I stumbled upon Salty Running through a former coworker, who like me, appreciated a good snarky comment (that was also totally based on fact). I read a few posts, started saying my piece in the group’s #SaltyChat on Twitter, and connected with another mom-to-be. When I saw that the group was looking for new contributors, I jumped at the opportunity to immerse myself with other like-minded, lady runners.
I am a museum curator living outside Washington, D.C., with my fiancé. When I’m not running, you can find me snuggling with my dog (a black lab mix), visiting museums (I can’t fight it), trying to remember to read for pleasure, bookmarking recipes I probably won’t ever make, and (gulp!) planning a wedding.
As of this fall, I’ve been running for 20 years. Just with any two-decades-long relationship, running and I have a complicated history. Like many runners, I started as a soccer player, initially joining the 7th grade cross country team to get in shape for soccer, my preferred sport. But I soon found that running came naturally: my slight frame was much better suited to covering long-distances than fighting bigger, stronger girls for the ball.
I continued running cross country and track in high school, which is when I discovered one of the magic secrets of the sport: the harder you work, the better you will be. Over four years I gradually improved. Eventually, I met my senior-year goal of finishing in the top five at our championship meet and breaking 19:00 in the 5K. That moment, when my dedication and discipline paid off, remains one of the happiest of my life.
After graduating from high school, I joined my D1 college team as a walk-on. I was one of the slowest people on a team of talented standouts. Here, I discovered another secret of running: sometimes hard work isn’t enough.
My college running career was marred by frequent injury and frustration. I learned that my body is not genetically suited to the high intensity of a D1 program. More significantly, the disciplined approach that had previously served me well led to a pattern of disordered eating and obsessive cross-training that made my injury problems worse. Throughout college, I had a handful of successful races but mostly found myself in a cycle of injury after injury. In the fall of my senior year, I learned that I had a labral tear in my hip. I opted to get arthroscopic surgery to repair it. Surgery had a 4-6 month recovery, so my college career was over.
In the years after college, I ran only to stay in shape. Emotionally exhausted from constant injury, I chose running over running fast. I was scared to train hard and set goals out of fear that my body would betray me again. To be honest, it was liberating to not feel obligated to run. Being away from the intense college environment helped me recover from disordered eating habits.
I started lifting weights, doing yoga, and gained 15 pounds. Still, I missed running: the camaraderie of being on a team, the crisp scent of fall leaves on a cross country course and the tired-to-the-bone satisfaction of completing a hard workout. So after some time I started running a little more, eventually signing up for a couple half-marathons. Seeing that I could run longer and stay healthy was exhilarating, so I decided to register for a fall 2016 marathon, with a goal to BQ. I trained conservatively, but neglected to keep up with my strengthening and #extrasalt. With one month to go, I felt a sharp pain in my IT band that wouldn’t go away. I never made it to the start line.
A year later, I’m learning a third secret: working smart is more important than working hard (secret 3a: strengthen your damn glutes!). I don’t think I will ever be someone who can run every day or log 60-mile weeks. I will likely always have to do those annoying PT exercises to stay healthy. And that’s OK. By knowing and accepting the limits of my body, I can push myself to the edge, my edge, without going over.
I wish I could say I’m now training for that marathon again, but I recently learned that I have another labral tear in my hip — the same hip as before. Apparently my bones are shaped in such a way that they are inclined to tear the cartilage. I’m hoping to avoid surgery this time, instead focusing on physical therapy, which has worked for others with this injury. My goal is to get back to running consistently and maybe, just maybe, cross a marathon off my bucket list one day.
Here at Salty Running, I will write about chronic injury, disordered eating, and returning to competitive running after a very long hiatus. A huge fan of the sport, I’m also excited to keep tabs on the world of track and field and the history of women’s running. I can’t wait to get to know you all!
Hello all! This is Angelica. As a tall herb, native to northern regions, it’s a name that suits me and my Michigan background quite nicely. I’m not sure I can claim to be as quick-witted as the Angelica of Hamilton fame, but I did spend my first four decades happily studying to become an academic and then becoming a professor. I’m still more comfortable identifying as a nerdy intellectual than as an athlete.
And yet, after I had my second child and turned 40, something happened. I had to figure out an efficient way to keep high blood pressure under control and stave off the inevitable results of my cheese, crackers and wine solution to the stresses of combining professor-life and mom-life. When some friends started running with the Couch to 5K program, I figured if they could do it, I could do it.
