Friday, November 19, 2010

I don't know how to say this but,

I'm kind of a big deal.


Cuz I got mah bootay out there and finally ran!  Hello, my name is Brandi.  I haven't run in 14 days.  Well get outa here sad sack and give this girl a high five!  Legs felt awesome although I think it was because it was so gosh darn cold that I couldn't feel them!  Some tightness in the IT band but was able to work through it by imagining the lovely foam rolling sesh waiting for me at home.  The only downer was a side stitch that I tried to breathe through but kept nagging me. Other than that, sunny weather, fresh legs and good times!

So it was my first run in 20 degree weather.  I ended up wearing 2 long sleeve moisure wicking shirts and my Brooks RNR jacket, long Moving Comfort pants, compression socks, hat and some gloves.  It was definitely a great combo to start out because I sure was chilly.  I may or may not have gotten a little too warm in my core area, the jury is still out on that one.  Overall, good outfit for a cold run.

On another note, Chelsea over at Will Run for Food posted a link to this article and booyah! it is awesome.  As Chelsea says, Everyone. Go read this. NOW!

Tomorrow starts the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge.  Head on over and sign up!  Here's a little info on the challenge from Run to the Finish:

The 3rd annual Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge is here!! We have had over 120 participants for the last two years and I expect even more this year. The goal of HBBC is to provide a little additional motivation to stay active and make good choices throughout the holiday season. The stats say the average American may gain at LEAST 5lbs…but even if you gain 2lbs and don’t lose it that adds up each year.


A. We had an awesome time! The involvement from everyone and encouragement is amazing.

B. It kept folks from gaining holiday poundage

C. Some seriously good prizes…Sweaty Bands, Once Again Nut Butter, Lara bar, New Balance Shorts, Oiselle Running tank, CEP socks, green teas, yoga bag…to name a few…more details to come.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Bootay Kickin' Time!

So, I've decided to join the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge over at Run To The Finish  I haven't been doing so well since Halloween....a whole lotta candy and a whole lotta slackin' in the workout department. The statistics don't look to good for the average joe over the holidays.  A 7 to 10 pound weight gain isn't what I want to see at all! 

I think a nice group challenge is just what I need.  Head on over and let's kick some Holiday Bootie!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Laziness mixed with a lil randomness

"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired."

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian
I had this gem hidden away on my computer somewhere and found it this morning.  I'm reading your loud and clear General Patton, over. (that was me on a walkie talkie, oh yeah, that just happened!)  The past two weeks have been me enabling myself with the "your tired, you need to sleep".  Side note, I do believe that you need to listen to your body and not over do it and be aware of over training, etc..  For those of you who read my little ramblings, you know that I would and probably never will be accused of over training, I'm lucky if I can follow my schedule at all! I make sure I wake up early enough to get my run in on the days that I work but end up laying there talking myself out of it or hitting snooze because I'm just too tuckered out. Secretly my inner self knows what a crock that line is but I still lay there.  On the days that I'm not working, my new excuses include
  • It's a new gym, I don't know when the cardio equipment will be less full. 
  • The weather is too craptastic and I hate the treadmill - see above
  • the girls need to be here at a certain time and need me to volunteer or I have only x amount of time and just realistically can't fit it in before they need to be somewhere
  • I've got to bake
  • Peace in the Middle East will be restored if I just finish reading all of my google reader
  • My social security number and birth date were stolen and fraudulently used.
  • I'm really just too tired from spin class 5 days ago.
As you can tell through my sad attempt at humor, some of those excuses are real and some are just, well, stupid.  And that my folks is what excuses are, kinda lame and pretty stupid. 

So, for the running update, I've ran once each week for the past two weeks.  Both very good runs.  I do feel really bummed that I have to take this show indoors.  I guess that means I'm really gonna have to dig deep and just bust these runs out.  Any help/suggestions/pity would help.  On the upside, I've been getting some great cross training in.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE group power.  It's kinda like Body Pump, at least I assume it is.  I'm really diggin' spin class and I have a pal to go with so I'm less inclined to skip either.  Interesting to note is that I'm  normally a really outgoing person but I really really deep down hate doing new things alone.  That's where my pal Y comes in handy.  She'll do any class with me.

