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Are you a skirt runner? I’ve never been completely down with the running skirt thing. I wore one when I was pregnant, but that’s only because it was the only maternity running garment I could find at the time. Otherwise, I don’t do skirts for running. They’re just not my thing. I like simple garments. The skirt seems superfluous over the attached shorts. It reminds me of that gym shorts over sweatpants thing people used to wear. (Wouldn’t shorts AND pants make your crotch hot? Don’t get it.) Plus, skirts don’t say fast to me. Maybe I’m being sexist in my garment choices, but skirts seem too easy breezy and joggy and not let’s-get-serious-and-RUN! Maybe I’m missing something.
Of course, just as I was accepting of my sexist and simple non-skirt wearing stodgy shorts-wearing self along came an even bolder trend: the running dress.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a cute dress. I’m a bit girly when it comes to that. I admittedly like to look pretty in my non-running life. Plus dresses are so easy–one piece and away we go. There’s no coordinating necessary and dresses tend to fit even with minor weight fluctuations where pants and skirts can be way less forgiving. I loved dresses when I worked in-house as a corporate attorney and I love them as a mostly stay-at-home mom. But my runner self can’t really get down with a running dress.
To me they are running skirts on ‘roids. They seem even less like something I could run hard and fast in. I’d love one to wear after a run when I’m chasing the kids around the playground, but not when running. Sorry! I must be weird though, because running dresses appear to be a big thing. Many major running apparel companies make a version and there is even an entire company dedicated to “exercise dresses.” I’m curious what you think:
Whether you’re like me and think running dresses are a strange phenomenon or think they’re the greatest thing since spandex, here’s a gallery of running dresses for your viewing pleasure:
1. The Nuu Muu Bluebell is available here. (Nuu Muu is the exercise dress company).
2. The Nike Running Dress is available here.
3. The Skirt Sports Wonder Girl dress is available here.
4. The New Balance Bonita Running Dress would be available here if it wasn’t sold out.
5. The Patagonia Women’s All Weather Running Dress is available here.
6. The Oiselle Runaway Bride Dress is available here. (holy sticker shock!)
I‘m not sure what motherhood looks like to my running friends that don’t have any children yet, but I can’t be doing it too wrong since most of them talk often about their desire to have kids of their own. At least I haven’t scared them away from becoming parents! Until now.
Kidding! None of these things I’m about to tell you is all that bad, even if it sounds like it. I will save you the drippy how-great-motherhood stuff-is speech, but I assure you all the speeches you have heard thus far do not do the experience justice. That being said, here are five of the surprises possibly awaiting should you follow along down the parenthood path.
1. When you’re pregnant, despite all your pre-pregnancy hopes you may not want to run much. Before I became pregnant with my first child I envisioned my knocked up self as super fit race-prime self with a pillow under my shirt. I imagined running miles and miles happily glowing and showing off my adorable bump under my spandex. The truth was that during the first trimester I was beyond exhausted before I was even showing and nauseous 100% of the time. I was even a little scared, especially the first time. I hadn’t known any pregnant runners at the time and I was petrified I’d screw something up. My motivation to run took the biggest nose dive it has ever taken. I think I had more motivation to run when I had a 103 fever and the flu than I did during the first trimester of both pregnancies. It took every pep talk I could muster to manage about 20 miles a week during the first trimester. Things were better the second and much of the third trimester, but by then I was out of shape from only running 20 miles a week and had other fun things to deal with like shooting pain in my pelvis and achy ligaments around my belly.
2. Which means you might gain a ton of weight. So, yeah. I imagined my pregnant running self would look like this:
What I actually got was this:
Sure, I didn’t look terrible as far as pregnant people go but I gained 50 lbs. both times as demonstrated by my chunko legs and crazy chubby face. By the way, neither child was 50 lbs. at birth!
