My reputation as clumsy is legendary in my family. There are fridge door handles that my parents stopped replacing because I’d tripped and tore the handle off the door so many times (grasping the handle in a futile attempt to keep myself from falling). My sister loves to recall the work day where she heard me fall down an entire flight of cement stairs, coffee in hand, when my stiletto heel got caught in the cuff of my pants. I don’t just fall down stairs, I fall up stairs, and not gracefully. Ballet, ice skating lessons… nothing my parents put me in as a child helped. Read more >>
Fellow Salty Running writer Laura Parson recently took on the Collegiate Peaks Loop Trail in Colorado, 161 miles of rugged terrain around the heart of the Colorado Rockies. The route travels around the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, passing by a dozen 14,000-foot summits while traveling through high forests and alpine terrain.
Not only did Laura complete the route, she also ran the women’s supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the trail, clocking in at 3 days, 16 hours, 32 minutes, all to raise funds for Girls on the Run International. When discussing the run with her, I thought it would be exciting to share with you what it was like, what’s next and what motivates her to take on these enormous challenges.
Runners go through a lot of shoes. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, 4.6 million pairs of running shoes were sold in the United States in 2012. So what to do with all those shoes once they have outlived their useful running lives, beyond downgrading them to casual shoes?
Hahahaha, as if! In fact, many of us could do with adding a pair to our rotation. Still, if you keep track of your mileage-per-shoe, you start to get a really good idea of when shoes run out, and we have plenty of other tips to help you use them as long as possible. A big one: reserving your training shoes for running can help extend their lives. Once they wear out enough that you can no longer use them for training you can introduce them into casual wear rotation.
As a part of training for my Run Across America FKT attempt summer 2021, I’m planning several mini-challenges for training and to attract some attention prior to my main attempt. For the first mini-challenge, starting on July 29, 2019, I’ll attempt to set a competitive women’s Fastest Known Time (FKT) of the Collegiate Trail Loop and raise money for Girls on the Run. This loop consists of the East and West branches of the Collegiate Trail. The East trail is the original Continental Divide Trail through Colorado, which has been re-routed to include more peaks and less roads, and joins with what is now called the Collegiate West Trail. Each is around 80 miles, making the total distance a little over 160 miles. I’ll be attempting to complete the loop in five days, but have built in 10 days in case I need extra time, and to allow for bad weather, altitude adjustment, and—hopefully—some fun.
My flight is booked, so next I’m focusing on the details to make sure I’m ready to go. My first priority is ensuring I can complete the trek safely and with the right gear: Read more >>
If you have been reading Salty Running since the early days, you might remember posts about my goal of a Trans-America crossing and record attempt. Unfortunately, in 2015 I had to pull out of my dream. At the time I was entering the final year of my doctoral program, and health problems first landed me in the hospital, then at the Mayo Clinic. It was devastating, to say the least, but I salvaged what I could of the process and the training by donating the funds I’d raised to RAINN and running my first 100-mile race.
Even as my identity as a runner changed, I never gave up on that dream. So I’m happy to share that in the summer of 2021, I will attempt the Women’s Fastest Known Time (FKT) for a Trans-America crossing.
This time around, I will be running to promote the value of outdoor and endurance sports while raising money for Girls on the Run, an organization that helps bring running, empowerment, and advocacy to girls across the United States. It’s the right cause for this run, the reason I’m running, and an avenue to connect with women across the country.
Even though my first bid didn’t play out the way I’d hoped I still learned a great deal from it. As a result, I’m approaching this attempt much differently.
Columbus, OH. J. Bailey has been wrestling with her bra for the last 32 hours. After a 6 mile run on a sunny afternoon in 92°F temperatures, Bailey’s bra became soaked in sweat and stuck to every inch of skin with which it came into contact. First responders have been on the scene since late Thursday night. Having identified 65% humidity levels as the culprit, they have been unable to peel the bra away from her body.
“This is my favorite bra!” Bailey was heard to indignantly shout when a firefighter unwittingly suggested they cut it apart. “I paid almost seventy dollars for it!”
The bra in question was manufactured by specialty running retailer Tracksmith. Bailey bought it against the better-judgement advice from peers, who told her to shop the sale section at Running Warehouse, or to look for a bra at her local Target store. Having been reported to believe this bra would be somehow superior to other brands, Bailey had no comment when asked if she regretted the purchase.
Columbus Police Chief and former Ohio State University Track Letterwoman Kim Jacobs has released a statement to the press: “As a former Collegiate Runner, I’m no stranger to the challenges sports bras can present in summertime. We expect we’ll get Ms. Bailey out somewhere toward the end of the summer season, or sooner if she’ll let us take her into some air conditioning.”
