June 24, 2016

{5 Friday Favorites} Beer, Beyonce, and Beast Mode

It's Friday and I'm here with some favorites from the past few weeks. It's been a hectic and humid week for me so I'm looking forward to a fun and sunny weekend.  

{5 Friday Favorites} Beer, Beyonce, and Beast Mode

1. Beyonce Formation World Tour


A.K.A my second time seeing the QUEEN. 

I'm a HUGEEEE Beyonce fan so if you don't like her just skip this paragraph. Yes, I'm the girl blasting Lemonade in her car and singing along.  I could go on and on about this concert I went to a few weeks ago in Philly, but I'll just say it's literally a magical experience and in a completely different way from her last tour with Jay-Z. She puts on an amazing show-even people who aren't huge fans or don't know a ton of her non-radio hits have said so to me! Bey  was sure to keep the message about self-love and how the most important relationship is the one with yourself and how you can do anything #PREACH.  I mean that's a message all ladies can get behind. 

I also want a wind machine following me and an acceptable place to wear a sparkly leotard and high heels, kthanks.

2. Beer Flights


I got to enjoy a nice little beer flight at Flying Fish Brewing Co. with my family last weekend. Anytime I go to a new brewery I also get a beer flight. Sometimes when I can't decide what I want I get one too. I also love it because some beers are interesting for a little taste, but I don't want a full pint of it. Sometimes you just want a little bit of everything. Or if you are me, you always do. What's wrong with wanting it? 

3. Summer long runs


Okay so I don't like the humidity or being completely drenched after runs (#sweatyAF), but now that I'm in my first week of marathon training I do enjoy some of the routine of a long run and the peace that comes afterwards. Plus feeling like a badass for crushing many miles.  Another pro is that I spend at least 4 miles of the run thinking about what I want to treat myself to for breakfast afterwards. Long run days go wake up, run, eat, shower, eat, nap, then restoftheday.  Tons of sweaty laundry and trying to remove a soaking wet sports bra are definite summer long run cons. 

4. KIND Snacks variety pack


A.k.a. the motherload of KIND bars. I was nice enough to have been sent this complimentary 30-pack of KIND Snacks bars which includes some new flavors such as Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut & Raspberry Cashew Chia (YUM!) and all my old favorites including Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt. I've always been a fan of variety packs becaus I like choices and a little bit of everything (see: beer flights) . 

Let's just say between my boyfriend and I, this pack did not last long in our apartment.  

4. Awesomeness alert- American Runs for Homelessness with Back on My Feet


Back on my Feet is an awesome organization  that restores hope and independence through running in over 11 cities (including a chapter in Baltimore!) and has helped more than 4000 individuals find employment and housing. With half a million homeless people in the US, that's awesome. Go here and sign their American Runs pledge to help end homelessness. For each pledge BoMF receives $1, and you are entered to win a free year of Dunkin Donuts. You know I love me some DD coffee so that's a sweet bonus for helping out a great cause! 

This post was linked up with my fave Friday Linkup ladies CourtneyMar, and Cynthia  as well as NicoleJilland Heather. 

What is one of your favorite workouts, snacks, charities lately? 

June 14, 2016

Pre-Marathon Training Feelings in Gifs

Whew, I can't believe it's already halfway through June. I also realized a couple weeks ago when reading the latest issue of Runner's World, that yikes! I need to start marathon training next week to be ready for first the Chicago Marathon in October.   Registering for the marathons months ago was the easy part.  Now it's time to run through my feelings about impending marathon training the past couple of weeks, in gifs! 

Pre-Marathon Training Feelings in Gifs

1. I'm running a marathon (or 2) this Fall-it's going to be great, no big deal


2. When I realize I need to start training next week. WHAT?!


3. I think about waking up really early to beat the heat and get my runs done early in the morning for the next 16 weeks. All by choice!


4. I begin to try to figure out a marathon training plan and schedule my runs for the next 4 months. I can't believe I am doing this for fun. 


5.  When I take a moment to breathe and realize I'm a boss who's run 3 marathons before, and I've got this.  #SLAY


Anybody else starting a new training plan or gearing up to tackle fall goals? 

June 10, 2016

ZOOMA Annapolis 2016 Half Marathon Race Recap

Disclosure: I am a 2016 ZOOMA Women's Race Series ambassador and received complimentary registration for this event.  As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

In my 2015 ZOOMA Annapolis race recap I described my race experience as hot, humid, and hilly. Those rang true again this year!  Although I said I would not be running the half marathon again and would do the 10K, I found myself running the half marathon again, whoops. Despite the conditions this time of year, ZOOMA always puts on a nice race weekend for women in Annapolis. This year in addition to a half marathon and 10K, a 5K race was added.  



Friday evening after sitting in terrible traffic from Baltimore to Annapolis after work, I finally made it down to the ZOOMA Annapolis race expo at the beautiful Loews Hotel in downtown Annapolis. The expo is really small, but there was some nice women's running vendors and packet pickup looked easy (I grabbed my bib the night before in Baltimore). 


