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Aug 24

So, Which Runner Do YOU Respect More

runner typesSo this was the scene sitting around the table at brunch this morning after my 17 mile run. It was me and runner 1, runner 2, and runner 3. All of them are friends that I’ve been “running with” or at least starting at the same place and time with for a while now.

Runner 1 is an incredibly talented female runner, super fast, who’s planning 2 marathons this fall. She’s qualified for Boston, twice, and ran 65 miles last week. She’s been running some of her “slow” runs at an 8:00 pace – yeah. Runner 2 is another very talented runner, male, Boston qualifier, who makes running look so easy. He says he’s going to hit a certain pace, and he does. Every time he races, he PRs and seldom does he “struggle’ through a run, not even his 20 miler this morning. They sat down at the table, feeling fine, and ordered normal food to re-fuel after their run.

Then there was runner 3. I ran with him for the first 12 miles of my 17 this morning. He wasn’t feeling it this morning and was having a hard time. He wasn’t REALLY struggling but it was harder than normal. It happens, I’ve been there many times. Runner 3 is a lot like me, has to work a little harder than runner 1 and 2 to get decent results, so I appreciate his effort TREMENDOUSLY. Runner 3 ordered a bowl of fruit and was disappointed that he didn’t finish the entire run.

I sat there nursing my ginger ale, the only thing I could stomach and talked a little bit about my run. It felt fine for the first 11 miles .Then it started getting hot. I was trying really hard to occupy my mind. Running around North Park I wondered why I never saw anyone swimming in the lake. I wished I was out kayaking so I could splash the cool water all of myself. I repeated the same song in my head over and over; “Funeral for a Friend” by Elton John….

“….love lies bleeding in my hand…”

All those things helped a little, but the last three miles hurt. My legs were exhausted and I was sweating like nobody’s business. As I sat around the table afterwards, knowing we’d all be back at it again next Sunday, I started thinking. Which one of these runner types earns more respect? The runner who has true natural ability and seems to fly through every run without issue, or the runner with less natural ability who despite the struggles, keeps coming back.

The answer in my opinion, is both types. I respect the runners who seem to be born to run. They conquer every mile with purpose and strength. I envy them and admire them. Runners like myself deserve respect too. I mean, obviously I have my share of struggles. It seems like a week of runs can’t go by without at least one of them sucking big time. But I’m there EVERY WEEKEND with runner 1 and runner 2 anyway. I’m proud of myself for that. Quitting would be so much easier. As a matter of fact – in my last mile, my final thoughts revolved around how much this sport sucks.

Until you cross that finish line. Then, it’s glorious.

After a long nap with my dog, Cooper….

IMG_0688And a session with my foam roller…

IMG_0699I’m already looking forward to next weeks 18 miler, struggles and all.

For all you runners out there who have such amazing raw talent, thank you! You motivate and inspire me. And for all you runners out there who struggle to get every mile done, you are my comrades, and I know what you go through each and every time you lace up your shoes. You also inspire me.

16 comments

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  1. Steffany R.

    If it makes you feel better, everytime I see you during long runs I instantly feel better! Knowing that even though we aren’t running together or at the same pace, but for the same goal, is so comforting! Hope I can see you for the 18 miler next weekend! I’ll be along the river =)
    Steffany R. recently posted…Columbus Marathon Training: Week EightMy Profile

  2. Kim

    Awe – thanks Steff. I think it’s really col knowing so many people who are also training for Columbus. We share an instant connection and I’m rooting for all of us! Not sure where I’ll be next weekend, we may cross paths at some point. :)

  3. Mar @Mar on the Run

    I love this. I sometimes wish my runs came a little easier but know I’ll be back at it next week! My eye is on the marathon prize!! You’re doing awesome and totally inspire me :)
    Mar @Mar on the Run recently posted…Friday Five: Blogging Conference LoveMy Profile

    1. Kim

      Thanks Mar. During the run I feel like I never want to come back! Haha. That fades quickly though when I think about what it all means in the end. We’re better people for all he work we put in week after week.

  4. Kim

    There was a time that I felt like runners 1 & 2 but lately that is rare – anytime I run outside in the heat it is a struggle these days!!! But, like you and so many others, I keep at it!!!

    1. Kim

      I know the heat is hard for everyone so I try not to beat up on myself too much. I know when the cool weather hits, I’ll be amazing (you too!) :)

  5. Nicole @ Fitful Focus

    What I lovely post. I respect you all! :)
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Quest Cookie Cake {high protein, gluten free}My Profile

    1. Kim

      Thank you Nicole!

  6. frank

    Kim, your inspiration and motivation makes me look forward to these long runs. Thank yo so much!!!

    1. Kim

      Thank you Frank. Likewise – ;)

  7. Amanda

    This post makes me think of your ‘A mile is a mile post’.
    I think most people will see themselves as Runner #3. Others make it look easy, but even with that natural talent, it still takes work to throw down those kinds of paces. For example, to me, you are Runner #1. I don’t think I could run a single 8:40 mile, let alone 5 or more!
    Also, just because it seems that they don’t “struggle” doesn’t mean they don’t/aren’t. Even Shalane Flanagan or Rita Jeptoo struggle in training and races…it may not look like it to us, but they will tell you they do!

    There are these two ladies that run parts of the same route that I do in my neighborhood and they make it look SO easy. They always look fresh, running a relaxed pace, good form, the works; and no matter how many times I run that area I always struggle and still have to walk parts of it sometimes. I have no idea how they do it! But, like you, I still run that route and try every time to do it a little faster or finish a little stronger!

    Bottom line, I respect every runner I see out there! We are all working our butts off and all deserve the same amount of respect! :-)

    (sorry for the novel, but this was a great post! :-) )
    Amanda recently posted…Apps I loveMy Profile

    1. Kim

      Amanda, I loved your “novel” and, I agree. Running, talent, speed and natural ability are all relative terms. Relative to the person who’s perspective you get them from. And, you’re also right, to some I make it look easy. We ALL work hard and share the same struggles. I think we tend to compare our worst to someone else’s best because they aren’t always sharing the “bad days”. Hey, that’s so cool you run in the same neighborhoods as Shalane and Rita. Two true greats!

      1. Amanda

        :-) Thanks!

        Also, I totally misworded part of my comment – I don’t run anywhere Shalane or Rita, although that would be freakin’ awesome! It’s a mother/daughter duo that run in my neighborhood that are seriously kick-ass. They always make it look crazy easy and it’s definitely not!

        I love when people share the bad days – I feel like it’s more authentic than “rainbows, and butterflies, and unicorns” all.the.time!!
        Amanda recently posted…Apps I loveMy Profile

        1. Kim

          You’re right – authentic is better. Haha about the mother daughter duo :) still cool!

  8. Jennifer

    Loved this post and the comments. I agree with you and Amanda that it’s all relative and also that all runners deserve respect. My husband, who is a naturally fast runner, recently said to me after I was commenting on how fast he is, “Yeah, but you’re diligent and dedicated. You’re out there almost every day running, and that’s more than most people can say.” That’s so true, and something I need to keep reminding myself about.
    Jennifer recently posted…BCHM Training: Week 4My Profile

    1. Kim

      Jennifer – one of my best running friends tells me all the time – you have to find the positive in every run, even the bad ones. Your dedication is very much a positive! Progress may seems slow at times, but it comes :)

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