Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.57)

I wrote about 1000 words recapping the Philadelphia Half Marathon.  Then I forgot to save it…not the first time this has happened.

Most people know, but food poisoning prevented me from having the “race of my life”.   I raced with how I felt for the day, and that is all I can ask from myself.  I’m not disappointed, in fact, I’m thankful I finished injury free.

I should rewind.  For the last two weeks, I’ve been suffering from food poisoning.  I’m not violently vomiting, however, I’m often tired and I never feel “great” or like myself.  Occasionally at night, I’ll feel extremely sick.

I contracted it coming home from vacation.  The first night home, I spent violently getting sick.  It was bad enough, we thought maybe my appendix had burst.  After getting some tests done, I found out I had food poisoning.  As I mentioned, it isn’t the typical “24-hour bug” but can stay in your system for about 70 days.  Not violently vomiting for 70 days but more tired, just not feeling great.

The doctor told me I could run, but I might feel sick.  From that day until the Philadelphia half marathon, I had 13 days.  During that time period, I ran 2 5ks and a few runs.  I never puked during any runs, but I did feel like I was in a “funk.”

The problem was, I ran most of my mileage untimed and easy.  That’s not necessarily a problem, except running easy miles is very different than running a fast half marathon.  My stomach showed me that very quickly.

I didn’t have a goal at Philadelphia.  I’ve never run particularly well, in fact, my fastest time was from the only other time I’ve had food poisoning (a completely different strain). Then last year I felt like garbage.  I live about 10 miles from Center City, and while I can’t say I even “love” the race, I seem to just keep signing up.

And so here we are year 3 of running the Philadelphia half.

Like many race days, I slept in later than anticipated.  It wasn’t an issue, and my husband and I arrived to Philadelphia, parked, and stood in line at security around 6:30.  The security to get into the race is lengthy, and we waited about 40 minutes.  It left us with 20 minutes to drop off bags and use the bathroom.  It was probably not enough time, and we made into the corral at 7:28.  My good friend, Erin, thought I decided to DNS considering we basically had to beg security to reopen the corral.

The race went off, and Erin, my husband, and I started together.  Erin and I ran the Atlantic City half, and we had discussed possibly running Philly together.  The first mile went out fast. I chatted with Erin and my husband, and we hit the first mile around 6:45.  I felt decent, but I also wasn’t sure how I would feel later on.

The first few miles of the race are the fastest and easiest.  We ran mile 2 in 6:17 and 3 in 6:27.  The pace didn’t feel uncomfortable, and I was able to mumble a few words.

Around the 5k, I noticed my husband getting a bit antsy.  I knew he was going to drop me.  I also knew we would still be married either way at the finish line and I was happy he was feeling good.  He hasn’t raced a lot of half marathons since his 1:20 PR, so it was motivating to see him pick it up.  I had no energy to keep up though.

At mile 4, I ran into Alana who is gearing up for the CIM.  We ultimately ran a good portion of the race together with Erin.  I ran mile 5 in 6:37 and 6 in 6:43.  Around the halfway point, my stomach started to hurt.  Not like use the bathroom hurt, but like I might puke hurt.  I thought it might have been not interacting well the Gatorade (I’ve never had an issue before) but realized the doctor was right.

I began scanning the course for a restroom to vomit.  Then, of course, I saw no less than 5 of my good friends or people who have come into work.  I gave a wincing smile, while also not trying to puke on them.

Somewhere between mile 9-10, I found a bathroom and vomited.  It wasn’t a huge vomit, but breakfast and Gatorade came up.  For about 10 seconds I thought, should I just stop?  I stood straight and didn’t feel awful, so I quickly exited the bathroom.  I think the situation lasted all of 30 seconds to a minute.  I still saw Alana and everyone else ahead, so I knew I had not gotten that far.

I told myself if you need to stop…you need to stop.  No one cares if you cross the finish line.  No one cares about your pace, time, or speed.  We climbed a few hills and I didn’t feel as bad.  As weird as it sounds, after that stop I felt as though I was finding my groove.

Around mile 11, I saw Philadelphia in the distance.  I told myself 2 miles.  20 minutes and you’ll be chillin’ (a real thought I had).  Due to delusion and downhill, I crushed mile 11 in 6:25.  Somehow I found myself running entirely alone for the final mile.  I saw both Alana and Erin within the minute ahead, and I was just…alone.  I seem to always find the pocket of running by myself in big races.

