Expos as a Metaphor

Expos as a Metaphor

I’ve been in such dread for the New York City half expo that I actually drank an entire draft of Guinness before stopping down hoping the buzz wouldn’t wear off before I could pop in and out of that bad bear, carefully sidestepping even one hand-out vitamin that I’ll be tempted to take race morning but shouldn’t. The train down was packed, I was sweating through my chambray by the time I crawled out of middle Earth back to fresh air, and I was a face-flushed piss ball by the time I got inside. But why?

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10 Tricks to Stay Cool under Pressure

This is the manual. Life gets busy, and it’s a consistent balance, maybe even a juggle, to keep everything up. So sometimes don’t keep it up, let it come down. Go to bed early. Cancel your plans. Close your computer. Go to yoga. Drink tea in your underwear. Do the things that you need to do in the mini moments where you catch your breath so that when you come back, your game face is stronger than ever.

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How to get motivated for Winter Running

How to get motivated for Winter Running

Well, runner’s, it’s that time of year again. Winter is upon us. The temps have dropped, the wind is blustery. We have the occasional snowfall, and it gets dark at a ridiculously early hour.  Our natural instinct to put on our comfiest jammies and snuggle up inside our warm apartment is kicking into high gear (ya feel me?).

It’s that time of year when going out for a run isn’t as easy as it was in the warmer spring and summer months. Winter running takes a lot more planning. Routes need to be carefully mapped out in well lit areas; layering becomes an artful of the most essential kind - not enough layers and you struggle to even get warm, but too many layers and you build up too much body heat and your sweat doesn’t evaporate.  

And, if you’ve spent the a good portion of the past 6 months or so training for a big goal race, your schedule is a little more loosey goosey with no real obligation to weekday training runs and early weekend morning long runs. Aka, you don’t really HAVE to go for that run.

Bottom line - more planning and less structure can leave you feeling a lot less motivated to lace up your sneakers and get out for a run this time of year.  

I admit though that I’m one of those weirdos where this time of year is actually my favorite time of year for running. There are few things that I enjoy more than the cold, crisp winter air filling my lungs, the occasional sound of the snow crunching under my feet with each stride (but if it’s shiny, watch your hiney!), and the feeling of bad-assery I get when I am finally forced to take off my top long sleeve layer revealing a short sleeve layer because I’ve finally built up enough body heat to be hot in 30/40 degree weather.

So how do I stay motivated in the winter months, even when I don’t HAVE to be running? I use 5 essential winter running steps.

 

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Podcast Alert - Hops of Life

Podcast Alert - Hops of Life

It's pretty fantastic to watch your childhood friends grow up and follow their dreams. This particular dream sprouted less than 200 yards from my house, from a young man it somehow took me 18 years to befriend. Yet, in the time since then, I have found a kindred soul for a fit an active lifestyle. 

Brandon is a masters student at Cortland University majoring in exercise science and bio-mechanics. He's a lab instructor, a prior strong-man competitor, and volunteer counselor at Double H Ranch. 

Check out his new podcast. Full story and link in the full article!

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How Running Helped My Yoga Practice

How Running Helped My Yoga Practice

As runners, we are creatures of movement; drawn by the pulse and rhythm we get from the road. Often, we become dependent on the movement to maintain our state of equilibrium. Science will tell us this is the result of endorphins – tiny elemental chemicals which flow through our veins after a tough workout bringing messages to the brain of elation and excitement. We, as runners, concede it is not just endorphins but freedom, competition, habit, and community which bring us to the road.

I know – for me – after a tough week, an argument, or simply the drain which is the corporate America lifestyle of being chained to a desk, I want nothing more than to counter the stagnation with heart pumping thrill. So, you ask, where does the yoga come in? For me, it was the replacement – or the augment – to a former life of dance. After beginning full-time work, I noticed a slip in posture, a lack of stretch, and a terrifyingly cluttered brain that wouldn’t slow at night, wouldn’t calm in silence. Two years into work I became a frequent sufferer of panic attacks. They came on with suffocating intensity, racing heart, tingling fingers and the fog of the thickest storm cloud clouding out any clarity to my motion.

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​Vegan-yums: Easy chana masala / Recipe

30 minute, 1-pot chana masala with green chili, cilantro, and garam masala. Easy to make, extremely flavorful, and satisfying. A healthy, plant-based meal.
 

This recipe was borrowed from: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Run Fuel
Cuisine: Indian, Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) grape seed oil (or sub coconut oil)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely diced (110 g)
  • 1 Tbsp (7 g) ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (3 Tbsp or 16 g)
  • 2 Tbsp (12 g) fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2-3 fresh green chilies, sliced with seeds (I used serrano peppers)
  • 1 Tbsp (7 g) ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 28-oz can pureed or finely diced tomatoes (if unsalted, you’ll add more salt to the dish)
  • 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans chickpeas, slightly drained
  • 1 tsp garam masala* (see instructions for DIY blend)
  • 2-3 tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice, plus more to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, cilantro, and green chilies to a mortar and pestle and grind into a rough paste (or use a small food processor to pulse into a paste. Alternatively, just finely mince.) Then, add to the pan with the onions.
  3. Next add ground coriander, chili powder, and turmeric and stir to coat. Add a little more oil at this point if the pan is looking dry.
  4. Next add pureed tomatoes and chickpeas and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. If the mixture looks a little too thick, add up to 1 cup (240 ml) water (I added ~1/2 cup (120 ml)). You’re looking for a semi-thick soup consistency at this point, as it will cook down into more of a stew.
  5. Increase heat to medium high until it reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low or medium-low and maintain a simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes, or until thick and stew-like. Stir occasionally.
  6. In the meantime, if you don’t have garam masala seasoning, make your own by adding 2 small dried red chilies, 1 tsp black peppercorns (or 1/2 tsp ground black pepper), 1 tsp cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground cumin), 1 tsp cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom), 1/2 tsp cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves), and 1/8 tsp nutmeg to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind/mix into a powder. Set aside.
  7. When the chana masala is thickened and bubbly, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, chili powder for heat, or a bit of coconut sugar for sweetness and to offset the heat of the chilies.
  8. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and garam masala. Stir to mix, then let cool slightly before serving. Fresh cilantro and lemon juice make an excellent garnish. Chana masala can be enjoyed as a stew on its own, or it can be delicious with white or brown rice, or cauliflower rice. Lastly, my favorite is over roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli (see notes for instructions).
  9. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
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Jessica Ferrucci

The Happy Runner is the everyday athlete; finding balance by carrying six coffees without spilling them on the subway, meditating on elevator rides, and weight lifting your laptop as your hurdle a puddle to make your 9AM meeting. The Happy Runner is a community of like-minded beautiful souls striving to add a little sense of movement and meditation back on the agenda.