Friday Faves!

Happy Friday, everyone!! It’s a stormy rainy day in Boston, what better way to hop into the weekend with my fave post! πŸ™‚

Here is what I’ve been feeling this week:

  1. New glasses

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Have you guys heard of Zenni’s Optical? My sister has shopped there for years, and has about 47 pairs of super cool prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses from them. I hadn’t gone to the eye doctor in an embarrassingly long amount of time, so it was high time for Ms Booyah to get her eyes checked this week. So I went to a very nice eye place in a very nice New England town, and I found a pair of eyeglasses that I absolutely loved. What I didn’t love was the fact that they would cost me $388.87. For one pair of glasses. I’m only nearsighted, so I only wear glasses for driving and reading things that are far away. I was absolutely floored. My extremely sensible sister gave me a wake-up call: hello, that is an outrageous price to pay for eye wear when you can get a pair from Zenni’s for less than $50.

At first, I wasn’t that thrilled about it, but then I started looking online and found the SUPER cute cat eye glasses pictured above. They cost $17.90. Seriously – with free lenses, and a protective coating over the lenses – they were less than $20. ARE YOU EVEN SERIOUS RIGHT NOW! I can now go back and buy 19 more pairs of glasses, for the $400 I would have spent at the fancy place. Also, you can upload a selfie so that you can “try on” the glasses online before you buy. Booyah Tip (from L’s sister, J): Measure your current pair of glasses and compare to the measurements given online so you know how they will fit on your face. πŸ˜‰

2. Athleta Energy Chaturanga Capri

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While I was waiting for my brow appointment on Newbury Street (all the important things in life, obv), I wandered into Athleta to check out their new fall stuff and absolutely fell in LOVE with these really cute capri bottoms. The bright blue color is amazing, and I’m obsessed (they look way better on Athleta’s site – I couldn’t find a picture that would do them justice, so check them out over there). I love the striped pair that I have – the material is thick, totally opaque and wicks sweat like a champ. I love that this pair of crops doesn’t have any pockets so you don’t have anything poking you when you’re laying on your back doing ab exercises (sit-ups are hard enough as is without a zipper digging into your back).Β  Love, love, love these! ❀

You can find them here.

3. Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver

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For more than 120 days, these two women have withstood obstacles (insurmountable obstacles, to any regular person), at the notoriously difficult Army Ranger School. They are the first two women in history that have graduated from Army Ranger training, receiving the coveted black and yellow Ranger Tab on their uniform. I have goosebumps on my arms as I type this – it is so incredible, and swells my heart with such pride, when I think of what these incredibly accomplished, astoundingly athletic and patriotic women have achieved. Just think: we, as women, can do anything. This is monumental.

Watch the video here.

4. Jennifer Aniston’s wedding band

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OK so this might be a little shallow after the accomplishments of America’s first female Army Rangers, but LOOK HOW PRETTY! Pure gorgeousness. I also love her simple mani.

5. CEP Compression Socks

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I grabbed these for a steal! As my training runs get longer over the summer in preparation for my plethora of fall half marathons, I finally invested in a pair of compression socks to help accelerate my recovery. Wearing compression socks after a long run helps your muscles to recover faster and more efficiently. I will be wearing the shiz out of these (and, I grabbed two pairs on clearance for a steal at City Sports – definitely watch out for deals on these, as they are normally around $60 for a pair).

Check them out here.

I hope that you guys have a wonderful weekend! I’m not up to much – hopefully the weather cooperates and I’m able to hit the beach again! Other than that, I’m looking forward to a relaxing, mellow weekend. What are you guys up to this weekend?? Tell me all about it in the comments! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

With warmth,
L

Sweet, dude! More snow! L’s Run Recap.

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Pre-run selfie! This hat makes me look like an elf and I’m loving it.

…Jk. Kinda. Okay, I’m kinda mad about it. I’m watching the snow continue to fall outside my window as Boston gets its 4th and 5th feet of snow today. I’m thinking of everyone who has to drive, shovel their car/driveway/sidewalk out (here you will get ticketed if you don’t shovel your sidewalk within 2 hours of the snow stopping), and all the guys doing snow removal for their third consecutive week 24 hours a day. Crazy, crazy. Even when I lived in Western New York, I don’t remember getting this much snow in such a short period of time. It’s pretty unreal.

