Cinnamon made Salty Running, takes lots of pictures and drinks lots of coffee. She has 8 more minutes to knock off her marathon for a 3:40 BQ, and will get there or die trying. Her writing is an eclectic mix of finding wholeness as an average runner, news reporting, curious reactions, satirical humor and more.
So I’m reading this book, 12 Rules for Life, by 4chan hero Jordan Peterson. It’s a pretty decent book if you can ignore the fascist-y undertones. The book doesn’t have anything to do with what’s to follow except that I have lobsters fresh in my mind. Mmm, fresh lobster.
Besides being territorial little fighters with an ancient social hierarchy, lobsters are delicious. No, hold on … What was I going to say? Oh yeah.
Besides being delicious, lobsters moult, or shed their shells. They grow a new, soft shell underneath their old, brittle shell, then climb on outta there. For a while after shedding the old shell our lobster friend is mushy and vulnerable, but soon enough she’ll be as strong as before and ready to do her lobster thing. Her new shell is not the same as the old one, but the process gives her the potential for change and growth. Neat!
Note of vindication for metaphor haters: snails do not moult. I looked it up.
In the last pile of words I heaped onto the Internet I hemmed and hawed a bit about the potential fate of Salty Running and whinged some about my own potential fate, should I take on the responsibility of keeping it afloat (heavy is the head, woe to the burden-bearer, blah blah). I have often found whinging to be a fruitless enterprise, but in this case there were fruits! Also neat.
Not only have people pitched me potential new contributors, a few of our former contributors said they would be interested in writing more stuff for SR. Very neat!
Here’s where the lobster business comes in:Read more >>
Running has a metaphor for everything, amirite?
My post last Monday stirred up some activity. In a perfect world I would say, “The response was overwhelming!” I would be moved to breathe life back into the site, to have an open call for contributors and put it all back.
But it wasn’t. And I can’t, at least not the way it was. Although several people unexpectedly came to my aid with emotional support (thank you!) and lots more responded and told me they loved SR and missed it, the overall response wasn’t overwhelming. It was enlightening though, and moved me to give the decision to completely shut down a re-examination. Here’s what I learned:
I am beginning the process of shutting down Salty Running.
Most of you have moved on with your lives and left it already, but every day I’m fielding emails and checking comments and staring at this huge body of work we created trying to figure out what to do.
The word ‘body’ is the right one to describe it, for sure. I feel like I have to be an undertaker to my own friend. I am staring at a giant body, now hollow but once vibrant and full of activity. I loved it, and now I feel an incredible amount of sorrow because this thing I loved has died. I’m at a loss, unsure if I have the ability to make the right decisions.
I made so many friends here. You changed who I was. You gave me something important to pursue, a dream to chase. You made me expect more of myself. You made me push harder and try for more. When you were cheering for me, I did my best.
I don’t want to put it away. I want to build it up bigger than it was, but I can’t do it by myself. Alone, I don’t have the ability or vision to carry it forward and I am uncertain if there is even a need anymore. We set out to create room in the world for a certain kind of woman, and in the last seven years, space has been made. I think we helped a little, and that feels good. Maybe it means the mission is complete. Maybe the good things we gave can be enough to say I did a good thing here.
This has been a really special, life-changing, identity-changing thing for me and it’s hard to let go. I would welcome any input you might have about what to do with the amazing body of work we created together and how to move forward.
I may update, I may not.
This review is in partnership with Running Warehouse, which provided products for testing. Salty Running receives a commission on sales made via our Running Warehouse affiliate link, used throughout this post.
At first glance, I thought the Altra Duo was not the right shoe for me. Altra has long been a champion of the zero heel-toe drop, which I have always been skeptical about. I tend to prefer low-profile, highly responsive shoes, and the Duo’s thick sole is anything but low profile!
Still, Altra bills the Duo as having a “more natural ride,” meaning, presumably, more natural than other high-cushion shoes. Could marrying zero drop with a heavy cushion allow us to reap the benefits of both features? Zero drop without sacrificing comfort, and lots of cushion without sacrificing lightness or “road feel”?
If less is more, can more be more too? I decided to try the Altra Duo and find out.
