It happened again, I was forced into the awkward position of defending my runner status. I was getting some treatment for my foot and got to talking to a man who was also in there getting treatment for his back.
“Is this helping you?” him.
“Yea, actually it is and my foot is feeling better…I don’t care if it’s mental or not I’ll take any signs of improvement. Trust me I’m a horrible beast when I can’t run!” me.
“Oh, you’re a runner? I am too, I had been training for such-and-such marathon but once that was over my back flared up and now I can’t run. But I’m hoping to be better to run this-and-that marathon. I’m not very fast though, I’m sure you’d beat me. What marathons have you run?” him.
Two things caused me to pause and formulate a way I could possibly explain to the man that I AM in fact and runner. 1) I have never run a single marathon, let along him using the plural term 2) Obviously this man isn’t going to respect me if I admit to him point one.
What did I do? I sort of side-stepped the issue as best I could, “Well, err, I’m definitely a one-speed kind of person and like the longer distances and had always thought the marathon would be a distance I’d like to race but I haven’t yet…maybe once this foot is healed up?” Yes, I even ended in a question mark leading him to ambiguously interpret that as he wished.
When what I REALLY wanted to do, to shout, was this:
“I haven’t run a marathon, okay?!!? I have friends who have run them and power to all that have, but just because I haven’t doesn’t mean that I’m not a runner either. Sheesh, you know there ARE other distances to run, right?” sort of defensive I know, but that’s how I often feel when put on the spot by others who assume that all runners are marathoners and to earn runner status the two are intrinsically linked.
I haven’t run a marathon but I consider 4 miles a ‘short run’ and sort of the ‘minimum distance’ for me to go out and feel like it was worth putting my running clothes on for. I feel best when I can get in at least 8 miles for the day.
I’m not a marathoner but I think in miles, meters and minutes rather than dollars and cents, which seems to be the norm for the mass public.
I’ve never run a marathon but I love long runs. I’m not afraid of going long, actually speed is the factor that intimidates me.
A marathon I have not run but I spend more money of running shoes, clothes, watches, socks (where are they always running off to?!) and food (because I run and need to fuel the beast) than anything else. I swear I could probably be driving around in some Porsche if I weren’t a runner.
No, I have NOT run a marathon, but you know what, I’m still a runner. I mean it is in the header of this site after all, so it must be true.
1) Have you run a marathon? If not, do you ever feel trapped into having to explain that you are still in fact a runner?
2) If you have run a marathon or marathons, has your perspective ever shifted to feeling a little ‘superior’ to other runners. Now, I know that could be putting you on the spot, but I think I want to stir the pot a bit, so c’mon don’t be shy and fess up! To counter though to any ‘yes’ answers, there is a guy running under 10 seconds for the 100 meter and I know he hasn’t run a marathon, do you think he’s still a runner?
3) What is your favorite distance to run or race? For everyone, can you list something that makes you a runner or that you are proud to have accomplished not tied to the marathon distance
4) If you haven’t run a marathon, do you plan to or would like to one day?
Like I said, I’m not averse to it, it just hasn’t happened yet…maybe one day.