Friday, October 5, 2012

Cheribundi Ambassador: Runner Toni Church

A Cherry A Day For Running Recovery
by Janine Frank

For one Long Island runner, a lifelong goal is now just a month away. Toni Church is training for the New York City Marathon on November 4th. This will be the first marathon for the 34-year-old mother of two who took up running to get back in shape after her first child was born.

Now 15 years later, Church is ready to take the plunge and attempt one of running's biggest challenges. “As long as I've been running I have wanted to run one marathon and that marathon had to be NYC!” Church says.

To finally get to this point, Church, a hospital nurse, has been reliably and singularly focused on this one objective. And in all those years, her conviction never wavered. “The marathon is the ultimate running goal and I want to do it at least once,” Church says confidently.

Her training regimen consists of two runs a week with a running team called We Are Athletes. They do drills, speed work, core work and devote one of those nights to hill running. Church saves her longer runs for the weekend. “On Saturday or Sunday I do my long runs mostly with people from the team,” Church says. “My weekly mileage lands somewhere between 18 and 28 miles per week.”

Church also tries to do yoga three times a week as well as cross training with a spin bike and an elliptical trainer. She also tries to work in two weight training sessions per week. “I believe for balance and injury prevention you need to have a well-rounded workout routine,” Church says.

Unlike some first time marathon runners, Church is careful not to over-train. “Many of the plans out there have first time marathoners running an enormous amount,” Church explains, “And according to my coach it's a recipe for disaster and injury.” She says it's also important to listen to your body. “If something hurts, don't ignore it because it will only get worse.”

Representin' in her Cheribundi tee at FitBloggin' 2012.
Part of Church's daily routine also includes Cheribundi. She says it's how she ends every workout. “Cheribundi has helped me combat muscle soreness. I love having a [Whey] protein Cheribundi after a tough workout to fuel my muscles and help replenish my energy.” In fact, Church says she also drinks Cheribundi on her rest days. For her it's become a daily habit.

Church understands the struggle between achieving a fit lifestyle and raising a family. “I do my best to spend time with the family every day after work and by incorporating fitness and family time together with bike rides, workouts in the park and healthy activities,” Church says. She admits that the balance is challenging, but knows that her own fitness is essential. “Running has changed my life both physically and emotionally for the better and I couldn't imagine my life without it!”

Cheribundi wishes Toni all the best in her first marathon. May it be the beginning of many! 

Editor's Note: Unfortunately, Toni recently went to the doctor and found out she has a stress fracture. She has to rest it for eight weeks, which means she will not be able to run in the NYC Marathon this year.  But she has Cheribundi to help her recover and she says it's "definitely helping with the recovery." Toni will be back to her training routine once the fracture heals, and she plans to train for another marathon in 2013. Read more from Toni at her blog, Running Loving Living: The Road to My Dreams.

Janine Frank lives in Lafayette, Colorado with her husband, two sons and golden retriever. She writes about fitness, natural products and the great outdoors.

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