Why I love Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest Hallmark Holidays of the year.  I don’t know the stats, but my guess is most of the employees in the card, flower, fancy restaurant and chocolate industry are overbooked and overwhelmed.

I know in the running industry that’s how I feel during marathon and track season

To be honest, Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite Holidays.  Not because I expect a plethora of things, or want to participate in the “let’s show off our love via social media contest”. 


Valentines Day is a time to celebrate love. 

Whether it’s love for….

…a significant other

…your family and friends

…a pet

and most importantly:

Love for yourself

As a 20 something-year-old, I can tell you I didn’t always love myself.  In college,  I put a lot more pressure on myself. I wanted to the be absolute best I could be and wouldn’t give myself credit for achieving the small things.  I didn’t appreciate things about myself that looking back I wish I would have!  Not just in sports but in life as well.

Valentines Day is a beautiful celebration of love.  It starts with love and appreciation for yourself.  

Here are a few ways to embrace and love yourself:

  1. Show gratitude for who you are now. As humans, we are always growing and learning more about ourselves.  We are striving to do better and to be better.  Take time to reflect on where you are now and how far you have come.  Never discount the small achievements.
  2. Do something daily that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming but do something each day that you know will make you happy.  Is that reading a few blogs?  Is that painting your fails?  Is it running?  Make sure to make a little bit of time for just you each day.
  3. Give yourself a fair chance. If you believe you will fail, you will.  Believe in yourself.  It’s that simple.
  4. Distance yourself from things that make you unhappy. That could be things, people or activities but if you are constantly around things that are making you miserable, you cannot love and appreciate yourself.
  5. Believe in yourself. If there is one thing you can do to love yourself, it’s believe in yourself.  If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will?  Confidence is key.

Valentines Day doesn’t have to be a celebration of giving or receiving gifts.  It’s a celebration of love whether it is loving yourself, your family and friends or significant other.

We all have someone to love, and it starts with ourselves.

Question for you: How do you love yourself? 


Feel the Love 5k (20:12)

Tim and I decided to run a 5k on Valentine’s Day.  The Feel the Love 5k was a team event.  We entered the “lovers category” and made our team name “Planes and Pancakes”.  It was in Philadelphia at 3:30pm.  It made for a really odd race time, especially on Valentine’s Day but Tim and I didn’t mind.  I went into this race with the strict mentality it was a workout.  I had run a successful 20 mile race before and I was finishing my marathon peak week.

Ready to go

Ready to go

I ran 5 miles in the morning to shakeout my legs.  I am normally a morning runner.  I always prefer a morning race but this was a unique experience.  My legs have also been feeling stiff since the 20 miler. As much as I do want a 5k PR in the future, I haven’t been training for that.  My plan through the summer is to run more 5ks and hopefully work towards a PR.

Anyways, around 2pm it started snowing a lot in South Jersey.  Tim and I tossed the idea around (too much) of just skipping the race.   We were cold, I was grouchy and my legs weren’t feeling the best.   I had already taken off work as well as payed for the race so we headed over.

For the race itself, It was really cold so I wore pants.  There have only been 4 races in my running career that I’ve worn pants for!

Logistics wise, after getting lost a few times we made it to the Navy Shipyard to the race in Philadelphia.  We grabbed our bibs and did a 2 mile warm up.  I felt significantly better in the morning but still not great.

This particular race had two “courses”.  Each team member would run a different course and you would see each other several times during the race.  Both courses looped around each other and you ended up doing 12 turns!  It felt like a track.

The race started smoothly and the team members went their separate ways.  The first mile I hit in 6:40.  Despite going into the race with a “workout mentality”, I was disappointed.   I quickly shook that feeling and realized that it was a good time for where I currently was (untapered, tired and on a difficult course).  I was passed by a lot of people during the first mile.  I saw T on the course.  With the course directly on the water, the first loop also allowed me to see where the wind was the worst.