This review is in partnership with Gear Bunch, which provided the product for testing. Salty Running receives no commissions or other compensation from Gear Bunch.
At first glance, Gear Bunch doesn’t look like the kind of company you’d go to for running clothes, but one look at their incredibly extensive selection of printed leggings and my curiosity was piqued.
I love wearing crazy prints on my legs: socks, leggings, you name it. If it’s striped or plaid or has a psychedelic cat printed on it, I want to rock it hard! So even though I suspected these were fashion leggings and not high-performance running tights, I wanted to try them and hoped they would make an excellent solution for runners like me who like wearing running clothes that take fun to the next level. I can see some of these prints making excellent costumes for themed runs!
So how do these funky fashion-forward leggings perform?
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?
When I first returned to running as an adult I went through a period of time when I didn’t think of myself as a “Runner.” I mean, real runners do stuff like races, right? Then I did some races and thought, “Well, I’m not really a runner, real runners do stuff like marathons.” Then I ran a marathon. “Well, that’s the last one, so I’m glad it was good. Guess I’ll go back to not being a runner.” Then I built a running website for my sister, a real runner. “But I’m not a serious runner like her. I’ve only done one marathon.” Then I ran another marathon. “Well, I’ve never won anything.” Then I won my age group in a 10k. You get the idea.
One day somewhere in there it became undeniable. I am a runner. A real runner. A serious runner. I’ve never won a race, I’m not elite, I’m not chasing down prize money, but I am a real, serious runner and it is obvious to everyone who meets me. Even though I am not training for anything, I am maintaining more than 25 miles per week. There is no longer any way for me to deny my status as “a runner.”
And somewhere along the way I realized I had gotten much better … drastically better … light-freaking-years-better at being a runner, and that I deserved the title. “How?” you may ask. “What’s your secret special sauce to becoming better?” Read more >>
JJH in Utah writes:
I am 49, just started running about a year ago, just got a watch with
a heart rate monitor in it. I am perimenopausal and am taking quite a
few supplements, estrogen and DHEA. Lately, I’ve seen my heart rate go
up as high at 196 at certain points in my runs. My average is about
172-174. Do you think I should be concerned? Or is the average more of
what I should pay attention to?
Wow, JJH, It’s very flattering that you trust us with an important thing like your health!
That said, we’re not doctors. Any time you’re on medication, we strongly encourage you to reach out to the medical professional that prescribed the medication to check for potential side effects that could be exacerbated by heavy exercise.
Our first question is, how hard to you feel like you’re running? If those readings are coming during an easy jog, see below.
But, if you’re getting those readings and you feel any sort of heart flutters or palpitations; if you’re feeling dizzy, short-of-breath, seeing spots, etc. STOP RUNNING. Seek medical attention before you continue.
Okay, but what about the heart rate spikes?
It should be pointed out that wrist-based heart rate monitors are notoriously inaccurate. Even chest strap monitors can have their issues — they need batteries replaced, not to mention you need to have a conducive liquid applied to the electrodes. It is possible, and even pretty likely, that your device isn’t reading your heart rate accurately.
Also remember a number of things can cause your heart rate to be higher than normal: being sick, taking different medications, being stressed, etc.
What numbers should I be looking for?
There are a lot of variables here: age and weekly mileage are two important ones. Provided everything is working correctly … those numbers are way high.
Experts have put out a number of formulae for calculating your max heart rate; some recent studies have adjusted women’s to be 206 minus 88 percent of a woman’s age. For a 49-year-old woman like JJH, that’ 163. MAXIMUM. As in, your heart can literally not beat faster than that. Again, these are fairly generic ways to ballpark your max, and everyone is different.
Generally, regardless of your max HR, easy runs should be 50-70% of your max HR. Speedwork will take you 75-90% depending on the workout — for example, you might do 200m repeats at 90% but tempo runs at 80%.
This primer on pacing may be a good refresher on deciding your pace for a workout.
Hope that helps, and best of luck!
Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Oh yeah, that’s the end-of-summer heat wave that’s been frying most of the US this week.
Even though I’m wringing a pint of sweat out of my sports bra, I know that the autumn equinox was last Friday. So grab a pumpkin spice latte and crack open your sweater drawer: it’s officially fall, baby!
