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Wanna go for a run?

Last week I reached out to my friends across the socials and wanted to know: what is keeping you from moving in this weird season where it seems like we've got all of this extra time, but we've still got so many barriers?? Are you new to this running thing (because you don't have anything else to do and you thought about giving it a shot)?  Or are you finding it hard to get out of the door when you know you've got nothing else planned for the day? Do you have the right shoes or safety gear for those early morning runs you've now got to tackle? Or are you totally digging this no race, no problem and just taking all of the miles as they come?

There was a good 25% of folks that said HELP. ME I hear ya! But why?! For some, it's motivation and for others it's scheduling.  Being so new or in a new season can make it hard to feel the WHY of getting out, especially when our schedules are dictating our opportunities.  For many, there are young kids at home and it can be hard to make it a priority to get up an hour or more before what we are used to.  Or maybe, your races have been canceled and you just don't see the point of it anymore.  One friend told me she lives rather remotely and only has about a 1/2 mile stretch of road to run.  One friend hasn't ever run before and doesn't have good shoes?

Artwork by Jess (@paceofme/@werunonart)

All of that is totally valid.  And honestly, I've probably had them too over the last six weeks at some point.  My schedule is limiting.  I've had to create goals outside of races so I can stay motivated.  I'm pretty confined to a 1 mile radius of my house to run. As for the right gear.I think I'm covered for now!

Like many of you, my schedule has made some different changes.  I'm now at home 24-7, but I'm also still full time teaching meaning I sit in front of a computer 3-4 days/week most of the day and on zoom.  But in addition, I'm spending more time with my girls teaching life lessons (and trying not to spend a ridiculous amount of time and energy in their busy work for virtual learning), and still trying to keep consistency with their extra curricular interests.  My youngest has the opportunity to join 2-3 hours of ZOOM gymnastics calls every afternoon.  My oldest has a keyboard in her room and a piano in the dining room to sit and play whenever she has the urge, and still has lessons once a week with her teacher.  For us, it seems as if we're busier in our home than we ever have been. And we're making it work.

But the hardest thing for me personally is this: the ONLY opportunity I have for going on my usual run by myself is before 7:30 am.  Now, more than ever, I've got to fight against every temptation to sleep in because if I miss that window, I've got to get more creative and make an effort to get out later in the day.  Most days, it's been working to where I can even add mileage by taking a scooter ride with the girls (they ride, I run.we've made it to a 5K by now), but it isn't always ideal.  Just this week, we had a horrible storm come through and it was thundering and lightning with a tornado threat in those early morning hours.  There was no way I could get out then!  It took 3 scooter rides, but I did finally get in the mileage I wanted by the end of the day.  I just had to be flexible!

So what tips can I give to you?  First and most importantly, remember that this is a season like all of the other seasons in our life, they change how we do things.  We can't really control WHAT happens, but we can control HOW we respond.  So, take it day by day or even hour by hour.  And figure out what makes you feel the best (mentally, emotionally, and physically). But what else?!

  • I know this is hard to hear, but you're going to have to muster up the courage and motivation to go at this alone, for now (unless someone you are living with wants to join you).  With shelter in place and CDC recommendations, being with others right now, for socializing and exercising, isn't the best way we can respect ourselves and others.  But remember, you don't need someone else to do the work you get to do it.

  • If you want to jump into this whole running thing remember that you don't go from non-runner to a marathoner in one week.  You need to start from scratch so that you're grateful to the sport and your body is thankful you're taking things slow.  This Runner's World article does a great job of breaking it down in 12 weeks yes, 12 weeks to comfortably introduce you and keep you in for the long run (pun intended). We've all started from scratch at some point!

  • You need shoes?! Lucky for you, your local running specialty store has come up with a myriad of ways to serve you even with their doors closed.  Some are offering video in-home shoe fittings, dropping off options at your doorstep and letting you test out what might work best.  Many stores like my local Charlotte Running Company have curbside pick up and contactless purchasing making it just as easy to get what you need, not just for shoes but fuel, apparel, or even a pair of Aftershokz headphones.

  • Speaking of gear those headphones they have been the BEST part of my line up lately.  While running the same mile loop over and over and over 10-12 times before the sun comes up (yes, I've done that at least once or twice a week over the last 6 weeks), I keep my mind occupied with podcasts through my Aeropex headphones.  They allow me to listen to the podcast, but with their out of ear bone conduction technology, I can keep my ears open to hear what's around me (like the oncoming car, sly cat in the road, or the boogie man!).  I wear them on the run, but I basically have a pair on me at all times for my zoom classes, chatting to a friend while making dinner, and listening to music while I clean the house.  Check them out here and save $15 on your purchase!

  • What's a good podcast you ask? Anything that holds your attention, takes your mind off the monotony, offers insight into your personal growth, or teaches you something new.  I'm usually on to the running ones (like Lindsay Hein's I'll Have Another, Running on Om,  The Rambling Runner, or For the Long Run Podcast), but since I'm running more miles solo these days, I need more (and sometimes want a break from the running).  So I've really gotten into Bren Brown's Unlocking Us and another SandyBoy production, the Illuminate Podcast. But you do you if you want that murder mystery/serial killer story, go for it. NOPE, not me. Or maybe you like the motivation behind David Goggins dropping an F-bomb every three words. Again, not me. But whateeeeever works to get you out and moving, listen to that one.

What else is holding you back? I'd love to cheer you on in your new endeavor just reach out and let me know how I can help you #releasetherunner! I love being a part of the ShokzSquad a community of ambassadors who share the love for Aftershokz headphones to everyone around us!

As always, thanks for peering into this space! Be well, stay sane.

The Running Seora