Not Every Run is Fun

Not Every Run is Fun

When I first began my journey running, it felt hard.  Today, running still feels hard.

The meaning has changed and what was once difficult is now longer not, however, every training cycle presents itself with new challenges.

Not Every Run is Fun

Every new runner has asked:

Does running ever any easier?  

Do veteran runners always feel good running?

Do elites feel like they are cake walking every mile?

No, no, and also no

I love running, and for the most part, I’ve had a lot of great runs.  I have a running blog and work at a running store.  However, like anyone I’ve also had some terrible runs.  It’s not all the Instagram highlight and picture-perfect reel.  No one lives are!

There have been plenty of times I’ve woken up and thought, “nope, I’m not running today” and gone back to sleep.  This has been enhanced by the recent time change and daylight saving time.

If you have been running for any amount of time, you’ve probably had a time when running felt stale.

It’s boring; there isn’t anything to look forward too, and you’ve lost all of your motivation.  You’ve had several runs you’ve struggled getting through, and it just seems like…ugh why bother.  This happened to me, around this time last year.  I didn’t go through my big burnout until last April. However, I began to feel stale around March.  I firmly believe if I had taken a couple of weeks off last March, I probably wouldn’t have taken four months off in April.

Could have, would have, should have, but I have no regrets.

The truth is, running never really gets much easier.  Every runner new or old struggled with getting out of the door at some point.

Here are a few ideas that can change your mindset and motivation:

Often times, change is the key to breaking out of a rut. 

Find a Running Partner:

Run by anyone you see, but just don’t approach someone because that could get awkward.  But seriously, change up who you are running with. Thinking out loud, it makes the run feel entirely different!  Even running on the same route with someone new makes the run fly by.  Even listening to a new podcast makes it feel like you’re running with someone.

Run different mileage:

Ideas include:

  • Decrease your distance
  • Run two short runs versus one longer run.
  • If you were training for a longer race, train for a shorter run.
  • Add cross training or find a new class

Change where you run
A change of scenery can be a good thing.  Personally, racing in a different location each week keeps me from getting bored. Try running on the trails, different neighborhoods, or even the treadmill.  Sometimes catching up on trashy TV and running on the treadmill is what I want to do.  I wrote a post about not hating the treadmill!  With a rest day, race, running with someone, and workout, I normally only run the same route 1-2X per week.  It keeps things interesting.

Most importantly!

When all else fails and running is just not going well, take a break.  There is plenty more to life than running.  Even if you’re an elite runner, you still probably enjoy a few things outside of moving your feet.

A break never hurts and can help you come back stronger.  At the end of the day, it’s just running.

Question for you: How do you break out of a rut?




Another week of running down.  This week was quiet.  While I did run, I didn’t race, and just relaxed. In fact, looking at Instagram you might not think I ran much at all.  Ha because we all know that is Instagram is real life.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 3X1 mile (6:15)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: 10 miles with Shae
Sunday:  14 miles with fast finish


As I mentioned, last week was quiet and uneventful which is what I needed.   We got another storm Wednesday afternoon.  I was glad I ran early in the morning because, by mid-afternoon, the roads were worse and more dangerous than I have ever seen them.

3X1 Mile Workout (6:15)

It wasn’t my fastest workout, but with the wind and rain (which turned to snow later), I’m happy with it.

14 Miles with last fast finish

It was my longest run since the Phoenix half marathon, and I’m happy with it.  I haven’t done a fast finish run in a while, and I progressed into 6:40s for the final 5 miles.

Other than that, not too much exciting in my running world last week.  Boring weeks are never bad though.

Posts of the week:

Meal Planning for Two
Hoka One One Mach Shoe Review
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler

Questions for you:
Did you get any snow from the storm?
How was your training?

Hoka One One Mach

Hoka One One Mach

The Hoka One One Mach is a brand new model from Hoka One One. It is basically the replacement for the discontinued Hoka One One Clayton 2. So if you’re looking for the closest thing to the Hoka One One Clayton, then the Mach is your best bet.  It’s the first model I’ve run in.  I have run in both the Hoka One One Clifton as well as the Bondi.

