They always say you can’t control the weather, but you can control your attitude. Challenging as it was at times, the weather could have been much worse. Mother Nature, however, still had some fun plans for me, and decided to inform me of said plans at about 4 pm the evening before the race. I was resolute – after all, I’ve been doing this thing for some 25 years now – but 100’s ain’t no marathon, so color this a “wrench.” Read more >>
This was Spring Break week in Oregon which made for a very quiet week at work (THANK GOODNESS). Overall, increasing mileage and long runs is going well (in conjunction with strength exercises and going to my PT on a somewhat regular basis). Currently my calves/shins are kind of angry, but hopefully it is only a temporary state of affairs and they will be okay ASAP : )
Sunday (3/22): Met a couple of friends for an exciting run in the Columbia River Gorge up the Ruckle Creek/Ruckle Ridge trail. It was often too steep to run, which was a great experience for me. I think we decided it was about 5000 feet of elevation gain/loss over 15.5 miles in 3.5 hours. It was a fantastically fun adventure (even though it was foggy and rainy). Run: 15.5 miles
Monday (3/23): So. Sore. Swim: 1 km
Tuesday (3/24): Still sore, but not quite as bad. . . Run: 6 miles
Wednesday (3/25): Took the day off to work on my house with my dad. I ran out of time for my run so I did a chore-run to the bank to cash a check. Run: 4.5 miles
Thursday (3/26): First run back with a friend who has been out with a stress fracture! Hooray for healing! Run: 6.5 miles
Friday (3/27): Took the day off of work and got a quick “long” trail run in before we left to drive 5+ hours to La Conner, WA to visit family. Not as long as I was hoping, but I’ll take it. Run: 10 miles
Saturday (3/28): Spent the day walking around Wylie Slough, throwing my cousin’s kids around, eating delicious food and skipping rocks across the Skagit River.
Swim: 1 km
Run: 42.5 miles
On to Round II of our March Madness Greatest Marathon Tournament where YOU get to decide which U.S. marathon is tops! In case you’re just joining us, we’ve matched up marathons with anywhere from 800 to 8,000 participants and you vote for which race advances to the next round.
In Round I, we had the predictable powerhouse wins, like Richmond (which defeated Rehoboth Beach) and Twin Cities (which took down the Martian Marathon), but we have some possible Cinderella stories happening in the South and West Divisions were the David-like 26.2 with Donna and Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon eeked out victories against the Goliath-like Dallas and Portland Marathons respectively. The Southern Division has the most upsets and the Central the least. The Columbus Marathon got the most votes by far! Click here for the updated bracket.
What will happen in Round II? YOU decide! Voting closes at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, March 31.
Ahhh, spring has finally arrived (except for that bit of snow on Friday). It feels so much easier to get into that training headspace when you can get out the door and run some familiar loops. Looking forward to some big races in the coming months!
Monday – 8 miles easy (9:45 pace). Recovery run after going all out and placing 2nd in the women’s tri championships – woohoo!
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – I dragged my butt down to the gym for an evening speed session on the treadmill. 1.5 mi warmup, 1600 m, 1200, 800, 400 m progression getting faster from 7:45 down to 7:15, with 400 m rest in between. 6 mi total.
Thursday – 6 mi tempo run. After a 1.5 mi warmup (7:30 pace)
Friday/Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 9.5 miles in shorts! (8:55 pace)
March is almost over and it’s officially Spring. If you’re from Cleveland or anywhere near it, then you know both of these things mean absolutely nothing! But I’m a die-hard CLE runner, and those arctic spring temps got nothin’ on me…and my many, many layers of insulated clothing.
This was one of those workouts where I left a little disappointed. We did power cleans, and I doubted my self and went light on the weight. After I completed the WOD and didn’t feel all that exerted, I promised myself I would not do that again. I was super pissed at the time, but Jeanne, another girl who works out at CTOWN, had this sage advice: “Well, now you know for next time.” And yeah, she was right! What’s up, silver lining?
