Today is My Birthday

Today is My Birthday

As my unoriginal title indicates, today, July 12th, is my 28th birthday.  Some years I write X number of things I learned before age X.  Other years, I don’t even write a post about my birthday.  Some years I spend with family, some with my husband, friends, and others I’ve spent alone.  I haven’t learned a heck of a lot new since last July 12th, and there is no way I could write 28 things I’ve learned since 28.

Last year, I decided I wasn’t interested in material items or junk.  I stopped buying new clothing, and in 2018 my New Year’s Resolution is not to buy any new nonathletic apparel (I don’t go crazy on buying athletic apparel either).  After bills, I’ve chosen to spend my money on experiences rather than things.  Experiences like races, diners, and traveling to random places.  Things that I can look back on and think: dang that was fun.  I don’t need or want any useless junk.

As I reflect upon that, I’m also sitting on an airplane to Denver, Colorado.  I’m doing something out of my comfort zone, and maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I’m going to run the Copper Mountain 25k.  My only goal is to finish.

I haven’t been secretly training for trail races, but after running the Xterra 10k a few months ago and having fun, trail no longer terrifies like they once did.  I’ve spent a lot of time this spring and summer hiking and it’s become just as fun to me as running. It will be my longest run in a long time, the highest altitude I’ve ever run, and maybe not my wisest idea.  As I mentioned on my blog, when the opportunity first presented itself a few weeks ago, I said no but thought: why not? I have nothing to prove, and it’s getting me out of my comfort zone.

I’m really looking forward to running this weekend.

A few highlights of adventures from age 27:

Visiting the Grand Canyon

grand canyon north rim

Our vacation last year that we booked two plane tickets to Denver and a rental car with no plans.  We ended up driving 2600 miles and seeing amazing places.

road trip through colorado

PRing at the Phoenix Half in February Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

10 Mile Hike through GrayBeard Trail (North Carolina)

Air Force Marathon (half for me) with my husband and in laws

Apparently, I decided to nap and close my eyes right there…

Private Flying over NYC

flying over nyc

Those are just a few of the many memories I have from age 27.  I can only hope 28 will be just as fun!

Questions for you:

When is your birthday? How did you celebrate last year?

Any last minute trail tips?


26 Things I Learned Before Age 26

Today is my 26th birthday.  I’ve been blogging for while and have celebrated five birthdays on LOLZ blog.  Sometimes I post about my birthday and other times I don’t.

To be honest, age 25 wasn’t my favorite year but not every year can be.  At age 24, I moved, got married, bought my car and was riding the high of a newly wed.  Age 25 wasn’t bad and had both its fair share of both good and bad moments.

I thought it would be fun to reflect upon and think out loud about some of the things I learned over the past year.  Some were good, some bad.  Some are running related; some are life-related.

26 Things I Learned Before Age 26

Life is not perfect and never will be.  Social media doesn’t tell the full story.  We all have issues and problems behind the scenes. We all have tagged facebook photos we wish never existed.  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. About a month ago, I found out I had a severe case of food poisoning as well as a fracture in my ankle.

MRI foot

An MRI image of my foot

Do things you like and skip what you don’t like.  Your life is yours to live and no one else’s.  Enjoy it as much as you can.  Choose wisely of activities and things you want to do.

Do what you like and skip what you don’t like part 2: Enjoy your job.  A job could be in an office full time, blogging or taking care of children. I like my job at the Running Store.  I like seeing my friends, helping plan group runs and seeing new running excel! Whatever you choose, enjoy it.

Rest up.  You only have one body and it follows you around. Your body is direct reflection of how you treat yourself.  Treat your mind, body and soul well. carlsbad half

Enjoy the moment.  In this day and age we find ourselves looking into the future far too much.  One of my favorite quotes: The future has yet to be written, and the past is written in permanent marker.  You have the power to write the present.  Enjoy the current moment.

Small things don’t matter.  Trivial things like the slow driver in front of you, a paper cut, small issues…you probably won’t remember any of this stuff in a week.

