October 31, 2014

5 Friday Favorites: My Favorite Things About Halloween {via gifs!}

I didn't think I would post today, but I'm in the Halloween spirit so I'm linking up with the Friday Five hosted by Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar.  I got in a chilly 10K run this AM and even spotted a few dogs already in costume-SO cute. 

I'm really excited to dress up as Wonder Woman, my spirit animal tonight and to have a few pumpkin beers, some candy, and have fun!


October 29, 2014

Think of the Possibilities: Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mizuno on behalf of Fitfluential. As always all opinions and thoughts are my own!

This summer, I talked about how it was a big deal for me to switch to the Adidas Energy Boost 2 running shoes for marathon training since I had only been running in Brooks shoes for 2 1/2 years. Once you find a brand you like, usually you stick with them.  Also if I'm throwing down some dough for shoes, I don't have a lot of wiggle room to be adventurous in case they don't work out.  

I've always heard great things about Mizuno but just didn't think I was a Mizuno girl. 

Naturally I jumped at the chance to try their new Wave Rider 18 shoes when the Fitfluential opportunity came up because I was intrigued by the brand. In my post-marathon transition stage, it seemed like the perfect time to play around with a new pair of shoes. I could try on being a Mizuno girl for a little bit and see how it feels!

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review1

The Wave Rider 18 is a neutral shoe is said to provide a smooth and responsive ride while being a lightweight daily trainer.  They have been on sale since the beginning of the month for the MRP of $119.99.  They come in black/silver (what I received), blue atoll/silver, and white/fuchsia purple color schemes for women. You can check out the men's color schemes here

October 27, 2014

My New Fall Fashion Staples

It's been all about running on the blog lately but now that my marathon training is over, I'm taking some time to talk about other things that make me happy like fashion and beauty. I devour my monthly fashion magazines and love creating outfits so I thought I'd share some fall pieces that are becoming staples of my wardrobe as the weather gets colder.  


October 24, 2014

Chicago Marathon 2014: The Big Race Recap

My race recap of the Chicago Marathon is going to be long, and I'll probably think of a million details I wanted to mention right after I hit publish (le sigh). 

Since it's been almost two weeks since the race I mostly just have feelings from different parts of the race and my overall happiness with the Chicago Marathon left so this won't be a mile by mile breakdown if that's what you were looking for. 

The morning of the race I was lucky enough to crash at the apartment my friend was staying at on Michigan Avenue RIGHT across from Grant Park and the start line. This was a life saver since I was staying on the edge of the city and would have had a long train ride to the start and was still sick. All of my rest, medicine, and homeopathic immune boosters must have worked some magic because I woke up feeling pretty good Sunday morning.

I wasn't sure how my sinuses would feel once I got running, but the lack of feeling like a congested, sniffly mess like I had been all week was a good sign. 

All my gear laid out-Flat Lauren is ready to race!

October 21, 2014

Chicago Marathon 2014 Expo: Before the Start Line

I still have so many thoughts about the Chicago Marathon so here's a little pre-race recap. 

If you missed it, read about how I took a walk break last week and Skechers great Breast Cancer Awareness campaign going on this month.  

My last training update discussed how I had gotten sick the week before the marathon. Unfortunately the day I was flying out, a mere 3 days before the race, I started feeling worse. I was tired, worn down, sniffly, and dealing with sinus congestion & headaches. I decided to get the expo out of the way Friday morning (and I sadly felt worse) so I'd have more time to rest later. 

I must say it was one of the most organized and nicest race expos I've ever been to! It also wasn't too crowded Friday morning, and there was plenty of space in between rows of vendors so you weren't constantly being forced to move out of the way for people. 

When you walked in they had a little photo op with the start line and a countdown until the race.  All I kept thinking was I had 44 hours to feel better.

One of the coolest things was how when you walked up to a row of people with your confirmation page you were given a number and directed towards another desk area with those numbers. As I walked up to my desk number, a volunteer said "Lauren? Here's your packet." Pretty cool. 

