Spin For A Cause

Hi Everyone!!

As you know, I’ve been MIA from my blog BUT I’ve come back to tell you all about an amazing Spin class THIS Saturday in NYC.  Not only do you get to sweat your but off at Flywheel sports, but you’ll be supporting one of my favorite bloggers Abby.

Read her story!

Six years ago, my husband was on his second deployment with the United States Marine Corps while I was here in NYC feeling helpless. In an effort to do something productive during his deployment, I signed up for my first Marine Corps Marathon and decided to run for a military charity. I found the Fisher House Foundation (fisher house.org)  and became part of their inaugural marathon team. I figured if I ever needed them, I’d at least have earned my keep. Justin returned home uninjured, but the reality of the situation is that he was lucky and thousands of our soldiers sustain life-altering injuries on their deployments.

Fisher House builds houses near military hospitals for the families of injured soldiers to stay for free while their soldier is recovering in the hospital. It is a 501c(3) charity with a 5-star ranking by charitynavigator.org, meaning 97% of the money raised goes directly to the houses and needs of the families and not to advertising and administration costs.

Since then, I have run 6 marathons with Team Fisher House and raised over $25,000. This year will be the first year that both Justin and I run the Marine Corps Marathon as members of Team Fisher House. I’m grateful to have this goal to work for and honored to be part of such an incredible non-profit organization.

 

On the fence about going? Did I mention there will be amazing raffle prizes such as a Mark Sanchez autographed football, NY Yoga, lululemon gear, MSQ Wellness Package, Sam Edelman shoes, Erica Sara necklace, and more!!

 

Bikes are first come first serve, so sign up now!! What are you waiting for? 🙂

 

Runners Brain

I always come up with my best blog posts when I’m running.  Sometimes I wish I had a little notepad to write down my thoughts, I guess this would by kind of hard though since you know I’d be running.  Or better yet, I could pull an Albus Dumbledore and pull my thoughts out with my wand into a basin.  Yes, I said with my wand.  I bought one this past October in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I was the oldest one by 10 years on the line, but whatever 143 Harry.

I'm Harry Potter!

 

Seriously though, how cool is this?

 

 

So anyways, I’ve been thinking lately about how runners are a different breed. Running is like another boyfriend or girlfriend.  Runners speak in different terms and get each other.  For instance, I would never snot rocket in front of my friends BUT in front of runners, totally acceptable. Right? Yesterday, while at work, I blurted out randomly, “OMG Two more weeks until daylight savings time”. Normal employees would not of understood me but fortunately enough, my friend Patty who is a cyclist, was right by me.  I started to apologize and explain why I was so damn exciting about it being lighter sooner, I’m a nighttime runner, and she stops me ” Bri I totally get it, no need to explain”.   Athletes of all types, get each other.  We understand the true meaning of  “the runs”, the need for an ice bath and/or ice cream after a speed workout, G.I issues, and why we don’t drink the night before a long run or race. I LOVE my running friends.  They get me and the insane way I think. Carbo loading Friday nights anyone?

 

So far, training has been going well.  The plan the I’m using doesn’t have any tempo runs, so I’m using the lighter run days( 3-5 mi) as them.  So far so good.  My goal pace of 9:10 seems a little out of reach. BUT I just need to WORK harder.  I keep telling myself “it’s supposed to be hard” “work hard now and the race will be easy”.  It seems to be working.  I’ve gotten my longer runs to stay under 10 YAY and my shorter runs are hovering around 9:20.  I still have 2.5 months more to go.  I’m trying to keep all positive thoughts.

 

In other news, I’m trying to find tickets for The Black Keys. I LOVE them.  They have such a different sound.  When I listen to them, I just picture myself bopping along with a beer in my hand, don’t you?  Too bad I decided to look for tickets after they went on sale.  MSG sold out, I guess I’ll have to buy some obscene price from StubHub.

 

So tell me, what do you tell yourself to get through tough/speedy runs?

 

Until next time,

 

Run Hard. Run Long. Run Strong.

 

P.S I had such a runners high yesterday that I almost hopped in the shower with my socks on. Totally NOT kidding.

 

My Running Anniversary

February 18th, 2011 was a huge turning point in my life. I decided to start running.  The night before, I asked my brother if he’d help me.  With a shocked face, he agreed.  Every night we were at the track.  It was freezing, not only was it February, but the track at our high school is located on a hill which means it’s windy as hell.  I remember the second time I went running, we literally had to stop so I could catch my breath b/c the wind was so bad.  As promised, the first two weeks were terrible.  I wanted to quit but my brother wouldn’t let me.  We’d drive back, him talking away and me pretending I was listening but inside I wanted to puke.  800M seemed like so much. Once I was able to run more than that, I became obsessed.  I wanted to run longer and farther.

