Training: From -2 degrees to 62

Training: From -2 degrees to 62

The last few weeks of running have been boring.  They haven’t been good or bad, but there has been a lack of excitement to them.  This is for a few reasons: I’ve been running by myself, a lot of indoor runs watching TV, and zero races since early December.

Believe me, if there was a race every weekend, I would be there.

Moving forward, I was able to get two workouts in last week.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400s/400 rest
Thursday: Easy 30 minutes
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 14 mile run with


Usually, I take a rest day each week.  In fact, this is the first week in a very long time I haven’t.  To be honest, the 60-degree weather on Thursday lured me in.  Did I have to run?  Of course not.  Was it the smartest?  Maybe not…however, we haven’t seen the 60s in a few months and shorts weather was welcomed.  I kept it shorter just to be smart but enjoy some warmth.

Wednesday: 12X400s (average 88 seconds, 400 rest)

I haven’t done 400s on the road in a long time.  Truth be told, if a track is not open I’m more likely to do them on the treadmill.  However, I don’t race on the treadmill and so on Wednesday when the roads were fairly clear (clear of ice at least), I found a quiet spot in a neighborhood and did my workout.  I was ecstatic with how it went.

Sunday: 14 miles run with 7 miles at 6:58 pace

This was my fastest long run since coming back from my break this summer.  I am both happy and surprised with my effort.  I do know, I’ve been able to run workouts faster because I’m not racing, but I am still looking forward to racing.

In all, I had successful runs and workouts this week.  Boring, but I never claimed to blog because I was an exciting person.

Posts from the Week:

December Training Log

How to Run through the Winter

Tips for Morning Workouts

Questions for you:

How was your week of running? 

Do you have snow on the ground?


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?

Saucony Ride 10 Shoe Review

Saucony Ride 10 Shoe Review

I’ve been running in the Saucony Ride 10 for a little while now.  It replaced the Saucony Freedom in my rotation.  A few years ago, I loved the orginal Saucony Triumph ISO.  Personally, it was one of my favorite shoes to come out.  Since then, I haven’t found a Saucony shoe I like as much.  More recent models of the Triumph have been okay but not my favorite.  I am curious to see how the latest model, the Saucony Triumph ISO 4 stacks up though.  I’ve run in several models of Saucony: The Triumph, the Zealot, and the Ride.

Anyway, the Saucony Ride 10 has been a more favorite shoe of mine recently.

Saucony Ride 10 Fit:

The Saucony Ride 10 fits more true to size than previous years.  Typically I wear a size 10-10.5 wide, and I found a 10.5 to be ideal.  The upper is seamless and accommodates those with wider feet or bunions.

saucony ride 10 shoe review.jpg

One thing I’ve noticed about Saucony, which people either love or hate, is that it has a very low back.  It doesn’t fit orthotics/inserts as well as many other neutral shoes.  That has been a deal breaker for many, because they feel like they are slipping.  It’s never bothered me, and I’ve never felt as though I was slipping out, but it does bother a lot of people.

Saucony Ride 10 Ride:

Time to review the ride of the Ride.  It always sounds funny when I say that.  The Saucony Ride 10 is an 8 mm drop and much firmer.  If you are looking for a shoe with firmer forefront cushion, the Ride or most Saucony shoes are an option.

I’ve run anywhere between 5-10 miles in the shoe, and I feel as responsive in the beginning as the end of the shoe.  The cushion is there. One thing I did notice was it slipped more on wet surfaces or in the rain.  It’s a shoe I’m less likely to take out in icy conditions, although I’m more likely to run indoors when it’s icy.

Saucony Ride 10 Conclusions:

The Saucony Ride 10 is one of the most popular shoes in the industry, and I can see why.  It’s a true to size, well-cushioned shoe, that is great for any amount of mileage: from 5ks to marathons.  It holds up well.  Saucony is on model 10 of the shoe, so it’s lasted the test of time for a while now. Personally, I’ve been enjoying the lightweight but still well-cushioned shoe for easy days or regular daily runs.

Current Rotation:

Brooks Glycerin 15 (long runs, easy runs)
Brooks Ghost 10 (easy runs, daily runs)
Saucony Ride 10 (easy runs, daily runs)
Nike Zoom Fly (workouts)
Altra Escalante (workouts)
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (races)

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite shoe?
What is your all-time favorite shoe?

