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

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Because I’m all about the swag. {The Friday Five}

MY INTERNET IS WORKING!!!!

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Sorrynotsorry…I hate this show. Good gif though.

I’m so happy to be back online. Ever since NanaSalt moved in and the internet was switched over, my access has been spotty at best. Well after some well-placed words with the fine people at Comcast, it seems that things are back in working order.

Just in time for THE FRIDAY FIVE with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney!

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Today’s topic?

swag

Also…I have a confession to make and I don’t even care how stupid it makes me look…but honestly I had no idea that SWAG was an acronym until today. Enormous FAIL.

Anyway, race swag. I love it. I’ve run races with some pretty good swag. I’ve run races where I didn’t even get a tee shirt and I promise I’m not even the least bit still bitter about that. At all. I would never judge an event solely on what they give away, but it is nice to have a take-home that I will at least use again at some point. Especially with some races being a wee bit on the expensive side.

Here are my top 5 favorite races as far as the swag is concerned….

1. The Baltimore Running Festival 

Highlight: Consistently badass finisher medals. 

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I LOVE me a good medal. For the past two years I’ve run the Baltimore Half and they certainly do not disappoint in that department. Bonus for last year’s medal? The claw can double as a bottle opener.

A corkscrew would be more useful to me, but whatever.

The shirts they give out for the event are very nice too; Under Armour Heat Gear long sleeved tech tees. I wear mine regularly when it’s not 100+ degrees outside.

2. Sole of the City 10K

Hightlight: This rockin’ UA jacket.

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I can only speak for the premium in 2014 because I did not do this race last year, but this Under Armour jacket is probably my favorite item of clothing I have ever received from a race. Ever.

When they first handed it to me I was a little bummed because it was April and I thought that I wouldn’t have a lot of time to enjoy wearing anything that felt so warm. Well surprise…it stayed freezing until like June. Basically I’ve worn this a lot, both while running and just otherwise. Bonus…thumbholes. I love thumbholes.

3. The B3 Race Series

Hightlight: The world’s best gym bag.

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Last year I participated in Charm City Run’s B3 Race Series which consisted of three races: the St. Patrick’s Day 5K, Sole of the City 10K, and the Charles Street 12. The premium for running these? A bag so ginormous that when they handed it to me I immediately assumed that it would end up in the back of my closet because when would I ever need a backpack that huge?

Answer? ALL THE FREAKING TIME. 

This bag is my gym bag now. It has about a million pockets, holds all the random crap I carry around with me on a daily basis and basically I don’t know what I’d do without it.

4. The New Jersey Marathon

Highlight: Big Jersey bling. 

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I was kind of expecting whatever medal they gave me in Jersey to be a little over the top and the marathon finisher medal this year was pretty huge. It’s easily the biggest medal on my rack. And it’s the only one that spins. Betty is pretty obsessed with it. Thanks for not disappointing me, New Jersey.

Downside to this race? The shirt was terrible. The material was great, but if I’ve just run a marathon I prefer my shirt to announce in big huge letters somewhere that I’ve just run a marathon. If you squint at this one there is a little line that says something about “marathon & half” blah blah blah. Whatever. I ended up purchasing a second shirt that would make it a lot easier for me to brag without saying any actual words.

5. The Color Run

Highlight: Headbands, temp tattoos, a shirt, color packets, and for Shine tour there was a super cute finisher medal. 

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She was way more thrilled to be wearing it than she appears in this photo.

I know a lot of people aren’t into themey kinds of runs, but overall The Color Run really does give you the biggest bang for your buck as far as race swag is concerned.

I also would like to mention here that they are coming back yet again to Baltimore on September 5th at 7:30pm with their very first NIGHT RUN and I’m an Ambassador for the third time!

If you want to join me I have a discount code yet again (BALTIMORE3) and I also started a team that is aptly named “BAD DYE JOB” if you’ve seen my roots lately. I hope to see some of you there!

And that about does it. As I said earlier I’m busy making my list of races for the fall and I’m excited to see what kind of cool stuff I’ll get to take home.

