They say you aren’t supposed to forget how to ride a bike.

Apparently I did temporarily. I am not the most coordinated person and there would surely be only a matter of time before I had a bike mishap, but that’s why they make helmets right? Thank goodness I have one. Maybe I should walk around with it on constantly.

I don’t know how national the news was about the two police officers that lost their lives the other week in Abingdon, Maryland, but this all occurred about a half hour drive from where I live. Last Saturday, one of the officers was being laid to rest in a cemetery a couple miles from my house. There are funerals like that around here occasionally, but the only experience I had ever had with them was getting snarled up in the resulting traffic. The weather was forecasted to be February-warm that day (low 60’s) and I decided to go up and pay my respects. And because I was no stranger to that traffic, I chose to ride my bike . Originally I was going to run up, but Betty had I had done 4 miles together that morning with a group from Charm City. She has definitely gotten bigger since our last stroller run together, but we had a great time out there. 70+ pounds of kiddo and stroller on some crazy hills!

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The route I mapped was a little shy of 4 miles in each direction. When I got up to the main road there was already a bunch of traffic including a long line of police cars going by with lights and sirens on their way to the service. They weren’t even a part of the much, much larger procession that I would see later. I’m not new to riding my bike but I am still somewhat of a novice when it comes to riding with lots of people around so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous, especially crossing over the on-ramp for the interstate. Things started to get a little too congested and I could see up ahead that I would have trouble staying where I was and that the sidewalk might be a better option. Luckily there was one right there and it was relatively clear of the snow from that blizzard we had a few weeks ago.

I took my first opportunity – a wide driveway – and as soon as I crossed the area where it met the street I knew that I had made a terrible mistake. By that time it was too late because I was going pretty fast and didn’t have time to react to what happened next.

My tire caught on the little bit of ice that was lingering there and my bike shot out from under me to the left and into traffic. I was falling – thankfully NOT into traffic – toward the driveway where –thankfully again – there were no cars coming. All I could think when I was tumbling down was how happy I was to have a helmet on.

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I wish I had rolled out of it as gracefully as Pee Wee. Instead there was that moment where I laid there fearing I had broken something, but that passed pretty quickly and embarrassment hit me like a tidal wave. The crowded street and all those people who saw me fall. It just had to be the busiest day out there. Traffic came to a halt because my bike was in the road. Several cars pulled close to the curb and the concerned people inside asked me if I was okay. At the time I was mortified, but now I’m glad that people did stop for me. It gave me a little faith in humanity in a world where Donald Trump is apparently a viable presidential candidate.

I collected my bike from the street and tried to get back on, but the chain was popped off so I flipped it over with zero idea how to fix it because I’ve never had to fix a bike chain before.

In hindsight I wish I had gotten a picture of any of this or a selfie of my triumphant face when I got the chain back on all by myself, but at that moment I really wanted to be off that road. I headed on my way and when I got to my destination I took more time to check for other injuries: road rash on my leg and on my elbow which I thought was funny because my jacket wasn’t ripped at all. My top lip was bloody although I don’t really remember hitting it on anything; they had been really chapped anyway so maybe the force of the fall made it split.

So a couple days later I still feel pretty beat up, but I’m super thankful that things weren’t worse…no broken bones and I still have all my teeth! And not like I ever would have ridden without my helmet anyway, but this incident definitely made me realize how crucial they are. Whether Betty thinks she looks uncool in one or not, she will never ride her bike without one!

Have you ever had an accident on a bike? Do you wear your helmet every time you ride? 

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Tuesday!

xo,

Salt

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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