5 Social Media Mistakes Runners Make

fri5We runners sure do seem to like talking about running. Judging from my social media feeds we might even like talking about running more than running itself! It’s cool to talk about running on social media … to an extent. When it comes to tweeting, posting or sharing a #selfie about your running activity, there are definitely some do’s and don’ts involved.

Of course, I can’t lie. I’ve made all some of these mistakes myself. But let my mistakes be a lesson for you, so that you might more successfully survive the runner-eat-runner world of social media!

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Introducing Cumin!

2014 Santa Hustle 5k Finish!

2014 Santa Hustle 5k Finish!

First off, I’d like to thank Salty for allowing me to share my journey with you.  Reading the posts of this awesome group of Salties has been so inspiring for me as I begin running and pursue a healthier way of life.

Quick stats:  I was born and raised in the Midwest, and after college, moved to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry, and lived there for about 18 years before coming back to the Midwest to be closer to family.  I have four children.  Not the two legged kind, but the four legged kind (no, I don’t live next to a nuclear power plant).  I have three dogs and one cat.

I’m an overweight runner.  Rather, I should correct myself.  I am an obese runner. Read more

How to Survive a Career-Driven Break from Running

Flickr Commons Image by Divine Harvester.

We Salty Runners are ambitious, but that often means running must take a backseat. Flickr Commons Image by Divine Harvester.

If you’re a Salty fan, you probably know what it feels like for running goals to be at the top of your list of priorities.  But you also know that, for nearly all of us, running can’t be the top priority.  Sometimes life happens and you gotta take a break.

It seems to me that most breaks from training come when our bodies dictate a need, like during an injury or a pregnancy. Ginger just wrote about that yesterday, in fact. But there are lots of other reasons it might happen.  Maybe you have to take care of a sick parent, or maybe you’re preparing to move across the country. Unless you’re a pro runner or are independently wealthy, you also might need to take a break when your career requires more attention–I recently did.  And it might be heartbreaking to watch your running goals slip away even when your body is capable. But you can get through it!  Read more

Introducing Juniper!

620592_3712859254888_1502655509_oGreetings and salutations, Salty community! I’m Juniper, and I am incredibly honored to be writing for Salty Running, a blog that has both informed and inspired me. I chose the moniker “Juniper” since it’s a nickname my parents bestowed upon me in my youth as a play on my first name, Jennifer. Coincidentally, it is also the main ingredient in gin, so there’s that.

I married my high school sweetheart and we have two cats, Henry David Thoreau and J. Gatsby. I’m a high school English teacher in real life, a freelance writer on the side, and an elite triathlete in my dreams. In reality, I’m an age grouper, which is still pretty darn awesome. Read more

Running, Nothing Compares To You?

My best Sinead O'Connor impression. No hair was harmed in the making of this post.

My best Sinead O’Connor impression. No hair was harmed in the making of this post.

It’s been seven hours and fifteen days since you took your love away. Actually, it’s been five hours and 14 days since you, achilles tendon, prevented me from running. And much like we all experience, the first few days of surrendering to an injury were not fun. Not only because I couldn’t do that which keeps me sane but I ended up getting this one hit wonder stuck in my head for days on end. And as a result, I started to believe that nothing compares to you, running.

Enter New Year’s day, 2015. Read more

Cleveland Elite Development


CED (in pink) most recently lined up at the USATF Club XC National Championships where they placed a strong 11th out of 43! Photo by Aubrey Alexander.

When you think of elite running organizations, you probably think of Boulder, Colorado or Mammoth Lakes, California. You might be surprised to learn that a group of extremely ambitious women is training to reach the upper echelons of our sport in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 2012 the Cleveland Elite Development team was founded by a group of athletes training in the Cleveland area with one thing in common:  their coach, Glenn Andrews. Prior to the founding of CED, Andrews coached a select handful of runners who found him by word of mouth. One of those runners was me. I began training under Andrews’ guidance in March, 2011 and set almost all of my personal records with his help. Back then, Glenn also coached the ageless Barb Broad to several age group victories in Boston and more, Elizabeth Miceli (Pepper) from a 3:20 marathon PR down to a 2:49 marathon, and Nicole Camp to her first OTQ and then a 2:39:10 at the 2012 Olympic trials. Read more

Holiday Half Marathon: Redemption!

