Are You a Runner?

No really, are you? I want to know.

Because I am. Kind of. Well, technically I sort of jog, sometimes. But it sounds so much better to think, “I ran three miles tonight.” I get these visions in my head of a graceful person, sprinting their way down the sidewalk, doing that jogging in place thing while waiting to cross the street. But then I say it out loud (yeah, I talk to myself, so what?), and as soon as the words come out of my mouth, they feel like a total lie.

That feeling is magnified by a thousand when I say it to someone else, because then I have to hear them answer back, “Oh really? I run too!” Good God, why is everyone in the world a runner too??

Then in my head I’m going, “Well crap. So do I have to tell them that actually I do more of an awkward half run-half walk, absurd-looking thing?”

Or do I have to explain how slow I “ran,” or that I secretly sort of hate it and conveniently get “too busy” to go to the gym for weeks at a time? That my three miles last night were my first miles in ages and I’m kind of unable to feel my legs today?

I want so desperately to be a runner. Those long, lean legs call out to me, begging for a home on my lower half. The long I’ve definitely got down. It’s the lean part that needs some serious work. So I try to stick with it. It’s hard, but I really try.

It seems that every time I go, I find that I actually kind of like it. (Even though I still also kind of hate it–it’s a weird relationship that we have.) Especially when I go more than once a month (embarrassing), because then my legs get used to it and don’t hate me after. I even kind of get that whole idea of a runner’s high, where you feel so amazing after getting back from a run. I love feeling like that, even though I have a suspicion that I definitely do not fit the normal runner’s stereotype.

Are you one of those people who just sprints around without music? I definitely can’t do that. As much as I love running for the “me time” it gives me to think, I more appreciate it for the chance to pump music directly into my ears and stop thinking. Just turn my mind off and forget about everything for a while. I usually take advantage of it and set my iPod to something I haven’t listened to in ages.

I have a goal to run a 5K. I’m not exactly sure when it will happen, but my hope is that it does before the end of the year. I need a lot more work before then. Every time I have tried running outside, I get a little over-ambitious and think I’ve suddenly turned into this marathon runner who can sprint her way through those 3.1 miles. And then I promptly return to my apartment, lay on the floor, and die for an hour.

So for now, the treadmill will have to do. It works out great, too, until I catch a glimpse of myself in that damned wall full of mirrors that all gyms insist on having. I feel like I’m running along nice and fast and just start thinking, “Hey, maybe I can actually do this!” until I see it. Then I realize I look like a complete fool doing that stupid half walk-half run I mentioned before. Trust me. It’s not a cute look.

But I understand there are approximately zero 5Ks that take place on treadmills. So I’ve got my work cut out for me. I’ll keep at it, at least until I get bored of it again and have to start all over.

Side note–I love Pinterest for its ability to make me feel motivated, and I try to take full advantage of the inspiration I find there. I also love it for giving me things like this:

Hopefully by the time you’ve read this, I’ve put in another few miles on the treadmill. But I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you.

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