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311 miles out of 1400 miles ran with 1089 miles to go!

St. Paddy’s Day is perfectly timed to the beginning of spring this year. I’m making the rounds to visit family in Pennsylvania and Jersey and happy to pack some running shorts and tees at last. I’ve gotten so used to cloudy skies and heavy layering that wearing sunscreen feels like a novelty. It’s not, of course.

I’m kind of a nag about sunscreen. If I could get away with spraying people in the park I would. At home, I have to surprise spray my Bengali boyfriend because he thinks his darker skin makes him invulnerable to UV Rays. He’s definitely less sensitive than I, but why risk it? It’s takes 20 seconds to put sunscreen on and it smells good. Win-Win.

The Environmental Working Group breaks down why the active ingredients contained in 80% of sunscreens are harmful. A few years ago, I stopped buying the super cheap stuff and made the switch to sunscreen without oxybenzone in it. I also got my whole family hooked on pure shea butter. It only has an SPF of 6 so it’s not a primary sunscreen, but it’s an ideal base and a good choice for if your skin is sensitive to chemicals. We get ours at the Egyptian shops on Atlantic Avenue in downtown Brooklyn, but you can find it in natural health stores or online easy.

Since it’s getting too warm for my winter hat, I’m on the hunt for one of those UV protective athletic caps. This will serve several purposes – covering my head and shading my face while holding back my hair because it’s way too short to pull in a ponytail. Male runners have it so easy in the hair department. The lack of pull back options is short hair’s fatal flaw, in case you’re wondering.

The biggest and quickest-growing organ in your body is your skin, so take the time to protect it. I forgot to put it on today and it ended up being quite cloudy so I get a pass. Still, there were consequences. As if to warn/threaten myself against forgetting again, my body’s been sabotaging me all afternoon. First I stepped on a stick with one foot and somehow stabbed it into my opposite foot while running. Then I ran smack into the kitchen door. Then I fell off my chair. Do you know absurd it feels to fall off of the chair you sit in every day?

All this to say don’t forget to wear sunscreen.