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Cape May 10k (41:07)

Cape May 10k (41:07)

A 41:07 is a great 10k time, but it’s not a great 10k time for me.  In fact, I ran a 38:13 10k during the April Fools Half Marathon and ran almost 20 seconds per faster in the Broad Street 10 miler last weekend.  Not great races come with the territory and not every race is going to be “the best ever”.  I wouldn’t use the term bad because I started and finished injury free. A race I left inured, I would call bad.

Anyway, my husband and I left the house around 5:30 am on Saturday.  When we left, it was a torrential downpour.  The roads were flooded, and it looked like it would be one of the most challenging races ever.

Last year, a storm had passed through during the race, and it was so unseasonable the weather channel was down filming Cape May.  I knew there was very little that would cancel the race.

As we were driving down, the weather cleared up.  It was extremely windy along the shore but at least not raining.

We got to the race around 7, signed up and went on a short warmup.  I saw a few people I knew got to the start, and by the time I knew it, we were off.  The 5k and 10k went off together.  During the first mile, I knew I didn’t feel good.

It wasn’t the feeling where things would get better.  I didn’t feel good, and I knew I wouldn’t during the entire race. I was more tired and sore then I had been all week.  I knew the next few miles were not going to be fun and spoiler: they weren’t!

I hit the first mile in 6:18 but I knew we had a tailwind.  I didn’t know much about the course, but since it went along the shore, I assumed it would be windy. I ran the second mile alone and it was into the headwind.  I heard my watch beep and I looked down to a 6:46.  At that point, I knew there was no point in stressing about time, and I just needed to get through the race.

We ran into a straight headwind for the third mile.  I was running alone and into 35 mph headwind.  It felt magnified since we were right along the water.  I hit mile 3 in 6:58.  It was slower than most, if not all, of my half marathon miles in 2018.

After reaching the halfway point, I told myself “just a 5k left”.  We turned around mile 4 and headed back towards the start.  This time we had a tailwind for a mile, and I ran a 6:36.  I should tell you I felt magically better, but I felt no different than when I ran the first half of the race.

Around mile 5, the bottom of my feet started to burn.  It is a sensation I haven’t had in a very long time and typically happens with trainers, not flats.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I told myself, if it gets worse you will stop and NGAF that you “had a mile to go”.

The final mile went along the boardwalk.  My feet hurt, but they weren’t getting worse.   Around mile 5.5, you could see the finish, and I just wanted to be done.  My friend and local, Grace, passed me around 5.5 like I was standing still.  It was the only person I ran “with” for the last 5 miles.

I crossed the finish in 41:07.  On a “bad day,” I had wanted to run around 40 minutes, but I didn’t meet that goal.  The minute I stopped, my feet hurt.

A lot.

It wasn’t a bone or tendon hurt, but the bottom of my feet just burned.  I had to sit down for a second.  I quickly took off my shoes only to realize I never put on my racing flats.  I had worn a pair of trainers that had 500 miles on them.  I remember putting them in the donation pile at home, but I had taken them out to “wear casually”.  No wonder my feet hurt.  I had essentially run with no cushion on the pavement for 6.2 miles.

Ultimately from wearing the wrong shoes, I lost both of my middle toenails.  I’m embarrassed it happened, but oh well.  With or without my racing shoes, it wasn’t my day.  I wasn’t feeling great and it was also windy. I’m not happy with my time, but I’m happy I’m healthy.  Not every race will be your best. I’m not devastated because it’s unhealthy to think you’ll feel perfect every day.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite racing shoe?

For 10ks I like the Saucony Type A.

Do you like the 10k?  What are some 10k tips you have?

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April Training: Snow to 90

April Training: Snow to 90

It’s hard to believe another month has gone by.  April wasn’t my best, or even second best month of the year, but it was a lot better than last April.

