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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

Thoughts:

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?

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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!

RelatedPosts: 

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?

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.

 

Wednesday:

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.

Thoughts:

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?

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

Thoughts:

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?

What to do When a Workout Goes Badly

What to do When a Workout Goes Badly

Often times workouts or races don’t go as planned and that is okay. Every runner and athlete has those days, and they stink.

Recently I’ve been craving a race.  I haven’t raced since early December, but I haven’t raced well since the Runners World Half Festival in October.  I’m still the same runner and person that ran well there, but I crave to run fast and compete again.  Why haven’t I?  Around here that hasn’t been much or when there has been, dangerous conditions

Runners world half festival me

Thinking out loud, I like workouts, but the satisfying feeling of crossing a finish line and meeting your goals always feels better.

Last week, I had a lackluster workout.  I wouldn’t call it bad because I didn’t hurt myself, but I wouldn’t call it successful either. Like a race, I took it out too fast and couldn’t make intervals.  Maybe I was a little overzealous in the fitness I was in, but I was also exhausted.

One of the hardest moments of the sport is realizing it’s not your day and deciding what to do. 

You have so many options. Should you slow down the pace? Shorten the intervals, or even just cut the workout together?  Last week during my 400s, I thought about all of these things.  Was I just mentally weak and physically able to hit the intervals?

Ultimately, I decided to slow down the pace to 90 seconds per 400 (or 6:00 min pace). My effort level was still high and that is how my body felt for the day.

By slowing the pace, I allowed myself to run at the effort I could give for the day at the exhaustion level I was: both mentally and physically.

When to Stop the Workout Completely:

Some days everything feels off from your body to your mind.

How are you able to determine it’s not a great day to do a workout?

For me two big factors are if I’m sick or completely mentally exhausted.  Over my entire running journey, there have been several workout days I’ve moved around, or several races I’ve DNSed because I felt awful physically or mentally.  The world moved on and it wasn’t a big deal.  Sure it wasn’t pleasant at the time, but it wasn’t the end of the world…at the end of the day, it’s just running.

Some would argue, and I would agree, the mental component of running is the hardest.  It’s hard to realize: today is not your day.  Relaxing, resting, or adjusting your pace can be the best thing you do for yourself.  It can help you move forward with training rather than move backward by further exhausting yourself.

You need to have the courage and mental toughness to realize that a day off and missing one workout isn’t going to ruin your entire training segment.

Finally, Look Back to see what Made the day Not Go as Planned:

  • Were you exhausted from training?
  • Were you exhausted from outside factors of life?
  • The weather?

Every runner has bad runs and it won’t be the first or last time it happens.  If you are mentally able to adjust the pace on the rough days and stop the workout when it’s important, it will lead to better workouts and PRs.

Related Posts:
I Don’t Hate the Treadmill
Why Building a Base is So Important for Running

Questions for you:
Have you had a bad workout?
How do you move forward?

 

 

2017 Running Recap

2017 Running Recap

At the end of the year, I like to do a running recap.  I think it’s a blogger thing.  Either way, it’s always fun to look back at the year,

So let’s dive back and look at 2017.   

Number of Miles Run:  I have no idea.  My guess is around 2000.

PRs set: ZERO!  In fact, I haven’t PRed since early 2016. :O

January:

Thinking out loud, it’s hard to believe I moved down for 6 weeks early in the year and lived in Alabama while my husband went to an Air Force school.  To be honest, all of my best races were in January and February this year.  Plus it was nice to escape the winter.  I enjoyed living down there.  Birmingham mlk 5k

February:

February continued my Alabama life.  We traveled to nearby states and were able to enjoy both Atlanta and Florida for a weekend.

Yay seeing Laura again

My best race of 2017 was the Double Bridge 15k in Pensacola.  I nearly won, however, got outkicked in the last .1.  It was rough, but I felt like I was finally coming back to running strong.

Double Bridge 15k me running

We came back to New Jersey in mid-February, but not without running the Mercedes Half Marathon.  My husband debuted his first full marathon in 70+ degrees and ran a 2:59.  I could not be more proud of him.  His goal was to break 3 hours in his first marathon and the weather did not make for an “easy day’.  I ran a 1:27  half marathon which with the conditions, I was happy.  Although looking back, it began my slow decline both mentally and physically from the sport.