I grabbed dinner and a drink with many of the ZOOMA ambassadors, most of whom I've met before or were ZOOMA ambassadors with me last year.  It was fun to see everyone and especially those people whom I've never met in person or those who I interact more with online through social media. Those running the 10K and 5K got to have a few more drinks and a little bit more fun, which also made me regret signing up for the half! 


I finally had the chance to meet Cori (She's Going the Distance) who was nice enough to let me share her hotel room after realizing a couple weeks prior that I had not booked anything and didn't feel like driving down 2 days in a row or the morning of. I think we're similar so we vibe together pretty well, and I was happy to meet her after lots of social media interactions. 


Cori and I followed a fellow runner out of the hotel, but a round about way got us to the start line with just enough time to get to the bathroom and run to line up. FYI, If you are driving over, there is free parking at Navy Stadium for the race which is nice! I'm sad we missed the ambassador group photo! 

I went into the race not feeling very confident because it was 87% humidity that morning and my body doesn't do great running in heat/humidity, especially since I'm not used to it yet this summer.  I kept telling Cori that if she wanted to go ahead or anything that she didn't have to run with me, but we ended up running the whole race side by side.  I didn't plan to push it and really just wanted to finish, but ended up staying around an 8:00/mile pace.  After making it around halfway at that pace, I knew I wanted to try to stick to it. 

The course was the same as last year and running through downtown is really pretty and scenic. I thought the water stops were well-stocked and the volunteers were great.  About Mile 5 my one contact lense had been bothering me all morning so I just tossed it out and ran the race half blurry-eyed for the rest of the time. Note to self: pack extra set of contacts in your overnight bag, even if you are rushing out the door. 

Once you get north of the Navy bridge, the course gets pretty hilly and there are lots of turns. A couple times I was glad there were volunteers to clarify which way to go because I would have gotten lost, especially with the smaller half marathon field.  The 10Kers turnaround halfway up the Navy bridge.  The course north of the bridge is the part I knew from last year is tougher physically and mentally. Cori and I didn't talk much most of the race but checked in with each other periodically.  

The only thing I don't like about the course is that there are a lot of small out and back stretches which mentally frustrates me during the race.  After making it back across the Navy bridge towards downtown, I know that I only need to push it for a few more miles.  


It was overcast the whole time we ran which was a life saver because the humidity PLUS the sun last year made me feel terrible. Despite the humidity making me uncomfortable, I actually felt better running this course than I did last year. It was also great having Cori to run with. Without her I might have turned around at the 10K and shortened my race instead of pushing myself to commit to the half marathon distance!  

Finish line photo and fist pumping cause it's over. #jerseygirl
The last 2 miles of the race felt like they took forever and once we got to the Navy bridge I sped up and tried to push it to the finish line because I really just wanted to be done.

I have actually become a big fan of singlets and the New Balance ZOOMA singlet despite being drenched with sweat, kept me cool during the race. It took me forever, as usual, to cool down and stop sweating a ton.  I felt kind of nauseous post-race so I just had some water and a banana and took some trail mix to go. I couldn't really stomach any Barefoot wine this year so after a few photos we headed back to the hotel to shower. 

My official time was 1:45:21 which actually had me placed 2nd in my age group and 14/580 overall. It's a pretty average half time for me and just a minute slower than my ZOOMA Annapolis time last year, but definitely something I'm proud of for the conditions! 



With this race in June, the conditions are usually going to be hot and humid which makes the hilly course a little tougher. However I love the small, unique feel of ZOOMA races and also running around Annapolis is a nice change of pace for this city girl.  They keep women in mind throughout the race weekend planning and are always open to suggestions.There were great volunteers and always nice touches, including the free race photos and soft race shirt that I have been lounging around in ever since the race. 


Do you like running races with others for motivation? Have you ever ran in Annapolis? 

You can still register for the Amelia Island Florida and Cape Cod races later this year with my discount code!

This post was linked up with my fave Friday Linkup ladies CourtneyMar, and Cynthia  as well as NicoleJilland Amanda .

June 3, 2016

{5 Friday Favorites} Free Summer Fitness Events in Baltimore 2016

Another Friday already is always a great thing! I've got a jam-packed weekend that is getting kicked off with pre-race ZOOMA Annapolis festivities. If you're running ZOOMA this weekend, say hi if you see me! This week hit us with that hot and humid weather. I love summer (minus the humidity) and LOVE running in shorts again. I just be sure to take my allergy mediciation, lather up the sunscreen, and I'm good to go! One of the great parts about being in the city is all of the free events always happening. Here are some of my favorite FREE summer fitness outdoor offerings you should check out. 


5 Friday Favorites-Free Summer Fitness in Baltimore

1. Waterfront Wellness classes

Waterfront Wellness through the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore offers free fitness classes taught by local professional instructors all summer around the Inner Harbor with a beautiful backdrop. I LOVE Waterfront Wellness in the summer although usually marathon training gets in the way of me going. They added some weeknight classes this week which is awesome! Classes are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from May 28 through September 18th and include barre, yoga, bootcamp, body sculpt, Dance2Fitness. There is also a fun incentive program with prizes sponsored by Medifast. Definitely check out a class and take this chance to try out something new!  


