Resting, recovering, and new things I’m loving.

And also HI. Happy New Year 13 days late, everyone!

Following the NCR marathon – which is now way over a month ago, I still haven’t written a recap of it, and maybe I should consider getting on that – I decided to take a little break from running. I was incredibly sore and lacking any kind of motivation…not just to run, but really just to do anything. (Hence the reason that this place was so quiet for so long.) Of course, taking running out of the equation for any of us is likely to lead to mild insanity, so the break lasted only a few days before I decided that I’d just spend a lot of time at the gym on the treadmill instead. I realize this probably sounds like a form of torture to most people, but in a period of mental and physical recovery it was nice to have an out if a run wasn’t feeling quite right rather than deciding a half hour in that I couldn’t do it anymore and having to call someone for a ride because I was 4 miles away from my house.

You better believe I didn’t waste those 70 degree December days inside though. I did run outside a few times. You just don’t NOT run outside in shorts and a tank top on Christmas Eve.

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In addition to the treadmill, I switched shoes. Again. My go-to shoes had become my Hoka Clifton. There were nearly 500 miles on both pairs and here I was questioning why I might have high hamstring pain. I started reading reviews of the Clifton 2 and they seemed a little unfavorable, so I bought myself a pair of Hoka Huaka.

These shoes are made of unicorn smiles and magic. Plus they have a big ol’ logo on the side that appeals to my inner graphic designer

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Hamstring pain GONE after two runs. Then I learned that the Huaka really must be the shoe I’ve been waiting all my life for because they are being discontinued and that’s just the kind of luck that I have.

Anyway as you can also see from that picture: there has been a lot of extra compression sock wearing lately. I rock them on most of my runs even if I am seemingly the only person at the gym who wears them on the treadmill. People can judge all they want, but I have better circulation than ALL of them.

Of course those socks are Lily Trotters, aka my compression sock of choice since learning about them last year. Just before the holidays, I got the best package ever in the mail from my friend Susan containing some spiffy new pairs of Lily Trotters including the Sassy Bow (in the picture above although the angle doesn’t show off the adorable bow detail on the back), the Candy Stripes that go awesomely with my Pure Cadence:

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And one of my most favorites…the lotus socks that I sometimes wear to work and to the gym in the same day. I’ve worn compression socks to work before, but would never have considered rolling up my pant leg to show them off.

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Yes I did wear my pants like that and to my knowledge no one thought I was any weirder than they normally do.

I even took a pair out on a disgustingly muddy trail run the other day!

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Yet they still manage to look incredibly cute.

The fact that Lily Trotters are still creating  such a huge buzz makes me ecstatic. Also ever since I started wearing them there’s a new fan in my house too; my mom, who is an RN and on her feet for long shifts, literally cannot deal with work unless she has them on. They have made such a huge difference for her and it’s great that she can get the word out about their benefits amongst her nurse friends while I continue to talk about them in the running community.

I’m at a place where I’m starting to plan out my race schedule – no marathon this time, focusing on halfs and shorter – and get back to my normal fitness because there was definitely quite a bit of wine and cookies around the holidays. With new shoes, socks, and working toward a more positive outlook on life in general, I’m feeling pretty well prepared to go into the spring pain-free.

How is your spring race schedule looking? Gone on any trail runs lately? New shoes? Fun New Year stories? Tell me something! I feel like I have so much to catch up on!

xo,

Salt

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Race Recap: It wasn’t too hot to trot, but it sure was crazy humid!

Have you ever made the decision to run a race literally 7 hours beforehand?

That was me last weekend. At 12:30 am Sunday we had just finished watching a movie and I was about to head home when offhandedly I asked if I could borrow $2 because my run club was hosting a 10K in a few hours. Then I had to explain how insanely cheap it is for registration to their races if you’re a member. I love you, Baltimore Road Runners.

Fast forward what felt like about 15 minutes later and my alarm was going off. Armed with my 2 bucks and an enormous cup of coffee I headed to the NCR Trail at Sparks for the Too Hot to Trot 10K. I ran this race last year with my busted up foot. Contrary to what the name might suggest, it was not too hot to trot on that particular Sunday. Actually it was downright cool and when I first walked outside the other day I thought maybe we were going to luck out again.

There was a pretty standard turnout for a BRRC event with nearly 110 runners in the field. I paid my fee and headed down to the trail to warm up. It was definitely not too hot, but it was HUMID. I was sweating after only running a half mile.

2H2T is an out and back from the Sparks trail head almost all the way down to Paper Mill if you are familiar with the area, which most of you probably aren’t. It’s rail trail so pretty flat with packed dirt and gravel. This is also the trail that I will be running my marathon on in November and I’ll jump at any chance I can get to train there. I exchanged good luck wishes with my friend as the air horn blared and we were on our way just a little past the posted start time of 7:30 am. My goal for this race was to not pay too much attention to my pace and run however I was comfortable. I finished up my first mile in 7:15.

BRRC is full of some very fast folks and people took off quickly in the beginning. Until the other runners started to reach the turnaround point, I had no idea how many were up ahead of me. Mile 2 was uneventful. I paced myself behind one guy who I would actually end up following until around mile 5. Things were going consistently. My watch beeped 7:16.