However, since I *was* raised in WNY, Little Miss Stubborn Pants (that would be me, btw) decided to go for a 10+ mile run in 4″ or so of snow for Sunday Long Run Day at the beginning of this 3 day storm. Oh yeah, and on tired legs that lifted the day before (obviously the best way to train for a half marathon is to torture your body in cruel and unusual “I’m allergic to rest days” ways). What could go wrong?

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This is about the time I thought my Boss Level was a 10 but really it was about to be a 3.

 

Spoiler alert: If you’ve read this blog before, you know that every time I have an “I’m allergic to rest days” moment, it comes back to bite me in the ass in some magical way. Here, there is no exception.

Good news: I ran the 10 miles, mostly without stopping (except when I saw my friends on the trail and stopped to chat at mile 2.2).

Bad news: After mile 2.5 the trail was no longer plowed and I was slogging it through 4″ of semi-fresh, semi-packed down with foot prints and cross country ski trails snow. After mile 5 my left foot was soaked (through my sneaks and two pairs of socks) from the slush. At mile 7 I detached my YakTrax from my sneaks and carried them, and in doing so, soaked through my gloves immediately. At mile 9 some d***head wagged his finger at me and PULLED OVER on Mass Ave (a usually very busy, 4 lane, main-artery kinda road in Boston/Cambridge) to instruct me to run on the sidewalk, despite the fact that there was a) zero traffic; b) 75% of the sidewalks weren’t shoveled; c) I was following the rules of the road, running facing traffic in a plethora of visibility gear (blinking arm band, reflective bright yellow pinney over my otherwise all black outfit). I wanted to wag a different finger back at him, but decided to be the bigger person and told him that he should worry about his driving before immediately putting my earbuds back in and going on my way down Mass Ave. Really dude? Move along, buddy *waves hand to shoo him away*.

Worst news: It took me a few minutes post-run, after I removed my sneaks and pounded some water, before I realized something was seriously wrong with my right foot. I couldn’t put any weight on it and pointing my toes was excruciating. Well, sh*t. Lucky for me, one of my best friends of life who I’ve known since I was 3 years old (when our friendship was solidified by simultaneously dumping our Barbie Pool – aka a Tupperware bin full of water – all over the floor in her older brother’s room. Basically any time I got into serious trouble, it was with her. Love you, L!) is a physical therapist in California. She’s on the left coast, so I sent her photo evidence and answered about 50 questions before she gave me some exercises and homework to do (ice, Advil, foam rolling my calves and rolling my foot with a tennis ball). I took that as a sign that the rest of my Sunday Funday should be spent with my foot elevated eating food and watching Sons of Anarchy. Yup.

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Post-run selfie: #iwannadie. But that smoothie was EPIC as sin!

 

Lucky news: After icing/elevating/Advil, the ball of my foot was not nearly so swollen, and after a few hours I could put weight on it and point my toes without uttering every single curse word I’ve ever learned. Foam rolling and massaging my foot with a tennis ball made life even better, and so in an epic moment of FOMO (Mom – that means “Fear Of Missing Out”), I actually got up this morning at 5 am and went to the gym. Where we were doing treadmill work for the first half of class (of course) – sprinting at 9 mph for eternity and then resting for -4 seconds (at least that’s what it felt like). Even after all that, my foot is still feeling prettyyyy gooood, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this was my one stern warning from the Running Gods and now I actually have to take it easy until my race (which is in 13 days). Also, bff L texted me this morning to warn me against not running for a few days (oops) and to continue rolling for the next week or two as a precautionary measure (dude, I know – I’m a bad patient). But this time, I think I’ll listen (Mom and Dad, I heard you last night – I won’t run! I swear on Chanel). I may have to bury my sneakers in the 5 feet of snow outside so I’m not tempted. They are just sitting there, in the hall, looking at me.

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There they are…giving me some serious side eye.

