Linking up today with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0.
As I get back into running and regain that runner identity, it feels so good, both physically and mentally! Not that I was thrown out of the community while I couldn't run, but it's nice to really feel like I'm part of the fold again, getting out there multiple times a week and registering for races. I don't think non-runners always get how nice that kind of routine can feel. Here are a few other things that it seems they don't always understand.
1. "Marathon" is not a synonym for "race". No, that 5k fun run you did last weekend with your family, including the little kids, is not a marathon that you did. It's like saying you went hiking last week and "climbed Mount Everest". While I think running in general is very welcoming to beginners, a marathon is a very specific accomplishment, and not one that's wise to take on without preparation.
2. We're not doing this just or lose weight. Even if we could stand to lose a little (or a lot). Exercising in order to lose weight was one of the reasons I took up running initially, but far form the only one. At my highest weight, lowest weight, pregnant, postpartum, I have a ton of reasons for running, and at the top of the list is the endorphins and feeling of accomplishment.
3. Although there's usually some benefit from losing weight (less weight to move takes less work!), it's not a guaranteed indicator of how fast a runner is or how many miles they run. At a certain point, you probably do need to at least be close to the stereotypical skinny runner's body to be elite. But your everyday runners joining a race? Don't think that just because I'm a little overweight that I have't been training my butt off (although clearly not literally) and can't beat you to the finish line.
4. We are able to talk about things other than running. (You know the joke - How do you know if someone has run a marathon? Don't worry, she'll tell you.) It's not that we bring it up all the time - the rest of you do! It's an easy topic for small talk, I guess. And I don't mind talking about - it is a hobby that takes up a lot of my time! But if you want to talk about something else, that's fine with me, too!
5. It doesn't always feel easy. We don't run because we learned how to do so without effort. We just work on running faster and longer! We keep working on improving, and always pushing to new limits.