Dismal Swamp 5k (19:45)

Sometimes posts get lost in the mix.  During my wedding weekend I also ran an Inaugural 5k at the Dismal Swamp.  The 5k was a straight, out and back course.  Brittany, Heather and I ran the 5k while Laura cheered and ran 10 miles.  It was a lot of fun.  Given any other weekend this recap would have gotten precedence.

My girls

My girls

We got to the race with about half an hour to spare.  We all ran about 20 minutes together and by the time we finished it was time to race.

dismal swamp 5k 1

I was trying to motion #bumbutt but it looks like I just have a wedgie


The 5k started at 8:05, while the half marathon started 5 minutes before at 8am.  Once they were off they called us up.  Within a few minutes, we were off.  I was lucky to chat to Marie, a great friend of mine.

I immediately took off, not knowing what to expect. Since my hip is definitely not 100%, if anything hurt I would just stop.

The first mile felt like it took forever.  I went from 3rd woman to 1st by the end of the first mile and found myself alone with no men or women near.  I began passing half marathoners towards the end of the first mile.  At first I thought it was strange to have half marathoners go 5 mins in front of 5kers.  We would catch a lot and it would be crowded but I ended up liking it a lot.  I was able to see some of my local friends like Allie and Jenny!  I hit the first mile in 6:22.  I was excited because it gave me hope to run a sub 20 (which I have not been able to do lately at all).

The second mile was similar to the first.  I saw a lot of friends running the half.  I also saw Laura who was cheering loudly.  The lead cyclist made the u turn and headed back with the leader of the race.  The lead cyclist actually told me to get out of the way.  That irritated me a little bit because there weren’t a lot of places to go.  I wasn’t going to run into the half marathoners on the other side of the road and I wasn’t purposely in the leader’s way.  When I made the turn and headed back I side fived everyone including my dad and two brothers (both of whom were riding the pain train after going to T’s Bachelor party).   I hit the second mile in 6:22 too (hashtag twinning).

During the third mile I thought there was a chance to break 20 minutes.  My hip was a little bit sore but nothing crazy (I do believe if I raced a 10k, it would have been inhibiting).  I began trying to push but similar to most of my 5ks, that is next to impossible.  The last mile of a 5k is always painful whether I’m running a PR or PW.  I hit the third mile in 6:27 so I didn’t slow down too much.

All of a sudden I found myself approaching the finish line and they had a tape for me to break!  That doesn’t happen often so I was really excited.  I threw my hands up (like I think you are supposed to do) and went through.

dismal swamp win

Then to add more perfection to the day, Heather took second woman and Brittany took third.  We actually took a 1,2,3!  This race wasn’t close to a PR for anyone but it is a nice step towards running more short races.  I’m very happy I made the last minute decision to race and have no regrets.

dismal swamp 5k 2

My hip felt the same as if I had run easy so that was a bit of confidence too.  The weather conditions were perfect and the course was flat (probably the main reasons I had a solid race).  This race gave me a bit of confidence that I could begin racing 5ks again…anything more is going to currently bother my hip.  In summary it was a solid race for me and I have no complaints.  I am looking to race a lot more short races for a while.  My hip didn’t bother me during the 5k and I think it’s a logical step.

Questions for you:

What is your 5k strategy?

What was the last race you did with friends?

Heading North in the Winter

Because who doesn’t want to head to a colder climate in the winter? 

Anyways, this past weekend I traveled to Rochester, New York.  I wanted to see some of best friends: Heather, Laura and Brittany.  They all have blogs and exist in real life too.  Since we all run, have blogs and exist in real life…we must be the same person.  Right?

Let’s rewind to Friday. 

I drove up to Jersey City and got dinner with Danielle and Amelia.  It was nice to finally see and catch up with both of them.  It’s weird to think we haven’t seen each other since October!  Danielle and Amelia make up 2 out of 5 of my friends in New Jersey.

On Saturday am, Danielle and I drove to the JFK airport.  Danielle was visiting her sister in Rochester, so we decided to travel together. All I remember from that morning (and I’m sure she agrees) was: holy $hit it’s cold, how are we going to make it in Rochester?  The temperature at JFK was 10 degrees and felt like -4.

Warm plane.

Warm plane.


After arriving to Rochester, dare I say it that it seemed warmer?

