Training: 5ks and Rain

Training: 5ks and Rain

Another week of training in the books. Despite not racing, I had good workouts.  To be honest, I haven’t hated “not racing” recently.

I’ve enjoyed waking up, running my own 5k, and getting on with my day. I still show up, work hard, but in the comfort of my own time. There haven’t been a lot of races lately locally anyway.  Recently, I haven’t particularly wanted to drive 90 minutes round trip. I haven’t been feeling it.

Monday: .1 outdoors/easy 60 minutes treadmill
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 6X800 with 400 jog in between
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: 5k (20:01) 6:37, 6:21, 6:26
Sunday: Long Run (14 miles)

Thoughts:

Last Monday, I was in Albany. We had gotten some snow overnight.  When I lived in NYS, I ran outdoors before, so I wanted to be “badass” and run outside again.  That was a terrible idea, and it ended like this:

The rest of my daily runs were easy.  Nothing of note.

Workout Wednesday: 6×800 averaging 6:10 pace with 400 jog in between.

I wanted to get a good 800 workout in. When I started running there was no snow, but it looked like it may snow. In the end, the snow was coming down hard, and there was a lot on the ground. By the end of the day, we had a good 3-4 inches.

As far as the workout, I felt decent. My legs still don’t feel like they have a lot of pep, but they don’t feel bad either.

Lonely 5k: (20:01) 6:37, 6:21, 6:26

I had other plans this weekend to run the Frostbite 5 Miler. Things changed and driving 90 minutes round trip wouldn’t fit in, so I ran at home. I’m not entirely sure my watch didn’t pick up, and I ran a little long, but that’s ok.

Long Run: 14 miles at 8:13 pace

It was pouring rain, 45 degrees. The East Coast racing favorite!  On paper, 8:13 pace doesn’t seem that “fast,” but I negative split and had a quality run all around.

Thoughts:

In all, I had a good week. I’m not racing as much, but I don’t mind. As I look more into the Spring, I’ve realized this might be more of a stepback season for me. I’ll still run and race, but I’ll see where it takes me.

Finally, the second newsletter comes out today. It’s all about different models of racing flats.  The newsletter has moved towards the running industry trends, while my blog remains about my personal life.  You can subscribe here.

Posts from the Week:

Saving Time with Sweat Earth

Tools to Recover

Hiking Anderson Lake County Park

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

Saving Time with Sweet Earth

Saving Time with Sweet Earth

Recently I was given the opportunity to try Sweet Earth burritos and bowls.  Between life and work, there are some days I’m out of my house for 12+ hours a day.  Am I the busiest person? No. But do I find myself stopping somewhere and spending 20+ dollars for a meal if I don’t pack enough food? Always.

When Sweet Earth gave me the opportunity to try their burritos and bowls, I jumped at it.  Storage is easy, and they sit in my freezer until I pack one.  The burritos take about 2 minutes to cook in the microwave, and the bowls take about 3-4. It’s not like you’re taking time to cook.

Curry Tiger Sweet Earth

About Sweet Earth:

  • All foods are vegan/vegetarian and packed with plant-based protein.  I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but it’s nice to occasionally have a meatless meal.
  • Sweet Earth is environmentally friendly. They only choose ingredients that sustain and protect our coast. Along with good tasting products, the food is also sustainable.
  • Sweet Earth also listens to customer feedback. They’ve grown and adapted with new flavors, vibrant colors, and complex textures.

So Anyway a Few Products I’ve Tried:

Curry Tiger:

My favorite is the Curry Tiger which contains lentils, curried seitan, red peppers, and potatoes.  Lentils are one of my favorite foods, so I enjoyed it. It keeps me full for a while thanks to the potatoes as well.

Chana Marsala:

My favorite bowl so far has been the Marsala which has turmeric rice with chickpeas, curry seitan, potatoes, and peas all in an Indian Marsala Sauce. I had never had seitan before this, and it was good!  I found myself full for most the day. Sweet Earth food

They have dozens of more products to try, and all are vegan and vegetarian, made from sustainable and healthy good. Fast doesn’t mean unhealthy, and that is something I appreciate.

Saving Time Other Ways:

When I have a full plate of things to do during the day, saving minutes even hours, has helped me.

