Hello 2015, Goodbye 10

Hello 2015 - What on earth is going to happen this year?

Well for one, Mexico the first week of March. And yes, that's a huge motivator for me to drop 10 real quick. It has been more than enough time that I loose the baby weight and get back to being my regular fit self. And I'm not shaming myself. I needed those 17 months to just exist and start a company and sleep and just exist and not be a slave to a hot body. I didn't want it. But now I do. And I mean regular kinda person hot, not instagram selfie of my abs and booty hot. I have a realistic goal weight and then an ideal goal weight. I have some race times in my head but I'm not stuck on achieving that much other than consistency this year, and being able to haul my 4.5 year old to her room during a tantrum and not being out muscled (she's a ball of muscle FYI).

December saw another year of an attempted run streak and I was doing oh so good, until I rang my head off the playground on the 23rd and the resulting headache and what felt like a minor concussion and a bit of whiplash took me out. Better safe than sorry. So I took from the 24th to the 28th off and felt relatively ok to start back with some yoga and biking for a few days. I seem to be doing alright and so this past week I've really been challenging myself to put in some effort.

One of my goals for 2015 is strength. In past years I've neglected this for endurance and speed. So this year I'm vowing to strength train at least once a week. Throw in a bit of yoga once or twice a week as well and my arms should look half decent. Speaking of yoga - my goal is a handstand this year without the assistance of the wall. So here I am January 2nd - let's see how I progress.

Our TRX hasn't been seeing much use and I intend to change that. Seriously, it's such a killer. I might not be walking tomorrow. Today I thought I would torture myself. Here was the workout.

10 minute warm up: walk for 2 min, run steady at 5.5mph for 4 min, run steady at 6.0mph for 4min (not fast people, warming up here)

TRX Set: 4 exercises, leg & core focused, 2 sets of 8 reps (like I said, I need strength)

Pyramid Run: 18 minutes - 1-2-3-2-1 For every minute of work there was equal rest. Work done at 7.0 mph (current 10km goal pace), rest done at 5.5 mph. I'm a big believer in running your rest to help build endurance and stamina and the ability to recover.

TRX Set: 4 exercises, back & core focused, 2 sets of 8 reps

Final Run: 10 minutes - 1 min easy, 1 min hard, 2 easy, 1 hard, 2 easy, 1 hard, 2 easy

And I was drenched at the end. But in that happy way. I'm still struggling with headaches post hard workouts and I'm working to alleviate those. I'm making sure I have a recovery smoothie post session that includes a scoop of protein powder. Electrolytes and water too. Some of it is tension related for certain so definitely trying to be very posture aware during my runs. 

I'm back coaching at Strides on Tuesday nights - 5 & 10km conditioning. Come join me! Coaching isn't much of a workout for me so I really need to make sure I get a weight workout in that day, or heaven forbid I make an effort and get to the pool for a swim, something I should maybe do if I'm going to do another triathlon this year.

Otherwise the girls and I are spending as much time outside as we can shoveling and tobogganing. J loves taking selfies so I might end up with a few pictures of half my face. And in other news I might need to update some of the photos around the blog too. Yikes they're old!


I'm around

I'm around, just busy. And I'm running, and coaching, and I have a triathlon on May 3, and my head is spinning.

Some people are better at work life balance than others. I'm an other. I've taken on a lot since January so something had to give for a little while and this little blog of mine had to take a break. And truthfully I'm not really back at it but here's the snippet of life right now.

I coached one learn to run clinic from January to April and while it wasn't the most rewarding clinic I've taught I still had fun, and it kept me accountable to my own fitness.

I'm coaching another clinic right now and we're just getting into the groove of things and it continues to keep me accountable for my own fitness.

J is nine months old today! And getting two teeth. And crawling. And not really sleeping all that well at night.

M is almost four and she skips everywhere she goes. And wants everything for her birthday. And looks adorable in her New Balance kicks.

Hubby is still training with Coach Rob and is doing well. He's buying a new bike. Tri-specific of course.

I started a new business venture in January doing Interior Decorating & Design. A long time dream coming to fruition but taking a lot of time and energy. So much business in business as my friend Laurie would say. But I'm thrilled with how it's going. Check it out here.

I'm on a playground committee for our community. Which is very cool. And very time consuming. But it's going to be worth it in the end. And that's where I've been doing most of my blogging. So here's that blog.

Needing an update!

The weather is turning really nice here and I'm dreaming of planting our veggie garden. In fact, a trip to the garden store is on the schedule for tomorrow.

I had a fantastic trail run last week with my BRF (best running friend) and a couple of other really good running buddies. I hope to be doing more of that because the treadmill and I have been spending way too much time together.

So here's to being busy, and getting through, and making positive changes.


