Weekly Update – 6/23 + Wedding Dresses!


Yoga night, my favorite! Sue was back (yay!)  We did some hip openers which were rough.  Had a little trouble with balance this week for some reason.  Otherwise, it was a good class.


Danny night.  We spent about 45 minutes talking about nutrition, revamp of our program and my weight loss plan.  I was going to do a great kettle bell workout, but I had a family emergency and had to leave.  It was kind of ironic that we got all pumped up about a new program…then I couldn’t work out.

For those of you who pray (or send positive thoughts); please pray for my stepdad.  I don’t prefer to share details- but prayers for health would be much appreciated and deeply coveted.


Church practice, so yet another night with no workout!


I made good nutritional choices on Thursday, so I’m pretty proud of myself.  In honor of my Turkish Getups in my workout, I had a turkey burger for dinner.  See what I did there?

Danny night.  Time to get to WORK!  Normal warmup of hamstring walks, squats, lunges, wall-sits, and yoga push-ups.

We did 3 Rounds of the following:

1. 10 Turkish Getups each side (that’s a total of 60 turkish getups- I was sweatin’!)

2. 20 squats with arms overhead in “Y”shape with resistance band on wrists

3. 10 backward lunges each side with arms overhead in “I” shape with resistance band on wrists.

***#2 and #3 were done with a huge resistance band around my waist connecting me to a pole.

For those of you who have never done a Turkish Getup:


My friend Julee came for the weekend and I had to clean up the guest room (and rest of the house) for her to stay there.  My house has gotten to be quite a mess and I’m not proud of it.


Wedding dress shopping day!!! I found THE dress!!!!!


Church in the AM, then we had lunch at Michael’s parents house.  I had a lot of pain in my back and shoulder related to my scoliosis.  It was making me wince in pain.  I need to try to get this sorted out soon or I need to be going to the doctor.

How was last week/weekend for you?  Do you have any big plans this week?


Trying on Wedding Dresses!

I’m finally going shopping for my wedding dress on Saturday! (tomorrow)


I’m being cautiously optimistic about finding “the dress” on my first trip – but how COOL would it be if I did!  I’m going to have an interesting mix of people there with me: my mom, my future mother-in-law, my stepmom and Julee (long-time friend and bridesmaid).

I’m going to a lovely little couture shop – so I’m hoping to get a more personalized experience.

Any tips for my shopping experience? Is there anything you wish you had done/hadn’t done?

My Journey with Scoliosis

So, I know some of you are probably wondering “What is scoliosis?” Many of you have heard of it, but don’t know much about it.  I very highly recommend you read this post from Runner Unleashed.  She does a fantastic job explaining what scoliosis is and a lot about her journey with it.  I’m only going to give you high level information and share my experience, but like most things, everyone’s experience is unique.

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine.  It has many different manifestations in terms of precises curvatures for each person, but these are the broad categories:


Some symptoms, or obvious signs can include:

– Constant back ache

– soreness after standing or sitting for extended periods of time

-uneven hips/shoulders

– one leg appears longer than the other

– person appears to “lean” to the side

Most schools have implemented screenings for students in middle school.  The tests usually require boys to remove their shirts, and girls to remain in a sports bra.  This allows the screening nurse to see the curvature.



If picked up on the screening, a referral to the doctor is usually the next step.  The doctor usually will follow up with X-rays and continued progress checks.  Braces can be very effective while still growing to correct the curvature.  However, if the curve is severe enough, surgical correction is often necessary.

My Journey:

My journey with scoliosis started back in elementary school when my mom was constantly getting frustrated that we were always buying pants with one leg consistently shorter than the other.  She thought it was the pants!

Fast forward to the middle school screenings, and I got flagged as a potential scoliosis case.  After the initial mass screening, they had a doctor come to the school for the smaller group that was flagged. They told me that my degree of curvature wasn’t enough to concern them too much, but to continue getting screened.  I got screened every year and every year I got the same answer.

My scoliosis didn’t seem to bother me much over the years except when sitting or standing for a long time.  Every once and awhile I’d have flare ups where it would bother me, but nothing bad.

