So Long, Farewell Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

11 May

Auf Widersehen?  What the heck is that?

As I have shared before, I am leaving for Australia today!  I will be volunteering for 2 weeks with Conservation Volunteers Australia out of Melbourne.  While I am so excited about this adventure, I will be incommunicato for the entire time, which means No New Blog Posts 😦  Just as I am starting to get in my blogging stride I have to take a hiatus for a couple weeks!  I hope my blog can survive over the next couple weeks and I can get right back into my blogging when I return.  Readers, please stay with me!!🙂

Before I leave, I want to share a little bit more about my running routines.  Since I run first thing in the morning, I have to grab something small and quick before heading out on my run.  I have tried a few different things from toast to wasa crackers, nuts, milk, cereal, fruit...you get the point!  The thing with running is that for most people, me included, your stomach can make or break runs.  Since you’re moving a lot, eating the wrong thing can lead to nausea or the “rock in the stomach” feeling, neither of which anyone wants for a good hour+ run!  My perfect go-to food before a run = Bananas!

I have tried putting peanut butter on my banana before also, but again, not so good for my stomach.  A plain banana digests well, is still a good high carb fruit, and I’m convinced the Potassium helps wake me up! This is just works for me though!  Everyone is different, and it’s important to figure out what is best for your body and your stomach if you plan on running a good distance.  If I don’t have a banana readily available, I usually do a Kid’s Cliff Bar – Choco Chip is my fav!  Tastes just like Chips Ahoy chewy choc chip cookie in my opinion!

And not that I’m trying to convert anyone to my Banana eating ways, but the website Skinny in the City did a great information banana write up today!  Read about all the great benefits of bananas as part of a meal or as a snack!

Here are some more helpful links for how to fuel pre and post run!  Don’t underestimate how important the right kind of foods can help fuel your training and make you a better runner🙂

Pre-Race Meals

What to eat after the gym

Snack your way to a good workout

10 Miles on the 10th!

11 May

Everyone has their own running preferences and as I’ve said previously, running first thing in the morning is one of mine.  I just love the feeling I have the rest of the day post-a.m.-run, so I know that rolling out of bed at whatever hour is worth it for the great endorphin and energy filled feelings I have the rest of the day!  Another preference of mine is doing my longest runs on Mondays.  I consider Monday the start of my week and Sunday the end, and what better way to set the pace for my week than a long run!  I generally try to get in my longest run on Mondays, so that I know I have already accomplished one great run for the week.  I usually run lower miles throughout the weekdays and then get in at least one solid run on the weekends that comes close to Monday’s mileage.  But hey, this is just works for me!

Since I am leaving for Australia TODAY and won’t get an opportunity (as far as I know) to run for TWO WHOLE WEEKS, I wanted to push it up until I left.  So Monday, I decided to push myself to the 10 mile marker for the first time. And while it was pretty hard, I did it!! Wooo hooo!!!  I ended up running pretty slow the last mile, but completed all 10 miles in 1 hr 28 minutes, so my time didn’t end up being too bad in the end because I was running a little faster during miles 6-8.  My legs and knees were definitely sore this morning, but since it’s my last day to get in a good run, I was on the treadmill at 7 am to squeeze in 6 miles.  I ended up feeling better than expected (probably since my last two runs were on the treadmill) and pushed it to about 7 miles in an hour.  17 miles in 2 days new record pour moi! Nothing like pushing it before vacation!

I refueled after my 10 mile run with an unexpected breakfast!  I saw butter flavored Eggo’s in my freezer and knew I just HAD to have them!  Hey, when a craving strikes, I listen.  I toasted one Eggo -I cannot remember the last time I freaking ate an Eggo Waffle btw! – topped it with a ton of Justin’s Almond Butter with Honey, a sliced apple, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some light maple syrup = can I say MMM, MMM, MMM?!  I ended up broiling it for 3 minutes in the toaster oven after a couple bites because I wanted to bake the apples a little.  The cinnamon became so gooey on top and the almond butter became even more melted.  I scarfed this up pretty quickly, but it was so good, I know it will be making a re-appearance upon my return.  I plan on buying whole wheat, natural waffles though for this breakfast in the future.

So post-coffee, boring last-minute errands again bla bla bla and then LUNCH! haha Needless to say, I was pretty hungry🙂  As I was making this, I snacked on a plain Oikos greek yogurt – yea protein!  I threw together a junk salad because I just had so many random item leftover in my fridge.  Today’s mix consisted of arugula, baby spinach, tofu, carrots, red onions, blue cheese, a cut up apple, all topped with balsamic vinaigrette. I haven’t had blue cheese in forever, and I am suddenly reminded of how much I LOVE that strong, pungent taste.  I’ll have to start using it more in my recipes.

