Adrenaline Run 5k (18:29)

Adrenaline Run 5k (18:29)

Last weekend I ran two races. Initially, I didn’t plan to do both. However, it just worked out. I needed to stay in New Jersey until Saturday, and at that point, I was in town for my local running stores biggest 5k of the year: The Adrenaline Run 5k. Before my plans changed to stay in New Jersey, I had already signed up for the Shamrock Half.

My new goal was to run as hard as possible at the Adrenaline and then just pick up the pieces at the Shamrock. I know I’m in good shape, but in short, Adrenaline didn’t show that. I had reasons I needed to stay in NJ, and I underestimated how busy I would be the week before.

I arrived to the Adrenaline Run and didn’t feel as good as I would have hoped. I felt very meh. I warmed up with my friend Shae, arrived to the start, and by the time I knew it, we were off. During the first mile, I was caught in a pack of people and got a slow start. Not only that, but I just felt stale. My legs felt heavy, and my speed wasn’t there.

I hit the first mile in 6:00 and immediately felt defeated. I couldn’t get in a rhythm and I felt like nothing felt easy.

I know I’m in PR shape and possibly in sub 18 shape, but it wasn’t my day. After I realized that, I just moved past my mentality and just wanted to run a strong race.

During the second mile, I was running with a pack of women, many of whom I knew personally and are friends. We went around a few turns and down a small hill. I nearly slipped, and I panicked I had pulled something. Due to my form, running downhill in a race is one of the most likely places I’ll get injured.

I rounded the turn and saw my coworkers at the water stop, and I gave a quick wave and mile. To be honest, seeing all three put me in a better mood (thanks, Shawn, Ralph, and Jeff) and I knew I was halfway. I climbed a hill and hit the second mile in running haddonfield adrenaline 5k

I went from feeling happy back down into a slump. Apparently, I rode a lot of emotions during that race. The last mile felt like I finally woke up and just powered to the finish line. I was still with the pack, and we all powered through. We ran the last mile in 5:47 and I crossed in 18:32 with a chip time of 18:29.

Thank you for the photo Norm

me running adrenaline 5k haddonfield nj

While I’m not exactly satisfied with the race, I do know I didn’t feel good and it wasn’t my day, I had a great time seeing so many of local NJ friends and runners. I was 10th women overall and I believe 106th overall. It is my fastest 5k in the calendar year, despite not the fitness I know I’m in.

Questions for you:

Do you use positive self-talk to get you through races?


Not Every Run is Fun

Not Every Run is Fun

When I first began my journey running, it felt hard.  Today, running still feels hard.

The meaning has changed and what was once difficult is now longer not, however, every training cycle presents itself with new challenges.

Not Every Run is Fun

Every new runner has asked:

Does running ever any easier?  

Do veteran runners always feel good running?

Do elites feel like they are cake walking every mile?

No, no, and also no

I love running, and for the most part, I’ve had a lot of great runs.  I have a running blog and work at a running store.  However, like anyone I’ve also had some terrible runs.  It’s not all the Instagram highlight and picture-perfect reel.  No one lives are!

There have been plenty of times I’ve woken up and thought, “nope, I’m not running today” and gone back to sleep.  This has been enhanced by the recent time change and daylight saving time.

If you have been running for any amount of time, you’ve probably had a time when running felt stale.

It’s boring; there isn’t anything to look forward too, and you’ve lost all of your motivation.  You’ve had several runs you’ve struggled getting through, and it just seems like…ugh why bother.  This happened to me, around this time last year.  I didn’t go through my big burnout until last April. However, I began to feel stale around March.  I firmly believe if I had taken a couple of weeks off last March, I probably wouldn’t have taken four months off in April.

Could have, would have, should have, but I have no regrets.

The truth is, running never really gets much easier.  Every runner new or old struggled with getting out of the door at some point.

Here are a few ideas that can change your mindset and motivation:

Often times, change is the key to breaking out of a rut. 

Find a Running Partner:

Run by anyone you see, but just don’t approach someone because that could get awkward.  But seriously, change up who you are running with. Thinking out loud, it makes the run feel entirely different!  Even running on the same route with someone new makes the run fly by.  Even listening to a new podcast makes it feel like you’re running with someone.