Done and done!

Done and done!

I have raced two half marathons in my life: one was the last race I ran before mysteriously developing blood clots in both of my lungs in August 2011, and the second was just before Christmas this year.

My hopes were high going into this race. Although I never expected to PR again after the PE (pulmonary emboli), this past year has probably been the best running year of my life thus far. And this distance race was the ultimate test. If I could PR in this race, beating the time I ran right before the PE, I could finally say with absolute assurance that I am 100% better, that even if there is some kind of long term damage to my lungs, my body has compensated and it doesn’t matter. Read more

And We’re Back!

Let's make 2015 the year of race day magic! Flickr Commons image by photophilde

Let’s make 2015 the year of race day magic! Flickr Commons image by photophilde

It’s a new year for Salty Running! Woo! We hope you enjoyed whatever holidays you celebrate and that you’re looking forward to making Race Day Magic happen in 2015. And do we ever want to help you!

Because we love you, we won’t be promoting any gimicky diet, telling you how to get six-pack abs in 6 minutes or offering up any kind of get-fast-quick scheme. As always, we will bring you tried and true honest advice to help you improve from the top of your ponytail to the soles of your running shoes.

But wait, there’s more! Over the last two weeks while we weren’t posting new material, we were putting our heads together and plotting out our course for our fourth (!) year. We want to make Salty Running a better resource for improving your running and your life!  While we aren’t going to give away all our secrets just yet, we have some teasers for you after the jump! Read more

5 Ways Running is RUINING YOUR LIFE!!!

TV_5Ahh, infotainment!  I’ve always detested “human interest” pieces in the news; they’re so often transparent ploys to manipulate the audience into associating the news organization with emotional high ground, and they wind up blurring the lines between real, factual news and gelatinous informational flatulence.

I hold infotainment responsible for convincing non-runners that we are ruining our lives by pursuing a hobby that keeps us happy and fit, a position that’s conveniently easy to accept by the millions of couch potatoes who are watching TV news while we runners are out logging miles.  And they just love sending us those links, right?  Because they’re “worried about you,” or “concerned that you’re running too much.”


And so I bring you 5 ways running is ruining our lives.  Let’s go down in flames together, baby! Read more

Know More than Squat about Squats

Photo credit: Casey Mullens, babble.com

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood we stop naturally squatting. Photo credit: Casey Mullens, babble.com

Today I am writing to extol the virtues of the deep squat, and to convince all you Salty Readers to try it and maybe even spend some time in it every day.

Squatting isn’t easy for a lot of us in this country. We don’t do it much once we leave our childhood years, and when we try as adults we either barely get down, or fall over while we’re trying.  Then in the gym we load our squat exercises with heavy weight while our knees cave in, our feet pronate and turn out, and our torsos pitch forward – sounds like an injury waiting to happen, right?  Or maybe we just avoid it entirely, and use the leg press machine instead, isolating our quad muscles but completely neglecting the contribution of our core or our glutes.

But how helpful is that to our functional movement as runners?  Read more

Running Next To Mom: Measuring Yourself Against Women Who Do It All

English: English long-distance runner Paula Ra...

Some women do it all for themselves and for their kids. It’s amazing…and intimidating! (img via Wikipedia)

I’ve been married for 2 years, and my husband and I do not plan on having children. Nope, not ever. I don’t mind spending time with other people’s kids (most days) but I know that I will be content not to have any of my own, and I’m comfortable with the knowledge that I have zero maternal interest or instinct.

There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be a mom, even though grocery store strangers may too often smile smugly and say “Oh, you’ll change your mind.” According to Time Magazine, the current birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded American history, so I know I’m not alone in my preference.  Still, some days it doesn’t seem like there are lot of other people out there with similar plans. For the most part it feels like most women I know over thirty are making serious strides in the baby-making department, or at least heading in that direction. The Spice Rack here at Salty Running is no exception, you may have noticed!