The second mile I also ran in 6:40.  I passed many people and was also passed by many people.  I think I moved places the most in this 5k.   Normally I’ll be in the same place for half of the race but people were passing (or I passed a few people) more often in this race.  Not that it really matters but I could tell it was a fast field.

The final mile I ran a lot faster.  I don’t know how or why but I just picked up the pace.  I think I was ready for this race to be done.  I knew I wouldn’t hit my original goal of breaking 20 minutes but I pushed the pace as much as possible.

I passed a few women and finished in 20:12 (which was surprising after my first mile).  The finish line was a hard left at the end and I didn’t see it coming up.  All of a sudden, the race was over.

A terrible photo but proof I wore pants.

The proof is in the pants (wow TWSS)

Tim and I finished 15th team overall.  We were happy with it because it was a very competitive race.  The first few teams average 17:XX 5k times, which was incredible!  We did 2 miles cooldown.  I would have liked to have been faster but due to the workouts and mileage I put in last week, that was not possible.  This was a lot of fun and I’m glad we both got out there for a solid workout.

Questions for you:

How did you spend Valentine’s Day?

Have you ever done a team race?

Preparing for Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!

Are you ready or are you like me that you are running around like a goober trying to figure out what to do? (Just kidding T because I know you read here and I’m working ;).  All kidding aside, Valentine’s Day is one of the most (unnecessarily) stressful holidays of the year.

Whether I have been single or not, I have always enjoyed Valentine’s Day.  I don’t really care that it’s a “Hallmark Holiday” or that it’s overly obsessed.  I enjoy themes and a reason to be festive.  I’m not saying to spend a fortune but I do enjoy the day.  I enjoy St. Patrick’s day and Fourth of July just as much.

Last year Tim and I went and ran the Virginia is for Lovers 14k.  It was a lot of fun and as much as I would love to run the race again, J&A isn’t doing it.  I hope one day it makes a return but I know races in that area are a pain.

Stephanie, Mollie and I at the race start.

Stephanie, Mollie and I last year at the race start.

Instead of posting a few articles about what to cook (because I’m a terrible cook), I decided I would post some hilarious Valentine’s Day eCards as well as interesting articles.  One of the most important aspects of Valentine’s Day is having the best card.  Flowers, chocolate and candy are all secondary.  Feel free to print them out and send them to your favorite Valentine (which is me of course!).

valetines day meme

valentines day meme

valentines day meme 3

valentines day meme 1


Funny Articles:

Will You be Disappointed on Valentines Day?

Hilarious Valentine’s Day Stories (If this doesn’t fill your LOLZ tank, I don’t know what will)

The Onion: Valentine’s Day Stories

Questions for you:

Do you have any epic Valentine’s Day Stories?

What are your plans tomorrow? 

Virginia is For Lovers 14k (56:00)

I love all J&A races.  I have always had a good time running them and will drive back to my home town to them.  It was a nice weekend getaway.  It doesn’t feel like this race was a week ago but due to having so many Lake Effect Stories, I decided to wait to post it.  This week I’ll be playing a lot of catch up on race recaps and life.  It did exist in real life, even with a delayed blog recap!

After getting to my house Friday night, Tim and I relaxed and hung out until Sunday.  This is one of the few times I have actually driven to a race (normally dad drives to all the VA races). Since dad was away on travel I had to navigate to the race myself.  After getting lost by following a crowd of cars (who ended up going to Church not to the race) I made it.  We (Tim and I) got there relatively late so were only able to get in 1.25 miles for a warm up.

Stephanie, Mollie and I at the race start.

Stephanie, Mollie and I at the race start.

I didn’t know how this race would go but did know I would be happy with anything between 6:30-6:50 pace.  Except for a few ice patches, and a little bit of wind, the race conditions were pretty ideal.  I didn’t know what a good time would be with not much racing since the summer and racing an odd distance.  I didn’t know if I should race it like a 10k or a 20k…but eventually settled on going with it like I normally do.  I don’t normally have an exact pace I’m shooting for.

Long story short: The first 3 miles I took out too fast (6:14, 6:14, 6:16) then  I regretted it the last few miles. 

