Tag Archives: motivation

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

Runner Spotlight: Deborah Brooks

Shh...don't tell anyone Supergirl's secret identity!
Shh…don’t tell anyone Supergirl’s secret identity!

I met Deborah Brooks when I was running past a water stop during my first half marathon. She is a Moms Run This Town (MRTT) Chapter leader in McLean, VA where she has successfully raised a husband and two teens.  She currently coaches Girls on The Run and hopes that she is helping to inspire the next generation of female runners. As a lifelong vegetarian, she is passionate about healthy living and exercise. She loves to showcase her vegetarian creations each week on her “Confessions of a Mother Runner” blog’s Meatless Monday link up. You will find her running with her crew or sweating it out at the gym training for the next crazy race someone talked her into. Continue reading Runner Spotlight: Deborah Brooks

Bring Some Good Luck to Your Race

Good Luck Box is teaming up with the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run to bring you an extra shot of luck the week before the race. What is a Good Luck Box? It’s a selection of handpicked items from running experts to give you the edge before, during, and after an upcoming race. Boxes are tailored to the recipient and their race. In the case of the Cherry Blossom box, the contents will be specially chosen with a cherry blossom theme. Continue reading Bring Some Good Luck to Your Race

Jen’s Sweeping Finish

Jen's "sweep bus selfie"
Jen’s “Sweep Bus Selfie” on the Arlington Memorial Bridge

We are privileged to be able to use the Washington Monument Grounds during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, its busiest time of the year. Our permit agreement specifies all runners will be off the course by 10:30 am. To meet this agreement, runners not maintaining a 14-minute-per mile pace (calculated from the start of the final wave) will be required to leave the course and board our sweep vehicle (if you are unsure that you can maintain this pace, you can switch to the 5k by completing this form). One brave runner shares her 2015 sweep bus experience.  Continue reading Jen’s Sweeping Finish

Runner Spotlight: David Heyman

David after completing Havana Half Marathon in November 2015
David after completing Havana Half Marathon in November 2015

I “met” David Heyman on twitter in 2014 when we were both preparing for the Philadelphia half marathon. His twitter feed is one of my favorites & is full of insights on what’s happening in Washington, DC – everything from sports, to politics, to the metro system. He also tracks how long it takes media outlets to report breaking news, shares travel tips, and (of course) has running-related content!

Continue reading Runner Spotlight: David Heyman

Wanted: Generous Runners Who Know Every Second Counts

How long will it take you to run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? This year, I’d love to run it in 90 minutes or less. Let’s say you finish in 90 minutes, too, and we cross the line together. That’s 5,400 seconds.

Did you know 62 children a minute enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment? That’s 1 child a second.

That means 5,400 children may enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment while we are participating in the Runners’ Rite of Spring and enjoying the view of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Hains Point.

Caregivers Need You

Friday, February 19 is National Caregiver Day, and that got me thinking about the parents who bring their kids to children’s hospitals. Continue reading Wanted: Generous Runners Who Know Every Second Counts

Runner Spotlight: Jamie Seifert

Jamie tackles Marine Corps, her second marathon, with ease
Jamie tackles Marine Corps, her second marathon, with ease

Jamie and I met a little over a year ago during Potomac River Running Distance Training, but she’s the kind of person that you feel like you’ve known your whole life. Now our kids run track together, she gives me mom advice (who knew elementary school would be so hard for me to navigate?!), and comes over to run on my basement treadmill when the winter weather makes an outdoor run treacherous. Everyone should have a friend like Jamie! 

Continue reading Runner Spotlight: Jamie Seifert

5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Run This Winter

Running in the winter can be tough, especially if you are in an area like the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic regions where we get hit with snow, ice, and even big blizzards (Hello, Storm Jonas!). Sometimes it’s tougher to convince yourself to suit up and get out the door to stay on track with training for spring races like the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. Here are some of my tips to make sure that I stay motivated and stick to my training plans through the winter months.

1.Buy the proper gear.

If you are going to be running outside in the winter make sure you have some warm-layering essentials and accessories including socks, gloves and a hat. I like to layer a tank top tucked into some cold weather long tights and layer a half zip plus a shell coat on top and finish it off with gloves and a hat or fleece headband. Keep everything by the door or laid out the night before so you aren’t scrambling to find what you need in the morning.

2. Join a local running group or make it a date.

One of my biggest motivators for getting out the door on cold, dark winter mornings is having someone to meet up with. Find a local running group that meets at specific times or make a date with a friend to go for a run. If you are meeting someone, you are far less likely to hit the snooze button and miss a run!

3.  Keep your spring goals in mind.

If you have signed up for a race like the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run or have a spring racing goal in mind, mark your calendar or print out a countdown of how many days it is until the race.  Also print out your training plan and mark off each run you complete.   Keep in mind your target race or how it will feel when you accomplish your goal every run as motivation.

4.  Have a backup plan.

Sometimes running outside in the winter may not be an option for you.  If you belong to a local gym, be prepared to complete a treadmill workout. I also like to keep a bunch of at-home strength and cardio workout DVDs and Youtube videos on hand. If I can’t get a run in I can at least do some cross-training or just switch my training schedule around for the week.

5.  Make your long runs an event.

Getting in my longer runs is the biggest challenge for me in the in winter so I like to create little rituals for myself to stay motivated.  After my weekend long runs I like to treat myself to a coffee or hot chocolate and a breakfast snack. It seems silly but having that big mug of hot chocolate and a bagel is sometimes motivation enough to get my miles for the day done.  Treat yourself to something small on your long run days, and it can be something to look forward to all week. It could also be getting a manicure or taking time to snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see-only after you finish your run!


Runner Spotlight: Jummy Olabanji

Jummy at the finish line of the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run
Jummy at the finish line of the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Does Jummy look familiar to you? If so, you probably recognize her from Good Morning Washington or ABC7 News at Noon. Jummy and I have been twitter friends for a while and have run many of the same races. We even passed each other on the course of the Army Ten Miler in 2014! We finally met in person at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile run kickoff party last November. 

When did you begin running and why? I began running in October of 2013 when I became involved with Girls on the Run (GOTR) through work. My station, ABC7, partnered with GOTR Nova on some events and I was so inspired by all of the young girls. They made me decide to take running more seriously.
What is your proudest running moment? My proudest moment has to be finishing my first half marathon, the Nike Women’s DC Half Marathon, in April of 2014. It was just 5 days after my 30th birthday.
Have you run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run before? I ran it in 2014 for the first time! It was awesome!
What is your “why” for running the 2015 the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? I’m running to participate in, what I believe is, one of the best races in our nation’s capital. I am a spring baby and to me there is nothing better than running along the beautiful cherry blossoms. It represents a feeling of new beginnings and a fresh start!

What is your goal for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? To beat my 2014 time by 10 minutes!
Do you have a running mantra? What is it and what does it mean to you? My pace, my race! I don’t like to get caught up in how many people finish ahead of me, or even behind me. My goal is always to cross that line and accomplish what I started.
If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be? “GOAL-DIGGING”
What is your favorite New Balance running gear? I’m loving the New Balance Impact Hoodie. It’s the perfect piece to start the race with…mornings tend to be cold in early April.
What is a fun/interesting fact you learned about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? Its partner hospitals provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the country! That’s awesome, what a great organization to support!

Kimberly, @KimberWestrich

kimwestrich blog smallKim has been running off and on for 25 years, but only recently got serious about figuring out how to keep that switch turned on. The secret for her is a broad and supportive running community through Potomac River Running Training Programs, Moms Run This Town, Reston Runners, and followers of her blog, Kim Runs Miles With Smiles. Kim will be coaching the PR Cherry Blossom Training Program at Reston in 2015 and is excited to share her enthusiasm for all things Cherry Blossom, which was her first BIG race in 2014. When she isn’t running, she is tackling the nation’s health care issues in her job as a health care services researcher for a non-profit association.

