Monthly Archives: February 2015

Wear Jeans To Support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

The dress code at my office is usually “business casual,” but some Fridays we have a “Jeans Day” where we can wear jeans to support a charity. This week I am sponsoring Jeans  Day and accepting donations for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through my Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run donations page.

Wear Jeans To Support CMNH

Making a $5 donation for the simple pleasure of wearing jeans to work can help defray costs like these:

  • $0.42 for one Wee Pee sized diaper, for neonates weighing less than 800 grams. ($150.48/1 case, case=360 diapers)
  • $0.50 for one Preemie sized diaper, for neonates weighing up to 4 pounds.
  • $1.08 for one Size 1 blood pressure cuff for the smallest children.
  • $4.00 for one baby blanket in the Neonatal and Infant Critical Care Unit.

That’s right, one $5 donation can cover 10 Preemie sized diapers! And when it’s this cold outside, who can resist making a donation that would cover the cost of a baby blanket?

If you are allowed to wear jeans to work on Friday (or if you work at home and set your own dress code!), I’d love it if you would join my Jeans Day and support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through my donations page here. If you can’t wear jeans but still want to participate, you could wear cherry blossom pink instead.

If you have a friend who has entered the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run as a charity participant you can look up their donation page here. This Saturday, February 28, is the deadline for reaching the minimum fundraising goal, so your donation now could really make a difference!  

I’m challenging my fellow Credit Union Cherry Blossom Social Runners and Bloggers to make a donation through their own pages if they can wear jeans to work on Friday. 😉

A few of my favorites from New Balance

Lauren NB Post - 1A few months ago, New Balance generously sent me a prize package with some amazing running gear. I’ve spent the past two months trying it out and wanted to share a few of my favorite items with y’all (in other words, everything in the box!)

Comfort, functionality and style are three of the most important things I look for in workout clothing. As the temperature continues to drop this winter, I find myself gravitating towards soft, moisture-wicking fabrics that keep me warm, but dry. My favorite items are lined with fuzzy material, not only for comfort while running, but because they double as great weekend loungewear as well!

When I pulled out the pair of Women’s New Balance NB Heat Fleece Running Tights, I first noticed how soft they are on the inside. The pants are lined with fleece, are form-fitting, and allow for flexibility and movement while running. The drawstring at the top of the pants help create a more customized fit and prevents sliding. (Great news for anyone who worries about their pants falling down in the middle of a training run or race!)

Lauren NB Post - 2

A few of my favorite pant features include the reflective strips on the sides of the legs for safety, the zippers at the bottom of the legs to let in some breeze, and the non-slip grippers lining the inside seam of the pant leg that keeps the fabric from riding up at my ankles and exposing my bare skin.

Most importantly, the pants are comfortable, fit well and allow me to focus solely on my run. Why worry about something itching or not fitting correctly when you don’t have to?

Lauren NB Post - 3

Now, let’s talk about these running shoes – first of all, don’t you love the color? They are the New Balance 1260v4 Women’s Stability and Motion Control shoe. If you’re an overpronator like me, these shoes will provide stability and cushioning with every step. I was able to choose the width and the fit of the shoe is so much better because I was able to customize it for narrow feet.

When I tried on the New Balance 1260v4’s, the extra cushioning felt like a bed of pillows. Happy feet = happy Lauren.

Lauren NB Post - 4


Lauren Rice, @LaurenLatelyDC

Lauren Rice CUCB Blog

Lauren is a midwesterner-turned-DC-transplant who still geeks out every time she runs down The National Mall.  She is happiest with her camera in hand and loves to cook up delicious recipes for her food blog, Just a Pinch (  When not crunching numbers as a non-profit financial analyst, Lauren is teaching spinning, running the streets of Capitol Hill with her lab, Gus, or continuing her studies towards becoming a Registered Dietitian.  This will be her third Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run and she’s got her eyes on a PR!  Follow her adventures on Twitter + Instagram.

Very Important Volunteers

Did you know it takes more than 2,000 volunteers to organize the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run?

No doubt about it, volunteers are the fuel that keeps the 43-year-old DC racing tradition running smoothly.

