6 Tips for Anxious Runners

6tips.pngI am a self proclaimed nervous Nancy, a worry-wart, a scared Sally. Honestly I get nervous about the littlest things and always think about the absolute worst things that could possibly happen.

When I first started running, even running in my small hometown, scared me. As I moved to college and now to a new state, I have come a long way to overcome my anxiety when running! I love to run, but I’m always very conscious that a lot of things can go wrong when you run. I also watch way too many crime and doctor shows and have just too wild of an imagination.

Whether you’re a anxious runner also or you’ve just started out running here are my tips for safe running!

Tip One: Stranger Danger! 

When I’m running, everyone is a stranger. I don’t care if you’re a 90 year old grandmother or a 6 year old kid, I don’t know you, I don’t know your life, and I’m not definitely not going to interact with you. If another runner smiles at me, sure I’ll smile back or like nod, because other runners don’t scare me because like they’re a runner, I’m a runner, we’re going it opposite directions at fast paces, nothing bad can happen, right? I know it can seem a little extreme, but honestly whether you live in a big city or a small town you always need to be aware of other people, drivers, and everything about you. When I run on trails, if I walk past someone going the opposite direction, I honestly check over my shoulder just to make sure they didn’t decide to start following me. I’m crazy I know, but I’d rather be crazy and feel safe. I don’t trust animals either, like sorry mr. turtle but like get away from me. 

When I first started running, in my small town of like 8,000 people most of whom I knew personally, I was running down the road I lived on, about a mile from my house, and a car drove past me and then pulled over and stopped. I WAS SO SCARED. My heart dropped. I turned around and sprinted home. Later that night, I found out it was my best friend, she had just gotten a new car and she saw me and stopped to say hi. In that moment, though, I had no idea who that person was and I sure as heck was not going to continue running at it and figure it out.

Also, if a car stops and asks you for directions because they can’t find something (this happens sometimes), keep your distance from the car. Again, you don’t know these people. And if you really don’t feel comfortable just say “sorry I don’t know” and continue your run.

I don’t want you to be thinking that I’m always so incredibly worked up and nervous-all-the-time when I’m running, because I’m not. I’ve relaxed. I love running, it’s my happy place and my alone time. Sure when I first started I was scared the entire run of every single gust of wind, but now I’m not. Even if I do run past someone who I think looks intimidating to me I stay calm, I don’t speed up, I just become aware. If you get worked up or even speed, that’s going to make your heart race and get you flustered, and it will really mess up your run, in my opinion.

Tip Two: Drivers Don’t See You

It doesn’t matter how bright your outfit is or how noticeable you think you are. 90% of drivers ( I made that number up, but a lot of drivers) aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. Even if you’re in a crosswalk, make sure that they see you. Make eye contact. Driveways to things like banks are especially dangerous. It’s not that drivers are intentionally ignoring you, they could be looking the other direction, or simply just not see you. And yes if they hit you it’s there fault, but like you can also make sure to be aware of your surroundings and not run out in front a car that you don’t think is going to stop for you.

Tip Three: Always Tell Someone You’re On A Run

Whether it’s your mom, your best friend, or your boyfriend (not your dog sorry they don’t count this time), tell someone that you’re on a run. If anything bad were to happen at least one person would know you were gone and that’s why no one has heard from you in hours.

Tip Four: ICE Contacts

If you have an iPhone you have the “Health” app, within the Health app you can set up your medical ID and your emergency contact information. If you use a passcode you’ll notice that when your phone is locked and you’re on the screen where you can enter your passcode you’ll see “Emergency” in the bottom left corner. Click on that and it redirects you to an emergency call screen and on the bottom of that screen you see “Medical ID”. I love this feature because it makes me feel safe about if something were to happen on a run or at a race someone could look for that and know I have asthma and my allergies and who to call in a matter of seconds.

The Health app and medical ID function are a little less common, so it’s important to also have “ICE” or “In Case of Emergency” listed as a contact in your phone with the number of your emergency contact so someone can know who to call.