I finally got out for a trail run. Sure, it was about 42 degrees, but who cares! Well, actually, my face kind of cared, but it was still so much fun to be running through the mud, along the bank of the river, and under the canopy of budding trees. I did an easy 3 miles savoring every second of the scenery I missed so much these past few months.
Deadlift day! I was so happy to be doing my favorite CrossFit move. Bonus points: not only did I PR my max deadlift weight at 140 lbs., I also RX’d the second half of the workout. It was a banner day!
Thursday: Rest day.
OH, FOR THE SWEET LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY! This was perhaps the most sore I’ve ever been after a workout. I made fast friends with a lacrosse ball and my new foam roller. Ugh!
Still a little sore from Wednesday’s deadlift mania, I was sort of looking forward to Friday’s workout…that is, until I walked in and was greeted by a host of people who had just finished the WOD and looked like they had been to hell and back. “You should just go,” said Andrew, who is one of the strongest dudes who works out at my gym. “Oh my God, it’s so hard! Just make sure to pace yourself,” he said, practically shaking me. I swallowed hard, and a cartoonish “Gulp” escaped my lips. Andrew was. not. kidding. This was by far the most challenging workout I have ever done at CrossFit. After every single one of us finished, we collapsed onto the ground. It was fast, it was intense, and there was no escaping it. Social media was alight with everyone commenting on how hard it was. The quote of the night: “I still don’t know what happened. “ Yup, that says it all.
I put in an hour on the trainer, hoping that it would be one of the last of the season. I threw in some sprints during the commercial breaks of Property Brothers (as well as 10-second sprints whenever the brothers fake teased each other – oh, those wacky Canadians!). Afterwards, I did some hip flexibility and mobility exercises followed by some band work to help strengthen my ankles.
The original plan was to do 4 miles outside since it was supposed to be “warmer” at 45 degrees, but I had a lot of work to do earlier in the day and it took longer than I had anticipated. By the time I got on the treadmill at 8:00, I had just enough time to crank out a fast 3 miles including some fartleks. I will definitely be increasing my mileage next week, and I am hoping to start hitting the trails consistently. Huzzah for “Spring!”
We’re just moving right along. Salty posted this article on our Facebook page on Saturday and I found it very encouraging for my current and long term goals. One thing that stood out was the idea that consistency sure does pay off but that it is not easy to maintain when we’re not all paid to run. However, it is possible and this year I have felt like I have come closer to finding my sweet spot with balancing training and everything else in life. Part of this is learning how to say no and set better boundaries. My weekends have become my time to train, rest, and refuel. It also helps that my work schedule is consistent. In the past, I had careers that featured odd and often unpredictable hours. This made my running suffer. The current routine I have going on is stable and conducive to training.
The goal for my upcoming marathon is to compete for the win. By many standards, the odds are stacked against me. I am still training at low mileage and I do not have experience racing a marathon. So while it’s a long shot, I’m training as if I have a chance to win. For instance, I was starting to feel sluggy this week and got a late start to my tempo on Thursday. Thoughts of not doing it tempted me but I told myself that if I expect to be a champion, how was I going to do so with such an attitude? I acknowledged the anxiety and just started running. It ended up being my best workout to date.
This upcoming marathon is just the beginning to my future in competitive running. And to that, I am very excited.
Monday: 4 miles on the treadmill watching the course video and then doing core work.
Tuesday: 4.7 miles with 4 x 1000 meter repeats on a rolling route with 90 seconds rest. My goal pace was 7:00-7:10/mile. This was one of the quicker paces of the training cycle so I was a little nervous. I took it out right under 7 minute pace (4:20). This set me up nicely for working on focusing. I ran 4:22, 4:33 (featured a long incline), and 4:23. On the long incline, I was able to focus going up but found that I struggled with recovering after the incline.
Wednesday: 3.5 miles easy on the treadmill and leg work. I also studied the course again.
