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Training Log: Recovering, Workouts, and Rain…Lots of Rain

Training Log: Recovering, Workouts, and Rain…Lots of Rain

Last week was all about recovering from the Boothbay Half Marathon, getting in miles, and building back fitness.  I contemplated running a race, but I didn’t feel like running a 5k in the pouring rain and after a late night.

I still managed to get workouts in and good workouts at that.

Monday: 4-5 Mile Hike through Wells State Park (Mass)
Tuesday: 60-minute easy run
Wednesday: 12X400 (averaging 6:00 min pace)/400 jog between
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 60-minute easy run
Saturday: 60-minute easy run
Sunday: 17 miles with 8 at 6:58 pace

Thoughts:

As most people know, my easy runs are just that, easy.  Boring but an essential part of training.  I don’t typically bring a watch, and I could run 12-minute miles for all I know.

Since my tibia fracture in 2011, I’ve never really had the issue of going “too fast” for easy days.  Running easy doesn’t bother me.

I’ve actually recovered well from the Boothbay half last weekend.  Some races seem to take forever to recover, but for whatever reason, I’ve recovered well from Boothbay.  I think partially because while I tried my hardest for the day, under different circumstances, my legs could have run faster, so they feel like they did a workout not my fastest half marathon ever.

Wednesday: 12X400 averaging 6-minute pace with 400 jog in between

This is my favorite workout, and that’s why I like to do it.  Right now, if I feel up to getting a workout in, it is typically this one.  It’s one I can set in my GPS watch, and it will beep when it’s time to run fast or run easy.  I do it on the roads because that is typically where I race. I won’t do the workout on back to back weeks, but I haven’t been doing a workout every week either.

On to the workout itself, it was extremely hot that day, and I was shocked at how fast I went.  I was not expecting to average 6 min miles in 80+ degrees.  I felt good about that.

Sunday:  17 mile with 8 at 6:58 pace

I wanted to get a good tempo/long run in. Lately, I’ve been enjoying my long runs and running a workout in them.   The weather last Sunday was balmy. It was low 60s and pouring rain the entire time. I started off easy but as I continued to run, I felt better and my last mile was 6:46. I’ll take that weather over the 80 degrees for running (not for anything else ha ha).  I’m proud of the run and I couldn’t have asked for a better workout.

Next Week:

The upcoming week is busy preparing for my husband’s deployment.  It’s sad but it’s part of the life. Then next Weekend I’m off to Dayton, OH to run the Air Force half marathon. I ran it last year and I enjoyed myself.  (My husband competed for the MAJCOM challenge for the Air Force…this year he is not and probably going to run the race with his dad).  My goal for the race is to be a little faster than Boothbay depending on the weather.

Posts for the Week:

August Training

Boothbay Harborfest Half Marathon Recap (1:29.50)

Why Collagen Post Run?

Questions for you:

How was the weather where you are?

What is your favorite type of weather to race in? 

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Factors You Never Knew That Play a Role in Your Running Shoes

Factors You Never Knew That Play a Role in Your Running Shoes

There are so many small factors that play a role in how a shoe fits or the appropriate shoe for your feet.  No matter who you are, finding the right shoe can be tough and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a sizing issue, stability issue, or you’re constantly injured.  There are many factors that people don’t realize play a role when determining a shoe.

Factors You Never Knew Played a Role in Your Running Shoes

As someone who works in a running specialty shoe store, I highly recommend going to your local store and getting fitted.  Sure, you can ask the internet for advice, but they aren’t staring at your feet and visually watching you.  Bloggers might tell you it’s the “best shoe ever,” but they probably got it for free.  I have yet to see a sponsored post for the number one selling shoe in the industry.

Think of it this way, everyone has a favorite “different color,” and everyone has an opinion of the “best shoe.”  But in case you wondered, there is no best-running shoe.

So What are a Few Factors that Could Mean You’re in the Wrong Shoes?

Continuous Ankle Sprains: 

If you constantly have ankle pain or sprain your ankle, you might need a different shoe.  Maybe you need stability, or maybe the shoe has too much stability.  Too much support can lead to an injury just like not enough support.  Make no mistake, support and cushion are two very different features of a shoe.

Toes Going Numb: 

If your feet go numb, you’re not in the right in the right shoe size.  Maybe the shoe is too small, too narrow, or not the right shape.  Or maybe there isn’t enough padding in the forefront for you.  If you’re feet fall asleep while running, you aren’t in the right shoe.

