I had a few struggles both physically (thanks, injury) to mentally (thanks anxiety), but honestly, I’m coming through as a stronger person. A stronger woman, wife, sister and daughter.
Something I learned this summer, is it’s okay to ask for help. I’ve always given myself the title of being “independent.” During my mid-20s, and this summer more than ever, I’ve learned it’s okay to ask for help and not do it all.
In summary, it was my favorite summer but it wasn’t bad either. I learned a lot about myself and grew as a person.
As I mentioned in my training log last week, the goal was to take a step back from training this week. I’ve been consistently running for about a month now and needed a “back off” week.
Back off, rest, cut back….you get the idea.
15 minutes core
Easy 40 minutes
15 minutes core
3 Mile Group Run
Easy 40 minutes
Easy 60 minutes
6 mile tempo
15 minutes core
All of my easy runs were easy. They were boring, untimed and I just ran for 30-40 minutes. The Group run was definitely my favorite. There is a local 5k in a few weeks called The Flying Fish 5k that runs from the Flying Fish Brewery.
I signed up for it, and our running store hosted a group run with them on Thursday. We ran an easy 3 miles and hung out at Flying Fish afterwords. It was fun to get a few miles with a lot of friends and just hang out.
This run gets it’s own blurb since it’s the first workout I’ve done since May. Instead of racing this weekend, I opted for a tempo run. It put less pressure on my legs but still got turnover and speed work done. While it was hot, my legs questioned how to run fast, and I felt awful, I’m glad I did it. I’ll have to rip the band-aid off for speed work eventually. Right now I’m limited to one-speed workout a week: either a race or a workout but not both.
In summary, I’m happy with how the run went, but I do know I have a lot to do to get back where I was.
Next week I plan to get back into training. I’m hoping to begin consistently adding longer runs and getting back into higher mileage. I feel as if I’m in the limbo stage of running where I’m not 100% healthy, but I’m not injured either. If you get too arrogant during this stage, you end up injured again.
While this is (mostly) a running blog, it’s also a personal blog too. After a long conversation with a friend, I realized where
I find myself constantly going back and forth of being:
A “proud military spouse.”
To finding my own identity…
To being frustrated with the military because everything changes so rapidly….
I’ll always be proud of what my husband does, whether he is in the military or not.
Finding my own identity is a post by itself. In conversation, I don’t care to talk about myself a lot (ironic since I’ve been blogging for five years), but I find myself questioning my identity.
Am I Hollie, military spouse? Hollie the runner? Hollie the volunteer? Hollie the blogger? To be honest, I don’t have an answer to that, and I find myself lost in my own identity.
And of course, the last frustration component makes up most of this blog.
You know what?
Life has been hard.
Not in a whiny sense but in a talk real sense. My husband and I are preparing for another deployment soon. By “preparing”, I mean the Air Force needed him for another last minute trip, and he is currently away doing something else. The trip was only supposed to last four days but four days turned to 5…6…7…and we are still counting upwards.
In the next 16 days, there is a lot to do before the deployment. None of these things, he (or I) can do while he is away doing something else. Sure there are goodbyes, but there is a lot of paperwork and misc tasks that have to be done beforehand.
These tasks are done on top of working a normal job. What most people don’t realize is that also with the military, you don’t just “fly some” and come home. When you’re not flying you’re back doing things on base too. So it isn’t like a vacation when he is back. Not that he has been back to do that.
Essentially neither of us work regular hours. Today (Friday) was our only day off together for the next 16 days, but that didn’t pan out. With my job, I must request days off a month in advance. Working in retail that is what happens. You can’t call in sick because if you do, the store can’t function. It ultimately strains the store.
I love my job but to give you an idea of how August played out, I asked for four days off to spend with my husband. All four of those days he had emergency missions. All four of those days off were wasted for me. If I hadn’t requested off, I’m sure he would have had off.
With the military, your plans are always changing. Your needs can often come behind the needs of the AF and the county. I love my husband, and we are in a happy marriage but this month has tested both my stress and anxiety. I would by lying if I said I hadn’t cried when several plans were canceled. Is it the end of the world? No, but it’s frustrating.
I’m not a perfect wife, military spouse or person. I do know that if he could, my husband wouldn’t cancel plans.
So where does this leave me now?
The same place I started. Unfortunately, my plans are often dependent on what the needs of the military. I’ll keep trucking on and we will make the best of the situation as we normally do.
Like most of the Northeast, it was scorching last week. If I weren’t motivated to get back out there, I would have struggled with most runners. Luckily I was driven by the pure fact I’m able to run again. Plus I don’t have certain paces or workouts I need to hit in the heat, so that makes it a little bit easier too.
All of my runs have been easy. They are boring, and I’ve been running for about any hour 4 days a week and two longer runs. This time, period makes for several uneventful training logs.
Easy 60 minutes
Easy 60 minutes
Midweek Long Run 85 minutes
Easy 50 minutes
Healthy Kids 6k (20:01)
Long Run 90 minutes
Roughly 50 miles
My race on Saturday went better than expected. Despite the heat, I was able to run a 20:01. It was about 20 seconds faster than the week before. I ran the race last year in cooler conditions and ran a 20:13. So I’m happy with the time for now.
The main question: So how’s my ankle feeling?
I do still have a little bit of achiness. It’s not painful, but it is noticeable. I’ve had three weeks of solid base building, so I’m taking a step back next week and taking a few days off. While I do believe it’s residual pain but, I would rather be safe than sorry. There is no need to push it now.
Thus another short and relatively boring training log complete. I wish I had something exciting to share, but the boring parts of training have their place as well.
Questions for you:
How long after an injury do you normally feel “good’?
On August 9th, 2010 I started blogging. So today, August 9th marks six full years of blogging. Can you believe that?
It probably doesn’t feel like it! There are very few people, if anyone, that have read LOLZ Blog for that long. Plus six years in the blogging land is like 20 human years.
My blog has gone through a lot of changes throughout the last few years but then again, so have I. I began blogging as a 20-year-old college student in Upstate, NY. Now I’m a married 26-year-old living in southern New Jersey.
I thought it would be fun to summarize the last six years of my life and how my blog has changed along with it.
Year 1: 2010-2011
The original blog title was “LOLZthatswim”. I added the (and run) later on since it was kind of just a thing I did on the side of swimming…I was a competitive swimmer and had been for over a decade. When I started my blog, I started running too. Junior year I began both swimming and running for my college. It was a lot, but I loved both sports!
I had no idea what to expect for college cross country. I didn’t know anything about the sport of running, and everything was a new experience. It was pressure free and worry free. You can read more about my running story here. The first year was my honeymoon love story with running.
Running was my new boyfriend it treated me well. At the time, swimming was arduous, and I was going through the motions of the sport but had fallen out of love. In the middle of the summer, July 12th to be exact, I got my first running injury. My tibial stress fracture came from doing too much too soon. That was a straight forward overuse injury. I thought in order to get better you must run faster all of the time. That didn’t work and I ended up injured. So I spent the summer cross training preparing for the upcoming season.
Year 2: 2011-2012 The Change and Graduation
Year two of my blog started out with a bang. It was the start of my senior year of college, and I was miserable, so I made a lot of changes.
I changed my major from math to public health.
I quit swimming altogether.
I broke up with my then-boyfriend who I dated through college.
My life drastically changed in about a month, but I’ll never have any regrets. If I hadn’t chosen to change all of those factors I would have never been happy. My blog continued to follow my journey. I suffered a lot of social anxiety my senior year of college and spent most of my time focused on graduating with a new major as well as running. After breaking up with a serious boyfriend, I had no interest in dating.
Funny how those things work but I met Tim at a college cross country race. We weren’t “immediately in love” and it took us a few months to even start dating. I think I posted a blog about it here.
