Category Archives: Running

I Race Because I Am Lazy. . .

I am lazy.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  I know this about myself.  This is precisely why I run half marathons.  Having that set date on the calendar when I have to be able to run 13.1 or more miles keeps me running.  That race date is the carrot on the end of that stick of training runs.  That race date interferes with the lingering urge to skip a long run or take a week off here and there.

This is why the summer is not such a great time for my running.  Most of the races are early in the spring and in the fall.  If I am not working toward a race, it is so much easier to procrastinate and rationalize my way out of a 3 miler.  It is very easy to get into a rut and fall out of a groove.  “I can just get back into the groove when the training schedule for the next race begins,” I tell myself.  It is so easy to skip a run when those summer temps hit the 80s and the humidity is stifling.  As I write this, I am dangerously close to a rut, but alas, there is an 8 miler scheduled for this weekend, thanks to the Dumbo Challenge.   Thanks to summertime, there are also some lovely 90 degree temperatures scheduled for this weekend.

I am not sure what to make of the lack of motivation currently.  When I first started running, 8 miles seemed like a huge deal.  Now, not so much.  That is progress, I suppose.  I never imagined I would think 8 miles was routine.  I have certainly come a long way.  Yet, even though I have been running going on two years, and I still find that I require the motivation of an upcoming race to keep me going.  I do not want to crash during a race (again), and that is my motivation.  I have yet to make running a habit, although I do get a bit antsy if I don’t run for a few days.  I know that without the “threat” of an upcoming race, that edginess is easily overcome by laziness.

The real victory will come when it can’t be.  When I can finally call running a habit.  When I can finally say I run simply for the fun of it, for the health benefits.  Until then, I’ll take what I can get.  If it takes 5 or 6 half marathons a year to keep me running, so be it.  The races are a blast, and I have a great running partner along for the ride.

My Inner Ninja

Nothing about my running is stealthy.  Dangerous?  Maybe.  But, I will never be mentioned in the same sentence as “agile,” or “ninja-like” unless it is an exercise in antonyms.  That doesn’t stop me from dreaming. . .

Running has helped me find out a lot about myself.  I have an inner strength that I was never really sure was there, and that I never fully challenged.  I never thought of what to call it.  I discovered a song recently that gave it a name:  My Inner Ninja.  The song, appropriately titled “My Inner Ninja,” is tops on my playlist right now.  It has a great tempo to run to, but it also has motivating lyrics that apply to life and running.  Bad habits?  Drop ’em.  Problems?  Deal with ’em.  Back against the wall?  Fight your way out.  “Never dwell in the dark, ’cause the sun always rises.”  Once you find your inner ninja there is no stopping you.  A bit cheesy?  Sure it is.  But it is motivating knowing that you have that strength inside you to conquer anything.  You just have to find it, and use it.  That’s the hard part.   Running has helped me push away my inner sloth, and has uncovered at least part of that inner ninja.  I am looking forward to continuing on that journey to full ninja-hood.

The quote below feels particularly applicable to my running.  As I head into the Dumbo Double Dare in less than 100 days, I am sure this one will pass through the Ipod dozens of times.  Each time it does, my pace will pick up, if only for those three minutes. . .

It’s a feeling that you get in your lungs when you run
Like you’re runnin’ outta air and your breath won’t come
And you (uh) wheezin’, gotta keep it movin’
Find that extra (uhn) and push your way through it

I’ve had bad habits but I dropped em
I’ve had opponents but I knocked them out
I climbed the highest mountains
I Swum the coldest seas
There ain’t a thing I’ve faced that’s been too much for me

Nobody’s gonna see me comin’
Nobody’s gonna hear a sound
No matter how hard they tryin’
Nobody’s gonna bring me down

Nobody’s gonna see me comin’
Nobody’s gonna hear a sound
No matter how hard they tryin’
No stoppin’ me since I’ve found
My inner ninja. . .

The Party Run – Bay To Breakers Recap

Bay To Breakers

This ain’t RunDisney, but that’s OK.   I had no idea what to expect, but I knew going in it was not going to be a wholesome experience.  It was, however, a blast.  It had all the positivity of a RunDisney race, with a heaping helping of mischief thrown in.  This is a bit of a long post, but there was a lot to see.

Our experience started with the Greater Body Expo.  I was not too impressed with the expo, but then again, I am admittedly no nutrition nut. Much of the items at the expo were along those lines.  After an extra mile walk or so back to our hotel (we forgot our bibs, which were required to pick up a shirt), we got our t-shirts so we could avoid the lines at the finish.   But really, most folks don’t run the Bay To Breakers for the expo experience.

