me running california
2019 Running Yearly Recap

My year of running in 2019 is rather simple; it is the year that wasn’t.

For running that is…my life was great, but my running? Not so much.

I actually posted about it on Instagram yesterday. I think “top nines” and “best of” the years are silly. To have an app decide your best moments in the likes doesn’t make sense. Most of my favorite times of the year don’t even have a photo!

I had fun with running, but I’m minutes off any PR I’m hoping 2020 will be a better year, but I’m also not naive about how much that will take to get there.

Don’t get me wrong; my priorities were other places, and while I trained, I didn’t run anywhere close to the same mileage of PRs. I didn’t think a PR would magically come after not working for it. But, I didn’t know I would run a 1:36 half marathon when I actually thought I was in decent shape.


Favorite Races:

She Power Half Marathon

Club XC Nationals

New York City Marathon 

Fastest 5k: Adrenaline Run (19:26)

Fastest Half Marathon: She Power Half (1:29.27)


The big and exciting event was going to California and running the Carlsbad Half Marathon. January on the East Coast can be dicey and while our winter was milder than usual, I was happy to get a short minication out of it.

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Hiked so high, almost touched the sky.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on


February was a cold and lowkey month for me. I ran, I trained, but nothing too exciting. I ran the Cupids Chase 5k in Moorestown and almost fell on ice. Plus, my parents came up. I also took a trip to Upstate, NY in February with my husband so he could ski. Most people don’t realize he was actually a skier in college. I attempted to go for a run outside and ended like this.


March is one of my favorite running months. There are a lot of my favorite races, including Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler, Adrenaline 5k, Shamrock Half Marathon, and the Phillies 5k.

The Phillies 5k was hard for me since I had won 3 years in a row and this year, I got fourth. There were a lot faster women there and I knew that (so it wasn’t surprising) but that is always a hard feeling.


In April, I ran the April Fools Half Marathon (one of my favorite races). My body was burned out and after that I took a week off and decided to start swimming, something I hadn’t done regularly since college. Since April, I’ve swum on and off. It’s been good to get in the pool and do something different again. For didn’t know, I swam well before I ran.


June was probably my best half marathon of the year in which I won the She Power Half in Indianapolis. We were there for a wedding and it was a fun experience to win a race I wasn’t expecting too, plus despite running alone, it was my fastest half marathon.


In July, I began training for the marathon I neer ran, Big Cottonwood. I also competed in the Allen Stone-Run-Swim-Run, where I was the fourth woman and caught a lot of people in the run.

It was fun doing a race I had a long history with.  The next day, my dad and I ran the “Run for the Toilets“5k and I won overall. The 8 person (yes 8 person!) 5k was created to raise money for new toilets for the Elks Lodge. Winners won a “custom” toilet plunger award. They will probably do more since it didn’t get the turnout, the race directors wanted.


In August, my husband and I took a vacation to Colorado and ran the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon. It was a lot of fun and the most gorgeous half marathon I’ve run. That being said, the altitude was tough!

Other than that, I faced the challenges of marathon training in August. The heat and humidity made me question my why. Like anyone, I had my fair share of bad runs with the good.


September started off with a bang and I won the 18.12 challenge in Upstate New York. I was not expecting to win either so it was fun surprise.

About a week later, I pulled my hamstring and ended up not being able to run the marathon I spent most of the summer training for.  In late September, I was offered a spot to run the New York City Marathon.


My goal for October was to run and train for New York City Marathon smartly.

I signed up to run the Cow Run and ended up racing in a cow costume.

In October, I ran a few run races, including the Gritty 5k and the Atlantic City Half Marathon. Even though it was very windy, the Atlantic City Half Marathon was one of the slowest half marathons I’ve run since beginning to run half marathons.  It was mentally tough to log that time.


The New York City Marathon went just like I hoped: I started and finished healthy.

After New York, I took time off and now want to focus on shorter races. I don’t know when I’ll run another marathon, but I have no interest in them.

I also ran the Medford Turkey Trot for the fourth year in a row.


And now in December! YAY, December has been a fun month for running as I get back into it. I haven’t felt great, but I’m looking forward to building mileage and training towards shorter races like hales and fulls. I didn’t run a lot of races in December but did do a Cross Country race, which was a lot of fun.

I’m hoping January will be a better year for running. As I said in my training log yesterday, I know my reasoning for not running as fast: fewer miles, fewer workouts, and running wasn’t a priority. While I won’t say running will be my
“number 1 priority”, I am hoping to log a few more miles.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

How was your year of running?

What was your favorite race of the year? 


