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Training: Easy Runs and Windy 10ks

Training: Easy Runs and Windy 10ks

Last week was a blur.  I actually had a hard time remembering what I even ran last week!  Some weeks I’m on top of writing a training log, other weeks I’m not.  Thank goodness for looking back at Instagram I guess.

me running

Monday: 60 minutes easy
Tuesday: 8-mile hike at Hartshorne Park
Wednesday: 60 minutes easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 60 minutes easy
Saturday: Cape May 10k (41:07)
Sunday: 13 mile easy run

All of my easy runs were just that, easy.  To be honest, I felt good in the beginning of the week and then by Friday I felt like Broad Street hit me!  There wasn’t enough time to do any workouts between Broad Street and the Cape May 10k, so I didn’t.

Cape May 10k: 41:07

I’ll have a full recap of the race, but it wasn’t my day.  My legs were tired, it was windy, and to add to my list of issues, I accidentally ran in old trainers.  Around mile 5, my feet started burning.  Not in a broken bone way, but in a “something is weird way”.  After the race, I realized I never changed into my racing shoes and was wearing old trainers.  These were trainers I retired from running altogether but decided they could still be ok for walking around.  No wonder my feet hurt, I was basically running a 10k on concrete.

I ran the April Fools half marathon 10k split as well as Broad Street in low 38, so racing a 10k in 41 isn’t a great time for me right now.  A 41 minute 10k is fantastic for many people, but it’s not awesome for me right now. Not a big deal, and I still had a lot of fun down the shore.  Do bad races stink? Of course, we all do but I’m already over it.

On Sunday, I had planned to run about 10 but literally ran into a few friends during my run.  I ended up running about 5 miles with them, which caused me to be out longer than I anticipated.  I’m glad I decided to run with my friends, and I can’t remember the last time I ran 13 miles straight through at a relaxed, comfortable pace.  It was nice to change it up.

Thoughts from the Week:

In all, I had a good week. The 10k didn’t go as I had hoped (My “C” goal was to break 40), but running is funny like that.  You’ll never feel good at every race.  If you do, you are probably going to test positive for something…

My plan for the remainder of May is just to have fun.  I have a lot going on the next few weeks, and I’ll still run, but I’m not going crazy.  My races might slower than the Spring, but it’s okay.

Posts from the Week:

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:02.51)

Exploring Cattus Island Park in Toms River

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Questions for you:

Do you have any 10k wisdom?

How was your week of training?

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Broad Street 10 Miler (1:02.51)

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:02.51)

This year, Broad Street wasn’t about my running my fastest.  After PRing in the half marathon this February, I haven’t trained as consistently over the past few months.  Life has gotten away from me, and small things have popped up here and there.  I am still in shape, but am I in PRing shape?  No.  That’s okay, and you can’t be in peak performance all of the time.

Anyway, this year Broad Street was about my finishing happy.  I DNSed last year because I was burned out. I could have run, but I would have been miserable. I knew I had made the right decision when I spectated the end and had no sadness at all.

This year I was determined to finish healthy, happy, and with a smile.

I did all of that and even had a consistent and solid race.

Each year, both my dad and my father in law come up for Broad Street.  Both are avid runners, and my dad has been running far longer than I have.  Everything up to race day went without a hitch.  My dad got my bib at the Convention center.  We got to the stadiums around 6 and made it to the start line around 7.

broad street 10 miler

I was seeded bib F143.  I tried to use the “seeded bathrooms”, but the volunteer told me my bib was too high (I.E., I was too slow).  There wasn’t really a point for me to be seeded I guess. I started exactly where I did when I ran every other year in the red coral.

I didn’t have time to wait again to use the bathroom, and when you are surrounded by 40,000 other people, there isn’t anywhere to go.  I rarely start any race having to use the bathroom, but I didn’t have a choice. I respect that there were faster athletes, but it didn’t make it easier to start a race needing to use the bathroom.

The race started right at 8 am, and we were off.  I told myself 1,000 times to run my race.  Time didn’t matter, but finishing happy and strong did.  I wasn’t sure what I was capable of.  I thought faster than the 1:05s I ran a few years ago but slower than my PR of 1:01.59.

My plan was just run my own race. I saw many people I knew storm by me, but I was in my own world.  The first mile of Broad Street always gets out fast anyway.  I ran a 6:15 and I thought, I think that’s half marathon PR pace but I would not be able to sustain that.

I saw a couple of friends during the second mile that zoomed by me. I thought, dang I’ve run fast in races with them before, and they are just floating by.  No big deal though. The next few miles went without much excitement.  I ran a 6:15, 6:16, 6:15.

