Training: Grinding and 5ks

Training: Grinding and 5ks

My training last week went as needed. I got in a speed workout, moderate long run, and heck even a race.  For the most part, my runs felt decent, but I have a long way to go, fitness wise.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 6X800 with 800 jog in between
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Cupids Chase 5k (20:32)
Sunday: Long Run (14 miles averaging 7:59)


My easy runs were just that, easy. There was nothing of note.

Workout Wednesday: 6X800 averaging 6:30 with easy 800 jog in between

This workout went by slow. So slow.

At the first rep, I told myself I couldn’t do it. At the second, I said omg 1/3 of the way. By three, I was like ok halfway…both four and five seemed just to blur away and then six I was like hurry the F up, you’re almost done.  It’s not as fast as I was this time last year, I know I can get there.

Cupids Chase 5k: 20:32

Even though the course was long, it still stinks to see a time over 20 minutes when I’ve recently run 5k workouts by myself under 20. The day itself was cold and windy.

During the first mile, I ran with a local friend, and we split about a 6:20. There was a huge ice patch across the course, and I ran all the way around through cold, wet, grass. It definitely cost me a few seconds. I hit the turnaround at 9:45 and thought, wow this will be pretty good. I didn’t feel bad, or like I was dying. Then I ran the second mile in 6:30. The final mile went back over the ice patch, which I seemed to take the longest route possible to go around it. Instead of just heading back to the start, we turned left and did a short out and back which made the course about .1 long. We did the same thing last year, but the halfway cones were about 1.5 not 1.55. As I crossed the finish line, the shoot was deflating because of wind. Am I ecstatic about a 20:32? Not really but it is what it is. I had a great time seeing friends who I haven’t in a while.

14 Mile Long Run: 7:59 pace

I wanted a quality run without speed, or a tempo mixed in.  Adding more speed right now would be a recipe for an injury, but I also didn’t want to run easy for 14 miles.  During training, 8-minute miles never feel easy to me. I always feel as though I’m working hard.  Not sprinting, and I can hold a conversation but it doesn’t feel easy or like a recovery run. The run went by fast and I had an enjoyable time.


I’m looking forward to building fitness and getting back out there. I have about a month until anything big (Shamrock) half marathon. I know it’s next to impossible to get back to a Pr by then, but I’ll consistently grind and see where it takes me.

Posts of the Week:

Collagen Waffle Recipe

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy

Coros Apex Watch Review

Hiking Marin Headlands

Questions for you:

Would you prefer a long race course or short?

I would prefer long.

What was your best workout last week?

Collagen Waffle Recipe

As most readers know, I’ve been a Vital Proteins Ambassador for just over a year now. Last month, I posted about the results I’ve seen in my own personal life.  I’ve also posted about my hair, skin, and nails as well.

There are some days that I’m lazy and don’t want to cook a fancy meal for dinner. Maybe I’m cooking for one, maybe I’m exhausted from work, or maybe I just want breakfast for dinner.

What the case is, I’ve found an easy way to sneak collagen into waffles. I haven’t tried adding collagen in a waffle for breakfast. I think it would be fine but I’ve had good luck with having the same waffle and peanut butter for years before running (or anything), so why change now.

If you’re looking for an easy waffle recipe and to get collagen to try this.  I’m not foodie, but I’ve been to enough diners to know I like a crisper versus soggy waffle.

Collagen Waffle Recipe:

1 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
2 scoops Unflavored Collagen PeptidesVital proteins hot cocoa collagen


  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Add egg and milk in bowl and mix together.
  3. Then add flour, oil, sugar, baking powder, and collagen powder.
  4. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and pour mix.

How easy is that?  I topped mine with syrup, but there are so many options from peanut butter to yogurt, to fruit.

One of my goals in 2019 is trying to add it to various baked goods and breakfast items.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite breakfast? 

Have you tried collagen into any recipes? 

