under armour copper mountain race me running
Personal, Reads

29 Years Old

Today is my 29th birthday.

For some reason, I always imagined at age 29; I would look and feel older.

Maybe like an adult? It hasn’t come (yet). Anyway, looking back at age 28, I had a great year. I’ve been an “adult” for a decade now.

What Did I Do During Year 28?

Last year, I started age 28 with my first “real” trail race. I ran the Copper Mountain 25k, and it was one of the best running memories I’ve had.

under armour copper mountain race me running

It’s hard to believe that was a year ago now!

under armour copper mountain race me running

Last summer, I did a lot of traveling up and down the East Coast. We visited family, I saw friends from college, and I just had a good summer. In August, I ran/hikes my second trail race in Killington, VT. To me, it was more challenging than the race in Colorado because the terrain was much more technical. Then in the fall, I changed gears entirely and trained for the NYCM. I didn’t think I would do another marathon, but when the opportunity to run in the “sub-elite” corral presented itself, I couldn’t say no. I’m glad I did, and it was one of the best running experiences I’ve had.

New York City Marathon me running

Since the NYCM, running hasn’t quite come into place. I’ve trained, but I haven’t had any “spectacular” or amazing races. I’ve had a lot of great and fun races, but I’m well off PRs. Right now, I’m content with that.

In January, my husband and took a trip out to California. We drove from San Diego to San Francisco and just explored. We had no agenda (as most of our vacations are).

Hiking anderson park santa clara county

Marin Headlands San Francisco

The highlight of the Spring was adopting my two cats: Frick and Frack. I always had cats growing up, and I’ve wanted them for years, but our landlords or landladies always said no.

Finally, after proving we were good renters, they agreed. We found these two cats at the local shelter, and when I found out they had been there for five years (YES 5), I knew I wanted them. They were shy at first but have come out of their shell.

View this post on Instagram

Personality pic #noisycat #confusedcat

A post shared by Frick and Frack Sick (@frickandfracksick) on

The last few months have been quiet as far as personal and running life goes. I’m training for the Big Cottonwood Marathon in early September.  Running another downhill marathon terrifies me because the last one wasn’t my favorite race ever — cheers to doing things outside of your comfort zone.

Fulfilling my other hobby, I also went to over 50 New Jersey diners last year and have now been to 253. I don’t know if I’ll make it to 300 (if we move).  When I started this journey 5 years ago, I never imagined going to 250 diners. But as they motivational quotes say: you never know until you try! Bridge-Way Diner Old Bridge NJ

Anyway, thank you age 28 for the memories and to family and friends for supporting me!


This year, I wanted to do something and different for my birthday, so on July 20th, I’m running the Teterboro 5k to Homes for Our Heroes: a mission to build safe, affordable housing for military and military families.

This includes Veterans who have nowhere to live as well as military families in the NJ area.

I appreciate anyone willing to donate and support this cause with me.

My goal is to reach $500 and any amount matters. Here is the link if you are interested.


Questions for you:

Tell me about a charity you support.

What did you do for your birthday? 

 

 

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military, Personal

Four Years of Marriage

Four years ago was the best day of my life because my husband and I got married.  We had a wonderful wedding, and there is nothing we would have wanted differently.

As most people know, he is in the military and has been gone a lot.  While his deployments aren’t long (about two months), they are frequent and so are his other trips.  I won’t say it’s been easy and there have been plenty of hard days. I will say we are still as happy as the day we met.

Today I knew today I wanted to post about our anniversary but had no idea what to post.  I finally settled on a “how we met post.”  Many long term readers know “how we met,” but many people don’t. I’m always interested to see how other people met their significant other, so I thought I would share.

So How Did We Meet?

My husband and I met during college cross country season in 2011.  It was a scrimmage race between our respected two universities.

Tim ended up winning the scrimmage race for men, and I won for females. After the scrimmage, we talked for a while and went on a run a few weeks later.   Cross country season went by, and we still chatted after the season.  During this time, I was coming back from my first serious running injury a tibial stress fracture.  Tim did multiple sports and was getting ready for ski season.  Since cross country was over, and he was no longer running competitively, running at a slower pace didn’t matter.  I was running easy after my injury, and he was running easy just to run.

