Today please join me in welcoming Lauren from Breathe Deeply and Smile!
When did you first start blogging and why?
I started my blog Breathe Deeply and Smile a little over a year ago after reading lots of other running and healthy living blogs and figuring I could do it too! I read so many and was inspired to share my stories, race recaps, and random thoughts too. I blog about learning to live a happy and healthy life while documenting my races, training, eating (there’s a lot), and random things I like.
What is your most helpful blogging tip?
My most helpful blogger tip would be to have fun and don’t try to get caught up in doing what everyone else is doing. Also when setting up your blog, even if you aren’t sure how long it will last- set a good foundation and research basic blogging platforms. I just chose blogger because it was convenient but sometimes wish I had done some things different and researched other options!
What is your favorite fitness activity?
My favorite fitness activity is probably running. No matter what else I do, I’m always running too-it’s my standby. I like that I can do it wherever, whenever. It’s exercise but also a huge stress reliever. All I need are my shoes, and I’m ready to go!
What motivates you?
Like many people I think my motivation goes up and down depending on how I am feeling. I’ motivated by others kicking ass in the gym and doing awesome things in life, but mostly I’m motivated by shutting up that voice inside of me saying that I can’t/I won’t do it. I’m pretty hard on myself so I keep working for those happy workouts, moments of crossing finish lines, and days when I feel strong and unstoppable.
What has fitness changed about your life?
Besides all of the amazing opportunities fitness has given me, it has become such an outlet in my life. It’s my stress relief and my hobby. It can give me such confidence, pride, and happiness. I don’t think enough people do the things that truly make them happy.
What is your favorite pump up song?
One song that has been on my workout playlist for years has been Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days are Over-it’s catchy, motivating, and I know all the words! I also love dance and pop music like Kesha and Lady Gaga to get me pumped.
What is your favorite running distance?
I think my favorite running distance is the half marathon. I’ve done enough of them now that I can handle the distance, but it is always a journey. You still reach that point where it get’s tough and becomes a mental game. I like the challenge of it being just long enough of a distance to really test your limits but short enough that you can run one in the morning and go grab a beer and get on with your day afterwards!
What is your favorite motivational quote/mantra?
My blog title is pretty much my mantra because I have a lot of anxiety and constantly need to remember to breathe and smile. It’s important to focus on the positive and the here and now. I also have adopted Run happy, dream big this year. So many amazing things have happened that my dreams don’t seem that crazy or out of reach!
What is your favorite piece of running/fitness gear?
I think my favorite piece of running gear is my compression sleeves. I know the research isn’t super clear, but they definitely help my sore legs after races and long runs. I totally need to get a pair of compression pants to help out my quads and hamstrings though!
What is your favorite “treat”?
Well this is a hard one! I have a huge sweet tooth so anything chocolate or ice cream. I like pretty basic treats like pizza or a burger and sweet potato fries. Those definitely hit the spot, and I eat them all the time!
What is a long term running or fitness goal you have for yourself?
Like many runners, my dream is to qualify for Boston! It’s a major accomplishment around the world for runners, and I know I can do it one day. I also want to be able to do strict pullups, which I work on at Crossfit. Otherwise my goals are to just keep getting stronger and see where my fitness journey takes me!
Tell us something unique about yourself.
My favorite animals are panda bears. There’s something about them that is so unique and adorable. I totally stalk the National Zoo’s PandaCam in my spare time.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is starting out running, what would it be?
Besides getting a solid pair of running shoes and getting fitted at a running store, my advice would be that it is important to switch up your workouts. Besides keeping things interesting, incorporating speed work, longer and slower runs, and hills helps you become a stronger and faster runner!
How do you find/make time to train?
It’s really hard to make time to train! I think the biggest thing is logging my runs and activities. It let’s me look at my week of workouts overall and see on paper what I’ve been doing, how many miles I logged, etc. I have a general schedule I fall into based on work and other constraints in my life, but I make things flexible. Sometimes I work out in the morning, sometimes the afternoon or evening, depending on the day.
What’s an accomplishment you are most proud of?
I think I’m most proud of running my first full marathon this past year. As a person who just started racing 2 1/2 years ago, I had never thought I’d be a marathoner. I trained all summer and met my goal time to the minute even though it was just as tough as they say it is. That feeling of crossing the finish line was awesome-it truly is a journey!
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