Below is a partial transcript of the United Promoters of Yearly Optional Updates of Running Shoes (UPYOURS) annual meeting compiled after listening to a tape provided to us by a friend of an attendant of the meeting on the condition of anonymity. We sought a response from UPYOURS Chairwoman, Lacey Knotts, who refused to comment.
I'm a 41-year-old living in Berlin, Germany. I run because I can't not run. I write about training, mental training, momming, and the odd rant.
Is it a midlife running crisis? A cry for help? An acknowledgement of defeat? All I know is that this spring, after more than 20 years of training solo, I was ready for a change. I just wasn’t sure exactly what kind.
I’ve been running consistently for years, sometimes casually and sometimes more structured or high mileage training, but always self-directed. Sometimes my self-coaching led to PR’s, and sometimes the results were not so hot: over-training or injury.
This year, I decided it was time for change.
If, like me, you suffer from a lifetime overload of dietary (mis)information, but love to read about running and food and science, then Matt Fitzgerald’s latest book The Endurance Diet will be a refreshing read. Fitzgerald travels the world, examining the diets of elite endurance athletes, and concludes — perhaps unsurprisingly — that carbs are the basis of virtually all elite endurance athletes’ diets. Furthermore, elite athletes don’t restrict calories, food groups, or macronutrients; they eat what they need to perform. Read more >>
Hills can be to runners what broccoli is to little kids: tough to swallow, but really good for you. I happen to love both hills and broccoli, so it seemed only natural to bring you a post about all the different ways to run hills. Try them! You might like them! Whether you’re training for a hilly race or just want to get stronger, there’s a hill workout for everyone.
In Saltyville we like to say “We Put the F in Friday.” That means that on the fifth day we get a little saltier than usual. We have some fun, get a little crazy, make up characters, products, laugh at ourselves and the running community at-large and try to spice things up, because, you know, sometimes runners take themselves just a little too seriously. Enjoy!
Hiii Salty Runners! Fay Moore here, your SaltyValu™ Instagram Fitspo Analyst and Self-Esteem Guru. I’m so excited to come to you with this special guest post about how to move on with your life now that you’ve learned to love your legs even though they have disgusting skin on them that moves.
Here at SaltyValu™ we’re all about the real talk, so let’s start with some real, empowering talk about our bodies. Do you ever look in the mirror and just see a giant pile of disgusting flaws? I don’t, which is a bit strange because I spend hours looking in the mirror, so you’d think I’d find something.
Fortunately there’s another great source for self-judgement of vile body flaws: photos. Specifically running photos. Do my arms look that chunky in real life? Why are my boobs just these deflated balloons? Are my teeth really the whitest they could be?
I can hear your groans from here, but bear with me. I said I was going to help you move on, and I will. Aren’t you sick and tired of bemoaning-and-then-#sobravely-celebrating your race day cellulite tsunamis? Aren’t you tired of judging yourself and then empowering others with the same flaws?
Well wake up, runners! Here are five brand new never-before-revealed-for-the-purpose-of-going-viral flaws that you can be the first to post about on Instagram this spring! Read more >>
It’s that time of year again! After a long winter of slogging out miles on the treadmill, the ladies are again venturing outdoors. It won’t be long until we’re flooded with articles reminding us of the many ways these ladies are asking to be attacked by creeps every time they leave the house. You know the ones telling women they should never run without varying their routes, or bringing mace, a phone, that plastic claw-thing that turns them into Cat Woman, their barbed … uh … inserts, and their Rottweilers?
But the research suggests there are more sure-fire ways for women to run safely and here they are.
Read more >>
It’s happened so many times in my 25 years of running. I’m mad as hell, flying along at 10k pace and working up an inner conflagration of self-righteous rage. I barely notice where I am or where I’m heading, my heart is pounding, my fists are clenched, and my thoughts scream:
CAN YOU BELIEVE HE SAID THAT or CAN YOU BELIEVE THEY DID THAT or THE WORLD IS TERRIBLE AND EVERYTHING IS SO UNFAIR!
