The Weekly Pulse

How was everyone’s weekend?! Mine was pretty good, although I left the weekend with a bit of a cold. Or maybe it’s the training?  Hopefully there’s a quick fix – like eat more! I’m linking up with Tara for the Weekend Update, Katie for Marvelous in my Mondays, and Erin for Weekend Snapshots.

First off – I completed all of my training plan for this past week — FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!!! (or at least this year, and I think last year!)


All greens!

The weekend started on Friday – great weather, although my car didn’t seem to think so. The A/C hadn’t been working great, but seemed to work as we packed the car up to head up to Madison for some riding on Saturday. And literally as I’m getting on the highway, we realize there’s steam coming out of the engine. Veer off to the side ramp exit, and we head to the mechanic.

Turns out that the issue is only with the A/C, as in we can drive up to Madison without the A/C on. Even though it’s 70 degrees out. Overly warm car + Lauren ==> stressed out.  It was still almost 70 degrees at 9 PM when we arrived in Madison:


We make it to Madison, fill our bellies at Chipotle, and then go to the hotel to check in. Except then we realize no one made the hotel reservation! Thank goodness there was space. I really needed that glass of wine after that.
wine for stress relief someecard

Thankfully the Vision Quest Madison Ride on Saturday was not as accident-riddled! It was pretty smooth. I felt stronger out there than last year (could be since I just rode one loop instead of two like the end of last summer), and the weather was decent. I could have used a pair of arm warmers– but only for the first part of the ride.

After the ride, Bernie & I went out for our run. She’s super nice and from my Wellfit training crew. Others from Wellfit there that day: Ovetta & Jordan. And a shout-out to Madison local Sonia who I met on Saturday too! So many IMOO training buddies!


Jordan & I at the second rest stop!  

The rest of Saturday was spent driving home from Wisconsin (warm car), and then chilling. Thai Food & Netflix? Sounded good to me.

Sunday was busy though: I had some chili going in the crockpot at the same time I was out for my long run & the car was getting checked out by the mechanic. It was a rainy/windy day, but at least I’m multi-tasking! I finished up with some hardcore recovery at Edge. By the time I got home from my day out, it was 6 hours later and sadly the car was not fixed. I thought I was just pissy from the mechanic and the weather, but I think I might have come down with a cold given that warming up and chilling out did not fix my throat and temperament.

So it’s throat lozenges, zicam, and some tea throughout today! Probably a rest day (off of swimming) but we’ll see later on how I’m feeling.

What was great about your weekend?

How to Love Running

How do you get to love running?

1. Accept that all relationships ebb & flow. Sometimes you will love running, sometimes you may not. But you should give it some attention every day (or week). Just like how you kiss your husband or child daily, even though you may not “love love” them at that exact moment.


Definitely more of a “love” moment!!! Both with running and the guy :) 


2. Figure out how to make it fun. Sometimes you can’t be training hard for something. If you’ve lost your love of running, maybe you should only do fun runs for a little while. You can make your runs social, with friends, your local running groups or running store. Or as I like to think of the biggest example of making your runs fun — Caitlin Boyle of Healthy Tipping Point who sometimes did “ninja runs”




Getting goofy at night on a Ragnar Run! 

3. Reward yourself for going for a run. Don’t reward yourself too much or every time. But sometimes you need a little incentive. I’m a fan of this to help get me back into the groove of things, and to allow myself a small (reasonable) daily treat.  Currently – cocoa almonds are a post workout treat :)


whats up fluffy kitten?

Or maybe a fluffy kitten.  Imagine if I had a kitten (or pug) for every long run I completed?!

4. Make it social.  Friends should make things fun!  Ragnar is also a way to make things fun!

Lauren & Lilian at Schaumburg Turkey Trot


The Chicago Running Bloggers: America's Sweathearts & me

The Chicago Running Bloggers: America’s Sweathearts & me


5. Sign up for a Race — nothing like a race to get your blood pumping and (usually) the motivation flowing! And this might not just be an actual race.  Relays like Ragnar are social, and generally more fun than high pressure.

madison mini marathon

Post Race – satisfied!



I’m linking up with Mary, Cynthia and Courtney today for the Friday Five, and Jill for Fitness Fridays!

How did I get here?

How did I get here? Training for an ironman.  I remember in college, where I’d run for stress and health, and it was a crazy thought that day my friend Monica suggested we do a 5k race.

Potomac River Run Half Marathon

Nine years later, we finally ran a race together!  Loved ones attached too!

So how did I go from occasionally running to spending 6+ hours a weekend running, biking & swimming?  I am going to credit the “boil the bullfrog” principle, and thanks to Maria Simone for making me think about growing in the distances that I take on.

wellfit training ladies on a ride

I definitely never dreamed of these, or of training for a second ironman event. All of this is the people. I love training and getting to know others in that crazy way. Your BRFs (best running friends) who you talk about more personal things than some friends and family. Your coaches and training partners for triathlon, sharing personal experiences that you might not share with your doctor.
I still can’t really imagine the idea of ultra distances, whether an ultramarathon or a crazy triathlon. But who knows?

Linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  Happy Thursday!



Weekend Antics

Hopefully you got outside this weekend… it was a glorious weekend here in Chicago!

Saturday, I did an easy ride with the Chicago Tri Club as a part of our annual bike handling and gear shifting clinic. Thank you to Get-a-Grip for hosting us and leading us on this ride!

Get a Grip CTC Newbie Ride.  That’s Adam from Get-a-Grip – also taking a photo!  Thanks Adam!

I also did my long run on Saturday.  Chicago’s Humboldt Park is a beautiful place. I loved looping around the lagoons and ball fields for my hour-forty run!  It was hot and my pace was slower, but it was a good run! So much to look at and never get bored.

The rest of Saturday I spent recuperating.  First a “disco nap” (aka cold basement passed out!) and then I headed over to Edge Athlete Lounge for an ice bath and some time in their compression boots.  Pugs helped speed the recovery process along :)


pug in ice bathIMG_5163

Sunday started out with a bang, as Mike and I headed out for the Live Grit Sunday morning ride.  If you’re in Chicago and looking to get into group riding, this is a great place to start!  We were going further on the ride than I’d been with them before, to do the full 44 miles. They have turnaround options to make it a shorter ride as well (20 miles for the shortest distance), which I’d done right after my Ironman.  Today’s ride was a bit crazy. There were a lot of mechanical issues – including my own first flat in 4 years!  I was riding over railroad tracks, and then noticed some weird sounds… like my chain was off but I was able to shift gears just fine and it didn’t fix the sound.  I looked down and my tire was flat!

I got the rear wheel off the bike and started taking the tire off when Live Grit’s GM showed up (he was on the ride too). Jacob was awesome in helping to get the new tube in and tire back on in record time — Thanks Jacob!

Erin & Lauren Live Grit Ride

Erin was on the ride as well! She’s training for her first triathlon and was fashionable in a coordinated cycling kit today!

Mike and Lauren Live Grit Ride

Mike & I at a break.  He’s team power bar, and I’m team “metabolically efficient” – a bit of a dichotomy :)

on bike hydration

My on-bike hydration system.  I focused on staying hydrated since this was the first hot ride of the season.


I’m linking up with Tara for the Weekend Update, Katie for Marvelous in my Mondays, and Erin for Weekend Snapshots.

Top Five Posts for 2015 (so far): 

I took a look at which of my posts have been most popular this year (so far) and thought I’d share these in case you’d missed any of them.  Take a look – and let me know what you’d like to hear more about!

Weekend Activities and Self Care

Valentine’s Day Ideas for the Athletic Couple

My Gluten Testing Experience

Weight Management in Endurance Training

And one of my more popular posts of all time:  DIY Tank Top Making

Have a great Monday! How was your weekend?  

Warm Weather Workout Gear

warm weather gear by laurenruns

Happy Tuesday!  The temps are rising, so it’s time to think about what you need for warm weather workouts!  I’m linking up with Katie for Take Time Tuesday, and with Erika, Patty and April for Tuesdays on the Run!


I want to take a moment to appreciate spring.  It’s been a hard spring (after a hard winter) but there are some nice days that we’ve had!

Nice days outside = fun workouts with friends!

post ride selfie!

And the eventual move toward warmer weather!  While it’s not yet tank top weather on a daily basis yet, I am a fan of wearing tank tops.  In fact, at the Ravenswood Run 5K this past weekend, I wore a tanktop & arm warmers.  Arm warmers were shoved down by the end of the race!

Here are a few tank tops I love:

Oiselle – I just got the Birds of a Feather tank top and am LOVING it! It’s not too tight, not too loose.

oiselle birds of a feather tank

Brooks – I have 2 Essential tank tops, which I just found out they no longer make!  I got them in 2012 & 2013.


header photo


And you also have to keep an eye out for hydration.  It’s tempting in the summer to run without any water, especially as Chicago’s lakefront has water fountains every mile or so.  But it takes me a few miles to get to the lakefront, and do you really want to stop each time you need to drink?  I carry either a handheld with me or a hydration belt, depending on where and how long I’m running for.

ultimate direction handheld

Ultimate Direction handheld

And for my longest workouts, where I’m usually driving out somewhere to go for a 5+ hour ride, and may be stopping somewhere to eat before driving all the way home, I try to always take a wipe-down athletic towel.  I like ShowerPill athletic wipes:

showerpillThese are awesome for wiping down after a sweaty workout. I can get pretty much everywhere on a single wipe, and feel that much better about putting on some cleaner clothes before I stop in at a bar or restaurant to refuel.

 What’s your warm weather gear must-have?