I LOVE Runner's World. A good friend of mine from MSU, Ms. Sweets, gave me a subscription for my Birthday a few years ago and I instantly became addicted and plan on getting it for years to come. It's always a good day when RW shows up in our mailbox.
This latest issue includes a feature by Mark Remy (the RW.com editor & based on his new book "The Runner's Rule Book") titled "A Few Rules to Run By." Reading this got me thinking. There are quite a few points that hit home for me, probably because I'm a runner. It took me a long time for me to call myself a runner. I always felt that being a 'runner' was reserved for hard core people who run all the time, know all the lingo and post incredible times on races from 5K's to ultras. Once I crossed the finish line of my second half marathon, I decided it was okay to say that I was a runner even though I don't run every day, I still don't know or understand all the lingo and I definitely do not post super fast times.
So, this feature includes a section called: The 10 Types of Runners. Remy breaks down runners into these groups: The Speed Freak, The Weekend Warrior, The Penguin (plods along, determined with fanny pack), The Charity Runner, The Ultra Guy, The Kicker (sprints at the end), The Old-Timer, The Triathlete, The Wacky Guy, Joe Average. I'm not sure which one of these I am. Speed Freak - only in my dreams. Weekend Warrior - not anymore. Ultra Guy - never. Old-Timer - not quite yet. Triathlete - haven't ridden a bike in years. Wacky Guy - I definitely enjoy their enthusiasm but won't don a costume myself. So, it's either The Kicker since I do tend to push it right at the end or Joe Average, even though I hope that I'm past that point after finishing a marathon. I'm okay with either, really. I don't think there's necessarily one 'type' of runner that's better than another. The thing that matters is that we're out there running. Right? If you had to categorize yourself as one or the other, which type of runner are you?
Remy also urges us to "smile at your critics." I've been dealing with this one almost on a daily basis since the marathon. My boot seems to bring it on. I've been asked if I'm going to run again. Told that 'running just isn't for everyone' or that 'people really aren't made for running' and 'maybe you should try something else.' Well, YES, I AM going to run again. I'm not going to let a stress fracture stop me from enjoying something I love. NO, running isn't for everyone but it is for me. YES, people are made for running. And YES, I will try other things too, but because cross training is good for any active person and will help my running. I agree with Remy on this one. The best response is to keep running, to keep being active, and to try to get the critics out on the road. Maybe they'll find that it is fun and that if you do it right, you feel great! I might not be running yet, but I can't wait to do it again. I want to be strong and healthy before I take that step to make sure that I can finish strong.
The piece is pretty great and I recommend everyone check it out. It's in the January 2010 (I can't believe it's almost 2010!) issue. He reminds us that we need to continue finding joy in running, to take off our hats during the National Anthem (big pet peeve of mine!), to thank race volunteers (we've all been in their shoes, right?) and a few safety tips too. I'm not giving it all away, since you should read the humorous and straight to the heart of every runner, piece.