In fact, slipping up is a vital part of the process of reaching your goals. It’s a step that I hate, but a step nonetheless. If you need help coming up with a strategic attack plan.Read More
Ah, the good old dreadful running slump. If you’ve been running long enough, you know what I’m talking about. And for those of you that don’t… don’t worry, your time is coming.Read More
Your water bottle is filled to the brim with ice cold water.
Running shoes are laced up and ready to go.
The playlist that always pushes you through that last mile is updated and waiting to be played
Your watch is charged and strapped onto your wrist, ready to track the run you’re about to embark on.
Stepping outside you put one foot in front of the other, and completely crush your run.
Except you don’t because you’re forgetting something.
Let’s rewind and find the missing piece of this equation.
The “you” in this scenario is 100% me. I decided to write this post because I typically fall short when it comes to protecting my skin during my runs. Now that I’ve moved back to Florida I really need to be more diligent about this, and I know I’m not the only one!
Jeez, even typing that makes me cringe a little!
Since it’s officially summer and more runners will be hopping off the treadmill to enjoy the warm weather, I thought there was no better opportunity than right now to start this conversation!
Skin cancer prevention is incredibly important and maybe just like me, you have to be more conscious about it as well. The Skin Cancer Foundation has a ton of crazy stats that will make you want to take action. The one stating that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over their lifetime is what startled me into realizing that I need to take every precaution to protect my skin while I’m out on my runs.
If you’re anything like me, you probably have a few excuses up your sleeves to avoid putting sunscreen on before a run. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), I’m here to call your (and my own) bluff!
“I’m only outside running for half an hour, that’s not long enough to need sunscreen”
Sorry friend but just like me, you’re wrong. Three half hour runs a week add up! That’s an hour and a half in the sun, not including any other time you spend outdoors throughout the week. And if you run more than three times a week like me, you’re adding up even more time spent in the sun. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and if all it takes to lower our chances of getting it is consistently putting a layer or two of sunscreen on before running out the door what excuse do we really have?
2. “I don’t burn easily, or at all, so I don’t need to worry”
Survey says…you’re still wrong! Even if you don’t burn, your skin still gets damaged by the sun’s UV rays. You won’t see the damage immediately, but who wants their skin to age prematurely and look like an old leathery couch in 10 years? The temporary sun-kissed glow isn’t worth it!
3. “Putting sunscreen on before a run makes the run even hotter and I sweat even more”
Same. But I’ve figured out through experience that if that’s what’s happening, you’re probably doing something wrong. You can’t just slap some sunscreen on yourself and start running. You should put it on 30 minutes before your run so your skin has time to absorb it and the sunscreen has time to activate. Doing this will protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays from the second you step outside. I’ve also discovered choosing a sports sunscreen that sprays on will eliminate that thick and sticky sunscreen/sweat mixture. Problem solved!
4. “I want to protect my skin more but I always forget to put sunscreen on before my run”
This one in particular is my weakness. I often get ready and start running without even using my brain. To combat forgetting my sunscreen I leave it somewhere I know I’ll see it. Leaving it next to my toothbrush or next to my watch usually does the trick. Leave it in your purse, in front of the door or even in one of your running shoes! Get creative and do whatever it takes to be sure you’re protecting your skin.
5. “Wearing sunscreen makes my skin breakout”
This is my favorite excuse that I’ve been using since the beginning of time. I would avoid putting sunscreen on my face when possible because my skin would break out. But the truth is that there are too many sunscreens out there now made specifically for acne-prone skin for this excuse to hold truth anymore.
So… now that I’ve debunked all of the reasons why you and I have been passing on the sunscreen, will you join me in being more diligent about protecting our skin on our runs?
When people think about running, or just exercising in general, they think there’s some crazy and complicated formula behind getting started (myself included), mostly because they don’t know how to begin. They don’t want to start until they feel like they know what they’re doing. More often than not, that’s the reason why people quit before they even get started.
But guess what? That magical and complicated formula doesn’t actually exist. If you want to start something, it comes down to two things. It’s simple and I’m not trying to trick you.
How Badly Do You Want It?
Life is busy and it’s hard. Good, but hard. There are so many different responsibilities that need our time and attention and I totally understand why people have a hard time exercising consistently and make it part of their routine. I’ve been there, I get it.
But I also firmly believe that if you want something badly enough, you’ll do what have to do to make it work. So maybe the reason you haven’t been able to get started, or the reason why you fall off track so quickly is because you just don’t desperately want to become a runner. Speaking from personal experience, it took me 21 years until I got to the point where I wanted it bad enough. Let me tell you, it was NOT going to happen before then.
Can You Take It One Mile At A Time?
Now the one I’m particularly awful at is taking it one mile at a time. Since I was eight or nine years old I’ve struggled on and off with anxiety, so I can get overwhelmed easily sometimes.
Like right now, for instance. All within the next three weeks I’ll be finishing my classes, fixing up my resume and portfolio, starting my job hunt, taking my drivers test, graduating college, running my sixth half marathon, moving from New Jersey to Florida AND start shopping for my first car.
While these are all incredibly great things that I’ve been waiting for and dreaming of for years, it’s still making my head spin when I look at all of it at once. But this is exactly like a race. You can’t think about mile 10 when you’re on mile three. You throw yourself off balance and you never make it. What we can do though is worry about one thing at a time. First I’ll finish my classes, check that off and start polishing up my resume to send out. Then I’ll move on to the next thing.
You don’t need to know what you’re doing to start running. That’s the best part! I mean, you COULD read all my blog posts and I’ll definitely have you prepared, but when it comes down to it no one ever knows what they’re doing.
I had no idea what the heck I was doing when I decided to sign up for a half marathon. And that’s kind of relevant to everything I’ve ever done in my life. One fall morning in 2013 I woke up and my first conscious thought was “Okay, right now is when I need to apply for the Disney College Program,” after not giving the program a single thought since the past summer. I found my acceptance e-mail a week later and I had to tell everyone in my life I was moving 17 hours away for an internship they didn’t even know I applied to.
Running was kind of like that too. I woke up one morning and made choice and I stuck to it. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I figured it out along the way.
Deciding to run was the best decision I’ve ever made. In this moment, I still don’t know what the heck I’m doing. In fact, the one thing I DO know is that I will never know what I’m doing
But that’s when the magic happens and lives change. We challenge ourselves and try to accomplish something and that’s when we grow.
When you decide you want to be a runner badly enough, you’ll make time for it. And then, you’ll take it one mile at a time.
You can’t worry about week 12 of the training plan when you’re on week one. Start small, and start now. There’s never going to be “the right moment”.