Oh Hey Shalane. How'd this get in here again..

 

Every workout I had planned for me, I tried to exceed. Sometimes I wish I was still like that.  Don’t get me wrong, I love hitting milestones with running but nothing beats running my first mile.  I was SO happy.  I ran a mile without stopping, something I never thought I could do especially in high school. Every now and then I feel like I’m at a standstill with running, like I’m not doing enough or achieving as many goals as I should.  But then I look back.

 

  • I went from running 800m to running 13.1
  • A mile in 11 and change to 7:06 (something I’m still working on– I want a 6 in there damnit!).
  •  Ran a 5K sub 30.

How could I write about running milestones & not include Pre?

This past week, I finally did that last one.  No it wasn’t a real race, but I knew I had to do it before my “one year”.  The funny thing is, I ran without looking at my Garmin and listened to my body.  I ran at what was comfortable, I didn’t feel like I was racing. Next thing I knew, a 5K flew by and I look at my watch… 28:27. Yeah baby! That’s 3 minutes FASTER than my previous 5K time.  Goes to me that I need to RELAX at races and that I can run fast.  Normally when I glance down at my watch and see a low number I tend to slow down because I think ” I can’t run that fast”.  This was a GREAT start for week 1 of Half Marathon training.  Every run after that has been sub 10 min mile, except for this past Saturday.  Saturday on schedule was a 8mi LR.  One of my co-workers agreed to run with me and we decided to hit the trails.  She was going to run 5 & I made up the extra mileage by running there & back from my house.  This was probably one of the worst runs of my entire running career.  I felt like crap when I woke up but how could I bail? I had finally talked her into running with me and now I’m going to cancel? I don’t think so.  I told myself after the mile there I’d feel better.  Unfortunately I didn’t.  My stomach hurt and my legs felt like cement, I needed sleep.   We headed into the trails & it felt good to be back, atleast for the 1st mile.  I had to keep stopping.  I NEVER do that & we were running so slow– a 12 minute mile.  Don’t get me wrong the trails are pretty tough all rolling hills with a few steep ones BUT I used to be able to run them when I first started running at a 9:45 pace.  Shit. I felt like I was going to puke and on top of it, embarrassed.  I hate asking to stop but I knew if I didn’t I was going to throw up.  We took about 4 breaks and we only ran 4.35 miles together.  Horrible.  I ran home after and felt sick all day.  At first  I thought it was b/c I didn’t eat breakfast or drink anything before the run but I didn’t feel good the whole weekend and my body hurt.  Yesterday I got a massage and sacrificed my run.  I figured 3 horrible slow miles or a massage? After much internal debate, I went with massage.

Today  I feel a hell of a lot better, my neck is still bothering me, but I’m pretty excited for my 5 miler tonight.  I’m hoping for some more sub 10min miles especially closer to my HMP of 9:10. Wishful thinking. At least my two favorite shows are on tonight, Switched at Birth & Jane By Design. They’re both on ABC Family. No judging please.

It's Nicole's birthday today! Say Haaaapppppy Birthhhhday!

 

 

Until next time,

 

Run Hard. Run Long. Run Strong.

Day 1 of Half Marathon Training

Today is the day that I’ve been anxiously awaiting.  Training for me is a love/hate relationship.  I hate when I have no direction in my runs when I don’t have a race to train for , but I also hate training because what if I don’t do as well as I planned.  I hate having bad runs, they always get me down. In Brianna like fashion, I still haven’t decided which half I will be doing.  I’m sure sooner or later I will be creating pro’s & con’s list of the two half’s.  I hate making decisions.  I always want the best and am always afraid I’ll make the wrong choice. Crazy, right?

