I Run Races But I Dislike Running

I completed my first Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Sunday. My first race in my own city! I now have three half marathons, one ten miler, and a Spartan Sprint under my belt, with 5Ks and 10Ks sprinkled in as well. And I foresee more races in my future (a marathon perhaps???), but I don’t love running. I don’t even like it. I actively dislike it.

So why do I spend hundreds thousands of dollars on races and traveling to said races? Why do I mentally torture myself to train (or really, not train) before each one? Why do I spend hours doing an activity I don’t like?

There are a few reasons:

  1. I like the “day of” race event. Not the running. That part royally sucks, especially when it means an hour or two out on the course without stopping. But I enjoy taking pictures with my friends, pumping each other up, swapping music ideas, discussing post-race plans, or figuring out our pace to run together. I always do races with people – my gym squad (#6amCPcrew), my boyfriend, my DC friends, my besties from home – because it makes it more enjoyable to wake up at an ungodly hour, potentially in the cold, to run a race I paid for months prior.
  2. I like feeling accomplished. Crossing the finish line feels amazing. Each time I run a race, I’m somewhat amazed that I’ve done it. Years ago, I couldn’t fathom doing intense workouts outside of tennis practice. And I sure as hell did not feel the need to run more than the forced gym one miler. During my first half in February 2017, I wasn’t sure I would make it. During my second half in November 2017, I was amazed at my PR. During my third half in February 2018, I ignored my longer running time because I ran with a foot I injured 3 weeks before. Each time, I had a different reason to feel accomplished, and each time it felt really good. That feeling wipes away all of the disdain I feel during the actual race.
  3. I like testing my mental fortitude. I’m not saying I’m the fittest person ever, but I regularly workout and (usually) eat pretty well. In the last three years, I’ve lost weight and changed my lifestyle, so I know I can physically go out and jog 13.1 miles with minimal training. I’ve done it (three times to be exact). And while I’m not the fastest, I get it done, and in pretty decent time if I do say so myself. So the hardest part is not the physical activity, it’s keeping my mind in check. It’s easy for me to say “Brynn, you’re not doing great. Let’s stop” or “Come on girl, everything hurts. Time to walk” when I really am just bored and / or feeling achy. When I can force my brain to listen to my ratchet AF playlist and not my internal mean thoughts, that’s a win. Now the next step is figuring out how to keep my mind positive during 26.2 miles, if I decide to try it! (LOL who am I?)
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First half marathon! Disney Princess Half (February 2017)

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First Spartan Sprint, three days post-China trip! (June 2017)

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Second half marathon! Disney Super Heroes Half (November 2017)

Highlights from Holiday 2017

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018!

In my last post I talked about tips and tricks for staying on track during the holidays. Here I want to highlight some things from holiday experience – from not going way off track (quite a feat!) to amazing gifts to successful healthier alternatives for treats!

Gifts that are “V Brynn”: I know that the holidays are about more than gifts, but my family and friends really seem to get me. My favorites include a SoulCycle gift card, fitness themed wine glasses from my sister, Lulu Lemon windbreaker, packing cubes because I am always on the road, a S’well bottle,  Draper James mittens, and a beautiful gold India Hicks necklace. I’m blessed to have people around me who are able to spoil me, and who know exactly what I like. I call is a pretty successful haul!

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My northeast-raised ass picked up “y’all” while at Tulane University 😉

 

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Wine + Fitness = Brynn

Alternative Holiday Treats:

  • Gingerbread Balls: Saturday before Christmas, I was out all day. I had done pretty well eating wise, but was seriously craving gingerbread. I am no Betty Crocker, but I attempted this grain-free no-bake gingerbread cookie balls recipe, which was easy (thank goodness). My mom said she loved them! I thought they were slightly too wet (probs did something wrong…) and might cut the molasses next time. I rolled them in nuts instead of shredded coconut and froze them. SUCH a good treat to help with cravings! 
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Gingerbread balls rolled in chopped walnuts!

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Delicious to pop one (or a few) while frozen

  • Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Cocoa with Cordyceps: I first learned about Four Sigmatic on the Almost 30 Podcast. I decided to try it over Christmas. My family has a tradition of getting coffee and peppermint hot chocolate ready prior to gifts on Christmas morning. This year, I used the spicy mushroom hot cocoa. On the first try I added to much water, so I had to put in some regular coffee and hot chocolate for a better consistency. Since then, I’ve perfected my cup – be on the lookout 🙂

 

Holiday Workouts: Just because it’s the holiday season does not mean you should say “screw it”. I got my workouts in and it a) helped me make better choices, and b) helped me feel good even after drinking a little too much red wine or eating an extra cookie. I tried my aunt’s Crossfit gym, I made up workouts in my basement on Christmas Eve, I showed my mom OrangeTheory, I ubered myself to Barry’s Bootcamp while in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve (my new obsession!). It can be done, and it’s so rewarding. I’m glad I made it a priority in 2017, and I sure has hell will continue to do so!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Share any tips and tricks you used to minimize feeling bloated and lethargic. I would love to hear! 

Let’s #SLAY2018

XOXO, 

Brynn

Have Yourself a Healthy Little Christmas

Christmas is just a few days away, and I am scrambling to eat healthy AF before I head home for the festivities. I know I’m not alone in this. I even did a juice cleanse one day last week (to my nutritionist’s dismay) and it felt good for five seconds, but it isn’t sustainable and it really wasn’t that healthy (“a whopping 152 grams of sugar!” she said. “holy shit!” I said).

