Friday, October 3, 2014

Runner to Runner: Holly

First of all, I want to apologize for the public pity party I threw in this space on Wednesday.  I try to keep this space free of negativity, but sometimes there are just things that need to be let out.  But I am feeling less sad today and am working to get even better.

Now ... back to our regular Friday post.

As I close in on my first half-marathon, I decided to interview some fellow runners. I enjoy learning about other people's habits and I guess my reporter instincts aren't dead just yet.  For the next few weeks, you'll learn more about some of the ladies who inspire me to keep running.

Week 1: Tamara
Week 2: Nicole
Week 3: Jen


I have little doubt that Holly and I would be pretty good friends if we lived closer together.  We have a lot in common and we've briefly discussed meeting up in some city for a baseball game, good beer, and a run. I don't know if that'll happen, but at least we're both Midwest girls though. She currently lives near Cleveland and will be making the move to Michigan soon. She's one of my favorites in the blogosphere. Check out both of her blogs -- Faith, Hope, & Baseball and My Own Kind of Beautiful.

How long have you been running?  
About 2.5 years

How did you get started?  
I started the Couch to 5K in January of 2012 because I wanted to get fit. I also signed up for a 5K that was in May of that year with a group of friends from my church camp. We started a group called D.I.R.T. (Disciples International Racing Team) just to encourage all of those in our church and church camp who were running or wanted to start. It was a blessing to have that motivation to start and I still participate in a lot of the runs with them! Since then, I’ve done lots of 5Ks, some other larger races, a 10-miler, 3 half marathons, and am seriously considering signing up for a 2015 fall marathon. It’s crazy, but I love pushing myself and seeing what I can do!!

What is your favorite thing about running? 
So many things—I just posted a blog about this a few weeks ago. But I think my favorite thing is the rush I get from finishing a race or reaching a really hard goal! It’s something I never thought I would ever love, but it’s been a really great thing in my life. And I love the bonds I have with others because of running.

Favorite race you’ve done?  
I think it’s gotta be the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in DC. Such an awesome experience to run around the monuments!! But finishing on the Indians field to home plate (twice) was also pretty awesome.

What is your proudest running achievement so far?  
Finishing my second official half marathon in less than 3 hours. It was a perfect day and I had trained so much better than I did for my first one! Crossing that finish line felt amazing.

What’s your preferred pre-run fuel?  
The night before a big race (and most races), I try to stick to pasta and salads—but not a lot. If I eat too much I won’t feel good the next morning. But I do need just a little bit of carbs and a little bit of veggies. The morning of the race, I take two O2 Gold and a VO2 Prime bar from Advocare—that’s it. And some water, but mostly I drink water the day before A LOT! Too much water the morning of the race and I’ll be in the porta potties at mile 1, haha. Also, this might sound odd, but having ONE beer the night before a race is not a bad way to carb up ;)

What’s your favorite post-run treat?  
Pancakes. Or mac & cheese—after both my half marathons, and after we had already eaten breakfast, I ate a whole box of mac & cheese…so it’s kind of turned into a tradition for me, haha.

What do you carry with you during a run?  
A hand-held water bottle and my phone. I also wear a Garmin Forerunner 10 watch.

Describe your race day ritual.  
Wake up early, drink water, pee, change, head to the race, and depending on the time I’ll take the O2 Gold and Prime bar in the car on the way there—at least an hour before. I like to get to the race sites early to make sure I am ready to go. I stretch a little, but not too much.

Any advice for me as I prepare for my first half-marathon? 
Don’t stress too much about your time. Set up reasonable “Awesome/Great/Good” goals and work towards them, but don’t get stressed about them. Focus on the GOOD of everything, and if you have to walk a little, then walk a little!! Don’t burn yourself out in the race—start slow and steady, keep your pace, and you will DOMINATE :)

What advice would you give new runners or those thinking about getting started?  
Running is all mental—if you can get over the voice in your head that says “I can’t do this” then you are one step ahead of the game. Set a goal for yourself, then start slow and work your way up to that goal! Time shouldn’t matter at the start—most new runners won’t be able to run super fast. Just to give you perspective, when I started in 2012, I barely ran 12 minutes a mile, and stopped many times for a break, and now I am down to about 10 minutes a mile with no walking, which is about a 30 minute 5K, and my first 5K was 41 minutes. So it might take time, but you WILL improve and accomplish great things!!! Also, start with something like the Couch to 5K—it builds up your strength and endurance and really helps!!!

Last week in Micah's workouts
Friday: 4.5 miles (I was supposed to do 5, but I was not feeling it)
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 10-mile trail run
Monday: Off
Tuesday: 5-mile trail run 
Wednesday: Off (I was supposed to do 5 miles, but ... I chose rest).
Thursday: Off.

16 days to go!



  1. I'm so glad I was able to be apart of this series!! Thanks for sharing my tips and story :) And YES I do think we need to make a trip happen--I'm sure we can find a baseball game and run complete with beer at the end of it somewhere!!!

  2. Holly is fantastic and one of my favorite runner bloggers as well!


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