How to Run in the Rain (It’s not that obvious…)

Happy Monday everyone! Hope all your running/fitness has been going awesome! It’s quite the rainy Monday here in Maryland. When I woke up this morning and heard the pouring down rain, my immediate thought was to take my run inside on the treadmill.  After a few minutes, I changed my mind and decided to challenge myself today by putting myself in an uncomfortable situation (running in the rain) and working on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. As humans, we tend to HATE anything remotely uncomfortable and stay in our comfort zone. But adventure and the feeling of truly being alive happens outside of our comfort zone. Running in the rain is uncomfortable, but it is fun if you do it right!

Here are my tips on how to run in the rain and love it!

Before Your Run

1. Assess the situation. Listen to your local weather authority.  If there are any warnings, probably not the best idea to put your life at risk. Today during my run, it was 70 degrees with steady rain. A safe situation to run in. Do not go out if it’s hurricane conditions outside!  Do yoga instead 🙂

2. Gather all the necessary gear. You could theoretically go out in your normal gear. But that’ll result in chafing and blisters. You will need the following, including but not limited to:

-Rain jacket
-Body Glide (or any anti-chafing ointment)
-Hat or visor
-Newspaper
-Towel

3. Place your after run essentials, like a towel and newspaper, by the door that you’ll enter through after your run.  That way you are not walking through the house soaking wet to get everything you need.

4. Put on anti-chafing ointment prior to putting on your gear. You will get wet.  There is no getting around that. Before putting on your shoes/socks, put anti-chafing ointment all over your feet to avoid blisters.  Also, put the ointment anywhere clothes or skin may rub like under sports bra straps or in-between your thighs.

5. Now put on your gear. You will need a baseball hat or visor to keep the pouring rain out of your face so you can breathe comfortably. If you wear an armband for your phone, put it on prior to putting on your rain jacket. This adds an extra layer of protection and will prevent your phone from getting wet.

During Your Run

6. Watch your footing! But be sure to jump in those puddles. It’s like being a kid again! 🙂 But those paint lines on the roads can be slippery when wet, so be sure to tread slowly over them or skip over them if possible.  Also look out for those leaves! They can be slippery too.

After Your Run

7. Hang dry all your gear on a drying rack. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you!

8. Stuff your shoes with newspaper. Yes I know that sounds odd but you need to dry your shoes ASAP. Newspaper absorbs all the moisture from your shoes and is cheap. Do not put your shoes in the dryer!  The heat breaks down the material in the sole and changes the shape/structure of the other materials.

Shoes with newspaper

That’s all for now! What are you waiting for?! Go out there and be a kid again! 🙂

What other weather elements have you run in? Snow? Heat?

How are you doing on those pushups for #hollyshundred? 😉

The Only 2 Strength Training Exercises You’ll Ever Need

Happy Monday Gang! Hope everyone had a relaxing fall weekend! Even though the weather is still saying summer 🙁 I am holding off on all things pumpkin until the weather dips into the 50s. Last year I started having pumpkin in early September and by the time Halloween rolled around, I was sick of it! Must. not. give. in!

Anyway, after my last race I have not been following any sort of training plan. In case you missed it, you can read my Charles 12 race review here.  It’s kind of nice to do just whatever I feel and relax, but I can only take about 2 weeks of that. The type-A, goal setter in me starts to panic haha. With all my races behind me for the year, now is a good time to focus on other stuff that keeps me in shape and healthy for the spring race season.

Like my clients, I am pressed for time and simply cannot afford to work out an hour and a half every day. But you can be smart and pair exercising with the stuff you are already doing every day. Oh, multitasking. It can be a thing of beauty! By doing workouts while watching Netflix or cooking a healthy dinner, you aren’t trying to “find” extra time, you are simply spending the time you have wisely. We all have only 24 hours in a day. As one of my favorite Rocky quotes goes, “Time, you know, takes everybody out, it’s undefeated.”

So if someone asked what exercises should they do, if they could only do 2 exercises the rest of their life, I would tell them pushups and squats. Why? Simply put, these 2 exercises give you the most bang for your buck.  They are both total body workouts so they work various muscle groups including our core.  No need to waste time doing hundreds or crunches when you can get similar results plus more with squats and pushups. Plus they are convenient and you can do them anywhere!

So in the spirit of challenging oneself, I am doing the 100 pushup challenge!!!

Pushup lady

To learn more about the challenge, read the details on the main site. I took the initial test a few days ago and busted out 10 pushups.  Woot! Today started day 1 of week 1.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress each week of the 6 week challenge!

I did this program about 4 years ago, and by the end I was doing about 35 pushups.  It’s not 100 but I think 35 is pretty dang good.  Plus I felt and looked stronger!

After week 6, I’ll be onto the 200 squat challenge. Oh yeah!

Will you join me? Use the hashtag #hollyshundred on Instagram and Facebook to show us what you got!! Be sure to follow my page See Holly Run on Facebook for all the updates.  

You guys rock!

