June Recap

I already have a sneaking suspicion that hitting 300 miles monthly this training cycle is going to be my Achilles tendinitis.  For the last 3 months, it’s come down to the last few days of the month. Each month I’ve felt I needed more rest.  I don’t have an obsession with 300 miles, I have just found it humorous I keep making the goal and keep hitting above 290 but below 300.  The heat has been a factor too, it has really sucked it out of me some days.

Once again I had a few more rest days than I would have liked but in reality I think it’s just I had a few more rest days.  My body probably needs them more than I really know.

Total miles: 293

Total Rest days: 6

Total races: 3  (Nicknamed “The Races I’ve Run Alone”

Run for the Dream Half Marathon (1:27.53)


CHKD 8k (32:32)


Pineland Striders 10k  (41:03) (Recap tomorrow)

Longest Run: 20.5 in VA Beach

Shortest run: 1.6 mile cooldown at Pineland Striders 10k


Range of pace: 6:11-9:57

Most proud run:

The 20 miler I did two weekends ago.  I felt strong, collected and was about to negative split it.

Thoughts about this month:

For the most part, I did what I needed to do training wise.  I would have liked to do a few more races but realistically it didn’t work out.  By the end of the month my body was rather sore/tired that I knew rest days were a lot better than running through it.  All in all, I’m happy with this month of training.  I got in 2 solid 20 milers and built up my mileage despite the heat.  I’m not going to beat myself up about missing runs or cutting runs short in this heat.  Right now, my primary goal in training is stay injury free.  When it comes to August and September, I will start fine tuning and focusing my training more.

Outside of Running:

I’ve gotten a lot done outside of running too.  I have had a lot of run relaxing, hanging out and planning my wedding.  This month Tim and I were able to get a venue, photographer and wedding planner.  Now we have the important things to plan: booze and cake.

So far in July I know I’ll be doing the following races:

July 4th: Haddon Heights Firecracker 5k (Haddon Heights, NJ)

July 13th: Boilermaker 15k (Utica, NY)

I’m traveling the weekend of July 18th and I would like to find a 5k the last weekend in July (I just haven’t looked yet).

Questions for you:

How was your month of June?

What are your plans for July?

WG marathon Week 8: 55 Miles (Boring)
Monday: 11 mile easy Nike Core and Arms
Tuesday: OFF  
Wednesday: 12.5 miles easy Nike Core
Thursday: 10.75 miles easy  
Friday: 11.25 miles easy  
Saturday: Pineland Striders 10k (41:03) total miles 10.2 Nike Core
Sunday: 15 miles easy. EDIT: OFF  



I’m not really sure what I think about this week of training.  I had wanted to get a tempo run in but my legs were not feeling it.  My legs have absorbed all the mileage from the last few weeks and I’ve found myself extremely tired and sore.  I was hoping to make it until the week of the 6th to take a cut back week but I’m going to cut back this week.

None of my runs except for Saturday were anything exciting.  They weren’t good or bad but nothing really sticks out from them.  They were just miles in the bank.  My race on Saturday (recap Tuesday) was about the same.  It is about 3 minutes from my PR but it was hot, my legs are tired and I don’t expect a summer 10k PR.  That being said I’m happy with my effort and I can never be upset with a tempo workout.

Sunday I had planned to run a shorter long run. I woke up not really feeling anything. Running a 15 mile run wasn’t going to do anything for me and resting was just an all around better choice. I built up to a couple of 20 milers lately and that is not something I want to maintain every single week (nor would it be smart).

That’s all I really have about this week.  I don’t have anything exciting and no wild animals attacked me.  It was just another week of hot, muggy summer training.

Training plans next week:

I want to have a cut back week.  To start off, I’m getting a deep tissue massage tonight.  I know my legs desperately need it, I just haven’t wanted to cough up 100 dollars (YAY NJ is expensive in everything) for one.   I plan to rest my legs running wise.  I think I would like to do some cross training (elliptical and weights).  I don’t really have a set mileage goal next week but my goal is to really recover.  I’m hopefully doing a 5k on July 4th.  I’m hoping a few days of TLC will really get me feeling good.

Questions for you:

Do you get deep tissue massages?

What are your best methods of recovery from hard training weeks?

The Pop Shop (Collingswood)

The Pop Shop (Collingswood) 

ETA: Now the Pop Shop has a location in Medford too.

Last weekend, I met Danielle and Amelia at the Pop Shop in Collingswood, NJ.  I needed an excuse to see them, and the Pop Shop has been on my top to do diner list.  I sat down and was immediately not disappointed. The loud music, the openness, everything about this screamed adorable diner, and why have I not been here? Before even beginning to order or eat, the Pop Shop began at the top of my list.


The Pop Shop Atmosphere: A

The Pop Shop is located in downtown Collingswood. The exterior is funky and stands out among buildings.

Although the Pop Shop is a little bit loud for my liking, I love everything about it.  The dining room of The Pop Shop is fun, bright with bubble gum colors, and it’s open.  I love the general and overall style.

The Pop Shop Coffee: A

The woman was generous and brought a lovely cup of coffee topped with whipped cream.  The whipped cream was so stacked it nearly toppled over.  I can never have complaints about that.  The coffee itself was delicious as well.