  • Eliminate all distractions for a set time:  If I’m working on important information or even writing, I turn off distractions. I put my cell phone in another area and turn off any notifications.  I’ve found I can get work done 50% faster and save minutes or even hours just by putting my cell phone somewhere else. Thank goodness, I went to college in a time cell phones weren’t “a big thing.”
  • Plan each day: Every morning before I go for a run or leave, I write down what I want to accomplish for the day. It takes 5 minutes but my mind is clear, and it’s much easier to get things done when I have a plan.
  • Small Tasks First: Anything I can do within 5 minutes, I do first. I might cross ten things in 20 minutes and then spend 2 hours doing the next.
  • Stop Multitasking: It seems counterintuitive, but for me, if I focus on one thing at a time I get it done much faster. Focusing on multiple things at once, means I slowly finish things.
  • Set a Timeline for Research: Often I don’t know the answer to something, so I need to research. That can lead to mindless internet browsing…how did I get on this cat webpage? Something I recently started was setting a timeline. Once my set limit is done, I go back to doing what I was doing. It’s amazing how you can somehow complete a task in less time when you give yourself less time.

Thanks to Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods for sponsoring this post!  You can find Sweet Earth at your local Kroger (my favorite grocery store LOL), Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Frys, King Scoopers, Marianos and more.  Plus nationwide.

Questions for you:

How do you eat healthy while out?

How do you save time during the day? 

Tools to Recover

Tools to Recover

Like easy runs and rest, recovery is often overlooked with training.

Without rest and recovery, you won’t be able to run.  I’ve started to up my mileage and lately I’ve felt like I can’t get enough recovery.

Soon March through May will be busy racing months, so it’s important to take rest seriously.

My mantra for 2019 is a la Des Linden: to Just Show Up.  From the good, bad, the PR, and personal worst, I’ll be there.

This means I’m packing up my race schedule to try and find my speed legs. Nothing more than a half, but recovery is as important.

There are plenty of recovery items from compression sleeves to foam rollers that look like rollerblades….but what works and what doesn’t?

I’m not being paid to tell you about any of these products; it’s just what I use on a personal level.

Tools to Recover:

Like running shoes, what works for me might not work for you.

CEP Compression Sleeves and Tights:

CEP Sleeves:

I’ve been wearing CEP compression sleeves for years. My calves are my problem area, and I need to stretch and promote blood flow as much as possible. Compression sleeves allow more blood to flow to calves and shins. Therefore, calves (as well as shins) recover faster.

Compression sleeves can benefit anyone for faster recovery.  There isn’t much (if any?) downside to them, it’s just important to get the right size as well as medical grade compression.  Personally, I don’t wear them 24-7 but I do wear them frequently while running as well as after running.

I frequently wear them during races as well as after a hard run or race.  I’ve been known to wear them under leggings and have a nice tan line through the summer.  I’ve also written a post dedicated only to compression. 

me running fall

Why CEP Brand?

  • I like CEP because they are medical grade compression. Medical grade compression means unlike many other brands, they have “medical grade” compression. Medical grade compression are designed to move blood flow.  The most common support come:
  • mild (8-15 mmHg),
  • Medium (15-20 mmHg),
  • Firm (20-30 mmHg) CEP
  • X-Firm (30-40 mmHg)

They aren’t simply an expensive tube sock to make you look cool.

CEP Tights:
More often than not my quads get sore after a hard workout or race. The compression capris have the same compression as the sleeves but geared towards the quads and hamstrings.

I’ve worn them while running, and I’ve also worn them to recover in. I don’t wear them as much as the sleeves, but I do wear them after hard workouts and races.

Roll Recovery: R8

The Roll Recovery R8 is the most expensive piece of equipment I purchased but, to be honest; it ‘s worth it. It’s $120 (the average cost of shoes).

I haven’t found anything that can get as deep into the muscle. When I foam roll myself, I never get as deep as needed. Since the R8 clamps on to your leg, it goes as deep as possible. It takes the guesswork away from you. While it’s expensive, I do think it’s better than any other foam roller I’ve tried. I do use my Roll Recovery R8 more than any other foam roller I’ve purchased…(read: I use my R8).

As I tell anyone, foam rollers are only as good as you use them.

