Big Cottonwood Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets

Big Cottonwood Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets

This week was full of challenges, in a good way. I had a lot of fun traveling down to see my family and running two unique but fun races.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes running
Tuesday: AM: Easy 60 minutes running
PM: 3000-meter swim
Wednesday: 4X1 mile repeats (total mileage 10)
Thursday: 3000-meter swim
Friday Easy 10 miles with Alexis
Saturday: Allen Stone Run Swim Run (with wu/cd total mileage 8)
Sunday: Run for the Toilets (Total mileage 15)
Total: About 56

Week 1: Hello Humidity

Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw

Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW

Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW

Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW

Week 6: Big Cottonwood Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW


What a week!


I mentioned a few weeks ago, that swimming fits best in my schedule 2X a week. For a while, I was doing 3X, but I don’t want to burn out. Swimming twice a week keeps me engaged and enjoying it without feeling forced. This week was different with a bonus 1000 meter swim in the open water.

Workout Wednesday: 4X1 Mile Run

I’m happy I’m able to get back on the track. Since the students are out, it’s easier to use the track and not worry about team sports. Anyway, the workout felt difficult.

My legs have struggled to get any turn over in them. I didn’t realize how humid it was on Wednesday (around 98%), but I’m happy with my effort.

Allen Stone Run Swim Run:

I will have a full recap of this soon, and I surprised myself. The race is 1k on the beach, then swim it back, then 5k on the boardwalk. I was 55th person after the first 1k on the beach, and I ended up having the 22nd fastest swim of the day, which surprised me the most!

Then when we went into the 5k on the boardwalk, I went from 12th women to 4th. If I had been another mile, I could have been the second woman. No one (male or female) passed me on the run, and I’m proud of that. I all, I am thrilled with how the week went.

Run for the Toilets 5k:

My dad found this race in the local paper. They have a house up in Onancock (the house with the pet donkey), and he thought it would be funny to do. When we found out winners got plungers, we knew we had to do it. I ran the entire race alone, and it was more of a workout. I wanted to get a long run 15 miles), so I was careful not to hurt myself. I averaged about 7:15 miles and ended up breaking a toilet paper tape.

In all, I’m happy with how the week went. It was nice to relax and hang out with my family. Next week will be back to the regular grind.

Posts from the Week:

29 Years Old

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

What’s the funniest race you’ve ever done?

What is the coolest race award you’ve gotten?


June Training: Building Fitness

June Training: Building Fitness

Last month was all about getting my mileage up for marathon training. t didn’t come easy either. Together with the heat, I’ve been much more tired. I haven’t run this “high” of mileage in a while. I am enjoying the process and training. Somedays are harder than others but I’m excited to have a goal to work towards.

June was a decent month of training and my best race was the first weekend of the month at the Scott Coffee 8k or the She Power Half Marathon.

The rest of the month wasn’t bad, but there was minimal excitement.

Total Miles: About 220
Longest Run: 16.8 miles
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Range of Paces: 6:20-11:12-untimed
Workouts: 4
Rest Days: 3 complete (several days I only swam)
Swimming: 7X (3000 meters each)

Scott Coffee 8k (33:03)
She Power Half (1:29.27)
Red Bank Classic 5k Recap
Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (34:14)
Pineland Striders 10k


As I up my mileage, I’m not surprised I’m more tired and my racing times are getting slower.  I know my body is adjusting to multiple things including the increase of mileage as well as heat. I’ve run more personal worsts then bests in the last year but that’s okay.

I’m happy with how my running is going for where I’m at right now. I’ve gotten better about comparing myself to previous fitness levels. I’m just plugging along in the heat.

There wasn’t anything too exciting this month, although winning the Indianapolis Half was fun.

Next Month:

Next month is starting the nitty gritty of marathon training. The plan is to get a 20 miler in the last week of July which scares me.  I’ve run 20 miles before but never in the middle of the summer.

Blog Posts From the Month: 

Running Podcasts to Keep you Entertained

Does Collagen Help Post Workout Recovery?

Shoe Reviews:

Hoka Carbon X Shoe Review

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Shoe Review

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about dealing with heat and humidity. PLUS AN ENTIRE OUTFIT GIVEAWAY FROM RUNNERS LOVE YOGA. 

In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

What was your best run? 




