Training Week 5: 62 Miles

It feels like this week came and left in the blink of an eye. Training wise, this was another strange week for me.  Weird training weeks seem to a common theme for my running lately but it’s better than injured weeks.  I raced, I traveled and I did a long run.

Week 5 has been my most successful though.

Monday: 6.2 miles easy
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: AM: 8 miles easy
PM: Beat the Ball 5k (19:50) Total miles: 6.25
Thursday: Hair of the Dog 5k (19:59) Total miles: 11.12
Friday: 1 hour AMT
Saturday: 10 miles easy
Sunday: 20 miles long run
Total: 62 miles

To say this was my best training week post injury is an understatement.  My foot has not bothered me and I raced better than expected.  Two positives and with my long run, I could not have asked for a better week.

On Monday I ran 6.2 miles.  I felt good and it was nothing out of the ordinary.

I took Tuesday off because I knew I was preparing for a hard couple of days.

Wednesday morning I ran 8 miles to shake out my legs.  I felt awful at the beginning of the run but as the it progressed, my legs felt better.  I’ll have race recaps for both races next week. To summarize I met both my goals of beating my previous 5k time of 20:35.  Neither race was in optimal conditions (an 11:15pm race followed by racing 11 hours later).  The races showed me that my hard work is slowly paying off.  My guess is if I raced in perfect conditions I could run a 19:40 5k right now. I’ll have to wait a while for that.

A screenshot from the finish line video of the second race.  100% of my race photos had the pain train face…it’s wonderful. 

hair of dog finish line video

After both races, I drove home (back to NJ).  I wasn’t as tired as I anticipated so the drive wasn’t too bad.  I still hate driving but the drive wasn’t too miserable.

On Thursday, I did an hour of cross training on the AMT.  I wanted to stretch out my legs but didn’t want to run. I felt a lot better getting my legs actively moving again. The rest of the day I spent napping and cleaning up my house.

On Saturday I ran easy followed by work.  Around mile 8 of my run it began to hail.  I didn’t know it was supposed to hail until it started too.

Finally on Sunday I ran my first 20 miler of the training cycle.  It didn’t feel great but didn’t feel awful either.  It poured rain the entire time.  It felt like the first 20 miler of any training cycle.  The most important aspect was how my foot felt.  I’m happy to report that my foot felt fine and I had no issue.

Overall thoughts:

I had a really solid and positive week and I could not be more pleased.   I could tell that lack of sleep caught up to me during the weekend.   Next week I plan to keep my mileage about the same.  Instead of running 5 days a week, I will run 6.  I don’t have plans to do a 20 mile run next weekend though.

Questions for you:

Have you ever done back to back races?

Have you ever driven after a race?

In Upstate NY I used to drive directly after half marathons (5+ hours…who knew NY was so big).  Sometime my legs ended up locking up during the drive.  I would be more sore the next few days.  Luckily dad drove after my full marathon in 2013.

Training from January and February Thoughts

I’m a little late since it’s already February 5th but better late then never.  Last month’s training was pretty decent.  After running my first and only marathon (NYC) in November, I finally feel as though I have had a training month that I’m proud of.  January was a good month for me.  I posted that I was going to do a series of 5 dollar 5ks last month and sadly that did not happen.  I did a total of one of those 5ks.  Due to snow, getting the flu, snow and then just choosing a different race, I ended up doing one.  In short, January wasn’t the month I planned for but it wasn’t a bad month either.  I did log quality base building miles.

Despite all of that and getting sick for a few days in mid January I had a great month of training.

Total miles: 288

Total rest days: 7 (a few more then I would have liked)

Total races: 2 (New Year’s Hangover and the Freehold 5k)

Longest run: 15.81

Shortest run: 5k race

Range of pace for runs: 6:18-9:34 (with a bunch of untimed runs too)

Most proud run: Last week’s fast finish 12 miler.  The last 4 miles were at a 6:51 or below pace (overall pace 7:43)

It feels good to finally get in some solid training.  I’ve missed running high mileage and I’ve missed feeling good when I run.   I know I’m not 100% there yet but it feels good to be getting closer.  My goals for February are to do more speed work and prepare for the Shamrock half marathon in March (I’ll be using it at an early base line for a later Spring half, the NJ half…Napa Valley?)

