Friday Fartlek: Hollie

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Name: Hollie

Age: 22

Twitter: @fueledbylolz

Blog address:

1. What was your running “light bulb” moment? How did you get started and when?

I had never been much of a runner until I ran a 5K on my college campus three years ago. I ended up running the 5K in 24 minutes. It was so unexpected for me considering the only other 5K I had ever run was in 31 minutes about three years prior to that. After that 5K, I decided that running could be enjoyable and started running off and on through the spring of 2010. I was swimming at the time so I didn’t run daily, not even weekly sometimes, but ran off and on through the spring. By the fall of 2010, I decided to try out for my collegiate cross country team and haven’t looked back since. I was very new to the sport and knew nothing about cross country and quickly learned.

2. What distance are you looking to tackle or have tackled recently?

Now that I’ve graduated college, I’m focusing more on road races. My training is now focused toward the Nike Women’s half marathon on April 28th where I am trying to break 1:25!

3. What has been your biggest challenge in your journey? What (or who) has been your biggest motivator?

My current biggest challenge is the weather in upstate NY! Right now I’m running 70 miles a week and at least 50 of them on the treadmill. It is VERY hard to be motivated to run that much on the treadmill and also not forcing a faster pace. I’m also diabetic which makes fueling during long runs extremely hard, as well as nutrition in general. I’m slowly learning what works and what doesn’t. I have had to take weeks off of training due to blood sugar issues but I don’t let it bother me.

My biggest motivator is my dad. He has always been supportive of my running and has been running far longer than I have. He is currently training for his 6th marathon.

4. What do you seek to accomplish through running?

I don’t exactly have anything I hope to accomplish. I take running as my hobby. I like to enjoy it as much as possible. Is every run going to feel amazing? No, but I like to think the majority of them are. It is a time that I work out (if I wasn’t running I’d be doing some other sort of workout!). Sure, I have plenty of running related goals but I don’t go into every run focused and primed ready for a goal to accomplish. I take my 90 minutes of running daily as each minute of the time.

5. Time to motivate! What’s your advice for beginning runners?

Don’t time every run. If you get addicted to mileage, pace, time, you will get injured. I can tell you that from personal experience. I received a tibial stress fracture (by coincidence) on my 21st birthday from poor training. I timed every run and felt that every run must be fast paced to run fast. I was burned out, miserable, and then got injured at a road race that happened on my 21st.

Last year, I spent six months running absolutely no timed runs and I can honestly say I learned more about myself and running from that time than any other. I am a completely different runner since.

6. What’s your advice for seasoned runners?

Similar to my new runners tip, seasoned runners believe they have to hit a certain time or pace for every run. Don’t think that hard. Have runs that you can shut off your brain. Your running fitness cannot be determined by one bad run or one good run – it’s a collection of fitness.

7. Tell readers one thing about you that we don’t already know (it doesn’t have to be running related).

I only started running three years ago but before that I was an avid swimmer. I swam competitively for 15 years and until my senior year of college. I left the sport in my senior year due to a collection of reasons and don’t regret a single moment spent swimming. I swam the 1000, mile, and 200 butterfly.

8. Time for the spotlight! Let’s heard about your proudest running (or exercise related) moment.

Winning the Plattsburgh half marathon in April 2012. I ran my fastest and best race (1:27:19) and haven’t had a running experience to compare it to.

9. Extra credit (optional): what running related topic do you wish you knew more about?

I’m always interested in carb loading for races. I don’t have good experiences with it so it’s nice to hear what others do.


One thought on “Friday Fartlek: Hollie

  1. My little trick for Carb loading is for the last 3-4 days before the event I replace any mid-meal snacks or desserts with Fig Newtons. Keep in mind you are not trying to eat more calories, you are just trying to eat more calories from carbs as a percentage of your overall calories.

    Also one thing I found is that I do better on race day if I include protein in my night before dinner. So Pasta with Chicken or Grilled Chicken Breast with a side of pasta are my staples.

    Good luck with the 1:25 goal. That is moving!!!

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