You can get more information and the full schedule here

2. 4th Annual Outdoor Fit+ Festival 

On Saturday, June 25th, 2016 will be the 4th annual Fit+ Festival in Harbor East on Aliceanna Street from 9 AM- 1PM. There will be free fitness classes from Under Armour, Lululemon, and The MAC as well as healthy food offerings, music, a photo booth, and giveaways.  The fitness classes including a run, yoga, bootcamp, boxing, and more! 

The event is free and includes free parking, but you have to RSVP here on the website. 

3. Summer Solstice with Soul Body Barre at UAPC UA Headquarters

I love any chance I get to workout out on the water at the awesome Under Armour Headquarters in Baltimore overlooking the harbor.  You can celebrate the Summer Solstice with a free 1-hour Soul Body Barre class with the creators. If you've never tried barre, this is a great chance! The class is free and open to the public but there is only a maximum of 50 spots so sign up here. There are some more details here

Update: Yikes, someone just let me know the class is already full! All the classes at the UAPC including Soul Body Barre are only $8 drop ins as well if you want to take a class there! I also know that there is free summer solstice yoga at 8 AM on 6/19 at the American Visionary Art Museum for free-details here

4. November Project-Baltimore

I had to include it! It's free all summer. And completely free every other Wednesday and Friday during the year-never cancelled. Come out for some extra sweaty hugs and fun running & body weight workouts 6:30 AM on Wednesdays at Rash Field right in front of Federal Hill on the water and 6:30 AM on Fridays at Patterson Park (corner of Linwood & East Baltimore).If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read why I think this free fitness movement and the Baltimore tribe is awesome. 

5. Free Yoga EVERYWHERE.


There is a TON of free yoga everywhere. Here are a just a few of the offerings around the city this summer.  In Mount Vernon at Mount Vernon Park-East Square you can do outdoor yoga every Saturday from 8:30-9:45 through September 24th. 

In Canton there will be Pop Up Yoga Baltimore all-levels yoga classes at the Canton Waterfront starting June 5th and continuing on every Saturday from 9:30-10:30 AM. More details here

Free Baltimore Yoga is all-year round including summer-I love it! You can check them out Tuesdays at 6 PM at Patterson Park and Thursdays at 6:30 PM at Parks & People. More information can be found on their website

BONUS: This isn't a free workout, but if you want to try paddle boarding you should totally take a FloYo class this summer. FloYo is a full body workout class done on the standup paddle board that incorporates lots of yoga sequences. I took one a couple summers ago, and it was also the first time I had ever been paddle boarding-it was a blast! I am definitely going to make it a point to get out for a class this summer, especially since there is a location right in Baltimore in Dundalk. Check out their schedule and more information here.

What is your favorite summer workout? Do you like outdoor fitness classes? 

This post was linked up with my fave Friday Linkup ladies CourtneyMar, and Cynthia  as well as NicoleJilland Amanda .

June 1, 2016

5 Ways to Celebrate Global Running Day 2016

Today, June 1st, 2016 is Global Running Day! I think it used to be National Running Day last year  and previous years.  There are tons of fake-ish holidays that someone makes up and markets, but I can totally support this one because I love running and seeing other people excited about running!  Here's some ways you can celebrate Global Running Day 2016 and get involved! 

5 Ways to Celebrate Global Running Day 2016

1. Run. 

Duh. This is probably the most obvious and easiest way to celebrate. I plan on getting a run in with my November Project tribe, but find a group of friends and make it fun! You can even go to the Global Running Day site and print out a cool bib  and join the Strava challenge or go to Brooks Running website and get another bib or find a run near you. 

Pretty much how this morning's workout looked with bud Sarah

2. Register for a race.

Sign up for a race and set some goals since the year is halfway over! I'm gearing up for a sweaty summer of training for fall races already.Now is the time to register and save some cash on registration fees. Rock 'n' Roll Race Series is having a HUGE sale today on race registrations. If you miss out, you can always use my code BREATHE16 to save $15 off any half or full marathon registration!  You can also register for any of the ZOOMA races anytime with my code LAUREN16 (Annapolis is this weekend!). 


3. Buy running stuff. 

As if you need an excuse. You can still enter my Miles & Pace trucker hat giveaway which ends Monday! There are also tons of sales happening on fitness and running gear tomorrow. Here's a a great list of deals to check out and another great deals roundup from Kristen. 


4. Support a cause and run for charity 

You can log your run with the app CharityMiles to support your favorite charity and give back through running which is awesome. 

5. Eat like a runner who is carbloading. 

Regardless if you are running tomorrow or don't run at all, you should definitely carb-load in the spirit of a runner because pizza and pasta and carbs are delicious. 


Are you celebrating Global Running Day 2016? Are you doing something besides running today? 

This post was linked up with Wild Workout Wednesday, Running Coaches' Corner
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