Tuesday, September 9, 2014

running just as fast as we can

Tips From an Asthmatic Runner Who Does Long(ish) Distances Very Slowly:
My only picture crossing the finish line! It's blurry but takes me right back to that moment, so I love it. Also, that's the marathon timer and they started a few hours before us. Juuust FTR.

1. Run when you can, walk when you have to.  I started off with a 3:3 minute walking/running ratio. I gradually upped my running time to 4 minutes, and then I'd shave a minute off my walking time.  It was neat to experiment with my ratios and see how short I could make my walking times vs. how long I could run.  The biggest misconception I had about running was that you couldn't ever walk. All the marathoners I saw at my race took little walking breaks here and there.

2. Just focus on the run you're doing that day.  I distinctly remember walking through the door after my 7 mile run--a full month before race day--and feeling so defeated because I couldn't imagine running 5 miles after the beast of a run I'd just finished.  I had to shift my focus.  Even on my short run days, I tell myself: "Today, it's just 4 miles, nothing more."  Tomorrow's distance, or next week's distance, they don't matter.  It's all about the run at hand (which is, like, so true as a metaphor...for life, man. Think about it. It's deep).

3. Warm up. Warm. Up. WARM UP. Warm up, ya turkey. Ain't nobody got time for an injury. I have to stretch out and walk briskly for a long time to give my lungs time to clue in that they're about to work.  My lungs are fickle, petulant little organs. I have to be gentle with them or they go full-on screaming in the cereal aisle on me.

4. Good shoes! It's basically your only expense as a runner, don't be cheap about your feet. Go to a running store, have them fit you properly, pay more. They're going to last you 500ish miles, it's worth it. No sale rack at TJ Maxx or neon Nike shoes just because they're trendy, I'm being for reals here.

6. Be so patient with yourself, and then also push yourself. If you're positive you can only do 1 mile, map a 1.25 mile run. You'll get such a rush out of pushing yourself just a little extra bit, you'll want to see what you can do the next time. And then also, don't be discouraged because the guy who fits you for running shoes does 12 milers regularly. The coolest (COOLEST!) thing about the running community is how excited runners of all levels are just to see other people out on the road with them.  I rarely pass someone without getting a nod or a smile or a thumbs up.

7. Sign up for a race! Nothing gets my butt off the couch faster than knowing I paid entry fees and they'll be wasted if I'm not ready. Plus, you get a tee shirt. And a huckleberry milkshake if you do the Mesa Falls run like I did.

8. I mean...just do it. Put on your sneakers and walk out the freaking door.
There were so many crazy moments during my half marathon...the Killers whispering "Time, truth, and heart" into my ear right as I turned and saw fog rolling in over the deepest blue river.  Rounding the last corner and finally seeing the finish line--I teared up and somehow found the adrenaline to runfloat over it.  Miles 1-4, which felt like floating. Miles 5-8, which were straight uphill and not as hard as I imagined. Miles 9-12, which were the hardest physical moments of my life.  Over anything else, though, I keep thinking about a comment David made the day before the race: "The training has been a bigger accomplishment than the race will be."  He was right. Committing to it, sticking to the plan, making it happen; I really didn't think I could do it. There's a lot of power in proving yourself wrong about yourself. If you WANT to run, but don't feel like it's something you can do...well, you really can do it, and I hope you do! Because if I can, then really, really, truly, anyone can.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

bringing booty back

1. Obviously Taylor Swift's new album, 1989. We were born the same year, so BFFs, and she is so pretty.
2. I got $200 for free as a part of a promotion for a local bank opening up in the area, I'M RICH!
3....so I ordered this sweatshirt from Forever 21, because although I am not 21 anymore, I still love that store. AND I had that top in my cart for weeks, it sold out, I was sad, it magically came back, and was only available in my size. Shopping kismet!
4. I took Joony to the park and while he was trying to climb up a slide, I heard him chant-whispering to himself, "Cheese crackers. Cheese crackers. Cheese crackers." Whatever motivates you, dude!
5. I know it's been on the radio for weeks, but there is no end to my love for the All About That Bass music video. It's just so cute. Also, Joon L O V E S this song and baby dancing is the best dancing.

6. I got a new phone, and it is not an iPhone. It's an Android and I don't care what you say, I LOVE IT. Probably more than my iPhone? Definitely more than my iPhone, I think.
7. Pizza for dinner with the crust made from Rhode's roll dough. It's the best.
8. The most perfect moment: me baking cookies, David watching a rainstorm outside, and Joony watching his tractor YouTube videos before bedtime. Quiet, peaceful, cookie-smelling house with rain falling outside.
9. Happiest news from the very best people I know. Seeing someone's dreams come true from behind the scenes, and loving them so much that you get to feel happy because they're happy...well, friendship is just so necessary.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

flo rida

We spent last week in Daytona Beach, Florida with Dave's family!  We were mere feet from the ocean, we got David to ourselves for ELEVEN days, it was just the best. Here is post one of twelve about our trip! I kid, I kid. Here's the highlight reel.

