The most important wardrobe decision of 2015.

Happy Marathon Eve-Eve to me!

I’m actually starting to get a little excited for Sunday. For months and months I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself for this race and now I’ve finally taken Elsa’s good advice and decided to let it go.

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I have a 3 year old daughter. Frozen references happen.

I’ve decided that I’m just going to go out there and have fun. Maybe take a bunch of selfies. As I mentioned the other day, life has been a little weird lately and I can think of no better way to clear out my head than to go for a nice, incredibly long run. I may not even wear my Garmin.

Last night I realized…oh crap it’s Thursday. If I’m going to be leaving the state on Saturday morning I should consider packing for the trip. I had some ideas in my head of what I might wear on race day, but those are changing all the time. It sounds like the starting line weather should be mostly cloudy (good), very low chance of rain (good), very little wind (great), and in the mid-FORTIES (ew). I wish I could also be like Elsa and say that the cold never bothers me anyway, but it does.  I wasn’t expecting it to be tropical outside, but high 50’s would have been nice.

So I’m not quite sure how to dress myself and in my running suitcase – because there obviously needs to be a separate suitcase for my running stuff – I have a couple different Flat Salt options. Shorts or capris, socks or sleeves, long sleeves (which I already know will annoy me so I probably won’t go that route) or a tank with arm sleeves, etc. I can’t remember the last time I obsessed over an outfit this hard. My main issue, however, is deciding which shoes I’m going to wear.

Hoka One One Clifton

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I just gave these pretties a glowing review the other day and if we were talking about my old Hoka it would be a no-brainer. Those were the shoes I wore for my first 20 miler and they performed great. But they are also pretty worn out. On the flip side, I love the new ones, but they might not be broken in enough to attack 26.2 miles. I’ve run in the multiple times, but never over 5 miles. Maybe that will be enough.

 Adidas Boost 2

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My beloved Boosts. I don’t think it’s much of a secret how much I love Adidas (I have two pairs in the rotation right now). These shoes are great and my legs always feel fresh when I wear them. They are well broken in by now. But I’ve never worn them on a run over 10 miles. They have a good amount of cushioning, but I don’t know if it would be enough for a marathon distance when I’m on the back end of an injury even if I’m sure there will be lots of walking in my immediate future.

I’m sure the fact that I’m completely taper insane right now is making this into a way bigger deal in my head than it needs to be.

I hope that everyone has a much easier time deciding on their outfits for this weekend than I seem to be having! Just a heads up…there will be lots of pictures of New Jersey coming your way. :)

Is anyone else racing this weekend? (Let me know all about it so I can cheer you on!) Do you ever have a really hard time deciding on what to wear for a race? If you were me, which shoes would you pick?

xo,

Salt

NJ Marathon Training Recap: The final stretch

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That’s my bib number. I received it via email yesterday along with all the pertinent information that I’m going to need for this weekend…expo info, hotel confirmation, etc. etc. etc.

Meanwhile, I’m still riding the struggle bus.

Here’s a brief recap of my week 17 workouts:

  • Monday, April 13: Barre class. Good times.
  • Tuesday, April 14: 4 miles. Spin class and 15 minutes on the elliptical.
  • Wednesday, April 15:  An hour of yoga in the morning and then 3 miles with the MRTT crew out of Charm City Run! I felt some pain, especially when I started laughing, but it just felt so good to be running at all.

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  • Thursday, April 16: 4 miles @ slow pace.
  • Friday, April 17: REST
  • Saturday, April 18: 8 miles. Spin class and 40 minutes on the Arc trainer.
  • Sunday, April 19: Okay so this was a new experience for me…I went to my first H2Run class and it was an awesome decision. H2Run is a class that targets your core, arms and legs and is held in the deep end of the pool at my gym. You wear a flotation belt and use “weights” which on land feel like flimsy pieces of foam, but when you have them in the water it’s a phenomenal workout for your arms. As resistance training it was incredible, but also marvelously low-impact for my back and I felt great when class was over.
  • Monday, April 20: I went back to Body Pump. I know that sounds kind of stupid for someone with lower back issues, but the plan was to get a good upper body workout in and go light for everything else. The class ended up being great. It had been so long since I had done things like squats and lunges and both of those things seem to have helped me return to a more normal range of motion for my back. I kind of wish I had started back sooner.
  • Tuesday, April 21: 3 miles on the treadmill. I felt so slow and out of shape. Obviously if I make it to the starting line this weekend, time will NOT be a goal.

