1/2 hour commute both ways) and waking up at 4:45 each day to start my morning with a 3 mile run, I needed some “me time” on Thursday in preparation for the wedding I was to attend. A gym sesh of free weights and core work followed by a mani/pedi with a book from the Sookie Stackhouse series (in which True Blood is based on) sounded like a good day off to me! I Need A Vacation on my toes and Ballet Slippers on my fingers. Gotta love dainy pink polishes!

SOoooo…that brings me to yesterday/today: Mike’s cousin’s wedding! I haven’t been to a wedding since I was seven-years-old, so I was very excited. The ceremony was very beautiful, the reception was a blast and the food was delightful. Congratulations Kelly and Aaron! I took a gamble not trying on the dress before purchasing it in the city with Taylor on Wednesday, yet it ended up fitting perfectly. So comfortable, too. I channeled my inner Blake Lively with wavy locks, although my hair refused to cooperate in the humid air. Anyway, there’s my recap for my hectic week. I’m off to make some dinner: a weird combo of this, this and this…don’t judge.One last thing before I go: I’m working on a Father’s Day gift guide post and need your help! What do you think is the perfect present for Dad?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren