National Running Day: Like a family! {The Friday Five}

As I’m sure pretty much everyone knows, the best running holiday around occurred on Wednesday. Of course I’m talking about National Running Day!

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I’m one of those people that likes to celebrate big events like birthdays and such for an entire week so I was pleased that my beloved DC Trifecta made National Running Day their topic of the week for the Friday Five.

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Thanks, Mar, Cynthia and Courtney! You ladies are the bestest!

And celebrate I did. Wednesdays are a “dad day” for Betty so I was able to run not once, but TWICE! I was up not-bright (because it was still dark outside) and very early for 4 miles on the treadmill and then after work I hurried over to one of my favorite places on the planet—that would be Charm City Run—for a small group 2 mile fun run that changed to 3 miles when we decided that 2 was just not enough.

Sometimes I forget how much I LOVE running with a group. So today my Friday Five is

Five Things I LOVE About Group Runs!

1) Discovering New Routes!

Nearly every group run I’ve attended has occurred off my home turf. I love my neighborhood, but the same routes over and over again can get a little stale. It’s fun getting out there with other like-minded people and checking out some new terrain! Which brings me to…

2) Making New Friends!

Target Starbucks selfie. Fortunately I have super-humanly long arms.

Cynthia, Erika, Sue, and Courtney! Oh and me with my built-in selfie stick arm.

Sara (Sweaty Mess Mama), Mar (Mar on the Run) and me post-race!

Sara and Mar! And me dressed as a kitty.

This community is like a family! When I started running I never considered the amount of awesome friends I would make in the process. I could go to a group run or race knowing absolutely no one and leave with at least one new friend every time.

3) Less Stress…

Is it weird that I feel more pressured on a solo run than on a group run?

I have an issue in general with going out too fast and when I’m running by myself I have a hard time not thinking about my pace. When I’m running with a group I’ve been tempted to leave my Garmin in the car along with my Yurbuds and if I wasn’t so obsessed with tracking my mileage on Strava right now I probably would. I love finding someone in the group who runs at the same comfortable pace as I do and then spend the next several miles chatting without a care in the world over how fast we’re going.

PS. If you’re on Strava, link up with me! And if you’re not, you should be. Strava rocks. 

4)…But Sometimes Extra Motivation When the Going Gets Tough!

I might not be worried about my pace out there, but running with others definitely pushes me harder when I need it!

Like for example, during our National Running Day outing, we hit some pretty serious hills about halfway in. I was running with two friends—that I had just made about 10 minutes prior because once again runners are awesome—and we were all groaning about them, but having those guys with me was the extra push I needed to destroy those hills!

5) That Great Feeling When You Get It Done!

I generally feel pretty good about myself after (most of) my runs, but there is something to be said about sharing a kick-ass sense of accomplishment with others!

The event on Wednesday was also sponsored by Team in Training and they had an awesome volunteer at the end armed with water for us to drink and motivational words on a job well done. As more of us rolled in there were high fives and shared stories of how the run went for everyone. We were all feeling fantastic and ready to talk about our experiences. No matter the fitness level, I always feel so inspired by other runners and love hearing their stories, especially right after a run!

Writing this post has me so excited to rejoin my MRTT Ladies on Sunday morning for another great group run!

How did you celebrate National Running Day? Did you attend a group run? What are some of your favorite things about running in a group?

xo,

Salt

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It’s Our Holiday! {National Running Day!}

Happy National Running Day, everyone!

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…for my sanity. For my daughter. For myself. Running has completely changed me for the better and I’m so thankful for it, even if I did find it a little later on in life than most people.

How would YOU answer that question? And whatever your running plans are for today, how are you planning to fuel after that run?

If everything pans out, by the time you’re reading this post I should have logged 4 miles and then Charm City Run has a 2 mile fun run event planned for 6pm that I will be attending. And after all that I can tell you exactly how I will be fueling because it will be the same way I’ve been fueling for the past two days.

It’s DELICIOUS. 

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Introducing Post GN–that stands for Grape-Nuts–Fit Cranberry Vanilla granola and I hardly got it out of the shipper before having to taste it. I couldn’t even be bothered to take a decent package shot first before tearing in. What can I say? Vanilla is my favorite.

This granola is my FAVORITE. 

Some nutrition information can be found HERE. This protein-packed, whole grain yumminess tastes like dessert without an overload of sugar. I guess I could have put it in yogurt or something, but Betty and I opted to enjoy it straight out of the bag. Including seconds and thirds.

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I’m sure you can tell by her face that she was loving every bite. The only thing I wasn’t loving was how much granola that she dropped on the floor in the process, but hey…if she’s eating something healthy I can let things like that slide.