I crossed the finish in 1:27.57 and I was shocked.  A week ago, I wasn’t sure I would run.  In the early parts of the race, I believed a 1:30 might be doable.  (I told Erin it was my goal).  While I know I’m in much better fitness than a 1:28, you must race for how you feel for the day.  Whether that is good or bad.  I’m happy I finished and even finished strong, though I know it was probably not my smartest move.

tim and I philadelphia half

That was my last planned half marathon for the year.  I’m looking forward to shorter things while my food poisoning clears up.  As I mentioned in my training log, it could last up to 70 days (I’m on 17 now?).

Questions for you:
Have you had food poisoning before?
Have you stopped during a race before?
Postive Question: How was your Thanksgiving?

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Hiking 7 Bridges (Colorado Springs)

To answer the obvious question:  Do you hike over 7 Bridges?

The answer is yes!

My husband and I were looking for an easy going trail in Colorado Springs a few days before we left.  We had done a shorter run in the morning and just wanted something active.

The 7 Bridges seemed like a fun and unique trail.  The path takes you over 7 bridges and stream crossings.  Each bridge looks relatively similar but it’s fun to conquer each one and have “something” to look forward too.

You begin by walking on an easy dirt railroad bed. After about .7 miles, you reach the bend on the road which begins the 7 Bridges trail. It’s about 1.7 miles one way.

I thought it would be fun to take photos at the Seven Bridges but for some reason, I accidentally deleted bridge number 6.  Rest assured, it does exist.

So here we go up the Seven Bridges:

7 bridges hike colorado springs
Number 1
7 bridges hike colorado springs
Number 2
7 bridges hike colorado springs
Three
7 bridges hike colorado springs
Four
7 bridges hike colorado springs
Waving at 5

Insert 6 here, which for some reason I deleted from my phone.

7 bridges hike colorado springs
So excited for bridge 7, that I took a nap while standing

The trail itself is simple and easy and there were plenty of younger kids, as well as a few dogs.  At the 7th Bridge, it just abruptly stops.  I do think there could be a sign that says, end or something.

After we made it 1.7 miles, we noticed a person running with their dog along another trail so we decided to explore.  So we decided to keep going at the top.  Ultimately it led us out towards Jones Park and to some of the most incredible views.

We actually walked on the side of a mountain.  I wanted to show how good I was at hiking, but ultimately nearly fell…so there is that.

7 bridges hike colorado springs

7 bridges hike colorado springs

7 bridges hike colorado springs
Almost to Jones Park

If you are ever in Colorado Springs and looking for a fun hike, I highly recommend the Seven Bridges!

Posts from Vacation:
Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon
Visiting the Grand Canyon

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)

Question for you: What is your favorite hike or area to hike?

 

Visiting the Grand Canyon

After visiting Utah, my husband and I drove back towards Colorado. One thing we wanted to do was see the Grand Canyon. While it was a little bit out of our way, being so close it was hard to say no.   Where we stayed in Utah, it made the most sense to go to the North Rim.  I’ve always wanted to go the Grand Canyon, I mean who doesn’t?

The first and possibly most crucial stop we made, was when we saw the wild Buffalo.  I have always wanted to see them, and it was cool to see them in person.  No, I had no intentions of getting any closer than that, as who knows with wild creatures.

grand canyon north rim

After driving about 20 miles into the park, we came up to the lodging area and the actual canyon.  We had been warned the lodging was not open but that was fine by us because it was much quieter at the North Rim versus the South.  In fact, there were maybe about 20 people there.

grand canyon north rim

It was honestly breathtaking to just look out and see nothing but the canyon for miles.  It was also terrifying to look down and know you were over a mile high.

grand canyon north rim

The daredevil and clumsy person in me, said that was far enough.

grand canyon north rim

grand canyon north rim

grand canyon north rim

My husband was a little bit more adventurous.

grand canyon north rim

In total, we spent about 2 hours just walking around.  Like with Zion and the Grand Canyon, we wanted to see the Grand Canyon, but we also wanted to do other things too.  It is definitely somewhere we could (and eventually plan too) spend more time at.grand canyon north rim

After the Grand Canyon, we took to the road for the day and drove over to the Four Corners Monument.  It’s where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico all meet.  It’s definitely a bucket list item.

Like many monuments, you stand in line for a chance to take a photo there.  Or look at it, whatever you want to do.  I decided to lay there.  Keep in mind it is a $5 fee that goes towards the Navajo Nation, which isn’t included with Park passes.

