Let’s ROCK ‘N ROLLLLLLLL!

Hello, friends!

Let’s begin with story time!

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Brittany. Brittany really didn’t enjoy running very much. Back in her high school days, the infamous PACER fitness challenge that happened biannually sent shivers down her spine and put fear in her heart. Throughout college, Brittany began to incorporate some running into her (haphazard) workout routine. Slowly, she learned that she could actually run four whole feet without feeling as if she were dying!

Then 2012 came around. That year, Brittany decided to run a 5k. It was a random decision, but one that proved to be a very positive experience. First it was the training schedule. Training for the race taught Brittany to be disciplined and consistent about her cardio workouts. Then came the race itself. The race taught Brittany that hard work can help you to conquer things that you never thought you could conquer. It taught her that a healthy challenge can help you to grow as a person and show you what you’re really made of. It showed her how a well-executed race (such as the Color Vibe) can make the whole experience extremely memorable and meaningful.

Fast forward a few months…

Guess what I did today? I registered for my first ever half marathon!

rock-n-roll-marathons1 (1)

 

Source.

 

It is a part of the “Rock’n’Roll” marathon series and I am extremely excited. I have heard very good things about this race series, evidently the environment is a lot of fun and the courses are generally pretty reasonable.

Mine will take place in the lovely hometown of the Steelers. The Mother Planet of Heinz Ketchup.

Pittsburgh half marathonSource.

 

Even though I know it will be quite a challenge for me and that the training process will be quite a commitment, I am so, so excited.

After running the 3.1 miles of the 5k, I felt such a sense of accomplishment. That was the first and only time that I ever experienced the elusive “runner’s high,” and I felt like a million bucks. (Until the next day, that is.) I am hoping that this longer distance will also prove to be a very positive experience. It’s official now, I have registered and I can’t get a dime of my fee back! (In all honesty, despite the fact that the actual race is months away, my main impetus for signing up so early was to have a goal in the back of my mind. Something to work towards and something to inspire my health kick to continue throughout the year.) I am also hoping that having a specific training regimen to follow throughout the spring and summer will give me extra reason to stay active. Things are starting to get busier and I know that my life in the summer will be a tad chaotic, but having this race on my radar will give me an irrefutable reason to run.

This spring will bring yet another 5k, let’s hope this one goes as well as the last one did!

In my search for the photos that I included above, I stumbled across this little gem:

idiot run joke

Source.

I suppose I am officially an idiot. 🙂

Have a great night and I will see you all tomorrow!

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Fun Gifts for the Fitness Enthusiast!

Greetings!

I cannot describe how much I am LOVING bumming around these days. I typically love to stay busy and keep myself occupied with work (or school in previous instances!), but right now, I can’t seem to get enough of reading, knitting and watching Full House. (<—Who said that?)

I wanted to share some fun fitness-related gifts that I received for Christmas!

The first one, is a Fitbit! I have seen these reviewed on a couple of different shows and advertised in a few fitness magazines, but I didn’t quite understand what they did until recently. It is a very cool little gadget! 

photo-134This version of it can do a bunch of different things including: track your sleep (I wore it to bed last night and evidently, my sleep was 98% efficient! Additionally it also took me eight minutes to fall asleep. Fascinating, eh?), count your steps and stairs, help you maintain a caloric goal, and track your calories in!

It is super easy to set-up and includes a nifty little wireless hub that you plug into your computer for easy-syncing capabilities. Fitbit also has an app for smartphones and a super easy-to-use dashboard online. I am very excited to test out all of it’s different functions, but for now I’ve only used the sleep tracker but when I opened up the dashboard this morning, it looked like this:

fitbit screenshot(Don’t ask why that says 2:57 am. I swear I never do that!!! Heh. Vacation, anyone?)

I will let you know what other cool things I discover about it as I figure it out a little better!

Next up, my brother-in-law gave me a participant registration ticket for a 5k in the spring! I am so excited and the timing is just perfect to jump start my year of racing that I have planned. I thought that was a very cool gift and very unique! It’s not something that

Looks like crazy-jungle-woman-5k-racer will be back again!!

5k pic

 

2013 is going to be a big year for running! I am very excited to have you guys follow along with the running mayhem throughout the new year! Even though I have what may be the EPITOME of a love-hate relationship with running, it makes me feel great when I’m doing it regularly. It clears my mind and it improves my mood for the whole day. An added bonus, I felt great about the way I looked when I was running regularly in the summer and fall. Unlike when I started to hit the strength training hard, I felt like running was hitting ALL of the “trouble zones.”

 

Until next time!!

