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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Happy {Half} Marathon Monday!

There’s nothing quite like signing up for a race to get you feeling more focused! With no desire to run a full this spring (or really at any point during 2016) I want to improve my half marathon time. I’ve only raced a half 5 times, but I love the distance.

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Ocean City, MD on April 30th! I hope the weather is good because you never really know what you’re going to get in late April around here.

This past Monday marked the first day of the 12 week training plan that I’ve been Frankenstein-ing together from a couple different sources. Basically I have a couple different workout options on any given day which I think will keep me extra interested and motivated. Rest days are always Friday and long run days are supposed to be on Sunday, which is a new thing for me. I hope the next 11 weeks go as well as week 1 did!

Monday, February 8: 3 miles + strength. Both of the plans I’m working from suggests strength or cross training each Monday, which fits in nicely with my life because that’s when I generally go to Body Pump. I did that in the morning. Then in the afternoon, I took advantage of the last “warm” day we were supposed to have this week and did my 3 miles outside.

Mid-30’s is “warm” now. Yay.

Tuesday, February 9: I had a choice between 6 x hill repeats or 4 easy miles, so I hopped on the treadmill and combined the two. 8 x hills that were 400m apiece with a 400m flat in between equaled 4 miles. I was pretty darn proud of myself when this workout was over because I had cranked the treadmill hill setting higher than I ever have in the past.

Wednesday, February 10: Both plans were again in agreement on 3 miles and one of them also suggested strength training. I went to the gym right after work to run my 3, and then later on that evening attended a 60 minute Bikram class. Over the past months, my yoga practice has suffered and I feel like I’m as stiff as a board. There was a lot of improvement in this class over the one I went to last week!

Thursday, February 11: Tempo run. 2 mile w/u, 3 miles at half marathon pace, and a 1 mile c/d. I had to pick up Betty in the afternoon so I ran early in the morning. My body was still pretty sore from yoga the night before and it was tough, but I got it done.

Friday, February 12: REST. One plan suggested core work and I didn’t even do that much. I needed a day to just do nothing.

Saturday, February 13: Okay so remember when I just said that my long runs are supposed to happen on Sundays? Well I already messed that up in week 1.

I had some special mystery weekend plans and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get a long run done the next day so I switched it to Saturday morning. 8 easy miles on the treadmill. One for each degree that it was outside at the time. Hence…treadmill.

One goal I have for myself throughout this training is to slow my long runs way, way down and I think I did a very good job of that the other day. I felt fantastic after this run.

Sunday, February 14: 4 mile run + 4 x 20 second strides. I didn’t get to the gym until the late afternoon, so I’m glad to have made the decision to move my long run. 19 degrees is better than 8, but in the end I just didn’t feel like putting on all the clothes that would be required to do this run outside.

Total Mileage: 28
Grade: A+

Still way more running on the treadmill than I really want to be doing, but I’ve been making it more challenging with big hill adjustments. Hopefully soon I can kick this ridiculous aversion to running in the cold and get back out on the pavement for the rest of my training.

Or rather hopefully soon it will be 70 degrees. Let’s go with that instead.

What are you training for right now? How was your week of workouts?

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

xo,

Salt

Happy Nuun Year!! {Nuun Year Dash Recap}

As I’ve mentioned before on here, I am happily running for Nuun for another year so obviously when they teamed up with FitFam for the Nuun Year Dash, I just had to sign up and run with my team.

Team Nuun was #1 with 62 members!

Overall the participation for this event was stellar: 528 registered runners, which seems pretty staggering for a virtual race. The Nuun Year Dash was offered in 5K and 10K format with a website to report your times online and it didn’t matter how you got it done…inside, outside, with friends or solo. The only caveat is that you had a pretty short window of time to complete your “race”; February 5th (last Friday) through the 8th (today).

A couple days before the 5th,a package arrived on my doorstep. I couldn’t remember ordering anything so at first I had no idea what it could be. It was RACE SWAG!

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So cool right? Each runner received a bib, a very nice tee shirt, some samples of Nuun Energy, stickers, and a supremely cool finisher medal that I didn’t allow myself to really look at until after I logged my miles and that is why it is not in the picture.

I had opted for the 10K and scheduled my run for Saturday afternoon after I returned from Disney on Ice with Betty and my mom.

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She had SO much fun and you would never be able to tell that she had just gotten over a stomach flu.

Against my better judgement, I chose to do my Nuun Year Run on the treadmill where I am generally slower. I wasn’t expecting to break any records. With that in mind though, I promised myself that I would push outside my comfort zone to the best of my ability. Speed work has been going pretty well for me lately, but I have only been running shorter distances (max of about 8 miles) since November so my results could have gone either way.

I did a separate warm up for a couple minutes and then started off with the treadmill set up for easy hills at 7:24 pace with the intention of increasing the MPH setting by .1 at the end of every mile. I hoped that I would be able to maintain this throughout. Oh and let’s not forget the Pandora 80’s station that would be crucial to the success of this event.

I like to zone out while I’m running on the treadmill so it usually seems to go by pretty quickly. With faster speed settings than I’m used to for a run of this length, this one would be no exception. 7:24, 7:19, 7:14, 7:09…I felt great until the beginning of mile 5, but even as I started getting tired I was pretty sure that I would be able to keep increasing my speed until the finish. 7:04, 6:59 and then I kicked it to 6:49 for the final .2. I had done it! I PRed my best 10K time by 4 seconds on the treadmill which is something I never thought I’d be able to do.

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Pretty cool! And I definitely felt as if I had earned the (REALLY NICE!) medal.

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I’ve done a couple virtual races in the past, but this one was my favorite hands down. From the cool swag, to the website where you can report your times and check out your competition, to the Facebook page that was set up where people could share their running photos and talk to one another, it was a very well-planned event and a great way to keep people motivated during the cold winter months. I will definitely be keeping an eye on the FitFam site to see what they have coming up next!

Did anyone else participate in the Nuun Year Dash? How did it go? Have you ever been to Disney on Ice?

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

xo,

Salt