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy

As runners, we all want to run more and stay healthy.  I used to have the firm belief of more=better.  Over the last year and a half, my personal life has gotten much busier. I don’t have the time to dedicate for more and more and more. And that’s okay!  Plus, more is not always better.  I’m doing less than many earlier years and I’ve PRed in both the half and full marathon.

When you begin running, it’s important to increase slowly. I’ve increased mileage too fast, only to pay the price with an injury.

After my post about my personal struggles with injury, a few people asked, how can you increase mileage and stay healthy?

Please remember, I’m not the “be all end all” of advice, and it’s important to remember what works for you might not work for everyone.  This is just what has worked for me.

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy

How to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy:

Slow and Steady Wins the Race:

If you increase your mileage too quickly, you will get injured and be sidelined.  Follow the 10% increase in mileage.  If you ran 40 miles last, adding 10% will give you 44.

I wasn’t always great with this, and I believe it’s what led to one of my fractures. After 2016, my mileage dropped, and I’ve stayed more healthy.

Decrease with your Increase

This step has multiple parts

Part 1: Recovery Week:

Every few weeks, it’s important to take a recovery week.  It’s the golden rule, but your body must rest and recover to build muscle, speed, and endurance.  Personally, I like to add 1-2 more rest days and drop 1 or both of my speed workouts.  If you continue to increase all of the time, your body will break from an overuse injury.

Over the last three months of training, I’ve had something pop up at least once a week, sometimes twice.  Sudden events have forced a rest day due to “not enough time”. By that, I mean I chose sleep so I can give 100% in other areas in my life.  Most days, it isn’t worth it to me to get 5 hours of sleep, so I can wake up for a run. I’m miserable for the rest of the day.

Part 2: Decrease Your Speed with Increased Mileage

Reducing speed is an important but overlooked fact.  You can’t run the same speed while running 10 miles a week and running 100.  Sprinting a 100-mile week will result in massive fatigue, exhaustion and ultimately injury.

While I didn’t run 100-mile weeks, too much speed is the reason for my first stress fracture.  I ran all of my runs too fast, and my body broke. I was running about 50 miles a week, and more fatigued than when I used to run 70-80.  Now, I rarely even time my easy days. I run with friends, or on a known route. I’ll run 10-minute miles, or 8…it really doesn’t matter as long as my body feels as though it’s easy.

If you are worried about pace for an easy run, remember, no one cares. Your ego shouldn’t be the deciding factor for running, but it definitely shouldn’t be your deciding factor for an easy run.  For most easy runs, I leave my GPS watch at home. Did I run 3.1 miles or 3.2?  9:04 pace or 9:06?  The world will never know…

Know your Limits

Injuries don’t typically come out of nowhere.  Know your personal weak spots. Running is a lifelong process, and it takes months to build a strong base.

You don’t build fitness in a day, and you don’t lose it either.

Don’t rush the process because you’ll be sidelined with a minor or major injury.  If you feel a small ache or pain, keep a mental note about it. Make sure it doesn’t increase or become worse.

Questions for you:
How many miles do you run weekly?
How do you stay injury free and healthy?

Coros Apex GPS Watch Review

In my quest to find a watch to meet my needs, I decided to try the Coros Apex GPS Watch.  The company, Coros, is a newer company on the GPS scene. They created two watches the Coros Apex and the Pace. I chose the Apex, because it has all of the same features of the Pace but has a “less sporty look”. I wanted a watch I could wear wherever.

Coros designed the Apex as a Multisport Watch for athletes who want to train harder, smarter, and more efficiently. Along with pace, distance, time, you can even create workouts specifically geared towards your fitness level and training needs.

1000s, 400s, mile repeats?  You got it!  (A key imprtance for me)

After a workout, you can easily upload your data to the Coros App. If you use Strava or Trainingpeaks, it will sync to that too.  It does everything a Garmin Forerunner will, and I believe everything the Garmin Fenix does too.

In exchange for an unbiased review, Coros gave me 50% off the watch.