Training: Treadmills, Rest, and Cold

Training: Treadmills, Rest, and Cold

I thought last week would bring a race but the cold weather ended up changing it.  Sunday morning the windchill was -2 and to be honest, that just didn’t appeal to me. Plus my brother was in town for the weekend, so I wanted to enjoy time with him.

Will I ever race again?

To be continued…

Monday: Easy treadmill run 60 minutes
Tuesday: 10 mile run in Chambersburg with my father in law
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday Easy 60 minute run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minute  run
Sunday: 2X3 miles

Where to start?

I spent most of the time running indoors, and I’m okay with that.  The weather this week was bitter cold, and while I do enjoy running outside in the teens and sometimes the single digits, sub-zero degrees don’t appeal to me.



I had a workout planned that day, but I just felt groggy and tired.  Both mentally and physically I wasn’t there, so I scrapped it.  I don’t have any regret of that choice.

Sunday: 2X3 miles (1-mile jog in between)
(6:36, 6:31, 6:27)
(6:31, 6:27, 6:25)

The workout itself felt good. I didn’t feel as though I was working at maximum effort which made me excited.  I think I could have pushed it faster or longer, but this felt appropriate to stay healthy and based on previous workouts.


The week wasn’t ideal, but I’ve decided in 2018 to limit my complaining about the weather.  It sounds trivial, but you can’t control what mother nature brings, just how you respond.

Posts from the week:

December Training Log

Tips for Morning Workouts

Questions for you:

How has your weather been lately?

What is your favorite treadmill workout?

December Training Log

December Training Log

December was a weird month for me.   I’m actively training and have even had a few solid workouts.  However, I haven’t raced and to be honest that is weird for me.  I’m “known” to race a lot.  Why? Because I like it.  I like the grind of racing a lot of 5ks, and pushing myself.  When you workout and run by yourself, it can be hard to push yourself.

Which leads me back to why December was “weird”.  I only raced once.  I had planned many more races, but the weather prevented them. Last month it seemed to snow or we got ice on the weekends.  Plus with the holidays and getting ready for a deployment, planning things kind of went out the window.

me running 1

January is a new month…so new me?  Right?  We will let mother nature decide.  Judging by today and this week, I’m not sure.

Miles run: Around 200
Rest Days: 4
Races: 1
Workout Days: 8
Range of Paces: 6:00-11:12-untimed

December: Thoughts:

I mentioned last week in my training log, it was definitely an interesting month for me.  Usually, I have far fewer workouts and more races but you must adapt to what the cards are dealt.  Everyone is dealing with cold and miserable conditions.  Despite not racing, I am getting quality workouts in.  It’s just hard to know where I stand in terms of fitness.  I feel more confident and less rusty when I have a few shorter races under my belt.  Other than that, not much else went on.

me running happy

January Thoughts:

For me, January is always a tough month.  It’s cold, dark, and cold.  I’m the first to admit I’m not a fan of any of these things but seasons change.   I’m hoping to stay motivated and crank through the month.  Maybe I should take my own advice for morning workouts…ha.

run treadmill me nordictrack

Posts from the Month:

Tips for Morning Workouts

Blogging Review

What to do When a Workout Goes Badly

2017 Running Recap

Hiking Ramapo State Forest

Four State Vacation

Shoe Reviews:

Brooks Cascadia 12 Shoe Review


Questions for you:

How was your Holiday season?

What are your goals for 2018?

Tips for Morning Workouts

Tips for Morning Workouts

Recently I received a question about running and working out in the morning.   I haven’t always been a “morning runner,” but since graduating college, I’m a morning runner 99% of the time.  If I don’t run before 9 am, chances are I don’t run.  Of course, it doesn’t include races, although I did wish they all started before 9.

I will be the first to tell you it’s much easier to run in the morning during the summer.  It gets lighter earlier, and it’s warmer.  You don’t feel as though you’re ripping blankets off to go for a run in the dark and cold.  With my constant change of schedule, it’s better for me to get the run done earlier.

I posted a long time ago that I don’t drink coffee before I run.  I used to drink coffee right when I woke up almost every day. However, I had one bad race (the Distance series in 2013? 2014? And that ruined it for me.

Recently I was sent Alert Caffeine Gum to try.  I’ve heard of caffeinated gum before, and it seems like a lot of people swear by it.  Thinking out loud, I’m not a huge gum chewer, but I was excited to give it a shot.  Like anything, you don’t know until you try!