After spending the previous day in wine country, we got up early and headed to the start line in our super-hero finest.  They were expecting 30,000 runners, so we headed out a bit early for the 7 am start.  Surprisingly, getting into the corrals went perfectly smoothly.  We got to our corral about 30 minutes before the start and met up with some of my wife’s friends.

Waiting and People Watching

Waiting and People Watching

I think I may have pulled a neck muscle looking around while waiting in the corral.  It was a people watcher’s dream.  We got to see all the other runners making their way to the other corrals in every kind of costume you could imagine:  from simple to elaborate, fully covered to fully naked.  I expected to see some folks au naturale, but I saw more than I bargained for.  It was funny to see how those going sans clothes really didn’t care who saw them.  They really embraced it.  I found this out right away.  I was snapping a picture of my wife’s friend trying to surreptitiously get a gentleman in the background.  He obliged by stepping in for the photobomb, and even posed for a pic with my wife and her friend.  I will spare you the posed picture, but you get the point from the “photobomb.”

Not shy. . .

Not shy. . .

One other tradition in the starting corrals is the tossing of tortillas.  They were flying around by the hundreds.  The fly surprisingly well, but act like banana peels on the ground after being trod upon by thousands of runners.


This was a great Manny impersonator – and two photobombs.


The Corral Filling Up


Ready to go!

Following a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings, we were on our way.  Just as getting into the corrals went smoothly, so too did the start.  We were in corral C, and things moved quickly toward the start.  Next thing we knew, we were on our way up Howard Street, knowing that Hayes Street Hill awaited at Mile 2.


As the run began, there was certainly an air of celebration about the race.  The spectators were great, and our fellow runners were a moving party.  One gentleman even ran with us for a bit to share an off color joke about Superman and Wonder Woman, and the Invisible Man.


The “F It Up” Cheerleading Squad

Those around my age remember the show “Full House,” and the iconic shot of the row houses in San Francisco in the opening of that show.  Until I signed up for this race, I was not sure where those houses were.  Ever since I found out they were at the top of Hayes Street Hill, I had been looking forward to seeing them in person.  Usually, I would be dreading a hill that rises about 200 feet in a little over a half mile.  Not so much this time.  I was looking forward to seeing the legendary Hayes Street Hill party.


@ The Base of Hayes Street Hill


It kept moving, even with all these people


Out of nowhere. . .


We found Waldo on Hayes Street Hill!

As we neared the top of Hayes Street Hill, we met the famous Salmon centipede group.  Each year, this group (tied together like all centipede entrants) starts at the finish line and runs upstream to the start line.  They were already on mile 6 when we hit mile 2.


The Famous Salmon running upstream to spawn. . .


Parties all along Hayes Street


Finally! Our legs were burning a bit by this point.  I don’t remember all those porta pots on Full House. . .

Hayes Street Hill lived up to its reputation.  The excitement of the spectators was awesome, and really motivated the runners.  I am sure there were thousands who never even made it past Hayes Street Hill, instead deciding to stay for the party.

Not us though.  The good thing is that it was all down hill from here.  We plodded on toward Golden Gate Park.  Along the way we saw Elvis, the running of the bulls, more super heroes, ballerinas, fairy tale characters, more naked folks, and even a tree.  I was quite impressed with the tree.  This outfit had to be heavy, and it had the history of the tree in Bay To Breakers on the back.  Best I could tell, the tree was going on 30+ years of appearing in the race.  The bands along the course were great as well.


This had to be heavy!


The Sharks were out. . .


The run through Golden Gate Park was gorgeous. . . and down hill. . .and shady. . .


We meandered through Golden Gate Park and headed toward the finish.  At about mile 6, my calf muscle decided it was done.  After a short break to try to convince it otherwise, we entered the home stretch.  I really like the last couple of miles of this race:  Down hill, shady, tree lined, even a waterfall.  For us first timers, the last corner is great, as you leave Golden Gate Park and suddenly the beach appears.  It is truly a gorgeous finish.

100_2640a 100_2641

We made it to the breakers.  It was a bit chilly for a dip for me, but that did not discourage a lot of others.  We made our way through the finish area.  I had a flight to catch, so we did not get to hang around much.  We made our way to the shuttle back to the start line.  I could only imagine how “fragrant” the shuttles got as the day wore on.

On the way back, we saw throngs of people in costume.  They were not part of the race, but were making their way to Hayes Street Hill for the party that would last all day.  We all thought that if we were a bit younger, we, too, would be heading to Hayes Street.  But reality set in, and I headed for the hotel to get a shower.  My flight home awaited.

There is no bling to show, as they did not give out medals this year.  However, I will go away with a lot of great memories of this run.  It was really a blast.  Check another off the bucket list.


Random Running Thoughts Of No Particular Usefulness

I couldn’t come up with anything coherent,  so I thought I would fire off a few random, useless thoughts on running.

1.  You know technology has progressed, and that it has you in its clutches, when you use your GPS watch to get data on how far you walked when you mowed your yard.  1.44 miles in the back yard. I would have had a faster pace, but my yard was out of control.

2.  I don’t know whether to be excited or a bit scared for Bay To Breakers in a couple of weeks.  I think I will be ahead of most of the debauchery, and I am on a rather tight flight schedule to get home, but I want to see the “sights.”   Might need to have an R rated recap for that one.  It should be really interesting.  Ryan Hall, the US Half Marathon record holder is running.  So are folks like this:


3.   Motivation of the day #1:

“Have you ever felt worse after a run?” – George Sheehan

I don’t think I have ever felt worse after a run.  I have felt plenty bad.  Beat down.  Winded.  Drained.  Bloodied.  But never worse. . .

4.  Speaking of costumes.  It was fun to wear a bit of a costume in the KDF Mini-marathon.  I am not fast enough to look like a serious runner, so who knows, a costume just might be added to the rotation here and there for the larger races.  Heck, I wore the same shirt for 4 of my first 5 half-marathons.  A little variety is in order.  It is fun trying to think of something new.

5.  Motivation of the day #2:

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”  – George Sheehan

Works for me.  I gave up beating the other runners long ago. . .But I also signed up for another marathon because the last one kicked my butt.  That little voice said to try again.

Fun Run – KY Derby Festival Mini Marathon Recap

Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon

I was really looking forward to the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon.  It would be our 7th Half-Marathon, it was our first repeat half, and we had some cool costumes to run in.   Also, it was our first time to get together with a lot of other runners since the tragedy in Boston.  I was not sure how it would go, since I had not trained very well since the Run The Bluegrass half at the end of March, and my wife’s sporadic hip issue reared its ugly head in our last long run.

To add to the uncertainty, the morning of the race started off on a bad note.  I had returned from a business trip to Chicago the night before, and was not as organized as I would have liked.  As a result, I forgot my Garmin.  I felt like I was flying blind.  We use the run/walk method by distance, not time.  Luckily I had my Ipod, so I decided to just wing it and use the time on that to estimate our walk breaks.  It turned out OK though, we ran nearly identical splits each mile.   I still felt a little naked though.

We made it to the start line a few minutes before the start.  My wife and her friend went whole hog on their outfits, while I was not nearly as put together for this one.  We were taking our Bay To Breakers outfits for a trial run.  We had decided a couple of months ago to go with the super hero theme.  I, of course, was Super Man, my wife was Wonder Woman (naturally), and her friend was Bat Girl.

Ladies love the abs. . .

Ladies love the abs. . .

Dynamic Duo!

Dynamic Duo!

Folks immediately asked for pictures with Wonder Woman and Bat Girl.  Superman was the photographer of course.

Pre Race Fun

Great Pre-Race Atmosphere!  And plenty of port-a-pots!

The race started right on time, with great weather and an awesome, boisterous crowd cheering the runners.  The first six miles flew by as we took in the sights.  The first couple of miles runs through downtown Louisville with lots of interesting sights, incuding the world’s largest Louisville Slugger bat, and this:

Yup - it is all there. . .

Yup – it is all there. . .

After leaving downtown, we headed out towards Churchill Downs, following tree-lined streets filled with cheering fans.  Some offered high fives, others offered their rears for runners to smack.  Whatever floats your boat, I suppose.  We got a lot of great comments on our outfits, though I realize most of them were for the ladies. . .

I think lots of folks were jealous of Super Man.

I think lots of folks were jealous of Super Man.

At mile 8, we entered Churchill Downs.  We hit the infield as some Derby hopefuls were getting their final works in on the track.  I remember last year at this point, I was really feeling it.  This year I felt much better.  Wonder Woman took her turn at the camera, and I also got a blurry picture of one of the horses on the track.  It was really a treat to get to run through the track while the horses were working and Derby preparations were underway.