Coros apex gps watch review


Right off the back, I liked the look of the watch. I like the sleekness of white but also the ability to change bands if I want too. Plus, it’s not a big, heavy, watch. Of any watch I’ve used, it’s by far the lightest.

I’m upgrading from the Garmin 220, so the Coros Apex has a lot of features.  Since I run, I’m most interested in the running and overall health features.  Before researching watches, I was unfamiliar with the brand Coros.  It’s a newer company but well known for running, cycling, and swimming.

As far as features go, the Apex is most similar to the Garmin 935.


The Apex is available in two different sizes, 42mm and 46mm.  I went with the smaller 42mm because I like a smaller watch that I can wear daily.  It looks sporty but not ultra-sporty.  It’s something I can get away with outside of the fitness world.

One thing I haven’t experimented with (yet), is the removable bands. Once the white gets dirty, I’m sure I’ll be changing bands.  I like pink so maybe that will be next.

Coros apex gps watch review

Battery Life:

It’s advertised to go about ten days on a single charge, and I’ve had success with that.  In fact, I only charged it once on my entire trip in California.  I wore it every day and used the GPS mode for either hiking or running.

Marin Headlands San Francisco

Hiking the Marin Headlands

It can also be in “Full GPS mode for 25 hours (or 35 with the larger 46 mm).  I have no need for that length of GPS, but if you are an ultra runner, I can see a huge benefit to not changing watches.  I appreciate I don’t have to charge it after every workout because I usually forget.


The Coros Apex Watch has a lot of features. Since I upgraded from a Garmin 220, it took me a while to get used to everything. In fact, I’m not fully used to everything just yet.

The important features to me were the ability to program a workout like 12X400 with 400 jog in between (or any track workout) as well as the essential time, distance, pace.  I liked the look of the Fitbit, but it could not program track workouts.

Seems simple right?  Believe me, the Coros Apex Watch has all of that and far far more.  I’m a basic runner and would prefer an “easy to use” watch versus one with 10,000 features that I didn’t use.  Luckily, the Apex Coros is both easy to use and has a ton of features.

Coros apex gps watch review

Here are just a few of many features:


  • Distance, pace, and speed (compared to other GPS brands, I’ve found it accurate
  • Entire Indoor/Treadmill Run Feature: I used Coros inside (my first time using a GPS watch inside ever), and the indoor GPS is accurate as well.
  • Heart Rate, Heart Rate Zone
  • Cadence and Stride Length (in real time)
  • Auto-lap, auto-pause
  • Ability to display more or less data on the screen:  Seeing the data is neat, but I personally don’t need to see it every second of my run. You can adjust the data screens to show more or less information.

The only issue, I’ve found with the Apex is, I’ve bumped it a couple of times and accidentally paused the watch (while still running). I wish there was a little more resistance on the side button, but it hasn’t been enough to make me dislike the watch or even be enough.


Keep in mind, I don’t cycle. At all! The Coros Apex does all of the cycling data too.

  • Distance, speed, HR, HR zone, and so on.


For the LOLZ, I decided to get back into the pool just to see what the Apex did.  Back in my day (omg I’m old…a decade ago), we had no GPS watches to track our collegiate swimming laps. To be honest that was probably good.  Moving forward, it was a whole new experience to get all of this information in the pool.  Like other sports, it did the following:

  • Distance, pace, stroke count,
  • I swam in the pool but you can differentiate between the pool and open water swimming.

Heart Rate Monitor:

I used the Heart Rate Monitor, and in comparison to my Fitbit, it’s pretty spot on. I didn’t have an issue, and the accuracy seemed right in line.

Coros apex gps watch review


While there isn’t a “hiking” GPS, I’ve been using running and it’s been accurate. A couple of cool hiking orientated features are the built in compass as well as altimeter (checking altitude). I’ve found myself using both regularly and it’s been an awesome addition to hikes.

Coros apex gps watch review

Coros apex gps watch review

Daily Factors and Sleep Tracking:

Sleep Tracking was a big feature for me.  I like the ability to track sleep on the Fitbit Versa.  I don’t think Garmin does a great job at it.  The Apex also has you standard activity and sleep tracking features.

