Vital Proteins RecoveryWave

Vital Proteins RecoveryWave

Recently, Vital Proteins came out with the Recovery Wave protein powder. As most people know, I’m a fan of Vital Proteins Whey Collagen, so I was excited about the Vital Proteins RecoveryWave. RecoveryWave is one word, not “Recovery Wave.”

I’m not paid to promote Vital Proteins, but I have genuinely found over the last year it has made a big difference. 
It’s important to keep in mind these statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. Vital Proteins products are not intended to diagnose, treat, and cure disease or prevent any disease.
Vital Proteins RecoveryWave

So what Makes Vital Proteins RecoveryWave Great?

The Vital Proteins RecoveryWave was intended for athletes and post workout recovery.  The Vital Performance line contains 20 grams of collagen proteins, supports muscles and joints, and replenishes minerals lost during exercise.

The Vital Proteins RecoveryWave comes in Five flavors:

  • RecoveryWave Guava lime (the most tart)
  • Monk Fruit (my favorite)
  • Passion Fruit
  • Watermelon Blueberry
  • Lemon GrapeVital Proteins RecoveryWave

Support Your Joints:

The Vital Proteins RecoveryWave has 20g of collagen peptides every serving. What do the Collagen Peptides do? Collagen Peptides to help build muscle and support joint and bone health.

Amino Acids:

Most Vital Protein products contain animal acids, but each serving of the RecoveryWave also includes 5g of BCAAs.20g Collagen Peptides.

What are Amino Acids and what is the difference between Essential Amino Acids (EAAS) and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAS)?

Our bodies produce 11 amino acids using other amino acids.  The other 9 of the 20 amino acids are considered essential amino acids (EAAs).  EAAs must come from diet or supplementation because the body cannot produce them. Breaking it down further, 3 of these 9 are considered “Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) because of their chemical structure.

The structure of the BCAAs allow them to skip the normal digestion process and become quickly available in the muscles.

The Vital Proteins Recoverywave has 5g of Branched Chain amino acids (BCAA), 2.8g of leucine.

The RecoveryWave products also contain vitamins C, B2 & B6, Zinc, Magnesium, Taurine, and Glutamine. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid

No Added Stuff: 

Vital Proteins products contain no added sugars and are made without gluten, dairy, and soy.


Vital Protein RecoveryWave uses the same electrolytes found in coconut water powder, Himalayan sea salt, and natural sources.

So How can use Vital Proteins RecoveryWave?

I tried to bake it, but it has a bitter taste in recipes, so I’ve found smoothies to be the best and easiest.

I made this Berry Blast Recovery Smoothie but substituted the Vital Proteins RecoveryWave instead.

This quick Vital protein RecoveryWave Pineapple Smoothie is what I’ve been Enjoying Lately:


1/2 Cup milk
1 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen banana
2 Scoops Vital Protein RecoveryWave (today I used Guava Lime)

Blend and drink

Vital Proteins RecoveryWave

Thank you Vital Proteins for allowing me to try the new RecoveryWave.

Questions for you:

What do you use post-workout?

Do you take EAAs or BAAs? 






Today’s training log was supposed to an exciting log about how I ran the Big Cottonwood Marathon…but I never made it there.

Admittedly, I chose not to go and I chose not to start the race. It was a conversation I had in my head weighing both the pros and the cons. I’m sure the events would have played out differently for many but at the end of the day, it wasn’t worth it to me to start a race when the risk of a more serious injury was high.

It isn’t my first DNS, and it probably won’t be last. On the day my flight was supposed to leave, I could barely walk. Traveling was a literal pain in the ass. Sitting for long periods…hurt, walking…hurt. Running last Wednesday was laughable. In fact, today, Monday, after a week of not running, it’s laughable (but moving in the right direction).

So what led me to a DNS?

