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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

ARE YOU A RUNNER?

I'm a runner.  Not a fast runner, don't run the LONGEST distances like many, not a great sprinter.  Doesn't matter.  I'm a runner..............because I run.  If you run, you're a runner.  A friend of mine has competed in a dozen marathons, from Big Sur to Boston.  He gave me some real wisdom.  He said "You won't come in first, and you won't come in last, so just go run and have fun."  Best running advice I ever received.  I've been running since high school.  Didn't win any trophies then, either.  Ran in the Marine Corps.  (Wasn't a lot of choice there !)  I enjoyed every mile.  I've competed, got the T-Shirts, obsessed over split times, and have come to the conclusion that in the end, it doesn't really matter.  Roger Bannister will be remembered.  Jim Fixx, Dean Karnazes, and a handful of other names.   The rest of us, ................just run.  We aren't famous, but we are legion.  We're on the road or trail in the dark with a headlamp while our families are snug in their beds.
     If you're a runner, you know it.  Most of your friends and coworkers don't understand it, and most never will.  Sometimes it hurts.  Sometimes you're hot or cold or wet, but you run.  Run for health, sure, but mostly to continue to claim the title "Runner".  It has become part of you.  It's who you are.  That's why you're cranky when you bang up an ankle or a knee and have to be relegated to the stationary bike or elliptical trainer for a while.
     Runner is the noun.  Distance Runner, Trail Runner, etc are just adding to it.  You feel different when you run.   You acknowledge runners on the road when you drive by them.  It doesn't matter if they are big, little, fat, thin, fast, slow, young or old, barefoot, shod, or something in between.  You feel that kinship, and you respect the fact that they had the fortitude to get out there and run.  It special.   If you are a runner, you'll understand.

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