Celebrating Global Running Day as a Runner

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.

She’s so speedy, but I love chasing after her. And Coach Abbie.

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.

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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.

 

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