I ran a few short runs after the 18.12 mile challenge with no issues. I felt fine. My gait felt fine. I felt fine. Nothing in my running life would lead me to believe I wouldn’t run my marathon. Somewhere around 7-10 days out from my marathon, my hamstring and butt started to hurt. Not just a phantom taper pain hurt, but something was wrong. I delayed saying anything, hoping it would be a quick fix. Truthfully, I also didn’t want unsolicited internet advice about it would be fine and it was just “taper pain”. It wasn’t me exaggerating; I was in pain.

Dr. Craig from Dr. Kemenosh worked on my legs and butt the last few days using active release. I was also able to make an appointment with Dr. Lisko.

There just wasn’t the time to get me back to running a marathon. I could have probably run. I might have been able to run the entire marathon, but there was a greater chance I would have to stop and walk due to my hamstring. There was also a chance, 26.2 miles of downhill running would lead to a torn hamstring. I knew the chance of me leaving the race, having not finished, something torn, or limping, was far greater than me finishing healthy.

What’s the point? Why put myself through 26.2 miles of pain? The marathon would be miserable, I wouldn’t run well, and I would take longer to recover. I would be out for months. So while the weekend wasn’t “the best ever”, I don’t have any regrets about skipping the marathon.

When I decided to forgo the Big Cottonwood Marathon, the race I spent 16 weeks training for, I didn’t take it lightly. It’s hard not to show up. To not feel like a failure.

Throughout my running and especially in my early twenties, I’ve been injured multiple times with many different injuries. This is the closest I’ve come to being injured race day without it happening during a race. (I broke my tibia during the Allen Stone-Run-Swim-Run in 2011).

The older I get, the more I realize running isn’t everything and never will be. I’m a big proponent of having other hobbies. Other hobbies that don’t relate to running or your “central hobby.”

If all you do is eat, breath, sleep, running, and suddenly it’s taken away from you, you have nothing. The same can be said about anything. If all you do is eat, breath, sleep, sewing…and it’s taken away from you, you have nothing. (and no, social media doesn’t count).

That is why you see more and more professional athletes having other hobbies. Steph Bruce and Lauren Fleshman make Picky Bars. Des Linden brews coffee. You need an outside hobby that doesn’t have you mindlessly scrolling social media, comparing and wishing it was you.

Last Wednesday was my final decision day, and when it came, my decision was easy. It was a no. An easy no. Not a tearful no. Just a no. A not worth it to go no. A do what’s best for me, no.

It’s funny, because I haven’t cried people have mistaken that as “not caring”. I am sad I didn’t race but I know it’s not the end of the world. There are more important issues in the world than not running a marathon.  Do I feel like I wasted the summer training? Not really, I would have still run. I wouldn’t have done 15+ mile long runs, but I would have still run.

After coming to terms with it, my day went on. I felt like I was in a fog, but I had other things to keep me busy.

By the time I knew it, I went to bed and moved on. Thursday and Friday were challenging, and my phone notified me I had missed my flight. I felt a quick sadness but moved on from that too. As the weekend progressed, I tried to stay busy. I went on a date with my husband and enjoyed a walk in Wissahickon.

Sometimes, you have to make hard decisions. Do I want to be injured for a couple of weeks or a couple of years? Would I feel satisfaction in running a 5-hour marathon, when two weeks ago I was in shape to run a 3:15?

So where does this leave me running wise?

I decided I would take two weeks completely off from running. That was my plan after the marathon anyway. Why not start it a week ago? I can walk with minimal to no pain, but the moment I try and run my right hamstring/glute says no. Sitting for long periods also hurts.

I’m still planning to take another week off from running and see where it takes me. If I’m 100% healthy with two weeks off, I’ll find something to salvage my season. (I’m not going to jump into high mileage again…). If I’m not 100% healthy with two weeks off, I’ll give it whatever time it needs to be 100% healthy. Plus, probably get an X-ray to cover my bases.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out, it does mean a lot.

Questions for you:

Have you ever DNS a race?

Has anyone else had hamstring issues?

