How to Run through the Winter

The way to run through winter is…

The Treadmill…

Most people know, but I actually don’t hate the treadmillAll joking aside, there are other ways to get through the winter if you’re keen on running outdoors.  Last week was cold.  It was between 10-20 almost all week.  This last time last week, half of the east coast was canceled due to a snowstorm.  Thankfully, this week is better (for running).

As someone who went to college and worked in Upstate NY where there is often 2 feet of snow, I also understand everything is relative.  What is cold to someone living in Manitoba is different than Key West and there is no time for judgment.  If someone feels cold, they are and if you argue with them…it does nothing for anyone.

Personally, I’ve lived in several states that handle winter differently!  Both Virginia and New Jersey everything generally shuts down with any snow. (like last week)!  It never snowed while I lived in Texas but I do know several years ago, there was a huge ice storm.

Decided to attempt Nordic Skiing in NJ. Didn't break anything so success…

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

In Upstate NY, it didn’t matter the conditions.  Heck, even a whiteout or blizzard isn’t enough to close down school, classes, or work.  Each area of the world is equipped to handle different situations.  Wherever you live, you are generally most assimilated to that weather and life.

hiking home from swim practice after this happened…during practice

With anything, it’s important to run and train smartly.

If you ever feel unsafe, run inside or rest.  There is never shame in that.

(In college, I slipped and fell on ice.  It resulted in a fractured humorous, and I wasn’t even running outside…I was just walking!)

Last week, I did my workouts on the treadmill because I was just happier inside.  Not happy or overjoyed but happier to run inside.

Another fun fact about winter training is that all of my PRs now are currently from winter races.

February 2015 Phoenix Marathon: 3:14.59

January 2016: Carlsbad Half Marathon 1:22.57

February 2016: Flower Show 5k (18:13) 

So thinking out loud, I’ve created a few tips for running through the winter.   

First and most importantly: Don’t be afraid to adjust your workout:

A few years ago, I was visiting friends in Rochester the weekend of my last long run. Rochester ended up getting a massive blizzard and running outside was unimaginable.  (You know it’s a problem when things in Rochester close!).

I ran my last 20 mile run on the treadmill (see why I don’t hate the treadmill).  It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t desirable either.  Running outside would have been unsafe and hazardous.  If I hadn’t felt good on the treadmill, I probably would have skipped the run altogether.  Luckily, I felt fine.

Prevent Sliding with Yak Trax:

You will be amazed at what a difference Yak Trax make while running outdoors.  You’ll be able to grip the ground and ice much easier and stay safe.  I cannot stress how awesome they are (no they aren’t paying me to tell you).

Don’t Forget: Main Roads are Plowed First: 

The main roads are going to be plowed before local roads and sidewalks.  Who knows, your sidewalk may never be plowed and may clear up when the snow melts.  Being smart with how and where you run is important.  Always run on the opposite side of traffic and don’t run down the middle of the road.

But Certain local roads are cleared Quickly Too:

My high school was located in a neighborhood, and the roads to and from the school were cleared quickly.  During winter storms I could often run a 1-2 mile loop around my high school.  Boring?  Yes, but if you like outdoors then that was your best bet.

Wind Protection:

Even when the temperatures are brutal outside, the wind factor can play a bigger role. Layering appropriately is important.  It’s not just about “wearing as many layers as possible”. 

Recently, I learned that Vaseline can be an excellent protection against the cold and wind. It’s waterproof and helps block the wind too.  I don’t know how I didn’t know that!

Rain and Wintery Mix Protection:

You can prepare for the snow but don’t forget about the rain. In my opinion, winter rain is one of the toughest elements to run through.  It’s important to appropriately layer.  My personal favorite jacket is from Gore-Tex.  I’ve run through 30-degree torrential downpours, and my long sleeve underneath has stayed completely dry.  While it is pricey, it’s worth the cost if you are running outdoors in the winter.

shamrock half marathon me running 2017

With that, winter running can be an enjoyable experience.  Training through the winter can set you up for Spring PRs.  At this particular point all of my PRs are in the winter, however, I have PRed in the spring too ha!


How to Race in Inclement Weather 

Why I don’t hate the Treadmill

Tips for Morning Workouts

Questions for you:

What are some tips you have to train through the winter?

Did you get snow last week?  How much?


Hiking Ramapo State Forest

Right before my husband left, we went on a trip to Ramapo State Forest.  It just so happened that we got snow the day before.  Luckily I had my Gortex Brooks Cascadia trail shoes which kept my feet warm and dry.  If I didn’t have them, I probably would have been miserable.  Since the trail was covered with snow, we got a little bit lost but still had a good time.  We were out for a long time (from 11:30-4:30) so when we got back to the car, I was exhausted.

