Q&A Part 1: Behind My Side Hustle

Happy Friday Eve party people!!! If you follow my Facebook or Instagram, you know that last week I launched my apparel line. My shop, See Holly Run Designs, opened on Etsy last Friday and I have been riding on the high ever since!  A few people have asked me about the business so I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A here on the blog. So here goes nothing!

1. Why did you start the business?

For several reasons really. But first a little about me. I have worked at the same place for 14 years (since I was 17!). I have job security, great pay, and benefits.  Sounds great, right? I am not saying it isn’t and every day I feel blessed. But the truth is, all these years I feel like I have been playing it safe. When I look back on my 14 years though, can I say I have had a purposeful career and made a difference? No. I have worked hard and accomplished “things”, but do these “things” matter? No. I would regret staying in this safe zone my entire career.  It’s time to do something I don’t normally do, and that’s take a risk.

2. So what is it about apparel that’s purposeful? *Person gives puzzled look*

It’s not the material thing that gives me purpose, but the mission of my brand.  It’s to unite runners through fun and stylish apparel to celebrate the running community.  I have written about this before, but when I am in the starting corral with thousands of other runners, I feel like I am among family.  Right now, more than ever, we need a sense of community. If my brand has made someone feel a sense of belonging, nothing could make me happier.

3. Did anything inspire you to start the business?

A few things actually.  Shark Tank!!  I freaking LOVE that show.  It taught me a lot about business but more importantly, it taught me that I am able to start a business.  I always thought you had to have a ton of money, a fancy degree from an ivy league school, and friends in high places.  If you watch the show, a lot of people started from absolutely nothing. Plus I kept finding myself saying, “why didn’t I think of that?”

To be VERY specific, I listen to an NPR podcast called “How I Built This” which interviews CEOs of major companies. In one episode, they interviewed the Founder of Samuel Adams, Jim Koch. He said there are things in life that are scary and there are things in life that are dangerous. And that scary doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dangerous and dangerous doesn’t necessarily mean scary. He had a cushy corporate job and after a few years in, he asked himself, “could I do this another 30 years?” His answer to that was he couldn’t see himself even doing it tomorrow.  Yes, it was scary for him to leave and start Sam Adams, but it was more dangerous to stay and live so many of years of his life unfulfilled.

4. I see you are the model in the photos, do you think you’re good looking?

Image result for ron burgundy see how good I look

No. Aviators are the real life equivalent to beer goggles.  Slap a pair on and everyone looks good.

 

That’s all for now folks! I have received more questions so I’ll do more posts like these. A big thanks to everyone who has supported me and shown See Holly Run Designs some love.

Until next time, you stay classy readers 😉

Running Adventures in Stone Harbor, NJ

Hey gang! I have been MIA from the blog for a bit enjoying my time with my boyfriend and his family in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. It was my first time on the Jersey Shore but it won’t be my last! I love to travel and generally explore, but there is something to be said for not having an itinerary and just relaxing with your toes in the sand.

I still woke up every morning between 6 am and 7 am, and was out the door ready to run by 7:30 am. The first few days, I kept it simple by running along the main drags; First Avenue, Second Avenue, and Third Avenue. Second Avenue has a great bike lane that is also runner friendly. The speed limit for vehicles is 25 MPH. If you have been on Coastal Highway in Ocean City, Maryland, you know that’s pretty darn safe.  Coastal Highway is basically the ocean version of Frogger.

Also, fun fact: Stone Harbor is a part of Seven Mile Island. I had no clue until I got there.  It made estimating my running route a whole lot easier 😛

I absolutely loved running down the main drags and checking out all the mini-mansions and adorable vintage shore homes. My last morning in Stone Harbor, I felt really exhausted. Music trivia the night before was intense! 😛 I planned on just doing an easy 3 miler. That was the plan, at least, until curiosity got the best of me.  I have mentioned before that summer is the perfect time to change up your running routine and explore new routes. I ran past our rental and straight toward the southern most point of the island to grab some cool pictures of the beach. I paused my GPS watch, not caring about the fact I wasn’t “training hard” or “running seriously.” I stopped for a few minutes and took in the beautiful view right in front of me.

Beach

After taking a moment to be grateful for the trip, I started to head back to the house when a hidden trail off the side of the beach caught my eye. I saw some other walkers and runners head down the path. My curiosity got the best of me and decided to see what was on the trail.  It was a short trail, maybe a quarter of a mile? And the extra effort was so worth it because there was so much untouched shoreline with wildlife and more stunning views.

I am so glad I listened to my gut and continue to break out of that same running route rut!