When I run in big road races or if I’m on vacation or just running in a new place, I wear my Road ID bracelet. These are a great and inexpensive precaution that you can take. When I do runDisney events I always make sure to wear this. You never know what can happen in a race. You can roll and ankle, pass out, literally anything. And this being on your wrist is very convenient, they’re not uncomfortable or itchy either and I like the skinny one because it doesn’t get in the way of my watch. These come in a ton of different colors and you can get little add ons to remind you of your goals or support a charity!

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Here is my RoadID in action last year at The Color Run!

Tip Five: Run with a Friend 

If running alone makes you nervous, try to recruit a friend to run with you or find a running group in your area! If you have a running store rear you, chances are they have a weekly running group that is open to the public. Don’t be afraid to go to and join group runs.

Never, ever run in the woods alone. That’s like a major no-no. There are so many things that can go wrong in the woods. This one isn’t even just like if you’re a worry-wart, like no. You never run in the woods alone. Even my college coaches didn’t run in the woods alone. Like bring your friends, or at least a dog.

Tip Six: Run in Familiar Places

I have a rule for myself that I never run down a road I have never driven down, you never know what’s gonna be down there. Whether it’s a huge hill or a yeti you just don’t know! In my hometown where I lived my entire life up until leaving for college, I run on backroads that I am very familiar with and know every curve. Here in my new town, I run on main roads, down the downtown strip, and down the roads I drive down. There is so much of this town that I don’t know and I’m certainly not going to go exploring it on my own two tired little legs all alone when I don’t know where or what I’m getting myself into.

Maybe I sound a little crazy, but I think that a lot of people face anxiety about running. And you know what, I think it’s better to be aware that bad things can happen from rolling an ankle miles away from home to passing out in the heat to God knows what, and to be as aware and prepared as you can be. Strangers scare me and have from the time I was super young. Not that I’m paralyzed with fear by them (just don’t walk really close behind me, that freaks me out), I am just aware that not all people have good intentions. But hey I still go out and run and participate in the world! So I hope these tips have helped bring some peace of mind to any fellow nervous Nancys out there!

Summer Running Essentials

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So unless you live in Antarctica or the Northern Canada, summer running can be a killer because of the heat. Here in the US of A it is starting to get pretty warm out, and I can only image that it’s going to get even warmer. With this warm weather comes the summer running essentials, and here are some of mine.

A couple months ago I shared with you My Running Essentials and most of those are still true but in the summer a couple other things become super important too!

Nike Tempo running shorts are THE only shorts I will run in. I find them so comfortable. I know some people don’t like the lining on the inside and refuse to wear them, but like I love these shorts so much I wear them almost everyday, whether I’m running or just in everyday life. These are my go to. You can get them anywhere, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Nordstrom, literally anywhere!

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The Champion Absolute Workout Sports Bra is my favorite sports bra for running. Personally, I have a little more boob than some people so I need more support, but I find that some of the “supportive” bras are too supportive and when I’m running they are squishing me and making me uncomfortable. This sports bra on the other hand is perfect. Also it is SPANDEX! Which in the summer is super necessary for me. I hate cotton sports bras, they make me feel so uncomfortable when they are super sweaty. Not about it.

Sunscreen! Sunscreen is of the upmost importance especially in the summer! Lately I’ve been using Sun Bum which I really like! I’m super pale and get burned easily and this works well for me and it’s  In the past I have used Neutrogena sport when I played softball and found it to work soooo well! Like honestly one of the best sunscreens ever. Sunscreen is so important for everyone! Even if you think you don’t burn easily it is just a protective measure that needs to be taken by everyone!

I like to wear a hat when I run, I really don’t like the sun in my eyes. I wear a Nike Golf hat that I got in Disney World a few years ago! I like spandex/sweat-wicking hats because I don’t like just regular hats when I run. These are a running hat (left) and a golf hat (right) that I found on Dick’s Sporting Goods that I thought were super cute.