Posts from Vacation:
Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)

Questions for you:
Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon or Four Corners?
What is your favorite monument you’ve been too?

 

Training: Taper and Philly Half

Last week was spent tapering and getting ready for the Philadelphia half marathon.  Most people know how that went from Instagram, but I’ll write a race recap later this week.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 30 minutes
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 30 minutes
Saturday: Philadelphia Half (1:27.57)
Sunday: OFF

 

Training Runs:

During the week, runs felt harder than they should.  By Wednesday, I knew my body was not recovering as fast I hoped.

I mentioned two weeks that I got food poisoning but I didn’t go into much detail.  To be honest, I thought it would go away within 24 hours, but it hasn’t and can take up to 70 days to fully vacate the body.

14 days ago, I was violently puking and couldn’t leave the couch (minus to get looked at). While I’m allowed to run, longer runs might irritate my stomach.  So far, I’ve found longer, faster, runs (IE: the half) have not been pleasant.  Everything else has been ok, I just find myself more tired all of the time.  Luckily, I don’t have any more half marathons on the radar until 2018.

Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.57):

I have so much reflective stuff to say about this race.  I started the race running with my husband (who ran a 1:24.59), my good friend Erin, and runner Alana.  Around mile 4, I knew my stomach and my legs didn’t have it.  It’s hard to let people you know you “you should be able to hang with” go, but sometimes that is how it works.

Around mile 6, I felt as though I was going to puke, and started scanning for porta potties.  Then, I saw no less than 10 of my friends cheering, people who come into the store, and just people I knew. Somehow, I held off until between mile 9-10.  I dashed into a bathroom.  It’s one of two races I’ve stopped and the only race I’ve puked.  To be honest, I don’t think I lost that much time, maybe a minute at most.

I powered to the finish in 1:27.57.  Not my slowest or fastest half marathon but I’m proud to finish.  I know I’m in better shape, but you must race for how you feel that day.

I’m looking forward to doing shorter races until my body heals which haven’t irritated my stomach as much.

Posts of the week:
Exploring Bryce Canyon
Brooks Levitate Show Review
Blueberry Challenge XC 5k (20:01)
Haddonfield Road Race (19:59)

Questions for you:
Have you ever had food poisoning?
What does a taper week for you look like?

King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)

While driving through Colorado Springs, I knew there was one diner I wanted to go too: The King Chef Diner.  It had been on the Food Network before!

Atmosphere: A
It’s a small, purple, castle located on the main road.  If you aren’t familiar with it, you’ll wonder what you are driving by.  That being said, it’s one of the best atmospheres out there!

King Chef Diner Colorado Springs Outside

The inside sits 13, and everyone must sit at the bar.  You can watch the chef in the back or talk to the waitress.  Everyone speaks to everyone, and you immediately meet new friends.  It’s clear that it’s a local favorite.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, with plenty of whipped cream.  I have no complaints.

Service: A
For the entire diner, there is one waitress and one cook.  Which makes sense because it’s so small!  Our waitress was extremely friendly, knew almost everyone, and our food came out quickly.

Food: A
The King Chef diner is open for breakfast and lunch (not dinner), and you can order anything at anytime.  The King Chef diner has unique options such as a burrito that appeared on the Food Network.  Since the burrito was on the Food Network, I knew immediately what I needed to order. If you are looking for something healthy, you probably won’t find it there.

The portions are huge. The burrito had a flour tortilla stuffed with: two scrambled eggs, sausage, grilled onions, hash browns & shredded cheese. I choose to top mine with their signature green chili!  It was spicy (which I like!).  It was one of the best burritos I have ever had.  I had watched the Food Network episode so I knew to come hungry.  My husband and I had also run earlier and I even I struggled to finish the burrito.

King Chef Diner Colorado Springs

Cost: $
For the coffee and burrito, the cost was $13.  Most people would get two meals out ofit.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:

I enjoyed the King Chef Diner, and I would go back anytime I’m in Colorado Springs.  It’s definitely a unique experience!

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $6-12
Overall: A

Other Diners I went on the Trip:

Sams 3 (Denver)

New Castle Diner (New Castle, Co)

Questions for you:
What is the smallest restaurant you’ve been too?
Have you ever been to a restaurant on the Food Network?

