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Marathoning | Not for Me

Marathoning | Not for Me

I don’t love the marathon distance.

I wrote this post almost a week before running the New York City Marathon. About 2 weeks beforehand, I realized I just didn’t “love” marathoning. Before New York in 2018, I thought maybe I didn’t like marathons because I hadn’t run enough. Maybe I just needed practice. So in 2018, I decided to run another. I did well and ran a PR of 3:07.

The truth is, marathons never swept me off my feet. I never felt like I “needed” to run marathons to be a runner. New York has been 3 out of 4 of my marathons. I’ve enjoyed those steps crossing bridges, through Midtown, First Avenue, and all of it. I liked the race, but I don’t enjoy the training, the exhaustion, and 20 miles run.  I don’t “love the grind” of runs more than 15 miles.

I like to run. I don’t need anyone to motivate me to run, but I don’t like to run 20 miles. I don’t go to bed thinking about a long run the next morning. I go to bed, get up, run, and move on with my day. I like the rush of finishing a half marathon or 5k, knowing that I may or may not puke at the end. I don’t quite get that rush from marathons. I finish the marathon, half delusional from exhaustion, and think about what happened.

A few years ago, I decided after my second marathon (Pheonix); I was done with marathons for a while. It was before “Instagram running” was a big thing and not everyone was training for a sub-3-hour marathon or even 2:45.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for anyone going after those goals, but it’s not for me. Neither has ever been a bucket list or goal of mine.

After Phoenix, it took me about 3 years to want to run another marathon. Maybe it will take me three more years, maybe 5, maybe 20, I don’t know. I’m not into it and that’s okay.

Anyone who I’ve talked to in 2019 (about running), knows it has not been my year of running. I’m running 1:30+ half marathons when my PR is 1:22.  sub 20 minute 5ks are working hard, when my goal used to be breaking 18 mins.

It hasn’t been because I don’t work hard, but things haven’t clicked. I’ve had outside stress and I attempted to start marathon training when I should have stuck to shorter stuff and gained speed back.

My goal from Big Cottonwood Marathon was to start and finish the marathon healthy. That didn’t happen. When the opportunity presented itself to run New York City for the third time, I jumped on it. I was beyond grateful from New Balance.

My goal from Big Cottonwood transferred to New York: Start and Finish healthy. It was never to “secretly PR” or to run X time. I simply wanted to finish a training cycle healthy. I was able to do that. The 1:36 a few weeks ago at the Atlantic City half or the 3:27 at NYCM is slower than I’ve run in a long time, I was beyond happy to finish my slowest marathon yet.

After some rest and recovery, my goal is to regain speed something I’ve lost since early 2018. I want to run fast. Gone are the days that a sub 20 minute 5k seems “easy” to me and it’s something I need to work hard to get back too.

I’m ready to start training for shorter things and gain speed back. I am ready for the rush of “feeling fast” and the feeling of a 5k. There aren’t a lot of winter fast 5ks so I’m hoping to get quality mileage, a base, and speed workouts and find some shorter races this spring.

I’m looking forward to shorter distances and a challenge that excites me. Running another marathon to finish or even PR, doesn’t.

Questions for you:

What’s your favorite racing distance?

Are you currently training for anything? 

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Training Log: Rest and Rest

Training Log: Rest and Rest

As most people know, last week, I ran the New York City Marathon.  It went as well as it could for my training and for the day. I ran a 3:27.19. My only goal was to start and finish healthy and I did just that.

After the marathon, I took a week off. I strongly think everyone needs 1-2 full weeks off a year. It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional, elite, weekend warrior, or just getting into the sport. I took two weeks off in September as well as earlier in the year.

To me, and my body, New York City Marathon felt more like a very long run and effort. I raced as hard as I could for the day but it wasn’t my fastest day (in fact, it was my slowest LOL).

The week after the marathon, I was busy with life and work (Tuesday-Friday I spent 12ish hours out of the house), and I can’t say I made time to do all of the “recovery things” except sleep. I walked relatively normal 2 days after the marathon and a full week later, my legs feel stiff but not hurt.

On Saturday, I went and hiked at Hawk Mountain. It was the first physical activity I did all week. We’ve wanted to do this hike for a while but never gotten around to it. It was gorgeous and the views are incredible.

On Sunday, I did my first run back (4 miles) and felt stiff but good. My body felt like I ran a marathon but also hadn’t run in a few days. It felt good to just get moving again.

With minimal working out (just Saturday and Sunday), my running week was boring. I am looking forward to getting back into training for shorter races.  The next few weeks are just focused on building fitness and quality miles.

Posts from the Week:

Asics Nimbus 22

TCS New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

What Makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

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;

How long do you take off after a major race?

Where is your favorite hike? 

