My New York Tribe

My New York Tribe

The New York running community is like nothing I could have possibly imagined. It’s a group of exceedingly diverse, multi-leveled, pretty freaking weird souls all out on the pavement just trying to survive. The very concept of the “everyday athlete” – a term I’ve often used to describe the basis on which the Happy Runner Diaries was created – seems to have been born in New York. Here there are elites, there are beginners, there are mothers, charity runners, and multi-sport athletes all sharing the course with nothing but love for each other. There’s no room for entitlement, because in true New York fashion, no matter how you’re acting, we honestly don’t give a sh*t.

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LG Got her Grove Back

LG Got her Grove Back

I’ve lived and have been running in NYC for about 7 years now. For 6 of those years I never ran the NYC Half Marathon. But this year the lottery gods were on my side, and I finally received an entry through NYRR.  I’ve always heard how fun of a race it is, and what a great course it is, so I was pumped to be part of it this year.

With the marathon about 2 months behind me and being right in the middle of the long, cold winter months, I had been feeling less than motivated to run and was getting antsy to train for something, anything.  So this was perfect timing. I picked out a training plan I found online, and put everything in my calendar. Long runs on the weekends, some hill work, plans to go to the track, added in some cross training and yoga days. I was ready to go!

Week 1 came and went and - running wise - was kind of .. no it WAS.. a fail.  It’s okay, I told myself, next week you will get to it.  Well, week 2 came and went and same thing. Aaaaand week 3 was a repeat of weeks 1 and 2.

I don’t know what it was, but running felt SO. FREAKIN. HARD.  My weekend long runs were mostly awful feeling and there were several times I thought to myself “How on earth did I run 26.2 miles only 2 months ago?!”. Any weekday hill or speed work plans I had were thrown out the window. Those runs just became about getting in a few miles.

With March 19th quickly approaching, I was feeling like I had lost my running mojo and was not looking forward to the race at all anymore.  Even the day before and the morning of, the pre-race excitement adrenaline was not kicking in.  I just wanted to get it over with.

Well, for how crabby pants I was about the whole thing, to my utter shock, I had SO MUCH FUN and totally crushed the course feeling strong AF.  There was no PR, but it was the second best half marathon I’ve ever run. The second I crossed that finish line, before even looking at my watch to see my time, I thought to myself: “Oh yea! Stella’s got her groove back!”

So this all obviously has me thinking, what gives?! How did I go from being miserable about even running the NYC Half to having one of my best races in a loooooooong time?

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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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Kale and Bean Soup

Baby it's [getting] cold outside, and nothing warms me up better than a good cup of soup. I stumbled upon this gem when my roommate made it during a snowstorm in 2014 and I haven't stopped making it since. It's 10 ingredients, and couldn't be simpler or more filling. Paired with a piece of whole wheat sourdough toast, or my personal favorite: popcorn on the stove, and this makes for a fiber-filled, amazing meal for lunch or dinner on a chilly day. 

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Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 bunch kale (5-6 cups)

4 cloves garlic

1 large white onion

1 12oz can white cannellini beans

1 12oz can red kidney beans

¼ cup white wine (optional)

Cooking Tools:

1 large pot

Knife and kitchen scissors

Cutting board

Large bowl

Preparation

Begin by using your kitchen scissors to cut the kale into small, bite-size pieces into your large bowl. Cut the onion and garlic, so all your veggies are ready. In the large pot heat the olive oil for a few minutes and open both cans of beans. Empty the cannellini beans into a bowl and begin mashing them with a fork to create a paste you will use to thicken your soup. Add the onions to the oil and let them brown, then add the kale. Stir the mixture together and add the garlic. Next, add the broth, water, and wine. Stir in the mashed cannellini beans until evenly distributed, and the red kidney beans on top.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes, and you’re DONE!

Kale and Bean Soup with a side of homemade stove-cooked popcorn.

Kale and Bean Soup with a side of homemade stove-cooked popcorn.

The Side Hustle

The Side Hustle

We all (hopefully) have a vision of our dream job… be it the Carrie Bradshaw-shoe loving-fashionista columnist who never in six seasons of Sex and the City ever seemed to be constrained by the 9-5, or the Lotus pose inspiring- headstand machine-yogi with the ability to move people and bring together communities. The problem is while we all can and should achieve our purpose in this journey of life, the current reality - in most cases -  is that it’s not going to pay the ever looming combination of rent, wifi, transportation and a much-needed “treat yo-self” every now and again.

Enter “the side hustle.”

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