me running grass
Training: Small Issues along the Way

Last week was the week from hell. I’ve had a lot going on, but on a personal level all of these things happened over the previous two weeks:

  • I’ve fallen on my tailbone and bruised it which takes up to four weeks to heal
  • I’ve had two corneal abrasions
  • I cut my finger open cutting beets and nearly had to go to the ER
  • I had a migraine bad enough I had aura and also puked

By themselves, none of these are “all that bad” but having them happen over the course of two weeks have been…something.  Luckily, this weekend I was able to take time for myself, and that seemed to help.

Monday: Easy 60 minute run
Tuesday: 5 mile walk around Turkey Swamp Park
Wednesday: 4X1 miles at 6:15 pace
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 60-minute run
Saturday: Making Strides 5k (19:08)
Sunday: 12 Mile Long Run fast finish

Thoughts:

My easy runs were just that, easy.  I don’t care about pace, and it’s not a race.

Wednesday: 4X1 mile average 6:15 with 90 seconds rest

I didn’t feel great during my workout but not awful either. I’ve been trying to get back to being consistent which is easier said than done.  I’ve been doing my workouts on roads which I like better because I typically race on roads.

Saturday: Making Strides 5k (19:08) 5:49, 6:08, 6:13

The goal of the race was to see how my tailbone would handle a race environment and in flats.  With Broad Street next weekend, I didn’t want to jump in a 10-mile race, only to realize by a quarter of a mile my tailbone wasn’t happy.  It hasn’t hurt during workouts, but that isn’t the race setting.

I’m happy to report my tailbone didn’t bother me at all during the race and has progressively gotten better in the last 48 hours (the first two weeks, it felt achy all of the time and the most when I sat).  I don’t want to jinx myself though!

The race itself was a mix of cross country grass, road, and even track.  I’ll have a full recap this week, but I ran most of the race alone.  While the time itself is not “fast” right now for me, I am proud of it for the terrain.  I got everything I wanted out of the race.

Sunday Long Run:

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing faster finish runs.  On Sunday, I attempted to my longest run since the April Fools Half.  It went well and my last half averaged around 7:03 pace.  My tailbone felt normal and it gave me confidence that I’ll be able to run Broad Street next weekend.

Posts of the Week:

Exploring Turkey Swamp Park

Blogging is Dying 

Questions for you:

Have you ever had “one of those weeks”?

Do you prefer road races, track, or trail?

Franklin park diner kendall park nj
Franklin Park Diner (Kendall Park)

Franklin Park Diner (Kendall Park, NJ)

Recently I went to the Franklin Park Diner in Kendall Park, NJ.  I’ve wanted to go for a few months now, but it never works out.  When I found myself in central Jersey a few weeks ago, it seemed like the perfect time. I’ve heard the Franklin Park Diner is good so I was excited when the timing finally worked out.

Franklin park diner kendall park nj

Franklin Park Diner Atmosphere: B
The Franklin Park Diner is small but cute.  It has an exterior sign marked: diner. While the Franklin Park Diner doesn’t stick out as the stereotypical, metallic diner, it’s fairly retro.  You can’t miss it driving by.

The inside of the Franklin Park Diner is open, and you can see the entire kitchen from the booths and tables.  There aren’t many diners like that anymore, so I appreciate it! You don’t feel like you’re sitting on top of anything and have plenty of space.

Franklin park diner kendall park nj

Franklin Park Diner Coffee: A
The coffee at the Franklin Park Diner was brewed hot and fresh each time, and I have no complaints. The waitress also added plenty of whipped cream.

Franklin park diner kendall park nj

Franklin Park Diner Food: A
The Franklin Park Diner menu has most anything you could picture in a diner.  There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  There were several dinner specials, but nothing spoke to me.  I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for and it took me longer than usual to order.

Finally, I decided to order a simple beef gyro.  It came with french fries and a small side greek salad.  I liked the beef gyro, and I have no complaints. There wasn’t anything unusual about it and the french fries were slightly crispy.

Franklin park diner kendall park nj

Franklin Park Diner Service: A

The waitress was very attentive, funny, and friendly.  My food also came out in a blink of an eye.  I couldn’t have asked for a better dinner service.

Price:
For my gyro and coffee, the cost was $10, which is hard to beat.