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Shoe Review

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Shoe Review

The Nike Zoom Fly has been a staple since the Nike Fast Shoes like the Vaporfly and Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo came out. Of the three Nike Shoes, the Nike Zoom Fly 3 is the “most affordable.” After enjoying the original Nike Zoom Fly, I wasn’t sure if I would ever get around to doing a Nike Zoom Fly 3 Review.

I choose to get the “Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise” which is a different color of the Nike Zoom Fly 3.

I skipped running in the second generation of the Nike Zoom Fly but was in the minority of people who liked and appreciated the original Zoom Fly.

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise Shoe Review

The Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise Fit:

The most significant change to the Nike Zoom Fly comes in the upper. If you’ve run in previous versions of the Nike Zoom Fly, you’ll notice the new VaporWeave Upper (like the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2)

What is Vaporweave?

VaporWeave is the engineered mesh upper material which is made of plastics, specifically TPU and TPE. (TPE is also used in Yoga mats…neat!) Compared to the previous Flyknit upper material, Vaporweave is much more breathable, lightweight, and doesn’t absorb as much rain or moisture. If you run in a torrential downpour, your feet are less likely to be soggy. The lacing system makes you feel secure in place, and your feet aren’t sliding around.

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise Shoe Review

The Nike Fly 3 Rise Ride:

The original Nike Zoom Fly was a staple workout shoe for me in 2017 and a good portion of 2018. I did a lot of workouts in the Zoom Fly.

The midsole of the Nike Zoom Fly 3 has gone through a few changes with the update. Nike has added more React foam with a higher stack height. What do more React Foam and higher stack height mean?  The Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise is now slightly heavier but also has a low heel to toe drop (from 10 mm to 8 mm).

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise Shoe Review

The difference between the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 and the Zoom Fly 3 is the lack of carbon plate in the Pegasus Turbo. The full-length Carbon Fiber plate is still there in the Zoom Fly 3 Rise. Together with the Nike React foam, the Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise feels faster and more responsive. My favorite addition to the Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise is the rubber traction. You are far less likely to slide around than previous versions.

Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise Shoe Review

It’s a great workout shoe, racing shoe, or even a full marathon racing shoe. I could see myself doing any of the three. I’ve run a few hard runs in the Zoom Fly 3 Rise and enjoyed the ride.

Nike Fly 3 Rise Conclusions:

Of the Nike Vaporfly (Next%), Nike Pegasus Turbo 2, and the Nike Zoom Fly 3, the Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise is the cheapest and most durable. It’s designed to either race or train hard. If you are looking for a faster workout shoe, the Nike Zoom Fly 3 Rise is a great option. From the durability to the fit, it is definitely an improvement over the previous versions.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Brooks Ghost 12

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProHoka Rincon, Nike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races:  Reebok Run fast Pro

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

What is your go-to fast shoe?

What is your favorite running shoe? 


New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

It’s funny; I thought I had written a review of the New Balance 880v9. I’ve been running in the shoe for a few months now, but when I looked back at previous blog posts, I realized I have not.

Before last year, I didn’t run a lot in New Balance. For whatever reason, New Balance didn’t feel that comfortable to me. Recently, however, I’ve found myself enjoying a lot of New Balance shoes, including the New Balance 1080v9 and the New Balance Fuel Cell Rebel.

The New Balance 880 is one of the most popular neutral shoes out there. The updated New Balance 880v9 is equally as good.

The New Balance 880v8 got a big update with looks and feel so the NB 880v9 didn’t get a drastic of an update. If you like version 8, chances are version 9 will feel similar.

New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

New Balance 880v9 Quick Stats:

Weight: 8.9 ounces

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 10 mm

New Balance 880v9 Fit

If you’ve never worn the New Balance 880, it fits true to size. There is plenty of room to spread your toes. Typically I wear between a women’s 10-11 wide, and the 10.5 fits well.  The upper is seamless so that if you have bunions or wider forefront, it fits well.