What are some of your running preferences?

Doubles with my Dude

9 May

Things I had on my list for possible fun things to do this weekend:

Visit Basha Kill Winery

Dinner at a new BYOB in our town

See the movie Date Night

Drinks out with High School friends on Friday

Things I actually did on this list this weekend = ZERO.  It’s funny how you can really plan and plan and plan, but the majority of life is just going with the flow!  And that’s what makes it fun.

So Patrick ended up taking a major detour on his drive here and didn’t end up arriving until after 11 pm😦 so understandably, he was not in the mood to head out immediately, and I was pretty beat by the time he got here also.  We ended up laying on my couch in sweats, watching ESPN, drinking iced tea, and just talking on Friday night, and it was perfect❤  Having a long distance relationship, it’s important to remember that while you want to do so many things with your significant other when you actually get to see them, it’s really important to have couple down time and just enjoying one another’s company and b-r-e-a-t-h-e

This left me plenty rested for a Sat morning run.  Patrick wanted to sleep in since he had a long week, so I took advantage of our different sleeping patterns and squeezed in a 4.5 mile run at the gym.  I wanted to make it speedier than normal in case Patrick woke up earlier than expected, so I pushed it and completed 4 miles in 32 minutes🙂 which is the fastest I’ve completed 4 miles so far – and then I had a 1/2 mile cool down, followed by 3 1-minute planks and some more easy core strengthening.

Patrick and I  did some fun shopping around the area for more Australia things I needed and had a leisurely lunch outside, even with the 30+ wind gusts!  He told me over lunch that he wanted to get in a good run Saturday afternoon while he was visiting and was hoping I would go with him.  A fun run with my boyfriend, YES PLEASE!  So instead of heading to the winery, we decided to run outside together…how healthy of us!  My thought = the winery will always be there (for a while anyway), but my boyfriend does not ALWAYS want to run with me.  It was an easy choice.

We ended up doing a slower paced and relaxed 4.5 miles outside together.  I didn’t even time it, how not Type A of me!  It ended up being one of my favorite runs though, combining some of my favorite things, boyfriend, running, & sun🙂 I was so proud of our distance though because Patrick isn’t that big of a runner and I thought my legs would get tired earlier since I already did a run earlier in the day, but neither ended up being an issue!  This bumped up my running total for the day to 9 miles = awesome for me.  Here’s my happy running partner ready to go!

After getting back we really weren’t in the mood to hurry and get ready to go out to dinner so we opted for cooking in and enjoying some cold beers and red vino!  We tried a recipe I got off of Runner’s Kitchen – Middle Eastern Stuffed Peppers!  We modified it slightly depending on what I had around the house.

Ingredients

  • 4 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1/2 – 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup chopped olives
  • 1/2 cup golden raisin mix
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp diced garlic
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup cooked brown wild rice

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cut tops off of bell peppers, save tops and set aside, remove seeds, and place peppers in a small baking dish
  • Spray a medium frying pan with cooking spray and cook meat, garlic, cinnamon, and cumin over medium heat for ~4 minutes
  • Add tomato sauce and raisins and cook for another 4 minutes
  • Remove from heat, stir in olives and rice
  • Divide meat-rice mixture evenly among the bell peppers
  • Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until tender

I enjoyed mine with a glass of pinot noir and Patrick had a cold Warsteiner –> it was a new try for him!  It’s a pilsner which is his fav, definitely not my fav type of beer, but I actually liked this brand!  I’m still not converting from my wine though!  The peppers ended up being DELIC!  I loved the middle eastern flavor the cumin and cinnamon added to the peppers.  Patrick and I were happily stuffed like the peppers!

The rest of the evening was spent at some local bars catching up with my high school friends! I guess my Friday night agenda was moved to Saturday night.  It was such a great quality time evening, especially since we ended up rolling in at 3 am!  All in all – a successful weekend!

Tonight’s Mom’s Day will be wrapped up watching Sherlock Holmes w my mom and drinking some tea in this colder than normal weather.

Drinking tea before bed is one of my FAV daily rituals!  What are some of yours?!

My last hooraaah?