What the scale can't tell you

15x. It has said that for five months. Yes, five months of chasing the preschooler, ramping up my fitness, trying to be conservative with my portions, breast feeding. I haven't lost one single pound since I got home from the hospital with Coach J. And you know what? I'm totally ok with it. 

Because the scale doesn't know it all. In fact, it's the worst representation of how I'm looking, feeling, and what I'm capable of. The scale doesn't know:

  • I can run for 30 minutes, probably longer actually, and feel great. 
  • I can move from plank position through to chatarunga without dropping to my knees first. 
  • My belt is coming in handy (see photo)

  • I can see muscle definition returning in my legs and arms. 
  • People think I have lost weight (ha, fooled you!)

As we embark on a new year I will continue to measure my success not my the number on the scale but rather by my capabilities and achievements. I think you should do the same. And don't forget - you can win a free Learn to Run clinic by commenting on this post.

Schedule yourself healthy. 


Life Changing 2014

As the end of the year approaches and as my fitness is coming back I'm starting to look forward to 2014. Goal setting, race planning, life changing - that sums up how I envision 2014 and beyond. 

So often our goals are performance orientated, focusing on numbers and results. So I'm setting three non-numerical goals for 2014:

Run the trails more
Go on bike dates with hubby

Run more with friends

With hubby highly invested in his triathlon training and with two kids in the house, goals, plans, schedules are going to have to be expertly coordinated. One of the first things hubs and I discussed is not racing the same races - except 5k's - those aren't highly demanding when it comes to training. 

Hubby has yet to set his major goal race for 2014 so I'm waiting for that before I go ahead and plan anything major including an away race. I have plans to do a super sprint triathlon, the 5 Peaks sport series and the Blitz Duathlon in September. I would also like to run a half in late summer/early fall. See my races tab above for more and to follow my results as the year goes on. 

I really want to get back to blogging regularly as well. And, my goal this year is to also have a monthly give-away. Yes, I'm attempting to secure your readership loyalty with swag. 

Perhaps the biggest thing I'm excited for is my return to coaching. Starting January 11 I will be coaching a 10 week Learn to Run clinic  through Strides. Even better is that I've got one FREE entry to give away to one lucky wannabe-runner. I've tried to make the clinic as accessible as possible offering it Saturday morning at 9am. This means the sun will be shining so you an see where your feet are landing, your spouse will be home to watch the kids, and it's early enough in the day to still have some energy. How to win?

1.Comment on this post and tell me your running goal, or
2. Tweet me (@kourtbranagan) and tell me your running goal. 

Pretty simple. I really want to help you start running. And to be fair to those who also want to win, make sure you can attend at least 90% of the clinic days before entering the contest. The goal race for the clinic is the ever popular St. Patrick's Day 5km. This race sells out but I am hoping to get guaranteed entry for clinic participants. 

The draw for the free clinic will take place on January 9 about 10pm. Good luck!

Schedule Yourself Healthy


How to Survive a Run Streak

Day 16. 50% of the way through the Strides Run Streak. There have been some amazing highs and some (s)lows. All in all I am surviving, not thriving, this run streak. And that's to be expected. As I'm still really getting back into the swing of things fitness wise I'm just happy I'm doing something daily. Here are my tips for getting through December one mile at a time.

1. Make a plan
The original plan called for two days of one mile each followed by a day of increased mileage. Something like 1-1-2-1-1-3-1-1-2 ...

2. Ditch the plan
When a high number day coincided with a yoga day, I switched it up to doing a mile instead. And the last four days I've had zilcho energy so doing a mile at an ambling pace on the treadmill is what's working for me.

3. Set some loft goals
My goal is to run a) 10 minutes continuous and b) a sub 10 minute mile. These may or may not happen consecutively. Already I've run my furthest run (4km) and I hope to get up to 5km if I can by the end of the month.

4. Be realistic
It's Christmas. Life is busy. A mile is plenty.

5. Get creative
Do some intervals, hills, switch up the scenery. Stimulate your brain and your body. On day two I walked the ramp at Southland Leisure Centre for 22 minutes while Coach M danced.

The loaded down stroller while Coach J napped.

6. Be consistent
There is nothing wrong with running the same one mile loop. It's easy, predictable, and requires little planning.

7. Indulge
Have that extra cookie, chocolate, drink, candy cane. Seriously, it's the holidays. Reward yourself and don't feel the least bit guilty.

8. Rest
I have had many lazy one mile walks on the treadmill. Give yourself those easy days so you can have fun on those creative days.

9. Take credit where/when due
Two laps of the zoo, that qualifies. Carrying the baby while pulling the preschooler in the sled too and from school, though two separate trips; that qualifies.

I ran outside! For the first time in over a year. Felt. So. Good.

Ultimately it's your streak and you get to set the rules, goals, and define how each day is going to look. Streaking is hard. But we will all be better humans and runners when we're done this thing.