Sassafras

Southern-transplant lass who loves 90s boy bands, outdoor adventures and college basketball, although not necessarily in that order. After cracking the 4 hour marathon mark, I'm hoping to run a Boston Qualifying time!

Comment of the Week – 5.2.14

Comment of the WeekWell, hello there, Salties! It’s been a busy week for Salty Running. We introduced you to Catnip, talked about the importance of warm ups – just as the weather is warming up – and our blogging sisters, Salty and Cinnamon, both kicked butt at a 10 miler last weekend. 

Time sure flies, huh? It’s hard to believe it’s already the first Saturday in May, which to this Kentucky gal only means one thing: the Run for the Roses, aka the Kentucky Derby! Speaking of such things, we had a bit of a horse race in the contest for Comment of Week. Find out who finished by a nose after the jump! Read more >>

Taking the Long Road: Staying Focused on the Big Goals

Trees
Think big! Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.

I will toe the line this weekend in my seventh marathon, and here’s hoping that seven is a lucky number that day! For this is the day that I go after one of my “big G” Goals: qualifying for my first Boston Marathon.

Basil recently wrote about getting through the no-man’s land of marathon training, and it’s been a long 18 week training cycle. However, that’s only at first glance; 18 weeks doesn’t quite do this one justice. Not only was there this snow- and ice-filled training cycle, but the one before that, and the one before that… You get the idea. And finally here I stand on what is – hopefully – the final step of my marathon of a journey.

So how do you see the forest for the trees when it comes to chasing a big goal?

Read more >>

Comment of the Week – 4.12.14

COTW-badge2Another week bites the dust! Things got back to normal here at Salty Running this week after Monday’s championship round of the Greatest Women’s Blog Tournament. Not only were our spicy collection of bloggers racking up those miles, they were bringing you some great posts! And you know, they weren’t they only ones bringing it. Every week our commenters add a little something something to the site with their experiences and insights. This week was no different – find out who won Comment of the Week after the jump!
Read more >>

Comment of the Week – 3.29.14

COTW badgeCan you feel the excitement in the air? It’s madness, baby… March Madness! The basketball tournament is this Salty blogger’s favorite time of the year, and I’ve been glued to the games, sports talk radio, analysis – you name it. Even if you’re not into hoops hoopla like I am, we know you’re probably getting pumped up for the Salty Running Greatest Women’s Running Blog tournament. Round One is in the books, so be sure to come back next week to see who advanced and vote in Round Two of the competition.

In other Salty news, we’re all rooting for Cilantro as she tackles her first 100K today. Gooo, Cilantro! Trust your training, girl – you’re gonna kill it!

Which comment finished atop the rankings to win Comment of the Week? Find out after the jump!
Read more >>

Greatest Women’s Running Blog: Blue Division, Round One

GreatestBloggerNominee
Which nominees will win Round 1 in the Blue Division?

We’re down to our final region of the first round – the Blue Division! This Division has the usual range of super popular blogs to a few diamonds in the rough. We have moms, more Olympic Trials qualifiers and this competition’s only ultra girl (what’s up with that? Ultra girls too busy running  a bazillion miles a week to blog, we guess!) No matter which blog you vote for, we know it’s gonna be a good one.

Happy voting! Read more >>

Greatest Women’s Running Blog: Green Division, Round One

GreatestBloggerNomineeGreen
Which nominees will win round 1 of the Green Division?

In the third set of Round 1 match ups for the Greatest Women’s Running Blog of All Time, we have the Green Division. The eight blogs in this region range from incredibly popular to incredibly fast to incredibly passionate about the sport.  This division has fewer flashy graphics than others, but they prove the old adage that content is king.

Which ones will make it past the first round of competition? You decide!

 

 

Read more >>

Greatest Women’s Running Blog: Red Division, Round One

Which nominees will win round 1 of the Red Division?
Which nominees will win round 1 of the Red Division?

Next up in the quest for the Greatest Women’s Running Blog of All Time, we turn to the Red Division. The eight blogs in this region bring some formidable chops to the table. They’ve got strong opinions, passion, wit… baby, they’ve got it all. The Red Division boasts some OTQs and some of the most popular running blogs in the tourney. These bloggers may be spread out across the country, from New York City to Michigan to Minnesota, but all of them love running.

Which ones will make it past the first round of competition? You decide!