Epsom Salt Baths and Ice Baths:

Admittedly, I’m not always as good at this as I would like. I prefer Epsom salt baths because I do feel relaxed afterward. I just feel cold and miserable after ice baths.

Active Release Therapy: (ART): 

ART is expensive, but it does keep me healthy.  Locally, I prefer Dr. Kemenosh and his team because they’ve worked on my issues since my second marathon.  I try and go at least once a month.

Essentially, ART releases knots in my muscles too deep for me to do personally. Deeper than I can get with a foam roller or R8. Over time, they build up. I think that’s what keeps me from having a lot of muscle injuries (knock on wood).

active release technique

Cryotherapy:

On Tuesday, I tried Cyrotherapy for the first time ever.  I was so nervous to try cryo because I hate the cold. The theory for cryotherapy is by immersing the body in extremely cold air for several minutes, your body will have all of the benefits of an ice bath but in a shorter amount of time.

You stand upright in an enclosed chamber.  Your head in the only thing out! Then the space drops to anywhere between -100-300.  The first time I went, it dropped to about -160.  It was cold, but I didn’t find it unbareable or the worst thing ever. I didn’t enjoy standing in a freezing cold tube for 3 minutes, but I do feel better after doing so.  If you’re local I went to Innovations Health and Wellness in Hamilton, NJ. Will I do it again? Yes, I do feel less sore than before I went.

Those are just a few things I’m using but there are always more. These days in the running world, there are more recovery tools than running shoes!

If you are looking for more running related news subscribe to my free newsletter that goes out once a week on Mondays.

Questions for you:
How do you recover from a hard workout?
Do you like to take baths?  Have you tried cryotherapy? 

Training: Just Showing Up

Training: Just Showing Up

Last week was another quality week of training. I’m slowly building mileage up. There are a few things I need to also do improve (ie eat a bit healthier as well as strength training) but not for now, I’m happy to start building the mileage up.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 3X1 mile repeats (6:30, 6:40, 6:10)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Lonely 5k: 19:52 (6:27, 6:22, 6:24)
Sunday: 14 mile Progressive Long Run (Albany, NY)

 Thoughts:

One of my major goals this spring is to just show up.  Whether that means going to a race, or running a hard 5k myself, I’m looking to building speed. I’m not in the best shape ever, or even great shape but I know I have to push myself to get there.  Speed is relative, and while a 20 minute 5k is a PR for some, it’snot for me. If an Olympian ran a 17:59 minute 5k they would feel out of shape, and that is a dream for me…so it’s all relative.

Monday and Tuesday were challenging because of the weather (snow and ice) but I was able to get out there and get a great workout in.

Workout Wednesday: 3X1 mile with 2 minutes rest (6:30, 6:40, 6:10)

I’m happy with my effort on Wednesday.  It was extremely windy and my legs felt meh at best but I was able to just get it done. You can see the direction the wind went.

Lonely 5k: 19:52

The only local 5k was in Newark, Delaware. I had contemplated driving the 50 minutes there and back but I also knew we were going up to New York state in the afternoon and it was too much driving for me.  So I ran my own 5k and it went well. Granted the weather was better, but I ran 40 seconds faster than a sanctioned race last week.  Ha! My splits were 6:27, 6:22, 6:24.   Truthfully, I felt like I was dying the last mile so I was surprised to be under 20.

View this post on Instagram

Ran another solo 5k today. . 19:51| (6:27, 6:22, 6:24)

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Long Run: 14 miles averaging 8:05 pace

While in the greater Albany, NY area I ran 14 miles on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Trail. Not all of it was clear from snow but there was enough that with a few out and backs, I was able to get a good long run in. It was 10 degrees but it never felt “too bad”.  I felt good during the entire run and was able to pick it up with the last half averaging under 8 minutes.  Since leaving New York state over 5 years ago, I’m amazed at how low my tolerance for cold has become.

Posts from the Week:

Hiking Los Robles Trail and Open Space

How to Run with Your Significant Other

New Balance 1080 Shoe Review

Finally, for those who don’t know, I’ve started a newsletter. Throughout the next few weeks, my blog is going to go back to my life, race recaps, diners, and hiking.