So tell me, how have you gotten out of that same running route rut this summer?

Keep checking in this weekend for an exciting announcement!!!! Be sure to follow me on instagram @seehollyrun and on Facebook.

Girls Trip to Santa Barbara, CA: Day 3

Happy Monday everyone! Time to talk about our last day in Santa Barbara, CA! My cousin and I were deeply upset that our vacation was coming to an end so soon. So what better way to cope with our sorrow by hitting up a wine tasting room….for three hours 😛

But first, I enjoyed one final run in Santa Barbara.  This time I ran to the Andree Clark Bird Refuge at the end of East Cabrillo Street.  Even though it’s still on the main drag, it’s at the opposite end of Stearn’s Wharf and State Street. I wouldn’t say it was the most beautiful spot, but it was definitely peaceful. Basically, if I were a bird, I’d live there. 🙂

Since this was our last morning, my cousin and I kept it low key and went to breakfast at our hotel at 10 am, then walked to Kunin Wine Tasting Room in the Funk Zone!

Kunin Wines in Santa Barbara, CA

Photo Credit: Kunin Wines

Well, to say we had a great time here would be an understatement. The person walking us through our flight was fun and helpful! We may or may not have received some “bonus rounds” during our visit. 😉  After three hours of heavy-handed pours.  My cousin and I needed food. Stat!  And not a wimpy salad either.  Luckily, right next door was Santa Barbara FisHouse. You guys…I had the BEST fried fish sandwich of my life!! Yeah, the alcohol factors into my decision but seriously, it was really fresh!

Since we had a late lunch and some time to kill, once again we headed back to the beach for some final hours of California Sunshine and relaxation.

Image may contain: one or more people, sky, beach, tree, outdoor and nature

Photo Credit: My cousin haha

Alright friends! That ends the recap of our Girls Trip to Santa Barbara, CA! I would return there in a heartbeat.  So to that, I’ll say ta-ta for now Santa Barbara!

Girls Trip to Santa Barbara, CA: Day 2

Hey gang! Happy hump day! Maryland is currently (and feels like forever will be…) in a heat wave this week.  I hope everyone is practicing safe running 😉 Typically, I hate to carry anything while I run.  But I’ve stopped fighting it and decided to carry a small water bottle on my runs.  What a lifesaver! If I can do it, you can do it.

So onto the long awaited day 2 recap of the girls trip to Santa Barbara! I already miss it 🙁

That morning I woke up early and decided to go for a run along the coastline. Generally when I am running on vacation, I am not worried about my pace.  I take it slow and enjoy my surroundings.  I couldn’t help but notice all the beautiful landscaping on the side of the roads. In Maryland, we typically have free furniture on the side of the road 😛

I mean, who wouldn’t want to run by this every morning?!

flowers

After my run, my cousin and I headed to the breakfast at the hotel restaurant and fueled up for our first paddleboarding lessons! This has been on our bucket list for years and it is nice to have it finally crossed off.  I would HIGHLY recommend Cal Coast Adventures as the tour company.  Conner, our guide, was very encouraging and fun.  We paddled all around the harbor and saw some tiny sting rays.  Then we got brave and paddled under the pier, which I definitely ran into a few times before I made it through. We ventured out to some of the boats that were anchored off the shore and we found a sea lion just chilling on the back of a boat like he owned it haha.  After we returned to shore, my cousin and I definitely agreed we would do it again.  Yay for accomplishing some life goals!

After out paddleboarding adventure, we worked up quite the appetite and headed back to the Funk Zone to a pizza place called Lucky Penny.  If you find yourself in Santa Barbara, you NEED to go here. Immediately. We ordered the house market salad, The Parker pizza, frosè, and watermelon beer. We were in heaven!!!

After indulging, we needed to walk off all that food. We decided to walk around and just explore.  We came upon an arts and crafts fair right along the shoreline that had some beautiful jewelry. After some shopping we wandered over to Stearns Wharf to watch everyone catch some fish and enjoy the sunshine. The views from the pier captured the beauty of Santa Barbara perfectly!

After some wandering around, we decided what good is going to a beach town if you don’t sit on the beach?!  We headed back to the hotel, changed into our swimsuits, and off we went to the beach!

We stayed on the beach for a few hours and before we knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner.  We headed to Cadiz on State Street for some yummy tapas, that were apparently so yummy that we forgot to take pictures.  After dinner we just walked around State Street and enjoyed the evening people watching 🙂

That wraps up day 2!  Stay tuned for the day 3 recap with more delicious food!