The toebox plays one of the greatest roles in brands.  Not only is it best to find the shoe with the right support, but it’s also best to find the shoe that is best fitted for your foot shape.  If you have long narrow toes, short toes, or even a full toe box all determine how a shoe fits.  Some brands are naturally wider while others have a more pointy top to them.

This goes for examining your toes too.  If your second toe is longer than your first toe, you’re more likely to develop bunions or hammer toes.

If you get blisters on the tops of your toes or your toes go numb, the shoe is either too narrow or too short for you.

And no, you should not lose toenails while running.  It’s not a runners “badge of honor” it means your shoes are too short.

Your Feet Get Bigger, and No One Cares:  

As you age, your feet will get longer or wider.  This happens even if you didn’t put on weight, have children, or do anything different.  Women: this almost always happens after you have children.  What ultimately happens is your aches slowly begin to flatten which can create longer or wider toes.  If you’ve “always been a size 7” it will probably change.  And guess what…How many people do you actually ask their shoe size?  How many people’s shoe size do you actually care about?

Ladies: Stilettos  and Narrow Shoes Cause Bunions:

Look, I’m no stranger to stilettos, in fact, mine are more expensive than any running shoe I’ve ever worn.  But cramming your feet into stilettos and pointy pumps causes bunions.  I try to at least alternate between peep toes and pointy so my toes can breathe somewhat.  You don’t have the “worst feet ever”, you just have bunions.  Women’s shoes go up to double-wide to accommodate this now.

There are More Ways to Lace a Running Shoe than there are Actual Running Shoes:

I won’t pretend to know every trick and tip, but there are plenty of articles depending on your issue.  There is the runner’s knot that can secure your heal more into place.  Skipping certain eyelets in the shoe can alleviate stress for people with high arches.  How you lace your shoes makes a huge difference on how the shoe fits.  Heck, I’ve run in shoes 1-2 sizes too big by manipulating the laces.

I will always tell people to get fit and to shop local.  As someone who works in specialty, there are so many advantages of getting fitted versus buying online.   The store associates know brand shapes, sizes, and structures of shoes.  It might take you hours of research when it takes us 5 seconds to determine the most appropriate shoes. Plus, running stores help keep the running community thriving.  Anyway, these are just a few factors that play a role in your shoes. Having the most appropriate shoe for your foot is the best piece of advice.

There is no perfect shoe, just a perfect shoe for you.

Questions for you:

Have you been fitted for running shoes?

What are your favorite shoes? 

June Training

June Training

I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July!

Training wise, usually June is a tough month for me.  It was an “easier” month because I did run but it was in the bottom of how months have gone.  It’s hot, humid, and I’m not adjusting to the weather well.  To be honest, I like the heat far more than the cold, I’m just not adjusting to the weather well.

Anyway, I did put down some races but none were anything to say: “the best race ever”.  I had fun at each though.  The Newport 10 miler being my favorite as I got to see my family.

Miles Run:
Range of Paces: 6:07-12:03-untimed.
Rest Days:
Races:
Newport 10 Miler (1:03.57)
Fathers Day 5k (20:06)
Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (32:12)

Irish Festival 5k (20:25)

Thoughts:

Looking back I ran nearly all of these races at the same pace.  Running a 5k and 10 miler at the same pace is probably not the indicative of fitness but the weather, course, and training all played into account.  There isn’t a whole heck of a lot to say right now.  June was a busy month and I think July will be as busy.  While yes, running is fun and I enjoy it, it’s not the only thing I like.

The summer, for me, isn’t about grinding away at PRs, it’s about having fun.  I don’t want to train hard because I would rather do that when I’m less busy.  I like to be outdoors hiking or just relaxing as much as I like to be outdoors running.  

View this post on Instagram

Making the most of the longest day of the year. 😎🌞

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Plans for the Rest of July:

We are already 5 days into July! Anyway, my plans are the same as June.  I will run when I can and enjoy the process along the way.

Posts from the Month:
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour

Running:
Rest is Best
Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy
Benefits of Racing Frequently
Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Shoe Review

Other:
Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie
Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen
Why You Don’t See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

Questions for you:
How was your fourth of July?
How was the month of June?