In summary, the ladies and I had such a great weekend.

Some highlights:

  1. Eating an entire red velvet cake red velvet cake
  2. Meeting the owner of the James Brown Diner (review to come in Rochester
  3. Introducing Brittany to Fast Trac Coffee…need I say more?

    Oh we had no idea this camera was taking a photo...we are obviously just causally chatting over our gas station lattes

    Oh we had no idea this camera was taking a photo…we are obviously just causally chatting over our gas station lattes

  4. Just girl chat. There isn’t a need to “recap” the amount of fun we had just chatting.  These three women are three of my closest friends.  While I haven’t seen them since early last year, nothing had changed.  I’m truly grateful to have friends that I can talk to anytime.  We can go months without seeing face to face and still pick up just where we left (that being said, I do wish we were closer).

Enjoy this photoshoot…

girls weekend

girls weekend coffee

How did this even happen?

How did this even happen?

Sadly, Brittany and Heather left on Sunday.  Laura and I went and watched the Super Bowl at one of Laura’s friends’ house.  While I’m not into football, I enjoyed hanging out and meeting friends of friends.

On Monday a huge snow storm hit Rochester.  Rochester received between 12-16 inches of snow.  Laura, had to work and I ran at the gym and relaxed.

Oh goodie...

Oh goodie…

Then on Tuesday, Danielle and I left bright and early (4:30 am) to JFK.  After a perfect flight and arrival, we arrived at my car.  My car was completely frozen over and had an entire half inch of ice on top (including all locks).  We could not physically break the ice because it was so thick.  We were freezing, miserable and honestly had no idea what to do.  The security car couldn’t help us, triple A didn’t have any great advice and we honestly didn’t know what to do.  We spent about 45 minutes trying everything possible.

Then the JFK long term bus driver came by and helped us out.  Honestly if he had not helped us with an ice pick, I don’t know how we would have gotten in my car.  I will always be thankful for him (and made sure to thank him).  I’ll never forget his kindness as long as I live!

After dropping Danielle back in Jersey City,  finally got back down to South Jersey.  My car still had a bit of snow on it (not prohibiting my driving).  People were staring at my car yesterday.

Cliff notes: I had a great weekend and my friends are the greatest. 

Questions for you:

Do your closest friends live near or far?

What was the last act of kindness you did for someone? (or someone did for you?)

I know Danielle and I will always be grateful for the bus driver’s kindness.

Five Types of Runners

Let’s face it…when you are in a community of runners, a lot of your friends are runners.   It’s an unavoidable fact.

running friends meme

Runners do the same things.

They geek out to the same new things. (OMG new Asics shoe next month!?)

Runners have the same internet searches…

How to run

How to run faster

How to run faster and PR

Anyways, as runners we are friends with more runners.  It’s also why we display bumper stickers on the back of our cars.  It’s like the bat signal to others of “hey, let’s be friends because I’m a runner too!”.

runner bumper sticker

Here are five types of running friends you have (or if you don’t, the chances are you are that person).

The Injury Connoisseur

runner meme injured

Bless this poor runner’s heart, your friend has had every injury known to runner kind.

Maybe they poorly train or are just extremely injury prone, this poor person always seems to be injured…That being said, if you have any ache or pain from your metatarsal to your ear lobe…you can count on them to know what your problem is.  While they didn’t go to medical school, they still could tell you the symptoms and recovery process to every injury imaginable.

Push the Pace Pat

lazy runner meme

PTPP runs all of his training runs at the exact same pace he races.  If you are looking for a free speed workout, Pat is your guy.  He is probably slightly awkward to run with because you can’t chat since you are sprinting the entire time.  You wonder how he doesn’t get injured but realize he doesn’t improve either.  He doesn’t mind his consistent speed…he just likes his exact 7:02 pace every single mile of every single run.  No faster, no slower.  His secondary titles are Consistency Cal or Racing Raymond.

Technology Tim

New Garmin out?  Tim knows.

New Fitbit heart rate tracking monitor doodad thingy?  Tim knows.

New cross training machine out?  LOLZ, Tim has known for the last few months.

If you have any technology questions or products, Tim will provide you with the answer.  Just don’t go on a long run with him or you might fall asleep while he geeks out to some formula that causes the Fitbit to calibrate to your steps.

