It’s time for the second installment of running life hacks (check the first installment from Chicory)! We (women runners) are a busy group, and the saltines are no exception. We have kids and full-time jobs, full-time jobs and second jobs, and busy lives. We can use all of the help we can get so we can still fit running in – somewhere, somehow. Which is why these life hacks can feel like a savior. Every minute saved is one more in the bank for my run.
For many runners, spring racing season is just beginning, which for our friends, family and other spectators can mean only one thing… figuring how to track friends and loved ones on the dreaded race app.
Once you’ve downloaded the app (which you’ll never use again, as it appears to be specific to a single race and offers no other races you want to track this year), handed over your social media details (and date of birth, and lifetime privacy rights of your firstborn child), and entered far too many details about your runner (including but not limited to their bib number, height, eye color and mother’s maiden name), what’s next? Read more >>
You regular readers probably know me. I mean, after all, I’m kind of big deal. People know me.
BUT, for those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I’m Sal, the Salty Running mascot – that’s me up there at the top left of the page. I am a 4-year-old 77-hour trail marathoner (2 hours and 56 minutes per mile). My goal is shave 60 hours off my time (2 hours and 17 minutes per mile faster).
My dream is to qualify for the snailympic trials, and I’ve been working harder than ever to make my dream a reality. If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough, I always say.
Here is what my training looked like the week of 02.12.18 – 02.18.18:
Running isn’t exactly known for attracting bad guys, but our sport does have its resident criminals: dopers, cheats, and those pesky bandits. While doping and stuff like course-cutting have always been viewed as bad, banditing has a slightly less odious past. For years, banditing was part of the sport. As recently as six years ago, the Boston Globe published a how-to guide for Boston Marathon bandits. By 2014, though, Boston too banned the bandit. More recently, the website Marathon Investigator, riding the wave of ever-increasing scrutiny of the once accepted-renegades, published photos of bandits along with other race cheats. Today, the mere mention of banditing will open one up to a mob hurling words like “stealing” or “dangerous”. Times they have changed.
Recently, banditing hit the running news when Marathon Investigator outed internet running celebrity and Oiselle muse Kelly Roberts as a bandit. While some were quick to dogpile on her, Kelly apologized after noting she was just pacing her friends. Others went further, even arguing women might justifiably bandit as an homage to Bobbi Gibb, the first woman finisher of Boston who bandited because the race would not allow women to register.
Is banditing always wrong? Are all ways of banditing equally heinous crimes? We decided to ask you!
Below our resident bandit (who looks very familiar), serves up some hypothetical banditing situations along with a defense of her actions. For each, you decide whether she was justified or what punishment you’d mete out and at the end of the quiz you’ll find out your anti-banditness.
Ready! Set! Judge! Read more >>
So they say your bra shouldn’t have a birthday, do they? Bullshit, unless your goal is to sell more bras. I’ve been rocking my favorite for the last four years and it’s still holding my boobs in place like it’s supposed to.
Oh, and another thing: if bras really aren’t made to last longer than a year, why don’t manufacturers just start making better ones? Srsly.
Anyhow, when you get unnaturally attached to things like I do, you’re bound to hang onto your stuff a little bit longer than most people would. With that in mind, here are my standards for finally pitching a bra:
10. You can stretch the straps over your head without taking it off.
9. You’re getting scratched by the safety pins you put in the band after it stretched too much
8. It smells like you already ran in it even when it’s freshly laundered
7. It’s easier to take it off by pushing it down over your hips instead of pulling it up over your head
6. No, you’re not just paranoid: dudes at the gym are definitely watching you in puzzled awe while you’re on the treadmill.
5. “What’s that slapping noise…?”
4. There’s a permanent chafing line around your entire torso from the “elastic,” which…
3. …doesn’t “stretch” so much as it “crackles.”
2. You can fit your phone in there. And your wallet, keys, ipad and actually your whole purse.
1. It hasn’t had a birthday, it’s had ten.
How old are your sports bras?
This post was originally published by Coriander in 2016.
Valentine’s Day! First it was a celebration for a bunch of saints named Valentine (seriously, there were three of them), and then Chaucer had to go and write a drippy poem connecting the saints’ day with lovers, and then came the flowers, chocolate, chintzy cards …
Maybe ol’ Valentine of Rome and Chaucer didn’t see that one coming, but for many a single lady, online dating is all the romance she’s going to get on Valentine’s Day. I oughtta know. I used to be there.