Okay, okay – I won’t do it. I can resist the sneaker side eye. I hope you guys are all safe and sound, and warm and healthy today. All my Boston peeps – stay warm! Also let me know if you need help shoveling because the WNY Shovel Squad may be available to come help you out (seriously though, I think a bunch of people in my small group training class are going to pile in a car armed with snow pants and shovels, drive around* and Good Samaritan shovel random cars out later on. Gotta kill those shoulders!).

How was everyone’s weekend?? Did you get b****ed out by a rando on Mass Ave too?? Tell me all about it in the comments.

With warmth (for real),

L ❀

PS: This is what the roads looked like this morning when I left the gym:

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Glorious.

*K, that might not actually happen because the roads are seriously horrific. But if it does, you’ll be the first to know. πŸ˜‰

Snowy Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, all! Boston is in a panic today because of the looming blizzard (as a Western New Yorker myself, I just let all that crazy roll off my back). Yesterday I went to the grocery store after my long run and there were no parking spots, shopping carts, bananas OR tofu! Wtf. (My exact thought was “Ughhhhh…my legs are so sore. I do not want to deal with this.” But I sucked it up, and got all the things I needed for the week, and it was all relatively painless. Patience is a virtue). Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up the bus to Friday.

Friday night I had a luxuriously mellow evening. I also discovered Sons of Anarchy – um, hello Jax Teller. (If that reference is lost on you, I’m referring to the very attractive Charlie Hunnam who plays the tough and sensitive bad boy protagonist). Nothing that exciting happened. I was loving it.

Saturday.

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My Saturday morning breakfast: overnight museli with pomegranate, coconut and almond butter. Amaze balls.

Ah, Saturday. Usually Saturday sits in the place of glory as my favorite day of the week, but this one was not okay. My usual small group class had a make-up class on Saturday morning, before the back-to-back Spin/Body Pump craziness that is my usual Sweaturday jam. I put my cute gym outfit on, I ate my overnight oats I had prepped the night before, I even woke up extra early to brush the snow off the Marshmallow mobile.

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Saturday morning snow

As I was happily mid-brush (Wow! This snow is pretty!), I slipped on ice that was hidden under the few inches of freshly fallen snow. As I attempted to steady myself from falling on my ass, I stepped back on my right leg and somehow tweaked the spot on the back of my leg where your hamstring meets your glute. &%#@! I’m less than a month away from my half. I limped back upstairs to my apartment (with lots of cursing – don’t worry Mom I won’t share here), stuck a frozen bag of peas under my bum and starting sending out the S.O.S text messages to my trainer and gym buddies who were expecting me. I was so mad. At myself, for not being careful and paying attention to where I was stepping, and just rushing to get to class. I iced it for awhile and recovered my composure, and started to think this out. Stretching. Stretching would be good. I gave myself a little pep talk, “L. This is going to be okay. We’re going to stretch this out, and it’s going to feel better. The end.” I half dragged, half limped to a 90 minute hot Vinyasa class in the snow an hour or so after my internal pep talk.

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This is what you wear to Hot Yoga when you have to trudge through the snow. So many layers!

Buckets of sweat and lots of Ujjyai breaths later, I was already feeling better. After class, I approached the instructor and told him my predicament. “This hurts, right here,” I said, pointing to my right butt cheek. “Would you mind giving me a few poses to really stretch it? Impatient Annie over here slipped on some ice and pulled it funny this morning rushing to get to the gym.” He smiled and gave me an extra 15 minutes of stretching and showed me how to massage the muscle where it was feeling sore. I felt MUCH better. He also left me with this nugget of wisdom,Β “Maybe you should take a day off and rest. I think your body is talking to you. You need to listen.” Lesson learned: be patient, aware, and take rest when you need it. I’m not going to lie – this is a really difficult thing for me. Daily exercise, for me, is for mental clarity over all else (i.e. the physical benefits, like how you feel like a rockstar of life, and how smokin’ you look, etc). Running and exercising help me to clear my mind as I start my day, and my spirit feels like it sparkles a little brighter when I accomplish something physical in the morning right out of the gate. It is difficult for me to listen to my sore muscles and take a day off. Then, something like this happens and I am forced to take a day off.