After college cross country I decided to train for a longer race. I ran the Plattsburgh Half Marathon in April of 2012. My goal was to run under a 1:30 and I ran a 1:27. It was my first big race win and I was so excited and proud. It showed me that even though college cross country was over, I had plenty of running left.
Year 3: 2012-2013 Oswego
I graduated college in 2012. Even though I swore I would leave Upstate, NY I ended up working for a year on a college campus. After a very long talk with a lot of crying, Tim and I stayed together and maintained a distance relationship.
He was busy with work and so was I. My coworkers were the best and I made two of my good friends Becky and Danielle.
I started a job I enjoyed in Oswego and met a lot of close friends that year including Laura, Brittany, and Heather.
2012 was a huge turning point year for me. I was self-sufficient, working and living by myself. I felt like a real adult and met a lot of friends along the way. Despite being over 2000 miles apart, Tim and I maintained a long distance relationship.
On the running front, I ran one of my favorite races: The Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington DC (the race no longer exists). It was a huge accomplishment because I got out of my social anxiety comfort zone, ran a race I was scared to do and set a PR at the time. Plus I placed 9th out of 15,000 women which was a huge accomplishment.
Year 4: 2013-2014 Texas and New Jersey and Marathons:
In the late Spring of 2013, I made the decision to move to Texas with Tim. Due to the military, he did not have the option to move where or when he wanted. Either I would move in with him, or we would not live together and probably not stay together. You can’t do long distance forever…
I left Oswego and moved in with my parents for the summer. I worked and gathered all of my things for the huge life change. Honestly, I didn’t have a plan, job or any idea of what I would do down there. It gave me anxiety to tell people when they asked. Obviously, I hoped I would find a job and make friends when I moved down there. I knew I had Tim but moving down to a remote area with no plan terrified me.
A few weeks after I moved down there, the military had other plans. They decided they were sending Tim to New Jersey. I had packed up all of my things and planned to live in Texas for a few years! It was incredibly frustrating, but you never know with the military.
Neither of us knew much about New Jersey. We drove on the turnpike but had never spent much time in the state.To keep myself occupied during my brief Texas stay, I trained for my first marathon, New York City. No one hires you for a month, so I just made the best of the situation. I blogged, lived off of savings and ran. I didn’t hate Texas, but I doubt I would have enjoyed staying much longer. After coming back to the East Coast, I ended up running a 3:17. Cliff notes: it was freezing, windy and my first marathon. New York City Marathon was actually a much tougher course than I realized. I had a great time, though.
After running New York and moving to New Jersey, I looked for various jobs. I began working at the running store, and I enjoy helping others appreciate the sport. I’ve been working there about 2 and a half years, and I enjoy it. I’ve made most of my friends through work, and I enjoy going in each day,
During the summer, I also started training for my second marathon. It didn’t last long, and I got a second metatarsal fracture the week after Tim had his first deployment. I spent most of my first year living in NJ injured. By some miracle I ran and PRed at the April Fools Half Marathon. To this day, I don’t know how I did it. I wasn’t in shape to run the time and hadn’t put in the work to run that time. The course was flat and fast, and it was a perfect day. On the injury front, I had everything from a sore plantar fascia to a second metatarsal fracture. It was one small ache after another. Eventually, it led to my fracture.
I also joined Oiselle Violee that year. I was on the team for just over a year and had a good time during that year. I met some more of my close friends like Danielle and Amelia from the team. I’ll never regret being part of Oiselle that year.
Year 5: 2014 Assimilated and Running in New Jersey:
In later 2014, I decided to start running consistently again. After completely healing I started training for my second marathon (again), the Phoenix Full marathon. My training went well for the entire cycle but on race day I fell short and finished with an injury in my butt. After two months of recovering, I started training for shorter distances. I began racing most weekends, adding speed and getting faster.