 

 

Left-Over College Habits

Hello friends!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today. I think the temperature nearly hit 60 degrees! A lovely day off indeed.

Around noon today, I hit the gym for a workout of my own (instead of the typical exercise classes that I have been frequenting). Since I never really go to the gym that late in the “morning”, I threw myself off a tad! I was quite confused when I returned home around 1:00 instead of the typical 9 or 10. Also, the crew on the floor was quite different from what I am used to. There was not a single woman there, and it was packed. I guess I missed the memo. 😉 

First I completed a two-mile run on the treadmill that started off with a pretty steep incline. Generally speaking, I feel like my soul is slowly being drained out of me when I’m on the treadmill, but today I was feeling my oats! I know that it is a little early for this nonsense, but I actually had Christmas songs playing on the iPod as I ran and they energized me! I love my triumphant Christmas music and even though Thanksgiving hasn’t even arrived yet, I am 110% in the Christmas cheer spirit. (Hey, whatever works, eh?)

Next I darted down to the vacant aerobics room to complete the following ab routine:

I don’t know why I decided to go Victorian on this, but I do like those fancy little corners!

Next, (because I’m the most predictable person alive?) I made a stop at my canal-side coffee shop and worked on some MORE versions of the famous resume. As I sat there with my laptop, I realized that there are a few habits from college that I am pretty sure I will be stuck with for quite some time:

  • Cafe/ Library Required: For some reason, when I was in school I could NOT study at home. Even without the distraction of the television/ business of other people around, I just couldn’t do it. I would always relocate to a library, cafe or bookstore. Apparently, I still have that problem as I always feel the need to visit my favorite coffee shop to work on anything “important”.
  • Online Procrastination: First of all, I hardly ever visit Facebook anymore. Other than meeting up with a friend for a “scheduled” chat, I just don’t really find it that interesting anymore. However, apparently when I should be doing other things (like writing resumes and filling out applications), every-other click takes me to America’s favorite social networking site. I find myself perusing the photos of my “friends” that I hardly even speak to anymore. I write statuses like there is no tomorrow and I post random links on other people’s timelines. The procrastination runs deep.
  • Coffee Addiction:  Next, the coffee habit is one I will never be able to kick. Throughout my freshman and sophomore years at school, I didn’t drink it. Ever. I just couldn’t get past the bitterness of it and never found a flavor that I found to be especially enjoyable. Then things took a very sharp turn. Even the feel of a mug in my hand is enough to make me feel a little better about life in the mornings. Today, I managed to sleep in a bit and ran right to the gym and did a few random things afterwards so the coffee never made an appearance. Around 6:00 my head was pounding and I even felt a tad nauseous. After I mentioned my headache to my mom, she asked if I had any caffeine today at which point I realized that it was another caffeine headache. I made a pre-dinner cup of coffee and within minutes felt 100% better. Thank you, on-campus Starbucks. Thanks a bundle.
  • “Midnight” “Snacking”:  Towards the end of my senior year, I fell into a nasty habit of ordering midnight meals with my roommates. I wish I could call it midnight snacking, but the “snacks” consisted of: chicken wings and french fries, XXXXL pizzas and Chinese food. Even though I no longer give in to the temptation, whenever I am up just a little later than usual, I find myself craving those same foods in all of their caloric, MSG-ridden, sodium-swimming glory. (Side note: The XXXXL pizza thing is real. Since we were both night owls, Josh and I used to go in half and half on pizza for those late nights when I’d be working all night long after returning from my job. –let it be known that two XL pizzas somehow managed to cost less than one medium. He would eat a whole entire pizza and maintain his fitness regardless. I’d eat three slices and gain 14 pounds. Life isn’t fair.)

My 7:00 cup of headache remedy.

Anyway, I didn’t accomplish very much at today’s working outing. Better luck next time, I suppose.

In true Monday style, I also met up with Katie for lunch! I did something wild. I purchased a salad. 

Where did that come from!? That’s a spinach/arugala salad topped with garbanzo beans, feta cheese, beets and raspberry vinaigrette. As you may know, I typically hate salad. I just don’t understand it and I hate greens, but this was 100% enjoyable and I wasn’t 2,000 calories as some salads can end up totaling! (For some reason, more than any other exercise, running makes me feel more conscientious about my food choices. Perhaps that’s because it is so difficult for me and since I am well aware of the fact that it really doesn’t burn that many calories–especially for the amounts of time that I run– I feel that I should be extra careful not to negate its benefits.) 