Weight loss update, last week was a great week for pound annihilation.  Weird thing is, I ate all of my points, flex and probably my work out points. (Yeah, I follow WW, some times more religiously than others) and lost 2.6 pounds.  Definitely something to look into.  I usually try to eat my allotted points only for the day and have had success in the weight loss department doing that, 1/2 marathon training excluded! 

So, on to some randomness:
Miss J is now a cheerleader on top of her busy dance schedule, my insomnia is out of control but then again, so is my sleep schedule, vegan and healthy baking makes me happy, I can't wait to go to Group Power today, trying to raise these two ladies is tough, the excuse for not working out because my identity was stolen is true, I am still inspired by one of my co-workers/readers, I still love running, my new glasses make me look like Christian Soriano, not sure if I like it, Mama Pea's recipes are absolutely delish, I don't take enough advantage of my ease of access to fresh salmon which I remedied by making the best salmond dip evah! I'm mentally depleted from work this week, Dean and Deluca makes the best coffee and finally I think I'll be ending this overly long post (sorry) by possibly making the girls a delicious breakfast and then some running!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week in Review

I used to love watching that on CNN in 10th grade! 

Although I didn't reach all my goals for the week, I sure did better than last.  Gotta stay positive, right?  I rocked the running portion of my week.  Slacked on Friday but made up for the non run day by getting a quick Saturday run in after the girls dance class.  I have my mom to thank for taking them while I ran.  I am just so jazzed at the progress I've been making in the short amount of time that I've been back at it.

I had planned on doing 3 day of abs but alas 1 was all I did.  MUST. WORK. ON. THAT.

I am pretty proud of my cross training attempt.  Wednesday was a rock ma bootay spin class.  Thursday, I didn't exactly make it to the gym but I managed a Cathe vid, Pyramid Upper Body and then 40 minutes of step.  Friday I missed spin due to choppin' my hair off at the salon.

Speaking of the salon, my pal/semi-ex hair stylist (he's too hard to get into these days!) was telling me about a beginners triathlon class.  I was about to jump up and down until he told me the days it will be on....Sunday eves.  Booo!  I have to work Sunday nights.  Oh well. 

Well, off to bed.  Night shift calls.  Have a great Sunday!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ironman, I am not

I think I was having visions of grandeur.  I had a little pep in my step yesterday and was getting things crossed off my to do list.  I promised myself last week I would follow through with my cross training and abs.  Tuesday, I barely got my abs in but I did do them.  So Wednesday comes and, like I said I was highly motivated, I decided to go to a one hour spin class at my gym. [love love love spin class] That was from noon to one.  I got home and new I needed to get my run in before the ladies got out of school, otherwise it might not get done due to dinner having to be made, a quick grocery run, dance practice for Miss J and a mandatory vegan baking fest for me.  I almost didn't run because in between all that, I needed to eat!  Green monster down and out I went.

Mistake number two.  I really didn't want to run right after having eaten but I figured I had get out there.  Hello side cramps!!  Let's head back to mistake number one, not allotting my self enough time.  I was down to the wire.  I had only 45 minutes to get a 42 min run in.  That had to include the driving time back to the house.  High five to myself, I got it done and met Miss R right after she had gotten off the bus.  That messed with my focus because I was worried about getting home on time.

Mistake number three, spin class then less than an hour later, run.  For some, this may be nothing but for this lady, legs felt like I was running through sand!  All of my lower body was feeling it.  I was wanting to quit the whole time. Enter the self talk.  I knew a yucky run was inevitable, I had been having way too many good ones.  I kept thinking, I hate running!!! success is hanging on when you want to let go.  I had to analyze what I was doing/did wrong and what I could learn from it.  See mistakes one through three. 
  • Don't eat so close to running
  • Run before spin class or other classes
  • Make enough time for a run so I don't have worries about being somewhere.  I can just focus on the run.
  • Most importanly....Schedule/plan better!
Lessons learned.  This is the life of a running, working, full-time mom. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I saw this and just had to share!  teee heee heee

I realized that I hadn't done a check in for my run on Monday.  It was magical.  Momma got her groove back in a major way.  Like I said last week I went with the first week of the 8k training plan.  That one minute walking break is perfect, I feel like I get that break/refreshed feeling I need to keep going.  Very happy with my choice. 

