Tag Archives: Races

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.
20160127_motivatedrunwinter

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.

Runner Spotlight: Carol Shuford

Carol Shuford at the finish line of her fourth Ironman in Wisconsin
Carol Shuford at the finish line of her fourth Ironman in Wisconsin

I met Carol last year when we ran in a birthday race to celebrate our mutual friend Gina. Gina and Carol make up two-thirds of the triathlete group known as “Team Rabbit”. All of their blog posts are rhymes! Carol is also a “streaker” – 2015’s Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile run will be her 17th consecutive race.

 
When did you begin running and why? I began running in1998. I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to do a marathon. I happened across a pamphlet about a training program for the Marine Corps Marathon, so I filled out the information and mailed (yes, mailed) it in. That was my first race. 
What is your proudest running moment? My proudest moment was completing my first 50 miler this past October at the Can Lake50 in Canandaguia, NY. And the fact I am willing to do another one this year!
What is your most memorable running moment? My most memorable was the very first time I donned my bunny ears as a member of Team Rabbit. It was the marathon portion of Ironman Lake Placid. As I started off on my 26.2 miles a spectator proclaimed: “your ears are on backwards!” I realized then and there that people noticed these ears! It became a game to see how many crazy comments Team Rabbit could get from wearing the ears!
Have you run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run before? I have definitely run the Cherry Blossom race before! This year will be my 17th in a row!
 
What is your “why” for running the 2015 the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? I run it because I don’t know how to stop! Ha ha! Also I’ll bet my running mojo for the whole year would probably be off if I didn’t participate.
 
What is your goal for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? My goal at this moment is to finish the ten miler feeling good!
Do you have a running mantra? What is it and what does it mean to you? A running mantra is constantly reminding myself to run my own race and not worry so much about what the others around me are doing.
If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be? Running to me means SANITY!
What is a fun/interesting fact you learned about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? It was amazing to me that one child every second enters a Children’s Miracle Network sponsored hospital for care. Clearly an organization that needs and deserves our 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.

Race Recap Party!

lincoln memorial runners
Having fun at Mile 1

What’s better than running the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run or 5K? Reliving the fun by writing a race recap and reading other excellent race recaps!

To make the fun last a little longer, we’re hosting the first ever race recap link party here on the blog. Add your race recap here and make sure you check out the other great posts.

We want to hear from both 10 mile runners and 5K runners, veterans and first-timers, volunteers and spectators – ANYONE who has memories to share!

We’re accepting blog links until May 16, 2014, so make sure you click on the blue “Add Your Link” box.

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Five Tips for a Flawless Race Day Experience

We are less than 1 day away from race day! Having done this a few times, we have learned a few tricks that can take your race day experience from fun to fantastic.

Here’s how you can have the best race day possible:

1. Download our Race App, RaceJoy. The App is FREE and has tons of great information. Get corral start times, bib lookup, and split times for runners (even if they don’t have their GPS on!) so you can meet up with your friends and family. You can download it on Google Play, the App Store, or by clicking here.

2. Get Valet Service. We are so excited to offer a bike valet service for those of you helping us go green this year by biking to the start. The folks at Two Wheel Valet  will park your bike for you, you don’t even need to bring your own lock, and you can leave your bag with your bike to skip bag check. You can find them on Independence Ave, between 14th and 15th streets.

3. Get Emergency Text Alerts. The National Park Service is offering an emergency text alert process specially for the CUCB. Text “10miler” to 888777 to sign up for emergency alerts on race day, sent right to your phone.

4. Dress in Layers. It’s going to be a great day for racing! The temperature at the start will be in the mid to high 30’s, so you should wear extra layers while you are waiting for the race to begin to stay warm. You can discard them before you cross the start, and we will collect them to donate to charity. After the race we will have heat sheets, but you may want to bring a set of dry clothes to change into. You can pack them at bag check and get out of damp clothes after the race.

5. Get Just Enough Sleep. Go to bed on time tonight, and set multiple alarms. A frantic trip to the race because you overslept is less than ideal. Try to relax early tonight so you can put away the race jitters and fall asleep on time. Set more than one kind of alarm – if you have 3 alarms set on your phone but the battery dies overnight none of them are any good!

Go Green at CUCB!

volunteer with recycling sign
Go green!

It’s that time again and everyone is thinking green!  Whether it’s adding an Irish folk song to your running playlist or carbo-loading with a Guinness we’re all thinking a little greener this week.

With the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile three weeks away the Greening Team will be constantly thinking green… even if it is in a slightly different sense of the word.  We know that what we do today will have lasting effects far into the future.  While we’ve made it a goal to find innovative ways to reduce reuse and recycle wherever possible, we still need your help.