Which brings us to today. I was supposed to do 2 miles this morning and I skipped it. I definitely could have gone out for a slow run, but I’m not trying to push it in these last few days.

I haven’t really wanted to admit it too much on here over the past couple weeks, but I have been in a mess. For awhile I was afraid that I might have slipped a disc (which I no longer think is the case). There were times that I was in so much pain that I could barely walk and forget about bending over. My core muscles felt so weak. Getting out of bed in the morning was a workout in itself.

BUT I’m feeling better. Like 100% better than I was even if my body isn’t anywhere close to 100% right now. I attribute that to cutting way back on the running and upping my cross training during my taper, stretching a lot and hanging upside down on my new inversion table. As of last week I was pretty sure that a marathon would not be happening for me this weekend. With a few days of complete rest ahead of me, I’m starting to have a glimmer of hope that I might have a new medal around my neck by the end of the weekend.

I’ve been thrown a lot of curve balls lately in every area of my life and I am so thankful for this amazing community we have. Thank you all so much for the kind words, advice and support as I have trained for this marathon. I wish the outcome had been so much different, but I’ve accepted the fact that my goal in all of this has changed. I’m ready to take on the new challenge and am looking forward to everything that lies ahead of me.

xo,

Salt

Running on Cloud 9. {Hoka One One Clifton Review}

First of all…HAPPY MARATHON MONDAY!!!!!

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And good luck to all the wonderful people running today. I’ll be thinking of you and following some of you online! (AMBER! TANTRA!)

Now it’s time to talk about shoes again.

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Please meet my new Hoka One One (pronounced o-nay o-nay just in case you all were saying it like the number…which I did for a very long time).

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They are the Clifton model. I’ll be honest…when I found out I was going to be reviewing this shoe, I was hoping I would receive this color. Aren’t they awesome?

This is not my first go around with Hoka. I purchased my first pair of Clifton awhile back after posting on an online running message board asking for opinions. I had heard that they are a great neutral shoe for runners with various aches and pains and if you’ve been around my blog for awhile you’ll know that I’ve got the market cornered on aches and pains.

First let’s look at the stats.

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  • Ultra-Lightweight No Sew SpeedFrame Construction
  • Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry
  • Full Length HIP CMEVA Midsole
  • Full Ground Contact Design
  • Strategic Hi-Abrasion Rubber Zones

Source: HokaOneOne.com

The Clifton has a heel/toe drop of 5mm (28mm heel/23mm forefoot) and weighs in a whopping 6.6 oz. I was completely astounded the first time I picked one up. At a glance, the midsole, which is up to 2.5x the volume of a standard running shoe – they call it “maximalist” rather than “minimalist” – makes the Clifton appear to be heavy as a brick. Instead the lightweight, greater-rebounding foam makes you feel like you’re running on a cloud. For a runner with wonky legs, the extra shock absorption is a welcomed thing.

The little arrows on the shoe illustration up there refer to the signature meta-rocker geometry. One of the things that the Hoka One One design is known for is transitioning a runner away from a heel strike. I am not a heel striker so right out of the box running in them feels pretty natural for me although getting used to having so much shoe under my foot was a bit of a learning curve. See also: this post from the other day when I talk about falling down. There was a little bit of a break-in period with the Clifton as well, but that’s because the more I wore them the more my foot formed into the cushiony midsole. That is one of my favorite features of this shoe; it almost feels as if they are made specifically for your feet. I didn’t realize how worn out my old Hoka were until I put on the new ones.

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I think this progressive run is a pretty great illustration of how versatile the Clifton can be.

Due to all that aforementioned cushioning, the Clifton has quickly become my long run shoe of choice. Interestingly enough though, because they are also so lightweight, I have also done intervals in them (after getting  used to the size of the midsole of course…that would NOT have been hilarious to take a spill on the treadmill during one of my repeats). Since I’ve been dealing with my lower back injury and subsequently keeping my fingers crossed for some kind of miracle recovery before this weekend, I’ve been wearing the Clifton a lot because they are the most comfortable shoes in my closet.

One other thing to consider…I’ve found that for me personally, the Clifton runs large. I typically wear an 8.5 in running shoes and after sliding around in my first pair of of Hoka for a couple days I realized that an 8 would be the perfect fit for me. (And they were nice enough to let me exchange them.)

I think I’m a Hoka One One fan for life. They even look good with dress pants.

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The Clifton retails for $130 on www.HokaOneOne.com.

 Have you tried Hoka? What do you think of them? Are you following the marathon today??

xo,

Salt

Runner’s World provided me a pair of Hoka One One Clifton for review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. These shoes are fabulous!