In this month’s issue, former SCRR President Amelia Vrabel discusses valuable running tips for staying healthy, and Amy Katz shares some sweet treats perfect for Valentine’s Day.

No Pain, All Gain By Amelia Vrabel, Certified Master ChiRunning Instructor

I recently saw a photo circulating in a local running group talking about all the “normal” conditions of a “good run”: sweating heavily, feeling sore, breathing hard, making ugly faces, feeling achy, wanting to chug a gallon of water…. And although I am sure it was well intended to keep people focused on their goals, I encourage athletes of all levels to consider whether this approach is truly valuable in a healthy running practice. Over the 25 years I’ve been running, I’ve found that the old adage of “no pain, no gain” (seriously, that’s so 1985!) is best replaced with the new and sustainable “no pain, all gain”.

“Whaaaaaat?!?!” says all the type-A runners out there. I too am what I consider a “recovering type-A personality”. And although I’ve certainly had my share of success out there pushing myself as far, as fast, and as hard as I could, day in and day out, I’ve also done so with the challenges of being habitually injured.

Being unable to run at all due to my own overreaching efforts is what ultimately led me to become a ChiRunning instructor back in 2013. I knew if I didn’t get off that hamster wheel, I’d likely not be running into my 40s. I’ve also added to my practice a focus on movement, heart rate training, sleep, and nutrition to help myself and hundreds of other runners reach their potential using mindful training with a focus on “no pain, ALL gain.”

As my mentor and ChiRunning founder Danny Dreyer says, “If you want to improve, get rid of the things that slow you down”.

If you’re always getting injured, figure out the root cause. (No, the root cause is not the shoes. It’s the feet inside the shoes. And the body attached to the feet.) Pay attention to your biomechanics and understand where your inefficiencies lie. Work on correcting them, and practice, every day, through mindful training.

Rather than focusing on the miles you run, focus on making the best of the time you spend out there. Yes, you can still be out enjoying nature, but tune in to your body so that your running practice can be beneficial to making you a stronger, healthier, and happier athlete. And not setting you back by wearing your body down.

If you’re unable to complete a race without bonking, build your aerobic endurance. For most people, that means slow down your training. A LOT. More than you want.

Throw your ego out the window and complete a whole run keeping your heart rate well within your aerobic level, breathing calmly and effortlessly through your nose. (Trust me, if I can do this at 7000’ in Colorado, you can do it at sea level.) There isn’t a better time than now to practice this. After all, we are in a long base training period, so make the investment now and you will reap the rewards down the road when racing begins again.

If you’re regularly getting sick or overall feeling tired in your workouts, make sure that your sleep and nutrition are on point. These make such a big impact to your overall health, stress balance, and greatly affect your running and overall health.

I recommend adding a gratitude and meditation practice to your life. It’s amazing what a few minutes each day can do for your overall well being.

Bottom line, don’t sacrifice health for fitness. Fitness is fantastic, but only when part of a bigger picture of overall health.

Make your running practice mindful, meaningful, and fun. With that you’ll never find yourself on the “struggle bus” but instead wake up looking forward to each run knowing the joy you’ll find in a healthy practice of “no pain, all gain”. It’s definitely a wonderful place to be.

Amelia Vrabel was an active member of SCRR from 2004 through 2011. She held a number of board positions during that time including President from 2008-2009. She currently lives and works in Colorado Springs, CO and can be reached through her website Focused Footsteps and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Valentine’s Day Treats By Amy Katz

Whether you are celebrating alone, with a partner, or with the whole family, everyone can make and enjoy these delectable Valentine’s Day chocolaty treats. The hardest part is deciding which one to try first.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles are perfect for Valentine’s Day because they are salty-sweet, melt in your mouth and highly shareable.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

Homemade Oreos

These homemade Oreos are perfectly dense little chocolate cookies stuffed with cream cheese frosting.

Homemade Oreo sandwich cookies

Chocolate Marble Mini Cheesecakes

These cute mini dairy-free Chocolate Marble Cheesecakes don’t require baking and are easy to make.

Plate of chocolate marble mini cheesecakes garnishes with berries and mint

Chocolate Covered Oranges

Dessert doesn’t get easier than chocolate covered oranges. With just two ingredients, and the help of the microwave, this sweet treat comes together in a flash.

Chocolate covered orange slices

Cashew Butter Chocolate Truffles

Cashew Butter Chocolate Truffles are creamy and crunchy with wonderful chocolate sweetness.

Cashew Butter Chocolate Truffles

Small Batch Brownies

You won’t believe how easy it is to make these fudgy small batch brownies in your air fryer. Add your favorite toppings such as mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or chopped nuts.

Brownie topped with chocolate chips and powdered sugar

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Treasurer’s Report By Victor Gambone

Total Cash Balance, Beginning  January 1, 20213613.70
Cash Inflows: memberships140.00
Cash Outflows-First Thursday
Cash Outflows-RRCA Membership Dues & Insurance
Cash Outflows-Banquet
Cash Outflows-Uniforms + Caps/Visors
Cash Outflows-Social Gatherings
Cash Outflows-Other: PayPal fees3.79
Net Change in Cash   136.21
Total Cash Balance, Ending January 31, 20213,749.91

10% Discount at A Snail's Pace Running Shop

Do you have a story to share? Please e-mail your newsletter contributions to Amy Katz at amyk262@hotmail.com.