Thursday: 8 miles with 6 miles at 7:54 pace. The goal was half marathon pace plus 10 seconds. I started right at 8 minute pace, got down to 7:55s, and ended with a 7:49 and 7:44. The 7:49 was on the same long incline from Tuesday’s workout so I got to take another stab at recovering from a climb. This time went much better.
Friday: Off from cardio. I did do core work and I also walked a little on the treadmill in an effort to get in my 10,000 steps for the day. My Fitbit so kindly points out that on my off days, I’m only doing about 3,000 steps for the entire day. I figured that continuing to move even on my days off is beneficial all around.
Saturday: 14 mile long run. BRRR! I got off to a slow start mainly due to it being so cold and me being so crabby. James joined me at mile 4 though and that helped. 9s and sub 9s felt very easy. This was the longest run I’ve done in quite some time. They’re only going to get longer from here on out!
Sunday: 3 miles easy on treadmill and upper body work (including pull up drills). No complaints. This upcoming week is going to be a slight down week before we get into the 40s (I’m hoping not only with mileage but the weather too!).
Total: 37.2 miles
Ive managed to string together to back to back 50+ mile weeks! Woo! The best part is that for the most part I’m feeling a lot more like my old self.
The most notable development in my running and nonrunning life is that I’ve now weaned my youngest! Wednesday marked the first day in over 7 years that I was not either pregnant or nursing (or both)!
Mon: 4 with both daughters in the stroller on a beautiful day!
Tue: 5.5 with lots of hills and no watch.
Wed: 5 with the single stroller before a 45:00 strength class.
Thu: 7.5 with 8 x 2:00 at 5k effort with 1:00 easy between early and on mixed terrain.
Fri: 7 early with no watch.
Sat: 15 on a hilly course with no watch alone. Felt pretty good and not beat up at all which I sometimes am after tis route.
Sun: 6 early with no watch.
Total: 50! and 1 45:00 strength class
Mon: 4 @ slightly < 8:00 on the treadmill during my daughter’s gymnastics class. Felt good!
Tue: 6.75 with 14 x :30/1:00. Went by fast!
Wed: 10 with tempo. Not ideal but the weather was amazing and I could get out in the evening alone, so I did my tempo a day early. I am so out of practice with outside tempos I had no idea how to run it. I averaged about 6:50 for 4 miles broken up by a bathroom stop at 2.5. Then ran 5:00 easy and then 4 x :30 @ mile effort (HARD!)/90 seconds easy between.
Thu: SO. Tired. 4 with the single stroller in the cold rain.
Fri: Still pooped. 6 miles dragged and it was really hard to pry myself out of bed. 45:00 Piyo class felt way hard!
Sat: 13.5 averaging about 8:00 pace. Didn’t start my watch until 1.5 in and we averaged 7:57 for 12. Ran with friends who almost helped me forget it was 15 degrees!
Sun: 7.25 with one of my favorite out of staters, Allie (she posted a few times as Saffron here!) Fwlt really good for the day after a long run. Only complaint is that my stomach has not been right much of this week. I was guessing it was from the antibiotics, but seems like that should have resolved by now, a week since I’ve been done with them?
Total: 51.5 miles and 45:00 Piyo class
Here on SR we talk a lot about how much we love to run. You and I know how good running can be, how much it has changed our lives for the better, or helped us get through tough times, strengthened our families and kept us sane.
Well, when we talk about our love of running here at Salty Running we know that we’re preaching to the choir. Convincing each other that running is great is easy, but we aren’t always talking to other runners.
You know what I’m talking about. You know how non-runners can act when your running comes up in conversation… For some reason, many people get uncomfortable or dismissive about our good habit. So many times when a non-runner has said something annoying about my running I have walked away and then thought “AUGH! I should have said–!”
