Shuffling Schedules for Busy Runners

Self Portrait As A Stressed-Out Bride To Be

When life gets tough, sometimes you beat yourself up when you miss a run (Photo credit: BrittneyBush)

I get it. You’re busy, like can’t-take-a-shower, did-I-brush-my-teeth busy. Or, maybe all you are busy with is healing after an illness or injury. Whatever the case, missing runs during a training cycle is normal and expected, but how does one re-arrange his or her schedule to retain fitness? How long is too long to take off before giving up your goals? Is it possible or advisable to make up these missed workouts?

These are all great questions that I’ve had to deal with as runner and working mom of two under three. I also have a house that I guess I need to keep clean, a dog that cries more than my kids, and a husband who helps make my running goals possible, but who needs a little time from me, too.

And no, I’m not asking you to bow down in awe of my time management!  But I am ready to offer you some of my expertise in shuffling around workouts when life gets in the way!

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Ask-A-Salty: Should I Ask My Friends to be Spectators?

Got a question? Just ask!

Got a question? Just ask!

We recently received a question from Jess, who is ready to race her first Ironman very soon!  (Major kudos to you!)  She has a very supportive spouse who has been with her every step of the way and plans to be there for every minute of the race.  She is wondering if she should also enlist the support of her other friends to help her through the day.  Here’s her question:

I have a big race coming up – my first Ironman. I’ve worked really hard training for it over the last year.   My question is about spectators – the race is in my home state, about an hour from the town where I live. My parents and siblings will be out of town that weekend. My husband will of course be my main cheerleader!  However, I would love to invite my close group of friends to come watch (and hopefully cheer me on!). Is it selfish to invite other friends to come spectate? Is it weird? No one has offered or even seems interested. I have attended gallery openings, public readings, concerts and other events for these friends, which I kind of view as the equivalent. What would Salty do?

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Comment of the Week – 7.26.2014

COTW badgeAt the risk of defaulting to the two most generic topics ever (weather and time), can you believe it is almost August?  Although school is starting soon which I’m not quite ready for, it’s also getting closer to the fall racing season.  It makes the end of summer so much more palatable. I’m even looking forward to it.

Plus, the end of summer means the time of beautiful running weather is returning as well.  And as my training for next summer’s run begins to ramp up in September, I’m looking forward to running in crisp, fall mornings. It’s still summer now, though, and it’s Saturday which means it’s time to find out who won the comment of the week award this week! Read more

5 Things I learned from Ernestine Sheperd

At 77 years old, Ernestine Shepherd holds the Guinness World Record as the World’s Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder.

I was lucky enough to meet Ms. Shepherd a few years ago and while my first impression was “Wow, is she gorgeous!” I was most struck that her inner beauty far surpasses her impressive physique.  If Sports Illustrated is looking for its next cover model, she’s got my vote!

So inspired am I by “Ernie” and her accomplishments that I’m dedicating today’s Friday 5 to a few lessons we runners–and all athletes–can learn from her. Read more

My Favorite Summer Post-Run Mocktails


Coffee iced milk = coffee ice cubes with a mix of white and chocolate milk. Great post-run refreshment!

I know you all have been there — one of those sweltering summer runs where all you can think about is a nice, cold post-run drink. Well, the end of summer is not yet in sight, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite mocktails to quench your thirst.

Read on for some tasty liquid refreshment! Read more

A Friendly Guide to the IT Band

Your IT Band is your friend!

Your IT Band can sometimes seem like the enemy, but it really is your friend! img © Salty Running

Despite best-laid plans, a vetted training schedule, excitement for getting in those double-digit long runs, and foam rolling sessions each week, I still got surprised last weekend by a sharp, stabbing pain on the outside of my knee.

The diagnosis: Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS).  The result: hobbling around so frustrated that I was on the verge of what my mother would call a “hissy fit.”

I wouldn’t wish this on any runner; but according to my chiropractor, it’s one of the most common injuries to plague our community. All my runner friends gave me a “been there!” along with their condolences. Even if you aren’t one of the millions of athletes who have had ITBS before it’s likely that, as a serious runner, you will someday find yourself with a pain in the thigh, so it might do you some good to read on and learn about prevention and treatment of ITBS. Read more

Coriander’s Mohican 100 Race Report

A podium finish last year meant an elite number (and extra pressure) this year!

A podium finish last year meant an elite number (and extra pressure) this year!

It was nearing 4 a.m. on June 21st and I was ready to go: shoes on, bug spray and body glide applied, watches set, pack filled. All I had to do was get out of the chair, hop in the car, drive the 10 minutes to the start line and run for the next 24-25 hours or so. That was it.

“Are you OK?” my friend, Erin, asked me.

“I should’ve dropped down to the 50,” I replied.

It was the longest day of the year and I was about to run  my second 100 mile trail race at Mohican, the same location as my first 100 last year and I had every reason to have dropped down in distance. In the months leading up to the race, I broke up with my boyfriend of the majority of the last seven years, started a new career, moved to a new house and neighborhood, started dating again and just had so much life stress that I’m sure anyone would have understood if I had either not started at all or dropped to the shorter distance.

But I was running and racing well, setting new PRs in the 50K (road and trail), taking second at one race and two other top ten finishes. I nailed almost every single workout my coach gave me and my long run paces were strong. Physically, I was ready for 100 miles. Mentally, not so much. Read more

Basil’s Her Tern Half Marathon Race Report

Me and my new coach (and yes, she's racing for two these days!)

Me and my new coach (and yes, she’s racing for two these days!)

It was a no excuses kind of day.  Partly cloudy, 55 degrees, no injuries or niggles to contend with, and I’d even had a decent night of sleep. Still, I was convinced that when I lined up for the Her Tern Half Marathon, I’d be putting myself through a hundred minutes of pain (or more) with zero chance of a PR. I felt under trained for the distance–a feeling my recent tempo runs had only reinforced.  And though my last half marathon was well over a year ago, I remembered the suffering like it was yesterday. I didn’t think I could knock out anything close to the 1:38:48 PR I’d achieved with Salty by my side to pace and push me.

My running buddy and new coach Michelle finally convinced me to sign up for it a week prior to the race. I’d been hedging and thinking up all kinds of silly excuses why I didn’t want to do it. But when she pulled the “no matter the outcome, it will help you get stronger” card, I couldn’t argue. Plus, it was an all-women’s race with mimosas and cupcakes at the end. So there was that. Read more

When Easy’s Not Easy, Make Your Easy Runs More Fun!

English: A bored person

Are you bored by your easy runs? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Easy running can be boring and tedious. I want to go faster! I have things to do and sometimes running slowly makes me think of all that other stuff – laundry, grocery lists, figuring out what the smell is in the fridge…  And when I snap back to reality I tend to find that I’ve slowed to a near-crawl.  It’s always hard for me to keep a consistent speed, but when I’m doing an easy run that problem can really get the better of me!

Many running sites don’t bother giving tips for easy runs. It’s the bran to your raisins or the bun to your burger:  totally necessary to make a meal, but certainly not the main attraction.  But here at Salty Running we get into it all, and what better day than a Monday to turn a yawn-fest into something you can look forward to? Read more