Ramapo State Forest is located in both Bergan and Passaic Counties.  It is possible to see NYC. However, it was just a little too cloudy when we went.  We plan to go back in the Spring when it’s warmer (and hopefully not frozen).

When we got there it was fairly empty.  I imagine in the spring and summer, the small parking lot is completely full.  It started with a few small but slippery climbs.

Ramapo State Forest hike

Like I mentioned, I was happy to have my Brooks Cascadia Trail shoes because with the ice and snow, my feet stayed completely dry and I didn’t fall which seems to be the theme here.

Ramapo State Forest hikeMore steps to climb

Ramapo State Forest hike

Because the trails were covered, we got lost a couple of times.  You are never too far from main roads so for the most part, you can hear traffic off in the distance.  Which is actually good, because if we got too lost it would have been dark.   Guess who didn’t want to hike in the ice and the dark while lost?  We also crossed between Bergen and Passaic Counties which was cool enough to merit a photo.

Ramapo State Forest hike

Finally, we made it to the Lookout Point.  Since it was so cloudy, we just took a selfie and turned out.  I was disappointed we couldn’t see New York, but after viewing it from private flying, not a lot will compare.  We decided to take photos in our ugly sweaters.  We wore them all along, but as you can tell it was too cold to just hike in them.  In fact, I was freezing taking that photo alone.  The things you do for the internet…

Ramapo State Forest hike

As it got later and later, we realized how close it would be to dark when we got back.  We had started at 11:30 but hadn’t planned to be out until around 4:30.  Getting lost and being slower in the snow, caught up to us.  The moment I saw the car with five minutes of daylight to spare was one of the best moments of the trip. HA!

Ramapo State Forest hike

I liked Ramapo, and I would definitely go back in the Spring or Summer when the trails were more clear.  It was definitely an adventure when we went.  It reminded me of backpacking in Upstate NY when we went to college there.

You can see more hikes we’ve done here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever hiked through the snow?

Do you have an ugly sweater you love?

Training: Ice and Workouts

Training: Ice and Workouts

Last week I planned to do a 5k, but with another week of icy conditions, I opted to DNS.  In college, I slipped and fell on ice (not running).  Ultimately, I broke my arm. To me, not worrying about falling and having a productive run on the treadmill is more than worth it.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 75 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400s
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: 3X2 mile repeats 800 recovery
Sunday: 10 mile Run with Amelia and Danielle

12x400s with 400 recovery (average 5:58 pace)

This workout went well.  It was extremely windy on Wednesday.  I felt like a loose noodle the entire time and but 400s are starting to finally feel easier. The first time I ran, I average 6 min pace (or an 18:35 5k) in ideal conditions.  These averaged 5:58 in headwind so there is an improvement.

Saturday: 3×2 mile repeats (6:27, 6:27, 6:23)

I had wanted to race, but knew running on ice would not end well for me.  As I’ve mentioned, I slipped and fell on ice in college.  I broke my arm.  Now, I’ll occasionally run in snow, but I prefer to run inside. The race went on, but I didn’t show up.

The workout itself felt like a struggle to get through.  I counted down the minutes and didn’t feel good.  I felt better by the fact I accomplished the workout, but besides that, I can’t say it was the most enjoyable workout I’ve done.


I probably won’t race for the rest of the month.  I would have liked to race more than I did, but you can’t control the weather and if I hurt myself I would have been more upset than a “meh workout”.   It was a boring but successful week.

Posts from the week:

Brooks Cascadia 12 Shoe Review
Four State Vacation

Questions for you:
Do you ever run on the ice?
What was your best workout last week?

Blizzard Thoughts

As most people know, the North East got a blizzard this week.

In South Jersey, It cancelled everything.

It closed schools!  It closed businesses (like gyms!)!

It gave me plenty of time to relax and clean my house while I’m “snowed” in.  At least that was my excuse.   While it was a serious storm for many people, we didn’t receive much snow down in South Jersey.

The winter storm, Juno hit the east coast earlier in the week. I honestly didn’t realize there was a big storm coming until Sunday night. Then we got multiple news alerts, media updates and text messages to stay safe.

Due to the mass amount of media updates, many people panicked and bought out super markets from their produce, milk and eggs.

I had the fortunate event of working on Monday before Juno “hit”. I knew the storm was a big deal when it took me 8 minutes (due to lack of traffic) versus 15 to get work. It snowed off and on but nothing stuck. In fact it was safe enough I went for a 90 minute run before work with no issues.

After work I got home and went to bed. I snapped this photo for good measure.

The evening before the storm

The evening before the storm

No snow stuck.

I went to bed and woke up with about 2-3 inches of snow. It led to so much thinking.

