Finding My Thing

My older sister texted me one of those memes the other day:


img via

I know she meant it as a joke, a “haha” to the fact that I am forever raving about running. I get it: it probably gets old. But it’s been on my mind since.

Today I headed out on a solo 10-miler on a hilly country road. It is 70 degrees out and gorgeous, but my hamstrings felt like painful lumps of lead from my gym workout two days ago.  This was not one of those smooth, effortless runs, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  It was one of those heart-full, appreciative, mindful reflection runs. My mind drifted for 84 minutes about what my own running meme would be. . . Read more

A Chat with Liz Blackwell on Racing, Pregnancy and More!

Not only did she rock it, she rocked it shirtless! Photo by Wendy Shulik.

You can see the 13-mile marker in the distance. You look down at your watch and goosebumps rise on your arms; you’re about to nail a huge PR. Just as you look up, a woman passes you. A synapse fires in your end-of-the-race-foggy brain.

Is that lady..?

No! Couldn’t be. Wait … a sec … OH. MY!

That lady is definitely pregnant!

If you raced the Rock n’ Roll L.A. Half last month, this could have been your experience! Liz Blackwell, a 32-year-old special ed teacher who is nearly seven months pregnant with her second child, blew past the competition to an amazing 1:34:20 half-marathon finish. That’s 7:12 per mile!

We decided we needed to chat with Liz about training, racing during pregnancy, and so much more! Read more

Reader’s Roundtable: Does Running REALLY Help with PMS?

imageOhhhhh LAAAAAAAA-DEEEEEEZ!  It’s that time again, time for another edition of Salty Running’s famous Reader’s Roundtable!

Now why does it sound like I’ve taken the train to Crazy Town?  Well, like me, sometime within the next month you too may be able to bask in the glory of your womanhood by forcing tightly packed rolls of cotton into unspeakable places. So pack your bags and let’s all go a little nuts together, because Aunt Flo’s on her way!

Every woman feels differently in the magical days leading up to THE CURSE.  Perhaps she experiences Psychotic Mood Shifts, Pass More Sweets, Pardon My Sobbing, Pissy Mood Syndrome, or the more generically familiar PMS. Scientists insist that exercise (like running) helps ease PMS symptoms, like bloating, cramping and achy muscles.  But what about a demonic attitude? Theoretically, running may help us re-center.

Before running:

  • everyone-in-the-whole-world-is-taking-advantage-of-me!
  • can’t-they-see-how-hard-we-work?
  • why-wont-they-just-offer-to-goddamn-help-once-in-awhile?
  • seriously-do-you-have-to-keep-making-that-noise?

After running:

  • golly-I-am-so-lucky-to-have-the-best-husband ever.
  • I-love-everybody!
  • I’ve-really-been-a-bitch and I-feel-so-guilty-now.
  • I’m-not-mad-I’m-just-going-to-cry-and-apologize-and-hug-everybody.

So I wanted to ask YOU!

Tell us all about running and your PMS experiences! Does running help your pre-period mood swings, bad attitude or the SADZ? Does running help your physical symptoms too? 

5 Running Lessons from Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill

fri520 years! Alanis Morissette’s breakthrough album, Jagged Little Pill, is now 20 years old. In honor of the anniversary, she is re-releasing the album with some added bonus material and is currently on a press tour to promote and revisit this modern-day classic.

I heard Alanis talking about it on Howard Stern last week. It made me picture my 12-year-old self with my cassette tape pretending I understood the entire depth of her lyrics. (Thank you, Mom, for allowing me to listen despite the parental warning label. You are lucky I never asked you what it meant to go down on someone in a theater!)

Oddly enough, Alanis is a runner. She’s even run marathons, and she’s not bad, either. Listening to the album again the other day on my cell phone, I noticed that many of the songs can be applied to running. Read more

Full Moon to Empty Bladders No More! Gotta Get the Gotta Go Running Skirt!

Does every time we go need to be a peep show?

Does every time we go need to be a peep show?

Peeing. Everyone does it. I do it. You do it. Michelle Obama does it, the Queen of England, Mother Theresa did it, so did Joan of Arc, Kara Goucher, and Salty herself does it and gives advice about peeing when there’s no potty to be found.