Ultramarathoner Unice

Forest was an ultramarathoner before ultra marathoning was cool.

Forest was an ultramarathoner before ultra marathoning was cool.

Unice will run 30 miles just because.  30 miles today, tomorrow and possibly 30 miles every day.  Unice lives for the long run and lives for running on the trails.  Your friend Unice can take you to the best state parks with the best scenery.

Be careful though because they might be gorgeous state parks with hidden intense trails.  A 30 miler is hard enough but adding a 1000 feet climb every few miles increases the difficulty…The male version (Long Run Logan) normally has a long beard because face it…when do ultra-marathoners not have beards?

Hungover Harry

Hungover Harry is the life of the party and the life of the run.  He is always open to running whether he just got done drinking a few hours ago or not.  He is a great and personable guy.  You can count on him to have a good time whether you are running or not.  He just annoys the junk out of you that he will PR and crush your time the night after drinking.

running hungover meme

Questions for you:

Do you have any of these friends?

Do you consider yourself any of these people?


My visit last week to Virginia was a lot of fun.  I haven’t spent a week in my hometown in a while.  I think the last time I spent an entire week there was when I lived in Virginia for the summer of 2013.  It was nice to relax and see friends.  I also got a lot of very much needed wedding stuff done. With all of things I have gotten done wedding wise, I might get married.

Where to even begin?

I arrived to Virginia late Christmas Eve.  It’s hard to believe that was 2 weeks ago. I drove home from work and then spent Christmas day relaxing and hanging out with my family. It was exactly what I needed.  While I don’t live in Virginia, Virginia is still home.

In the days after Christmas, I did a lot.  Instead of writing too much, ’ll just caption photos.

I was able to hang out with one of my bridesmaids, Theresa. We went to a (new to us) Mexican restaurant Luna Maya.  Their portions were massive and if you visit Norfolk, VA, I would recommend the restaurant.  In fact, I want to visit Virginia again so I can go.

Getting froyo afterwords.  I mean whipped cream with a side of fro yo,

Getting froyo afterwords. I mean whipped cream with a side of fro yo,

At Luna Maya

At Luna Maya

I got to hang out with another Bridesmaid, Anna.  Anna and I have been friends for over 13 years (that is over half our lives!).  It’s crazy to think that.  She is truly one of the best friends I could ask for.  After undergrad, Anna taught in China for two years and recently moved back to the US to work on grad school.  While we don’t live close, it’s a lot closer than halfway around the world.  She has been one of my best friends for 13 years now and it was so lovely to catch up with her.

anna and i

After more relaxing, wedding planning and doing absolutely nothing, I got lunch with Kris L and Kellie.  Most Virginia Beach runners know what powerhouse runners these woman are.  Not only are they both insanely fast, but they are both insanely nice.  We went to a local favorite and (Virginia diner?) Citrus on Christmas Eve.  They are two of my favorite people to talk training, life and whatever else with.

Nonrunning clothes ;)

Nonrunning clothes ;) Kellie, myself and Kris

The of course, I also did two local road races (I’m sure I’ve spammed my blog enough with them):

12/31 11:15 pm Beat the Ball 5k

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years!

1/1 10 am: Hair of the Dog 5k

This week vacation was exactly what I needed.  It broke up the month the month of December and it made it fly by.  I feel like I was just leaving New Jersey and now I’m back.

While my “homecation” was relaxing, I got a lot of much needed stuff done on my wedding too.  I was starting to feel nervous (due to doing nothing in December) but I got a lot accomplished last week.  It also made the wedding as a whole become more real!  I’ll have a wedding update at some point.  Long story short, I’ve gone to the first vendor of each category…said what I have wanted and they have done a great job.  I have no stress or complaints.

Questions for you:

Do you visit your hometown a lot?

How were your Holidays?

The Boring Real Life

It’s not a secret that I’ve been working a lot more than usual lately.  I’ve said that a lot.  My work is anywhere is from 30 minutes-1 hour from my house.  Working more days gives me less time to blog and less things to talk about via blogging.  With a 40 hour work week, I’m also driving between 5-10 hours a week.  That means I’m outside of my house (work related) around 45-50 hours weekly.  That doesn’t count time hanging out with friends.  

