Training: A Weekend of Racing

Training: A Weekend of Racing

Last week was a good week of running.  While not everything went as planned, I did leave the week feeling satisfied.  I saw so many family and friends which always beats running anyway.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: 8X400 followed by 8x200s (6:00 min)
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes+massage
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Adrenaline 5k (18:29) total miles 9
Sunday: Shamrock 13.1 (1:23.21) total miles 15


8X400 (400 jog in the middle) followed by 8X200 (200 jog in the middle)

The average pace of the workout was around 6 mins.  I’ve done much faster, and I was hoping to feel better.  It was snowing (as many of my workouts have been lately) but my body did not feel great either.  I was happy to be done with the workout.

Adrenaline Run (18:29) 6:00, 6:10, 5:47

After realizing I would need to be in town until Saturday, I decided I would run the Adrenaline Run. It’s sponsored and put on by my work and I’ve always wanted to run.  A few weeks ago, I thought it would be a great way to test my fitness since I would need to be in town anyway. I could leave for Shamrock afterward.  The race didn’t go as I hoped and while it is a fast time for me,  it wasn’t what I wanted. I had a chaotic few days beforehand between life as well as work.  I know I’m in “better shape” than 18:29 and hopefully it will come sooner.

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:23.21)

After the Adrenaline Run, I drove down to Va (about 300 miles) to run one of my favorite races of the year.  I didn’t have a plan for the race other than to have fun.  After a chaotic week, 5k, and driving, making a goal was hard. My primary goal was to have fun and run a healthy race.  I walked around before but didn’t do any extra warm up. I just started at a 6:30 pace and ran by feel.  Slowly I progressed and ran a negative split half which I was pleased about.

In all, it wasn’t the week I thought it would be.  I had hoped to have a fast 5k and see where the half went, but still a great weekend.  The Shamrock half is my third fast ever and the 2nd fastest in the last 2 years, so there are no complaints about that.  I had a great weekend with so many family and friends.

Posts of the week:
Not Every Run is Fun
Hiking the Mesquite Trail (Phoenix)
Dixie Mine Trail

Questions for you:
Have you done back to back races?
How far do your parents live from you?


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?

Saucony Ride 10 Shoe Review

Saucony Ride 10 Shoe Review

I’ve been running in the Saucony Ride 10 for a little while now.  It replaced the Saucony Freedom in my rotation.  A few years ago, I loved the orginal Saucony Triumph ISO.  Personally, it was one of my favorite shoes to come out.  Since then, I haven’t found a Saucony shoe I like as much.  More recent models of the Triumph have been okay but not my favorite.  I am curious to see how the latest model, the Saucony Triumph ISO 4 stacks up though.  I’ve run in several models of Saucony: The Triumph, the Zealot, and the Ride.

Anyway, the Saucony Ride 10 has been a more favorite shoe of mine recently.

Saucony Ride 10 Fit:

The Saucony Ride 10 fits more true to size than previous years.  Typically I wear a size 10-10.5 wide, and I found a 10.5 to be ideal.  The upper is seamless and accommodates those with wider feet or bunions.

saucony ride 10 shoe review.jpg

One thing I’ve noticed about Saucony, which people either love or hate, is that it has a very low back.  It doesn’t fit orthotics/inserts as well as many other neutral shoes.  That has been a deal breaker for many, because they feel like they are slipping.  It’s never bothered me, and I’ve never felt as though I was slipping out, but it does bother a lot of people.

Saucony Ride 10 Ride:

Time to review the ride of the Ride.  It always sounds funny when I say that.  The Saucony Ride 10 is an 8 mm drop and much firmer.  If you are looking for a shoe with firmer forefront cushion, the Ride or most Saucony shoes are an option.

I’ve run anywhere between 5-10 miles in the shoe, and I feel as responsive in the beginning as the end of the shoe.  The cushion is there. One thing I did notice was it slipped more on wet surfaces or in the rain.  It’s a shoe I’m less likely to take out in icy conditions, although I’m more likely to run indoors when it’s icy.

