This week’s inspiration is a personal trainer and Boston Marathon runner who blogs at TiffanyBritton.com. I love checking out her Tiffany on the Run section because her race calendar is packed and it’s inspiring to see her super fast times where she often places. And you’ll have to read on to find out all about the running adventure she has embarked on with her husband.
My Fit Family: Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests/hobbies, work, age and location if you would like to share, etc)
Tiffany: In short, I’m Tiffany, age 37, and I live in Atlanta, GA. I’m married to a wonderful husband named Neil (more on him later), and we have a cute little kitten named Chuck. I work part-time as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. In my free time, I enjoy writing, running, and learning about fitness (specifically new training methods for distance runners).
MFF: Have you always embraced a fit and healthy lifestyle? If not, when did you start and why?
Tiffany: I can’t say “always” but it’s something I’ve come back to many times. As a kid, I was a dancer (tap, jazz, ballet, like it was my job), and in high school I was a cheerleader. During and shortly after college, I wasn’t very active at all. In my mid-20’s, I started working out more regularly, and eventually took up running with a friend. She trained me to run my first race ever – a half marathon! It was so much fun (the training and the race), that I kind of got hooked. And then I took a few years off from running (but kept up with resistance training).
In 2009, while planning our wedding, I talked my fiance into training to run a half marathon together. We did, and we’ve been training for and running races together ever since! After our second marathon together, we decided to become 50 Staters – those crazy people who run a marathon in every state! It allows us to make sure we take a vacation each year, and gives us a means to stay fit. And we’ve met some really cool people and seen some interesting towns along the way.
MFF: What does typical workout look like for you?
Tiffany: During race season, it looks like a lot of running (easy runs, speed work, and tempo runs) and some bodyweight core exercises, along with foam rolling and stretching. Honestly, I’m terrible about the rolling and stretching part, but it’s something I’m trying to improve. When I don’t have a big race on the calendar, I run (but less, and they’re all easy runs) and more resistance training/bodyweight exercises (cardio and strength). If I’m not running, those resistance workouts can range from 15-45 minutes (depending on intensity). Depending on the running workout, they range from 30 minutes (easy run of 3-4 miles) to 2 hours (long run up to 16 miles).
It’s usually easy for me to find time to work on myself. That said, some days are tougher than others when it comes to time. If I’m really short on time, I’ll do a 10-15 minute HIIT workout (I can always find 10-15 minutes in a day; it’s more a matter of wanting to recognize I have that time).
MFF: What is your favorite physical activity?
Tiffany: I really enjoy running. Sometimes I don’t enjoy looking at an 18-week training plan, but when it comes to the day to day, I’m good with running. During runs with friends, we can talk about whatever comes up over the course of a few miles; when I run solo, it’s time I can just check out and let my mind wander. When I run with my husband, it’s a great time for us to discuss things we need to talk about or make plans for an upcoming trip, or talk about the day at work. I like that it’s something that can be done almost anywhere and that there’s such a strong community of runners.
MFF: What is your favorite healthy meal or snack and of course we love hearing about favorite food indulgences–what’s your #1?
Tiffany: My favorite indulgences…oh my. Well, the one I allow myself more often is chocolate peanut butter. There’s a machine at Whole Foods that is filled with chocolate chips and peanuts and it grinds them into a delicious tub of Reese’s cup-quality goodness. The best thing to eat it on is a spoon (honestly), or a Lundberg’s rice cake (if I’m in public). When the grinding machine is broken, I buy unsalted roasted peanuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips and make it in my food processor at home (4:1 peanuts to chocolate chips ratio). Chocolate almond butter is also a tasty snack (if you’re peanut-free).
One of my favorite healthy meals is lentil chili. I’m not a full-time vegetarian, but I don’t eat a lot of meat. There’s no set recipe we use in our house for lentil chili. I just add in 1.5 cups of lentils instead of using 1lb of ground beef. They have a lot of protein and fiber, plus a great taste and texture for chili.
MFF: Who inspires you?
Tiffany: Everyone. There are some amazing elite athletes that I follow online (Shalane, Kara, Lauren, Stephanie, Deena) that provide me with some lofty goals to use as inspiration for my training. Really lofty goals. Then there are the people I know in real life. The people I run with in my run group who are faster than me and give me someone to chase; the people who are just starting out on their running journey and who are celebrating their first 5k (actually, those are my favorite people). I’m also inspired by this couple Neil and I met while running through our neighborhood one morning (and we see them at local races throughout the year) – they’re in their early 70’s and just awesome runners.
MFF: What one piece of advice would you give out to someone just starting out on their health/fitness journey?
Tiffany: What’s the saying about eating an elephant (or a whale)? Take it one bite at a time. You need to start slowly. So often, we look at a peer’s current level and compare that to where we are (at the starting line); we either push too hard too fast, or we don’t even bother trying.
Thank you for sharing your story, Tiffany!
Never Give Up,