The Beginner’s Guide to Running: Part 2

The following is the 2nd edition of a 4-part guest post series from from reporter, fiction writer, and 20Something Blog Author, Andrea Lynn Tyrell.  Enjoy~


Today, I just felt like running.

Do you know that scene in “Forrest Gump”? Forrest straps up his new Nike trainers and starts running down the path in front of his home.

He runs through town, the county, through the great state of Alabama and eventually to the West Coast. When he asked why is he running by a CBS reporter, Forrest replies: “I just felt like running.”

It’s the start of my second running week. 

I have to admit- I didn’t work out at all this past weekend. But I tried to stay active. Camped with the boyfriend. Cleaned the house. Rode bikes. Got busy in the bedroom (sex is a form of exercise!).

The program i’m doing only requires three days of running, and I usually get those out of the way done as soon as possible.

But Thursday….

Thursday was different.


Maybe it’s was the nervous first-day-at-work jitters I woke up with. Maybe it was my body telling me to get up and move. Maybe I couldn’t lay in bed any longer.


I got up and just felt the need to RUN.


No guidelines. No programs. It was just me and the pavement.


I ran around my neighborhood for a good 45 minutes before my calves started to ache. It was a good feeling of pain, though, one that made me feel accomplished and proud.


I just felt like running

My Story:

Body image is a strange concept for me.


Growing up, I hid sandwiches in my middle school locker (and let them grow moldy) so I didn’t have to eat lunch. In the earlier part of my college years, I starved myself for a week at a time.


I dropped out of college the last semester of my senior year to go to rehabilitation where I learned proper eating habits and gained self respect.


The lessons I learned stuck for a while- I was a healthy weight and exercised daily (biking about ten miles each day).


I learned to like my body and other physical features. But years pass and life happens.


Flash forward to today:


The first step is knowing you have a problem and admitting to it.


I know that I have an eating problem. I know I could lose 40lbs.


Although I no longer starve myself, I’ve become kind of a binge eater.

My binging contributes to my heaviness but like any other habit. But it is hard to quit with so many factors screaming at me to eat.


Factors like…


  • Sugary comfort foods and carbs just call to me. I love chocolate, cheese and caffeinated drinks like cola.


  • When we’re together, I can’t help but eat like my 6’4, 200lbs boyfriend, who can put away food like it’s nothing.
  • My emotions control my eating- I eat when I’m sad, frustrated, and bored.

Society wants everything about you to look a particular way. So, I figured that my cute face and good hair are enough. I’ve put my body on the back-burner.

The next step is- how to fix this problem?


I’m starting small as anyone should when trying to readjust their life for the better.

My Simple Strategy: Learn to Love Running

To ease into running, I have a plan: Run 90 seconds and then walk for two minutes. Repeat 6 times in a row.

I’m actually surprised how easy this is, despite the temperature in Reno being in the 100s.

The average person sweats out a quart of fluid each day. I feel like I sweat out AT LEAST 3 gallons each time I run (this hasn’t been scientifically measured but it certainly feels like it).

Minus the small pools I have under each breast, I feel great.

Here are 3 other changes I’m making:

  • Enjoying riding my bike to and from my new job, which is about two miles away from my home

  • Keeping a 33-ounce water bottle on my work desk that I drink and fill up twice during the day (got to stay hydrated!).

  • Taking vitamins- a multi, a calcium, a cranberry (to avoid UTIs), a fish oil and a B12 (it give you energy and naturally combats the symptoms of depression).

I know that I won’t change this habit overnight, so I’m trying to be gentle with myself.

I want to feel good about my body- just like how I feel about the rest of myself.

And so far, it looks like running is helping.

Until next week…


Andrea Lynn Tyrell

Andrea Lynn Tyrell is a 29-year-old reporter, blogger, actress and fiction writer living in Reno, NV.

Tyrell has editorial, website and multimedia experience and writes about political issues, relationships and sex, entertainment and art, as well as human interest pieces. You can follow her on Twitter @AndreaLTyrell and at