Be confident in your beliefs and values. If you don’t stand behind yourself, who will stand behind you?

Don’t lie. A lie turns into ten lies which turn in 100 lies that you can’t remember. It’s never worth it to lie.

Similarly, speeding only gets you a ticket which ultimately slows you down. If you live in New Jersey, then you know there is always a faster drive in the left lane anyways…

Nothing comes easy. If everything in life were easy, we would all be Olympic multimillionaire CEOs. Pick and choose your battles.

These two images are within a week: 

shamrock marathon 1

via Phillies facebook

You are not always right. It’s impossible always to be right.  Accept advice and help from others.  You will grow as a person both mentally and physically.

When you are late, you waste other people’s time. No one’s time is more valuable.  Time cannot be replaced. It is one thing that cannot be bought.  Respect other people’s time.

Smile.  Smile as much as possible, so people don’t think you’re a mean girl (When in reality you just have a resting bitch face…like me).

atlantic city april fools half me

Be flexible in everything.  If everyone was able to do every single thing they wanted, the world would be chaos. Your plans are not always the most important.

Our culture is full of extremes. Extreme beauty, extreme sports talent, extreme music talent, extreme weight loss or weight gain…Real life doesn’t work like that and moderation, and balance is key.

Everyone wants to be treated the same. Be polite and caring. No one likes a jerk.  No one deserves that.

Find your most productive hours of the day and do what you need to do. I find myself most productive in the mornings. As the day flies by, I typically become less productive. I try and do the most important things in the morning.

Do what you don’t want to do: first.  Save the best for last and do the tasks that you don’t want first.  That way they get done.

Quiet days are never a bad thing but social days are not a bad thing either.  It’s so important to balance both.  Everything is moderation.

How you dress says a lot. It’s easy to dress like a college student or an old lady. Dressing like a 26-year-old is tough!  Have a few well-fitted outfits that make you feel confident.

It’s totally okay to be by yourself. It’s okay to go out to eat at a restaurant by yourself, and it’s okay to treat yourself.  Doing things by yourself is okay.

To stay in touch with friends, it’s a two-way street. If you don’t go down the road, you can’t expect someone else too.  Make time for your friends and family.

Always thankful for friends

Always thankful for friends

Sometimes life needs an exact plan and sometimes it doesn’t.When I moved in with Tim 3 years ago, I had no plan. We worked through the current time, not the future, and it ended up working out.

My first visit to Texas

Stay Confident in Yourself. You are your biggest fan and your biggest critic! Make sure to stay confident in yourself.

Be Open to Others. Other people have different beliefs and viewpoints of the world.  Be open to ideas that do not agree with your own.

The End is Not Now: Remember, your life, your story, and your book are not complete. Always strive to be the best and add more words to your story.

Questions for you:

How did you celebrate your last birthday?

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned recently?

Happy Birthday to my Husband!

Today is my husband’s birthday!  

Last year I joked that this was our quarter life crisis year because we both turned 25.

We sure accomplished a lot: 

  • Getting married
  • Buying a car
  • Moving for the 10,000th time
  • Putting up with LOLZ

At the Sunset outdoors

Hollie & Tim-695-X2

Plum dresses

tim and i 3
tim and I night

And who could forget running together too?


So happy 26th birthday to my husband! 

A Graduation, a Birthday and Father’s Day

My family celebrated a lot this weekend!

Yesterday my brother graduated college. I posted more photos on instagram; but it was a lot of fun to watch his hard work come together.  We could not be more proud of him.

(the once a decade family photo…)

family photo


Yesterday was also my mom’ birthday.  My mom and I are extremely close.  We joked around that this was one birthday that could not be repeated!  My mom works extremely hard in everything she does (of course raising us kids, was not easy ;).

I love you mom!

I love you mom!

And of course today is Father’s Day.

It’s nice to be able to celebrate Father’s Day with my dad as well.  My dad and I are also extremely close.

awkward father-daughter dance like we do...

awkward father-daughter dance…

It has been a great and unique weekend.  I my adult life, I cannot spend every holiday and birthday with my parents and family.  This weekend has been such a unique enjoyable experience.