Training: Easy Runs and Windy 10ks

Training: Easy Runs and Windy 10ks

Last week was a blur.  I actually had a hard time remembering what I even ran last week!  Some weeks I’m on top of writing a training log, other weeks I’m not.  Thank goodness for looking back at Instagram I guess.

me running

Monday: 60 minutes easy
Tuesday: 8-mile hike at Hartshorne Park
Wednesday: 60 minutes easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 60 minutes easy
Saturday: Cape May 10k (41:07)
Sunday: 13 mile easy run

All of my easy runs were just that, easy.  To be honest, I felt good in the beginning of the week and then by Friday I felt like Broad Street hit me!  There wasn’t enough time to do any workouts between Broad Street and the Cape May 10k, so I didn’t.

Cape May 10k: 41:07

I’ll have a full recap of the race, but it wasn’t my day.  My legs were tired, it was windy, and to add to my list of issues, I accidentally ran in old trainers.  Around mile 5, my feet started burning.  Not in a broken bone way, but in a “something is weird way”.  After the race, I realized I never changed into my racing shoes and was wearing old trainers.  These were trainers I retired from running altogether but decided they could still be ok for walking around.  No wonder my feet hurt, I was basically running a 10k on concrete.

I ran the April Fools half marathon 10k split as well as Broad Street in low 38, so racing a 10k in 41 isn’t a great time for me right now.  A 41 minute 10k is fantastic for many people, but it’s not awesome for me right now. Not a big deal, and I still had a lot of fun down the shore.  Do bad races stink? Of course, we all do but I’m already over it.

On Sunday, I had planned to run about 10 but literally ran into a few friends during my run.  I ended up running about 5 miles with them, which caused me to be out longer than I anticipated.  I’m glad I decided to run with my friends, and I can’t remember the last time I ran 13 miles straight through at a relaxed, comfortable pace.  It was nice to change it up.

Thoughts from the Week:

In all, I had a good week. The 10k didn’t go as I had hoped (My “C” goal was to break 40), but running is funny like that.  You’ll never feel good at every race.  If you do, you are probably going to test positive for something…

My plan for the remainder of May is just to have fun.  I have a lot going on the next few weeks, and I’ll still run, but I’m not going crazy.  My races might slower than the Spring, but it’s okay.

Posts from the Week:

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:02.51)

Exploring Cattus Island Park in Toms River

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Questions for you:

Do you have any 10k wisdom?

How was your week of training?

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Recovering with Collagen Protein

In February, I wrote a post about Vital Proteins and my experience with them.  At the time, I was not an ambassador.  Vital Proteins sent me samples to try, and I liked them so much I continued to buy them.

As I mentioned on Instagram on Friday, I was invited to become a Vital Proteins Ambassador.  I’ve already been using Vital Proteins for months now, and I find I genuinely recover faster and feel better than if I don’t.  Usually, I have one serving twice a day.  Before becoming an ambassador, I purchased the dark chocolate and blackberry peptides which is my current favorite!

As part of my partnership with Vital Proteins, I’ll write a couple of posts per month about different benefits or recipes I’m using. I’m not being paid to do so, but I do receive products.  Thinking out loud, since I use the products already, it’s a good fit for me.

So What is Collagen? 

Collagen is a protein found in the connective tissue in the body. Since it’s a structure protein, it’s an essential component of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments.  It was best explained to me as the glue that holds everything together.  Our bodies already produce collagen from amino acids, but it is beneficial to supplement.

What Makes Collagen Peptides Different?

Vital Protein Collagen Peptides have the added benefit of providing 18 g of collagen protein.  I’ve personally found my body recovers much better when I have protein after a run or workout.

How Can Collagen Help Running Performance? 

Since this is a “running focused” blog, the first post will focus on running and working out. New research shows collagen can help decrease joint pain that is often associated with high impact exercise.

Long-term strenuous exercise like running leads to collagen degradation in the body. We naturally lose collagen as we age but running and other high impact sports can quicken this.  It’s not an overnight occurrence and the degradation of collagen is a slow process.  It usually takes years.  Like a stress fracture, it takes time and isn’t an issue that just ‘pops up”.  That is why anyone running for years may have the same collagen issues.

Collagens Promotes a Healthy Response to Natural Inflammation:

Running stresses your body, which causes inflammation. Taking Collagen or any protein directly after a workout helps to promote inflammation and speed up the repair of connective tissues that are damaged.  I personally do feel and recover better on days I do have collagen within 30 minutes of working out.

Promoting Joint Health:

In the running world, it’s not uncommon to hear runners and athletes talk about “bone on bone.”  This means they’ve lost the cartilage in their knees.  Losing all of the cartilage in your knees is from years of wear and tear on your body and joints.