Volunteers are so important to the success of the race, the organizers throw in some serious perks to thank everyone involved. The most sought after? A guaranteed entry for the next year’s race. So if you love all things Cherry Blossom and had hoped to kick off your spring running season with the Credit Union race, have no fear! Volunteer, and you won’t have to go through the pins-and-needles, hand-wringing lottery process. (We’ve lost one or two nights of sleep crossing our fingers to get in around lottery time).

CUCB lottery
Cross your fingers!

So I talked to Nita Lalla Roncone, the volunteer coordinator to find out what you need to know about volunteering for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.

Roncone says there are more than 50 spots left for volunteers, scattered over four days and two states (plus the District of Columbia).

“Volunteers pick up elite athletes from the airport, direct runners from the metro, distribute t-shirts, hand out water, organize runner-bibs, sell merchandise, control the crowd, cheer the runners, and so much more,” Roncone says.

Roncone says the best part of being a volunteer is meeting the runners.

“Seeing them at the expo, after they have trained hard for this race and are gearing up for the big run, and then seeing the joy (and pain) on their faces after they conquer the distance and wrap themselves in a heat blanket… knowing that you were a part of the magic reminds our volunteers that we are all part of something bigger,” she says.

And for runners who got in? Don’t forget to thank the volunteers.

CUCB volunteer
Volunteers are VIPs!

“Volunteers are the foundation of the race,” Roncone says. “Can you imagine having a race without volunteers? There would be no water, no medals, no entertainment. You wouldn’t even know what your time is when you cross the finish line since there would be no one with a microphone to tell you the time. We have so many volunteers that you see – handing out t-shirts and race packets at the expo – and so many volunteers that you don’t see. Those are the ones who set up everything and take it all down. They make the magic happen: tents get set up, water stations are built, heat blankets are unloaded and distributed, as are bananas, water, and food.”

Not a runner? The entry is transferrable – and a great way to make a runner friend’s day. Convinced? Head on over and sign up here!

Oh and how could we forget? Volunteers also score a 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile long-sleeve volunteer t-shirt.

From the CUCB blog team, a huge THANK YOU to everyone to makes this incredible race what it is! See you on the course!


nataliediblasio blog

Natalie started running in the second grade and hasn’t stopped since. In her day job, she is a reporter on the breaking news team at USA TODAY. In the way-too-early mornings and shouldn’t-you-be-exhausted-by-now evenings she’s busy running, practicing yoga at her favorite studio, acting as President of the American News Women’s Club or writing for Run Washington, and Runner’s Breakfast. Natalie is a chronically starving marathoner, loud laugher and wannabe triathlete in training for her first half Ironman in June.

Runner Spotlight: Stan Stevenson

CUCB runner
Stan Stevenson, Philadelphia’s (self-proclaimed) Favorite Son
I’ve known Stan since our halcyon school days at the College of William and Mary. He is married to my Kappa Delta sorority big sister, Nita, so he is practically family to me. I do try to overlook the fact that he is from Philly and roots for teams like the Eagles and the Flyers. Stan has an acerbic wit and his facebook page is always good for a laugh or two. 
When did you begin running and why? Probably summer of 2010. One morning it hit me that just stealing one of those “13.1” car magnets would not be as personally rewarding as actually doing a race and then stealing one of those “13.1” car magnets.  Also, I am completely “over” walking. 
What is your proudest running moment? Competing in the Citizens Bank Park Spartan Sprint Race while wearing a polo shirt from Hollister. I don’t think that has ever been done before but I am still seeking confirmation from race officials.
Have you run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run before? No. But I have written out the full name of the race in cursive handwriting before so that’s something.
What is your “why” for running the 2015 the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? Twenty years ago I left Washington DC as an idealistic Georgetown Law School graduate ready to change the world. Now I return as a beaten down cynic with cooler sneakers. Also, somebody said something about a finisher medal.
What is your goal for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? To completely nail my race day outfit and get just one semi-flattering race day photo.
Do you have a running mantra? What is it and what does it mean to you? My running mantra is that running is 87% mental, 46% physical and 33% improving your math skills.
If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be? Walking-but-harder.
What is a fun/interesting fact you learned about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? That they have raised over $4 Billion with a B to help people since first created. That’s awesome.
~ Kimberly, @KimberWestrich 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.