Run Mercedes Half Marathon me

March:

In March, I ran a few races but most noticeably the Shamrock half marathon in VA.  It was my 6th year running and another year of bad weather.  I got to see my good friend Heather, Mollie, and my previous coach (James Mckirdy).  It poured rain, was cold, and miserable but dressed appropriately, I wasn’t as miserable as 2016.
April:

Oh April…April began my decline in running.  I was burnt out.  I spent months training hard, but it never yielded the results I wanted.  I ran a couple of races in April.  The Phillies 5k which I won.  It wasn’t a PR but it was one of my faster races.

phillies 5k win

A few weeks later, I ran the April Fools Half Marathon.  The race has a lot of meaning to me.  I’ve won the race before, I’ve PRed and I’ve always had an enjoyable time.  This year, however, I never felt good physically or mentally.  When I crossed the finish line in 3rd, I was miserable.  I had gotten progressively slower since October of 2016.  The previous October, I ran a 1:24 at the Runners World Festival on a difficult course.  Several months and hard training later, I ran Atlantic City, I ran a 1:26 on a flat course and ideal day and I was working hard.  On my drive home, I realized: Hollie you need a break.  It’s only running and it’s just stressing you out.

april fools half marathon atlantic city me running

At least I got to run with my good friend Erin

So I took a break.  I DNSed the Broad Street 10 miler in May (when I had my first elite bib), as well as other races too.  I rested for April as well all of May and most of June.  I attempted to get back into running in June and ran a couple of races but couldn’t find the motivation or get into a routine.  I was extremely busy, and running in the dark, alone did nothing mentally for me.  So I rested and just lived life.  It was the best thing I did for myself!

Park Wayne Diner

A photo of me living life at a diner…

It wasn’t until August, that I began consistently running again.

During that time, I was also selected to run for the running apparel clothing: Rabbit.  I strongly believe in the people who make the company great, as well as the clothing Rabbit.  I have a 10% off coupon you can use here.

me running rabbit

August:

In August, I eased back into the running scene by running on runways.  Incase you didn’t know, there are actual hills on baby private runways.  My husband has his private pilots license, so I learned that fun fact during one flight we did together.

In August, we did the Philadephia Airport 5k was one of my favorite races of the year.  It was the first race I rebroke 20 minutes and the only race my husband and I have both won.  I continued to ease back into running.  My only workouts were races and I ran lower mileage. philadelphia international 5k

September:

September brought my first distance race, the Air Force Half Marathon.  I finished in 1:27 (only a minute slower than leaving running in April).  I felt good and it was such a fun race.  My husband competed in the full marathon for his MAJCOM which was cool. The conditions weren’t good there either, as it was hot.  He was unhappy with his time of 3:17 and has since been training for shorter stuff again.

Air force half marathon dayton ohio me running

October:

October brought one of my favorite race weekends: The Runners World Festival.  This year, I met two of my idols: The Halls.  Not only that, but I placed second in both the 5k and the half marathon.  They weren’t my fastest races on the course, but certainly my most memorable.  It ignited my love of running back.

Afterwards, my husband and I took a vacation to Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona.  It was so much fun and relaxing to spend the time together.  We ran, hiked, and did everything in between.  It was one of the best experiences of my life and I’m so glad we got to do that.

November:

We got back from vacation in early November.  I promptly got food poisoning on the way home which I’m still dealing with.  Although, according to my doctor I only have a couple of weeks left!  Even though I trained consistently, November running didn’t go particularly well.  I ran and I trained but none of my races were great.  My biggest accomplishment was finishing the Philadelphia half marathon, where I had to stop and vomit!

December:

December actually brings my least amount of races run, while still actively training.  The weather in New Jersey has been extremely unpredictable this December.  I’ve already run in 15 degrees and this week it’s been 60.  Of course, we have gotten snow or black ice on weekends when races are.  I will (usually) run easy outdoors but it’s not worth it to me to race on ice outdoors.  While I have only done one race (where I felt like garbage), I have had some awesome workouts that will hopefully set me up for a solid 2018.

So what will 2018 bring?

Can it bring a PR?  Wouldn’t that be nice…right now I’m training for 5ks but do have some half marathons on the radar as well.  I am hoping to break 18 in a 5k next year (which would be a PR).  Past that, I don’t have a lot of plans…just run, live life, and hopefully stay injury free.

Questions for you:

How was your 2017?

What was your best race?

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