One thing to check - make sure your virtual CD-ROM device is disconnected. Many times if it is connected but not present, the VM will pause periodically as Workstation tries to read a CD which isn't there.
Another possibility is Anti-Virus software on the host scanning the VM folder while running. Make sure you exclude the VM folders on your host from your AV scans. And there have also been issues with certain AV software causing lockups on some VMs as well, within the past year or two - search the forum for tips on that.
Thank you. I will take those steps and update this thread.
FYI, the post for antivirus products causing lockups that I tend to refer to is this one:
(don't be mistaken by the title of he post, in certain configurations it can happen to Win7 guests too)
Wil| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
| Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
| More info at https://www.vimalin.com
| Twitter @wilva
| VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com