60 Days with Collagen

60 Days with Collagen

Last month, I asked twitter what people preferred to see on LOLZ blog.  This is a blog about my life, journey, running, training, fitness, diners, military life and run on sentences and poor grammar.  While hard to classify what is LOLZ blog, it’s mainly about my life and journey.  If readers are interested in something in particular than I always try to include it.

benefits of collagen

One thing that popped up was more about food and diet.  Please keep in mind, I’m not an expert.  I’m not a dietician, and I’m not a nutritionist.  I do have a public health degree and took several college classes in health.  I still have a hand in the general public health environment (and no, it not because I blog LOL), although not as much in the food realm.

Moving forward, I’ve decided to share a new supplement I’ve been taking over the last 60 days.  With any review and supplement, I think it’s important to give it time.  Like running shoes, you can’t say you “love” something after 1-2 runs and you certainly can’t know a supplement is life changing after a week.

That being said, I started taking Collagen with Vital Proteins 2 months ago, and I’ve found myself recovering faster from workouts and runs.  Vital proteins sent me the original sample, but because I’ve found myself to be successful with it, so I’ve continued to purchase!  

What is Collagen?

When Vital Proteins contacted me, I wasn’t familiar with every benefit of Collagen.  I knew what Collagen was, but that was about it.

Collagen is a protein in the body found in muscles, bones, skin, nails, joints, the digestive system, and tendons.

Why Supplement and Why Vital Proteins?

While yes collagen exists in food, it’s hard to find. Due to the nature of collagen, it comes from the broth of animals.  That is why you see more and more athletes drinking bone broth!  Here is a few source of natural collagen:

  • Bone Broth
  • Eggs are one of the other few foods to contain collagen
  • Salmon

Thinking out loud, as delicious as both eggs and salmon are, it’s nearly impossible to eat them every day.  That is why finding a supplement like Vital Proteins is worth it.

vital proteins collagen benefits

My favorites as of now are:

Like protein powder, Vital Proteins dissolves well in water.  Each scoop contains 35-40 calories and about 10 grams of protein.  It also includes your daily dose of collagen.  I feel healthy just thinking about it!

Why is Collagen Great for Runners? 

Joint Health

Runners are constantly pounding their joints.  This decreases the cartilage in the knees and other areas.  In the running world, it’s not uncommon to hear athletes talk about “bone on bone” and needing surgery to repair it.

How does Collagen Help your Knees?

  • Increases lubrication around joints to make more mobile
  • Helps to increase bone density (A BIG ONE FOR RUNNERS!)
  • Reduces inflammation around joints and improves healing of connective tissues
  • Every seving contains 10 grams of protein in 35-45 calories.

Lastly, Skin Health!

One huge benefit outside of running is Collagen helps to replace dead skin cells.  If you know me, you know I’ve never had perfect, flawless skin.  I suffered from acne in high school as well as adult acne a few years ago.  No amount of makeup or Instagram filter made it better.  I do see a dermatologist, which has been great but I’ll never have perfect skin.  Collagen doesn’t treat acne or medical conditions but it will help to replace dead skin cells and make your skin look smoother.  I can personally say I’ve had success with that.

While Vital Proteins, sent me an initial sample, I’ve now been using and purchasing it for myself.  I feel better, and my skin looks better, and it’s something I’ve found helpful for me!

Questions for you:

Do you take any supplements?

Have you ever tried a collagen supplement?


(Running) Podcasts I’m Loving

(Running) Podcasts I’m Loving

After going through entirely too much Amazon Prime, Lifetime movies, and Netflix, I’ve turned to the next form of entertainment.  For the most part, I listen to podcasts while running on the treadmill, or as background noise while I’m at home.   I don’t like to sit (or run) in silence.

Here are a few Podcasts I’ve Been Enjoying Recently:

Lindsey Hein’s: I’ll Have Another

I’ve followed Lindsey for years on Twitter (maybe one of the first people I ever followed?).  She has had everyone from bloggers, to professional runners (like Desi).  Lindsey’s podcast is very casual, and you feel as though you’re hanging out with friends, going for a run, or going to a diner…

C Tolle Run:

C Tolle Run is an Olympian herself, and every single podcast has me glued to my headphones absorbing everything.  She usually interviews professional runners and elites.  One of my favorite podcasts she has done was actually with the high school superstar: Drew Hunter.

