Running Past Your Comfort Level – Part II

In the previous post I told you about how I got past my comfort runs, those runs that we keep doing on replay because that’s all we think we are capable of doing. Mine were anything under 3 miles. I was on 1 to 2 miles for at least a good year or so.

In this post, I wanted these amazing ladies tell you how they got past their comfort level and a brief snippet on what they’ve been up to as far as running.


If you have any questions for them feel free to ask in the comments section.

Nerissa Ann | @Nerissa_Ann | Work Hard, Train Hard, Play Harder

Nerissa to date has done one (1) half marathon and two (2) 5Ks.


Here’s what Nerissa had to say about running past her comfort level:

I found the worst thing about long distance running was the tedious rep around the ‘hood/track, but that was also lack of planning. So to help push me further I made a playlist for running track or for the trails/parks and took in nature and just ran each weekend; even after the Nike Women’s Marathon San Francisco (#nwmSF) training I try and challenge myself to go further on the weekends.

Tiara Beth | @TiaraBeth | Ignite.Perspire.Inspire

Tiara to date has done two (2) 5K races, three (3) 10K races and one (1) full marathon. Tiara is getting ready to do another 10K run on May 12, 2013 and another Full Marathon on May 26, 2013 and October 20, 2013.

Tiara Beth

Here’s what Tiara had to say about running past her comfort level:

I used to tell myself just run for one more song, or just run this last block and then once I reached that point I would tell myself one more. There were times that I had to walk for a few moments and allow myself to re-group. These days I find I can push my body further when I don’t run with music, when I listen to my body and listen to how I am feeling.

Karen Poole | @superwomankw | Reason to Play

Karen to date has done ten (10) 5K races, five (5) 10K races, one (1) 12K race, three (3) half marathons and two (2) full marathons. She has also done a relay marathon twice. This year, Karen plans to do another marathon, 1/2 marathon, Hood to Coast Relay race and multiple 5k and 10k races. She’s also training for her first sprint triathlon.

karen poole

Here’s what Karen had to say about running past her comfort level:

I have always been into sports. In high school I played basketball and volleyball and then went on to play for the Basketball team in college. I never considered myself a runner. I ran sprints in basketball practice, but running was always considered more of a punishment than something I did for fun. At the time, I pushed through the pain of sprinting and running because my coach was telling me to do it. After I graduated college things began to change. I no longer had someone pushing me for two hours a day in practice, I had to be the one to push myself.

I took up running initially to stay fit. I started by running a few miles at a time and it was hard. I remember having debates with myself in my head. Telling myself to keep pushing and to remember basketball practice and keep going. Those first few miles are always the worst for me. I am most uncomfortable during those first 3-4 miles of a run. It takes my body that long to really settle into a rhythm. One way I push through the pain is by listening to music, I will tell myself to just keep running until the next song and then the next song. I also set goals before I set out on my run. If I am going to run 6 miles, I refuse to let myself quit just because I am uncomfortable. Definitely during my first few runs setting small goals and playing mind games was key to pushing through the uncomfort. I would sprint between light posts or pick a tree to run to and then another until pretty soon I had run three miles.

One thing I try to remember about being an athlete is that as an athlete you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I always feel so much better after a run when I have pushed myself. Uncomfortable miles always teach me something and the next time they are a little less uncomfortable and I can go even farther. Sometimes when I embrace the uncomfortable feelings I run better than when I am settled into a comfortable pace.

Setting a goal can be key as well. I set a specific time goal or mileage goal and then I know that I must work towards it. Also, verbalizing my goals helps to keep me honest in the moment when I am running. If I know I have someone that is keeping me accountable to my pace and someone I will have to answer to, then I know that I must push through those uncomfortable miles.

With running, it is important to realize that it will never be a comfortable sport and that is what makes it so appealing to so many. It is something that is constantly challenging and never completely comfortable. Like life, there are good times and bad times, but the journey is what is worth all the uncomfortable moments.


5 thoughts on “Running Past Your Comfort Level – Part II

  1. @ninaonthemoon

    great post, i love how inspiring these women are! it is important to push past your comfort level. i made a great playlist full of upbeat music to push myself harder when i work out, and it def helps!

  2. Amanda Rodriguez

    Arie, this is a great post and round up of advice. I really want to get into running, but am nervous, so this is really helpful!
    My recent post The best of the best: Mother’s Day gifts

  3. @IsabelGarciaIG

    These inspirational ladies are great examples of pushing yourself beyond the comfort level. By going above their comfort level, It also prepares their minds for other challenges they meet in their lives. Awesome post!