Advertisements

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

It seems every year, I post about running easy.  I’ve been blogging for 8 years, so it’s about 8 posts saying about the same thing.

Never the less, it’s still an important and relevant topic.

Racing your easy runs won’t get you a PR.

It won’t make you an Instagram hero either.

It will, however, get you burned out, or injured.

Don’t think I haven’t been subjected to this and learned the lesson of injury the hard way.  Long term readers know my first tibial stress fracture (7 years ago now) was caused by overtraining.  In short, I ran my easy runs too fast.  My last burn out wasn’t necessarily caused by running too fast, but more life stress, trying to run high mileage, and just doing too much.

Every week I post a running log and mileage recap.  Every month I do something similar.  Every week on Instagram, I get a few messages about “how fast do you run your easy runs,” and I will always respond the same way: honestly I don’t know or care.  Typically I use my Garmin Vivosport.  It’s not fancy, and that’s why I like it.  It will tell me mile splits if I want but for the most part, I just do timer mode.

I have a few ways I do an easy run

  • I run a route I know to be X amount of miles and don’t time it. I could finish 5 miles in 45 minutes or an hour…I will only have a good idea by the kitchen clock.
  • I just run for an hour and if it’s 6 miles or 10…that’s how it goes.  JK, it would never be anything close to 10.

Both work for me and keep me healthy both mentally and physically.

For training, I usually have a rough outline of the runs and workouts I want to do for the week, but I never have an exact plan.  For instance, last week I planned to take a rest day on Thursday, but my body was hurting on Tuesday…so I rested then too.  Some days I have more time in the morning, and some days I have less.  I ask myself: will I miss this mile next week.  No…I won’t remember.

Does Not Caring about Pace Really Help Me?

I have actually found that it does and it does a lot.  First of all, I’m not obsessed with pace.  I don’t care. I could run 10 miles at 10-minute pace or 10 miles at 8-minute pace.  It’s still 10 base miles.  I’ll run with anyone that wants to run, whether you run a 10 minute or 8-minute mile.  That’s why I rarely post paces online, Instagram, or anywhere.  Because I don’t know and honestly, for training runs…I don’t really care.

As I mentioned earlier, it hasn’t always been that way for me. I used to be obsessed with pace and numbers.  Seven years ago as a new runner, I would run in the same 10-second pace range for every run of the week.  That pace was between 7-7:10.  Do you know what I gave myself?  The glorious gift of a tibial stress fracture on my 21st birthday.

Not to mention, during that period of trying to PR every run, I never got faster for races and was miserable the entire time.   I was so antsy in training if my overall pace was 7:11+ and thought I had lost my all endurance.  It sounds silly now, but that is what the newer runner in me thought.

I Thought: Train fast to go fastRace myself and try and get faster every day.

Here are Some Interesting Stats from that Time in My Training:

During that time of my running career, my 5k PR was 20:10.  I ran about 50 miles a week between 7-7:15 pace.

Now it’s 18:13 (and I had to look LOL).  During that time in training, I was running 60 miles a week with about 50 above 8:30 or even 10-minute pace.

Then my half marathon PR was 1:36.56…now it’s 1:22.03

Now, I’m able to do workouts more efficiently and better.  Running an 88 second 400 doesn’t feel as challenging. My body couldn’t handle that when I was sprinting every training run.  I was also exhausted all of the time.  Even though I was running fewer miles, I was more tired.

But the most crucial piece is I enjoy going out to run without worrying about it.

For me, running is a hobby, and it’s something I want to do lifelong without stress. Not caring about pace has turned into continuing to improve on running.

My point is to relax during your easy runs.  Make your easy runs easy, and work hard during your workouts and races.  Honestly, without being injured or burnout, I don’t think I would have gotten to this phase in my life.  No one wants to be hurt but from injury, I quickly learned my body doesn’t respond well to fast runs every day.

I think I should have renamed my blog CasualLOLZ or something.

Questions for you:

What are your thoughts?