I think the sleep tracking is far more accurate and better than Garmin.  I do believe, Fitbit sleep tracking is better.

Other Overall Wellness Features:

  •  Daily steps, active calories, exercise time (all fairly accurate and the steps was within 100 of what other trackers said)
  • Smart Notifications (I like to see texts or phone calls but have stopped notifications on social platforms (which I also do on my phone).
  • Elevation: I’ve enjoyed tracking the elevation for hiking.  When we went out to California, it was a lot of fun to track our climbing.

Overall Thoughts:

I like my Coros Apex Watch. I like the general design and the ability to wear it outside of fitness. I appreciate all of the features in the watch as well as it not being “big and bulky”.  It’s the smallest GPS watch I’ve seen on the market.

I know I don’t use every single feature, but the Apex marks all of the basic things I need (a basic GPS watch, that can be used for complex workouts, as well as being out and about). Coros, in general, flew under my radar until recently but if you are looking for a GPS watch, the Apex is one to consider.


  • Lightweight and slimmest GPS watch I’ve tried
  • Long battery life
  • Sleep Tracking
  • Built-in heart rate monitor
  • Bonus hiking features including altimeter and compass
  • So. Many. Features. (maybe too many for me, but there are a lot!)


  • Lack of music ability which many watches have at that price
  • The start/stop button for running can be finicky, and it is relatively easy to accidentally pause a run.

In finding a watch the Coros meets all of my needs. From tracking pace, distance, time, and workouts to hiking elevation, I haven’t found a feature it doesn’t have that I need.  Plus the overall look can’t be overlooked as a functional but cute watch.

If you are interested, you can use the code Hollie10 and receive 10% off the watch (which is $30).

Questions for you:

Do you wear a GPS watch? What kind?

What features are most important to you in a watch? 

Hiking Marin Headlands (San Francisco)

Hiking Marin Headlands (San Francisco)

Just north over the Golden Gate Bridge, are the Marin Headlands. My husband and I were looking for a longer and scenic hike, and so we chose to go up there. We visited during the government shutdown, which meant all of the bathrooms and buildings were closed, but you could still hike or run.  There are a bunch of hikes in Marin Headlands, as well as mountain bike trails, equestrians, and if you are bold enough, you can run the trail.

We decided to hike the perimeter. It’s an easy, wide trail, with the challenge being the elevation changes (about 1600 feet total).  While we saw people, it was never busy, or crowded.

This is about what we did: Lagoon Trail → Miwok Trail → Wolf Ridge Trail → Coastal Trail to Rodeo Beach.

The loop itself is 7.8 miles, but near the peak, you can walk to the peak which is just over .5.  It’s well worth the view and I would recommend it.


Marin Headlands San Francisco

The start:

Marin Headlands San Francisco

Marin Headlands San Francisco

We found a well en route

Marin Headlands San Francisco

You cant tell, but the incline is steep!

Marin Headlands San Francisco

We added about .5, to see the very top. This area is used for flying and the giant building in the middle is called a “VORTAC”.  Pilots can gauge where exactly they are in the air via these areas. It can be used in inclement weather when the aircraft is being flown solely from instruments (meaning the pilot is using modern technology to navigate).  You can read more about that here.

Marin Headlands San Francisco

Marin Headlands San Francisco

Eating a cookie at the top

Marin Headlands San Francisco

Marin Headlands San Francisco

Marin Headlands San Francisco

View this post on Instagram

If you hike 4 hours without cell service…did you even go?

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

In all, it was one of my favorite hikes of the trip. It was a beautiful open trail.  The terrain is not difficult, but the elevation and climbing are.

Other California Hikes:

Mini Trip to Los Angeles

Hiking Calavera Hills Community Park

You Can See All Hikes Here.

Questions for you:

East Coast rocky trails or West Coast smooth but more climbing trails…which do you prefer?


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