Run different mileage:

Ideas include:

  • Decrease your distance
  • Run two short runs versus one longer run.
  • If you were training for a longer race, train for a shorter run.
  • Add cross training or find a new class

Change where you run
A change of scenery can be a good thing.  Personally, racing in a different location each week keeps me from getting bored. Try running on the trails, different neighborhoods, or even the treadmill.  Sometimes catching up on trashy TV and running on the treadmill is what I want to do.  I wrote a post about not hating the treadmill!  With a rest day, race, running with someone, and workout, I normally only run the same route 1-2X per week.  It keeps things interesting.

Most importantly!

When all else fails and running is just not going well, take a break.  There is plenty more to life than running.  Even if you’re an elite runner, you still probably enjoy a few things outside of moving your feet.

A break never hurts and can help you come back stronger.  At the end of the day, it’s just running.

Question for you: How do you break out of a rut?

Hoka One One Mach

Hoka One One Mach

The Hoka One One Mach is a brand new model from Hoka One One. It is basically the replacement for the discontinued Hoka One One Clayton 2. So if you’re looking for the closest thing to the Hoka One One Clayton, then the Mach is your best bet.  It’s the first model I’ve run in.  I have run in both the Hoka One One Clifton as well as the Bondi.

My apologies, but I took photos when I first got the shoe and lost them.  I realized I had lost “clean photos” of the shoe, so you’ll have to deal with them with over 100 miles of mud and dirt.  At least, you know I run in them.  😉

hoka one one mach shoe review

While I work in a running store, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no perfect running shoe.  Not everything works for everyone, and Hoka is not paying me to write about their shoes.  Here is a stock photo for good measure. hoka one one mach shoe review

Weight: Men’s size 9: 7.7oz Women’s size 8: 6.5oz

Drop: 5mm

It always seems to surprise people that most Hoka Shoes are a 4-5mm drop.  It’s like running on a flatter elevated platform.

The Fit:

The Hoka One One Mach is one of the wider Hoka models.  It has a full knit upper.  The knit upper means it’s seamless and allows feet to spread out as appropriate.  As I’ve mentioned in many reviews, but more shoe companies are going towards a seamless upper.  It accommodates wider feet including bunions.

Knit uppers are more seamless and a more flexible fit.  Personally, I prefer seamless and knit uppers because they fit my foot much better.


I like the ride a lot.  While I never ran in the Hoka Clayton, I do know it’s the most similar and meant to replace it.  It’s lighter and more firm than any other Hoka model.

Why is that?

The Mach uses a new material from Hoka named: ProFly.

ProFly makes the heel firmer in the forefoot but softer in the heal.  It’s designed to role you forward and the difference also helps protect the feet, especially if you are more likely to heel strike. According to Hoka, the Profly is more durable and resilient.  I found it to be the springiest and most “fast” of any Hoka shoe I’ve run in so far.

hoka one one mach shoe review


I’ve logged just over 100 miles in the Mach and like it a lot.  I wasn’t sure how much I would but new shoes are always fun to try (if they are appropriate for your foot).  I haven’t had any issues, or blisters, which is essential as well.  I’ll keep the Hoka One One Mach is my rotation until the cushion is gone.

Current Shoe Rotation:

Daily runs: Hoka One One Mach, Brooks Glycerin, Saucony Triumph ISO 4
Workouts: Nike Zoom fly, Altra Escalante
Races: Saucony Type A or Endorphin

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?
Do you prefer more or less cushion?

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (24:30)

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (24:30)

This is my third year running and also my slowest time yet!  The wind played a role, and I think my body caught up to me after trying to assimilate back into the real world from vacation.

I woke up on Sunday feeling exhausted.  I had gotten a deep tissue massage a few days prior, and while my legs had recovered well my half PR, I don’t think they did from the massage.

My in-laws, husband, and I got to the race around 9 am.  I did and quick warmup, realized how windy it was, and made it to the start.  By the time I knew it, we were off.