 

 

 

Read more >>

Greatest Women’s Running Blog: Yellow Division, Round One

Here are the Yellow Division nominees; which bloggers will win round 1?
Which nominees will win round 1 of the Yellow Division?

To kick off our search for the Greatest Women’s Running Blog of All Time, we head to the Yellow Division. The eight blogs in this region are all strong contenders as far as being great reads full of inspiration, humor and keeping it real. This region spans all parts of the country, paces and a few age groups. The blogs range from super-duper popular to hidden gems and the bloggers range from Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers to middle of the packers. Which ones will survive the first round of match ups? You decide!

Read more >>

Sassafras’s Training Log – 2.23.14 & 3.2.14

Why hello out there, Salty readers! I am sitting here watching the snow absolutely pour down on a rare snow day from work for me. Time to catch you up on what’s been going on with my training over the past two weeks.

Week of 2.17.14 – 2.23.14

When last I left you, I had a sprained ligament in my foot that I was babying. It was definitely on the mend, though, so my strategy for this week was to not only take it day by day, but to just take each run mile by mile. In other words, I’d plan enough time for the full run as written, but could bail at any time if I started experiencing issues with my foot.

Monday – 7 miles @ 9:45 pace. I ran with my iPod on this run, but with the volume cranked way down so I could really focus on what was going on with my foot. The verdict – I did it! 7 miles!

Tuesday – 8 miles @ 10:02 pace

Wednesday – Planned rest day. I sometimes go to yoga on Wednesdays, but the thought of doing a downward facing dog with top of my foot still so bruised was pretty off-putting.

Thursday – So now came the real test – could my foot handle speed? This interval workout was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but I flipped the days to give my bruised and battered ligament a few more days to heal up before trying out any kind of speedster moves. My schedule called for 4 mile repeats with an 800 meter rest; the 1600s should be at 7:26. We’ll call this run a gritty win… or keeping with the test theme, a B-. I knew the 7:26 was ambitious even on a good day, so I am okay with not hitting pace and even more okay with making it through this workout! Fastest mile was 7:52. 7 miles total for the day.

Friday – 8 miles at 9:42 pace. Friday runs are one of my favorites of the week. I typically have further to run than my friend A, so I will run from my house to hers, get in few miles with her (and sometimes her dog), then run home. It’s a great way to mix it up and I get a nice visit in as a bonus! Since I had 8 today, I was even able to grab my dog for the last stretch. Not the speediest, but it’s a fun, fulfilling way to head into the weekend.

Saturday – 20 miles on tap. I was a little – well, more than a little – nervous about this one. Plus my running buddy was battling hamstring issues,  so we were basically a mess! I managed 20 miles in 9:20 pace. The run had its ugly moments – around the mile 14 mark and again at the end – and I got a little testy, but ya know, I did it! And I thank the weather gods that despite a pretty miserable winter, both of my 20 milers so far have been on relatively nice days. I rewarded myself with some scrambled eggs and biscuits afterwards in good company.

Sunday – Rest. I knew I should cross train, but I was still feeling nervous about yoga and just couldn’t fit a trip to the gym in.

Total – 50 miles

 

Week of 2.24.14 – 3.2.14

If last week was about baby stepping and proving that I could handle the mileage, this week was about getting my paces (mostly) where they should be.

Dog Run
Someone would rather have belly rubs than take a #runnerselfie!

Monday – 9 miles at 9:13 pace. Last half mile with my dog – a recurring theme lately! It’s just enough to make her happy and keep her in running shape, but not enough to drive me batty with her need to stop and sniff everything.

Tuesday – Tempo Tuesday! My plan called for 8  miles with the middle 6 at 8:04 pace. I managed an 8:21 average for the mid-6, with my fastest at 8:15.

Wednesday – Planned rest day, which worked out well since we got quite a bit of snow Tuesday night!

Thursday – 10 miles at 9:38 pace. A little slower than I’d like, but a really good run overall. I felt like I honed my mental toughness on this one! The second half was faster than the first, and my pup joined me for the last half mile. My prize for getting this guy in before work and waking up at 4- something? A fancy coffee from Starbucks, baby.

#runnerselfie
Weekly #runnerselfie. I was happy it was done, but freezing!

