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Training Last Week and Doing Something Crazy

Training Last Week and Doing Something Crazy

Last week was a decent week of training.  I am slowly getting back into more of a consistent grind.  While I’m not training for anything, I’m running and enjoying it.  Since I’ve either been injured or burned out, this ahead of most summers so far.  In fact, I haven’t run consistently over the summer in 3 years!

I hadn’t planned on not racing this week, but the cards fell that way. I had contemplated running a race on the Fourth of July. However, the heat and my mood didn’t want too.  I ran an easy, but humid run which was fine for me.  I have no regrets about it.

Monday: Short Walk
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Short Hike through Hike Point Park
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 15 miles with last 7 at 7:05

Thoughts:

I said I was going to race more in July and then didn’t race at all last week!  Ha, plans change.  As I mentioned, on Wednesday I opted to sleep in, enjoy an easy run, and relax versus race.  Over the weekend, there wasn’t anything local that worked with my schedule.

Make good choices, like not wearing black on days like these.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Sunday Long Run (15 Miles with last 7 at 7:05):

On Sunday, I did my longest run in a couple of months.  The weather was ideal, and I felt great the entire time.  I am extremely pleased with how it went. Over the Winter and Spring, I was consistently doing 14-15 miles on Sunday.  It kept my endurance sharper and made me, “half marathon ready.”  Meaning: You can finish a half marathon well.  Will you PR with that alone?  No, but you won’t feel like peeling over at mile 11.  Which leads me to my next exciting announcement.

Next Weekend I’m Going to Colorado:

Next weekend, I’m going to run the Underamour Mountain Series trail 25k at Copper Mountain.  I haven’t been “secretly hiding it and training for trails races,” but the opportunity presented itself recently and I’m going to take advantage of it.  When I was first contacted but someone, a few weeks ago I turned it down.  As most people know, I have social anxiety and have had some a relatively bad setback over the late spring.

This sort of spontaneousness (the kind I can turn down), is something I generally do.  Then I thought for another hour, and I was like, what am I thinking.  This is a once in a lifetime oppertunity, and I can’t turn it down.  It’s going to be fun.  It’s going to challenge me both physically and mentally!

It is entirely out of my comfort zone, and my only goal is to finish.  The cutoff time is 4.5 hours.  Since I’ve been getting into hiking a lot this Summer and it looks like such a fun combination of both hiking and running.  Do I have any expectations?  Absolutely not, but I’m really looking forward to challenging myself.  I’ll be the first to admit, training wise, it’s not my smartest decision but my goal this summer is to have fun and try new things.  I

There is a 20% discount code for any of the Underamour Mountain Series including Copper, Killington, and Mt. Bachelor.  I can’t believe I’m doing something so off the wall crazy, but you only live once right?  I never thought of myself as a trail runner but after enjoying hiking so much, I want to give it a shot. I think it will be the hardest running race I’ve ever done.

Posts of the Week:

Walking around Belleplain State Forest

Recovering from Workouts

June Training

Irish Festival 5k (20:25)

Questions for you:

Do you have any tips for trail racing?

How was your week of training?

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Irish Festival 5k (20:25)

Irish Festival 5k (20:25)

Last week I jumped into the Irish Festival 5k in Bergen County (just near the George Washington Bridge).  My husband and I were traveling to Connecticut to pick up car parts, and it seemed like a fun race.  It was a different location, and somewhere we had never raced.  In fact, just a couple of miles near the George Washington Bridge is a beautiful part that you can get plenty of miles in.

Anyway, we arrived around 8 am, and it was already scorching hot.  As we looked around, we noticed there was absolutely no shade around.  The park was made up of open fields, water, and multiple soccer fields.  I knew immediately it was going to be very hot.

We warmed up about 3 miles, and I had already sweat through my entire outfit.  Luckily, I packed 5 running outfits for 2 days.  The race started a little late, and we stood in the sun for another few minutes.  Once we started, I found myself in third overall.  I could see the first two women ahead, and I thought I might be able to catch one.

The first mile headed out, and there was a small downhill.  I caught the second place women around mile 1, and we both hit the mile around 6:20.

During the second mile, another woman sailed by me as if I was standing still.  She cruised by me so quickly, I honestly didn’t know if she was in the race and it took the better part of the next mile to figure it out.  I only wondered because at the pace she passed me, she must have either missed the start or started very far in the back, and this wasn’t a big race.

I hit the second mile in 6:40.  I grabbed water which was hot.  I just wanted the race to be done.