I will still post shoe reviews but my newsletter will be where I’ll post content relevant and interesting like running industry trends, etc. It will remain free with the hopes to get sponsors on board to sponsor the newsletter.  I think the newsletter will benefit people more than my personal life because it will have more information that is relevant to you (the subscriber). As someone who works in the industry, I have a much bigger knowledge base of shoes, gear, and industry trends. Thank you to everyone who has already subscribed and shared, it really does mean a lot!

You can subscribe here.

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

How do you bust out of a running rut?

How to Run with your Significant Other

How to Run with your Significant Other

First, happy Valentines Day! Are you celebrating with a run?  LOL, or maybe not but anyway.

As most people know, my husband and I met through running. It’s a hobby we both share. You read the full story here. We both ran long before we knew each other. We aren’t always running together, and there are months we don’t run at all together, but there are also months we run many easy runs.

He is a faster runner, and there are very few periods that we run the same pace, but it is enjoyable to share that time with him. Running allows us to share uninterrupted time together. During the day, it’s hard to find these uninterrupted moments.

How to Run with your Significant Other

Many readers have asked: How do you run with your significant other? Or Could you share some tips to make running with a partner more enjoyable?

Keep in mind, running together is not always sunshine and butterflies. I can remember a significant moment in our running relationship. It was our first long run together. I’m a very chatty runner and if you’ve run with me (or even raced), you know I’m yapping all the way. My husband, however, is much quieter when he runs. This took us a few runs to figure out.

We started off doing a 15 mile run in San Antonio, Texas (near where we lived). All of a sudden he was running a few steps in front of me and silent. I began getting irrationally upset. Why were even running together? It was just silence. I continued to get more and more upset until finally I snapped and said:

“I’m tired of this dude running. Men just run in a single file straight line don’t talk much. Women don’t do that”.

(Yes, I called it dude running because it’s exactly how men run together. Silent, in a single line, and then they say it’s quality bonding time).

At the time, I didn’t know his life and running habits, and he didn’t fully know mine. Since then, we’ve had no more escalated running arguments, but my point is: it’s important to know any trainer partners habits.  He wasn’t angry, mad, or sad, that’s just how he ran.

So How do We Run Together?

The Short Answer:

We both put on running shoes and move one foot in front of the other.

The Long Answer:

Easy Runs:

More often than not, we run easier mileage together. I’ll speed up my pace 10-15 seconds per mile, and he slows down a bit. We agree to try and meet halfway.  That being said, my husband uses a watch even less than I do so we aren’t that numbers-oriented about paces.

Workouts:

We don’t do hard efforts together because our workout paces are not the same. He is a faster runner and also has different goals. (I like 5k-13.1 while he likes 5k-10k).

Occasionally he will do a tempo run with me, but that is the extent of workouts together.  Has he ever done a 400, mile, or hard track workout with me?  Absolutely not.  I know I go from nice to mean in 10 seconds, and so does he.

Racing:

We both like going to races. This year, my goal for racing a la Des Linden is “just show up.”   The fast, the slow, the good, and the bad, I want to be there.  Races for me, are always better workouts than workouts alone.

For us, going to races is quality time we spend together as well. We sign up for races together but the critical part here is we don’t race together.

We will warm up and cool down together, but when the clock goes off, we race to our own standards and feeling. The majority of the time, we do not stay together.

Racing for you is important because if one person is faster, it will create problems to stay on the course together. Part of being with a fellow runner is that you can’t expect to stay together or feel the same every race.

Does it stink to be dropped by your husband or a training partner during a race?

Of course, but that is the nature of the sport. We support each other, good or bad race.  I think this is important for any group running a race together. Someone will feel better, and someone will feel worse. Let them go and don’t be offended. You would want them to let you go too, and you’re still friends (or married at the finish line).

Don’t Be a Sore Winner or Loser.

There is no point to “racing” your significant other.  I remember one of my husband’s best races in 2017, the Double Bridges 15k. He ran a good amount with me and dropped me like I was standing still. I was so happy for him because he had no business lollygagging with me.  We both crossed the finish, and we were still married.

Running with a significant other can be a fun and pleasant experience. I know my husband, and I are fortunate we get to share that.

Finally, don’t force or guilt them into running with you. Don’t take anything personally; sometimes your spouse doesn’t want to run.  Some days I just want my me time and so does he.  That’s okay too!

Questions for you:

Do you workout with your significant other?

How are you spending Valentine’s Day? 

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