How to Become a Morning Runner

As no secret to anyone, it’s summer, and it’s hot.

This means it’s time to complain about the heat and weather.  If your weather is anything like New Jersey than several days have pushed triple digits and record highs.  I’ll be the first to admit even though our humidity is relatively high, our weather is not as bad as other parts of the country.  I don’t miss living in Texas or Virginia Beach right now.

Thinking out loud, there are many options to run through the summer such as running on the treadmill or running outside in the early morning.  I can’t say I’ve always been a morning runner but since college and working, I’ve had to get up earlier. I made the transition from afternoon/lunch to early morning runner.  To be honest, I’ve personally never been an evening or late night runner.  I heard a rumor grandmas don’t run late at night.

How to Become a morning runner

So how does one run earlier? How do you make that transition?
Gradually begin waking up earlier:

Don’t go from waking up at 7 to waking up at 4. Try waking up at 6:30 and then 6.  It’s easier that way.

Sleep in Your Workout Clothes:

Most workout clothes are moisture wicking and comfortable to sleep in.  I’ve slept in work out clothes plenty of time.  When I wake up, I just pop in my contacts, brush my teeth and out the door, I go.

Turn off the technology at night:

Over the years I’ve made a habit of turning technology off between 8:30-9:30  Even if I’m not sleeping, I’m logged off the computer. Honestly, I feel better, and I sleep better.

Stick to It:

It takes about three weeks to become truly acclimated to the time difference.  Give yourself three weeks to feel good.

Just Do It:

Sometimes thinking about something is the worst thing we can do.  If we take the plunge and make something a habit, it makes it much easier.  The biggest piece of advice I can give about becoming a morning runner, is (you guessed it):  Just Do it.

Questions for you:

Do you workout in the morning? Any advice?

What is your favorite time to workout? 

Hiking at Bear Mountain Park

Last week, my husband and I went hiking. I’m new to hiking, but as I mentioned in a previous post, we want to see plenty of local places while we still live in New Jersey.  We are both enjoying it, and it’s been a fun weekend hobby instead of traveling to road races.  To be honest, hiking is an incredibly intense workout and it tires me out more than running.

For our next adventure, we drove 2 hours north into New York State to Bear Mountain State Park.  Yes, Rockland County…no not “Upstate, NY”.  As someone who went to school in Potsdam, NY, 30 miles north of New York City is not upstate.

Bear Mountain is about 40 miles north of New York City.  The park itself has  a lot to do including a lake for swimming, trails, places to picnic and even a zoo.  There are plenty of moderate trails to hike too.  When we went, it was a beautiful day which meant there was no parking at all.  Most people were at the lake beach, in fact, even though hundreds of parking spots were filled, we only saw two other parties during our entire hike.

There are plenty of trails including moderate trails as well as more leisurely and historic trails.  We started with the leisurely trails which included a lot of history stops.

Bear Mountain Hiking

Bear Mountain Hiking

Bear Mountain Hiking
The actual barn

After about a mile we went along the yellow trail and left the historic area.  The trails became much more intense and there were some points we were almost rock climbing.  Considering I’m clumsy, perhaps this wasn’t the best idea. Everything was fine, though and even my ankle felt okay.

Bear Mountain Hiking

It was almost shocking how quiet the trails were because of how busy the lake was.  While I was taking in the atmosphere, Tarzan appeared…just kidding.

Bear Mountain Hiking

After about 3 miles and an hour and a half, we made it to the top.  We could see New York State as well as New Jersey.  Talk about a view; it was one of the most incredible views on the East Coast I’ve seen.

Bear Mountain Hiking

After hanging out at the top for a bit, we decided to head back.  Despite having a map, we got lost. There is another red trail we ended up connecting too and it caused us to hike across the entire park.  bear mountain state park

Our hike was only planned to be 4 miles, but it was 6 for us.  It wasn’t a big deal except I was starving.  Luckily I packed a giant red velvet diner cookie from lunch.

The diner cookie was the real MVP of the hike.