I haven’t been blogging any less (nor do I really want to stop blogging) but I often times find myself with less things to say.  I mean I could talk about waking up, working out, driving to work, coming home, playing around on the internet and then going to bed.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  That doesn’t seem that exciting to me, nor does posting my daily eats.  Sorry that’s not my blog flow. I guess if posting about my daily food intake and food payed my bills I might be more inclined.  Changing my blog to create more content seems like a lose for me and a snooze for readers.  That’s my humble opinion though and if you like posting your daily food intake, good for you.  I digress.

On my (work) off days, I’ve found I like to hang out with friends and relax.  I don’t like spend more then an hour or two blogging.  So I don’t like to spend all my free time blogging.  I really enjoy blogging but I don’t live to blog.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m saying, I guess more or less that while I’m having a social life and exist outside the internet, it’s not life riveting or things I feel are necessary “blog worthy”.

Do you really care what kind of food I ate today?  (Only if it’s a diner).

Do you care my favorite color is yellow?  Not really.

So anyways what have I been up to outside of boring, adult things?

Last week I got to hang out with a good friend Melissa.  It was a really good time and really nice to catch up.  Melissa has been a huge support system for me and our help and advice is untradeable.  It seems like so long ago and it was only last week.


Say "Smile so we exist in real life"...no...really.

Say “Smile so we exist in real life”…no…really.

I also got to hang out with Danielle and Amelia who led me into the city.  (PS: Danielle just PRed in her 5k on a hard, hilly course in the middle of marathon training..).  Last Tuesday, I started a pretty rigorous schedule where I went to NYC and then drove straight to work Wednesday in South Jersey that morning.  I worked from Wednesday to Monday (around 50 hours).  Outside of meeting Kate Grace, I didn’t talk a lot about my time in NYC.  I really surprised myself with how much fun I had.  We walked around NY, tried a cool foodie truck (my first foodie truck ever!) and then headed to the Brass Monkey to meet some Oiselle teammates.  While I was nervous to physically go into the city, I had a lot of fun.

Train selfie

Train selfie

Foodie truck: A goat cheese wrap thing and glass noodle salad.   It was really good.

Foodie truck: A goat cheese wrap thing and glass noodle salad. It was really good.

Then I worked, worked, and worked.  I am glad I did and I enjoyed each day but it was tiresome for sure.  Those days consisted of work, sleep, work sleep (and two workouts I believe).

I’m now reaping the rewards of just relaxing and getting my house straightened up.  I was going to plan more events with friends but found I just needed some time to just relax.

I think as a blogger, there is an unseen pressure that “my life is so exciting, therefore I blog”.  That certainly isn’t the case and I have several weeks of being “boring” or just lather, rinse, repeating.

I wish I could post more exciting life moments but I don’t have any.  My biggest life update is that I’m just continuing living my life. 

I created an anonymous question box so if you have any idea’s or questions feel free to ask below.  


Questions for you:

What are you up to this week?

Any big plans this weekend? 

It’s RnR Philly so I’ll probably be watching and cheering with that.  Since my work is partnering with Brooks we have a lot of cool things going on.  Let me know if you’ll be there!

Halfway Done

I’m currently halfway done with a lot of things in my life.

I’m already more then halfway done recovering from my stress fracture.  Judging by the location of my stress fracture as well as the thickness of the crack, my doctor created a timeline of my healing process.  So far so good and he has been able to accurately predict how it would heal.  I’m about three and a half weeks of no running and everything continues to go streamline I might be able to run my first mile soon. Mentally the time has flown by.  This injury has been different from any other injury that I’ve had.  I didn’t stress that I was injured.  I actually never once cried.  The time keeps ticking away very quickly.  I credit that to staying busy and not worrying about it.  I also credit it to not whining too much and seeking positive aspects of my life.  I didn’t create an injury hashtag and I limited how much I complained about being injured.  I was truly happy for my friends PRing in their 5ks, 10k, marathons and whatever else.  In turn, I feel it’s made the time go quicker because I’m not dwelling on the fact I’m injured.

More importantly, I’m one month into T’s deployment (with one month to go). I’m mentally in a hell of a lot better spot than I would have thought.

If you were to ask me in August, Hollie how do you think you’ll feel when your finance is deployed and you have a stress fracture?

