beauty + fitness

Run, Girl, Run

January 13, 2015


As of last evening, I have officially registered to run my first 15k (9.3mi) race in March! It’s about to go down, y’all. There is no turning back (because I’m not letting $50 go to waste). I’m in it, to win finish it.

I have been considering running this 15k since last year. Last year, I ran the 8k, which had been my longest run at that time. In fact, since moving to Portland almost 3 years ago, I’d never really run in races – I’d always walked with friends/family, making it more of a social experience. It actually wasn’t until I moved to Portland that I actually went running… for “fun”. As in voluntarily deciding to go for a run as my main form of cardio. And attempting to run more than 2 miles at a time seemed like a feat I would never achieve. 

The only real motivation to want to run was my boyfriend, who is a runner and loves running. I wanted to share that small part of his world with him. He invited me to join a running challenge on the Nike+ Running app, and even when I thought I couldn’t do it (I’ll never clock enough miles in the time given – I run too slow – I don’t run enough – etc), he encouraged me to give it my best and to do what I could. One day I ran 1 mile. The next, 3 miles. The next, 5 miles. It hurt, and it was tough to not talk myself out of it, but I was doing it. I remember after every run, making the cool down walk up the windy street off the main road to my apartment, I’d text him with excitement – I was actually running! And the affirming texts he’d send back that he was proud of what I’d accomplished. That encouragement and motivation was enough to get me to push past my own insecurities and doubts and be truly proud of myself for stepping (heh) out of my comfort zone. It’s so mental!! I’m trying to get over it lol.

Now, I still don’t love running, but I enjoy it. I like the idea of not just getting in physical shape, but getting my mind in shape. As a perfectionist, it’s hard to dedicate myself to something I’m not naturally good at, or something that doesn’t come easily to me. It’s quite uncomfortable and the mental road block is real. But I’m moving past it, slowly (very slowly) but surely.

So, I’m using the Nike+ Running app to “coach” me in preparation for my 15k. They don’t have a training for a 15k so I’m technically training for a half marathon right now but we’ll see how confident I feel once I get to 10 miles, and just make my own adjustments from there.

I’m really excite but I’m also hella nervous! There’s a monstrous hill towards the end of the race (bastards!) and I’m a bit scared I won’t be able to run the entire thing (which is my goal). So send your girl your prayers and good vibes, I’m gonna need them to make the long distance climb in 2 months!


Have you ever run in a long distance race (15k, half marathon, full marathon)? Do you have any major goals to accomplish this year? Is there a challenge you’ve wanted to take but haven’t because you think you’re not ready?

With my running shoes laced,

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  • Reply Chavon January 13, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Good luck EBBBB!!! I can’t wait to run outdoors again to see my real progress. I still don’t trust the treadmill 100% and I’m terrified of falling lol

    • Reply Gem January 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      THANKS EBBBB!!! and omg i meant to mention this in my post – I HATE RUNNING INDOORS!!! i feel like a hamster and its soooo boring. once i have to do more than 5 miles, i’m gonna have to bite the cold bullet and run outside. otherwise i’ll never make it lol.

  • Reply madscientist7 January 13, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    black girls run. good job on sticking with it. proud of you.

  • Reply d. tafakari January 14, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Go Gem Go!

    • Reply Gem January 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      thanks boo!

  • Reply Sandra Oerman March 10, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    An excellent article. Thank you very much 🙂 Go Girl Go! Go Gem Go! 🙂

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