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    I'm Lauren and this is a blog dedicated to living life with a healthy balance. I love to run, strength train, bike and just be downright active. I'm a marathoner as of April 24, 2010 and am currently looking forward to qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

    I absolutely love to eat and enjoy great food but doing it all in moderation. You'll see healthy, organic foods on here frequently but you'll also run into things such as pizza and sweets. I believe you can have it all... just not all at once.

    I'm always learning and discovering new foods, recipes, workouts and ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Join me on my journey towards becoming my healthiest self.

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Marathon Re-Cap

Well, it’s official… I’m a marathoner! I just got home so let me start from the beginning of the day… or rather, last night.

I was thankful to fall asleep quickly last night and sleep the whole night. I woke up around 5:30 this morning to fix my pre-race breakfast.

A couple of slices of whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and a sliced banana.

We had some friends meet us at our loft so we could all ride together to the start line.

Here’s moi before we left the house.

The three other girls that were running the half-marathon that met at our place.

We finally made our way through the misting rain to the start line, or at least to our corral group. Off I go!!!

We walked ten minutes to the start line and then we were good to go. I met a girl in our corral, Missy, who was running her first marathon too and wanted the same time I did so we quickly developed a race relationship and decided to run the whole thing together.

We ran 3 miles of hills through Iroquois Park and I felt strong as we exited the park. We then headed to Churchill Downs and ran the infield. What a neat experience!! Knowing that one of the biggest horse races in the world happens here made me run even faster! As we left Churchill Downs I saw my fan club!

I was still feeling awesome at this point and was pacing great! Before we knew it, we hit the split where the half marathoners went one way and the marathoners went another. I couldn’t believe how sparse it got when we went the marathon route. It was like a ghost town.

We stopped somewhere around 12.5 miles for Missy to use the restroom and I readjusted my shoes and then we were back onto the running.

We started hitting some major hills and ended up walking up a huge one in Cherokee park.

We met some sweet people running. A guy who was in his 60’s or 70’s who was running his 100th marathon within 5 years! Crazy! He was my inspiration!

We hit mile 19 and look who I saw! Or I guess, who saw me!

We knew we were getting so close so we kept on trucking. Missy started hyperventilating shortly after mile 19 so we walked some. Our bodies really started feeling it so it became a walk/run race towards the last bit of mileage which was totally okay with me because I knew we’d be sure to finish under 5 hours which was great for me!

I saw my cheering section again at mile 20.5 and knew we didn’t have long to go. Then my friend, Glenna, jumped in the race at mile 21 to finish it out with me and push me to keep going. I couldn’t have done it without her!

Missy really started hurting towards the end but we pushed through and finally rounded the corner and saw the finish line. Can you tell I was excited?

The hubs ended up jumping out from the sidewalk and ran the last 1/10 of a mile with me!

Look at how excited he was! Disclaimer: He didn’t know he took this picture at all but I love it!

They announced my name as I came up on the finish line and it was the coolest experience ever!! They announced that I was a marathoner and I just started crying! I ran across that finish line and Missy and I grabbed each other crying!

Then it was time to get my medal. I was so happy!

Then it was time to see my mom!

Thank you Glenna for pushing me towards the end!!

Lindsey (who finished the half! Way to Go!), Me and Glenna.

My biggest fan and I!

The three biggest cheerers out there! Sean (Lindsey’s husband), Mom and Chad.

I have a few injuries on my feet! A couple of my toenails are lifting off the nail bed and one of them has a huge blister on it where the cuticle line is so I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose that toenail but other than having a limp in my walk from my feet and sore hips, I’m fine! Praise God for an injury free training season and race!

Everyone was hungry but me after I finished. Ha. I knew I needed to eat so I quickly agreed to a late lunch. We headed over to Indiana to eat at Five Guys and I ordered their little hamburger topped with lettuce, tomato, raw and grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, relish, mustard and ketchup.

I was happy.

With an order of fries of course.

I ended up eating a little over half of my burger and just a handful of fries. I told you I wasn’t hungry! 🙂 It’s not like me not to inhale a burger and fries completely but I didn’t want to force it and then have a chance of getting sick.

