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?
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.
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.