June 30, 2014

Hi I'm Lauren. {thoughts after Fitbloggin'}

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you saw that I had a fabulous time at Fitbloggin' in Savannah this past weekend. After a delayed flight and long drive last night, I'm dragging a little this Monday morning. At the same time I am feeling very motivated and inspired by the weekend. 

I'll do a Fitbloggin' recap and photo dump later this week, but I today I'm sharing all the thoughts swirling in my head from the conference. I met so many awesome people and heard so many inspiring stories. I was given a lot  to think about and reflect upon. It's a weird world to be in. I have real life friends, blogger friends, and total strangers reading my blog. I love sharing snippets from my life and stories about my training and races with others. 

Even if you're a brand new or long-time reader I thought I'd reintroduce myself to you.

This is a snapshot into what's swirling in my brain now. It's not everything, but it's a little picture of who I am.  I typed, proofread, and hit publish so it's of the moment.

June 25, 2014

#fuelyourbetter with Vega Sport Performance Pre-Workout

Disclaimer: I was given 1 box of Vega Pre-Workout Sugar-Free Energizer to review on my blog in association with my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship. I received no other compensation for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. 

I've reviewed and used Vega products before because I love that they are all-natural and plant-based. I'm a fan of their chocolate shakes and protein powders.  So of course I was excited to be selected to review Vega Sport Pre-Workout Sugar-Free Energizer through my ambassadorship with Sweat Pink in conjunction with the #FuelYourBetter campaign.

The Vega Sport Pre-Workout Sugar-Free Energizer is a plant-based pre-workout supplement designed to increase energy, boost endurance, and enhance mental focus . It's also dairy, gluten & soy free.  It comes in two flavors: acai berry, which I was sent to try, and lemon-lime. 

June 23, 2014

How to Stay Cool During Summer Runs

Well, Fitbloggin' is in 3 days and I'm BEYOND excited. If you're going be sure to come say hello, and if you're not follow me on Twitter and Facebook and see what I'll be up to all weekend! 

This weekend was my first long run of marathon training! After I get back from Fitbloggin' I'll start with the regular weekly training updates on the road to the Chicago Marathon. My runs went well this weekend, especially since it was closer than it had been during the week.  Getting used to the summer weather is no joke. I read this article in the Washington Post about how your body reacts to the heat. I highly recommend checking it out.  

Did you know it actually takes 2 weeks to acclimated to the heat?
 I know I had some tough runs where even an easier pace felt awfully hard because of the temperature and humidity so don't be discouraged!

Besides training for a marathon all summer, I'm also running the Hood to Coast relay with the Nuun team in August. You bet 3 outdoor runs in 24 hours will probably include at least one that is super hot, so training in the heat will leave me well-prepared! 

I'm linking up with some other Hood to Coast Nuunies today so check out some other awesome blog posts!

At least here in the Northeast, we have been getting a taste of the hot and humid weather to come. I definitely notice a difference in my runs and how I feel as the weather heats up. It’s important to tweak some things with the changing of the seasons so you can keep logging miles all summer.  Here are a few summer running tips that I use to stay cool.  

How to Stay Cool During Summer Runs

June 19, 2014

It's the Little Things Thursday

I've decided I'm starting a regular series called It's the Little Things Thursday.It will be a compiled reflection on the little joys I find in everyday life.  Sometimes it may only be a couple things, sometimes it may be a lot. I'm thinking it'll be an every other week thing, but we'll see :)

I find a big part of being happy is enjoying the everyday, not just the big occasions, vacations, or celebrations. 

I've noticed myself feeling anxious and discontent again lately so I've needed to remind myself the virtues of positivity and seeking happiness from within.  

Going to the gym, working, still working, cooking dinner, catching up on emails,running errands and doing chores. This is how most of our days are spent.

Sometimes those are not the most thrilling or fun ways to spend our time so I think stopping to enjoy and savor the small but maybe not so insignificant things in our days that make us smile is a good thing. 

After all, all the little things which make us happy add up!

"Enjoy the little things in life ..." - quote by Robert Brault  http://paintthemoon.net/blog

Here's some of the little things lately that have made me smile or brightened my day, even if just for a moment!

June 16, 2014

Monday Updates and a Face of Fitness

Hello to another marvelous Monday.  I can't believe we are already halfway through June! I'm getting super pumped about Fitbloggin' and even picked up some sweet new Baltimore blue crab business cards via a Klout Perk with Moo using a photo I took with Instagram. I love how they came out and know they'll be a big hit at the conference.

After a fun filled but long afternoon/ evening celebrating Baltimore Pride weekend in my neighborhood on Saturday (along with many adult beverages!), I was happy to spend most of Sunday finishing up Season 2 of Orange is the New Black on Netflix.  It's so good, and now I'm sad that I finished it so soon! I also finished catching up on The Mindy Project's last season, which is such a funny & sweet show. 

Image from here
Now I'm lost since summer TV is pretty sparse. Anything I should check out next on Netflix?