Although on this Valentine’s Day, I’ll be happily celebrating with my soon-to-be husband and, like many couples you’ll see out and about, we met online. (It actually works! Keep the faith!) But before my endurance-sports-loving Valentine and I deleted our Tinder profiles and made it official, I came across a lot of duds. Of course, because being active was a must for me, I focused my search on endurance athletes. So when I say I came across a lot of duds, I specifically mean I encountered a ton of runner duds, all of whom fit into one of five categories.
If you’re just starting out in the wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) world of online dating, here’s the five types of “runners” to watch out for. (The quotation marks there will make sense shortly.) Read more >>
I love football, and I love the Super Bowl – it’s a good excuse to get together with friends and hang out, eat a lot, and watch the big game. As a Buffalo Bills fan, I haven’t been able to cheer for my hometown team in the playoffs or the Super Bowl for most of my life, so I’ve always had to find ways to make the big day something I can relate to. Usually I pick a team to cheer for because one of my friends is rooting for them, or just because I can’t stand the other team.
But the Super Bowl isn’t just about food, beer, and cheering! We runners can learn something from the burly dudes in protective gear.
We’ve all been there. It’s Mile 15 of the marathon, and things are looking mighty familiar. You started too fast…again. Didn’t you mean to dial it back for the first half this time? You’ve gagged down your gels…again. What happened to your plan to try other, less mucosal fuel sources for a change?
You start to curse yourself and your decisions, and that’s when you hear it…again. Heavy, shuffling footfalls right behind you, and breathing that sounds like some sort of steam-fuelled machine. Yep, it’s that guy, the one who doesn’t know how to pick up his feet and really needs to see a pulmonologist. He’s back. Right behind you. Just like in all your other marathons.
It’s at this moment that you hear the song:
“Then put your little hand in mine, there ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb. Babe. I got you babe.”
Look. I get it. You’re tough. You run uphill both ways at 4 a.m. in the freezing rain. You have to get outside, no matter how many layers it takes to avoid losing a limb to frostbite. You just can’t do the treadmill.
That’s fine. You do you. Because I f’in love the treadmill.
It can be hard enough to figure out which wine perfectly matches your Friday takeout pizza. Figuring out which appellation, aroma, and mouthfeel best pair with today’s workout? Seems impossible, but we’re here to help. Follow our handy guide, and never again will the sweat on your brow clash with the grape in your goblet.
Your every-day easy run, nothing special: Pinot noir, the always-drinkable, goes-with-anything pumpkin spice latte of wines.
Weekend twenty miler with your saltiest running buddies: Bardolino! It’s a light red, blended from several grapes, slightly sparkling, dry, and a little bitter (in a good way). Sound familiar?
You just found out you have to miss your goal race due to injury. You don’t want to drink anything, just slam the bottle against a wall in a blind rage: May we recommend a bottle (or several) of the finest two-buck chuck?
Day drinking at the post-stroller-run play date: Sauvignon Blanc. Light, refreshing, and totally disguiseable in a “water” bottle.
Day drinking after your post-yoga two-mile treadmill jog in half-tights and a strappy bra: Chardonnay. A little basic, but it’s okay to embrace that sometimes.
You’re in the throes of marathon training and can’t wait for dinner to be done before you throw one back: Marsala. Pairs well with chicken and hanger.
All kinds of annoying work and life stuff get in the way and you have to do your tempo run at 2 in the afternoon. In July.: Skip the wine and go directly to beer.
After a long, grueling training cycle, you totally nail your paces in a workout that proves you’re going to get at least a ten-minute PR at your goal race: If you want to save the Champagne for your race, then a toast with Prosecco is the obvious choice!
Three weeks after the champagne-worthy workout, you bomb the race. On the way home, you trip, ripping your favorite tights, and then some asshole tells you to smile: Wine from a box. Extra points if it says “award winning” – just like that workout.
Cozying up on the sofa to read Salty Running after a long day that started with a ten-miler in the early morning darkness because you’re marathon training in January: Cabernet Sauvignon. With notes of spice, olive, vanilla, anise, pepper, and herbs, how could we possibly recommend anything else?
What’s your favorite wine/workout pairing?
Karen Abutnuttin, a 35-year-old mother of none from Canada, recently surpassed the record for least amount of social media posts during a training cycle. The record was previously held by the local Beardy Guy, Jack Ingoff, at two posts, both of which featured Ingoff complaining about the rising cost of local 5ks.
“Jack set the bar pretty high,” Karen said. “But I wanted to test the boundaries of what it means to not only be a runner but a woman runner as well.”