Alert Caffeinated Gum

Here are some other ways I prepare myself to workout in the morning:

Sleep: I am known to turn my technology off around 9-9:30 pm.  I might go to bed a little later, but I stop fiddling with the computer, texting, etc.  It allows me to wind down and actually get to bed.  Tweeting at the pillowcase keeps me wide awake.

Set an Alarm (or 2 or 10): I’ve adjusted to waking up between 5-5:30 am most mornings.  To be honest, at this point it doesn’t phase me.  However, it didn’t use to be like that, and I needed an alarm to pull me out of bed.

Check the Weather: Mentally I like to have an idea if I’ll be running inside or outside.  Or if it’s going to be snowing, pouring rain, or windy.  Not all surprises are good ones.

Make Sure. You Have Appropriate Gear Clean: Many bloggers will tell you to lay your clothing out, and I think that is fantastic advice, however, for me if I have appropriate gear cleaned and findable, I consider it a good day.

Caffeine! As I mentioned, I no longer drink coffee before I run.  I was lucky enough to be sent Alert Caffeine GumAlert Caffeine Gum to try.  I’ve consistently chewed a piece after breakfast, and I do feel a bit more jazzy during my run.  I don’t feel like I’m slogging through the first mile.

I’ve also tried Alert Gum in the middle of the day, and it doesn’t keep me up at night.  It has half the caffeine of a cup of coffee which is a great amount for me.

Alert Gum is available in Mint or Fruit flavors, and each pack has 8 pieces.  It’s available on Amazon or Walmart for $2.99. Personally, I like the fruity flavor the best.

Finally, Stick to It:  Sometimes we want to change but aren’t willing to give it time.  Give your new routine at least 2 weeks.  If after two weeks, it’s not for you, find something that is!

Thank you Alert Caffeine Gumfor sponsoring this post!

Questions for you:
What time do you like to workout?
Do you have any methods to wake up in the morning?

Treadmill Workouts, Cold, and Snow

Treadmill Workouts, Cold, and Snow

Happy New Year!

As much as I would love to race this year, the weather conditions kept me away.  Slick ice, and single digit temperature races don’t interest me.  Racing safely will be there and next weekend looks promising.

 Anyway, last week was fine.  I got workouts in, but I can’t say it was my most enjoyable experience.  Running fast on the treadmill is always humbling, and I feel as though I’m counting down the minutes until the workout is done.

Mentally, I’m staying positive through the winter.  I’m not a cold weather loving person, and the weather has got me in a funk, but you can only control so much.  Instead of focusing on the negative, I have been focusing on the positive and what I can do.

I think it’s good advice for anyone, fitness related or not.

Monday: 90 minute Christmas Run with my Dad and brother
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: 12X400s on the treadmill at 6:00 min pace
Friday: Easy 12 to pick up my car
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: 14 mile long run with 7 mile at 7:10 pace


Last week brought a lot more free time, and I didn’t intentionally mean to run as much as I did but here we are.  Even with the increased mileage, my body feels decent.  Instead of taking a taxi or ubering, I ran to pick up my car on Friday.  It was an interesting but fun experience and got me out of monotonous miles.

12X400s at 6:00 min pace

I’ve done faster, however, on the treadmill, I’m very cautious.  I find you don’t know if you feel good to continue or the treadmill is blinding you with pace and ability.  I would prefer to aire on the side of caution and set the pace to faster than I’ve currently run is the best fit for me.  It takes a split second to get injured, and slower workouts will get you, fitter…just slower.

14 mile Long Run with 7 miles at 7:10

I had started the day thinking I would do another workout on the treadmill but my brain and body wasn’t feeling it.  I knew if I stayed on, then I would be miserable.  So I bundled up and ran outside.  While it wasn’t icy, the “feels like” temperature was 2 degrees.  I was proud of myself for getting out there and getting the run done.

I guess I’ll write a December recap soon, but January brings me a lot more free time.  It will be a tough month for me for a few reasons I’ve mentioned.  I’m not a winter person and of course, my husband is gone, but I do have more free time to see family and friends (and diners LOL) which I’ll take advantage of.   I’ve been practicing a lot of positive self-talk lately which has been great.

It’s a hard lesson to learn, but you can truly only focus on the positive! Edit to add: I’m doing fine, and I appreciate people reaching out.  I won’t lie and say I like winter over fall, spring, or summer, but as mentioned I’m focusing on the positive.

Questions for you:

Are you a winter runner?

How was your New Years?

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