- Beach time every morning, followed immediately by pool time, followed immediately by shower time, followed immediately by nap time. It was the best routine. Joony loved filling his dump truck with sand and then dumping it into the water, and Dave and I took turns playing in the waves. I had never swam in warm ocean water before! It was a dream.

- An eco boat tour! We saw manatees and dolphins, one of our co-passengers flicked his cigarette into the ocean (cue red face emoji), Joon napped the whole time...it was so nice and relaxing.

- Not one sunburn on my fair self! That is a vacation success in my book. I also read Silver Linings Playbook, which was most excellent. Definitely recommend. 

- Our belated 6th anniversary celebration! Joony had a sleepover with Dave's parents and we checked into the Black Dolphin Inn in New Smyrna Beach, which was just the prettiest B&B you've ever seen.  We did an adventure rope/zipline course in the treetops, got dinner at the Garlic, and spotted dolphins from the private dock right on the water. Heaven. Also, we slept through the second B of B&B...so we ate at Denny's. We're the lamest. But it was just the miniature romantic getaway we needed.

- Amazing food. We all took turns cooking dinner, and then also went out once or twice. I don't think we had one meal the whole week that was anything less than excellent (with Dave's steak grilling, as always, being at the top of my list).

- Family time--the whole point of the trip! Joon hadn't even met his aunts or cousins on David's side (and he's 2.5! Shame!) so it was so, so cool to all get together and admire each other's families and joke and make new memories together.

- Miserable travel days. It's a 4 hour tour from Rexburg to SLC, then flights and layovers across the country, then 90 minutes from Orlando to Daytona...everyone was DONE by the end of those travel days. We didn't get back into Rexburg until 3am, and Joon was awake at 7 ready to greet all his toys. And I got a cold. No thanks.

So now we're home, it's September, David has started his MBA and I'm starting my MFA few weeks after him, and there are lots of cookies to be baked. Huzzah! It was the perfect end to the perfect summer (even though I kind of feel like it's still summer a little bit).

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dead Weight

I got to be in a short film a friend of a friend was working on. He gave us a loose structure for what he wanted to happen, and then we got to do improv for the rest, so it was a ton of fun. Also, I was surprised at how long it took just to get these four minutes--several hours of filming! It was very cool. And now I'm basically Jennifer Lawrence, so I'm excited about that. I'll try not to get a big head about it all.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Embarrassing Things I Have Done on the Internet:

Thank goodness this list includes no nudie pictures, just really dumb teenage Brandilynisms. I did have a cell phone for most of high school (for my birthday my mom took me to the mall kiosk and I got to pick out one with a clear case that lit up neon pink and green and blue when someone called. I also got one of those charms to hang off the top--it was probably a bedazzled skull and crossbones or something), but obviously it wasn't a smart phone--it was a black and white screen, had like 5 ringtones to choose from, and the only game was snake. The only time I had access to the internet was at night, once my homework was done. Here's a little look at some of my WWW highlights, inspired by this hilarious and sweet post I read this morning that prompted a flashback. For reference, I graduated high school in 2007.
MySpace profile picture circa 2006

+ AOL chat rooms. I had one of those AOL kid's accounts, so my access to the internet was limited (smart parents), but I found this "i L0v3 H0r$E$" room that I spent hours in. When other pre-teens were asking "A/S/L?" I was saying, "So what breed is your favorite? I just love Thoroughbreds...but also Oldenburgs, I can't decide!"

+ AIM. I know some high schools were all about MSN messenger or whatever, but mine was AIM. My screen names included DustyTheFlamingo (that was my horse's name and my favorite animal), MangoJello (I'm, like, so random and funny, guys!), and BrandilynIsHungry (that one I still think is kind of funny).

+ Using AIM to ask the friends of the guy my best friend liked if he liked my best friend, and then chatting with her while she asked the friends of the guy I liked if he liked me. And then if you liked each other...sometimes you would chat directly. And oh man, was that romance. "What are you listening to?" "Fall Out Boy. You?" "All American Rejects. Swing swing!"

+ AIM let you have this profile area, and I always filled mine with different emo song lyrics and inside jokes. "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier." I mean, obviously you're not a soldier, Brandilyn. You're in high school.

