Let me introduce Lauren - Today's Runner Spotlight

Today is Spotlight Thursday 
Each Thursday I spotlight a different runner from around the world.

This week I'd like to introduce Lauren.
I asked Lauren, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her.  So sit back and enjoy and gain some inspiration!

Lauren Blogs At:
Breathe Deeply and Smile

What are your favorite distances you like to run?

I race in distances 5K-13.1 regularly with a marathon thrown in there. 5Ks are fun because you can include so many "non-runner" family & friends and have fun. I really like the half marathon distance. It's long enough to be serious, get tough, and need some recovery but also doesn't leave me wrecked afterwards. 

How long have you been running?  Or when did you start running?

I started running 3 years ago to first get in shape and ran my first 5K Oct. 2011! 

Have you ever run a race in costume?

I have worn tutus before for half marathons and races. It's silly, but I think it can make races fun, and you get lots of extra cheers when you are dressed up! 

What goes through your mind when you cross a finish line?

I get pretty emotional during some races so it may be relief. I usually am super happy or smiling. I always try to push it and run fast through the finish line! 

Do you have a specific distance and PR that you are proud of?  Tell us about it. 

Running a marathon was something I never thought I could do. I ran my first last October and ended up getting my goal time of 3:45 even though my legs were strangely tight and it was painful, especially on a hilly course. I think it's pretty fast for a first time marathon and has given me to drive to only improve and continue to dream big!

What is your favorite kind of running, solo running or running with a friend or group?

It depends on my mood. I definitely love running with friends and groups, especially when I've got longer miles to tackle.  I love running solo for the way in which I can think about things through, work through a bad mood or day, and relieve stress in my life.  

Do you listen to music while you run?  If so, what are the top 2 running songs on your playlist.

I sometimes listen to music when I run-I love songs I can sing to and anything with a great beat or rhythm! My top 2 running songs on my playlist are "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence and the Machine & 

What is your absolutely must have running gadget, or item?

Nut butters-my pre-race fuel of choice with bananas and cinnamon raisin bread. I'm not kidding! Also Nuun for hydration and my Garmin has been amazing at helping me train and learn to pace myself! 

What type of things motivate you and push you towards success in life?  

I'm most motivated about by my dreams and happiness-isn't that what everybody is working towards? Honestly, I am pushed by how I keep surprising myself by doing things I never thought I would or could do. One of my mantras now is to "dream big".

What is one of your favorite tips to give someone who tells you they may want to start running?

One of my favorite tips-after getting fitted at a running store and buying some quality running shoes is to just have fun! I think it's really .

Any goals you are currently working on, that you'd like to share?

A super long term goal is to qualify for the Boston marathon, like a lot of runners. I think I have 8 years left in my age bracket to shave 10+ minutes off my time. I believe I can do it!

What is your favorite cheat food you love to indulge in, and you do it because you know you can just run the calories off, or you earned it?

I have a major sweet tooth so anything chocolate or involving ice cream. Also I'm a huge pizza fan. After races I feel I've usually earned an enjoyable meal, but day-to-day just write off anything that is a "cheat" as fuel for the next day's workout!

What are a few of your dreams or give us a few top "one day" bucket list items.

A big running dream, like many, is to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon. I never thought I'd run a marathon, but ran my first last year and am planning my second for the fall! There are so many places I want to travel-in the U.S. and in the whole world! 

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