I am so excited to introduce you to my friend and fitness queen, Lauren Mitchell!
She just PR’ed with a 1:30:25 in the SC Half Marathon, getting FIRST in her age group. She is one of the nicest, most hardworking, and unfairly, good-looking people I know. And what about her abs – ya, i know. Home girl really does it all. Take a peak at our interview with her.
BoardwalkBODY: Tell us a little about yourself:
Lauren Mitchell: I am a twenty-eight year old teacher! I met my husband, “Fargo” at a country concert and the rest is history. We seriously enjoy the outdoors and camping season sends us to all the icy mountain lakes for some good hiking and fishing. In the winter, we run our Christmas tree lot. Regardless of the season, I love to run. I love where it takes me physically and emotionally. And, running outdoors is an absolute adventure of the senses. In the early mornings you can feel the cold and hot air pockets along a trail and in the evenings you can smell the chimneys going and barbeques roasting. I have found I can do all my thinking: reflection, gratitude list, idea generating all on a good run. I crave activity and adore a challenge.I am surrounded by women who inspire me and are examples that in the sport of running, you only get better with age.
BB: When did all of this running begin? and how?
LM: I started running in college just for fun. I found it was the quickest way to fit in a solid workout. It started as a 20 minute break to sweat and listen to music and grew to an early Saturday 10 miler out to Bacara Resort from our campus. I found with the distance I could really see some cool spots by foot and achieve a little solitude. I was empowered by building the distance in my runs. When you start to experience the growth and improvement it fuels your surge forward. It was around this time in college that a friend convinced me to sign up for a half marathon. 13 miles?! I thought he was crazy, but I loved the challenge, so I did. During the race, at mile 3 I saw the turnoff for the full marathoners. I thought, ‘what the heck..I’ll see how far I can go’. I finished the whole darn 26.2 right there. Once I crossed that finish line I knew I had discovered a new passion, and I thanked God for that! I have ran nineteen marathons including one ultra, since.
BB: Describe a perfect run for you:
LM: It would definitely be a long run. There is something about the accumulation of miles — time on road + time on feet and the feeling of accomplishment post-run. This is also when I come in contact with my physical limits, and I love that. The perfect run would start early in the morning where the sun comes up halfway through. It’s so fun to watch how the light changes the nature around me, and there is something about starting the day in this way. I’m in a turbo short and sports bra. And I’m looking forward to the miles beyond 13 where I have stashed a gatorade and granola bar in some bush before the run. It’s always fun to open that stuff up when you get to it.
BB: Geeezee, with so many miles, how do you avoid injury?
LM: We all have our limits, and we must listen to our body. My better running partners remind me to stretch… always after my run, at the very least – hip swings. I have found the HARDEST thing about running is taking time off. I avoid injury by *trying* to take one “off” day – with full rest, a week. But I believe my age has something to do with my ability to hit the mileage year round injury free.
BB: What else do you do, besides running??
LM: I spin! This has been a new facet for me. I not only enjoy the energy of the group and intensity of the workout, but it has directly impacted in my running due to the focus on core. A stronger core has improved my form and speed in running, especially with the distance. I also discovered it’s impact onmental adversity for marathon racing. Last year, in the 2011 OC Marathon I was hitting a wall at mile 12. I had my husband toss me my iPod; he had downloaded my spin music to it the night before. I put on my headphones and heard those same songs I heard in my class. The songs took me back to the powerful mantras my instructors would say over the microphone through those 3-4 minute segments. “Dig”. “You can see the top”. “Breathe”. “Smile”. The speed of the spin music took over my legs and I flew through the second half of the race. I felt so free. I owe my time to that connection.
BB: I’m sure after checkin’ out your bod our readers are wondering what your diet is.. fill us in:
LM:I have always eaten healthy as I don’t enjoy eating unhealthy foods. I am a pretty routine eater and vegetables and protein dominate my diet. I have been called a reindeer more than once, I do love a good salad! I LOVE a bowl of popcorn and reward myself with frozen yogurt or a trip to the Candy Baron. I do not drink alcohol, ever. Life is more enjoyable without alcohol and I think that has been the biggest contributor to improvement in speed and endurance 🙂
BB: Any health or beauty secrets??
LM: Nothing – I am terrible in this department. I literally got my first manicure two years ago and my hair dresser is committed to getting me off of Pantene Pro-V and Herbal Essence. Unfortunately, sweating on a daily basis puts beauty maintenance to much to keep up with!
BB: What’s the trick to balancing married life, puppy-raising, teaching, running, family, friends, social life…
LM: Keeping your priorities a priority. Establishing a routine. Early, early mornings (some long runs have me up at 3:30 AM). Most importantly, I think it’s a testament to those I am in relationship with – husband and friends, they are so supportive. Running gives me the energy to teach, raise and train our 11 week old yellow lab, “Blaze” and be, me.
BB: What races are you looking ahead to?
LM: My goal is to get a 3:10 marathon. Coming up: Surf City Full Marathon, Boston Marathon & Missoula Marathon (Montana) and Marine Corp Marathon by fall. My next goal is an international marathon or participating on a relay team.
So, she is pretty much amazing, as you can see. Stay busy this weekend; stay happy this weekend; get your Lauren Mitchell on!