Saucony Ride 10 Conclusions:

The Saucony Ride 10 is one of the most popular shoes in the industry, and I can see why.  It’s a true to size, well-cushioned shoe, that is great for any amount of mileage: from 5ks to marathons.  It holds up well.  Saucony is on model 10 of the shoe, so it’s lasted the test of time for a while now. Personally, I’ve been enjoying the lightweight but still well-cushioned shoe for easy days or regular daily runs.

Current Rotation:

Brooks Glycerin 15 (long runs, easy runs)
Brooks Ghost 10 (easy runs, daily runs)
Saucony Ride 10 (easy runs, daily runs)
Nike Zoom Fly (workouts)
Altra Escalante (workouts)
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (races)

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite shoe?
What is your all-time favorite shoe?

Tips for Morning Workouts

Tips for Morning Workouts

Recently I received a question about running and working out in the morning.   I haven’t always been a “morning runner,” but since graduating college, I’m a morning runner 99% of the time.  If I don’t run before 9 am, chances are I don’t run.  Of course, it doesn’t include races, although I did wish they all started before 9.

I will be the first to tell you it’s much easier to run in the morning during the summer.  It gets lighter earlier, and it’s warmer.  You don’t feel as though you’re ripping blankets off to go for a run in the dark and cold.  With my constant change of schedule, it’s better for me to get the run done earlier.

I posted a long time ago that I don’t drink coffee before I run.  I used to drink coffee right when I woke up almost every day. However, I had one bad race (the Distance series in 2013? 2014? And that ruined it for me.

Recently I was sent Alert Caffeine Gum to try.  I’ve heard of caffeinated gum before, and it seems like a lot of people swear by it.  Thinking out loud, I’m not a huge gum chewer, but I was excited to give it a shot.  Like anything, you don’t know until you try!

Alert Caffeinated Gum

Here are some other ways I prepare myself to workout in the morning:

Sleep: I am known to turn my technology off around 9-9:30 pm.  I might go to bed a little later, but I stop fiddling with the computer, texting, etc.  It allows me to wind down and actually get to bed.  Tweeting at the pillowcase keeps me wide awake.

Set an Alarm (or 2 or 10): I’ve adjusted to waking up between 5-5:30 am most mornings.  To be honest, at this point it doesn’t phase me.  However, it didn’t use to be like that, and I needed an alarm to pull me out of bed.

Check the Weather: Mentally I like to have an idea if I’ll be running inside or outside.  Or if it’s going to be snowing, pouring rain, or windy.  Not all surprises are good ones.

Make Sure. You Have Appropriate Gear Clean: Many bloggers will tell you to lay your clothing out, and I think that is fantastic advice, however, for me if I have appropriate gear cleaned and findable, I consider it a good day.

Caffeine! As I mentioned, I no longer drink coffee before I run.  I was lucky enough to be sent Alert Caffeine GumAlert Caffeine Gum to try.  I’ve consistently chewed a piece after breakfast, and I do feel a bit more jazzy during my run.  I don’t feel like I’m slogging through the first mile.

I’ve also tried Alert Gum in the middle of the day, and it doesn’t keep me up at night.  It has half the caffeine of a cup of coffee which is a great amount for me.

Alert Gum is available in Mint or Fruit flavors, and each pack has 8 pieces.  It’s available on Amazon or Walmart for $2.99. Personally, I like the fruity flavor the best.

Finally, Stick to It:  Sometimes we want to change but aren’t willing to give it time.  Give your new routine at least 2 weeks.  If after two weeks, it’s not for you, find something that is!

Thank you Alert Caffeine Gumfor sponsoring this post!

Questions for you:
What time do you like to workout?
Do you have any methods to wake up in the morning?

October Training

October Training

Training in October went well.  I’m happy with how things are ticking along.  Well, I’m not in peak fitness right now, I do feel as though I’m beginning to turn a corner from my break.