My foot hits something and I’m flying through the air, then my hands skid along the sidewalk until I come to a stop, gasping for breath and hoping I didn’t break anything. Read more >>
Over the years, Salty Confidential has chatted about everything runners need to know about their periods and looked in-depth at how our monthly cycle can affect our running. But what if you’re artificially suppressing your hormone cycle with hormonal birth control like the pill, the patch, or the Mirena IUD? What impact do these have on runners? Or do they not make any difference at all?
Imma spoil my own post and say up front that there isn’t a definitive answer to this question. Everyone is different; here at Salty Running, some of us have used hormonal contraception for years with no issues, while others have sworn off it forever. That said, there are definitely aspects of hormonal birth control that runners should know and think about, so keep reading!
Are you a runner? Have you had a baby? If so, chances are good someone has asked you whether giving birth was harder than [insert very impressive running feat]. If this question sparked in you a complicated series of facial-expression-controlling maneuvers as you searched for a polite way to answer “WTF? Birth. Duh.” you are not alone.
Our resident army major/elite marathoner/modern pentathlete Parsley, who has birthed three babies and has done some other really hard shit, had this to say on the topic: Which one is harder? Why is this even a question?
Preach it, Parsley! But because this is a metaphor that will not die, we’ve decided to help you determine whether your marathon or any other of your many achievements was actually like giving birth. Read more >>
Have you heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing expert who recommends decluttering your home by asking yourself, object by object, what brings you joy? If it sparks joy, keep it. Throw out the rest.
Here at Salty Running, some of us have been applying similar philosophies to our training. Mango threw out her marathon time goal, choosing to focus on process goals in training instead. Salty and Ginger have ditched their GPS watches, running by feel instead.
I’ve been going through my mental clutter and I’m throwing out a bunch of pointless thoughts about my weight. Should I weigh less? Should I train harder? Should I buy a scale, record my weight daily and re-read Matt Fitzgerald’s Racing Weight? Rigorously measure my nutrient intake while logging every bite in my food journal? Read more >>
It’s time for one of our favorite features of the year: Our Twelve Days of Christmas! Leading up to our holiday break from regular posting (December 24 – January 2), some of us Saltines will be sharing our personal stories about what running has given us. You can check out last year’s series here.
Housework is usually far down the list of “things I want to be doing right now”. My attitude toward it can range from totally indifferent to really bad. No matter how often I clean the kitchen, scrub the bathroom, or put my running clothes in the washer, I’ll be doing exactly the same thing again this time next week … and the week after that … and so on and so forth.
It took me about 25 years to realize that running’s constant laundry offering is not, in fact, annoying, or a burden. It’s a gift!
Imagine: you finished your last hard marathon-pace workout and reached the taper unscathed. Woohoo! Only two weeks until the marathon! You’ve worked hard all summer and you earned this rest day. You stroll down the sidewalk, sipping a #PSL and thinking about how much you love fall, when you step on a rock and twist your ankle, spilling coffee all over your boots. You roll your eyes, walk it off, and the next morning you can only hobble and limp because it hurts so much.
What happens next?
a) “Oh well,” you say brightly, because you’re always so chipper in the morning. “Guess I can’t run! It’s so great that I’ll have all that free time on marathon day!” You text your friends and make plans for brunch instead.
b) You experience a violent outpouring of unprintable words, panic, and desperate internal screaming that this cannot be happening.
After my last hard longer workout of the training cycle on Saturday, September 10th – a hilly, very challenging 10-mile cross-country race – it was time to taper! Just don’t do anything stupid and you’ve made it to race day unscathed! Ha.
After the cross-country race, my feet were a little sore and my calves very tight. I’d given it a good effort, trying to go uphill with a spring in my step, then negotiate the steep, rough downhills without face-planting, all of which is tough on the lower legs. I did an easy hourlong recovery run the Sunday after that race and foam rolled lots. On the Monday, I was out and about when I stepped on a rock and twisted my left ankle a bit, but I didn’t think much of it. Walk it off, right? A few minutes later it hadn’t stopped hurting. Hmm. But I’ve ignored all manner of random niggles in my life with excellent results, and I wasn’t about to start worrying about this one now.
Until the next day, when my ankle and the outside edge of my foot hurt so badly I was reduced to hobbling around. No amount of ice seemed to help. WTF?!
A couple of days later the pain had calmed down except for one spot on the side of my foot where the peroneal tendon meets the bone. I did a few test jogs, and the pain got steadily worse as the runs went along. §$%! Pain that gets worse when you run is definitely a bad sign. I started to panic that the marathon wasn’t going to happen.
I’ll spare you a daily recounting of my inner drama and angst, and fast foward to the Thursday before the race. I didn’t run much at all and spent a lot of time massaging my calves; I’m pretty sure the twisted ankle was that bad because everything was so tight down there after the cross-country race that one misstep was the final straw. “Pick up race packet from expo” had been on my calendar for Thursday, September 22nd at 2 p.m. basically forever, but a test jog that morning showed that the foot, while vastly improved, wasn’t ready to run 42.2 kilometers without incurring long-term damage.
I sat down and tried to separate out emotions from logic for a minute. Emotions: BUT I WANT TO RUN THE RACE WAAAAAHHHHH THIS IS NOT FAIRRRR with a bonus helping of “ugh everybody probably thinks I’m crazy. Maybe I am crazy and my foot is fine but my fear of the marathon is holding me back.” Logic: No, dumbass. Your foot hurts. Not running is helping your foot to not hurt. What will happen if you run on it for 4+ hours? Even if I made it through the race (and with enough ibuprofen, anything is possible), the long-term effect of running a marathon on a painful foot was almost certain to be several months of a full-blown injury. I’ve been there before after running a half marathon on a painful achilles and it really wasn’t worth it. Option B was to pick up the race packet and jog/walk a bit of the marathon just to get some of the race day experience, but I’m an all-or-nothing kinda gal, so Option C it was: don’t run the marathon, wait til your foot gets better, and then find a new goal race. No packet pickup for me.
Then I turned on my emotions again, had a bawlfest, and gave myself permission to wallow for the rest of the day. (I’m excellent at wallowing. Anyone needs tips, just let me know.) Honestly, I was pretty emo for most of the weekend, but ended up spectating the marathon for about three hours on Sunday. It was great fun, and though I was a little sad when the 4-hour pace group went by – these were supposed to be my people! – I did not burst into tears like I thought I might. How can you not love watching a marathon? Having done all the training, I felt like I could identify even more with the runners.
My feelings now: Yeah, it was a bummer, but there are other races. It was the right decision not to risk a bad injury. My plan for now is to take another week mostly off, with just a few short jogs, and then see how it goes; if the foot holds up, I’ll do some shorter x-c races in November and December, and then see about training for a longer race in the Spring.
They were so glamorous, Brad and Angie. She and her thigh-slit gowns, eyes lined like a cat, today’s answer to Liz Taylor. And he, so dapper in his slicked back hair, so choosy in his taste for starlets, so pretentious in his love of post-modern architecture. And together with their brood of beautiful ethnically diverse children, so generous in their pursuit of noble causes like refugee crises and post-Katrina rebuilding. And now it’s all gone. GONE!
But perhaps, that’s the way it goes. #Teamjen4lyfe
Oh, right. This is a running site and you want to read about running. I’ll
dry my tears wipe the I-called-it smirk off my face and tell you how the collapse of the world’s most perfect union can teach us about running. Read more >>
So this phase of my training plan, it’s…not my favorite. For four weeks pre-taper, you run fewer miles but with more intensity. Instead of a Thursday medium-long run, there is a 40-minute tempo. Fridays there’s sprinting. Sundays are for 10-12 miles at close to marathon pace. I’ve been having trouble approaching this phase mindfully; I don’t really enjoy the runs and just want race day to get here already! Lesson: my next marathon training plan (if there ever is one) will not be six months long. I think what I have is more a case of overall Plan Fatigue and less to do with the workouts themselves.
