Category Archives: Blogging

Mount(ains and Miles) Doom

Some days, I fail as a blogger.  Even if though I ran a lot of miles and composed a slightly clever post about being a female endurance athlete yesterday, I definitely dropped the ball on my most important Blogger Job of the Day:

Promoting my first-ever guest post, over at Mountains and Miles.

I’m helping to fill in while Logan is in Colorado on an awesome rafting trip cleaning up flood damage to her property there.  When she asked me to blog, I was a little nervous – although she is a “regular” running blogger like the rest of us, my favorite part of her blog is the crazy travel stories she shares.  Now, I have my share of passport stamps, but have had nowhere near the adventures she has.

But, I thought long and hard, and came up with one of the best travel/adventure stories I could.  So on her blog today, I’ve recounted a snippet from New Zealand: The time my husband and I conquered “Mount Doom”.

Teaser Pic!

Teaser Pic!

Finally, a bit of housekeeping for new friends who have wandered this way recently: Here’s a more formal About Me section, and here is a more casual collection of Holly Fun Facts.  Here’s a bit about the guy who’s often photo bombing joining me in my pictures.   As far as other things I blog about (Food, Yoga, Motivational Posts, various things Singapore, etc.), I try to keep my posts pretty well categorized, so wander on over to the sidebar on the right, and click on anything that catches your eye.  🙂  There will also be some new organization imposed on this blog space soon, so stay tuned.

And if you like what you read, then subscribe by email (look to the right), add my to your feed reader, or hop on over the Run With Holly on Facebook and say hello!

Now, why are you still here?  GO READ ABOUT MOUNT DOOM!!

Female Endurance Athletes Are Just Like Other Women (Only Not Really)

When our alarm clocks rang before 6 AM this morning, KMN and I both popped out of bed, threw on our running gear, powered up our Garmins, headed outside, and began to run.  One block later, we separated: Me for one last super-long trail run (28 miles) before my 50K, and him for an 8 mile tempo run.  As we parted ways, I said, “Happy Anniversary.  Thanks for understanding.  I’ll see you for dinner.”

Because, you know, any normal girl might want to spend a little time with her husband on their anniversary.  A morning run together might be sweet, ya know?  But I have a race.  And a training plan.  And paces.  (So does he.)  And most importantly?  I’m married to a man who gets all that.

It all started It all became official four years ago today (more or less, give or take 12 time zones), when this happened:

Photo Credit: J&J Photography

Photo Credit: J&J Photography

I’m a lucky gal.  KMN is one of the most compassionate, thoughtful (as in, he really thinks about things), gentle, hard-working, and insightful people I know.  He supports, encourages, and inspires me every day.  He believes in my dreams as much as – and sometimes more than – I do.  And he makes me want to be a better person.  I am blessed to have found such a terrific life partner.


But despite the above kissy picture, I definitely can’t fill an entire post with romantic mush and wedding photos (sweaty post-workout photos are more my style).  *cue perfect segue*  And so, as an acknowledgement of all that my husband puts up with from me and my crazy hobbies, I present to you all:

10 Reasons Female Endurance Athletes Are Just Like Other Women (Only Not Really)
[A Tribute and “Thank You!” to our significant others.]

1. We love spandex and tight fitting clothes!  Unless, of course, we’re actually at home to see you, in which case we’ll most likely be wearing sweatpants and an old race T-shirt.

2. We need our *ahem*beauty*ahem* time in the bathroom.  This critical time is usually within 10 minutes of returning from a run.

3. We’d love to tell you about our day.  But be aware that 8 minutes of our 10 minute description may be spent dissecting the highs and lows of a morning workout that was over before 7 AM.

4. We like to smell good.  It’s just that we define “good” as “not like soggy gym clothes, locker room, or even faintly of chlorine – as long as you don’t get too close to our hair”.  Note: If we showered before we joined you for dinner, then we are considering our smell to be “good”, and we are ready to go someplace “nice” for dinner.

5. Our other hygiene habits are also excellent.  We always use our shirts, arm sleeves, or gloves if we need to blow our noses while running, and if we pee while on the bike, we always check to make sure no one is behind us first.

6. We know how to party.  If by “party” you mean go to bed before 10 PM so we can get up at 5 AM for a workout.  And we definitely like fancy girly drinks, like Nuun.  And those capsules of white powder scattered in any pouch or pack we might have on a workout?  Salt tabs.  I’ve got a great supplier, if you’re interested….