The first mile got out extremely slow.  It loops around the park and you go back under the start line before heading to down the canal.  My husband and a pack of four men was shortly ahead, followed by me.  My byline of racing lately is always chasing someone but never running with anyone.  I hit the first mile in 6:13 and wasn’t all that pleased.  I knew I was sore and it was windy but it’s always hard not to compare to what you have run before.

During the second mile, my husband and the lead pack separated.  I found myself running with another male chasing them down.  The towpath is on soft dirt/gravel and runs along the canal.  It was windy but not headwind or tailwind.  It was a crosswind where I somewhat worried I would be blown into the canal.  I hit the second mile in 6:08.

We made a 180 during mile 3 and headed back the way we came.  I enjoy mile 3 of the race because you see everyone else running and seeing other racers always motivates me.  I hit the third mile in 6:08.

The last mile was just trucking back to the start.  I felt better than the start but not great by any means.  I separated myself and was running alone.  I could see the finish and I saw my husband had pulled away and was going to win which was motivating.

I finished in 24:30 and it’s my slowest time yet, but the wind was definitely a factor.  This is only the second time both my husband and I have won a race together.  There are plenty of grilled cheeses and tomato soup at the end of the race (instead of the traditional banana), which makes it more fun.

grilled cheese and tomato soup 4 miler sick

Questions for you:

Have you done a unique race recently?

Where is the best grilled cheese you’ve gotten?

Phoenix Half Marathon (1:22.03)

Phoenix Half Marathon (1:22.03)

What to say about the Phoenix Half Marathon?

It’s a 54 second PR.  I had a good day.  Realistically, that is the general information about it.  I guess there is more though.

Anyway,  since running the full marathon a few years ago, I’ve wanted to come back and rerun the race but didn’t have a year I wanted too.  In fact, I wasn’t confident I would be able to make it to the race this year either.  I signed up and booked airfare last minute too.  I had been watching flight prices, and it wasn’t that much more to wait.

The week before the race, I felt “too good’.  Nothing had gone wrong, I didn’t have phantom pains, and I came off of back to back good races.  To be honest, I hadn’t had many issues in training.  In conversation with a good friend I said, the weather was looking good, my training was going well, and the course was fast…there was no real excuse to not run hard.

With that, my husband and I got to Phoenix, waited 90 minutes for a rental car (Yay, spring training for baseball) and got to our hotel.  The day before was relaxing, I got a longer shakeout run because my legs were stiff from flying.  We relaxed, went to the zoo, ate dinner at 4 pm and fell asleep at 8 pm.  My brother arrived at 11 pm, to visit.

The morning was uneventful, and my husband and I made it to the bus by 4:45 am.  The bus was a little louder than I would like but nothing terrible.  The start was wide open and allowed you to have your own space.  We started in the dark at a sharp and dark 6 am.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

One thing I don’t like is running in the dark.  I hadn’t thought about that component of the race, but most of the race was in the moonlight.  There were street lights but nothing like running in the daylight.  The first mile felt like it took forever.  I wondered how I would make it through a half.  I was running with a crowded pack, and we hit the mile in 6:22.  I thought either I can hold this pace or I can’t but I wouldn’t run even 6:22s the entire race.  6:22 was my exact previous PR pace.  The pace didn’t feel difficult, but you can’t judge any race by the first mile or even the first 12 miles.

The next few miles were uneventful.  It was dark, and not many people were out.  The crowd dwindled, and I was running with a pack of 6 women.  I noticed what other people were racing in, and it varied.  It was 39 degrees at the start and a lot of females wearing crop tops and shorts, many in runderwear, a few in capris and a few in sports bras.  It was pretty much everything. I ran between 6:15-6:18 miles for all of them.  It was boring, uneventful, and dark.  Each mile ticked off with nothing of note.

I hit the halfway in 38:56.  Around the halfway mark, our park started to divide once more.  2 women went ahead, followed by me, followed by everyone else.  For the next few miles, I always felt like I was chasing someone, but never running with anyone.  Miles 7-9 were the hardest of the race.  You’re halfway, but you realize you have a very long way to go.  I began to question everything.