The New Balance 880v9 continues to use the engineered mesh upper, which allows your feet room to breath. This year, the 880 has less structure in the toe box, so your feet have more room. You always want your toes to have plenty of space.  The general rule of running shoes is you want a secure fit in the midfoot and heel, but plenty of space in the toe box.

New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

New Balance 880v9 Ride:

The Ride of the New Balance  880v9 hasn’t changed much since the New Balance 880v8. If you like the New Balance 880 series, you will probably appreciate the v9. New Balance still uses their “TRUFUSE foam midsole” The “TRUFUSE” combines or fuses the New Balance foams: “Abzorb” and “Acteva.”

The bottom layer, Abzorb, is thicker with a higher compression resistance. It’s designed to absorb shock better. The top layer, Acteva, is 12% lighter than EVA and provides cushion without weight. Throughout the last few years, New Balance shoes, especially the New Balance 880, has gotten lighter and “less clunky.”

What does this mean?

The New Balance 880 is a lightweight and responsive shoe. You’re able to do easy runs or faster runs. For me, it fits well into a daily run shoe. I like the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel for speed work, and a bit more cushion like the New Balance 1080v9 for recovery runs.

New Balance 880v9 Conclusion:

The New Balance 880 has remained similar from v8 to v9. If you’ve liked previous versions, you’re likely to appreciate the 9th version too. It reminds me of the staple running shoe; you know won’t change much. You can rely on it.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Hoka Mach 2,

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Mizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races:  Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked all about hydration.

In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

What is one of your running shoe staples?

Have you run in New Balance before? 


1812 Challenge (2:09.40/7:09 pace)

1812 Challenge (2:09.40/7:09 pace)

18.12 Challenge

My husband and I decided to fly to the 1812 Challenge. We’ve never done anything like that before, and truthfully I didn’t know how it would affect my race wise. We rarely get a long span of days together, so the weekend was more about having fun. It wasn’t about the flight or the race but having an enjoyable weekend together.

The flight to Watertown went without issue. We arrived the day before and picked up our packets for the 1812 Challenge around 3 pm. There is a half marathon, 18.12 Challenge, and 5k.

I wanted to use the 18.12 Challenge is my last long run before the Big Cottonwood Marathon. I haven’t felt that confident with running the previous 16 months, and I didn’t know what to expect.

Why was it called the 1812 Challenge Race? The 1812 challenge is a nod to the War of 1812 and the significant military presence in Fort Drum.  Runners can choose to run either 18.12 miles, 13.1, or a 5k. There is something for everyone.

The morning of, I arrived at the race around 7, walked around a bit and before I knew it we were off. I didn’t feel the need to warm up because 18 miles is a long way to go. I planned to run by feel but make sure I didn’t take it out too fast. The ultimate goal was to feel strong at the end, which I thought would be around 7:30 pace.

The half marathon and 18.12 challenge go off together. I found myself in a pack of 7 women and also a few men. Out of the first pack, I was 7 out of 7.

The first four miles all head out together. During the first mile, two of my gels fell out of my pocket.

My first lesson of the day: don’t stuff my gels in my pockets. I’ve done it before in other shorts, but these are the shorts for that.

The second lesson of the day: is with the new updates on the Coros watch. I didn’t start it properly and ended up running about a mile without a watch. I pressed the manual button and got on track after the first mile.

Better to get that out of the way now, than the marathon.

We hit the second mile in 7:18. I thought it was probably too fast for my current fitness but I just kind of plugged along. I wasn’t sure who was running the half marathon and who was running the 18.12 challenge. The six women in front of me could have done either. My goal wasn’t to win, and I didn’t even know it was in the cards. (Last year the race was won by a woman running 6:24 pace).

I hit mile 3 in 7:33, which felt doable. I grabbed Gatorade at the water stop. I take Gatorade/electrolytes at every stop that I don’t have a gel (for any race 10 miles and above).