Runner-moms have a dedication and drive that I can’t wrap my head around. I’m not a total slouch, by average American standards, but I know that my life is a heckuva lot simpler and less stressful by average parent standards. I am usually pretty good at not comparing myself to other runners; when I find out another gal is a mom AND a runner, however, it’s game over for my ego. The little I am able to do just doesn’t seem to come close to what the indomitable runner-moms do, and all with kids in tow. Read more

Letting Go of the Numbers Game

Do your results define your running habit?

What happens when the numbers game isn’t your game anymore?

What defines you as a runner? Is it your finish times in races, or placing in your age group? Could it be your mileage totals, or the number of races you’ve completed? Are you a runner who meticulously logs workouts to see if this week’s speed intervals are faster than last week’s?

During a conversation between two runners, you can bet at least one of these topics will come up, because these are the most common ways we use to measure our worth as a runner.  When was the last time you opened a conversation with another runner by asking, “Hey, which workout did you enjoy the most last week?” What’s the first question we ask after a friend completes a race? For me it’s usually, “What was your time?” I don’t think I’ve ever asked if it was fun, or if my friend was smiling as she crossed the finish line. Runners seem to live and die by numbers, whether those numbers are on the clock at the finish line, on our Garmins, or in our training logs.

Have you ever wondered what will happen to your self-worth as a runner when the numbers are no longer your friend? Read more

5 Awards I Would Give out If I Was a Race Director

Friday 5While I was running the Marine Corps Marathon last month, I thought of a lot of things. One train of thought that got me through a few miles was imagining how I would do things if I were a race director. I thought about how boring it is to limit awards to race or age group placement. Even Miss America doesn’t just give awards to the points for poise, bathing suit swagger and … um … what exactly do the judges evaluate during the interview portion?

Anyway, somewhere towards the end of the race, I made a mental note of the awards that I would give out if I were a race director.

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On Comparison, Coaching and Unlikely Mother’s Day Gifts

Shannon Rowbury in the Women's 1500m finals of...

I’m not elite like Shannon Rowbury. And…I know I probably never will be.  But if I take my running seriously like she does, what will people think? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Everyone asked me what I got you for Mother’s Day,” my husband said the next morning. He’d been at work when most families were treating mom to a lovely late afternoon lunch. “I guess they thought I had a deficit to make up, leaving a 9 year old in charge of making the Mother’s Day dinner.”

“What did you say?” I asked, hoping he’d made up a story about flowers and jewelry.

“I told them you asked for a running coach. They thought I was joking, like that was as bad as giving you a vacuum or blender. I tried explaining that you wanted to take your running to the next level and be elite, but they didn’t really get it.”

I swallowed the knot in my throat before the embarrassment filled up to my ears. Elite! You told them I wanted to be an elite? No! An elite version of myself, maybe. But I’m not so delusional as to think I have any business calling myself ‘elite’! Now all your colleagues will think I’m ridiculous and weird and full of myself! What if they find out my times and see what a poser I am? They’re all going to mock me for hiring a coach! Read more

Find Balance! Train the Total Athlete

What's the purpose behind your workout today?

What’s the purpose behind your workout today?

My hamstrings are sore again. They’re getting worse.  I know I should stretch more, but I always forget until I’m running late and then I don’t have time.

I started running because it was cheaper than other exercise.  I can’t afford a massage!

Where does she get off suggesting the gym to me?  I’m a runner! I’m fit enough.

Ugh, cross training?  But I don’t like other kinds of exercise! And if I want to be an amazing runner, I think I should just keep running.

Sound familiar?  Yep.  I get it.  I’m right there with you, in fact.  But over the last year I’ve slowly and steadily warmed up to the reality that there is more to running than just running, and adopted a new attitude toward training my body.  I’m not just training myself as a runner, I’m training myself as an athlete.

What’s the difference? Read more