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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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Nappers

I got sent home from work around 1 o’clock today and the hubs picked me up from work since it started raining and I had biked in.  We drove on over to chic-fil-a where I had coupons for free chicken sandwiches and a free order of fries from Penn Station Subs.  I’m all about it.  A whole lunch for free!!

I was really looking forward to having chic-fil-a’s classic chicken sandwich but on a wheat bun.  I got inside while the hubs was outside and ordered but the wheat bun was 15 cents extra and I hadn’t brought my wallet in and didn’t want to worry about running outside so I ended up just getting the white bun.  Bummer.  But it was still extremely tasty.

It’s been FOREVER since I’ve had their classic sandwich and I loved every bite.

With some Penn Station fries on the side.

We got home and I had expected to get call back into work but they never called so I took the opportunity to nap it up. I took about a two hour nap and woke up to eat a quick bite before community group and then we were off.  I really do think I could’ve slept through the whole night though.  I was tired!

I ate half of a Monterey veggie wrap from Calistoga which had hummus, feta cheese, caramelized onions, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, banana peppers, roasted red peppers and leaf lettuce, in a whole wheat wrap.

With these new chips I picked up at Whole Foods!

Not baked or fried!  And for 19 chips, it’s only 120 calories.  What a steal.  Super yummy too.

I had just a few on the side.

We headed to community group where I knew there would be dessert served.  These were like orange scones with an orange icing glaze.  I had one and two bites of another.  Delish!

I’m all ready for bed.  It’s already 10 so I won’t be asleep like I was last night but hopefully soon.  I’ll be watching Survivor’s episode from tonight on DVR and probably crash out.  Work in the a.m.!  Hope you all had a lovely Thursday!

What’s your favorite chip?!

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?

Knotted Up

Once again, I wasn’t asleep until after 11 o’clock last night. This week has been terribly “off” for us because we’ve had something planned every night! Which is always awesome when you have such great friends to hang out with but I have to say I’m thankful for tonight. No plans. Just a regular night at home.

I biked into work today in hopes that it won’t rain later like the weathermen say it’s going to so I can bike home. I truly love being back in the routine of biking. It gets my blood pumping in the morning and sets my metabolism up to be increased for the whole day. And I’m reducing my carbon footprint while saving money on gas. Gotta love it.

Breakfast was an unexpected bagel. A medical rep provided bagels this morning and I happily accepted. I cut my whole wheat bagel in half and saved the other half for tomorrow. I popped it in the toaster at work and then put a spread if cream cheese on it. Yum yum. I just love bagels!

I also ate a nanner for some fruit intake.

Lunch was the other half of my dinner from last night. Turkey burger with lettuce, onion, tomato, relish, mustard and ketchup. The other half of my French fries too.

Snack was my first taste test of store bought yogurt. I desperately want to love yogurt but have never really like any that people have had me taste. Since I loved the chick-fil-a yogurt I tried a couple of weeks ago, I decided to start buying individual containers at the store and trying those.

I started out with Danon plain yogurt and didn’t like it at all.

So after a couple taste testing bites, I threw it out and tried the Danon strawberry. Loved it! I mixed in my granola and was good to go. Score!

I couldn’t wait to get home because (a) a storm was rolling in and I wanted to be able to bike home instead of having the hubs come pick me up and (b)  I couldn’t wait to have a night at home with no plans but to eat, do some sort of working out and getting into bed and getting to sleep by 10!

I came home to a great dinner.  We did a light simple salad tonight tossed with balasamic vinaigrette and topped with baby carrots, olives, bacon and cheese.

The hubs baked up some whole wheat tortillas and made them into chips.  I spread some Laughing Cow on there and it was perfection!!

I had some dessert of course!  Thin Mint Girl Scout ice cream?!  Absolutely!  In a martini glass?  Even better!

I am completely satisfied.  After a long day at the hospital, it was the perfect treat to end it with.  I’m off to do some arm, shoulder and ab exercises and then hit the hay!  My right calf is pretty knotted up since my race this past Saturday so I’m resting it this week.  I do have a training run when I’m out of town this weekend.  It’s only 10 miles so I know I’ll be fine but  I hate to push it now when I’ve made it this far having avoided injury.  I feel blessed that I have a body that can run these long distances and handle it well so I’m going to stay thankful and wait until my calf muscles release from this knot and feels normal again. Happy Hump Day!  See you tomorrow friends!