7. Sure, we’ll make you a meal.  A bowl of quinoa topped with veggies is lunch, or dinner, or both – right?  And the leftover quinoa with yogurt and berries is DEFINITELY breakfast.  Domestic goddess-hood, people.

8. We love jewelry (that comes with a built-in GPS) and shoes (with laces and tread).

9. We sometimes “have a headache”.  Except it’s usually some inconveniently painful chafing.  Or an early workout the next day.

10. We love when you “spend the day with us”, especially when that means you get up at 4 AM with us, chauffeur us to a race site, carry and manage all our extra gear (including one emergency run back to the car because we forgot our Sport Beans/tire pump/swim cap/whatever), spend 3 hours navigating and waiting for three, 10 second glimpses of us (at least, you think it was us, but it was hard to see and everyone was moving so fast), then meet us at the finish line, where we unceremoniously demand to be taken.  For food.  NOW!!!!

Of course, while being our partner may require sacrifices on some fronts, I should also point out that there are plenty of advantages to being the significant other of a lady endurance athlete.  We enjoy outdoor adventures and know how to take care of our bodies: You won’t usually have to carry our snacks, or remind us to drink, or cheer us up that last hill on a hike.  We have endurance, and lots of energy (at least, on the days when we haven’t been on a five hour bike ride or long run or intense speed session or…).  We are strong and probably a bit competitive: We make awesome moving partners, because we’ll want to move more, bigger boxes – faster – than you.

We are very good at occupying ourselves, so don’t worry if you have to work late/travel for business/go bowling with you buddies – we love a guilt-free session with our Garmin.  We know how to support each other – a race is a race, but any other time (and even sometimes in a race), most of us want to encourage, assist, and lend a gel to a fellow athlete.  We are dedicated and motivated – we know how to make a plan and stick to it.  We understand the concept of delayed gratification (in fact, we rely on it!), and know how to work patiently and progressively toward a greater goal.  And when the going gets tough (in a workout, or in life), we know that the most important thing is to just keep going.

Final Note: I can recommend the following as a really good way to make the endurance athlete in your life swoon when she goes out for a long run: Set the air conditioning to turn on about 30 minutes before she’s due home.  Make sure there is electrolyte drink and watermelon in the fridge.  Put a Nalgene of water in the freezer for her.  Leave the water heater on, so she can jump in the shower whenever she wants.  Told you all that my husband “gets” me! 

Here's to many more anniversaries to come!

Here’s to many more anniversaries to come!

*Obviously, I’m playing off lots of stereotypes in this post.  There are all kinds of exceptions.  This is only meant to be funny, so please don’t take offense.

What’s missing from my list?

What kinds of nice things does a loved one (significant other, sibling, roommate, parent) do for you when you go out for a long, hard workout?

Manic Monday = A Bit Too Much Sugar

First of all – thank you folks for all the sweet wishes for my Dad!   Dad has a strict no-blog-commenting policy, even on his daughter’s blog, so you’ll have to accept my thanks, on his behalf. 🙂

Since the Dad-post, things have been a *bit* on the nutsy side over here at RWH Headquarters.  In a nutshell:

1. On Friday, I ran 27 miles.  This deserves a separate post of its own.
2. On Saturday evening, I realized I had some website wonkies that needed to be addressed, ASAP. *#&%*$ !!!!!!
3. On Saturday, about 30 minutes after this ^ discovery, KMN sheepishly confessed that, after “tinkering” with one of the valves at the back of the toilet, there was now water leaking all over the floor in one of our bathrooms.  Double *%^*#&*@ !!!!

I did the only thing I could think of to do: I took a shower.  In another bathroom.  And I went to bed.  No one was going to die from website wonkies or a small clean-water leak overnight.  This was the best move for everyone involved.

Sunday started early, and we were out all day, then returned home in the evening for a lengthy travel-planning session.  “Travel planning?” you may be asking.

Why yes!  Because. . .well. . .we’re taking a long-weekend-vacation to LONDON (!!!!) in a few days.  Thursday and Friday are both holidays in Singapore, and KMN has some business travel to do as well, so we’re tying in a trip to explore a bit more of London (we’ve been before, but certainly didn’t see everything).  By the we had a basic itinerary in place, it was after 8 PM.  I finally snuck out for my last few miles of the week:

Fake it 'til you make it: Happy skort with an extra happy top band, and happy yellow tank.

Fake it ’til you make it: Happy skort with an extra happy printed waistband, and a happy yellow tank. Please don’t mind the skort wrinkles. I only iron formal wear.

KMN took care of dinner, and shortly after we ate, I passed out on the couch for an hour, waking only to shower and move to the bed.