Since we ate in the restaurant that is above the grocery store, we wandered down to do some very quick shopping which is when I picked up yet another bottle of nail polish (it’s quite possible that I have a problem. 🙂 )This is the perfect fall color and will definitely be my Thanksgiving nail polish!

OPI, Germanicure, Germany Collection, Nail polish I’ll stop buying new colors for a little while now. Maybe…

I think that’s all she wrote for tonight! I will talk to you all tomorrow.

 

Early Riser Run & NUTrition

This morning, I managed to do something that I rarely convince myself to do; I woke up at 6  and made it to the gym bright and early before an 8:00 shift at work! I was so proud of myself that I think it fueled my run and I ran a steady 2.5 miles and barely felt a thing! (Seriously, HOW did that happen!? Maybe my mission to become A Runner is finally making headway!)  After that, I did a new ab routine that I discovered last night. Although For some reason, I am inexplicably self-conscious doing any sort of mat work at the gym unless it is in the context of a group exercise class. Even though everyone is there to exercise and everyone knows what the mats are for, I always get very nervous and end up feeling like I will make a fool of myself! I definitely need to work on that. But exercise balls and medicine balls and dumbbells and Bosu things and jump ropes and kettle bells are quite intimidating! (But then again, maybe it’s just me… 😛 )

Anyway, after the abbreviated version of that workout, I headed back home and got ready for a full day of work.

I was a little upset at myself because I definitely did not make the healthiest choices at work today, but as I have said many times, I have gotten so much better about not beating myself up over little missteps and not using it as justification for slipping back into lengthier stretches of bad decisions.

After work, I ran about 104 different errands all in less than an hour and ended up making this little purchase at Target:

It’s Planters’ new NUTrition butter. It’s basically crunchy peanut butter with berries mixed in. I ended up putting it on half of a Thomas’ English Muffin (the 100 calorie Multigrain muffins are a MAJOR staple of my daily diet. I eat at least on per day!) and eventually topped it off with my favorite combination of coconut and honey. It was a tasty little treat and the peanut butter was DELICIOUS. My favorite part about it was definitely the texture.  I would love to use this as a dip for apples. I also bet it would be great in some recipes. My only beef is that the jar is significantly smaller than a typical jar of peanut butter and it is actually quite a bit more expensive.

There are a bunch of different butters though, including a banana granola one (which I almost chose instead). They are all based off of the Planters’ NUTrition nut mixes and they all sound delightful.

 

Tomorrow is Thursday! That means it’s BodyPump day! I am so psyched. Nothing like some good iron-pumping to get the day off to a good start.

Until tomorrow…

CONQUERED.

Alright guys, hold on to your hats! This is going to be a long one. (With lots of pictures!)

It has finally come and gone. The day we’ve all been waiting for. The 5k day!

The amount of energy I had before the race was unreal. Katie thought I was a nut job! (Not that she didn’t think that already 😉 ). I am 100% hooked. For anyone who “hates running” or has never tried a race before, I can’t recommend it enough. (If you’re able to, that is. Remember, I have absolutely no licensed or certified reason to give anyone fitness or exercise advice!) I was flying on nerves up until we got to the race site and once we landed there, there was SO much positive energy that it was impossible NOT to be happy and excited!

It all started bright and early this morning when I  headed out to pick up Katie and Josh, my running companions!

First we headed to Starbucks to fuel up!

(To fuel up AND get our fight faces on. Naturally.)

Next it was off to pick up Joshua!

Josh, who I might add is in the process of training for a triathlon so he is an old pro at all of this. He was very good about NOT showing off the fact that he could quite literally run circles around me ;-). ALSO, I have to take back everything I said last night about how a crane would probably be necessary to drag him out of bed! He texted ME and asked if I was there yet! Nuttiness!

So after a series of the world’s most ridiculous parking lot warmups and blasting pre-race songs at the top of my poor little car’s volume, it was go time!

 (I was actually the only one doing any ridiculous parking lot warm-ups. Josh was busy making fun of my jumping jacks, push-ups, high knees AND lunges and Katie was capturing it all on camera 😉 )

Next came the run!

For some unexplained reason, it turns out that self-shots taken a) on an iPhone b) in reverse camera mode c) in the middle of a race and d) IN MOTION don’t turn out particularly well, so I’ll spare you those shots 😛

I must say, it was quite a bit harder than I thought it was going to be, but I loved every minute of it and finished in under 30 minutes. I was definitely happy with my time and it was SO much fun! The music and paint and friends made it 100% worth it. It’s so funny to think that after a whole summer of waiting for this one day to come, it’s over! I think I may have caught the running bug, because I can’t wait to find my next race. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be until next spring, but that means that I better make it a good one! It was such a feeling of accomplishment.

