Personal Files: Running Tips and Inspiration ❤️

Ello!

I wanted to share my experience from challenging myself to run once a day, regardless of the distance or speed, for 30 consistent days.

Running has and always will be, one of my dearest companions. I found it during high school, in the midst of a horrible heart break, when a friend asked me to join cross country. I had only been a dancer before this so I thought I had stamina already, let’s just kick it up a notch.

Holy sh*t.

I literally could not finish the first mile!

I stopped, dramatically threw myself on the ground, and told everyone I couldn’t. They nodded and said “okay” and continued to run. They clearly knew I was fine, which I was, but it also taught me to keep going when my mind was screaming at me I was too weak. This is when I knew I found something I could continue to grow from for a lifetime.

Since then, little by little, I’ve continuously added more mileage to my strolls.

    I’ve ran the New York City Marathon twice, in 2015 and 2016 with 8 half marathons behind those. After the 2016 marathon I swore running off and devoted my life to workouts I had never known. Weight lifting, circuits, you name it, I tried. I tell you this, because here I am again, after experiencing other workouts galore, feeling the need to come back to my roots and just run.

Before the 30 days, my journey entries (I do a small one every night) are a little sad. Lacking enthusiasm and consistently writing how about tired I am.

However, looking back, I started running at the beginning of August and the tune has changed quite a lot.

8/29 👇🏻

I don’t know what running specifically does for me, but it seems to be the only activity that when done consistently, opens new doors for growth. I’m not saying all of these moments in my life are specifically connected to running but I have noticed a pattern between my level of satisfaction with life increasing, the more consistently I run.

In the 12 years I’ve been a “runner” here are my biggest tips to get the most out of your jogs {despite your level of experience}:

  1. You don’t always need to know your “why” when you start a run. I often times find it during. Whether it’s finally figuring out the perfect comeback I couldn’t say in the moment or to simply declutter the chatter in my head, at the end of a run I have not once ever felt “well what was the point of that?”. Though there is always one theme I always acknowledge before I set- off. Every time I begin a run, my goal is to always “enjoy”. The sights, the sounds, the fact that I’m purging nasty toxins built up, I make a concerted effort to enjoy every part.

2. Take the freaking pressure off of yourself. YOU are the one deciding the fate of this journey. Not your friend who can run a 7 minute mile or has just completed her 8th triathlon. You shouldn’t compare your journey to others in life but definitely do not do it while running. This is YOUR time.

3. Smile. I’m serious. Even if you’re in pain every step, smiling is your body’s most natural anesthesia.

4. Don’t let anyone else dictate your path. Not your speed, distance, calories burned, etc. just go.

5. Relax your jaw, loosen the tension in your shoulders. Posture is seriously so important– I’m learning this NOW after so many injuries. Just do it.

6. Force yourself to run SLOWER. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for speed, but listen to what’s telling you to go faster. Is it your ego? That voice that is looking at the girls tread next to you competing? If so, slow that treadmill down and start to listen to YOUR voice. The one that started this run to clear your head and have a healthy sweat. Aren’t you doing both, regardless if you “beat” this girl or not? Focus on that.

7. Stretch afterward. Pardon my language, but f*ck stretching beforehand. I mean, it’s fine but so many studies have shown there is no benefit to stretching cold muscles. If anything, best practice, you run at least half a mile– warm up, stretch, do your long run, cold down, stretch again. I skip that beginning portion if it’s a long steady run, then save the stretching for afterwards. Think about all of those muscle fibers you just tore (in a good way) and if you don’t stretch them out afterwards, they heal together short and thick. By stretching, you elongate your muscles and allow them to heal in a much less inflamed manner.

8. Choose a mantra to repeat throughout your jog; my word is “smooth“. It’ll help you keep the big picture in sight.

9. If your thoughts get too heavy, sing jingle bells. I’m serious. It’s what all of the greats do, I hear.

Those are all my tips. Take them with a grain of salt and remember I’m just some chick giving you unsolicited advice that has a running hobby.

Thanks for reading, and, yes, the 30 days of run is still going strong, making it now… 83ish days!

Stay groovy, friendos!

Xo

Andi

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