Here I was, running in the dark, in Phoenix by myself.  I had been dropped by the two women which didn’t help.  I had taken the race out faster than I have ever taken a half marathon race out.  Sure, I was below my PR pace but I was starting to feel fatigued, and I lost a PR at the Dallas half marathon in the final few miles due to cramps.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

Even though they were gaining space, the two females pulled me along for the miles 9 and 10, and we ran 6:08.  I hit the 10-mile mark in 1:02.30.  At that moment, I knew I should have run my own race because my legs began to feel fatigued.

I told myself: 5k left.  You need to run a 5k in 20:27 and you will PR.

Another woman passed me around mile 10 who I did a double take and thought it was Shalane Flanagan. She passed me as if I was standing still. I attempted to stay with her while also weaving in and out of 10kers.  The 10k merge was one of the only components I didn’t care for during the race.  Many were blocking the entire course or running 3-4 across, and I had to zig-zag around.  It was not the energy I had, nor wanted to use.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

I hit both mile 11 and 12 and in 6:26.  During the final mile, things began to look more familiar from the full marathon, and I remembered the feeling of the last mile of the marathon.  Everything was coming together.  We turned the corner, and I saw the finish line, the clock.  I just powered to the end.  I could see it ticking in the 1:21s and I was trying to make it under 1:22 but my legs didn’t have it.  I crossed in 1:22.03 and a 54 second PR.


A PR is a PR.  I’m thrilled with it.  I do know the race course was easier than my previous PR in Carlsbad, but I also know I’m in better fitness too.  I realized at the Phoenix half marathon that I don’t like to race in the dark.  Obviously, I can run fast in the dark, but it’s certainly not my favorite.

I think I have a lot more to give in the Spring racing scene and I’m looking forward to it.  For those who asked, my husband decided a few days ago that he was going to take the race easy for him, and finished in a 1:27.

Questions for you:

When was your last race PR?

Do you prefer running in the morning, afternoon, or night?

Don’t Just “Survive Winter Running”

Don’t Just “Survive Winter Running”

In both the summer and winter, there is always an abundance of articles about how to survive running.

Posts like that sometimes assume that we are only surviving the months.  Heaven forbid, we actually enjoy running in the summer or winter.

Most runners will tell you the spring an fall are the best climates to run.  Why?  Typically the weather is more enjoyable, there is more daylight, and it’s easier to get out the door.

Don't Just "Survive Winter Running"

I will say, thinking out loud, typically I enjoy running more in the fall an spring.  Usually, I’m not sweating my face off or waddling because I have a 100 layers on.  That doesn’t mean I hate running in the winter and in fact, all of my PRs are from either January or February.

When it comes to racing, the reality is many spring or fall races are either rainy, cold, too hot, or something else to complain about. So for argument’s sake, we will say about 3 months of the year are good running months.

Last year I wrote a post about gear to race in nonideal conditions which primarily was in the Spring.

That logic leads me back to the beginning.

How do you survive and even enjoy running in the winter months?

It’s something I’ve always battled.  I’ll be the first to tell you, yes I went to college 3 hours north of Syracuse but no I don’t like the winter anymore.   How that makes sense, I don’t know.  Even if it’s on the treadmill, I’ve enjoyed most of my runs and enjoy the feeling of getting out there.

Here are a couple tips to enjoy running during colder months:

If it’s too cold, run inside:

This could mean purchasing a gym membership or treadmill. There is absolutely no shame in running indoors when it’s too cold, dangerous, or miserable. You are a real runner wherever you choose to run and there is no need to justify it to anyone.  I don’t hate running inside.  There, I said it.  There are many podcasts or TV shows that can keep you entertained.

run treadmill me nordictrack

Layer Up: 

There are countless pieces of (expensive and inexpensive) running apparel to keep you warm.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money but it’s important to get the proper gear from windproof to waterproof.  Not many people love running in 30 degrees and pouring rain, however, with the proper gear, it’s not bad.

shamrock half marathon me running 2017

Proper gear made running in torrential downpours, wind and 30 degrees, “not so bad”

Now there are windbreakers, long sleeves, insulated tops, built in windbreaker leggings and just about anything you can imagine. Google can provide you with ideal layering techniques. Since I’m always ten jackets ahead of people, you would think I wrote the post for the arctic circle (when in reality I live in NJ).

