April 28, 2014

NWM DC Half Marathon Recap: That time I met Shalane Flanagan!

So I ran the Nike Women's DC half marathon again and liked it more than last year! I have lots of photos for this post so sorry it's so long! They had tons of advertising in metro stations near the race course and expo which was cool. I still think it's annoying to have to trek out to Georgetown for the expo but understand how it fits their race image.  


 I was rushing around on Saturday morning to catch a train from Baltimore down to DC, knowing how last year I had to wait about an hour in line to grab my race bib. I forgot my race fuel and socks when I was packing so had to pick some up in DC, whoops.  I managed to get to the expo and wait in line for only 5 minutes before I had my bib-win! They also gave you the race tee with your bib pickup, instead of after the race like last  year.  I forgot that the Nike women's sizing runs small though so my size small shirt is cozy. 


April 25, 2014

We Run DC this Weekend: When Goals Change

Well before I get to more Boston fun I suppose I should mention I'm running the Nike Women's DC half again this year.  And the race is this weekend.  How did that sneak up on me?
Photo: Race weekend in DC has officially begun.

Head over to Washington Harbour to pick up your packet and check out all the perks in the Expotique.

THU: 12:00PM – 8:00PM
FRI: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
SAT: 8:00AM – 6:00PM
from the Nike Women's Race Series page
I ran this race last year (read about it here and here!) and while I had some mixed feelings about the expo and race, I decided to run it again as a Truebar-fueled athlete sponsored by Bakery on Main. I love having Truebars before or after runs. I usually eat half a bar before a run and the other half afterwards before I make another snack!  I like the fairly flat course and a little blue box from Tiffany's never hurts. I saw via social media that Shalane will be there again, and I'm secretly hoping to meet her.  It was amazing coming across the finish line and slapping her hand last year.  

Had some Truebars with me to watch the Boston Marathon!

April 24, 2014

Thinking Out Loud: Boston Recap

Since it's been a while-HEY I'm BACK, linking up with Amanda's Thinking Out Loud post is perfect for me to talk about random things from my little trip up to Boston along with lots of photos! I have lots of feelings about the marathon and various things so there will be multiple Boston posts!

1. Being back from vacation is one of the worst things ever. The only good thing is that my we did wash before we left so I only have to unpack a massive suitcase of clean clothes. We had some apartment issues while we were away so now I need to deal with repairs. Oh and dealing with a million emails and snail mail is always fun too. I need some coffee to get through work today! 

2. I would totally live in Boston if it wasn't so cold/expensive. It is a fabulous city, and I can't wait to get back. I really loved all the marathon/runner love too. 

April 17, 2014

Check out my Runner Spotlight on Runaway Bridal Planner!

Hello all! Remember you still have a few days to enter my San Franola granola giveaway!

Today go check out Kristy's blog Runaway Bridal Planner where I am the featured Runner Spotlight! I talk all about how I got started running, my favorite races, and what I hope to run in the future! Check out the post here!  

Happy Running!

April 15, 2014

Sole of the City 10K 2014 Race Recap

Make sure to enter my San Franola granola  giveaway(ends Tuesday 4/22!) and check out my Ahnu shoes review. 

Before I get to my race recap, I wanted to take a moment to recognize the anniversary of the Boston bombings.  Last year I wrote this in reflection and re-reading makes me remember how sick I felt that day. I knew I wanted to run Boston someday, but the tragedy was just fuel to my fire.  I cried on and off all day, mostly thinking about how many people were hurt who were spectators, which could easily have been my loved ones waiting for me to finish another race. I'm visiting Boston this week as a tourist (I've never been!), a marathon spectator, and as a runner. If there is one thing I've learned from this hobby of mine, runners form an amazing community. We are strong. So today just be thankful for those around you who support you and run if you can for those you can't! 

Boston Marathon 2013-#PayforBoston, #BostonStrong #RunBoston
from Organic Runner Mom
On a lighter note, if anyone has Boston suggestions, let me know! I have all of the major places covered, including a Red Sox game!