Run Your Best Race

The Cherry Blossom Festival is under way, and in just a few days we will be lining up at the Washington Monument getting ready to enjoy The Runner’s Rite of Spring®! Whether this is your first race, your first time doing the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, or your first race of 2015, we’d like to share our tips to help you run your best race.

Run Your Best Race

Now. Download the CUCB app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play (search for CUCB or Credit Union Cherry Blossom). The app will help you get the most out of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom experience, with a schedule and maps for all weekend events, live results, real-time tracking, bib-look-up, and Run Pix results.

If you haven’t already, set your goals for the race. It’s great to have three different goals: a time/pace goal (like finishing under 90:00), an achievement goal (like running the whole way) and an ego goal (like finally take a great finish line photo).

Consider making a donation to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. You can donate through my donations page here or look up the donation page for another runner here.

children's miracle network hospitals
Give a miracle!

Thursday. Elite runners have been watching their diets for weeks, but the rest of us can at least try to make healthy choices in the days leading up to the race. Make sure you are drinking enough water every day so you are fully hydrated come Sunday.

Friday. Visit the expo, which is open from 3:00 – 7:45 pm on Friday. Get your bib, your official race t-shirt, shop for more official Credit Union Cherry Blossom apparel, browse the other vendor booths and attend motivational and informational clinics. Take time to listen to the guest speakers, ask questions and get autographs. The energy of the event will get you excited for race day!

Saturday. If you didn’t go Friday, make sure you get to the expo, which is open from 9:00 am – 4:45 pm on Saturday. (There is no packet pick-up on Sunday.)

If you are from out of town, you probably will want to do some sightseeing, but don’t overdo it! You don’t want your legs to be too tired on Sunday.

Review the course maps with your spectators and decide where they should be. There are usually big crowds along Independence Avenue, but Hains Point can get pretty lonely. Make sure they know what you will be wearing so they can spot you easily to cheer you on.

Plan an early dinner. This is probably not the best time to try that new ethnic place you’ve been hearing about, but Elizabeth swears by steak with blueberry sauce from Aqua Al 2 in Eastern Market, while Natalie suggests dinner at the Georgetown waterfront.

Lay out all of your clothes and gear, from your hat and sunglasses to your socks and shoes. Make sure your GPS watch is charged, your water bottle is ready to go, and you’ve picked out any fuel you plan to carry. Remember, you don’t want to be trying anything new on race day. Even your underwear should be tried and true. Many runners go commando, but if you are more comfortable in underwear, you don’t want to find out the hard way which pair will give you a wedgie from mile 2 to mile 10. 😉

Get to bed early and make sure your alarm(s) are set correctly!


Sunday. Get up early enough to leave plenty of time to get ready and get to the race venue. Have breakfast or bring something to eat before the race.

At the race venue, take advantage of the pre-race warm-up, and scout out the finish area to plan where you will meet your family and friends. Check your bag early – it will be less stressful and give you time to relax before the race starts.

If you feel lost or confused, ask a volunteer for help! They will help point you in the right direction and ease your pre-race jitters.

Line up with your corral, and soak up the experience. There is something so moving about listening to the National Anthem at the base of the Washington Monument with 15,000 other runners.

Once the race starts, try to stay in the moment and enjoy the mile you are in! This is such a beautiful course–don’t be so focused on your pace that you forget to look around and enjoy it. It looks like the cherry blossoms could be in peak bloom this weekend, which would be spectacular!

As you approach the finish line, make sure you are smiling–no matter how hard you are pushing yourself! Pain is temporary, put race photos are forever. 😀

… and keep moving through the finish area, grab a water bottle and post for a post-race picture. If you ordered a medal, don’t forget to pick it up!

Celebrate your finish! You deserve it!

After The Race. We will be hosting a Race Recap Link-Up, so if you write about your race experience on your blog, be sure to come back here and link up your post!

~ The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Social Media Team
(Coco, Elizabeth, Kim, Malinda, Molly, Natalie)