This is a guest blog post written by Christina Reville. This is part of a series of posts from women of all walks of life, sharing tips and their passion with other women.
I consider myself a late-blooming runner. Until five years ago, my experience with running was limited to suffering through the required one mile in high school. When I began running as an adult, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and I didn’t have anybody but Pinterest to guide me through it. Looking back, I’ve learned quite a lot about the sport, and more importantly, about myself. If I could go back in time, I’d tell my beginning runner self to run fearlessly, make a schedule, and to find a BRF.
When I began running, the idea of running outside where people could see my jiggly legs flapping very slowly intimidated me! Even more mortifying? The thought that someone might see me take a walk break. My fear of being judged by total strangers or other runners was overwhelming, so I began my running journey on the treadmill.
I now see how silly my insecurities were. Over the years, I’ve come to see my body for what it can do–not how it looks while I do it. I’m not much faster, I still have jiggly bits, and yeah, some days ya just have to walk. But who cares?! I’m out there doing it. No one is watching me, and if they are, it’s out of admiration. I’m out slaying the day! Who wouldn’t admire that?
Make a Schedule
The notion that I will head out the door for a run because I am simply that disciplined, is a ridiculously romantic and utterly unrealistic concept for me. While I wish this was me, it’s not! I learned quickly that if I don’t have a run written down on a schedule, I’m going to find a way to talk myself out of it.
Even though it would make life a little easier, I have never enlisted a coach to create a training schedule.I think it’s fun to research training plans and organize everything into a pretty spreadsheet. Plus, I don’t have to worry about getting my run in around my husband’s birthday or work travels. I simply don’t schedule a run on those days.
Most importantly a schedule provides accountability. If I know that I have a five-mile run scheduled for tomorrow morning, I’m going to eat well the night before, get in bed on time, remember to set my alarm clock, and ultimately just get in the right mindset to make that run happen.
Find a BRF
Get yourself a Best Running Friend (BRF–not to be confused with RBF. That would be a whole other blog post.). At some point your nonrunning significant other’s eyes will glaze over at the mention of running. Your BRF will be the person you can talk all things running with. You will come to appreciate having someone to geek out with over the pain and beauty that is running. Because no one quite gets it like another runner.
My BRF and I are each other’s coach, cheerleader, psychologist, and doctor. We troubleshoot injuries and remind each other it’s okay to take a day off. We celebrate and enjoy hearing play-by-plays from each other’s races. I’ve sent and received many TMI text messages that lead to discussions about itchy boobs and mid-run pooping.
The best part about a BRF is the accountability of scheduling a weekly run together. Waking up before dawn is my least favorite thing to do! But it’s so much easier when I know my BRF is counting on me–not just for the miles. We have a week’s worth of life to discuss. Running may be our shared hobby, but we have even more than that in common. Plus, I know that she’ll commiserate with me about how cold it is.
Running isn’t always easy–especially in the beginning. I’m thankful that I learned that I could have so much more fun, stay accountable, and find confidence just by running fearlessly, scheduling my runs, and finding a BRF.
More about Christina Reville
I began my running journey about five years ago when I decided that running a 10K would be a fun challenge. I have since run several half half marathons, and I am currently working towards my third marathon. I may never qualify for Boston, but that’s ok–that’s not what it’s about for me. The sheer joy of putting one foot in front of the other feeds my runner vibes. Follow me on Instagram @runnervibes13.