Crawlin Crab half marathon hampton

Mileage: 215-230
Range of paces: 5:54-13:30-untimed
Shortest run: 2 miles with Runners World Crew
Longest Run: 13.1 miles
Highest Mileage Day: 16.1 Runners World Half
Workouts: 2
Both were 6.5-mile tempo runs

heroes to hero 5k

Races: 6
Run for Recovery (19:12)
Crawlin Crab Half (1:32.29)
Heroes to Hero 5k (18:41)
Runners World Festival 5k (18:46)
Runners World Half Marathon (1:24.52)
Haunted Half 5k (19:40)

This month I don’t have a favorite race as each was special to me in a different way.  

Runners world half festival me


I’ve been slowly ticking away at both races and mileage.  At the beginning of the month, my fastest 5k since returning was 18:59, and in October I ran an 18:41.  While I’m not close to my PR yet (the last 30 seconds is the hardest), I am much closer than where I started in August.

Half marathon wise, I’m extremely pleased with the Runners World Half, and I could not have asked for a better race there.

What will November Bring?

November will begin fine-tuning my diet and working on the smaller things.  As most people know, I’ve been traveling for close to the last 2 weeks.  It’s been the time of my life, and I’ve been running, but I haven’t been working on diet and nutrition, and LOL at lifting weights and the smaller things too.  When I get back, I’ll begin fine-tuning the little stuff which will help get closer to PRs.

Running Related Posts from the Month:
How to Save Money on Races
Who Cares Where You Run?
Care Free Training

Shoe Reviews:
Hoka Clifton 4 Review

Questions for you:
How was your month of training?
What are your goals for November?

Who Cares Where You Run?

Who Cares Where You Run?

Like anything in the world, many people including myself, are guilty of the comparison trap.  Now that social media is everywhere, it has become much easier to compare.

The constant changes in weather and hurricane season caused me to think of justifying where or when you’re running.

My personal mentality for running is simple:

Run When and Where You’re Most Happy

If you like running in the morning, night, inside, or outside, do what makes you the happiest.  As long as you’re happy, you’re a “real runner” but alas a post for another day.

The weather got me thinking out loud about justifying yourself.  Before social media, we felt as though we had no one to report back too.

If we wanted to run on the treadmill…fine…if we wanted to run outside…fine.  

There wasn’t a “which one is better” or “you aren’t a real runner if you run inside” type of mentality.

We didn’t go for a run and immediately upload it to whatever social media website preference.  I am as guilty as anyone for doing this.  I post my training logs weekly, I post photos on Instagram, and I love a good race recap.

With social media, it is much easier to fall into the comparison trap.  You can compare running where, why, how, when, how much…the list is endless.  Anything you want to compare, you can.

For instance, it’s easy to tell someone to get outside. It’s easy to say there is never an excuse to run inside.  Critiquing someone else is easy…but you know what?

 Who Cares?

Who cares if you run inside or outside?  At least you are getting out there doing your thing. Personally, I hate running outside in pouring, freezing rain.  It’s miserable, I look a mess and honestly it’s just not fun.  Sometimes I would instead zone out on the treadmill and catch on TV inside.  Maybe I want to use the treadmill for pacing.  Whatever the reason, I just want to run inside. I don’t ever plan to justify my decision of where I run…I just do what makes me happy.

Sometimes I would instead zone out on the treadmill and catch on TV inside.  Maybe I want to use the treadmill for pacing.  Whatever the reason, I just want to run inside. I don’t ever plan to justify my decision of where I run…I just do what makes me happy.

To those who think the only running is outside…that is false.

To those who think the only race out there is the marathon…also false.

To those who think there is no reason to ever run inside…

LOLZ, sorry running in the 35-degree rain is not fun.  I spent the better part of 2015 and 2016 racing in those conditions, and it was not pleasant.