Around mile 5, the half marathons and 18.12 challengers split. To my surprise, only one other woman went towards the 18.12 challenge race.  Like anyone, I know the importance of not judging any racer, but I was shocked. The other woman was slightly in front of me, and we just proceeded on. I hit mile 5 in 7:40, which was slower than I was hoping. I thought, is the end? Am I fading? I took one gel (the only one that didn’t fall out) and just continued.

Around mile 6, I found myself in a mini pack of myself, the other women, and a male. It was windy, and there were a few small elevation gains, but it was beautiful.

The next three miles of the 18.12 challenge were just me, focused on getting to mile 9 where they said there were be Gu packets. After 2 of mine falling out of my pocket, I knew it was a stop I shouldn’t miss. Could I finish 18.12 race miles without any more fuel? Probably. Would it be pleasant? No. I hit mile 6-9 all in 7:22.

We ran on several quiet main roads just looking at (and smelling LOL) the farmland. At mile 9, there was a stop, and I thought it was where we would find gels. When I asked, they said that was a different stop. Immediately, I began to worry there might not be a a stop with gels. Would I be out of luck?

The next mile of the 18.12 challenge race felt like it took forever. We had a slight headwind, and all I could think about was: would there be gels? I felt regret for not going back and picking mine up.

Around mile 10-11, we met back up with half marathoners. I quickly realized we would be on the same roads for most of the rest of the race. I didn’t mind, but it would be congested at water stations.  At the next water stop, they had gels. Wahoo! I have never been more excited for an aid station. I grabbed two and a cup of water.

I looked down like I had drawn lottery cards: which flavors did I get? Strawberry banana and cameral? The caramel had caffeine, so I decided that would be my next gel. Unfortunately, my hands were slightly sticky, and I couldn’t get it open. So I just decided to take the strawberry banana and worry about the other gel later.

It was also around mile 10, I realized I didn’t really “feel that bad,” and the race was going by fast. I was surprised because I was already halfway done. I was still running with the mini-pack of three people.

The next few miles of the 18.12 challenge race went by faster. I didn’t feel like I picked it up, but around mile 13, I realized it was just myself and the other male. The female wasn’t with us anymore. I thought to myself: there might be someone far ahead or I might be winning.  I have no idea, but it would be so cool to win. I’ve won several races but not many in the last year and it’s always a fun experience.

I know one thing about my running, is I don’t have a kick. If I was going to win, I had to be pretty far ahead in the last mile. There have been many times someone has outkicked me. If you are next to me in the last mile, you will probably outkick me.

Around mile 14, I found myself running alone. I was weaving around half marathoners, but the roads were open and there was plenty of space. At mile 15, we had a few small inclines, and I just focused on climbing. I still had energy in the tank, which is exactly how I wanted to feel.

I took what was left of the last gel and just focused on the end. I told myself: a 5k to go. You have done this many times. I saw one of my college teammates around 17 which was awesome.

I made the mistake of glancing back behind me and seeing a woman in all black gaining on me. The woman I was previously running with was also wearing all black. I thought for sure it was the same woman. I thought to myself: Hollie you’ve been doing well if you are winning you don’t want to let someone outkick you in the final mile.

That’s when I found another gear. I was already hurting, but man did I hurt more the last mile. I was just focused on the end. When I passed my husband, he said later; he had never seen me look that determined in a race. My last mile was 6:50, and I crossed in 2:09.40.

me running winning 18.12 challenge

We crossed with the half marathoners, and I had no idea if I had won or not. The volunteers weren’t even sure. About 15 minutes later, I looked at results, and it had me as the first woman. Then later, I realized the woman I “thought I saw” was someone else. Nothing like that, to light a fire under your butt. HA!

The 18.12 Challenge Race was my best race of this training cycle. My goal was to finish strong and not make it a positive split, for positive people race. I did that and finished stronger than I thought possible.  I’m happy we decided to come up and run.

me running winning 18.12 challenge

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.  This week is all about fueling. 

Questions for you:

Do you have a good kick?

Have you ever done an obscure race distance? 


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