By the time I knew it, we were doing the one turn in the entire race, around City Hall.  That is when I saw a few people in front, I knew I was going to reel in.  The humidity had started to get to me. It was forecasted to rain during Broad Street but never did.  The weather had spiked over the week from 40 to 60 and humid.  I wasn’t as prepared for it.  It was by no means bad weather, but was it wasn’t whether we were accustomed too!

Around city hall, I saw my good friend and coworker (thanks TJ) which motivated me.  The small turn in the race makes mile 5 fly by.  I think it breaks up the course well and by the time you know it, you’re over halfway done.  I ran mile 5 in 6:19.

During the next few miles, I focused on reeling people in.  It gave me the motivation to keep plugging along. I hit mile 6 in 6:10 and mile 7 in 6:11. I didn’t purposely run faster, I just did.

The heat and humidity hit me during the next few miles.  I was still enjoying myself, high fiving kids, etc. but I did not feel “on top of the world”.  My stomach was in knots because of the heat.  I always take Gatorade/electrolyte aid on course for anything more than a 10k.  I had been taking the on-course aid.

The last three miles, I traded back and forth with local runner Bryan.  I recognized him from other races, and we later chatted afterward. Around mile 7, I told myself, my goal was to run under 63.  Not a race PR but still a strong race for me.  I just needed to hold on.

broad street 10 miler

The last 3 miles were a bit of a blur.  I ran as fast as my legs would take me.  My legs never felt great, or loose during the race but they didn’t feel awful either.  Finally, we hit the Navy Yard at 9.75, and I began smiling.  I knew I was almost home and almost done.

broad street 10 miler

I powered to the finish and actually passed someone!  (In case you don’t know, I have the world’s worst kick).  I crossed in 1:02.51 and 35th female overall.  Apparently, I was beaming after the race and don’t even remember this.

broad street 10 miler

Thoughts:

I’m happy with how Broad Street went. It wasn’t my fastest or my slowest, but I was able to run a strong and consistent race.  I smiled the entire way.  It was nice to see so many friends along the course as well as after.  Even in a 40,000 person race you always see someone! Both my father and father in law had great races as well.

Questions for you:

What is the biggest race you’ve run?

Have you ever raced a 10 miler?

Training Recap: Warm Weather and 10 Milers

Training Recap: Warm Weather and 10 Milers

Last weeks of training went well.  My goal was to run Broad Street, something I didn’t do last year.  I knew I wasn’t in the same shape as when I PRed at the Phoenix half and honestly that is okay.

Monday: 6-mile hike at Cattus Island Park
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes run
Wednesday: 12X400s 400 recovery average 87 seconds
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Broad Street 10 miler 1:02.51

 

Wednesday: 12x400s average 87 seconds

My workout went well.  I do all of my workouts on the road right now because of the limited Availablity of local tracks.  I ran 400 and jogged 400.  I felt good during the entire workout and was pleasantly surprised with how fast I was able to run.

Broad Street 10 miler (1:02.51)

I’ve run faster Broad Streets and I’ve run slower.  I kept a very even pace the entire time.  All of my miles were between 6:10-6:19.  I smiled, I side fived kids, and truly enjoyed myself.  That was not something I could do last year and I’m proud of how I ran the race.  I’ll have a full recap later in the week.  Both my dad and father in law had great races as well and it’s been great having my entire family here.

Other then that, it was a good week.  While I’m not in the same shape as I was when I ran the Phoenix half marathon, I am in good shape.  I’m looking forward to just running shorter races from 5ks to 10 miles until the fall.

Posts of the Week:

April Training

Broad Street Last Minute Tips (I guess too late now LOL?)

Making Strides 5k (19:08)

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a 10-mile race?

What is your ideal running temperature?

April Training: Snow to 90

April Training: Snow to 90

It’s hard to believe another month has gone by.  April wasn’t my best, or even second best month of the year, but it was a lot better than last April.

I had two goals for April and I met both of them:

  1. Finish the April Fools Half (mentally) healthy
  2. Not Burn out in April like 2017

So while I didn’t log any extremely fast times or workouts, I also didn’t burn out and that is far ahead of where I was last year.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

Miles Run: Around 200
Rest Days: 6
Range of Paces: 5:49-10:32-untimed
Workouts: 7
Races:
April Fools Half (1:26.08)
Making Strides 5k (19:08)

Thoughts:

As I mentioned, nothing was exceptionally fast and I’m okay with that!  I’m running healthy and that is what matters.  As most people know, I took a nasty fall during the April Fools Half (I collided with a spectator cutting across the course).  I got an X-ray to confirm I didn’t break anything but it took about 2 weeks to feel good again.  It actually hurt the most while sitting.  Luckily by the end of the month, I felt much better.