So, I channeled my inner crunchy self, and listened to my body. First thought, “I need bread. Warm, fresh bread.” I bought a loaf of bread from my favorite bakery and ate the whole damn thing (…Over the course of the day, so don’t get your judge-y pants all in a twist – and it was a small bΓ’tard, not a whole round loaf. That makes it okay, right?). Second thought, “I need chocolate. Super dark, 85% cacao, melt in your mouth, vegan chocolate.” So I ate dark chocolate. And rested. All day. I did not attempt a short run, I did not collect $200, I did not pass “Go”.Β  I did not even go for a walk. I kept that leg elevated all day and sent positive, healing vibes straight to my right butt cheek. And you know what? I felt better.

Sunday Runday – aka the time I *almost* pooped my pants running 12 miles.

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In my pre-run bliss of not knowing lay ahead of me.

If I said I was too embarrassed to write this, I would be lying. After I walked in the door from my run and this situation was over (and no Lulu running pants were harmed), the first thing I did was call my best friend, and then my sister, and told them this story, as I laughed so hard, tears were streaming down my face. Here’s a little back story. When B and I were training for our sprint triathlon, we read somewhere on a “Tips” list that you should run with a plastic bag with an extra set of clothes in case you had an accident. An accident?! Like when could you not control that?! We found this hilarious and played out what to do with the plastic bag of clothes during your race. Do you carry it in your hand? Do you put it in a backpack? Anyway, that’s when I first heard of that (also it was the first thing B brought up when I told her my story, when she stopped laughing so hard she could speak again), I did not believe it could happen. The instance of long distance runners (how do I put this delicately?) not making it to the port-a-potty in time was confirmed when a friend told me she made her girlfriend a sign for her first marathon (as a joke!) that read, “E, DON’T POOP YOUR PANTS” which is hilarious, and I started to realize, an actual thing (Oh, and FYI: E didn’t poop her pants during the marathon). I never had any experience with this until my 12 miler yesterday. I’ll spare you the details and just say, at Mile 8, things were not cool. Lucky for me, I was running through a town center where there was cafe that I sprinted straight into, and straight into the restroom, to the bewilderment of the Sunday brunch crowd.

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Sunday was the perfect winter run day! The sun was shining and the trails were mine! Except…you know.

I did not think I was going to make it the remaining 4 miles home, but I did it! To add insult to injury, other bad things happened to compound my digestive issues: my phone started dying (which I then put on airplane mode to conserve battery for the tunes), I mistakenly paused my run at mile 6.25 on the Nike+ app trying to change the song so it stopped recording my pace, and at mile 10 I stopped caring where I was running and my feet were SOAKED from the slush. But I freakin’ did it. I made it. And even though I’m omitting the more colorful details of this story, I know you all are a bunch of imaginative folks that can fill in the gaps. Think: lots of swearing. Anyway – now you know, bad things can happen to anyone (even/especially to the people that make light of these situations which, had there not be a restroom where it was, may have ended up differently). But you just have to laugh at it, because life is too damn short to be embarrassed. Plus, that shiz is funny.

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I made it! And no Lulu running pants were harmed.

So…what did YOU guys do this weekend?? Tell me your life story in the comments.

Happy Monday all! Stay safe in the snow today, if you’re getting hit with that Nor’easter! I hope you guys have a great day and don’t poop your pants. πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

With warmth,

L ❀

L’s Workout Playlist of the Moment

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It’s Thursday! Time for comfy sweaters and smiles. πŸ˜€

Oh hey. So, I was totally supposed to cook something last night, but instead got sidetracked at the grocery store trying to find vegan chocolate and got home late. I found some!

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…And then I sat on my couch in comfy pants and munched on it while I simmered my chickpeas. I decided to go all out for this chickpea/kale dish I’ve formulated in my head and started with dried chickpeas. Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve cooked with dried beans (which are of course better for you/more budget-friendly but my general feeling is “ain’t nobody got time for that” and end up with a bomb-shelter worthy amount of Goya canned beans in my pantry). So, I soaked them the night before, like you’re supposed to, and since I threw the packaging out had to ask the Almighty Googles how long to cook them for. Answer? Two hours. I looked at the clock – it was almost 7 pm. When you get up at 5 am everyday, bedtime is the same for me as it is for 8 year olds: 9:30 pm. Then I looked at the chocolate I had just purchased and cracked that open instead (it was divine, in case you’re wondering). Oh, and my Farro with Tempeh, Leeks and Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts continues to be epic, even when you have it for lunch AND dinner in one day. πŸ˜‰

Unfortch, I have no new dishes to provide you with, but am making an stellar one tonight (recipe will be coming tomorrow, I pinkie swear). Once I simmered the chickpeas, I rinsed and drained them and stuck them in a glass container and stuck them right into the fridge. If I get my act together, this will be my new Sunday Funday activity: cooking beans for the week! πŸ˜€ Also on my Sunday Funday list: long run!