Bear Mountain Hiking

We stopped along the way taking photos of random spots too.  Like when I nailed yoga on a tree…(just kidding)

nature yoga meme

It was a great hike and after finally getting back to the car, I was beyond exhausting.  I felt like I had run a marathon, but views were worth it. Addig the extra 2 miles was definitely exhausting.

bear mountain state park tim and i

At the end of the day, we ended up hiking a 1000+ elevation gain (which is a lot for me). It was a great hike and we are looking forward to going back.

elevation bear mountain

Other hiking related posts:
Hiking Hemlock Falls
Hiking the Hollywood Sign

Questions for you:
Have you ever been hiking?  Have you gotten lost?
Would you rather go hiking or into the mountains?

Workout Log: Hiking, Humidity and Swimming

Last week flew by. Since the Fourth of July landed on a Monday, the week felt much shorter.  Which is odd because generally “short” weeks feel like they last longer.  Is that the case with anyone else?

Training wise, I’m just trucking along. Right now my foot is fine, but I’ve started to worry my foot will not respond well to an increase in mileage.  This stage of injury recovery is the hardest for me.  I find myself questioning a lot: will my foot respond well to an increase in distance? Will it not?

I’m better at just resting and “not running”.  Each time I’m cleared to run again (like now), I just constantly worry about every minor detail.

I keep questioning: will this be the run to completely break my foot?

Then I remember, I never broke my foot across the bone.  I fractured it and was still running 70 miles.

So in summary, my ankle is fine now but my fear is that I’ll gradually build my mileage back, but I will still have the same pain as before I stopped running. My biggest concern is: What if we’ve never solved the problem?  What if there is something else?

Moving on to workouts: 

Monday: —– Hike at Hemlock Falls
Tuesday: 3000 meters Swim 20 minute run
Wednesday: Core and Arm Strength 30 minute run
Thursday: Core 20 minute run
Friday: —— Complete Rest
Saturday: Core 35 minute run
Sunday: 3000 Meter Swim 20 minute run

On Monday, my husband and I went hiking at Hemlock Falls. It was more of an outing versus an intense hike. It was not a rest day either, and my legs were fatigued afterwords.  My ankle never felt any pain during the hike, and we weren’t pace pushers.  We just wanted to enjoy some of the scenes of the Garden State.

Hemlock Falls

My short runs consisted of a 20-minute run. Nothing hurt or felt off during those runs.

When I go to the pool, I prefer to swim laps versus pool running.  Both times I swam laps I swam 3X1000 meters.  One without a pull buoy, one with and one without.  It felt good.  It still baffles me I used to race that event. Swimming 3X1000s is what I like to do, and it’s enjoyable to deplug and stare mindlessly at the bottom of the pool with no interruptions.
My midweek “long run” was 30 minutes. This was where my ankle felt off, and it made me a little bit nervous. My ankle didn’t hurt, but it felt off. I know my ankle has made an improvement, but I’m worried it’s not enough. I guess we all have those fears, though.

Friday I needed complete rest. I needed it.  Between hiking, running and swimming I was exhausted.  Last week was the most hot and humid, we’ve had all summer. I haven’t missed running in that!

I decided to run my 35 minute run on Saturday because I was anxious to run, felt good and had rested the day before.  I didn’t have a reason to run on Sunday versus Saturday, so I switched them.  I felt a little bit of pressure on the back of my heel but nothing like before.  My breathing felt awful, and my legs felt tired at the end, but I ran. For the most part, my ankle felt fine.  Now we are two days later, and it still feels okay so I am making progress.

running injury free

In summary, I’m continuing to run and right now my ankle feels fine.  I’m a natural worrier but hopefully gradually increasing mileage keeps all injuries at bay.

Question for you:

Have you ever been hiking? 

What was your favorite workout last week? 

A Past with Swimming

Many people have asked more about my past with swimming so I thought I would share.  Plus swimming is a big sport at the Olympics, and I love watching!  On Tuesday, I wrote a post about why swimmers should get in the pool.  In summary, I was a swimmer long before I ran.  I didn’t start running until 2010-2011, and you can read about that here.

I swam through high school and three years of college.  As competitive as I am with running, I was more so with swimming.

Swimming was my life.  It was my social hour; it was my hobby, my fitness, and my fun.  Outside of school, it was everything.  Now for me running is something I love doing but at the end of the day, it’s a hobby.

swimming 2

In fact, a long time ago this blog used to be named: LOLZthatswim!  If you can remember that, you’ve been reading this ramble for a long time.  Eventually, I began running so the blog was renamed “LOLZthatswim(andrun).  Now it’s just FueledbyLOLZ.  This blog has changed a lot since I started nearly six years ago but that is a post for another day.  So back to swimming: 

Not to say I was obsessed with swimming but I spent a lot more time swimming than I currently do running.  For the high school, college or club level, the average practice is anywhere between 1.5- 2.5 hours.  You are swimming for the majority of that time. 

