Welcome to #cheaterweek! It’s the perfect follow-up to Valentine’s Day, right? This week at Salty Running we’re talking ALL THINGS cheating, from running club hook-ups to doping, course-cutting to creative training log edits. We’re starting with tonight’s #SaltyChat on Twitter at 7 p.m. EST!
Just want to point out that halfway through this week we’ll be halfway through February which means we’re close to March! I have noticed a marked difference in when the sun is up in the mornings, which brings me joy because this running-in-the-dark-everyday thing is wearing me down.
Meanwhile, the marathon scene is heating up in the southern states — quite literally. The 26.2 with Donna brought racers 71º temperatures, 13 mph winds, and 91% humidity on Sunday. (And our own Angelica still prevailed!)
The groundhog saw his shadow and the “big game” is over. Now we can go back to talking about what’s important: running. Catch up on running and racing news, join in our roundtable below, and catch us on #SaltyChat tonight!
Track is back! Indoor season has begun, which means we can geek out early on. Marathon season is ramping up, too. This week’s highlights:
Sun’s out, buns out, right? Racing season has officially begun, with Houston and Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona both this weekend. We’ve updated our Monday morning post to bring you awesome stuff happening in the world of running (and beyond) and give us a place to discuss it! We’ve got a lot to share today, so let’s get cracking.
It’s a new year, Salties! We’re bringing back the Monday roundtable and giving it an update. We’ll be using this Monday morning space to share the awesome stuff happening in the world of running (and beyond) and as a space to discuss all that with you all. And, get excited: #SALTYCHAT IS BACK! Join us on Twitter at 8 p.m. EST tonight to join in the conversation!
For many of us, the holiday season coincides with our off-season, when we enter post-race maintenance mode, giving our bodies and minds a much-needed break from hard training. While Santa Claus is checking his list and tuning up his sleigh, the rest of us find ourselves mired in extra concerts, party invitations, and frankly, a lot of extra work: shopping, wrapping, baking, planning. A more flexible and laid-back approach to running can be a great match for all the activity.
But for some – here at Salty Running that includes Sesame and Angelica – have decided on January or February races, so we find ourselves in the thick of training during the holiday season, and squeezing the marathon miles in is tough!
There is a range of approaches to holiday disruptions. Is it better to run long on Saturday morning and get it out of the way? Two weeks ago, I tried that and was a zombie at the Saturday night PTA-mom party. Running long on Sunday means shutting down Saturday night festivities on the early side and probably passing on the cocktails. Finding time for 15 miles the weekend before Christmas was like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces – one event or another kept slipping out of the picture. I’m crossing my fingers about the weather because there’s no room on the agenda for a blizzard!
We want to hear from you! How do you handle holiday disruptions to training schedules? Is your off-season meshing with your holiday season? Or are concerts, cocktails and cooking-baking throwing you off-kilter?
How do you balance training and celebrating this time of year?
We’ve all been there. Two weeks before your goal race, some body part, usually in the lower half of your body, will start to grumble at you. Panic! Confusion! Denial! You limp out of bed in the mornings, wear compression everything, take ice baths, foam roll 24/7, and discuss extensively with your running friends what to do.
Is it just the taper crazies? Or are you really injured? Should you race? Should you take half a pack of ibuprofen and then race? Should you start the race, but stop if it hurts too much? Or should you stay off it, forget about the race, and become the world champion of moping instead?
Among the Saltines, there’s a wide range of attitudes toward racing with pain. I’m conservative about it, an attitude I’ve learned from experience (FYI: racing a half marathon with achilles tendonitis is a good way to make sure the achilles tendonitis gets even worse and lasts even longer. Shocking, I know.) Last year, when I hurt my foot a few weeks before the Berlin Marathon, I decided not to run the race despite the months of training and the squandered €99 entry fee. I was sad about missing the race, but not as sad as I would have been if running the race had made my foot hurt even worse.
Admittedly, I’m on the paranoid side when it comes to running through pain. Sometimes it turns out fine, but sometimes you end up with a long-term problem. To me, the risk isn’t worth it – not to mention that it’s never a pleasant experience to race with pain – but everyone’s calculation is different.
This discussion should also come with the caveat that being 100% pain-free as a serious runner is not always possible. Often we have niggles that are fine to run through as we sort them out with physiotherapy or other treatments. Today, we’re not talking about niggles, but rather about pain that is present while you run and may be made worse by racing (or not! Nobody knows!)
Tell us: what’s your approach to racing with pain? Do you or don’t you? What are your experiences?
By now, you’ve probably heard the news: The Milwaukee Marathon held Oct. 15 was, well, not a marathon. Officials have announced the course was only 25.4 miles after turnaround cones were placed in the wrong spot.
Officials at the Boston Marathon have confirmed they won’t accept results from Milwaukee for qualifying times. Imagine running faster than you thought you could, nailing that BQ, and then finding out it doesn’t count? Ouch.
But Milwaukee is also entering “shame on me” territory. The race was founded in 2015, so it’s a relative newcomer on the scene. In 2016, the course was a half-mile long.
In an email sent to this year’s participants, officials cited “a misinterpretation of the route certification map that caused the turnaround on the Hank Aaron State Trail to be set in the incorrect spot.” Officials apologized for the error, but no other recompense has been offered.
Sure, we’ve all “PR’d” at the local totally-not-5k charity 5k. When it comes to a marathon, though, runners are typically asked to shell out $75 to $200. The Milwaukee Marathon costs $110 for early registration and $120 for late registration. Many runners shell out even more money for plane tickets and hotels, and they may use valuable vacation days to travel to a marathon. All those weeks of training lead up to one day, and you may not be able to recover and run another BQ within the qualifying window, if that’s your goal.