I had two goals for April and I met both of them:

  1. Finish the April Fools Half (mentally) healthy
  2. Not Burn out in April like 2017

So while I didn’t log any extremely fast times or workouts, I also didn’t burn out and that is far ahead of where I was last year.

me april fools half marathon atlantic city running

Miles Run: Around 200
Rest Days: 6
Range of Paces: 5:49-10:32-untimed
Workouts: 7
Races:
April Fools Half (1:26.08)
Making Strides 5k (19:08)

Thoughts:

As I mentioned, nothing was exceptionally fast and I’m okay with that!  I’m running healthy and that is what matters.  As most people know, I took a nasty fall during the April Fools Half (I collided with a spectator cutting across the course).  I got an X-ray to confirm I didn’t break anything but it took about 2 weeks to feel good again.  It actually hurt the most while sitting.  Luckily by the end of the month, I felt much better.

It’s funny to look back at photos and realize there was a lot going on, weather wise.  In the beginning of the month we had snow and we ended with 90 degrees!

It’s fine, it will melt this weekend.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

In May, I’ll be traveling a lot.  It’s going to be a busy but fun month.  My goal for the summer months is just enjoying running.  This summer, I would like to get to local tracks more since students won’t be in school.  After Broad Street on Sunday, I don’t have any big goal races of the summer.

Posts from the Month:

Running:

Last Minute Broad Street Tips
Benefits of Massages for Runners
ON Cloud Shoe Review
Rest Weeks Save Training Cycles

Hiking:

Exploring Turkey Swamp Park
What I Pack in My Hiking Bag

Blogging:

Blogging is Dying

Blossom like a Cherry Blossom.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Questions for you: How was your month of training?  What are your plans this summer?

Training: Small Issues along the Way

Training: Small Issues along the Way

Last week was the week from hell. I’ve had a lot going on, but on a personal level all of these things happened over the previous two weeks:

  • I’ve fallen on my tailbone and bruised it which takes up to four weeks to heal
  • I’ve had two corneal abrasions
  • I cut my finger open cutting beets and nearly had to go to the ER
  • I had a migraine bad enough I had aura and also puked

By themselves, none of these are “all that bad” but having them happen over the course of two weeks have been…something.  Luckily, this weekend I was able to take time for myself, and that seemed to help.

Monday: Easy 60 minute run
Tuesday: 5 mile walk around Turkey Swamp Park
Wednesday: 4X1 miles at 6:15 pace
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 60-minute run
Saturday: Making Strides 5k (19:08)
Sunday: 12 Mile Long Run fast finish

Thoughts:

My easy runs were just that, easy.  I don’t care about pace, and it’s not a race.

Wednesday: 4X1 mile average 6:15 with 90 seconds rest

I didn’t feel great during my workout but not awful either. I’ve been trying to get back to being consistent which is easier said than done.  I’ve been doing my workouts on roads which I like better because I typically race on roads.

Saturday: Making Strides 5k (19:08) 5:49, 6:08, 6:13

The goal of the race was to see how my tailbone would handle a race environment and in flats.  With Broad Street next weekend, I didn’t want to jump in a 10-mile race, only to realize by a quarter of a mile my tailbone wasn’t happy.  It hasn’t hurt during workouts, but that isn’t the race setting.

I’m happy to report my tailbone didn’t bother me at all during the race and has progressively gotten better in the last 48 hours (the first two weeks, it felt achy all of the time and the most when I sat).  I don’t want to jinx myself though!

The race itself was a mix of cross country grass, road, and even track.  I’ll have a full recap this week, but I ran most of the race alone.  While the time itself is not “fast” right now for me, I am proud of it for the terrain.  I got everything I wanted out of the race.

Sunday Long Run:

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing faster finish runs.  On Sunday, I attempted to my longest run since the April Fools Half.  It went well and my last half averaged around 7:03 pace.  My tailbone felt normal and it gave me confidence that I’ll be able to run Broad Street next weekend.

Posts of the Week:

Exploring Turkey Swamp Park

Blogging is Dying 

Questions for you:

Have you ever had “one of those weeks”?

Do you prefer road races, track, or trail?

