Running Gives Me a Lot

Today is National Running Day. First and foremost, happy running to my family and friends, blog readers (both near and far).  Happy running day to readers I’ve run with and readers I wish I could run with!

This is such a fun day because so many people talk about how they began running.  Personally, I enjoy hearing about how others found running in their own personal lives.

I’ve written countless blog posts about my start to running and how I’ve progressed.  Right now there isn’t much more to say.  I enjoy running and I continue to run!

In cliff notes: I swam until senior year of college.  Then I quit swimming and began running.  I went from a 12:12 mile to a 3:15 marathon.  All of that took time, effort and growing as a person both mentally and physically.  It also took a lot of negatives to go along with the positives.  Each injury taught me something and each success taught me something.

One of my first races
One of my first races
One of my last races
One of my last races

However, this post is about things I’ve gained far better than PRs.  It is about the relationships I’ve built and friends I’ve made.

My husband and I met through collegiate racing.  He ran for a nearby school.  Our first few dates were actually miserable runs.  It was cold, extremely windy and cows smell bad in upstate NY.  So when you think about romantic, that was it!  Running with my husband

Running with my husband

Three years later, running is still something we love to do together.  Since our first run together, we have ran many races and in several states.  We run during the good, the bad and pretty much all of the times.  We don’t run every run together of course, but it is nice to share a hobby together (since I don’t fix cars and he does not blog…

Running has brought me to some of my closest friends.

Friends like

Laura A and Heather (two of my bridesmaids)

I love us.

Laura S



Taking 1-3 place with Brittany and Heather
Taking 1-3 place with Brittany and Heather

Kris and Kellie



Broad Street Liz

Danielle and Amelia

Danielle and Amelia always look so cute....and I look  Awkward...
Danielle and Amelia always look so cute….and I look like…me. Awkward…

While running didn’t bring Theresa and I together, we run together…


Let’s not forget I also work at an amazing store with amazing coworkers.

Volunteering with my coworkers at a local race
Volunteering with my coworkers at a local race

Of course my blog is also running based.  My best and favorite posts are running related.

A few of my favorite/most memorable races:

The Nike Women’s Half (oldie but goodie)

Lake effect Half marathon: This was one of the most meaningful races to me.  In 2014, I raised money and awareness for Ophelias place.  I ended up raising 2500 dollars.  I went on to win the race as well.


Atlantic City Half

Running is such an important factor of my life.  I never let it consume me but I know I share a love, passion and community with so many others.

Today I will be celebrating with some sort of run.  Work and sharing this day with friends and family.

Question for you: How are you spending National Runner Day?


July through December Musings

It seems like the second half of my year was far more exciting then the first.  I like to save the best for last right?  Actually after the marathon my life seems to have simmered down.


I turned the big 23.  I’m an old lady now.

I finally ran a 5k PR that I feel I’m never capable of again (18:35).

Life is good!
Life is good!


As with the rest of the summer I worked a lot between 50-70 hours and was really burnt out.

I ran an 8k PR and then was hit by a cylist who broke my arm.

YAY for no sling!
YAY for no sling!

I was accepted to run for Oiselle! 



I ran the Rock and Roll VA Beach half marathon with Laura and Heather.  It was awkward because I ran it with a broken arm.



I moved to Texas.

I ran another half marathon a week later in San Antonio.  1800 miles of driving, two half marathons back to back…only to go a few seconds faster in San Antonio and win a sweet Growler.



(one week later) I found out I was moving to New Jersey.

The night we found out we were Jersey bound
The night we found out we were Jersey bound


I drove back across the country seeing Laura along the way.


I moved back home with my parents (again!) for a few weeks before my marathon.

Kris and I dressed up like Pumpkins for a 10k that I missed my PR by 5 seconds.



I ran my first marathon.


I moved to NJ.  After moving to NJ, I took some time off of running and just relaxed and looked jobs for a while.


I haven’t (honestly) done a lot of note worthy things this December.  It’s been just assimilating into NJ and looking for jobs.  I hope I have something to report by the end of the year.  I guess I’ll work on that.

I took photos in the snow.  It counts as productive.
I took photos in the snow. It counts as productive.

I did run my first and only race since the marathon, The Surf and Santa 10 miler.