When the race started I was in a pack of about 3 girls.  I passed the first 2 at the one mile mark and had one in front of me for a while.  We went back and forth until mile 3 where she took a lead and never looked back.  I would have loved a win but she was holding a faster pace and opening the gap with each mile.  That is what faster runners do.

Mile one and two were very similar and quiet.  I ran both miles at 6:14 pace.  I tried to stay comfortable.  I thought I was comfortable at the time but looking back I think I took it out a little bit too fast.

Maybe if I hadn't been goobering around I wouldn't have had to power through the rest of the race...maybe...

Maybe if I hadn’t been goobering around I wouldn’t have had to power through the rest of the race…maybe…

When we hit the “hill” (around 2.5) at the amphitheater I knew the woman I was running with had taken the lead for good.  Although we weren’t even 5k into the race my mind thought we were “almost done”…which was terrible.  (No Hollie, you still have 5 miles to go).  Also terrible is running through the amphitheater sober as I have had a few drinks and gone up that ramp a few times.  It’s a different experience.

Around mile 3, I desperately hoped I wasn’t going to die.  It really felt like I set myself up for a rough time and blowing up.

I hit the 5k at 19:36.

Mile 4 I knocked out some side fives with Mollie (Oiselle) and a few others.  It was awesome.  I felt my pace slow down a lot but focused on getting to the 10k. (6:33)

At mile 5 I could tell a few females were starting to catch me.   We also hit some mud due to the rain/sleet/ice from yesterday.  I tried to avoid the cold mush but I definitely got swamped.  Around mile 5 I glanced at my garmin and made the executive goal to try and hit the 10k mark under 40 minutes.  It kept me motivated and focused.

Mile 6 I was just focused on breaking 40 for a 10k…which I did and I was pleased.  I was running the majority of the race by myself but knew I had two female who were gaining on me.  I hate the feeling of knowing people are gaining and you are dying (6:36).

Mile 7 I don’t remember anything but some guy getting really close to me.  I thought it was someone I knew.  We are running down a two lane road there is no need to get within a centimeter of me.  (That’s my number 1 racing pet peeve…I think I gave him the look of a daemon child). I am extremely claustrophobic so people getting in my “racing bubble” when it can be avoided is a big deal for me.  Obviously at the start of the race it’s hard but in the middle of a race it terrifies me.


5 minutes later I’m a different person…

As we approached mile 8 all I could think about was holding second.  I heard them talking behind me and gaining with every stride.  They were closing in the gap.  I knew they were gaining.  I knew I had to give it everything I had or I would probably get fourth overall.  Getting fourth wouldn’t be the end of the world but I really wanted to maintain my place.

After mile 8, it was roughly .7 to the end.  I shut everything out and just focused on getting to the finish line.  I couldn’t tell you any of the scenery we ran by because I was in my own world. 

The race ended inside and once we got in there it went from sunny to dark.  It was like a bad acid trip but I did and maintained about 6 seconds in front.

Post race and we are done.

Post race photo

Long story short: I am happy with this race.  I was expecting around 6:30-6:50 (closer to 6:50) but was happy to be well under that. I was happy that I could really gut out the last mile and maintain whatever place I ended up getting.  My average pace was 6:23 which was far faster than that goal.  Not only that but it’s also 5 seconds per mile faster than my half marathon PR.  It makes me (really hope) that a half marathon PR is possible this spring.

Questions for you:

What odd race distances have you run? 

I guess college 6ks and this 14k is all I have.

How was your Valentine’s Day?


Sometimes we all forget to get our special someone (or ourselves) a nice Valentine gift or card.  Never fear, LOLZ has always got your back.  I hope you have a great day and print out a few to share with your friends….


lolzentine5 lolzentine3

Please vote to send me to Napa!  Thank you so much for your support.

Questions for you:

What are your Valetines Day plans?

What are your weekend plans?

Both of my plans are driving down to Virginia Beach.  YAY road trips.

%d bloggers like this: