It’s a new year, Salties! We’re bringing back the Monday roundtable and giving it an update. We’ll be using this Monday morning space to share the awesome stuff happening in the world of running (and beyond) and as a space to discuss all that with you all. And, get excited: #SALTYCHAT IS BACK! Join us on Twitter at 8 p.m. EST tonight to join in the conversation!
For many of us, the holiday season coincides with our off-season, when we enter post-race maintenance mode, giving our bodies and minds a much-needed break from hard training. While Santa Claus is checking his list and tuning up his sleigh, the rest of us find ourselves mired in extra concerts, party invitations, and frankly, a lot of extra work: shopping, wrapping, baking, planning. A more flexible and laid-back approach to running can be a great match for all the activity.
But for some – here at Salty Running that includes Sesame and Angelica – have decided on January or February races, so we find ourselves in the thick of training during the holiday season, and squeezing the marathon miles in is tough!
There is a range of approaches to holiday disruptions. Is it better to run long on Saturday morning and get it out of the way? Two weeks ago, I tried that and was a zombie at the Saturday night PTA-mom party. Running long on Sunday means shutting down Saturday night festivities on the early side and probably passing on the cocktails. Finding time for 15 miles the weekend before Christmas was like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces – one event or another kept slipping out of the picture. I’m crossing my fingers about the weather because there’s no room on the agenda for a blizzard!
We want to hear from you! How do you handle holiday disruptions to training schedules? Is your off-season meshing with your holiday season? Or are concerts, cocktails and cooking-baking throwing you off-kilter?
How do you balance training and celebrating this time of year?
We’ve all been there. Two weeks before your goal race, some body part, usually in the lower half of your body, will start to grumble at you. Panic! Confusion! Denial! You limp out of bed in the mornings, wear compression everything, take ice baths, foam roll 24/7, and discuss extensively with your running friends what to do.
Is it just the taper crazies? Or are you really injured? Should you race? Should you take half a pack of ibuprofen and then race? Should you start the race, but stop if it hurts too much? Or should you stay off it, forget about the race, and become the world champion of moping instead?
Among the Saltines, there’s a wide range of attitudes toward racing with pain. I’m conservative about it, an attitude I’ve learned from experience (FYI: racing a half marathon with achilles tendonitis is a good way to make sure the achilles tendonitis gets even worse and lasts even longer. Shocking, I know.) Last year, when I hurt my foot a few weeks before the Berlin Marathon, I decided not to run the race despite the months of training and the squandered €99 entry fee. I was sad about missing the race, but not as sad as I would have been if running the race had made my foot hurt even worse.
Admittedly, I’m on the paranoid side when it comes to running through pain. Sometimes it turns out fine, but sometimes you end up with a long-term problem. To me, the risk isn’t worth it – not to mention that it’s never a pleasant experience to race with pain – but everyone’s calculation is different.
This discussion should also come with the caveat that being 100% pain-free as a serious runner is not always possible. Often we have niggles that are fine to run through as we sort them out with physiotherapy or other treatments. Today, we’re not talking about niggles, but rather about pain that is present while you run and may be made worse by racing (or not! Nobody knows!)
Tell us: what’s your approach to racing with pain? Do you or don’t you? What are your experiences?
By now, you’ve probably heard the news: The Milwaukee Marathon held Oct. 15 was, well, not a marathon. Officials have announced the course was only 25.4 miles after turnaround cones were placed in the wrong spot.
Officials at the Boston Marathon have confirmed they won’t accept results from Milwaukee for qualifying times. Imagine running faster than you thought you could, nailing that BQ, and then finding out it doesn’t count? Ouch.
But Milwaukee is also entering “shame on me” territory. The race was founded in 2015, so it’s a relative newcomer on the scene. In 2016, the course was a half-mile long.
In an email sent to this year’s participants, officials cited “a misinterpretation of the route certification map that caused the turnaround on the Hank Aaron State Trail to be set in the incorrect spot.” Officials apologized for the error, but no other recompense has been offered.
Sure, we’ve all “PR’d” at the local totally-not-5k charity 5k. When it comes to a marathon, though, runners are typically asked to shell out $75 to $200. The Milwaukee Marathon costs $110 for early registration and $120 for late registration. Many runners shell out even more money for plane tickets and hotels, and they may use valuable vacation days to travel to a marathon. All those weeks of training lead up to one day, and you may not be able to recover and run another BQ within the qualifying window, if that’s your goal.
And mind you, we’re not talking about a marathon that your Garmin clocks as 26.3 (or 30.4 if you’re Chicory running Chicago). While your GPS might give you a heads-up that a route isn’t accurate, it’s definitely not the end-all-be-all of course measurement. But that’s a story for another day.
We want to hear from you! Have you run a marathon that wasn’t accurate? What happened, and how did the race directors handle it? Do you check for course accuracy before choosing a race? Race directors, we want to hear from you, too!