Asics Nimbus 22

Asics Nimbus 22

Asics Nimbus 22 Shoe Review:

Well…it’s been a long long time since I’ve run consistently in any Asics shoe. The Asics Nimbus 22 is the first shoe in several years that has worked for me from Asics. I used to run a lot of mileage in the Asics Nimbus but Asics got too narrow for my feet and they no longer felt comfortable.  The Asics Nimbus 21 made significant improvement over previous versions, but the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 is even better.

The Asics Nimbus 22 is a high cushion, neutral shoe. The Asics Nimbus been around 22 running shoe generations and is known for the gel and soft cushioning, shock absorption, and gel technology. It’s been a staple of neutral runners for years.

asics gel nimbus 22 shoe review

Asics Nimbus 22 Fit:

The updated Asics Nimbus 22 finally has a more roomy toebox. It’s not a wide shoe by any means, but it runs more true to size. For several years of the Asics Nimbus, the shoe fit almost a size and width short. So most people not only went up a half size-full size, they also went wider to get an appropriate fit.

The Asics Nimbus 22 update now uses a monofilament engineered mesh upper. The jacquard mesh provides excellent moisture management and a high level of breathability.

Plus it provides a more roomy toebox and breathability of the shoe.  The mesh upper is more durable and just fits better.  The heel counter fits better for the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 as well.

asics gel nimbus 22 shoe review

Asics Nimbus 22 Ride:

The Asics Nimbus 22 has always been well known for the premium cushion. It has plenty of cushion to protect the body. The updated version of the Asics Nimbus 22 uses a thicker version of Asics softest and most resilient midsole foam. Plus now, the Asics Nimbus 22 has wrap around gel cushioning in the heel and better-shaped gel inserts in the forefront.

The new wrap-around gel allows your Asics Nimbus 22 to protect your feet no matter how the foot strikes. Whether you are a forefront runner or heel striker, you are going to get the cushion you need. The transition from heel to toe is a lot more seamless as well and it feels less clunky.

How does the Asics Nimbus 22 feel less clunky? The Asics Nimbus 22 now uses Flytefoam Lyte Propel foam.  What is Flytefoam Propel Technology? While it’s also a mouthful, Flytefoam Propel foam is lighter, with a soft and energetic return. The Asics Nimbus 22 now has 2 mm more of this foam.

With the updated Asics Nimbus 22, it’s less rigid. The gel in the Asics Nimbus, made the shoe firmer and less flexible. The deep flex grooves allow the Asics Nimbus to be more flexible and move with your foot.

asics gel nimbus 22 shoe review

Asics Nimbus 22 Conclusion: 
I’ve run just over 100 miles in the updated Asics Nimbus 22 and for me, it fits nicely into an easy run or recovery run day. I like the Asics Nimbus 22, and this is the best update they’ve had in several years.

me asics gel nimbus 22 shoe review

Current Rotation:

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

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProHoka RinconNike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races: New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  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:

Have you run in the Asics Nimbus 22?

What is a staple running shoe you use?

TCS New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

TCS New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

TCS New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

The TCS New York City Marathon 2019 might be my longest race recap ever so hang on tight.  I’ve run the New York City Marathon two other times: 2013 and 2018. 

In early September, I pulled my hamstring which caused me to miss my previous marathon (Big Cottonwood in Utah). Around that time,  New Balance asked if I wanted to run the TCS New York City Marathon as part of Team New Balance. I love the atmosphere of New York City Marathon and it’s hard to say no. If it were almost every other marathon, I probably would have said no.

The goal of the six weeks leading up to the TCS New York City Marathon were to get my hamstring healthy. I got ART from Dr. Craig and rested. 2 weeks prior, I was able to do a very loose 20-mile run. I ran 13.1 miles at the Atlantic City Half Marathon (logging a personal worst there too) and slogged my way through 7 more. At that point, I was like how on earth am I going to run the New York City Marathon? My hamstring seemed fine, but it felt like I took 12 steps back when I was never in front.

I got to New York City on Thursday night. Danielle and I picked up our packets, did a quick scan of the TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) New York City Marathon expo and went to a diner in Jersey City. The next two days were spent trolling around New York City. New Balance had a shakeout run with Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson. It was a 2-mile shakeout run at the New Balance Pizza Co.

The theme of the TCS New York City Marathon was: I move me and inspiring people through running. It’s one of my more favorite themes from New York Road Runners.

I was on the sub-elite bus again for the New York City Marathon. This meant I got to spent the morning at Ocean Breeze (on Staten Island) amongst all of the elites and other sub elites. I exchanged good lucks with Sara Hall, and I sat within feet of Allie Kieffer, Kellyn Taylor, and Mary Kiettany. I enjoyed it last year and it was equally as fun this year.

