Lauren Soto is one of my best, best, best, most beloved friends of all time. We met, survived, and thrived on a 15-month international tour of West Side Story, and our (rare) girl-time between our busy schedules grounds me in the midst of crazy NYC. She is an upcoming graduate of Pace University with a BFA, majoring in commercial dance. When she’s not singing and dancing to her heart’s content, she’s running up a storm! Learn how she started running and how she gets through mental challenges in the second feature of "Find Your Fit.” Enjoy!
When did you first start getting interested in fitness? Running?
I first got into fitness in 2015. I was a freshman in college and I wasn't feeling great about my body. A friend suggested that I try running. I started running everyday, which of course made me lose weight, but more importantly, I found a HUGE passion in running. I found a really cool community of runners through classes at Barry's Bootcamp and I haven't stopped running since!
What do you love about running and racing?
This is a question I think about a lot because running has changing my life in so many ways! I love to run because it is a really mindless way to get your body moving. I am able to throw on my favorite playlist and go for as long or as short as I want. I also love it because NYC has an amazing community of runners. Because I am a dancer, I'm usually surrounded by a lot of really passionate dancers. Since joining the running community, I now get to witness people with the same level of passion for running which is really inspiring. I love to race because of the energy on race day! I recently ran the NYC half marathon which had 30,000 participants. We were all hustling toward that 13.1 mile mark together!
How do you make it through challenging times mentally and physically during practice or a race?
I love to race. However, training is TOUGH! Running 10 miles all alone on a Sunday morning is (almost) never fun. When I start to train for a race, the first thing I have to monitor is what kind of self talk I am practicing. If I start a run saying, "I can't do this" or "I'm too tired," I know that I am going to be miserable for the rest of the run. I try to stay aware of what I'm thinking. I tell myself that I can do it (even if I am lying to myself). I also think a really good playlist is essential! I personally listen to musicals when I run. Finally, group training helps me a lot. Whether I am on a group run or in a Barry's Bootcamp class, it always helps me to be surrounded by others who are also pushing their hardest to the end. For physical health--ICE! Lots of ice and lots of rest.
Any other passions you want to share?
About a year ago, I broke my foot. I started going to NY Custom Performance for physical therapy where I started to become very curious about how the body moves. Although I am healed, I’m still continuing with physical therapy, because I found that I am very passionate about movement and how it relates to injury prevention. Every week, I learn something completely mind-blowing and am excited to work on whatever imbalance or weakness that I have going on.
Classic black, or colorful patterned active wear?
Black! All black, always!
5 things you are grateful for right now?
I am always grateful for my mother. Coffee. My dog, Sunshine. Hot Baths. The sun!
Favorite food indulgences?
Too many! But currently, chocolate chip cookies and sour candy.