So here are some easy ways to go green on race weekend:

  • Bring your own water bottle. Not only will this be environmentally conscience but you’ll be able to fly by the water stops on the course.
water bottle recycling
Recycle those empties or bring your own! 
  • Recycle water bottles and plastic wrappers. We understand that it’s not always easy to bring your own water bottle, so if you do take a water bottle at the end of the course please recycle.  Also, once you’re done with your delicious Larabar snacks those wrappers are recyclable too. We’ll have an ample amount of recycle bins and volunteers to help you dispose of your empty water bottle and other plastic wrappers. Did you know that the average time for a plastic bottle to completely degrade is at least 450 years? It can take some bottles 1000 years to biodegrade!
recycle bin
Recycle that wrapper!
  • Recycle Heat sheets. Because the spring weather is so unpredictable this year we will be providing heat sheets to our runners, so if you do take a heat sheet at the end of the course please recycle.  We’ll have an ample amount of recycle bins and volunteers to help you dispose of your used heat sheet.
recycling
Compost bins, like minions, love bananas.
  • Compost left-over food, especially banana peels. We don’t want to have any unfortunate accidents with runners slipping on banana peels!  Did you know that composting helps prevent pollution? Composting organic materials that have been diverted from landfills avoids the production of methane and leachate formulation in the landfills.  From a global warming point of view a given amount of methane is 23 times more threatening as a greenhouse gas than the same amount of carbon dioxide. So if food waste can be kept out of a landfill by composting it instead, our environment benefits!
  • Donate old shoes and clothing. It’s always a bit chilly on race morning, so don your old crazy sweats to keep you warm (you know, that rouge sweatshirt from the college you didn’t even go to!).  As you begin your race leave the discarded clothing at the side of the corral.  We’ll be collecting everything to donate to a local charity after the race.

We are working with the National Park Service, who manages National Mall and Memorial Parks (where you are running!) to really focus on environmental sustainability efforts during our events. We want to preserve the grounds we run on so that future runners and visitors can keep enjoying the monuments and cherry blossoms for decades to come.

Your number one job is to have fun and run your best race possible!  Our job is to make the race safe, fun and enjoyable for runners and spectators.  It is all of our responsibilities to work together to help preserve the environment and  ensure that many more runners get to experience the same great race in the same beautiful space in the nation’s capital.

-The Greening Team

Read more about the environmental initiatives of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile.

Training Like a Pro for CUCB 2014

We asked pro runner Tyler McCandless to share his experience running CUCB 2013 and some words of wisdom in the last few weeks before race day. Here’s his reply:

Last year I came to Washington, DC for my first Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run feeling ready and excited to compete.  I was one of the elite athletes in the race and had set a goal of finishing in the top 10.

How does a professional athlete prepare for a 10 mile race? In the 13 weeks leading up to the race I ran 1,250 miles, which is an average of 90 miles a week.  The training is accomplished via two weeks cycles that have five workouts (two workouts one week, three workouts the next week) with a medium long run on Wednesdays and a long run on Sunday.  All workout days also have an afternoon run of 30-40 minutes and Mondays I add in a second run where I do 15 minutes alternating 15 seconds fast and 15 seconds easy.  That’s a lot of quality and quantity in each week!  Here is a snapshot of my training in March leading up to CUCB 2013:

TylerTrain
Tyler’s March training for CUCB 2013

On these runs I was constantly visualizing the race.  I watched videos that I found online so that I could have more realistic images of the course in my mind.  I searched past results to see who ran what times and finished in what place.  I established clear goals: top 10 overall, and top American.  When I came across the finish line in 8th place and 1st American, all of the training in 2013 and the month of March was well worth it!

 

Tyler on the awards stage, after a very successful 2013 CUCB!
Tyler on the awards stage, after a very successful 2013 CUCB!

What can you do in the last 3 weeks before race day? Now is the time to set clear goals, visualize your 2014 CUCB, enjoy the process, and build positive momentum carrying you to the race.  Remember the feeling of accomplishment upon achieving your goals when you’re out at dark-o-thirty in the morning running before work or school!

Best wishes making your 2014 Cherry Blossom goals come true!  This year Cherry Blossom serves as USA 10 Mile Championships.  A top 5 finish would be rewarding and that’s what I will be dreaming of when I’m running tomorrow morning!

-Tyler

Tyler McCandless is a runner and PhD student in meteorologist living and training in Boulder, CO. Tyler is sponsored by Newton Running Elite (team updates and results can be found at facebook.com/NewtonRunningElite). Follow him as he trains for his next big race, as well as the 2014 CUCB, on twitter at @TrackTy

Your First 10 Miler

Training season is in full swing and we couldn’t be more excited! For many of you, this will be your first time running 10 miles. If you fall into this category, I commend you for taking on such a goal. For those of you taking on the CUCB 10 Miler again, welcome back! We’re glad to have you.

As race day approaches, it’s good to start thinking about race day logistics. Below are some tips to ensure you have a great race!

What to wear
Race day is not the day to try out that new pair of shoes or running top. Always stick with what you know works. Training runs are a great opportunity to test out your race day outfit. It’s better to find out on a training run that that particular pair of socks or running top is rubbing you the wrong way. Showing up on race day wearing the gear you know works will help reduce some of your pre-race jitters.

