Hiking Cinnamon Mountain (Big Sky, Mt)
Cross Country Move, hiking

Hiking Cinnamon Mountain (Big Sky, Mt)

During our move across the country, we knew we wanted to get at least one hike in. Initially, we thought it might be at Yellowstone, but it made the most sense for us to stop in Big Sky, Mt. Big Sky is beautiful. After doing a little bit of research, we stumbled upon Cinnamon Mountain, which had everything we were looking for.

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me running
Running, Training

July Training Recap: A Month in Many States

July of 2020 might have been the most states I’ve ever run in in one month. It was a busy life month as I moved from New Jersey to California.

Continue reading “July Training Recap: A Month in Many States”

Private Flying

Private Flying to Watertown, NY

It’s been a couple of months since my husband, and I flew anywhere substantial.  A few weeks ago, we were discussing possible things to do on Labor Day Weekend. I always wanted to run the 18.12 Challenge Race. My husband was not as keen on spending over 14 hours, driving to a race and coming back. I guess I can’t blame them.

He asked if I wanted to private fly. I’ve never private flown to a destination with a time limit. We’ve flown around the state and Northeast on our own time, but we’ve never flown somewhere to do something. I didn’t know how my body would handle flying the day before a race. Private flying is loud, bumpy, and you get sick a lot easier. But it sounded like a fun adventure.

What most people don’t realize is Private Flying, and Air Force Flying is entirely different. Just because you are an Air Force Pilot, does not automatically make you qualified to fly private planes (and just because you fly Private Planes does not make you qualified to fly Air Force Planes.) They are similar but separate entities. You must have different certifications for both. My husband has both and instructs and teaches people how to private fly. So if you, random internet person with no flying experience wanted to learn to private fly, he could teach you. He likes to fly, and it’s become a hobby of his. Anyway, I get a lot of questions about that, so I thought I would answer.

We also rent airplanes (We don’t own any LOL). First, we can’t afford to buy an airplane. Second, my husband prefers to fly a few different types of planes.

A Few Fun Things About this Flight:

  • My first cross country flight (260 miles/2:15 minutes)
  • During the flight to Watertown, we faced headwinds and flew to 8000 feet.
  • During the flight to South Jersey, the cloud layer made us fly lower at about 5500 feet.

Here are a few photos from our flight up to Watertown:

Private Flying

Private Flying
landing in Watertown
Private Flying
Close to clouds

Private Flying

Private Flying
Looking Down at the Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, PA
Private Flying
Delaware river
Private Flying Delaware River
Delaware River and view of Philadelphia
Private Flying route 38 and top golf
Looking down at Top Golf in Mount Laurel, NJ

In all, it was a lot of fun.

Other Flying Posts:

Flying to Bridgeport, CT

Flying through the Hudson Exclusion and NYC

Flying to Essex County

Question for you: Have you ever privately flown? 



me running workout
Big Cottonwood Marathon, Running, Training

Big Cottonwood Training Week 12: Altitude and Half Marathons

Last week of training was fun. How can it not be when you are traveling? My husband and I decided to take a mini trip out to Colorado. Since we were in town, we thought we would do the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon. I had no goals other than finish the half marathon and spoiler I did just that.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 75 minutes
Wednesday: AM: 4X1 mile with 2 minutes rest (total miles 16)
PM: Easy 6 minutes downhill
Thursday: Rest and travel to Colorado
Friday: 60 minutes shakeout run in Vail
Saturday: Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58) Total Mileage 20
Sunday: Easy 30 minutes

Week 1: Hello Humidity
Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw
Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW
Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW
Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW
Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW
Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets 56 MPW
Week 8: It’s Very Hot 58 MPW
Week 9: Tetris Runner 56 MPW
Week 10: Long Week and Personal 5ks 54 MPW

Week 11:: Quality Miles


What a week, my runs, for the most part, went well. My weekly mileage has been good, and I’m happy to get the running distance in. I was bummed I didn’t have the time to swim, but with travel, cross-training didn’t work out.  I’ve mentioned before, but swimming will always be there, and I’m not competing in swimming, so there isn’t a point to make myself miserable to get to the pool.

Workout Wednesday: 4X1 mile

I got to run with my fast friend, Skip. Originally we had planned the track, but it was completely occupied, and there was no way to get on. We decided to head to a local paved path which worked out well, and I had my best workout in a long time.

Since Big Cottonwood Marathon is a downhill race, the race says “a speedy downhill slope,” I opted for 6 miles in the afternoon on the treadmill. I set my treadmill on a decline and run for an hour to get my quads adjusted to that. After running Phoenix and not being prepared appropriately, I asked for training tips for Big Cottonwood. Runnin downhill should have been a no brainer, but I’m glad someone suggested it.