How does Collagen Help Joints?
  • 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

Throughout the upcoming months, I’ll be sharing more about my experience with collagen I’ve personally had including benefits in my skin, nails, and hair.  I’ll also share recipes I have been using and my favorite products.  If you have questions feel free to ask!  I am so excited to be an ambassador for Vital Proteins because I stand behind each of their products and company. 

Questions for you:

Do you take any supplements?

Have you ever tried a collagen supplement?

April Fools Half Marathon (1:26.08)

April Fools Half Marathon (1:26.08)

The April Fools Half race is typically one of my favorite races of the year. I PRed in 2014, won in 2015, and as most people know last year wasn’t my day.  Even though last year wasn’t my day, I enjoyed how well the race was put together and seeing friends.

Moving forward, not running well in 2017 meant I was hoping to run better in 2018. I wanted redemption (for myself).  As the race drew closer, I found myself having similar burn out symptoms as 2017.  A few weeks ago, I took several days off and focused on rest and recovery.  It was what I needed, and when the race drew closer, I felt more ready.

Like many racers this past weekend (People that ran Boston are awesome!), the conditions were not pleasant. It was spitting rain, and extremely windy. For me, I would rather it rain or not rain.  The change in weather made it difficult to prepare for.

Racing in torrential downpours is different than running in a dry 45 degree.  While driving down, I noticed we were going to deal with direct headwind and tailwind.  In 2016, it year it was Gail force winds, but crosswinds.  You never got a direct headwind, just sidewind down the shore.  It wasn’t pleasant, but it was better than racing through a headwind. This year it looked like you would run fast going out, then get your face smacked with the wind coming back.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

And that’s exactly what happened.

I was between 5 different outfits depending on if the rain held off but ultimately decided to wear my Goretex jacket and shorts. I was happy I did.  Between my half marathon and Boston, it’s amazing to me, how many people are embarrassed to race in a jacket.  Race smart, and put some clothes on.

We got to the start around 6:45, chatted with friends, then lined up at 8.  By the time I knew it, we were off!  When the race started, I immediately found myself running alone. I remained alone for the entire race. I was within 15 seconds of one male, but for the most part, I ran alone.

The first few miles went by quickly. We had a significant tailwind.  I ran between 6:15-6:17 and hit the first 5k in 19:26. I felt good and better than I have in a while. Of course, the wind helped, but mentally I felt good.

The next few miles left the boardwalk.  I began counting down the miles.  It’s never good when you start counting down the miles at mile 5.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

I hit the 10k in a wind-aided 38:13. It was just under PR pace.  I’m not one to take my races out fast, and the pace was faster than my PR at Phoenix.  I didn’t suddenly think, today I would PR because I knew the headwind would be nasty.  I did, however, feel good. ]

At 6.55 miles in, we turned around, and that is pretty much where all of the “race action” happened.

Immediately, into hitting the wind, I thought omg this will be rough.  We were running into an unblocked 35 mph headwind.  Which we did for the remainder of the race.  You could see the waves crashing on the shore and birds basically going backward.  At some points, I would stop dead in my tracks.  I had no one to draft off of, no one to commiserate with, just me and my thoughts (which mostly consisted of 4 letter words).

I knew it was important to run for the conditions and forget about pace. I ran mile 7 in 6:27.  The next two miles were two of the hardest miles I’ve run in my life (behind mile 16 of the New York City Marathon).  The wind was blowing straight in your face.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

We were tucked along the shore, and the buildings didn’t provide a lot of protection.  I began passing racers going the opposite direction who were cheering.  I recognized many and tried to cheer, but it was difficult to hear anything over the wind blasting in your face.  I ran mile 8 in 7:15 and mile 9 in 6:58.  Two of my slowest half marathon miles in a long time, but I didn’t care.  I knew what the conditions were.

At mile 9, I told myself okay 4 miles to go.  We entered the unprotected boardwalk.  The shore was right there, and along the coast it gets windy.  I’ve never run in 35 mph headwind for a race, let alone along the waterfront.  Before the race, I had thought maybe a jacket was too much, but at mile 9 I was happy with it.  I had purposely only put 2 pins on my bib in case I wanted to delayer, but I was cold the last 4 miles.

I kept plugging along, and the miles slowly started ticking away.  My legs felt great, but the headwind was still there.  The miles went by without a lot of excitement.

Around mile 12, a woman darted across the boardwalk.  The boardwalk is wooden, and with the rain the boardwalk was slick.  The slickness is what caused me to wear the more cushioned Nike Zoom Fly, versus a racing flat.  Coincidently, I chose the shoe so I wouldn’t slip and fall.

