I don’t always love the On This Day feature on Facebook. Some of the older posts, from when you couldn’t “comment” on a wall post and so the conversation went from wall to wall don’t make sense. Some remind you of sad things or annoying things… but this past week has ben epic and full of happy reminders getting me more and more excited for my races next year. Why’s that? I’ve only ever done the Disneyland Half Marathon and it’s always Labor Day weekend. I’m feeling all sorts of nostalgia and jealousy right now. Haha.

But let’s flashback, shall we?

Four years ago TODAY, I completed my very first half marathon.

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There aren’t really words for the level of accomplishment I felt as a self-proclaimed (and probably other people proclaimed) non-runner. I’m still crazy proud.

The following year, I sprained my foot the Wednesday before race weekend. I couldn’t even walk on it on Thursday. I obviously still planned to race, but I did ultimately get clearance from a doctor first. Thanks, boss.

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Wow! What a moment!

I didn’t get any screen grabs from the third half, but it’s where this blog last left off. I can’t wait to add more memories to my timeline. I’m even considering adding DL Half into the 2016 mix (because I am crazy want a blue Coast to Coast miss it why not).

Best of luck to my friends running it this weekend! I’m so excited for the two of you doing your first runDisney race, so excited for the ones that are there year after year that geek out with me, and SO excited for the one completing her first half marathon EVER on her birthday! Happy Birthday! And happy running to all of you! I hope your miles are magical!

Wow! Slacking on my blogging… I need to brainstorm some ideas. :)

Today, we’re talking hill repeats. Some of you reading this shuddered at reading it because you KNOW… and some of you are like, uh, what? It is exactly what it sounds like. Hills. Repeatedly. It’s also just as much fun as it sounds like. ;)

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They’re not fun, no, but you have to do them. Hill repeats will make me stronger. Hill repeats will make me faster. Hill repeats will get me closer to my goal time.

I have plans to regularly do hill repeats with a friend of mine. The hill right by the gym is just over a half mile climb. We meet before my morning BodyFlow class. We did three repeats the first time. I only did two the second time because I had to review my music for class. I figure between now and February I’ll have MANY opportunities to climb that hill. My friend is also way faster than me (though she certainly slows down for my sake), so she really pushes me to keep going and harder than I’d push myself.

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I’m also trying to be good about varying my route when I run. I love LOVE my beach boardwalk route from the pier in Pacific Beach down to or past Belmont Park in Mission Beach, but it’s pretty flat so it can’t be my only route. I need to constantly push myself. Challenge brings change.

Speaking of my normal route though, yesterday I ran at the beach and finally saw my pace pick up! It’s great to see hard work paying off, even in small ways. It’s a great reminder to keep pushing and keep working.

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I had made a note a few weeks ago to talk about running buddies and accountability here on the blog, but I hadn’t figured out how to say what I wanted to say yet. Then, just the other day, a friend and I were chatting about training, running, and schedules. She’s doing Pixie Dust with me in May. I mentioned that I’d started going to another friend’s classes (who is ALSO doing Pixie Dust with us) early Thursday mornings (practically dark:thirty).

“How do you get up that early? That’s amazing!” she wrote.

“Because I tell her I’m going to be there, haha,” I replied.

“So you have to be there. Got it. Accountability.”

EXACTLY. Accountability.

As I told her in follow up, “Yesterday’s morning run with myself? My headphones have no accountability.”

There are many reasons I love group exercise and many reasons group exercise WORKS for people. One of those reasons is the accountability factor. I can’t even tell you how many articles I’ve read over the years that say “find a gym buddy” or “find a running buddy” or “group exercise works because PEOPLE” – the evidence doesn’t lie. And in particular, I love Les Mills because it is ONE TRIBE. Together. For a fitter plan.

As you go to classes week after week, you make friends and then you expect that other person to be there week after week WITH you. Those friends push you to SHOW UP and then they push you to PUT IN THE WORK (especially if they know you were out way too late the night before because they enjoy seeing you suffer know that isn’t an excuse).


You don’t have that when you’re running solo. You don’t get the fist bump or the high five. You don’t have the person expecting you to be there. It’s easy enough to blow off your headphones. They won’t judge you, remind you, or be let down. I might feel judged by my planner that says “you said you were going to do this” and often times you can probably motivate yourself because “I said I was going to do this.” Just not always… (especially when it’s maybe not your favorite thing).