Finally, Don’t Forget:

Just remember, running is lifelong. One run is not going to make or break you. If you are truly sick of winter running, don’t force yourself to run through the winter.  It amazes me how many people will compromise safety.  You are okay if you miss a couple of runs.  You won’t be okay if you slip, fall, and break something. Find alternatives that aren’t going to miserable.

Finally, as a public service announcement: don’t try and run fast on ice (run indoors if it’s icy). No run is worth falling and hurting yourself on ice.  I would know since I slipped and fell in a parking lot in college.   I ended up breaking my arm.  I know several friends who have raced in slick conditions, tweaked a muscle, and spent a month or two recovering.

How do you enjoy winter running?

60 Days with Collagen

60 Days with Collagen

Last month, I asked twitter what people preferred to see on LOLZ blog.  This is a blog about my life, journey, running, training, fitness, diners, military life and run on sentences and poor grammar.  While hard to classify what is LOLZ blog, it’s mainly about my life and journey.  If readers are interested in something in particular than I always try to include it.

benefits of collagen

One thing that popped up was more about food and diet.  Please keep in mind, I’m not an expert.  I’m not a dietician, and I’m not a nutritionist.  I do have a public health degree and took several college classes in health.  I still have a hand in the general public health environment (and no, it not because I blog LOL), although not as much in the food realm.

Moving forward, I’ve decided to share a new supplement I’ve been taking over the last 60 days.  With any review and supplement, I think it’s important to give it time.  Like running shoes, you can’t say you “love” something after 1-2 runs and you certainly can’t know a supplement is life changing after a week.

That being said, I started taking Collagen with Vital Proteins 2 months ago, and I’ve found myself recovering faster from workouts and runs.  Vital proteins sent me the original sample, but because I’ve found myself to be successful with it, so I’ve continued to purchase!  

What is Collagen?

When Vital Proteins contacted me, I wasn’t familiar with every benefit of Collagen.  I knew what Collagen was, but that was about it.

Collagen is a protein in the body found in muscles, bones, skin, nails, joints, the digestive system, and tendons.

Why Supplement and Why Vital Proteins?

While yes collagen exists in food, it’s hard to find. Due to the nature of collagen, it comes from the broth of animals.  That is why you see more and more athletes drinking bone broth!  Here is a few source of natural collagen:

  • Bone Broth
  • Eggs are one of the other few foods to contain collagen
  • Salmon

Thinking out loud, as delicious as both eggs and salmon are, it’s nearly impossible to eat them every day.  That is why finding a supplement like Vital Proteins is worth it.

vital proteins collagen benefits

My favorites as of now are:

Like protein powder, Vital Proteins dissolves well in water.  Each scoop contains 35-40 calories and about 10 grams of protein.  It also includes your daily dose of collagen.  I feel healthy just thinking about it!

Why is Collagen Great for Runners? 

Joint Health

Runners are constantly pounding their joints.  This decreases the cartilage in the knees and other areas.  In the running world, it’s not uncommon to hear athletes talk about “bone on bone” and needing surgery to repair it.

How does Collagen Help your Knees?

  • Increases lubrication around joints to make more mobile
  • Helps to increase bone density (A BIG ONE FOR RUNNERS!)
  • Reduces inflammation around joints and improves healing of connective tissues
  • Every seving contains 10 grams of protein in 35-45 calories.

Lastly, Skin Health!

One huge benefit outside of running is Collagen helps to replace dead skin cells.  If you know me, you know I’ve never had perfect, flawless skin.  I suffered from acne in high school as well as adult acne a few years ago.  No amount of makeup or Instagram filter made it better.  I do see a dermatologist, which has been great but I’ll never have perfect skin.  Collagen doesn’t treat acne or medical conditions but it will help to replace dead skin cells and make your skin look smoother.  I can personally say I’ve had success with that.

While Vital Proteins, sent me an initial sample, I’ve now been using and purchasing it for myself.  I feel better, and my skin looks better, and it’s something I’ve found helpful for me!

Questions for you:

Do you take any supplements?

Have you ever tried a collagen supplement?

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