Running in December, with a cough, and in hijab

I ran outside in December!

It was, I will admit, unseasonably mild today. When I checked the forecast on Friday and saw that it was going to be in the 50s today, I thought, “I hope I feel better by Sunday. Gotta try to make a December run on the trail, if I can. How cool would that be?”

I woke up today at around 7 AM, not sure whether I was well enough to go outside. I don’t have a fever or anything too serious. But I do have a bit of a cough and I’m not one to exercise while being sick, so I wasn’t sure if going out for a run would only make things worse.

And then when I read there was a wind advisory in effect, I started to talk myself out of it. I spent close to an hour reading up on how to run when it’s windy and whether you should even attempt to run while being sick.

I don’t know what’s happened to me. A part of me felt that I was not going to witness a day like this later on in the month and I really wanted the ~*milestone*~ of having run outside in December. I don’t know if this is a runner thing or just a Rafia thing.

I gargled some salt water, took some cough medicine, and said “Bismillah” on my way out the door. On my drive to the trail, I made a little dua: “Oh Allah, if I start to feel worse or can’t breathe, please give me the fortitude to stop, no matter how far I make it.”

Alhamdulillah, the dua worked, because I was able to complete a 10K!

I told myself I was going to take it easy – with the wind resistance and being sick, I really didn’t have a choice.

Honestly, the biggest hassle was my “sport” hijab. I thought that by wearing my new Longhorns cap on top, things would stay in place. They did not. I’m pretty sure my hair was exposed from the back at least some of the time, even though I kept on adjusting it every few minutes. I even lost my ponytail somewhere along the way. Because of my frequent headaches, I try not to put too much pressure on my hair. But while running with hijab, it makes things a bit, well, let’s just say, less than ideal. I thought by supporting a Muslim company, I was being more ethical than buying Nike’s sport hijab. I’m still not sure if the latter will be any better. Maybe this will just be my (somewhat) unique struggle with running.

I like to think with the wind (I got a headwind the last half), not feeling 100% so consciously not pushing myself too far, constantly adjusting my hijab, earbuds, and hoodie, that’s why I didn’t beat my PR. But it certainly was not my slowest 10k (granted, this was my third time running this distance), so I feel great, Alhamdulillah.

For now.

Regardless, I ran outside in December! I feel less anxious than I did earlier this week about this whole “running” thing :)

P.S. Because 50 degrees is still cold for me, I wore my purple Roots hoodie, along with my new purple winter-ready jogging pants — another thing about exercising in hijab, finding appropriate pants is difficult. All the running pants they make for women are leggings. So, when I saw these roomy-in-the-thighs-yet-tapered-enough-at-the-ankles-so-I-don’t-trip-and-fall pants AND they were purple, I bought them. Because of my lack of foresight in purchasing yet another purple item, I looked like the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak today. Actually, he looks less cartoon-ish than I did. But then again, I have dressed up as a cow in public, so this might actually be normal for me.

10 thoughts on “Running in December, with a cough, and in hijab

  1. Love it, Rafia!! I wish you lived here so I could exercise with you (although I’m not a runner). Good for you for going out in the cold with a cough and doing it! I would have totally talked myself out of it. Having the purple clothes must be a good incentive too 😜😘 🙋🏽‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think so. I ended up getting more sick later this week. I don’t think the running is the reason why… Although I don’t think it helped either. I’ll be mothering myself next Tuesday when I get my wisdom out!!! Waaaah.


  3. Hey Sheila! Thanks for reading. How are you? What exercise do you do? I realize that I should cross train. I just really love cardio and I’m really enjoying running. But I know that running can’t be all that I do.


  4. Wow, girl I’m impressed. You’d need a truckload of treats just to incentivize me to put my little toe outside in Winter if I don’t have to. You are such a trooper, congrats on finding a sport you enjoy and sticking with it. I’ve been contemplating going back to Tai Chi lately. I’m not a high-impact sports type of girl (bad knees and all lool), but I do feel the urge to find a way of overcoming my aversion to sports. Keep going Rafia :)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You used to do Tai Chi? That’s awesome. I remember the first time I saw Tai Chi was a group of elderly Chinese people performing it in my elementary school lot. I must have been 6 or 7 and thought it was hilarious because I had never seen such slow movement like that before. I think all it takes is just getting into one activity you really like it and sticking with it. I still can’t believe that I willingly want to run. Sports and gym and plain ole’ physical activity in general were the banes of my existence for much of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

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