Around here, fall means races … Races … RACES! And, of course, fall also means it’s time to check in with you, dear readers. What races are coming up for you? Are you trying a new plan or sticking to the tried and true? And the big one, what you hope to accomplish this fall?
And remember, goals are so much more than simply running a certain distance in a certain time! Goal setting is much more complex than that. Sure, setting a big PR is great! But sometimes process goals have the biggest payoffs.
What are your goals for the 2017 fall season? How did you set them and why?
You just don’t feel like going for a run, but you know you should, so you push yourself out the door anyway. But once you’re there, it’s a drag. You’re not enjoying it. Your legs feel heavy. Your heart isn’t joyful. You just want to stop, and maybe you do and walk for a while, or cut it short and head home.
Many, if not most, of us have been there. When you run as much as we do, it’s pretty inevitable you’ll reach a point when running just isn’t fun. Maybe it’s just for a day, maybe it’s for a period of time after a big race or maybe it’s a longer-term slump when you’re not training. What to do? Should you spice up your training? Change your strategy? Sign up for a race?
I recently had an insight that these running slumps are a sign that something is out of balance, and although it’s a stretch, I thought maybe I could help myself by thinking about levers. Teeter-totters. See-saws, if you will.
Read more >>
Sometimes I wonder if a race report template exists that all runners use. I started, I ran, it was hard, I finished and a lot of stuff happened in between. I wondered if I could hack the system. If I analyzed hundreds, dozens, or three, race reports, could I crack the code? And if I did, could I leverage my knowledge into the best selling product yet in our SaltyValu™ line: the Race Report Generator? Imagine how many zeros of dollars we could make with this incredible invention!
So, I did just that. Now no need to bother trying to come up with another way to say “toe the line” or “waited in line for a porta-potty”, when with our simple to use questionnaire, we’ll write the report only your mother will read for you!
Use the SaltyValu™ Generator today!
It was a little disheartening that the taxi driver had no clue what was going on when I said, “Staten Island Ferry, please!” I figured he’d just finished a shift of hauling around drunk adults in Halloween costumes, so I wasn’t very surprised.
I WAS surprised when my $50 visa gift card got declined and I had a mini-panic while I tried to figure out how to get to an ATM. Luckily, I happened to be in New York City, where banks outnumber bathrooms, and paid the man with no real trouble. I should have just taken the train like I planned. I’d gotten to the station with plenty of time, but had suddenly freaked out: What if the train got stuck? What if what if what if??
It was 5:55am and I had 4 hours and 20 minutes until the start of the New York City Marathon. You may think I was silly to worry I’d be late, but I am not a lucky person. Especially when it comes to getting places on time. Or when it comes to things going smoothly. Read more >>
Recently, finally, I was cruising up a hill in the park, cool drizzle misting my face, when I noticed the muscles in my face working in an unaccustomed way: I was smiling. Beaming, in fact. My legs turned over faster and faster as I crested the hill and threw my head back. “I want to train, dammit!” I shouted to the damp, empty park. I raised my fist to the heavens, rain pelting my cheeks and mixing with the sweat and salt. “I want to traaaaain!”
It was an epic moment of triumphant release.
And it came crashing down like an ice bath dropped on me from five stories up when I got down to the business of actually training. Read more >>
Hey look! A training log!
Having recently moved back to New York City and gotten 6 weeks of work right off the bat, things have been a little crazy lately. That’s okay! As a professional filmmaker, I’m used to crazy – 13 hour days, physically laborious work, two 6 day workweeks, a whirlwind weekend trip to Virginia, not having a real place to live and apartment hunting all at once are sort of a normal month in the office at this point. Still, jumping back in I thought it best to focus on doing a good job at work and not sacrifice any precious sleep in favor of running, so I only ran when I could easily fit it into the schedule, which meant a few pleasant morning run-commutes, a couple nighttime runs and that’s it, except for the couple “weekend” runs I was able to cram in.
But this week, with an entire movie under my belt, I had a relatively easy week with several short(er) work days, so I thought it would be a good time to start getting back into the swing of things. I managed to eke out 36 miles, which is no small feet having also banked 5 days of work!
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