The morning after with about 3 inches of snow (already plowed)

The morning after with about 3 inches of snow (already plowed)

How did the media create this to be a super storm?
I do realize areas such as the shore and Long Island received a lot of snow.  The Southern Jersey and the Philadelphia region did not. I was thankful for less snow because last week’s snow brought quite a few car pile ups and deaths.

Thought: People are complaining about the “lack of snow”.  While it stinks to not get as much snow, think about the lives that are saved because we didn’t.  Inevitably there would have been more car pile ups because people weren’t safe. 

What should I do on my snow day?

I cleaned my house.

Thought: My house was in desperate need of cleaning. It was nice to actually do that. 

While this snow day didn’t live up to the media’s expectation, it was nice to relax.

Questions for you:

Did you get a lot of snow?

What do you do during snow days? 


Real Life

Over the last week I’ve had the pleasure to run and hang out with a lot of different people.  I finally feel like I’m assimilating into New Jersey.  I’m enjoying myself, though I would enjoy myself more if I had a job.  That being said I am really happy right now and not stressing myself out looking for a job.  I have found that stress is what you make of it and I decided I wouldn’t let myself be stressed and enjoy this time.

Last week I was able to drive up to Princeton and meet one of my Oiselle teammates, Jen, and go for a run.  After getting lost as I normally do, I made my way to the park and had a great run.  That was honestly the best run I had had since the marathon and it made me think I was starting to get into shape again (even though it was two days since beginning running).


Then fast forward two days of applying for jobs I headed back to VA.

On my way down I stopped at Katie’s house and finally got to meet her.  We went out for dinner at Greene Turtle.  I think she was one of the first blogs I started following way back in the day and she was one of the first Oiselle athletes I “knew”.  So it was pretty fantastic to have another Oiselle meet up!


In my 36 hour stay in Virginia I also got to hang out with Theresa (I can’t put into words what a great friend she has been to me throughout the last 7 years (7? Oh my!)).  Theresa and I had made plans to go to JoJacks (my favorite café) on Saturday for lunch.  My parents asked if I wanted to go there the night before (not knowing) and of course I wanted to go.  So I had Jojacks for dinner Friday night and for lunch Saturday morning.  I would say it’s an awesome reward for finishing that 10 miler.

Look at us all being #twinnerz

Look at us all being #twinnerz

I was glad I drove back Saturday afternoon/evening because on Sunday we got a huge snowfall in New Jersey.  It doesn’t normally snow here (I asked) and didn’t snow in my area at all last year. This week alone we have gotten two significant snow falls.  No it’s not Upstate, NY snow but it’s still too much for me.


The most important update is this though:

My love for foursquare is a touch too much...

My love for foursquare is a touch too much…


Well that is all.  I’m actually off to Philadelphia today (only 45 minutes from me) to go hang out with Tina.  I am being spoiled by all this excitement but I should take advantage of it before I work full time again.

In cliff notes version: My life is going well.  I’m finally enjoying running again, enjoying hanging out and making new friends and not enjoying the weather.

Questions for you:

Do you like running alone or with friends?

I see the positives and negatives to both.  I like running with others but enjoying running by myself too.

What is your favorite restaurant ever?

Jojacks is up there for me but these New Jersey Diners and I have fallen in love.

All the Injuries

My blog and I have always been associated with injuries.  Though I’ve only been running about 3 and a half years I’ve already run the full spectrum of injuries.  Sadly though most of those injuries are not running related and mostly freak accident related.  I decide to compile all the injuries I’ve had since beginning running and how they occurred.  I don’t really consider a week long issue an injury, though the only week long issue dealt with my knees.  Anyways someone asked about my life and injuries from a stress fracture to 2 broken arms. 

July 2011 would be considered my running injury.  After about 1 month of forcing my body to run an hour a day when I wasn’t ready and at a pace I wasn’t ready for, I got a tibial stress fracture on my 21st birthday.  This injury was devastating for me at the time.  I had less then a year of full training under my belt.   Though it was a devastating injury, it was an injury I needed to learn and grow as a runner.



MMM. Injury (this was before they discovered a SF and thought it was tendinitis).  I limped my way to Happy 21.  (not at the bar but out with my parents)

MMM. Injury (this was before they discovered a SF and thought it was tendinitis). I limped my way to Happy 21. (not at the bar but out with my parents)

Still enjoying my 21st (also point of note I did not mix meds and alc,)  I could write a post on how much I hate medicine...another day.

Still enjoying my 21st (also point of note I did not mix meds and alc,) I could write a post on how much I hate medicine…another day.