The sad part was, I almost talked myself out of running.  It's the same "good vs. evil" debate that goes on, I think?, in everyone's head when it comes to waking early to work out.  My warm comfy Ikea down comforters were a sirens call to my weary night shift soul.  The only thing that got me going though was, NO RAIN??!!!!  Like I said before, Southeast Alaska is a rainforest.  When I say rainforest, I mean RAINforest.  I had a short window of opportunity to run before work and I took it. 

It. Was. Worth. It.

I've noticed I'm getting my sea-legs back. 

Each run is getting me back to where I was before my hiatus.  My garmin, Forrest and I are in a love/love relationship right now.  I know, I know, the honeymoon will soon end. I'm just happy to be back. As for making the good choice by running on Monday vs Today?  It was a torrential down pour.  Power went out.  It was howling outside! Good times.

I'm going to do some abs before bed and try not to race to the fridge to devour the last two pieces of that pumpkin gingerbread.  Tomorrow is a spin class and my 2nd run for the week.  Night!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Today's run was.....

Excellent!  Although there were some technical difficulites still with the running app, I pre-trouble shooted most of them.  I kept the phone in my front pocket this time for easier access.  And hallelujiah, I have decided on my plan from now until Marathon Day.  It is the 8K program which is 10 weeks and then I will start the 4 day a week Hal Higdon 1/2 marathon training program until it's time to start full marathon training.  Next week, instead of moving on, I'm going to re-do this week with week 1 on the training plan. I really liked the 7 min run/1 min walk combo.  I felt challenged and yet I didn't over-do anything.  My left hip/butt/leg made some noise at the bitter end but I foam rolled and stretched like no ones business!

Truth time...
My eating has SUCKED! Lot's of emotional eating which I'm trying to figure out the stem of it all (I think I know) and let's face it, I LOVE to bake.  I've been on a baking spree lately and I blame OhSheGlows completely!!!  And Mamma Pea too!!  It all started with her Blackberry Cinnamon Rolls and went downhill from there.  Heaven to taste!  And then add some Pumpkin Pie Banana Chunk Oatmeal Cookies and Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream. Oy to the Vey!!!  Let's not get started with the scone-athon I went on.  The best recipe is here, hands down!So on top of all my baking, which does have very soothing qualites to it, I haven't been doing my cross training or abs.  My spinning/weight class pal took off to NYC (hate her!) and as for the excuse for no abs, I have none (holding head in shame).  That is my focus next week.  Abs!  Back to my sinful baking, I not only did that but I experimented with new food.  I tried tofu for the first time.  I made baked kale chips and ate an obscene amount of veggies.  I loved Caitlyn's combo from Healthy Tipping Point, sweet potatoes with baked beans and brussel sprouts.  Delish!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

emotional silence

Yeah, that silence came from my iPhone app that pooped out on me 1/4 into my run.  I did my warm-up for the 8K program and then started to run.  I was back on my usual trail that I'm begining to know like the back of my hand, rockin' out to my tunes after hearing "the voice" telling me to run.  Things are going great, I feel great and then nothing.  Silence.  This wouldn't be too bad of a problem except my phone was in my spibelt and it was facing the back.  I also had my handy dandy hand holder thingy water bottle in my hand and to top it all off, I had gloves on.  As my nephew would tell me, whaa whaa.  Had to walk to figure things out with the app, pressed play and continued to run.  Couple minutes in, silence. No more "voice" telling me when to walk or run.  Some panic set in.  How am I going to do this run?  Well the all or nothing Brandi decided to wing it and not let myself be upset.  I figured I'd run the 4 miles.