It’s the first day of registration for the 122nd Boston Marathon, scheduled for April 16, 2018. Starting at 10 a.m. EST today, Sept. 11, 2017, runners who exceeded their qualifying time by 20 minutes can sign up. Those who ran at least 10 minutes faster than their qualifying time can begin registering on Wednesday. If spaces remain, those who beat their time by 5 minutes can register on Friday, and on Saturday registration will open to all who hit their time.
The qualifying window has been open for nearly an entire year, and seven months until Marathon Monday means there is a lot of time for life to get in the way of some runners’ big Boston goals. Imagine, for instance, that you were to find out between now and then that you were pregnant.
Like many races, Boston does not offer deferrals to runners for any reason, including pregnancy. If you register and find out the next day that you’re pregnant? You’re SOL, sister. Found out two weeks after your qualifier that you’re due mid-October? You can roll the dice and hope you’re ready in April, or skip 2018 and try to qualify again later.
Sure, we all remember that lady who ran the Chicago Marathon and gave birth hours later, but that is the exception, not the rule. If you’ve been trying to qualify for years, which is not uncommon, a pregnancy could put off your chances of being fit enough to qualify again for months or even years.
The BAA might think its one-size-fits-all policy is fair — but since only 45% of last year’s field can possibly become pregnant, is that actually the case? After all, if a man gets a woman pregnant, his body will not be affected, nor would his ability to race come April 16.
Tell us what you think:
- Is the BAA’s no deferrals for any reason policy fair?
- Should women be able to defer their Boston marathon if they find out they’re pregnant after registering? What about women who qualify and find out they’re pregnant before registration?
For over 30 years, runners took to the streets near Downtown Cleveland on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day for the St. Malachi Race. For most serious runners, this early-season five-miler kicked off the year of racing, including a few of mine. Year after year, early March saw Cleveland runners of all abilities descend on the historic Cleveland St. Malachi church to test their fitness while contributing to the church’s homeless outreach programs.
Throughout its entire existence, the company Hermes Road Racing put on the race. But recently, because St. Malachi claims they only received a tiny fraction of the popular race’s proceeds (just $3,000 out of the $113,000 taken in), it decided to go with a different race promoter, Greater Cleveland XC, which promised to provide a greater percentage of the proceeds to the church’s charitable programs. Cue the lawsuit.
Hermes claims it holds the trademark rights to the name “St. Malachi” for any running events in Cleveland and that the St. Malachi church nor any other race promoter may use that name for a race in Cleveland.
What do you think?
When an organization hires a race promoter to put on a fundraising race for them, who owns the rights to the name of the race: the organization or the race promoter?
By now you’ve seen all the posts about it on Instagram and your favorite running blogs: InsideTracker, the company that promises to “increase vitality, improve performance and extend the lives of our users” by analyzing “key biochemical and physiological markers”. For a fee, InsideTracker will enable you to have your blood drawn and then analyzed for “biomarkers” like hormone levels, nutrients, etc.
I know it’s a service that some of you use and love, while others may be skeptical. No matter how you feel, we want to know:
Have you tried InsideTracker? Tell us about your experience!
Do you have questions or concerns about it? If so, what are they?
And now, here’s my take!
I’m getting ready to head out on an epic Disney family vacation! I went to Disneyland a couple of years ago —my first ever Disney park experience! — with my two eldest kids, but now we’re heading to that other park with the entire family including Aunt Cinnamon! You might not have pegged me as a Disney fanatic, but like with running, I’m an adult-onset dark ride and Dole Whip lover.
Anyway, I’m grateful that I’m not deep in a training plan right now, because I know between bad hotel sleep, taking care of my children, and walking a gazillion miles in the muggy weather, running might not exactly be what I want to do when I find some time to myself. Nevertheless, I’m packing my running shoes. You never know when you can squeeze in a few miles!
How about you?
How do you handle running on a vacation that is not centered around running?
💥And don’t miss #SaltyChat tonight (Monday) at 8:00 p.m. on Twitter! It ain’t that boring guy from your running club’s Twitter chat, if you know what I mean. *wink* *wink* 💥
Research has concluded that we really need at least 8 hours of sleep a night to live and run well, but this week, working overnight on a film, I found myself wondering how many runners actually afford themselves that much. Under normal circumstances I barely have time for six hours! I mean, I love sleeping, but I have other things to do!
For me it’s all about quality, not quantity. If it’s going to be light at all while I’m sleeping, I wear a mask. I take melatonin and wear a night guard when I’m stressed. I remove my dear-but-nocturnal pets from the room and close the door. I put my phone aside and read a book until the sandman helps me nod off. Getting better quality of sleep has definitely made a difference in my energy levels during waking hours, and especially while running.
So I want to know from you: How much sleep do you really get? Do you think quality of sleep contributes to your training? What lengths do you or would you go to in order to maximize the quality or quantity of your sleep?