I ran my first 5K in August 2009 at age 40. I loved it, but I didn’t race again for over a year. But I kept running a couple times a week, generally for 30 minutes or so. Then in fall 2010, a friend asked me to run with her. I found the prospect terrifying but intriguing and pretended to be injured to buy myself an extra month of training time. She brought me along gently, moving our starting time earlier and earlier and extending our distance little by little until I was somehow running five miles on trails in the dark with a headlamp. I started meeting another friend for a weekend event I’d read about in Runner’s World: the “long run.” Longer than five miles even! When a third friend asked me to join her Ragnar team the following spring, my fate was pretty much sealed and I became a runner.
For the next few years I ran Ragnars and half marathons mixed with the occasional 5K. I had a total blast, made a ton of new friends, and found my running clothes drawer slowly expanding to fill an entire dresser. Periodically my long run buddy and I would take quizzes entitled “Do you want to run a marathon?” and the answer was always a resounding no. But gradually, the “no” became less resounding. Then the Boston marathon bombing happened, and I knew it was time to run one after all. In fall 2013, I ran the Hartford marathon and fell in love with the distance, though not with my finishing time of 5:27.
I’ve spent the last four years trying to run a faster marathon with some successes (a 4:09 in Philadelphia!), some heart breakers (barely finishing Vermont City before they called the race due to heat), and a couple of more serious injuries (a bulging disc in my back and a wicked case of plantar fasciitis). Along the way, I’ve been lucky enough to make some amazing friends and run in some beautiful places. I discovered a courage inside myself I didn’t know I possessed and I’ve bid adieu to the wallflower-me of the past. The discovery of my passion for running has been a great and unexpected gift.
I’d never be able to pursue this passion without the support of my family. As a two-career couple with two children, ages 9 and 13, my husband and I juggle crazy schedules, manage kid activities, and share laundry, cooking, and cleaning up the cat vomit. Our lives are sometimes stressful, but that is because they are full. I’m coming off a nine-month bout of plantar fasciitis and just started running again over the summer. During my time off, I learned a lot about myself and how running fits into my life. I value my connection to the running community and my ability to run more than ever. I’m looking forward to sharing my further adventures here at Salty Running!
I am super excited to be joining the ranks as one of the newest flavors in the Salty Running repertoire. As the Avocado of the group, I’m hoping to add a certain amount of good fat to the crew and if you’re wondering, yes, I do make a mean toast. Although I am currently on the DL after hip surgery to repair a labral tear, I’ve still got some big goals and I’m learning some even bigger lessons along the way.
I live in Boston and when I’m not running (or at the moment, thinking about running), I can be found exploring a good hiking trail with Mr. Avocado and my dog, Lincoln, traveling or wishing I was traveling, or scoping out a good brewery.
My running journey started toward the end of college when I decided on a whim to train for and run a half marathon. I’m one of those runners who loathed running in high school, then used it to fight off the beer and late night dining in college — and then fell down that slippery runner slope after one race. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good long run.
After college, I continued to run but it wasn’t until April 21, 2013, that I decided to finally run my first marathon. My now-husband and I had gone down to the finish line of the Boston Marathon to catch some friends cross the line. After waiting in a bar one block away from the finish, a series of tiny, seemingly insignificant events prevented us from walking out onto Boylston Street exactly as the first bomb went off. As we walked home through the haze and devastation that day, I decided it was finally time to run my first marathon and I vowed to do everything I could to qualify and return the next year in honor of everyone who could not. That was the push I needed and 6 weeks later, I ran the Buffalo Marathon in a painful 3:29. When I passed my family at mile 20 I yelled, “I’m never doing this again!”
Oops. I have since run 6 marathons, 3 Bostons, a handful of halves, tried 2 coaches, battled one eating disorder, missed running sub-3:00 by 42 seconds at Boston, had one sacral stress fracture, a hip surgery and a partridge in a pear tree.
The rest is a blur of training and racing and finding my way within the world of running. There have been some extreme highs and some heartbreaking disappointments, but that’s what I love about running. Nothing else in the world can bring me such a rush, whether good or bad. And nothing else has taught me more about pushing myself to new heights or about accepting defeat and all of the lessons that come along with the heartbreak of failure.