No longer, my friend. Submitted for your approval, are things I should have said to the most obnoxious retorts about running:
And now, Salty Friends, it is time to VOTE! We have 64 awesome marathons vying for the title GREATEST US MARATHON … (that isn’t NYC, CHI or BOS). They are separated into 4 regions, just like the college basketball tournament. I’ve seeded the races according to participation rate: the more participants, the higher the seed. You can get a bracket spreadsheet here. For Round I I will leave voting open for 24 hours, so voting will close on Friday, March 27 at 7:00 EST. Also, we’d love to hear your opinions about the races here that you’ve run. Remember, commenters are entered into a drawing for a cool prize!
Enough boring stuff. Let’s VOTE! Read more >>
Finally! It’s here! Salty Running’s Third Annual March Madness Tournament. I just know you’ve all been waiting for it to arrive. In the past this amazing tournament has crowned the greatest woman runner of all time and the best womens running blog, but this year we’re looking to crown the best marathon in the entire United States of America! … that isn’t New York, Chicago or Boston (or any race over 10,000 runners, which also ruled out Philly, Honolulu and a couple of others).
And to up the ante we’re offering you, the Salty readers and voters, a chance to win a special prize! Read more >>
Do you deadlift?
It may well be one of the single best exercises for runners, and if you don’t, you should! Most runners could benefit from strengthening their posterior chain – the muscles in the back of us like our glutes and hamstrings. These help propel us forward, and are necessary for good speed and stability while running. The deadlift can also help with core strength and stability. Mastering it can give you a key tool to use in your strength-training repertoire, so here are some tips to help you succeed. Read more >>
Brace yourselves, dear readers. Because I’m about to use the words “fun” and “treadmill” in the same sentence. I met up with my friend/coach (“froach”?) Michelle this morning to run at the clubhouse for employees of the local running store, and I had the best, most fun treadmill run ever! The treadmills there are tricked out and amazing (so very forgiving for the joints!) and have a fabulous view of the water and mountains. But that’s not the best part. I was able to run a pre-programmed simulation of the last 10k of the Boston Marathon, including all the incline/decline with the detailed street view on the screen. SO fun. Somewhere in the last mile, the screen changed to a brick wall for about 3 seconds, and it made me laugh out loud. So this must be “The Wall” everyone talks about?
The treadmill program essentially starts with Heartbreak Hill, which for the record, isn’t remotely heartbreaking when you are on mile zero of your run and not mile 20. I might have called it “easy” a time or two, which I’m sure I will pay for in about four weeks when I am shuffling my way up the darn thing. The remainder of the course is almost entirely downhill or flat, and again, felt like a piece of cake since my quads hadn’t yet been appropriately trashed by 20 previous miles.
The downhill definitely takes a greater toll on my bum hip, and I know this could be a factor in how the actual race goes. But overall, after enduring a pretty discouraging and uncomfortable week of workouts, I am feeling very positive about Boston and know that my training is going to be ENOUGH. (There’s that word again).
Because I couldn’t wait to ramble on and on about how much I loved the aforementioned treadmill run, I’m combining last week with the first few days of this week into one giant training log. Bonus points if you make it to the end without falling asleep. Here’s the scoop, starting with a little over a week ago:
Monday – 7 miles (8:43 avg) – Ran outside with my friend Jen. Hip was bothering me for much of the run, but felt better as the run went on. Still the same pain (toward the inside). Had ART later that afternoon and it helped a little at the time but was worse again by evening.
Tuesday- 9 miles (8:06 avg) – 2 mile warm-up , 12 minutes @ 7:45 pace, 12 minutes @ 7:35 pace, 12 minutes @ 7:30 pace (3 minute recovery jog in between). Had a PT appt first and then went to the gym for the treadmill. Given the issues with the hip I didn’t want to attempt this outside (in case I had to stop or adjust mileage). I woke up feeling a little off, like I was coming down with a cold and also had the hip really bugging me. PT appointment confirmed a couple of things (still looking very much like a labral tear and my big toe issue is arthritis in the joint, not extensor tendonitis). For the run itself, I did struggle, mostly because my hip bothered me. I didn’t really feel tired or out of breath until the last 12 minute set. Definitely not one of my strongest tempo runs, but I also recognize that my body is pretty worn down between the training and the hip injury.