It’s funny to look back at photos and realize there was a lot going on, weather wise.  In the beginning of the month we had snow and we ended with 90 degrees!

It’s fine, it will melt this weekend.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

In May, I’ll be traveling a lot.  It’s going to be a busy but fun month.  My goal for the summer months is just enjoying running.  This summer, I would like to get to local tracks more since students won’t be in school.  After Broad Street on Sunday, I don’t have any big goal races of the summer.

Posts from the Month:

Running:

Last Minute Broad Street Tips
Benefits of Massages for Runners
ON Cloud Shoe Review
Rest Weeks Save Training Cycles

Hiking:

Exploring Turkey Swamp Park
What I Pack in My Hiking Bag

Blogging:

Blogging is Dying

Blossom like a Cherry Blossom.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Questions for you: How was your month of training?  What are your plans this summer?

Making Strides 5k (19:08)

Making Strides 5k (19:08)

Last weekend I decided to hop into a local race down in Pine Hill, NJ.  The race benefited program planning for Ovarian Cancer awareness, which is near and dear to my heart.

I knew it would be smart to get some faster miles on my legs before racing the Broad Street Run this weekend.  While my tailbone hasn’t bothered me while running over the last few days, I hadn’t raced anything, and I didn’t want to jump into a 10-mile race, not knowing what to expect.

I arrived at the race around 8 am, signed up, and warmed up.  I walked over to the starting line on the local track.  I’ve never started a 5k on a track.  I finished several races on a track and races that ended on a track, but this race did a loop around the track and left.

At 9 am we were off.  The lap around the track was interesting.  The walk started directly after, so we had walkers to cheer us on.  I high fived a little kid as I completed my first loop.  We ran onto the field, and the headed towards the road.  During the first half mile, I found myself in second place overall.  I stayed there the entire time and ran the entire race by myself.  The first mile incorporated track, grass, dirt, and road.  It felt like it took forever.  Realistically it was my fastest mile in the last month, and I hit mile 1 in 5:49.  To be honest, I was shocked!

As I went into mile 2, I realized I probably took the race out too fast.  I wasn’t tapered, and the week prior had been not glamorous.  The second mile looped around a baseball field and headed towards a neighborhood.  I thought I was going the wrong way, but luckily the volunteer pointed in the right way.  My legs began to feel sore, but I was able to hold a 6:08 mile.

making strides 5k pine hill nj

During the last mile, I was hurting.  My tailbone felt fine, but my legs did not feel good.  I was running alone, and I knew I had paid the price of taking the race out too quickly.  I’ve learned that lesson before, but it’s never fun in a 5k. I just focused on finishing the race.  We ran back around the field, and entered the track around 2.9 miles and ran a final loop around the track.

I ran the last mile in 6:13 and finished in 19:08.  Do I think the course was a little long?  Probably, but I’m happy with the result and even happier my tailbone felt good. The mix of terrain made it a more challenging, but fun course.

I ran a similar time at the Phillies 5k last month, which was windy but still challenging.  I haven’t run any fast 5ks lately due to weather, terrain, or life.  I feel good about the race and that my tailbone has finally turned a corner.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run on the track?

Would you prefer to run on trails or pavement?

Training: Small Issues along the Way

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?

April Fools Half Marathon (1:26.08)

April Fools Half Marathon (1:26.08)

The April Fools Half race is typically one of my favorite races of the year. I PRed in 2014, won in 2015, and as most people know last year wasn’t my day.  Even though last year wasn’t my day, I enjoyed how well the race was put together and seeing friends.

Moving forward, not running well in 2017 meant I was hoping to run better in 2018. I wanted redemption (for myself).  As the race drew closer, I found myself having similar burn out symptoms as 2017.  A few weeks ago, I took several days off and focused on rest and recovery.  It was what I needed, and when the race drew closer, I felt more ready.

Like many racers this past weekend (People that ran Boston are awesome!), the conditions were not pleasant. It was spitting rain, and extremely windy. For me, I would rather it rain or not rain.  The change in weather made it difficult to prepare for.

Racing in torrential downpours is different than running in a dry 45 degree.  While driving down, I noticed we were going to deal with direct headwind and tailwind.  In 2016, it year it was Gail force winds, but crosswinds.  You never got a direct headwind, just sidewind down the shore.  It wasn’t pleasant, but it was better than racing through a headwind. This year it looked like you would run fast going out, then get your face smacked with the wind coming back.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

And that’s exactly what happened.