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon 1:33.58:

I’ll have a full recap this week, but I had no plans for the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon other than to run smart. I took out the race very easy (for a race), and my first mile was 7:37. I didn’t know how I would feel. Looking back, I probably could have taken it out faster, but I haven’t done a road half marathon at altitude (I raced the trail Copper Mountain 25k last year).

The race itself is mostly on gravel, and it was one of the most beautiful races I’ve ever run. It’s a remarkably beautiful road race, and I would recommend it to anyone. I was able to negative split the race. Around mile 10.5 was the hardest hill I’ve ever climbed. It was a steep 300-foot climb in about a quarter of a mile. I found myself extremely winded for the rest of mile 10 and 11. I’m happy with the race, and afterward, I ran an extra 7 miles to get in 20 miles. I wouldn’t have done that, but that’s marathon training for you. For Big Cottonwood Marathon, all of my 20 milers will be on race day, and I appreciate that (but it does not make it any easier when it’s time to run after the race).

In all, I’m happy with the week of training. It’s hard to believe the Big Cottonwood Marathon is less than a month away.  My goal has always been to get to Salt Lake City and the start line healthy. My marathon training plan has been just to stay healthy and run smart. I’m running enough miles per week to feel prepared without being overcooked when it’s time to run 26.2 miles.

Posts from the Week:

Hiking Cheesequake State Park

Hoka One One Rincon Shoe Review

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k (20:04)

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 at altitude?

What is the most beautiful race you’ve run? 

me running central pa
Running, Training

Training Last Week: Hot..and also Hot

Last week was a good training week.  I had a good workout and a solid race at the Air Force Half Marathon for the conditions given.  New Jersey was hot again last year, and it’s been hard to crave anything pumpkin when it’s also 90 degrees outside.  That being said, you can’t control the weather and only adjust.

Monday: 6.5 miles easy with Alana (8:32 pace)
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 3X1 mile with 1 mile jog in between (total miles 10)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Air Force Half Marathon 13.1 (1:31.12)
Sunday: Easy 60 minutes
Total: 49.1


My easy runs were easy, as usual.  On Monday, I ran with a friend, Alana, who was in town.  She has run under 3 hours in the marathon and is a bit faster than me.  I didn’t charge my watch, but she said we ran 6.5 miles at 8:32 pace.  It was faster than I would typically do an easy run alone, and I enjoyed catching up.

The rest of my runs were easy.  Both Friday and Sunday were in central PA, which is far more hilly than NJ.

In case, you were curious, all of my hour runs to be 6.5 miles. (It might be 6.2 or maybe 7 depending on the day…but the minimal difference all evens out and doesn’t matter).

Wednesday: 3X1 mile averaging 6:20 pace (6:18, 6:20, 6:21). (2 miles warm up/cool down)

The weather on Wednesday was hot, and the humidity was 100%.  With weather that hot, and humid, I wanted to stay local and close to water.  I did mile repeats, with a mile jog around a nice loop.

Before the workout started, I had written it off that it would be “bad.”  Once I actually got into it, the weather wasn’t too terrible, and I was able to do what I wanted.


Air Force Half Marathon 13.1 (1:31.12)

I had bigger goals for the race, and I had hoped to run faster than last years 1:27.28.  However, immediately when running, I realized how hot and humid it was, and that time was not going to happen.  I know I’m in better shape than 1:31, however, you must race for the day.  When the feels like temp are in the high 80s, and the course has no shade, you have to be smart with how you run to make it to the finish line.

Anyway, I’ll have a longer recap, but the shorter recap is I ran around 7-minute pace for the first 10 miles.  That is what felt good in the weather and on the course.  Around mile 10, I decided to hammer down the last 3 miles and ran 6:50, 6:42, 6:36.  The last half of the course is harder than the first, so I know my effort was there.  I didn’t warm up or cool down because you walk about 1.5 miles to the actual race start and it’s hard to do a warmup on the base itself (there isn’t a heck of a lot of room…I also just didn’t feel like it).

Around 11-11:30, a black flag was drawn due to heat and weather and many people were bussed off the course, unable to finish because it was dangerous.  (Black flags mean the weather is dangerous).

I will say a few things about the race itself, every single aid station had the flag marking (I distinctly remember when it went from yellow to red), and there was EMT or personnel at least every ¼ of a mile. There were plenty of aid stations as well as well.  It was just a hot day on a course with no shade.

While I would have liked to be faster at the half, I am proud of how I ran in the weather. You can’t control weather and racing is about running smart.  Whether it means racing in the conditions, pacing yourself appropriately, or whatever.

Posts from the Week:

Summer Recap

Brooks Levitate 2 Review

Exploring Wells State Park (Sturbridge, MA)

Questions for you:

Have you ever raced in an extremely hot race?

What is your favorite half marathon ever?