First, the elite women off, then the rest of us.  Once we got off the bus, we threw out bags into the elite check-in. Initially, they said we could use the bathroom one last time, but then the line was too long and they made us head to the start. Unfortunately, this meant I started the race needing to use the bathroom. The start of the New York City Marathon is always amazing. They had music blasting and people dancing. They fired the cannons and before I knew it, we were off.  One thing I appreciate about the TCS New York City Marathon is the ability to track mile by mile with the New York City Marathon app. Not that it mattered to me at the time, but family and friends could do so.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

I spent most of the New York City Marathon being passed by people. The first mile of the TCS New York City Marathon goes up the Verrazano Bridge. This means it’s uphill and going to be one of the slowest miles you run. I hit the first mile of the New York City Marathon in 7:52.  All I could think was, wow, I’m in worse shape than I am. I knew it was a slow mile, but somehow seeing the clock beep at 7:52 and knowing (with my lack of training): I wasn’t going to negative split the race, I was nervous.

Luckily, the second mile of the TCS New York City Marathon cruises down the Verazzano Bridge and I hit mile 2 in 6:54.

The next few miles of the New York City Marathon alternate between uphill and downhill. There are very few parts of the TCS New York City Marathon that are flat. I kept my eyes peeled for a bathroom. I knew I was not going to make it through 26.2 miles without using the bathroom so I figured earlier rather than later.  Miles 3-5 of the New York City Marathon were all between 7:22-7:28. I felt fine and my hamstring felt fine.

Just after mile 5 at the New York City Marathon, I found a bathroom. I ducked in and realized I had to go more than I thought. I was in and out within 30 seconds and proceeded on. I hit mile 6 of the New York City Marathon in 7:55. I asked NYRR to pause the clock while I used the bathroom, but they didn’t so I didn’t pause my GPS watch either.

I took my first Maurten Gel around mile 5. I like to take gels every 5 miles of the marathon and Gatorade the rest of the time. Around mile 8 of the New York City Marathon, I saw Amelia in her Giraffe suit. I waved and she snapped this photo of me. During some of the water stops, I found myself weaving and before I knew it, my watch was not matching up with mile markers at all. I was slowly adding time and distance. While I tried to run the tangents, (because I didn’t want to run any further than needed), I also wasn’t that worried about it. I weaved around the course high fiving friends and I wasn’t going to stop in front of people.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

I hit mile 10 in exactly 1:15. Exactly the time I ran at the Cow Town 10 Miler a month ago. LOL, that’s not what is supposed to happen here I thought. I took my gel between mile 10-11 of the New York City Marathon. I could feel a cramp coming on, but after getting the water, it went away. The next 5k of the New York City Marathon was focused on getting to half. I knew the halfway mark was on a bridge. I hit the halfway mark in 1:40.12. I was already at 13.5 and I thought, ok, I am going to make a little more effort, so I don’t run 27 miles.

I thought if I ran a 1:50 for the second half TCS New York City Marathon, that will be under 3:30. It seemed doable, except I remembered my long runs for the TCS New York City Marathon were not there. I did 1 20, and 2 15 milers. I had no idea what to expect for the second half and rightfully so.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

Mile 15 begins the dreaded Queensboro Bridge. Mile 15-16 is one of the hardest miles of the New York City Marathon. It goes over the Queensboro Bridge, it’s quiet, and you only have yourself to motivate you up and over. My legs weren’t feeling fatigued going up. During my New York City Marathon, the Queensboro Bridge crushed me and my legs never recovered. During the second, I felt ok. This time at the New York City Marathon, I felt fine going up but going down my quads were on fire. I hit my 15 going up the Queensboro Bridge in 8:17 and rolled right back down in 7:44. I didn’t feel “good” going downhill and actually felt better going up.

The roar, after leaving the Queensboro Bridge, can’t be beaten. That propelled me to a 7:25 18th mile. I saw a few friends, including Amelia again. After mile 18, my goal was to make it to 20. I told myself: okay, Hollie. You have 8 miles to go, then 10k. It doesn’t quite make it easier. When I hit mile 20 in 7:52, I thought this is where you enter the unknown. I imagined 8 min miles would probably be about what I averaged the last 10k. I didn’t care; I just wanted it done.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

The last 10k of the New York City Marathon is no walk in Central Park and the long inline at mile 23 burns. I saw many people stopping and walking. I knew it I stopped; I would never start again. My legs were tired from running, but my hamstring was ok. I saw plenty of friends and I tried to wave, but my arms hurt. I could feel chafing on my arms, legs, and sports bra. At 23 miles, I said: 5k to go. You like 5ks, 5ks are your favorite. I hit mile 24 in 8:32. My slowest race mile ever. I didn’t care; I was making it to the finish.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

Then at mile 24 of the New York City Marathon, I recognized buildings I ran by during my shakeout run the day before. Okay, Hollie, you’ve run by these. 2 miles to go. I hit mile 25 in 8:15 and I felt better I was slightly faster. I knew I would be well above 26.2 miles and tried to prepare myself for that mentally. I hit mile 26 in 8:21 and just proceeded on.

