How Running Has Changed Me, and How It Can Change You, too!

When I started running 5 years ago (oh my goodness, has it been that long already??), I never dreamed how much it would change my life. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Running is not just something I did to get in shape–that definitely had something to do with it–but it was about challenging myself and changing my mindset on life.

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At first, I was intimidated to share my progress & thoughts with anyone but myself. I started a blog and kept track of my Couch to 5K training that way, not thinking that anyone would want to read it–it was just much easier to type my thoughts than to write them in a journal. But somehow I ended up finding other running bloggers and connected with them so much that they have become some of my dearest friends! But, other than friendships, running has changed my life in so many ways. Here’s just a few:

Continue reading How Running Has Changed Me, and How It Can Change You, too!

How I Fuel My Runs

How many runners have heard this said while expressing our guilt before noshing a cupcake, slice of pizza, or a carton of French fries: “Yeah, but you run like, all the time. It’s true that I have used that fact as a reason to indulge more than I should, and in some ways, running is a “get out of jail free” card. But—and at the risk of sounding like a total buzzkill—being a runner means that the value of good nutrition is a lot higher for us. 

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You wouldn’t drive a car across the country without getting a tune-up first, would you? Or getting one after you get to your destination? Running can be viewed in the same way: for all the destruction that you do on your muscles, bones, and nervous system, getting the proper nutrition through what you eat is part of what keeps you going.

Continue reading How I Fuel My Runs

Volunteer To Be Part Of The Runner’s Rite Of Spring!

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run needs thousands of volunteers to make The Runner’s Rite Of Spring® the finest 10-mile race in the nation. From helpful people handing out bibs at the expo to smiling fans working water stops along the course, there are so many volunteers that impact the race experience!

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Photo courtesy of Don Libes, on Flickr

One of my favorite race day traditions is to make it a point to thank the volunteers. I know I couldn’t finish the race without the volunteers at the water stops, and might have been lost without the volunteers answering my questions at the expo. I am thankful for everyone who took time out of their days to make my race experience better.

Maybe that’s because my first experience with the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run was not as a runner, but as a volunteer. I volunteered through my credit union employer to man the Memorial Bridge center divider.

Photo Credit: Heather Mundwiler

Volunteering with a few of my credit union co-workers at the 2009 race
(I’m second from the left)

We had to get to our position on the course very early on race morning, but even that had it’s own reward!

Photo Credit: Heather Mundwiler

The Memorial Bridge looked a little bit different as the runners took to the course!

Photo Credit: Heather Mundwiler

One of the great things about volunteering for is that there are many volunteer positions that you can do even if you are running the race, since there are volunteer slots on Friday and Saturday, as well as on race day. Check out the options and sign up here. And, if you volunteer this year, you will receive a guaranteed race entry for next year!

So Many Volunteer Opportunities!

Since my first time volunteering, I have continued to volunteer when I am able. I have been a course marshal at the Memorial Bridge twice, assisted with a Credit Union for Kids Silent Auction benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and handed out bananas at the finish line. Volunteers are crucial to the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run success!

I asked Nita Lalla Roncone, CUCB Volunteer Coordinator, about some of her favorite volunteer positions and what perks volunteers can earn.

Nita’s favorite volunteer positions are Expo Hall Security and the Volunteer Registration Team. Expo Hall Security acts as a roving information team to direct runners, volunteers, and expo visitors to various sites. As a runner herself, Nita knows the importance of these volunteers.

I think it is key to have a lot of staff familiar with the race interact with the runners and answer questions “on the fly”

The Volunteer Registration Team implements the paperless registration process by using QR code readers to scan in the 2,500 volunteers. The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run is working toward environmental sustainability in all facets of the race, and this is one semingly small step that can make a big difference. You can read more about the sustainability efforts of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run here.

Nita highlighted Course Marshal as another fun volunteer position. 175 Course Marshals needed for both the 10 mile and 5K races. These volunteers are transported to their location on the race course and cheer on the runners as they run the race!

Photo Credit: Heather Mundwiler

As for first timers, Nita says “We also have many first timers who are unfamiliar with the competitiveness of the lottery system, and so when they don’t get a spot in the race, they volunteer to secure the spot for the following year. Turns out they have so much fun volunteering and realize how great it was to get a spot in the race, that they return year after year. We have many volunteers who are repeat volunteers, and we honor all of our volunteers at an annual Friday night volunteer appreciation party.”