My apologies, but I took photos when I first got the shoe and lost them.  I realized I had lost “clean photos” of the shoe, so you’ll have to deal with them with over 100 miles of mud and dirt.  At least, you know I run in them.  😉

hoka one one mach shoe review

While I work in a running store, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no perfect running shoe.  Not everything works for everyone, and Hoka is not paying me to write about their shoes.  Here is a stock photo for good measure. hoka one one mach shoe review

Weight: Men’s size 9: 7.7oz Women’s size 8: 6.5oz

Drop: 5mm

It always seems to surprise people that most Hoka Shoes are a 4-5mm drop.  It’s like running on a flatter elevated platform.

The Fit:

The Hoka One One Mach is one of the wider Hoka models.  It has a full knit upper.  The knit upper means it’s seamless and allows feet to spread out as appropriate.  As I’ve mentioned in many reviews, but more shoe companies are going towards a seamless upper.  It accommodates wider feet including bunions.

Knit uppers are more seamless and a more flexible fit.  Personally, I prefer seamless and knit uppers because they fit my foot much better.


I like the ride a lot.  While I never ran in the Hoka Clayton, I do know it’s the most similar and meant to replace it.  It’s lighter and more firm than any other Hoka model.

Why is that?

The Mach uses a new material from Hoka named: ProFly.

ProFly makes the heel firmer in the forefoot but softer in the heal.  It’s designed to role you forward and the difference also helps protect the feet, especially if you are more likely to heel strike. According to Hoka, the Profly is more durable and resilient.  I found it to be the springiest and most “fast” of any Hoka shoe I’ve run in so far.

hoka one one mach shoe review


I’ve logged just over 100 miles in the Mach and like it a lot.  I wasn’t sure how much I would but new shoes are always fun to try (if they are appropriate for your foot).  I haven’t had any issues, or blisters, which is essential as well.  I’ll keep the Hoka One One Mach is my rotation until the cushion is gone.

Current Shoe Rotation:

Daily runs: Hoka One One Mach, Brooks Glycerin, Saucony Triumph ISO 4
Workouts: Nike Zoom fly, Altra Escalante
Races: Saucony Type A or Endorphin

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?
Do you prefer more or less cushion?

February Training:

February Training:

It would have been a lot easier to write this post if I had kept my personal excel spreadsheet up to date.  It usually makes writing a monthly recap much easier.  Anyway-

Miles run: About 220
Rest Days: 3
Range of Paces: 5:51-11:12-untimed

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Mercy 3 Miler (18:20)
Cupids Chase 5k (18:38)
Frostbite 5 miler (30:25)
Phoenix Half Marathon (1:22.03) PR!!!!

Workouts: 5
Favorite Workout: 

I’ve been doing a lot of 400s and 800s on the road which I enjoy.  My favorite workout was the 400s I did on 2/14.  I averaged 86 seconds which is quick for me.

With 400s and 800s, I take 400 jogging rest between.  I don’t “stop moving”. 


Well, after 2 years I PRed.  I feel good about it, so I keep talking about it.  After all, this is a running blog.  That being said, the later 3 races all were good to me.  I was pleasantly surprised with the Cupids Chase 5k and Frostbite 5 miler too.  My training has been ticking off well, and I’ve been making an effort to recover well, rest when appropriate, and just relax.

Today I ran my fastest 5k since my burnout. 18:38 with splits of 5:59, 5:52, and 6:02.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

February was my best month of training and racing in a while.  I’m hoping to continue the momentum in both March and April.  Obviously, not every race will be a PR, but I’m hoping for quality workouts and training this month.

Posts from the Month:

Hiking Jockey Hollow
Don’t Just “Survive Winter Running”
Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Shoe Review
60 Days with Collagen
20 Podcasts to Keep You Entertained

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

When was your last PR?