We got home and mom decided to go ahead and head back to Memphis. Even though the rain and storms held off this morning, it’s supposed to get really bad tonight so she wanted to get out of it while she could. A quick picture before she went!

Thanks Mom for coming all this way to just see me run a race! I love you to the moon and back!

Look at all this loot they gave me as I finished! They just kept piling it in the bag we brought! I’m all about it!

I did have a couple of jelly sport beans from one of my packs during the race and a strawberry banana flavored gu.

I’ve showered (which was much needed and enjoyed) and now am about to get ready to head with the hubs to a meeting with a group visiting from Chicago. I can’t believe my body is feeling good enough to get off the couch and go but it is, so I’ll take it! They’re serving dinner at this house we’re going to but I’m not sure I’m going to partake. My body just isn’t feeling hungry yet. But I’m sure I’ll be able to squeeze some cake and ice cream down after we get home tonight! I think I’ll manage. 🙂 Mom left the whole entire cake with us that was left! Yeesh. Sugar overload. But I won’t complain! I burned over 2300 calories today. I think I deserve it.

Thank you all so much for all of your prayers, encouragement, tweets, facebook messages, texts, phone calls, etc.! Y’all are so amazing! I still can’t believe that I just ran a marathon but know it’ll hit me soon. Maybe another good cry will be coming. 🙂

My official time was 4:57:41 (the course was actually 26.62 miles) which I am definitely pleased with and made my pace a little over 11 minutes/mile! I’m anxious to see what my actual pace was but I haven’t downloaded my Garmin stats yet. I’ll let you know when I do! My next goal: Train for a half-marathon in October and find another full marathon to run next year and hopefully qualify for Boston soon! I know this is a huge goal but I went from running two 5k’s over 2 years ago to training for a full marathon and accomplished that goal so I know I can do it! Watch out Boston! I’m coming for ya!

What’s the one accomplishment in your life so far that has left you with the best feeling in the world?


Loading Up

We had such a great afternoon relaxing at the loft and going to introduce my mom to people I work with.

I couldn’t wait for dinner though! Time for carbo loading. I can’t think of a better way to load up on the carbs than to eat some good ole Chicago style deep dish supreme pizza!

Old Chicago has some of the best pizza in town and it’s been ages since we’ve been there so we were due!

Started off splitting a Greek salad with mom.

I ended up eating about 1/3 and a dip of dressing.  Mom loves her dressing so she drowned her salad after I had my few bites.  She loves to live… what can I say?

Then it was time for the main event! Their Chicago Seven pizza. Deep dish style. Obvi.

It was topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, bell peppers, onion and fresh mozzarella.

I had two pieces and every bite was to die for.

We headed back home to dig into some cake and ice cream!  No pictures because you saw it last night!

And then we had a surprise up our sleeve for mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day which are both right around the corner.

She has a media room at her new house and at Christmas we gave her a framed “Gone With the Wind” and “Mommie Dearest” movie posters for her to hang in her theater room.

To complete the hangings for the wall, we gave her another framed poster. This time “To Kill a Mockingbird”.She now has posters of three of her favorite movies to complete the look of her media room.

She was beyond surprised and elated.

We’re now chilling out on the couch and watching the movie, “Lovely Bones” from the Redbox.


What a great way to end the day.

I’ve put out all my racing essentials and am ready to go.

I just need to get some good rest so I can wake up bright and early to eat a pre-race breakfast and head to the start line.

I don’t know if I’ll blog before I head to the start line so I’ll say see you later! Please pray for (a) my physical endurance, (b) my mental state, (c) the weather (they’re expecting horrible thunderstorms and chances of tornados), (d) that I’ll finish strong, (e) for no injuries, and (f) that I’ll FINISH period!

Nite folks! Time to get some sleep! Can’t believe I’m running my first marathon tomorrow. Someone pinch me, I must be dreaming.

Obviously it would be from my twitter account and will cross over to Facebook too!  So follow me on twitter if you want updates!  🙂

Eating When I’m Hungry

Happy Earth Day!

