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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Once a runner

I don't usually say, "I'm a runner". I don't like to absolutely categorize; if I label myself as a certain thing, it means I have to live up to it. I owe it some expertise or dedication. I certainly don't have any expertise in running, and I am barely dedicated, so I usually say that I like to run or that I enjoy distance running, and leave it at that.
But sitting here injured makes me feel all the more like a runner - even though now I am not running. Oddly, it's only now that I realize I miss it and only now that I realize what my goals even were. I thought my goals were just numbers, but they were actually the hard work behind those numbers.
I'm not running now, but I am trying to: trying to heal so I can run again. That in itself amazes me. It is so wasteful and impractical to try to run again. The smart solution to this pain would be to stop running, to do something else with my time. But instead I plug away at physical therapy, take rest days, slather topical NSAIDS on my tendons. I am working to get back.

And that makes me feel like a runner: I will put in the effort to do something I love.

Oh and this title is, obviously, stolen from the book by the same name...which I just finished reading. It's a runner's cult classic, and the part about the warm up before the big race really feels like you're actually competing. I got butterflies reading it! But all the rest pertains to people who are fast, set records, win races, etc, so there was a lot less to identify with. Still, a recommended read if you can get past the too-meaningful prose.


  1. I've been meaning to finally read this book!

    Have you read "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" by Haruki Murakami?

  2. Read this years really is the best. What is that workout he does--something like 60 quarters?!

    You are such a runner and you will bounce back strong!

  3. Thanks for the recommendation, this is one I haven't read yet (and lord knows I am reading lots right now!)

    I wrote this post during my first stress fracture, thought you might like to read it:

  4. It's a great book. I try really hard to not let running define me. I just hate being stereotyped. I don't tell any of my customers that I run, but they usually find out anyway. I just hate the trite, unoriginal conversation that accompanies the conversation ... ya know ... why you run, or your mental state because you run, or how fast are you nonsense. But I guess I could be known for a lot worse things. I consider you a really good runner. You're one of the best runners I follow.

  5. you mean - Once a runner always a runner. Not I was once a runner, right? ;) "if you can get past the too-meaningful prose." Well put, that made me laugh. Thought the same thing when I read that book!

    Agree with Outside Time that the Haruki Murakami title is awesome.

  6. I feel like you should write my posts for me. You are so eloquent. I could copy and paste almost this whole paragraph. My friends all know me as the runner. Recently I've noticed that almost everyone who I come into contact with has asked me about running during the span of a conversation, and it pains me to tell them that I'm not running anymore, and that I'm trying to figure out if I can run again. I guess I didn't realize how much I am the runner to my friends. I also know that I need to branch out into more activities like biking, cross training, etc - things besides running.

    I'm having a MRI tomorrow, and will know the results on Friday. I'm curious as to what my doc says. Also, I've kind of stopped commenting about running blogs since I've been injured - mainly because it is hard to be excited for someone else when you yourself can't do something. And I don't want to rain on anyone's parade by any means, so I just stay out of the way. No idea if anyone else out there has similar thoughts like this.

  7. I remember giving this book to my brother a few years ago before I started running and now I think he should ship it back to me :)
    I feel just like you these days.
    I am working on getting back to being able to run like I know I can. My injury is not as severe as yours looks that way anyway...seeing the Doc on Thursday ...and I was thinking the same would be south easier to do something else and not run anymore....that lasted 2 seconds... Even though I am not talented at all I now cannot imagine not running.... So I do all the silly boring exercises and I go to Home Depot to buy a piece of wood to torture myself and I jump in the freezing water.....and I run.

  8. I love that book. When I started running a little over a year ago - I went through 'reading running book' frenzy and that an "Running with the Buffalos" remain my favorites.

    In regards to your injury - have you (or do you have access) to a bone stimulator? I have a "stress reaction" (doc says precursor to a stress fracture) on my tibia and he recommended using one. He also recommended Strontium and Mk-7 vit k2 supplements. I live in Boulder and this doc sees a ton of elite athletes (and normal ppl like me) so I guess he knows what he's talking about. Lucky for me I love mtn biking so cross training isn't a chore - tho I miss running.

    Hope you heal quickly!