And mind you, we’re not talking about a marathon that your Garmin clocks as 26.3 (or 30.4 if you’re Chicory running Chicago). While your GPS might give you a heads-up that a route isn’t accurate, it’s definitely not the end-all-be-all of course measurement. But that’s a story for another day.
We want to hear from you! Have you run a marathon that wasn’t accurate? What happened, and how did the race directors handle it? Do you check for course accuracy before choosing a race? Race directors, we want to hear from you, too!
It’s the first day of registration for the 122nd Boston Marathon, scheduled for April 16, 2018. Starting at 10 a.m. EST today, Sept. 11, 2017, runners who exceeded their qualifying time by 20 minutes can sign up. Those who ran at least 10 minutes faster than their qualifying time can begin registering on Wednesday. If spaces remain, those who beat their time by 5 minutes can register on Friday, and on Saturday registration will open to all who hit their time.
The qualifying window has been open for nearly an entire year, and seven months until Marathon Monday means there is a lot of time for life to get in the way of some runners’ big Boston goals. Imagine, for instance, that you were to find out between now and then that you were pregnant.
Like many races, Boston does not offer deferrals to runners for any reason, including pregnancy. If you register and find out the next day that you’re pregnant? You’re SOL, sister. Found out two weeks after your qualifier that you’re due mid-October? You can roll the dice and hope you’re ready in April, or skip 2018 and try to qualify again later.
Sure, we all remember that lady who ran the Chicago Marathon and gave birth hours later, but that is the exception, not the rule. If you’ve been trying to qualify for years, which is not uncommon, a pregnancy could put off your chances of being fit enough to qualify again for months or even years.
The BAA might think its one-size-fits-all policy is fair — but since only 45% of last year’s field can possibly become pregnant, is that actually the case? After all, if a man gets a woman pregnant, his body will not be affected, nor would his ability to race come April 16.
Tell us what you think:
- Is the BAA’s no deferrals for any reason policy fair?
- Should women be able to defer their Boston marathon if they find out they’re pregnant after registering? What about women who qualify and find out they’re pregnant before registration?
For over 30 years, runners took to the streets near Downtown Cleveland on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day for the St. Malachi Race. For most serious runners, this early-season five-miler kicked off the year of racing, including a few of mine. Year after year, early March saw Cleveland runners of all abilities descend on the historic Cleveland St. Malachi church to test their fitness while contributing to the church’s homeless outreach programs.
Throughout its entire existence, the company Hermes Road Racing put on the race. But recently, because St. Malachi claims they only received a tiny fraction of the popular race’s proceeds (just $3,000 out of the $113,000 taken in), it decided to go with a different race promoter, Greater Cleveland XC, which promised to provide a greater percentage of the proceeds to the church’s charitable programs. Cue the lawsuit.
Hermes claims it holds the trademark rights to the name “St. Malachi” for any running events in Cleveland and that the St. Malachi church nor any other race promoter may use that name for a race in Cleveland.
What do you think?
When an organization hires a race promoter to put on a fundraising race for them, who owns the rights to the name of the race: the organization or the race promoter?
By now you’ve seen all the posts about it on Instagram and your favorite running blogs: InsideTracker, the company that promises to “increase vitality, improve performance and extend the lives of our users” by analyzing “key biochemical and physiological markers”. For a fee, InsideTracker will enable you to have your blood drawn and then analyzed for “biomarkers” like hormone levels, nutrients, etc.
I know it’s a service that some of you use and love, while others may be skeptical. No matter how you feel, we want to know:
Have you tried InsideTracker? Tell us about your experience!
Do you have questions or concerns about it? If so, what are they?
And now, here’s my take!
I’m getting ready to head out on an epic Disney family vacation! I went to Disneyland a couple of years ago —my first ever Disney park experience! — with my two eldest kids, but now we’re heading to that other park with the entire family including Aunt Cinnamon! You might not have pegged me as a Disney fanatic, but like with running, I’m an adult-onset dark ride and Dole Whip lover.
Anyway, I’m grateful that I’m not deep in a training plan right now, because I know between bad hotel sleep, taking care of my children, and walking a gazillion miles in the muggy weather, running might not exactly be what I want to do when I find some time to myself. Nevertheless, I’m packing my running shoes. You never know when you can squeeze in a few miles!
How about you?
How do you handle running on a vacation that is not centered around running?
💥And don’t miss #SaltyChat tonight (Monday) at 8:00 p.m. on Twitter! It ain’t that boring guy from your running club’s Twitter chat, if you know what I mean. *wink* *wink* 💥
Research has concluded that we really need at least 8 hours of sleep a night to live and run well, but this week, working overnight on a film, I found myself wondering how many runners actually afford themselves that much. Under normal circumstances I barely have time for six hours! I mean, I love sleeping, but I have other things to do!
For me it’s all about quality, not quantity. If it’s going to be light at all while I’m sleeping, I wear a mask. I take melatonin and wear a night guard when I’m stressed. I remove my dear-but-nocturnal pets from the room and close the door. I put my phone aside and read a book until the sandman helps me nod off. Getting better quality of sleep has definitely made a difference in my energy levels during waking hours, and especially while running.
So I want to know from you: How much sleep do you really get? Do you think quality of sleep contributes to your training? What lengths do you or would you go to in order to maximize the quality or quantity of your sleep?
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