Wait, did someone say party?

Yep! The Friday night volunteer appreciation party is just one of the benefits of volunteering for Cherry Blossom. They include:

  • Guaranteed entry code for next year’s race. The guaranteed entry is transferable, so if a non-running friend volunteers , they could transfer their entry to you. Or, if you get into the lottery, you can transfer your entry to a friend.
  • Volunteer Appreciation Party. Last year this was a catered wine & cheese event, free for all volunteers.
  • Being part of something bigger than yourself.  Nita reminded me that “The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run has been recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as something you have to do when you live in Washington. Even if you aren’t a runner, this is a great way to be part of the DC Community.”
    OK, so you’re ready to volunteer, right? Great! Sign up as directed below depending on what kind of Volunteer you are:

How To Select Your Spot And Sign Up

When you sign up to volunteer, you can select your date/time/position, so sign up early to get your preferred slot.

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Photo courtesy of
Don Libes, on Flickr

Medical Volunteers:

Volunteers:

If you volunteered in 2016 you have until this Wednesday, March 1, to register with your guaranteed entry code. 

If you are registered and can’t run, the bib transfer program is open through this Tuesday, February 28.

Thank you so much to Nita Lalla Roncone for answering all of my questions and to Don Libes for letting me share just a few of his photos from his 11 years volunteering for Cherry Blossom!

 

 

Listening To Your Body With Objectivity

This is part two of my two-part series on how to listen to your body. If you missed part one, or want to review my advice, you can find it here.

We’ve all heard that listening to your body is key to staying healthy throughout a training cycle, but just how do you listen to your body, and what do you listen for?

Listening To Your Body

I think it’s important to listen to your body physicallymentally and objectively. In my first article, I shared my tips for listening to your body physically. In this article, I’m focusing on how to listen to your body mentally and objectively. Continue reading Listening To Your Body With Objectivity

Say What? How To Listen To Your Body

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Listen to your body” before. It has been frequently referenced in training books and articles over many decades. Ask someone how they stay healthy throughout a training cycle and they often respond with “I listen to my body”.

Listen To Your Body

You may be wondering where that phrase came from. The phrase was coined by the late George Sheehan, considered by many to be one of the greatest running philosophers. But many people that speak of the phrase don’t quite know what it actually means.  One of the gaps I see in a lot of advice is between the message and how to actually implement it into your training.  So how do you actually apply that advice?
Continue reading Say What? How To Listen To Your Body

Why We Love The Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

This week is all about love. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing why we love the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. It’s not called The Runner’s Rite Of Spring® for nothing!

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Show your love and support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals here!

We’d love to hear why you love the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run–tell us in the comments!

Continue reading Why We Love The Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Advanced Degrees

Training for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in the winter isn’t easy, especially when the temperature dips low, low, low. Recently I ran a 10K race in some very cold weather!

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I needed help to get to this race. I needed some serious motivation, because staying snuggled under the covers where it was nice and warm was very tempting.  So I sent some texts and posted on Facebook and asked for help. Continue reading Advanced Degrees

MedStar Sports Medicine Wants To Help You Run Your Best Race

Whether the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run or 5K will be your first race or one of many, every runner can benefit from learning more about preventing injury, training through injuries, fueling for a race, and recovery. That’s why we are grateful for the support of MedStar Sports Medicine, and the educational seminars they are offering just for Cherry Blossom participants.

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I attended the first seminar on injury prevention, and learned about the benefits of doing a dynamic warm-up and specific strength training exercises for runners. The next seminar on February 7th will discuss common running injuries and options for training through them. Find out more and register here. Continue reading MedStar Sports Medicine Wants To Help You Run Your Best Race

How To Get Started Running

I feel like a perpetual new runner. I’ve started and stopped running so many times in my life, I’ve lost count. If anyone knows how to get started running, it’s me.How To StartRunning

I took a break from running when graduate school and working full-time became too much to add running into my schedule. After a cross-country move and settling into new job, I wanted to start running again and found that I felt like a brand new runner again. Every step felt like it was hard, breathing was an effort, even the two-mile loop around my neighborhood was too much. I had to return to the basics of when I first started running. In case you’re new to running too, I want to share some of what I have found important in my many seasons of being a new runner. Continue reading How To Get Started Running