Do you schedule workouts every day or fly by the seat of your pants?

Advertisements

Fathers Day 5k (20:06)

Fathers Day 5k (20:06)

Last weekend I ripped the bandaid off and ran a 5k.  I’ve kind of been avoiding them since late April.  I think it was a combination of a meh race the Phillies 5k and then just not doing them.  I knew eventually if I wanted to run fast again, I would need to dive head first and do a few.  On Sunday, my husband asked if I wanted to run a 5k in Philadelphia. I said not really, but we still went.  I had run two days the previous week, and I would consider it a high risk of injury race.  It wasn’t my smartest decision of the year, but I still went.  I decided to run in trainers to minimize the risk of injury as well.

It started at Fairmount park where my current 5k of 18:13 is.  We warmed up, and it was already 80 degrees and humid. I decided to wear a crop top and shorts.  We got to the start at 8:25 and I chatted with people, and we were off.  I knew it would hurt.

During the first mile, there was a sea of people in front of me.  I went back and forth from 1-3rd female with a few women. I didn’t care about the place, but my goal was to hopefully run around 20 minutes.  Eventually, we spread out, and I hit the first mile in 6:17.  I felt good about it, but I knew I wasn’t going to maintain that.

During the second mile, I went back and forth with a woman.  She was in front most of the second mile, and I ran with my husband.  I don’t usually take water during a 5k but it was hot, and I took a cup and splattered across my face.  I hit the second mile in 6:23 and then hit the pain train.

My husband dropped me around mile 2, and I was happy with that.  He hasn’t been running much either, but he is both a faster runner in better shape.  I went back and forth with the first place woman, but she ultimately surged and won.  The third mile was painful and I just wanted to be done.  I knew the race was a good gauge of where I was fitness-wise, but it didn’t make the last mile any easier.

I ran the third mile in 6:40 and crossed the finish in 20:06.   I’ve run most half marathon miles faster, but that’s not the shape I’m in now.  I am definitely happy with my time and looking forward to racing again more.  For an inaugural race, I thought the Fathers Day was well put together.  I got what I needed out of it and had an enjoyable morning.

Questions for you:

Has the weather heated up near you?

Do you normally take water in a 5k?

Training: Rest and a 5k

Training: Rest and a 5k

Last week I took Saturday through Thursday off.  It was the best thing I did for myself.  My body needed a longer break.  As I get back to building into running, I’ll slowly build mileage.  Last weeks rest was important, but not jumping back into higher mileage is just as important.

Not much to say about not running right?  You don’t run, and life goes on.   The rest was great, and it allowed me to recharge both mentally and physically.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Easy 30 minute walk at Maurice River
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 30 minutes
Saturday: Easy 30 minutes
Sunday: Fathers Day 5k (20:06)

Friday and Saturday were just easy runs.  There wasn’t anything too exciting about it.

Fathers Day 5k:

On Sunday, my husband asked if I wanted to run a 5k.  I said not really, but we still went.  He hasn’t been running a lot either but wants to get back into shape. The race benefited a charity associated with prostate cancer.  Unfortunately, we’ve known a few people with this.

I knew it wouldn’t be a fast time for me, but I decided to run and see where I’m at.  The last time I raced a 5k was nearly 2 months ago and the last time I considered myself actively training was around Broad Street.  It was definitely hot, but I’m happy with my race.

Posts of the Week:

Why You Don’t See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

Rest is Best

Saving Time Shopping for Essentials

Next week, I’ll continue easing back into running.  I would like to race most weekends, with minimal expectations to get some speed back.

Questions for you:

How was your week?

Do you like taking breaks from running?

Park Ave Grille (Freehold, NJ)

Park Ave Grille (Freehold, NJ)

Recently I found myself at the Park Ave Grille in Freehold, NJ. Freehold is an area I haven’t been to a lot of diners. I’ve wanted to go to the Park Ave Grille for a while, but it’s only open until 4, so the timing hasn’t worked out.