I’ve been an original Grape-Nuts fan ever since I was a little kid and my mom used to buy it, so I’m thrilled to see them branching out to include granola in their product lineup and focus on making their mark in the fitness market. Grape-Nuts kindly provided me with some helpful fitness tips; all of them so important to keep in mind on National Running Day or just on any running day in general!

Grape-Nuts Fitness Tips

Whether you’re a light runner or a tri-athlete, it’s important to mix up your workouts. Cross training, weight training, yoga and Pilates are great ways to add variety, work different muscles, and will make you stronger overall.

Don’t forget to refuel. After a long run, your muscles fibers begin to breakdown. In order to repair them properly, they need to be replenished. Grape-Nuts Fit offers a healthy combination of carbs, fiber and protein to give your muscles the nutrients they need to recharge.

After your run, always remember to stretch your muscles, especially your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves, to prevent injury and increase flexibility.

Be sure to stay hydrated. Water helps balance fluids and prevents feelings of hunger between meals. Carrying a reusable bottle makes it easy to refill often, aiming for 3 liters a day.

Getting the proper amount of sleep is just as important as exercise and eating healthy. To allow for extra sleep time, plan ahead by meal prepping for the next day and putting out your workout gear the night before.

I know for me personally, the sleep thing is my biggest challenge. As is the meal prep thing. I think I have some work to do.

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Are you a granola fan? Have you tried Grape-Nuts Fit? How will YOU be celebrating National Running Day today??

xo,

Salt

Workout Roundup! {May 25 – 31, 2015}

Happy June, everyone!! I celebrated the new month with an awesome weekend full of running, good food, attending a baseball game on the surface of the sun, and getting some brand new ink:

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“Keep moving forward” was my mantra as I struggled at the end of the NJ Marathon and now with everything else going on in my life it has become even more significant. I am in LOVE with this tattoo. And for anyone who has ever heard horror stories about getting your ribs done, I can assure you that it really doesn’t hurt.

Now on to the workouts from last week! It was a great week yet again.

Monday, May 25: Memorial Day and I was off work. Betty and I had plans to attend a BBQ in the afternoon, so I took her to the gym playroom in the morning and did some treadmill intervals. 1 mile warm up @ 8:22, 6×400’s with 400m recover (total time 22:12), and 1 mile cool down @ 8:22. The final 2 repeats were the fastest treadmill intervals I had ever attempted and this run felt fantastic! I also did some abs and then negated all my hard work by stuffing my face with cheeseburgers.

Tuesday, May 26: Woke up early for some living room strength training and then Betty was with her dad in the evening so I took my bike over to the trail for a 16 mile ride. I knocked something like 7 minutes off the last time I went out for that distance, so I felt pretty bad-a when I was done.

Wednesday, May 27: 5 sweaty, nasty, FABULOUS miles.

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Thursday, May 28: One of my favorite ways to double up workouts right now is waking up extra early and doing a treadmill 5K before Body Pump. Due to time constraints I usually have to wrap up class after biceps so I feel like I get a lot more accomplished for the day when I run those 3.1 miles first! I made up for the fact that I missed out on the ab portion in the evening.

Also something really exciting happened for me on Thursday afternoon. I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it, but I don’t think I’m supposed to mention it anywhere yet. Sorry not sorry for the cliffhanger. 🙂

Friday, May 29:

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Totally. I worked hard last week and deserved it.

Saturday, May 30: I had some kind of long run planned. I would have liked to do 8 and figured that going out around 8am would allow me to do this. Except that no…it ended up being brightly sunny, 80 degrees, and 5600% humidity.

So I ran 7 (7:40 pace) and got quite a few smiles from people along the way when they read my shirt.

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Sunday, May 31: 3 treadmill miles (8:04 pace), 30 minutes elliptical and then LOTS of walking around the city yesterday!

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The only thing that could have made this day better—besides it not being so damn hot out—would be if we won the game. Maybe next time.

Totals: 23+ running and 16 on the bike. Lots of cross training!

My main goal for this week is fixing my water bottle cage on my bike. It started coming loose at around mile 12 of my Tuesday ride and proceeded to annoy me for the rest of the time I was out there. Hopefully there is something in my house I can use to screw it back on.

I’m also looking forward to celebrating NATIONAL RUNNING DAY on Wednesday and have big news for tomorrow as well…

I’M GOING TO BE IN A KICKSTARTER VIDEO!!

I know some of  you might be aware that Lily Trotters (aka my go-to compression socks!) have been working toward filming a Kickstarter video. Well now it’s happening and I am so honored to have been asked to be one of the featured athletes! I will definitely be posting more information about this as I have it. 🙂

How did your week of workouts go? Are you training for anything specific right now? Will you be celebrating National Running Day? 

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that this week has started off wonderfully for you!

xo,

Salt