It’s all GOOD! {The Friday Five}

I want to give Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia a big ol’ group hug today because I needed this topic. Over the past couple weeks I’ve been so focused on the negative and I’m sure I haven’t been a very fun person to be around. My spring goal race that I’ve been training for since December is now 24 days away, it is my peak week, and I have run exactly one mile this week. ONE. I’m supposed to run 20 miles on Sunday and I bet you can all guess what is absolutely not happening.

Anyway this is not supposed to be a pity party. Today I’m going to attempt to focus on the things in my life that are GOOD right now even if I have to dig really deep to find five.

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1) Aerial Yoga

AKA the brightest decision I made all week.

A quick summary on what the past couple weeks have looked like for me: strep throat (antibiotics), rotator cuff flare up, infected tooth (more antibiotics), and then it was like my body completely revolted against me. My lower back, hips, and glutes have been in excruciating pain for some reason unknown to me or the yet-another-in-a-long-list-of-doctors that I visited. This would be why I’m not running right now. Until yesterday I could barely walk. I’ve been trying to put on a happy face and act upbeat about life in general, but frankly it totally sucks.

So then I decided to sign up for aerial yoga. I’ve been doing it on and off for years, but had forgotten about it for awhile until Chaitali started posting that she was taking classes (thanks for the motivation, lady!) Every time I go to aerial I leave feeling a little taller. Maybe that’s what I needed right now; to stretch everything out because my whole body just felt stiff and tight.

It was a small group and the teacher knew that I was there with back problems so I felt like a lot of it was geared directly toward me. It was marvelous. And then during the portion of class where we are encouraged to explore our own aerial yoga I did nothing but hang myself upside down in bound angle for about 10 minutes straight.

Source: Swide.com. I unfortunately don't have a photo of me doing this one.

Source: Swide.com. I unfortunately don’t have a photo of me doing this one.

I could literally feel my lower spine opening back up. After class I hurt, but then I drank a ton of water and by the time I was getting ready for bed I was feeling noticeably better. Now I can actually walk. It still hurts, but it’s progress.

2) Half Days of Work

YAY it’s GOOD FRIDAY!!! This means that I get to leave at 11:45. What in the world am I going to do with my several hours of free time this afternoon? Usually this would be a no-brainer; it’s going to be 70 degrees outside. But I’m still afraid to attempt running so we’ll see I guess. Maybe a nice long walk. Maybe I’ll get a Starbucks or go buy more unnecessary things at Target. The possibilities are endless. All I know is that I won’t be sitting in an office chair, which has been complete hell on my back.

3) These Greek Yogurt pops

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I made sure to take a picture of the box before devouring all of them. (Not in one day.) These are SO GOOD. They are also very natural, gluten-free, low in calories and fat and with a nice dose of protein. My grocery store had this flavor and also a vanilla bean (yum), coffee chocolate chip (yum), and coconut (gag), but apparently there is also a chocolate chip cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, and some others that I need to track down and try. Next time I need to get more than one box because I couldn’t take one out without Betty eating half of it.

4) The Haute Bar

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Pure genius. The Haute Bar is a blow dry bar located not too far from my house. What is a “blow dry bar”? you may be wondering. Or not, but I’ll tell you anyway…

This is a place where people like me go because they are hopelessly hairstyle-challenged. (I’m not quite as makeup-challenged, but they do that too.) I typically spend no more than 5-10 minutes on my hair every day because it’s long, straight, boring, and there’s really not much that can be done with it besides making sure it’s not wet when I leave the house and then putting it in a ponytail.

Anyway you go in to Haute Bar and for a very reasonable fee, a skilled stylist will transform your head into magic. I heard about it from an old coworker and was immediately obsessed even though I had no occasions coming up that would warrant me spending money for someone to do my hair.

Well last weekend I had a wedding to attend and my head has been looking like a “hot mess” lately as Betty would say. (Seriously. She tells me this.) I made my appointment for a dry style which was $25 and worth every penny and then some. I got compliments on my hair when I posted some photos on Instagram which some of you may have seen. So that’s my secret. I didn’t do my hair myself and THAT is why it looked so cute.

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Betty did not get her hair styled and just look at how naturally cute her hair is. Which brings me to…

5) Betty

You knew she had to be on this list because no list of good things would be complete without her. She’s the reason I haven’t come completely unhinged lately. Both because she’s wonderful and I can’t not smile when I’m around her, but also because I’m her mom and I consider it my duty to stay sane and take care of her.

