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Training: Back to NJ

Training: Back to NJ

Last week was just about assimilating back to New Jersey.  After getting food poisoning, this week was about getting back out there and just getting some easy runs in during the week.  Even though it meant about 2 weeks between races and speed work, it was necessary. I was exhausted from vacation, as well as getting over food poisoning.

It all worked out, and with extra sleep, easy miles, and focusing on nutrition, I seemed to feel a lot better towards the end of the week.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 45 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Haddonfield Road Race (19:59)
Sunday:  Blueberry Challenge XC 5k (20:01)
 Total Miles:  35-37

 

Haddonfield Road Race (19:59) 6:25, 6:26, 6:25

The goal of this race was to run a 20 minute 5k which I ran right on pace.  The course itself is difficult and the day did not go exactly as planned but I was able to get done what I needed too with a few faster miles on my legs.  Despite being one of my slower “races” recently, my effort was exactly where I needed it to be.

Blueberry Challenge XC 5k (20:01) 

I have always wanted to do this race, but whatever reason, it never works out.  The race is a mixture of a lot of grass, gravel, pavement, and finally, a stair climb up Blueberry Hill.  Even without the climb, it’s one of the hillier 5k courses I’ve done.  My goal was to try and run 20 minutes, and I met that goal.

Thoughts:

While neither are “fast” races indicating my fitness, I enjoyed both and getting out there again.  Training isn’t linear, and I’m the same person who ran an 18:46 less than a month ago.

This week will also be a lighter week as I will be running the Philadelphia half marathon.  I’ve never run particularly well there as coincidentally enough I had food poisoning in 2015 and in 2016, I just felt like garbage.  Third time is a charm, right?

Posts from the Week: 
How to Build Back Mental Confidence
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Smile Brilliant Review and Giveaway

Questions for you:

Do you like running on trails or roads?

Have you ever run up stairs during a race?

 

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Reflecting on 7 Years of Blogging

Reflecting on 7 Years of Blogging

Blogging has changed a lot since I started in August of 2010.  You can read my first post here.  Sure, I could correct several spelling errors in my first post ever, but it wouldn’t be as “authentic”.  So I leave it as my 2010 college self-wrote it.

If anything has remained the same in my blogging, it’s that I don’t have the best grammar or spelling.  I spell check, but there is always something.  If you have ever held a conversation with me in real life, you know I talk a mile and minute, and my blog is pretty much the same.

But Back to Blogging in General… 

I feel like a crabby, old fashioned blogger even saying that blogging has changed so much.  When I first started blogging, it was just that.  Blogging.

There was no Instagrams, twitters and people did not make facebooks for their page.  You just wrote stuff and hoped someone subscribed through email.  After you posted an entry, you moved on with life.

Now blogging is more competitive and social media is far more advance.  You don’t write something and move on.  You write something, link it to all of your social media, multiple times, promote, promote, promote and maybe promote some more.  By the time you finished pushing your master piece of writing, it’s time to promote the next one.  It’s no wonder blogging can get so damn tiresome.  The least time-consuming portion of blogging is writing the post. 

Hey you!!!  Have you subscribed to my internet? 

But here we are.  I often reflect on blogging.  Many bloggers who started much later than I did make a full-time income from blogging.  They do the ten (thousand) step process of blogging, great content, and whatever else it takes.

siteheader1.jpg

The first LOLZ header is 2010.

That is their choice but blogging full time has never been mine.

Is it great to make money from something you work hard at? Of course.  The majority of the money I now make through blogging pays for the 10,000 races I run each year with it…but that is really it. I don’t make a full-time income and I don’t spend hours on content creation and sponsored posts.

An early header

Part of the reason begins with I won’t promote products I don’t personally stand behind. I can truly say I’ve used and enjoyed every product I’ve promoted on this blog.  Throughout the last 7 years, I’ve probably turned down close to 5,000 dollars worth of sponsored posts (whether money or product) because it doesn’t reflect my life or interests.

If you blog full time, you make more money by taking more sponsored posts.  You can’t “love” everything so you cannot like and use every single product you promote.  It’s a fine balance of blogging about product, life, and whatever else.  Too many sponsored posts and you are a fraud.  Too few sponsored posts and you eat ramen for dinner.  That sort of balance doesn’t interest me.

Plus, to be honest I don’t sit still well.  I don’t like sitting at home, I’m usually boring, and I don’t like to people, socialize, and network every moment of my life.  I just like to run, eat at diners and talk about various topics that pop into my mind (like reflecting upon blogging).