I’ve spent the last month mulling over training plans.  Which one would be “right” for me.  Originally I had planned to use Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Plan but then I changed my mind.  I didn’t like that his LR’s start at 5miles. Don’t get me wrong, I know there must be a purpose for this, but for me mentally I don’t think I would be mentally prepared if I trained that way.  I’m a total mental runner, as I know most of us are.  I need to get out of my head and stop analyzing things.  I knew for sure if I started with 5 mile long runs, I’d be going insane and not think I was prepared (fyi I  normally do 8-12 mi LR’s).  I’ve been getting into reading a lot of running blogs, but saying getting into I really mean obsessed.  I love reading how running has changed peoples lives or the obstacles they’ve over came, it can be so inspiring.  So,  I decided to look at some of my running inspirations training plans.  A lot seemed to hard or to many miles.  Don’t get me wrong, I love running long but it can be hard with my job & me not being a morning person (fun fact: I have work at 9 & sometimes I get up at 8:15…oops.). Ironically, I found a training plan on Pinterest.  My new obsession, I can spend hours on that site.  I’m still deciding between the “beginner” and “intermediate” program.

the "Beginner" Plan

The "Intermediate" Plan

I like that the intermediate program has you going up to 15mi’s before the half (mentally I think this would be great for me) BUT I dislike that mileage during the week.  Not that 7mi’s is a lot to pull out during the week physically, but after getting home and it’s dark out and oh UM I’m really freaking slow, the last think  I want to do is be running for over an hour in the pitch black.  Maybe I’ll do a mix between the beginner & intermediate and see how I feel.  I strongly believe that not every training plan is meant for everyone and that you should tailor it to you needs/wants and ability.

 

In other news, recently I’ve been becoming obsessed with knee high socks.  It could be my obsession with Shalane OR my inner FIT-er coming out and wanting to be more stylish when I run, who knows.  Does anyone know where  I could get a pair that’s not 40 bucks!?!  Also, I’ve decided I want to design some t-shirts, look out for em’.  I’m just trying to decide what printing company to use, any suggestions? 🙂

Is anyone else training for a half? Let me know!

 

Until next time,

 

Run Hard. Run Long. Run Strong.

Good Luck OR Positive Thinking?

Hello Everyone!

It’s been awhile, I know, but I’ve had so many positive things happening in my life.  It’s been a crazy whirlwind and everything is starting to fall into place.   Lately I’ve been trying to think positively, rather than harp on the negative.  You can really get caught up in the stress which will ultimately make your problems a lot worse for you.  Recently, I did an Angel Card reading.  I know what your thinking, but I had my doubts too, but where I work there is a holistic healer who is all for this and told me I just had to try it.  So I did. Completely full of disbelief, I had to clear my head and think of a question I wanted to ask “the angels”.  Of course I stood there awkwardly, pretending I had some question.  Then it hit me, ” I want to be happy”.  Don’t get me wrong, I am always so happy & energetic (it’s my profession–PR), but recently I felt so weighed down.  Then, I had to pick from a deck of angel cards, whichever one “called out to me” even though they are all faced down and look exactly the same.  So I pick one, and what do you know I get Angel Indriel.  Basically, it says that people dump all of their problems on me, even strangers (true & true) and I need to learn to not let them get me down and take their problems with me & shake it off.  Spot on? I think so.  I’ve been trying really hard lately to just stay positive and not let my own feelings be affected by others and I honestly feel so good.  I’ve been on a lucky streak for almost a week now.  Guess I should play lotto.

A quick synopsis of my good luck  (in list form because I’ a crazy type-a personality):

  • Everything is going SUPER good at my job, we are booming in all of our facilities and literally are beginning to not have any openings.  Although it’s a problem, it’s a GOOD problem to have. (if you didn’t know I’m also a marketer)
  • I found the car of my dreams. After having my wonderful little Chevy Malibu for 6 years (the one my parents got me when I passed my road test) It was finally time to move on.  After test driving 10 cars, yes 10 I’m neurotic, I finally came to a decision, a 2012 Volkswagen CC. I always wanted it but never thought I’d be able to purchase it at 23, by myself.
  • I won a necklace from the amazingly talented, Erica Sara. I literally never win anything and  totally just entered on a whim.  It is gorgeous. I highly recommend purchasing one!

    My gorgeous Erica Sara Necklace! On the back it says Strength & Run Long.