Friday – Another typical Friday run to my friend’s house, a few miles with her and back. This was my only (human) company of the week so far, so it made this run extra fun… and took some of the sting out of the “feels like” 2 degree temps! 9 miles @ 9:16 pace.

Saturday – 16 miles @ 9:06 pace on a cool, overcast morning. I felt much stronger than last week’s long run.

Sunday – Yoga! I made it to the Healthy Backs class that I love so much. It’s not a super active yoga class, but focuses a lot on holding poses and strengthening the core.

Total – 52 miles, 1 hour 15 minutes yoga

#runnerselfie

This week #runnerselfie went to Disney World!  Salty reader Carmen was all smiles when she ran the Magic Kingdom.

Where will you get salty this week? Show off the cool places you run, your best running buddy or even just your own beautiful, salty face with a selfie! Share it with us! Tweet to @SaltyRunning with the hashtag #runnerselfie and you could show up here! (More runners after the jump!)

Read more >>

Sassafras’s Training Log – 2.16.14

This week started out great with two runs that were milestones, each in their own way, but then it, shall we say, took a dive. I’ll let the log do the rest of the talking.

Monday – An easy 9 on the treadmill (8:49 pace). This was my longest pre-work treadmill run so far, which meant an extra-early (i.e. pre-5 a.m.) wake up time.

Tuesday – Six tempo miles on the ‘mill. I managed to hit my goal of 8:07 pace. (Eight miles total.) Not gonna lie… this workout felt pretty baller.

Wednesday – Planned rest day. Then… this happened.

Free fallin'...
This is what a clumsy runner’s foot looks like, kids.

Short version: I was wearing stupid girly shoes, my foot was asleep, and my foot came out from under me when I stood up too quickly. Like something out of the Looney Tunes. When I fell, I landed on the outer edge of my right foot. I nearly blacked out from the pain yet still insisted on going to my planned pedicure date until the very, very last minute, despite the fact that my foot was swollen to the size of a tree trunk.

Thursday – Probably stating the obvious, but unplanned rest day. It still hurt to walk, let alone run, for most of the day. Lots of RICE.

Friday – One lonely treadmill mile, 9:55 pace. I had decided that as long as my foot was supported, it would be okay. The mile I got in was pretty uncomfortable. I wouldn’t say painful, exactly, but I bailed on the workout because I decided that it wasn’t worth trying to be a badass and prove something if I was doing further injury.

Upon my return from the gym, I noticed that the swelling had gone down (yay!), but now almost the entire top of my foot was bruised (not yay). So later that morning, I went over to the sports medicine clinic to get it checked out. (Becoming running buddies with a sports medicine doctor? Pretty genius move on my part.) The good news is I didn’t have any broken bones. When I fell, I sprained a ligament, so I was just instructed to keep up the RICE regimen, take ibuprofen and take it easy. The irritating thing about running that morning had been my shoe hitting the injury, so the docs also suggested changing up how I tie my shoe. The best news was that I should be back up at full mileage within a week. Forget chocolate – this was the best Valentine’s Day present this girl could’ve gotten.

Saturday – Rest. It felt so weird not doing a long run on a Saturday, but I was glad that I could just enjoy the snow from my warm kitchen and not worry about how it was impacting my run plans.

Sunday – The test run – 2 miles – went relatively well. I definitely won’t be a foot model anytime soon, but it’s getting better.

Total – 20 miles

Sassafras’s Training Log – 2.9.14

This week certainly didn’t go as planned, but I’m okay with that. I have a post-it note on my computer that says “If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.” This was a Plan C or D kinda week, but I got (most) of my running in. Just 10 weeks to go until the Derby Festival Marathon!

Monday – An unplanned rest day with really no good reason. For the first time in at least five years, my company closed due to a snow day. I kept thinking maybe I would make it to the gym “a little later”, but later kept getting later, and before I knew it, the day had flown by with puppy snuggles, lounging and finishing up a good book. I would come to regret this later in the week as it became harder to fit my mileage in, but sometimes you just need a lazy day.

Tuesday – Oh, Tuesday. Tuesday was such an epic decision-making fail, y’all – so much so that it should probably serve as a lesson to all future runners of the world. Tuesday morning, I got up and got ready for the gym, but it was so icy that I could barely make it out of the driveway. “No problem,” I reasoned. “I’ll just run after work.”

This is where things started to go south.