Girls Trip to Santa Barbara, CA: Day 1

Hey gang!  Hope everyone had a fun fourth with tons of food, beer, wine, and running 😉 My cousin and I planned a girls trip to Santa Barbara this year as a way to de-stress and get our toes in the sand!  We spent a total of 4 days, 3 nights there which was plenty of time to relax and take it all in. We stayed at the BEAUTIFUL Santa Barbara Inn and we cannot say enough good things about it!

Santa Barbara Inn Lobby

We got to the hotel around 2:30 pm and around 2:31 pm, we hit the beach! It was literally right across the street from our hotel.

Santa Barbara Inn

After a few hours on the beach, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. Our hotel had a really nice restaurant called Convivo with decent happy hour that had $5 glasses on wine. I can’t even spell “no” to that! My cousin and I, being the gracious and refined ladies we are, casually strolled up to the bar in our beach gear and covered in sand, ordered our drinks “to-go” and sipped our sparking rose as we got ready in our room. Cheers to that!

For dinner, we headed to The Lark, located in a cool area of town called The Funk Zone. We started the night off with the best brussel sprouts I have ever had! They were made with dates, fish sauce, and lime.  Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

After the sprouts, we must have still been hungry because we devoured our food without taking pictures hahaha.  I cannot say enough good things about The Lark!

After dinner, we decided to walk around and explore State Street, the main strip for a bit.  The weather was perfect, dare I say a bit chilly! We walked off our meals, took note of some cool places to check out on State Street, and walked back to our hotel. Ready to rest up for day 2 of our adventure!

So tell me, have you been to Santa Barbara? Any vacations planned this summer?

 

The Road Less Traveled

Hey Gang!  Hope the first few days of summer have been good to you!  I don’t know what it is about summer, but it’s like every day I crave ice cream. Not every other day, but every day. I have been good the past week and avoiding my cravings, but I think tomorrow I may have to indulge. 😉

So last week I discussed 4 ways to revive your running this summer.  One of the ways was to change your route.  Well this past Saturday, I did just that. I had 8 miles to run and typically I do the same out and back. But that morning I walked out my front door and I just was not feeling that route. So I figured, meh I’ll do my normal 6 mile route and randomly add 2 miles somewhere.  The type A personality in me felt a slight panic but I forged ahead. Well, I am so glad I did because I discovered a small part of my town that still holds on to its rich history.

I ran back in a very tiny neighborhood, where I discovered Emory Grove. It’s a small camp site for Christians that started in 1868. Apparently back then, people who lived in Baltimore city would ride the train and live in the cottages all summer long and practice their faith.  Women and children would stay there all summer, while the men usually took the train back to Baltimore daily for work.

While I was running back in the neighborhood, the groundskeeper said I was free to run through the camp site.  My first thought was 1) are you really the groundskeeper? and 2) I don’t feel like being murdered today. I politely declined.

Here is a photo of the cottages courtesy of the Emory Grove website. How cute is that?!

Then I ran down another side road and discovered another random building. What was a cinder block building with “No Pedestrians!!” signs doing back in a neighborhood with historic homes?! I smell a new Netflix series people 😉

So tell me, what adventures have you had so far this summer?  

 

4 Ways to Revive Your Running This Summer

Hey gang!  Long time, no update!  I know, I know.  You all have been sitting on the edge of your seats!  Well the wait is over!  Today I want to talk about ways to revive your running this summer.  A lot of you are just starting or are about to start training for a fall race.  Right now, everything will be just glorious!  But by the time September rolls around, you may dread running the same 5 mile loop every.damn.day.

Here are some of my top ways to avoid burnout and keep running fun!

#1- Change your route.

This past weekend, my boyfriend and I went to his parent’s place in Chester County PA. He just got a new road bike so we were both itching for some quality exercise and been wanting to explore the Chester Valley Trail. Neither of us have explored this rail trail before. I think this trail wins as my new favorite!  It was so refreshing to run in a new place and really appreciate the surroundings.  I even saw a newborn deer!! Mama was close by so I kept it moving. LOL.

Even if you can’t get to a new running destination immediately, just change the direction of your normal route.  You’ll be surprised at how different it will feel!

#2- Join a social/fun run.

‘Tis the season for running stores to have weekday fun runs to pubs and bars. Why not join others in the agony of running in the heat but taste the glory of a cold beer after the run? Charm City Run has some fun events scheduled this summer. I am hoping to join in on the Pub Dog run in Columbia later this summer 🙂

#3- Create a new playlist.