Red Lion Diner Southampton NJ quesadilla
Red Lion Diner Revisited (Southampton NJ)

Red Lion Diner (Southampton, NJ)

The Red Lion Diner was one of the first diners I went to in 2014! I hadn’t been back in over five years. Since then, the Red Lion Diner has new management and the same owners as the Monarch Diner in Glassboro. I like the Monarch Diner, so I was excited to come back and review the Red Lion Diner. A few weeks ago, the timing worked out, so I went after work.

Red Lion Diner Southampton NJ

Red Lion Diner Atmosphere: A
After being redone, the Red Lion Diner is much bigger. When you walk in, you don’t think it goes back as far as it does. It’s clean and modern. The inside walks right next to the dessert case, which is always a win in my book.

Red Lion Diner Coffee: B
The coffee at the Red Lion Diner was decent, but there was nothing unique or unusual about it. I could have used more refills.

Red Lion Diner Southampton NJ coffee

Red Lion Diner Food: B
Like the Monarch Diner in Glassboro, the Red Lion Diner menu is massive. A unique component of the Red Lion Diner menu is the extensive vegan and vegetarian menu. If you are looking for meatless options, they have no shortage. Of course, they have anything else from breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I was intrigued by the vegan selection.

I decided to order the vegan avocado quesadilla, which came stuffed with tofu, avocado, and some sort of cheese. It also came with beans, lettuce, and tomato. All vegetarian options come with soup and a muffin.

Red Lion Diner Southampton NJ
What is the soup? I may never know…

The waitress brought both the muffin and soup over but didn’t say what either of them was. I think it was butternut squash soup.  It was fine.  It wasn’t my favorite. The muffin was good as well.

Red Lion Diner Southampton NJ muffin

My tofu avocado quesadilla was excellent. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything tofu at a diner before, but this was good. I have no complaints about the quesadilla.

Red Lion Diner Southampton NJ quesadilla

Red Lion Diner Service: D

The service at the Red Lion Diner was lackluster. The manager (or maybe owner) seating people ignored my husband and I. He asked other parties waiting if they wanted drinks, but never made the same gesture to us. Our waitress didn’t seem like she as in a great mood either and neer came back and asked if we wanted refills or anything. Everyone has a bad day, but it felt like a trend in the entire Red Lion Diner.

Red Lion Diner Cost: $$
For the coffee and entree, it was $20.

Red Lion Diner Overall/Would I Come Back?
The food at the Red Lion Diner was good, but I was less than impressed with the service (which is a bigger deal to me). I prefer the Monarch Diner better and since both are about the same distance from my house, I’ll go there. If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, the Red Lion Diner menu has plenty of options.  Since the new owners, the Red Lion Diner, is better than previously.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Serice: D
Cost: $10-20
Overall: B

You can see all the diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Do you like tofu?
Hae you been to a restaurant under new management?


The metro diner east brunswick
The Metro Diner (Multiple Locations in the USA)

The Metro Diner

A chain diner? Say it isn’t so.  Recently, I went to the Metro Diner with Nick K. Many people across the USA have told me I should try the Metro Diner. Apparently, it’s “where locals eat.” There is one location of the Metro Diner in East Brunswick.  I guess going to a chain diner in the Garden State is like getting Papa John’s in New York.  Anyway, I was looking forward to trying the Metro Diner. Besides the Bear Diner out West, the Metro Diner is the only chain diner I know of.

The metro diner east brunswick

The metro diner east brunswick
The Metro Diner was clean and modern, but it resembled a “fast food” or chain restaurant. It wasn’t a big, shiny, metallic building, but it was neat and clean. The inside has plenty of seating and booths. While the Metro Diner was busy for a weekday morning, it wasn’t overwhelming and we never felt like we were sitting on top of anyone.


Coffee: A
I was pleasantly surprised by the Metro Diner coffee and it appears they even have specialty coffees like “sugar cookie.”  How fun is that?  I appreciate a good personalized mug as well. In all, great coffee.

The metro diner east brunswick

Food: B
Compared to a typical diner, the Metro Diner menu is small. It’s known for their comfort food and that is pretty much all they sere. There are a few healthier options like salads but you won’t find a lot.

At any diner, I expect more than 3 omelet choices, but with chain restaurants, they need to keep things more simple. I was between the avocado toast and the eggie omelet but decided to try the veggie omelet. The waitress asked if I wanted onions, mushrooms, cheese, or a bunch of other things in my hashbrowns.  I chose onions.

When the meal came out, it was stuffed. I was shocked by how many eggies were stuffed in there, including asparagus, mushrooms, and onions. Both the hashbrowns and biscuit were good. I was impressed by the meal, but I do wish there were more options at the Metro Diner.