I had tried a few trips to the gym after work in the prior weeks, but always hit ridiculous traffic. I had previously toyed with the idea of a running commute, as my office is only about 3 miles from home. I decided that today would be the day; I’d miss traffic, get my run in, and save time. Genius! Until it wasn’t. It did warm up during the day just a hair, but as I was leaving work in my tights and with all my stuff on my back, it started to rain. No, scratch that… freezing rain. Which wasn’t so bad until I got to sidewalks that hadn’t been shoveled with rain now freezing on top of the layer of snow. To make a long story shorter, I called my husband and ended up running back to his office (to “get in extra mileage”, because I was still delusional). I started sobbing as soon as I got in the car because I was so soaked and cold and really kinda scared. And that is the story, my friends, of how I ran 1.25 miles in the freezing rain.

Wednesday – 8 miles at 8:52 on the treadmill. I don’t always go to  the gym in the evening, but when I do, I watch Wife Swap at the mercy of others, apparently. The fact that the TV didn’t have any sound only added to the train wreck factor. I hadn’t hit the ‘mill in the morning due to the aforementioned ice, the fact that I was so strongly convinced that we would have at least a two hour delay at work, and the lack of planning for anything other than a delay or closure. Oh, and I’d had a pretty awful day on Tuesday, if you recall, so I needed the extra sleep.

Thursday – Since I had dinner plans with a girlfriend on Thursday, my only options were a) early morning or b) post-dinner. I went with what was behind door number one and cranked out 8 miles on the ‘mill at 8:47 pace. And promptly sported my compression socks under my boots all day long.

Friday – 8 easy miles on the treadmill before work – 8:50 pace. [Sidenote: If you’re wondering why I have so many 8 mile runs in a row, I tweaked some of my planned runs to add in mileage and get a little closer to what should have been my original weekly total.]

Saturday – My group changed up our usual Saturday location due to worries about the usual winter culprits – snow, ice, driver visibility, etc. So we started a little later, met somewhere else and rolled with it! It was around 18 degrees, but man, was I glad to hit the roads! Only two sections had snow and ice of the entire 17 miles we covered. 17 miles at 9:06 pace… then a group breakfast after featuring blueberry waffles!

Snowy Saturday
(Snowy) country roads, take me home.

Sunday – Rest

Total – 42.25 miles

Sassafras’s Training Log – 2.2.14

I know I’ve been slacking in the training log department. But to be honest, Old Man Winter is really fouling up my plans. I’m still getting my workouts in (mostly), but I can’t just roll out the door and hit the street. I have to get up earlier to allow for drive time to and from the gym. And I’m getting more than my fair share of Justin Bieber news on those TVs at the gym. These are such first world problems, I know – but I don’t do well when my routine is out of whack.

Monday – Outside… yay! 7 miles at 9:22 pace. It was a little icy; not terrible, just dodgy in some spots. The real issue was the wind of 17 miles per hour! There wasn’t a whole lot of chatting going on with my friend. Instead we just improvised the route on the fly to avoid ice and wind.

Tuesday – Off. I switched things around to make today my off day due to the -15 degree forecast and an early meeting.

Wednesday – Hit the treadmill early for a tempo run. I did 8 miles total, with the middle 6 at tempo. I hit 8:07 pace for those, and my goal pace was 8:08. It was one of those days where I felt like I hit my stride all day thanks to starting it with a great run.

Thursday – 12 degrees outside, so it was treadmill time again. I did an easy 7 miles at 8:50 pace. 

Friday  It was a balmy 34 degrees, so I ran outside today. It’s the little things, right? Some areas were still pretty icy, but it was a good 6 miler (9:16 pace). I ran from my house over to a friend’s, did the middle 3 miles with her and her dog, then ran home. It was a fun way to break up the run!

Saturday – My first 20 miler of this training cycle, and, man, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer day for it. I ran it with a training buddy whose also running the Derby Festival Marathon and it was one of those great runs where we talked about everything under the sun but kept clicking off the miles at a relatively good pace. Despite having a hilly route, I averaged 8:54 pace.  And it helped that we had company for the middle 8-9 miles. I made sure to go on a nice long dog walk later in the day to prevent soreness, and I also employed the other time-honored method for preventing soreness: eating froyo.

Sunday – A little yoga at home, but mainly rest.

Total – 48 miles