Overall thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Franklin Park Diner?
I liked the Franklin Park Diner and would come back.  I enjoyed how open the Franklin Park Diner is and the ability to watch your food being made.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Price: $8-12
Overall: A

You can see all 182 Diner Reviews here.

Questions for you: Have you ever been to a restaurant you can watch the food being made?

turkey swamp park freehold nj
Exploring Turkey Swamp Park (Freehold, NJ)

Earlier in the week, I decided to take a trip to Turkey Swamp Park in Freehold, NJ.  I’ve heard it’s a cute park surrounded by a small lake. Most Monmouth County Parks have a campground office, park ranger, picnic areas and picnic tables, paddle boats, water and electric hookups, travel trailers, picnic areas, fire rings, water spigots, and drinking water.

Turkey Swamp Park is just over 2,200 acres in the pine barrens.  The major attraction at Turkey Swamp Park is the 17-acre lake.  In the summer it’s used for fishing and boating. Turkey Swamp Park also features miles of trails and even an archery range.  While walking through Turkey Swamp Park, I wondered what kind of range it was but after googling found out archery (obviously, no one was practicing).

While I didn’t run through Turkey Swamp Park, you can.  Turkey Swamp Park actually hosts a trail series and even a looped marathon.  The trails are accessible and even if you don’t consider yourself a “trail runner”, you can run through.

In all, it was a fun few hours in Turkey Swamp Park and I enjoyed the warmer weather.  This spring and summer, I want to get out to more parks in NJ and enjoy them.  I haven’t been to many down the shore so that’s where you’ll find me.

At Turkey Swamp Park, two main trails join together and create about 5 miles of hiking.  There are plenty of sections of the parks on boardwalk but most of the surface is flat and dirt.

The shorter, Alder, is 1.6 miles and an easy loop around the lake.

turkey swamp park freehold nj

turkey swamp park freehold nj
What am I staring at…the world will never know.

The Longer, Manasquan Loop is about 3.8 miles from the Nomoco parking lot.  Both are easy to follow.

turkey swamp park freehold nj
walking along the stream

turkey swamp park freehold nj

In all, it was a great morning at Turkey Swamp Park of relaxing before a busy day.  There weren’t any turkeys out, but I can’t complain about that.  At Turkey Swamp Park, there were plenty of geese and their babies (which I had no interest to go near territorial geese…or any geese).

turkey swamp park freehold nj

You can see other hikes I’ve done here.

Questions for you:

What are some things you want to do this summer? Have you been to Turkey Swamp Park? 

Do you have a favorite park near you?

Blogging is Dying.
Blogging is Dying.

Blogging is Dying.

There I said it.

I’ve actually had a document on my computer titled: “blogging is dying” for a couple of months now.  Past that, I haven’t continued the post.  Maybe I was waiting for the best moment to post it, maybe not.  Either way, blogging is slowly dying.

I’ve contemplated writing this post for a while now, but I don’t know where to begin.  It’s probably a mismatched bunch of words that don’t flow together but when is that anything new?

So here we go:

I started blogging in 2010 when blogging was beginning to grow.  Everyone was blogging!

It was the new thing to do instead of writing a Facebook update that was 10 pages long.  I think in 2010, I followed close to 20 blogs.  I was captivated by their writing, and it ranged from runners, to triathletes, to even a chocolate blog (you know).

I followed people with similar interests.  Most people were posting at least a few times a week, if not more.  To be honest, I think most blogs posted daily, which I did too!

2012-2014, continued the trend and blogging continued to grow.  As the years went by, new social media was created.

There were so many new platforms:

Instagram: To take photos of everything you did!

Twitter: To write short burbs and updates about life!

Facebook pages: When one facebook isn’t enough, get two!

Pinterest and more (to save blogs, recipes, and whatever else you’ll read or follow up on!

I remember kicking my feet at getting twitter…ugh another thing, I couldn’t keep up.  I ultimately got most of them, except for Pinterest, because I just pin cat memes.

Then 2013 was a big year for me.  I moved four times: New York to Virginia to Texas to New Jersey.  I ran my first marathon, and moved in with a boyfriend at the time who put a ring on it (yes Tim).  It was the year where I had no idea what I wanted to do.  I lived off of savings, made some money blogging, and just job searched like any early 20 year old.

In 2014, life settled down a little bit (not much, but enough).  My husband and I got engaged, settled in NJ, and I finally set a half marathon PR.  2014 for blogging was probably my “biggest year”.

What does biggest in blogging even mean?

Most page views?  Most engagement?  Most money made?

All three!

blog stats

Then in 2014, a lot of things on the internet changed.  Social media channels began to grow, and many runners turned to Instagram to document and give running advice.  I tried to go that route with long blog post captions but quickly realized I liked Instagram for taking photos of pretty places.  It isn’t my personal preference to write a novel caption about how inspired I was to get out there.

I run and come home.  I don’t have an inspiring story about every run, I just get out there and do it.  I’m just a woman in the Garden State trying to make it look cool. I don’t like to post half-naked photos and don’t like to give advice about running.  I don’t want my account to be running only and don’t want to create a separate Instagram account for my personal life either.

My Instagram is my life whether I have a blog or not.  It isn’t limited to running, because my life isn’t limited to running.  Maybe I’ll never have a niche, but that is fine.  My blog talks more about my training and life, while Instagram is just photos and short captions.  A couple of weeks ago, my husband I celebrated our anniversary. Not running, but part of my life.

View this post on Instagram

Celebrating our 3 year anniversary.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Anyway, with the growth of Instagram and other social media, came the slow fall of blogging.

It isn’t just blogging that has fallen, and many running publications have ceased too.  For instance, Competitor magazine only exists online.  Runners World was acquired by Hearst.

This post isn’t too bash anything or anyone.  It’s just to briefly explain what I’ve observed in the last several years.  It’s not the only view, and for some their blog has gotten bigger, which is great!

In summary, social media such as Instagram has grown.  People would prefer free advice versus paying, and to be honest, people don’t want or have the time and interest to read blogs anymore.

So How do You Support Blogs?

The easiest way to support any blogger or let them know you’re reading is occasionally comment (and no I’m not begging for comments).  Commenting or sharing posts/articles are two big ways to support bloggers without doing much.

Many people have told me in person, “love your blog” and to be honest I’m shocked they read.  Sure, right now I average about 500 page views a day, but I rarely get more than 1-2 comments per post, so I have no clue who reads, if anyone!  No one is a mind reader.  I don’t expect anyone to read, but it’s always nice to hear from people who are.

I will still blog because I like too.  I’ve stopped blogging every day, but I’ll continue to blog.  This post is not meant to be negative, or put anyone down.  It’s just the trend i’ve noticed throughout several years of blogging (which of course different people notice different things).

Questions for you:

How long have you been blogging? Is blogging dying? Discuss?

me running pines
Training: Achy Bums and Easy Weeks

Last week, I took it much easier for a few reasons.  As most people know, I fell at the April Fools half marathon a week ago.  While it was still a good race, it left my tailbone sore.  It’s not broken but it does ache.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: 20 minute run
Wednesday: 30 minute run
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 30 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 6 mile tempo run (10 miles total)

Thoughts:

I was signed up to do a 5 mile race this weekend that I DNSed.  To be honest, I have no doubt I could have finished well.  The weather was ideal to run but I didn’t want to push my tailbone too quickly.  I am disappointed, however, I think I made the smarter decision.

I did a 6-mile tempo instead.  My miles ranged from 6:55-7:12.  It was nice for something a bit faster.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhuQBVzH6x3/?taken-by=fueledbylolz

 

Tailbone Issue:

It’s a hard problem to explain.  My tailbone aches, especially when I sit.  In fact, my doctor told me standing actually puts far less pressure on it and the more I stand the better…I am not standing 24 hours a day.  I bought a donut pillow to sit on which removes the pressure off of my butt too.  I can walk and run normally (my gait does change at all), but I can feel the ache whether I’m running or not.

I’m hoping to jump into a local race next week to get some speed before Broad Street.  The last month hasn’t gone, “exactly” how I would like.  I’m in shape, but I’m not in the same shape as when I set my half marathon PR.  I’m fine with that.  The next few months, I want to stay healthy and work on shorter distances anyway.

Posts of the Week:

Benefits of Massages for Runners

April Fools Half Marathon

Questions for you:

Have you ever fallen on your tailbone?

How was your week of training?

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