January 2012 I slipped on ice, fell and broke my arm.  It’s as simple as that.  I don’t have an excuse or exciting story as I was wearing UGG boots and they have no traction.  In that same week my car slid on black ice and hit a police car.  It was not a good week for me, my wallet or my love for winter. Except for that it was a pretty minor break and I may have gone to the bar the same night.  Also during January I was feeling some knee twinges but after taking 4 weeks off of running for my broken arm, the twinges never came back.

At least this is like 97/100 percent better :P

A broken humerus is not humerous… 

The only day I wore the sling...that day...

The only day I wore the sling…that day…


September 2012 I developed a cyst in the arch of my foot.  They still don’t know exactly what it was from and it could have developed anywhere in my body.  I am extremely lucky it didn’t develop in my brain or somewhere very serious.  However, I am still very bitter that it ruined my cross country season.  I was able to run on it until it got to be so big it ripped the muscle off my bone.  After a couple of months of waiting it out, they gave me cortisone shot which made the cyst slowly disappear.  If only I had cried my way to cortisone shot the same day they saw it develop…should have, would have, could have. Though this was not running related it was a rather painful stab at my running career.

September 27, 2012 when I realized the cyst in my foot had caused the muscle to rip off my bone.

September 27, 2012 when I realized the cyst in my foot had caused the muscle to rip off my bone.

August 2013 I was hit by a cyclist and knocked to the ground, fracturing my elbow.  I was devastated but after a week (and trip to an orthopedist (realized it was the most nonserious elbow fracture I could have had.  I was able to run (awkwardly) less then a week after it.

Was this really 2 months ago?  Soft cast removed.  Christmas!

Was this really 2 months ago? Soft cast removed. Christmas!

A few weeks ago I was having a twinge in my knee but after a deep tissue massage and a few days of rest it went away.  So instead of letting it become an injury, it was just an issue.

So there you have it.

Questions for you: 

Are you injury prone?

Do you like snow? By that I mean do you like old crusty snow that was nice and fluffy until it got to be -30 and it froze over?

With my records of slipping and falling on snow and ice throughout college (that was no means the first time it happened) I am surprised I haven’t broken my arm more than that.

Because I’m Highly Interesting

Since it’s Saturday and I have done absolutely nothing exciting this week to blog about besides work (which I’m not in the place to blog about), I thought I would tell you ten random facts that make me the lolz.  Because one day I decided I would just call myself lolz…then the lolz…but in real life most people just call me Hollz. Right then.  (no I don’t really call myself the lolz). 

I cannot sleep wearing anything with strings around the neck.  (hoodies).  When I was younger dad told me that I could choke to death so I have the biggest fear of sleeping in a hoodie.

In my life I have wanted to be a zoologist, marine biologist, math teacher and none of those I currently do or have a degree to do.  (well math minor and a whole slew of education courses…but I’m about as qualified as bloggers who think they are nutrionist).

Can't you tell I'm a natural with animals?

Can’t you tell I’m a natural with animals?

I like diet coke and I like splenda. I might get cancer tomorrow because of it.

Enjoy at some restaurant that I went too they gave our table packets of a nice bowl with a doily (must not be too bad for you then...)

Enjoy at some restaurant that I went too they gave our table packets of splenda…in a nice bowl with a doily (must not be too bad for you then…)

Bread pudding is my favorite dessert.  I wish more places had it.

Like this bread pudding.  I might go up the road and get some now tonight..

Like this bread pudding. I might go up the road and get some now tonight..

In my badass days (clearly before the blog because bloggers would never do that…right…?), I went streaking once.  (no photos)..

From the real archives.  I begged the swim house to throw a white trash party my sophomore year of college so I could wear big hoop bangel earrings.  This photo makes my parents proud.

Why am I even showing you this?

Why am I even showing you this?  (and yes I was actually sober…and yes I am actually holding a baby doll as part of my costume)

I enjoy reading biographies and autobiographies.  I don’t really enjoy fiction and novels.  My current read is a biography on John F. Kennedy.

If I won the lottery tomorrow I’d buy a new car.  Probably two new cars but keep Lorraine.

This is my car is snow.

This is my car is snow.

This is my car not in snow...

This is my car not in snow…

My hair has been many different colors.  Blonde, red, brown, black…pink…I’ve since stopped dying it because it’s pretty much dead.  I think we are at natural hair color now.   (and yes I’m growing my bangs out).

Good bye bangs and brown hair.  I hate you.

Good bye bangs and brown hair. I hate you.

I haven’t thrown in anything about running so let’s see here.  I bought my first pair of nike Pegasus three years ago because they had a cool color scheme…and then I just really enjoy Nike (from swimming too) and that is how I started with that.

Here are my current favorites.

Here are my current favorites.

Bonus round:  My favorite day of the week over the summer will be Monday’s because I know I’m guaranteed to get that day off.  

Tell me something about you. 

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