3. Which means that quite possibly after the baby finally comes out none of your old clothes will fit you for a long time. I actually brought pre-pregnancy clothes to the hospital both times. That stuff, even if it’s your fat clothes, is probably not going to fit you for several weeks to months if ever. At 3.5 weeks pregnant with my daughter, before I even found out about her existence, I looked like this:
3.5 weeks after I delivered her I looked like this:
Do you think that singlet and running shorts would fit on the mommy in that photo. NO! Pack maternity clothes in your hospital bag and save your significant other a trip home searching for something muumuu shaped to bring to you so you don’t have to wear a hospital gown on your drive home from the hospital.
4. Also, once that baby comes out you likely won’t sleep well for a long time. Maybe years. You’ve heard the whole no-sleep thing before, but I found it different than what everyone told me it would be. Sure, I was literally up all night for a few weeks after each baby was born, but 3 years later and I can probably count on one hand the nights when I haven’t had to tend to a kid in the middle of the night. That means when you’re dog tired after running 75 mile weeks you will likely not enjoy continuous sleep. Also, kids don’t care that the only time you can get a workout in is at 5:00 a.m. They will figure that out and decide to be pains-in-the-@$$es at 4:59 and screw up all your plans. But they are cute and eventually develop an attention span to watch a show while mommy pounds out some miles on the treadmill in the basement.
5. Oh, and make sure you own a lot of black running shorts. I was incredibly dismayed at my lack of bladder control while running after I had my first child. It took about 5 months before I stopped regularly peeing my pants while running. I wore pads and was mortified. By the time my second came around I didn’t care so much. I just wore black spandex and brought a change of shorts so I didn’t smell homeless while we ate lunch and played on the swings after our stroller runs. I probably should have done more kegels.
Bonus: You might also forget what day it is. For instance, I just realized today is Thursday and not Friday.
Hey Salty Runners!
This is Cinnamon, Salty’s sister. I’d like to take a quick moment to thank all of you gals (and guys too) for following this site. Not very long ago, this online resource and community was still a crazy idea, then Salty’s New Year’s resolution, and now to see a concrete version of it taking shape is really amazing! We never thought it would grow so fast, but because of you Salty Running is gonna need a little more room…
With all the great articles Salty’s been cranking out, you may be surprised to hear that this is just the beginning. Pretty soon we’ll be rolling out the red carpet for the real deal, and we just know you’re gonna love it.
In the meantime, the current site and its content will continue to be available at saltyrunning.wordpress.com. And don’t worry – we’ll be posting new content when we conduct our full launch of the new improved site very soon! Stay tuned!
Confused about what shorts to wear in your next? Don’t worry. We at Salty Running are here to help. This highly scientific quiz will reveal the correct bottoms for your big race!
1. It’s Girl’s Night Out! We’re most likely to spot you:
a) Sipping wine on your best friend’s patio;
b) Sharing a laugh with friends at a downtown microbrewery;
c) Dancing on the bar in your leather pants.
2. If we opened your purse we’d find:
b) Shiny pink gloss;
c) Drop dead sexy red lipstick.
3. It’s vacation time with your man. You’re excited to:
a) Hike and bike in;
b) Pub hop in!
c) Lay topless on the beach in.
4. You run a race and win! You’re first thought:
a) I’m going to cherish this plaque!
b) I hope the gift certificate is for something I can use.
c) I better call my broker.
5. You’re scoping out marathons to run in the fall. You’re most likely to choose:
a) A small local trail race with hopes of finishing strong;
b) A medium sized race in which you hope to place in the top-twenty; or
c) Go for the appearance fee in.
If you answered mostly A’s you should wear:
Bike length shorts. The beauty of these babies is after the race you can throw on a pair of rain boots and a bike home with your plaque in the jaunty basket.
If you answered mostly B’s you should wear:
Boy shorts. Boys are usually sold separately.