I could probably run forever listening to house music, so that’s my theme of the week, as I’m about to crank up the miles this Sunday. I’m looking forward to it, I haven’t had a good long run in my element in awhile. It was hella fun to run on the beach (don’t get me wrong) in Florida, but there is something great about getting up and running my usual path with all the early morning Boston runners in the freezing cold. I’m part polar bear, because I truly love cold-weather running. I figured I would share my playlist for this weekend. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have a playlist called “5K” on my iPhone, that once upon a time had only a few songs totaling less than 30 minutes (you guessed it – I used to listen to it when I ran a 5 km race). I liked it so much that it became my run pump-up mix, and every time I downloaded new songs, I would just add them to the end of the list. When I listen, I start down near the end of the list where I’ve added my new songs. Sometimes I’ll play them all over again, or sometimes I’ll let it restart all the way at the beginning . I’m a weirdo like that. Here is what I’ll be listening to:

  • No Beef – Steve Aoki & Afrojack
  • Drinking from the Bottle – Calvin Harris
  • Don’t Stop the Madness – Hardwell & W&W
  • Ping Pong – Armin van Buuren
  • Need U (100%) – Duke Dumont
  • Turn it Up- Mercer
  • The Show – Mike Mago
  • Man Hands – Mike Mago
  • Work B**ch – Britney
  • Are You With Me – Lost Frequencies
  • I’m an Albatraoz – AronChupa*
  • 7/11 – Beyonce
  • Hey Mama (feat. Nicki Minaj & Afrojack) – David Guetta

If you’re curious as to what else is on there, check out these posts with more of my playlists:

It’s FRIDAY!Β  *High Kicks*

Well, sh*t

Well, I hope you guys all have a fantastic Thursday – it’s ALMOST Friday! Wohoooo!!! I can’t wait, I have some fun weekend plans up my sleeve. What are you guys doing this weekend?? Tell me all about it in the comments. You know I love that shiz.

In the words of my mom, “I hope you have a BOOYAH day!” πŸ˜‰

With warmth,

L ❀

*This song is actually kind of annoying/weird but I feel like it goes along with the “It’s so fugly it’s cute!” mentality that applies to clothing/accessories that I seem to really love – I looooooove to straddle that fugly/cute line sometimes. B, I know you’ve got my back on this one! ❀

It’s FRIDAY!! *High kicks*

In college, whenever my Little Sister (I was in a sorority) and I got super pumped about something, we would high kick. No matter what circumstance, no matter how out of place that leg up in the air seemed, it would happen. It seems especially appropriate today because I will see her in less than one month from today! And it’s Friday AND it’s Long Run Day! *double high kick*

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Smiles, Sunshine & Scarves – the three S’s of a stellar Friday πŸ˜‰

In preparation for Long Run Day, I started my day off with an especially fantastic batch of Tropical Overnight Oats (if I could stick an mini umbrella in my bowl of oats this morning, I would have. It was very deserving of one). It had half of a pomegranate (I was driving the struggle bus trying to get those gorge ruby pom seeds out last night, without destroying them – but I did it!), a whole kiwi, a small handful of coconut flakes, two dates, almond butter and of course – because we can’t do anything around here without adding a little spice to jazz it up, from stews to smoothies – cinnamon, cloves and cardamom (I should literally buy stock in McCormick the way I’m going through cinnamon).

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Last night’s maj meal prep struggles. All the best fruits and veggies make you work for it! πŸ˜›

YUM! It was super tasty, and offset the fact that I need to work on my French Press coffee : water ratios to have my coffee not be caffeinated tar (whoops – overzealous scooping this AM).