So How Has Blogging Changed Since 2010?

First, as I just said I’m not a professional. Many bloggers, social media experts, and internet users know far more about “how blogging has changed”.  I can tell you what I’ve noticed in the last several years.

From about 2010-2014 blogging thrived.  Page views were high.  There were months in 2013 and 2014, I would get 50,000 page views on LOLZ blog.  I wasn’t even a popular, superstar blogger, so I can’t imagine what others got!  But people were visiting blogs!  Blogging was booming!  There wasn’t a lot of excess social media.  Just people and blogs.

I remember when I first started my twitter, I kicked my feet.  Everyone had a twitter, but I didn’t find it appealing or necessary.  I was finishing my junior year of college, barely staying afloat in Spanish class and dreaming of math equations and proofs.  Then I started a twitter, and it’s still probably my favorite platform.  You can follow people and things and not be creepy.  There isn’t anything you really can’t follow on twitter at this point.

In 2014-2015, Instagram was starting to evolve and pop up.  More people had instagrams, but the captions were short.  I would Instagram everything.  My coffee, flowers, dirt, a pineapple sitting on top of a cup.  Then I would filter the $hit out of it pretending I was a professional photographer.

Now you can find Instagram captions that are longer than some blog posts.  As Instagram continued to grow, blogging began to fall.  My blog that once got 50,000 monthly views now gets about 20,000.  

In the recent few years, several of my favorite bloggers shut down their blogs.  Also, blogs that used to post weekly went to 1-2 times per month. Few people blog but more people used Instagram!  My reader has dwindled for several posts daily to 1-2 per day that consistently update.

Now in 2017,  the Instagram trend is still growing.  With the addition of Instagram stories, which I occasionally use, it’s more fun and more live. As Instagram grows, I do find myself attempting to take more quality posts (all from my trusty phone).  Personally, I like to follow friends and look at pretty photos.  So I’m trying to mirror that.  Will I ever take out a loan and buy some fancy camera.  No…

Just after college graduation header

So where does that leave the mother hen old lady LOLZ blog?

Will I continue to social media in year of blogging?  Probably.

Will I continue to use all of my social media?  Once again, probably.

Will I get a Strava?  No, I can’t even remember to charge my Garmin.

I will continue blogging about life, running or whatever else happens.  I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, next week or next month (LOLZ to think about next year).

I don’t commit to anything.  I don’t know what curves life will throw.  I can’t guarantee, I won’t completely stop blogging for whatever reason but I have zero intentions today…not sorry I love talking too much. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite social media platform?

If you blog, how long have you been blogging for?

The Importance of Easing Back into Training

The Importance of Easing Back into Training

Whether you are coming back from an injury or just time off, getting back into shape isn’t always the most enjoyable thing.  I like running. However, the feeling of being out of shape and always tired isn’t pleasant.

This particular return, it’s also been incredibly hot.  Thinking out loud, when I left running a few short months ago, most of my runs were in pouring rain and the cold.  Now it’s hot and humid.  To be honest, during my break I also didn’t do a lot of cross-training, so I did also lose quite a bit of fitness.  My first 5k back, I ran at a pace slower than the half marathon I consider to be unsuccessful.  My second 5k I got lost, but I do think I made some sort of improvement.  When I left running, I could run 18:30-18:40 5ks like no big deal.  Currently, I believe I could push myself as hard as possible for a 20:00 5k (but it probably would need to be a flat, fast and ideal day).

But like anything in life, it’s important not to compare yourself to anyone, including yourself.  Some people can jump right into training and never lose fitness.  I’m definitely not one of those people.  

During my run, I didn’t run, I didn’t cross train much and gained a little bit of weight.  I also didn’t care about any of these things.  That just makes getting back into shape harder.

So What are Important Aspects to Remember?

Easy Runs are Important:

You don’t have to run fast at all.  Whether they are coming back from an injury, a rest period of anything else, too many people makes the mistake of running too fast.  It doesn’t matter if you are in shape or not, if you train fast all of the time, you will set yourself up for an injury.  In fact, running too fast all of the time is how I got my first tibia stress fracture.  Easy runs are what build you stronger.  It’s especially important for me, this time because I’m not coming back from anything broken and don’t have something especially suspectable to breaking by doing too much.

Don’t Compare Yourself:

As humans, there is always something to compare ourselves too.  Every article or blog I’ve ever read always says “don’t compare yourself”, but that is so much easier said than done.Whether it’s while running or not.  Don’t compare yourself to yourself either.

