Gearing up for #runCHAARG, I thought a lot about what it truly meant to be a runner. I’ve run competitively for a number of years + people always think there’s some sort of secret to running. I’m guilty of it, too.
The best runners know that there is no secret handshake or speedy kicks that are the key to running + running well. There’s no formula. It’s just about lacing up your running shoes + heading out the door — no matter how fast or slow you go.
Running isn’t all about times or rankings. Think about how many people line up at the start of a race knowing they won’t be first – or second or third – across the finish. Running is simply about the act of crossing that finish line – in races + in our daily lives.
About a year + a half ago, I was lucky enough to interview Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon champion + editor for “Runner’s World.” We talked a lot about what it meant to be a runner, + he said something to me that I will never forget.
“IT’S THE SAME FOR [MARATHON CHAMPIONS] AS IT IS FOR ANYONE ELSE. THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PUTTING IN THE MILES. IT’S AN ACT OF GUMPTION, DISCIPLINE + DETERMINATION.”
When you lace up your shoes for #runCHAARG, you are doing the exact same thing Olympic sprinters + Boston Marathon champions are doing. You’re putting one foot in front of the other + bettering yourself with each + every step forward.
Whether you run 1.5 miles or 15 miles, you are a runner. My challenge for you throughout #runCHAARG is to tell yourself this every single day. It doesn’t matter how fast you go — what matters is that you go. ++ if you still need some convincing, here are 25 reasons why you are a runner…
2] “It’s all downhill from here” becomes one of your favorite phrases.
3] You know it isn’t your legs that push you past *the wall* — it’s your heart.
4] The belief that consistency creates habit is something you’ve begun to live your life by [getting better means getting moving!].
5] When you’re driving in your car + you see someone else running, you immediately wish it were you.
6] You spending almost as much time doing laundry as you do running [how is it possible I have no clean sports bras//socks already?!].
7] All runs get better after the first five minutes is not an opinion, it’s a fact.
8] You believe in the bond between inspiration + perspiration.
9] Personal bests aren’t always PRs + you’re OK with that!
10] You develop a go-to loop around your neighborhood or college campus.
11] Mid-run epiphanies are the key to sorting out exactly what your professor is looking for on that dreaded assignment.
12] You crawl into bed thinking, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I ran _______ miles today!”
13] Whenever you get ready to go out with friends, you automatically put on your running shoes.
14] You start to accept that you’re part of a community so large that you’ll never meet all of its members – but you know they’re cheering for you every step of the way.
15] You don’t mind getting up before the sun on a Saturday if it means it’s race day.
16] Starting lines never get old. You still get butterflies.
17] You [+ your friends//boyfriends] have come to accept that sweaty is a state of being. #SWEATISSEXY
18] You know when you’ve finally hit the elusive runner’s high + you spend every single run after trying to find it again.
19] Not all runs are pretty + you don’t care. Sometimes it’s your shoes that are muddy + other times it’s your brain. Either way, you know a run is exactly what you needed.
20] You smile when your friends ask you if you’re really going to run in this weather.
21] You know training is necessary, but also accept that no matter your training, there will always be good + bad days.
22] Commitment to large goals gets easier + easier. “If I can run ____ miles, I can definitely do this.”
23] Some of the best runs are ones where you forget about the miles + the times, + instead, just focus on how you feel.
24] You race to compete with yourself [+ to add to your growing t-shirt collection].
25] You know there really is no finish line. Running is a lifestyle – your lifestyle.