On the life front, I did a lot in 2014 but most noticeable, I got married. There is obviously so much emotion that went into that single day, but it was one of the happiest and most enjoyable days of my life.
Year 6: 2015 Fun in New Jersey:
The last year has been filled with both good and bad. I trained consistently from last August until April. I set PRs in everything except the full marathon.Over the course of a year, I went from running a 20:30 5k to an 18:13. Honestly, compared to every other year the last has been boring. My husband and I have finally assimilated into “being married”. Neither of our schedules is typical, but we like it that way. I think by age 26, we have finally become adults that don’t move every year.
This year we’ve added a lot more weekend adventure in our life and gone flying several times as well as hiking.
So what’s in store for year 7 of blogging?
Honestly, I have no idea. I’ll continue running and working towards getting back in shape. I don’t forsee myself stopping to blog, and I’ll just continue doing that. Will I run out of things to blog about? Probably not…Will I love running forever? Will I train for another half marathon? Even full marathon? Will I hit diner number 200? Who knows what year 7 in the blogging world will bring…
I’ve thought about doing a personal life weekly recap. I have a lot of friends and family that read LOLZ blog, but I barely ever talk about my “real life.” While this blog is heavily running focused, it isn’t everything I do.
Sometimes I think I’m living a double life: Blogging and the outside world. I’m not hiding anything from blogging, but I tend to microblog on Instagram or Facebook.
I thought I would start adding more personal life updates as well.
This week was a great week. My sister in law Lindsay graduated with her master’s degree. I made the quick trip down to the DC area to watch her graduation. It was a very good time seeing my family, and I definitely miss them.
Yesterday I got my blood drawn for Inside Tracker. I was given a discount to talk about my experience. To be honest, I was nervous about the entire thing. I scheduled the appointment just over two weeks ago, and I wanted it to be over sooner than later. I’ve never dealt well with needles. I can’t relax enough for them to get into the vein. I also pass out the majority of the time giving blood or getting shots. Needless to say, needles are a big deal for me. I paid the extra fee to have a certified nurse come to my house and take my blood at 7 am. Since we had to fast 12 hours beforehand and I wake up hungry in the morning, this was the best option for me. The Nurse was kind and helpful, and I watched Netflix, which kept my mind off it. Everything went smoothly, and I was shocked at how easy it was.
I decided to try Inside Tracker for a number of reasons. Since we are in the military, I don’t have a Primary Care doctor. It would take a lot of hoops for me to get a “routine blood test” after just getting one from my fracture (only with a few minerals such as calcium and Vitamin D) and the results being normal. The miliary has great insurance, but I have no life-threatening conditions and in fact, I am healthy. My quality of life is fine and I wanted a blood test “just to know” and to make sure that my nutrients are appropriate for running. InsideTracker, while expensive, was the best route for me to take. I have also seen several bloggers and others use and have great success with it. Plus, Insider Tracker gives out fun bandaids.
Since my fracture still doesn’t have an exact cause I’m hoping my blood work might reveal something. Either way knowing that information will be good knowledge to have, and I’m looking forward to the results. Once I have the results, I’ll be sure to talk more about it.
Last night for work we also hosted our first “Paint Your Own Race Medal Holder” event. It was a lot of fun, and we sold out the event. They have painting parties, so we thought, why not a race medal painting party?
I was asked last week to describe a typical day in the (eating) life. Please keep in my mind, I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, dietician, or online nutrition coach. I am just me, a person who likes to eat relatively well and tends to blow their budget on eating at restaurants.
I decided to record everything last Monday. I don’t usually count calories, but I’m generally aware of an estimate of how many I’ve eaten. I know if I’ve eaten 1500 and am starving or ate 2500 and feel fine. It works for me. Since being injured, I also know I’ve put on between 3-5 pounds. I haven’t weighed myself, but my guess is I weigh somewhere between 130-135.