I’ll leave you with a picture of this sweet thing.  He’s saying a late Happy Easter!!

But now he’s ready to watch some TV.  Gotta go!!

What fun bowls, glasses, plates, etc. do you like to put your food/dessert in?

Buy One, Get One

What a day it has been. I am worn out! I think I could’ve gone to sleep at 7:30 tonight and stayed asleep until tomorrow. These 11 o’clock bedtimes have got to end!! Anyway… Onto the day.

I ate clean all day until dinner. Breakfast was a nanner. No PB this time.

Lunch rolled around and I knew the weather was supposed to be gorgeous today so I headed downstairs to our cafeteria to eat on the patio and it was an epic fail. The building blocked the sun so it ended up feeling chilly and windy. Then I realized I forgot my water so I just packed it right back up and headed to our nursing lounge instead. Oh well. At least I tried.

I topped my salad with baby carrots, olives, onions, fresh grated Parmesan cheese with a drizzle of Italian dressing.

I had a mandarin on the side as well.

Around 5, I had another mandarin for a really light snack.

I flew out of work again tonight and hopped on the bike and biked my light heart out to meet some girlfriends for dinner.  It was buy one, get one free burger night at The Monkey Wrench.  Can’t beat that.  It was nice because we sat up on the second level patio and enjoyed the great weather!

We ordered at 7:30 and the waitress came back over 30 minutes later to tell us they were out of the bison burgers some of us had ordered so it took another 30 minutes to get our food out to us.  We didn’t eat until after 8:30! I was so disappointed with the service and promptness of everything.  So disappointed that I don’t think I’ll ever go back to eat there again.  No matter how many free burgers they have.

I had ordered the turkey burger with shoestring fries on the side.

I immediately cut it in half and put one half of the burger and one half of the fries in my to go container.

So lunch is packed up and ready to go for tomorrow.

I biked home and it was TOUGH!  The wind has really kicked up around here because a storm is supposed to be rolling in tonight.  So I finally made it home and now it’s time to get snacks and breakfast packed up for tomorrow.  I need to get into bed ASAP!!  See you all tomorrow!

As good as food can be at a restaurant… if you had bad service, would you still go back and eat there?

Burger Night

I hope you all had a great rest of the day today!  I enjoyed myself thoroughly.  I ended up not having to go into work from 3-7 this afternoon because they had enough staff so I enjoyed those 4 extra hours with the hubs and kitties.

I had leftover pizza from the other night for lunch.

I love putting my food on our smaller plates because it always looks like I’m eating so much more than I really am.  A little trick of the trade to eating less.

And ended up being pretty unproductive the rest of the day.  I think I had a catnap in there somewhere.  🙂  I love little, unexpected naps.

Chad and I both have had a strong craving for a burger.  So Five Guys it was.  We haven’t eaten there since last November so we were due!

A couple of our friends came with!  So excited to introduce them to this wonderful goodness.

We snacked on some peanuts while we waited for our food.  I was starving so I ate about 10,000 of these peanuts.

Me and the hubster.

I was too excited for my burger to arrive!  A ordered their little hamburger (not so little, eh?) topped with a million toppings.  Lettuce, Tomato, Grilled Mushrooms, raw onions, grilled onions, relish, ketchup and mustard.  They even put bacon on mine but I took it off.  And a big step for me… no mayo.  I’m actually trying to edge mayo out of my life a little bit except for when I put it in my tuna salad.  I just know there are better options out there to not clog up these arteries of mine.  And surprisingly, I didn’t even miss it not being on my burger!!!

HUGE!!!

I loved every single bite.  Along with some of their signature, fresh cooked french fries.

We probably won’t eat here again until we go to Panama City Beach for our annual 8 day getaway.  This trip to our Five Guys totally got us pumped and excited for our beach trip that’s a little over two months away!!  It’ll be here before we know it and I’m ready!  Ready for it to be here but not ready for it to be over.  Anyway… it’s been a great day and I’m off to climb into bed an hour before my 10 o’clock goal!  I have to work tomorrow and am hoping it goes by super fast so I can enjoy the rest of the weekend off!  See you all later!!

What are your favorite burger toppings?