Every human in the history of humans has peed. It’s part of the grand Human Experience. For most women however, and women athletes specifically, another part of that human experience involves struggling with this very essential and ubiquitous bodily function.

The struggle need not be so real. There has to be a better way and that better way might very well be a running skirt with a trap door. I’m not even joking. Read more

Run a Sub-3:00 Marathon in Just 4.5 Short Years

First 10

Scenes from marathons 1-10 (not in order)

Over the past four and a half years, I have grown to love the marathon more and more. This doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled along the way, or that I have the whole marathon figured out. However, I have learned a lot through each and every training cycle. In fact, some of my best successes in races have come from looking back and pointing out what worked and what didn’t.

It’s so simple to say: “train and race and just go get the time you want.” In reality, it’s not that simple. I want to take you step by step through the past four and a half years of my marathon career to show you how I went from a 3:46 to a 2:58. And by doing that, I think you’ll learn a lot about finding your own recipe for marathoning success.  Read more

Hey Baby! Handling Harassment on the Run


Street harassment can take a peaceful, powerful run and turn it into a jarring experience.

Because I am a woman, if I am in public I will get harassed at some point. It has been happening since before puberty, as I’m sure every woman on the planet can relate. When I’m running it seems to happen more often than when I’m doing anything else, and I’m fed up.

My nonrunner friends don’t understand. They just can’t relate to the volume of cat calls I’ve had to put up with.  They aren’t outdoors in shorts for 20-30 miles every week in every climate.  They don’t spend hours upon hours of their lives without the shelter of a house, a car or even a group, so they don’t know what it’s like to be exposed out there, often alone…and to get yelled, hollered, or sneered at every day by every lowlife loser from his car, bike, or stoop.

This experience can be so jarring.  You’re having a great run and feeling strong, when suddenly some dude comes along and says something that rips those feelings right out of the air around you.  What do you do?  Do you just put your head down and ignore him?  As for me, I’m a pro at yelling back at harassers, and I say it’s better to let ’em have it if you can!  More after the jump:
Read more

13 Trail Racing Tips for Road Runners

Flickr Commons Image by the Knocksville Track Club.
Flickr Commons Image by the Knocksville Track Club.

After a summer and fall of trail running, the road 5K I was scheduled to race last weekend didn’t seem quite right. Looking for a break for my body and mind, I found a small trail race in a neighboring town with a 5.3-mile option. Perfect!

During the race, however, there were many times I thought to myself: “Huh, this is really a totally different ball game than racing on the roads! I wish I had known….” Those short 5.3 miles taught me a lot, but how much better could I have done if I’d been forewarned of a few key things? Maybe I could have even out-kicked that young runner in front of me at the end; who knows?

I resolved to do my research for next time, and to share my findings with you. I polled my Salty sisters for their best trail-racing tips, and combined these with what I learned. So here you have it: our Salty Collection of Trail Racing Tips for Road Runners. Read more

Pimento’s 2015 NYC Marathon Race Report

It could've been worse. I could've bought this on eBay.

It could’ve been worse. I could’ve bought this on eBay.

The “A” goal was 3:10, the “D” goal was to just enjoy the race and have a great vacation. The result? 3:37:39, my third slowest marathon ever. D-minus. I add the minus because, while I’m very disappointed that after months of high mileage and consistent strength-training I couldn’t pull it together on race day, I’m just as disappointed that my experience of the race was anything but enjoyable.

My friends would tell you I tend to be very hard on myself after a bummer race. I’ve succumbed to negative self-talk both during and after a race, and I’ve worked hard to overcome that in the past several years. I used those skills pretty hard during the race Sunday and in the days following.

Now that I’m a few days out and had time to process and analyze, I think I can describe my New York City Marathon with a minimum of f-bombs. So, what happened? Read more

An Interview with 4-Time Olympian and Masters Running Sensation, Colleen De Reuck

Colleen De Reuck - age 48 of Boulder, CO with chip time of 2:41:24, clock time of 2:41:24 and pace time of 6:09 Flickr Commons image by Michael Dorasch

Colleen De Reuck, then 48, finishing in 2:41:24 for 5th place in the 2013 L.A. Marathon. Flickr Commons image by Michael Dorasch

I was privileged to interview Colleen de Reuck on a rainy Boulder morning, a week after she’d placed first in her 50-54 age group at the Kona Ironman, which included a 3:19:09 marathon during the hottest part of a very hot day.