Karen went an entire 16-week training cycle without sharing a single post about her training.
“It was tough some days when I had a really good workout and wanted to shout it from the rooftops,” she said. “There were times when I sat staring at my phone, debating whether to hit send on a long post I had just written. In the end it was worth it to hit cancel instead.”
Karen’s biggest challenge came halfway through the training cycle when Twitter announced it would increase its character allowance to 280. It was at this point in the training cycle when Karen decided to commit to chasing the record.
“It was a difficult time when that happened and then when I decided to continue forging ahead, I was tempted to tweet about my attempt to set the record but figured it would go against the Guinness rules if I inadvertently mentioned running in a tweet.”
At the culmination of the long and quiet 16 weeks, Karen ran her local marathon and continued to extend her record by not even posting a picture of her medal the following Monday. The internet only learned of her feat after her mother posted a proud congratulatory message on Facebook. Friends started texting her immediately asking if her mom’s claims were fake news.
“Some were hurt that they didn’t know I had been training for the race,” Karen said. “They felt deceived. But when I told them about the record, they were fine.”
Karen recently submitted her record to the coveted Guinness Book of World Records. Her attempt was met with some criticism from internet threads such as Letsrun.com, who felt that if no one was watching her not post to social media sites, should the record still be ratified?
“Who’s to say she didn’t post a picture of her watch in a weak moment at 3 a.m. and then delete the post?” asked one poster.
Others tried to research her activity on less-known social media sites, such as Google+. A “Karen Abutnuttin” was found to have a profile on the site and as a result posters attempted to friend her to view the private profile. When asked why she didn’t accept the requests Karen responded, “Google+ is still a thing?”
In the meantime, Karen began posting pictures of her post-long run meals and foam rollers as soon as she started training for her next race.
“All that hard work and I still didn’t qualify for Boston,” she said. “I guess it doesn’t matter whether or not you post about it on social media.”
As I prepared to be a pace group leader for the first time at the final running of the Soldier Marathon, I started thinking about the ways this pacing adventure could go really really wrong. And not really really wrong just for me, but for the people trusting me to help them finish in 4:10 (join me, it’ll be fun!).
Pacing is a responsibility I take seriously. And I should. If you choose to run with a pace group, you are trusting that individual to keep you on track for your goal finish time. Nothing will panic someone who has prepared at least four months for this one-day, race day test more than hearing something from the pacer that indicates they might not meet that goal.
To prepare, I asked the Salties for a little advice about what they never wanted to hear from their pacer, regardless of what pace group they were running with. Here are the top things we don’t want to hear from our pacers:
- “Oops, I forgot to start my watch! Guess we’ll just have to go by feel.” Sounds like your pacer has no idea if you’re on pace for your finish time or not. You’ll just have to hope that they have a fantastic internal sense of time because they will have no other way to gauge if you are on track to meet your goal. See also: “uh oh, the GPS is out again” and “I forgot my watch! Can I borrow yours?”
- “I’m not feeling so hot, y’all. Would you mind holding the pacing sign for me?” While bad races happen, we just hope they won’t happen to the person we are trusting with our hopes and dreams. To our pacer: Please don’t get sick, have a bad race, eat spicy food the night before the race, etc.
- “To make sure we hit your finish goal, we’re going to start out fast and go hard for the first 13 miles!” Just no. This is bad technique, in my humble opinion, for anyone racing that is not elite, and definitely not what you want to hear from your pacer. We should be aiming for consistent mile splits throughout, and definitely don’t want to burn out our runners at the beginning of the race.
- “Do you think we should have turned left back there?” Ah, the panic of wondering if you are still on course. There has been many times when I’ve wondered if I’m on course during a race, but the course is definitely something that your pacer should have down pat. Nothing is scarier than wondering if your leader knows where she is leading you.
- “You aren’t looking so hot. Should I call the medical tent?” As a pacer, I’ve been trained about when I should step away from pacing to help a runner in medical distress. This is my job, but it is still not something that you want to hear from me!
- “I’m aiming for a PR today!” Ha. We hope our pacer is running a pace that they feel very confident they can maintain for 26.2 miles. Aiming for a PR either indicates they do not or that they have used their pacer entry as a free way to enter an expensive race. Either way, I’d reconsider your pacer selection.
- What pacer? Although perhaps better than showing up and driving you into the ground, the bare minimum expectation is that your pacer actually shows up race morning.
