Monthly Archives: January 2014

Back in the Saddle

a145f00a0bb137187f3148a790e25fc6I’ve been hard pressed to get out and do any “decent mileage” runs in quite some time. During winter months, I normally will run 2-3 miles at most because that’s about all I can handle boredom-wise when running on a treadmill.

With the “polar vortex” we’ve been experiencing here in PA, winter just doesn’t seem to be letting up! But with only just over 2 more months until the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run— it’s time to get back in the saddle!

Whether you’re like me and take a hiatus during winter months, or you’re just coming off an injury related break– the first time you lace up those shoes and strap on that Garmin can be quite frustrating with regards to time/pace. But I do try to keep it in perspective. Here are 4 things I’ve done to try and keep myself in check:

1. Keep it in Perspective

There have been so many times that I have been ready to just throw in the towel. It’s not even funny. Throwing hissy fits within myself because I didn’t finish my (for example) 5 miles “fast enough.” How about let’s keep it in perspective—I was ABLE to run 5 miles! Some people aren’t fortunate enough to be able to say that. Some would give anything to be able to run one.

2. Find a Newer Runner to Share in the Experience

I started running in December 2010. I ran my first half marathon in October 2011. I have since run 3 other half marathons, but I’m telling you, I have YET to feel the same runners high as I did when I completed my very FIRST one. It’s still there, but just not as intense. Because of that, I felt like my love affair with running was waning a tad bit.

What renewed my enjoyment in running has been living vicariously through others as they complete their “running firsts” milestones! I have several friends who are planning to run their very first 5k this year, and I plan on being there for each one!


IMG_20130414_084021_461_thumb 3. Make It a Family Affair

This actually kind of pairs well with number two for me. My daughter Mackenzie (she’s 10)will sometimes join me on my runs. It makes it not so much about the running as it is about picking a healthy activity to be done with your family. We actually practice her spelling words while we run! Plus (and this is how it pairs with #2) – we have the opportunity to hit new milestones together. Slowly I would increase the distance or the time that Kenzer and I spent running. And before I knew it, she had run her very first 5K with me last year! This past Thanksgiving, we ran her second “Turkey Trot 5K”- and she shaved a full 5 MINUTES off her time!


4. If All Else Fails Say “Screw it”

Now not so fast– make sure you read this in it’s entirety—I’m not saying stop running altogether. Or giving up. I’m saying take the pressure off yourself. Leave the Garmin at home. Don’t start the running app on your phone. Just go out and enjoy it.  Remember why you started running in the first place, and reflect on how far you’ve come to this point. You’ll slowly get back to where you left up, but enjoy the journey until you get there.


See you out there friends!


Any more words of advice for the good of the cause? Do you run year round, or take time off during winter?

Jenny is a 30-something working mom, wife, avid weight lifter, and four time half-marathoner who blogs at


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

Family Fitness – One Of My 2014 Resolutions

fit family

We have all made resolutions this year to start or finish something, start or become more active and other fitness or health related things. I have resolved to get my boys more active.

I am coming up with a plan for them. I want them to spend less time with the electronics and more time being active. Well, I will let them download the Couch25K app because we are going to run one as a family. I want the boys properly trained and confident before I put them in a race setting. I am confident they can do it.

Since my boys are teenagers, it will not be an easy task. Their lives are their cell phones. They are social butterflies and invited to events, however that is all going to change. I am not going to use fitness as a punishment because I want them to like it. But they will have required amounts of fitness weekly.

I have a lot of equipment and will set up circuits for cross training. I have ropes, balls, weights, slides, kettle bells and more. I have a timer and will make it fun for them. Fitness is important to me and I want them to understand why.

I am looking forward to running with them and becoming fit as a family. I know they will not like it at first, but will be grateful once they become acclimated. I am excited for all of us. It will be an awesome lifestyle change. I am ready for a Fit Family in 2014.

Have you made any resolutions to do something as a family? If so, what?

~Fran, @Flash_Fran

Francine has a love of family, fitness, fashion and fun.  She is on a journey to become a better runner, eat healthier, get fit as a family and show off her fashion sense all while having fun.  She is the mother of 2 boys, works full-time and is a recent grad. She believes that Hard Work = Results and staying Positive gets you there. 

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 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.