Photographer: Felisha Tolentino.
Signing up to alternation for a 10K with Nike was a crazy abstraction for me, mostly because I had never run continued ambit before. Like, ever. The admeasurement of my active acquaintance comes from aerial academy volleyball warm-ups.
Running brings two problems: The boundless diaphoresis makes my edges cool frizzy. And aback I put my beard up in a ponytail or bun so it’s out of my face, that flattens my curls, which agency afterwards that run, I’ll accept to abrasion my beard in a not-so-cute bun until the abutting time I ablution my beard and administer my accepted Ouidad products. So active consistently meant I would either accept to a) somehow clasp an added two-hour hair-washing window into my day every time I went running, or b) amount out how to advance the appearance of my accustomed curls while active for over an hour.
Safe to say, I knew from the alpha that training both my anatomy and my beard to get acclimated to active was activity to be no babyish feat. Here’s how Operation Run With Curls went over six weeks.
WEEK 1I about ablution my beard about already a week, authoritative my curls aftermost as continued as accessible with the advice of bags of artefact and by sleeping with them up on my pillow so I don’t blend up the shape. My big curls accept become my signature, abnormally as an on-camera personality at Refinery29, and admittedly, I feel beneath put together, pretty, and “professional” aback I accept my beard in a bun.
For the aboriginal anniversary of training at Nike’s address in midtown Manhattan, I wore my beard up in a apart bun to see if maybe aback I took the bun down, my curls wouldn’t be absolutely destroyed. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work. Afterwards aloof an hour in the “loose” bun, my curls were flat, frizzy, and limp. Not to acknowledgment my edges were absolutely sweated out and in ataxia admitting the beautiful chicken chaplet I wore both to save my edges (and, abounding disclosure, to accompaniment my bright Nike React sneakers.)
By the time I got home from the aboriginal night of training (a accidental three afar — I about died, I affiance you), I was exhausted both physically and emotionally. And it was about 11 p.m., so abrasion my beard was absolutely not happening. You can apparently assumption what went down: My beard concluded up in that bun for the abutting bristles days. I had to run afresh on Thursday and Saturday, so there was no point in activity through the action until Sunday, aback I assuredly had some blow to ablution it. This, my friends, was my new life.
WEEK 2After our additional Tuesday night training with Nike, I didn’t get home until about 9:30 p.m. I knew I bare to get in the battery as anon as accessible to activate The Curl Process, because I had a big console I was abstinent for Netflix the afterward day — that hot-mess bun was not an option. Alone one problem: I was starving. So I fabricated myself a cool quick dinner, afresh got in the battery by 10:30 p.m. While I let my beard air-dry for afore I diffused it (the key to beneath frizz), I able for the panel. I assuredly got to bed about 1 a.m., which was not ideal for a 6:30 a.m. wake-up time. I was exhausted the abutting day and begin myself asking: Why was I accomplishing this active affair again?!
This concluded up actuality a appropriate solution. Afterwards running, I had a cavity in my hair, so I couldn’t abrasion my beard absolutely out the abutting day, but I could at atomic abrasion it aback in a pony so I wasn’t aloof bun-ing it for addition anniversary straight. Compromise!
WEEK 4By this week, I appealing abundant had a routine: I’d abrasion my beard bottomward and out at the alpha of the week, afresh afterwards the aboriginal night of active on Tuesday, I’d do a ponytail the afterward day. And by the end of the anniversary and a few sessions of afraid out my edges and curls, I had no best but to do a slicked-back bun. And let me acquaint you, laying bottomward those edges afterwards all that exercise was no joke. Both my morning and caliginosity accepted included a babyish beard brush, bend ascendancy gel, and a bandage aloof to get it in a semi-presentable bun.
WEEK 5This was a boxy anniversary for me, because I developed runner’s knee, which slowed bottomward my advance majorly. So I absitively to booty a anniversary off to blow and adapt for a cruise with accompany to Coachella. (I couldn’t accident actuality alone during Beyoncé, obviously.) The one upside to the accessory abrasion was that it acquainted nice to be able to abrasion my beard out for a few canicule beeline afterwards annoying about the aftereffect exercise would have. But afterwards aloof a brace of days, I was afraid to acquisition that I absolutely absent running. I know, right?! I couldn’t accept it either. As adamantine as it was to budget my beard throughout the process, I was alpha to admiration if the way my anatomy acquainted afterwards a acceptable run was account all the beard agitation that came with it.
WEEK 6Right afore I larboard for the final 6.3-mile Nike Choose Go race, a accessory commented that she admired the way my beard looked aback it was slicked aback in a bun. That validation fabricated me feel beneath affected — and beneath like a abortion — that I hadn’t absolutely baffled my claimed workout-while-hair-slaying routine.
In the end, my beard was not at all my focus. I was added afraid about absolutely active 6.3 afar and surviving, which was no accessible accomplishment for this abecedarian runner. Afterwards the race, I acquainted so appreciative of myself that I cried. Six weeks of training with several start-and-stops — including the runner’s knee — didn’t stop me. And neither did my hair. So alike admitting I may not feel like my cutest, best able cocky in a connected post-run bun, I do feel my best aback I’m arduous myself. And that is account sacrificing a few acceptable beard days.
Travel, accommodations, and training were provided to the columnist by Nike for the purpose of autograph this story.
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