*Woman Crush Wednesday ~ Lauren Seserko*

For the second installment of Woman Crush Wednesday, I’m honored to introduce you to the adorable miss Lauren Seserko of the website Breathe Deeply and Smile.

Lauren Seserko

The sweet miss Lauren Seserko

My first memory of Lauren was a conversation we shared over similar Boston Marathon qualifying goals. She is a fellow Nuun teammate and on that occasion was soon-to-be one of my team and van mates for Hood to Coast.


Team Lemon-Lime, Van 2

I love Lauren’s youthful energy and spunk. She is very ambitious and tenacious in working towards her goals. I am completely in awe of her ability to juggle school, training for races (including marathons!!), her involvement with the November Project, and keeping up with regular posts on her website, Breathe Deeply and Smile.

Ready to get to know Lauren a bit more? Read on!

Five words that describe you?

Reserved, sassy, intuitive, loyal, and emotional.

If you could only eat one food forever, what would it be?

Probably pizza! It’s delicious, portable, full of carbs and can be switched up with toppings based on my mood.

If you could have a super-power, what would it be and why?

I’d love to be able to read people’s minds, in a way where I could control it and choose to. People are so complex, and it would bypass a lot of problems and save time if I knew what people actually thought!

What one piece of advice would your adult self give your child self?

All of the things you are self-conscious about now won’t matter when you’re older. Enjoy being young. Be silly, have fun, and don’t grow up too fast – there is plenty of time to be an adult.

How long have you been a runner?

I trained for and ran my first 5K in October 2011 after realizing I had gotten really out of shape in college and wanted to lose a few pounds. Afterwards, I signed up for races in increasing distance and eventually ran my first two half marathons in September and October 2012. After that I was hooked! I’ve run 3 marathons, 13 half marathons 2 overnight relays, and countless other races to date with no signs of stopping now!

What is your favorite race?

This is such a tough one! The Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon holds a special place in my heart because it was my first half marathon ever and such a good experience. I ran it again last month and was reminded of all those memories plus I really love running in Philadelphia since I grew up near there. I also have to say I love the Chicago Marathon. It’s huge but so well-organized and has awesome volunteers and spectators!

Tell me about the November Project.

I read about November Project a few years ago when it was in Runner’s World and was contacted about 6 months later by a guy from the Boston tribe letting me know they were in Baltimore. I showed up only 3 months after the tribe started, one cold February day with about 20 people there. I was hooked on the positivity, workouts, and the fun people. It’s been awesome to watch the tribe grow and really find my favorite people in Baltimore. I love that it’s all about community, supporting each other, and having fun when working out. We all motivate and encourage each other as well as plan things that aren’t work out related. I’m a big fan of hugs and nothing starts your day better than a big hug before the sun comes up!

Lauren Seserko November Project

Hard core November Project member, Lauren Seserko.

What are your goals for the upcoming year?  

I still am chasing my dream of running the Boston Marathon and need to shave a couple of minutes off my time despite officially getting a qualifying time at Chicago this year! I also really want to focus on my strength and pushing myself. As always I’d love more PR’s and am thinking of tackling a 50K this year because why not?

You can subscribe to Lauren’s blog via her website or connect with her on various social media accounts, listed below.



Breathe Deeply and Smile



THANK YOU, Lauren, for allowing me the honor of sharing your awesomeness with my readers and I soooo look forward to watching you chase down that Boston dream! xo

Woman crush Lauren Seserko

My woman crush, Lauren Seserko, crossing the finish line at a Zooma race this past summer.

*Weekly mileage ~ Nov.16-22*

Mileage for the week of November 16th – November 22nd

Total weekly mileage: 35.75

Total November mileage (to-date): 104

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,722.25

Run review:

11/16          22:04 min./2.5 mi./8:50 pace

11/17          33:28 min./4.25 mi./7:53 pace

11/18         41:55 min./5.25 mi./7:59 pace

11/19         40:09 min./4.5 mi./8:56 pace

11/20         1:03:47 min./6.25 mi./10:12 pace

11/21         6:15 min./.75 mi./8:21 pace

51:55 min./5.25 mi./9:53

11/22         57:29 min./7 mi./8:12 pace

Decent week.

Twenty-two days into my November running streak, plus the three additional days I ran in October, puts me at 25 consecutive days of running at least a mile or more. I know it sounds weird, but I swear I feel better when I run more often.

The training plan I prescribed hasn’t been quite where I want it to be but I think I can get back on track this week. All I can do is the best I can and take the rest in stride.

Have a fantastic week!!