Breakfast (5:15-5:30 am):
I enjoy waffles for breakfast. I utilize my waffle maker every morning. I’ve had the same breakfast for a long time, and I know it works for me. I eat the same breakfast whether I’m running, working out, racing or whatever. I’m normally in the minority, but I am hungry when I wake up.
Waffle (500ish calories):
2/3 cup flour
1/2ish cup milk
You can add whatever else you want in it. I’ve added blueberries, pumpkin, chocolate chips and even cocoa powder. It’s a basic ingredient list.
I normally catch up on work, emails, and everything and head out for a run between 6:30-7. I like to eat before I run and never have an upset stomach during my runs.
On Monday, I ran 4 miles. My run was uneventful and boring. It felt okay, and my ankle felt good, so I have no complaints. In fact, my ankle has felt completely injury free since too.
After my run, I ate a cup of Greek Yogurt and had coffee. I’m currently enjoying Fage or Chobani. I choose whichever is cheaper at the grocery store. I don’t normally drink coffee before a run but like to get Starbucks or Wawa afterwords…Monday was unusual for me and was my first iced coffee in about two years. I don’t know why I was craving one, but I was. That alone deserves a photo.
After showering and getting ready, it’s time to begin the actual day. The meat of my day is always interesting and no two days are the same. Sometimes I’ll work in the store of Running Co; sometimes I’ll work at home, and still other times I’m on base doing things. My google calendar has become my best friend to keep me on track and not missing anything. I have my phone and computer synched up.
Last Monday, I wasn’t in the store, but I had a couple of meetings as well as something to take care of on base. When I left my house around 9:30 am, I wasn’t home until around 4 pm. I try to pack my lunch, so I don’t end up spend a lot of unnecessary money along the way. Plus going out with friends is much more enjoyable than eating on the road.
By 11, I’m hungry. I had a roast beef sandwich on wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and mustard. I also had a few carrots and a peach. It was boring but good. I tend to each more frequently and often when I’m out or in the store. When I’m at home, I’ll just eat lunch and move on.
By 2, I was hungry again and ate another (exactly the same) sandwich. A sandwich isn’t really a full meal, but it’s not a snack either. I just consider it two lunches.
I got home around 4 and my husband, and I decided the night before we wanted steak. I try and have red meat once or twice a week, and steak is by far my favorite red meat.
We usually do something simple like grill it and have a salad and potato. That is one of my favorite homecooked meal. It’s easy, fast and delicious. We aren’t fancy, and our meals normally take 30 minutes at the very most to prepare. I do the vegetable and potato cooking (which is not cooking at all) and my husband grills. I’ve also been drinking a cup of milk with dinner to keep getting calcium. This evening we had asparagus too.
Lately, I’ve been doing core and strength at night. I dedicate about 30 minutes to it after dinner. I catch up on TV, get more core in and then relax. From 6-9, I do that, relax and sometimes get work done. If anyone needs a new Netflix show, I have loved “Army Wifes”. A lot of social media happens at night, so sometimes I’m online for things like that too.
I’ve been making smoothies with a milk base, protein powder and whatever else I can find in the house. Sometimes cocoa powder, sometimes fruit, it depends on what I’m craving. On Monday, I added milk, a scoop of protein powder, a half cup of pumpkin and cinnamon.
I’ve stopped eating a lot of sweets and dessert every single night. We tend to go out for dessert. Do I enjoy cookies and cake? Of course, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have them every single day. I used to crave sweets almost every evening but about two years ago I stopped having as much sugar and artificial sweeteners and no longer crave them. I always add a Truvia or sugar to my coffee. Thinking out loud, I used to dump boatloads in…no wonder I craved sugars.
In summary, I’m a fairly boring person when it comes to life and food. I eat what I get on sale and try to eat healthy. Just like running, a day of good (or bad) eating doesn’t determine your health. Consistency does…
Questions for you:
What is your favorite food?
What are some good lunch ideas? I definitely need help in that department.