The Sole of the City 10K is a big race for Charm City Run with over 3100 runners this year. I ran the inaugural race 2 years ago which I remember as being hilly. Last year it was right after the Boston tragedy which gave it a different tone. This year they had a new course, which was supposedly less hilly. I was really stressed Friday afternoon after staying at work late and having to rush off to a movie with friends so I grabbed my bib and packet in a hurry. The race always has a super nice gender-specific premium, and this year's Under Armour half zip did not disappoint! 

April 14, 2014

First Action Hero Assignment-Ahnu Hiking Boots

Well I had a super fun weekend full of lots of good eats, good beers, running and sunshine! I'll recap the Sole of the City 10K that I ran Saturday tomorrow! 

As I had mentioned before, I was chosen to be a Women's Health Magazine Action Hero 2014, and today I have my first assignment to share with you! I was really excited to receive some new hiking sneakers from Ahnu Footwear. With the temperatures warming up in the city, I really want to do more outdoorsy weekend activities like hiking so these boots are a perfect incentive to get moving on it.  I was sent the Ahnu Sugarpine Air Mesh shoes and immediately fell in love with the purple/maroon color (named anemone on the site!). These are some pretty stylish hiking shoes! 


April 11, 2014

San Franola-Granola that Packs a Punch {Review & Giveaway!}

Disclaimer: I was given boxes of San Franola granola to review and giveaway on my blog. I received no other compensation for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. 

Congrats to Ashley who won my Bakery on Main oatmeal giveaway

Granola is a delicious snack or breakfast option, but I can't have too much of it in the house. If I buy a bag of it my boyfriend and I are going to finish it in a matter of days. I also make a mean peanut butter granola which I enjoy making from time to time. 

Now granola always gets a bad rap because while it is always delicious, it is usually loaded with calories and sugar,has a measly 1/4 cup serving size of deliciousness, and isn't very filling. 

When I went to Expo East in September (throwback recap one of these days?), of course there were lots of granola and cereal companies. However I tasted San Franola and was blown away not only by how yummy it was but by it's nutritional stats. They are also based out of San Francisco, a city I love, and had a super cute guy working their booth which helped.  I was super excited to have San Franola follow up with me after the expo about doing a blog review & giveaway.  

April 10, 2014

5 Things that Make Me Happy Lately (Thinking Out Loud Thursdays)

It seems right now the world can't escape Pharrell, his huge hat, and his hit single Happy. It's everywhere. and I love it.  I'm okay with a catchy song with a nice message on the airwaves among so many empty, dime-a-dozen pop songs (which can be fun, but still). Today I'm talking about being happy. Yes, clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.  Now I'm not saying I'm completely happy-I'll always be chasing that. Lately even amid the stress and negativity I've been focusing on the positive things,even if something isn't going my way.  I'm obsessed with my daily TUT emails (there will be more TUT-inspired posts on here) and this one from a week ago really sparked these feelings for me: 

Nothing is worth your unhappiness, Lauren; not because the awful and ugly don't happen, but because there's always more of the really good stuff. 


    The Universe

Nothing is worth my stress and unhappiness. Life is too short to not be happy and time does fly. It's like that motivation saying "a year from now, you'll wish you started today" or however it goes. Maybe it's just my birthday coming up far too fast that is causing me to be so reflective. Anyways counting all the good little things in my life makes the rest seem not so disastrous. Today I'm sharing some things that have me feeling positive.  This might become a regular little exercise of reflection for me! My random moments of happiness and tips for focusing on the present are also a great fit for Amanda's Thinking Out Loud linkup

5 Things that Make Me Happy Lately

1.  Taking time to cook leisurely. Last night I made some butternut squash veggie mac & cheese. I added some noodles, sauteed kale and mushrooms in with my cheese sauce. The recipe for my cheese is below if you are interested-it was tasty! You could make this completely dairy-free if you wanted-I added a little cheese from a local farm from my CSA. I just kind of winged it because I was in the mood for some comfort food and had some frozen butternut squash also from my CSA to use up. You could roast or boil and puree your own butternut squash to use.  