In 2012, I went to a doctor to confirm my runner’s knee as runner’s knee (it had swelled up pretty bad for a few weeks) and I asked him about my scoliosis.  He wasn’t very concerned about it, so neither was I.

Fast forward to the past few months and it has been extremely painful.  I’ve really kicked up the intensity and maturity of my workouts with my trainer and it’s been bothering me a lot.  It seems to be all muscular, which makes sense.  We made a lot of progress on Saturday in identifying weak points, figuring out what exercises can help alleviate my pain, and recognizing that  lot of my issues have been triggered by my scoliosis. Another thing that we forgot about is that sometimes traditional exercises don’t work well for me cause my body is not very traditional!

The good thing is that we have a much better awareness and plan, and I’m so excited to see what we accomplish!

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month and I wanted to do my small part and share my journey.  Although I have not had to endure years of wearing braces, or the pain of corrective surgery, I thought it was important to share. Please, I urge you, if you have kids, make sure they get the screenings during their growing years!


You can get with this, or you can get with that…

You know I need material to write about when I do these questionnaire quiz things.  Or maybe it just reminds me of MySpace quizzes.

So….anyways, I stole this from Amy of Fitness meets Frosting.  Check out her answers here!

1. This or that: 5K or a half marathon?

5k, because I’m lazy and would rather run fewer miles.  Although there is something really satisfying about finishing a half marathon!

2. This or that: flat race in the heat or hilly race in the cold?
Hilly and cold, because I hate hate hate running in the heat!

3. This or that: new running shoes or a new running outfit?
Hmmm, probably new shoes.  But I find there is nothing more motivating than a new outfit, be it a running outfit or not!

4. This or that: run a half marathon without headphones or Garmin?
Garmin.  I would still want to wear a regular watch to keep rough time, but don’t necessarily need my Garmin. Sometimes I get too much in my own head about my time anyway.  Headphones keep me sane!

5. This or that: race because of the convenience (location, price, travel) or the swag?
Convenience.  I’m lazy and don’t travel for races.  However, I love the swag and when choosing between races, I will often go for the one with better swag.

6. This or that: PR but result in an injury or finish strong and missing a PR?
Finish strong. Injuries suck.

7. This or that: 100 squats or 100 push ups? [Now take a break and go do them. ;)]
Squats please.  I am terrible at push-ups.  1o push-ups is enough for me!

8. This or that: run without socks or without sports bra?
This is an evil question.  Without socks.  I’d rub glide all over my feet and hope for the best.  I need to keep the “girls” under control.

9. This or that: treadmill for an hour or run around the same street block for an hour?
Treadmill.  I could listen to music or people watch for entertainment.  I ran the same neighborhood over and over for my half-marathon training and it was TORTURE.

10. This or that: Ragnar Relay or Marathon Relay team?
Neither! Ragnar.  Shoot, might as go crazy.  Can it be in the Florida Keys though? That would be cool.

11. This or that: Naked run or naked yoga?
Both of those options are really creepy. Probably run.  Yoga is more…exposing.

12. This or that: Come in 4th in the Olympics or 1st in NYC marathon?
Oh that’s hard.  4th in the Olympics.  That is an experience you’d never forget, even if you don’t make the podium.  What could be cooler than competing with athletes all over the world?

13. This or that: give up running for 3 years to get a BQ or never BQ but run as much as you want?
Give up running.  I’d find other interests to stay in shape!

What would your answers be? Take it and find out and link back to me so I can see it! Or, feel free to comment with your answers 🙂 

Weekly Update – 6/16


Yoga night.  Jaye substituted as teacher again.  I’m not a huge fan of her style.  She treats a nice, slow,  hatha yoga class more like a Vinyasa class, but it was much better this time.


Danny night. We did a LOT in the 30 minutes we work together and I suspect I’ll get more sore as the day goes on.

