Back to Basics: How to Tie Your Running Shoes

Oh no!
Oh no!

You’re four miles into a 10k, tracking perfect splits to PR by a few seconds when disaster strikes. First you notice your left shoe. It is not feeling quite as secure as it was moments ago, but you try to put it out of your mind. A few minutes later you hear a plastic clicking sound, which fills you with a sense of doom. A quick glance at your feet reveals the inevitable truth. Your shoelaces are untied.

Do you stop and tie them, losing time and possibly your PR? Do you keep running, hoping that it doesn’t get any worse and that you don’t face plant right before crossing the timing mats? I say no to both options. Instead you should travel back in time and read this post so that your shoelaces never (hopefully) come untied again. Read more >>

The Champion Mindset

Sprinting to a substantial PR and a third place finish at the Canton Fall Classic 10K
Sprinting to a substantial PR and a third place finish at the Canton Fall Classic 10K

A few weeks ago, I ran the Canton Fall Classic 10K and ran as well as I’ve ever run in my life. Though my time was a significant PR, and I am proud of that, the biggest breakthrough was a mental one. You see, for the first time ever in a race I “went there.” You know that place, the impossible, painful, air-sucking, muscle-burning place of exhaustion.

I went there, and I DID NOT LET UP.

I realize how limited I was by my mental state during races. This is a huge breakthrough for me and I want to share with you what I realized it takes to have the mind of a champion. Read more >>

Jasmine’s training log 11.9.2014

After about 4 weeks, my suspect MCL injury hasn’t gone away on its own. I’ve run over 200 miles on it since it appeared, so it is not anything debilitating. Still, I set up an appointment at Case Health services Tuesday morning (Yeah, I love how they are always dying to do same day appointments)  and was referred to sports medicine at UH. I have enough clues that something is wrong that I need to rule out dangerous things that require intervention before I do something stupid and actually get injured.  I took Monday-Friday off of running, but on Thursday, I met Dawn Patrol for some cold morning biking. It was nice. I haven’t been on my bike since June.

Race planning: I booked hotels for Pittsburgh Marathon (May), Columbus (October), and Toronto Waterfront (same day in October, as a backup plan). Toronto has three elite field classifications ranging from appearance fee pro to 3:00:00. It has full television coverage that you can check out on Youtube in HD. It looks like a nice race that I can drive to easily.

By the way, if you haven’t seen the inline skating division fro the Berlin marathon, check it out. It has been a long time since I’ve seen a sport and said, “man, I need to try that.” Also check out this men’s A start helmet camera video. This looks awesome! Why don’t we have this at any of the US races?

As we come into treadmill season, I found something interesting: YouTube does these random music video mixes. Usually I would watch movies and TV shows, but  when I need mindless stuff for like intervals, this is sort of nice.

Salty and I read Brian Martin’s Running Technique book. While the book provided a very good summary of running mechanics, possibly the best available right now, we didn’t find it lead to an actionable plan in the later chapters.  I’m now reading Anatomy for runners. Hey on this topic, check out this workout done by speed skater Jenny Wolf. I bet it would translate well to running.

Monday-Friday no running

Thursday, 20 miles Dawn Patrol morning ride

Saturday, 7 miles treadmill. Warmup at 6.5. Easy at 7-7.5mph. Then a few miles at 8mph, back to easy and cool down.

Sunday, Met Salty and Marissa for running. I don’t know what their workout was, but I ran 10.9 miles of it at 7:40/mi. Pepper rode bike support. It was nice.

Totals: about 17 running, 20 bike.



Ginger’s Training Log – 11-9-14

We joined a new gym this past week. It's right down the street and open 24/7!
We joined a new gym this past week. It’s right down the street and open 24/7!

Welcome to week 2 of my second round of the Smart Coach Training Plan for a 5k. One thing I did differently this week is slog/jog on the suggested off days. James runs at night due to his work schedule and circadian rhythm. Some nights I will drive (or bike if it’s warm) but this week I decided that it might be a better to jog with him. He likes to go long and slow and so I would consider it my slog training (i.e. cross training) days. Not only does that give me some extra mileage but it does help for getting used to running more each week, which is something I did in the past but I’ve since become stubborn about it. As a result, I hit 36 miles this week, which is my highest mileage total in almost 2 years. It feels good to be getting back up there.

Monday: 4 miles at 9:22 pace.