Thoughts of 2013:

Although 2013 was anything but calm I truly enjoyed the year.  It seemed like it flew by and that I was happier then I have been, especially in the later half of the year.  It seems like I should have been more stressed being jobless and the 4000 miles I drove in 2 months but I wasn’t.  It was a really good year.  I have found the more stressed “I should be” is when I become less stressed.  Little stressors that shouldn’t stress me out often are the worst for me.

Anyways upward and onward to 2014 from here!

Question for you: Most notable thing of 2013? 

Hollie Jollie Christmas Part 2

This year was my first Christmas spent away from my parents.  It was a big change but they are actually coming up to visit this week to see our new house so I’m excited about that. 

Since Tim’s birthday was on Saturday, we drove over (neither up nor down…just straight across) to PA on Friday afternoon.  We were lucky he had from Friday afternoon to Thursday am off.  (He has to work today).   Anyways we drove to his parent’s house and I always enjoy seeing them and his entire family.  I’m so lucky they are a part of my life as well as his whole family is so caring and welcoming!

He seemed to have a good birthday on Saturday.  We relaxed, hung out, went for a nice (hilly) run and went to a Japanese hibachi/steak house called Aki.  It was good though I was disappointed (I don’t think he was) that people didn’t come obnoxiously sing happy birthday.  They did give him a piece of cheesecake though with a candle.


We spent the next few days preparing for Christmas.  Not doing too much but wrapping presents, going for multiple hilly runs and just hanging out.

At the top of a 1000 foot climb
At the top of a 1000 foot climb

We went for some mountain and hilly runs.  I had a very productive week of running while on vacation.  All of our training runs were filled with hills.  Today is a well deserved rest day.


We sat and drank eggnog in front of the fire.

On Christmas Eve, we all decided to go to White tail mountain for some skiing.  By we, I mean Tim and his father went skiing and his mom and I watched and drank starbucks.  Lord knows I’m clumsy without two sticks attached my feet.  It was a lot of fun watching and hanging out and a great way to spend Christmas Eve.


Christmas was spent enjoying time and being together.  Tim’s sister has recently had a baby and they came over.  She is too adorable.  Speaking of awesome, look at what Tim’s sister made both Tim and I.  How cool are these coffee mugs?

I actually wrote this post in the car ride back to NJ and then posted it when I got home…look at me go using my time wisely.

Questions for you:

How has your Holiday season been?

Was Santa good to you this year?  

Hollie Jolly Christmas and Life

I cannot believe Christmas is less than a week away.  I know I have said frequently but I have been lost in the last two seasons and still think it’s summer time.  Too bad all of that time has both come and gone.  It’s no longer fall and it’s nearly winter.  Good thing for me that Tim’s birthday is on the 21st and the first day of winter.  Therefore I can remember both!

Since it’s his birthday plus we went to my house for Thanksgiving,  we are in Pennsylvania  to celebrate.  I truly enjoy spending time there with his family so I’m very excited.

In other worthy news we put up a Christmas tree in the house.  We went to good ole’ Lowes and pulled it right out of the cement.  Not that this has anything to do with the Christmas spirit but we spent 90 minutes in Lowes.  I don’t think in all of my life I have spent that much time there.  Tim needed a bunch of materials to do man things so I spent time with his mom wondering the store.  They have the most random things in Lowes that I never would have thought of.


But what do I know about home improvement? 

I got a few questions about how I like New Jersey.  Is it better then Texas?  Is it better then VA?  Do I like it more then Upstate? 

I really enjoy the area that I live in NJ.  It’s a very quiet and remote place.  In my town (yes town) there are two restaurants (an amazing diner that we go at least once a week) and a pizza place.  There is a gym, grocery store and state park (with roughly 50 miles of trails) so it has everything I want.  When I do find a job I’ll be commuting upwards of 30 miles but it’s fine because there is 95% of everything else I want.  So to answer all the questions at once: yes I like it and I’m extremely happy here.  (mostly happy to finally be settled!).

We do see these planes frequently there's that
We do see these planes frequently though…so there’s that

Running has been going nicely.  I took yesterday off but I think I’ll be getting some good running in next week in Pennsylvania and it will be a nice change of scenery.  I finally feel like I’m getting some of my base back and hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll feel like I did in September and October.  Then I will be able to make a decision about a spring marathon or waiting until fall.