Wednesday / Thursday – Got hit hard with a cold/ virus, and the hip was hurting quite a bit just walking around. Nothing better I could do than rest and hope to recover for a long run.
Friday- 18 miles (8:50 avg) – The rest and ART helped enough that my hip felt better/ok when I woke up for this run. I did take some meds as it still didn’t feel great. I was originally hoping to get 21 miles in, but decided 18 was the most I should do given I was feeling sick and the hip had been in bad shape earlier in the week. The first 3-4 miles were more uncomfortable, but as seems to be the pattern, I felt better around mile 5-6. Because of the virus I’ve got, I felt more run down and less energetic than normal, and just told myself to let go of any expectations or judgments about pace and mileage and just get some time in on my feet. Ran a few hills in this one too–elevation gain/loss was about 600 ft.
Sunday- 7 miles (8:30 avg) – Ran late in the afternoon, and it was gorgeous! Long sleeve tee and capris and I was warm. I still felt very worn down by this head cold (head hurt all through the run), and the first few miles the hip was twangy. But hip felt better as the run went on.
Total for Week of March 22 – 41 miles
Monday- 60 minutes aqua jogging. Hit the pool for some deep water running in lieu of easy miles. This was a great decision, and my hip felt better that afternoon than it had in weeks. It was also a nice and easy workout, getting the muscles moving without the impact.
Tuesday- 6 miles (7:53 avg) – Treadmill run of the last 10k of the Boston Marathon course. Had a blast!
Total – Hoping to do another pool run and get to 34 miles (one more 20 miler!) this week and then it’s taper time!
This past weekend was the LA Marathon, and since the Clif Bar Pace Team handles the pacing chores, DB and I were out west. What better opportunity, we thought, to add in a visit to Death Valley, and re-visit the course we’ve now played on six different times.
I’ve written before about what it’s like to run in Death Valley, specifically about the time that DB and I created our own challenge, the Badwater 17. I’ve crewed the race three times, and run on my other visits as well. I like to think that I know that 135 mile stretch of road reasonably well.
I do not. Read more >>
How about a happy and a crappy? Has anyone ever played that game?
Happy: In contrast to last week, my long run went well on Saturday. I completed 18 miles with two 3-mile uptempo segments at 18:44 and 18:36, including my first sub-6 mile outside of a 5k race since 2013! I think these were net downhill, but still a good result!
Crappy: Plantar fasciitis. I’d been feeling some twinges in my left heel during the week but didn’t worry too much. The pain came back in the final easy miles of my long run Saturday and when I tried to run on Sunday I was favoring that side. I knew I could get throough some miles, but the lopsided gait would likely cause worse problems so I stopped running and went to Target instead. I am terrible at making the decision not to run and always have to ask myself, “what would [running friend] advise?” Fortunately, it felt better as soon as I quit running and the ache subsided throughout the day.
Five more weeks until the Glass City Marathon. I need to stay off the injury list and dial into marathon pace. I still think 2:50 is a good rough goal, but a part of me is still optimistic I can run faster. I know, however, that a big part of marathon success is brutal honesty with oneself about fitness and proper pacing so I’m going to hold off on that decision for now.
Monday: 4.2 miles @ 8:43 pace in the morning. 8.5 @ 6:49 on the treadmill in the evening including 45 tempo minutes averaging 6:24 pace. However, that tempo was broken up after 20 minutes when JB woke up crying. Took 10 minutes to calm him before completing the last 25 minutes of the tempo. 6:24 pace would be a great marathon goal, but the long (seated) break makes it difficult to evaluate how hard this tempo was.
Tuesday: 7.3 @ 8:17 average outside! 4x strides.