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my dad’s birthday.  Happy birthday Dad!

I can truly say I’m very lucky to have him in my life.  He has always been there for me; whether it was moving to college each year, moving to Texas, helping me with life problems and issues or even inspiring me to begin running a few years ago. He is the best.

Thank you dad for everything and Happy Birthday.

Thank you for making fun of me when I photograph coffee.

Thank you for making fun of me when I photograph coffee.  (What he thinks I look like…it’s accurate)


Looking nice

Looking nice

One of my first road races

One of my first road races

My dad:  I don't want that specialty ice cream crap.  I just want plain vanilla ice cream...I'll be bold and go with a cone.  Put this on the blog, I never eat ice cream...I'm treating myself.

My dad: I don’t want that specialty ice cream crap. I just want plain vanilla ice cream…I’ll be bold and go with a cone. Put this on the blog, I never eat ice cream…I’m treating myself.

Happy Birthday Baby LOLZ

Last week wordpress sent me a “trophy”.  I like that even blogging is extrensically motivated in that you get trophies on occasions.  I didn’t know what I had done this time…(HA) but wordpress informed me August 6th is my blogging anniversary!   Funny enough, LOLZ is no longer a baby or even a toddler.  BabyLOLZ sounds so precious though…

I always remember that I started blogging in early August but can never remember the exact date.  I think every year it informs me and every year I say I’ll remember.  (Can you tell I need a planner to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries and life events?  Blogging is just blogging…so I don’t feel guilty for forgetting every year…

It just so happens that I also hit my 1000 #coffeeaday streak on Instagram a few days ago. I decided to stop while I’m ahead and keep my 1000 day streak at that…1000. It’s been a few days since I’ve taken a coffee picture and I’m at peace with it. Nothing goes on forever….does this mean I’ve stopped having coffee? No, of course not. I will still post photos here and there but I probably will never begin a streak again.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to stop.

So with that, Happy Fourth Birthday LOLZ!

I could write multiple posts reflecting on everything I’ve learned, accomplished, failed and done in the last four years but that would literally be four years worth so I’ll keep it short.

In summary here are the last four years:

Year 1: I was in college studying both math and education.  I began running.  I was still swimming but I decided to run and swim in college.  I had a great year.

The Maths: Proving why a triangle is a a diner.

The Maths: Proving why a triangle is a triangle…at a diner.

The maths.  Proving why a triangle is a triangle...

The maths. three weeks later…Still proving why a triangle is a triangle…

I swam miles and miles and miles...actually I swam distance events in college 1000/mile! Super #tbt

I swam miles and miles and miles…actually I swam distance events in college 1000/mile! Super #tbt

One of my first XC races.

One of my first XC races.

Year 2: I quit swimming and changed to a public health major with a math minor. I had my first major running injury (21st birthday stress fracture!) I ended relationships (both friends and a long term boyfriend) and grew as a person.  I began my senior year rejuvenated.  Senior year was the most free I felt during college (except for the beginning of freshman year).  I had a great year. Oh and I graduated college!

Doing my public health senior seminar paper...being a new rejuvenated woman.

Doing my public health senior seminar paper…being a new rejuvenated woman.

Winning my first half marathon in Plattsburgh!

Winning my first half marathon in Plattsburgh!

Falling on ice and breaking my arm.

Falling on ice and breaking my arm…then going to the bar!  I think I have the thumbs up because I had decided I was going to the sketchiest bar in all the land wearing that.  (YAY Streets)

Going to the bar in my human discoball outfit. (IE: Gold express dress)...oh and meeting Tim too.

Going to the (the lesser of sketchy) bars in my human discoball outfit. (IE: Gold express dress)…oh and meeting Tim too. 😉

Better reference for the dress.

Better reference for the dress…at the bar. (There is so much going on in this photo how can you not LOLZ).  

