Black Girls RUN!

I’ve been training for my first marathon for 14 weeks now. Unfortunately I’ve hit a few roadblocks. I had a knee injury about three weeks ago. After consulting a few fitness experts and my primary care physician, they all concluded that I had been training too hard and my joints were still trying to get used to the running.

So, since then I have stopped trying to better my pace, and decreased my miles. On top of feeling like I’m starting all over again, I’ve realized that the injury has affected the way I run. Instead of running confidently and just running, I find myself always worried about my knee and doing everything (even not running) so that I won’t aggravate it. Obviously this isn’t the best strategy when training for a marathon. I realize the only way I’m going to get over my fear of running, is by, yeah you guessed it, running. As my training continues, I have to realize that injury is bound to happen. I can do everything in my power to try to prevent it, but let’s face it the body has limitations. So, I’m dedicating this week, to getting back in the groove and actually enjoying the run instead of being worried about my knee. As long as I have Bayer, ice and pillows, I should be fine.

Today I am ordering my Nike Plus shoe pouch. ( For those of you who are not familiar with the it, the shoe pouch allows you to use the Nike Plus Sports kit or Nike plus Sports band without wearing the Nike Plus shoes. This is great since I have not upgraded to the $100 shoes. Hopefully I will have it by the end of the week so I can test it out on my long Saturday morning run. Check back for my official review.

Also, join Toni and the rest of the Black Girls Run team at!
Name: Toni

Running code name: Turtle

Running Level: Beginner

Favorite post workout food: Pizza and Gatorade. Knowing I can eat pizza guilt-free motivates me to finish the last stretch of my run. Favorite pizza? Vegetable pizza at Tiff’s in Morristown, NJ. Gatorade has become my new favorite drink. In college I’d always see athletes drinking Gatorade, even when they weren’t working out. I remember asking myself “What’s the big deal?” Besides restoring my electrolytes, it’s so refreshing after a long run.

Why you like to run: I love the way I feel post-run. Although I feel like I need a full-body transplant, the sweat and adrenaline make me feel like I can conquer the world. I also think I look smashing in spandex.

Your inspiration: My Company sponsors the wheel chair division of the ING New York City Marathon, as well as hosts the family reunion area for disabled athletes. After witnessing the heart and determination of these athletes, I was inspired. I mentioned running a marathon to my boyfriend and he encouraged me to go for it. He’s been my biggest fan!

Most difficult run: I ran 11 miles one Saturday morning. The actual run wasn’t the bad part. It was running around my neighborhood in circles. I wasn’t completely familiar with the area so I ran the same path at least four times. I live near the center of town, which is pretty small, and I’m sure people were wondering who I was and why I kept running up and down the street repeatedly. I listened to “American Boy” by Estelle at least 20 times.
Name: Ashley M. Hicks Running code name: The Dreamer Running Level: Intermediate Favorite post workout food: Dinner. I love running in the evening when the sun is setting behind the trees and the sky is turning a pretty shade of blue. In television we call that “magic hour”. While I am running, I often think about what amazing dishes I can cook when I get home, or what leftovers I have. My absolute favorite post-workout dinner is black bean soup with extra cumin and Caesar salad. Why you like to run: I run to talk to God. Some people pray while they drive or fish. I talk to God and meditate while running. It’s the best therapy session! Your inspiration: I am inspired by older pictures of myself. I often remind myself how far I have come to get in shape, and I don’t want to go back to the “old Ashley”.
This is me at 140lbs.
Most grueling run: In high school I was a star soccer player, and I thought I was such an amazing athlete. During the summer of my junior year, I decided that I should run with the cross country team during their summer training sessions. I pulled up to the Augusta Canal, tied my laces, and prepared to lead the pack in a nice summer run. To make a long story short, I ended that four mile run in last place, and I was lapped by the rest of the team. Talk about a reality check. To my credit being in soccer shape does not prepare you for distance running. But out of that valuable lesson, I learned about the mental and physical strength and discipline that runners have.
There’s a huge misconception that black women don’t run. I became aware of this phenomenon last summer. I had just made the decision to start running regularly and bought a new pair of running shoes. I called my mom to tell her about my new hobby and she confidently replied, “Black girls don’t run.” I was expecting to hear something about spending $100 plus dollars on running shoes, yet I was being told that it was culturally unacceptable for black girls to run for sport. I replied with “You’ve got to be kidding. Why?” She rattled off a few reasons which included that it wasn’t good for my body and that my uterus was going to fall out. My uterus was going to fall out? REALLY? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing so I told her I didn’t believe her. Of course she had a co-signer on standby. My cousin grabbed the phone and repeated the same thing. If I ran for sport, my uterus would fall out, I wouldn’t be able to have kids and I would eventually need surgery to have a net inserted in order to keep the rest of my insides intact. I’m sure they were just teasing me, but as I began to run seriously, I became more and more aware of the delusion that black women don’t run. I still get weird looks from people when I tell them I’m training for a marathon. My partner in crime, Ashley, and I decided it was our duty to dispel the “black girls don’t run” myth by creating a blog called “Black Girls Run.” The goal of “Black Girls Run” is to encourage and motivate black women to practice a healthy lifestyle. For those women who consider themselves well on their way to being the next Beyonce, we want to serve as a fitness resource for runners and gym rats alike, as well as provide tips and commentary on staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But we also want to start a movement to encourage aspiring Beyonce’s, to get off the couch and get active. According to a 2007 National Center of Health Statistics survey, “23.8 percent of black girls ages 12-19 are overweight, compared to 14.6 percent of white girls the same age.” The report also found that “51.6 percent of black women ages 20-74 are considered obese, compared with 31.5 percent of white women.” We can make a lot of excuses as to why these numbers are the way they are, but excuses never solved an epidemic. So, we’re here to make a change, and we hope you are too. There’s a lot to talk about and a lot of calories to burn, so be sure to sign up for automatic alerts. Let the training begin. DISCLAIMER: Okay, so we know “Black Girls Run” implies that this blog is only for…well….black girls. It’s not. We just happen to be two black girls who dig running and hope to change the shape (no pun intended) of the statistics above. So if you’re black, white, purple or pink, we encourage you to follow our blog too. After all, we women have to stick together. Statistics taken from
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