NCR MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 5: It was kind of like a taper.

For the most part this week was sooooo much better than last week. Those crappy long runs sure make us appreciate the good ones. I scaled back my mileage a little bit and slowed myself down due to a 12 mile race this coming Saturday morning followed up by a 5K in the evening because I’m insane.

Let’s recap…

Monday, August 24: I hadn’t been to MEGAbarre in awhile so I figured why not? And I learned a valuable lesson: When you don’t go to MEGAbarre for awhile, chances are good that you will be in a MEGAworldofpain afterward. My core was so sore for the next few days afterward that it felt like I had been hit by a MEGAtruck.

Tuesday, August 25: 3 miles which I ended up making a 5K. I think this week might be my last week of easy 3 milers on Tuesday and Thursday and I’m going to miss them dearly.

Wednesday, August 26: My hamstring was sore and I had 6 miles on the agenda. I ended up doing them on the treadmill because that surface is a little easier on my legs. This run was nothing spectacular, but then are treadmill runs really ever that spectacular?

Thursday, August 27: Another 3 miler turned 5K. I did this one on the treadmill as well because I also wanted to hit up BodyPump class. Later on that evening I did a video at home that focused on glutes in the hopes that if I get stronger in that area my hamstrings will stop screaming at me so much.

Friday, August 28: 

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Rest day. I ended up walking a lot that evening though because I took Betty to the state fair and exercised my right arm throwing darts at a wall of balloons to win her a stuffed unicorn.
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“HE’S SO FLUFFY!!!”

Saturday, August 29: The Hal Higdon I am loosely following said 12 miles. Because the operative word there is “loosely”, I decided on 8 because I’m not trying to overdo it before all the races this weekend.

I made plans to meet my friend Michelle at the trail. Before Saturday I had never done a training run over 5 miles with another person and I’m definitely going to need to do it more often; we had so much fun! The time flew by as we chatted and we even managed to negative split everything from mile 3 on.

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Between the Renaissance Festival that afternoon and the Ravens game that night, I was on my feet for pretty much the rest of the day but my legs never let on. I felt fantastic after that run and like I could have kept going for miles.

Sunday, August 30: Cross training day. I started off with 30 minutes on the elliptical at the gym to loosen up my legs from the day before even though they didn’t really need it. Then after attending a wedding shower for a very dear friend of mine who is getting married in a couple weeks, I crammed my giant Salsa Warbird in the back of my teeny tiny Fiat and headed back to the trail for 16 miles.

I won’t be setting any course records on a bike or anything, but it was the best ride I’ve ever had. My legs felt excellent and completely unlike I had run at all the day before. I finished filthy, happy, sweaty, and covered with dead insects. Also I really need a rack. The only scrapes and scratches I sustained were from trying to get my bike in and out of the car.

That includes on my back bumper. Oops.

Total Mileage: 20+/16.
Grade: A.

My focus this week is obvious: Saturday. I am supposed to have a 6 mile pace run on Wednesday that I’ll probably knock a mile or two off of that so that I don’t burn myself out. I’m getting so excited!! Charles Street 12 is one of my favorite races and if I play my cards right I should be able to PR considering that last year I was running on a busted foot.

Do you have a race coming up this weekend? Which one? Long runs with friends or solo?

Happy September, everyone!

xo,

Salt

What I did on my summer vacation. {The Friday Five}

When I stopped by Mar’s blog earlier to see what the Friday Five topic was, I was instantly crushed by the realization that summer is almost over. Wasn’t I complaining about the freezing cold temps and running on sheets of solid ice just the other day? Where did this year even go?

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This week Mar, Courtney and Cynthia are reminding me a little bit of every teacher I had in elementary school who wanted me to write an essay about what I did over my summer break. I hope I was more interesting as a kid because it seems that as an adult my life is a total snoozefest. Summer break doesn’t exist in my world. I mom. I work. And then in whatever spare time I have I run, workout, hang out with the dude and friends and do whatever else I like to do which mostly does not include enough sleep or any real vacations since February.

There have been some high notes though. At least I was pretty sure when I started writing that I could nail down five for the sake of this post.

Five Things I Did This Summer

By: Salt
Grade 482
That’s about what grade I’d be in now, right?

I got a bike!

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I hadn’t owned a bike since 2008 when I lived in LA and I’m pleased to have been logging some seriously hot, muggy Charm City summer miles on my bright yellow Salsa Warbird. I LOVE this bike and I think it has helped my running immensely.

Fit Foodie!

So maybe this is a little pathetic, but The Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend was the closest thing to a vacation that I got all summer.

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It didn’t really matter that it was pretty much right down the street. A great event with great food and even more importantly GREAT FRIENDS made for a fantastic time. I had so much fun hanging out with Mar, Courtney, Kathryn, Amy, and Erika!

I had started goal setting for this race shortly after the marathon in New Jersey and I was able to do exactly what I set out to do. That second place finish felt PHENOMENAL!

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Media Stuff Happened!

Runner’s World Zelle. Pinch me because I feel like I’m still dreaming this one.

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Lily Trotters Kickstarter Campaign.

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That completely random time I was asked to come on TV, prepare food, and talk about healthy summer barbecues.