 

 

Race Review: Charles 12

Hey friends! Hope everyone had a nice, relaxing Labor Day weekend! Why can’t every weekend be 3 days?! I definitely needed the extra day to rejuvenate and recover because this past Saturday, I ran the Charles 12 in Baltimore!

This is my third time doing this race and I absolutely love it. Thinking about doing it next year? Here are the details:

Course:

The race starts at The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson and ends at the Under Armour headquarters in Locust Point in Baltimore City (12 miles. Hence the 12 lol).  In previous years, the course ended at Power Plant Live.  So you had to run about a mile past Power Plant Live into Federal Hill and turn back around to run back to Power Plant Live.  Talk about torture! I much prefer the finish at Under Armour because it’s a straight point-to-point course and finishing at Under Armour makes you feel a little badass.

Miles 1 through 4 are pretty hilly, but after that?  Smooth sailing all the way down hill! Makes for a pretty fast time. I mean look at this elevation chart!

Race Logistics:

Charm City Run (the race host) offers a shuttle (additional $5 at time of registration) from the finish line to the start line. Ideally you’d park at finish area and then catch the shuttle to the start. While this is a great idea and works for many people, it doesn’t work for those who live in Towson or west of Towson. I would have to drive past the start, get to the finish area early to catch the shuttle, and then schlep back to the start on the bus. My running partner and I opted to drive to the start, park our car next to the shops, and then catch an Uber back to the car from the finish. So was this a better solution? Not really. The Uber wind up costing us $45 and to wait for it to arrive took forever! Next time we will just wake up 2 minutes earlier.

The weather forecast for race day was pouring down rain. Luckily, the race offered bag check so you can check warm and dry clothes to have at the finish.  What a lifesaver!  By the time I finished, I was soaking wet and after a few minutes, got VERY cold.

My runner partner and I in our best trash bags 🙂

Premium:

The race always hands out a nice premium by Under Armour and is worth the cost of the race entry alone.  This year, we received a very nice and thick Cold Gear hoodie.

Food:

This year the race had a selection of food trucks at the finish area and a meal ticket was on your race bib to redeem at any truck you choose.  While I really like this idea, it was poorly executed. There were 4 food trucks and they all seemed to serve the same breakfast sandwich? Maybe I’m wrong but that’s all I saw posted on each truck and that’s what everyone was munching on. Plus the lines were incredibly long. So I didn’t eat anything because the wait was crazy and we were ready to go.

Other things to note:

  • The National Anthem was sung by an incredibly talented young girl. Like, she could sing at a pro-football game good.
  • The police support was on point! Thank you police officers for keeping us safe!

Bottom Line:

This ranks up there as one of my favorite races.  Army Ten Miler holds the #1 spot for me but Charles 12 is in the top 5. Definitely sign up!

Me, all smiles, with my race medal!

So tell me, what’s on your fall race schedule?

Q&A Part Deux: Behind My Side Hustle

Time to continue the fun with Q&A part deux! If you haven’t read part 1, you’re missing out!

Hey hey it’s hump day.  You know what that means….a brand spanking new blog post! 😉 For those of you struggling through the work week (hand raised over here), I saw this gem posted by entrepreneur Lewis Howes on Instagram.

What a great quote AND lead into the Q&As.  Let’s do this!

1. Are you afraid of failing?

At first, absolutely! It actually hindered me from even starting. I would think, “If I fail, does that mean I am stupid?” Or “If I fail, then I am just bound to fail at everything.” Over time, I actually became more afraid of not starting. I don’t want to get to the pearly gates knowing I didn’t put it all out on the table.  I also re-framed how I thought of failing, as a means to an end. But really, isn’t failure just a data point? It’s just information. Ok so something didn’t work.  Try something else. And so on.

2. I am thinking about starting a side hustle. Any advice on starting one?

This is going to sound so simple, but just start. I probably had my idea for See Holly Run Designs for about a year before I actually did something.  I thought I had to have every.single.detail. all figured out.  I would research and research some more, get paralysis by analysis, and then burn out. After getting tired of these research binge sessions going nowhere, I thought, “What if I just posted that 1 photo on Instagram?” Or “What if I just flipped through the product catalog and flagged things that caught me eye?” My advice would be, even if you have 10 minutes, do something.

3. Why did you pick Pennsylvania?

To that I respond, why wouldn’t I? 😛

Full disclosure: I do not live in PA currently. My goal is to live there some day. I absolutely love the open farmland, the historical architecture, cheesesteaks, and the people! Also note that I named my line, See Holly Run Designs, and not anything to do with PA.  It gives me the flexibility to create the designs I want and not just PA stuff.

4. What’s so unique about your apparel line? It’s a flipping t-shirt!

And to that I say, no free shipping for you! 😉 But seriously, I get why someone may ask this question. There are about 64545499 t-shirt designs in the world. And I am just 1 in a sea of many….or am I?  The most valuable gift you can give to the world is YOU!  Being your true authentic self! There is no one else out there like you. I have been so blessed and have gotten a ton of feedback of the apparel line, both positive and constructive. It’ll helping me keep moving the brand forward. And that’s priceless.

That’s all for now!  Time for bed so I can be ready to go for my morning run!

 

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?