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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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Early Morning Run

After I blogged last night, I received a phone call from one of my closest friends in Louisville asking if I wanted to go for a run this morning.  I jumped on the idea because since we went running together two days before the marathon, I was hooked with having someone to run with.

I love that Mandy runs in the morning because it starts my day off perfectly and frees me up for the rest of the day to do whatever I want or need to do.  We pounded out 2.7 miles in just under 27 minutes.  After drinking some water and stretching (chit chatting the whole time of course) we headed to the grocery to pick up some things we needed.

After a quick grocery trip, it was back home and time to eat some breakfast.  I was hungry!

I thought about trying my hand at oatmeal again this morning but changed my mind because I didn’t want to put so much effort into it and it not be that good because I needed instant gratification.  So I made waffles instead!

Topped with half a nanner and some fresh strawberries with a drizzle of honey.

A Morningstar “sausage” pattie on the side made this meal complete!

I had thought about going on a picnic down by the river today but a cold front moved in last night and it’s a cool 50 degrees here.  Besides, there is some cleaning to do around here and I have to get ready for a fabulous dinner we are having with friends tonight over at Mandy’s house.  I’m really excited for the spread that we are going to have.  Can’t wait to take lots of fun pictures!  I’ll see you all later!

What’s your favorite waffle brand?  What are you favorite toppings?

Too Pumped

I was too pumped to bike home tonight because I knew I was going to be able to run for the first time since the marathon 9 days ago! I found out why my toenails were hurting me so badly and once I fixed it, because I’m such a good nursey nurse, I am feeling 100% better and practically back to normal! So tonight was the night!

We had great weather today, perfect weather this evening and I had the best 2 mile run. Easy, calm, exhilirating. Actually, I lied. It wasn’t easy, I pushed it hard but it was glorious! I have missed running so much! I know you all know that because I’ve been talking about it so much but man, it’s great to be back in the game.

And I knew I was running back home for some homemade pizza!! Whole wheat crust topped with oodles of veggies! Yum!

Spinach, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms and I added black olives on my slices.

Pizza was much needed in my life and I loved every bite of my two small pieces.  I felt like I deserved it after a fast, hard run.

So I’m all packed up with food for work tomorrow, showered and settled for the night. Off to dream land! See you tomorrow!

What makes you feel like you’re on Cloud 9?

Not Feeling Full

Is it the end of the day already? I’m bummed because that means my only day off in the midst of a 12 day stretch is almost over!  Boo!!

I’m happy to say we finished all of our major grocery shopping for the month and we ended up buying a lot more for our money this time.  I am seriously impressed at how full our freezer, refrigerator and pantry are now!  I love, love, love it!  So many fresh options that we have no excuse to cook at home this whole month and avoid eating out.

I had a quick snack of Danon’s strawberry yogurt topped with Bear Naked granola when we got home.

This was only half of my yogurt that I stored in the fridge from the other day when I opened up the Danon yogurt.

Ollie boy wanted to take a whiff.  He’s becoming quite the organic, natural, clean eater too.  Ok, maybe not really but he’s still a cutie.

I donned my swimsuit and headed up to our rooftop deck and soaked up some major sun!  I was up there for over two hours!  See how happy I am to be soaking it in?

I headed back down to our place to dig into the amazing dinner the hubs prepared!  We had rib-eye steak, wilted spinach, baked sweet potato and grilled asparagus.

Everything was fab, I thought!  I ate about 3/4 of the asparagus, all the wilted spinach, half the sweet potato and all my steak since it wasn’t big once all the fat was cut off of it.

Alright, I jumped the gun on making a dessert rule of only eating it once a week.  It’s impossible for me to do.  I like dessert and know that I can eat anything in moderation so yes, I might eat it everyday, I might not but I’m going to do what I want.  That’s my new philosophy.

Enter: Vanilla ice cream in a martini glass with an oh so cute decorative strawberry.

I was still hungry after eating dessert so I filled up a glass with lots of fruit!!  Mandarins, Strawberries and Red Grapes

Ok, I think I might finally be feeling satisfied!

I almost forgot!  The professional pictures of the marathon are up!  Here’s mine.  I love them… especially the one of the hubs running with me towards the finish line.  These make me want to cry.  Maybe it’s finally hitting me that I actually ran a freaking marathon!

This one is my favorite.  I think I should order it and frame it!  The happiness portrayed on both of our faces is undeniable.  I’m so thankful for my husband.

I’m not one to hide emotion but these pictures are overwhelming.  It shows exactly the happiness I was feeling and I swear this was one of the best days of my life.  I feel tears come to my eyes as I even look at these.  Maybe it’s hitting me that I really did run a freaking marathon!  I’m so grateful to have these to capture this special day in my life.