You may (or may not) see where this (very boring) story is (finally) going: Monday morning dawned, and I was none-too-keen to spend my last few days before mini-vacation dealing with website annoyances and leaky toilets.

I'm not big on most candy, but sour gummies are very helpful when researching, tinkering, and finger-crossing.

I’m not big on most candy, but sour gummies are very helpful when researching, tinkering, and finger-crossing.

But heck, London was the carrot dangling at the end of the week, so I sat down with my coffee and dug in to the website.  I – like most running bloggers, I think – am solidly “average” in the Tech-Savvy department.  I don’t have tons of specialized knowledge in database management, server organization, HTML, or CSS.  Nor do I have the budget to hire someone to manage all of this for me.  Thus, I do some research, tinker a bit, and keep things as organized, orderly, and safe as possible.

And one thing that my website has taught me is how techie folks can zone out in front of the computer for hours.  I’m usually the kind of person who can’t sit for more than an hour without hopping up to tend the laundry, get some water, use the foam roller, grab a snack, etc. etc.  But I was totally immersed today, for about four hours straight.  And in the end, I think things have been pretty well sorted out, and we’re back to full functionality.  I have to admit that I’m also feeling pretty accomplished/pleased with myself – honestly, this feeling is not unlike the one I get when I finish a challenging workout!

So go ahead – click on everything.  If you find something that’s broken, please do let me know.  And I know the Header photo is missing.  I had plans to replace the old one anyway, so I’m leaving it this way until I get the new one beautified and uploaded.  We’ll just be headless header-less for awhile.

And the toilet?  Well, it doesn’t leak unless it’s flushed.  That’s good enough for me, at the moment.

Ice cream sundae, on a hard-working Monday!!!  Thank you, UDDERS.

Ice cream sundae, on a hard-working Monday!!! Thank you, UDDERS.

So after a late lunch [KMN says 5:30 isn’t late lunch, but if I didn’t actually EAT lunch (see “immersed”, above), then I’m going to call it lunch], I treated myself to some ice cream.  The ice cream quality was far superior to the photo quality (look right). Post-ice cream, the bathroom floor was still dry, and the website was still functioning.  I’m calling that a WIN.  [And noting that website issues lead to increased sugar consumption. Whoops!]

So now, I think it’s time to pack my bags.  And write some blog posts (workout round-ups, calf rolling, wedding photo blitz, etc.).  And talk to both my husband and parents without getting cranky.  And give thanks that I do regular website back-ups.  Which brings me to:

BLOGGERS: Back up your websites!  This means your files AND your databases (if you have your own server space).  Files AND databases!!!  Not tomorrow, but TODAY!

You won’t need most of these back-ups.  But eventually, there will be a day when you need one – just the most recent one – and you, too, will be giving thanks that you have it.  If you don’t know how to do a back-up, take the time to figure it out, or ask for help.

In the aftermath of this experience, I’ve also decided that my website needs its own journal.  Or, rather, need a journal for my website.  This helps me keep track of the changes and adjustments I make – and how I make them.  Hopefully, this makes un-doing, fixing, or re-doing (as the case may be) considerably easier.  [This is just like a running/training log, ya know?]  And if you’re gonna have a journal, it might as well be pretty, right?

Dear Diary...Today, I installed JetPack, and activated the Facebook like section!

Dear Diary, Today, I installed Akismet and JetPack…

And with that…I’m off to dig my jeans from the back of the closet.  I hear that London is cooler than Singapore.  So I say: Bring on the denim!!

Bloggers: What’s your #1 piece of advice you have for dealing with the technical side of managing a blog/website?
[“Back-up regularly” is a bit overused, albeit critically important. So I would say “Don’t be afraid” – provided that you’ve backed everything up!!]

#1 Must-See and #1 Must-Eat in London?  Go:

RWH Does Facebook (!!!), and Playing Post-Vacation Catch-Up

BodyPump paid off: I held two bouquets for 20 minutes without a single quiver of weakness.

BodyPump paid off: I held two bouquets for 20 minutes without a single quiver of weakness.

Can we all just stop for a second and acknowledge how freakin’ hard it is to keep up in the blog world?  I fell behind while doing really important things, like saving the world and being a Matron of Honor.  OK, maybe it was just the latter, but there was a lot of responsibility!  Flowers! Table decorations! Margarita mix! I was a busy girl!!

[Side note: I adore my husband and really want to be married to him, but I do sorta wish I could still be a Maid of Honor.  Matron sounds so…frumpy.  Anyone else? Anyone?]