Round 1:

1. 10 body weight squats with arms at 90 degree angle with resistance band

2. 10 body weight squats with arms overhead in Y shape with resistance band

3. 10 split squats each side (I think I was supposed to do this in the same manner as the squats – do 10 with arms at 90 degree angle and 10 with arms over head in Y shape – but Danny never corrected me)

Round 2:

1. Plank with 10 reachouts

2. 10 jump squats

3. Plank with 9 reach outs

4. 9 jump squats

5. Plank with 8 reach outs

6. 8 jump squats

We did this pattern all the way down to 1

Round 3:

1. 5 body weight squats with arms at 90 degree angle with resistance band

2. 5 body weight squats with arms overhead in Y shape with resistance band

3. 5 split squats each side

Round 4:

1. Plank with 5 reachouts

2. 5 jump squats

3. Plank with 4 reachouts

4. 4 jump squats

We did this pattern all the way down to 1


Actually had worship team practice for church this week.  I was really looking forward to Wednesday yoga and I couldn’t go!


Danny night.  Was really feeling like crap all morning, so I hoped I would pull it together for our workout. I felt pretty ok for our workout.

We did this progression 3x.

1. “I” raises on the TRX (10)

2. “Y” raises on the TRX (10)

3. “T” raises on the TRX (10)

4. Then I had to push a medicine ball forward while “walking” in plank position, alternating hands.  We went halfway down the walkway, then I had to “walk” backward and push the ball toward me.

5. Two hand kettle bell carry with shrug – 50 m (20 lbs)

6. Right arm kettle bell carry with shrug – 25 m (20 lbs)

7. Goblet kettle bell carry with shrug – 50 m (20 lbs)

8. Left arm kettle bell carry with shrug – 25 m (20 lbs)


Rest day. Got to spend some much needed quality time with the fiance.


Danny.  So, my back bothered me a lot on Friday night (I have scoliosis) and I didn’t sleep well, so I asked him to take it easy. We pretty much just did a lot of stretching.

Three rounds of the following:

1. Three 10 sec holds of a deep exaggerated lunge (each side)

2. 10 rollouts (each side) of one arm extended on a foam roller

3. Eye of the needle pose into a bridge -holding 15 seconds for each position (each side)

***Let me point out that I told my trainer about this one 🙂 ****

Eye of the Needle - new favorite stretch!

Eye of the Needle – new favorite stretch!

We ran into another trainer named Jeremy (you may have heard me complain about his hard workouts before).  We picked his brain a lot about my scoliosis.  He made me do a bunch of exercises and movements to figure out where my deficiencies were.  Danny is going to work on creating exercises and movements that will help correct that as much as possible.

Then the rough part: had a heart to heart with my trainer about diet.  He took a close look at my food logs and realized that I was eating much worse than he thought.  We made a plan for me to lose 30 lbs in 6 months.  This is totally an attainable goal for me, I’ve done it before. However, I went from being completely sedentary to working out 3-4 times a week.  Now, I already workout at 3-4 times a week, so I can’t use that as my catalyst for change anymore. We are going to increase the intensity of our workouts (greeeaaaaaat) and he’s going to pay close attention to my diet.


Rest day.  Got some stuff done around the house, finally donated some clothes I’ve had sitting in my guest room forever, and spent some time with my dad and stepmom!

Did you have a good weekend?  What do you do to switch things up when you are trying to meet weight loss goals – do you change your intensity, diet, etc?

It was a dark and stormy night…

I have to share with you guys one of the freakiest experiences that I had at the gym yesterday.

So I normally change into my gym clothes at work and then head straight to the gym. I usually get there around 5:30 or so.  On the way to the gym, I could see some storm clouds rolling in, and the rain was just starting.  It had been a pretty hot and humid day, so these type of afternoon storms are pretty typical.

storm2 62014

Here is a picture someone posted on facebook of the storm rolling in.

I get inside, throw my stuff in a locker, plug in my headphones and go to the stretching mat.  I’m there for a few minutes and I start hearing thunder so loud that I can hear it even with my headphones in! I looked outside and the thunder and lightning was terrible. I could tell the storm was pretty close. Within a few minutes, there was a torrential downpour and the wind was blowing the trees as if we were in a hurricane. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was one of the worst storms I’ve ever experienced.

storm 62014

Just to show you how strong the storm was – here was a picture posted by the news of some damage.

The rain on the roof and the thunder outside was deafening.  I was so tempted to stop my stretching and go watch the rain.

I continue stretching and making small talk with a girl sitting next to me about the storm, and the next thing I know, the power goes out. I then hear a huge rush of water next to me – a leak opened up over the stretching mat…right where the girl was sitting.  She scrambled out of the way, and thankfully grabbed my shoes so they didn’t get drenched.