Speaking of running, I did not get my run in today because my toes are officially JACKED!  The second toe on my right food is ridiculous!  It looks like an abscess could be brewing so I’m going to lay off of the running until I see some further healing take place.  So please pray that it will heal quickly!  You all know how bad I want to be back on the pavement but I also don’t want to suffer irreversible damage.

I will continue biking, strength training and walking because it doesn’t involve high impact on my toes so maybe that’ll keep me happy until running can occur.

The running of The Kentucky Derby is tomorrow!  It’ll be crazy around here.  If I end up being placed on call for some reason, I think we’re going to head to a Derby party or two.

Are you going to be tuning into the running of The Kentucky Derby?

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?

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?

Don’t Hate

Good evening!  The rest of the day ended up not like I expected.  I ended up leaving work, by my own choosing, (surprise, surprise) early so I could get some errands ran, a run in and dinner, all in a timely manner.  To be honest, my mind is honestly not anywhere focused towards work right now.  Yes, I do my job and I love it but all I can think about is the marathon!  As I biked into work this morning, I already started mentally preparing for this Saturday.  I already find myself praying unceasingly for the Lord to give me the physical and mental strength to start and FINISH this marathon.  So weird how one thing can have you so focused….

ANYWAY!!  I know you don’t want to keep hearing about all of that so I’ll get onto my lunch.  I had the rest of my frozen pot roast from Easter.  So delish!

There is some meat under the potatoes, carrots and onions!

I found myself extremely ravenous about one o’clock which is really unusual for me.  Usually I can hold out until 4 or 5 but by 2:30, I couldn’t wait any longer.  It was all over.  I needed to dig into this bad boy!

I was so excited!  These bars turned out PERFECT!!!  I was seriously impressed with myself!  Adding more brown rice syrup, peanut butter and chocolate chips was the best decision ever!  I will be making these fairly often, I believe.  So easy.  I’m going to start experimenting with other ingredients for sure so stay tuned for granola bar adventures. 🙂

I left work at 3:30, biked home, hopped in the car with the hubs and ran some errands.  We got home around 5:30 or so and decided it was time for dinner because I was extremely cranky acting due to HUNGER!  What is with me?  I could not keep my hunger at bay at all today!

Guess what dinner was?

Don’t hate!  This small Reese’s Cup blizzard needed me, I couldn’t say no!

Exercise tonight was over 3.5 miles of walking and jogging.  I coerced the hubs into going with me as we walked to DQ and then headed over to St. James Court a mile down the road.  I now feel like I need to get some chest, back and ab exercises in.  I’m feeling super productive since we tackled some much needed errands, dinner, walk/jog, getting food ready for work tomorrow, and now blogging… all before 8:15 p.m.!

I have two more days of work this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) and they are super busy as is the rest of the week!  Tomorrow night we have a dinner to go to, Wednesday night we have a birthday to celebrate for a friend with dessert and games, Thursday morning I have my last run planned with one of my sweetest friends at 5:30 a.m. and my special guest comes into town!  Lots more from Thursday thru Sunday but I’ll get to more of that closer to time.  Hope you had a good one!

What’s your favorite Blizzard flavor?

Vitamin D

It’s 12:30 and I’m happy to say that I am currently soaking in some much needed Vitamin D laying out on the rooftop of our loft.

Now I had to improvise since all my bathing suits are still in storage so I’ve got a sports bra on with the straps pulled down to avoid tan lines and Soffe workout shorts on. Hey. You gotta do what you gotta do. I’d rather get some color on my skin than none at all so I had to be creative!

Anyway… work called this morning and put me on call so I fell back asleep until 9 and it was wonderful!! I called at 9 to see if they needed me to come in at 11 and they said no and that I could have the rest of the day off. Woo hoo!! I’m all about it.

So I slowly woke up while I watched two quick 30 minute shows that were on our DVR and decided to go for a run. I ended up doing 4 miles and decided it was time for a little lunch and laying out since I didn’t eat breakfast. I was sure to put on the sunscreen. Safety first!

I fixed a lunch to take on the rooftop with me. Lots of water, a PB&J and a sliced pear.

Maybe a book and a magazine will be read too. 🙂

I mean, can the weather get any better today!?

It’s so perfect. The slight breeze makes this day of laying out perfectly pleasant. Not too hot, not too chilly or overcast. I plan on soaking as much sun in as I can!

I was thinking as I was running today, I have a very special person that will be in town one week from today to cheer me on for the marathon. I’m very privileged they are traveling to come support me!! I’m keeping it a secret until they arrive but can you guess who it may be!?

Alright, Pandora is calling my name to turn it on as I enjoy this day. I’m off to do some grocery shopping later and then biking to Community Group. Oops… that reminds me! We’re supposed to bring dessert tonight. Guess I’ll be whipping something up in the kitchen later too. It’ll be quite a productive day once it’s over. I love it!!

What are your plans for today and tonight?

Or better yet, how would you improvise a swimsuit if yours was in storage and you wanted to soak up some rays?