If you answered mostly C’s you should wear:
Ok. I lied. This is not scientific at all. You should wear whatever makes you feel amazing! Expect to see me in those shiny blue bunz next race!
1. If you have naturally beautiful auburn hair, don’t dye it blonde.
5. Talk is cheap.
Ok, so this list of 5 things is itself a little cheap. The only one that really counts (for most of us, anyway) is that last one. Talk is cheap. Let me explain.
Several years ago Lindsay Lohan was a precocious teenager with the world at her fingertips. She was adorable, scrappy and clearly talented. She had several movie projects and a singing career and Aaron Carter. (well, the first two were evidence of how great she had it).
And then she started partying and then being known more for her partying than her work. And now she hasn’t worked on a movie or an album or anything really in eons and there are obituaries written about her ready to be posted at the first mention of her overdose. It’s sad really.
But all along, LiLo has talked about her desire to win an Oscar, to be at the top of her craft. With her wraspy smoke addled-voice and hung-over glassy eyes and her overly-plumped limps, she talks about her career aspirations during her post-conviction or post-rehab stint interviews. Just yesterday morning on the Today Show Matt Lauer asked an almost unrecognizable Lindsay where she hopes to be in five years. She answered, “hopefully I’ll have just come back from the Oscars this weekend.”
I hope so too. But Lindsay saying that’s where she wants to be isn’t going to make it happen. It’s like she’s resting on the reputation she had as a 15 year old and feels entitled to be an actor with the Oscars within her grasp. But what about the 1000’s of other actors working their tails off day and in day out just scraping by with hopes of being an extra on Law and Order? Why is this young woman with huge gaps in her resume more worthy of acting’s highest honor than any of those folks?
It’s like Shalane Flanagan dying her hair red, quitting running to pick up smoking and becoming sedentary for 10 years and claiming she will one day win the Olympic marathon. It doesn’t work that way. Our past does not entitle us to any particular future. Because we once ran xx:xx time does not entitle us to run it again or to run any particular time in any particular race, no matter what we state our goals are.
In fact, if attaining a
n Oscar time goal is the only reason we’re acting running, well we’re not likely to get very far. While defining and articulating goals is critical to improvement in any discipline, respect for the process and full immersion in that process is the only real way to achievement.
It’s hard to understand because we’re told from a young age that we can do anything if we just put our minds to it. It makes it sound like all we have to do is think something and it’s ours! When in reality it’s more like, if we use our minds to articulate a goal and figure out a systematic process and work really hard at it then we put ourselves in a position to achieve it. In terms of running that means we can pick a race time goal, come up with a training plan and a realistic time frame and go for it. If we put in the work, do the track workouts and the tempos and the long runs over time we will improve and make the attainment of those goals possible. But there aren’t any guarantees. Or entitlements.
That’s ok. In the process are all the life lessons and crazy stories of workouts gone awry and opportunities to bond with friends. The process is what enriches us, not our race times. The value in running is the act of running. Just talking about it is cheap.
Hello, ladies! I’m pleased and proud to be the first blogger other than my big sis to join the Salty Girls. I know her vision of Salty Running is so much more than a blog – it’s a community where we can encourage each other to rise to our challenges and become better athletes, and I hope my posts will do just that for you!
With that goal in mind I plan to share my experience as a busy runner. I know we’ve all got jobs to do, but seriously, being a distance runner with my job is insane–currently I’m a production assistant in New York’s film and television industry. I’m hoping to one day become a camera operator, but for now I work for the Assistant Directors, or ADs, literally running around the set helping to make everything we do happen on time. Here’s the run-down of why this job keeps me so busy:
The working day on a film set is scheduled to be 12 hours long, but it often goes beyond that-sometimes well beyond! Try squeezing in a tempo after a 18 hours on your feet. The nature of my job is such that I’m in about an hour before the crew and leave about an hour after, which puts me on my feet for a 14 hour day when we’re shooting on schedule. The reality however, is that my average day is 15-16 hours not-including commute time, which can vary drastically since our location changes every day. Oh yeah, and what I do changes every day as well–today I’m managing 90 background actors at two different locations. Still think your work week looks crazy?