Goals for February:

I hope to run a 300 mile month but since the month is shorter so this will be a bit harder of a task.  I’ll probably take less rest days though (I hope to take 1 a week).  I would like to get in more quality miles and some solid speed work in (in the form of races).  I’ll actually be traveling a bit for two races this month too.   I decided not to even look for a race on Februrary 8th since I didn’t want to race every weekend.

February 2nd (I’m late): I did the Super Hero 4 Miler

Februrary 15th: VA is for Lovers 14k 

February 23rd: Lake Effect Half Marathon 

As you know the Lake Effect half marathon is a huge deal for me!  On Monday we did it.  We raised 2,000 dollars for Ophelia’s Place and Eating Disorder Awareness.  I am overwhelmed and excited.  A single sentence cannot express how I’m feeling.

I enjoy doing monthly recaps because I can see how my training was and where it is going.  I know it’s headed in the right direction, I just wish it was a little bit quicker. 

Please vote for me to go to Napa Valley!  Thank you again for keeping with me and still voting.  We are nearly half way done and holding strong.  One of my good friends said (about life in general) “it’s not over until it’s over”.  Either way I’m enjoying sharing daily memes on my facebook page.  I think that is a positive mentality to have.

Question for you:  How was your training in January?  What are your goals for February?

Freehold Winter Series 5k (19:59)

Every local race I run I think it’s a good idea to pack everything the night before.  Every time I decide that sitting on the couch is more important than I don’t have enough time to pack.  That being said the race didn’t start until 10.  I wanted to leave the house by 8 am.  We ended up getting to the race at 9 even with some starts so even with packing and running around in the morning I was okay.

I had originally thought the weather was perfect.  It was 40 or so degrees, slightly sunny and not raining.  That is the best weather I’ve seen for a few weeks.  When I actually started running I realized how windy it was and I was little bit distraught.  I knew this would be nowhere near a PR but as long as I can consistently break 20 minutes I will be happy…for now…

I warmed up and decided because it was cold I would race in my yellow long sleeve stripey Oiselle shirt.  With the wind I decided it was too cold for a singlet.  I ran a few miles and headed to the start.

Tim and I laughed at the start because at the very front line there was a pack of high schoolers, thin, freezing and toeing the line.  This was a small race and I seriously felt like I was watching a championship race start.  The race started with an air horn and the front line immediately pressed their watches and began.  Tim and I were just goobering around as “second race stringers”.

Anyways I started the race as seventh female overall.  The first mile was going completely with the wind.  (Read: it should have been the fastest mile).  I felt good the first mile.  We had to cross a flooded pathway which I was most nervous about.  The water level had risen due to the amount of melting ice and I had prepped myself during warm up not to fall.  (Shockingly…I didn’t!).  I hit the first mile at 6:20 and was pretty disappointed.  I knew the struggle for a sub 20 minute 5k was real.  I didn’t understand why since I felt good.  I felt like with my effort I should have been in the low 19s.

The second mile included two 180 degree turns.  That was a bit frustrating but I knew they were there so it wasn’t a surprise.  I tried to maintain my pace even while going back into the wind.  I ended up passing the rest of the females as well as 2 males placing me as first place female and 6th place overall.  Since I was demotivated due to my pace as well as wind my placement was a bit more motivating.  I hit mile 2 at 12:48.

The last and final mile I knew I was going to have to red line it to break 20 minutes.  I was so frustrated with myself but I was starting to understand that it was not a fast course or fast day.  I saw one more male infront of me that I believed I could catch.  I started to dig down deep and passed him just after the stream passing again.  The third mile was a mixture of the first and second mile combined so we had seen that part of the course already.

Then the last .1 I just powered through like the mac truck I pretend to be because there was no way I was going to be over 20 minutes.

I crossed the finish in 19:59.