  • My plantar fasciitis is almost ALL gone. Since my acupunturist was having a tough time curing me, she brought me to one of her friends & previous Professor’s who does trigger point acupuncture as well as had a multitude of experience with athletes.  I’m not going to lie, it hurt & I had to take 5 days off from running but in the end I think it was worth it.  I also changed my shoes. My acupuncturist asked my body, I know crazy right, what was causing my foot pain and apparently my body answered that it was my sneakers. I switched from my beloved Brooks Adrenaline’s to Asics Kayano’s and so far, I couldn’t be happier.
  • I’ve been on a kick ass run streak this week.  Normally I get so harped up on time and how fast I’m going that I end up freaking myself out.  All I want to be is fast god damnit. BUT I realize I need to just chill out and let my body run & trust in my training.  I’ve been stuck on the dreaded 10-min mile.  IDK why. It’s all in my head and now I know that.  For the past few nights I’ve been running at what I felt was a comfortable pace, not too easy but not where I’m gasping for breath, and guess what my Garmin was reading at a 9:07. See I’m crazy. Last night, I did my first ever mile repeats.  Mile 1- 10:04 (warm up), Mile 2- 9:17, Mile 3- 8:57, Mile 4- 8:34(woo-woo), Mile 5- (cool down) 9:30.  I was on such a high, but today I’m feeling wiped out.  Mind you I did this at 6:00pm in 30 degree windy weather, in shorts. I’m a genius, I know.  I just hate wearing pants but I learned my lesson last night since I had a chill I couldn’t get rid off.  Last nights run made me push myself a lot more than I normally do.  I kept repeating to myself, someone my brother told me, “You need to push yourself 100% in workouts, they should be harder than the actual race”.  I rarely ever do that b/c I’m always afraid that I’m going to push myself to far, but then do I ever actually know my limits? Nope. Lesson learned.

With all that being said, I’m still deciding on what Half I want to do in May.  The LI Half, horrible course but close to home, & the Jersey Half are the same weekend.  I know people doing both, but I just can’t decide. Stay home for a horrible course or travel for a beautiful/new course. What to do what to do. Training officially starts Monday!!! I’m so excited and nervous at the same time. My goal is a 2-hr Half. Scary to say that, but also embarrassing at the same time.  Only a 2 hr half.  I feel like I should be so much faster than that.Hmph.  I will be back up on posting a lot throughout it.  I want to document everything so if I do well,  I can look back and see how I improved/felt during training.   Also, coming up is my one-year anniversary of running!! February 18th.  Yay-yah.

 

Is anyone else running a spring half? Have you been having a good luck streak?

 

Until next time,

Run Hard. Run Long. Run Strong.

Running Remedy

Got a headache? Go for a run

Stressed out? Go for a run

Bad day at work? Go for a run

Boyfriend/Girlfriend pissing you off? Go for a run

Ate too much last night? Go for a run

and the list goes on.

To me, and I’m sure many other runners out there running is our ” go to” when you have a problem. Yesterday, the mental running goal I made for myself was to go out for 3 mi easy.  I figured this would be a good start since I’m still taking it easy, it sucks, and it was basically a  monsoon out on LI.

Well things changed.

I did my 3 mi at 10:00min pace. It seemed like a little bit of a struggle, but whatever I’m still recovering. I stop, attempt to go do my cool down, and I’m feeling good. So what’s a runner supposed to do? Keep running of course! I did another 2 mi.  I stop, think, and say to myself keep going you feel good. Out for another 3 miles I went.  I needed this, I need running. I had so much on my mind–my review was the next day.  The next 3 miles were spent thinking.  I figured out what my game plan was for my review and what changed between my running from when I started back in February till now. Back when I started, I was like an eager puppy.  I just wanted to get out there and go, no matter how far it was.  Anything and everything was an accomplishment.  I loved testing myself and proving others or my training plan wrong, that I could run that extra mile.  By June, I was kicking butt. I went from running an 11:30 mile to a 7:06 and from being barely able to run a 1/2 mile to running 8 miles straight.  I was doing my 300m speed workouts at :45 which are now at :65(on a good day).  Things got weird.  I signed up for my first 5k and trained my ass off.  I wanted this. I knew I had it in the bag. Race day: I bombed it.  It was a cold and rainy day, the streets were filled with puddles, I was running in an inch deep of water and mentally I just wasn’t there, I checked out.  I ran it in a 31:54, the slowest 5k I had ever run.  I wanted to give up running.  For the next two weeks I bashed myself.  Then I signed up for my first half marathon.  Training went great btu the race itself was brutal. I ate wrong the night before and had a pinched nerve in my neck.  Clearly it had potential to be a great race, not.  But whatever, I took a much needed mental break and then tried to get back into the swing of things.  Hence tried.  I don’t know what happened to the Brianna that was so eager and just wanted to run fast and far.  Now I was so hung up on numbers, whether it be time, mileage, or weekly miles.  Running was still fun, but it was different.  I lost the spark.  I wasn’t exceeding as well as I used to during my runs and it killed me.  I was still pushing myself, but not like how I used to.  What was I afraid of? I used to tell myself “Keep going, the worst that can happen is you’ll throw up.” Now I’m to obsessed with trying to go fast or adding more miles that I’m not.  I know it’s all mental, but I couldn’t get out of my head.  Until last night. Those last 3 miles were the best out of the entire run.  I pushed myself, and thought back why am I doing this to myself.  Keep going, push, run faster.  I just want to go fast damn it! I thought to myself, all the greats surpass fear, pain, and speed why can’t I? (meaning of course that those feelings are all relative to every individual) So I began using some imagery, I pictured myself winning & running fast and what do you know? I started running fast.  I let go of every thought I had and just ran as hard and fast as I could.  The last half mile I thought about how Shalane won the Miami Half, how many feelings she had to overcome to get there mentally and physically.  I wanted to push myself, I wanted to go there, I want to PR again. I sprinted all the way home and felt amazing.  The only reason I stopped was b/c my legs felt like they wanted to go to sleep. First LR post injury, I’d say went great. It may not of been my fastest long run, but I’m back mentally and physically.  I’m going to use January to get back into the swing of things and get my mileage back up.  Come Febraury, it’s half marathon training baby and I’m going to PR the hell out of it.