First 1.5 were okay.  Legs felt great, I felt great.  More running, less walking.  Somewhere after that I crumbled.  Piriformis tightened and not too shortly after the good 'ol IT tightened.  Lots of stretch breaks were added.  I ended up seeing these two exceptionally fit runner, on right after the other and  there I was, walking...wearing running clothes.  I could just feel their judgement....I'm kidding, I'm not that neurotic....okay, maybe just a little!  I started to doubt myself.  I don't have a definitive plan yet.  I'm still trying to find out where I fit in!  Dang iPhone app!!  How could you just poop out on me like that!!  So long story short, I went from feeling super awesome to super craptastic in 2 seconds flat.

But you know what?  I love it.  I love that running can do that to me.  I love feeling the complete emotional spectrum.  You have to be "present" in your runs.  You can't hide from yourself. 

On that note, I'm going to try the app again Friday a.m.  I really believe that that 8K training is where I should be at.  It's back to the drawing board for my plan to the marathon! 

I know I'm jumping around here but, I just watched Nova's Marathon Challenge.  It renewed my spririts.
Click here for the link.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Let's kick it up a notch!

Monday's running adventure included a new trail.....

Wish I  had better pics to share but I haven't quite figued out how to run, chew gum, paint my nails and take a picture at the same time.  First time running on it.  Can't say that I was dissapointed.  It's a gravel trail around a lake in a beautiful wooded area.  It was a crisp fall day rain!!!  No rain?!?  Living in a rainforest kinda makes me excited when the rain lets up!  Long story short, it was a great trail.

Now onto my run.  I decided I was holding myself back last week.  I started out on the Couch to 5K program, week one.  I was feeling great and I think it was the best intro to slide back into running.  I'd finish each run feeling like I could've went longer at each running interval.  I don't want to get too wild right out of the gate but I also don't want to "do nothing" either.  I say do nothing lightly because I remember when I thought I was going to die on the treadmill at the gym last November/December and there may be others out there who are just begining their running journey and certainly won't feel like they are "doing nothing".  What I'm saying is, I think I can kick it up a notch.  In fact that's what I did, if not just a bit, on Monday's run.  I jumped forward to week 3 and listened to that for my walk/run.  I ended up seeing some pals on the trail walking the dog and their most handsome baby boy (pic would've been I said above....) I paused the garmin but my iPhone was in my pocket and the music and program were still going.  I missed some walk run ques and figured just start running.  So I ran the three minutes it told me, then still feeling good I did another 3.  Let's just get crazy now, I went for another 2 minutes without stopping.  Then some walk/run on my own with some good tunes and back home to get ready for the night shift.

This ended up being a great run for many reasons
  1. I tried a new trail.
  2. Found out I kinda liked running on a trail....almost as much as pavement....okay, that's pushing it but I did really like it.
  3. I'm at a different starting point than I had previously thought
  4. I pushed myself and had a heckuva good time doing it.
  5. Seeing the respect and happiness in my friends eyes as they see me rocking the run.
All that said...I am going to start the Gateway to 8K tomorrow which will be 5 min warm up alternating 7 min run with 1 min walk x 4 then 5 min cool down.

 I'm feeling pretty jazzed and all this jazziness has led me to ask a collegue of mine for an interview for my blog.  She is a new runner who says I inspired her to run but she is way more inspiring to me especially after my unplanned hiatus.  Stay tuned!

Surgeon General: Healthy & Fit

I am LOVING this message!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Was that all they ever heard from her?????

The ladies, goofing around

Summer Camping - Alaska Style

Summer with my Sis

Summer in Juneau

Gotta catch up on Google Reader, even in paradise!!

So that was my summer in a nutshell.  Went camping with my big bro, hung out with my sissy and her son here in Juneau, and then made a little trip to Hawaii with the fam.  So the burning question is.....was there any running after my half marathon?  I think what bothers me the most is that I was feeling to lowly to show back up to my own blog!  When I did it was to update a race that I had signed up for but didn't come to fruition in the form of training and motivation.....uhhh need I say that I have a position for the Portland Marathon 10/10/10. The fact that I couldn't get my junk together really bummed me and my non running self out. 

