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Saturday, January 28, 2012

I'm not one of those runners...or am I ?

Today I met my two running partners for the first time in a long while.  They are great women and I was thrilled (with a touch of trepidation) to get the chance to see them, catch up with them, run with them.  What makes me anxious to run with them?  Several things: I'm out of shape, my running has been spotty at best, where they have consistently met and run our normal Saturday runs for the past year and a half that I've been MIA.  They're faster than me-being out of shape doesn't help my situation at all-I'm taller than them both but next to them I feel GIANT and out of place.

When we began our running journey years ago, we didn't know much about running except that we weren't one of "those" runners.  Either on the trail or in a social situation.

On the trail
~ Large groups with the lead runner often shouting phrases that echo through the entire group~"RUNNER UP", "Dog on your left", "WALKERS"~seriously...it freaked us out.
~Happy joggers, greeting everyone they passed with a robust "Good Morning" ~what?! It's freezing and 7am and we are working our asses off to burn enough calories to enjoy Saturday festivities...nothing good about that.
~Showered, primped and sweet smelling groups of people who make you want to follow them when they pass.  HONESTLY, me and my home girls show up in the same stanky running clothes we've had for years, bed head, smelling like last night and lucky if we actually brushed our teeth!

In a social situation
~Runners who down play their accomplishments.  "Oh, we just ran a quick 8"; "Anyone can run, if you run 1 mile you can run 20."
~Runners who talk about upcoming runs. "No beer for me, I'm running in the morning."  "What does your long run look like for this week?" 
~Runners who's conversations turn to "running things".  "Just icing my shins." "What shoes do you currently run in?"  "Are you registered for any races?"

Our running has grown over the years, however some things remain the same.  We still enjoy the company and companionship of our shared quest for physical fitness.  Our lives have changes since we began and our homes are now full of teenagers not toddlers, but the "therapy" (as mentioned by someone today) remains priceless.  We are tending to the well being of not only our bodies, but also our mental health as we discuss life and all it's ups and downs.  Stories shared, hurts expressed, worries calmed, insecurities admitted~there is a comfort in the running conversation and the bond that brings us together on these early Saturday mornings.

Have we become one of "those" runners?....Yes...and...No.  

We talk about our runs, downplay our accomplishments, and chit chat about running stuff.  We say hello to passing runners and claim our portion of the turf as a group.  We've never yelled "Runner up" but we appreciate those groups now and understand the need for a shared experience.  The one thing I feel confident we will never change is our ability to roll out of bed, pull on some clothes and take our stanky selfs out to the trails.

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