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Breakfast at my desk! Tropical overnight oats with pomegranate, dates, kiwi, coconut, almond butter and trifecta of spices (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom). Def worthy of a cocktail umbrella.

For lunch I have a salad (I pack one just about everyday!) this one has baby kale, baby spinach, red onion, grated carrots, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes and avocado. Because it’s Bagel Friday at the office, I brought a packet of Justin’s Honey Almond Butter to put on my bagel instead of cream cheese (which I will save til lunch – those overnight oats stick with ya!), two apples and dessert – a Chocolate Almond vegan protein bar! So many noms. The Greek yogurt (topped with local honey) is my snack to fight of the hangry at 3 pm. Solidddd.

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Carbs to the face! This will power my stems on my long run later, woop woop!

I also just made a new playlist last night in anticipation of my long run! I thought I’d share, since I’m always on the lookout for new running music, maybe you are too. πŸ˜€

L’s Playlist of the Moment

  • Outside (feat. Ellie Goulding) – Calvin Harris
  • Divine Sorrow (feat. Avicii) – Wyclef Jean
  • Dangerous (feat. Sam Martin) – David Guetta
  • Won’t Look Back – Duke Dumont
  • Some Chords (Dillon Francis remix) – deadmau5
  • Exceeder (UMEX & Mike Vale Remix) – Mason
  • Burnin – Calvin Harris & R3hab
  • #SELFIE – Botnek remix
  • Virus (How About Now) – Martin Garrix & MOTi
  • Wicked Games (feat. Anna Naklab) – Parra for Cuva
  • Booty – Jennifer Lopez feat. Iggy Azalea
  • Cool down/Stretching: Gravity – Sara Bareilles

It’s pretty dance heavy, but I like the intense beats while I’m pounding the pavement. It keeps me moving in the cold! I’m already mentally preparing for the 26Β°F (-3Β°C) degree night run that’s waiting for me this evening. Brrrr! Lots of layering will be happening tonight.

Happy Frid-YAY!! (Too much?? Lol). I hope you all have stellar days, and an even better weekend! Have a great one! πŸ™‚

xoxox

L ❀

42 Seconds

Sweat was dripping down my face and my elbows were getting rug burns as I desperately pulled myself forward. Grunting, I thought, “This will all be worth it in 7 days. This will all be worth it in 7 days.” Pain seared down my legs. I squeezed my eyes shut and heaved my body forward one last time.

I was having a special moment with my foam roller.

Why so sore you ask? Well, as you can see from the countdown on my blog, my first half marathon is in 6 days. I’ve been pushing myself extra hard at the gym and on my training runs, trying to get those legs in tip-top shape so I can run my heart out for those 13.1 miles. Yesterday was a big day for me. I had been getting jittery and nervous last week as I watched those countdown numbers slowly tick down, and I promised myself I would crank out one last “long” (for me) practice run to convince myself I could do it. I set my sights on 10 miles. 10 miles, I could do it, no big deal. I woke up yesterday feeling good, made myself an amazing breakfast, my Autumn-themed overnight oats:

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L’s Autumn Overnight Oats with banana, cranberry compote, blueberries, delicata squash and almond butter; topped with pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and a swirl of maple syrup.

You can find my recipe for overnight oats here: Overnight Oats. This time, I topped my oats with blueberries, banana, almond butter, leftover roasted delicata squash, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, a little maple syrup and a quick cranberry compote. I had leftover cranberries from another recipe and whipped this up:

Quick Cranberry Compote
Ingredients

1 cup of fresh cranberries

1 – 2 Tbsp raw coconut sugar

Directions: Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat, and cook about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until berries start to pop but are still whole. Transfer to a bowl to cool; serve.

Optional: A splash of orange juice and zest of a quarter of an orange, but I had neither on hand. You can also increase the sugar to 1/2 cup if you want something sweeter, I really like the tartness of the cranberries with the other fruits in my oats, so I kept the sugar minimal.

The delicata squash I roasted for a snack on Saturday and put the leftover in the fridge. I scooped out about half of my leftover squash for the oats. (All I did was cut the squash in half length-wise, scoop the seeds out and lightly brush some melted soy butter over the inside. Roast at 450F for ~30 minutes for delicious, soft and creamy delicata squash. Easy peasy).