What can you add to this list? Have you had a terrible pacing experience? What did they say that indicated it might not go as planned?
Let’s be real: at some point, we’ve all been single. We’ve dated, sometimes successfully, and sometimes we’re sending an emergency escape text to your BFF.
But you know what’s funny? Dating is an awful lot like marathon training. Don’t believe me?
- There’s an app for it.
- You spend too much money on it.
- You swear you’re too busy with life to do it, but do it anyway.
- You’ve been hurt (physically, emotionally and mentally) by it.
- People love to tell you how you’re doing it wrong.
- You wonder why other people are so invested in what you do with your own time, money and body.
- Some are great, some are truly awful, but most are kinda mediocre and forgettable.
- When you don’t feel like talking about it, people ask you about it.
- You see how for other people, it goes so effortlessly and you wonder why you can’t have that yourself.
- Some you’re very eager to go on, some you dread, but most are just well, here we go again.
- Sometimes you wonder if you really are doing it all wrong.
- Sometimes you feel really lonely and frustrated.
- After an incredible one, you’re on a high and life is beautiful.
- And then a crappy one brings you down again.
- When things are going really well, you don’t want to say anything for the fear of jinxing it.
- It doesn’t matter which one you pick, there will always be someone who tells you that you should have picked the other one.
- There will be times when you’re rolling along and things are going well — or so you think — and then BAM! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, you hit a wall with no way around it. You’re left battered, bruised, and you don’t think you can do this again. In fact, you’re sure you’re not going to do this again.
- And then you go out and do it again.
Now, if only there was tinder for marathons. I’d swipe left on, say, a course that was historically too short and right on one that almost guarantees a BQ (I’m looking at you, St. George).
Convinced? What are the other ways marathon training is like dating?
SCENE: Several co-workers mingle around the water cooler before an onsite lunch meeting.
Co-worker A: I hear that you are a runner.
Runner swallows some water. Nods head in agreement.
Co-worker A: So, how many miles do you run each week?
Hi Saltines! (mm that reminds me, I’m hungry…) Lincoln, the pup here!
I know I’m not the typical Salty contributor and you’re probably wondering how I got my paws on this post. But rest assured, the humans know I’m here. Avocado belongs to me and asked if I would be interested in guest posting to share my experiences and expertise on how to train for a 6-legged 5k.
Of course, I was excited. The humans rarely ask me for running feedback, which I can’t seem to make heads or tails of seeing as I’m twice as capable as them (double the legs, duh). Anywho, happy to share my take and offer a little guidance to any of our pup readers looking to take on this challenge with their human.
To begin, let’s talk about training, and not the kind that involves us fooling our humans into countless treats until we “learn” to stay. As a rescue, much of my early days were spent on the run so the cardio and endurance came naturally to me, as it does for many. If that’s the case for you, the most important thing in training is learning that there is, in fact, another speed besides “Go” or “squirrel.” It takes practice and patience to hone those skills. Personally, I think the most challenging part for us pups is teaching our humans to heel. In my experience, they have a tendency to want to keep a consistent speed. Humans, am I right? While it’s not in our nature, allow them to lead for the most part, but don’t be afraid to add that occasional fartlek training, especially in particularly wooded or squirrely areas.
If endurance isn’t your forte, it’s important to start by getting those miles on your paws. Morgan’s mom, Chicory, wrote about this here. Be consistent and try to get your human out with you at least a couple times a week. Pups, most of you know the basics on how to do this but a few effective tactics include: whining incessantly, destroying precious property, pooping in the house and the one I’ve found most effective, an uncontrollable bout of the zoomies. Get out and practice these 2-3 mile jogs a few times a week until you start to feel like that dash-out-the-door energy becomes more sustainable.
When it comes to race day, it’s up to you to help push (or in this case pull) them a little when they start to slow. Don’t be afraid to let that race day adrenaline take over and pick up the clip toward the end. Sniff some butts in front of you and work that tail. There are treats at the end so when your four dogs start barkin’, just remember, it will be worth it!
Most importantly, have fun! The majority of us pups are your average fur-to-5k type, so take off the pressure. The likelihood of you making it to the PuppyBowl is pretty slim so just enjoy it! Your humans will thank you and you’ll likely score an Insta feature (#goals). So buckle down that collar and get your furry butt in gear — it’s 5k season!
Reminder: Check with your vet before starting running with your dog. This post gives some guidance on the age and types of dogs suitable for running, but always get the go-ahead from your vet!
Any training tips from humans or pups on 6-legged 5ks?
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