EBR Rock Star: Kristin Brandt
It’s EBR Rock Star time! Today we’re chatting with Kristin Brandt, who is gearing up for the Tufts 10K for Women on October 8 and is part of our Fall Fun Run. (Have you shared your run with us yet? You really should!) Welcome, Kristin!
1. I’ve always thought of you as a cycler. When and why did you start running?
I’ll admit to being as surprised by anyone by my recent turn towards fitness. As you said, through my relationship with my husband (a long-time cyclist) I became a cyclist 15 years ago. I have always been what I would call “skinny but soft,” and was never able to commit to any kind of fitness plan. But late last year I had surgery to correct some issues that had been restricting my physical activity. After recovering, I was determined to make changes to become healthier and more active.
At the same time my husband started working local triathlons (he’s a mobile bike mechanic), and after attending more than a few, started trying to convince me that I could do one, even though I was not, and never had been, a runner.
My first attempt at running was a bit of a disaster, but with the right equipment, and a good bit of advice from friends, I was able to get up to speed, and have come to love running – almost as much as cycling!
2. You’re a full-time in-office working mom of two kids. What are your best tips for squeezing in fitness?
I’m certainly no expert, but here’s what works for me:
- Seize the moment. As I said, I had never been a runner, and in fact was convinced I would hate it. But I have discovered that running is a great way to get a quick work out whether I have 15 or 45 minutes. As much as I’d like to commit to a regular schedule, I find that identifying and seizing moments – sometimes in the morning, often in the evening – when they become available, works best for me.
- Mix it up. I have decided triathlons are the best exercise for someone with attention issues (who, me?). Don’t want to run? Go for a ride. Don’t feel like riding? Go for a swim!
- Involve the family. When I can, I like to bring the kids along with me. (The photo above is of me and my daughter Sophie at the Spectacle Island 5K and Kids Fun Run in Boston Harbor. It rained. We both ran. It was awesome.) Recently, I ran through the neighborhood with the kids leading on their bicycles. Sometimes this can have mixed results – but when it works it’s great.
- Set goals. I am goal oriented. And driven by a healthy sense of fear. A schedule of four triathlons kept me motivated through the summer. Now I have several races scheduled, including the Manic Mommies Escape 5K in November and the Disney Princess 1/2 marathon this February, which I’m hoping will keep me running (even when I don’t want to).
- Remember to have fun. While I’m goal oriented, I need to remember not to get too competitive or crazy. If my body says sleep in, I sleep in. And I also try to remember to enjoy the cool moments – like running in the rain on Spectacle Island, or over the 50 yard line at Gillette Stadium.
3. OK, so I was pretty impressed that you were our first Fall Fun Run signup before we even announced the thing. What inspired you to jump right on board?
I was just checking out the site when I discovered FFR and it sounded like great fun! While I am often exercising alone, I have discovered the joy of joining organized events. Through the triathlons and other races I’ve completed this summer, I’ve seen people of every shape, size and fitness level “getting it done.”
I have also been surprised by the number of people who have told me that my recent activities have motivated them to do “something.” Beyond being an amazing feeling, it always reminds me how change can be made by doing and sharing with others. Through FFR and EBR I’m looking forward to continuing to do both!
4. You’re running the Tufts 10K this fall. I’m impressed, I have yet to run a 10K! How will you handle water/fuel? Any favorite products or gear?
Don’t be too impressed – all I’ve done is sign up! ; )
The 10K felt like a good next goal towards my February half marathon, and the idea of running with so many women in Boston was hard to resist.
I don’t like to carry anything while running, so I’ll rely on the race organizers for hydration. I may carry a CLIF SHOT (espresso flavored is my favorite) in my shorts in case I feel like I need a little boost. However, I have become obsessed with equipment – and have a growing collection of exercise clothing! Here are some of my favorites:
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12. My first pair of real running shoes! I was fitted at Marathon Sports and given the sneakers by Brooks Running. I replaced the laces with Lock Laces which ensure I always have the “right” fit (also good for triathlon transition times).
- 2-in-1 shorts from Brooks. The inner boy shorts keep me from chafing, and there are two discreet pockets in the back for money, etc.
- Tuneband and iPhone. Call me a data geek, but I am a bit obsessive about tracking my workouts. I love being able to look back on my workouts and my progress.
- Change of shorts. I’ll be joining other women for burgers and beer after the 10K. To ensure continued health “down there” I’ll be bringing an extra pair of shorts for after the race. : )
5. You’re a social media maven. Which bloggers post training updates/photos that inspire you to hit the pavement?
When we first started Manic Mommies (7 years ago), Erin and I met Steve Runner, a guy who was podcasting and running which seemed CRAZY. But he’s still going strong! Most of the people who inspire me aren’t bloggers, but are socially active on Facebook. They have offered me support, suggestion, advice and inspiration through their own activities. They have also clued me into great resources including Run Like a Mother and the gals behind Bia Sport. And now I look forward to connecting with more bloggers through EBR!
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Kristin Brandt is president of Sundin Associates, a marketing and advertising agency in Natick, Massachusetts. A full-time working mother, she is also co-host of Manic Mommies, a podcast for moms managing the chaotic combination of work and family.