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

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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

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