Don’t Just “Survive Winter Running”

Don’t Just “Survive Winter Running”

In both the summer and winter, there is always an abundance of articles about how to survive running.

Posts like that sometimes assume that we are only surviving the months.  Heaven forbid, we actually enjoy running in the summer or winter.

Most runners will tell you the spring an fall are the best climates to run.  Why?  Typically the weather is more enjoyable, there is more daylight, and it’s easier to get out the door.

Don't Just "Survive Winter Running"

I will say, thinking out loud, typically I enjoy running more in the fall an spring.  Usually, I’m not sweating my face off or waddling because I have a 100 layers on.  That doesn’t mean I hate running in the winter and in fact, all of my PRs are from either January or February.

When it comes to racing, the reality is many spring or fall races are either rainy, cold, too hot, or something else to complain about. So for argument’s sake, we will say about 3 months of the year are good running months.

Last year I wrote a post about gear to race in nonideal conditions which primarily was in the Spring.

That logic leads me back to the beginning.

How do you survive and even enjoy running in the winter months?

It’s something I’ve always battled.  I’ll be the first to tell you, yes I went to college 3 hours north of Syracuse but no I don’t like the winter anymore.   How that makes sense, I don’t know.  Even if it’s on the treadmill, I’ve enjoyed most of my runs and enjoy the feeling of getting out there.

Here are a couple tips to enjoy running during colder months:

If it’s too cold, run inside:

This could mean purchasing a gym membership or treadmill. There is absolutely no shame in running indoors when it’s too cold, dangerous, or miserable. You are a real runner wherever you choose to run and there is no need to justify it to anyone.  I don’t hate running inside.  There, I said it.  There are many podcasts or TV shows that can keep you entertained.

run treadmill me nordictrack

Layer Up: 

There are countless pieces of (expensive and inexpensive) running apparel to keep you warm.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money but it’s important to get the proper gear from windproof to waterproof.  Not many people love running in 30 degrees and pouring rain, however, with the proper gear, it’s not bad.

shamrock half marathon me running 2017

Proper gear made running in torrential downpours, wind and 30 degrees, “not so bad”

Now there are windbreakers, long sleeves, insulated tops, built in windbreaker leggings and just about anything you can imagine. Google can provide you with ideal layering techniques. Since I’m always ten jackets ahead of people, you would think I wrote the post for the arctic circle (when in reality I live in NJ).

Finally, Don’t Forget:

Just remember, running is lifelong. One run is not going to make or break you. If you are truly sick of winter running, don’t force yourself to run through the winter.  It amazes me how many people will compromise safety.  You are okay if you miss a couple of runs.  You won’t be okay if you slip, fall, and break something. Find alternatives that aren’t going to miserable.

Finally, as a public service announcement: don’t try and run fast on ice (run indoors if it’s icy). No run is worth falling and hurting yourself on ice.  I would know since I slipped and fell in a parking lot in college.   I ended up breaking my arm.  I know several friends who have raced in slick conditions, tweaked a muscle, and spent a month or two recovering.

How do you enjoy winter running?

Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Shoe Review

Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Shoe Review

Recently, I integrated the Saucony Triumph ISO 4 into my rotation.  It’s one of the few shoes I seem to try each updated model.  In summary, I personally liked the original Triumph ISO the best.  As the shoe is updated more, I’ve found other Saucony shoes that I like better included the Freedom and even the cheaper Saucony Ride 10.

saucony triumph 4 shoe review


The fit is different than the Triumph 3 and actually reminds me a lot more of both the original Triumph ISO and the Triumph ISO 2.  The shoe is actually a little longer than the 3, but still narrow.  Throughout the years, I’ve worn anywhere from a 9.5-10.5 wide in the Triumph.  This year, I find the 10 wide to be the best fit for me.

I found an interesting issue, I haven’t had before with the Triumph that the midfoot is much more snug.  Typically, I have liked the Triumph ISO, because it is a wider shoe model.  While there is sufficient room, I did find the updated model to be much narrower (even the wide) in the midfoot region.

