WIAW #64: Wedding Eats

This WIAW covers a Saturday that began with post run brunch in New York City and ended at a wedding with perhaps the most food I’ve ever seen in one room. Unfortunately I was too busy to get many photos, but I hope my description does it justice! Anyway, brunch was two gluten free waffles along with a spinach and Cheddar cheese omelet.

 

 

Van's gluten free waffles and spinach and cheese omelet

 

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WIAW #62

This week’s WIAW features my usual weekend eats when I’m spending a summer weekend at my parents’ house in Connecticut, as I did this past weekend. It’s typically an apple and peanut butter, an apple and homemade muffin, or apple and Larabar before my Saturday long run. Usually in the summer I will eat a lighter snack because the heat makes it harder for me to digest before getting out there, but as I get into marathon training I’m trying to figure out the right balance of fueling well without it feeling like too much. This time it was half an apple and two Apple Cinnamon Flax Muffin Bites with peanut butter.

 

 

Apple Cinnamon Flax Muffin Bites

 

 

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Five Things Friday (x4): Running Survey

I saw this running survey on Lisa’s, Kelly’s, and Heather’s blogs and thought I’d give it a whirl this Friday! It’s technically 20 questions but I figured 5 x 4 = 20. So really it’s like I’m quadrupling the Five Things Friday fun.

 

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?

I’ve never run on either a beach path or a mountain trail, but if it was a path on a beach and not actually sand I would totally take the beach. I love the ocean and dislike running hills. Of course, one can have mountainous beach. Some of the best New England beaches are rocky.

 

Of course, one can have mountainous beach...some of the best New England beaches are rocky.

Kennebunk, Maine

 

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First Week of June + Dinner at the Eveready Diner

Happy Saturday, everyone! Hope all of your weekends are off to a great start. While the week started off pretty gloomy with lots of rain here in the northeast, it’s been a beautiful past couple of days and June is shaping up nicely, so I’m checking in about life lately – running, studying, and start-of-summer eats, including a trip to the Eveready Diner.

 

Despite the rain, I managed to get some good runs in this week. I did 6 miles each on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in Connecticut, on the roads near my house and the Rail Trail, and have a 4-mile race tomorrow in Central Park that I’ll add a mile to with jogging to the start. I was lucky on Monday that there was a lull in the storm in the morning – not so lucky later in the day when Sasha needed to go for a walk. We are both glad the sun has come out to play, though it looks like there might be a few storms in the coming week. A warm and dry puppy is always the happiest!

 

A sunny trail for my run...

Sasha wasn't sure if it had really stopped raining!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Running Snack Recipe Roundup

Happy Friday, everyone! I got it in my head to do a Five Things Friday this week with a roundup of five of my favorite recipes for pre-run snacks, in honor of National Running Day. They’re all on my Recipes page, but it’s fun to collect them all in a neat little array and share why I enjoy particular ones before different runs. Especially since the importance of running fuel is something I did not fully appreciate until the past year – when I ran my first half marathon, I did so with just a few sips of water along the way and no fuel at all for about 12 hours before the race start (after an early dinner the prior evening, around 6pm, the next food I got was my post-race apple at 10:30 and I had a temper tantrum for more food by noon when it took awhile to be seated at post-race brunch!) Now, I typically don’t fuel much for weekday morning runs that I start really early (6:30am or earlier) but if I’m not getting out the door until after 7, I at least grab a little muffin or a handful of cereal for a shorter run. And for longer runs, any of these treats is the perfect fuel to stave off hunger and keep me going!

 

1. Anything PB&J: I find that a little peanut butter and jelly is the perfect mix of fuel to get me ready to run in the morning. For a typical 5-6 miler at an easy pace, just a rice cake or two smeared with some of the good stuff does the trick. For a longer jaunt, a PB&J Oatmeal Cake is the perfect fuel.

 

PB&J Oatmeal Cake

 

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Springing into Healthy: 21 Days of Clean Eating

I was invited to join a three-week clean eating challenge to jumpstart my healthy eating this spring by fellow blogger and holistic health coach Laura Pfeiffer. I’ve never done any formal ‘reset’ of my eating before, and in the past tended to avoid cutting out specific food groups because of my history with food restriction. Now I’m in a really good place with food, though –  we’re pretty much best buds. I thought taking part in the clean eating challenge would be a great way to allow me to learn why my body craves certain foods at different times, and to try ‘resetting’ my natural sweet tooth by eliminating sugar. I’m not totally cutting it, of course. But I’m going to avoid all artificial sweeteners, and limit natural sweeteners to those found in my favorite snacks like whole fruits. I don’t typically rely on sweeteners anyway – in fact, I can generally taste the sweet notes in baby carrots and cooked broccoli – but I think it’ll be a great refresher for my palate.

