I run, so I’m a runner.
I think we all have this image that pops up in our minds with the mention of a “runner.” I am not that stereotypical image, that’s for sure. I’m not long and lean (generally no running in a sports bra for me! Hello, tatas!). I don’t run marathons; actually, it’s been years since I’ve run a race at all (which is about to change!). Sometimes I have more days that I struggle taking steps than days where I can find a nice long, easy stride. I don’t go to running stores. Until recently I didn’t really have much run gear and didn’t belong to a run club (those have definitely changed now – fave gear highlights below).
Even so, I AM A RUNNER!
This is not a new theme for me to ponder on. There was a brief span of time a few years ago that I wasn’t running that much (foreshadowing for another post to come!). So when I started running again in Colorado (hello amazingly active and fit people) and moved here and became friends (and running buddies) with an ultra marathon runner, I fell in love with trail running but felt a little out of my league.
Last year I had just started dating someone new. We were chatting about running and trail running. At this time, even though I was healing from two injuries, I felt good about my running habits. I was happy to share with him that I ran 4-7 miles multiple times a week. He looked at me blankly for a moment and then said, “Oh, is that all?” Granted, we were with his friend who is also an ultra runner. But still!
I felt insecure. For like a second.
Is there a certain mileage requirement that determines who can call themselves a “runner?” Are there certain trails, races, gear, pounds, body types, anything that qualifies you as a runner? I give that a big, fat NO!
I move my feet and body in a running fashion on a regular basis, so that means I’m a runner, plain and simple. So suck it, dude.
I enjoy running. I like the runner’s high, like that I can take it with me wherever I go, like how fit it keeps me, like it for training for other activities.
The act itself can be incredibly challenging or incredibly meditative. I hate / love that every run is different, and you kind of never know what it’s going to be like. Sometimes I head out dreading the run to come and end up feeling amazing and extending my miles! Sometimes each step takes every ounce of energy and pure stubbornness I contain.
For example, the week before last I headed out for a trail run in Forest Park. I let my mind wander and day dream and breezed through 8 miles. I went out today with Jamie and Nicci and struggled with every freaking step. My legs felt like lead and my lungs burned with every breath. It was all around a pretty painful run, and only 6 miles of that route from two weeks ago. Same path, same forest, same shoes, same runner, very different experiences.
Even on the most challenging days, I’m glad I headed out for a run. I’m glad I don’t let the haters hate. I’m glad I have friends that push me and woods that call to me. Today, to celebrate Global Running Day, I hit the trails with my favorites and got it done. As runners do.
It’s rare for me to head out running with no gear whatsoever anymore. Here’s some of my (and my team’s) favorite running gear right now, more to come later.
- AfterShokz headphones
- WearSafe Tag and app
- Who Am I? ID bracelet
- Volume Maker headphones
- Nathan handheld water bottle
- Patagonia running pack
- lululemon running pack
- FRÉ Skincare moisturizer with SPF
- Sweat Pink or FFY trucker hat
- lululemon running hat
- lululemon orange running shell