Bish, I Be Running: A Training Diary of a Non-Running Runner

The Root’s non-running, running bae Felice León
Photo: Felice León

So, I’m running the New York City marathon.

I’m not a runner—never have been, and don’t particularly desire to be—but I can run.


Yeah, I know. A marathon is A LOT, especially for a non-running-ass-runner like myself. I like to lead a somewhat active lifestyle, which might include a weekly run as a part of a moderate workout routine, but ya girl ain’t out here pounding the pavement, putting umpteen miles on the board, on a regular.

Nah—not me.

As a native New Yorker, I get in my fair share of running. Namely, running for the train, running after a bus, running to catch a flight. One way or another, I make it happen. But fortunately, what I believe is the most important part of long-distance running is having mental strength and fortitude. I’ve got a lot of that. It’ll be my third marathon in the books (though I’ve never run the New York City marathon), and each time I’ve finished a marathon, I tell myself it’s something that I never, ever want to do again.

And yet, we are here.

The actual race totals 26.2 miles, but the months of training leading up to the race day are perhaps the most grueling part: Think weekly long runs at 7:30 am (check out milage from a previous run below), recovery runs, cross-training and strength training. If one actually follows a proper marathon training plan, then please believe that you’ll be working out five days a week. And with all of this physical activity, what am I going to do with my hair? Seriously. Black women, you have to feel me on this one.

On a previous down week and I completed 8 miles. Check out that milage, tho!
Photo: Felice León

Needless to say, the process of training for a marathon requires a hell of a lot of time and discipline.


I started training in July, and to be real, it feels like I’ve had to forgo any semblance of a social life—most days I go from work to workout, then head straight home. All in the name of getting my behind across the finish line. Though I suppose that working out with others is social. Kinda sorta? Maybe?!

Why run a marathon, you say? One of my line sister-friends talked me into it (again). She’s an attorney, so she’s super convincing and after a series of texts and calls, I caved. I’ve wanted a challenge, so I figured what better way than running 26.2 miles? But, unequivocally the most important reason that I’ve signed up for the New York City Marathon is that I am running for charity—the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. The lives of many people I’ve known and loved have been touched by cancer. This year I run in honor of John R. Moore, Esq., as well as my sorors Jeri Reid, and Jennifer F. Lewis. May they rest easy.


So I’ve got 10 weeks to go until the New York City Marathon, y’all. Come along with me! From here on out, expect weekly posts, vlogs, and photos from your resident non-running, runner bae at The Root.

Let’s get it!

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About the author

Felice León

Afro-Cuban woman that was born and branded in New York. When León isn't actually creating cool videos, she's thinking of cool videos that she can create.