I can’t believe I’m just now blogging at 3 o’clock!  I’ve had a full day so far!  I woke up at 5 a.m. and drove to meet my friend, Mandy, at her house for a quick, easy, 2 mile run.  The last run before the big day on Saturday!  We had a fantastic run.  I felt amazing out on the pavement and ended up chatting it up with Mandy the whole time.  I’m usually not a talker while I run so I was surprised how much at ease I felt while running and talking.

After our run, I headed home, got a shower and climbed back in bed for a couple of hours.  I just did not get enough sleep last night so I needed to get in some more snoozing so I’d have enough energy for the rest of the day.

I woke up and got ready to head to an endodontist appointment and then it was off to pick up my race packet for the marathon!

I was so proud to be in the short line of the marathoners.  It was crazy where the half marathoners were picking up their packets!  I walked out with some sway and even bought a Bondi Band from Ryan to wear during the marathon to keep my hair and sweat off my face.

It’s pink and so me, don’t you think? (The black thing with the foot on it is my race shirt!)

I was pumped to get a sample of these sports beans!  I’ve been wanting to give them a try.

I also received a package in the mail today!  I love receiving packages!  You won’t believe how far it traveled!

Can you read what it says?

You read correctly!  Australia!

Carman’s sent me a package of their museli bars after they saw one on my blog and an apron!

Love what the apron says.

I quickly got to cleaning after I got home and settled with all my new swag because my surprise guest is coming in today!  They should be here really soon and I’m excited!  But I needed to clean up the loft first.  Lots of work but it’s done and looks great and is ready to be invaded by this special person!

After cleaning, it was 2 o’clock and I realized I still hadn’t eaten anything all day.  Oops.  Oh well.  I just want to eat when I’m hungry and it finally hit me that I needed something in my system. Maybe I wasn’t hungry until later because of all the dense desserts I ate last night.

It was a hodge podge of things today but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Almonds, Strawberries, Mandarin and some Crackers and Hummus.

Perfecto!  I feel satisfied and knowing that I’ll be eating dinner in just a couple of hours is great because I ate just enough to get me through.  We’re taking mom to The Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel tonight before our Community Group is to meet and I can’t wait! You shall be seeing lots of decadent pictures from tonight’s dinner, I’m sure!  See you later gators!

Do you eat three square meals and two snacks a day no matter whether you feel hungry or not?  Or do you wait to eat until you feel hungry?

Papa John’s Ten Miler

Well, I’m finally able to sit down and post about my ten mile race this morning. It’s been a really long day already and I am ready to do nothing, sit on the couch and watch TV.

After I ate my pre-race breakfast that you saw earlier, I headed back to bed and slept on and off for another hour or so. The minute I got up to get ready, I was nervous. Nerves all around. My body was shaking, mentally I didn’t feel prepared, I was freaking out! Some friends popped in to walk to the start line so I prayed and talked with a friend and the hubs and they calmed me down.

About to start! Do I look nervous?

I’m wearing the new armband the hubby Easter Bunny bought me and it worked out awesome!

I was thankful the rain was holding off because that would’ve been miserable for 10 miles in the rain!

I met up with a new friend from church, Lindsey, and we ran together. Her and her hubby is who we planned to go to brunch with after the race. Good thing we saw each other in the beginning so I’d have a running buddy.

We started running and I realized at mile 3 that I really hadn’t mentally prepared for this race AT ALL! We hit Iroquois Park where the 3 miles worth of hills began and I honestly did not want to push myself. So glad that I had Lindsey to run with because we pushed each other and conquered each and every one of those hills. As we left the Park around 6.5 miles I had a major right side splint and Lindsey kept encouraging me to push through. I kept running and before I knew it, it was gone. Praise the Lord! At the same time my side splint started, it began to rain. It wasn’t a light drizzle but it wasn’t a downfall either. Just a steady rain. The rain lightened up a little bit towards the end of the race but we were pretty soaked and looking like hot messes by the time we crossed the finish line.

The only picture hubs was able to get of me about to cross the finish line.

My official time ended up being 1:41:55. The course was actually 10.18 miles so I averaged right around a 10 minute/mile pace. Not too bad considering the hills we had to run. Lindsey and I finished at the exact same time and we were so glad to go up and grab all the free food they had for us! I ended up getting several bananas, an apple, a Panera cinnamon bagel and 4 granola bars! Love it!! They had pizza for us too, duh! It was sponsored by Papa John’s! But I didn’t feel like that would be good post-run recovery food. So I just waited until we all went to lunch.