The first week of the challenge involves eliminating the following:

  • Sugar
  • Wheat
  • Fatty or processed meat
  • Cow’s milk
  • Processed foods

It won’t mean much in the way of changes for me other than sugar and milk. I don’t eat meat anyway (only fish and poultry) and I’m allergic to wheat! I eat a lot of yogurt, ice cream, and cheese, so that will definitely be tough. During the second week, dairy can be added back in. By the third week, the focus will be on making good choices most of the time while acknowledging cravings from time to time.

 

None of this for a few weeks...

None of this for a few weeks…

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A Long (and Winding) Run

I looked at my calendar this week and realized I was just past the halfway point between my two winter half marathons – I’m not sure how that happened so quickly! To be fair, it does feel like quite awhile since I was in Florida, having an amazing time running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and fueling up with all the delicious allergy-free treats on offer. But I thought that it felt far in the past because of the winter weather we’ve been having in the Northeast…the realization that it was over a month ago crept up on me! I’ve got less than four weeks to go until the New York City Half Marathon.

 

At the finish line of my first half marathon!

At the finish line of my first half marathon!

 

While I’m sure lots of seasoned runners think nothing of running multiple half marathon distances in a compressed period of time, it’s a first for me. I cut back during the two weeks after the Disney half marathon, running only 4-6 miles a few times each week. About two weeks after the race, I did an 8-miler, and today was my longest in-between run of 10 miles. At this point in my running career, I consider anything over 8 miles to be a Long Run, and this one definitely felt that way!

 

The long and winding road (or run!)

The long and winding road (or run!)

Long runs don’t feel different than short distances just because of the length of time your body is in motion. In fact, I find that it takes me a good three miles to get into a run, and once I hit mile 5 or 6, it’s easy to keep going for another few. Any little aches or pains usually fade away (they come back with a vengeance post-run, but that’s another story!) What I really need to keep me going is to focus on something positive. I don’t necessarily mean that I need to think happy thoughts –  in fact, I’ll often devote a lot of time on long runs to thinking through a problem, something in my life that isn’t going quite the way I’d like it to. I’ll usually have found a way to put a new spin on an off-kilter situation by the time I’m ready to cool down. There’s something about being out of doors and in motion that puts all the little things in life in perspective, and my long runs give me the chance to take a metaphorical step back and gain that perspective, while also literally moving forward.

 

Today, I shoved all thoughts of law school and my impending graduation and relationships and my upcoming dinner party and literally EVERYTHING ELSE out of my mind. Instead, I ruminated on running (of all the things!) as I ran. More specifically, the time I’ve spent running. Just under a year ago, I was gearing up for the same race, my first half marathon and only my fourth race ever! Looking back, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come – two years ago was the first time I ran a 5k distance without stopping, something I never dreamed of doing. I was the girl tried to get out of running the mile in gym class by bringing a note from my ballet teacher saying it was unsafe for dancers. Even when I started jogging as a coxswain, it was never more than a mile and change down the river path or around Oxford, and always with plenty of walking. Now, I have two half marathons under my belt, a third coming up, and a fourth already on deck for September!

 

Taking the scenic route by  a snow-capped Harlem Hill

Taking the scenic route by a snow-capped Harlem Hill

If I had told my 13- or 16- or even 20-year-old self that this is where I’d be at 23, I wouldn’t have been able to believe it. And that’s something I need to keep in mind. A long run is the perfect time to refresh my memory, because even if I feel a little sore for the first few miles, or the wind is a bit harsh, or I’m certain I won’t be able to finish – I realize that every step is an achievement in and of itself, pushing beyond imaginary limits into a new realm of possibility. It’s a wonderful thought, an even better feeling, and today, it was just the fuel I needed to finish 10 miles strong.

 

 

And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to refuel, because even the best mental state requires a plate of healthy, delicious and nutritious calories to maintain! I’m thinking a few muffins for a quick protein and carb fix while I whip up a plate of eggs and my special pancakes…

Saucy Cinna-cakes with scrambled eggs and fresh blueberries!

Saucy Cinna-cakes with scrambled eggs and fresh blueberries!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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