Despite all that unsightly flab poking out over her waistband, by overwhelming consensus Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime performance was AH-MA-ZING, a feather in the spangled lucite pointy cap on top of her decade-long career. Stefani Germanotta has entertained us with strong, powerful lyrics, excellent dance beats, mesmerizing and thought-provoking costumes, all while standing up for the LGBTQ community and sexual assault survivors. Beyond that, though, she’s taught me several things about running too!
Have you heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing expert who recommends decluttering your home by asking yourself, object by object, what brings you joy? If it sparks joy, keep it. Throw out the rest.
Here at Salty Running, some of us have been applying similar philosophies to our training. Mango threw out her marathon time goal, choosing to focus on process goals in training instead. Salty and Ginger have ditched their GPS watches, running by feel instead.
I’ve been going through my mental clutter and I’m throwing out a bunch of pointless thoughts about my weight. Should I weigh less? Should I train harder? Should I buy a scale, record my weight daily and re-read Matt Fitzgerald’s Racing Weight? Rigorously measure my nutrient intake while logging every bite in my food journal? Read more >>
Stephanie Bruce is a talented and dedicated athlete who has put up some insanely inspiring performances mere months after not only having a baby, but her second baby in 15 months and overcoming a nasty case of diastasis recti. Even for a professional athlete, Steph’s comeback is incredible. When she announced her surprise second pregnancy, the general consensus in the pro-runner world was, if she’s serious about making an Olympic team, what is she thinking?! Even Steph herself seemed to feel that way, but she sought help and support and made a back-up plan. And it’s panning out. That is inspiring and it will be a gazillion times more inspiring if she defies the odds and makes the team. Imagine!
But is all the talk about her imperfect, post-pregnancy belly overshadowing her athletic achievements? Are we really celebrating her achievements when all the talk is about how she looks? When a professional athlete is portrayed as “brave” simply for wearing her running clothes in public, is this ignoring or exacerbating a larger issue? If a man were publicizing his body issues, how would we treat him differently? Even if it’s true, does any of that matter?
We want to hear from you! Tell us what you think! Read more >>
As I watch my daughter bloom from a toddler into a spirited, willful little girl my heart yearns for her to maintain the absolute lack of body self-consciousness and self-judgment that she enjoys right now. I watch her twirl without the fear of what others might think, I see her put together outfits and crazy jewelry combinations, not to impress anyone, but simply because they make her happy. She picks out her fantastic curly hair to make it as big as possible and exclaims, “I love my hair!”
Seeing her freedom makes me so happy, but that happiness is twinged with sadness, because as a woman in our world, I know that kind of self-satisfaction is fleeting. And once it’s gone, it’s so incredibly hard to reclaim amidst the barrage of negative messages we receive about our bodies.
Ahhh! Spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner. If you’re like me, you’ve been enjoying the option of running outside without the complications of layers and frozen eyelashes. There’s nothing more amazing than those first few sunshine filled runs after a long winter of treadmills and hibernation.
I’ve always been a sun-lover, but my relationship with that bright yellow orb has become somewhat complicated over the past few summers. We all know that sweaty running can bring with it a host of inconvenient problems, such as chafing, acne, and weird tan lines. It’s a trade-off for being able to enjoy the myriad benefits of endorphins and vitamin D. I have a problem, however, that is becoming a major source of self-consciousness: the upper lip tan.
I lovingly refer to this as my Dirty Sweatstache or my Sweaty Runstache. Call it what you want, but it is a problem. After a few years of feeling insecure and having to find correct picture angles and Instagram filters that minimize the look of my ‘stache, I finally decided to consult a dermatologist to get some answers about what this is and how I can get rid of it. Read more >>
My track team at West Point had an unofficial motto, “If you can haul it, you can have it!” As Army girls, we were required to do pushups, pullups, march with heavy rucksacks, and perform other physical tasks that most civilians in running programs didn’t have to do. All this work made us very strong, but also made us look very big and muscular. Standing on the starting line at competitions we always felt beefy compared to the other college runners. Our team captain, a sprinter who happened to be a multiple league champion, had a booty beyond compare. And since she could haul it, well, she certainly showed everyone that she could have it.
During the Boston Marathon, the announcers made much of statistics showing the top runners have grown shorter and lither through the years. Runners are tiny people?
I’m 5’2″. Over the years, I’ve had multiple people comment about how difficult it must be for me to keep up with people who have long legs. Have you ever heard someone say about someone else, “Shouldn’t she be smaller since she runs so much?” Or the reverse, “Look how thin she is! She runs too much.”
Clearly there is some image people have in mind for what a runner looks like. What is it? Do you look like a runner?
Recently, I had a flare up of body image blues. Normally running helps me manage the menacing inner voice that tells me I am not enough. “The Voice” tells me to engage in destructive eating and exercise patterns for the sole purpose of making my body look better. I’m sure it has something to do with my recent struggles with injury and a move across the ocean leaving me less-equipped to tell The Voice to zip it.
Despite my progress coming back from my stress fracture, solid workouts and logging steady mileage for the first time in months, The Voice has been loudly telling me I am worthless. As one would expect, my pace during this recovery period has been on the slow side, but The Voice tells me I will never get faster so why bother training to perform. The Voice tells me, instead, to work on getting “fitter.” At best, The Voice reminds me that I am below average. At worst, it tells me I am disgusting.
As a person who is in constant recovery from an eating disorder, I should have recognized the thought patterns and sought support right away, but I didn’t. Read more >>
So we went to Jacksonville and now you know our reasons, but perhaps you are left wondering why a back or middle of the pack runner would care about Jacksonville. About elite runners. How are these fast women connected to you? Why should you care?