After being asked if I had graduated and then causing the race director to be flabbergasted that I graduated college nearly two years ago I headed for a cool down.

Thoughts regarding this race:

My watch measured it as 3.2.  I personally consider anything at 3.2 to be a long 5k course.  Anything under 3.2 I consider that I didn’t run the tangents well and it’s not long.  With all the 180 turns I know I should be ok with running a 19:59.  I’m still rather upset about it though.  I think there were a lot of factors: long course, 4 180 turns, lots of turns that weren’t 180 and wind that played a role in a slower time.

I know I need to give it time but it’s still frustrating in my opinion.  I’m doing the rest of the series (there are 3 more) so hopefully I’m able to improve on my time.  Regardless I still had an enjoyable time and finished injury free so I can’t complain.  Running a 5k PR just seems so far in the distance right now.

Questions for you:

Have you ever had to cross a stream when running a race?  Have you ever fallen during a race?

This was the first time I crossed a stream.  I’ve fallen a few times in college cross country races.  I nearly got spiked in the face at one of them.  I was able to make a pretty solid recovery though.

What 5k time do you constantly try and achieve, as your “C” goal?

For me it’s always 20 minutes, that being said I’d rather run 20+ and be injury free then run a 19 flat on an injury.

Hangover 5k (19:42)

I knew eventually the day would come where I would get a solid reality check.  A solid reality check that my speed is not where it was last summer.  A solid reality check that I needed to move on and begin training again.  That being said I chose to take two solid months off after the marathon from racing (except the 10 miler because I really just like J&A races) and just focus on logging quality miles.  Easier said than done but I did get more mileage.  Now until the Virginia is for Lovers 14k, I plan to run 5 more 5ks and work on some speed.

But I should probably start with my first 5k recap. 

The Hangover 5k was pretty far north of me but the promise of finally meeting Ashley, Danielle and Amelia enticed me to drive the distance.  It seemed like a decent course and I have never been up there so that was that.



During my 2 mile warmup, my new nike watch decided it wasn’t going to link up to satellite.  Honestly I’m done with this watch and the amount of problems both of them have caused me.  I’m going to go back to my old Garmin.  I jogged two miles around the course as my warm up and then just waited for the race to start.

It was cold and I left all my clothing on until 1 minute before the start.   The command signal went off (ie: an air horn) and off we went.  It was extremely crowded the first mile and I tried not to elbow any little children so my blog title would become LOLZinJail.  The first mile I ran in 6:05.  There was a man calling out splits at the mile.  I believe he was probably one of the high school cross country coaches because there were a ton of teams there and he was writing splits down too.

There is one type of runner I like to pass more than any other, which is the high school male.  They think they are god’s gift to the world so cocky and arrogant.  I really try to hold my breath and look like I’m effortlessly passing them as well.  Anyways today while passing two boys, they bellowed “Good thing this is a recovery run.  Yeah RECOVERY, WE AREN’T TRYING AT ALL!!!!” (They were practically screaming it…).  I snarked back, good thing I’m not a lanky high school boy on my recovery run then.  Keep in mind we are going around a 6 minute pace…so yes not recovery for them.  I know the mature thing to do is not talk but I have a harder time biting my tongue when racing.

The second mile was rather uneventful.  I continued to pass a few more women and moved to second place female (where I stayed).  I saw the first place female way up in front (who later ran 18:40ish) and knew I wasn’t passing her.  I had dug my heels into the pain train and knew I just had to hold on for the ride.

Mile 2 I hit in 12:37.  I kept telling myself okay Hollie in order to run a sub 20 minute you must finish in less than 7:30.  I really fought to keep myself together and push to do so.  A little less excitement in the third mile.  I saw Ashley and she said good job.  I responded with I am about to die.  Aren’t I a bundle of fun?

I hit the 3 mile point in exactly 19 minutes.  By my previous life of math major calculations, I knew if I held the same pace (because lord knows I was not getting any faster or kicking it to the end) I would be under 20 minutes.