My running journey has had about as many ups and downs as the back half of the Boston Marathon course but I’m not willing to give up yet. Instead, I’m excited to share more about my road to recovery, my quest for sub-3 and all that this sport has taught me along the way. So I’ll be over here offering unsolicited commentary on coming back from injury, fighting off the inner demons that come with running and mostly just showing you photos of my dog.
Hey y’all! You can call me Sesame!
I was born and raised in Sweet Home Alabama, where the skies are so blue and as it turns out, the governor is not always true. In real life I am a Certified Public Accountant, but here on the interwebs I identify as a runner. I’m still in Alabama, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to share some snippets of my running journey with you guys here at Salty Running!
I am a lover of coffee, candy corn, nature, naps, puppies and sunsets. In my spare time (i.e., when not working or running) I also enjoy writing, playing tennis, playing fetch with my fur baby (Brooks) and spending time on the water, either skiing or paddle boarding.
I joined the track team my sophomore year of high school as a discus thrower. The next year I was recruited (and by recruited, I mean that they needed a person and I was a person) to run the 4X800-meter relay. If you are familiar with track at all, you likely know that racing 800 meters hurts something fierce. While high school track was my first introduction to the sport of running, I wouldn’t classify myself as a running enthusiast at that point.
I took “jogging” as an elective my freshman year of college (really) and got a little more into running then. I ran my first 5K at the end of the semester and on race day, 3.1 miles was the farthest I ever ran without stopping. From there I progressed up to a 10K, a 10 mile race, and then trained for my first half marathon. I really enjoyed the whole process of working towards a goal and subsequently completing that goal. I was on my way to being officially hooked.
I decided to train for another half marathon, but unfortunately, this is where things got a little messy. I was attacked on a run, kidnapped and raped repeatedly, but (somewhat miraculously) I was released. This event changed the trajectory of my life. At first, the effects were devastating. I developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and an eating disorder in the wake of the attack. My sense of self was completely shattered. I completed the half marathon that I was training for, but retired my running shoes for several years after that race.
Over the years, I have been able to find peace, comfort and healing. I ended up meeting my husband somewhat indirectly as a result of the attack. We are from the same town and I knew that he was a runner. I also knew that I wanted to get back into it at some point and so I decided to reach out to him for suggestions about safe routes and groups to run with. He ended up becoming my permanent running buddy and I now consider myself to be a full-fledged running enthusiast! I love to race and I do so quite frequently. I run in a lot of small, local races and occasionally find my way to the start line of bigger, more prestigious events (I’m looking at you Boston and New York).
The absolute highlight of my running career came in 2015 when I somehow managed to win the Rock-n-Roll marathon in New Orleans, LA. I was on cloud nine for weeks after that race! The race win brought closure to a period of hurt and struggle and in my mind, I had transitioned from victim to victorious. I truly believe that the trials and hardships that we face will ultimately lead to life’s greatest blessings and that every day and every mile in between will bring new perspective, more clarity and a greater sense of purpose.
I’m currently training for the First Light Marathon (January 2018) and depending on how the training shakes out, I hope to chase the elusive sub-3 hour marathon! I’m looking forward to sharing lots of miles with you guys!
What has running taught you over the years?
Born and raised in Michigan, I moved to Indiana 23 years ago, 5 years later met and married the geologist of my dreams and settled in Indianapolis, Ind., where we live today. I was always involved in clubs and groups, but nothing athletic. While working full time throughout grad school, I got heavier and more unhealthy.
Suddenly, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. And so my life changed — I became a runner and a triathlete and fell in love with endurance sports. Read more >>
I am a tried and true morning person who loves the silence before dawn and the returning from my miles to a warm cup of coffee. I balance the miles in my training log with strength training and my second love, indoor water rowing. I never miss a Sunday row class, unless I have a race, of course! Read more >>
I was born and raised in the Chicago land area — Go, Cubs, Go! — by a very strong teenaged single mother — the OG Adobo — and later, my adoptive father joined our crew.
Running came into my life when I was headed towards a downward spiral of “partying like it was 1999”. Lots of party drugs, booze, little sleep and no self control. I was self-medicating and things were not trending well.
Read more >>
But I wasn’t always a runner, far from it actually. At track and field day in elementary school we had to choose one “long” event, 800 or 1500 meters. I remember hating running so much that I started walking about 20 meters into the 800, and walked all 720 meters thereafter. I’m pretty sure I cried too. Instead of running, I spent my time in dance and curling, and later I even fell in love with competitive swimming.