The only lame thing was that the marathon shirts were just plain gray Nike tech tees that said Bank of America Chicago Marathon on the front in white. Pretty underwhelming, but I suspect it's because Nike wants you to buy all their other pretty marathon merchandise.  

Chicago Marathon 2014 Expo1

October 19, 2014

Walk Not Run and Skechers Breast Cancer Awareness

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Skechers. As always all opinions and thoughts are my own!

Seriously THANK YOU to every person on social media who gave me shout outs, commented on my last blog post, and who helped cheer me on before the Chicago Marathon. Reading all those messages from people who believe in me was what powered me through my the race after being sick up until the night before. More on that later but spoiler alert: it was GREAT!

After the marathon, even though I was really pumped and exciting about running more, I took a walk break. 

Yep, I traded my running shoes in for walking shoes this week. 

Staying active and healthy is clearly important to me. I truly believe it makes me a happier and healthier person inside and out.  Especially since my body was fighting an illness all week before the race, and I wanted to stay as healthy as possible afterwards so I could have fun on my trip, I decided to take it extra easy this week. That means no runs, no interval circuits,no spin classes, no Crossfit classes-even though I was itching to get strong again. 

Sleeping in, indulging in many beers & doughnuts, and NOT following a training plan felt great. It doesn't mean I was sitting on a couch all day though. 

Skechers GOWalk2 Breast Cancer Awareness-Walk Not Run_Chicago 

October 9, 2014

How to Get Over Being Sick Fast: Marathon Taper Update

So I've been in taper town and everything was going great until I woke up sick yesterday. Yes sick, as in I'm supposed to run 26.2 miles on Sunday and I've caught a cold from my boyfriend.  Don't worry I already yelled at him!  

I also JUST realized it's my second blogiversary. The celebration will have to wait until after Sunday I'm afraid! 

Once I felt the scratchy throat and post-nasal drip in the morning I immediately broke down in tears. Tapering makes you extra emotional, don't you know?  My first thought was how I spent 17 weeks and all summer training for a race that I'm not going to run. Or one that I'm going to try to run and suck at/it will suck. I'm going back and forth between telling myself I'll be fine by Sunday and the race will suck.  Trying to breathe deeply and smile, most of the time though!   


October 6, 2014

Expo East 2014 Trends and Favorite Products

I was lucky enough to be able to attend Natural Products Expo East 2014 right in Baltimore a few weeks ago. Last year was my first time attending and was super overwhelming. Expo East  is a huge expo where brands and exhibitors come to showcase all of their products including brand new ones to industry professionals, retailers, distributors, and the press. 

This year I knew what to expect and made sure to bring a big bag for all my goodies. I thought it seemed less crowded on the floor even though I had less time to spend at the Expo than last year. I still got to try some amazing products, talk to great brands and companies, and leave with bags of swag. 

I left stuffed from samples each time and made sure to snap some photos of my favorites!  I spent most of my time in the supplement and food sections of the expo.

Natural Products Expo East 2014

October 3, 2014

Pin it Party 6

I decided to join Lindsay's Pin it Party this Friday since I LOVE saving things on Pinterest. I've put together some of my favorite articles and recipes lately that I'd love to get pinned more!  

pin it party e1390186029146 Pin It Party 6

I have been trying to make my posts more Pinterest-friendly for all you people like me who save everything they want to look at later using the site!

Just click on the photos to go to that blog page or the links below to go straight to the pin!

October 2, 2014

Protein-Packed Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Since it's already October I know everyone is all like OMG PUMPKIN EVERYTHING but my love for bananas never wavers. 

So last week when I spotted a couple dark brown bananas begging to be eaten, banana bread was exactly what I was craving. I am always saving and pinning banana bread recipes because it's something I can't just get enough of. I used this recipe as a starting point and changed it to so it packed a protein-punch (and to accommodate what I had on hand!). It came out super moist, sweet, and delicious. 

Somehow my boyfriend and I made a whole loaf disappear in a matter of days. 

The only question now is when I'm going to get my hands on some overripe bananas to make it again. If you're looking for more foods to add extra protein into your diet check out this article. See below for my recipe and share! 

Protein Packed Chocolate Chip Banana Breadtitle1