With fitness, you are always at a different point journey.  We are never in the exact same fitness level all of the time, and it’s important to recognize that.   Don’t train how you once trained.  You have to build up to the fitness you were once at.  Determine your paces and realistic goals from where you are right now, not 3 months ago.

Slow and Steady Wins the Base Race:

Many times, after I begin running again, I want to go as fast or run as much as possible all of the time.  That is unintelligent and going to result in an injury.  Ease into training and allow yourself to slowly build your base.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is fitness.

No matter where you left, getting back into shape is challenging.  It’s not effortless or streamline.  Perhaps a better reminder for myself more than anything!

Other posts:

What to do Between Training Cycles

NonRunning Workout Ideas

Question for you: Have you ever taken time off of fitness entirely?

 

A Day in the Life on Global Running Day

I don’t typically blog “day in the life” posts, and actually, I haven’t been blogging much on Fridays either.  I run out of things to say by Friday, or I don’t feel like blogging.

I’m not sure how it happened, but Wednesday was one of the busiest, but most fun days I’ve had in awhile so I thought I would share.  It doesn’t hurt that it was Global Running Day either.

If you followed LOLZ blog last year, you might remember seeing one of my friends Montana.  Montana is a good friend, and I ran and raced with her several times.  Unfortunately, (but fortunately), a job took her to Rhode Island.

She was back in town for a couple of days, so we were able to start Global Running Day together with my longest run in a while (6 miles).  The run flew by, and it was one of the best I’ve had in a while.  As I continue running, I can’t say it feels amazing, but I feel mentally good about where I’m at right now.

After that I got ready to head up to North Jersey.  I like New Jersey for many reasons but since it’s a small state, driving “across the state”, isn’t a big deal.  When I lived in Texas, it was also 90 minutes to drive to a big city.

I met up with my friend Devon at the Urban Griddle in Newark for a date and what better place than a diner?  Devon is one of my good friends; I just wish we lived closer! She recently ran the Boston Marathon and PRed with a 3:06.

After a fun couple of hours, I made the trek back home.  As most people know, the New Jersey Turnpike is great…until it’s not.  The Delaware Memorial Bridge had a construction fire and they closed it completely down.  It’s the main arterty of East Coast travel.  They also completely shut down the turnpike at exit 4 (my exit).

This created a massive backup on both the turnpike and 295.  The Garden State is typically known for traffic, but it’s unusual for it to be on the turnpike on a weekday.

That was no big deal, except with every vehicle getting off and going through the toll at exit 4, it created a huge backup.  It took me over 90 minutes to go 3 miles.  Needless to say, I spent most of the time contemplating my escape route incase I had to use the bathroom.

After that, I stopped at home for enough time to eat and headed off to work.  As most people know, I work at a running store and you have to celebrate Global Running Day there right?

We had a big group run complete with raffles from various shoe companies and Lululemon.  We had a tremendous turnout with over 200+ people.  As much as I would love to have run with the group, it’s important for me to take things at my pace right now.  (Plus I ran with Montana and I didn’t need a bonus run).

Finally, I got back home at 9 and by that time, I was ready to go to bed.  (Not that that is any different than any other day).  In all, it was a great and wonderful day.  I caught up with so many friends and it made me appreciate the sport even more than I do now.

Questions for you:

How did you spend Global Running Day? 

Do you like to stay busy or prefer relaxing time? 

Visiting New York City

After my husband came home, we decided to go visit New York City.  Even though we live approximately 90 miles away, we rarely go.  Between, traffic, tolls, and parking it’s not the easiest place to get too.

So last week, we decided to take the train from Trenton.  It was an easy process, and we made it to Penn Station and into Manhatten.  We ended up staying on 57th street close to Central Park, Broad Way and Times Square. We had booked the hotel before I decided to stop running, so we had planned to run in Central Park.  One day we will (that isn’t the New York City Marathon!)

While in NYC, we didn’t do a heck of a lot.  Both my husband and I are relaxed and we like to take trips with not a lot of plans.  We figure it out as we go along.  For the most part, we walked around New York just looking at sights.  We did go see some of the big things like the Empire State Building and Times Square.  I’ve been before, but it’s always fun to see again! empire state building

We got close to the Empire State Building but opted not to go in.  empire state building

Times Square

One thing we both wanted to do is get a New York Bagel.  As someone who went to college in New York (way upstate at SUNY Potsdam), we got used to good NY bagels.  NJ just doesn’t compare.