Could you imagine running or doing speed work for 2 hours daily and sometimes twice a day? 

No, you would get injured.

Most people don’t realize this, but you dive in and swim for 2 hours straight. In a given swim practice, you’ll alternate different sets.  Instead, you might warmup, do 10X100s freestyle with 20 seconds rest, 4X200 IM and so on. It never gets boring, and you don’t usually swim a practice“straight”. It’s more like doing different workouts on the track for 2 hours. swimming 3

How many miles do most competitive swimmers swim at practice?

In a given practice, you could swim anywhere from 3000-4000 yards per hour. It’s hard for me to believe that a “light” college training was around 5000 yards.  I haven’t swum more than 3000 in a very long time, and I have no plans too. Keep in mind, even though I was swimming anywhere from 14-20 hours a week, I was nowhere near professional.  I swam for a respectable D3 school, but I wasn’t anywhere close to the top of Division 3. Professional swimmers or even D1 swimmers are putting 4+ hours a day.

What events did you compete in?

I was a distance freestyler.  I swam the 500-yard freestyle, 1000 and occasionally the mile.  In later college, I would sometimes swim the 200 butterfly too, but I was a distance girl at heart. My favorite distance to swim was the 1000.

Because for me swimming is always a party...
Because for me, swimming is always a party…

What are pool workouts for runners?

This deserves a post in itself.  Pool running is the best workout for “real” running.  Like anything you have to simulate effort and pool running is what you get out of it.  If you relax and don’t get your heart rate up, you aren’t going to get the benefits of working hard.  I found this article by Jason helpful if you want to get into pool running.

So thinking out loud, that is just a brief look at my relationship with swimming as well as answering a few swimming related questions.  I don’t hate it, and I’m not on bad terms with swimming but at this point I do enjoy other things more.

Questions for you:
Do you like swimming?
What is something you did growing up that you don’t as much now?

Four Reasons Runners Should Get into the Pool

It’s interesting I’m writing this post.  After spending years of my life swimming, I gave it up five years ago.  I didn’t look back and haven’t been in the pool much since.  But due to injury, here I am in the pool.

Four Reasons Runners Should Get into the Pool

I don’t hate swimming, and I also don’t have a bitter relationship with it.  The fact of the matter is, I enjoy other activities more.  As a child, teenager and college student, I spent so much time swimming competitively that I’m still burnt out.  Now that I’m unable to do certain activities, such as running, I got back into pool.  After swimming for a few weeks, I remembered swimming does have it’s benefits.

I also joined my neighborhood swim club so I can meet my neighbors, swim outside and get some relaxing reading as well as trashy TV but enough about me.

Why should runners get in the pool? 
Less pressure on your joints

You can still get a workout in without putting stress and pressure on your joints and bones.

Less tan lines

Running outside means tan lines from compression socks, sports bras, shorts, and shoes.  When you swim outside, you only have bathing suit tan lines.  It’s perfect! You workout and get to remove any unwanted tanlines.  Despite not running much this summer, I’m still working on my compression sleeve tan line. PSA: Always wear sunscreen when outside. 

Swimming in the Summer is Refreshing 

Finishing a run can often be a hot, soggy mess.  You can swim laps in an outdoor pool when it’s 100 degrees and feel great. You can also swim at any time of the day without worrying about overheating.  The only thing you have to worry about with swimming is the occasional thunderstorm.

Strength Work

Swimming gets some (not all) of the benefits of strength work without lifting weights.  When you are swimming back and forth using the water as resistance, you build upper body strength.  I had much more upper body muscle when I collegiately swam as well.

Like anything else, swimming isn’t for everyone. You could experiment in the pool and realize you love it or you could experiment and realize you hate it.  At the end of the day, it’s about finding something you enjoy doing.

Click to Tweet: Four Reasons Runners Should Get into the Pool

Questions for you:

Do you like to swim laps?

Do you go to the pool or beach in the summer?