YAY an old school college picture.

Eventually, after several runs, we hung out outside of running. When the semester ended, we both went to our hometowns for the winter break. Tim drove down to Virginia Beach and visited for New Years.

Later in the spring, we officially started “officially dating”.  I was blogging at the time, and I don’t think I even mentioned on the blog: OMG you guys, a new boy in my life”.

In May of 2012, we both graduated from college and decided to try a long distance relationship.  Our options at that point were long distance or break up.

Tim went to Air Force Undergraduate Pilot school in Texas, and I began working in Oswego, NY.  During that time, we both learned a lot about ourselves, interests and hobbies.  We went just over six months without seeing each other.  It was one of the hardest times of our relationship but worth it.  The first time we saw each other again was that Thanksgiving, and it was as if nothing had changed.

My first visit to Texas

After Thanksgiving, we saw each other again for Christmas, then in March and in May. It was a lot easier than the first few months.  After nearly a year of distance, we made the decision I would move to Texas. As much as I enjoyed my job in Oswego, I wanted to continue my relationship with Tim, and we had to eventually move (he did not have that choice).

In Texas, they have these for decoration…
Winning a growler at a half marathon in Texas

Then in late 2013, Tim graduated his pilot training, and we were told we would be moving to New Jersey. Neither of us knew anything about NJ (except people drive very quickly on the Turnpike).

I’ve now lived in NJ for five years, and I love it. We never thought we would stay here this long, but I don’t mind. I’ve made incredible friends, I enjoy my job and there is always something to do.  We are only a few miles from Philadelphia and a short (3-6 hour) drive from both of our parents, New York City and Baltimore.

On April 1, 2014, Tim proposed to me.  It was exactly what I wanted, low key and at our house.  We are low key, and I could not have asked for a better proposal.  As much as we both love running, proposing at a race or in front of hundreds of people is not either of our scenes.  Neither are big crowds or making a huge scene.

 

Engagement photo

Even though we lived in New Jersey, we decided to get married in my hometown area in Norfolk, Virginia.  We spent a year wedding planning and got married on April 12, 2015.  While planning a wedding further away was more difficult, it wasn’t as stressful because we both have such supportive and helpful parents. For each of the things. We couldn’t have dreamed for a better day.

After our wedding, we took a few days to relax and went straight on our honeymoon.  We decided to spend a few days in Key West and go on a cruise in the Carribean.  It was a great vacation, and it was perfect.

Then a few days after we got home, he was deployed for a while.  For the first six months of our marriage, he was gone for just over 4.  Afterward, he was home for a bit more, but for the past four years, he has been a lot.

Throughout the first few years of marriage, we have learned a lot about ourselves and each other.  Even though I grew up as a military child, being a spouse much different.  It’s not always easy, but the time we do have together makes it worth it.  I’m also thankful for my family and friends who help me get by.

We aren’t able to celebrate today, but that is okay. We might talk today; we might not.  It doesn’t mean I love my husband any less.  I could not ask for a better person in my life.

Although we met through running and it’s a part of both our lives we do a lot of other things together too.

Flying together

new york city private flying

 

 

grand canyon north rim
Visiting the Grand Canyon

hiking flagstaff mountain boulder

Here are some other posts about my husband and I (or just my husband): 
Wedding Post
Honeymoon
Flying Together
Tim’s Recap of the Mercedes Marathon

Questions for you: How did you meet your spouse?  When is your anniversary? 

 

me running sunrise
Personal, Reads, Running, Running Reads, Training

Running Isn’t Everything

This week, my “on this day app” showed me seven years ago, I had my official diagnosis of a tibia stress fracture.  It was my first real running injury.  The diagnosis came a month after the actual break.  I think the original diagnosis (with a clean X-Ray) was tendinitis.

