Name: Anna Humes
Hometown: Florence, Kentucky
Occupation: Mental health therapist
Time Running: 1 year
Reason for Running: I’m a person of size who was not always able to move as freely. Running is my newest adventure with joyful movement.
I first became curious about running when my friends and I were doing virtual 5Ks in 2021. We mostly walked, but I became more curious about in-person races and was motivated to walk and jog when I could. I completed my first in-person race in March 2022, and then knew I wanted to continue this running thing.
I was scrolling on Instagram and discovered that my local running company, Tri-State Running Company, was hosting a Couch to 5K program. I drug my husband Josh and another great friend along to check it out.
More From Runner's World
The Couch to 5K program helped build my stamina so that I could run longer. I was able to complete my first 5K nonstop for the first time during an Independence Day race in July 2022. I have since completed several more 5Ks, with the goal of gathering as much race bling as possible!
My most memorable race of the year was completing the “Snout and Stinger” challenge for racing the Flying Pig 5K and the Queen Bee 4 Miler. And I ran a PR in Queen Bee! I also just completed my longest distance, the Cincinnati Cyclones 10K in February. It was only 19 degrees that day!
Running has changed my life because it’s something I never thought I would do. I always said, “If I’m running, something’s chasing me.” And now I look forward to celebrating this new way of movement for me, and running with my two favorite groups, Black Girls Run! Cincinnati and Tri-State Running Company.
Near the beginning of my running journey, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees. I’m determined to go the distance before I am unable to do so.
My current running schedule is five days per week of running with a long run on Saturdays. I’m currently training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati and an additional running challenge in May 2023 that consists of a one miler, 5K, 10K, and half marathon. But, I’m looking forward to less weekly mileage after I reach the taper phase and complete the challenge.
I’m happy that I have this new hobby of running that keeps me focused. Running has also given my husband and me an activity to do together, and we support one another’s successes. I always feel great when I’m almost done, and then when I’ve finished a run. I definitely get a runner’s high.
I also notice my mind also is more calm when I’m running. I’m able to take in the scenery and just go. I’ve also met some great new people through my run groups. Black Girls Run! Cincinnati and Tri-State Running Company have both have been very welcoming and supportive.
I had no idea that the running world was so welcoming. When I first started going to the gym in 2015, I knew it was a keep-to-yourself atmosphere. But, running has been and is different. It’s proven a sport where people are welcoming, supportive, and often have great advice and insight ready to share.
Two phrases that help me keep going: “The first mile is a liar” and “easy is not a pace.” The latter is important to hear. It’s very validating when you’re often back of the pack. You make your own rules.
These tips have made my running journey a success:
1. Create consistency
I need to have a plan. I’m not a planner, but for this to work for me, it had to become part of my regular routine. I know on some days, I’m in the gym, and I run on the days I’m not.
2. Smile more
When it’s hard or when it’s easy, relax your jaw and smile. It sends a message to your brain that you’re having fun. And you are!
3. Make sure you drink enough
4. Rest when you need it
Taking a break and listening to your body when it needs to rest is very important. If not, your body will do it for you and it won’t always be at the most convenient time.
5. Find a supportive running crew
I am a member of one virtual run club and two in-person groups. Accountability as well as camaraderie keeps me on my feet and challenging my limits.