Corner Post Diner (Brick)

Last week I went to the Corner Post Diner in Brick, NJ.  I have wanted to go to the Corner Post Diner for a while.  The menu at the Corner Post has a lot of fun and unique options including 150 omelets.

Atmosphere: A
The Corner Post Diner is literally a corner restaurant in an outdoor shopping mall.  It’s the corner…and the post.

Unknowing to me, I went during their “roaring 20s” theme month. The inside was completely decorated.  I’ve been to restaurant themed nights before, and the Corner Post Diner did it well.

Corner Post Diner Brick NJ

Coffee: B
The coffee was decent.  It was hot, but I could have used more.

Corner Post Diner Brick NJ

Service: C
Our waiter was friendly but didn’t come back for long periods.  We were left without drink refills for most of the time, and our food was a bit slower coming out.  The waiter was friendly though.

Food: A
The Corner Post Diner has everything a diner has.  It has a huge list of breakfast options (including 150 omelet choices), lunch, and dinner.  Since I was getting over food poisoning, I opted to get something a bit less exciting.

When they mentioned the soup of the day was split pea, I knew what I wanted.  I went with their soup and sandwich option.  The split pea was good and nice and hot (lukewarm soup is the worst).

Corner Post Diner Brick NJ

I ordered the half BLT which was good as well.  Everything was cooked well, and I had no complaints.

Corner Post Diner Brick NJ

On a side note, the Corner Post Diner menu was interesting.  It was a large wooden menu with jokes and LOL written in the posts.  How can I hate that?

Corner Post Diner Brick NJ

Cost: $
For my soup, sandwich, and coffee, the cost was $10, so I can’t complain about that.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Corner Post Diner and had a positive experience there.  I could have used more drink refills, but other than that, it was a good experience.

Atmosphere: A
Service: C
Coffee: B
Food” A
Cost: $8-10

Closeby Diners I’ve Been:
See all Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever been to a restaurant themed night?
What is your favorite type of soup?

Exploring Bryce Canyon and Zion Park

It’s taken me a little longer to catch up on blog posts about our vacation.  Between assimilating back into real life NJ, being sick, and preparation for the Philadelphia marathon weekend, it’s been busy.

Anyway, one of the best days my husband and I had was at Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.

We knew we wanted to go to both but timing wise, it wasn’t going to work out to spend a lot of time at both. We decided to drive through Bryce Canyon and look out and then spend a little more time in Zion National Park.   They aren’t too far apart, so you are able to do both.

Personally, we could both spend a lot of time in either.  They are two gorgeous parks!  Hopefully, sometime in the future, we will be able to go back and explore.

Bryce Canyon: 

While visiting Bryce Canyon, we went out to Rainbow point and walked around.  There is a 10-mile hike you can do and look over the Hoodoo Ampethetiar.  If we had more time, we would have done it!

The park itself is easily driveable.  It’s about an 18-mile drive to the tip of Rainbow Point, and there are several spots and opportunities for photos.

Made it to Bryce Canyon for incredible views of the Hoodoos and Rainbow point.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Zion National Park:

Like Bryce Canyon, we could spend days in Zion National Park.  Before arriving, we planned to do a longer hike but quickly realized timing would not allow us too.

We still wanted to get back to Colorado and spend a few days there too!  When we arrived at the park, it was crowded and it was hard to even find parking.  By the time we were able to park and get out of the car, it was nearly 1 pm.

We could have begun the hike but it was a lengthy one and I didn’t want to be hiking at dark.  You had to take a bus to a certain location, then start, then take the bus back.  It was just a lot and if you’ve ever seen me hiking hangry…well…my husband would have left me there. Hiking in Zion National Park

So we just decided to explore and climb up to our own rock.  We didn’t have an exact trail or route but it was more fun that way.  We pulled over at a random spot and just hiked.  Even with hundreds of people inside the park, we didn’t run into anyone.

Hiking in Zion National Park
Sitting in a rock seat

Hiking away from everyone was much better for us anyway.  If you ever go to Zion National Park, don’t be afraid to just stop and explore. Hiking in Zion National Park

You don’t need a trail or destination.  And yes, we actually made it up an entire rock.  You can see the main road in the background.

To be honest, both Bryce and Zion were two of my favorite spots.  Eventually, my husband and I plan to go back.  You could spend days, weeks, and even months just exploring.

road trip through colorado

Posts from Vacation:
Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)

Questions for you:

Where is your favorite place to hike?

Have you ever been to Zion or Bryce Canyon?