These are a few of my favorite things…..

I stole this from Ritsa! She has the best questions/surveys!

Name your Favorite…

Person- My wonderful fiance, Michael. 

Color – I usually say purple, but I like blue a lot too.  Right now I’m really obsessed with anything mint. 

Food – Do I have to pick just one? Seriously, not fair. Right now: Hummus.

Smell – Hm, that’s a hard one.  I love the smell of a campfire.  Its one of my favorite things in the world.  Reminds me of fall, my favorite season, and it reminds me of good times camping growing up! 

Book – This is also a really hard one.  I used to be a huge bookworm.  Not as much any more, but I still appreciate a good book.  I think I could read the Ragamuffin Gospel forever. So much wonderful truth in there.  

ragamuffin gospel

Movie – All of them.  The Princess Bride is probably one I could watch on repeat and never get sick of it.

Song –  Right now its “Problem” by Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea.  So much awesomeness in one song.

Time of day – Early evening, around 7pm. 

Day of the week – It depends.  Usually Saturday since its really the only day I get to sleep in.  

Thing to do when bored – Play Sudoku.  Seriously, I’m obsessed with that game.

Celebrity – I LOVE Sophia Bush.  For those of you not familiar with her, she is from One Tree Hill (CW formerly on the WB).  I know the show ended a few years ago but it was so good.  She is a crazy beautiful actress, but what I really love about her is she’s not the typical celebrity.  She is big into social justice, anti-bullying and self-acceptance.  Read all about her here

sophia bush

Drink – Water, espresso, beer.   I can pick no favorites!

TV show – No longer on the air: One Tree Hill.  Currently on air: Walking Dead. Yeah, I know, I have eclectic tastes. 

Fruit – B-a-n-a-n-a-s! (Admit it, you read that in Gwen Stefani’s voice)


Vegetable – Broccoli! I could eat it all day every day.

Store/shop – Old Navy. 

Workout – Right now, yoga.  Love it.  

Quote  – 

be the change

Boy’s name  –  Ethan

Girl’s name –  Cadence

Potato chip flavor – Sour Cream and Onion. OMG.

Meal of the day – Lunch.  Lunch break FTW.

Ice cream flavor – Mint Chocolate Chip. Edy’s.


Season – Autumn.

Dessert – Anything chocolate.  

Your turn! Post to your blog or answer your favorite “favorite” questions in the comments!

Chickfila 5k 2014

The Chickfila 5k, put on by Flat Out Events was held at the Mariner’s Museum park in Newport News.  It was sunny and 66 degrees for the race.  I woke up early and got on the road.  The drive is only about 30 minutes from my house.  Parking was easy at CNU, but it was a little bit of a walk to the park.  Since I didn’t do packet pick-up the day prior, I did race day pickup.  I got my stuff then trekked back to the car to drop it off.

This race had a kid’s 1/2 mile fun run, a 5k, then the 10k.  The 5k was the last to start, so I got to hang around for awhile.  I was a bit conflicted on how I felt about the race.  I was excited and hopefully optimistic, but I also knew that I was still sick and hadn’t been running.  I knew that I’d have trouble breathing due to my allergies, my congestion and an annoying cough I couldn’t shake, so I decided I’d run as much as possible and listen to my body.

I love this course.  The Mariner’s Museum is right next to CNU (my alma mater) and its such a beautiful place.  We ran on the Lion’s Bridge, which holds so many special memories for me.

lion's bridge

The Lion’s Bridge – right off the James River

The first mile was ok.  There were no corrals, so a bunch of walkers started in front of me.  (Why, why, why do walkers not start in the back!? You know you are going to start out walking!) I did a lot of weaving the first mile, but decided to be smart about it and not expend too much energy.  I started having issues breathing at the start of mile 2, the out and back part of the course.   I took a brief walk break during the first part of mile 2 to try to catch my breath.

When I made it to mile 3, I was over it.  I couldn’t stop coughing.  Hint: its hard to run when you are coughing.  I pretty much called the race at that point.  I was just focused on finishing.  I knew that it was not going to be pretty, and it wasn’t.  I don’t know what my splits were, but I knew that last mile was forever.  I ended up finishing at 41:10, an overall 13:17 min/mile pace.  I think my first two miles were somewhere around 11:30 min miles, but I’m not sure.  I foolishly didn’t charge my Garmin enough and it died early on.

I didn’t really stay after the race, I got my medal (yay!) and chickfila sandwich and got on the road.  Can I just say that  Chickfila sandwich after a race is one of the best things EVER?

So what’s my take-away from this race? Don’t try to run when you are sick!

Have you ever run a race while sick? Does it bug you when walkers start out in the beginning of the bunch?