Stress fractures rarely show up on X-Rays.  In fact, I’ve never had a stress fracture that did show up within the first weeks of the break..  I tell people that X-rays are the gateway to MRI’s.

I know exactly how I caused what caused my tibia to break and it was by running my runs to fast all of the time.  I ran between 7-7:10 pace every day.  You can read about my running history in my running about page, so I’ll spare you all of those details.

In summary, at the time my PRS were much slower. I was always tired, and my training was dumb.  I was a new runner (I had been running off and on for about a year), so I didn’t know the importance of easy runs.

Most runners go through the phase of running in cheap shoes, running all their runs to fast, and then get injured.

On that day 7 years ago, I sat in the doctor’s office, crying my eyes out as they read the results.  My dad was sitting there, probably rolling his eyes.

He looked me square in my 21-year-old face and said: “Hollie, it’s just running, get ahold of yourself.”

I’ll never forget that statement because at the end of the day it is…just running.  Races, events, and running will always be there.  I don’t regret the injury, and I don’t regret any of my injuries because they have all taught me something.

This is my 21st birthday when the reality was I had a broken tibia.  The doctor told me it was “tendinitis” so didn’t boot it for a while longer.  My youngest brother seems thrilled to celebrate my birthday. 

In 2011, my tibial stress fracture taught me not to train like a moron.

In 2014, my second metatarsal fracture taught me I can’t outrun injury.  Nipping things in the bud is essential.  If I rested a week, I wouldn’t have sat out 2+ months.  You will never outrun a stress reaction, and they turn into a fracture.

In 2016, my ankle fracture taught me I have a lot more hobbies than running.  I like to run, and I blog about running but I like a lot of other things including hiking and just being active.  I mean one of my first “real” hiking adventures and I was doing yoga.  JK…yoga is not my thing.

That being said, of course, there were hard times and tears shed but running isn’t everything.

I’ve had multiple doctors visits to make sure my body is healthy, and it is.  I have the right amount of calcium, vitamin D, and I get my period every month.  My injuries have been either overuse or form.  I stress my metatarsals with how I run, so I need to be overly cautious in changing shoes as well as running too much.  It took me a long time to realize that but better late than never.

So that leads me to where the post is actually going.

I don’t rely a lot on paces and for the most part train for time versus pace.  I’ll never be a runner who cares about an 8:30 mile versus 8:33.

rabbit running me

I’m not a data nerd and don’t even log into my Garmin app very often. Strava doesn’t interest me for many reasons including safety, but I also don’t care enough for the data portion.  I don’t need head pats and likes to get me out of the door.  I do it because I like it.

It’s another reason I don’t see the point to log pace and lose sleep over an of an easy run.

(Since my tibia break, I’ve never had the issue of going to fast for recovery and easy). I want to know that data for races or workouts, but I just listen to my body on easy run or recovery runs.

To tell you the type of runner and person I am, this morning I finished a run with my friend Alexis and she asked: what does your watch read?  I said 9.95 and she asked if I wanted to get to 10…I just shrugged and said it didn’t matter.  One of my most significant personal accomplishments for my anxiety is not to sweat the small things.  Will I remember next week I ran 9.95 versus 10.01…no.

I’m not lazy, and I do work hard.  I don’t feel like I have to prove that to anyone because I know it for myself.  If you cut corners in your training, you are only hurting yourself.  I’m not hurting “X the Instagrammer” because I’m lying about workouts, runs, or races…I’m just hurting me.

Originally, this was written in more of a diary format and I wasn’t going to post it.  Sometimes it’s just cathartic to get information out there.

Then I was told, and I also realized, I have been lazy with my training logs because I don’t really know who reads them.  I don’t care if I get 10 comments or none but if no one ever comments, how on earth would I even know someone is reading? So I figured people weren’t reading my blog anymore.  That is totally fine and I never expect anyone to read anything I write.  In fact, I’ll tell personal friends stories and they’ll say: oh I read that on your blog.  I never think anyone reads anything. It’s fun when people do, and the commentary is fun but I don’t expect it.  Bloggers aren’t celebrities and having the most followers is like having monopoly money…when you log off the computer…no one cares.