The third mile loops around a large open meadow.  You can see the finish from about 2.1, so it doesn’t make the final mile feel any more comfortable.  I was going back and forth with a couple of men.  One passed me, and one did not.  Finally, I hit the last mile in 6:45 and just powered to the finish in 20:25.

It’s my slowest time since last summer, but I’m not disappointed.  It was a hot day on a harder course.  I’m not in the fitness I was 6 months ago, and that is okay!  My husband finished in 18:57 which is good for the training as well.  It was fun and I’m glad we still ran.

Questions for you:

What is the hottest race you’ve done?

This one was one of the hotter, a 10k in Texas, as well as a half marathon in Texas, were both up there.

How do you adjust to the heat?

Training Last Week: It’s Hot

Training Last Week: It’s Hot

Last weeks training was nothing unusual or unique.  Like most people, I’m grinding away.  I am the first to tell you, I am not adjusting well to the heat.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like it, but paces that were once easy for me are far more than challenging.  In fact, last weekend I ran my slowest 5k in almost a year, and I was working hard!

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 45 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 70 minutes
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Irish Festival 5k (20:25)
Sunday: Easy 60 minutes

Thoughts:

As mentioned, there isn’t a lot to say about this week.  I’ve just been summer grinding away.  I know it won’t be a “fast” summer, but I am trying to stay as healthy as possible.  Running PRs and racing halves faster than a 5k, seems like a lifetime ago but that’s what I usually say most summers.

Irish Festival 5k: 20:25:

I’ll have a full recap soon.  Over the weekend, my husband and I decided to drive up to Connecticut to pick up some miscellaneous car parts, including a bumper.  We saw a 5k in Bergen County, which seemed fun and we decided to run it.  The course itself was relatively hilly, with the second mile all uphill.  On top of that, there was zero shade so you could feel every part of the 80+ degrees.   My splits were 6:20, 6:40, 6:45 and I was the third female.

I’m pleased with my performance for the day and with factors and have no complaints.

Posts of the Week:

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (32:12)

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

Questions for you:

What are some techniques you use for summer running?

Do you run better in the Winter or Summer?

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

Before a few months ago, when I thought of the brand Diadora, I thought of soccer shoes.  Even fashion shoes, but definitely not running.

Diadora is an Italian company that is slowly breaking into the running industry.  If you are local, they are creating their US headquarters in Camden, NJ.  Pretty cool since most running brands are based out of the West Coast or Boston area.

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Ride:

Diadora has designed the midsole with their “Blushield technology”.  What does this mean? The BlueShield technology is designed to provide dynamic stability.  So it’s stable when you need it and not when you don’t. This is especially good if one-foot pronates more than the other or your gait drastically changes at the finish of the run.

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

It’s very soft and cushioned.  I like how light and responsive it is. One thing I appreciated is right out of the box, the shoe felt great. I never felt as though I needed to “adjust to them” or “break them in”.  You shouldn’t feel like that anyway, but I felt good when I added these to my rotation.

There is plenty of cushioning in both the heel and forefront of the shoe to absorb the impact. Even with all of the cushioning, you still maintain a lot of contact with the ground, and they are responsive.

Fit:

As far as running shoes go, these are one of the widest brands out there.  They are cut on an overall more full and straight last.  Typically I wear a women size 10-11 wide, and the regular 10 felt bigger than any other 10 I’ve worn.  I stuck with the 10, and it’s a good fit for me.

The upper has no seems which is great for someone with bunions. It is lightweight and breathable.  I don’t have any complaints.

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

Conclusion:

I was pleasantly surprised and like the Diadora Fly.  You won’t find a lot of information online about them, because they are newer to the running scene.  In fact, local to me in New Jersey they are available to Philly Runner, Haddonfield RunningCo, Runners High, and Brooklyn Runner.  Diadora is a high-quality brand, and I’m enjoying them.  I hope they continue to stay in the industry.

If you like the Brooks Ghost, Brooks Launch, Saucony Ride, Saucony Kinvara, Mizuno or Wave Rider, New Balance 1400, or Nike Pegasus they might fit nicely into your rotation.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Mach, Saucony Ride ISO, Brooks Glycerin 15

Workouts: Nike Fly, Saucony Type A

Races: Nike Fly, Saucony Type A

Questions for you:

Have you ever worn a smaller brand?

What is your current favorite shoe?

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Benefits of Racing Frequently

My cup of tea is not everyone’s cup of tea.  In fact, trivial to the post I don’t drink tea, just coffee.

It’s no secret I haven’t been training like when I set my half marathon PR in February.  After February, I trained and ran, but I know myself well that I’m good for a couple of PRs (if I’m lucky) a year.

