Running Story Part 2

If you missed part 1 of my running story from Friday here ya go.

In July 2010, about 48 hours after emailing the college coach, he sent me a summer schedule back which really freaked me out.  Running 5 miles daily, a 7 mile run here and there?  I had struggled with that 8k earlier. What the hell are striders?  I knew I enjoyed running but I wasn’t sure of these new “technical” terms.  I essentially thought of running still as walking quite quickly.  But I went with it.  The day I did my first 7 mile run was literally one of the most exciting days of my life!

 On July 16th, I went to win the run-swim-run that I had so desperately trained for last year in 42 minutes.  I can still say that is my greatest race achievement.  

The rest of July and August were full of running more and more.  I made it up to 30 mile weeks even! I went to preseason camp in late August and was instantly hooked.  My first cross country season served as a lot of things for me.  Mostly a learning experience as my coach would tell me.  Just learn as much about the sport as you can.  Learn that girls will elbow you-learn that how to run up hills, run down hills (I still can’t).   It was a successful season for me, and I won MVP for our team!  I wanted next season to come the second after I crossed the finish line of our regional race.

its over? WAHHHH

Meanwhile in October and November I was still swimming.  I had been swimming all my life-I wasn’t going to give that up.  After my last cross country race of the season, I had to give up running and just focus on swimming, as hard as it was I couldn’t swim four hours a day and then run.

Plus who wouldn't want to go to Puerto Rico to Train?

To put it in simple terms-lasts years swim season was the worst I had ever had.  I was miserable, I didn’t do well…all that jazz.  I had fun with my friends but that is about all I can say.

In early February 2011-I was so excited to start running again-so excited that I got injured within a week .  I fractured my heal on the treadmill.  I could walk and all that jazz but running hurt.   So I didn’t run again until the Shamrock 5k on my campus (a little more than a month and a half later…the same 5k that I ran the year before and did so well).

Last year I ran a 23 minute 5k and wasn’t pushing the pace.  It was, after all, my first real run in about 4 months. 

I also wore a running skirt

I trained through the Spring and ran 3 half marathons.  Those races kept me excited and I fell in love with the distance races.  No

thing could take away from the accomplishment I had of finishing those.  The excitement of the people, the thrill of the finish line, every part of them excited me!  I wanted to do more-but alas it was way to warm down south for VA to host those in the summer.

I didn’t have any good races in the summer, but I did have the memorable one.  The run-swim-run, the race that I had won last year and was so excited to repeat the win is when I got my stress fracture.  I was in first place but at least 4 minutes but I knew I needed to stop because I was in so much pain.  I watched hundreds of people run past me and it was heartbreaking but it was enough to make me realize that my training needed to change. 

But I still had a good 21st birthday 🙂

I couldn’t run every run within 3 second pace of each other.  I couldn’t run as many miles on the treadmill as I did.  I had done everything that was on my coaches schedule, every distance,  but I was forcing myself to go faster than I needed too and causing my body to work harder than easy runs were supposed too.  I needed to approach running a different way.

I had two months to think about it and was scared I was going to sit out my entire cross country season.  September was always on my mind since it was when I was allowed to run again.  Although my second cross country season was nowhere where I wanted it to be-it was still fun.  I loved it.  It gave me hope for the Spring. 

because my team is awesome<3

I do not regret any part of my stress fracture.  In all honesty, it showed me how fragile the body is too overtraining in running which is a new concept for a swimmer.  Swimming and overtraining are like two peas in a pod.

During my senior year, I also (for personal reasons) made the executive decision to quit swim.  It was hard, but I knew it was better for me.  I haven’t looked back since.

I spent November and December raking in high mileage weeks that I didn’t even know my body was capable of.  (I was also like to point out my coach carefully monitored this after HE SUGGESTED IT).

And it worked.  I went from a 7:22 pace in my last half marathon to a 6:51 in my 20k.  My new running “carefree” style has done wonders for my ability.

Now where does this take me now?  This book de Hollie is far from over, but Ill spend the next couple of months training for more half marathons with more high milage (and carefully monitored) weeks to prepare me.  I’m still not doing much speed work and not venturing to the track which are two things I loathe to begin with.

I love running and I can’t thank everyone via the blogging, DMing and tweeting world who support me.  Also-real life friends, can’t forget about you guys.  🙂

Questions for you:

  1. 1.       Tell me about your running story. 
  2. 2.       What sort of run blogs are you curious to see on lolz?   

Categories: Tags: , , ,


  1. I have the same emotions switching from running to cycling as you do from swimming to running. Glad you have found what you enjoy most.

  2. I’ve told you how inspiring the progress that you’ve made is to me. Hopefully by May I’ll be rocking my races like you’ve been kicking ass in yours. I can’t wait to read all about the halves to have lined up!

  3. Your story is inspiring. I didn’t realize you’d begun running recently; your pace is so impressive that I took you for a lifetime runner! Beautiful progress!! I started running after two heart attacks nearly killed me and shattered my list of life priorities. Running, like every other good act in the world, evolves and pays itself forward over and over again. Thanks for sharing Hollie! I love your blog and I am going to add it to the blogroll on my website.

  4. I liked reading this, it’s so amazing how fast you were starting out AND how much you improved, it just shows what the human body is capable of, not to mention coming back from the stress fracture and being even faster. And I love how you joined a new sport IN COLLEGE, that’s probably not something that happens very often but really neat that your school and coach let you and you excelled so well in it.

    I want to do another half marathon too. My coworker (in Virginia!) wanted me to do one there (in August!) but I didn’t. I’m hoping when Clay finishes up college and gets another job in the Fall I can do a Fall half…

  5. Running my very first 5k race on July 1st a few years ago changed my life – it is when I really fell in love with running. I think for everyone their first race holds a special place in his/her heart (corny I know)

    1. Woops got cut off!!! Like I was saying….its cool to see ll you’ve had to overcome and how much you’ve improved!!! Just curious…are you training for anything specific? Like what are you and your coach hoping to accomplish with all this tough training!? Cause you certainly are working your ass off 🙂

  6. You’re awesome, I love reading your story! Inspiration indeed 🙂 Very few people in my family are runners – we’re not small people, not fast at all. But I just started running and I love it! Reading your story gives me hope that I will one day be able to as fast and as long. I’ve run one race (8k) so far, and the rush of finishing was like none other. I’m not giving up!

  7. No words! Can I just say that your story is super inspirational. I /loved/ reading all about how you got into running + fell further in love with it. 😀

  8. Wow Hollie I did not know that you hadn’t actually been running that long! I don’t know why but I thought you had been running for a lot longer.

    My running story has been pretty non-existent – I’ve tried to get into it a few times by following the C25K program but have never stuck with it all the way through. I just joined the YMCA on Friday and am thinking about giving C25K another shot just because it’s a plan I can follow without having to make it myself – if that makes any sense. I plan on breaking out the old blog again so you can follow my workout progress over there (or on Spark).

  9. Swimming and overtraining are like two peas in a pod.. haha seriously! I’m glad you are loving running! My running story is pretty normal haha I got sick of swimming and the weather started to get nice so I started to run outside for fun and fell in love with the sport.

Comments are closed.