You might think I’m nuts to do this job (especially for how little I’m paid), and you’re probably right, but I love it! A lot of my coworkers think I’m nuts for running, but I love that too! I’m not willing to give either one up just yet so for now they’re gonna have to live together. So far I’m making it work but it’s certainly a constant challenge.
Next time I write I’ll get into some of my strategies for cramming mileage into my tight schedule, and hopefully hear some of yours too! But for now, I really gotta run!
I know you’re all busy people. As a mother of two toddlers believe me I can relate! I also know that not all of us have the luxury of routine or even time at home. That’s why I’ve enlisted my sister Cinnamon to share her experiences as a competitive runner with an active social life, interest in several hobbies and–here’s the big one–a career freelancing in New York’s film and TV industry.
This girl commutes on the run, runs at midnight, runs after 18 hour days, runs hungover after wrap parties among other nutty things. Not to toot her own horn (and my own since I coached her, of course!) but in a matter of months Cinnamon went from being a relatively nonathletic career-focused young woman to running her debut marathon in 4:11 all while navigating this hectic lifestyle.
Cinnamon will be posting a weekly training log as well as a feature, Ginger Rushes. Like Diary of an Injured Runner, Cinnamon Rushes will be the chronicles of a runner lady’s life. But instead of an injured mom of two, Cinnamon will be writing about her exeperiences as a single 30-something runner navigating New York City, a hectic and stressful career and everything else life has to offer. Follow along as she tries to string along enough quality training to attempt another marathon and p.r. in all distances along the way!
Prior to the founding of my current racing team, I was a part of the Brooks ID racing team for two years. It was a great ride and I really liked all my Brooks shoes. Prior to October of 2011 I wore minimal racing flats (the Green Silence and the Racer ST5) only for track workouts, the occasional tempo and races. Otherwise, I trained in the lightweight Ravenna trainer. I was especially excited when the Brooks Pure Project shoes came out right before my fall marathon. I ordered two pairs: the Pure Cadence and the Pure Flow. Several people asked me if the low heel bothered me, but I couldn’t even feel any difference from my sturdy old Ravennas in that regard.
I suppose I need to explain the shoe trend I’m talking about: low heel drop, also known as low profile running shoes. I wasn’t really even aware of it until after I bought the shoes and people were asking me how I liked them. The classic modern running trainer raises the heel off the ground and has a lot of cushioning material between your foot and the ground. Generally, minimalist running shoes are different from your typical modern trainer only in that they have less material between your foot and the ground. Most notable examples of minimalist shoes are racing flats. Minimalist shoes for every day training became very popular in large part to a book called Born to Run. It’s a great book and makes a strong case that modern cushiony running shoes cause more injuries than they prevent. After reading that book (which is a super read, by the way!) it’s hard to lace up a pair of clunky trainers without feeling like an idiot.
Anyway, low profile shoes are simply a subtype of minimalist running shoes, but in addition to having less material they also tout a very low offset. The offset is the difference between the height of the heel of the shoe and the height of the midfoot (middle) of the shoe. Basically, they’re flat (hence the term racing flats!).
Back to my story. I wore the Pure Cadence in that October marathon and bonked miserably. I had a lot of problems that day that had nothing to do with my shoes, but I do remember wincing in agony hobbling the last several miles with a tender left achilles. “That’s just what happens in a marathon,” I thought never even considering it was the shoes causing that particular pain.
After the marathon I rotated the low profile Pure Project shoes with my trusty old Ravennas. I liked the lightweight feel of the Pure Project shoes and never thought twice about them. I did notice the plantar fasciitis I sometimes get in my left foot was flaring up a little more than normal, but I was running 70 miles a week so that’s to be expected. Right?