Part Nike marketing stunt, part science experiment, part spectacle of athletic greatness, three world class distance runners — Zersene Tadese, world-record holder for the half marathon, Lelisa Desisa, two-time Boston Marathon champion, and Olympic marathon gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge who ran last year’s London Marathon in 2:03:05 — attempted to run 26.2 miles in under two hours.
Ultimately it came down to Kipchoge, surrounded by a team of pacers, chasing a pace car around an Italian Formula One race track as the clock approached 120 minutes, then missing the goal by a mere 25 seconds.
But alas, the Breaking2 experiment was not without controversy. Some of the more controversial aspects included:
- No post-race drug-testing
- The specially designed Nike shoes for the event
- The pace car acted as a windbreak for the entire distance
- The track was almost completely flat with no turns
- The teams of pacers jumping in and out of the race
- It’s a barrier only men can break
Did you watch Breaking2 or follow the coverage? How do you see it: good or bad for the sport of running or somewhere in between? What do you think is the equivalent barrier to sub-two hours for the women’s marathon?
∗Want to chat more? Join us tonight and every Monday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern (5:00 p.m. Pacific) on Twitter for #SaltyChat! ∗
Woo! Mary Keitany went for Paula Radcliffe’s 2:15:25 world record in London, but came up a little short in 2:17:01, good enough for the “women’s-only” all-time best. Women’s-only? Yeah. That’s a thing.
You see, after Paula Radcliffe ran 2:15:25 world record in a race with male pace-setters, the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), the international governing body for the the sport of track and field, made a rule that a women’s world record would only count if run in a women-only race — meaning either a women-only race or, as is the case for most major marathons these days, in a race with an elite women-only start. Meaning, the IAAF decided it might be easier to run faster with men around rather than just women.
So we wanted to know, in theory or in your experience, for only elites or the rest of us:
Does running with men help women run faster? Why or why not?
✬Don’t forget to join us for #SaltyChat on Twitter tonight and every Monday at 8:00 p.m. EST✬
Happy Marathon Monday! Today, let’s dish about all things Boston. We’re celebrating Hops’ awesome performance at the BAA 5k and gearing up to cheer for Pesto, Olive, Dill, Fennel, Wintergreen, and Des, of course. And we want to hear from you, no matter who you are!
Are You Racing Today?
Are you reading this waiting to start in Hopkinton? What are your goals today? What’s your number? We’ll track and cheer for you!
or Tracking Besties?
Are you pretending to work while tracking your buddies running today? Who are they and what are you hoping for them?
or Betting on the Winners?
Think Des has a shot? Will Jordan come out and stun in her first marathon? Is Galen healthy enough to mix it up with the leaders? How will Meb sing his swan song?
or Hope to Get There Someday?
Are you hoping to make it to Boston? How hard have you tried? What would it mean to you to make it?
Whoever you are, tell us how you feel about Boston!
♦And join us tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 5:00 p.m. Pacific on Twitter for a very special Boston Marathon edition of #SaltyChat! We’ll rehash the race and give our favorite BQ tips and more!♦
On April 1, one of our readers messaged us wondering if this Runner’s World video about applying makeup for running was a joke. We don’t think so, but it got a good conversation going behind the scenes here, so we thought it would be a great subject to discuss with you!
Do you always wear makeup on the run? Or never? Or sometimes, depending on the situation? How about when racing? Have you ever had a makeup and running fail, or do you have amazing tips for running with makeup? Do you, like our reader who sent in the question, think the entire subject is ludicrous? Tell us!
How do you feel about running in makeup?
✬Don’t forget to join us for #SaltyChat on Twitter tonight and every Monday at 8:00 p.m. EST✬
We runners like to think we’re healthier than most, and we’re probably right! However, there have been some studies suggesting running might not be the fountain of youth and healthfulness we like to think it is.
By now you’ve probably heard about the marathoner kidney study published last week in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. In the study, researchers found that 82% of the 22 runners studied showed signs of Stage 1 kidney injury immediately following completion of the 2015 Hartford Marathon.
You might also remember the marathoner heart study, which found that marathoners’ and other endurance athletes’ hearts show signs of acute injury following endurance races and that veteran endurance athletes seem to be at five-times the risk for developing the condition atrial fibrillation than non-athletes.
Do you think these studies are cause for concern? Do they make you reconsider the healthiness of running? Do you think their conclusions are being oversold?
Do reports of negative health consequences of running affect the way you approach your training?
✬Don’t forget to join us for #SaltyChat on Twitter tonight and every Monday at 8:00 p.m. EST✬
When we’re training to reach our running goals, we tend to be focused on how our bodies perform. This means that when it comes to running clothes and shoes, we need them to function! While some of us certainly care less than others about how our running shoes and clothes look, style matters. We have colors we love and some we hate. Some of us seek out unique running looks, while others grab whatever’s on clearance or will get the job done.
We want to know how much running gear style matters to you!
So tell us:
When you shop for running clothes and shoes, how important are appearances to you?
• Are there certain colors or styles that are deal-breakers?
• Are you apt to pay a little more for a limited edition design?
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