7 May

Happy Friday All! I hope everyone had a tremendous end of their work week with plenty of fun weekend plans in the mix!  My boyfriend Patrick is coming to visit me in NY this weekend and I have some fun things lined up for us!  Amongst the normal plans with home town friends I have made, we’re going to head up to Basha Kill Vineyards in upstate NY tomorrow afternoon.  I have heard rave reviews of this winery and it really isn’t too far from where I live, plus they have tasting for $5!!!  Um, I’m there!  Now I am a HUGE wine lover, but Patrick really hasn’t found any wines that he enjoys drinking- he is SO much more of a beer guy, which I love about him, but I am out to convert him a little to my whino side🙂  I am really looking forward to this afternoon trip!

One of the reasons Patrick is coming to visit me this weekend, besides the fact that he just loves me so much, is because this coming Tuesday I leave for a 2 1/2 week trip out of the country! :0  Where you ask!  Why MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA! This trip is kind of like a last hoorah before law school – even though I know I’m young and have my whole life–> thanks Mom!  I signed up for this volunteer program back in March and waited for a while to be placed and details figured out, and here I am now mid-May getting my stuff together for a 2 wk venture into the outback.  Melbourne is one of Australia’s bigger citied located in the south-eastern part of the country.  It’s about an 1hr flight from Sydney.

When I was in college I was between studying abroad in Rome or Melbourne.  The two cities are just SO different, but both had such appeal for me.  I ended up choosing Rome, which I know was definitely the better option for me, but since then it has really been a priority of mine to make sure I get to Melbourne…and here I go!  Patrick actually studied abroad there for 5 months, so I’ll have a great long distance travel guide.

It’s gong to be what I’m doing in Australia is what makes this trip so different from anything I have ever done before!  Since the majority of my peers are either poor, don’t have enough time to take off…umm yea those are the only two problems, I had to figure out a safe way to travel on my own.  So I’m volunteering with Conservation Volunteers Australia while I’m there and will be with a group of peers doing various environmental conservation projects while there.  This is literally the craziest thing I have ever done in my life!  Needless to say, I am a very nervous about this far from home and doing this kind of solo, but I also know it will end up being one of the best experiences of my life!  I just have to remember that on my 30 hour plane ride EEK!

What is the scariest/coolest thing you’ve ever done?!  How did you deal with the scary?!

For your entertainment, I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures of Melbourne…

An IT Thursday

6 May

Happy almost weekend!  Just one more day to get through until everyone’s favorite day of the work week!  Even though it is not quite the weekend, there is NO complaining about today and the beautiful weather NY had today.  Mid 70’s, light breeze, no humidity=🙂

Now the day did not start off like this.  I was out running by 9 am this morning with a very dreary, gray sky filled with clouds BOO.  Throughout the hour I was out, it sprinkled a little here and there with maybe a solid 30 seconds of rain at any given point.  I was debating whether or not to wait for the rain to pass, but I am very happy with my decision to man through it since it didn’t even rain!  This morning’s run felt really great up until about the last 10 minutes.  I could tell my IT band was bothering me, but so many times the minor pain I have just goes away as I run, but today that feeling did not leave.  I did a little bit of a quicker run because my body felt up for it so I am not sure if this is what could have aggravated it or not, but with about 10 or less minutes left in my planned hour run, I had to literally STOP running because it was bothering me so much.  I knew I could push it and also hurt myself more, but instead I decided to walk the rest of the way.  I came home and did some resistance band stretching specifically focused on my right leg (where the pain was).  I also remembered seeing a yoga video on Runner’s World so I decided to try that also – I figured anything is worth a try!  I used the video below to incorporate some new stretches for my IT band and it honestly feels a lot better already.  The first pose that the instructor does is the one I felt targeted it the most.  Let me know if it works for you!  I ended up doing about 6.6 miles total today.

For lunch today, I ate outside and enjoyed another creation using my home grown sprouts!  My sandwich consisted of tofu, tahini, sprouts, arugula, & slices of a homegrown tomato –->holy yum on homegrown tomatoes!  I enjoyed all of this on 2 pieces of multi-grain sprouted bread = absolutely delic🙂  I paired it with an Oikos plain greek yogurt also for added protein.  I think this meal will hold me over well.

And I cannot forget my wonderful lunch buddy today Sadie!

Time to go run more necessary errands for a big trip I have coming up!  More about this tomorrow🙂  Get excited because its HUGE!

Lauren Runs on Dunkin’

5 May

HAPPY CINQO DE MAYO EVERYONE!

To be honest, I can’t remember if I have ever celebrated a Cinqo de Mayo in my life.  I think I was always bogged down with finals during college (I know, LAME) and then was sucked in by work since.  So it is pretty sad that I am being drug out this evening by my 55 year old mother to a Cinqo de Mayo happy hour!  Not gonna lie though, I am pretty excited🙂  we’re meeting up with some family friends I haven’t seen in a while so it should be a great margarita filled catching up session!