Man Bun Run:

I actually had the honor of meeting Riley at the Runners World Festival last year.  He is one of the most down to earth and casual bloggers I’ve met.  Man Bun Run flows well, and it’s very relaxed.  I always pick up some interesting information from each episode.  There are multiple podcasts, and it’s just not professional and well-known runners.  You can learn something from anyone, and many podcasts I went in not knowing who the interviewee was!

Ali on the Run:

Ali on the Run is the newest podcast for me so far, and I haven’t listened to a lot of episodes, I have found each one intriguing. I like how calm and her casual interview style.  I appreciate how candid and open Ali is with all her guests.  She wasn’t afraid to ask Nick Symmonds last week if he went on a date with Paris Hilton.

BibRave Podcast:

The BibRave Podcast talks mostly about running and racing.  I haven’t listened to all (I believe there are about 75 episodes), but it has the most extensive variety dedicated to running.  Instead of covering elite or interviewees lives it focuses on topics nutrition for new shoes and gear, runners, and best races.

Finally, I asked twitter if they had any Podcasts and here are a few more.  I haven’t listened yet so I can’t speak from personal experience!


  • I’ve been enjoying Human Race on my run recently, but sadly it seems to have ended!

Alicia M Eno ‏Recommends:

So here are just a few.  Podcasts have picked up in the last few years so there seems to always be more coming out.  Which is great!

Question for you: Running related or not, do you have any Podcasts you are like right now? 


Running on an AntiGravity Treadmill

Running on an AntiGravity Treadmill

Since posting on Instagram about running on the anti-gravity treadmill, better known as the Alter-G, many people have asked to write about my experience on there!

The Alter-G is a great tool that I am fortunate to have access too.  You can see a full list of Alter-Gs near you or in your area.  If you’re Philadelphia or Southern New Jersey local, the one I’ve been using is it at RunningCo. Of Haddonfield.

Alter G is not paying me or sponsoring this post is anyway.

Like many runners, when I have the time I like to run outside. I’m no stranger to the Alter-G and have used it recovering from a few injuries. Injury recovery is probably the most well-known reason to use it, but it’s not the reason I’m using it now.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m busy for a few weeks and running outside is not always an option unless I want to run in midday in 90 degrees.  Since I don’t, my choices are run on a regular treadmill, run on the Alter-G or don’t run. Because I also don’t know what each day is going to bring, my training could also be all over the place.  One week, I could have time for 70 miles.  The next week, only 20.  Drastic changes in mileage would create an injury.   So, I settled on running on the Alter-G.  I’ll still get a workout in and retain muscle memory.  However, I won’t put as much stress as my body.

As I mentioned, many people use the Alter-G to run while recovering from an injury.  There are a few great articles and case studies of how elite runners have trained on the Alter-G during recovery.   Many professional runners also use the Alter-G to keep stress off their bodies, so they are less injury prone.

You can run anywhere between 20% body weight and 100% body weight.

Here are just a few benefits with the anti-gravity treadmill for runners:

  • Physical therapy following an injury to a lower extremity (like the feet or legs)
  • Prolong your running career by building leg strength without the full impact on your body
  • Maintain and develop cardiovascular fitness while injured or away from sports.
  • Run longer and recover faster with less pain
  • Gradually progress and easily adjust the intensity of your workout
  • Change your running form without becoming more injury prone.

So What Exactly Happens?

You put on a pair of specialty pants, step into the Alter-G and allow it to calibrate to your body weight.  From there you can adjust to how much weight you would like to run at.  You can run anywhere from 20% body weight to 100%.

Right now, I feel between 60-70% is a good number for me.  After the machine calibrates, you just run.  You can do anything that you do on a normal treadmill including hills or speed.  I have seen several local elite runners do workouts on it and some people (like myself) just prefer to Netflix and run.

So Why Have I Chosen to Go This Route This Summer?

