October 24, 2012

(Belated) 10 Running Questions

 I'm just getting into this blogging thing so my posts are going to be sporadic for a bit.  I've been working really hard on getting to the gym everyday this week because I'm trying to slim down before the holidays and get back into lots of fitness classes now that my 2 half marathons are over! I saw this running questionnaire from about a month ago that Another Mother Runner posted, and I thought my answers would be a nice little running introduction from me to you! 

1. Best Run Ever: I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler this past April in Washington DC.  That was the longest race I've run up to that day, and I was very anxious even though I'd ran 10.5 miles in my training to prepare.  I tried to keep up with the 8:30 pacer who was actually running 8 min miles.  I ran the race in 1:20 and definitely experience the runner's high.  I felt so great and the run wasn't hard just very enjoyable.  Crossing the finish line with a nice time and a huge smile on my face was when I really felt like a runner.  Immediately after my run I felt like I could run even more, and then eventually some soreness kicked in at brunch.
2. Three words to describe my running: Relaxing (definitely the time I use to de-stress and think about things), competitive (with myself and other runners, I'm always chasing the PR and trying to get better!), and healthy (it's become a part of my life but I balance it with crosstraining and try to keep it from being like work but always being something I want to push myself to do!) 
3. My go to run outfit: Something bright colored and fun.  I'm a big fan of running capris (no chafing!) and a dry-fit or wicking shirt (Under Armour rocks and are a Baltimore company to boot!). I usually have a headband, armband for my phone, and my Brooks purple Pureflows of course!
4. Quirky habit while running: Sometimes if a good song comes on my iPod I do a little rocking out and dancing with my hands haha

October 16, 2012

Baltimore Running Festival 2012

This past Saturday it was a no brainer that I take part in the Baltimore Running Festival this year since I am a city resident! It truly is a wonderful event with a marathon, half marathon, team relay, 5k, and kids fun run, all happening on the same morning! I just ran my first half marathon around three weeks prior so I was really excited to be able to better pace myself and beat my previous time.  I bought a super sweet Baltimore Ravens team color Baltimore shirt and decided to be extra spirited and run in a purple & black tutu because it would be fun! I spent Friday night making my tutu while watching Netflix and eating lots of carbs, because carb-loading is the best excuse to eat lots of food :)

Saturday morning the BRF has the full marathon start before the half, and eventually meet up early on in the half marathon course. The half started at 9:45 AM so I had a pretty relaxed morning with enough time to eat, drink some coffee, digest, use my bathroom and get ready. The street I live on was closed off because the marathon was actually running down it so I walked/jogged to the start line of the half. 

 I made it into my corral about 20 minutes before race time.  I realized in the corral I had left my iPod on my kitchen table so I panicked because all of my long runs had be ran with my iPod. Oh well.

The race ended up being fabulous! The weather was perfect, and the hills of Baltimore weren't too mean to me. It isn't an easy course though. It goes through some of the more sketchy parts of the city but the support from most of the residents and  lots of spectators was fabulous. There was lots of signs, cheering, music playing, and people handing out water/beer/candy to runners.  Honestly, wearing the tutu was the best decision I made that morning.  Without my iPod I really had to feed off the energy of other runners and the crowd.  I can't tell you how many times during the race I heard "Go tutu!" It really made me excited to keep running!

Around mile 8.5 I started to feel tired because I had been running at a 7:30 pace (what?!).  I slowed down to around 8 min/mi pace and fueled up with some gummi bears I packed, some Powerbar energy gels I grabbed from a water station around mile 9, and some candy corn from some spectators (SCORE!).  The end of the race is downhill, and I had a huge smile on my face.  I knew I had this but was just focused on getting a really sweet PR.  I pushed it at the end and ending up running a 1:43:23 which is a full FIVE minute PR from my first half less than a month ago at 1:48:24.  I was so happy.


The post-race area was a little crowded, and it was hard to figure out where to grab my free beer and meet up with my boyfriend.  The medal for this festival is awesome and has a big smiling crab on it. Also Baltimore is the home of Under Armour so all the runners in this festival get really nice UA shirts.  I was happy the half was a purple short sleeve shirt-I know I'll be wearing it all the time!  I think I'm going to bite the bullet and go for the full marathon next year! I encourage everybody to run in the Baltimore Running Festival next year if they get the chance.

Apparently early registration will start this week!


October 9, 2012

First post!

Welcome to Breathe Deeply and Smile, my very own blog! I'm Lauren and in the past year since I've gotten into running I started reading healthy living blogs. I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while and finally decided to.  This is going to be more amateur than most you probably read since I really have no idea what I'm doing.  I figured if a blog would be a fun hobby and would help me stay accountable and connect to even more people in the virtual world of social media.   
Like many people I had a bumpy start gaining the freshman 15 in college and not really exercising after being a high school athlete   At the end of college I became more conscious of my health, but it really has been a focus in the past couple of years. A year ago this month I ran my first 5K after training all summer.  After running my first half marathon a few weeks ago (blog post all about that to come) and having a really emotional moment afterwards, I realized how important my lifestyle changes had become to me.  If reading other people's blogs inspire me, maybe I can inspire somebody out there.  
The main purpose of the blog is to share my journey in trying to find peace and balance in my life.  I suffer from a lot of anxiety and feelings of self-doubt.  Just earlier, a few days out from my second half marathon, I was having thoughts of how it's not really a big deal to be running a half marathon!  I love cooking, healthy living, running, and eating dessert! I will post updates on my journey to try to live a more clean and healthy lifestyle (all while being a sweat pink ambassador!), my introspective journey in learning how to enjoy each day, and random things I find that I love on the internet!  
So take a moment to breathe deep and smile, today is a beautiful day :)