April, May, and now most of June has gone around, and here we are.  I want to consistently run and train again, something I rarely do over the summer.  It’s hot and humid, but I want to spend all of my time outside.

Like when I set my 5k PR over two years ago, I plan to do a lot of 5ks on weekends.  This is what led to my 18:13  a couple of years ago.  I don’t think I was quite there in February but did run 18:29 at the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k in March.

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Many people have asked:

Why race so much? Why spend so much money on running road races?

I’ve talked about this before but I don’t have kids, and my husband and I don’t spend a lot of useless junk.  I prefer experiences or good food, versus an expensive piece of clothing or whatever.  In fact, my New Year Resolution was not to buy any new nonrunning clothing.  So far so good.

 Won’t You Get Injured?

I would like to hope not but I take at least 1, sometimes 2 days off per week.  I either cross train (it’s been hiking recently) or don’t do anything.

I also take my easy runs, extremely easy.  I could run 8 minute miles (extremely unlikely) or 12-minute miles, but I keep it easy and by effort.  I mentioned last week I had a Garmin Vivosport which I put in timer mode.  I usually run for X amount of minutes or on a route I already know the distance (then I don’t time it).

It’s Also Important to Remember a Few Things:

You’re not going to progressively get faster:

As I know and have experienced many times with racing frequently, you won’t get faster every single time you race.  You shouldn’t expect too!  Progress is not linear with anything.  Last week I ran a 20:06 5k.  It’s a great base and who knows, next 5k might be slower but I know I’m putting in the effort, miles, and consistency.  A few years ago, I ran a 19:10 5k in one I was hoping to PR.

Remember, at the end of the day, “it’s just running.”  You will be the same person whether you logged a PR or didn’t.

Races are Hard:

If you are like me, you know you can push yourself harder at races.  If I do a workout alone, it usually feels harder and more of a challenge.  Running a race as a workout, allows me to push myself harder than I would alone. I usually have to watch out for mentally burning myself out from overracing.

Racing with Friends:

Since I work at a running store, I do appreciate being able to see friends or people I’ve helped in achieving their goals.  It’s great to run with friends at local races and support a local cause.

Progress is Measurable:

There are many factors with a race, but you are able to see if you are progressing or not.

I like the ability to see that progress.

The Experience of Racing:

I don’t get nervous before big races.  Sure I get the butterflies but I don’t nervous to fail because I know both good and bad races come with the territory.  Not every race will be the best ever, but it’s those not great races that make the good ones feel…good!  I know my family and friends still care about me whether I PR or not.  The experience of toeing the line frequently has taught me that.

Questions for you:

Do you race often?  Do you prefer too?

Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (32:12)

Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (32:12)

Last weekend I ran the Bungalow Beach 5 Miler in Atlantic City.  As I continue to build miles, I’m trying to make it a point to race more whether I feel great or not.  If there is anything I learned from the weekend, it’s how to spell Bungalow (at least I think so).

I didn’t feel great on Saturday.  While I only took a week off, I feel like I’ve distanced myself from the sport since about May.  I’ve been running but training for PRs, no.  I rode out the fitness from the training cycle through both Broad Street and the Newport 10 miler.

I woke up around 5, ate, and arrived to Atlantic City around 7 am.  The race starts in a different area than the April Fools Half. As I walking to pick up my bib, a very intoxicated man asked if I was just getting off from the strip club next door.  What a way to start.

The line to pick up bibs was long, and I had time to warm up about 2 miles.  As I was sprinting towards the start, I realized they were doing the national anthem. I paid my respect and made it to the start with about 30 seconds to spare.

The race went off right at 8 am.  During the first mile, I found myself running with a few men.  I passed one other female around mile 1.  My legs felt stiff and tired, and with 100% humidity, the weather was not ideal. I didn’t feel great or especially terrible and ran a 6:23.

I ran the second mile alone.  There was a cross breeze but nothing crazy. It actually felt good.  We left the boardwalk, and I ran a 6:28.

We turned around mile 2.3 and headed back towards the finish.  I like beach and shore races because usually, you get to see friends and other racers going in the opposite direction.  I saw a lot of local people and high fived a lot of people.

bungalow beach 5 miler atlantic city

Thanks, Meridith for the photo!

Around mile 4, I knew the second place woman was quickly catching me.  I was giving it my all.  We entered the beach, and I was worried I would fall, so I took running on the sand extremely safe.  Even though I was barely above a walk, I would instead not hurt myself versus attempt to sprint to the finish only to roll an ankle.  I could see the finish, but I thought it would never come closer!  I crossed in 32:12 and was able to win.

