Last weekend, I ran 15 miles. By the grace of God, I am still here to blog about it.

Glory be.

Saturday’s route went something like this: The team started in Queens, under the RFK Bridge (at Astoria Park). We ran from Astoria Park through Queens, until we hit the Queensborough Bridge. We then ran over the bridge, and our route continued on the East Side of Manhattan (running down 1st Avenue), until 34th Street where we ran along the FDR Drive. We then took that path down to the Williamsburg Bridge, and back.

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There was a cool breeze in New York City that day, so the run didn’t feel too grueling, but 15 miles is still 15 miles (Well, I ran 14.68 miles, to be exact, and stopped at mile 12 and walked a few blocks because of a horrible cramp).

Photo: Felice León

I can’t lie, there were times when I thought I would throw-up (I had some toast before leaving the house, and didn’t leave enough time for it to digest), or that I might stumble on my oversized sneakers, or even trip on some random NYC litter (especially as my legs got heavier). But, bish. I. Kept. Running.

Through the miles, there was a lingering thought in the back of my mind: What’s going to happen to my hair? (Don’t judge me...or is it too late?! I feel like I’m already being judged.)

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I try to keep my hair in a top-knot when working out. This way the ends stay away from moisture.
Photo: Felice León

Y’all, the natural hair struggle is real.

I got my hair silk pressed just a week before my long run (I was in a wedding, and it was the bride’s orders). I get my hair professionally straightened (blown out and flat ironed) and cut maybe once a year. While the hairdo served its purpose (wedding pictures popping), if I’m shelling-out upwards of $250 to get my hair done, then it better last. I need at least two weeks on a style. #sorrynotsorry.

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At a training last Tuesday, I pranced up and down the hills (rather than running up and down full speed), because I didn’t want to sweat-out my press. The next day I told my colleagues and publicly shamed myself for the half-assed effort and took a spin class that evening to balance things out (the training schedule called for cross-training). I came to the realization that it was about to be a wrap for my silk press and talked The Root’s lovely Senior Producer Ashley Velez into an impromptu photo shoot with me.

Photoshoot with Ashley Velez.
Photo: Ashley Velez
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Here’s the thing: If I adhere to my coach’s training schedule, then I’d be working out 5-6 times a week. Last week, I got in four workouts, and this silk press is done. Alas, all fly hairstyles ain’t fly when they’re sweated out. My roots are proof.

RIP blowout. I chalk it up to the game.

So much for the top-knot. Dem roots sweated out.
Photo: Felice León
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I am running the New York City Marathon with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of loved ones who have fallen to cancer. To donate, click here. I’ll see y’all at the finish line!

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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.

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