What to eat/drink on the run
Much like your running gear, it is important to stick with what you know works for you on race day. Some of you may have already started to experiment with eating/drinking on the run. If you have not, now is a good time to test some things out.  Most runners turn to electrolyte drinks and energy gels to replace what has been lost through sweat. Use your training runs to test out these products to find out what the best combination is for you.

Race day
This one is easy, finish. You’re going to run a personal best no matter what time you finish in, so don’t stress about time. Enjoy the sights and take pictures if you’re carrying a camera! The Credit Union Cherry Blossom course is beautiful and fingers crossed that the blossoms will be in full bloom!

Last and most important tip, HAVE FUN!!!!

Running Training Programs

running training plansNew runners and veterans can benefit from running training programs. If this is your first time tackling the full ten mile run or you’re focused on a personal record, whether you live in D.C. or are logging your miles in a distance city, thanks to =PR= and New Balance there ‘s a running training program that will work for you.New runners and veterans can benefit from running training programs. If this is your first time tackling the full ten mile run or you’re focused on a personal record, whether you live in D.C. or are logging your miles in a distance city, thanks to =PR= and New Balance there ‘s a running training program that will work for you.New runners and veterans can benefit from running training programs. If this is your first time tackling the full ten mile run or you’re focused on a personal record, whether you live in D.C. or are logging your miles in a distance city, thanks to =PR= and New Balance there ‘s a running training program that will work for you.

For locals, the In-Person On-Site Training Program begins January 25-26, 2014 at a variety of locations. The $99 registration fee for the standard program also includes great gear and this year a premium option includes the same benefits as the standard program plus a registration to the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and a pair of New Balance shoes!

For folks outside of D.C., there is a Virtual Training program that begins January 27, 2014. This program is free, is presented by New Balance, and has been thoughtfully designed by Bill Rodgers and Virtual Training Coach Kirt West.

Running training programs offer so much more than a chance to log miles. One of last year’s social runners, Amanda, used a modified version of the training plan because she was injured. She loved it. Here’s what she had to say:

=PR= Training
As the Cherry Blossom social runner, I have been working with several of the race sponsors to get back on my feet, and one of those has been the =PR= Training program. Participating in this program has given me access to Coach T, who has helped me to adapt the =PR= program to whatever my capabilities have been. Starting on the bike and working my way up, she’s checked in to make sure I’m ok to be running when I am and helped me outline an abbreviated training plan without compromising my progress.

In addition to working with Coach T, participating in the training program has brought both Matt and myself something we hadn’t really experienced before: camaraderie in training. We both tend to prefer running on our own, but out of this process, we ended up making new friends that have celebrated our accomplishments with us (like Matt’s half marathon PR that he promises he’ll write a post about soon) and commiserated over injuries. I have personally loved getting to watch the newer runners experience new personal distance records, and their excitement throughout the training process has continued to provide me with determination to make it to race day, as well.

Amanda’s husband, Matt, was healthy and able to join in on the scheduled training runs. You can read about a sample week of training here.

Let us know if you sign up for one of the programs and how your training is going! Good luck, Runners!

-Elizabeth, @epagelhogan

Elizabeth is a writing mom on the run and logs her miles in Pittsburgh, PA. She was a 2013 Social Runner for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. 

2014 Running Goals

Can you believe it’s January already? I’m not much for making New Year’s Resolutions (or keeping them!) , but I do like to set a few goals for the new year. Not surprisingly, I have a few running-related goals that I thought might resonate with other runners.

2014 Goals

  1. Volunteer at a race. The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Run needs 2,000 volunteers to help the event run smoothly. Did you know that if you volunteer this year, you can earn a guaranteed entry for the 2015 race?  (You can learn more here.)
  2. Run a race for fun and/or pace a new runner through their first race. Even when I plan to just “have fun” in a race, I usually end up pushing myself as soon as the starting gun goes off. One way to force myself to take a different approach would be to pace a new runner through his or her first 5K. If you have more time to give back to the community, you might want to consider getting involved with Teens Run DC, a local organization with a mission to empower at-risk youth to envision and work towards personal goals through a mentoring and distance running program.
  3. Sign up for a new race. With so many great races in the Washington, D.C. area, I tend to fill my race calendar with the same races year in and year out. Last year I was excited to run in the inaugural US National Road Racing Championships 12K (a USTAF event) in Alexandria, Virginia, and it was a fantastic event. Even if I can’t enter another brand-new race, there are lots of other great races close to home that I’ve never entered.
  4. Pack my running gear. Last year I had the opportunity to run in several new cities–you can see the photo recap on my blog here.  With several business trips already lined up for 2014, I plan to pack my running gear and do my best to get in a run before or after my meetings.

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? 

Other than the CUCB, what is your favorite local race? 

Courtenay@Got2Run4Me

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.