EBR Rock Star: Kyran Pittman

Yay for the first in our EBR Rock Star interview series! Today we’re chatting with Kyran Pittman, who is running her very first 5K (go Kyran!) this Saturday and is part of our Fall Fun Run. She needs a little advice y’all.

1. When and why did you start running?

I began a 5K training app on August 31 of this year, the evening of one of the hottest days of one of the hottest summers in Arkansas recorded history. I’d been cooped indoors by the heat for weeks, and things were about to go the way of The Shining.  I just had to get outside and move.

Beyond that impetus, running a 5K is something I’ve been wanting to do since turning 40 a few years ago, as a mental and physical affirmation of strength.

2. As a new runner, what item has been a must-have when it comes to training?

Sneakers. My 5K training app. An engrossing audiobook. I haven’t really gotten into gear, because it might become an intimidation and a distraction. But once I have my first 5K under my belt, I’ll probably reward myself with something that says I’m a “real” runner now. Like one of those dorky looking visors.

3. You’re gearing up for your first 5K ever — go you! Do you have any questions for the community as you prepare for this maiden voyage? 

Yes! I got some great tips from my blog readers on this post, but the whole thing is still a mystery to me. Should I carry water? Do I do my warm up walk before, or at the start of the race? Will all the other runners circle me and laugh if I have to walk?

4. What’s your favorite pre or post training snack or meal?

I usually run in the morning after I’ve had a couple of cups of coffee. I grab some wheat toast with peanut butter and drink a little water before I go. I notice my appetite seems to have adjusted to keep up with my new level of activity. If anything, it’s over-compensating. So much for the hope that running would give me a metabolic pass to all the carbs I can eat.

5. Are you inspired by any running bloggers? If so, who?

Kristen of Motherhood Uncensored comes to mind first. We buddied up on a workout program a few years ago, from which I dropped out within a few weeks, while she went on to run 5K. I followed Dooce‘s marathon training with awe, more now that I know what it feels like to run one thirteenth of that distance. I’ve enjoyed following Angela’s 5K progress on Fluid Pudding. And I love Black Hockey Jesus‘ soulful, trippy writing about distance running. I picture him running through the Nevada desert like John the Baptist in sneakers, his head in a cloud of bees.

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Kyran Pittman is the author of Planting Dandelions: Field Notes from a Semi-Domesticated Life, and a frequent contributor to Good Housekeeping magazine. She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband and three sons, and she blogs at PlantingDandelions.com.


  1. Boston Mamas /

    Kyran, I’m so proud of you! First race is a big deal! RE: your questions.

    1. Sticking to routine is key. So, have you run ~30 minutes yet and if so do you take a water bottle? If so, I’d go ahead and bring it on the race so you’re not fretting about hydration. Personally, I don’t carry water on training runs up to around 4-5 miles (I usually hydrate before I go) so I don’t bother with it for races of that distance.

    2. Again, routine is key. If you always walk to warm up, I would do that BEFORE the start of the race. And whatever stretches you might do too. The reason I suggest before is because there’s something really powerful about the signal of a race starting and the whole pack trotting off together. :-) It would be fun for you to experience that!

    3. No one will laugh at you if you walk. I’m sure you will see walkers along the way! I have yet to run a race where I don’t see people walking at some point!

    So excited for you!

  2. Marie LeBaron /

    Go Kyran!!

    For me and races, I always find people that I can pass. I set my eye on someone that I can see I’m coming up on to, and I try to pass them. It keeps my head in run and makes it a game.

    Although, on my last 5k, (just to prep you, I’m a slow runner) I found a fast walker in front of me and I was determined to pass her. It was almost comical how often we went back and forth with each other. She was a FAST walker!! And in the end, I had to stop to tie my shoe, and it was over. I never caught up to her. So funny!! But it got me through at least 1 whole mile of not thinking about my breathing or legs, etc!

    Good luck this weekend!

  3. Do whatever you do in your practice runs. If you take water with you on your practice then do the same at your race, if not, then nope don’t. Same with warm up, mimic your practice runs!
    No-one will laugh at you if you walk, you’ll see a few walkers!!!!

  4. jessica@momtomarathon /

    Congrats on your training for your first 5k. You will be addicted once you cross the finish line and will want to sign up for more races. I run on the right side and when I need to take a quick walking break, I am not in any runner’s way. Most races will provide water stations. I can’t wait to read about it!

  5. Black Hockey Jesus /

    Just keep a steady comfortable pace, look around, smile, and get ready to add RACE MONEY to your budget. There’s nothing like a finish line. There’s nothing like seeing it the whole way through.

  6. Thank you all so much! I will have all of you in my imagination as my pit crew on race day!

  7. Kristen (Motherhood Uncensored) /

    Go pee before it starts even if you don’t think you have to. I’m so excited for you, Kyran!

  8. Heather /

    These are all great tips. I will add, “nothing new on race day.” It’s not the time to try new shoes, bra, clothes or anything.

    Smile and pretend the all the cheering is for you.

  9. Jody Sedrick /

    SMILE! Pace and have fun!!!!


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