Anyway, while I was doing wedding things, and running twenty miles, and visiting friends in the Northeast, you were all equally busy (or busier):

Jeano was running a marathon,
Miss Zippy was killing her MAF training,
Jules was getting her brandy new road bike tripped out and cycling 100 km,
Meagan (Turkey Runner), Kristin (Defy Your Limitations), and Brennan (Yum Run) are all starting their training for various Fall marathons, and
SUAR decided to do an Ironman!  (Ironwoman?).

Ya’ll are awesome, and that’s all there is to it.  Becoming woven into this blogging community has been one of the largely unexpected outcomes of starting my own blog (ironically, it wasn’t one of my primary motivations at the start) – and you all support, motivate, and inspire ME, even though we’ve never met!  [Except Allee, of course.  I just met her a few days ago.  And she’s awesome.  Totally not an ax murderer…]

But, it’s time to start doing things a smidge bigger, and better.  And so, hot off the press and fresh from vacation, I present to you all:

Have I mentioned how excited I am about this?  It took me awhile, but The Time Is Now.  Why?  Lots of reasons, but mostly because I want to build community.  And I’d like you to be a part of it, if you’re so inclined.

Someone recently suggested to me that running is “just a fad”.  But I think this person is wrong – and here’s why: When people lock into a community with a shared goal or interest, they feed off each other.  They help each other, encourage each other, and give each other wake-up calls at 5 AM.  They meet for after-work intervals, travel to marathons together, and have holiday parties.  The community and the running become intertwined.  And that kind of community has staying power beyond any fad I’ve ever seen.

[If you doubt me, ask Deb. It’s obvious from so many of her posts that she has a fantastic running community/family!]

So maybe we can’t all go running together, and have big group breakfasts, and take turns watching each other’s kids so we can all race sometimes – but heck, in the 21st century, we can still be a community.  Why not?

Folks in Singapore, this goes double – nay, quadruple – for you.  Those of you who ‘found’ me after the Pocari Swear run, and others who’ve wandered over from the forum, this page will keep you up-to-date on all Run With Holly happenings – including cheer squads.  The Singapore race calendar is a bit slow in July, but stay tuned, and check back often.  Because we’re gonna change the way the sidelines of running events out here look (and sound)!  I don’t know about you all, but personally – I can’t wait.

So go check it out: Run With Holly on Facebook!!!

Fellow bloggers: What’s new with you that I’ve missed (or forgotten to mention)?

Runners in Singapore: Any races in particular you’d like to cheer at (or be cheered FOR at)?

Anyone else out there get so excited by new happenings that they forget to eat?
[*raises hand*  Off now to procure some dinner.  Adios!]

Back (to ‘Where-My-Bed-Is’) Home!

What a difference a day makes:  At 1 PM Eastern Standard Time, KMN and I were unloading our bags from my Mom’s car at the curb at Newark Airport.  Twenty-five hours later, we were in the Taxi queue at Changi Airport (Singapore).  Add in a twelve-hour time difference, an hour of decompressing when we got home, and some screwed up internal clocks – and you’ll realize why we might both be looking a wee bit tired for the next few days.  I’ll ‘fess up: It’s not even lunchtime, and I’m already considering a nap.  And I really dislike napping.

These guys were super thrilled to be reunited.  [Rhino had joined us in the States, while Ellie & PB held guarded the apartment in Singapore.]

These guys were super thrilled to be reunited. [Rhino had joined us in the States, while Ellie & PB guarded the apartment in Singapore.]

We’re somewhat unpacked, and are in the process of tackling the post-vacation laundry/mail/cleaning monsters – and getting back into the work groove.  But for now, though, I’m taking a little time to catch up on blog-land. I’ve been reading and commenting sporadically, but now I’m systematically working my through the past 2 weeks of each of your lives.  So expect some comments on your practically-archived posts in the near future.  😉

I’m also taking some time to re-hydrate.  Those who have been around for awhile know that I’m just a *tad* passionate about hydration.  And while there’s debate in the running community about how much hydration runners need, I’m going to be far less controversial today and stick with this: Long-haul flights WILL dehydrate you.  For starters, the air is very, very dry.  Secondly, you’re basically at the mercy of the flight crew for beverages (and some airports *cough*Hong Kong*cough* don’t allow you to enter the plane with any liquids – even those you bought or filled AFTER security).  I bring my 32 oz Nalgene (where permitted), but even that is inadequate for a 15 hour flight.  Third, you’re being fed super-processed, super-salty airline food.  And finally…most people generally try to avoid using an airplane bathroom (although my experience is that they’re generally pretty clean), and desire NOT to scramble over their seatmates every two hours – so they hold off on drinking.  Taken together, this is a recipe for dehydration.