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Roasted Delicata Squash

Anywho, after I chomped that down and did a little tidying up, my “Booyah!” attitude was flagging. The little voice of doubt in my head started up.

– I don’t want to do this.

– You HAVE to do this, it’s the last Sunday before your race.

(etc, etc…I’ll spare you my 20 minute internal monologue – you get the idea)

I laced my sneakers up, picked a good song to start out, and pushed myself out the front door. It was crisp and sunny, and the fall colors were really amping up their game. You got this, I said.

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Dude, my shoelaces match the leaves.

I had one of those runs where you surprise yourself, when the choppy robot-lady voice from the Nike+ app interrupts your song: One mile completed. Average pace: nine minutes and fifteen seconds. As I racked up my miles, my pace did not deviate. I couldn’t believe it. It’s only a matter of time before my pace slows down to “normal,” or so I thought.

Five miles. Average pace: nine minutes and twenty-one seconds. (I then ate my mocha energy gel).

My legs were under protest, but I kept going. One foot in front of the other. Up, down. Up, down. I said all of my mantras to myself. I made up new ones. I hummed along to my music. Don’t slow down, I said.

Ten miles. Average pace: nine minutes and twenty seconds.

Let’s make it 11 miles. One more mile, you can do this, I said.

Robot lady: Eleven miles…I ripped off my headphones. I did it! BOO-freaking-YAH!

In the end, I shaved off 42 seconds from my mile split time. 42 seconds: half a minute, plus 12 seconds. I have not had that much of a jump in my speed since I started running consistently. I am walking like I just got off a horse today, and thinking about foam rolling my legs again tonight makes me cringe, but who the hell cares. 42 seconds!! Hells yeah!

Moral of today’s story: Get out there and do it. You might not want to, but you always have the potential to surprise yourself. πŸ™‚

Happy Monday/Columbus Day!

– L (who today, has no legs).

πŸ˜›

Long Run Prep – 8.6 miles with J on the Charles River

My first half marathon is right around the corner. Lucky for me, I have some amazing friends/running buddies. Tonight I’m running 8.6 miles with my friend J. Once upon a time, we were lab partners in Thermodynamics Lab, now we run along the Charles and talk about life – upgrade! It makes the runs go by that much faster when you have someone to chat with and appreciate the scenery with as you are running along.

Having views like this on my run make me fall in love with Boston all over again <3

Having views like this on my run make me fall in love with Boston all over again ❀

To start my day off on the right foot, I made my overnight oats for breakfast (See recipe here). Today I topped them off with hemp hearts, cinnamon, strawberries, banana, blueberries and almond butter. I felt that extra boost of potassium from the banana and strawberries was very necessary given the fun time I had going out with K last night (http://instagram.com/p/t-RkTUgUb7/).

Pre-run overnight oats

Pre-run overnight oats

I skipped the gym this morning to save my legs for tonight, and I always get extra hungry on non-gym days. I’ve packed myself a bunch of healthy snacks and a multiple choice lunch (I pack a little extra so I have plenty of options):

lunch

Leftover vegan pizza, Best Baked Tofu Ever, Macoun & Honeycrisp apples, plain Greek yog and a banana

It’s a good feeling to be excited about what you have for lunch. πŸ™‚

Every Friday when I go on these long runs, it’s always a bummer to get home at around 8 pm and have nothing fun to eat. I’ve typically been making smoothies and eating toast after these evening runs – nutritious, but not very exciting. This week, that is going to change. I’ll be whipping up some Crock-Pot Vegan Pumpkin Chili tonight. (Spoiler alert: it has black and red kidney beans, peppers, onion, carrots, jalapeno, tomatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, lime and TONS of spices). After work, I’ll prep my chili in the crock-pot and put it on low to simmer for a few hours while I go for my run. By the time I come in the door, it will be ready to be housed! I’m really excited about this idea, and I look forward to sharing the recipe tonight. I’ll be putting my farm-stand bought pumpkin and butternut squash to good use, and have something warm and delicious to eat after my run. Score! The thought of a bowl of chili waiting for me is enough to help me power through those last few miles.

I hope you all have a great Friday today.

– L