It’s not a secret I’m injury prone.  Due to my form, I stress my metatarsals more than the average person.  When my training becomes inconsistent, I get injured. As I mentioned, since I am busy this summer, I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to consistently run.

That isn’t because I don’t want to run but because I don’t have the time.  For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been out of the house from 6 am-7 pm.  Sometimes I have a couple of empty hours in the middle of the day, but at that point, it’s 90+ degrees.  I would prefer to run inside anyways.  Thinking out loud, it just makes the most sense right now to use the Alter-G and not overly stress my body.

Incase you missed Monday’s training log, I posted a short video about going through the process.  (And yes, I do make random comments like that frequently)…

Related Posts:

NonRunning Workout Ideas

I don’t hate the treadmill

Questions for you:

Have you ever used an Alter G treadmill?

What are your tips for getting workouts in while busy?  (I could use some!)

June Running Recap: 80 Miles

June Running Recap: 80 Miles

June has come and gone already. This month got unexpectedly busy. I wasn’t expecting to get as busy as I did in June, but life happens!  With a husband in the military, sometimes you have no idea what to expect and everything changes within the blink of an eye.

Back to Running:

Miles Run: 80
Alter G Miles Run (included in total): 20
Range of Pace: 6:07-11:20-untimed
Westside 5k (21:00)
HT 3.9 Miler (26:17)
Strength Classes: 5
Core Classes: 6
This month brought change from not running, to running, then finally deciding training for anything wasn’t going to be an option.

When I actually ran, it felt decent.  As I mentioned a week ago, I didn’t feel great but I also wasn’t injured.  It’s been an interesting come back from basically nothing. When I’ve come back from an injury, I’ve had some sort of limitation.  Whatever body part I damaged, dictates how training will go.  Just starting to run again after a burnout, you don’t really have that.  You just slowly ease back into it.  I wasn’t the best at easing back last month and just dove in headfirst.  Luckily got injured before I had to dial back training regardless.

Towards the middle of the month, I found out I was needed during my personal running time for the next month (from 6-9:30 am).  Typically I run in the morning before working at the running store, however, now that time frame is blocked off for me.  On days I’m busy in the morning and then work from at the running store from 10-7 pm, running won’t happen.  I don’t want to exhaust myself squeezing in training when I wasn’t in any sort of shape or training for anything.

This schedule should only hold until early to mid-August. In short until then, I’ll run when I can but you won’t see huge miles from me.  A lot of running will be done on the Alter G treadmill or shorter miles outside when I can squeeze them in.

On a life note, July is one of my favorite months of the year.  I love the warmth so I’m looking forward to a fun month!  I would rather spend the month hiking and enjoying the outdoors when I can!

Posts from June:

What to Do Between Training Cycles
When You’re Body Physically and Mentally Match
The Importance of Easing Back into Training
Benefits of Adding Protein Back after Running

Westside 5k (21:00)
HT 3.9 Miler Race Recap

Saucony Triumph ISO 3 Shoe Review
Brooks Pureflow 6 Shoe Review

Questions for you:
How do you squeeze in runs during a busy day?
How was your month of June?

Training: Alter G and Short Runs

Training: Alter G and Short Runs

As far as staying busy, my personal last week definitely picked up.  I was able to get a few sporadic running miles in but I didn’t do anything crazy. Like I mentioned last week, the rest of July and part of August will be busy.  I have ultimately decided to spend more time on the antigravity treadmill and run when I can.  As someone who is so injury prone, training, and running sporadically would probably create an injury.  Plus, I don’t care to run in the middle of the day outside.

It’s weird to be a fitness and running blogger, but not train for anything.  Ultimately, I have to do what is best for me, not what is most interesting. I’ll probably be able to consistently run again in the fall and then look for a goal race after that.  I’ll still workout, but nothing aggressive training wise.

For the next few weeks, I plan to cross train, run easy, or on the treadmill. Between the Alter G and a normal treadmill, I believe the Alter-G is a better fit for me so I don’t overstress my feet (my feet are extremely injury prone based on my form).  Here is a video of operating it, but I’ll have a full post later in the week…

Running inconsistently has created half of my injuries so I would prefer not to go that route. Instead, I will wait until the time is right to train for anything serious.  It’s not a huge deal and my body could use most rest.  I personally believe runners make too much of a deal of not training for anything or resting.  The world moves on…it’s just running.  But that is just my two cents.