I do what I can: I start my trip well-hydrated, bring what water I can on the plane, get an Aisle seat when I can, accept a drink every time the drink cart comes through, and start hydrating as soon as I’m back on the ground.  The shorter the flight, the easier this is – although most of my >10 hour flights lately have been pretty good, too.  But I missed the mark yesterday.  So when I awoke this morning, instead of being ravenous (as I should have been), all I was craving was fluid.  In fact, when I popped over to the market to buy milk, I came home with this for breakfast:

Sensing a theme here?

Remember, you can eat your hydration, too!

My Mom often quotes a classic book title to me, when I’m bemoaning something I want to do/eat that seems somewhat abnormal/less-than-ideal to me: “Trees call for what they need.”  She was (as she often is!) correct.  After this pre-breakfast (and a few more glasses of water), I felt much better.  Thank you, watermelon!

There’s plenty to come in blog-land this week, including a few wedding photos, workout round-ups, more gushing over Rochester and Sussex County, stretching, racing, and more!  But first…about that nap….

How do you stay hydrated on long-haul flights?

What’s your least favorite return-from-vacation chore?

What is making your Wednesday happy?

Lovin’ on Rochester – and – The Best Chauffeur EVER

I failed to capture the whole crew; but here's dessert!  From back to front: Watermelon, Balsamic Blueberry Pie, Berry Custard Tart, and Chocolate Chip Cookies.  NOM!!

I failed to capture the whole crew, but here’s dessert! From back to front: Watermelon, Balsamic Blueberry Pie, Berry Custard Tart, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. NOM!!

Our Fourth of July celebrations were awesome.  Things started off right with a fantastic run, and the good times just kept rolling.  I partied (gently, responsibly, and while wearing compression sleeves) with a few dear, dear friends.  These are ladies who I’ve known since I was in fifth grade.  The intervening 20 years have included LOT of bad hairstyles, boy drama, and general shenanigans.  But the true test of friendship:  These girls bore witness to – but wouldn’t, for any price, spill a word about – some of the most embarrassing moments of my adolescence.  So don’t even bother asking them about “pants”, “band pants”, “blue paper men”, or “Sir Holly the Fibber”.

Hopefully, they won’t hold it against us that we threw them out around 11 PM, as we had Big Plans for Friday the Fifth: KMN and I were headed for ROCHESTER!!  My parents have been kind enough to share their cars with us while we’re here.  There’s only one catch…both of my parents drive cars with a manual transmission – and Run With Holly is an automatic girl, all the way.  [Yes, she should learn.  No, she hasn’t yet.]

If the whole lawyering thing doesn't work out, I think he has a possible second career here.  :)

If the whole lawyering thing doesn’t work out, I think he has a possible second career here. 🙂

Thankfully, KMN learned to drive (I believe) an army truck with a manual transmission.  Ergo, I have a chauffeur all weekend!  With this arrangement, the drive to Rochester just flew by: A 90 minute nap, chatting, some coaching, reading the Drew University magazine to him, finalizing Rochester plans, and suddenly we were pulling into Bruegger’s Bagels on Mt. Hope.  While these bagels are not really up to New Jersey standards, they are acceptable by Rochester standards – and they were a once-a-week treat for me during grad school.  Munching on an Everything bagel with cream cheese was a nostalgic experience.

We were soon joined by M. (my partner in crime throughout graduate school) and her husband – who drove many hours to come visit with us, and some other Rochester friends.  M. and I walked over to the Medical Center to see who was around, but on this Friday-between-a-holiday-and-a-weekend, the place was eerily quiet.  We managed to surprise a few people, most of whom were pretty shocked to see us together again, since, although we were pretty inseparable during grad school, we currently live thousands of miles apart.  I also got to enjoy an iced coffee with E., another smart and savvy scientist that the University of Rochester brought into my life.  I photographed none of these adventures.

In the evening, we met up with some of my Rochester running family.  It’s no secret that I love Rochester – and these folks are a big part of the reason.  Getting a PhD is a physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding (damaging?) experience, and these are the people who picked me up, dressed my wounds, and sent me back into the lab again and again.  Some of them were my surrogate parents, and others stepped in as siblings, when I needed family.  My coaching mentor is also part of this group, and I can’t begin to repay what she has given to me – in experience, opportunities, and faith.  There are never enough hours over dinner when I’m hanging with these guys and gals.  I could sit at the table for hours, listening to their tales, sharing about Singapore, and laughing over our past adventures – I love soaking in their energy, enthusiasm, and good humor.  I was so busy doing so, in fact, that I forgot a photo.  Again.

The awesomeness continued this morning, when one of “the other Hollys” drove out to me so we could go for a run, sorta like old times (after wasting five years of vaguely knowing each other but not getting seriously introduced, we finally started running together at lunch – four months before I graduated).  We logged some miles on my beloved Rochester Canal Path, and blabbed about science and running.  Besides the fact that my more-buff-than-ever arms STILL felt twiggy next to hers, the morning was a rousing success.  Except – you guessed it – I didn’t take a picture.

But I DID take a picture of brunch, which KMN and I enjoyed at James Brown’s Place, on Culver Road.

Huevos Rancheros!

Huevos Rancheros!

I can’t believe that, after over six years in Rochester, I’d never been to this spot.  The breakfast was delicious, the servers were so friendly, and there were at least eight other items on the menu that I wanted to order.  [Blackberry pancakes with peach sauce?  Cinnamon raisin or banana bread french toast?  Omelets galore?  One of each, please!]  We enjoyed our breakfast – and the genuine neighborhood feel – by eating at an outdoor table.  Splendid!

Then, it was time for a Blogger First: A real, genuine, blogger meet-up.  OK, maybe there were only two of us, but how many run-bloggers can Rochester really support, anyway?  Griselda Mood and I yakked about Rochester, running, blogging, training, families, marathons, and did I mention running?  Yes, she’s just as enthusiastic and funny as her blog suggests.  And guess what?!??!  We remembered to take a picture.

My First Blogger Meet Up!

My First Blogger Meet Up!

The only sad bit?  C-Money was down for the count, cutting a tooth and running a fever.  Guess I’ll just have to stop back and meet her some other time.  🙂

I suspect our husbands were similarly relieved when we both returned, unscathed, from meeting a stranger in the park.  [Actually, we really met at Lovin’ Cup, where the staff patiently let me sit for a total of three hours and two coffees this afternoon.  But whatever.  Details.  Next time I’m dragging her out for a run!  To a park!  I’ll even submit to a background check first, if her husband still doesn’t believe that my intentions are pure.]

I collected KMN from the largest (and most book-less) Barnes & Noble I’ve ever seen, and we zoomed out.  My handsome chauffeur delivered me to a meeting with a client, and now…here I am.

We have grand plans to enjoy some Dinosaur BBQ later tonight.  [Good BBQ isn’t so common in Singapore.]  I cannot wait to get my hands on some of their Tomato-Cucumber Salad, and an order of fresh french fries, and their cornbread, and probably a rib or two.  So if I’m MIA tomorrow, blame the food coma…

Rochesterians: What’s your favorite brunch spot in the area (I’m filing it away for next time!)?

Runners: Do you have a “running family”?  When have they pulled you through a tough time?

Anyone, anyone at all: What’s your favorite BBQ “style” food (doesn’t have to be the meat)?

Welcome, Folks!

Hmm…seems that this little corner of the US/Singapore Running Blog Space has attracted quite a bit of attention in the last 12 hours, mostly thanks to comment in a thread on SGRunners.Com (thanks for the shout-out, sicklycat!).  So for those of you who are new:

My laundry and I say....WELCOME!

WELCOME! My laundry and I are glad you’re here…

I promise you that this blog is a haze-free zone [for you non-locals, Singapore is experiencing a bit of a haze situation at the moment].  So grab yourself some water (I believe in good hydration habits), sit back, relax, and enjoy.

[Regular readers, you probably know most of what I’m about to say, so feel free to just stop back tomorrow for your regular dose of Holly Bloggy Goodness.]

Let’s start with some introductions: First of all, here’s a more formal About Me section, and here is a more casual collection of Holly Fun Facts.  Secondly, here’s a bit about the guy who’s often photo bombing joining me in my pictures.  Third of all…since most of you are runners (or at least you like perusing running message boards), here are links to my race reports from all the local events I’ve run so far:

2013 Green Corridor Run
2013 URun 10K Run/Climb
2013 Safari Zoo Run (6K Fun Run)
2013 Venus Run
2013 2XU Compression Run, Part I and Part II

And yes, for those who have asked – I am indeed the same crazy ang moh who was out cheering during the Sundown Half-Marathon.

As far as other things I blog about (Food, Yoga, Motivational Posts, various things Singapore, etc.), I try to keep my posts pretty well categorized, so wander on over to the sidebar on the right, and click on anything that catches your eye.  🙂

Of course, I have a loooong list of posts queuing on my “To Write” list, including:

Stretching Various Body Parts (I started with a Calf Stretching post, but I have so many more to add!)
Rolling Mostly Those Same Parts (IT bands are certain to be a big hit)
My (very, very belated) Energizer Night Trail Run Race Report
“The Soles We Found At McRitchie”
Weekly Training Round-Ups (and upcoming races!)
The “We’re Just Friends” story of how KMN & I ended up together

and, since I’ll be in New Jersey in a few weeks,

Photographic Evidence of my Short-Lived Stint in Ballet Class (as initially referenced in my very first blog post)

So if any (or all) of those sound interesting, do yourself a favor, and do something a little more permanent than Bookmark this site.  To add yourself to the list of Cool People Who Get New Blog Posts By Email, see the widget in the right-hand sidebar.   Alternatively, plop me into your RSS Reader of choice.  But do remember that Google Reader is going off-line on July 1.  Personally, I’ve switched to Feedly, but that’s certainly not your only choice.  [For example, Bloglovin‘ seems to have become a favorite among some fellow bloggers.  Obviously, there are others out there.]

Thanks for stopping by - and hope to see you again soon!

Thanks for stopping by – and hope to see you again soon!

And, while I generally don’t use my blog to promote my coaching services, if you happen to be looking for a coach to help you prepare for a fun, safe run of any distance – check out what I do in the What is E-Coaching? section.

And last, but certainly not least, don’t stay too anonymous!  One of the coolest parts about blogging is the opportunity to interact with my readers.  I love building communities – especially supportive running communities!  So please, please – don’t be afraid to say hello.  [For spam-reduction reasons, I will have to approve your first Comment – but after that, you will be able to comment freely on future posts.]  If you need a prompt to get started, let’s try this:

I’m still exploring all the races that Singapore has to offer, so: What is your favorite race in Singapore – and WHY?

Five Links for a Friday

OK, maybe it’s not quite Friday for everyone yet, but here’s a random collection of Cool Things I’ve Seen on the Internet This Week, in no particular order and for your viewing pleasure.  If you are Facebook friends with me, some of these might be repeats.  Apologies.

1. A North Carolina State Ph.D. student turned linguistic data from around the United States into a pretty cool series of visuals.  I just can’t get them to embed (which is OK, because 22 is too many anyway, and you should really just click on the link).  Beyond the “soda” vs. “pop” debate, the graphics explore the many pronunciations of “syrup”, where people are wearing tennis shoes vs. sneakers, and what names are given to that big crowded road without stoplights.  If you’ve lived in the US for any length of time, go have a look. It’s fascinating!

2. I often struggle to find the right balance between being confident, humble, and modest.  I (and many people, especially women <— broad generalization, please don’t hurt me) tend to err on the side of “I’m sorry”.  All of which is to say, you should listen to this TEDx talk by Dyana Valentine about why she’s NOT sorry.  [Also, it involves chocolate covered potato chips.]

3. A former classmate of mine from Drew University is a mover and shaker in the Cambodian-based accessories company basik 855.  She and her team work with local artisans to produce traditional ikat (an intricate, locally-woven fabric) and turn it into trendy accessories.  The company is built on the basic tenant of respect for their artisans, and the belief that their labors should help them build a better life (ie, basik 855 pays fair wages and benefits to their employees).  Essentially, its an awesome mixture of socially-responsible entrepreneurship and chic accessories.  If you’re inclined, check out some of their products.  Pretty neat!

Mostly, I wanted to share the awesome work they do with you.  Optionally, you can also check out their Kickstarter campaign, which they are using to raise funds for their 2013 Fall line.  The link also includes a video where you can see the team, and learn a bit about their products.  [PS I’m not sorry for using my blog to help spread the word about their work!]

4. Sierra Trading Post.  It’s hit-or-miss (their inventory changes), but if they’re carrying something you already love, you can often get it for a pretty sweet price.  During their National Running Day sale on Wednesday, I managed to snag two Moving Comfort Alexis full-length tops, usually about $35-40, for just $20.  Keep your eye out for their free or 99¢ shipping offers, too.

5. Heck, I was gonna add a fifth, but it’s an almost-summer Friday (or almost-Friday).  So go out an enjoy yourself!!

What are you NOT SORRY about today?

Seen anything noteworthy on the internet lately?

Search Term Hilarity (January 2013 – April 2013)

I was recently checking some blog stats, and paused to look at the Search Terms for Run With Holly.

Basically, these are phrases that someone entered into a search engine, which returned a blog entry of mine among the results – and the person clicked on it.  I’ve seen bloggers publish these before, but never really paused to give mine much thought.  But one caught my eye the other day, so I clicked through to see some of the others.  There were some gems in there, and I thought you* might enjoy them as much as I did:

“anatomy of pot” [Singaporean authorities, please do not be misled by this search term.]

“i dont go for holiday without my holiday gadgets”  [This might have been KMN.  He is usually the gadget wrangler when we travel.  It was a new experience for me to be internationally-gadget-responsible on my recent trip to the US.]

“banana skins to stop chafing” [It’s a thought, but I’ll admit I’ve never tested it….  I do often eat a pre-run banana, though.  Recycling?]

“heel stuck in foot” [Definitely can’t help you with that one, dude.]

“can you please show me pork shank from the pig anatomy” [I love this one mostly because it is so polite!]

“how to put long hair in a swim cap singapore” [Whoops!  You’ve got the wrong gal here!  Also, I’m not sure why the country matters.  Is there a different swim-cap-application policy in Asia?]

And I do think this one is my favorite….

“how to do the shrimp position in yoga”  [Anyone?  Anyone???]


To my blogging friends out there: Any good Search terms hit on your blog lately?

To anyone: What term do you wish you’d never Googled?
[After reading a post about Sea Lice on a fellow Singapore-based runner’s blog at running (my) life, I reluctantly Googled the term.  Not one of my more brilliant moves…]

*And if you are someone who found my blog with one of these searches, WELCOME.  I’m glad you’re here.  Truly.  We might laugh a bit, but it’s all good-natured, and we’re a fun crew.  If you’re feeling sheepish, head over to Jeano’s most recent blog post and you can laugh at my commenting faux pas….

So, it’s been awhile…

Pop Quiz: What’s one thing that a brand new blogger – who is just starting to get involved in the runner-blogging community – shouldn’t do?

Answer: Stop blogging for two weeks.


Apologies, folks.  I didn’t like it any more than you did (she says, deluding herself into believing that some people actually look forward to reading her musings).  But really, a perfect storm of events conspired to keep me off the blog-wagon for about 2 weeks.

The first is some family stuff, which is ultimately what prompted my trip back to the US in the first place.  You see, when I started blogging, KMN and I discussed what parts of my (our) life (lives) were – and weren’t – bloggable.  And I felt comfortable with our decisions: I had lots of latitude to share what was going on in my life, but there were some things we agreed didn’t belong here.  Good sport that he is, KMN agreed to let me photography, quote, and occasionally make sport of him – all in the name of the blog.  But I didn’t have the same conversations with the rest of my family, who are generally a pretty private crowd.  So lots of what I’ve been involved with over the past two weeks just isn’t bloggable.

Second – the past two weeks have been absolutely exhausting.  When I finally sat down each evening, I could hardly write two coherent sentences, nevermind a whole string of them to make up a post.

And third – Boston. Just, ugh.  As a running-blogger, and a running coach, I was apparently supposed to say something insightful, encouraging, and brilliant about the whole mess.  But frankly, I just couldn’t.  I didn’t want to read about it on other blogs.  I didn’t want to write about it on mine.  I didn’t want to watch the news (which happened to be playing 24/7 where I was staying – completely out of my control).  I’ll probably have something to say eventually, but it’s taken me nearly a week to be ready to write again.  I guess my inner introvert was rearing its head during a stressful time.

Then, the pile of blogging to be done was so high, it seemed I might never make it up. Over. Down. Whatever.  There were blogs to read, and comment on. I had posts half written (mostly in my head), but I just couldn’t get the oomph to turn them into reality.

But I’m heading back to Singapore soon.  I’m preparing some posts about my visit to Florida that may (possibly) be both interesting, and (most certainly) respectful of my family’s privacy.  I have a few thoughts on what happened in Boston.  I might even have some hilarity in there somewhere.  But first, I needed a nice, easy, short way to ease back into blogland. So: HERE I AM, WORLD!

Well, actually, I was HERE.  Or at least, very close.  It sure is pretty!

Well, actually, I was HERE. Or at least, very close. It sure is pretty!

Ever step back from blogging for a period of time, either accidentally or on purpose? Any tricks for getting back into the routine?

What food are you craving right now?
[I’ve been gobbling up plenty of goodies that are easy to find in the US, but considerably expensive in Singapore.  But I am totally missing a good, strong cup of kopi – local coffee.]