Famous Twin Spires

Famous Twin Spires, and abs of steel. . .

More Great Athletes @ Work

More Great Athletes @ Work

At mile 9 we exited Churchill Downs, and headed back down the tree-lines streets toward the finish.   The last 4 mile stretch is mostly a straight shot to the finish, slightly downhill.  Once again, these last few miles felt better than they seemed last year.  Wonder Woman’s hip twinged a bit, but we powered on toward the finish.  Baseball picture day and a soccer game later in the morning wouldn’t wait for a little hip issue.

Tree-lined streets

Tree-lined streets

Keeping our steady pace, we rounded the corner by the Yum! Center and headed to the finish line at Slugger Field.  The crowd lining the street was great, and you could hear the roar at the finish.  At about mile 12 we saw some folks from the Reeve Foundation taking on the last mile of the race.  They were truly inspiring.  Also, thoughts of Boston came to mind at this point and gave that extra boost to the finish.  We powered to the finish, and completed #7.  6 minutes faster than last year, but not a PR.  But hey, we got to meet Elvis at the finish.



Once again, the folks at the Derby Festival put on a great race.   It was fun, well organized, and had awesome crowd support.  Oh, and there was this to finish off our race day:

Spanx, thong, and a dollar. . .

Spanx, thong, and a dollar. . .Bay To Breakers, here we come! Love the looks of the passersby!

The next day, the organizers put on their first Kids’ Races, with distances from 50-800 meters.  The little guy grumpily completed the 50m, while big brother flew through the 400m.  They got their own finisher medals, and were proud little guys.  It was a good way to finish off the race weekend. I look forward to the 2014 version.  Hopefully it will be #12 or so.

Just like daddy!

Just like daddy!

Flying to the finish!

Flying to the finish!

More Bling!!

More Bling!!

Proud To Be A Runner


I have said on here many times that I am not a fast runner.  I am not an experienced runner.  On my best day, I am an average runner.  But, in the aftermath of the horrific events in Boston, I am proud to be able to say I am a runner.

The immediate, passionate outpouring of support the running community has shown for the victims in Boston has been inspiring.  From running 4.09 miles in support of those in Boston, to wearing race shirts and Boston Marathon colors, to organizing runs in honor and memory of the victims, the running community had stepped forward in inspiring ways.  I am proud to be a part of such a close knit community.  Most never knew any of the victims at the Boston marathon, and yet, they treat them as one of thier own:  members of the running family.  I am proud to be a runner. 

Now, I know it is easy to show support like this.  It is easy to do something you do 3 or more times a week anyway, and say it is in honor of someone else.  It is easy to step up in times like this.  Yet, the earnest expressions of support seem to be more than that.   What I have seen does not appear to be borne out of convenience.  It seems to be coming from the heart.   I am proud to be a runner.

The running community was attacked.  Not just the runners, but the entire community, including the spectators (an integral part of the running community), friends, and families.  Rather than shrinking away, the reaction I have seen is one of defiance.  I have seen a re-dedication to run more races to show that we cannot be deterred.  There are countless efforts to raise money and awareness for the victims.  I am proud to be a runner.

All the races

I plan to keep running.  But as it was with my short training run today, running from now on will be filled with thoughts of those who can no longer run due to the cowardly acts in Boston.  Rather than thinking of the pain I am going through, I hope my thoughts continue to turn to being thankful for the blessing to keep doing this.  Thankful for the ability to get out and run, to feel that pain.  I hope I can keep remembering that I am part of a larger community:  One that seems filled with respect and admiration for other members of that community, no matter their role.

I am slow.  I am average.  But I am a runner.  I am proud to be a runner.

Holy Hills! Run The Bluegrass Race Recap.


I happened upon this race in looking for something to keep me going between the Walt Disney World Marathon and the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon.  I am glad I did.  It was our sixth half marathon, and by far the most challenging.  Set in Kentucky Horse Country near Lexington, in my mind, it was the most beautiful as well, although my wife may still argue running up Main Street USA is the best.


The communication from the race organizers, via Twitter, email, and Facebook was outstanding.  They were responsive to requests, gave great tips and reminders, and did a good job of building excitement for the event.  Nothing was sugar-coated needlessly.  Their last-minute traffic tip on Facebook helped in determining how to get there, and how early to get there.

The two-day expo was also excellent, especially for a race this size.   Registration ran smoothly.   The legendary Hal Higdon appeared both days, and even ran the 7 mile race. The expo featured speakers, race gear, and various local activities.  It didn’t hurt that it took place on the grounds of Keeneland on a bright sunny day.  The location at Keeneland, as opposed to an off site location, certainly helped in building excitement for the race.