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That doll she is holding is another “good” thing. Ella the Runner is a Go Go Sports Girls doll and currently one of B’s favorites. I’ve been pretty excited about these dolls ever since they popped up on Zelle the other week…they promote a positive, healthy, active lifestyle to youngsters and we need more toys like that out there! She’s so cute that I kind of want to get a second one for me. 🙂

Thanks again to our lovely hostesses for bringing a little happy back in my morning. More than anything in the world, I really don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me right now.  I have already gotten some very long runs in in preparation for this race and maybe that will be enough for me to at least finish it. I’m trying not to get too defeated yet.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

xo,

Salt

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NJ Marathon Training Week 12 Recap

In summary:

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Week 12 Grade: A+ x infinity

Way good considering that I was sick for most of the week.

Monday, March 9: MEGAbarre. I was back on that crazy torture contraption again only this time the class was way more fun. Probably because I wasn’t a bumbling idiot with no idea what I was doing.

And let us not forget a fun evening fro yo date with Mar!

Tuesday, March 10: 5 miles @ 8:03. It was a little chilly outside. The route I had planned is mostly uphill for the first couple of miles, then loops around and heads back mostly downhill. I had a nice little progression run going…8:33, 8:02, 7:58…I was cruising along and then suddenly ICE ICE ICE EVERYWHERE. I didn’t even see it until I was trying to run on top of it. One of my legs shot out from under me, but somehow I managed to stay upright. Mile 4 @ 8:03. I finished up mile 5 in 7:36, really happy with how it had gone, but for some reason I was feeling much more exhausted than I normally would after 5 miles. It would become apparent why as the day went on and a pinching sensation started in my throat and my glands started to swell in my neck.

Swollen glands or no, I wasn’t going to miss my Floyo Combo class that evening which I recapped here in all its Ugg boot wearing, surfboard yoga-ing glory.

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Wednesday, March 11: 8 miles and YEP definitely sick. I’m also definitely stubborn and don’t like to admit illness so I figured it would be okay if I just did my run on the treadmill rather than outside. I would have an easy out if I needed to call it quits early.

The run started off okay. I was playing with my pace and hill settings to keep from getting too bored. Then about 3 miles in this guy got on the treadmill next to me. He was familiar; I see him around the gym all the time. Anyway I was instantly super annoyed because there are about a hundred treadmills and plenty of them were open.

After a little while though I didn’t mind him so much. It was clear that he was pacing me because he would look over at my display ever so often and adjust his own treadmill. So I decided that I was going to have a bit of fun and pushed a little harder than I normally would. This was supposed to be a pace run, but I was already way ahead of marathon pace.

I finished up my 8 miles in 1:02:54 (7:51 pace) and as I was cleaning up the sweaty mess on the treadmilll, guy next to me smiled and said “That was a great run!” It was a nice compliment, especially since he had kind of been invading my personal space. I almost forgot I was sick until around 10 am when I had the worst headache ever and could feel a fever coming on. It hurt to swallow. I took Advil and pushed through, even going to hot yoga that night in an attempt to sweat out whatever it was. I felt a little better afterward, but not much.

Thursday, March 12:  woke up at 1 am with a fever of nearly 102. Took more Advil, went back to sleep, and when my alarm rang at 5:15 there was just no way conceivable way that 5 miles was happening. My alarm went off again at 6:30 and somehow I managed to get myself dressed and to work where I sat at my desk for a couple hours before finally admitting defeat and going to the doctor. It took about 5 seconds to get a diagnosis. I already knew what it was before they told me.

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I didn’t have to go back to work that day so I picked up my multitude of prescriptions and headed home to sit on the couch. After the painkiller they had given me kicked in and I was feeling much better and it was so warm and pleasant outside. My windows were open and the birds were singing. Maybe I could lace up my shoes and go out for a little walk. Fresh air might be good for me.

I got to the end of my drive and thought…hey I feel pretty good right now. I had my watch on and everything. Maybe I could go for a little jog. I would take it really slow and easy and not worry about my pace. So that’s what I did and I was shocked when my watch signaled that I had gone a mile and I looked down to see that it said 8:19. I felt fantastic. I might as well keep going right? Mile 2 and 3 in 7:34  I have no explanation for what happened during mile 4 beyond maybe the pharmacy accidentally swapped my z pack for steroids.

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This was the fastest mile I’ve run so far this year.  I paused my watch and saved the run. I wanted to stop while I was ahead. Instead I treated mile 5 as a cool down and despite my efforts to keep it slow my pace was still 8:06.

So yeah running was maybe not the best idea that day, but I felt awesome afterward and I’m not going to lie…I was completely out of my mind elated over it.

Friday, March 13: LEGIT REST DAY. I was feeling much better, but I had pushed my luck enough for one week.

Saturday, March 14: And as anyone around here who ran a Rock n Roll race in DC that day can tell you, it was freaking pouring. I had a half marathon planned and wasn’t about to drag myself through the rain for 13.1 miles after having just been sick. Off to the gym I went with that same time pressure I had from a few weeks ago. 2 hours to get it all in before Mr. Salt had to go to work.

