Mother runner Coco Brinckerhoff, who has a 22-year-old daughter and 19-year-old son, says meeting new friends and exploring new places are the best parts of being a runner. Her active life in Alexandria, Va. also includes enjoying a good Belgian-style beer from time to time, too (more about her favorite kind below).
Best recent run: Now that the weather is turning cooler, almost every run is great, but last weekend’s run was perfect. The scenery around my neighborhood was nothing special, but I finally was running with my friend after months of incompatible schedules, and we had an effortless 8-mile run while we caught up on everything. It made me realize how lucky I am to have a friend who likes to run—and runs at about the same pace.
I am definitely a morning runner. My neighborhood is pretty well lit, so I will head out for a run before the sun is up. I love being out while the sky turns from black to blue, and seeing the sunrise makes up for that o’dark-thirty alarm.
Favorite Running Mantra: Run your own race—mostly as a reminder to not compare myself to others.
Worth Savoring: I like Belgian-style beers with a strong flavor. My favorite local beer is Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre.
Favorite race ever: The George Washington Parkway Classic (10-miler), in Alexandria, Virginia. It’s held in April along the GW Parkway from Mt. Vernon (George Washington’s estate) to Old Town. It’s a well-organized event on a great course with lots of crowd support.
Worst running-related injury, and how did you cope? I hate to even think about this because I’ve been relatively injury free this year (knock on wood), but maybe I earned a good year of running after I suffered through ITB/glute/piriformis issues for most of 2012. I found some relief with a holistic chiropractor, but it took a few months of physical therapy—and a lot of planks—to get to the core of my issue. The difficulty with many running injuries is that whatever hurts may not be the source of the problem, and it turns out that I needed to strengthen my core and lower back muscles to really get better. I coped by focusing on what I could do—my physical therapy exercises, yoga, strength training, cardio on the elliptical, and short runs.
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