Race Recap: Seattle Rock n Roll

We had another GREAT day of racing at the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon on June 18th!

We had our biggest race group of the season and everyone showed up ready to rock and took advantage of the perfect race day conditions and had solid performances across the board. After a group warm up the team headed out on the new Stadium to Stadium Course. The new route was absolutely gorgeous and still had a fair dose of hills that Seattle races are known for. 

Here are just a few performance highlights:

  • Mike won his age group in the half marathon with a new PR
  • Liz CRUSHED her marathon time goal and ran a 43 minute PR***
  • Joyce, Lesley, Lon, Mark, Sarah all ran half marathon PRs as well
  • Mary and Workeneh ran their first marathons ever finishing in 4:24 and 3:50 respectively
  • Jean and Matt were both within a few minutes of their PRs even after racing last month in Eugene
  • Course records for everyone who raced - the benefit of a new race course ;)

After the race the team left Century Link Field excited and motivated to keep working towards the next race and their next goal.

Our next focus races on the books are the Tunnel Vision Marathon and the Evergreen Half Marathon and 10k in August. 

 

*** Liz has also written a blog post about her second marathon experience. It's a fantastic read and we highly recommend you check it out! http://anchoredintheevergreens.com/marathon-recap-seattle-rock-n-roll/

Running is Hard.

"Running is Hard." These words come out of my mouth at least 3 times a week. And yet, despite that, every week I lace up my shoes and love every single second I spend with Cascade Run Club.

Let me give you a little bit of background info about myself - I’ve been running as a part of a team since I was 13 years old and my relationship with running has seen some extreme highs and some extreme lows as it’s developed.

I ran on the track team in middle school, high school and during my undergrad at Seattle University. Throughout my entire competitive track career I was a sprinter and a long jumper. To me, running was the 100m dash or my 97-foot long jump approach and I thought distance running was 1 lap on the track. After graduating, I tried and failed to "learn to run for real" twice before giving up due to injury or lack of motivation. Never in my life did I think I would end up being a part of a running community or learning to love running, but choosing to get involved with Cascade Run Club changed all of that.

 
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How could you NOT want this jacket?!

So why did I join Cascade Run Club? I get asked this question a lot - and if I'm being completely honest, I wanted their team jacket.

But I think the more important question is: "What makes Cascade Run Club Special?" This is the hardest and easiest question to answer. There are a million reasons why this club is special and different from any other group or team I’ve ever been a part of.

This group brings together people in all different stages of life, with countless unique experiences, who all started running for vastly different reasons. For some, it’s a way to stay in shape; for others, it’s a social activity; and for others still, it's the perfect combination of physical and mental therapy. However, there is one common theme is present throughout the group; no matter why we started running, running has become a part of our personal identity.

 
 


"It’s teammates,
it’s friends,
it’s family,
all rolled into one."

This special connection is what makes Cascade Run Club more than just a running group. It’s teammates, it’s friends, it’s family all rolled into one. Everyone here has their own goals they’re working towards, but they celebrate the successes of others even more than their own.

I can honestly say this is the most welcoming group of people I have ever met. This team took me in from day one. By the end of the first week of practice, I felt like I was fully immersed in their community and now it feels like I’ve been a part of this group forever. 

Fast-forward to one year later and this team has made running a permanent piece of my life and I've made countless lifelong friendships along the way. They have been there to drag me to the finish each of my new longest runs. They cheered for me when I finished my first road race. They supported me through the worst month of my life when I lost 3 family members in 4 weeks in the middle of grad school finals week. They have made me laugh until I cried and my stomach hurt. They have helped me become excited about running again. And they have successfully peer pressured me into agreeing to train for a half marathon.

Running is still hard. But this team makes every step worth it.

 

Race Recap: Eugene Marathon

Oh. My. Gosh. Where do we even start with how well everyone raced last weekend. We had season best performances for every single person who raced!!! We also had 17, that's right, 17 team PRs! 

Race weekends are what make this team so special. The environment in the stands watching everyone finish on the track at Hayward field was unreal. We can't wait for our next team focus race!

Here are just a few racing highlights from the weekend:

  • Coach Yon placed 2nd overall in the half marathon
  • Coach Regina won her age group in the half marathon
  • Brittany ran a New York Marathon qualifying time and finished 17th overall in the half marathon
  • Joyce ran a Boston Marathon qualifying time
  • Jean, Summer and Danielle all finished their first marathons!
  • 17 team PRs

While we love our local races - traveling as a team to "destination races" allows us to add in so many team social events.

We had multiple team dinners and part of our group was lucky enough to get to stick around and go wine tasting on Monday. The group toured the city of Eugene including Pre's Rock before heading out five local wineries in the area. The views were gorgeous and it was a perfect opportunity to prove that we actually own clothes other than running clothes.

4 Simple Steps to Help Prevent Injuries

Being a runner you know injuries are usually part of the process. As the owner of a running store I see running injuries on a daily basis, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  I have helped many runners who thought they were “just injury prone” stay healthy. I was one of those runners for years until I learned how to be preventive and have been running injury free since.  There are three simple steps you can follow to help prevent injuries.

1). Make sure you go to your local running specialty store and get a proper pair of shoes.  This isn’t shameless self-promotion, shoes are your most important piece of equipment and can be the difference between an injury or staying healthy.  While you’re there ask the staff about proper running form so they can help make corrections.   Small adjustments in form can make a world of difference in efficiency.

2). Reevaluate your training plan.  Many injuries are caused by training errors. The most common mistakes are increasing mileage too quickly and doing too much anaerobic training without proper recovery.  Your body needs to slowly adapt to the stresses of running so you need to give yourself enough time to increase miles and intensity safely.  Instead of gradually increasing mileage each week try staying at the same mileage for three weeks then increase and stay another three weeks and so on. This allows the body to adapt to the stress instead increasing each week and having the body always play catch up.  With anaerobic work you are again putting a huge stress load on the body so you have to allow yourself a few days of easy running or cross training so the repair process can take place.  A good rule of thumb is to give yourself a day of recovery for every mile run hard to ensure proper recovery.

3). Warm up properly and thoroughly.  Tendons and ligaments have very little blood flow when at rest which results in a lack of range of motion.  When we run fast at the beginning of a run we force an increased range of motion before there is sufficient blood flow to handle the increase safely thus resulting in increased risk of injury.  By running slow for the 15 minutes of each run you significantly increase blood flow without the added range of motion so you can safely handle an increase later in the run.

4). Pay attention to your ph levels.  I’ve coached thousands of runners and have never met one that knows their ph level or the importance of their reading.  Your ph reading tells you everything you need to know to train and recover properly thus helping prevent injuries.  You can use ph strips to test your levels first thing in the morning with a simple saliva test.  If you reading is acidic you take an easy day, if it’s slightly alkaline you can run hard.  Many things affect your ph levels including training, sleep patterns, diet, outside stresses and environment among other things. If your reading is acidic you can bring it back to balance by eating a more alkaline diet, getting proper amount of sleep and adjusting training.

 

By following these simple steps not only will you minimize injuries but you will improve your overall running performance.