When the cyclist saw the women, he told her to get off the course.  I, not as nicely, said to move. She didn’t, and within a second we collided and were both on the ground.  I fell directly onto my tailbone.  There was nothing more the cyclist or myself could have done to prevent that. It stunk, but it happened.

I layed there, on the ground at mile 12 of the race I desperately wanted to finish strong. The adrenaline kicked in, and before I knew it, I was up again. My adrenaline was pumping, just telling myself I had 7 more minutes of running.  At that point, nothing hurt.  The cyclist asked me if I was okay and I said yes.  All I could think about was finishing the race.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

The last mile was tough, to begin with.  It’s a straight line, down the boardwalk.  It was windy, I had just fallen, and wanted the race to be done.  Finally, I saw the finish.

Like 2015, they weren’t able to inflate the blow up this year due to the wind.  Then I saw  I was going to break the tape.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

Every emotion came out.  The previous night’s makeup was running from the rain, I was smiling, and I crossed the finish line in 1:26.08.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

After the race, I was asked about my back.  I chose not to cool down, because of my tailbone. I talked with friends, including my good friend and local runner Erin.

I did get an X-ray which didn’t find anything broken.  In my personal experience, x-rays have never shown small fractures but if anything, I know it’s not shattered.  I’ve never hurt my tailbone before! That being said, I’m still cautious.  Due to where I hit, I got a few other tests done including a spinal tap to make sure nothing around my brain was bleeding (which it isn’t).

While 1:26.08 is “only” 9 seconds faster than the previous year: the weather was much more difficult (the weather was almost ideal last year), but most importantly, I crossed mentally feeling good.

Questions for you:
Did you race last weekend?  How was it?
Have you ever fallen during a race?

Training: Good Weather and Bad Weather

Training: Good Weather and Bad Weather

Last week went moderately well.  The goal was to finish the April Fools half marathon on Sunday.  As most people know from last year, it’s the race that broke me mentally.  It wasn’t the race, or one reason, but a series of events that you can read more here.

Anyway, the week itself was good.  Going into the race, the weather didn’t look great.  It wasn’t as bad as the Shamrock in 2016 or the Broad Street Run, but it wasn’t great weather.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12x400s averaging 88 seconds
Thursday: Easy run with Skip
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy run
Sunday: April Fools Half (1:26.08)

12x400s averaging 88 seconds with 400 easy jog in between

I haven’t been doing a lot of workouts, lately, but that was one of the better workouts I’ve had.  The weather was good, and I felt strong.  Not much more to say.  I felt as though I finally started to feel “good”.

April Fools Half Marathon (1:26.08)

On paper, it looks as if I ran 9 seconds faster than last year and 4 minutes slower than my recent PR.  The race had a headwind and tailwind.  Since the race is on the Oceanfront, the wind is magnitude. It was the hardest headwind I’ve ever battled.  There were so many times I wanted to give up from the wind but didn’t.  Some of the miles in the wind were around 7:15.  My effort was there, and it was a strong race for me.

As many people know, a pedestrian darted across the boardwalk around mile 12.  The cyclist told her to get out of the way, I (not as nicely) yelled to get out of the way, but she ignored everything.  The wind and slick boardwalk made it impossible for me to move that quickly out of her way.

We collided.

I fell completely on my butt and laid there for a few seconds.  In a matter of 5 seconds, I decided I was going to finish, got up, and ran.  it was a race that broke me mentally last year, and I wanted to finish. When I first got up, my adrenaline was pumping.  I wasn’t in any noticeable pain and I ran normally to the finish.   After I finished, and let my body cool down (I didn’t run at all…cool down meaning awkwardly stand and talk, and change clothing).  I also took a few minutes to process what happened.  To be honest, I’m not 100% proud that I wasn’t more cautious about finishing the race.  Looking back, I think I still would have got up and finished but I am not going to say it was the smartest thing to do.

Later in the day, my tailbone hurt.  It’s bruised and hurts more to sit.  It doesn’t radiate anywhere and only hurts in one location.  If I don’t have any noticeable improvement by Wednesday, I’ll get an Xray.

Other then that, I feel good about the week.  I’ve been focusing on rest and recovery.  I’ve been working on “doing the little things” such as sleep and resting, and I do believe it’s helping.

Posts from the Week:

Three Years of Marriage

ON Cloud Shoe Review

Questions for you:

How has the weather been around you?  

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