Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

5 Things I’ve Learned Including Pre-Run Warm Up and Stretch.

A few cool things I learned from having an injury. Yes I said cool things, about an injury. It doesn’t have to be all bad.  Ok it’s not great but let’s make lemonade out of lemons shall we.  🍋😁🍋

  1. Cross Training.
  2. Strength
  3. Pre-run Warm Up
  4. Post Run Stretch
  5. Yoga

So let’s start from the top.

Cross training. After becoming injured I realized I had not been doing enough of it. 😔 It’s all great to run run and run some more, but your body needs variety.  Cross training will not only help keep your endurance up, it will help you become a stronger more agile athlete.  For me spinning was the perfect fit. It didn’t aggravate my injury, and I was able to keep my endurance up while I recovered.  I had to spend more time on the bike that I would on the run, but it was worth it! Find something that works for you! 👍🏻

Strength.  💪🏻 Again running is great but there were a lot of muscles that I wasnt putting into play. As those weakened, injury started to rear it’s ugly head. Now I do strength training twice a week, both upper and lower body, and on one run day I also include things like lunges and squats.

Pre-run warm up. OK so this may be something a lot of us don’t think about. A little warm up and a little light stretching before a run.  Stretching pre-run is light and short or as I like to say quick and sweet. No long held static stretches here. Check out my Pre-run warm up on my Facebook page (click here) and BONUS that 1st mile doesn’t feel quite so terrible after a good warm up !  Trust me and you can thank me later. 👍🏻😁

Post run stretch. It’s sooooo important! I know a lot of times we are just rushing to get a run in and get off to do everything else we need to do with our day. But even just five minutes of basic stretching will benefit you so much.  So “Just Do It”!


Yoga.  🙃 Not everyone’s favorite I know. But I found a love for yoga.  OK maybe not exactly a love but a very strong like. My hips and hamstrings  are extremely tight. Doing yoga 1 to 2 times a week concentrating on these areas has helped tremendously. Aaptiv has some great yoga classes but you can always search for YouTube videos (yoga for runners) there’s plenty out there.


My hope is this has got you thinking about what your weekly routine looks like. Maybe you can use a little more of these types of workouts to enhance your running life?

Do you have suggestions or something that you love to do? Feel free to share it below!

And don’t forget to run find your happy pace! 


10k Trail Mardi Gras Run 4 Beads

Trails, trails, trails!  I love trails 🙂  And if you have never been to Smithfield, Virginia or Windsor Castle park its a real treat.

If you’re looking for a small mid winter trail race this is a great one! Smithfield is a beautiful old-fashioned kind of town. The 10k course loops through the slightly hilly dirt packed trails of Windsor Castle Park. Most of the race is on the dirt trails with a small portion of paved trail. It was a cold one this year (27 degrees) for Virginia but the scenery of the trails and the trees blocking some of the wind made for a wonderful run. The 10 AM start also let is warm up from the chilly teens earlier in the morning. I was a little concerned about staying on course since the race has some crossing loops, but the volunteers were great about keeping you on the right track. There was one water table, which you pass twice due to the loops.

The run is timed the old-fashioned way with rip off tags you hand in at the end. Yes there are still such races!  No timing mats or anything of that sort here. If your plan is to place and go out fast, you need to start at the front of the pack. Everyone’s time starts when the horn goes off.

This year there was also a 5k fun color run which started at 11 AM.  No one I know participated but they looked like they were having a good time.

Packet pick up was the day before (Friday). No type of expo or anything like a bigger race, which wasn’t expected.

Swag includes a t-shirt and a free beer/soda at the end of the race. If you wait around for the “party” after the 5k fun color run finishes up (at noon) You are given one ticket for one free beer / soda.

SWAG etc:

There is NO BLING at this race.  Other than the few plastic bead necklaces we got in our bag.  So if bling is your thing your out of luck.  Also NO FREE FOOD whatsoever unless you bring cash, no banana, bars nada.  There was a Barbecue truck and a Chik-Fil-A food truck with food for purchase. The t-shirt is nice and colorful, long-sleeved but it is cotton

The trails and scenery made up for the lack of swag for me.  There are hills, nothing steep, but rolling hills throughout the trails.  So much more interesting that a flat road.  Parking is literally right by the start line so no issues there.

Showers were available at the local YMCA if you finish the 10k and have time to head over there for a shower and a change of clothes before the noon party and awards. I guess that would all depend on how fast you finish.  We chose to skip that and head out to town for lunch.

Smithfield is lovely and has an lovely step back in time type of feel to it. Nice shops, restaurants and bakery are a short drive from the park.

Pre-race "Wear all the clothes" because its cold selfie!

Pre-race “Wear all the clothes” because its cold selfie!


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