Category Archives: Social Runner

How I’m Training For The Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

I know the official training programs for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run started in February, but that seemed too early for me to start training for a race that isn’t until April. Not to mention that training in the D.C. area in February this year meant braving icy or snowy trails or slogging it out on the treadmill. But, now it’s March, and the longer daylight hours–if not warmer weather–are reminding me that race day will be here soon.


I have a history of running injuries–plantar fascitis, ITB syndrome, piriformis syndrome–so I approach training for a race cautiously. No PR (personal record) is worth risking a DNS (did not start) due to injury.

I have found that running three days a week, doing strength training 3 days a week, and resting or doing a gentle yoga/stretching program on the other day works well for me.

This is what my typical training schedule looks likes:

Monday: 20-30 minutes elliptical, 30-40 minutes full body strength training
Tuesday: 45-60 minutes of running, usually a speed or hill workout (on alternating weeks)
Wednesday: 20-30 minutes elliptical, 30-40 minutes full body strength training
Thursday: 4-5 mile run
Friday: 20-30 minutes elliptical, 20-30 minutes upper body/back strength training
Saturday: long run (8-12 miles)
Sunday: gentle yoga or stretching program

For my strength training routines, I am focusing on exercises that are suggested for runners, like dead lifts, calf raises, squats, lunges, clamshells, planks, etc. On Friday I focus on upper body strength moves to give my legs a rest before my Saturday long run.

You can read more about my running and training on my blog, Running With Perseverance, or follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

Have you started following a training plan? 

Have you set a goal for race day?

Dear Running — Be My Valentine

Valentine’s Day is upon us — the perfect time to reflect on why we love running so much!

Valentine To Running

What would you put on a Valentine’s Day card to running? 


Courtenay is an attorney and Virginia native, born,  raised and living in Alexandria, Virginia. She started running after graduating from law school, and has been hooked on the endorhpins ever since. Her favorite race distance is 10 miles. 

Three Things You Can Do Now To Get Ready For Your Spring Race

With the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run more than eight weeks away, I’m not quite ready to start training for the race, but it’s never too early for conditioning. Here are three things that I think runners can be doing now to get ready for spring races.


Continue reading Three Things You Can Do Now To Get Ready For Your Spring Race

Runner’s Wish List

Runner's Wish ListIt’s that time of year when everyone is making their lists and checking them twice. If you are like me, you have been browsing the websites, catalogs and aisles of your favorite athletic stores, looking for the latest running gear to put on your wish list. I am pretty well outfitted for the time being, but there are a few things that I think are on every runner’s wish list.

1. An injury-free year. I have struggled with plantar fascitis, ITB syndrome, and other injuries that plague runners. By balancing my running with strength training and yoga, I was able to fend off major injuries in 2013, and I hope to do the same in 2014.

2. A Personal Record. Unless you are new to running, you can’t earn a “PR” in every race, but most runners hope for–and train for–at least one PR every racing season. The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run is a great race for a PR because the course really is mostly flat and fast.

3. Flattering Race Pictures. I’ve run a lot of races, but have very few race pictures that I would want anyone else to see. If I knew where to expect the race photographers along the course, maybe I wouldn’t pick that moment to take a swig of water or wipe the sweat off my face. Race photographers must realize that we are more likely to buy those pictures if we actually like them! Maybe MarathonFoto (the official photographer for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run) will come through with great race pictures for everyone.

What’s on your runner’s wish list?


Courtenay is an attorney and Virginia native, born,  raised and living in Alexandria, Virginia. She started running after graduating from law school, and has been hooked on the endorhpins ever since. Her favorite race distance is 10 miles. 

Running Superstitions

Pink and Blue CloverWe’re several days into  the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run lottery, and are crossing our laces for everyone tweeting us and commenting on Facebook to get selected for this year’s race!

There are 4 runners (and many 2013 volunteers and charity runners!) who do not have to rely on luck to get into this year’s CUCB: our 2 social runners, Doug and Francine, and (for the first time ever!) our two blog contributors, Jenny and Courtenay.

We’re pleased to introduce them to those of you who haven’t already “met” them online, and to share their responses to the question “Are you superstitious?”


Jenny is a mom, wife, avid weight lifter, and runner living and working in Central PA who blogs at

Is she superstitious?

If you had asked me BEFORE I started running, I would have said no. But I am when it comes to races! I never wear my race shirt until I’ve completed the race, and I always wear the same pair of “lucky” sunglasses when running!

Courtenay is an attorney, wife, mom (empty-nester) and runner in Alexandria, Virginia, who blogs at “Running With Perseverance,”

Is she superstitious?

I don’t think of myself as being superstitious, but when I am at the mercy of the luck of the draw, I probably do cross my fingers, think positive thoughts, and say a quick prayer! That approach has worked for me with the CUCB, since I was lucky enough to get in through the lottery for the past two years. So, fingers crossed…

Social Runners

Francine works in banking, is the mother of 2 boys, and a runner in Delaware, who blogs at

Is she superstitious?

I am superstitious.  I cross my fingers before I hit enter on any lottery race.  Good luck and cross those fingers! 

Doug is a runner and parallel parking champ from Washington, DC who blogs at

Is he superstitious?

I do not have any superstitions but I believe in good fortune.

Welcome Credit Union Cherry Blossom Runners!

Welcome to the official blog of the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. We’re excited to have you as a reader, a runner and possibly a guest blogger.

We love talking running and want to hear from you. Maybe you’re hoping to enter this race for the first time or you’ve been at the starting line many times since 1973. Maybe you’re already planning to make completing the 5K Run/Walk your New Year’s Resolution or you’re excited to bring your little one to the Kids’ 1/2 Mile run. Whatever race is on your list,  consider us your online running partners! From gear to goals, mileage to motivation, fartleks to finish lines, we’ll cover it all.

Upcoming Events

The race is five months away and we’re already hard at work. We are accepting applications for the 2014 Social Runners. We need two runners from anywhere in the United States who want to tell the world all about their experiences with the race on Facebook and Twitter. Interested? Apply here!

It’s also time to get your tickets for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Fall Kickoff Reception on Friday, November 15th from 6:00-9:00 PM at The 201 Bar. Your $15 registration includes a drink ticket, appetizers and – the best part – a raffle entry for a guaranteed entry to the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run! Get your ticket here.

From the Editors

cherry blossom runner

I’m Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan, one of the editors of this blog,  I’m looking forward to learning from so many other runners. This race has a special place in my heart.  In 2011, it marked a return to my beloved sport of running after many setbacks. In 2012, I set a personal best for the 10 mile.  Last year, I was thrilled to be one of the Social Runners for the 2013 CUCB but injuries forced me to change my goals. Who knows what 2014 will bring?

I invite you to continue the conversation with us on Twitter at @CUCB and with me at @epagelhogan.

Have a great run.