As seen on a run this week.  The lake is frozen over and geese like to attack.
As seen on a run this week. The lake is frozen over and geese like to attack.

Questions for you:

Where did you get your Christmas tree?

What are you doing for the Holidays? 

After College Changes…

I feel semi productive that I was able to write both posts and schedule them back to back.  I always get frustrated with cliff hangers on blogs that last for 2-3 weeks.  I know patience is a virtue but it is a virtue I am not blessed with.  My lack of patience is actually important with this post though.

Here is part 1 of my college growth.

My final semester of college I spent interning full time at a health office in Oswego.  Then I was hired there. (Spending close to another year in Upstate, NY).  Long story short I fully enjoyed my job at Oswego.  It had everything I learned from community health courses, great coworkers, it was what I wanted to be doing, close to Syracuse, Rochester..ect.  I made a lot of friends there.  I hated the cold and weather but that had nothing to do with my job.  There was obviously one large part of my life missing from Oswego and that was my long term boyfriend.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that was 95% I moved.

At the Walk to Save Lives Fall 2012
At the Walk to Save Lives Fall 2012

Until roughly May of 2013, I thought I had my life completely figured out.  After making the executive decision not to stay in Oswego I moved home with my parents for the summer while Tim finished up most of pilot training.

I planned to spend the summer either interning at a health center or working.  I ended up working two jobs to save money to move to Texas (neither having to do with my community health major in college!).  Last summer I felt as though my college career was again a waste.  I was working jobs I probably could have done without a college degree.  They were just that…jobs to pay bills.  I knew once the summer was over I would be moving down to Texas and finding a job similar to Oswego.

So I thought anyways.

Sadly the area I moved in Texas didn’t have those jobs available and I certainly didn’t know what I wanted if those weren’t options.  The closest community college was 2.5 hours away and it’s obvious I don’t even like five minutes of driving.

Oh texas...little did I know I would be here 6 weeks
Oh texas…little did I know I would be here 6 weeks

I knew two things about my community health degree and possible job choices.  I didn’t want to work in a hospital and I didn’t want to work with babies.

Past that I had absolutely no idea and it stressed me out.  (In fact it still stresses me out).  Here I am a year out of college and I couldn’t tell you my exact dream job.   Since my stay in Texas was short lived (6 weeks) it wasn’t feasible for me to find a temporary job let alone a full time job.  (Thank you working all summer).

While I lived in Texas I began to think about my future and my thoughts about pursuing a job when I moved to NJ.  What did I want to do?  Apply to a college and work on campus like Oswego?  Work at the Red Cross?  Work at a nursing home?  I had no idea…all of those jobs interested me.

Since this previous summer I have grown even more.  This past summer though I still worked, I had no idea what I wanted to do the rest of my life.  It worried me.  It frightened me.  It still frightens me.  Do I have to make an executive decision of my career choice right at this very moment?  No.  I have to find a job that I currently enjoy doing and pays bills.

It seems we are asked the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question since we can talk.  I’ve gone from marine biologist to zoologist, teacher to community health worker.  How do we ever know exactly what we are destined to do?  I have thought a lot about the definition of successful and happy.  What makes you successful?  Having a job from the major you chose in college?  Making enough money to pay the bills?  Being happy?

My personal opinion is that being successful comes from doing something you enjoy, not stressed and being financially stable.  Whether that takes you in a completely different route from where you originally started then it does.

Might as well be happy right?
Might as well be happy right?  Look a community health center that probably has a job I would like. I guess I’ll just stop the marathon now.

I wish college had prepared me for that.  I wish someone in college had said there is a chance even after four years of classes you won’t know what you want to do.  You still won’t have it figured out when we hand you (mail you) your diploma.  You will never have all the answers in your life. Do not stress about it and you will find the answer eventually.  

Spoiler: Incase you wondered now (and I owe a post about Jersey) but I am happier right now then I have ever have been.

Question for you: How do you define being successful? 

Chapter 23.5: Texas

Today I leave again to go back to the East Coast.  I know it has shocked a lot of people (including myself) that I am moving so quickly (a month and a half of being in Texas).   I truly had a great time here even though it was for such a short time.  The military lifestyle is truly unpredictable and I knew that there was a chance I’d be moving back to the East coast relatively soon after moving here.  Not a month and a half, but relatively soon (I was thinking more like 5-6 months later).  I also knew there was a chance I was staying out here for four years or moving elsewhere. My heart right now is on the East Coast and as I said a while back, NJ will be a great fit for me.