Hydration! Hydration is KEY. This is a before and after running essential. I don’t carry water with me when I run. Having been a cross country runner I knew that I was going to have to run at least 3.1 miles with out water so I stopped running with water a few weeks into running. Also I just don’t like having to carry something heavy when I run! I bring a Nalgene bottle with me everywhere I go, and I use one of these little black sipper things. I have and LOVE this cup on the right. I found one last year (in Disney at EPCOT’s Flower & Garden Festival) and I fell in loveeee with it! Then someone knocked it off my desk and it broke and I cried for about a week. True story. Then I was in my university’s bookstore at the end of this year returning my books and I SAW ANOTHER ONE! It was AMAZING! I love cups with straws, and I find that I drink so much more when I’m sipping through a straw.

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I love Spotify. I love making playlist. To me Spotify is so worth the money versus buying a bunch of songs or going through the process of downloading them all! And it give you the flexibility to choose your music rather than Pandora and the random stations.

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DIXIE CUPS! If you’re like me and have shin splints these are SO helpful! Fill these up with water put them in the freezer and you have the perfect ice cups. I use these by running them on my shins and knees and wherever on my legs aches and they are so effective.

Have any other running essentials that I missed? Comment below to let me know what you can’t run without!

My Running Essentials

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Okay, so here are a few of my everyday running essentials! Right now I’m in a funk coming back from a foot injury but normally I run everyday! Especially during the summer when the weather is nice. So I thought I’d share with you all some of my running essentials.

First and foremost are my favorite running shoes, the Mizuno Wave Rider. I’m in LOVE with these sneakers, I got them last summer for the first time and I’m on my second pair now. They’re the greatest running shoes I’ve ever worn! I’ve been through some Adidas and Saucony shoes, but these Mizuno’s are far superior, I love them! I wear neutral shoes because I do not over-pronate or under-pronate so I do not need any extra support. I have had shin injuries though so I find these are a great support and comfortable with out being over supportive.

My second pair of shoes is my pair of HOKA One One. I have the Conquest which is an older model, but I really like them for walking and recovery because they are so supportive and don’t put any extra strain on my legs. I haven’t actually run in these shoes since I got them for Christmas mid-foot injury.

Other things that I love are my Garmin Forerunner 10 watch, Champion Absolute Workout Sports Bras (perfect support for running!), and Nike tempo shorts. These are three thing I never run without. I find these Champion sports bras to be the most comfortable and I love Nike tempo shorts I have probably 30 pairs, they’re great for running and just being out and about.

I like track and soccer pants for my post run cover up, it’s important especially in the fall, winter, and spring to cover up your limbs quickly after a run or workout, and these types of pants are great for that. I also really like tank tops and I usually wear a long sleeve over them so I can take it off once I warm up!

And lastly, socks. I am THE pickiest person when it comes to socks. My feet get so darn uncomfortable and it’s just awful. So when it comes to running there are only two types of socks I will wear. The first are these athletic socks from Target that are part of their C9 line with Champion, they have a heel tab to protect your heel from blisters. I buy these in store and I usually get the all black packs because I usually destroy white socks. The second type of socks I will wear are Nike mid-calf socks.

The main thing that I make sure to keep in mind with all my running gear is comfort. Runs are usually long and I sucks to be two or three miles from home and you can’t focus on anything but how uncomfortable your sock, or you bra strap, or the seam of your shorts are. It doesn’t matter how cute you look on your run, if you’re in discomfort!

And when it comes to purchasing these items, I buy my shoes from Marathon Sports and http://www.runningwarehouse.com. I usually get my running apparel from Dick’s Sporting Goods, or Sports Authority, or sometimes Marathon Sports. I’m always on the lookout for an apparel sale or a coupon!

2015 in Running

I love to run. I used to hate running. Like ask anyone that knew me in high school and you could not pay me to run. My freshman year of college I took up running because my university did not have a volleyball team (my primary sport all throughout middle and high school). I was devastated that I would not have a team in college so I picked a new sport, so I started running. And I still hated it. It took a while but after my first season of cross country I was hooked.

I have dealt with many injuries throughout my running career (and currently am in a walking boot, which is such a drag!), but I always come back to.

Last year I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do two runDisney races, The Color Run, three other road races, and many many school races. I am so thankful for my (decently) good health and that I found this love of running. I’m looking forward to getting out of this boot and three weeks and running again!

I love being an athlete, I love the workouts we do, and I love the joy that running brings me. Oh and race bibs, t-shirts, and medals are nice, too. 🙂