So where am I with Running Now?

This summer I have been running easy and doing workouts when I can.

I am a high mileage runner and I thrive on high mileage and racing all of the time but I absolutely can’t do that year round.  I’ll injure myself or burn myself out. I’ve learned that lesson too many times. This summer I put the brakes on and while I’m running 45-60 minutes and longer runs a couple of days a week I’m not hitting double digits every day.  I will do that again, hopefully in the fall, but I won’t that mistake of doing that year round and hurting myself.  Sure it’s boring because I’m not racing every weekend, and I could put more effort into my training logs.

That being said, I am in shape but I’m not in peak shape, and your body can’t be year round.  If you asked me to race a half marathon right now, I think I could run somewhere around 1:30 but my PR is 1:22.  To get to 1:22, I do have to up training and mileage.  I have to run hard, fine-tune fitness, and train for a goal.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

Right now I’m running the Under Armour 25k trail race in Killington, this weekend.  A completely different goal than a PRing half marathon or having any road goal.  My goal is literally to finish healthy.  I do plan to train for a goal (road) race in the fall, but the other component is I’m often at the mercy of my husband’s schedule.  We have a few more things to sort out, but I do plan to train for a fall goal race.   Once I have a decision and bib for a race, the blogging world will be the first to know (well maybe my parents).

This is one of my longest posts about life, running, and everything in between so thank you for staying with me if you did.  I never really anticipated posting it but the timing just seemed right. 

Personal

Visiting the Grand Canyon

After visiting Utah, my husband and I drove back towards Colorado. One thing we wanted to do was see the Grand Canyon. While it was a little bit out of our way, being so close it was hard to say no.   Where we stayed in Utah, it made the most sense to go to the North Rim.  I’ve always wanted to go the Grand Canyon, I mean who doesn’t?

The first and possibly most crucial stop we made, was when we saw the wild Buffalo.  I have always wanted to see them, and it was cool to see them in person.  No, I had no intentions of getting any closer than that, as who knows with wild creatures.

grand canyon north rim

After driving about 20 miles into the park, we came up to the lodging area and the actual canyon.  We had been warned the lodging was not open but that was fine by us because it was much quieter at the North Rim versus the South.  In fact, there were maybe about 20 people there.

grand canyon north rim

It was honestly breathtaking to just look out and see nothing but the canyon for miles.  It was also terrifying to look down and know you were over a mile high.

grand canyon north rim

The daredevil and clumsy person in me, said that was far enough.

grand canyon north rim

grand canyon north rim

grand canyon north rim

My husband was a little bit more adventurous.

grand canyon north rim

In total, we spent about 2 hours just walking around.  Like with Zion and the Grand Canyon, we wanted to see the Grand Canyon, but we also wanted to do other things too.  It is definitely somewhere we could (and eventually plan too) spend more time at.grand canyon north rim

After the Grand Canyon, we took to the road for the day and drove over to the Four Corners Monument.  It’s where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico all meet.  It’s definitely a bucket list item.

Like many monuments, you stand in line for a chance to take a photo there.  Or look at it, whatever you want to do.  I decided to lay there.  Keep in mind it is a $5 fee that goes towards the Navajo Nation, which isn’t included with Park passes.

Posts from Vacation:
Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)

Questions for you:
Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon or Four Corners?
What is your favorite monument you’ve been too?

 

Personal

27 Facts about Me

Today is my 27th birthday.  I’m one step closer to matching my grandma soul with my actual age.  After 21, most of the birthdays kind of blend together.  I’ve been blogging for nearly 6 years now, so I thought it would be fun to share 27 facts you may or may not know about me.  It was actually difficult to come up with because as a blogger all I do is talk about myself…