Traffic was horrible, but I don’t blame the organizers.  Poorly-timed major construction on the main route to the race was the culprit.  We arrived with about 40 minutes to spare and had to hustle a bit to get to the starting line (we like to get there early).  The waves/corrals were well-marked, and the lines for the porta-potties were as you would expect.  At these times, it’s good to be a guy.  We lined up in Wave R.  The waves were labeled G-E-N-R-I-S-K, in honor of the famous horse Genuine Risk.  The bibs and medal lanyards were also inspired by Genuine Risk’s silks.  Luckily for those stuck in traffic, the race was delayed 15 minutes to give those stuck in traffic a bit more time to get there (and to let the morning fog burn off).


This was an especially good start, as we got to give our boys a high five as we passed the start line.  From that point, as the old Irish Blessing goes, the road rose to meet us, almost immediately.  In fact, it kept rising, over and over again.  The blessing is that it also had its share of downhills, though seemingly much fewer than those of the up variety.  The first hill was within the 1st half mile. This race certainly showed me that I need to work more on my leg strength.  Running the flat races is one thing, this was quite another.

The first few miles went as planned.  I stopped to take pictures of the scenery, and our time was relatively close to how we usually start.  It is always difficult to start as slowly as we need to with all the excitement at the start and the rushing crowd, but we were doing pretty well.  Little did we know, there would be no negative splits on this one.  

100_2438    100_2437

They bill this race as one of America’s prettiest half marathons, and that was not over-selling it.  As the miles went by, and our legs kept begging us to give up, the beauty of the landscape surrounded us.  

Bands were spaced along the course, usually coinciding with water stops.  Each one added to the excitement, in spite of our aching legs.  The volunteers were great as well.  There were also a few friendly four-legged spectators.

This guy was loving the attention.

This guy was loving the attention.

We rolled with the punches through about mile 7 or 8.  About that time our legs really started to rebel.  Mile 8 is one of the most beautiful of the race, with a nice downhill run to the mile 9 marker.  Then, we hit the switchback.  Some call it the S-curve.  A roughly 100ft vertical rise within a little more than a quarter mile.  You know a big one is coming at that mile marker.  You can see it.  The real surprise for us first-timers is rounding the first right turn.  That is when you see the next left turn, still rising with no end in sight.  The legs were screaming after this one.

6.5% (or so) slope S-curve

The bottom of the 6.5% (or so) S-curve

From this point, it was survival to the end.  The hills kept coming, but we kept running – slowly.  We switched to a 1:1 walk run to make it to the end.  Beauty still abounded.  I had long since given up on a time even within sight of a PR.  I now just wanted to avoid this being our slowest.  The 1:1 saved the day on that.  We made sure to run in the downhills, no matter where they fell within our pattern, of course.  We finally crossed the finish line, and were about a minute per mile slower than our PR.


Run The Bluegrass was as advertised.  Beautiful, challenging, and fun.  There was an air of excitement, even when people were hurting at the finish.  Smiles were everywhere.

Kids’ Race!

The Run The Bluegrass Kids’ Race took place three hours after the half started.  Slightly less than one mile, the race used the same finish line as the “big race.”  The kids got their own fancy starting line, complete with a police escort, and they got the great opportunity to finish in the same chute as the adults.   This was really a great touch.

Thankfully, they delayed the kid’s race for 15 minutes as well, giving us parents a chance to recover a bit and watch our children race.  Our oldest loved it and finished the .9 mile race strong.  The three year-old picked out a special batman shirt (with cape) to run in, but all the kids + nap time meant that he got a bit nervous.  My wife was a trooper and carried him for his race.  He is already asking to run another – he wants more medals!  He has more at age three than I had at 38.  I am proud of both of my boys.

Taken as I was flat on my back after my run...

Taken as I was flat on my back after my run…

Final Thoughts

It would be easy to say “never again” due to the tough hills.  But I expect there is a really good chance we will be back to take this on again.  It was too beautiful.  It was Easter weekend, and I found myself thanking God several times throughout the race for the opportunity to be in that place, with the ability to run, even through the pain.  That’s the thing about running.  In spite of the pain you go through, you feel blessed to have been given the opportunity.  These races give you plenty of time to reflect on the blessings of life.

Race Bling

Nice Bling!

Don’t Let Hurdles Get In Your Way . . .