I was just pulling up the flashlight on my phone when the power came back on.

Thankfully no one got hurt when the power went out…I always worry about runners flying off treadmills or people who are lifting accidentally dropping their weights.

Couldn't you just see this happening?

Couldn’t you just see this happening?

Craziest experience at the gym to date.

Do you remember the worst storm you’ve been through? Has the power ever gone off when you were at the gym?  What is the craziest thing that’s happened to you while working out?

The comparison game….and yoga.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I play the comparison game at the gym.  “I’m running faster than that girl next to me,” or “That guy has no clue how to do that exercise correctly,” or even “Man, I wish I could do box jumps like that guy.”

If I’m truly honest, most of my comparisons lift me up and tear others down.  I’ve become less like this over time.  I’m trying to have a more positive attitude about my comparisons…comparing myself to others stronger/faster/better than me for motivation and out of admiration.  Comparing myself to others that I see as less advanced as me by remembering that they are working hard at their level and they are trying, and trying hard.  Reminding myself that as much as I think I know about fitness now, I used to know far less and I still have a TON to learn.  Humble thyself, Lauren.

I used to judge the heck out of people that came to the gym just to do yoga.  I used to watch girls enter the gym in their flip flops, carrying a mat and thinking “yeah, like they are gonna get a good workout.” I used to walk past the door to the yoga studio, watch them standing on their mats and thinking “that’s what they call a workout?!”  I now know that that pose is Mountain pose and requires much more focus than just standing there.

One of my friends invited me to go to yoga with her while we were in the midst of training for Shamrock (half marathon for me, marathon for her). I only came with her because we rarely get to hang out.  I also intrinsically knew it could probably help with my flexibility.  I walked out of that 75 minute class with a very different attitude about yoga.  Yoga is HARD.

Yoga requires so much physical and mental strength.  It is challenging to clear your mind.  It is challenging to hold a lunge position for 30 seconds, or a plank for 60.

So much of other areas of fitness borrow or use the same exercises as yoga.  Squats? Do them in yoga – they just have a different name. Lunges? Yup.  Planks? Check.  Balance poses? You betcha.  Stretching? Oh my goodness yes.  Yoga is not “inferior” or “lesser” to other exercises, its just a little different.  No shoes required 🙂

Just like any other type of fitness, those who practice yoga have goals.  For running, we have faster times we covet.  For lifting, its setting a new PR for your deadlift.  For crossfit, it might be mastering a new workout.  For swimming, it might be a new PR.  For yoga, it might be finally being able to do a plank without modifying it.  There is no “lesser”  activity – we all work hard and we all have goals. Everyone just has their own preference of how they choose to work out.

I have so much more respect for those girls who walk into yoga with their flip flops and mats.  I’m now one of them.

Do you play the comparison game? Do you practice yoga?


Weekly Update – 6/9

For the first time in awhile, I felt really good about my workouts this week!


I took a stress management class at work which further reinforced my need for yoga. I was super excited about heading to yoga….and then there was a different instructor there.

I was cautiously optimistic, but that optimism turned into a bit of frustration as she went at a MUCH faster pace than the normal teacher and gave little to no instruction on breath through the movements.  Also, she came around and corrected our postures by physically moving us.  I found that to be a little uncomfortable. (Is that just me?)


Danny night.

Round 1 (4x):

1. 15 deep squats with trap/shrug bar (65 lbs)

2. 10 (each side) kneeling oblique twists with resistance band

Round 2 (3x):

1. 10 Rollout crunches on exercise ball

2. 20 leg lifts with exercise ball


Added another yoga class to my schedule this week – we’ll see if I can stick with it.  This was a Vinyasa class, so it was a little faster and more strength intensive than the Monday night class I’ve been attending.  I love the instructor so I thought I’d give it a go! She even gave us the option of doing some inversions (which I politely declined).  Between Tuesday’s workout and Wednesday’s yoga, I was sore on Thursday!


Danny night. I stretched for a good 30 minutes before we worked out and it felt SO GOOD.  Traffic was horrible due to rain so he made it in a little late, which was OK with me because I was still sore from Tuesday!  So we had an abbreviated workout.