It was nice not just throwing something together because I was tired or eating something I meal prepped. Even though I made up this recipe on the fly, I  took my time to cooking it and even ate dinner without my phone next to me or the TV on. 

(serves 2-3)

April 8, 2014

Will Run for Chocolate: Hot Chocolate 15K Recap

Just a reminder to check out my Bakery on Main gluten-free oatmeal review & giveaway (ends Friday!). 

Mondays still suck guys. Yesterday I was exhausted from the weekend and had a busy day at work, with the only break being an impromptu lunch date with the boyfriend, which was followed by rushing to class in the rain and arriving 20 minutes late only to find lecture had been cancelled. I hung out in the library for an hour until lab started when I could have been napping at home, ugh.

On a happier note, the weekend ended up being lovely and full of family time, running, and chocolate!

I drove up to Philadelphia on Saturday for the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K race packet pickup. I had to get to my parents' house by the early afternoon for a little day trip down to Atlantic City so I was rushing around in the morning and packed in a hurry.  Packet pickup was in University City near the University of Penn, which is a really pretty area. I was especially happy a Starbucks was on my way because I needed my coffee fix! They had the packet pickup at small sports store which was surprisingly efficient and fast. Even though it's not a brand-name or anything, I really do like the pullover we got in lieu of a race shirt or medal.  

April 5, 2014

Bakery on Main Gluten-Free Instant Oatmeal Review & Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was given boxes of Bakery on Main oatmeal to review and giveaway on my blog. I am a Bakery on Main  Brand Ambassador but received no compensation for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. 

As a Truebar-fueled athlete I had reviewed Bakery on Main's yummy Truebars a while back and am now a Bakery on Main brand ambassador. If you didn't know, Bakery on Main has a whole line of yummy gluten-free products including bars, granola and oatmeal!

 I'm a big cliche and love ginormous fluffy bowls of oatmeal topped with nut butters so I was really excited to try out Bakery on Main's gluten-free instant oatmeal. I'm usually an oatmeal on the stove top kinda gal, but many mornings I'm short on time and that just isn't happening. I was lucky enough to have a few boxes of oatmeal sent to me with my recent half marathon training Truebar package!

What first caught my eye was that Bakery on Main oatmeal comes in unique flavors like apple pie, strawberry shortcake, blueberry scone, carrot cake along with the usual maple multigrain and traditional flavors. 

April 4, 2014

5 Friday Favorites 4/4/2014

So yesterday was one of those crappy days where you need more sleep, little stupid things happen like you can't find your keys in the morning, and you end up just randomly crying in the afternoon. Yikes. Luckily I felt a lot better before I went to bed (a glass of wine might have contributed to this) and am ready to have a fun & sunny weekend! I also have a rare Saturday post on the blog tomorrow featuring a review and giveaway of some Bakery on Main gluten-free oatmeal so stay tuned!

Five Friday Things
1. Favorite Whole Foods find: Eat Pastry Dairy-free, Egg-free Cookie Dough

My boyfriend and I went into Whole Foods for two things we needed and ended up leaving with a bunch of things we didn't. I'm not going to lie, that pretty much always happens when I go to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or the worst of them all-Target.  

Anyways we picked up this tub of cookie dough you can eat STRAIGHT from the container because, of course, it's definitely what we needed in our fridge haha. You can bake these too, but I've only been eating spoonfuls out of the container randomly. It's amazing. 

2. Favorite afternoon snack: Larabars

April 3, 2014

Thinking Out Loud Thursday-Heat it Up!

Seriously, how is it already Thursday? or April? I need more hours in the day! Blogging has been way more sporadic than I've wanted, but I've got lots of fun things lined up for the next few weeks so keep reading!  I'm linking up with Amanda's Thinking Out Loud Thursdays since I'm feeling all over the place today (again). 

1. I'm trying to do a couple challenges this month. First, I'm doing the Heat it Up April Instagram challenge some of my fellow I'm Fit Possible and Fitfluential ladies organized. It has all sorts of topics to post photos so I'm not just posting photos of my food or bowls of oatmeal!  Use and search for the hashtag "heatitup to join me for a fun challenge!