Overcoming Hurdles

“Overcoming” Hurdles

This picture says a lot.  I saw it in the Daily Morning Awesomeness today.  It pretty much sums up how I feel at some of the half marathons I run. You know, the non-massive halves made up of predominately faster runners.

A few miles into the race, you notice there are not too many people behind you.  In those with out-and-backs, you start passing the masses on their way back to the finish line.  They are bounding like gazelles being chased by a leopard, while I had long since been devoured.

However, this picture says more than that.  The lagging runner has knocked over four hurdles.  He did not quit after the first or the second.  He kept going through the third and fourth, and looks to be well on his way to taking out the last three.  Heck, it doesn’t even look ylike he broke stride.

He is on the track, rather than being relegated to the sidelines or bleachers.  I feel my running is kind of like this guy.   I made the choice to get off the sidelines and step down from the bleachers.  I am not the fastest runner, or even close.  However, for almost two years, my wife and I have faced several hurdles to our running:  Busy work life, injury, kids’ activities, weather, laziness, etc.  Yet, we have not let those hurdles derail our running or our goals.    They have slowed us down a step here or there, but we have not let them stop us.

Such is running, such is life.  Both throw hurdles your way.  How you deal with them determines your outcome.  Do you give up after the first, or do you charge through to see what’s on the other side?  I hope I can be like the guy in the picture and punish those suckers along the way. . .

I hated running. . .

Bighit4Boy did I.  When I was in high school, there were very few things I despised more than running.  I played football and golf.  In football, at that time, running was punishment.  The last thing you wanted to do in golf was run.  Heck, that’s why I played golf.  Track & cross-country:  running.  Baseball:  Running (albeit short bursts).  In college, a couple dozen pounds ago, I was a diver:  No running.

Not until the last year or so have I come around to running.  Prior to that, I was still firmly on the side of “running sucks.”  I still thought of running as punishment.  Why do that to yourself?  Eventually, the scale, and my wife, got to me.  I started swimming, and went through a 5 week jury trial.  That combination led to a 30 lb weight loss.  But it was hard to get back into the swing of swimming after the trial, and the gym membership was killing me.  Then my wife wanted to do a half marathon, and the rest is history.  Running was essentially free, except for the cool shoes, “must have” gadgets, the treadmill, and the race entry fees. 

Either way, once I started running, I stopped seeing it as punishment.  I am not saying I love every minute of it.  I always have thoughts of something else I could be doing.  I often fight those rationalizations and excuses in my head for not running.  During a run, I have those moments where I question why I am doing this to myself.  However, I have not had a time that I remember where I finished a run and was sorry I did it, even after this year’s Walt Disney World Marathon where I hit the wall at mile 17.  I still was glad I did it.  

In fact, I am really excited about our next half-marathon, the Run The Bluegrass Half.  It is called “One of America’s Prettiest Half Marathons.”  All of the comments I have read about it mention the hills:  “For the hardcore hill chasers,” “hilly but gorgeous,” “the hills come early and don’t let up.”  Some may see this as punishment, but I am really looking forward to running through the beautiful hills of horse country.  Things have really changed.  I am fairly certain they have changed for the better, but check with me after March 30 to see if I feel the same way.

Am I a runner?

Fake runner

I play golf, but I am not a golfer.  I fish, but I am certainly not a fisherman.  I run, but am I a runner?

I think the answer is yes.  I will never be confused with an elite runner, or even a very good runner.  Maybe someday I will flirt with a sub 2:10 half marathon:  not fast, but my speed is not why I can be called a runner.   Running is a different animal than many sports.

Anyone can go out and take swings at a golf ball, but unless you have a low handicap, most won’t put you in the category of “golfer.”  Anyone can wet a line in the lake or pond, but it takes a lot more than that to become a fisherman.  Running is different.  To be a runner, you just have to run.

If it is on the internet - It must be true

If it is on the internet – It must be true

Anyone who puts forth the effort can certainly be considered a runner, and count themselves among the running community.  I don’t subscribe to the attitude that you are not a runner unless you break 1:45 in a half marathon, or 25 minutes in the 5k, etc.  To me, to be runner, you don’t have to be fast.  You don’t have to be thin.  You don’t even have to be particularly good at it.  You just have to have the will to do it, and the dedication to keep doing it.  That is yet another beauty of running.  I may not be able to keep up with much of the running community, but that doesn’t mean I am not a part of it.

If nothing else, I can call myself a runner because I have said almost every one of the things in this video.