I still have to fit in a good run outside today, despite the 80+ temps, before happy hour though.  Trust me, I am NOT complaining about the perfect weather that has hit NY and the greater part of the northeast this week…perfect outside evening drinking weather.

My day started off later than I can even admit today!  I am actually embarrassed by how late I woke up even though I did nothing last night.  I was feeling kind of bored with my normal breakfasts so I did something COMPLETELY out of the ordinary today!  A couple of days ago I bought smoked salmon just because I was in the mood to, but I never did anything with it, so this morning I made a “refined” version of Lox as my breakfast.  It included 2 oz. smoked salmon (mmm), a multigrain english muffin (lightly toasted), and 2 baby bell light swiss cheeses spread on the e.muffin to act as cream cheese since I didn’t have any.  I also topped it with onion since i love onion on just about everything.  Not so bad if I do say so myself!  It was sooo delic and such a fun switch up, not to mention it packed about 24 gm of protein.  Experiment #1 = success!

After breakfast I ran some necessary errands.  I am desperately in search of a new black cover for my blackberry tour and for some reason NOWHERE is selling them.  I tried 3 cell phone stores, a Staples, and Wal-Mart and struck out at each one – I think it has to be a joke!  After a semi-successful afternoon of errands I finally put my sprouts to use for lunch!!!

I threw them in a medium salad with carrots, arugula & spinach, raisins, bbq Koo-Loos, red onion, baby bella mushroom, and balsamic vinaigrette. I also stuffed them in my ww pita with tahini, more spinach, and Veggie Patch falafel balls (I LOVE).  All in all, a major success!  I just loved eating something I knew I actually grew!! And they tasted extra healthy and crunchy.  I can tell this sprouting is going to be a regular thing.

Before my run, I snacked on a gala apple – I chose gala over my usual fiji because they were on sale.  And I had a side of Dunkin Donuts NEW Dark Roast Iced Coffee! I think this coffee came out abouuuut yesterday, which is when I had my First one and I was HOOKED!!!  I LOVE dark coffee and I LOVE iced coffees, but I usually find that my iced coffees get too weak towards the end.  I guess D&D can read minds or something because this new baby is 110% of perfection.  It was the absolute perfect flavorful chilled coffee I needed yesterday…& then again today!  You can see how Dark it is with my addition of skim milk.  I highly suggest you try it if you are a serious coffee drinker.  If you don’t like it, it’s on me!  JUST KIDDING, but I know you’ll love❤

Okay time for my run before my very first cinqo de mayo happy hour!

I’d love to hear if there is a popular “holiday” that you never have participated in before or one that everyone enjoys and you just don’t!

Do It Yourself

4 May

I am a big fan of local, home-grown, organic (you know all the adjectives) food.  And since the majority of this type of food is fruit and veggie oriented, I have been thinking for months now how I could grow some of these things myself!  Surprise, surprise though, months have passed and I am JUST getting around to it.  (We will not include the Basil plant I bought at Whole Foods that died because somehow watering it every other day was just too much work.)  Better late than never I suppose!

Anyway, back in February I found a wonderful How To on No Meat Athlete’s Blog and bookmarked it.  So I was happy with my past self this week when I finally got around to my first attempt at home growing!  I decided to use Mung Beans this time around.  Here is what I started with..

I only used 1 tbsp of the Beans because I wasn’t sure how large they would get.  About one week later, this is what I have:

They are officially ready to eat!  I plan on enjoying them tomorrow with a good hummus, veggie-maybe falafel?-pita.  Can’t wait🙂  I’ll be sure to take some pics and report back tomorrow!

For a quick running update, I have set a couple PR’s this past week also!  Last week, I ran for a total of 40 miles!  Holy jeez…I’m pretty impressed at how well I have been able to transition to more of a running workout routine rather than switching off to the elliptical or bike.  I also set a new distance PR on Monday – 9.2 miles!  Go me! I never thought I would be one of those people who could run that far, but now that I started successfully tackling the mental hardship of long runs, I am able to push my body harder than I would have ever thought!

Today I did a relaxed 6 miles outside.  My IT band was a little sore, but I came home and did some stretching with a resistance band and it feels better tonight.  Lets hope it stays that way!

It’s now off to enjoy some late-delivered girl scout tagalongs.  What luck?!  Again, better late than never…

What are some of your favorite and easy DIY’s?  Sprouting is just the beginning for me!

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