I love shamrock…but the weather no

Running in hail is not fun.

Running in 120-degree weather is not fun.

Or what if you are short on time and want to catch up on your favorite TV show and fit a run in?  I think that’s better than sitting on your couch catching up TV?

Some people are not comfortable running outside, and it’s essential (for others) to realize that people do what they are comfortable.  Safety should always be a runners number 1 priority.

Finally, the majority of us are never going to be elite athletes, and we don’t need to have a rigid plan.  Even elites athletes use all sorts of methods.  Some elites love the treadmill, high mileage or low mileage.  We do what makes us happy and what is best for our personal needs.

Life is too short to do something that makes you miserable.  Running outside in the rain is miserable, and I feel no need to justify that to anyone.

I guess I’m thinking about the ways social media has affected our running.  Before social media, we ran how we felt like it.  If we felt like running outside, we did.  If we felt like running inside, we did.  If we felt like training for a 5k, we did…a marathon…we did.

Social media will always cause us to compare.  It’s something tough to avoid in our modern day world.  My point is that not to put others down because where and how they choose to run.

We are all one giant community of runners and human beings.  We do what makes us happy and move on with it.

Relevant Posts: 

Care Free Running
Why a Running Streak Does Not Work for Me
Running on an AntiGravity Treadmill

Questions for you:
Where is your favorite place to run?
What are you thinking about today?

The Diner (Jamesburg)

The Diner (Jamesburg)

With a name like “The Diner,” it must be good right?

A few weeks ago, my good friend Christine and I met at “The Diner” in Jamesburg.  It just so happened to be Christine’s birthday too!

Atmosphere: A
The Diner is very different than any other NJ diner I’ve been too.  It’s located on the main street of Jamesburg, and you feel as though you’re entering grandmas kitchen.  It even has a front door resembling a house. The inside is all hardwood floors with wooden chairs and tables.  While it’s not a stereotypical, diner, it’s nice, and I appreciated it.

Service: B
Our waitress was friendly. However, it took her a while to come back to our table for refills and a couple of requests.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good.  There was nothing unique about it, but it was decent diner coffee.

The Diner Jamesburg NJ

Food: A
The diner has most everything you want in a diner.  They have plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  They even have fajitas.  I did, notice, they were missing a large selection of seafood (which is usually common in diners).

There was also a handwritten page specials.  When I saw a Greek Salad with soup and a dessert for $11.50, I knew I couldn’t beat that price. Originally I wanted something else that would have cost $20+.

The Diner Jamesburg NJ

When the waitress mentioned split pea soup, I knew it was the soup for me.  Split pea soup is one of my favorite soups (next to lentil), and when it’s offered, I take advantage.  The soup was good, and I have no complaints.

Both Christine and I ordered the same Greek Salad and were pleasantly surprised by the size.  Normally on the specials menu, meals are smaller, but the salad was one of the bigger ones I’ve had.  Plus it had both chicken and sardines.  The salad was one of the better Greek diner salads I’ve had.  Special or not, the salad was good and one of the cheapest diner salads I’ve had to date.  It is definitely hard to beat.  Plus the garlic bread was delicious.  Typically greek salads come with pita, and while I missed I like pita bread, the garlic bread was a great substitute.

The Diner Jamesburg NJ

Dessert: A
For dessert, I opted for bread pudding and I must say it’s in the top diner bread puddings I’ve had too.  The Diner Jamesburg NJ

It wasn’t extremely mushy or soggy and still had the texture of bread. I was surprised by that too, especially, for it on the specials menu.

The Diner Jamesburg NJ

Cost: $
For my meals and coffee, it was $13.  That was extremely cheap for the amount of food I got.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?
I really enjoyed The Diner, the food, price, and atmosphere is great.  I would go back.

Atmosphere: A
Service: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Dessert: A
Cost: $8-14
Overall: A

Questions for you:
Do you like sardines?
What is your favorite soup? 

%d bloggers like this: