10 August 2012

Running with the Devil

run·ner (noun)
A person, animal or thing that runs, especially as a racer. 

If you've read any of my previous posts in this series, you may have noticed that I have had a hard time calling myself a "runner". It's a concept that I struggle with....a lot.

Through friends, family, media and at times my favorite running magazine, I have been led to believe that calling myself a "runner" would always be considered to be a joke. People wouldn't take me seriously when I told them "I run almost every day". Why? Because as I've been told time and time again that I just "don't look like runner". 

All suited up and ready for a morning run.
Runners are long and lean. They are fast--logging 6, 7, 8 minute miles, lamenting their 9-11 minute miles on an off day. Runners are able to step out of their front doors and run for miles without walking, without their legs feeling like jell-o or like their lungs are on fire. Runners look good in spandex and compression shorts. They run Saturday morning races. They log their weekly miles and talk about their splits. They are competitive, even if it's only with themselves. Runners make running look easy.

I however, am not a runner. Or am I?

Over the last few months, I have had to re-evaluate everything I thought being a "runner" meant. I have had to re-evaluate the definition and standard of which I thought it meant to be a "runner". I have also had to re-evaluate how I look at myself. 

I am not long and lean. Spandex and compression shorts accentuate all my lumps and bumps. I turn bright red and tend to look like a giant tangerine  (bright orange running shirt so vehicles and hunters can see me) lumbering down the road. On a good day, I average just under a 13 minute mile. The thought of running a race scares the crap out of me and more times than not, I have to walk for a few minutes to catch my breath.

But I'm still a runner. 

I'm a runner because I love to run. I love being able to shut out the rest of the world--it's just me and my  music. I love the feeling of accomplishment because I tackled a daunting hill or manged to run my entire route without walking.

I love that running reminds me that I am able to silence the critics because I'm so much more than who they assume I am. That I am independent. Free. Strong. 

I love that running reminds me that there is no "perfect" or "normal". I love that running is for everyone. No matter their size, shape or pace. 


  1. This is so cool. I always say I am not a "runner." Right now I can only run for like 2 minutes at a time. I'm not long and lean, I don't wear spandex, and I don't even really like running. But the point is I keep trying. Hopefully I will get better and learn to like it and be healthy and in shape!

    1. I started "training" using the Couch 2 5k program. It worked really well as I built up my endurance.

  2. OK, you've inspired me. I'm going to try to learn how to run. I will let you know how it goes.


    1. I keep telling my friends....if I can do it, YOU can do it and I'm sure you can do it, too!

  3. Pffft! I don't look like a runner either, far from it, but I do a nice 12 minute mile when the mood strikes me and I enjoy the solitude:)

  4. 1st: how do you get your blog to reply to your comments? I can't figure it out. 2nd: you are a runner because you do it! It's not about the size, the clothes, the length of time.. etc. it's about you enjoying the 'time to yourself' and 'accomplishment of finishing' what you've set in front of you. You have to stop & catch your breath? That's OK, so many other people just give up.. but you keep running!! YOU GO!! (clapping)
    3rd: thank you for the comment you left on my post:http://bensgirl10.blogspot.com/2012/08/struggles.html?showComment=1344786141617#c7841914051725958892.. it meant a lot. I'm sorry you're also living with PCOS, it's a bitch. We both are doing the right thing by working at fighting it, after all - it never leaves us. :( Talking does help, but it's embarrasing. It's embarrasing to admit that I let another human being treat me so horribly & believed his horrible words. It's sad that I let it go for so long, but I wanted to make sure I did everything I could before I walked away. I couldn't run fast enough when I finally left. I have the support of an amazing man, and it's a 'trial' learning to love myself (again).. but thank you for the encouragment and stopping to read my rant. It means a lot!!

  5. You are so Adorable, but not just that, You are beautiful and fun and I love it! I've always been a walker... not a runner. I run when I am in fear, or very excited, I guess I sort of told myself I was too chubby to run, or something. I do that, or... did that, more appropriately, wrote myself excuses for why I can't do things. I need to give running a try.

    And, I like your running suit. It looks cute on you!

  6. Such an encouraging post! Just the motivation I needed. I started running 3 years after seeing my sister love for it. I quickly lost my motivation and stopped 2 and half years ago. Been thinking about starting back again and you just gave me the push I needed.



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