I think I even let it psych me out to the point where I just overate and chose inactivity.  Why?!?  When I knew running was the bomb-digity?  Well, no more.  I am back at it, albeit I'm starting at the begining.  I'm restarting C25K from the very begining.  Yeah, I could push myself harder and run a lot longer but, this ain't my first rodeo.  I want to suceed in my marathon goal.  I don't want to make the same mistakes I made the first time.  I'm starting fresh and I have less than 39 weeks until Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon.  I really wanted/want that to be my first marathon.  I really like the RNR races and it's in the city I love.  Plus I signed up early so I only payed $65! 

So, here I am at the begining. Again.

                                                            Don't forget to STRETCH!!!

My little racing buddy.  She came along on my 2nd run for the week and I have to say, made it really fun.  She pushes me and laughs with me.  What a great running buddy!

So here's my plan:
  • Week 1 - 9: Couch to 5K, Abs 3x's per week following this plan and some much needed strength/cross training.  I've been taking classes at my gym like spinning and group power.  Lovin' it and feel that I'm building my running base that  I neglected to build before.  This will include 3 days of running and 3 days of cross training.
  • Weeks 10 - 21: Hal Higdon's beginner 1/2 marathon training.  It's includes 3-4 days of running and 3-4 days of cross training. Abs will still be focused on and taking time to s - t - r - e - t - c - h.
  • Weeks 22 - 39:  The Holy Grail of my Training...Marathon time!  I've decided to follow Hal Higdon's beginner Marathon training program.  Once again, abs and cross-training not to be forgotten this time.
So that's it.  There's my plan of attack.  I'm wiser than I was last year.  I think know I have what it takes to be successful at this.

 I'd like to invite you all along as I travel the long road to becoming a marathoner.  Sit back and relax...grab a cup 'o joe and follow the antics of this one bad mother runner!

Monday, August 2, 2010

11:41 and my own running ambrosia

I should feel like a loser posting here that I didn't do my 8 miles on Saturday like I said I would.  I could wallow in self-loathing behavior but I didn't.  Today is a new day and I'm jumping right back in.  I was scheduled to run 4 miles today but my slacker behavior set in a little and time crunched as I was/am, I was seriously considering just forgetting today's run and running tomorrow.  I didn't though! This is the part that I wish my theme music for the day was playing while you read this post..."Gumption" from the movie The Holiday.  Love that little tune!
image found here

Moving along.....I did my two miles and ran a comfortable pace.  Low and behold my two miles looked like this:
Mile 1 - 11:16
Mile 2 - 12:06
Avg Pace - 11:41
Calories - 341

I was so worried that I lost all that I had gained due to my lack of consistency in the running deptartment.  I come back even stronger!  That and for motivation I wore my Seattle RNR shirt.  That really makes me feel too cool for school!  I am so jazzed!!!  Add that to a 0.9 loss this week and you've got a pretty happy little lady. 

I don't know if this is a shameless plug for Cytomax or not but today instead of Nuun I had poured in a Cytomax packet I had stashed in swag bag from Seattle RNR.  Hello!?!  Delish.  Could've been due to the fact that it made me feel like a runner becasue that's what they had for refreshments along the course in Seattle or maybe because it was pretty darn hot and I felt super parched by the end of the run.  Either which way, I love it's lemony flavor and I just might have to look into purchasing some more.  DELISH! I tell ya!!

So now it's time for some stretching and then off to my last 12 hour night shift for the week.  Tomorrow is a 7 miler and maybe a spin class. 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Success is hanging on when you want to let go

So true

I found this pic over at Fit This, Girl! In her post she remind us that "EVERYONE is busy and it's not an excuse." I have been queen of the slackers lately. My plethora of excuses for  slacking include but are not limited to: brother visiting, the ladies birthdays this month (CAKEand ICE CREAM!!!), my dad visiting (a whole bunch of emotional baggage unearthed with that visit), time of the month, and my virgo tendencies (if it's not done perfect I might as well give up).