June 12, 2014

North Face ECSDC Trail Marathon Relay with the November Project family

This past weekend I was lucky enough to run not only my first trail race, but my first marathon relay race with my November Project (NP) Baltimore people! NP Baltimore was sending two relay teams of four, a guys and girls team, down to Virginia to run the North Face Endurance Challenge Series DC event along with teams from November Project tribes all along the east coast. 

Who wouldn't want to spend all day with these fine-looking people?

It was a 6 AM Saturday wake-up call, a car drive, a much-needed Starbucks pit stop, and then shuttle to the event at Algonkian Park in Virginia. As waited to board the shuttle, all the NP folks seemed to show up at once. There was tribes from Baltimore, DC, New York, and Boston. The Boston team was the two tribe leaders (who started this whole awesome community) Brogan and BG. I thought it was so freaking cool to meet them because I remember seeing them in Runner's World when I first read about November Project.   

Even though I'd only met a couple people from the DC tribe, everyone from all the tribes made sure to introduce themselves and give each person they met a big hug. It's why I freaking love this community-it's a big family. 

June 10, 2014

Buy a Shirt to Help Fight Hunger!

Tomorrow I'm going to recap all about my fun weekend and first trail run, but today I'm asking for your help!

 I've already talked about how you can sign up for the Women's Health RUN 10 FEED 10 race series and get a $5 off discount any race through me with the code "WHSESERKO"! 

There is even the "Run Your Own 10K" option where you can run a solo 10K or get a group of friends together to register and still receive an awesome tote bad and know that your registration fee is going to help fight hunger in the US. 

 I'm a Women's Health Action Hero and want to spread the word about the race series and great cause!

While I have a fundraising page to make donations to the FEED organization I thought I would try something fun for people to get involved in so I designed a tee shirt

June 5, 2014

Own Today {Momentum Jewelry Review & Giveaway}

Did you check out the reasons why I run yesterday? I hope you had a great National Running Day whether you got a run in or not!

Lately I've been really into mantras. Little words that help me reflect on the moment or task at hand are really helpful, especially with my anxiety. I love posting inspiring sayings on my walls and writing little quotes on post-its I put all over the place. 

Having some words of motivation and happiness can be really inspiring when you are having a hard day or a tough workout (or trying to complete the #RWRunStreak!). For the Baltimore Marathon back in October I wrote mantras like "dig deep" on my hands in sharpie, but they ended up coming off by the end of the race.  

I was really excited to be offered the chance to review Momentum Jewelry, a line of jewelry by Amy and Wendy which blends their passion for fitness and over 20 years of jewelry-making experience.  They make motivational jewelry that is workout-proof so you can be inspired while you get your sweat on!

June 4, 2014

Happy National Running Day 2014!

Happy National Running Day 2014! 

Yes, it's a real thing-you can check out more information here!

First of all, I've made it to day 10 of #RWRunStreak. I'm pretty proud of myself for making it a quarter of the way through the streak. Many of my runs are me convincing myself it'll just be 10 minutes (or less!) on the treadmill to run a mile in the evening when I really don't feel like it, but I've stuck with it and that's what counts. Today I'm counting my one mile as all the  running we did at November Project Baltimore this morning even though I didn't track it-I'm sure we ran over a mile with all those sprints!

To celebrate National Running Day you can pledge to run miles for charity, call a friend and go for a run after work, find a new running group, sign up for a summer or fall race, or just maybe just go for a run because it makes you happy. 

I'm going to share 5 reasons why I run

1. I run for me. Running is stress-relief. Sometimes it's challenging, sometime's it's relaxing. It's a hobby and a passion. It makes me happy!

June 2, 2014

MIMM: Will Run for Bananas

Um, when did June get here? I don't mind right now because I am loving sunny summery weekends. This weekend was one of those marvelous ones. 

 Time is flying by, and I'm SO excited that Fitbloggin' is in 26 days! YAY! I'll be talking about it before, during, and after the trip so stay tuned (and sorry in advance!). 

Friday I went to Crossfit and rocked some deadlifts and then lounged around watching TV and eating this kale salad I made to dinner from an Eating Bird Food recipe. This salad was so good and was boyfriend approved! I added some chicken on top to make it a full meal.  

I also picked up my latest package from Women's Health as part of my partnership with the magazine as a Women's Health Action Hero-two new flavors of the LUNA Protein Bars to try in lemon vanilla and chocolate coconut almond. I LOVE the chocolate chip cookie dough LUNA Protein Bar so I was excited to get to try these flavors.  I even got a couple chapsticks in the  chocolate coconut almond flavor and knew that flavor would be my favorite after testing those out!

As predicted, I loved the coconut chocolate almond which I gobbled up as a snack yesterday. It is gluten-free and packs 12g of protein in a delicious little bar that tastes like dessert! I packed the lemon vanilla flavor today as a pre-workout afternoon snack. 

Saturday morning I meant to go to a free AM yoga class but instead slept in. I did my first Surfset class at a new Baltimore fitness studio called Beachfit (more on that later this week!) which was fun and definitely worked my core.