I was between 5 different outfits depending on if the rain held off but ultimately decided to wear my Goretex jacket and shorts. I was happy I did.  Between my half marathon and Boston, it’s amazing to me, how many people are embarrassed to race in a jacket.  Race smart, and put some clothes on.

We got to the start around 6:45, chatted with friends, then lined up at 8.  By the time I knew it, we were off!  When the race started, I immediately found myself running alone. I remained alone for the entire race. I was within 15 seconds of one male, but for the most part, I ran alone.

The first few miles went by quickly. We had a significant tailwind.  I ran between 6:15-6:17 and hit the first 5k in 19:26. I felt good and better than I have in a while. Of course, the wind helped, but mentally I felt good.

The next few miles left the boardwalk.  I began counting down the miles.  It’s never good when you start counting down the miles at mile 5.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

I hit the 10k in a wind-aided 38:13. It was just under PR pace.  I’m not one to take my races out fast, and the pace was faster than my PR at Phoenix.  I didn’t suddenly think, today I would PR because I knew the headwind would be nasty.  I did, however, feel good. ]

At 6.55 miles in, we turned around, and that is pretty much where all of the “race action” happened.

Immediately, into hitting the wind, I thought omg this will be rough.  We were running into an unblocked 35 mph headwind.  Which we did for the remainder of the race.  You could see the waves crashing on the shore and birds basically going backward.  At some points, I would stop dead in my tracks.  I had no one to draft off of, no one to commiserate with, just me and my thoughts (which mostly consisted of 4 letter words).

I knew it was important to run for the conditions and forget about pace. I ran mile 7 in 6:27.  The next two miles were two of the hardest miles I’ve run in my life (behind mile 16 of the New York City Marathon).  The wind was blowing straight in your face.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

We were tucked along the shore, and the buildings didn’t provide a lot of protection.  I began passing racers going the opposite direction who were cheering.  I recognized many and tried to cheer, but it was difficult to hear anything over the wind blasting in your face.  I ran mile 8 in 7:15 and mile 9 in 6:58.  Two of my slowest half marathon miles in a long time, but I didn’t care.  I knew what the conditions were.

At mile 9, I told myself okay 4 miles to go.  We entered the unprotected boardwalk.  The shore was right there, and along the coast it gets windy.  I’ve never run in 35 mph headwind for a race, let alone along the waterfront.  Before the race, I had thought maybe a jacket was too much, but at mile 9 I was happy with it.  I had purposely only put 2 pins on my bib in case I wanted to delayer, but I was cold the last 4 miles.

I kept plugging along, and the miles slowly started ticking away.  My legs felt great, but the headwind was still there.  The miles went by without a lot of excitement.

Around mile 12, a woman darted across the boardwalk.  The boardwalk is wooden, and with the rain the boardwalk was slick.  The slickness is what caused me to wear the more cushioned Nike Zoom Fly, versus a racing flat.  Coincidently, I chose the shoe so I wouldn’t slip and fall.

When the cyclist saw the women, he told her to get off the course.  I, not as nicely, said to move. She didn’t, and within a second we collided and were both on the ground.  I fell directly onto my tailbone.  There was nothing more the cyclist or myself could have done to prevent that. It stunk, but it happened.

I layed there, on the ground at mile 12 of the race I desperately wanted to finish strong. The adrenaline kicked in, and before I knew it, I was up again. My adrenaline was pumping, just telling myself I had 7 more minutes of running.  At that point, nothing hurt.  The cyclist asked me if I was okay and I said yes.  All I could think about was finishing the race.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

The last mile was tough, to begin with.  It’s a straight line, down the boardwalk.  It was windy, I had just fallen, and wanted the race to be done.  Finally, I saw the finish.

Like 2015, they weren’t able to inflate the blow up this year due to the wind.  Then I saw  I was going to break the tape.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

Every emotion came out.  The previous night’s makeup was running from the rain, I was smiling, and I crossed the finish line in 1:26.08.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

After the race, I was asked about my back.  I chose not to cool down, because of my tailbone. I talked with friends, including my good friend and local runner Erin.

I did get an X-ray which didn’t find anything broken.  In my personal experience, x-rays have never shown small fractures but if anything, I know it’s not shattered.  I’ve never hurt my tailbone before! That being said, I’m still cautious.  Due to where I hit, I got a few other tests done including a spinal tap to make sure nothing around my brain was bleeding (which it isn’t).

While 1:26.08 is “only” 9 seconds faster than the previous year: the weather was much more difficult (the weather was almost ideal last year), but most importantly, I crossed mentally feeling good.

Questions for you:
Did you race last weekend?  How was it?
Have you ever fallen during a race?

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