+ MYSPACE! I loved MySpace. I would find free backgrounds, agonize over what to make my headline say, search Photobucket for interesting pictures, and look up HTML coding stuff on AskJeeves so I could change the spacing and font in my About Me section. I also always did those surveys with obscure questions that got posted to the bulletin board. "Orange juice or apple juice? Orange. Extra pulp." Fascinating. Everyone will care about this.
Another MySpace favorite--taken for a friend's photography project. On film, because that's how we were still rolling, at least in the classroom. Note the heavy black eyeliner and the side bang, which I still have.

Anything to add? If you were a few years ahead of me I know it was all about the pagers and pager code. My sister was all over that, and I was always so impressed and jealous.

Friday, August 15, 2014

we are here & now

It's a running joke with Carrie and I that bloggers can't ever admit that life gets hard sometimes.  It's always, "I had a moment of despair, but don't you worry, those babies are a BLESSING!" and "Our roof fell in yesterday, but I'm just so darned grateful to have a house to live in with my precious family!" #soblessed #soblessed #soblessed
The last couple months of Joon being two have exhausted me to my core. I feel like every day is a constant stream of tantrums, losing my temper, calming us both down and feeling terrible, stepping on a Hot Wheels car, cussing, etc. etc. It just goes round and round.  He's so volatile--anything that doesn't go exactly his way (you know, a constant stream of cookies, park time, and Curious George) becomes a titanic meltdown.  Despite the constant pep talks I give myself to be calm, be patient, be loving, he's learning, they just go right out the window.

Every night I lay him down in bed and rub his back while I say, "Do you know your mama loves you? Do you love your mama? Do you know dad loves you? And you love your daddy too?" He responds to each one with a carefully pronounced, matter-of-fact, "Yeah.  Yyyeah."  The peaceful end to every day just leaves me feeling worse about every parenting decision I'd made in the last 12 hours.  Mom guilt is normal, I've heard it over and over, and it's easy to read those encouraging, you're doing the best you can, mama heart! blog posts but the reality is a constant, nagging worry that I'm just messing up these years that are supposed to be so precious and sweet, years I'm going to desperately miss some day soon.
If you sometimes feel the same way, and sometimes shiny, peppy mom blog posts peppered with $50 children's clothing (do people actually spend that much money on kid's clothing?!) make you roll your eyes, know that I'm over here rolling my eyes, too, especially after I've spent the morning managing an epic meltdown after almost two hours spent in an AT&T store (just a hypothetical situation off the top of my head...). And sometimes, I'm crying in the pantry at nap time while I stuff a York bar in my mouth and calculate the hours until David gets home.  And then, yes, duh, of course sometimes having days that remind me it's really all worthwhile and going to be okay and my kid isn't a psychopath.
I mean, look at this guy. Brat central.
...and then this actually is his "about to do something naughty" face.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

love darts in your eyes


+ I got to be in a movie! I've started doing improv on Monday nights (which is like half improv games and half hanging out with really funny guys and cracking dumb jokes) and it's opened up a couple of fun creative opportunities. This movie was just a 3-minute short film a friend of a friend is entering into a competition, but I got to be one of the main characters and I was probably awfulawfulawful but it really was so much fun. I can't wait to see the finished product!  My only picture from the day: distant rain on my way home from the super pretty lake dock we shot at.

+ Our 6th wedding anniversary! What?! We got 5 Guys burgers, Chick Fil A fries, a Ninja blender, and a car wash. It was the best night, and oh yes, the best six years. Joony was so excited to be included in date night, he didn't even whine on the way home...too much. He didn't whine too much.

+ Selling so. much. crap. on eBay. eBay is my drug of choice.

+ False. Running is my drug of choice. It has taken over my life. I spend all my spare time mapping routes and getting pumped on my next run and researching shoes and breathing techniques. Who am I? (Zoolander voice, naturally) Race day is rapidly approaching! Two long runs (a 9 and a 10 miler), four short runs (two 5 milers and then two 2 milers the week of the race) and that's all she wrote. A few times I've gone running in my middle school PE shorts (below), but I discovered on longer runs the cheap/ancient/scratchy fabric chafes. So that's glamorous.

+ Battling another round of The Diaper Rash That Won't Quit. When Joony gets them, he gets them bad. Hopefully this is the closest I come to talking about gross mom stuff on here?  No promises there I guess.

+ Oh, just, no big deal, mentioning it after diaper rash (?) but...I got accepted into my first choice MFA program. I got the email while Joon was napping and immediately burst into tears, somehow managing to sob out to myself, "I'm just so smart!" So I start grad school in early October and I'm already panicking a little bit at the creative output that will be required of me but holy crap, this is my dream. It's here and I was born to do it and I'm so scared.

+ Wishing I was home. Knowing my family is handling some tough stuff and not being able to offer a hug or baby-sitting or cookies or an ear, it just...sucks. I've spent 7 years being homesick in Idaho now and it hasn't ever once, even for one day, gotten easier.