Treat Yourself Tuesday: Tufts 10K for Women Race Recap

I know what you’re thinking–really, your weekly treat was a 10k?? Nope! I’m not that crazy–races are tough, but this one was filled with new-to-me before and after treats I’m psyched to share. Here’s a recap of my treatful race day! (And click here to read Becky’s fabulous blog and learn more about #treatyourselftuesday.)

  • 9:00 a.m. Wake up. A race that doesn’t start before 8:00am? HURRAH!
  • 9:30 a.m. Make pancakes. I tried this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie and they were amazing! Cakey, not too sweet–yum. Excuse the weird color due to the fact that I used frozen blueberries. Do not excuse the banana slices and generous maple syrup drizzle. Yum!image (3)
  • 11:15 a.m. Arrive at my friend R’s apartment to pin on bib numbers and tag team over to the race. In-depth discussion of outfit options. Change into tank top.
  • 11:50 a.m. Wedge my way into the crowd at the 8:00 min/mile corral. Figure I can drop back when I need to.
  • 12:00 p.m. We’re off!! Pass lots of people at the beginning and wonder whether they quite understand what the 8:00 min/mile corral means.
  • 12:15 p.m. Feeling good, feeling speedy! I don’t have any timing devices on but I’m pushing a medium hard pace.
  • 12:20 p.m. Someone is yelling my name. Clearly there must be another Leah. Someone yells my name again. My brother came over from his office and is cheering me on! Well, by cheering, he’s mostly just yelling at me to go faster.
  • 12:20-12:30 p.m. More “encouragement”–he paces me around the halfway mark (in jeans, mind you) and points out girls I should try to pass. Lots of cell phone pictures ensue. Take down a couple of speedy ladies. Peer pressure FTW.

    Oh hey Boston!
    Oh hey Boston!
  • 12:30 p.m. Damn you side cramp! SO close to finishing! Take teeny tiny walk break and attempt to breathe.
  • 12:40 p.m. Pick it back up and haul it on home. High five Joan Benoit Samuelson! Finish in 49:46 with an average pace of 7:51–my fastest average in a race ever, by 8 seconds!!

    Stolen photo alert.
    Stolen photo alert. My favorite part is the girl giving me the stank eye.
  • 1:00 p.m. Load up on free treats which are ALL GLUTEN FREE. I was so happy I had to arrange them into a smiley face when I got home 🙂

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  • 1:30 p.m. Find my speedy friends.
  • 2:00 p.m. Wrap it up with a Sweetgreen salad. I was too hungry to stop for a pic, but their new menu is fabulous. I had the Harvest Bowl with added brussels sprouts… om nom.

Overall, this was a great race! It attracts a nice range of runners, so there’s a spot for everyone. The course is flat and fast, and the event is well organized–nice t-shirts, lots of water stops, good food at the end, etc. If you’re looking for a challenge beyond a 5k, this is a great one to start with. Keep an eye out for next year’s race at here!

PRs all around for these gals! Fun fact: I am the only person in this photo who is not a future doctor.

Have you ever run a 10k? Or an all-women’s race? Hope you had some great treats this week!


Gluten free on the go: picks for a quick bite

For a spontaneous adventure-loving gal, one of the most frustrating parts about being gluten free is how much advanced planning it requires. As much as I always try to have snacks on hand, it’s incredibly helpful to have a few places where I know I can grab a quick, filling, relatively healthy and affordable meal. Here are the (mostly local–yay!) chains in and around Boston where I like to grab a quick bite.

Sweetgreen: Founded in DC, Sweetgreen is hands-down my favorite salad place in Boston. I’m not a huge lettuce fan, so I love that their base options include shredded kale and organic arugula. Toppings-wise, from spicy quinoa to local feta, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, wild rice, and tons more–Sweetgreen has something for everyone. Their endlessly customizable menu is almost entirely gluten free and their seasonal salads are to die for. One quick warning: their “warm grains” contain farro, which is NOT gluten free. Otherwise, they provide a fantastic grab-and-go salad option in Back Bay, Chestnut Hill, and Fort Point!

Hearty salads and delicious iced tea from Sweetgreen
Hearty salad and iced tea from Sweetgreen

Chipotle: Ahhh, Chipotes. How I wish I didn’t enjoy you as much as I do. Chipotle is the only national chain on this list for a reason. When I’m really hungry (think 8:30 p.m. post-workout hungry) Chipotle always hits the spot. Their salads, tacos, and burrito bowls are GF, with easy veggie and dairy-free options. Plus, they do their best to serve local, organic, sustainable “food with integrity.” This is a great travel tip too, since they’re all over the country. Eat burrito bowls and be merry!!

Clover: Clover is a Boston area chain, boasting both trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants. They serve up some of the healthiest “fast food” you’ll ever eat: delicious snacks, drinks, coffee, and healthy meals in under five minutes or so. Pop in for an egg and eggplant or chickpea fritter platter, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. While they don’t maintain a segregated facility, the staff is super helpful and there are great GF options. Direct from their website: “We hear a lot of questions about gluten-free options. Our kitchens are not gluten free. The falafel recipe does not have any wheat flour (unlike most falafel), instead we use GF corn flour. At the restaurants we have platters available without bread. At the trucks we have “boats” which is a sandwich without the bread. We are exploring a GF bread option.” We’re looking forward to it, Clover!

Egg and eggplant platter with carrot salad from Clover
Egg and eggplant platter with carrot salad from Clover

Boloco: Along the same lines as Clover, Boloco is a grab-and-go local “fast food” chain that serves up all kinds of smoothies, burritos, and salads. The name even stands for BOston LOcal COmpany–how cool is that? The best thing about Boloco in my book is that you can get pretty much anything on their menu in a bowl, meaning no tortilla and for the most part, no gluten. Details are available here. There are locations all over the Boston area (and beyond!), and their website meticulously lists out the ingredients for all of their menu items. I highly recommend the soy berry shake with peanut butter added for protein–and anything with guac.

Do you have any quick and easy gluten-free options you can’t get enough of? Shout em out!