My favorite is a Nova Lox.   It was a good bagel (not that I’m an expert) and I have no complaints. 

The one thing we did do was go see a Broadway.  We booked tickets to “Waitress” starring Sara Bareilles.  I like Sara Bareilles as a songwriter, and the Broadway was about a diner waitress…how could we go wrong?  It was excellent, and I highly recommend it if you’re ever up that way.

Before leaving, we also checked out Ellen’s Stardust Diner near Broadway.  The Diner is unique in that the servers are always performing.  You get a meal and a show.  You’ll see your server perform for the entire restaurant.

ellens stardust diner me

We had a great weekend away.  It’s funny, as I mentioned, New York is not a far commute for us, but we never go!  We will definitely go back sooner rather than later.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to New York City?

Where was the last weekend trip you took? 

Training: April

It’s hard to believe April has already flown by.  Regarding running, April started off ok then progressively went downhill, and ended up that needed and wanted a full break from running.

april fools half marathon atlantic city me running

Miles Run: 228
Range of Paces: 5:54-10:04-untimed
Races: 3
Workouts: 4
Rest Days: 9 (and counting)
Longest Run: Atlantic City Half Marathon
Shortest Run: 2 miles 

Races:
Phillies 5k (18:32)
Clean Air 5kish
April Fools Half Marathon (1:26.17)

Favorite Race:
Phillies 5k
phillies 5k win

Favorite Workout:
None

Thoughts:
The month of April started off well.  Even though I didn’t PR at the Phillies 5k, I ran moderately well.  It was by far my favorite race.

As the month continued, I became more and more burnt out from running.  It wasn’t just April that burnt me out but training over the last 6.  After Atlantic City on April 23rd, I decided to take rest and rebuild my mental attitude.  I don’t hate running, but I wasn’t enjoying it as much, and I never broke through my plateau.

Thanks to my friend Paul for these photos

May:
I don’t know what May will bring.  I hope I’ll be ready to run again.  While I haven’t run or really worked out since last weekend but I do plan to do more cross training and get back to the gym.

Running Posts from April:
Running Related Posts
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
How to Transition into Minimalist Running Shoes

Shoe Reviews:
Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review
Brooks Glycerin 14 Shoe Review

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

What is your favorite cross training activity?

Training: Recovering and a 5k

My training last week went decently.  As I wrap up the last week of March, I have reflected a lot about my training in the last few months.  By now, I hoped I would have progressed to faster times that I’m currently running.

The short notes version is I’ve been stuck in a plateau for the last 6 months.  While yes, running an 18:32 5k last weekend is a great time.  In fact, two years ago I would be amazed by that time. It’s not where I had hoped or wanted to be at this point.  I’ve been consistently training, logging speed workouts, and logging injury free miles.  Hopefully, soon I’ll be able to break out of that plateau.

Training last week:

Monday: 45 mins easy
Tuesday: Workout: 2X15 mins/5X200s
Wednesday: 60 mins easy
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 65 mins easy
Saturday: Phillies 5k (18:32)
Sunday: 90 minutes easy
Total: 52 miles

Workout:
2X15 minutes (6:41,  6:51)
5X200 (6:00)

This workout was supposed to be much faster (6:23 per/mile).  As I mentioned last training post, I didn’t recover from Shamrock well at all, and it took me almost 2 weeks to feel normal.  During the workout, I didn’t feel fresh, and it was both cold and windy.  I got the workout done and moved on.

Phillies 5k: (18:32)
As most people know from Instagram, I won the Phillies 5k again this year.  While it was a different course, my time was 5 seconds slower than last year.  Last year’s conditions were ideal. However, this year it was windier than anticipated (14 MPH along the water).  Either way, it wasn’t raining which means it was the best weather I’ve had for racing in months.

The race itself went moderately well.  I ran for the course for the conditions.  My splits were 6:00, 5:49 and 6:06 which is based on the wind as well as small hill at the beginning of mile 3.  I left the race bittersweet.  Was I happy with a win?  Of course.  Was I glad to still be in the 18:30-18:40 bubble that I’ve been in since October?  No.

I’m excited to run a few more 5ks in the next few weeks to get my speed back.  To be honest, I’ve missed running them!

Posts from the week:
Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review
How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running

Questions for you:
Have you ever been stuck in a plateau? I’ve been stuck in a few.  A few years ago on my quest to get back to my PR (for about 3 years my 5k PR was 18:35), I was stuck running 19-19:10.
What was your best workout last week?

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