Running in Brooklyn

I’m starting to get into running.

No one is more shocked than I am. I have been a lifelong why-would-you-run-when-you-can-walk, not-one-single-second-of-jogging-is-enjoyable, who-are-these-crazy-people-running-around-town-when-they-could-be-happily-at-home-watching-a-movie-and-having-a-nice-glass-of-wine kind of person.

But when my twin sister Lucy came to visit this fall, she went on a half-hour run every morning. And on the fourth day, she somehow, impossibly, convinced me to run with her. Here’s what she said to change my mind: Running is just BOUNCE WALKING. You don’t have to run fast. That I could do!

So I threw on my old maternity leggings and a regular bra, and we went for it. We set out from my apartment in Carroll Gardens and ran to the Dumbo carousel. All in, the run was four miles round-trip. I was amazed by how do-able it was, especially with a long break halfway through.

We also took a bunch of smaller walking breaks. When I got tired, Lucy would give us a goal: “Let’s keep running until we get to that blue building,” she would say, pointing a few blocks away. And then we’d take a walking break for a minute or two.

Since then, I’ve been totally into it. I love that it takes only half an hour. I run 2.5 to 3 miles in our neighborhood a few evenings a week, past people walking their dogs and strolling home from work. As my friend Claire Mazur said, “My advice is to start with just those few blocks at a time and nothing more. Do that every day for a couple of weeks until you can do ten blocks at a time. And then fifteen, and then twenty! Running is really, really hard when you’re out of practice, and if you push yourself to the point where it’s completely miserable you won’t go back and do it again the next day. So, go easy on yourself — and make consistency your only priority.”

Plus, it’s SUCH AN ANXIETY KILLER. I’ve always been an anxious person, and when I’m feeling stressed and headache-y and tense and jumpy at the end of the day, a half hour run feels so good! I can go out at 7:30 p.m., and by the time I return at 8 p.m., I feel calm and totally renewed. It’s sort of shocking. Claire says the same. Is that true for any of you?

So, for you runners out there, I’m SO curious to hear…

* What do you listen to? I’ve been listening to Mindy Kaling’s book on tape, but I’d also love to find some fun, upbeat music. Also, someone on Instagram mentioned yogic running: “When I started running, I always listened to music, but then I read a piece about yogic running and decided to go music free. I love running with ‘silence.'”

* Where and when do you run? Along the water the morning? At the gym at night? I’d love to hear your routines.

* What running gear do you wear? Right now, I wear a bra, a shirt and leggings from Tracksmith, and I’ve also heard great things about Outdoor Voices.

This post has helpful tips about running for total beginners. I also found this post inspiring — you’re allowed to be a bad runner!

Lots of love xoxoxoxo

P.S. Do you exercise on purpose? And, just for fun, what random little activities do you consider exercise? :)

(Photo from my Instagram)