The final countdown was there. I just focused on the New York City Marathon finish and what that would feel like. I kept trucking along and finally, I heard (in a familiar Ali F podcast voice:) Hollie from New Jersey.  I crossed the TCS New York City Marathon finish line in 3:27.19 and collected my things.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

TCS New York City Marathon Thoughts:

I’m happy with my time and effort at the New York City Marathon. I knew it wouldn’t be my fastest marathon and I was happy to finish healthy. It’s motivating to me, and I’m hoping I can resume training with a fully healthy hamstring.  I had such an enjoyable experience from before theNew York City Marathon to the end. For now, I think I’m done with marathons for a while. I prefer shorter distance and to get speed back.  Finally, thank you to New Balance for allowing me the incredible opportunity to run.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

Questions for you:

Have you run the New York City Marathon?

What is your favorite distance?

What Makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

What Makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

Maurten Energy Gel and Maurten Drink Mix Review

One of the most common fueling questions I get is: “What makes Maurten Energy Gel and Maurten Drink Mix Different”? Is it better? Why do so many professional runners use it?  While my preferred gel is Maurten, I have had success with most gels.

One thing to keep in mind is every person is different. What works or some doesn’t work for everyone. Nutrition and fueling is a personal part of running and most of it is done with trial and error.  I’ve written about fueling before in the newsletter, but like shoes, there are many different types of fuels for many different types of people and stomachs. 🙂

What makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

So Back to Maurten:

Previous research showed the human body could absorb up to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. Now, research shows that we can use up to 80 grams.  Having too much sugar is what leads to stomach issues.

Unlike many fuels on the market, Maurten has no added flavor. It’s slightly sweetened but you won’t taste chocolate, cherry, or watermelon. Maurten Energy also uses natural ingredients so no extra color or preservatives.  I have noticed the Maurten with caffeine tastes like just caffeine. (It does have a taste, almost alkaline, bitter, and slightly soapy).

So What Makes Maurten Energy Gels (Gel 100) Different?

To understand what makes a Maurten Energy Gel different, we must understand traditional gels and energy sources.

Traditional “gels” are usually water and carbohydrates mixed together to make a thick syrup (and “goo”). To make them “gel-like,” there are preservatives, and to get a flavor, they add artificially flavors and preservatives.

Maurten Energy gel

The Maurten Gel 100 uses hydrogel.

What is a “hydrogel”?

A hydrogel is a biopolymer matrix and made with a blend of fructose and glucose.  The hydrogel technology is a biopolymer, which means it’s water-based with small pores. The hydrogel acts like a sponge. This biopolymer matrix allows the body to absorb and keep 100 grams of carbohydrates per hour (i.e., The Maurten Gel 100).

The hydrogel in the Maurten Gel 100, enables a smooth transportation of carbohydrates through the stomach to the intestine. This means if you often get an upset stomach, the Maurten Gel 100s are a bit smoother on the stomach.

Plus, the hydrogel allows you to use gel and also has an electrolyte liquid. Doing so, with most traditional gels, results in an upset stomach or cramps. (I’ve used with on-course electrolyte aid and never had an issue).

What about the Maurten Drink Mix?

The Maurten Drink Mixes come in 2 varieties:

  • The Drink Mix 160
  • The Drink Mix 320

Each of the drink mixes is mixed with 500 ml of water.  When combined with water, the Maurten Sports Drink instantly converts to hydrogel in the acidity of the stomach. The hydrogel then enables a smooth transportation of the drink through the stomach to the intestine. The intestine is where the water, salt, and carbohydrates are absorbed.

To make it easy, the Maurten Drink mixes refer to how many calories each contain. The Maurten Drink Mix 160 has the standard amount of carbohydrates we thought the body was able to absorb. The Drink Mix 320 contains twice the energy and nearly 14% of carbohydrates. That is nearly twice the amount of carbohydrates we thought the body could once absorb.

To get the most amount of carbohydrates, you want to take the Maurten Drink Mix 320.

Maurten Energy gel

So Why Use the Maurten Drink Mix vs. Maurten Gel:

First, gels are easier to carry. Most of us don’t have the luxury of elite bottles at races. We must bring our own fuel. Gels allow you to consume energy without running with bottles.

What makes Maurten Energy Gel and Drink Mixes Different?

Is Maurten Energy Gel or Drink Mix Right for Me?

The only way to know is to try yourself. Reading product reviews (yes, even here won’t tell you until you try).

If you’ve tried Maurten Energy Gels or Drink Mixes, let me know!

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:

Do you like Maurten Energy Gel? Which is your favorite?

 

 

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