Anyway, here’s how the last three weeks went down. I’ve approached the workouts with the mindset that the most important thing is to be in good shape for the long Sunday marathon-pace workouts; at least this aspect was a success. Now I’m officially tapering!
Week of 8/21-8/27:
Sunday, 8/21: Ran a half marathon as a workout! This was a really good run. The weather cooperated – it was very humid, but only about 65 degrees at the start – and the energy from running with a crowd made it surprisingly easy to maintain goal pace. The course was pretty flat with just a few minor inclines, no real hills. I eased into it with a slow first 5km, then did the rest at goal pace.
Monday, 8/22: 6-mile recovery jog. Legs tired, but not dead.
Tuesday, 8/23: Rest day.
Wednesday, 8/24: 7-mile easy fartlek.
Thursday, 8/25: 4-mile out & back, supposed to be at something like half-marathon pace. Managed maybe 1.5 miles at the correct pace? Really quite the slogfest.
Friday, 8/26: 4 miles with 2x (3x100m).
Saturday, 8/27: 3 mile easy jog, 1 hour Pilates mat class.
Total: 37 miles.
Week of 8/28-9/3:
Sunday, 8/28: After a few weeks of very pleasant weather – 70’s and low humidity, mostly – today it was 85 when I started running and over 90 by the time I finished. Oof! I think I did the best I could, given those conditions: started with a 2-mile jog, then worked up to marathon effort (which was about ten seconds per km slower than goal pace today) for the remaining 10 miles. Felt completely wrecked afterward and was thirsty for the next 24 hours.
Monday, 8/29: 6 mile recovery jog. It was still very hot out, and I could feel how running the previous day’s long workout in the heat took so much more out of me than usual.
Tuesday, 8/30: Rest day.
Wednesday, 8/31: 7 mile fartlek. I’ve discovered a route from work to a train station that is fully shaded in the mid-afternoon. Hooray! Almost makes up for the 2-mile-long hill…
Thursday, 9/1: Again with the 40-minute tempo. I’ve obviously convinced myself I can’t do these, because half-marathon pace felt nearly impossible today. Is the hay in the barn yet?
Friday, 9/2: 4 miles with 2x(3x100m). My attitude is starting to suck. 4 miles? Might as well just stay home on the couch!
Saturday, 9/3: Jog to Pilates, 1-hour mat class, cannot be arsed to jog the 1.5 miles home and just walk instead.
Total: 33 miles.
Week of 9/4-9/10:
Sunday, 9/4: Time for another longish marathon-pace run! Get up early and travel an hour on the train to run a trail “half marathon” (actually 22 kilometers, so more than half a mile longer than a true half marathon, but who’s counting?). Wow, this was a tough race. Very hilly, and it was super humid out. My legs were trashed about halfway through. “Marathon pace” didn’t really happen, but I’m hoping the training effect was similar. The surroundings were lovely, and the organizers did a really nice job, even serving mimosas afterward. Which is now officially my favorite post-workout drink.
Monday, 9/5: My quads were sore after the previous day’s hill adventures, so I took it really easy with a half-hour jog and lots of foam rolling.
Tuesday, 9/6: Rest day.
Wednesday, 9/7: 4 mile easy fartlek. Not feeling great today. Very nauseous.
Thursday, 9/8: I was so nauseous all day that I didn’t even try to run. My son was sick with a high fever and he felt like complete garbage, so maybe I was fighting off whatever he had?
Friday, 9/9: Kiddo still sick; I spent the whole day cuddling with him on the sofa and did not run. “The hay is in the barn” is officially my new mantra.
Saturday, 9/10: Last long hard run of the training cycle! The only race I could find was a 10-mile cross country one. Again, it was very hilly and encompassed an impressively wide variety of surfaces: dirt, rocks, sand, cow fields, cobblestones…I hit “marathon pace” on the 1-kilometer stretch of asphalt toward the end. This was probably not the ideal last workout for someone with a major marathon time goal, but it was great fun and I have no regrets. And now: Taper!
Total: 30 miles. It is what it is.
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