I am happy to be out there again, and it feels good to be racing. In February I ran a 5 Miler in 30:25 and while I’m not in that shape now I’m enjoying running and able to run.  Usually in June that hasn’t been the case.  I’ll continue looking for races and chipping away.  Right now I didn’t have anything “big” planned out, and I’m just enjoying racing each weekend.

Questions for you;

Have you ever run on sand?

Do you have beach plans this summer?

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

It seems every year, I post about running easy.  I’ve been blogging for 8 years, so it’s about 8 posts saying about the same thing.

Never the less, it’s still an important and relevant topic.

Racing your easy runs won’t get you a PR.

It won’t make you an Instagram hero either.

It will, however, get you burned out, or injured.

Don’t think I haven’t been subjected to this and learned the lesson of injury the hard way.  Long term readers know my first tibial stress fracture (7 years ago now) was caused by overtraining.  In short, I ran my easy runs too fast.  My last burn out wasn’t necessarily caused by running too fast, but more life stress, trying to run high mileage, and just doing too much.

Every week I post a running log and mileage recap.  Every month I do something similar.  Every week on Instagram, I get a few messages about “how fast do you run your easy runs,” and I will always respond the same way: honestly I don’t know or care.  Typically I use my Garmin Vivosport.  It’s not fancy, and that’s why I like it.  It will tell me mile splits if I want but for the most part, I just do timer mode.

I have a few ways I do an easy run

  • I run a route I know to be X amount of miles and don’t time it. I could finish 5 miles in 45 minutes or an hour…I will only have a good idea by the kitchen clock.
  • I just run for an hour and if it’s 6 miles or 10…that’s how it goes.  JK, it would never be anything close to 10.

Both work for me and keep me healthy both mentally and physically.

For training, I usually have a rough outline of the runs and workouts I want to do for the week, but I never have an exact plan.  For instance, last week I planned to take a rest day on Thursday, but my body was hurting on Tuesday…so I rested then too.  Some days I have more time in the morning, and some days I have less.  I ask myself: will I miss this mile next week.  No…I won’t remember.

Does Not Caring about Pace Really Help Me?

I have actually found that it does and it does a lot.  First of all, I’m not obsessed with pace.  I don’t care. I could run 10 miles at 10-minute pace or 10 miles at 8-minute pace.  It’s still 10 base miles.  I’ll run with anyone that wants to run, whether you run a 10 minute or 8-minute mile.  That’s why I rarely post paces online, Instagram, or anywhere.  Because I don’t know and honestly, for training runs…I don’t really care.

As I mentioned earlier, it hasn’t always been that way for me. I used to be obsessed with pace and numbers.  Seven years ago as a new runner, I would run in the same 10-second pace range for every run of the week.  That pace was between 7-7:10.  Do you know what I gave myself?  The glorious gift of a tibial stress fracture on my 21st birthday.

Not to mention, during that period of trying to PR every run, I never got faster for races and was miserable the entire time.   I was so antsy in training if my overall pace was 7:11+ and thought I had lost my all endurance.  It sounds silly now, but that is what the newer runner in me thought.

I Thought: Train fast to go fastRace myself and try and get faster every day.

Here are Some Interesting Stats from that Time in My Training:

During that time of my running career, my 5k PR was 20:10.  I ran about 50 miles a week between 7-7:15 pace.

Now it’s 18:13 (and I had to look LOL).  During that time in training, I was running 60 miles a week with about 50 above 8:30 or even 10-minute pace.

Then my half marathon PR was 1:36.56…now it’s 1:22.03

Now, I’m able to do workouts more efficiently and better.  Running an 88 second 400 doesn’t feel as challenging. My body couldn’t handle that when I was sprinting every training run.  I was also exhausted all of the time.  Even though I was running fewer miles, I was more tired.

But the most crucial piece is I enjoy going out to run without worrying about it.

For me, running is a hobby, and it’s something I want to do lifelong without stress. Not caring about pace has turned into continuing to improve on running.

My point is to relax during your easy runs.  Make your easy runs easy, and work hard during your workouts and races.  Honestly, without being injured or burnout, I don’t think I would have gotten to this phase in my life.  No one wants to be hurt but from injury, I quickly learned my body doesn’t respond well to fast runs every day.

I think I should have renamed my blog CasualLOLZ or something.

Questions for you:

What are your thoughts?

Do you schedule workouts every day or fly by the seat of your pants?

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