During my third mile the leaders passed me going in the opposite direction and it was the men I would have expected to see out in front. It’s usually the same guys every time. Then one very fast woman who I see out at a lot of races went cruising by. My watch signaled mile 3 (7:17) and I could see the turnaround point up ahead. There was another woman who had been way out ahead of me at the start, but I had been gaining on her and as she rounded the cone I could see that she was the only other woman in front of me which was a very pleasant surprise. I hit the turn and shortly after that passed my friend who told me to “GO GET ‘EM!” I was starting to feel a little exhausted so it gave me a great extra boost. Mile 4: 7:15. Still consistent.

That’s  where things started to fall apart a little bit, but luckily the same thing seemed to be happening to other people too. I passed the woman in 2nd place during mile 5  (7:24) and then I was too afraid to look over my shoulder to see if there was anyone else nearby. I was completely focused on holding on to second place. So focused that apparently I ran right by my friend who was out on the trail doing mile repeats and didn’t even see him.

Mile 6 (7:28) was a blur and I practically shouted for joy when I saw the time clock come into view; obviously because I was done, but also I could tell that I was going to PR! My time:

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More than a minute off my previous 10K PR and I held on to second place. The woman who won was ahead of me by about 3 minutes. She’s amazing.

And I wished I had had a towel with me to dry off. I was SO sweaty and disgusting.

I absolutely love the woman who was the RD for this race. When she is in charge everything is so well organized and she always has such a great spread of refreshments set up for the runners. She even makes awards for the top finishers and I was so proud and happy to take one home!

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THANK YOU!!

I know I’ve said this over and over again on here, but BRRC races are just the best. Well organized, the field is normally small and so friendly, and the courses are always great (I LOVE running on the trail!) They have a great calendar on their website that lists all their events so if you can ever make it out for one I highly recommend it!

Especially if you were thinking about a fun fall marathon! The NCR Trail Marathon is the Baltimore Road Runners’ signature event! (And there’s a price increase on the 31st, so if you want to run with me sign up NOW!)

Have you ever made a last minute decision to run a race? Do you love the 10K distance as much as I do?

xo,

Salt

Workout Roundup! {June 1 – 7, 2015}

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One day I will figure out how to make my running clothes business casual.

Anyway, Monday strikes again which means another round up of last week’s workouts. Despite the majority of the week being miserably cold by June standards and with lots of rain, I’m still really happy with how things went. Let’s see what happened:

Monday, June 1: 5K run (7:46 pace) and most of a BodyPump class. Unfortunately I usually have to split right after biceps if I want any hope of arriving to work on time. This particular day I was breathing a sigh of relief when it was time to leave; the back track had SO. MANY. POWER PRESSES. and I don’t think I fully recovered from them until lunchtime. In the evening I did some abs in my living room.

Tuesday, June 2: I was off work due to the Kickstarter shoot with Lily Trotters so I headed to the gym in the morning for speedwork in the form of the first 800’s I’ve done since last year. Man were they TOUGH. I did a mile warmup, 4×800’s with 400m recovery in between (22:20 total time) and a cool down mile. It wasn’t quite time for me to get ready yet after all that so I hopped on the stepmill for 20 minutes.

And I guess I could also count all the running around I did modeling those gorgeous socks as another workout too! I’ve seen a couple of the still shots from the day and I cannot wait to share them!

Wednesday, June 3: HAPPY NATIONAL RUNNING DAY!! I was up early for 4 treadmill miles and then in the evening I met up with the group at Charm City Run for an additional 3 miles which I wrote all about here. It was nice to celebrate the day with a little more mid-week mileage than I’m used to.

Thursday, June 4: So a little extra something about last week…I was a miserable failure in the sleep department. Tuesday night I got about an hour and a half of sleep and by the time Wednesday night rolled around I was a disagreeable trainwreck. Thursday morning I was still a little out of sorts, but managed to make it to the gym for BodyPump and fit in an ab workout in the evening. Then I went to bed right around the same time Betty did.

Friday, June 5: Still tired and that was okay because REST DAY.

Saturday, June 6: Betty and I went to the gym. She played in the playroom while I ran 7 miles (7:50 pace) on the treadmill while watching television coverage of the Baltimore 10 Miler.

Sunday, June 7: My second group run of the week! I got together with some awesome ladies from my Moms Run This Town chapter—including Sara and Betty’s best friend Charlotte—for some miles on the trail. I decided that I was going to attempt 5 although the longest run I had done with the stroller previously was a 5K. It went REALLY well:

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My splits: 8:43, 8:32, 8:36, 8:14, 7:48. As you can see, Betty was pretty excited about it too. She loved running on the trail!

Total Mileage for the Week: 27+. 

The only regret I have is the overwhelming lack of bike mileage although I most days it would have made more sense to build an ark than ride a bike. One of my goals for this week is some non-running cardio because my right achilles is feeling a little tight/sore-ish and I don’t want to push it too hard. Also I just found out that Tuesday Track Nights are starting again and while I may not make it over there tomorrow I’m excited to make that a part of my routine this summer!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Did you run long or race? Tell me about it!

xo,

Salt