Weekly Update – 5/19


Yoga! We did a lot of work on hamstrings, which I desperately needed.  She even had us everyone else but me do the splits!  I wish I had started doing yoga years ago.  Please read this post by Angie at Maybe Marathoner. It’s everything I think about yoga and wish I was clever enough to write 🙂


Danny night.  I cancelled on him because I’m sick.  It was a good choice – my body desperately needed the rest.


Stayed home from work sick.  Didn’t work out because I wanted to rest up in hopes of working out on Thursday.  I also have this rule about skipping workouts when you don’t feel good: If you stay home from work, then you are truly sick and workouts are completely off the table! Pushing through a workout when you are really sick is not a good idea.


Danny night.  I begged him to take it easy on me since I was still a bit under the weather. Did my normal warm up of hamstring walks, squats, walking lunges, wall sits and yoga push-ups.

First Round (x3)

1. 15 (each side) single arm squat and press with 10 lb dumbbell

2. 10 bent over row, stand up, shrug with 20 lb barbell

Second Round (x2)

1. Kneeling resistance band rotation (10 each side) **Took me forever to figure out what this was called!

Kneeling Resistance Band Rotation

Kneeling Resistance Band Rotation

2. 10 single leg deadlift (10 lb dumbbell)



Rest day in anticipation of the Chickfila 5k on Saturday.


Chickfila 5k! I’ll do a write up for this race later!


Church in the morning, then went out to VA Beach with Michael for lunch and visiting some of his friends.  Overall, a nice relaxing day!

Workout Music


Silly runner – that is how you lose your ipod…

I have been a music lover since I was in the womb.  We have pictures of my dad putting headphones on my mom’s belly when I was in utero.  I used to rock myself to sleep to the sounds of Pink Floyd.  So naturally, music has continued to be a big part of my life.  I took piano lessons for 10 years, I was in chorus in high school (even made Virginia All-State Women’s Chorus!).

I know some people like to be “purists” while running or working out and don’t like to listen to music.  I am not one of those people.  Music has brought me out of some of the toughest places during a training run (or race!) and keeps me pumped up when at the gym.

Here is a little peek into some of what I listen to – all these songs were from my half-marathon playlist:

  • Turn Down for What – DJ Snake & Lil Jon
  • Dark Horse – Katy Perry
  • TKO – Justin Timberlake
  • Do What You Want – Lady Gaga
  • My Chick Bad – Ludacris
  • Sweater Weather – The Neighborhood
  • Timber – Pitbull feat. Kesha
  • Encore – Eminem
  • Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore
  • Runaway Baby – Bruno Mars
  • Bezerk – Eminem
  • Fine China – Chris Brown
  • Won’t Back Down – Eminem feat. Pink
  • Scary Monsters and Sprites – Skrillex
  • Chloe (You’re the One I Want) – Emblem3
  • We No Speak Americano – Yolanda Be Cool
  • The Future Freaks Me Out – Motion City Soundtrack
  • Dress On – Justin Timberlake
  • Run Right Back – The Black Keys
  • Prayer – Disturbed
  • 99 Problems – JayZ
  • Jump – Kris Kross
  • Titanium – David Guetta & Sia
  • All I Do is Win – DJ Khaled
  • Starships – Nicki Minaj
  • Workout Plan – Kanye West
  • I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons
  • Pressing On -Relient K
  • Send Me on My Way – Rusted Root
  • Let the Groove Get In – Justin Timberlake

This of course is not an extensive list, but they are some of my tried and true favorites!  I know you are probably thinking that I have a bit of an eclectic taste in music – I like almost EVERYTHING.  This is not even close to a true representation of all my music, just my workout music.

What is some of your favorite music to workout to? Or, do you hate listening to music when you workout/run?

Allergies Galore!

It was bound to happen eventually with all the pollen out there!  I love spring, but man, allergy season is the worst!

I started feeling crappy yesterday…sore throat, sneezy.  By the time I made it to yoga last night, I knew I was in trouble.  I don’t know how anyone enjoyed class with me sniffling every 5 seconds!  I went to Walmart and got my trusty cough drops and Mucinex and braced myself for the worst!  This happens at least once each spring…sore throat, congestion, ears hurt, sneezing. If I don’t treat it, it turns into a sinus infection.

I barely slept last night.  Even with medication, I feel like someone is constantly sitting on my face/head and I can’t breathe.  I wanted to call in sick to work, but today is just one of those days that it is not an option.  I have so many meetings and I don’t want to have to reschedule them all.

Pity party for Lauren!

….Ok, I think I got it out of my system now.

Do you struggle with allergies? Are you a big baby like I am about being sick?