Cue the running buddy. It’s one of the (many) reasons I did Team In Training for my first endurance event. Friends. Team. Coaches. People that hold you accountable and provide commiseration & camaraderie. Running buddies get you up the hill or through the last mile or up before the sun. Running buddies cheer your successes and understand your frustrations. Even if you aren’t running WITH that buddy, they know your training plan because they’re doing it too. They check in. You check in.

I’ve found that camaraderie in multiple runDisney groups on facebook (“everyone is training, I should really be training…”) and on Instagram (“look, she did four miles, I could do four miles”), but the best camaraderie is in person. I’m so glad I have a few friends that are doing Pixie Dust with me and hopefully we can mesh our schedules to at least get those long runs started together. I’m so glad I have another friend that is forcing encouraging me to do hill repeats with her and having me come to because she knows the goals I’ve set (and I know the goals she has too!).

And in a way, I have all of you out there. I may not always know who is reading, but that someone might check in and see how it’s going… that someone is my buddy too.

You’ve heard it a million times and just as many ways. If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. If you fail to train, you’re training to fail.

I don’t want to fail. I want to meet or beat my goal time. I know it won’t be easy, but that’s why it’s a goal, right? I want to see what I’m capable of and I want to know that I’m capable of doing more than I’ve done before.

I have started running, obviously. Plus, I have my regular gym routine. But, I’ve also been researching half marathon training plans like CRAZY. The “problem” with most of the plans, is that they seem to assume you’re only ever running which is not and will not be the case for me.

I’ve used Google Calendar for as long as I can remember. I love it. It works for me. It keeps all of my recurring and new agenda items really well. I can overlay multiple calendars. But, I found it hard to wrap my mind around how to input a training plan into my Google calendar where I could see everything in my week, how to see it as an entity where I could see the puzzle pieces, and where to make the shift in my schedule if I need to move training days. It was too easy to look at it as just a week instead of several weeks.

So, after lots of mulling and researching, I decided to get a paper planner (choosing a planner was crazy hard) and then figuring out how to organize my planner was another challenge (um, I recommend Googling and NOT Googling paper planners because it’s amazing and also totally overwhelming and crazy).

I pulled up three different plans: Ellie Goulding’s half plan had tons of cross training in it and I loved that, Hal Higdon’s was the one that I used before and knew, and Jeff Galloway’s is well-researched and the official Disney plan with dates and plans (and he doesn’t discount cross training). The Galloway plan is also structured more on TIME spent running during the week and miles during the long runs. He also had different plan structures based on the goal.

So taking these three plans, I merged and adjusted and slowly washi-taped my way through “pre-training,” “official training,” and the transition/overlap needed to move from Princess to Pixie Dust. I kept the timed runs during the week with a couple options for distance every once and awhile. With a full schedule and as a slower runner, I can easier fit time into my schedule than distance. I kept the weekends almost exactly as prescribed. The only thing lacking in my training plan is rest days, haha. I know my body well enough to know when I need to take them, so I can just remove/adjust the taped plan when needed.

Slowly, I started to also fill in birthdays, vacations, holidays, and other things. There’s still work to do. But WRITING out my plan, SEEING it, made it real. It also made it achievable. I’m GOOD at checking things off of a list. I can totally do that. So, one step, one mile, one day, and one week at a time is how I’ll move from here to there. Hopefully, I’ll be reporting that I crushed my goal.

Six months from today, I’ll race. Six months from RIGHT NOW, the Princess Half Marathon will be a memory from the morning. CRAZY.

In some ways it still seems SO far away and in other ways I know that it’ll be here before I know it. I thought today would be a great day to remind you about the greater cause behind those miles.

But what can YOUR donation do? It can do a lot and go many places because your children’s hospital will put the money to use where there is the greatest need.

It costs anywhere from $3000 and $7000 for one chemotherapy treatment for a child, any donation could help offset those costs as CMNH hospitals provide $3.4 BILLION in charity care a year!

But I want a couple specifics! Okay…

Your $12 donation could help a hospital purchase a package of preemie diapers.

Your $90 donation could help a hospital purchase a pediatric blood pressure cuff and monitor. That’s only $18/month from now to the end of the year (or just under $3.5/week from now to race weekend)!

If you look up wish lists on your local children’s hospitals websites, you will see everything from crayons to rocking chairs to let the kids PLAY and minimize stress. Your gift can help do that too! But there are other ways hospitals might use their funds from CMNH too: researchtreatmentsambulances, and endowments that could continue to cover the cost of expanding a building or covering the salaries of the best physicians.

Click the bracelet to put your money where the miracles are and give children their happily ever afters.