Training: Achy Bums and Easy Weeks

Training: Achy Bums and Easy Weeks

Last week, I took it much easier for a few reasons.  As most people know, I fell at the April Fools half marathon a week ago.  While it was still a good race, it left my tailbone sore.  It’s not broken but it does ache.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: 20 minute run
Wednesday: 30 minute run
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 30 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 6 mile tempo run (10 miles total)

Thoughts:

I was signed up to do a 5 mile race this weekend that I DNSed.  To be honest, I have no doubt I could have finished well.  The weather was ideal to run but I didn’t want to push my tailbone too quickly.  I am disappointed, however, I think I made the smarter decision.

I did a 6-mile tempo instead.  My miles ranged from 6:55-7:12.  It was nice for something a bit faster.

 

Tailbone Issue:

It’s a hard problem to explain.  My tailbone aches, especially when I sit.  In fact, my doctor told me standing actually puts far less pressure on it and the more I stand the better…I am not standing 24 hours a day.  I bought a donut pillow to sit on which removes the pressure off of my butt too.  I can walk and run normally (my gait does change at all), but I can feel the ache whether I’m running or not.

I’m hoping to jump into a local race next week to get some speed before Broad Street.  The last month hasn’t gone, “exactly” how I would like.  I’m in shape, but I’m not in the same shape as when I set my half marathon PR.  I’m fine with that.  The next few months, I want to stay healthy and work on shorter distances anyway.

Posts of the Week:

Benefits of Massages for Runners

April Fools Half Marathon

Questions for you:

Have you ever fallen on your tailbone?

How was your week of training?

ON Cloudflow Shoe Review

ON Cloudflow Shoe Review

Recently, I decided to add another shoe into my rotation.  I haven’t run in ON for a couple of years, but I thought it would be fun to add.  The Cloudflow is a lightweight neutral shoe.  The Swiss company, ON, is known for their looks of a running shoe and they impress many.

ON Cloudflow Shoe Review

ON Cloudflow Upper Info

The brand, ON, is narrow with all of their shoes.  I would personally benefit from them making a wider last. However, the Cloudflow fits comfortably.  Typically I wear size 10-11 wide shoes, and a 10is fine.  Despite being more narrow, the Cloudflow does fit more true to size than many brands.

The upper itself is seamless and moves with your foot.  It accommodates wider widths as well as bunions well.  In all, it’s not a bad fit.

ON Cloudflow Shoe Review

ON Cloudflow Ride:

I like the brand, ON, because their technology in shoes is noticeable and apparent. The sole uses a “Cloud-Tec sole,” which uses 18 individual “clouds” to displace pressure.  Since the “clouds” are hallow, the shoe is very light.

A few things about the “Cloud-Tec” sole that makes me hesitant:

  • It collects rocks. If you run on gravel, dirt, or even road, you will probably collect a few at the bottom.
  • It doesn’t grip well to ice or in inclement conditions.

I’ve run a few workouts as well as 10 miles, and they’ve been fine in those situations.Personally, I do like the Cloudflow but prefer it for ideal conditions or the treadmill.  I find it best suited there.  For me, this is an excellent shoe for longer workouts or faster workouts.  I’ve used it for everything from a 6-mile tempo to a 10-mile easy run, and I think the best place in my rotation is tempo runs.  It feels more connected to the ground than many brands.

ON Cloudflow Conclusions

I like the ON Cloudflow, and I believe it has a place in my rotation.  I think it’s a good lightweight shoe.  It reminds me a lot of lighter adidas shoes.

Other shoes in my rotation:

Easy/Long Runs: Brooks Glycerin, Hoka Mach, Saucony Ride

Workouts: Nike Zoom Fly, ON Cloudflow

Races: Saucony Type A, Nike Zoom fly

Questions for you:

Have you tried ON Running shoes?

What is your current favorite shoe?

Training Log Last Week: Will Winter Ever Go Away?

Training Log Last Week: Will Winter Ever Go Away?