*Weekly mileage ~ Nov.9-15*

Mileage for the week of November 9th – November 15th

Total weekly mileage: 30

Total November mileage (to-date): 68.25

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,686.5

Run review:

11/9            26:04 min./3 mi./8:42 pace

11/10          36:12 min./4.75 mi./7:37 pace

11/11           37:42 min./4.75 mi./7:56 pace

11/12          26:03 min./3.25 mi./8:01 pace

11/13          57:59 min./7 mi./8:17 pace

11/14         25:03 min./3 mi./8:21 pace

11/15         36:17 min./4.25 mi./8:32 pace

Last week was the first week of a new training cycle. I have my sights set on a fast 5k finish in just over two weeks. Overall, I did pretty good doing the workouts I prescribed myself except I ditched the long run on Sunday. Training smart is a top priority and my body was saying “easy run, please.” Also, as of today, I’m on day 19 of my November running streak. I started a few days early but have run every single day and have not yet run just my minimum one mile. (In fact, I think today was my shortest run on this streak with 2.5 miles.)

I’m hopeful for another good round of training this week. I’m also hopeful that I can squeeze in a trail run sometime this weekend. (I seriously cannot stop thinking about getting out on some trails!)

Make it a great week!

*Running: moving rapidly, in a certain direction*

With the weekend quickly coming to a close (boo!), I’ve been marinating in the experiences that made it a pretty great one. (Allow me to insert my regular aphorism: It Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking!)) Looking back, I feel so dang stoked for such awesome partnerships, rad people, future tribe members, and this crazy sport that I love so much!!!

Saturday was a pretty incredible day and I’m still feeling the effects of the inspiring people who I was privileged to be surrounded by.

I spent several hours yesterday working alongside the creator of Left Coast Raw. David (center) has been so supportive of me! He has provided me with an awesome source of fuel that I used not only throughout my months of training for the Boston Marathon, but beyond. He is so passionate about spreading raw, vegan, plant-based, whole-food nutrition that it is contagious. I had a ton of fun pouring samples, talking about my experience with the product, and helping introduce Veg Fest Portland attendees to such an amazing source of nutrient-dense food in a portable, convenient shake.

Left Coast Raw at Veg Fest Portland

Sharing Left Coast Raw love at Veg Fest Portland!

After I was finished at Veg Fest, I headed to Rainshadow Running‘s Film Festival Tour showing in Vancouver, WA. I will be the first to admit that there is a whole other world of running out there that I’ve barely scratched the surface of during my exploration of the sport. It’s not a secret that I love trail running and aspire to do more of it, including races, but it is still not as accessible as I wish it were. That said, one simply cannot watch a series of short films about trail running and not get amped up! I’m like SUPER AMPED UP!

Rainshadow Running Film Festival Tour

Rainshadow Running Film Festival Tour

Not only that, I had the incredible opportunity to chat with the owner and creative spirit that founded Territory Run Co. They are a trail running/lifestyle apparel company based in Portland, Oregon that I’ve had on my radar for a while now. Not only is their art stunning, they also source local artists for hand printing their apparel. But what really stands out to me is the culture and community vibe that they are building based on the common love of running and the wild playground just beyond our 9-5’s.

Territory Run Co. raglan tee

You had me at Raglan tee. Well played, Territory Run Co.!

The sport of running is constantly evolving for me as I discover new tributaries that branch off from the basic concept of what it is: moving rapidly, in a certain direction. I’m hopeful that my experiences this weekend will continue to build momentum and that I will always be as in love with running as I feel I am right now!

Have a great week, friends!

*Woman Crush Wednesday ~ Susie Stephen*

By now, I’m sure most everyone with any type of social media account is familiar with the term “Women Crush Wednesday.” It has been made popular on sites like Twitter and Instagram. (You might also recognize these widely used hashtags: #womencrushwednesday and #wcw.) WCW posts typically tag a photograph of a woman who the user admires or looks up to.

Why the lesson on this social media phenomenon? Because I’m crushing hard on some badass chick athletes that are super inspiring. I’ve been playing with the idea of a bi-monthly WCW feature that introduces you to some of the women that I think are super awesome and after a few weeks of planning and connecting with a handful of them, I’m ready to launch it.

I’m kicking the first installment off with a rad chick named Susie Stephen. Susie is a fellow Nuun athlete and we met when we ran Hood to Coast on a Nuun team in 2014. Riding in a van with a bunch of strangers is a sure-fire way to get to know one another and when Susie and I started to share our stories, the similarities were profound. (Except for the fact that she’s English and a super fast runner! Oh, not to mention gorgeous!) It was fun to learn that she was a yoga instructor and cross-country coach. Both of which I was doing at the time.