Therefore, I am refocusing – continuing my road to a healthy lifestyle (because diets don’t work long term). I will try to remain consistent over the holidays – continuing to workout and eating well in between the prosecco and the Christmas cookies. Below are some strategies, recipes, and products I am going to try so that I am healthy and happy during the holidays, and not angry and deprived!

Move Every. Damn. Day. Whether it’s a full-fledged workout at a fitness studio or 10 minute at-home HIIT or even some squats and pushups in between cooking Christmas dinner, it counts. I already have time set up to do Crossfit with my aunt, and I’ve called LA Fitness to get a guest pass for a few days. I may build in a run, I may do some BBG at home – we’ll see! But I will make sure to get some movement in. Not just to burn unwanted calories, but because it feels good!

Pick and Choose. I am going to consume red wine and prosecco and cookies throughout the holiday. That is for certain. However, I also know that being home Thursday to Wednesday means I can’t binge every single day. I will not feel good during or after the holidays if I do. Therefore, I am going to pick and choose. Friday night party with my best friends? Wine, please. Christmas eve prosecco? Hell yes. Christmas day cookies? I think so. In between, I’ll hit the gym, and continue eating high fat / moderate protein / low carb foods.

Find an Alternative. While I’m down to splurge this holiday weekend, I’m also looking for alternatives, because I KNOW there are amazing, yummy, healthy foods I can make / consume! Example: on Christmas morning, I like waking up and making hot chocolate before opening my gifts from Santa 🙂 This year, I am going to make Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Cocoa with Cordyceps with Vital Proteins collagen peptides. I’m hoping I love it. It’s delicious and nutritious way to start the day (and festive and fun!). I’m also looking into great healthier alternatives to Christmas foods! May also try to cook or bake some healthier versions of Christmas staples (here, here, and here). But Domestic Goddess I am not, so we’ll see how that goes (sorry to my boyfriend, and to my ancestors…). I’ll keep you updated!

Remember, you can still enjoy yourself AND add in some healthy options. As my nutritionist says, remember to “stay strong, focused on your goals, and aware of your choices!”.

Happy (healthy)  holidays!

XOXO,

Brynn

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IMG_6407 My gift from my gym’s annual “sockret santa”. Will be worn on Christmas Day 🙂

 

 

The (Sober) Life of the Party

I recently posted a tweet by Chance the Rapper on my Instagram (reposted from Spiritual Gangster) that not only hit home for me, but with followers, and some of my friends too. There seems to be a constant pressure to be “the life of the party” or “the drunk girl dancing on a table”…unsuitable surfaces if you will (shout out to sorority sisters). I’ve learned that it’s not only possible, but OKAY to have fun without food and alcohol – either by being the “odd girl out” at a party or by choosing to have fun a different way.

To be completely honest, I haven’t mastered this yet.

To be completely, completely honest, I’m in Santa Fe for a wedding, and pondering 1. how / when I will indulge, 2. how I can still “have fun”, 3. how I will not be a “Debbie Downer”

Just wanted to level the playing field. Gotta keep it real, ya know?

HOWEVER, I will say that I have made some serious strides in the last few years. I used to be baffled by weekends without drinking. Brunch is what you do in DC (between museums and monuments and rooftop bars). When I started at my gym, a coach told me to find other things to do. I realized that hanging with friends was always surrounded by drinking or eating. Eventually, I started to take long walks in beautiful DC with friends, try a new museum, or check out a hiking spot. That slowly transitioned into me being able to go to happy hours and brunches and make a game time decision about what I wanted to do. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t drink or indulge (#prosecco #chocolate), I just pick and choose when I want to consume it, and how much.

What I’ve learned is…if I don’t groan about it (which I often still do) 1. I still have fun, and 2. most people don’t know or care what I’m doing (apparently the world doesn’t revolve around me always???)

PRO TIP: Sip on club soda (+ lime, lemon, orange, etc.) or nurse a drink during the night. Get your dance on, be the jokester, hold court at the end of the table…just continue to BE YOURSELF.

I hope this helps anyone trying to live his or here #bestlife while striving to reach goals! Just know you’re not alone, it’s possible to have fun soberly, and if you don’t make a big deal about it, you’re most likely golden. And if people have a problem with it, share the Chance the Rapper quote (that’s both facetious and not).

Additionally, check out the wellness trends of 2017 from one of my favorite sites, Well + Good (specifically #9 and #13).

XOXO,

Brynn

Navigate (v.)

The word “navigate” has a variety of meanings:

  • to travel over, through, or on (water, air, or land) in a boat, aircraft, etc.
  • to plan and direct the course of a vessel or vehicle
  • to make sequential progress through something

…to name a few. Each of these pertains to my current lifestyle.

  • to travel over, through, or on (water, air, or land) in a boat, aircraft, etc.

Well, this one is obvious. On any given day, I’m on a plane, train, or automobile – literally navigating my way through airports, cities, and countries – whether for business or for leisure.

  • to plan and direct the course of a vessel or vehicle

I am constantly planning (and re-planning) and determining my next course of action. Where do I want to be in five years? How do I want to look? How do I want to feel? I am always working to figure out what I want, and looking for ways to get myself to that point. My to-do lists, planners, Pinterest boards, and podcast / Instagram choices, etc. are ways for me to help plan the next month / year / five years / rest of my life. #controlfreak

  • to make sequential progress through something

I’ve been on a journey to weight loss for 15+ years. I’ve been on a journey to optimal health for the last three or so. The most progress I’ve made physically has happened in the last two. The most progress I’ve made mentally, has been just over one…and it’s the one of which I’m most proud. I’ve come a loooong way from the insecure, self-deprecating, unhealthy girl. I’ve made progress over the course of  this 15+ year journey, and am hoping for more.