Park ave grille freehold

Atmosphere: B
The Park Ave Grille looks like you stepped into a time machine to the 80s. It’s located in a large shopping center and attached to a laundry mat.

The inside is small and seats about 30 people. There are plenty of booths, tables, and a bar. Most of the Park Ave Grille is covered in vintage wallpaper, booths, and an assortment of tea kettles.  It was much more unique than many diners!

Park ave grille freehold

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh each time. I appreciated that the mugs were sturdy.  The coffee was often refilled, and I have no complaints.

Park ave grille freehold

Food: A
The Park Ave Diner has most anything you could want for breakfast or lunch.  The menu is low key and not many “fancy” items, but diners don’t need to be.  There were all sorts of wraps, sandwiches, salads, and breakfast items.  I decided to order the Monte Cristo sandwich which came with fries.

Park ave grille freehold

I’ve never had a Monte Cristo sandwich and what better time to try one than a diner.  The bread was french toast and stuffed with turkey, ham, and cheddar cheese.  I feel like I’ve been missing out because the sandwich was excellent.  The french fries were some of the best I’ve had in a while.  To say the meal was surprisingly good, is an understatement.

Service: A
The waitress was extremely friendly, and the food was brought out quickly.  In fact, I was in and out of the restaurant within 30 minutes.  Beating that is hard!

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was around $12.  Important to note, this is a cash-only business!

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I was pleasantly surprised with the Park Ave Grille.  I have never had a Monte Cristo sandwich, and it was great.  The service, food, coffee, and overall experience was excellent, and I’ll be back.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $8-15 (cash only)
Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever had a Monte Cristo sandwich?
Where are your favorite french fries from?

Millville Queen Diner

Millville Queen Diner

Recently I was in Millville. I’ve always wanted to go the Millville Queen Diner.  It seemed like the perfect evening to go.

Millville Queen diner

Atmosphere: B
When I arrived around 5 pm, it was quiet. I didn’t mind because I was hungry and hoped that meant the food would come out quickly.

The diner has two rooms, one more “dinery” and one was more of a dinner room.  I was sat in the diner room.

Coffee: C
The coffee was okay, but the mug was small. With such a little mug, I hoped it would be refilled faster. The coffee wasn’t great and the mug was too small.

Millville Queen diner

Food: C
The Millville Queen Diner has the biggest menu of any diner I’ve been too recently.  There are about 10 pages and another 2 pages of specials.  I decided to order the prime rib special which came with a salad, two vegetables, prime rib topped with mushrooms and onions, as well as a dessert!

The salad was that of many diner salads. Nothing unique or fancy.  I also got a large basket of bread too.

Millville Queen diner

The prime rib was definitely the best part. I have no complaints, and it was cooked well. It came with a side of the juice it was cooked in.

Millville Queen diner

For my sides, I ordered beets and sweet potato. I was disappointed with the beets as they were swimming in oil and still had inedible leaves in the bowl. It was interesting. The sweet potato was good, and I liked the addition of the cinnamon sugar butter.

Millville Queen diner

Both the Prime Rib and sweet potato were good, but I wouldn’t order the salad or beets again.

Dessert: A
Since my meal came with a dessert I ordered my favorite diner dessert: bread pudding. The bread pudding was one of my more favorite bread puddings I’ve had.  I liked all of the actual bread versus pudding. Plus the waitress topped it with plenty of whipped cream. I have no complaints about it.

Service: B

The waitress was nice, but I needed more drink refills. Our food came out relatively quick.

Price: $

For my meal and coffee, it was $14

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
The Millville Queen Diner was a decent stop. If you are looking for a local diner that meets all of the NJ stereotypes, the Millville Queen Diner is a great local stop.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: C
Food: B
Dessert: A
Service: B
Cost: $8-20
Overall: B

You Can See All Diner Reviews here.

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite side?
How do you prefer your steak?

Why You Don’t See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

Why You Don’t See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

I’ll address the white elephant in the blogging room:

Sponsored posts.