I immediately recognized the slight runner with her hair pulled back in a tight ponytail, reminiscent of photos of her determined stride to first place finishes. Colleen was in recovery mode, her entire body fatigued from her recent Herculean effort; yet she didn’t look like she’d competed for over 10 hours only a week before. She’s the consummate professional.

Colleen is gracious and humble. The day after her success at Kona, Deena Kastor broke Colleen’s almost ten-year-old US masters marathon record at the Chicago Marathon. When I asked her about it she simply said, “Records are made to be broken.” Read more

C-section Complications and Runners


Becoming a mother can get complicated.

With cesarean deliveries accounting for about one in every 3 births, many of us soon-to-be or new running moms will find ourselves facing a return to running after a c-section. It is my goal to help you make your running comebacks as soon as and as smoothly as possible!

Last week, I questioned the standard c-section recovery recommendations, which require 6-8 weeks off running.  I believe it is acceptable to at least question this advice if you are a seasoned runner and have an uncomplicated c-section.

This week, I want to discuss how other factors about your c-section may affect your return to running.

Read more

Readers Roundtable: What’s the Deal with Virtual Races?

I suppose my confusion makes more sense when yo

Hurry up! Time’s running out to earn your porta-potty medal for running 3.1 miles down your street!

As I scroll through my news feed each morning, it is evident from Facebook’s “suggested posts” that the social media’s fancy algorithms have figured out that I like running. A lot. Lately, Facebook has made it clear that it believes it’s time for me to start virtual racing.

Virtual racing? Have you encountered this too? Have you also found yourself wondering, what the heck is virtual racing and why would anyone do that?

Based on my very scientific research, here’s the deal. You sign up for a virtual race like any other race, filling out a sign-up questionnaire and then paying the entry fee. The difference between virtual racing and regular racing is this:  you run the race distance wherever and whenever you want. That’s right, you enter and pay to go for a regular old run on your regular old route or treadmill or wherever.

When you’ve completed the “race,” you get your race swag, usually a medal. You pay someone else, to run a regular old run on your regular old route and then you get a medal for your efforts. Bravo?

Tell us what you think!

What’s the deal with virtual races? Do they offer any benefit to dedicated runners like us? 

5 Running Dreams Interpreted by Catnip

fri5There I was, breathing hard and going for a big PR. Everything was going according to plan … until we took an unexpected turn off the pavement into some sand. Huh, I thought to my race-weary self.  And then I look ahead and my competitors are swimming like dolphins in a river of rainbow colored water. I, on the other hand, was flailing my weak runner arms and trying not to snort water up my nose.

***BEEP!*** ***BEEP!*** ***BEEP!****

What a relief, it was just a dream! Talking to the other Salties, I’ve come to realize that running dreams are pretty common. But what do they mean?

As your resident Certified A+ Interpretess of All Things Dreamy (what? I got my certificate at the Dream Institute of My Bedroom on Thursday night), I’ve analyzed 5 of the most common running dreams to help you make sense of the madness. Read more

The Key to Short and Sweet (and Inexpensive!) Runcations

With winter coming, a long weekend running somewhere warm with a beach would make a great option!

With winter coming, let’s take a runcation somewhere with a warm beach!

Here is my logic: If you are a woman who loves to run and travel and you have lady friends who also love to run and travel, why not make a short and sweet trip out of it? A run-cation!

A runcation is a short vacation centered around running. It usually involves a race, but need not. The best runcation will be easy to get to and affordable. In 2015 I went on two perfect runcations that I want to tell you about today! Read more

On Runners’ Bodies, Real Runners, and What It Means to Be Dedicated


My legs might not meet any magazine’s definition of runner’s legs, but as legs that run, I’d beg to differ.

This post has been floating around in my brain for quite some time, probably since I started running 5 years ago.  I’ve never put it out there though.  Talking about weight and body type is something that I feel is really important, but to actually do it feels so raw.

At 37 years old, I have plenty of history to share when it comes to my relationship with my body.  I could tell you about the college years when I struggled with eating disorders or what three pregnancies in four years did to me. Instead I want to talk about my relationship to my body as a runner.

I have an average-sized body for a female human, but this body is anything but average when compared to other runners.
Read more