Run, Raegyn, Run!
"When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go, you know, I went." - Forrest Gump
This TikTok pretty well summed up my experience with running. I am not going to lie it was a great experience but required a lot of self-talk to keep going and not give up when I was tired and/or sore.
My running experience started from scratch; as a beginner. I really did not know where to start or what my running journey would look like, so I turned to my handy sources - YouTube and TikTok. TikTok and YouTube gave me the power to learn different techniques, strategies, and routines for running.
Over the course of the next 6 weeks, I looked at many accounts and people to learn from them. From how to slowly get started, to music, to stretching, avoid injury, and understanding that we are all at different places and you cannot compare yourself to another runner. I felt my learnings were exemplified because I had access to these available technologies.
Accounts that were useful to me in my journey:
How to Start Running featuring Braden and Yitka where I was able to utilize different tips and tricks to get me started. The main takeaway was starting slow even if that means starting with 30-minute walks and then easing into running, which is a key way to prepare your body for running. So of course, that is what I did.
@kirstybannatyne built off of Braden and Yitka as she had a five-minute strategy that encouraged you to walk for 30 minutes and throughout the week, work up to 5 minutes of running. I felt accomplished when I ran my first 5 minutes straight.
@nicofelich, @therunningtom, @dom_fusco, and @alexjophiel were very inspirational and encouraged me to work toward what I want and not stop to compare myself to anyone. No one else is on the same journey as me and I have to find what works for myself. Whether that was running at night or morning, running for 5 minutes straight or 20, running every day or every other day, I was able to find what works for me!
@mattchoi6 helped me with breathing techniques along the way and how not to sound like a dying horse, that I was sounding like. There were a variety of different methods but two quick breaths in and then out, was the technique that seemed to work well for me.
My stretching facilitators were the following: @jill_justine, @erinkbailey, Yoga With Tim, Physio Fitness, Tom Merrick, @ryleejade.fit, @runwithestelle & @rhiannoncbailey. I was able to learn different static and dynamic stretches, pre, and post-run, to keep me feeling loose and avoid injury. I found dynamic stretches before my run and static stretches after, kept me feeling loose and able to enjoy running without the feeling of cramping or soreness.
@envisioncoachiingg and @r4ucoaching highlighted how to run properly to avoid injury. The main takeaway was running on your toes as opposed to your heels, which was hard for me because I am known for being loud and walking on my heels, so it was a bit of an adjustment, to begin with.
Undoubtedly, @fasterthany0u brought the best playlists to life and kept my runs energized and hyped, as he provided me with the best of the best music!
Finally, @hollyb_fitness and @kaitlynwitha_k_ kept me motivated along the way and allowed me to understand that running is a roller coaster and is not a linear process; one week you may be flying high and the next not feel as successful. This undoubtedly is how I felt, as I felt defeated along the way with my progress. Listening to motivational speakers is what brought me back and pushed me to self-talk, to work through the process.
It is clear that throughout the last few weeks, I turned to many different people to learn from. Learning from the internet is a challenge on its own but these people opened my eyes to new possibilities that I couldn’t have imagined.
I ended my running journey by running 20 minutes straight, 4-5 times a week, which is something I am EXTREMELY proud of. I did not end up using my Apple Watch throughout the process as I was finding I was becoming too reliant on “closing rings” and trying too hard to get a faster pace and ended up tiring myself out. Instead, I used Snapchat videos/photos and even made a few TikToks along the way! I really had fun throughout the process documenting what I was doing and trying new platforms.
My running mainly took place outdoors with the exceptional few times I did have to go to the gym because of rain or smoke, from the forest fires. But I think it was only 3 or 4 times I was not able to run outside, which is amazing because let me tell you, running in one spot (on a treadmill) is not where it is at. I found myself getting tired quicker and it required a lot of self-talk to keep going.
Finally, providing myself with themes before I even began kept me accountable and provided me with a guideline of where to go next with my running. My themes included:
Week 1: Discovering running – developing a plan
Week 2: Music while running
Week 3: Breathing exercises
Week 4: Stretching to reduce soreness
Week 5: Morning vs night running
Week 6: Running with a partner (I was not able to run with a partner in the end, so I went back and brought my learnings back together, focusing more on stretches, breathing exercises, and self-talk).
Week 7: Bringing it all together - utilizing strategies and techniques that worked over the weeks
"I just.... felt like running." - Forrest Gump
I really did have fun in the process and I hope you all enjoyed following along. This is just the beginning of my running journey and I plan to keep it up. Did you enjoy following along? Should I keep documenting along the way?