Where do I even begin? I’ve been silently crafting this blog post for days now and still don’t know if I have the right words to convey how fantastic the Super Q was on Saturday. So, I’m just going to go through every little bit of it. My apologies in advance if some of this gets super wordy or makes no sense. Many of the classes in this post I’ll probably spotlight on at some point because I take many of them regularly (like the one I did for SH’BAM™).

Les Mills Super Quarterly! I love Quarterlies. There is just such a rush spending all day working out with other people that “get it” and love it as much as you do. “You went on vacation… and spent all day at the gym?” YES and it was AWESOME. I mean, just LOOK at this schedule.

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So, after months of anticipation and counting down, the weekend was FINALLY here – and a Quarterly in Southern California no less! Just after work on Friday, I picked up a friend and we made our way to LA (but first, a stop to “wait out traffic” and check out the 40% off sale at the Reebok outlet #duh). We met up with a couple other friends at the hotel when we got there and I got gummy worms! We hung out a bit in the room before calling it a night to rest up for our big day on Saturday.

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BIG DEAL! I have missed gummies. I was diagnosed with a pork gelatin allergy last month and have been lamenting my inability to eat gummies (or have s’mores or have jello shots… ahem, even though I don’t do any with regularity, haha). My friend found these ones at the store and got them for me. Made in Turkey = the only ones safe to eat (beef gelatin instead)!

Saturday started bright and early with breakfast at the hotel and then heading just across the street to The Bay Club. GUYS. THIS GYM. It was seriously beautiful and also gigantic. We lined up with the other peeps and waited for registration to open. Picked up our swag (Les Mills/Reebok tank, water bottle, bag, and towel) and registration bracelets (signifying what classes we had signed up to take).

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My agenda for the day. No GRIT for me because it lined up with classes I taught or classes I don’t have the opportunity to usually do – so those ones I definitely HAD to take. :)

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With my awesome roomies! #onetribe

8:15 AM: KICK OFF!! We were all at our SmartSteps and had our warm up weight on our SmartBars (LOVE!) ready to go when Amanda and Will kicked us off. Amanda was such an awesome emcee all day.

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8:30 AM: BodyPump™ 95. HOLY. SMOKES. It’s going down f’real. The presenters were fantastic. Plus a FULL room of Pumpers, it just always gives me goose bumps. This release is awesome and killer… especially when you use your “regular” weights, but you have a SmartBar instead. My regular gym has plates in pounds (2.5lb, 5lb, and 10lb) and the bars are pretty light (3lb). SmartBar plates are in kilograms (1kg, 2.5kg, 5kg) and the bar itself is heavier (3.4kg). So when your regular weight is “two larges” for squats (43lb), you’ve now got 51.5lb instead. Or when your normal back weight is “one of each” (38lb), you’re cleaning and pressing 44.75lb instead. Oh man you feel the difference! The struggle is real my friends. Plus changing up the timing and the way you’re working – recipe for sore muscles and an awesome workout! :) As hard as it was though, I learned I could go up on some of my weights when I take regularly. :) I think biceps or shoulders might be my favorite.

BREAK! None of us were taking BodyStep (real talk: the step SCARES me like woah, it’s an awesome class, but not for me, haha), so instead we took selfies for more swag (BodyPump gloves!) and had some snacks before our next class.

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11 AM: Sh’Bam™ 21. Sh’mazing! This was definitely the highlight of my entire day. I have not stopped thinking about this class or this release and I cannot wait for autoship (quick aside: instructors receive their new music/new choreography once a quarter to learn and begin teaching during relaunch at their gym(s), so autoship is like Christmas when you get your link to download your new stuff) in two weeks so that I can do it again. And again. And again. It is just so dang good! The presenters OWNED that stage. They were incredible and I tried to absorb everything because they were just SO in the essence. The final track filled my inner dancer with SO MUCH JOY. Seriously, AH! I can’t stop sh’gushing.

#shbam 21 is a-maz-ing! Thank you @nschultz921 and @joshkeenum! #lesmills #onetr1be

A video posted by Bree (@bleach226) on

12 PM: CXWorx™ 20. More awesome presenters. BRAND NEW ORANGE BANDS OF DEATH. Seriously, new bands are rough. The release is great. Track 2 is really all I’ve got to say.

LUNCH! And Education! I grabbed a quick smoothie (Almond Butter Cup, it will appear in my dreams) and headed back to the main stage for the Education portion. It was all about Layer 2 and Layer 3 coaching. I was so glad I had my phone on me so that I could take notes. Really good stuff.