I would have probably responded with, that’s not really a situation I want to deal with. It’s probably not a situation I could even comprehend at the time. I would be an emotional wreck.

Here I am dealing with that exact situation.  Within the matter of two weeks I rode an emotional roller coaster of T leaving and then finding out I had a stress fracture. I’m injured and dealing with  fiance being deployed but I’m making the best of the situation.  I’m not allowing myself to be in a negative spot.  I’m looking for the positive and good situations versus the negative and not so good.  Honestly, some days are better than others but I’m not an emotional wreck. I’m nowhere near that mindset and haven’t found myself there very much at all.  While I can’t say this is my favorite stretch of my life, I can’t sit and pretend I’m letting myself be miserable.  It’s always been in my nature to make the best of situations.  While I may vent or ramble about something, I’m always striving to make the best of the situation.

I’ve found keeping busy and keeping out of an empty house is one of the biggest factors for me to stay happy. I’m working, I’m seeing friends and I’m not allowing myself be consumed by the internet.  I truly believe those that sit around and feel sorry for themselves aren’t going to be as happy.

Could I sit on the internet for hours on end, keep to myself and “get through it”? Sure but that’s not really a life I want to live, running or not.

It’s made me realize that I have a ton of other interests that have nothing to do with running (something I think everyone needs). In case you wondered, I wish I could say I’ve used this extra time to plan our wedding…but that would be a false statement.  I’ve really found other things that interested me.  I have no regrets on anything and have truly taken time to enjoy life.

I’ve fostered friendships in the last month. I’ve learned my friends near and far always have my back. They’ve kept me sane. They’ve kept me from having any meltdowns, from feeling sorry for myself and from becoming more of a mess than usual.  They’ve allowed me to just talk and to bounce ideas off of.

That being said, I’m very much halfway through my recovery and halfway through Tim’s deployment. I’m still looking forward to when I’m 100% the way through both.  Throughout both situations, I try and keep the concept of things could always be worse.  There will always be people that have it “worse than I do” and that I should take time to realize that.  That being said I have a countdown to Tim getting back as well as a countdown to my first mile that I’ll be able to run.  This is just one short chapter of my life.  A chapter building a foundation for the next greater chapter of life.

I always look at this photo and realize that life is full of great moments whether you are looking or not.

engagement photo 3

Question for you:  How do you stay positive in rough times? 


Vacation Life

I had so much fun the last week.  Honestly I had such a packed week! I don’t even know where to start.  I had a great time hanging out with my family, friends and seeing so much different faces.

The reason I came down to VA was because my youngest brother Steven, was graduating high school.  He is the last of us to graduate high school.  The graduation itself began pretty late at 7:30pm.  I was lucky my graduation began at 9:30 I guess.  One thing I love about our school district is that graduations are exactly 1 hour long.  There are multiple high schools that use this facility so the graduations are required to be exactly 1 hour long.  No long speeches, just boom boom boom.  So 507 candidates left as graduates in one hour.

But first, let me take a selfie with Matt.  We drove seperately since not everyone could fit in one car.  There was so much traffic to get to graduation.  It took us about an hour to drive about 10 miles.


Watching high school graduation made me realize that mine was 6 years ago.  I thought a lot about how much my life had changed since then.  Wow!  Now I wonder where I will be in 6 more years.  Six years from now will be 2020….what an interesting thought.

Anyways my three brothers and I post graduation.  (Doug, myself, Steven, Matt).


Plus who doesn’t love a great family photo (taken another day).  (Yes we took more…)


Speaking of high school, I also had the chance to meet up with someone I went to high school with Lauren!  It was so great to chat in person again.  We swam together way back in high school and now we are both respectifully planning our weddings.  (Speaking of weddings, I have a lot of news to share about mine…I actually have things accomplished).


As my last horah I got to have lunch with Theresa.  It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed chatting about training, life and just everything in general.  I always have a good time with T.  We actually ended up getting lunch about 40 minutes after my long run from last week so don’t mind that I look a straight mess.  I literally showered and went.  (Which is really hard after running forever).

So that is what I have been up to the last week…existing outside the internet.

Questions for you:

Where do you think you’ll be in 2020?  What do you hope to accomplish?

What is something exciting you have done this week?