I learned more in this month of being in Texas about myself then several of the semesters in college.

  1. You can’t sweat the small stuff.  Look at the bigger picture and while you might not be 100%satisfied right now…you will be.  Don’t worry about it.  For me, not having a job was and still is frustrating.  I know I will have a job that I love again soon.
  2. You can’t schedule every life event.  I tried to do that and it failed.  My move dates, plan dates, where I would move changed 6 times over the course of the month.  I hate not being able to give people direct answers of when I can hang out or if I can make stops to see them, yet right now I don’t have those answers.  Believe me it’s as obnoxious for me as probably you.   I wrote about being a planner like it was my job a while back and right now I’m spontaneous like it’s my job.
  3. Celebrate no routine.  This may be the only time for a while I have no routine.  Embrace it.
  4. Living with someone else…you must learn to adapt and change.  This could be the hardest for me and throughout the month.  With Tim not getting back until around 6-7, that is when we would generally eat dinner.  Maybe he wants to do something else.  I could have planned something all day and it doesn’t work out.  You have to learn to compromise.

Despite all this moving I am 100% happier than I have ever been in my life.  There will never be a point in my life with zero stress but this is coming pretty close.  I am 100% happy with my 2013, despite 4 moves and despite that I’m heading into another 1700 mile drive.

Prey for Lorraine and I.

Some random pictures and highlights from my (brief) Texas adventures:

My first photo of Texas
My first photo of Texas
I did win this growler at a half marathon and it goes down for best race prize ever
I did win this growler at a half marathon and it goes down for best race prize ever
Meeting and hanging out with Stephanie with so much fun.  I will truly miss you!
Meeting and hanging out with Stephanie with so much fun. I will truly miss you!
The night we found out we were Jersey bound
The night we found out we were Jersey bound
Tim's graduation and his parents, sister and baby coming to visit.
Tim’s graduation and his parents, sister and baby coming to visit.
Living 2 miles from Mexico
Living 2 miles from Mexico
Medium rare steak all the time.  I will miss cheap steak in Texas.
Medium rare steak all the time. I will miss cheap steak in Texas.
Sun rises and sun sets are to die for here.
Sun rises and sun sets are to die for here.


So that’s it in a nutshell.  I’m happy, I’m moving and I can’t wait to start another new chapter of my life.  One of the shorter chapters of my autobiography I guess I’ll title it Chapter 23.5…Texas.  Straight and to the point.   I’m 23 this about my half birthday and I spent some time in Texas.

Question for you:

How do you eat your steak?

Medium rare and mooing for me.

Prettiest sunset/sunrise ever? 


Existing in Real Life

I had a very busy weekend.  If you follow me on instagram or any other social media, it was the weekend Tim got his wings and officially graduated pilot training (52 weeks later).  His family was also in town which was really nice and I fully enjoyed my time with them as well.  Since photos are much easier to post then words I’ll do that.

Tim and I standing near one of his training planes on the flight deck.
Tim and I standing near one of his training planes on the flight deck.
Him officially graduating.  The plane in the background is the one he will be flying in NJ.
Him officially graduating. The plane in the background is the one he will be flying in NJ.
His sisters adorable baby.   As you know, babies are not my thing, but she is super cute.
His sisters adorable baby. As you know, babies are not my thing, but she is super cute.
In San Antonio dancing with wax Ellen.  The Ellen Show is one of Amanda and I's favorite shows.  Right now in Del Rio, Imy day revolves around the 3pm hour to watch it.  Ha.
In San Antonio dancing with wax Ellen. The Ellen Show is one of Amanda and I’s favorite shows. Right now in Del Rio, Imy day revolves around the 3pm hour to watch it. Ha.
At the Alamo in San Antonio
At the Alamo in San Antonio

So yes it was a great weekend.  I want to say back to the grind, but being unemployed and having no grind I just need to start packing to move again.   It was nice to spend a weekend not focused on running or training.  I nearly forgot I was a runner on Sunday.  (Except my legs hurt like the dickens from a long run Saturday).

Questions for you:

When was the last relaxing weekend you had?

Tell me something you love about your family.

I love being so close with mine.