Big Cottonwood Training Week 3: Travel and More Travel

Big Cottonwood Training Week 3: Travel and More Travel

I spent early last week traveling home as well as recovering from the She Power Half Marathon. My quads were slightly sore after the race but seemed to loosen up with the week. It was a more eventful week since I spent half of it on the road.  The week also felt as though it went by fast.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes Indianapolis
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes Wheeling, WV, Easy 2 hours hike PA
Wednesday: 4X1 mile 6:41, 6:45, 6:46, 6:58 (wu/cd 10 miles)
Thursday: Swim 2 miles
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Red Bank Classic 5k (wu/cd 10 miles)
Sunday: 15 Miles
Total: 53

Week 1: Hello Humidity

Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw

Week 3: 53 MPW


My easy runs were just that, easy. It was fun running in several new cities, and I didn’t run in the same area one last week. I’m happy with how the week went. I would have liked to get a second day of swimming in, but with traveling, it didn’t work out.  As I mentioned last week, I base my easy runs on about 6.5 miles per hour. I might run 6.1 or 7, but since my easy runs are typically done by time, it makes it easy to calculate a rough idea of mileage.

Workout Wednesday: 4X1 mile with 2 minutes rest

My legs still felt heavy after the race. I didn’t feel terrible, but I didn’t feel the best. I was glad to get the workout in.

Red Bank Classic 5k: 21:00

I’ve always wanted to do the Red Bank Classic, but the timing never works out. This year it did. To summarize the race, my body didn’t feel great, and I also collided with another racer at the start. I spent a few seconds on the ground. It was hard to get back up and start running, but you can only control what you control. I’m proud of myself for running a solid effort.

Sunday Long Run: 15 Miles

In all, I felt decent but not great. I woke up exhausted and not sure I even wanted to run. I told myself to start and see how it goes. I’m not the type of person that believes you never regret a run, because there are a few times I wish I hadn’t run. Anyway, I got 15 miles in and averaged 8:20 pace which I’m proud of.

In all, it was a decent week. It wasn’t the best week ever, but I got what I needed too done.

Posts from the Week:

Running Podcasts to Keep You Entertained

She Power Half (1:29.27)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. This weeks newsletter is how to get the most out of your local running store!

Questions for you:

Have you ever fallen during a race?

How was your week of training? 

She Power Half (1:29.27)

She Power Half (1:29.27)

We were in Indianapolis for a wedding. I didn’t come to do the race, and when I found out about the race, it was sold out. I went to their facebook message boards and asked if anyone had a legal bib to transfer and a woman who couldn’t make it, did. So I legally got a bib.

She Power Half Marathon Indianapolis me running

I wanted to do a race and would have been content running a 5k in the area. My ultimate goal was to run around marathon pace. 1:30 half marathons have felt like a struggle lately. If I could run a 1:30 half, I would be ecstatic. I hadn’t been to Indianapolis since I was a child and didn’t know anything about the race, course, or anything else. I did know the woman who transferred me the bib said the medals were “the best ever” and I can’t argue with that.

Anyway, I planned to use the half as a long run. I would just run, see how I felt and go from there. I wasn’t stressed about it, nor tapered. When I went outside in the morning and saw it was torrentially downpouring, I laughed. I have raced half marathons in the pouring rain, but this was pouring cats and dogs rain. In fact, you can see how hard it was raining in some of the photos.

This half had a couple of firsts for me.

The first time I ever ran a half marathon entirely alone and won.

The first time I ever ran through ankle-deep water during a half marathon.

I got my bib, made it to the start and by the time I knew it, we were off.

Immediately, I found myself alone. I stayed alone and ran the entire race alone. Luckily I had a police motorcycle ahead, so I didn’t get lost. I didn’t want a repeat of the Harrisburg half last month.

I just had my watch on time setting. I was running by feel and nothing more. I hit the first mile in 6:51, and it felt fine. I was thinking to myself what a weird feeling it was to run a race out ahead and alone. I just had to keep running. Would someone catch me? Would I fall apart?

The next mile didn’t have much excitement. I just kept running. The next few miles went off without any significant excitement. I ran between 6:45-6:51 pace.

She Power Half Marathon Indianapolis me running

I remembered someone saying we could go along a canal and as we went down into the canal, I was reminded of the San Antonio Riverwalk and how similar they are. I always wanted to do a race on that riverwalk, but when we lived in Texas, I never got around to it. The Riverwalk was desolate and peaceful, although there were a few geese around. I just kept running. I hit the 5-mile point in just over 34 minutes. It was only about a minute slower than my 5-mile race last week. 

I thought, hmm maybe I could keep the same pace as the 10ks I haven’t done well at recently. My average pace for the half was 6:49 while the 10ks have been around 6:51. Anyway, I continued running. By mile 7, I knew that for a woman to catch me, they would need to run around a minute faster per mile than I was running. I knew it could be done, and I wasn’t really in the mindset of “I’m winning a half.” I just kept running and focused on me.