The metro diner east brunswick

Serice: A
Our waitress at the Metro Diner was friendly and our food came out fast. I wasn’t expecting the food to come out within 10 minutes of ordering.

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was $12.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Metro Diner?
I liked Metro Diner and it was a good stop. Is it the diehard New Jersey Diner? No, but for a chain restaurant, the Metro Diner does a good job. I would go back. Plus, chances are for friends that aren’t local, there is a Metro Diner near you.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: B
Serice: A
Cost: $8-14
Overall: B

You can see all 275 diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite chain restaurant? Have you tried avocado toast?

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review
Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

The Mizuno Wave Rider has been around for years. It’s consistent and well put together shoe that has a strong following. For a while, I didn’t consider it a “shoe for me,” but in the last few years, I’ve enjoyed the firmness of the Mizuno Wave Rider.

Recently Mizuno created the Mizuno Rider Waveknit, which is a knit version of the Wave Rider. The Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 fits wider than the traditional Wave Rider which makes my feet happier.

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

What is the Difference between the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 23?

Basically the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 are the same shoe but with slightly different uppers. 

  • Both offer comfort and dynamic rides
  • Both use the Mizuno Wave cushioning featuring the smoothride midsoles crafted by combining u4icx and u4ic cushioning.
  • Both offer a natural fit with sleep design while working on a modern featherweight frame

There makes no sense to review both of them since the ride Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is the same.

The newest Wave Rider keeps the same responsive ride and laid back fit that made it famous, but it was due for a refresh. So Mizuno overhauled the look this year of both the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 to give it a fresh and modern look.

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Quick Facts:

Weight 8.3 oz,

Drop 12mm

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Fit:

Most of the update in the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 comes with the upper, so the fit and upper will be much more substantial. According to Mizuno, the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 looks better but still accommodates your foot well. The look of anything is subjective and only you can decide what looks good.

The Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 now uses a two-layered engineered mesh upper.  The two-layered breathable mesh upper allows for both stretch and structure.  Some years Mizuno runs slightly narrow, but this year they are a bit wider.  The Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 knitted upper combines a natural fit with sleek design to provide the ultimate comfort and dynamic response.  The moment you put your foot into the shoe you feel how sleek the design is.

Finally, both the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and Mizuno Wave Rider 23 has a higher internal heel counter, which allows the foot to feel more secure in place. The super secure fit continues throughout the most every version of the Mizuno Wave Rider and now the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3. The ankle collar is now much less bulky.

In all, the upper has the biggest update but all positive. In running shoes, I wear between a size 10-11 and I’ve found the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 and Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 size 11 to fit the best. They do come in wide, but the regular width size 11 is fine.

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and Mizuno Wave Rider 23 Ride:

The Mizuno Wave Rider 23 remains the same as the previous version Wave Rider 22 and Mizuno Waveknit R2. The midsole and cushioning didn’t change. So if that didn’t change, the ride didn’t change. So yes, all of the updates for the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 was in the upper.  This is the same with the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3.

If you are new to the Mizuno brand, they a wae plate to absorb and disperse shock. This keeps the shoe firm but also light.

To get nerdy with you, the Mizuno Wave Rider features a dual compound midsole with two foams: U4ic and U4icX foams.

    • The “U4ic foam” is durable and also reduces shock.  It runs the length of the shoe.
    • The compound midsole using “U4ic foam” is lighter and adds cushion but is only in the heel. That way, the heel has a cushioned and soft, but the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 remains responsive.

The Mizuno Wave Rider also has a 12 mm heel to toe drop, which means the heel is much higher. This allows for a smooth transition from heel to toe.

I’ve done a few runs in the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 and I’ve found it works best for easy or daily runs. I like a little lower to the ground shoe for workouts. It can be used for long runs, but I prefer to keep it to runs under an hour.

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Shoe Review

Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 Conclusion:

The Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 is lightweight and consistent shoe. I like that there is the option of the Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3 or the Mizuno Wave Rider 23. I do wonder if eventually Mizuno will phase-out of the Wave Rider and the only option will be the Rider Waveknit. (I haven’t heard anything)

It’s a great daily trainer if you are looking for a lighter and firmer shoe. The most significant change (and only) change with the upper. I like the ultra-soft comfort Mizuno added to the Wae Rider a few years ago and it continues to a solid neutral shoe.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3, New Balance 1080 v10Diadora Mythos Elite TRX, Hoka Bondi 6,

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProNike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2, Altra Escalante 2.0, Hoka Cavu 2

Races: New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Reebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you: 

What is your favorite running shoe?

What are you currently running in? 


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