Summer is all about concerts. So why not incorporate the new summer hits into your playlist? I tend to listen to the same songs over and over again. Is there someone else out there that does the same thing?!  Here is my latest favorite.  I’ll be listening to that for the rest of the summer on repeat 😛

#4- Follow a summer fitness challenge and invite others to join.

Runners are creatures of habits.  We tend to eat the same foods, run the same pace, not stray far from our routines. Participating in a summer fitness challenge can get you out of your routine and hold you accountable to a goal. My favorite is the 100 Pushup Challenge. Do I ever get near 100?  Heck to the no. Most I ever did was 35. But the pushup is arguably one of the most effective exercises since it activates biceps, triceps, shoulders, core, quads, and chest. Last time I completed the challenge, I felt significantly stronger and it helped my endurance since I was able to maintain good posture longer on a run.

So that’s it folks! Which one of these will you do this summer?  Feel free to add other ideas to the comments.

 

Running Mantras…They’re Not Just for Running!

Happy Wednesday my peeps!  Hope everyone is having a great week so far! Today started off on a high note, as my running partner and I got into the Army Ten Miler on October 8th!  I have run this race in the past (you can read about it here) and it’s hands down one of my favorites.

Lately, I have been killing it at work!  In the mantra department that is 😉 I said this gem to my boss last week and he loved it.

It’s so true though. Not just in running but in life.  Even if you go a little out of your way to say thank you or to lend a helping hand, people remember that. Those five extra seconds you spent doing something gains interest over time and pays off exponentially.

I also said this one today, both during my run and at work.

Many times in life, both on the race course and off, we will say we don’t “feel” like doing something. But are you really going to let your emotions rule your life? Being tired is temporary.  Plus if you wait until you “feel” like it, you’ll never actually do it.

And now my personal fav….

Very true.  And this is exactly why I don’t beat myself up too much when I don’t get a chance to clean the house. Because you know…priorities. 😛

So tell me, any mantras you love?

Last Week’s Food and Fitness

Hey gang!  Did anyone else have a case of the Mondays today?  My little guy Tadd did.

Mondays, for me at least, mark the very beginning of the week. Not Sunday. Monday is the day my new training and meal plan kicks in.  When I develop training plans for my clients, the first day listed is always Monday. Here is what last week looked like for me:

Monday- Sooo right now I’m not training for anything (for shame!!) so I have been sticking to 3-4 miles during the week. Monday was an easy 4 mile loop, tackling a huge hill from the start. How huge you ask? So huge I cannot talk while running up it. Sucks the wind right out of me!

Tuesday- A quick weight lifting routine from “Quick Strength Training for Runners“. I am almost done with the full 8 week program and plan to do a review.

Wednesday- 4 mile loop…with the hill at the end so it’s a downhill haha.

Thursday- Easy 3 miles. Probably should have ran more because that night I ate entirely too much at Woodberry Kitchen.

Friday- REST DAY!! Another meal out with the family at a local Chinese restaurant, Sonny Lee’s. So. freakin’. Good.

Saturday- Because of the heavy rain we were having here in MD, I opted to take RPM45, a spin class, at Brick Bodies. It was a good sweat session, even though in my opinion nothing gets the heart pumping like running. I guess I didn’t have enough salt in my diet because after class I was craving a salty snack so badly!  So I opted for brie and crackers. Fancy!

And I guess that wasn’t enough, because for dinner later I had pizza from Whole Foods. I guess since it’s from Whole Foods it’s healthy, right?

Sunday- I ran a glorious 6.38 miles and felt like I was flying! I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day, even the fur moms! I gave a whole new definition to “tummy time” with our cat Liger. Whenever I lay down on the couch, he jumps right up and lays on my belly haha.

So tell me, did you have a good week in fitness and food last week? Enjoy the great week ahead!

 

 

“I Fell in a Hole”

Friends, this is a real subject line from an email I received from a client. Here was my response:

Me: “You what? What were you doing? How does something like that happen? Were there sticks and leaves covering the hole like a booby trap?”

Client: “I was running and then I fell into a hole and hurt my back. Now my back hurts. What do I do?”

(Me still wondering why is there a random hole in the ground…)

Ok, so I still don’t have the full story as to why there was a hole in the ground. Maybe that’ll be a follow-up post?  But this story easily shows how quickly one can become injured even if you are perfectly healthy. Injuries happen, especially in running. As runners, it’s something we will all deal with at some point.

One of the most common questions I get is whether to use heat or ice. Check out the infographic below for specifics.

Have you experienced any running-related injuries?

Stay healthy out there my friends!