In another post sometime soon, I will talk more about the actual training and technical aspects of the whole thing. Today’s post was more of a chronicling of just today. What I will say right now is that if you DO plan to run a race, or try to start training, pick a race and REGISTER for it. Having a specific date in mind served as a great motivator for me. It was also nice to have a specific goal to work towards. Also, most importantly, make sure it’s a FUN one! This was a very short race so I knew that I’d be able to tackle the distance, but having fun while I was doing it was something I really didn’t expect! There were colors galore, people cheering and ringing bells and lots and lots of music at the finish line! It was like a giant party! Pick an event that will keep you moving through the whole thing. If the Color Vibe run comes to a city near you, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s 110% worth traveling for!

Not to sound too cheesy, but I was cruising on that elusive runner’s high all day long. The pictures with friends from today make me so, so happy when I see them. My family even came to the finish line to see me which was great! People who weren’t actually there made it even more special with texts before and after wishing me luck and asking how it went. Even though it certainly wasn’t any marathon or triathlon I plowed through today, it was VERY important to me and they all knew that. I am definitely very lucky!

I told my mom that getting me to change my clothes/ wash that color off would be like trying to make a little kid wipe away a painted face before bed. I’d wear that outfit for days if I could! (Don’t worry, I know I can’t. 😛 )

Now it’s time to head back to work. I’ve actually missed it these last few days!!

Thanks for reading!

Pretend it’s Yesterday…

(This is the post that was supposed to happen yesterday. Thanks internet 😉 )

Written 8/31.

HOLY ANNOYED.

For those of you who didn’t catch last night’s 11:30 pm post (which I ultimately created on my IPHONE after HOURS of struggling with this ridiculous internet/router/wi-fi/Ethernet/electronic voo-doo situation.) Of course the NIGHT BEFORE THE 5k my internet would decide to crap out! Nonsense. I tried everything you could imagine! Unplugging things, re-wiring things, re-starting things… nothing worked. Grrrrrr.

Anyway, the show must go on! So I’m writing this gem as a Word document and I’ll just upload it tomorrow! There’s LOTS of business to cover today!

First thing’s first. Tomorrow happens to be one of my very best friend’s 23rd birthday!

Happy birthday Chloe!!

I can’t BELIEVE my friends are starting to turn 23! It seems like yesterday we couldn’t believe we were turning 16 and could finally learn how to drive. It’s so crazy how time flies!

In other news, I have finally returned from my adventure (part 2!) One of the first things that I did when I got back this afternoon was turning in my Boot Camp registration! That’s right friends, starting next week, I’ll be taking a Boot Camp fitness class once a week! Very, very early in the morning. I’m so psyched! All I can think about is that scene from Bridesmaids where Annie and Lillian are crashing that terrifying boot camp that suddenly turns into interpretive dancing in the park. Gosh I love that movie. (Probably shouldn’t admit that…)

Anyway, here I am. Happy as clam with my registration form! I’m ready to pump the iron!

And now, for the big deal.

Tonight I swung by the packet pickup for the BIG DAY. 5k DAY!

I got a t-shirt, some nifty sunglasses and (drum roll pleeeeeeeeaseeeeee) my FIRST EVER RACE BIB! The whole thing was actually quite anticlimactic, but that didn’t stop me from taking a couple of quick pics in the parking lot anyway 😉

Got my number!

I am so nervously excited I don’t know what to do with myself! Interestingly, it’s actually a very similar feeling to how I always felt the night before school started. It’s an anxious anticipation coupled with the compulsive need to get things ready! I’ve been collecting safety pins (somehow, I actually managed to find four. Yay for being able to attach my bib to my shirt!), setting out my outfit and planning what I’ll have for breakfast in the morning. It’s quite possible that I have actually managed to re-create that back-to-school excitement that I’ve so been missing!

As I briefly mentioned, I’m going to be running the race with two of my former roommates, so the plan for tomorrow morning is to head out bright and early to pick up Katie and fuel ourselves with my favorite thing ever: a cup of coffee. Then we’ll set out to find Josh! I fully anticipate the need for backup in actually dragging sir Joshua to the race. A lot of backup. Likely in the form of a crane that will be used to pry him from his bed and deposit him in my car!

I did find my way to the gym tonight and completed an easy run for about 15 minutes just to remind my body of what runningIS after several days without it! It was actually quite a struggle, but what are we gonna do? The time has come! No looking back!

Naturally, I’ll be back tomorrow! (Errr…later, at this point I suppose.) With pictures and stories and things like that. Still can’t believe how quickly September has crept up on me!