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I am a very awkward person by nature. Put me in front of a whole lot of people, a camera, or–even worse–in a live television interview situation and it’s a recipe for healthy summer food and complete disaster.

I think I managed to hold my own though and every bit of it was a fun experience.

I signed up for Marathon #3

Even though I said I wouldn’t be running any more marathons this year. I think that’s how it usually works.NCR-Trail-Marathon-Logo-clear

I’m an official NCR Trail Blazer and starting to get really excited. Currently I’m finishing up week 5 of my plan and wondering why I never considered a November race before. All the longest training runs are scheduled to happen during the best possible weather/temperature conditions around here. I’m looking forward to not running a 17 miler on the treadmill during this training cycle.

God I hate you, spring marathon training.

And of course…

SO many fun Firsts with this girl!!

First 4th of July Fireworks…

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First trip out on a 2-wheeler…

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First movie in a theater (Minions!)…

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First time bowling…

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First concert (One Direction!)…

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And a first crack at playing t-ball…

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I couldn’t get a picture during it, but she was so good that I signed her up to play this fall! She’s so excited and I can’t wait!

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That little glove. I die.

You know what? Who cares about vacations. This summer has rocked pretty darn hard!

What has been your favorite part about Summer ’15? Did it go by as quickly for you as it did for me? 

I hope everyone has an AWESOME weekend and enjoy what little bit of this summer that we have left!

xo,

Salt

NCR Marathon Training Week 4: That time I jumped in to marathon training during week 4.

I was doing the whole weekly workout recap thing for awhile and then I stopped. Why? Well mostly because there wasn’t any real reason for me to be writing it all down. I wasn’t working toward any specific goal so who cares if I missed a run on some random Tuesday?

Now that I’ve unexpectedly thrust myself back into marathon training, for my own accountability and sanity I thought it might be good to make Mondays my recap days all over again. This time I’m starting in week 4 and I’m basing all of this very loosely off the same Hal Higdon plan I used for New Jersey with a couple major differences:

  1. I will actually be racing during this cycle. I enjoy it and yet I pretty much entirely held off last time thinking that it would cause problems when in the end it did me zero favors. Also…
  2. I will only be running one 20 miler. I fared waaaaaaay better in the first marathon when I kept my milage lower leading up to it. Live and learn I guess.

So let’s take a look at what happened last week:

Monday, August 17: I raced last Sunday and on Monday my quads felt a little like they had gone through a meat grinder. You’re welcome for that lovely visual.

I downloaded this free virtual spin class app for my phone and hopped on a spin bike at the gym for a half hour. I kept the resistance really low and it felt nice for my tired legs. Then I went to Body Pump, eased up on the squats, but added some extra weight when we did upper body stuff.

Tuesday, August 18: 3 miles. My legs were feeling much better and I banged this one out fairly quickly at a 7:24 pace. I know in a couple weeks I’m really going to miss these short 3 milers.

Wednesday, August 19: 6 miles, pace. So I had already decided that I would be doing my long runs on the trail where I will be running the actual marathon and I wanted to try and do my pace runs there as well for obvious reasons. I needed to get this run done in the morning though and there’s no way that I’d be running 6 miles on the trail in the pitch dark of 5am. Instead I ran a pretty regular route around my neighborhood; 7:51 pace which is still waaaay faster than intended.

I seriously suck at pace runs. Luckily I have a quite a bit of time to work on this.

After work I had a bunch of free time because Betty was with her dad. I ended up taking half a spin class and then going to yoga for an hour.

Thursday, August 20: 3 miles. Treadmill (7:37 pace). Then I went to BodyPump again because the Thursday instructor is hilarious and awesome.

Friday, August 21: A marvelous day of rest and celebrating my mom’s birthday!

Saturday, August 22: Long run. The plan said 11 miles, but I have a 12 mile race in 2 weeks and even before signing up for NCR I wanted to get a 12 mile training run in beforehand. This was my longest run since April. The last time I did a long run out on the trail (10 miles) it couldn’t have been more fantastic. This time?

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And not because of my pace or anything. I just don’t know what was wrong with me out there. It started off well, but by the time I got to mile 6 I was completely checked out. All I wanted to do was get back to my car, but the problem was? I was 6 miles from my damn car.

Those 6 miles were a serious mental struggle bus. I was texting my boyfriend and my mom along the way to tell them how much everything was terrible. I told my mom that I was going to stop at mile 11 and just walk the rest of the way back.

Then I didn’t, which was the one thing that really saved this run from being a complete disaster. I made it all the way through even though I was nearly in tears at the end. I wasn’t necessarily in pain; I just hated everything in that moment. But I have to admit…I did feel pretty good about myself after that.

Sunday, August 23: 60 minutes of cross training. I went to BodyPump because awesome instructor was teaching again. Then I hung out on the elliptical for a half hour to get my legs moving. They were pretty stiff from the day before.

Total Mileage: 24.
Grade: B. 

This week I am scaling back my mileage and doing something of a mini taper before Charles Street 12 on the 5th. Also on the 5th?

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The Color Run Night comes to Baltimore!

BALTIMORE3 at checkout will still get a discount on registration if you want to run with me. Slowly. Because I will have already run 12 miles that morning.

Have you ever double-booked races on the same day before? How’s your training going?

I hope everyone has a great start to their week!

xo,

Salt