As a blogger, there are many different ways to make money depending on your situation and wants.  This doesn’t include services like coaching or selling a product.  A few of those include sponsored posts, ads, campaigns, Instagram campaigns, affiliate links, and commissioned sales.  There are also Patreon pages which you can directly support or donate to podcasts or bloggers.

Why You Don't See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

The two I personally use are ads (you can usually see on the sidebar) and sponsored posts from brands.  The rest of the options aren’t for me, but they do work well for others. To add, if you start blogging to make money, you probably should choose a different career path.  I know plenty of people that make a full-time income from blogging (not selling a product, just themselves as a brand), but unless you are internet famous, you probably won’t make a ton.  Or you’ll work with a lot of brands all of the time.

Being internet famous is like having a lot of monopoly money and when everyone logs off or stops playing…what do you have?  A bunch of likes that don’t exist when you shut off social media…

Through blogging, I make enough money to cover the fees associated with having your own domain and to cover most of my race entries for the year.

Moving forward though, someone asked the other day why there aren’t many “negative sponsored posts.”

It would involve the following scenario:

Blogger and Company Talk and Agree on some sort of terms of an agreement (product, payment, whatever)

The company sends blogger thing to review (and maybe even pays the blogger for review)

Blogger bashes the company and says it’s garbage.

Therefore the company just sent and possibly paid someone for bad publicity.

The company might lose many potential customers because everything on the internet is true.  Even if that product might work for someone else.

I’ll tell you first, why you don’t see it here.

I only accept brands I’ve used for long periods of time and already like.  Some brands I’ve worked with before include Vital Proteins, Vitamin Shoppe, Runners World, even brands like Scott, and places for the military to get their hair cut like Great Clips.

I don’t try and set myself up for failure with a brand, or something I know won’t work. 

So now you must think, wow Hollie just has favorable luck with everything?

That is not the case!  There have been plenty of higher paying (for me anyway) campaigns I have turned down. While my blog does not garner the attention of $1000+ influencer “deals,” I do know, of course, they exist!

I look at every single offer that is given to me.  I’m not going to ever choose something I already know I won’t like…that’s dumb.  (just like I’m not going to go to a diner with 0 stars but 1000 yelp reviews…LOL).

Here are a Few Recent Examples of Things I Turned Down that Would Have Been Negative:

On several occasions, I’ve gotten requests to post already written blog posts.  Prewritten content isn’t a big deal, and I’ve been happy to post prewritten content if it makes sense.  I turned this particular post down because of the material.

The content was about losing weight.  While many people do need to lose weight and exercise, that isn’t that focus on my blog.  My blog isn’t about losing weight, and that isn’t the tone I want to set.  The company was going to pay me $200 to just copy and paste into my blog.  It was a lot but for me, wasn’t worth it.

A few months ago, I turned down a campaign for the promotion of an app having to do with babies.  I have no children, but because many of the readers do, the brand thought it was a good fit.  It didn’t make sense, and it makes more sense for someone who has children to blog about that!

The last and best example is recently I was sent free activewear as well as a monthly subscription to a brand (about $50 per month).  On the website, the workout and lounge gear looked nice and something I could use.

When I received the activewear, it wasn’t the style wasn’t for me. I emailed the brand my honest feedback and exactly what I planned to blog.

I actually didn’t workout in or wear the apparel at all.  In the email, I also said I wouldn’t be posting photos of me wearing the attire because I wasn’t my style nor the style I wanted to portray.  I was more than happy to send the clothing (with tags) back, and they could use it for someone who is a better fit for the style.  Instead of taking a few photos and making a few extra dollars, I sent the clothing back.  I don’t have any regrets about that.

My point is, that is why you won’t see too many negative sponsored posts.  For me personally, I don’t accept every single campaign.  I won’t promote anything I don’t like or use.  Do I have to absolutely LOVE something like a free haircut to the military on certain days?  No, but do I think it’s an awesome gesture, of course, I do.