Year 3: I moved and worked at SUNY Oswego.  I made great friends, learned what real life was all about.  I ran a lot.  I had what I consider my first breakout race (Nike Women’s Half).  I became extremely close with both Heather and Laura.  I learned about true adulthood and real life responsibilities. I learned that I really enjoyed not being in college. I maintained a long distance relationship with Tim. Then I moved back home to VA one last time for the summer.

At the Walk to Save Lives Fall 2012

At the Walk to Save Lives Fall 2012

Look mom I have really good friends!

Look mom I have really good friends that helped me get through this point in time.  This is from February but I love this photo so that’s that. 

Year 4: I was invited to run for Oiselle. I moved in with Tim in Texas.  I lived in Texas for 6 weeks and then moved to New Jersey. I raised 2000+ dollars for Ophelia’s Place and Eating Disorder Awareness and won that half marathon.  I ran my first marathon and began working at a local running store.  I got engaged.  I developed a love for diners. Oh and I PR’ed again at the April Fools Half marathon!  For the first time, I could say I was liberated, happy and truly enjoyed the path my life is taking.

Oh texas...little did I know I would be here 6 weeks

Oh texas…little did I know I would be here 6 weeks

In Texas they have these for decoration...

In Texas they have these for decoration…

Marathons are so fun!

Marathons are so fun!


We are engaged now...

We are engaged now…

Year 5: As Natasha Bedingfield says…the rest is just unwritten. I hope to run another marathon, have solid races and get married. I hope to continue loving my life and embracing the good, the bad and everywhere in between. I hope I’ll be posting a year five blog post next year. I appreciate everyone taking time to share the journey with me.

Questions for you:
How long have you been blogging?
What has been the most life changing event of your life so far?

Typical LOLZ Birthday

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday and had a great time.  Although I was supposed to go up and race Boilermaker in Utica, I had a great time in NJ too.  My birthdays are always ridiculous (this isn’t any different from any other part of my life) but generally something interesting or unusual happens each year.  

It always stinks to be injured but I made the best of the situation.  I still had the weekend off from work and got to hang out with Tim.  (Due to our schedules, we don’t have a lot of free weekend time together).

We wear real clothes occasionally.

We wear real clothes occasionally.

On Saturday night, we went to Mastori’s Diner.  This is my favorite diner dessert wise but not food wise.  The food is decent but it’s really the dessert that makes me want to go there.  My 1500 calorie red velvet cake is probably the reason why.



Anyways the dinner experience itself was interesting.  We sat at a pretty awkward table that made it extremely easy to eavesdrop into all of the work drama.  I heard employees whining, making fun of customers and being overall demanding and rude to each other.  I thought it pretty humerus but it’s definitely something that would upset a lot of people.

Oh well, got my cake which is why I went to begin with.

On Sunday, we went to Atlantic City.  I ended up winning about 40 dollars on the slot machines.  (I never play tables).  I stopped while I was ahead and we used the money to pay for a trip on the Atlantic City boardwalk “Slingshot”.  I am really proud of myself for getting the courage to go on this thing.

Real life roller coaster tycoon

Real life roller coaster tycoon

I had thought it was similar to one of the theme park rides where it takes you up to the top and drops you.  I had expected it to do that.  For some reason I missed the start of the other two times it went off while we were walking up to it.  (There was no line so we didn’t see anyone while waiting).

Seems like guests never want to go on the merry go round in real life either...

Seems like guests never want to go on the merry go round in real life either…

Well you can watch the entire ride here: (it’s like we are hanging out in real life while being launched into space.)

After that we walked around the outlets, hung out on the board walk and just relaxed.  It was overall just a nice relaxing Sunday.

I really appreciate everyone’s birthday wishes and cheer.  I’m not one that makes a big deal out of my birthday and takes “birthday weeks or months” so this was great for me.  I can’t say it’s any fun to be injured on your birthday but I made the best of my situation.  Now my birthday is done so I don’t need to continue thinking the world revolves around me and my birthday,

Anyways this is more photos in one post than my usual month quota (and a video!).

Questions for you:

Have you ever rode a “slingshot ride” or anything similar?

What did you do for your last birthday?  

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