Tuesday: 5.7 miles with 4 x 800 workout. I was able to get to the outdoor track for this. However, it was rainy and chilly, character building for sure. The suggested pace was 3:19. I have not done any 800 work since the late summer so I used the first two to ease into it (3:24, 3:27). On the last two, I was able to get down to the pace (3:20). One thing I discovered is that I tend to struggle/fall asleep/give in to discomfort in the middle of each repeat and the middle of each workout. I hope to work on improving this thinking error. For instance, when the workout started, I felt like I could go faster but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to hold the pace for the entire workout. I think I can learn how to change that mindset and experiment more with pushing through. If I can’t maintain the pace, oh well. But it serves no purpose to hold back so that last two can be at pace.

Wednesday: 4 miles easy slog jog with James and our friend, Chris. While they added some extra miles, I found a baseball in a field and proceeded to pitch against a fence like I used to do as a kid. Except this time it was 11pm and I am 31 years old. Don’t forget to embrace your inner child every once in a while! I kept the ball by the way.

Thursday: 3 miles at 8:50 pace on the treadmill at the new gym. Also did leg strength training and ab work.

Friday: 3.3 mile easy jog with James on part of his run.

Saturday: 13 mile long run at 8:50 pace. I had to take a bathroom break at 9 miles which made for getting back out there a challenge but I was able to and continue at the suggested pace. All of my splits were even, even though there were quite a few inclines on this run. This was an improvement from last week’s long run. I wasn’t as bored and I felt stronger.

Sunday: 3 miles at 8:49 pace on the treadmill with upper body strength training and ab work after the run. I felt fine during the run which was encouraging considering it was after a long run and also topping out my highest mileage week in a long time.

Total: 36 miles

5 Records That Were Made To Be Broken

fri5You probably heard about Dennis Kimetto’s 2:02:57 world record marathon performance in Berlin this fall, but two more world records that were set last month may have escaped your attention: Michal Kapral set a new joggling (that’s juggling and running at the same time!) record, joggling to a 1:20:40 half marathon finish and Julia Webb recently ran 38:15 pushing a (borrowed) baby in a stroller for 10k. Wow!

Here at Salty Running we are proud to say that we are friends already with TWO world record holders: Camille Herron, fastest superhero marathoner, and Nichole Porath, fastest indoor marathoner, but we’re always looking to meet more. (Hey, Dennis, Michal, and Julia — wanna be friends?)

Non-world record-holders, don’t worry — we still love you! And if you have any ambitions of joining that select group, here are 5 world records that were made to be broken. Read more >>

Peppadew training log – 11.02.14

Oh the angst, oh the drama… well, not really, but in the Peppadew world there was a huge black cloud hanging overhead for a while and the sun has peaked through… read on to find out more (sorry, you may be disappointed, I have possibly talked this up a tad!)

MONDAY 10.27.2014 – Rest day… just because I felt like it… sigh!

TUESDAY 10.28.2014 – Unplanned rest day BUT at least it was for a good reason: my smallest furbaby Mimi the french bulldog needed to be picked up from the hospital where she had been staying since last Thursday. (Madame Therese Defarge is her full name  – it is a family tradition to call our hounds a Dickensian name – she is named after a character in “Tale of Two Cities“)  An entire blog could be dedicated to the trials and tribulations of Mimi and me… suffice it to say that she has been a serious drain on my emotional and physical energy, but dang she is cute.

Mimi the accident prone Frenchy
Mimi the accident prone Frenchy

WEDNESDAY 10.29.2014 – I got my behind into gear and did an easy 6 miles around our neighborhood untimed. I have certain “go-to” routes which take the thinking and planning out of the equation. My new distraction is playing a running podcast in one earphone (must keep alert on the roads). Usually I listen to Endurance Planet podcast or Trailrunner Nation – I fool myself that “friends” are talking to me… weird? Perhaps!

THURSDAY 10.30.2014 – RED LETTER DAY – A double day! At lunchtime I went to Crossfit again and had another enjoyable session of getting my butt handed to me. We had quite a short workout with heavy deadlifts and box jumps – an 8 minute very high intensity session doing as many reps as possible. The rest of the hour was filled with crunches, running and other “fun” activities. Then later that day I did a very easy 4 mile loop untimed around the neighborhood in the howling wind!

FRIDAY 10.31.2014 – A major look up for the books – I got up at 4:30 in response to my alarm clock for the first time in forever (Cue Frozen music in my head – other toddler mums may get this reference!) There is a casual running group called “the Regent Harriers” in a neighborhood close called Durban North. They do a different 10km route every Friday morning from 5:15 am so I feel very righteous when I actually get there. Its fun, its hilly and its usually faster than a plod alone.

SATURDAY 11.01.2014 – Kiddies birthday parties and unscheduled visits from family put a dampener on running, but hey, at least I got cupcakes!

SUNDAY 11.02.2014 – TA-DAAAAAAAA the announcement you have all been waiting for… for the first time in FIVE WEEKS (aaaaargh) I did a long(ish) Sunday run. The curse of the lazy Sunday has officially been broken. 10.6 miles in 90 minutes nice and easy. My husband joined me for 6 miles and it felt like “the old days”. Umm… yes, so I definitely talked this up a touch but it REALLY makes me happy!



Peppadew Training Log – 10.26.14

After a two and a half week hiatus from ALL exercise I finally started to feel the urge to move my legs on Monday… what a relief! I was starting to wonder whether I would ever want to pull my running shoes on again.

MONDAY 20/10/2014: 4 miles untimed – I did my stockstandard neighborhood run in the afternoon after my daughter’s “busyballers” practice. Hope is four years old and has a weekly ball skills class at the neighborhood bowling green. Seeing the little kids sprinting around joyfully strengthened my resolve to put on my running clothes and just GO.  My running loop has familiar hills and is not too flat but not too demanding. I felt remarkably unfit and could not believe that I had lost so much conditioning in such a short period of time.

TUESDAY 10/21/2014: 5 miles untimed – I missed my alarm in the morning after a bad night’s sleep so I ended up having to run when I could whilst the kiddos were at their weekly play date. I did another standard neighborhood run, this time slightly longer and tried to ignore the ever present signs of fatigue. I know that I will re-gain strength quickly, it is just a matter of being patient.

WEDNESDAY 10/22/2014: Approximately 8 miles easy 70 minutes: I felt extremely efficient and packed my running gear and took it to work.  Our offices are close to one of the best stretches of beach in Durban, the Umhlanga Promenade.  I snuck in a run on the way home from work at lunchtime.  It was good to jog in the sun amongst the holiday makers there… made me feel like summer is on its way here without having to deal with the oppressive heat and humidity that January and February in Durban bring.

THURSDAY 10/23/2014: One of my very close friend’s owns a Crossfit box which I have attended very sporadically since August. I am not entirely convinced of its benefits to my running however I have enjoyed the few sessions that I have gone to and have always been stiff and sore (in a good way) afterwards.  It is a fun way to force me to lift some weights and do some stretching and core work. All the other members of the “box” (gym) think I am mad for wanting to run anything more than 400m at a time. 1 hour session consisting of a warm up, gymnastics practice, workout of the day (pullups, barbell lifts and squats) and core work.

FRIDAY 10/24/2014: Approximately 5 miles: Hill session consisting of 3 sets of 3 x 1 min hills and an extra 2 min hill at the end.  I did a 3 mile warm up very easy and then tried to run the hill as smooth and strong as I could. Luckily we have a hill close to our house which is the perfect gradient for a one minute climb – steep enough to be challenging but not so steep that you lose form.

SATURDAY 10/25/2014: Rest day

SUNDAY 10/26/2014: Unplanned rest day.  As has been the pattern for the last few weeks, weekend runs have been hard to come by.  The kit is lying out ready to go but I do not pull the trigger. Today it was raining and miserable. It may be good that I took it easy this weekend seeing that I am just starting up again but I have to promise myself that next weekend there will be a concerted effort to log some miles.

Weekly Totals:

Running: 22 miles

Weight training: 1 hour

Introducing Peppadew!

Comrades Marathon June 2014
Comrades Marathon June 2014

Hi, I’m Peppadew, how do you do?

I am a ultrarunner from Durban, South Africa, the home to the 89k Comrades Marathon, the biggest and oldest ultra in the world. I am also a mum of two small people and four doggy furbabies, a wife and a lawyer in one of the biggest firms in our city.  I have described our life as frenetic and full-on but it is also fun. Our Peppadew family tends to work as a solid team and while it makes life fairly chaotic there is a definite rhythm in the way we move together through our days. Everyone has their function, their task, their quirk and it all works in beautiful mayhem.

Although I dabbled in a bit of running at school, I will have to admit that my teenage years were spent chasing boys rather than chasing records… and the older I got the more slothful I became. Read more >>

Ginkgo’s First Postpartum Half Marathon

My first race back since this little pumpkin came into our lives!
My first race back since this little pumpkin came into our lives!

If you kept up with my posts last spring and summer, you may have realized that my world has been flipped and turned upside down as of late. Our first son, Connor, was born on June 22, 2014, and my priorities, including my running, have all changed significantly in the past couple of months. Finding time to train with a four month old isn’t exactly an easy task and functioning on less than my usual 8 hour chunks of sleep (yes, I’m one of those girls who NEEDS her sleep), resulted in less than ideal training weeks leading up to the Nationwide Columbus Half Marathon.

But I’d like to think that every training cycle and every race has a takeaway and that this one was no different. Read more >>