Weekly Update – 5/12


Favorite night of the week- yoga.  We moved to starting at 6:30, which makes it a little more difficult for me to get there on time, but I make it work.  Class seemed to fly by this week, which I was kind of sad about! You would think you’d be ready to finish a 75 minute class, but I love every second of it.


Normal dynamic warm-up of hamstring walks, squats, walking lunges, wall-sits, yoga pushups.

First Round (x3):

1. 10 (each side)  incline single arm chest press with 15 lb dumbbells

2. 20 deadlifts with 15 lb dumbbells

Second Round (x3):

1. 10 (each side) seated back rows on cable machine

2. 20 kettlebell swings (20 lbs)


Rest day.  I had to go to a viewing for a childhood friend that had passed away.  I haven’t been close with her for a long time, but we grew up together.  It so bittersweet reconnecting with people over such sad circumstances.


Danny night.  I didn’t write this down the next day and its hard to remember what we did since we were all over the place!

First Round (x3):

1. 10 lb dumbbell step up and press (each side)

2. 20 Seated back rows (27.5 lbs)

Second Round (x3):

1. 10 kettlebell overhead press (reverse grip)

2. Single leg press (10 each side) at 80 lbs

We also did abs in conjunction with something else that I can’t remember, because my abs hurt all weekend.


No working out for me!  Michael and I went up to Pennsylvania to visit my Dad’s family.  My aunt and uncle graduated from college (yes, in their 50s!) and we went up to celebrate.  This was the first time Michael has met any of my extended family.  We got to see my grandparents (mom’s side) and my aunt and cousins (mom’s side).  We had the party for my Dad’s family and got to see almost everyone!

Michael and I enjoying the beautiful weather!

Michael and I enjoying the beautiful weather!


His and Hers s'well bottles

His and Hers s’well bottles

Got to see where my grandparents are interred.

Got to see where my grandparents are interred.

My grandmother's copy of one of my favorite devotionals.  Such a treasure!

My grandmother’s copy of one of my favorite devotionals, that now belongs to me. Such a treasure!

Package from my fabulous wedding photographer!

Package from my fabulous wedding photographer!

Back in Time: 2013 Wicked 10K

Can you tell how much I just LOVE J&A Races?  The Wicked 10K is another favorite of mine.  I was super unprepared for this race too, and it definitely showed in my time.  This is a race that I really want to redeem myself in this year.

I got down to the convention center nice and early and sought refuge in my nice warm car.  After awhile, I headed into the convention center to check out all of the costumes.   I’m telling you what, I don’t know how these people ran in some of the stuff they were wearing.  A Scooby Doo Mystery Machine….CRAZY!  I think my favorite costume was a group of guys that dressed as Duck Dynasty and carried a canoe!

After awhile I headed outside.  Due to this being in late October, it was pretty cool, even by VA standards.  I completely overdressed and paid for it later (tank, long sleeves, short sleeves and capris).  I don’t remember much of the race.  I do remember when I could see the leaders doubling back I wanted to try to see Hollie, but no such luck.  I was getting hot, but I wanted to make to the halfway point before I adjusted my clothing.  After I hit the 5k mark, I had to stop on the side of the road and strip down.  I took off my top layer, got rid of the long sleeves, then put the top layer back on. I loved my long sleeved shirt too much to part with it, so I tied it around my waist.

I don’t remember the back half of the race much, but I remember that I walked.  A lot.  The last half mile or so is torture because you can see the finish line forever.  I finished in 1:21:28.

The good thing is that the after party made me forget about my poor performance.  J&A throws a good party – and the swag for this race was pretty exceptional too.  I’m really excited about this race for 2014 – I’d really like to redeem myself!


Yummy Blue Moon!

How do you feel about 10ks? Love them or hate them?  Have you ever done a Halloween race?

Back in Time: 2013 Crawlin Crab 5K

Confession: I didn’t train for this race.  And it showed.

The Crawlin Crab 5k is part of a race weekend that also has a half marathon event.  The expo and packet pickup were fantastic and well organized, just like any J&A Racing event.  This race was held at the Hampton Coliseum, so there was ample parking; which is always a plus. What is cool about this race is that the after party is inside – which is great for the iffy weather in Hampton Roads in October.

I parked, hung out in my car for awhile, then headed out among the masses.  I got in my corral and tried to prepare myself mentally.  It was a pretty warm day, and after my fiasco the previous month at Rock n Roll, I knew I wanted to stay hydrated.  We took off, and I knew instantly this was not going to be a good day. The race course was honestly pretty boring, which didn’t help the fact that I hadn’t trained and I was hot.  I walked a lot more than I should have.  I ended up with a time of 36:43…my worst 5k to date.