Monday: 30 minutes running outside
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 60 minutes AlterG with 60% body weight
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 30 minutes running outside
Saturday: 60 minutes running outside
Sunday 1 hour strength class

Running Posts from the week:
When Your Body Physically and Mentally Match
Saucony ISO 3 Shoe Review
Training: More Reflecting than Running

What are your plans for the Fourth of July?
Are you training for anything?

When Your Body Physically and Mentally Match

When Your Body Physically and Mentally Match

As most people know, I took a 6-week break after the Atlantic City Half Marathon.  It’s been the topic of discussion on this blog because it’s the only thing I’ve done running related.  I was not injured, but both physically and mentally exhausted.

I asked myself: at what point do I just mentally rest and refocus?

On the drive home from the race, I knew I was at that point.  Thinking out loud, I never anticipated taking as much time off from running as I did but my body did not recover well from a season of hard training or even the race itself.  One week turned to two, then three to six.  As I continued to rest, I was still burnt out and in no mood to run.

After a while, the running bug bit me again and I decided I wanted (key word: wanted) to get back into running again.  Along with beginning to run again, I decided to get my blood analyzed again with Insidetracker.

Recently, InsideTracker has been a popular topic amongst running blogs.  As someone who graduated with a health degree, I do believe blood tests and results should be more accessible to those who would like the information. Another aspect people don’t realize, is you can send your Insidetracker results to your doctor as well.  Instead of making multiple appointments, you can come in with bloodwork results in hand.

It is not a replacement for a doctor, and they don’t claim to be. The biomarkers tested are endurance athlete focused.  For the average person, results might seem extremely high in a routine blood test.  Endurance athletes typically have skewed results.  Depending on your lifestyle, individual blood results can always be skewed.  For instance, people in upstate NY might have a Vitamin D deficiency, where those living in Florida might not have that issue.  Physical Environment plays a key role in results.

InsideTracker gives simple recommendations that anyone can benefit from.  If a result needs medical attention, they tell you and highly recommend you see a doctor.

It was my third time getting Insidetracker done.  Each time, I chose to pay extra and get the entire process done at my home.  First, I’m not the best with needles. Second, driving into Philadelphia during rush hour, after fasting for 12 hours isn’t a situation I’m comfortable with.  It’s the best situation for me!

Just as the previous sessions, the process went smoothly.  After a few days, I received my results which confirmed everything I felt.

My blood indicated I was both physically and mentally fatigued.

There were a few things that popped up that directly matched how I was feeling.  It was “nice” that my blood confirmed I was mentally and physically fatigued.  (So I didn’t feel like it was “all in my head”)

All three of my AST/ALT/GGT liver enzymes were elevated.

So what does this mean?

One enzyme elevated could mean you were tired but the fact that all three were up meant by muscles were extremely fatigued.  My blood essentially showed that no wonder I was exhausted.  It was overtrained and fatigued.  Before getting the blood work done, I had thought that it was possible I was overtrained, but I didn’t think results would be as high as they were.’

I don’t have a liver disease, but all three remained elevated due to the stress training caused to my body over the past year.  Like most things, it takes time to recover!

How Have I Been Fixing the Problem?

Are having elevated enzymes, the worst thing in the world?  No.  In fact, it justifies why I felt the way I did.

After getting the test, I waited another two weeks and decided to slowly start running again.

I’m not running every day and I’m not running nearly the volume I was previously.  Right now, I can truly say I enjoy each run.  I don’t run for pace, time or speed (unless it’s a race), but just run.  As I mentioned on Monday, I’ve ultimately decided to use the summer as down time too.

With my schedule, running is taking a backseat.  It’s allowing my body to relax even more.  I’m doing many of my runs mid day on the antigravity treadmill at work.  My options are outdoors in 85 degrees, indoors on a treadmill, or indoors on the antigravity treadmill.  If I’m not training hard for anything, why stress my body hard during this period?

Rome wasn’t built in a day and your body doesn’t heal overnight.  Using the summer to run casually, will allow my body to continue to physically and mentally recover.