When offered air conditioning, Bailey, a millennial, cited environmental concerns. 🐌
I love racing. ❤️❤️ Who doesn’t? But you have to admit that if you want the euphoria of “I gave it my all” and a PR/SR/BQ/PB&J/whatever-you-use-to-measure-your-progress, you are going to have to put yourself through some discomfort first. Mile 11 of a half marathon is HARD. Running a 5K as fast as you can HURTS.
Not only that, all the training and buildup you put into the race can be brutal, but by the time your race rolls around, all the hardest work is done! Once the hay is in the barn, you deserve to treat yourself. I think you should treat yourself to a little at-home spa day the day before your race.
“SERIOUSLY? One MORE thing I have to do before race day!?”
Shush now, don’t worry, girlfriend! Just sit back and relax and breathe in the Lavender. I’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide to my recommended pre-race day pampering routine. Read more >>
When you run, you get to know all kinds of roads and trails. And many of us also get to know the debris alongside our roads and trails too. Over 51 billion pieces of litter land on U. S. roadways each year, according to Keep America Beautiful’s National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study. That’s 6,729 pieces of detritus per mile. Yikes!
Twice a year, my running club finishes our run on our regular Saturday morning route, then grabs trash bags and gloves to head out along our route for a second time. We spend that second lap cleaning up the roads and paths we use weekly as a way to give back and be good stewards in the neighborhood. And you know what, it’s just as fun as our regular runs ever are!
If you’d like to organize your own runners’ day of service, here are six easy steps you can employ.
Wrapped up in a compact 5’3 package, Samantha Palmer is a a big presence. She’s a whirlwind of positive energy that blends Midwestern nice with Southern charming to make a flavor all her own. I was lucky enough to meet with her before the USA 10K championship race and got to experience firsthand her excitement bubbling over, because for the first time in many years she would be racing with her sister. Not to mention, it was an excuse for them to come back to New York City together. “We had such a great time when we were here [last November]! And I just love New York Road Runners.”
Not only does NYRR operate the New York City Marathon, they are also a year-round organizer of near-weekly races, have impactful youth programs and activate local runners in community organization, volunteerism and fundraising for charity. Putting on a great event that runs smooth is their specialty, and for elite runners that makes everything simple. It also, as Samantha pointed out, affords them the ability to seed their events with excellent purses and that attract excellent fields.
That was especially true for this race. Read more >>
I never met you, but I am braver because of you.
I first started following you years ago. I thought it was incredible that there was a professional runner right here in the Twin Cities, training in the same places I did, even running the same events. I remember being at the fieldhouse for my track practice and seeing you training there. I wanted to say hi, but didn’t want to interrupt your workout—you were so freaking fast!
When you shared that you had been diagnosed with cancer in your liver, I learned more about your story. That you became a professional runner in spite of your earlier fights with cancer amazed me.
When my team and I cheered you on at the Twin Cities 1 Mile, it was extra special for us to watch you run. Our coach had been diagnosed with kidney cancer, and it meant so much to us that you were fighting hard and living your life to the fullest despite having cancer for the fourth time in eight years. I believed in the future I’d be cheering for you in the Olympics, where you would show not just the Twin Cities but the whole world that a cancer diagnosis is not the end.
But cancer is merciless. When I heard that you had been moved to comfort care and would lose this race against time, my heart ached for you and your stolen future. You were so strong, so inspirational, so tough. It just seems wholly unfair that you’d never get to have the career and the life you deserved.
Friends of mine who knew you and your husband have been sharing stories and prayers on social media; the common denominator is that their lives have all been beautifully touched by you. The Twin Cities running community would not be the same without you. Your legacy will live on here, and throughout the world, forever.
Even though I never met you I feel so lucky to have trained on the same track as you did, and to have run alongside the Mississippi River where you ran. I remember reading about you running again after chemotherapy and I was amazed that you were able to persevere.
Honestly, I can’t say it better than you did: “Being brave, for me, means not giving up on the things that make me feel alive.”
The Brave Like Gabe Foundation raises money for cancer research, but also inspires us all to be more like you, working tirelessly for the world we want to live in. Your story is being shared worldwide by runners and non runners alike, touching all the people whose lives have been changed by cancer. And you did show the world that a cancer diagnosis is not the end. You set an example for those who are scared and confused by their own diagnosis and showed them they can continue to live their dreams, continue to live their life, and do the things that make them happy.