Just Keep Spinning…Swimming…

Last week’s workouts were interesting.  I’m beginning to enjoy working out again, which I guess is good.  After running was taken from me, I am just happy to do other workouts again.  Some injuries I have wanted nothing more than to be lazy, while others I’ve wanted to work through.  This injury has been a respectable combination of both.  I haven’t done anything to make my foot worse, but I haven’t felt the need to cross train as hard as possible either.

Since this is a running blog, I’ll start there because I ran one mile yesterday.  Plus, they say to start with the bad news and follow up with good news?

I was allowed to run one mile yesterday and honestly it didn’t feel great.  I don’t know if I’m completely healed despite taking five weeks off from running and being minor.  I’m not sure if it’s soft tissue damage or still bone, but luckily I have a doctors appointment tomorrow, and we will discuss more.  I didn’t feel injured, but something did feel off.


Monday: Swimming (2000 meters)+15 minutes core
Tuesday: Swimming (2500 meters)
Wednesday: Swimming (3000 meters)+15 minutes core
Thursday: Swimming (2000 meters)+ 45 minutes spin
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Spin 1 hour
Sunday: 1-mile run and Swimming 2000 meters

Swimming Workouts:


I typically swim sets of 1000s.  I find it manageable to count up to 1000.  I take a break and then continue.  I don’t have a rhyme or reason of why I swim 2000 or 3000; I just swim until I feel satisfied.  As someone who used to race the 1000 in college, it’s a new experience just swimming 1000s.  I can’t say swimming countless laps is thrilling, but I swam for so long it doesn’t bother me.

I don’t love swimming, but it is nice to do something.  I don’t forsee myself spending a lot of time in the pool once I’m injury free. I’ll probably do some spinning classes because I enjoy doing those more than the process of getting into the pool.

Core Workouts:

I mentioned earlier, but I like doing the Nike Training Club App.  There are plenty of exercises for every single part you want to target.  Workouts vary from 7 minutes to an hour.


I’m disappointed that my run didn’t feel great.  I can’t help but wonder if it’s soft tissue and I’m paranoid, but I would rather be safe than sorry. I’ll see what my doctor says tomorrow and go from there.  For the meantime, I’ll continue what I’m doing because that doesn’t irritate my foot.

Questions for you:

What’s your favorite core workout?

What was your best workout last week?

Training: Swimming and 1 Mile Run

This week I did two workouts which lasted for a grand total of about 70 minutes. 

On Tuesday, I swam for an hour.

On Wednesday, in honor of Global Running Day, I ran 1 mile. 

Global running day

Tuesday: 60ish minute swim


Most of my long term readers know I swam before running.  I swam competitively for almost 15 years but burnt out in college.  Since I stopped swimming nearly five years ago, I’ve only been in the pool a handful of times.

Each swimming workout hasn’t been good or bad, but swimming isn’t the first workout I choose.  To be honest, I hate how much of a process it is.  First, you must find a pool, then change, then workout, then shower, then come home.  For an hour workout, it ends up at least a 2-hour process.  It’s a silly reason, but it’s the major reason I haven’t been in the pool much.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I’ve needed a running break. 

I’m both mentally and physically burnt out from running.  My body needs more rest.  I’ve been consistently training for over a year and instead of having a serious injury, it’s better to rest.  Plus from a mental standpoint, I need it!

To be real, it’s hard to blog about running while not running and taking a break.  My blog is based on the premise of my training, eating well and healthy living.

I’ve done none of those things for the last week.  

I haven’t been running; I haven’t been eating well, and I’ve chosen other things over working out 100% of the time.

I won’t sit here and pretend I don’t feel a tiny bit guilty, but it’s the time my body needs.  I’m never going to jeopardize my personal life or choose to do something (like working out) solely for blogging.

So what have I been doing? 

I haven’t been laying on my couch. However, I’ve been focusing on getting rest, recovery and deep tissue massages as well as ART.  I want to prepare my legs for the next training cycle.  I want to start my training cycle fresh and free of knots, adhesions and whatever other scar tissue has accumulated in my legs. I’ve got months of that festering!

So there you have it.  It’s a major ramble, with no real advice or substance. In summary, I rested and didn’t do much that merits having a running blog.

Questions for you:
When was the last training break you took? 
Have you ever done something, just for the purpose of blogging?