Wednesday: 10.7 @ 8:32 on the treadmill. After some trial and error I found my new treadmill show: Parenthood! This run flew by watching the first two episodes. 3.3 @ 8:58 pace in the evening.
Thursday: 6.8 @ 8:52 average working up from 0–> 4% incline by bumping up the incline every 5 minutes. Last 15 minutes were at 1-1.5%.
Friday: 9 miles @ 8:44 pace. Skipped the p.m. run due to JB’s late bedtime.
Saturday: 18 miles at 7:14 average including 2x 3 mile uptempo segments (6:38, 6:10, 5:56 and 6:28, 6:04, 6:04). Ran this on a ~4 mile loop some hills and used the same 3 mile segment both times. Pretty sure it was net downhill and net tailwind so (again) another workout that isn’t very helpful in pinpointing my fitness (but still a good workout!).
Sunday: Failed run. PF pain made me limp when I started, so decided to take the day off so as not to risk causing any other issues.
total: 67.8 miles (down from planned 80+ due to missed run Friday night and day off Sunday. I’m okay with that. I think.)
Week 3 of 15 is in the books. This week saw a little bit bigger bump up in miles to 34. And the best news to report is that most of my running this week was entirely pain free. I had some hammy niggle thingy going on mid-week but my chiro appointment easily took care of it. For this week’s long run workout, I had absolutely no pain, which I had to remind myself of this fact when I struggled with focusing.
Speaking of focusing, during this week’s track workout, I had a little aha moment. On my last of three mile repeats, I noticed this desire to want to slow down because I felt annoyed by the discomfort. I originally fell in love with running because it felt good. It helped me to feel relaxed and generally happy. So whenever running started to feel discomforting, it was always easier to slow down. But if I really want to take my running to the next level, I’m going to have to put up with discomfort. The ability to focus and push through pain is what makes a runner a competitor.
Marinating on this insight over the next few days, I realized that there are a lot of other things I “slow down” from when it brings discomfort (i.e. making an important phone call, meeting new people or meeting up with people in general, etc.). Such activities increase my anxiety for any number of reasons (fear of stumbling over my words, fear of not knowing what to say) and so discomfort sets in. As a result, I end up feeling like I’d rather not do the said activity because that would make the discomfort go away. Anxiety is at the root of this issue in both running and life. And I think a lot of it stems from being a closet perfectionist. If it’s not going to go perfect, why attempt it at all?
The solution? Just do it. (Thanks, Nike). Every time I just do it instead of “slowing down” I find that I am very pleased with the results. Not only does everything work out fine but I leave with an even better feeling than that of slowing down.
Monday: 4 miles outdoors at a steady pace (8:50s) with core work after the run.
Tuesday: 5 miles with 3 x mile intervals at 10k pace with 1 minute rest. My suggested pace was 7:20. When I saw this, I thought it would be a piece of cake. But after the first repeat, one minute sure went by fast! I ran 7:18, 7:16, and 7:20. I loved this workout. The short rest was something I have not experimented with in the past. It felt like it worked out an entirely different oxygen system.
Wednesday: 6 miles with leg work after the run. I felt a bit sluggy on this one and it was kind of cold out which made me cranky.
Thursday: 4 miles easy/steady after chiro appointment. Completely pain free and happy.
Friday: Off. First day off from any type of cardio activity in over 15 days. I did do some core work but for the most part just enjoyed the relaxation.
Saturday: 12.1 mile long run with 11.1 miles at 8:09 pace (marathon pace + 10-15 seconds). This was the second week in a row where I got up early on a Saturday. Except this time, I had to get up at 6am and start by 7am due to my morning schedule. Thankfully it wasn’t too cold. Overall, I was very happy with this workout. It was an improvement from my last marathon-paced long run of 7 miles at 8:16 pace. It also allowed me to work on my focusing game.
Sunday: 3 miles easy and upper body strength training. I also did an hour on the stationary bike in the evening.
Total: 34.1 miles running, 1 hour cross training
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