Susie crossing the finish line at the Chicago Marathon. Source: http://www.instagram.com/longrunergy

List five words that describe you?

Um – gosh, how about active, adventurous, compassionate, coffee drinking English woman, runner/yogi.

If you could only eat one food forever, what would it be?

Oh wow this is tough – probably bread! It leaves you satiated, there are loads of different types, it can be eaten for any meal – is easily transportable and doesn’t go off as quickly as say fruit – which would be my second favourite food! :)

If you could have a super-power, what would it be and why? 

It would be amazing to be able to breathe under water so that you could explore the oceans and see all the amazing marine life!

What one piece of advice would your adult self give your child self?

Try not to worry about what people think and don’t compare yourself to others!

Tell us your running/racing bio… How long have you been a runner? How many marathon’s, half-marathons, etc.
Upcoming events? Favorite race? 

I started running cross-country as a 7th grader in England age 11 and ran all the way through high school, University in the UK (Newcastle University) and college in the US (Northern Arizona University). Since then I’ve been back and forth with running but have never really stopped completely. In 2008 I ran my first marathon in London, and since then have run 7 more marathons and 3 ultra trail races. Overall I have to say I’m still learning and feel keen to test myself further. Right now I’m preparing for the cross-country season back in England, where I’ll be for the winter – but I’m already looking forward to the trail running season back in Hawaii in 2016.
Susie Stehpen yoga

Susie practicing yoga in paradise. Source: http://www.instagram.com/longrunergy

Goals for the upcoming year?
I think my biggest goal for 2016 is to create more yoga tools to help runners – especially trail runners.

 Anything additional you’d like to add?
Yoga is awesome :)
I want to send a super HUGE thank you to Susie for allowing me to feature her here on Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking and also congratulate her on two things: first, her recent first place finish at the Kailua Surfriders Run and second, on her upcoming exhibition, Retracing Routledge. Susie curated the exhibit after retracing the steps of anthropologist Katherine Routledge, who was the only woman a part of the 1914 expedition to Easter Island. (I found this great article about Susie and her journey here.)
You can connect with Susie via her website and social media sites.

*Team Nuun 2016*

Some good news couldn’t have come at a better time!

On my commute to work this morning, the battery light on the dashboard illuminated. That was followed by another warning light (that I don’t even know what it was warning me about) lighting up. A few minutes, and some weird noises later, I was stopped alongside the road with no gauges, heat, radio, or lights. All the while the engine kept running, thank goodness, and I was able to turn back and make it to the nearest service center.

Long story short. It was a grueling day dealing with a fried/dead battery due to a fried/dead alternator. A few hundred bucks and 6 hours later, I’m back in business. But the whole ordeal left me feeling like I’m fried (fortunately not dead though)!

Then the perfectly timed email arrived in my inbox.

For the third year in a row, I have the great honor of representing Nuun Hydration as a member of their ambassador team! I’m so thrilled that I was selected to continue to serve as an athlete for a company that not only produces the best hydration source on the market, but has allowed me to connect with amazing athletes and fellow Nuun lovers from all over the world. I’d say Team Nuun is more like Family Nuun!

Hood to Coast with Nuun.

Hood to Coast with Nuun.

(Speaking of… be sure to check back tomorrow when I unveil a new feature here on Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking that showcases one of my fellow team members!)

Let me ask you this: do you love Nuun? Do you use Nuun to fuel your training? Would you like to join the BEST team of athletes from around the globe? If you said YES, then check out this link for information about how to submit your application to become a Nuunbassador.

Tuesday is looking up!

*Weekly mileage ~ Nov. 2-8*

Mileage for the week of November 2nd – November 8th

Total weekly mileage: 35

Total November mileage (to-date): 38.25

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,656.5

Run review:

11/2           49:09 min./6 mi./8:12 pace

11/3           30:44 min./3.25 mi./9:27 pace

11/4           28:26 min./3.5 mi./8:08 pace

11/5           45:00 min./5.25 mi./8:34 pace

11/6          49:10 min./6 mi./8:12 pace

11/7          30:15 min./3 mi./10:05 pace

11/8          1:04:41 min./8 mi./8:04 pace

I was a few miles short of my goal to double my mileage over the previous week but I’m not unhappy with the 35 miles I did run. It’s a big improvement over my performance in October!

I’ve also successfully run every day in November up to this point, and have 11 days under my belt for my running streak. Plus, I’ve got a goal race the first weekend in December and I spent yesterday getting my training plan mapped out for the next several weeks leading up to it. Total overachiever, I know. ; )

I’m wishing you a great week and great runs!