I finished in 19: 42.  Obviously not my best and nowhere near it but the reality check I needed.  I am ready to begin training again and ready to excel in hopefully many more 5ks to come.  This next month is dedicated to finding myself in this distance.  A 5k is not an easier distance (in my opinion) because it is shorter.  I find it harder with less room for mistakes.

I knew this wasn’t going to be anything close to a PR.  I really haven’t done many 5ks since the summer time.  I ran one in October but none in September or August.  I might run more this month then all of last year.  At least it gives me more content for my blog I guess.

I did pose with my second place trophy...trying to mimic it...but I failed.

I did pose with my second place trophy…trying to mimic it…but I failed.

Questions for you:

What sports watch do you use?  If you use Nike do you have as many problems as I seem to have had lately?

What is your 5k race strategy?

I honestly just go out like a headless chicken and prey to the high heavens that I don’t crash and burn.

July through December Musings

It seems like the second half of my year was far more exciting then the first.  I like to save the best for last right?  Actually after the marathon my life seems to have simmered down.


I turned the big 23.  I’m an old lady now.

I finally ran a 5k PR that I feel I’m never capable of again (18:35).

Life is good!

Life is good!


As with the rest of the summer I worked a lot between 50-70 hours and was really burnt out.

I ran an 8k PR and then was hit by a cylist who broke my arm.

YAY for no sling!

YAY for no sling!

I was accepted to run for Oiselle! 



I ran the Rock and Roll VA Beach half marathon with Laura and Heather.  It was awkward because I ran it with a broken arm.



I moved to Texas.

I ran another half marathon a week later in San Antonio.  1800 miles of driving, two half marathons back to back…only to go a few seconds faster in San Antonio and win a sweet Growler.



(one week later) I found out I was moving to New Jersey.

The night we found out we were Jersey bound

The night we found out we were Jersey bound


I drove back across the country seeing Laura along the way.


I moved back home with my parents (again!) for a few weeks before my marathon.

Kris and I dressed up like Pumpkins for a 10k that I missed my PR by 5 seconds.



I ran my first marathon.


I moved to NJ.  After moving to NJ, I took some time off of running and just relaxed and looked jobs for a while.


I haven’t (honestly) done a lot of note worthy things this December.  It’s been just assimilating into NJ and looking for jobs.  I hope I have something to report by the end of the year.  I guess I’ll work on that.

I took photos in the snow.  It counts as productive.

I took photos in the snow. It counts as productive.

I did run my first and only race since the marathon, The Surf and Santa 10 miler.


Thoughts of 2013:

Although 2013 was anything but calm I truly enjoyed the year.  It seemed like it flew by and that I was happier then I have been, especially in the later half of the year.  It seems like I should have been more stressed being jobless and the 4000 miles I drove in 2 months but I wasn’t.  It was a really good year.  I have found the more stressed “I should be” is when I become less stressed.  Little stressors that shouldn’t stress me out often are the worst for me.

Anyways upward and onward to 2014 from here!

Question for you: Most notable thing of 2013? 

Haunted Hustle XC 5k (19:15)

This race was exactly what I thought it would be.  After two months of not doing low 6 minute paced runs or races (my last was the 8k that I broke my arm) and also driving 1200 miles, I was not expecting a PR.  What I was expecting was a nice shock to my body and that is exactly what I got.  I had toyed with the idea of doing a half marathon instead on Sunday, but decided that was a terrible idea since my body might not recover before the marathon.  Plus, I wanted to start getting some faster miles in as my body goes into taper mode.  It was actually difficult to know there was a half marathon in the area and I wasn’t doing it.

So the race itself:

I was happy to stay with a good friend of mine Laura and we got to the race in enough time to warm up together, grab our race numbers and get ready to go.  It was a “low key” Atlanta race which meant there were only 200 or so people.  Not my definition of low key but I was happy for lots of people.  It was roughly 100 old people and 100 high schoolers.  Look us oldies out of high school go.