The goal of last week was to continue to feel better and I feel like I accomplished that.  I wanted to find a 5k to race, but nothing interested me so I didn’t.  I don’t particularly like going into a longer race like the April Fools half, having not raced recently, but sometimes that is how it goes.

me running

Anyway-

Monday: Easy 45 minutes/deep tissue massage
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 12×400 6 min pace
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Easy 90 minutes
Sunday: 12 mile long run with progression

My running had a few hiccups last week. It didn’t go perfectly, but it went and it went a little better than the week before.

12x400s (average 6:00 min pace)

I had planned to do my workout Wednesday but I woke up late, and my legs just felt stiff.  I knew the workout wouldn’t go as well trying to cram it into a short period, so I just rested.  I felt better the next day.  Sadly, when I got to the track it was occupied.  I did my 400s in a loop around the parking lot on pavement and sidewalk (not where there were moving cars).  I felt good, and it was motivational, but it was windy.  It was my first workout in a few weeks so I’m pleased with that.

12 mile Progression

This run was probably my best in a few weeks.  I started off easy and the last 7 miles, I began cutting down from 6:50, with my final few miles around 6:29.  I felt strong during the entire run, and it definitely gave me more confidence than I’ve had in a while.

Other than that, I’m pleased with my running.  The week before, I took several days off and I’ve been focusing on getting as much sleep as possible.  It’s definitely helped I feel like I’m slowly starting to break out of my mini burnout.  I’m hoping to run well at the April Fools half on Sunday, but the weather is not looking promising.

My goal is to finish strong and mentally happy, which is something I did not achieve last year. 

 

Posts from the Week:

What I Pack in My Hiking Bag
Rest Weeks Save Training Cycles
March Training

Questions for you:
How was your week?
What is the weather like where you are?

Rest Weeks Save Training Cycles

Rest Weeks Save Training Cycles

Over the last few months, my running has gone well.  I PRed in the Phoenix Half marathon and ran one of my best executed races at the Shamrock Half marathon.  Running felt great, until it didn’t.

First, my body was tired at the Adrenaline 5k.  Then I felt exhausted after the Phillies 5k the week after.  My body caught up with me, and by last Monday I was exhausted.

My college coach once said: rest weeks save seasons.

But, I didn’t listen to it last year when I had similar red flags.  In all, it turned into burnout, and I took most of spring and summer off.  Had I taken a week or two off, I might have been in a different spot last year.

Rest Weeks Save Training Cycles

Why Are Rest Weeks Beneficial?

If you don’t recover from hard races, workout, or runs, you won’t get faster.  Let’s be honest though, and that is much easier said than done.

Training for anything is exhausting. Each week, you head out the door on tired legs preparing for one race. If you don’t train enough, you could end up short of your goal or even injured.  However, if you train too hard, you could find yourself with an injury or fatigued during the race start.  The exact feeling I had at the Atlantic City half marathon last year.

So What are Some Signs You Should Take a Rest Week?

You Haven’t Taken a Rest Week Recently:

Well isn’t that easy?  If you haven’t had a rest week in a while, consider adding one to your training.  Even if you feel “good,” extra rest doesn’t hurt anyone.

You’re Exhausted:

Exhaustion is not just physical fatigue but mental too. It’s something I started to experience and what led to my few days off last week.  It’s the feeling of “blah” that makes you feel like you don’t want to be out there.

A Few Ways to Stop a Burn Out:

First, stop running.  It won’t help the situation.

  • Find another hobby: For me,  running is fun, but I enjoy many other things include hiking and painting.  Find another hobby that you enjoy and to fill your time.
  • Massages: For me, I find deep tissue massages, Graston, and ART to be the best.
  • Cross Train: It’s not my first recommendation, as I do believe people occasionally need full rest but if you find yourself much happier cross training, do that instead.

Burn out happens to most people.  I’ve learned the hard way, that running through it won’t help the matter.  In short, most solutions are simple: take some time off.  For some people it takes a few days, for some, it’s a few months.  Like an injury, if you catch it earlier before later, you’ll be much better off.

You don’t gain fitness in a few days, and you don’t lose either.

Questions for you: Have you ever burned out from something?  How did you get through it?

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