Wednesday Packed Lunch + Girls on the Run

Hey friends! It’s a rainy and gray one over here in DC – I feel kind of like this. Anyone else?


On the upside, it’s almost October, so I feel like it’s now appropriate to re-share this old favorite post: 33 Healthy and Delicious Pumpkin Recipes. You’re welcome. ;)

I was able to sleep in a bit this rainy morning since I’m getting in my movement over lunchtime. I’m hitting my favorite noon power hour yoga class at Epic Yoga via ClassPass with a friend from my coworking space! I’m looking forward to it already. Speaking of ClassPass, if you want to do the free 2 week ClassPass trial (affiliate link) that I mentioned earlier this month, the offer expires today! So activate it by midnight EST tonight if you want to give it a shot. It’s only for new members and not valid in NYC or outside the US, just FYI. Also, if you don’t want to continue after the 2 free weeks, be sure to cancel it just before the 2 weeks ends or your account will be automatically activated.

Before heading downtown today, I threw together a packed lunch to enjoy at the office post-yoga. My high school BFF Jenny gifted me this cool collapsible salad lunchbox (affiliate link) for my birthday and today was my first time trying it out. Love it! So cool that the bottom collapses when it’s empty so it slips back into bags more easily. BPA free, too.


I love the little salad dressing holder in particular! I poured in some red wine vinegar, olive oil, and a little dijon mustard. Shake, shake!


As for the salad, I started with a base of arugula and brown rice, then threw on some canned tuna mixed with guac (great combo). Zara was PUMPED that I opened a can of tuna because she always gets to clean it out for me when I’m finished. :)


I threw some cabbage on top, too. Obsessed with cabbage lately – so crunchy!


In the top layer, I put some green beans and the salad dressing. Cute little bento box type containers like this make me weirdly happy. Everything in its place!


As for snacks, I packed up a homemade savory granola bar and a Siggi’s yogurt.


All together now!


I’ll be leaving the office early today so I didn’t pack quite as many snack options as usual. Why am I leaving early? Because I am volunteering as a Girls on the Run coach at a nearby elementary school (the girls are grades 3 to 5) this fall! :)

girls on the run nova

If you haven’t heard of Girls on the Run before, it’s an after school program that builds self esteem and confidence in young girls through running. The programs are a couple months long and at the end of the season, the girls all complete a 5k race. I’ve always wanted to volunteer for them but was never able to make it work with my schedule until now! I have to a miss a couple practices due to travel but luckily there are 4 coaches at my site, so we’re able to rotate as needed. We had our first practice on Monday and our second one is today! I’m bummed it’s rainy because that means we’ll be stuck indoors… fingers crossed for good weather all the other practice days!

Have any of you ever coached for Girls on the Run? Any tips? My local chapter has so far been pretty disorganized, but I’ve heard great things about the program as a whole and my group’s head coach has coached before (and works at the school where we’re coaching) so that’s been really helpful!

As for my own running, I was out at the track yesterday morning with my track group! We had a long one yesterday – two 3200s (8 laps – 2 miles) with a few minutes rest in between. I kept it casual on pace because I was still feeling it a bit from my 10k PR and bike ride on Saturday! I ended up running with a couple others and chatting most of it, so that made it a lot more fun. 8 laps straight around the track gets boring real fast. ;) I started my watch a little late on the first lap, but here’s the gist of the workout:

track workout washington lee high school

I also did a 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down not included on the watch – so I covered 6 miles total. Long one for a track day!

One last running-related thing before I sign off today: myself and my fellow Brooks Run Happy Blogger Ambassadors will be on a live running Q&A chat tonight (8 to 9 p.m. EST) on Brooks’ cool new online community, The Run! If you want in on the action, just sign up/create a profile and sign in at 8 EST to join in on the chat! You’ll be able to ask us live questions. Looking forward to hopefully chatting with some of you! It’s super informal, so feel free to pop in and out as you like. And even if you can’t make the chat, The Run community is really cool and worth a look if you’re a running fan. Lots of great motivation and running tips.

Have a wonderful day, my friends!

Of interest:

  • I am honored to have been featured in the latest Lifting Revolution podcast! Give it a listen to hear us talk all about going after your dreams, balancing healthy eating and fitness with a busy lifestyle, how to fuel for workouts, and more.


  1. 1

    LOVE that box with the dressing container!! So cute and functional!

  2. 2
    Catherine Cormier says

    I’ve been wanting to try mixing tuna & avocado together for salad to pack for lunch at work. Do you find it stays fresh by the time you eat it or is it turning brown by lunch?

  3. 6

    I coached for Girls on the Run last spring and loved it! My site doesn’t do the fall session so I’m already looking forward to next spring. Try to keep the practices moving because there’s quite a bit packed into each one and it’s easy to run short on time. The best lesson I learned last spring is not to stress if everything isn’t done exactly right or followed to the t. The girls have a great time, learn the lesson, and rock their runs regardless. Have fun coaching!