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1:45 PM: BodyVive 3.1™ 36. BodyVive is a class that I’ve only done one other time (also at a Quarterly). We just don’t really have it anywhere near me. It’s a great class, though parts of it aren’t really my style. I’d done a quick change out of sweaty clothes at lunch, so I was totally not wearing the right bra and had to take all the low options. Haha, keepin’ it real. You start out with some cardio, move into strength, and wrap up with core –>  three in one! We had more new orange bands of death. Yikes. It was fun to have presenters I’d already taken class from earlier and see them teach in a different style of class.

I had a quick break after and changed again into something that would work for the rest of the day. I knew that I wouldn’t have time to change in between and didn’t want to have to worry about rushing. I also went back to the hotel for my yoga mat.

3 PM: BodyFlow™ 70. I loved this new release. I’m excited to do the tai chi and balance again when I get my autoship, but otherwise I was just so immersed that I don’t have strong memories of some of the other tracks. This class came at the BEST part of the day. I was definitely fatigued and sore and needed the stretching big time. I nearly (or maybe actually) fell asleep during meditation. Awesome presenting, beautiful Flow.

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4:15 PM: BodyJam™ 74. BodyJam is another class I don’t get to take very often, but I just love SO much because well, DANCE. This new Jam did not disappoint. We had the same presenters as Sh’Bam and they KILLED it. Unreal dancing. My legs were dying, but I managed to make it through. Haha.

5:30 PM: BodyCombat™ 65. SO. MUCH. ENERGY. I thought after Jam, especially really feeling the exhaustion in my legs, there was no way I had anything left for Combat, but the music was up, the presenters were awesome (duh, of course, ALL day, they’re all just so talented and totally on their game), the crowd was full of energy too, and I couldn’t help going full out on almost every track. I will not forget 2, 5, and 7. Nope. Those will be in my brain come relaunch when I next get to take them. CAR-DI-OOOOOOO.

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We wrapped up the day and said our goodbyes right after Combat and it was back to the hotel for showers and then off to True Food Kitchen for our little group for dinner and drinks. Then more hanging out, chatting about our aches and pains and the awesome and epic day we’d all just had (we didn’t all take the same classes, but a lot of the same).

Les Mills US, thanks for another amazing Quarterly experience. I’m bummed I can’t be at OneLive next weekend. I know it’s going to epic.

Kia kaha! Be brave. Change the world. ❤️

So, I finally got on that Inside Out train! I have been wanting to see the movie for well, months now, and I finally got to see it on Sunday! I thought the movie was deep, amazing, funny, thoughtful, and OF COURSE it made me cry too. I can’t wait to own this movie and watch it so many more times. I’m pretty confident that I’ll learn something new every time I watch it.

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So, I thought I should use some Inside Out inspiration to talk about running. In case you haven’t seen the movie yet (you should stop reading right now and go see it), let me introduce to the main characters.

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Alright, how do they feel about running?

ANGER: Dude, running shoes are EXPENSIVE! Anger is mad about that. Anger is mad when an injury slows us down and seriously hips, can’t you just be NORMAL?! Anger hates when we have to pause our workout because of a stoplight and don’t even get Anger started on hills.

FEAR: Guys, there could be a crack in the sidewalk. Like, you could fall on your face and die! Or did you see all of those rocks and that slippery dirt on the trail run? There are just too many what ifs for Fear. Fear can’t handle it. What if someone doesn’t see you and it starts to get dark? What if this neighborhood isn’t safe? What if your phone dies and no one knows how to find you? Fear gets worked up about it.

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DISGUST: Sweat is gross. Sweat and dirt? Are you kidding me right now?! Ew. And if someone doesn’t clean up after their dog, Disgust and Anger are gunna start going head to head. Don’t even get Disgust started on gum on the ground. Seriously, yuck. And why does the sports bra always have to cause chafing? Really? She’s judgey this one.

SADNESS: Running is hard and it takes a long time to see progress. Sadness is sad about that. She’s sad when we have to take a walk break or when there are shin splints or aches and pains. She wants to just melt into the ground. Can someone drag her home? It’s hard to move and she’s tired. Thanks. We’re not going to win anyway.

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JOY: I mean, as we learned from the wise Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” (And, “happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.”) Joy is the big cheerleader from the moment I lace up and through every step of the way. She’s super proud. And really, she’s totally loving that endorphin kick. She’s the reason we keep running and signing up for more races. Runner’s high, am I right?!

I might not have a clear head after a run, but I certainly have a lot of thoughts running with me. Who is dominant on your runs?

Images from the #insideout hashtag on Instagram.

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