Finally, if you have never run in Saucony shoes, the heel counter is much lower than other models.  I’ve never had an issue “running or slipping out of the shoe,” and don’t know anyone who has, but it is something to be aware of!  We have many people that come into work that don’t like the shoe because of the low heel.  It’s also a hard shoe to put orthotics and inserts into.


The Saucony ISO 4 has gone through a few significant changes.  One is that the entire bottom is lined with the Everun foam.  Previous models included about half EVA and half Everrun.

Now, it’s full Evverun.

Why does this matter?  It makes the Saucony ISO 4 much firmer than previous models.  It’s has become much more responsive, but still cushioned shoe.  In fact, it’s much more similar to the Saucony Freedom.

Changing to an entire bottom of Everun means the shoe’s dynamic drastically changes.  If you have run in the Saucony  Freedom, it will feel much more similar.  The Triumph ISO 4 feels much less soft and much firmer than the previous Triumph models.


  • I do personally like the Saucony Triumph ISO 4.  I’ve put just over 100 miles and not had an issue.  While the midfoot is tighter than previous models, it’s not uncomfortable.
  • The shoe itself does feel drastically different, both in fit as well as ride.  It’s definitely not a model of shoe I would buy blindly online.
  • Sadly, with the integration of the full bottom of Everrun, the retail price of the ISO 4 has gone up to $160.
  • Personally, I’ll continue running in it, and I think it’s one of the better versions Saucony has made in the last two years.  The original ISO was still my favorite.

Keep in mind, these are all personal preferences.  Saucony is not paying me to review their shoes.  What works for me, might not work for you.  All of our feet are different. 

Current Rotation:

Daily Runs: Saucony Triumph ISO 4, Brooks Glycerin 15 and Hoka Clifton 4
Workouts: Altra Escalante, Nike Zoom Fly
Races: Saucony Type A and Saucony Endorphin

Questions for you:
What is your favorite running shoe?
Is there a model, you’ve run through several models?

Frostbite 5 miler (30:25)

Frostbite 5 miler (30:25)

Last weekend I ran the Frostbite 5 miler.  To be honest, I hadn’t treated my body well the week before.  Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, and I like to celebrate with sugar.   It doesn’t have to be a fancy date, but I’ll be the first to tell you I didn’t make healthy choices.

I have always wanted to do the Frostbite 5 miler.  It’s competitive race as well as challenging course too.

My husband and I arrived at the race a little later than anticipated and I got about 2-mile warmup in.  I would have preferred a little longer, but took what I could get.  As I was delayering at the start; the race went off.  I panicked threw my long sleeve off and sprinted out.  I was boxed in, but I was able to run on the outside and slowly progress where I wanted.  The first mile I went out fast trying to get to a better spot.

I had no idea what place I was in, and I didn’t care.  I made an arbitrary goal of under 31 minutes for 5 miles.  6:10 was fast, but I thought my fitness was there.  I hit the first mile in 5:57.

During the second mile, I settled in a good rhythm and was going back and forth with another local female runner.  I gathered I was in the top ten of women which was cool with me.  We hit the second mile in 5:51 and I knew I was not going to hold that forever.

The next two miles climbed several hills.  We did makeup with downhills, but the long hills definitely took their toll on my quads.  Every uphill my friend would pass me, and downhills I would run by her.  Ultimately she passed me and never looked back.  We hit both miles in 6:14.

The last mile was almost all uphill and my legs were not in the mood to climb anything else.  I kept looking at my watch and hoping the race would finish soon.  The final mile felt like it took forever, but I finished in 6:05 and crossed the finish in 30:25.  I was 6th women overall.

frostbite 5 miler me running

I’m happy, and pleasantly surprised with my finish.  My goal had been under 31 and with the rolling hills, I can’t complain.  Technically I also ran an 18:35 5k which is my fastest 5k in a while too.  It feels good to be coming back to fitness.

Questions for you:

What’s your favorite distance to race?

Do you run downhills or uphills better?

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