Then a few days after Christmas and a few days before I injured myself on New Years Eve, I went in for a deep-tissue massage. Normally, my massage therapist (who is BRILLIANT!) works on every part of my legs equally, but during this appointment she noted that my calves were rocks. She spent almost the entire 75 minutes kneading the knotted lumps into oblivion. They were so sore after the massage that I could barely stand when I got off the table!
Two days later my poor chronically strained butt gave out.
I never strung the tight calves and the injured butt together. In fact I pretty much forgot about my knotted calves as the acute pain in my butt became the complete focus of my attention. That is until I started running again after a few days off.
When I started to test out the injury I only ran in the Ravennas for a few days. And then I threw on the Flows to switch things up and almost immediately my achilles and plantars fascia soreness kicked back up. Ok then!
Jaymee posted about her experience with low profile shoes and it got me thinking about my own experience. Looking back my calves were never much of a problem until I started wearing the low profile shoes regularly and then my butt and other issues were always tolerable before that too. I can’t help but wonder if the low profile shoes caused tight calves which in turn caused a chain reaction that tipped me over the injury edge.
Like Jaymee who had her issues with Doc Martens long before she was interested in low profile running shoes, this phenomenon is not new to me. I remember feeling really sad in the early 90’s that Birkenstock clogs didn’t fit my long toes. Some trends might work great for some people, while some just don’t work for others. Maybe that means I won’t be cool clomping in my high heeled lame-o trainers, but my calves won’t be rocks and hopefully I’ll be running!
Sorry to anyone looking for a Training Basics post today. I am a little time crunched and haven’t had a chance to do all the background work for the post I want to write. Look for a Training Basics article next Tuesday!
If you’ve been in a runner store recently you probably noticed the big trend in running shoe styles is super bright colors. My newest trainers, for instance, are a solid florescent orange. It’s a little weird slogging along at recovery pace in florescent shoes, because nothing says fast like flash. (Or should I say nothing says look how huge my feet are like florescent shoes. Ok, that’s probably just me.)
Because bold colors symbolize confidence and strength, no type of shoe wears flashy better than racing flats.
So, whether foot flash helps you run faster, flatters your feet or is just something you love this season’s bold and bright flat offerings will not disappoint!
With all running shoes I recommend you head to your local running retailer to be properly fitted. No matter how adorable a pair is, they need to fit you right or they won’t be worth much as a running shoe. That being said, here are links to online retailers for more information on each model and to buy if you’re confident you know what size and style is right for you.
1. Saucony Grid Type A5 in Blue/Citron/Light Pink is a women’s shoe and is available here.
2. Brooks T7 Racer in Color 371 is a unisex shoe and is available here.
3. Nike LunaRacer+ in Pink/Blue is a women’s shoe and is available here.
4. Saucony Grid Fastwitch 5 in Purple/Citron is a women’s shoe and is available here.
5. Newton Distancia is a women’s shoe and is available here.
6. Mizuno Wave Musha 4 in Lime Punch/Prism Violet/Chinese Red is a women’s shoe and is available here.
7. New Balance WR 1400 in Neon Yellow/Navy is a women’s shoe and is available here.
8. Asics Gel Noosa Tri 7 in Neon Pink/Coral/Noosa Glow is a women’s running shoes made specifically for triathletes and is available here. The shoe actually glows in the dark!
Happy flashy racing!
With a handle like Salty, you know there’s a part of me that loves anything a little nautical inspired. I have always loved sailor pants and boat necks. Never been an ascot fan, though. Anyway, I was perusing some spring running apparel styles and noticed that stripes are very big this year and I could not be more excited! Check out this gallery of stripey goodness!
The Nike apparel is available here.
The Oiselle top is available here.
The Athleta shorts are available here.
The Moving Comfort bra is available here.
Also, in the interest of full disclosure I need to note that I run for a team sponsored by Nike Running.