To dispel any myths here: my first race had a mile pace of 15 minutes and my last race had a pace of 7:45. I’ve been the slowest woman on my team many times, and it’s pretty rare that I can hang with the fast crowd. I’m happy with my progress, but really over four years of writing for SR I’ve gone from solidly average to just a hair above average. As for Jacksonville, a week ago I was essentially in the same boat as most other mid-packers. I’ll likely never compete with these elite women or at their level, so before this weekend I didn’t think that I fit into any discussion about them.
I knew Jacksonville would be fun, and was excited to spend time with my sister there, but throughout the experience I wasn’t quite certain what our role was. Salty tried to explain her ideas to me, but it didn’t really amount to much out of context. Obviously we had taken on a job, providing media coverage of women at the biggest elite field a small scale half marathon had ever seen, but … why? Salty Running isn’t the Gawker of running, or even the New York Times, but something was nonetheless compelling me to do this exhausting work. Something bigger.
Something that affects you.
Read more >>
Here at Salty Running, we know moms-to-be can keep running as long as their pregnancies are normal. But I knew I wasn’t exactly going to have a “normal” pregnancy, at least not mentally. When I first saw those two pink lines, I admit that negative thoughts of inevitable weight gain and reduced mileage flooded my mind, despite the blissful joy of realizing I’d been blessed with my little “nugget.” Running gave me a healthy pregnancy, both mentally and physically, but it was a slippery slope that I had to keep in check.
Having a history of eating disordered habits I knew I’d be at high-risk for engaging in restrictive behaviors once I began to gain weight. I also knew my eating disorder (or the “drill sergeant,” as I’ve come to refer to it through the years) would not be keen on the idea of cutting back mileage. My husband and medical team would be on watchdog alert for the next nine months, and I would feel guilty for causing worry.
Luckily I had a secret weapon on my side: I’m a runner. Read more >>
Recently at the end of a good, fast stroller-pushing run I finished up at the gravel pull-off where I’d parked, my daughter still fast asleep. I’d run my last mile in 7:39, quite a feat these days with her 35-pounds and our 10-pound dog riding together for seven miles. Not to mention I was still clearing out my cold and its residual phlegm.
Feeling pretty badass, I snot-rocketed out each nostril then pulled up my shirt to get the snot that didn’t clear my upper lip. I looked up mid-wipe to see an older couple sitting in the truck parked right next to my car, staring at me through their open windows. The woman had her hands over mouth, her eyes round behind her grandma glasses. The man appeared to be holding in a chuckle.
“Oh… God… I… Well, I didn’t see you there,” I lamely explained, pulling my shirt back down over my suddenly super-mini running skirt, noticing the huge sweat circle on my chest, the matching ones under my arms, and the smear of snot on my hem.
“Quite the LADY,” the woman observed.
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 >>
I’ve never had a bosom to speak of. In elementary school, my friends and I read “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and publicly I laughed along with my friends at Margaret’s attempts to increase her bust. Privately, I tried that same move in my bathroom.
I looked forward to turning 16, that magical age where all Disney princesses and golden California twins end up with perfect size 2 bodies, waists smaller than their necks, and disproportionally huge racks. Sixteen came and went, then 20, then 24 … and to my disappointment, my chest stayed improbably in the 32/34-A range, my convex sternum protruding like a gravestone marking the death of my hope for some real boobs. Read more >>
It’s always sunny in Social Mediaville! Other than a few of those whiner friends who you keep forgetting to block, Facebook is a land where everyone is always smiling and looking fantastic. When it comes to our runner friends and (let’s be honest) ourselves, we’re always running fast and feeling fan-effing-tastic in Social Mediaville. We tweet about how that race we ran was actually just a tempo and we could have totally gone faster if we wanted to. According to every status update, nothing ever hurts on our perfectly toned, tanned and runnerific bodies.
But come on! None of that is true. There is most definitely a very dark side to all of our running lives. Behind the cheery Instagrams, post-run selfies, and the one good race photo among thirty taken in every race, there is a runner who feels pain, poops in inappropriate places and just plain struggles. There is a dark side to our seemingly endless motivation, dedication, hard work and fit bods that lurks behind our sunny social media lives.
I am a runner. It defines me. Whether I’m kicking my training plan’s butt or in a running rut, I’m still a runner. So when it comes to my body, I am more into what it does than how it looks.
Even so, from time to time when I step on the scale I still critically examine my muffin top in the mirror, and go to drastic measures (like skipping dessert) once in a while if I feel like my physical form is “slipping.” I struggled with body image as a youngster because I was somewhat stocky, but I started cross country in high school and through running discovered my body could take on a shape other than round. Except for a brief period of time while I was in an unhealthy relationship and had to hear about how fat I was (it’s amazing what we let others convince us of when we are young and naive!), I’ve never thought I had a real problem with body image.
But then I heard my 13 year old daughter call herself fat. Read more >>
Chances are you’ve heard of Anorexia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa. Binge Eating Disorder. Maybe even EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). Long-distance runners have some tendencies to flirt with eating disordered behaviors; after all, we’re somewhat obsessed with health, nutrition and exercising. That’s all fine and dandy, unless it’s taken too far.
For some, our personalities and obsessive running habits enter into the dark side, leading toward full-fledged, diagnosable mental illnesses. I should know, having battled one throughout my twenties and still struggling to stay in recovery. Before I started the recovery process, I had never heard of orthorexia, which is a version of ED that takes healthy eating habits to an extreme. With so many runners following strict diets from gluten-free to vegan and paleo, we at Salty Running thought it would be wise to shed some light on the topic! Read more >>
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