Yeah, but she’s a real runner

I run. I’ve jogged through mountains,  trotted down trails,  and pounded plenty of pavement.  I’ve even won a few races along the way.  I’ve run everything from 5Ks to full marathons.  One day I walked into our local running shop to get new running shoes.

Salesgirl:  Can I help you?

Me:  I need some new running shoes.

Salesgirl:  What are you needing them for?

Me:  Running.

I don’t look like a typical runner. My body leans more to turtle than hare.  I get that sideways glance with raised eyebrow when I say I’m a runner.  But, under all the layers of fat, there is muscle.  Really.

Image result for cartoon fat girl runner

A friend of mine recounted this story.  A friend of her parents was meeting them for dinner.  The friend arrived at the restaurant, got out of her car to walk in and was struck by a car.  She was rushed to the emergency room with back injuries.  Several surgeries later her doctor told her she probably would not be able to run again.  I was horrified.

Me:  How awful!  I would be devasted if I couldn’t run any more.

Friend:  Yeah, but she’s a real runner.

A real runner?  Last October I broke my ankle while on a run.  I spent the next 3 months in a boot.  By the end of January I was finally given the ok to start running as long as I took it easy. In mid-March, I finished a 5K.  I was hoping to do the half marathon but I think my age is catching up with me and slowing me down some.  At physical therapy a kid was progressing a little faster than me.  I complained to another friend and she just laughed.  “That kid is in junior high.  You’re 54 dumb ass!”  I was happy to finish the 5K.

I have my sights set on a half marathon next month.  I am slowly building my long runs again.  Last weekend I ran a 5 miler.  Not bad considering its been just short of 2 months since I got the ok and apparently I am old.

A real runner?  I’ve run in the snow and the rain.  I’ve driven a half mile from my house to get to a spot to run without ice on the road.

I ‘ve run in 29 degrees and 99 degrees.

I’ve run from dogs, snakes, coyotes, and skunks.

Today, my last day of Spring Break (I’m a high school teacher) I got out of bed at 4am for a race.

Why yes, Virginia, I am a real runner.

Image result for running turtle

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