Laura and I prerace

Laura and I prerace

The first mile started in an open field and we funneled down onto the course.  I felt like I was really moving and didn’t feel as stiff as I thought I would.  I realized rather quickly that I was pretty far in the back of the pack.  I was discouraged but just mentally told myself, this is how you run and it will be like this in New York City.  (5:57)

The second mile I started to pass people and felt a little but more motivated.  My arm warmers had fallen over my watch so had no idea what my pace was.  I just went with how I was feeling (which really isn’t anything different, I just couldn’t stare at my watch). I passed roughly 5 females during mile 2, the only time I passed females (6:09).

The third mile, I felt exactly the same.  I just kept plugging away at the miles.  I passed a few males and I didn’t feel like I was dying.  I don’t remember anything significant about this mile just that I was running…when I plugged it into my computer I realized I ran another 6:09 mile.  So it was consistent.

I saw the finish line and just powered through.  I had seen three other females the entire race but had no speed or power to catch them.  When I saw the clock hit over 19 minutes I was honestly a little bit upset.  It was a reality check that I hadn’t been doing speed work.  I finished the race in 19:15.

Thoughts of the race:

I am happy with the time after driving and no speed work but at the same time it’s hard to look at times above 19 minutes after 2 races this summer being in the 18s.  I’m also disappointed with a fourth place finish but you cannot control who comes to races and these girls were faster.  I fully enjoyed the race and cross country races are my absolute favorite (I just wish there were more!).  I honestly felt like I could have kept a pretty similar pace for a couple more miles but I couldn’t run faster for 3.  To sum it up, it’s nice to get some faster miles on my legs.  I’m happy but not ecstatic with the time and I had a great time in Atlanta.

Questions for you:

  1. 1.       What is your favorite type of race? Road, cross country, trail, trail?
  2. 2.       Is it cold near you?  I just went from 80 degrees for the last 6 months to 40 degrees.  It was a shock to my body to say the least.

Marathon Hanker Down (8 weeks to go)

This summer was a relatively productive summer as far as training goes.  Like last year I managed to stay injury free and log some great miles.  (Let us hope that I don’t develop a cyst two weeks into fall like last year though)

Summer I ended up PRing  in:

The 5k.

As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo.  Proper blogging technique!

As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo. Proper blogging technique!

The 8k.

The 10k.

And I also got my first glimpse of breaking a race tape and winning the Run for the Dream Half Marathon. (One of my most proud moments of running).


So as far as running, I had a great summer.  I certainly had some lower points to accompany the high points but that is how life goes.  I spent a good portion of the summer questioning whether I would make it through my training.   After fracturing my elbow two weeks ago and thinking the worst I’m happy to report that I got the best situation out of it and can continue to train. 

So now that I’m roughly 8 weeks away from the New York City Marathon and have my base in it’s time to start the bread and butter of “real training”.  It’s not a secret I don’t have a coach, a real training plan or any clue what I’ve gotten myself into with marathon training…I’m not an expert and don’t claim to be.  I will admit to have scoured the internet asking everyone and anyone for help, reading several books and articles and trying to figure out what will work for me.  (That being said, I still don’t know).

With 8 weeks to go and soon to be settled in Texas, I know I will start longer runs.  I plan to peak at 22-24 miles.  For me personally I know I will feel far more comfortable doing a 22 mile run versus peaking at 20.  I’ll probably take it very easy and hope Tim will do some or all with me.  I don’t plan to do Yasso 800s or hit the track.

I do plan to do a few longer tempo runs. During the summer I did a few tempo runs ranging from 6-16 miles which were a big confidence boost for me.  The area of Texas I’m moving does not have a plethora of races like VA Beach.  Therefore I’ll have to make my own speed and that is something I’m not used too.  I’ll probably take a weekend travel trip to do 1 or 2 races in the next two months but other than that I don’t have the luxury (or bank account) to race every weekend.

With 8 weeks to go and the amount of time I’ve already invested in training it’s time to hanker down.

Questions for you:

When do you start to real hanker down (does anyone even use the word hanker) for training? (Bonus points if you answer about a  marathon).

Proudest athletic accomplishment? 


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