With much love and gratitude,
Hi, everyone. I’m sure you have heard by now, but Gabe Grunewald passed away tonight.
Some of the women who have blogged with us knew Gabe, or lived in her community. Some of us have followed her career and cheered her on and celebrated her victories. Some just learned about her recently. Many feel her story very personally, and some have even raced proudly wearing #bravelikegabe for everyone to see. All of us join the greater running community in mourning a great loss. We are so sorry Gabe is gone, and our hearts go out to her family, friends and fans.
For the seventh time or so, I just re-read Gabe’s words from the interview Katelyn/Turmeric did here with her in early 2017, just before she launched her foundation. What a great lady. When most people would retreat, Gabe asked, “Why not me?” She went on to a National Championship and many other successes as a professional runner. Then she asked more of herself and created a foundation to raise research funds to help fight her disease on the behalf of herself and others. She asked more of us, too, challenging us to fight alongside her by using our powers of social media for good and raising a chorus of voices shouting #bravelikegabe.
Let’s all be brave, like Gabe was, and work hard at the things that are important to us and pursue our passions relentlessly.
Do you have coworkers, families, roommates, kids, pets, partners and various corporations competing for your attention? Do you spend most of your days at work in a box with the same people day in and out, the stress and animosity growing between you like a brood of sea monkeys?
Togetherness is overrated. That’s why this year, we have named June 7th the first annual Run By Yourself Where Nobody Can Bother You Day, brought to you by the sponsor that guarantees it will never be a bother to you*, SaltyValu™.
*SaltyValu™ may occasionally collect all your data and sell it to pirates on the darkweb.
You can get in on the fun as well! All you have to do is fight off your family, friends and job and carve out however much time it will take you to run in the opposite direction of them until you are out of sight and earshot. Remember, it doesn’t count if passers by are likely to catcall you, ask for directions, make obnoxious noises or otherwise not leave you alone. And it definitely doesn’t count if you can be hassled by your friends or loved ones.
Here’s what social media influencers are saying about RBYWNCBY Day! Read more >>
We are so lucky to have Rebecca Richards Kortum of Houston, TX as a part of our community! Not only is she a Salty Running patron and a dedicated runner, she is also an accomplished bioengineer and a professor with Rice University. As an alumna of The University of Nebraska, Lincoln, she gave the following address to graduating UNL students at their commencement on May 4th, 2019. If you prefer a video, you can watch the speech here on UNL’s website. Great job, Rebecca!
The Next Start Line
Greetings to Chancellor Green. Greeting to UNL regents, faculty, staff, and guests. And to each of the 3,540 graduates in the University of Nebraska class of 2019: Congratulations! You look amazing!
I’m so excited to be here today to celebrate this moment in your lives as you cross an important finish line! As an amateur marathon runner, I think a lot about starting lines and especially finish lines.
Thirty-four years ago, I was on the other side of this podium along with my fiancé, about to receive my BS degree. Despite the fancy stage and shiny medals and diplomas, we all know it’s a little bit terrifying to come to the finish line. Just when you figure out one course, you have to find your way to the next. How do you find the next start line that is right for you? How do you find the things you care so deeply about that you want to invest your whole self?
If you don’t know about the Gate River Run 15k, it’s a wonderful event in Jacksonville, Florida that is also the USATF 15k National Championship. In March I was given the opportunity to race Gate as part of the elite women’s field. Having never raced as an “elite”—and believe me, I am using that term very loosely—I was both excited and a little apprehensive about the whole experience.
When race week rolled around, I was SO. EXCITED. I really felt like a kid not-so-patiently awaiting the arrival of Christmas morning. I knew I was in good shape and I was very interested to get an actual gauge of my current fitness level.
Hello, Salty World, I’m Blueberry! I am honored to introduce myself to you all as the newest addition to Salty Running. I am a post-collegiate runner living and working in Michigan. But let’s rewind to where it all began…
I grew up riding horses and running through the cornfields of rural Ohio, where my cross-country team frequently could not field a full women’s team on race days. Nonetheless, I had some success with running in that little town and continued in college, running for two years at a Division I school in Michigan.
Why only two years? Well in college I had what was probably a little too much fun: I was more committed to chasing boys and enjoying the weekends than passing my classes. Not only that, I worked a job to pay rent and whatever else my student loans couldn’t cover, as I had no scholarship for running. In retrospect it’s not surprising that I lost my scholarship for academics, and when that happened I realized something had to give. It wasn’t an easy choice to quit the cross country and track teams, but it was the best choice I could make at the time. Read more >>
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