But that's just what all these are....EXCUSES!!!!  I need to get off my but and get out there. No if's, and's or but's.  The alternative is to continue my wicked ways of no working out and eating craptastically.  NO WAY!  I'm already feeling the ill effects of my over-indulgence.  Today T and I took our "before" progress pics and did our measurments.  I haven't weighed in a while....up 6 pounds since the half marathon.   It's time to check back into reality and lay out my plan.  I have a rough idea of how things are going to look around here at Awaken the Strength until 10/10/10 and will post my plan tomorrow. 

Until then, here's my "in-your-face" (pardon the pun!) reminder of  how far I've come and what 50 pounds looks like.

Current...dorky scrub top,sorry!

So, to end this post on a super positive note....33 readers?!?  I feel pretty honored that you all stop by and check out that latest and greatest developments over here at Awaken the Strength.  I hope to keep you all enthralled as I tackle Portland.  Tomorrow is an 8 mile and I've got a pretty good route planned!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Races and Late Night Running

Had a great run with my sissy tonight.  Being that I live in Alaska where it does stay a little bit lighter during the summer, T and I took off around 10p for a nice 3 miler.  Legs felt great, in fact it was me feeling out of breath for some weird reason and side stiches that slowed me down.  I've beent trying to pay attention to my upper body.  I notice I have a tendency to really tense up.  After my last long run I was pretty sore on my shoulders.  Does this happen to others?  I think I'll have to research this one...

On that note, I'll add some pics from my half ;o)

I'm smiling because I am signing up for next years full rock n roll marathon and I haven't even ran the race for this year yet.  Crazy I tell ya!!
Picking up my swag
I tried super hard not to geek out in front of The Running Twins.  LOVE THEM!!
My Chip
My absolutely awesome brother-in-law who woke at the butt-crack of dawn to get me and sissy to the race. Thank you!!!
Me and my Sissy waiting for the honeybucket
Doesn't everyone run with their own personal paparazzi?!? Thanks T!
I am showing my girls a healthy mommy, a running mommy!
Hello My Precious!

I am still debating on whether to fork over the cash for the marathon pics but HOLY EXPENSIVE BATMAN!!  I kinda do want one of me crossing the finish line.  Undecided still....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Now you see me...

                                                               Marathon Mania!

I've been MIA for so long, I don't even know where to start or what I want this post to be!  I haven't stopped running, no sir!  I'm still at it.  I was in a wierd mental place 3 weeks prior to Seattle RNR.  I knew my training had turned into a big pile of poop and I was mentally no where near being able to run a full.  It took a lot for me to call my sissy and tell her I was dropping to the half.  She too agreed and then and there we decided to make Portland our full.  A weight had been lifted from my shoulders when I begged her asked her if we could drop to the half.  I figured, I needed to get my feet wet and see what this racing stuff was all about in a non-intimidating manner.  I did and let me tell you, I turned into Mr. Toad when he saw his first motor car. All my anxieties left me as soon as we crossed the start line.  All those negative thoughts left me.  And believe me, those negative thoughts were plenty!
  • You haven't trained properly! You hardly ran the last two weeks.
  • You're too slow, you'll be the last
  • You're a fraud, you're not a real runner and all of these elite athletes will be able to tell you don't belong here
  • OMG you look chubby today
Well, like I said, it all left me. I started smiling, I crossed that line and I felt like I was a runner.  There were people there who where running at my pace!  There were people of all shapes, sizes and ages. I know it's going to sound wierd but the first 7 miles were the easiest I've ever ran in my life (easy does not equal fast! Yup, still slow!)  I just felft giddy to be there with this large group of people running through my favorite city in the world.

So here's some pictures of my race day. 
From my girls

More pics to follow....dinner calls and the ladies are cranky

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My New Running Partner

Me and the little lady out for a late evening run

Rosy cheeks and two whooped gals!

What a blast!  I was definitely a lot slower than her but we giggled a lot and had a great time together.  We were planning how I would run my marathon and just talked. It was nice to run like a kid.  She helped me put the fun back into it!  I could totally see our future together as runners. 
I am a running mom and a runners mom.