I was going to write today about my IT band and the brace I bought to help relieve some pain, but I will revisit that idea later. For now, I need your opinion.
Before I get into the heart and soul of this blog post, I need you to go ahead and comment – right now – your definition of a runner. How do you label a runner? I want your first thoughts, your honest opinion before you read my post. Then, if your idea changes, go back and tell me in another comment what made you change your mind. If it didn’t change, that’s cool too. I just need an honest, unbiased opinion.
Did you leave your comment?
Are you SURE??
Last night I came home after a 5 miler with my new running buddy (and friend!) Stephanie. Knowing my half marathon is on Saturday, I didn’t want to over do it, but I wanted to try out a new IT band brace that I bought. I wanted to give myself enough time to really feel it, to see how it worked, so we stuck with our 5 mile ritual. When I got home, I showered and jumped on the foam roller. As I was using the roller, Dennis noticed the weather for the weekend. It’s been abnormally warm here on the east coast (I’m sure it’s been warm everywhere) so I said something about how I hope it’s not too hot, since I tend to get sick running in the heat if I’m not prepared for it (I had a terrible experience in October’s Army 10 Miler)
His reaction? “Maybe running isn’t for you.”
What? Why would you say that?
“Well, you haven’t been running for very long and you keep having issues. I’m not being mean, I’m just saying…running isn’t great for the body.”
Ok, so what do you mean I haven’t been running for very long? I’ve been playing soccer since I was 12. I’ve used running as my main exercise/stress relieving tool since then. All through high school (minus freshman year when I tried playing softball) I ran track. I ran track in Junior high as well. I was considered a distance runner, although the main distance event I competed in was the 800 meter run (if you haven’t already heard me complain about how awful and torturous that distance is, you haven’t known me very long.)
In college I played soccer. I ran throughout the off season to keep in shape. I ran my first “race” freshman year of college for Breast Cancer (it was a 5K.)
I would run just to run, never more than 5 miles, but still running none the less.
Doesn’t that make me a runner?
Running has always been my exercise of choice. Even though I chose to play sports (soccer, tennis, etc.) where running was a necessity, I still was running. And I actually credit my love for sports as my base for being a runner. If I didn’t have to run to keep in shape for those sports, I may not have chosen running as my drug of choice. Who knows, I may have found solace in spin classes or yoga (which I sometimes do even now;) It might have been swimming that caught my attention and kept me active. All I know is that I’ve always chosen running as my release.
I’ve always been a runner.
To him, being a runner is one who trains for competition.
“I’ve been running since I was 12 years old!” I said, defensively.
“You haven’t been RUNNING like you run now. You didn’t really start running until a few years ago…when you started training to run the longer distances.”
I disagree! I’ve been running since I was 12 years old!
He doesn’t see it that way. He was an athlete too, but he’s never considered himself a runner. He had to run to keep in shape for football, basketball and baseball, but he never was a runner.
“Yes, but that’s a different type of running. You’re sprinting, you’re doing a mile here and there to prepare for a sport. I did the same, but I also chose to run OUTSIDE of sports for pleasure. I think that’s where the difference is.”
Again, he disagrees.
Maybe I’m getting emotional about it because I take running to heart. It’s been a big part of my life for a long time. When my father died (at age 14,) I ran. I smoked a lot of pot (is that OK to say?) but I also ran a lot.
When I was in high school, I remember one day everything was pissing me off. By the end of first period, I decided I was going to make a list of all the things that pissed me off that day and run a lap on the track for each of those things. I ended up running 4 miles that day, 16 laps for the 16 things that pissed me off. I was in 10th grade.
Running kept me sane. It still does.
Doesn’t that make me a runner?