I Am A Runner

Friday, November 28, 2014

I've been sitting on this blog post for a long time....a REALLY long time actually. It's been sitting in my drafts folder -- rewriting versions, updating, deleting, updating, deleting....but I've never had the balls to hit publish.

I'm excited to hit publish today because I am a runner -- and you can be too.

I'm not really too sure why, but I have had a really hard time saying "I'm a runner." Could I say with confidence that I'm a soccer player and I'm a writer -- sure without a doubt I could say that.

But for some reason to say I'm a runner, I've been hesitant.  I feel like calling yourself a runner has a stigma...

  • YOU'RE FAST: runners are fast right? They are the ones running marathons in less than two
    and a half hours and half marathons in a little over an hour. Running a 10 minute mile for runners is just a warm up walk for them. 
  • YOU'RE TINY: female runners are tiny and fit -- they barely wear any clothes, just a sports bra and little pants. Ripped abs show through their shirts and they don't even know what 'chub rub' is.
  • YOUR FORM IS PERFECT: when you watch elite runners their form is perfect...strides are long and smooth, their runs look effortless. They don't even look tired.
  • YOU'RE RUNNING TONS OF MILES: running only 15 miles a week is NOTHING -- it's more like 40+ miles a week.
  • YOU'RE A HEALTH NUT: no junk food and pumping your body with healthy foods only, 365 days a year, all day every day.
I often had this conversation with my friend Terry at Merion who is a runner. I would ask her, "am I a runner? Can I call myself that?" I always thought yes and Terry would always reassure me with a 'yes' answer, but I also had a co-worker tell me one time that she doesn't think I'm a runner, I just run to challenge myself. Maybe she's right, I don't fit that runner mold...I am none of thee above. If she thinks that I'm sure lots of other people think that as well.

Despite what other people say or think, it took me a long time to get over the runner "stereotype" and to finally admit to myself that YES, I'M A RUNNER! Who cares what other people think or say, it's how I feel!
  • I'M NOT FAST: I am no means a speed demon, I'm a middle of the pack runner coming in right in the middle at races. Was I always in the middle? Heck no!! I use to be in the back, but I've worked hard, DAMN HARD! I've come a long way since starting my running journey back in 2012. My first half marathon time was 2:43 and I've cut that down to 2:01...my first marathon time was 6:18 and I've cut that down to 4:49. I strive to get better each and every day and I will continue to push myself to do so.
  • I'M NOT TINY: I am not skinny...I never will be and I'm okay with that. But despite being on the "larger" side, that doesn't mean I can't run. I say ran loosely, but when I 'ran' my first marathon in Disney I was not fit and I was not healthy. I'm sure people looked at me wearing my marathon medal and said to themselves "how in the HELL did THAT girl run a marathon." (That line stings a little bit because I had a family member actually say that to me while we were in Disney, confirming that I KNEW people had to be defiantly thinking that in their minds.) Running has actually transformed my life which many of you have seen. It has helped me shed weight and more importantly helped me define my muscles, leg muscles in particular. I have some meaty quads on me but you better recognize those babies help me get through those hill climbs during races. I'm body is changing every day because of running and I'm super proud of myself because of it!

  • MY FORM ISN'T PERFECT: My form is far from perfect...I actually have 'dino' arms when I run. Sorry I'm not sorry -- my little dinosaur arms and my occasional little shuffle steps get me across the finish line which is all that matters!
  • I RUN LOTS OF MILES: I run a decent amount of miles a week, my weeks were really long during marathon training. But just because I'm not running 20+ miles a week doesn't mean I'm not a runner or not working hard. Each week is different, everyones schedules are different. We can't compare, just encourage each other that we are getting off the couch and DOING IT!
  • I'M NOT A HEALTH NUT:  I'm far from it -- I love cheeseburgers and french fries. But I know when to reel it in. During marathon training I was running anywhere from 20-45+ miles a week. I could eat what I wanted because of the calories I was burning but with lower milage I know I need to focus on what I'm putting inside me -- but you better believe I will treat myself when I think I deserve it :)
I crave to hit the road -- I crave to tie up my laces, put my running gear on and feel the wind against my face. THAT is what makes me a runner -- the absolute joy I get with each step, letting my mind be at ease, clearing out all of my stressors and enjoying the moment -- the beautiful moment of making myself healthy, taking in the scenery and being in the now. 

It doesn't matter how slow or fast you run to be a runner...it's getting out there and joining this wonderful community who does everything they can to support you! It's amazing. I'm so happy to finally be able to say I'm a runner! 

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