Runners are Odd…

Runners are odd individuals. We often look at things through a peculiar filter. I can’t honestly say why, but over the last 10 years of consistent running, I’ve developed the ability to look at my running mind and laugh at myself. I’m not exactly sure why I make some of the funny choices I do. Now they’ve become habits and they just mean I’m a runner. So what exactly makes Amy the runner tick? I submit to you my top 3 honest and odd running facts.

1. Some people insist running is hard; I find NOT running hard.

If I know I’m going to have a busy day, I get up earlier and get my run done. My day goes much better physically, mentally and emotionally when I run. Good weather, bad weather, before sunrise, in the heat of the day or after dark; I find a way to run. Being injured is the worst, as I feel compelled to find something else to fill that void till I’m able to finally run again. Usually I bike, row or even swim. I really enjoy swimming but it’s a pain having to change in and out of a swimsuit and deal with my wet hair. Running is much easier, I just grab my shoes, watch, phone and go.

2. People have many different hobbies; running eventually became a lifestyle.

The more I ran, trained and prepared, the more comfortable I became with running. When I was a freshman in college, I actually cried when my WSU women’s crew team had to run 3 miles twice a week for conditioning. I balled like a baby and my teammates wondered if I was okay. I always survived, but I really hated running. It’s funny how we can change. My first 5k was a big deal physically; my family even came.

Running was hard, but also a positive experience. Eventually I realized that running longer and farther was not only possible, but fun. Racing events provided me with a tangible goal to work toward and an important level of accountability. 10 years later, racing can get spendy, but volunteering my time in advance allows me to regularly run for free.

3. Every sport has it’s oddities. Here’s a few running truths I really relate to.

The longer distance I covered, the more empowered I felt.  On stressful days it makes a big difference as I work through problems while running. Feeling temporarily invincible doesn’t happen with every run, but hard work and realistic goals have helped keep me coming back for more time on my feet. As an added bonus, my sense of direction has really improved and I look forward to running in different places, anywhere I travel. New running sights, sounds, smells and energy are all my idea of a great vacation.

When I first started running, the treadmill was my good friend. I hated running outside unless it was sunny and 65. Two years ago I signed up for a winter marathon and finally developed a healthier relationship with winter. Now I run year round in all conditions, even in the dark. As a natural klutz, that still makes me nervous.

I look for a variety of running options as it adds to the happiness and memories of my running journey. Family, friends, fellow runners, unique venues and encouraging spectators always have a special place in each running memory I make. The crowds that come out to offer support are the best. Many compose creative and funny signs that keep me entertained and distracted while running.

My Arizona family & cheer squad

So far, my favorite racing crowds are the ones back East. Each city has a unique culture and personality that welcomes each runner. If all my honesty about running interests you, start small and simple and give it a try; you just might end up doing something you love. See ya outside.

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