What I Learned In Five Weeks With Nike Running

My choice to “choose Go” has rekindled a fire inside of me.

Health  
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Growing up, I was the girl who dreaded mile day in gym class. The girl who let her asthma dictate her relationship with running, and for better or worse was okay with it. I’ve always had some kind of athletic affinity. I danced, played softball and preferred sports gear over skirts and dresses, but running was just one of those things that I just couldn’t grow to love — or so I thought. After spending five weeks training with Nike Running for the Go LA 10K, my choice to “choose Go” has rekindled a fire inside of me.

Before I set on my journey to go, I had finally gotten to a point where running wasn’t a punishment. Nike Running is to thank for that. After a coaching activation with the brand in the earlier part of last year and a 10K race later, I for the first time in my life had reached a point where I enjoyed running. Then the holidays came, my running schedule slipped off and they announced the Go LA 10K. Although the fall-off was all too real, I came back.

I’ve never properly trained for a race before so to say I was excited for the five-week journey with a Nike Running Coach would be an understatement. I was ready to challenge myself in ways I never had before and to show myself just what I could do. Our first event was a piece of cake… err sticky rice. Our group of all badass female editors and writers that would become the #LAGoGetters came together at Night + Market to kick-off our road to go. That night, it became clear that we weren’t all in a pool to compete with each other, in fact it was the opposite. During our time together, we would uplift and encourage each other to the finish line.

We weren’t all in a pool to compete with each other, in fact it was the opposite. During our time together, we would uplift and encourage each other to the finish line.

For many of us, it was either our first time training for a race or running a 6.2 miles period. We were writers, beauty aficionados, mothers, founders and everyday women who formed an unlikely group of runners. Week after week, we’d meet up with our Coach Blue Benadum who’d help push us to become our best running selves. Whether it was teaching us proper form, leading a run to a hilltop, the beach, etc. we were growing every step of the way. Some days I left more tired than others, but I kept going and that made all the difference.

On the days we weren’t together, we had homework in the form of Nike Training Club app workouts, cross-training, recovery runs and resting of course. One of the most useful tools I discovered on my off days were the guided runs. Meeting up once a week for a structured run with Coach Blue was so motivating and using the guided runs feature in the Nike Run Club app helped to keep that motivation going. Whether it was Kevin Hart or a Nike athlete in my ear, it made a difference to feel like I had one-on-one guidance.

What felt like an endless running journey came to a head when we all met at the start of the 90 Freeway. It was time to put everything we had learned to test. Along the way, something Coach Blue said to us really stuck with me. It was the idea of relentless forward progression. Whether it is walking, jogging or running, do whatever you have to do to cross that finish line. Passing mile marker two, then three, then four and so on, the only thing that was running through my mind other than Cardi B blaring in my ears was this idea of relentless forward progression. There were so many times when I wanted to slow down, to walk, to stop but I didn’t. I just kept going. I chose go. That choice got me across the finish line with my fastest 10K time yet. All the weeks of training paid off. Were there days that I maybe skipped a solo run? Totally. Life happens and perfection isn’t a requirement, but showing up for yourself when it matters is.

It was the idea of relentless forward progression. Whether it is walking, jogging or running, do whatever you have to do to cross that finish line.

After the race, the Nike team treated us to a breakfast and spa day. The perfect celebration for a challenging five weeks. I left the day with slides, a celebratory “finisher” tank and a greater idea of relentless forward progression. In these five weeks, I not only grew as a runner, but also as a person. To be any sort of runner, you have to be disciplined and committed to working towards a better you. It’s the difference between accomplishing your goals and wanting to accomplish your goals. No feat is too big or small if you work relentlessly towards its forward progression. This is something that I’ll take with me even after my Nikes are worn into the ground.

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Teresa Lam/HYPEBAE
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