Around mile 8, we went along another path. It became windier up top, and we were running into a headwind. No wonder I felt so good earlier, I had a tailwind. I kind of just told myself, “only 6 miles to go”. I felt as though I was running a hard workout and not an actual race. The motorcycle felt like my pacer, and I felt like I was in a one-person video game.

Mile 8 and 9 were a blur. Miles were clicking off. Between mile 10-11, there was unavoidable course flooding. You ran through about ankle deep water. I laughed because beforehand many people had said: “swimming will pay off for you during the downpour.” I guess it did.

After running through the water, I felt my feet completely soaking wet. I was hoping for no blisters because I didn’t want to deal with that.

She Power Half Marathon Indianapolis me running

I ran a 7:01 next mile. The last few miles were into a headwind. I was starting to get relatively cold as the pouring rain along with the wind had chilled me.

I kept telling myself to make it to the next mile. Mile 11 gave me a boost of energy because I ran along with racers going the opposite direction. They were cheering “go,” and I was cheering “go” right back at them. It made the mile go by quickly, and by the time I knew it, it was mile 12.

I thought to myself: the longest mile. One more. You’ve come this far. I just ran. I wondered if I would see my husband at the finish. I told him he didn’t have to be there and might as well sleep. I just kept running. Around mile 12.5, you can see the finish line. I kept just trying to focus on the end. I’m not a self talker, but running for 90 minutes with nothing to focus on gave me a lot of opportunities.

She Power Half Marathon Indianapolis me running

This photo is funny to me because I ran under a low branch and go a leaf in my hair which stayed with me for most of the race

I crossed the finish line in 1:29.27, which is my fastest half marathon in a while. All race finishers got a flower presented by a guy in a suit which was fun.

She Power Half Marathon Indianapolis me running

I’m proud of my effort and where I’m at with my training. I enjoyed the She Power Half Marathon, and I will say, the woman who transferred the bib to me was right: they are the best medals I’ve seen. It’s so big; it makes me feel like Flava Flav walking around.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. This weeks newsletter is my favorite and all about coaching and if it’s right for you!

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a race alone?

Have you run through water before? 



Big Cottonwood Training Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts

Big Cottonwood Training Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts

Last week felt like the neverending week. I felt exhausted on Monday, and the week only seemed to get longer and longer. I’m proud of what I got accomplished running wise.

I didn’t get the chance to swim another day, but that’s okay. As I ramp up running mileage, I am trying to remember I can’t do everything and expect to stay healthy (both physically and mentally).

Monday: AM: Easy 60 minutes run
PM: Easy 45 minutes run
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
PM: 2-mile swim
Wednesday: 2X10 minutes (average 6:28, 6:29) Total mileage 10
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: She Runs 13.1, total mileage 16
Total: About 57


This week was a decent week for running. I’m not especially proud, but I’ve been running on fumes the entire week. There wasn’t ever a point I chose to workout versus sleep, but my sleep schedule has been off the entire week. I’m not someone who can nap in the daytime (past 10 am), so when I’m up…I’m up.

Anyway, the runs themselves felt pretty good. As I increase my mileage, I worry less and less about pace. I measure my easy runs by minutes. I guestimate that 60 minutes is about 6.5 miles, and 45 minutes is 5 miles. Could it be 6.1 miles? Sure but I don’t worry about it. By making a rough estimate, it makes it easier to calculate an increase in mileage.

Swimming felt good this week, and while I only got two days of swimming in, both were quality and I’m glad I did.

Workout Wednesday: 2X10 minutes hard effort (6:28, 6:29) with warmup and cooldown 10 miles

I’m surprised it went as well as it did, but I felt good. I was running on minimal sleep, and it was packed between a busy day, but I did what I could.

She Power 13.1 (1:29.27)

I have a lot to say about the race. I ran the entire thing alone from start to finish. It felt as though I was just running, following the cyclist, doing my own workout. No one to push me, but me.

Did I have a great time? Of course. Was it strange at the same time? Of course. The weather was less than ideal, and it rained the entire time with some course flooding. In all, I kept my splits pretty even and also ran faster per mile than many shorter 10ks that I’ve run so I can’t complain.


In all, I’m happy with the week and how an increase in mileage is going. I don’t plan to run 20 next week or anything (I think that will probably come in mid-July).

Next Week:

Right now, I’m happy with my mileage. I’m hoping that paces will start to feel more comfortable as I continue running higher than I’ve run in a while. Since I’ll be on the road a good portion of next week, I’m not sure how much pool time I’ll get.

Posts from the Week:

May Training Log

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Shoe Review

Scott Coffee 8k (33:03)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. This weeks newsletter is my favorite and all about coaching and if it’s right for you!

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a race alone?

How was your week of training? 

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