The after party was great, as always.  I think this goes down as my favorite post-race food to date.  This race also boasts my favorite race shirt ever.  It is my absolute favorite shirt to work out in.  Great job, J&A!

crawlin crab


I love this race so much I’m doing the Shell Yeah challenge this year – I’m doing the 5k and Half-Marathon.  This is my next goal race and I can’t wait!

Falling back in Love with Running


How I feel during a break from running….when I think I’m ready to jump back in.

After my half-marathon in March, it was time that running and I took a little break.  Until Saturday, I had not run a single step since March.  I had been training since November, I dealt with injuries(shin splints) and tons of niggles(hips and knees) and my body needed rest.  The first catalyst to not running was vacation.  I intended on not running until after I got back from vacation (in early April).  And that snowballed into not running for even longer.  And I’m totally ok with that.  I didn’t want to be running because I felt I had to.  It was important for me to get back to it because I wanted to.  I’ve taken time off for injuries before, but this is the first time I’ve taken off because my heart wasn’t in it.

This time has allowed me to explore new things.  It has allowed me to enjoy the beginning stages of my engagement.  It has allowed me to fall in love with yoga – something I think will really help my running.  It has allowed me to fall in love with other styles of workouts. It has allowed me to take time to do things right and get strong before a training cycle, not react to injuries in the middle of a training cycle.

I only ran a half mile total on Saturday(as part of a workout), but it felt GOOD.  I have a 5k next weekend (May 24th) that I’m excited to do…not because I have been running, but I hope it will reignite my passion for running.  That will kick off my next training cycle for the Crawlin Crab Shell Yeah Challenge (5k + 1/2 Marathon).  I have come into this training cycle with a fresh perspective and I’m very excited.

Have you ever broken up with running? How long did you take off (excluding breaks for injuries)?

Weekly Update – 5/5


I know I say it every week, but I’m really loving yoga class.  I’m trying to find another class to fit into my schedule.  I’m realizing just how tight I am, especially my hamstrings.  I wish I had more hours in a day to fit yoga in every day.


Danny night.  I got all excited when he told me we’d be working out in the outside workout space….But I grew very unhappy when he told me what we were doing out there!

Did my normal warm-up of hamstring walks, squats, walking lunges, wall sits, and yoga push-ups.

We did 2 rounds of the following:

1. 1:3o min of rope slams (3 different types)

2. 30 one arm kettlebell swings (each side)

3. 15 kneeling kettlebell bottom-up press (each side)

4. Stair runs: up and back with 10lbs overhead, up and back 5 lbs overhead

5. Sled pushes (25 yds each way): Slow steady pushes down, sprinting back


Also, funny conversation of the day. For some reason, he thought a 5k was 2 miles (but didn’t tell me that’s what he thought) and told me that he thought I could run a 5k in 18 minutes.


I also came home and mowed the grass.  May not sound so hard to you, but I have one of those old fashioned reel mowers.  It was a second workout!


Rest day, aka lazy day.


Danny night.  Not too terrible taxing, but I definitely felt it the next day.

Warmup (3x):

1. Shoulders (15)

2. Resistance Bands side step squats (:30 sec)

Workout (4x):

1. Step back lunges with 20 lbs (15 each side)

2. Single arm 10 lb dumbbell cleans (15 each side)

3. Single leg Hamstring curls – 15 lbs (15 each side)


Rest day!


Workout with Danny in the AM.  Danny couldn’t make it this week, so I trained with his colleague, Jeremy.  Jeremy is HARD.

1. Ran 2 minutes (5 mph), 10 cleans, 10 single leg dead-lifts, 10 squats, 10 back rows (all done with 10 lb dumbbells)

2. Ran 2 minutes (5 mph), 10 cleans, 10 single leg dead-lifts, 10 squats, 10 back rows (all done with 10 lb dumbbells)

3. Ran 2 minutes (5 mph)

4. Failed out on chin ups.  I have no upper body strength when it comes to lifting myself.  I very rarely like to fail out on stuff, but I didn’t want to hurt myself.

5. The following x2: Hamstring curls in bridge position on the mat with feet on sliders (10), single arm back rows (10 each side)

6. The following x3: 10 back rows on a machine, 10 hamstring curls

Michael and I went to Fresh Market up in Newport News.  We got caught in a hailstorm on the way back.  Let me tell you what, they are scary to drive in! We watched a movie on Netflix (Best Man Down – super sappy), then went to my mom’s house for dinner.


Church in the AM. We went to Elizabeth City to see Michael’s mom for Mother’s Day.  We grilled out; had steaks, corn and pasta salad.  Michael and I went for a walk around his neighborhood down to the river.  I only had flip flops with me.  I got a horrible blister on the ball of my foot.  Boo.  Otherwise, it was a great day with great weather!

Mother's day

At his parent’s house!