My top two favorites for Houston, as if you couldn’t have guess already, are…

Until next time,

Run hard. Run long. Run strong.

Have you ever went through a running funk? How did you get out of it? Let me know!

3 Things Running Taught Me

1. Without Running I will go insane

2. I need running in my life more than I ever knew

3. I cannot continue to eat like a 300lb man and have bacon ranch sandwiches for lunch everyday when I don’t run.

 

I haven’t posted in a while because I was in a running funk and I thought I’d save you all from my pity posts about not being able to run. Three weeks ago I found out I had posterior tibial tendonitis. Which basically means I had really bad pain in the arch/heel of my foot whenever I walked/ran.  The first two days of not running weren’t so bad, I pretended they were rest days( see I’m really good at mind games), but when the pain was still there I started to FREAK. Was I going to lose everything I worked for?  Was my endurance going to be affected? If you didn’t know this already, I’m completely mental about running.  I think it’s because I went from not being able to run a half mile to running a half marathon in such a short period amount of time that I constantly freak out about losing my endurance just as quickly, crazy I know.

 

After speaking with the PT she thinks I either amped up my mileage too much in such a short amount of time or that I don’t stretch enough.  Personally,  I think know that  I don’t stretch enough.  Actually I rarely stretch at all.  I like to still think I still have my gumby 16-year old dancer body.  Shockingly I don’t, darn it. So a week goes by of not running and I’m starting to get so antsy.  I feel like everyone around me is getting their runs in– I swear all of a sudden people were running past my window at work throughout the day.  So I decided to ask the Acupuncturist who works at my job if she could help me out.  Turns out she could.  I’m not going to lie, the need she put in the bottom of my foot and my arch KILLED me.  She used STM on the needles in my knee, arch, and bottom of my foot. Twenty minutes later and BOOM I was back to normal.  Crazy right?  I tried running New Years Day, I did about 1.5 miles and my arch started hurting again. Womp,Womp. First thing Monday I got acupuncture again and my foot felt great.  We think the taping the PT did was forcing me to pronate which was causing another injury, so we decided to take the tape off and see how I felt.

Last week I went full force back into running.  What a stupid, stupid idea.  Can you blame me though?  I was SO excited to run again. My foot felt great until Saturday.  I had a long run planned, but only did 5 miles because my foot was bothering me. So far I’ve taken off Sunday & Monday, I’m trying to be a good little runner but it’s driving me insane.  I feel like my runs suck now from taking off and I feel all flabby and gross.  Am I crazy?  On a lighter note, I finally joined Daily Mile. Woo-hoo.  My goal for 2012 is to run 1,000 miles, do-able? I think so!

Some goals I’ve made for myself that I’d like to achieve in the next 6 months

1. Run a sub-30 5k

Clearly I was hot and took my clothes off and threw them on the ground.

2. Suck it up & Join a local running group, which hopefully will help with goal number 1.

3. Run the Jersey Shore Half Marathon with Rebecca & Kailey. Oh, and hopefully have some crazy PR like 45 minutes or so.  Gotta be ambitious, right?

Maybe I'll actually keep up with Rebecca this time

Maybe I'll actually keep up with Rebecca this time

 

I’m going to use the Mcmillan running calculator to get my booty in gear.  Has anyone else seen results from it? What are some of your short-term goals for 2012? It doesn’t have to be running related! Also, is anyone running in the 10 mile to the Brewery run on January 28th in Sayville? I don’t think I’ll be running , damn foot, but I’ll be cheering everyone on 🙂

 

Until next time,

 

Run Hard. Run Long. Run Strong.