I am fortunate that I don’t rely on blogging as my full-time income or job.  From this post, it sounds like I’m given dozens of opportunities every day, but I can assure you I don’t! Unless you are one of the top bloggers, blogging is not a luxurious job that generates an easy and high paying income.  I blog because I like to share my story and things I’ve learned along the way.   It’s nice to make money and cover the costs of blogging, so it remains a freeish hobby, but I cannot see myself pursuing trying to “grow” and making it fulltime.  (I appreciate those who have worked hard to do so though!)

I don’t have a question today, but more of opinions on topics like influencers sponsored posts and making money as a blogger. 

 

Rest is Best

Rest is Best

Telling someone to rest is a lot easier than doing it yourself.  Telling someone to do ANYTHING is easier said than done.

Throughout my blogging journey, many people have emailed or asked my thoughts on topics including running, life, and you guessed it: rest.  If there is ever a question of should, I give my honest advice to rest and see how you feel.  If you are injured with a bone-related injury, always rest.  If you injured with a muscular related injury, sometime rest will help but sometimes it won’t.  Rest will never hurt you, and missing an individual run or even a week is nothing in the long scheme of things.

running Rest is Best

Anyway, I’m not a coach or doctor, so giving medical or training advice is not what this post is about.  I’m just a woman telling people to rest including myself.

In my training recap on Monday, I talked about my personal needs and why rest was best for me right now.  I’m often out of my house for 12+ hours a day.  That isn’t the whole day, and many people are out of their house longer.  I wish I could squeeze running in, but I would be more tired and more exhausted. Realistically, there wasn’t a point.  It was better for me to take a few days off, get quality sleep, focus on things currently going on, and regroup from there.

So this week, that is precisely what I did.  I definitely feel much better because of it.  I do think I might do a short run tomorrow and see how I feel.

Here are a Few Important Reasons to Rest:

Refocus Goals:

Right now I have no idea what I want to train for. Do I want to train for another marathon? How about a 5k PR? Maybe even try and better my half marathon PR? I have no clue.

Sometimes you just need to take time off regardless of whether you reached your goal or not.  With training, you put your body through a tough period.  It doesn’t matter if your body ends up in a PR or not, you still put yourself through tough training. Taking time off allows you to reflect, and think about what you want in the future.

Emotional Break:

As hard as it can be to admit this, running and training can be exhausting.  For me, running has never been a therapy of any kind.  It is never been my way to “escape the world”.  Training for a goal race can be exhausting.  I need time away from the sport to fall in love with it again, and I think we all do.

While it has only been a few days, I have already felt fonder of the sport again.  Today, Thursday, I want to run.  Last Thursday, I had no interest and even loathed the idea of running.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder:

For me, I like to crave running again.  I want to feel like I want to run!  Along the same lines of mental recovery, it’s important to want to run.  If you don’t start running again feeling “refreshed,” you’ll end up in a burn out longer and faster.

Recovery:

If you don’t allow your body time to recover from training stress, you will continue to feel worn down and it will take you longer to recover from runs (I began to feel this).

Injury:

As one of the most injury prone people out there, I’ve learned I do need extra rest and recovery. If you are not able to recover, your body will be more susceptible to injury. It is better to take a few days or week off early, than several months off with a serious injury.  I’m not injured now, but there have been a few times I should have rested to keep a minor injury from becoming serious.

Healing Small Aches and Pains:

Sometimes you have small aches and pains that you don’t realize you have.  An amount of time off, allows your body to heal.  Running every other day or every few days doesn’t let your body to heal as quickly.  By taking time off, your body will use more energy to recover versus recovering from daily runs as well as small aches and pains.

I never regret my running breaks.  This one will be short, but I’m getting to the point my legs and mind feel like they “want to run.”  Plus hopefully next week my schedule is a bit more forgiving to add it into my schedule.

Questions for you:

Do you take a break every year?

What are you currently training for?

%d bloggers like this: