Swimming for Runners
Swimming for Runners

A few people have asked me to write a post about swimming for runners. If you have followed my blog since its birth in 2010, you may remember I was a swimmer. Not just a swimmer, but I swam competitively for college.

After college, I was done. Swimming is a hard sport, and to improve at the college level, and you’re in the pool anywhere between 2-4 hours a day. After college, I had no interest in staring at a black line or blue line or the bottom of the pool. I was burned out.  Swimming workouts are tough, but swimming is great because it’s nonimpact. Swimming can benefit runners in big ways.

Swimming for Runners

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Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review
Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Recently, I started running in Topo Athletic shoes. I’ve had a few friends that love them.  Since this is my first time trying Topo Athletic, I have no previous versions to compare it too. I was lucky enough that Topo Athletic sent me two pairs (the Topo Athletic Magnifly and the Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 3)of shoes to test out.

Quick Stats: 

Weight: 8.3 oz
Drop: 0

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review


The upper has minimal seams and has plenty of space. Topo is not available in wides; the regular width seems to be enough space for me.  If you are looking for a wider forefront shoe, Topo is excellent for that.

I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide. The women’s size 10.5 fit well. It fits similar to the Altra Escalante and shares a lot of characteristics, including zero drop. All Topo models are known for their roomy toe box. A Roomy and a wide toe box allows toes to spread. You always want a shoe to feel snug in the mid foot but also allow your toes to be able to spread while running, otherwise you set yourself up for injury. It’s secure in the midfoot and heel.

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review


The Topo Magnifly 2 has a lot of cushion for a zero drop shoe. Topo Athletic wants you to have a natural running feel. Before running in it, I thought it would be a minimal shoe, but I was surprised that it did have an ample amount of cushion.

The cushion from Topo has a mix of a softer layer on the top and a much more firm and responsive bottom layer. The Topo Magnifly 2 features two different density injected EVA midsoles. The dual density is softer near the foot for cushioning but firmer on the bottom for a responsive ride.  The Topo Athletic “sweeping toe rocker” allows for a smooth transition from heel to toe.

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Like any zero drop shoe, if you are not used to running in a zero drop shoe, it’s important to work into the shoe. If you jump into a longer run, you might be more likely to get injured or have tight calves. I’ve done several longer runs in them and felt good. For me, they are a great daily trainer when I want to do a faster run but not quite a workout.



The Topo Magnifly 2 was a surprise for me. I expected less cushion but I like the ride and that I can use the shoe for longer and easier runs. It will probably stay in my rotation as an easy run or long run shoe. If you like Altra or Altra Escalante, it’s a great shoe to alternate with. I didn’t try the original magnifly but from what I can gather most people are happy with the update.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6, Topo Magnifly 2, Hoka Mach 2Brooks Glycerin 17,

Speed Work: Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Topo before?

What is your favorite shoe? 

Elizabeth river run 10k
ERR 10k: 42:40

A couple of weeks ago I ran the Cape May 10k in 42:35. I thought, at the minimum at ERR I could beat that. Spoiler: I did not. The weather, however, was much hotter and much more humid at the ERR, plus the is much more difficult. So it was a harder effort. By much more humid, I mean it was 100% humidity.

Anyway, I got to the race around 7:15, warmed up, saw a few friends, and got to the start around 8 am. The race started at 8:15, and I was already sweating through my clothes beforehand. I’ve run the race a few times, but not since 2013. There is minimal shade, and it can be either very hot and humid, cold, or somewhere in the middle. When I lived in VA, I ran it years that it was any of those.

I was busy talking, and by the time I knew it, we were off. I was caught off guard but not a big deal and my own fault. During the first mile, I found myself as 5th women overall, where I stayed the entire time. At first, I thought I might be able to catch the fourth-place women, but that quickly faded. My legs did not feel good, and I was overheated at the start.

I ran the majority of the miles alone, just wondering what I was doing. If I stopped, no one would know, and it was something I constantly had to talk myself out of.  I hit the first mile in 6:30, which was way to fast for where I should be. The course itself at that point had minimal turns, but I knew the turns were all coming.

me running elizabeth river run 10k

During the second mile, I settled in alone. I saw many friends and waved to everyone I knew. I hit the second mile in 6:47, which is about where I figured my fitness was in the humidity.

During the third mile, I was running along the waterfront, and I was roasting. I laughed and thought, wow I’m working my tan. I told myself get to mile 3 and you’ll be halfway. I reached mile 3 in 6:47.

The next couple of miles went by without much note. It was hot, humid, and I just wished I hadn’t signed up for four 10ks this summer. I told myself “just 20 minutes left”, then “just 10”. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to race, but with the humidity, it became increasingly more difficult to breathe.

Around mile 5, I got some magical wind. I don’t know what was going on, but all of a sudden, I began to feel better. Maybe it was the fact that we were “almost done” or that I woke up again, but my legs felt better. I ran the last mile in 6:47 and crossed in 42:40.

me running elizabeth river run 10k


I won’t say I love running 42:40s for a 10k. I’ve run faster workouts but I’m coming to terms with this is where I am fitness wise and in the heat. I know it’s a better effort than the Cape May 10k. I’ll keep grinding along and still signing up for races. I always enjoy seeing friends that I grew up with. I’m hoping I’ll just keep putting in the work and it will translate when it gets cooler. Or my marathon will be in the heat, and I’ll have put the work in the heat. HA

Thank you to Cliff for the photos. Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about rest days and cross training.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Do you like 10ks? How do you pace them?

Where did you grow up?

me running
Training Log: Long Runs, Races, and Swimming

Hopefully, everyone has a good Memorial Day Weekend.

The next few weeks of training are geared towards upping my mileage. Upping mileage while the weather gets hotter, doesn’t make for the most enjoyable running but I will keep racing and keep on trucking along.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes/Swim 3000-meter swim
Tuesday: 5X1000 with 90 seconds rest
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes/3000 meter swim
Thursday: Easy 3000-meter swim
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Elizabeth River Run 10k
Sunday: 12 miles (11 easy, 1 mile worth of strides at the end)


Workout Wednesday: 5X1000 averaging 6:25 pace.

It’s a little faster than the week before, which is the most important to me. I’m not where I was a year ago, but I’m further along than last week. The weather was ideal, and I couldn’t ask for a better day.

Elizabeth River Run 10k: 42:40

I haven’t run the ERR since 2013. I thought I would run faster than the Cape May 10k a couple of weeks ago but the weather was much hotter, and the course was much more challenging. The effort was harder, but the time was slower. I ran most of it by myself. It was great to see family, friends, and people I had grown up with.

12 Mile Long Run:

I planned to do 14 but the weather was so oppressive, and my legs weren’t feeling it, so I settled with 12.  I ran 11 easy, followed by one mile of doing strides. 6-minute pace doesn’t feel natural for me right now, so I’m trying to get my body to remember how.


I’ve been swimming 2X1500 meters each time I get into the pool. After going through so many years of stress of sets, etc., I am enjoying just freely putting my face in the water, turning everything off, and swimming. I do plan to keep swimming during this training cycle. Why? Because I want too. I’m enjoying it.


Other than that, everything was low key. My goal for the next few weeks is to get a quality workout in and maybe a race or a long run.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about rest days and cross training.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Posts from the Week:

Vital Protein Collagen Water Review

Hoka One One Bondi 6 Shoe Review

Movie Madness 13.1 Recap (That turned into 14 miles)

Questions for you:

What is your favorite cross-training activity?

How was your Memorial Day Weekend?

Park Place Diner Denver PA
Park Place Diner (Denver, PA)

Park Place Diner (Denver, Pa)

While traveling through PA, I decided to stop at the Park Place Diner in Denver, PA.

The Park Place Diner is right off the Pa Turnpike if you’re driving through. I was looking for something easy and right off the road.Park Place Diner Denver PA

Park Place Diner (Denver, PA) Atmosphere: A
The Park Place Diner is everything you picture in a diner. It’s big, cobblestone, and has plenty of windows.

The inside has rows of booths, tables, as well as a full-length bar. You walk by the dessert case, and it was enough to have me committed.

Park Place Diner Denver PA

Coffee: A
The waitress brewed a fresh pot of coffee. The coffee mug was a logo mug, and the coffee was just plain good, if not one of the best I’ve recently.

Park Place Diner Denver PA

Park Place Diner (Denver, PA) Food: A

The Park Place Diner menu has everything a diner would have. There is breakfast all day, plenty of lunch and dinner specials.

A few of the Park Place Diner menu items that caught my eye:

  • french toast
  • prime rib
  • baked ham
  • fried chicken

I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. I ultimately decided I wanted some greens and ordered the Greek salad was salmon. The salad was huge and also came with both anchovies and grape leaves. Having a Greek salad without grape leaves seems naked. In all the salad was excellent and I have no complaints.

Park Place Diner Denver PA

Park Place Diner (Denver, PA) Dessert: A
I ordered a raspberry mousse cup to go, and it was delicious. The outer shell was a chocolate shell which made it even better. After cake, I like mousse and frosting type of desserts.

Park Place Diner Denver PA

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, and my food came out quickly. It felt like I blinked, and it was there.

 Cost: $
For my salad and dessert, it was $22.

Summary/Overall Thoughts of the Park Place Diner (Denver, PA):
I enjoyed the Park Place Diner, and I’ll be back again.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Dessert: A
Service: A
Cost: $15-20
Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What are your favorite salad toppings?
What is your favorite dessert?

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