Monday, April 7, 2014

{Q&A} Lauren from Breathe Deeply & Smile

I hope the weekend treated you well. We have been getting all of our things moved in this weekend and I am more than exhausted. Lucky for me, I've got a great guest blogger on today to keep you entertained! 

Have you heard of the Breathe Deeply and Smile blog? If you haven't, you better get your tush over there right now and follow Lauren! She recently ran her FIRST marathon and even landed a STELLAR time! So proud of you girl!
 Let's dive in and get to know Lauren!

1.    Tell us a little about yourself and your blog. What inspired you to create a blog?
I started my blog Breathe Deeply and Smile a little over a year ago after reading lots of other running and healthy living blogs and figuring I could do it too! I blog about learning to live a happy and healthy life while documenting my races, training, eating (there’s a lot), and random things I like. I also often discuss trying to balance fitness, work, relationships, and life while trying to stay stress-free!

2.    When you’re not running, how do you stay active?
When I’m not running, I crossfit 1-2x a week and sometimes throw in a spinning or yoga class.  I love trying new fitness classes and mixing things up!

3.     If we took a peek into your gym bag, what would we find?
My gym bag is a mess because I’m always moving things in and out of it.  My stand-by gym bag items are chapstick, lifting gloves, a tube of Nuun, an empty water bottle, an extra pair of socks, hand sanitizer, my heart rate monitor, and an extra headband.

4.    If you could only run in one shoe for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is difficult because I don’t know if I’ve found the perfect shoe for me yet! I mostly run in Brooks running shoes, and the ones I’ve run the most in are my Pure Connects!

5.    What is your pre-race (or race day) tradition?
I feel like I need to refine my routine a little bit! I always have trouble sleeping the night before and don’t like getting to the race area too early because it makes me anxious standing around waiting. I wake up and get dressed and eat some toast or a bagel with nut butter and a banana. I usually have a half a cup of coffee and go to the bathroom and make sure I have everything I need before heading out (a post-it reminder is a necessity for this!). 

6.    If you could run anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Oh gosh I want to run everywhere! I’ve never run in a different country and think something exotic would be beautiful, like on an island or the Great Wall of China or something crazy!

7.    If you could have only wish in your running career be granted, what would that be?
This is a great question! My only wish would to stay injury-free so I would be able to run for many years!

8.    What is your worst running experience to date? How did you come back from it?
I don’t have one really bad race or run story but a couple months ago I went out for a long run by myself, and it just seemed everything was going wrong. The weather was beautiful but my Garmin wasn’t locating satellites, my iPod battery had died, and my legs felt like lead. I had gone for a run later in the morning and had two cups of coffee that were not sitting right with me. I felt very uncomfortable and needed to find a bathroom so I stopped at Starbucks, but it seems my whole digestive system was still just off (without being TMI!) and I had to slowly make it a few more miles to run back to my apartment.  It was an awful run. I’ve learned to limit the coffee right before runs since then!

9.    What advice do you have for those who are just beginning their interest in running?
Besides getting a solid pair of running shoes (I recommend getting fitted at a local running store!), my advice would be that it is important to switch up your workouts. Besides keeping things interesting, incorporating speed work, longer and slower runs, and hills helps you become a stronger and faster runner!

10. What race do you wish of competing in (or) what race has been your favorite to date?
I like many runners, my dream is to qualify for Boston! I just ran my first marathon this past year at the Baltimore Marathon and met my time goal of 3:45 and even though it was hard and awful at times, I crossed the finish line knowing I was going to run another one. It was a great day!

11. (Finish this sentence) “I cannot leave for a run without ____”
A headband. I’m assuming I’ve got shoes on already J Seriously I can’t deal with hair and sweat in my face when working out!

12. Tell us about a moment where running has changed your life.
I believe in that cliché that running is my therapy.  After I ran my first half marathon almost 2 years ago, I found my boyfriend at the finish area and just started crying. It was this involuntary thing and so strange to me. I was happy, but after running this race that took a lot of hard work, dedication, and training, I just needed a release of emotion.  That’s when I knew that running was going to be something special in my life. 

13. Tell us how you stay motivated. What inspires you?
Like many people I think my motivation goes up and down depending on how I am feeling. There is nothing like the endorphins from a workout and that feeling you get afterwards when you kickass in the gym or on a run. I’ll keep running for those happy workouts, moments of crossing finish lines, and days when I feel strong and unstoppable. 

14. What aspect of running challenges you the most?
The most challenging aspect of running for me is the mental part of it. You are always competing against yourself, your previous times, and your mind. Sometimes it’s harder to fight the words telling you that you can’t do it in your mind than it is to put one foot in front of another!

15.  What is your go to power song?
One song that has been on my workout playlist for years has been Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days are Over.  I like that the song has a strong and positive message and the chorus of “run fast for your mother, and fast for your father…” is especially motivating when running! Kanye West’s Stronger is a close second for the same reasons and the awesome beat!

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Make sure to check out more of Lauren at Breathe Deeply and Smile .

Please check me out all over the web!

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