By the time I was 19, I was unhappy and stressed out as I neared completion of my first year of university. I needed an outlet, preferably one that didn’t revolve around a gym schedule, something flexible. Around the same time, my mom joined a “learn to run 5k” group back home. If she could run, I certainly could, or so I thought. I laced up my shoes and ran for roughly 200 meters before I had to stop. Read more >>
Hello! This is Chili. I’m originally from Newfoundland and I currently reside in Eugene, Oregon, otherwise known as “TrackTown USA”. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice with a specialty in eating disorders and body image issues.
As far back as I can remember, I was a runner. In the days when kids played outside late into the evening, I would coax all the neighborhood boys into races through the woods behind my home. And I always won.
I raced track through elementary, middle and high school and I held a position on the provincial track team for Newfoundland. I raced indoor and outdoor track in Canada until I went to college. At that point, I took a 17-year hiatus from running and returned as a “distance” runner in my 40s. Read more >>
Well hello there. I’m Hops, a former three time All-American at James Madison University, currently on the comeback train after having my second child.
I got my start in running as a mediocre hurdler and high jumper, who later turned into a decent distance runner. I was injured a lot in high school and, although I ended up choosing a college with a great running program, I wasn’t initially planning on running. I didn’t think I had what it takes to run in college, let alone at the D1 level.
But something gnawed at me once I set foot on campus, and I decided to talk with the coach and see if they’d let me walk on. Somehow I eked onto the team with my meager running resume. I was the slowest woman on the team. I barely talked during any of my freshman cross country season runs because I was so out of shape. I barely survived practice, just holding on for dear life at the back of the pack.
Hello, Salty Readers! I am thrilled to be joining this strong and fierce group of women in the Salty community. I am currently chasing down PRs in the road racing world and work a full-time job at the University of Toledo where I coach cross country and track and field.
I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and was always very active. Since we lived in a rural town, there wasn’t much to do other than play outside until the sun went down. My dad was in the military so when he trained for physical training tests, I would join him on his two to three mile runs on a small trail in town. That is where I discovered my love for running; I felt free and on top of the world! Read more >>
Hey Salties! I am so honored to be here! You can call me Turmeric, which is known for many healing properties. It seemed like a great choice, as just under a year ago, my husband and I experienced a miscarriage. I have spent these last ten months recovering and healing. The hole in our hearts will never be completely filled, but we are doing our best to patch it up. Our grief brought us closer than ever as a couple, and we have learned to never take the small things for granted!
I am originally from a town called Waukesha in southeastern Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee. I began running in middle school, when I showed up for cross-country practice thinking we were literally going to be running across the country. The coaches told my parents I was too thin to run, that I needed some meat on my bones. Little did they know, I had been athletic since I was about 6, mostly as a speed skater. I was determined to prove them wrong. Read more >>
Hello Salty Nation! I’m Zest, and I’m thrilled to be here! I’m a distance runner in Washington, D.C., by way of Louisville, Kentucky. I run because I enjoy competition and I like pushing myself to be the best, fastest version of myself that I can be. So, naturally, when I stumbled on Salty Running a couple years ago, I immediately knew I had found my people.
I haven’t always been a runner; growing up, I was a field hockey player. I played throughout middle school and high school and then for a Division I program in college. For the majority of my career, I actively tried to avoid running. Running long distances was for either conditioning or punishment, and, either way, I was not a fan. Plus, I was a goalkeeper, and most of my training focused on short sprints and plyometrics, not running miles at a time. I vividly recall one conversation with my dad, who had started running marathons after I left for college, in which I told him that he was crazy and that I would never, ever have the desire to run that far.
Hi Salts, Chicory here. For years, my social media bios have read, “Runner, Writer, Renegade.” When I came across Salty Running, I knew I had found kindred spirits. I’m honored and excited to become a part of the team.
This May marked my tenth year of running. When I started, I could not have imagined where it would lead. Running became so much more than a hobby for me — it is the biggest constant in my life over those 10 years, even when I was injured and not running as much.
I sporadically played sports in high school but never seriously; three years of varsity soccer and two years of track, where the coaches were such novices that they let me run the sprints. In college, I did no structured exercise for my first three semesters.
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