My biggest supporter and I!

Lindsey and I

We walked back to the loft another mile and the heavens let loose and starting pouring on us so another half a mile run back to the loft and we were home to throw our clothes in the drier for a second and then head to brunch!

Brunch ended up being lunch because they were finished serving breakfast but I didn’t mind. I felt like eating a sandwich anyway.

Blue Dog Bakery is where it is AT!! My first time here and definitely not my last.

Super cool atmosphere.

I ordered the spicy tuna sandwich (no preservatives in their bread, SCORE!), topped with sliced hard boiled egg and arugula.

With a side of chips and wheatberry salad. The wheatberry salad is to die! It has wheatberry, celery, scallions, lima beans, and currants.

Can I just say how amazing this meal was?! Everything on their menu is healthy and good for you and I was pleased to find another place in Louisville like this. There aren’t too many around that I’ve found. I saved the right half of my sandwich for lunch at work tomorrow. Half of my chips and wheatberry salad got packed up to go too. I definitely couldn’t have eaten all of this. I’m never really that hungry after I race or have a long run so I’m glad I have such a great lunch for tomorrow!

There bakery makes bread fresh everyday and I hear it’s amazing. I can see how since the bread for my sandwich was delicious!

We then proceeded to our hair appointments we had scheduled for today. It had been over 5 months since I had my hair colored. Shocker that I’m not a natural blonde, right?! 🙂 I almost fell asleep in the chair because I realized how tired I was when I sat still for a moment.

Two hours of cuts and colors later, we were out the door and it was time for me to run to the grocery for a few essential items to last us until we get back from a road trip next weekend. I think we’re good to go for two more weeks which makes me excited!

I actually got some great deals in our organic section at Kroger, I was surprised. I picked up some Bear Naked Oats and Honey Granola with Blueberries (originally over $5 and I got it for $2.99), three containers of yogurt to test out, and Kashi cinnamon harvest and autumn harvest cereal for only $2.99 a piece! Not bad! Ususally they are over $4!! Then they were having a sale on Nature’s Own whole wheat bread Buy One, Get One Free! All about it! I pretty much got everything on sale or on Kroger special card prices. Love when that happens!

Now we’re home and relaxing. Not for long though, the hubs has a hankering for a Dairy Kastle hot dog and I think that sounds like a fabulous idea. Let me tell you about Dairy Kastle… they open in the spring during daylight savings time and close in the fall at daylight savings time and it’s a super cute walk up to the window dairy shack and they are awesome! I am addicted to this place in the spring, summer and fall! They have my favorite dessert there. It’s a Reese’s Cup flurry and it’s like a Dairy Queen blizzard with low fat frozen yogurt with Reese’s cups mixed in! To die for! So that’s another reason going there tonight sounded like such a fabulous idea! I plan on ordering one and devouring it. Another great thing, it’s close enough to walk so we get some exercise out of the deal. Can’t beat it!!

I’ll be sure and take plenty of pictures tonight. Thank goodness the sun came out and the weather has been beautiful since our earlier downfall! We’ll enjoy our walk thoroughly, I’m sure. I’ll enjoy having some hubs/wifey time just to talk and enjoy each other while we walk. Hope you all have had a great Saturday so far! See you all later!!

What’s your favorite yogurt brand and flavor?

Pre-Race Fuel

Hello friends! I know it’s super early. It’s 5:30 a.m. my time and I’m up for a pre-race breakfast. I decided to eat one of these Kashi Go Lean bars for race prep and fuel. With a big glass of water, of course.

I really like the bar! I have another chocolate peanut and then two chocolate caramel. I’m sure those will come in handy for snacks on our road trip next weekend.

Alright, enough chitter chatter. I’m off to lay down for another hour or so before getting dressed and ready to go. Getting some butterflies just thinking about the 3 miles worth of hills I have to conquer today. I’m hoping adrenaline kicks my tail into high gear and I can finish stronger and faster than expected. See you after I cross the finish line!