I’m also taking both a probiotic and liver enzyme which I feel has been working well for me.  It’s only been 4 weeks since starting to take the enzyme but once I go through the entire bottle I’ll discuss it more.

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is I am also striving to eat proper recovery foods.  As my husband trains for another marathon, we’ve made it a focus to work on both proper recovery foods for both of us.  Neither of us has a terrible diet, but we do treat ourselves a few times a week or go out to eat more than the average couple.  For now, we limited eating out (our budget has also thanked us) and focused on cooking more foods together.

Nutrition wise, another aspect I appreciate about InsideTracker is they give personal food recommendations for your own needs.  A few recommendations including peanut butter, wheat germ, and eel.  (I don‘t know if I’ve mentioned but I really enjoy eel, octopus, and squid ;).

Eel tubes

I’ve been incorporating several of these foods into my diet and I’ve felt better and stronger because of it.

I do plan to get my blood tested again sometime in late July or August to see how I’ve progressed. I’m happy to have gotten the test done.  It’s a good feeling when both your mental and physical mindset line up.  When I scheduled InsideTracker, I wasn’t sure what it would show but I’m relieved that it provided answers and is allowing me to recover even more.

I would consider this time for myself, the off season.  Or maybe even the off year.  Relaxing, recovering well and building for a better training cycle is going to allow me to PR at a later time when I’m ready to train again.

Questions for you:

Have you ever gotten bloodwork done?

What are some of your favorite foods?

The Importance of Easing Back into Training

The Importance of Easing Back into Training

Whether you are coming back from an injury or just time off, getting back into shape isn’t always the most enjoyable thing.  I like running. However, the feeling of being out of shape and always tired isn’t pleasant.

This particular return, it’s also been incredibly hot.  Thinking out loud, when I left running a few short months ago, most of my runs were in pouring rain and the cold.  Now it’s hot and humid.  To be honest, during my break I also didn’t do a lot of cross-training, so I did also lose quite a bit of fitness.  My first 5k back, I ran at a pace slower than the half marathon I consider to be unsuccessful.  My second 5k I got lost, but I do think I made some sort of improvement.  When I left running, I could run 18:30-18:40 5ks like no big deal.  Currently, I believe I could push myself as hard as possible for a 20:00 5k (but it probably would need to be a flat, fast and ideal day).

But like anything in life, it’s important not to compare yourself to anyone, including yourself.  Some people can jump right into training and never lose fitness.  I’m definitely not one of those people.  

During my run, I didn’t run, I didn’t cross train much and gained a little bit of weight.  I also didn’t care about any of these things.  That just makes getting back into shape harder.

So What are Important Aspects to Remember?

Easy Runs are Important:

You don’t have to run fast at all.  Whether they are coming back from an injury, a rest period of anything else, too many people makes the mistake of running too fast.  It doesn’t matter if you are in shape or not, if you train fast all of the time, you will set yourself up for an injury.  In fact, running too fast all of the time is how I got my first tibia stress fracture.  Easy runs are what build you stronger.  It’s especially important for me, this time because I’m not coming back from anything broken and don’t have something especially suspectable to breaking by doing too much.

Don’t Compare Yourself:

As humans, there is always something to compare ourselves too.  Every article or blog I’ve ever read always says “don’t compare yourself”, but that is so much easier said than done.Whether it’s while running or not.  Don’t compare yourself to yourself either.

With fitness, you are always at a different point journey.  We are never in the exact same fitness level all of the time, and it’s important to recognize that.   Don’t train how you once trained.  You have to build up to the fitness you were once at.  Determine your paces and realistic goals from where you are right now, not 3 months ago.

Slow and Steady Wins the Base Race:

Many times, after I begin running again, I want to go as fast or run as much as possible all of the time.  That is unintelligent and going to result in an injury.  Ease into training and allow yourself to slowly build your base.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is fitness.

No matter where you left, getting back into shape is challenging.  It’s not effortless or streamline.  Perhaps a better reminder for myself more than anything!

Other posts:

What to do Between Training Cycles

NonRunning Workout Ideas

Question for you: Have you ever taken time off of fitness entirely?


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