A Past with Swimming

Many people have asked more about my past with swimming so I thought I would share.  Plus swimming is a big sport at the Olympics, and I love watching!  On Tuesday, I wrote a post about why swimmers should get in the pool.  In summary, I was a swimmer long before I ran.  I didn’t start running until 2010-2011, and you can read about that here.

I swam through high school and three years of college.  As competitive as I am with running, I was more so with swimming.

Swimming was my life.  It was my social hour; it was my hobby, my fitness, and my fun.  Outside of school, it was everything.  Now for me running is something I love doing but at the end of the day, it’s a hobby.

swimming 2

In fact, a long time ago this blog used to be named: LOLZthatswim!  If you can remember that, you’ve been reading this ramble for a long time.  Eventually, I began running so the blog was renamed “LOLZthatswim(andrun).  Now it’s just FueledbyLOLZ.  This blog has changed a lot since I started nearly six years ago but that is a post for another day.  So back to swimming: 

Not to say I was obsessed with swimming but I spent a lot more time swimming than I currently do running.  For the high school, college or club level, the average practice is anywhere between 1.5- 2.5 hours.  You are swimming for the majority of that time. 

Could you imagine running or doing speed work for 2 hours daily and sometimes twice a day? 

No, you would get injured.

Most people don’t realize this, but you dive in and swim for 2 hours straight. In a given swim practice, you’ll alternate different sets.  Instead, you might warmup, do 10X100s freestyle with 20 seconds rest, 4X200 IM and so on. It never gets boring, and you don’t usually swim a practice“straight”. It’s more like doing different workouts on the track for 2 hours. swimming 3

How many miles do most competitive swimmers swim at practice?

In a given practice, you could swim anywhere from 3000-4000 yards per hour. It’s hard for me to believe that a “light” college training was around 5000 yards.  I haven’t swum more than 3000 in a very long time, and I have no plans too. Keep in mind, even though I was swimming anywhere from 14-20 hours a week, I was nowhere near professional.  I swam for a respectable D3 school, but I wasn’t anywhere close to the top of Division 3. Professional swimmers or even D1 swimmers are putting 4+ hours a day.

What events did you compete in?

I was a distance freestyler.  I swam the 500-yard freestyle, 1000 and occasionally the mile.  In later college, I would sometimes swim the 200 butterfly too, but I was a distance girl at heart. My favorite distance to swim was the 1000.

Because for me swimming is always a party...
Because for me, swimming is always a party…

What are pool workouts for runners?

This deserves a post in itself.  Pool running is the best workout for “real” running.  Like anything you have to simulate effort and pool running is what you get out of it.  If you relax and don’t get your heart rate up, you aren’t going to get the benefits of working hard.  I found this article by Jason helpful if you want to get into pool running.

So thinking out loud, that is just a brief look at my relationship with swimming as well as answering a few swimming related questions.  I don’t hate it, and I’m not on bad terms with swimming but at this point I do enjoy other things more.

Questions for you:
Do you like swimming?
What is something you did growing up that you don’t as much now?

Happy Father’s Day

As most people know, I’m very close with my parents.  I’m able to call, text or chat anytime.  My dad has alway been there for me, and I’m lucky to have him there for my family and I.

He drove me the 600+ miles to College and 2000 miles when I moved from Virginia to Texas.

He inspired me to begin running.  My dad has been running far longer than I have and run (and enjoyed) multiple marathons and as well as just about every distance.

Super throwback of 5 years ago to a mud run we did
Super throwback of 5 years ago to a mud run we did
super super throw back to open water swimming (2010 perhaps?)
super super throwback to open water swimming (2010 perhaps?)



I’m also lucky to have now my father in law, Paul, who is always here for us too.

tims dad me

My father in law, Paul and I
My father in law, Paul and I

I won’t lie; it is kind of cool to be in a family of runners and dads who run as well.

So thank you to both of my dad’s for everything you’ve done. 

Minella’s Diner

Last month I stopped by Minella’s Diner on my way home.  The diner is only about 50 minutes from me, however, typically I prefer to stay in New Jersey side when traveling that far.

Atmosphere: A
The outside of Minella’s Diner is interesting.   The outside appears to be a typical building.  Minella's Diner outside

It’s modern and clean but there is nothing of interest.  Once you get inside, you can tell the nature of the diner.  It’s got plenty of metallic siding, booths, and tables.

Minella's Diner inside

Coffee: D
This was the first coffee in a while that I wasn’t a fan.  It tasted instant and poorly made.  The whipped cream was okay though and she gave plenty of that.  Not much else to say and after a refill, I decided I didn’t want anymore.

Minella's Diner coffee

Service: B
The waitress was extremely friendly. She refilled our beverages and made sure we were okay but it was evident her section was much larger than she should have had.  She was covering no less than 15 tables.  I felt bad because it was obvious she felt overwhelmed.

Food: B
Compared to other diners, Minella’s Diner has one of the larger menus.  Like most diners, there had plenty of dinner specials. I opted for the Prime Rib special.  It came with soup, a potato, and vegetable.

There wasn’t anything unique about the soup but it wasn’t bad either.

Minella's Diner soup

The prime rib was delicious.  The prime rib was cooked well, and I have no complaints.

Minella's Diner prime rib

The potato was boring, and there was nothing unique or unusual about it.  I ate about half of it but it didn’t do much for me. I also ordered the carrots which had a buttery sugared mixture poured on top.  The carrots were good but then again butter and sugar make everything better.

Minella's Diner carrots
A Potato and Sugar Carrots

Minella's Diner carrots

Minella's Diner sugar butter
The magic sugar butter mixture on the carrots

Dessert: A 
We asked the waitress for dessert recommendations.  She said Minella’s Diner is well known for their brownie sundae with ice cream. I can see why! The brownie was heated up with melted caramel sauce and ice cream.  I would come to Minella’s for dessert alone.

Minella's Diner brownie sundae

Price: $
For the prime rib, coffee and dessert the cost was $18.  That’s not bad at all.

Overall thoughts/would I come back? 
I liked Minellas but it wasn’t my favorite diner.  I definitely enjoyed the dessert the best.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: D
Service: B
Food: B 
Dessert: A
Price: $10-15
Overall: B

Questions for you: 
Do you ever ask the servers for recommendations? 
Have you ever sugared/buttered your carrots before? 

So Why?

I’m no stranger to fractured bones, but that’s the problem.

In summary, last week my orthopedist sent for me to get an MRI.  For the last month, I’ve walked normally, and I’ve felt no pain.  I’ve felt a dull ache occasionally in my foot but not often.  Nothing that ever altered my stride or even anything that was enough to cause concern.

Never the less, after two weeks of rest I still felt my ankle, so I got an X-ray.  The X-Ray came out fine, and I felt dumb and like a worry wort.

My foot had been poked, prodded, tuning forked and grastoned with no major issue.

Was my bone broken here? Maybe.
Was my bone broken here? Maybe.

Finally, my newly found orthopedist ordered an MRI.  She was looking for inflamed muscles and tendons or possibly a sprained ankle.  Due to everything else appearing normal, it made sense to look for those sorts of issues.  Then the news of the dreaded news of a rebroken fifth metatarsal happened.

The injury doesn’t make any sense.

How was I able to walk, run and live a normal life with a fifth metatarsal fracture?

How was I able to PR at Broad Street or the Newport 10k? Or run a mile on the track?

All of those must have happened a fractured foot.  My injury hasn’t presented itself normally at all.  Often fifth metatarsal fractures are from blunt force or rolling your ankle. To be honest, I can’t remember doing either.  Maybe I did and didn’t realize it.  Could I have rolled my ankle but never felt it?

If the MRI hadn’t come back with a fracture, I would have probably gone for a short run last weekend.  I’m not limping and my foot feels the same.

However, I’m not running on a broken foot.  
A fracture is a break. 
My foot is broken.

Mentally, I’ve already come to terms with not running. I haven’t run in 3 weeks, what’s couple more?  I know I’ve lost running fitness, and that’s fine. If I heal well, the end of June will mark 6 weeks of not running. I could be running again by then. Since I’ve already taken 3 weeks of being lazy, I’ve had the urge to begin working out again.

Since I’ve already taken 3 weeks of being lazy, I’ve had the urge to begin working out again.  The motivation is the easier part.

I’m more worried about how the stress fracture appeared.

I’m no stranger to broken bones.

Broken bones with no cause are a huge red flag to bone density, eating enough for high mileage and overtraining. 

I’m 5’7 and 130 pounds.  I don’t track calories daily but when I’m running, I typically consume 3000+ calories.  Is it all healthy 3000 calories?  No, but I like diner cake and whipped cream.  It’s not all sugar calories either.  Do I think undereating or being underweight is the issue? No, but it’s something that should always be thought about when dealing with this issue.

With my last bone fracture, two years ago, I received a bone density test. While the results were surprising, I was in the healthy calcium and vitamin D range.  This year the test was the same, and I’m once again in the normal healthy range.  So low bone density is not the issue.

Another hard fact is the wear pattern and my running gait. I put a lot of pressure on my metatarsals.  As you can see from my training over the last few years, I don’t get a lot of muscle injuries.  For the most part, my injuries are foot and bone related.

Last year at the Runners World, Golden, the owner of Altra running was mentioning something about injury.  He said if you run on the forefront of your foot, then you are more susceptible to metatarsal fractures and injuries.  I strike at the very front of my foot so unless I change my stride this could be something I deal with every few years (which seems to be how it goes).

I’m open to having my gait looked at and I’ve already found a great physical therapist to go too.  Since you need to run to be able to have your gait looked at, I must wait.

Finally, the last and most common cause of my fracture could be I rolled or sprained my ankle. The problem with that idea is that I never felt an ankle roll.  There was not a point during any of my runs I felt myself “roll and crack.”  The only aspect of that diagnosis is that it wouldn’t hurt to be weight bearing, and I could run right through and not realize it.

So there begins the processing of thinking about everything I’ve done in the last month.  It reminds me of the TV Show “I didn’t know I was pregnant”, only “I didn’t know I had a fractured foot”.  As I said yesterday, I do have the best case scenario.  The summer was a down time of year for me with no major races on the radar.  Since I’ve already been resting, if all goes well I could run by the end of the month.

Questions for you:

Have you ever rolled your ankle?

What type of cross training should I do next? 



So Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg?

To summarize this post (because it’s long): in the last week I’ve been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, a fifth metatarsal stress fracture and a rare form of food poisoning.

It’s a question of which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Or did four rotten chickens just teleport from nowhere at the same time for a meetup in my life…

It’s not only raining, but it’s pouring in my life too.  Since I have all of the time in the world, I have time to write an emotional second blog post of the day right?

Let’s dive in: 

On Memorial Day, I sat on my downstairs steps, crying.

I didn’t have a reason to cry. 

I wasn’t physically hurt. 

It was a holiday, and I was supposed to be having an enjoyable day with my husband who also had off work. 

Yet, I was crying hysterically. My husband has always been there for me through thick and thin and it isn’t easy to be there for someone who has been as needy as I have been.  I was anxious and sad for no reason. My emotions were running wild, and I didn’t have any triggers. Anxiety is funny that way; you don’t need a reason to be upset, but if you’re upset, you are.

Anxiety and depression are demeans always sitting on your shoulder. They never leave.  Some days they are more prevalent than others, but they are always there.

You fear judgment, comparison and often like two days ago; it manifests itself into panic attacks.

But two days ago isn’t the only time I’ve had a panic attack during the two months, I’ve had more than I would like to admit. I learned at a previous job by my boss, Shelly, that you could be having the worst day of your life, but it’s easy to leave it at the door.

So I’ve done that. Like a normal person, I’ve left my house, and my emotions have stayed at home.  My body has been a shell going through the motions with my emotions at home.

I’ve gone to work and hung out with friends, but I’ve hidden a whole lot of pain that truly my husband only knows about.  Except now that you’ve made it this far into the post you know too because I’m blogging and oversharing.

Even when I’ve come home sobbing for no reason, he has been there for me. 

Part of the reason mental health has a stigma attached is because we hide those problems and feelings.  Put ten other people and myself in a lineup and I can fake a smile or witty comment with the best of them.  That doesn’t mean the pain is not there. It’s the textbook example of you never know who is suffering from a mental health issue.

When discussing with my therapist suppressing emotion has probably led to more negative thoughts than I care to admit.

I think being transparent is extremely important and I originally started my blog to be transparent about my life.  I love blogging but my life is neither perfect nor close.

I struggled with social anxiety and depression through sophomore year of college.  Eventually with talking with someone, I was able to work through it.

So what happened? 

Since about March, I’ve struggled a lot.  I’ve struggled with both mental and physical motivation.

I’ve struggled with what exactly the next chapter of my life is?

Will we move this year again?  Will we not?

The list of small things that just compiles into a long marathon.  I had been doing well and the last week was perhaps my brightest in a while until of course, today.

Like a mud run, I dug out of one hole only to be thrown into a deeper one. 

Let’s talk more about the running aspect first. I preached about taking rest, and I have.  Both mentally and physically, I’ve been burnt out since early May. I’ve had small minor aches in my foot for a couple of months, but it never seemed like anything serious.  Nothing that altered my stride and in fact I ran both a 10k and 10 mile PR in May.

Like a responsible runner with no major races, I took time off.  Honestly, it was nice not to worry about racing over the weekends and really giving no care to running.  Even with rest, my foot felt the same, so I went to see a doctor who ordered X-rays and an MRI.

I’ve been walking around with no limp, just minor aches.  Imagine my surprise when the MRI concluded I had rebroken the fifth metatarsal.

Previously, my X-rays came out clean, and I hadn’t flinched when they poked, prodded and stuck a tuning fork against my foot. They squeezed the $hit out of my feet, and I didn’t flinch. It was like a bad episode of the Maury show: Hollie, you have a fracture and the whole room gasps.  By the entire room, I mean me.  You’re silently gasping from your computer. 

Since my fracture is not from yesterday and there is no timeline, I probably ran Broad Street, the Newport 10k and that mile race on a fractured foot. Which makes even less sense because it never altered my stride at all. If it did, I wouldn’t run.

It’s actually shocking because I never felt anything of that degree of pain.

Yet, at the MRI my foot lit up like the Eiffel Tower.  Since I haven’t run in three weeks already, I’m well on my way to healing.  I’m already allowed to run at a low weight on the alterG. I can pretend to be Kenyan, but I don’t know if I’m really in the mood.  Running has broken my heart more times than old flames and why go back…

My cause for concern is more:  multiple stress fractures over the course of 5 years.  A bone density test concluded my bones were healthy two years ago but are they healthy now?

But wait, there’s more: food poisoning:

Last night I felt extremely sick. My stomach felt off, so I decided to go to the doctor. They figured out I had a rare form of food poisoning (only 200,000 cases a year!) from either undercooked fish or fish that came from brackish waters.

Since it can stay in your system for up to a month, there is no real answer of where that developed. This can last in my system for 48 hours or 2 weeks.  Hopefully, I don’t have to take these garlic pills long…its just another thing to add to the list.  After a shot and pills that reek of garlic, I was off to the foot doctor. While this only gets a paragraph in today’s post, it’s a somewhat serious issue that has me at home too. Not life threatening but life inhibiting.

This is a long-winded, pretty depressing and Debbie downer post.  It’s not the post anyone wants to write, but I think it’s beneficial to write it.

I do plan to write more about my fracture.  I’m going to get another bone density test and get my form and gait looked at.  It’s easy to rule out most summer races as well as a fall marathon.

As far as my anxiety, that will be a constant battle.  At the end of the day, there are far worse things in life and I’m not comparing my issues to anyone else.  But being honest with myself, I have a lot of issues going on. If you need me today, I’ll be sitting at home watching Americas Next Top Model, and anyone is welcome to join if you can hang with a garlic lady.

Random Thoughts…

I had a different post for today and then I got sick and didn’t write it. Oh well, I guess…

So it’s a completely random, thinking out loud post.

On Monday around 6:30 pm, I felt extremely fatigued and tired.  The fatigue came on within 30 minutes and by 7:30, I found myself laying in bed.  I slept through the night until 5:30 am on Tuesday.  I thought I would sleep away my migraine. However, that wasn’t the case, and I felt worse on Tuesday.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I slept for a total of 30 hours.  Today, Thursday, I am feeling better but not great.  No I haven’t run, and I’m okay with that…I’ve pretty much sat on my bed or slept for the last two days.

For obvious reasons, this week I haven’t been running at all, and I’m okay with it.  I planned to take a short break this summer, and it happened to be sooner versus later.  There is no shame in that.

Speaking of running, what are my plans this Summer and Fall?

I’m currently tossing around different ideas of half marathons in the Fall.  I had thought about committing to a full marathon this fall, but I’m not entirely sure I want too.  I’m happy where I currently am and don’t have any complaints.  Half marathons seem to be my “sweet spot” right now. I have plenty of years to try a marathon again…if I even want too…

This summer, I’ll be running local races.  The only major race I’ll be doing is the Boilermaker 15k in Utica on July 10th.  Knock on wood of course, because everytime I sign up for the Boilermaker I get injured.  There are a lot of local 5-10ks around here this summer so I’ll be running those.  Do I think the hot and humid summer will bring PRs?  No, probably not but I’ll enjoy getting out there and racing.

So what else have I been up too in the last two weeks?

As most people have figured out, my Instagram and Twitter have been more of my daily life updates.  Blogging about life is pretty boring for the most part…go for a run…go to work…go to a diner…something along the lines.  One line social media posts are a bit easier for that.

lauren and I

I went to a wedding last weekend down in Maryland.  Despite the rain, the Bride and Groom had a beautiful day. I didn’t let the rain affect my attitude either.

me umbrella rainy day

Finally here are A Few Recent Posts incase you missed them:

Quick Core Ideas for Runners

Track Meet Mile (5:40)