I hope all of you have had a wonderful week and a fun weekend planned ahead! I’ve missed you guys!

xo,

Salt

I tasted the rainbow! {The Color Run recap}

No seriously I did taste the rainbow and it was all up in my teeth afterward.

Last Saturday The Color Run returned to Baltimore and for the second time in a row Miss Betty and I were honored to be Ambassadors, along with my BRF, Sara. There were two separate events that day and we were signed up for the one at 9 am. I just  love the smell of glitter bright and early in the morning.

So yeah . This year The Color Run is presenting the Shine tour and what could be shinier or more sparkly than glitter? Or some gold bling at the end? I was pretty excited that they would be handing out medals this time! Along with the standard white logo tee and rainbow sweatbands, we were also provided with some fun glitter tattoos and at the end of the race there would be a packet of glitter handed to us along with the customary color packet for the big color throw where everyone gets super messy.

Betty and me, equipped with our jogger that still contains remnants from last year’s Color Run, arrived just as they were starting to let people in. We picked up my bib and gear, purchased a stuffed unicorn for our sweet little I Run 4 buddy and met up with Sara just in time to catch the beginnings of the Zumba-style warm up.

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Despite some audio difficulties, it was still a lot of fun. If there’s one thing that the friendly folks at The Color Run know how to do, it’s get people moving!

Right around 9 o’clock, we started making our way to the start and I noticed way too late that we should have probably gotten in line much sooner (sorry again, Sara) We were packed in like sardines. At least we had gorgeous blue skies and sunshine!

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Luckily Betty isn’t afraid of crowds. In fact, she was so NOT afraid that she ended up falling asleep in the stroller while we waited. I have no idea how considering that there was loud dance music blaring right next to us, but naps are so few and far between now that I’m not about to argue them regardless of where they occur.

Eventually it was our turn. I fired up my Garmin and we we went…

…absolutely NO WHERE.

So I know that The Color Run isn’t timed or anything. They were making a point to announce that fact at the start. But some people out there do want to run. This was made pretty near impossible during the first mile with people walking in huge packs and stopping dead in their tracks right in front of us.

I’m fairly certain that I wasn’t making any friends running with the stroller.

The course was much the same as last time with a few small changes, one of which was that the purple color station replaced with people that were dousing us in gallons of glitter. I have never seen so much glitter in my life. It was everywhere including in my sinuses. I sneezed and B snored her way through it.

In fact, she snored her way through pretty much the whole thing. Despite missing out on everything she was cheerful as we rushed toward the finish line. Start to finish it took us right around 27 minutes flat which was not bad at all considering that we spent a mile practically walking. We collected our shiny gold medal, cleaned up a bit, and headed over to the stage for the after party.

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I promise that she was much more enthused than she appears in that photo.

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See all that color? That’s what blowing my nose looked like for the rest of the weekend. We met up with Sara to the side of the stage at 10:15 because as Ambassadors we would be invited up on stage to assist in one of the color throws. This was definitely one of the highlights of my experience. I’m sure it was a highlight of Betty’s too. I got some an adorable short video of her dancing around on the stage. The ham doesn’t fall far from the tree, I guess.

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They announced our names and allowed Betty to do the countdown. Then I tried to get another photo, but I was so freaked out by the giant mushroom cloud of color coming straight for us that I temporarily forgot how to use my camera.

After the dust settled—into my sinuses, eyeballs, and all over my skin—it was time to pack up and head out. Milkshakes at Shake Shack were just what we needed to wash down all the cornstarch.

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One again The Color Run delivered with adorable photos. I think these might be some of my favorite race pics ever.

A huge thanks to them for welcoming us back to the Ambassador team! It was a blast! Apparently the next time The Color Run returns to Baltimore it will be for a night race. That might have to be a mommy’s night out event. 🙂

Have you done the Shine Tour? What did you think? Anyone else take any AWESOME race pictures lately?

Happy Thursday, all!

xo,

Salt