  1. I was born in San Diego. I remember nothing because I was a baby.
  2. Since my dad was in the Navy, we lived and traveled to a lot of cool places. I grew up in England as well as Japan. Ultimately, I went to high school in Virginia.
  3. I still have relatives that live on the Orkney Islands just north of Scotland.
  4. Growing up in England, I actually went to a British school for a while.  When we moved back to the US, I had a British accent for a long time.
  5. Before swimming, I dabbled in many sports including soccer, tennis, and basketball.  I was terrible at all of them.  I never scored any goals in soccer or baskets in basketball.  When I was 6, I threw my tennis racket at another kid making fun of me.
  6. My favorite color is yellow. This useless tidbit will help you no way.
  7. Before 2012, my blog was actually called LOLZthatSwim. Then I started running.  Then I quit swimming.  So first I added LOLZthatSwim(Run) then ultimately just went with FueledbyLOLZ (incase I decide to do something completely different).  Who knows maybe I’ll rebrand to BasketballingLOLZ…

    If you remember this header, you win the internet today.
  8. I don’t want a lot of TV shows but do follow: Americas Next Top Model, Americas Got Talent (Can you tell Tyra Banks is my favorite celebrity).
  9. I like to read more nonfiction than fiction. Most of my favorite books are biographies or autobiographies.
  10. I don’t like dogs. I’m sorry I don’t. I’ve been attacked by a couple.  I will tolerate them, and I’ll never harm one, but I’m not a dog person.  Left to my own, I won’t adopt a dog.
  11. One semester in college, I held the record for eating the most giant pancakes at a local diner. That was a semester I ran and swam. 
  12. I have three brothers. Most people don’t know but I also have an older brother living in Seattle.  (As well as a brother in the military and one living in VA).
  13. I was on homecoming court in high school.  The glory days?  Probably not, but I got to ride around on my dad’s car in homecoming parade with my good friend D, so it’s all a win.
  14. My parents have a pet donkey. You can read about how they acquired that here.

    Hello ladiez
  15. I studied math and education until senior year of college, and then ended up changing majors to public health. Many long term readers know this!
  16. My favorite foods are squid, eel, and steak. I definitely like my protein!
  17. My favorite nonrunning brands include: JCrew, BCBG, and Kate Spade.
  18. During my first half marathon in 2012, I listened to the song “Party Rock Anthem” on repeat for the entire race.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t hate it.

    At my very first half marathon, April 2011. One of five races I have worn leggings in.
  19. My first car was a 2000 Pontiac Firebird that I had for 8 years.  That was my baby.

    Posing on my 21st birthday (but not driving 😉
  20.  Some of my favorite music includes Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac, and Nikki Minaj.  You never really know what you are going to get when you ride in a car with me.
  21. My favorite cake flavors are red velvet (which is actually just rich chocolate), orange and chocolate or cherry and chocolate.  If you were planning to get me a birthday cake, then please just make sure there is a lot of frosting.

    Let’s pretend my hair was never this color
  22. Speaking of hair, I’ve dyed my hair almost every natural color.  Black, bleach blond, auburn/red and brown.  Ultimately, I believe my hair looks best darker brown but I let it fade out in the summer. Hair is hair and will probably grow back eventually…
  23. I don’t chew gum (at all).  In college, I chewed gum a lot.  I went through an entire pack each day.  I decided I didn’t like when people chewed gum talking to me, it sometimes it made me feel bloated, and I couldn’t see any advantages to it.  So I just quit cold turkey in 2011.
  24. I love going to the zoo and animaconservationon centers.  My favorite animal is a black leopard but I like any big cats.

    Tigers for Tomorrow Dekalb Alabama
    Tigers for Tomorrow in Dekalb, AL
  25. I don’t like Kombucha juice.  I know it’s trendy but I tried it once and it made queasy.  I’ll let you guys have it…
  26. In college, I receieved the most fashion forward/trendy award…my how the times have changed.

    College graduation
  27. My goal for age 27 is to continue to live life and stay as sponateous as possible.  During college and a few years after, I suffered from anxiety when I couldn’t control a situation.  After marrying someone in the military, you learn…you can’t control anything!  It’s allowed me to take a step back and relax.  My life has definitely not gone anything like I ever imagined but I could not be happier!

Hope you enjoyed!  Tell me a fun fact about you!