Food: A

The Pop Shop has a smaller menu than most “regular” diners in NJ.  It has a great selection of salads, sandwiches, and their most well known grilled cheeses. They have everything fro American comfort food, to grilled cheese sandwiches made on brioche french toast, English muffins, omelets, and chocolate chip pancakes. They even have a gluten-free menu! I’ve been to The Pop Shop multiple times and ordered a bit of everything.

The first time I went, I ordered the smoked salmon salad.  Despite having a much smaller menu, it’s clear that Pop Shop does each dish exceptionally well.  There isn’t a need for an overall extensive list because everything is okay.


The smoked salmon salad was one of the best salads I’ve had in a while.  It came with smoked salmon, goat cheese, caramelized onions, and mixed greens.  I wish it had come with bread, but other than that I have no complaints.  The salad was perfection.

Dessert: A

You truly cannot go to the Pop Shop without getting dessert.  They are one of the most well-known dessert places in South Jersey.  The Pop Shop specializes in ice cream, soda fountains, and sundaes.  I had to get a Sundae.  (It was, after all, Sundae Sunday). I ended up getting a vanilla sundae with whipped cream, brownie, and cookie crumbles.  It was excellent.  Unfortunately, I was so full from eating all day I had to bring it partially back home.  I enjoyed the second half the day after just as much as the first.



Price: $

It was 20 dollars for the salad, coffee, and huge sundae.

Would I come back to The Pop Shop?

Yes, I had a great experience, and it’s an excellent spot for kids. They even host birthday parties and events if you are looking to do that.

You can see all diner reviews here. 

Question for you:

Have you ever been to a restaurant featured on television?


Real Wedding Updates

I guess I can finally update the wedding news.  Tim and I now have a date!  We will be getting married April 12, 2015 in Norfolk, VA.

When one of my best friends, Theresa, sent me photos of an absolute stunning venue down there….I just knew that was the venue for me.  Unfotatenly after multiple emails and a phone call or two, I was unable to get into contact with anyone.  I thought maybe they were closed for good.

So two weeks ago Tim and I decided to look at other venues.  They were okay but as I said previously said they weren’t for me.  I wanted something big and open and they were closed and dark.  Not dark in a bad way but darker than I wanted.  Since one of the venues was close to my dream venue I walked over and looked from the outside in.  My dream venue was closed but I knew just looking at the venue it was the one for me.

The only good thing about that wedding venue tour day (aside from knowing the previous two were not for me) was that I met and loved our wedding planner Hannah.  She is down to earth, casual, relaxed and was already willing to help.

And help she did.  She was able to get more information about the venue I wanted as well as other comprable and most similar options. 

So last week I (Tim was away) went and toured the venue of my dreams.  I loved it.  I loved everything about it and there was nothing I didn’t like.  After finding a date in our range we committed to it.  So we do have a venue and a date.

So now we currently have:

Date: April 12, 2015

A venue in Norfolk, VA

Photographer: Justice Photography (They took some photos of me last January and I loved them).

A Wedding Planner: Hannah Hildabrandt Events

A Rough Outline of a Guest List (100-130 guests)

I guess you could say it’s coming along quite nicely and I’m actually excited to keep planning.   I’m not excited to try on wedding dress…maybe I’ll just wear runderwear.

Questions for you:

If you are married, how many people did you have at your wedding?

In one sentence tell your dream wedding.

Mine is in a big open facility facing the water.

WG Marathon Training Week 7: Overly Average (82 miles)

This training week in a nutshell: overly average.  A good, solid, uneventful week.

Monday: Rest  
Tuesday: 13.2 untimed Nike Core
Wednesday: 10.31 hot  
Thursday: 11.25 with Tim P90X
Friday: 13.2 8:28 pace  
Saturday: 13.2 7:56 pace  
Sunday: 20 mile Long Run  
Total: 82 miles  



After last Sunday’s 20 miler, I woke up with extremely stiff legs on Monday.  I had thought I would be able to do a short shake out run but I ended up not.  My legs just wanted to rest. So that they did.

The next few days were easy and recovery.  It was nice because it was so hot out. On Wednesday I ended up seeing this white deer.  I didn’t know that white deer existed but I guess it makes sense (like white tigers exist).  It was pretty cool!


Instead of adding any formal speed days this week I’ve been adding a few striders into runs.  Right now holding any sort of fast pace is in this heat is overwhelming to me.  Adding a minute or two of striders seems more doable.  I want to get some speed in but for me personally, doing a long tempo in this heat seems impossible right now.  I hope I’ll be able to work into it though.

My Run on Saturday felt really good.  It felt smooth and effortless.  I have found on weeks I don’t do any speed or races, my overall pace increases.

I would say this has been a pretty solid training week for me.

Next week plans:

I am hoping to run a 10k on Saturday.  I don’t plan to do any long runs next week and let my body recover from the last few.   

That’s all I have this week.  It was pretty uneventful but overall a great week of training for me. 

Questions for you:

What is the most interesting animal you have seen on a run (or in the wild)?

For me probably this white deer or the bears I saw in college.

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