I am a “later-in-life” runner. There, I have taken a risk and said that out loud; in cyberspace no less.
My first attempt at running was at age 28. Sure, I had PE in school and I must have made some half-hearted attempts at timed runs, but I certainly didn’t think or feel like a runner. I remember that first run with great clarity: it was in Phuket, Thailand on a family vacation. My Endlessly Energetic Sister and I ran for about 1 mile – we were gasping and had to lie down for a long time after.
In the early days, even when I was seriously training for a 1/2 marathon, I hesitated to tell people that I ran. I used euphemisms like jogging or waddling, because I frankly didn’t think I moved fast enough to qualify as a runner, nor did I fit the bill of what I thought a runner should look like (think long-legged Flo-Jo)
What is running anyway? Dictionary.com says it is to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground.
Almost 20 years later, I am still apologetic when I talk about running. When people ask me about it, I am very quick to qualify that I run very slowly, and I do stop and walk, etc etc. I don’t race, I don’t chalk up impressive mileage, and I still do not look like the slender, willowy women runners I see so often on the roads (with a great deal of envy, I might add!)
I run because I like the alone time: the time it affords me to enjoy my own company & the thinking that comes along with it. I enjoy exploring new parts of the city I live in – walking is a chore, but running is fun … go figure! And when I am fortunate enough to travel, I love seeing new places in this way (e.g. the above photo was taken by Loving Husband during one of our Hong Kong Disneyland Resort runs a few weeks ago). I even enjoy the challenge of beating the drudgery of off days, when I feel like I’d rather be in bed or when I’ve had an unsatisfying outing.
So, I may not look like a runner, nor do a lot of things that runners do. But I am out there. I am a Runner.
What about you?