We did 4 rounds of the following:

1. 10 squat and press (each side) with 20 lb dumbbell

2. 10 push-up to back row (each side) with 7.5 dumbbell



Well deserved rest day! Got to spend some much needed time with the fiance 🙂


Danny was out of town on Saturday so I trained with Jeremy.  Jeremy has a similar training philosophy, but he’s so MEAN (not really mean, just really hard).  He teaches a group class before my session and it ran late, so we had about 15 minutes to do a workout that we should have had 30 minutes for (secretly I was cheering!)

We did this as many times as possible in 15 minutes.  (I think it was 3)

1. Run 200 meters

2. 10 (each side) side ball throws

3. 10 wall balls

4. 10 backward lunges (each side) with 10 lb weight above head

5. 10 squats with 10 lb weight above head

Then repeat….

THEN – exciting part of the weekend, I got to hang out with Hollie! We were friends in real life, not just blogging life.  We’ve come a long way from being on swim team in high school together to acting like grown-ups and planning weddings and all.


I’m really bad at leaning in…


Father’s Day! I had a week of from worship team at church…it was so nice just to go and not have any responsibility! Michael and I went to Fresh Market and then went to my dad’s to celebrate Father’s Day.  His parents came and joined us and it was a blast 🙂


How were your workouts this week?  Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Saucony Guide 7

One of my favorite things growing up was when I got to go back to school shopping and get a new pair of shoes for the year.  Those days, I opted for a cool pair of Vans.  I thought I was just SO COOL.

Now I get excited about new running shoes! I picked up a pair of Saucony Guide 7‘s at Running, Etc this weekend.  They offered to show me other shoes, but I like my old standby shoe for now.  Why fix what ain’t broke?

I’ve been wearing the Guide 6’s since 2012 but hadn’t updated to the 7’s yet.  I realized that I have been wearing my last pair way past their welcome.

Other than some slight changes to their color schemes, I haven’t noticed much of a difference.  I’m not a shoe expert – I know there are probably some structural changes, but none that I can notice.

Any other Saucony Guide lovers out there? Do you have a “standby” favorite running shoe? What kind of shoes did you like to wear as a teenager?


Pretty shoes!

Weekly Update – 6/2


Yoga night!  This was one of the first classes that it didn’t feel insanely difficult.  I guess that means I’m getting stronger and more used to the movement.  I’m finding myself
getting better at the balance movements we are doing, but I still have a lot of room for improvement regarding flexibility.  I can do standing bow without falling over now!


Danny night.  After missing 2 sessions last week.  I kind of missed him! He’s become more of a friend than a trainer.  Lord help me if he ever leaves the gym.

Then I got there and decided I hated him.  Lol.  We worked out in the outside area.  For anyone who knows me, I sweat.  A lot.  In air conditioning.  I  was a hot mess after a few minutes.

Round 1 (2x):

1. 20 deep squats with 20 lbs (exaggerated stance)

1. 10 turkish getups each side (8 lb kettlebell)

***I HATE Turkish getups.  Hate.****

Round 2 (2x):

1. 6 arm raises each side on exercise ball

2.  10 rollout on exercise ball


Church worship team practice for the first time in ages!


Danny night.  Normal warmup, plus ran/walked a mile on the treadmill before our workout.

Two rounds of the following:

1. 800 meter row

2. 25 kettlebell swings (25 lbs)

3. Walking lunges (forward and backward) with dumbbell press (10 lb dumbbells)

I know that sounds fairly simple, but it was pretty tough.  I need to get back on the rowing machine more…that kicked my butt!


Michael and I went for a 2.25 mile power walk before dinner!


I swear, Danny is trying to kill me by making me workout outside!

Round one:
1. 400 meter run
2. 60 second wall sit
3. 300 meter run
4. 45 second wall sit
5. 200 meter run
6. 30 second wall sit
7. 100 meter run
8. 15 second wall sit

Round Two (3x):
1. 10 side ball throws (each side)
2. 10 jump squats with ball

Round Three (2x):
10 single leg back row with 5 lb kettle-bells (each side)


Day of rest 🙂