The time was a total non-issue. I finished in 1:47:05.

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That’s one of my fastest half marathons. While I wasn’t keeping track of my laps, I do know that it was negative split after negative split because I was adjusting my pace and elevation through the whole run.

Sunday, March 15: REVBlast!!!! I love REV Cycle so much and it was even better this time around because it sounded like they got a new sound system in there and my ears didn’t feel like they were getting assaulted.

I’ve noticed something over the past couple weeks: since I started back to spin class, my running times seem to be improving. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but  I’m going to continue to keep it at one of my main cross training activities just in case.

Also yesterday I went to a restorative yoga class that was so restorative that I literally fell asleep for a few minutes in the middle of class. Then I got a massage, which I was way overdue for and hurt like hell, but I can tell some of the kinks got worked out. She must have really gotten into my muscles though because this morning when I woke up I could barely move.

Week 12 Mileage: 31.1 although if you count the week from Sunday to Saturday I had my highest mileage week EVER at 49.1.

I am SO EXCITED, you guys. Throughout the past 12 weeks I’ve had some runs here and there that felt good and gave me a little bit of confidence, but this whole week was my far the most solid altogether. Everything felt great – workout wise. Obviously the strep throat did not feel great, but I’m feeling nearly 100% now and ready to take on Week 13!

How is everyone else’s training going? Do you run/work out when you’re sick? Do you take spin classes? When was the last time you had a massage? Does it annoy you when someone gets on the treadmill RIGHT NEXT TO YOU at the gym!? 

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that this new week is wonderful for you all!

xo,

Salt

Surf’s up and spin class in furry boots at Beachfit Baltimore!

Last night was my very first class at Beachfit Baltimore and before it even began things were looking pretty bleak. Traffic was a mess, it rook forever for me to get downtown, it was pouring rain and parking was next to impossible. I arrived late and when I opened my trunk to get out my shoes, THIS was all I had.

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UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH.

The class was called Floyo Combo. The Floyo was yoga-related and I wouldn’t need shoes. However the “combo” would occur on a spin bike. Wearing furry boots.

Luckily the people working there were super nice about my tardiness and while it was clear that they felt sorry for me, they didn’t even laugh at my footwear. The studio is pretty small and made up of a reception area, a room that contained a number of surfboards like this one…

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…and then another small room where the bike portion of the class was happening. What it lacked in size though it completely made up for in charm. Beachfit Baltimore has a laid back, beach house-y feel to it and our instructor, Jessie, had a rocking St. Paddy’s themed playlist as she guided us through 25 challenging minutes of spin. I expected to be miserable because UGH BOOTS, but I felt so great the whole time despite being sore from my run earlier in the day. The only ways they really hindered my workout is that I had to spend the whole time in the saddle and the obvious issue of my feet sweating as I’m sure you can imagine. Actually I probably got an even better workout that way especially after we really cranked up the resistance!

Soon it was time to ditch my boots – thank goodness – and head into the larger room where we would do some stretching, strengthening and yoga on the surfboards. They use this larger room for other things as well such as boot camps, kickboxing-style classes, kettlebells, PiYo, a variety of yoga styles, barre, HIIT, Insanity, and core workouts just to name a few. Their list of classes is a mile long and I want to try them all.

I didn’t realize it at first, but the board was set atop several large inflatable balls which was exactly as unsteady as it sounds. We started out easily enough in child’s pose, but I noticed right away that something as basic as a downward dog was going to take a LOT of getting used to! We moved through sun A, warrior series, side angle, a couple three legged dogs, locust, bow, pigeon, bridge and a few other asanas before settling into a bound angle savasana that, while tippy, still managed to be relaxing.

Something interesting that I learned through all this: One side of my body is way off balance by comparison to the other AND it’s the opposite side from what I would have expected! Like the side where I normally feel more confident  while on a yoga mat was all kinds of off-kilter on the board. I want to go back again just so I can work on that!

The instructor was so awesome that she even offered to take some photos of me on the board for the blog. I look way more balanced and comfortable up there than I was feeling!

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ALL SMILES! I had been in a serious Debbie Downer mood when I arrived at Beachfit Baltimore and by the time class was over my headache and stress were washed away.  I felt so happy the entire time…even when I felt like I was going to fall over. I believe it’s impossible to do surfboard yoga without a smile on your face!

If you have the opportunity to try a class like this TAKE IT! You’ll love it. And if you are in the Baltimore area and ever want to go, let me know and I’ll join you!

Have you ever done yoga on a surfboard? Have you ever surfed in general? (I haven’t! This was literally my first time on a board ever!)

I hope everyone has the happiest Wednesday imaginable!

xo,

Salt