  4. 8

    I really want to get involved with GOTR – I couldn’t commit to the coaching but hope to be able to run with a buddy at the end of season 5k this year. So great that you are doing this and hopefully your chapter can be more organized this year!

  5. 9

    Everyone else who has done Girls on the run loves it so I hope your experience is awesome!

  6. 10

    Our cats are so similar looking it’s crazy. I want them to be fluffy friends! :D

  7. 12

    I was a GOTR coach for my daughter’s school for her 5th grade year with a good friend whose daughter was also in the group. Both of our daughters did several other GOTR sessions with different coaches. A big difference in the way we ran the program was that we had them do several longer runs – not just the practice 5k. Both girls said they felt much more prepared for the 5k by our method. We still covered the curriculum in a shortened way but maybe did slightly fewer games and more running.

  8. 14

    I’m on my 5th season coaching with GOTR! There are definitely some days (and seasons) that are harder than others, but then I’ll have practices like yesterday — I was exhausted after having not slept well. It was raining so practice was inside, which just adds a layer of difficulty. But the girls rolled with everything so well! They pulled me out of my funk, and my co coaches and I were emailing this morning talking about how we are still smiling after it. Which brings me to my main point — good co-coaches are make-or-break! If you’ve got supportive and engaged coaches working with you, your life will be a lot easier!

  9. 16

    Have fun at GOTR! You’ll be a great coach! Love that salad box, and thanks again for a great chat!

  10. 18

    I coached last year in my elementary school and LOVED it. The 5K was memorable because this sweet girl I was running with had an injury two weeks before but she was determined to run some of the course. She rocked it! I was conservative with the pace, I just wanted her to cross the finish line. I’ll never forget that hug from her when she did! I thought the curriculum was great. I loved how it gave the girls some real world strategies for dealing with gossip, bullies, etc. Very empowering! Good Luck with your girls!

  11. 20

    Hi Anne! I interned with Girls on the Run New Orleans my senior year at college. I went on to coach for them for the past 3 seasons and was just hired 2 months ago as the new program coordinator! Its safe to say I LOVE GOTR!! My biggest coaching advice would be to be flexible. Try to stick to the curriculum as much as possible but if you have to cut a workout short, oh well! The most important thing is that everyone is being active and having fun. Oh and one more thing…get to know all the girls on your team. Listen to them & let practice be a safe space for everyone!

  12. 22
    Roadrunner says

    Great track workout!

  13. 23

    Hi There!

    Girls on the Run is so much fun to coach. When I did it, our groups biggest hurdle was getting the kids excited about the workout portion. They just wanted to sit and hear the lessons the whole time. We ended up turning a lot of the physical activity portion into fun contests (where everyone won, obviously!). The kids seemed more excited that way.

    Also looking forward to your presentation at FNCE!!

    • 24

      It’s funny, our group is the opposite! They are super antsy and have a hard time sitting still and listening to the lessons, but they are PUMPED about the running! Too funny. Maybe we should turn the lesson parts into fun contests… :)

  14. 25

    I’m so excited that you’re coaching GOTR! We had the girls write positive and encouraging messages on wooden popsicle sticks last year, now we use them as lap counters during practice! This way, each lap they get to read an encouraging message. We also give them a rubber bracelet and they get colorful running shoe charms for each mile they complete (by adding up the lap sticks). They definitely enjoy working towards something tangible to be able to easily see their progress. But the biggest advice for GOTR = HAVE FUN! As long as you’re having fun, the girls will too!

  15. 27

    I want to volunteer with GOTR, if only it worked with my work schedule! :(

  16. 28
    Heather Dorsey says

    I have coached GOTR several times. It is really rewarding and you will love it. My advice would be not to get too hung up on the particulars of the lesson and don’t be afraid to let the girls take the conversation in another direction if it is productive and something they need to talk about (something that is going on at school, etc.). Also, STICKERS. Stickers are a great motivator. If I am having a hard time getting them moving or if they are really squirrely, I pull out the stickers. Lastly, I always make sure to have healthy snack. Depending on your school, some of the girls will not have had a snack or won’t have a great meal to go home to, so my coaches and I would take turns bringing something. I have tried having the girls take turns bringing snack, but it became clear that some families couldn’t afford to provide enough for the entire team. Enjoy- the girls are so great to work with and love the attention you give them.

  17. 30

    I love that you’re coaching Girls on the Run–it is a program I have somehow been a part of for over 4 years. My best advice would be to simulate an actual 5k as best as possible for the practice 5k. One season we had parents that were available come to the practice to cheer them on, we made a water stop, had encouraging signs and made all the girls gross through a finish line made of crepe paper. Huge hit. Have so much fun and please write about your experience :)

  18. 32
    Jenny Paxton says

    I can’t wait to read about your experience with GOTR! It’s something I’ve been wanting to do :) Great tough track workout. I just started going to one that meets in DC and excited to finally be getting some consistent speed work in.


  1. […] friends! Thank you for your great Girls on the Run advice on yesterday’s post! (If you missed it – I’m volunteering with them as a coach this fall for the first time.) We […]

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