Random Thoughts at the Running Store

Many people have asked to post more about work.   I love my job and I enjoy helping other people reach their goals. Having the correct shoes is part of that goal. I enjoy my job because I’m around a sport I love, however, work does not revolve around me or my blog. In fact work revolved very little (if any) with my running. It revolves around the people we help and their running.

Here are some things I’ve learned from working in the store. I’m thinking out loud so hopefully I catch most of my grammar mistakes.

Toe Nail loss:

If you lose toenails it’s probably because your shoe is too small. If your shoe is too short or narrow, you will lose toenails.  Your feet swell when you run and you need to accommodate that in running shoes. It’s important to buy a half to a full size bigger then dress shoes. I wear a size 8.5-9 in dress shoes and 9.5 wide to 10 in running shoes. (sorry no photos of missing toenails…)

There are Many Shoes in the Street:

Running shoes that work for you, might not work for me. I could write one million blog reviews about running shoes but that doesn’t mean the shoe will work for you. It’s silly to read something on the internet and decide it’s the shoe (or isn’t) for you because of someone else’s experience.2015 running shoes

Ask yourself: Would you believe an article titled “is your significant other a great catch for everyone”?

There are many running shoes for many different foot types.  I cannot stress enough getting fit for the correct shoe.

Does the right clothing matter? Is it important to use moisture wicking socks? 

The right clothing and moisture wicking socks prevent blisters. I don’t know about you but I’ve been mid run and found myself sweaty and chafing. Not to mention the ten blisters on my feet.

I do think the right clothing and socks are more important for longer runs. However the right clothing can make you fashionable and blister free. Personally I have found the right clothing matters most in extreme temperatures (whether it’s hot or cold).

Finally here are some common comments we receive in store (don’t think you are the only one to say it):

  • According to half of the customers, they have “the worst feet in the world”.  Most people come in saying they have problem feet or the worst feet. As long as your feet don’t smell, they aren’t the worst.
  • I’m not a “serious” runner…anyone who is looking to get fitted for shoes is serious, don’t sell yourself short!
  • I want a light weight shoe that breaths easy.  Believe me running shoes went to light weight and “breath easy” a few years back.  All running shoes are light weight.  Running shoes are just getting lighter and brighter.

If you have any questions about running shoes, work or products feel free to ask.  I’m no expert but I am thinking about creating a weekly series about it!

August Training

It’s hard to believe another month is down.   August was about the same as July.  It was a great training month and I made it through the toughest month (for me) without getting injured.  Normally I either burn out or get injured in August…but for the last two Augusts I was also training for a marathon (NYCM and Wineglass which I DNS).

I believe my body is beginning to absorb track workouts for the 5ks and I will see the benefits in the fall.

Total mileage: 292

Delaware Kid Fund 5k (21:33)
HJMC 5k (20:13)
Judy Johnson 5k (20:33)
Belmar Chase 5k (19:34)
United Medical 5k (19:59)

Range of paces: 5:53-12:13-untimed
Longest Run: 15
Shortest Run: 1.23 warmup
Favorite Run:
Despite not having a standout race I really enjoyed the Belmar Chase. It was a great to race with so many people as well as get out of South Jersey for a race!
Number of Rest Days: 5
Best Training Run:
My favorite training run was the ladder workout I did with Tim a few weeks ago. It was:
(2X800s,2X600s,2X400s,2X200s, 2X400s)
I felt really good and it was the first workout that I realized I enjoy going to the track!

Belmar 1

Thoughts for the month:

During August I normally realize I did too much and one of two things happen: I either burnout or I get injured.

I am happy to report neither of those happened.  I believe it’s because I  focused on shorter distances and didn’t run 20 mile long runs through the summer.  It is not the right move for me right now!  In August I trained consistently and smart.

I’m slowly making progress towards my goals.  Slow and steady wins the injury free race.  I am currently writing an entire summer training recap post because honestly it was the best summer of training in a very long time.  I trained happy and most importantly I stayed healthy and enjoyed running!

austin jeff and I

September will be the busiest month in general for me.  There are a lot of race I want to do, however, moving will take precedence.  I want to continue racing as much as possible but I think next month I’ll have to skip a weekend or two!  (Insert ten sad emoji faces).  I’ll still continue speed workouts to keep progressing towards my goals.

me run

Questions for you: 

How was your August training?

Are you ready for fall?  Do you have any fall goal races? 


United Medical 5k (19:59)

Last weekend I went to Delaware to race another 5k. My plan was to take the race out slower, stay consistent and not positive split. I normally don’t have a “race plan” but last week I did! My last several races have ranged in pace with my first mile about a minute faster than my last mile. My goal for this 5k was to stay consistent and not range from 6-7 minute miles in a 5k.

I arrived to the race at 7:30 and did a longer warm-up than normal. My warm-up is definitely something I’m still trying to figure out. I’m not exactly sure what works best for me in short distances. I also hadn’t slept well the night before so I wasn’t sure how the race would go.

I got to the starting line and by 8:30 and we were off.

There was a man who sprinted out in front of everyone. He was wearing blue jeans and a long sleeve shirt. I assumed he probably wouldn’t be able to keep a 5:30 pace for the entire race in blue jeans but you never know. By the half mile point he started to walk.

During the first mile I found myself as 6th person overall and first women. I stayed with a pack of men the entire race and started to slowly pick them off. My first mile was 6:23. My goal was to run even 6:27 miles (a 20:00 minute 5k).

During the second mile I slowly began picking off some of the men. There aren’t many races I completely zone out but this was one of them. It honestly felt like a 20 minute blur. I passed two men who I have seen at several races.

Around mile 2 we passed the finish line and looped into a nature preserve. Seeing the finish line around mile 2 was rough!  I began to just focus on two men in front of me. I crossed the second mile in 6:27. I hoped I would be able to maintain that pace and not positive split anymore.

During the third mile I focused on finishing strong.  I reminded myself to keep my arms engaged.  I passed the two males I was focusing on around 2.5. After that my only goal was to finish under 20 minutes.

Since I did not take the race out as fast, I didn’t fade! Who knew?

I definitely felt I was finishing much stronger then previous races. It was my fastest third mile of a 5k in a while. The two men I passed ended out kicking me in the last 100 meters. My kick for this race was the best it has been for a while but their kicks were both better! I didn’t let them passing bother me though.

I finished the last mile in 6:22 and the 5k in 19:59 and 1st women overall. I was happy with my efforts because I set out to do exactly what I wanted. I kept my splits consistent and finished my last mile the fastest. My endurance is slowly building but I still don’t feel that my turnover rate is where I want it to be. I know that will come with more speed work. I think adding some sprints will help with that as well.

me 5k

Questions for you:

Do you generally run consistent 5ks or positive/negative split them?

What is your ideal warm-up distance?

Training: 400s and Consistent 5ks

Training this week was boring. It wasn’t exciting but I got everything I needed to do.

Total mileage: 69 miles

On Monday and Tuesday I ran easy. There wasn’t anything too exciting about either run.

Workout Wednesday:
I went back to 400s. The Belmar Chase 5k taught me I needed to work on my last mile as well as turnover.

Many people have asked about my rest and recovery between the intervals: I’ve been doing all my speed workouts with standing rest. I plan to progress into jogging rest.

12X400s averaging between 87-82.
The first 8 had 1:30 rest and the last 4 had 1:00.
My last 400 was my fastest at 82.

Overall I’m happy with the workout.

Thursday was a rest day and Friday was another easy day. The weather on Friday was the best weather we have had in a while. I felt great!

On Saturday I ran a 5k in Delaware. I went in with a “racing plan” to take the race out slower and stay as consistent as possible.   I didn’t want to run a 6:0X mile as well as 6:5X. I’m happy to report I ran a 6:23, 6:27 and 6:22 so I definitely met my goal!

me 5k

On Sunday I met a friend for an easy long run. She is training for Chicago but I cut out at 15 since there isn’t a need for me to go much longer right now.  That was my longest run since the marathon!

There are two major things I need to work on for my 5k racing.

  • The first is my turnover rate. My turnover is not fast enough for 5ks. The pace I’m holding in 5ks is my half marathon PR pace. Right now my legs won’t move any faster!
  • The second is my last mile in the 5k. I take the race out to fast and then fall apart.

If I can dial in those then I’ll be ready to PR.

Next week:
I’m continuing the same method I’ve been using for the last month. As I said on Thursday, consistency is key.  I know eventually my hard work will pay off!

I will also be traveling to Virginia Beach next weekend to visit my family. I haven’t been down to VA since the wedding so it’s going to be nice!

Questions for you:
What was your best workout last week?
Do you have any Labor Day Plans?

Harrison House Diner

The Harrison House Diner Mullica Hill, NJ

I had wanted to try the Harrison House Diner since I drove by nearly two years ago.  I work very close by and I always see the restaurant jam packed with cars.  I’m actually surprised with how long it took me that long to try it.  The Harrison House Diner was even voted as the best diner in Gloucester County.

Atmosphere: B

The outside is a normal restaurant.  It’s well kept and clean.  The name Harrison House implies it looks like a house and it does.  I always appreciate a restaurant that confidently sticks with their theme.

The inside is typical of a normal restaurant.  There is nothing unusual or unique.  It’s not as “diner” as you would imagine.  It reminds me of a normal restaurant.  There is a bar as well as booths and tables but the layout resembles a normal restaurant.

Coffee: B

I really liked the coffee but the mugs were tiny!  I could not believe how small they were.  I could drink the entire coffee mug in one sip! The coffee and whipped cream were great but the mugs were too small for anyone.

The menu has a giant coffee mug on it though!

The menu has a giant coffee mug on it though!

Food: A 

The menu of the Harrison House has everything from breakfast to “sensational salads”, to shrimp po boys and more.  Since the Harrison House is well known for their seafood, I decided to try the Shrimp Po Boy.


After living in Va Beach area for so long, I have high standards for seafood. I was surprised by how good the shrimp po boy was.  My dad got the crab cake, which was huge!  It was one of the biggest crab cakes I’ve seen.  I was jealous and will definitely be ordering that next time.  (Edit to add: I’ve since ordered take out and the crab cake is just as good).

Harrison House Crab Cake

Dessert: A 

We ordered the German Chocolate Cake with ice cream.  The cake was fresh and the frosting was rich.  I was pleasantly surprised with how good the cake was.  I have no complaints and it was perfect.  Behind red velvet cake, german chocolate cake is my favorite.  They also had plenty of other cakes, cookies and baked goods.

Harrison House German Chocolate Cake 1

Harrison House German Chocolate Cake

Cost: $

For the shrimp po boy, coffee and cake the cost was $16.  That’s not bad at all and in fact a really great deal.

Overall thoughts/would I come back? 

I thought the Harrison House was really good.  I will definitely be back.  I’ve been twice since the first time.  I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to try in the first place.  If you heading down the shore or getting off the NJ turnpike at exit 2, the Harrison House is a great place to stop.

Cliff notes: 
Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Dessert: A 
Cost $10-15
Overall: A 

Questions for you:
Are you a seafood fan?
What are your favorite flavors of cake? 

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