Friday, October 16, 2015

9 Confessions That Capture What It Feels Like to Be a Runner

It’s funny the things people assume about runners. It’s equally funny the things runners assume about other runners. Let’s take a look at the assumptions vs. the realities of our running lives.

1. Assumption:  You love every minute of running and it’s not hard for you.

Confession: I don’t know about you, but running hardly ever feels easy and effortless to me. Even on my “easy” runs I am exerting myself and sometimes counting the miles/minutes until it’s over. Most runners will tell you that this is the case.  Running is tough and sometimes you have runs that simply and honestly SUCK. Just like sometimes you have runs that are amazing and everything falls into place. But, no matter what – it’s never easy.

2. Assumption: You have never crapped your pants while running or come close.

Confession: I know I’m not just speaking for myself here (although it does seem I have more of a pooping/farting issue than most). Running and pooping go together like peanut butter and jelly (for lack of a better comparison). Why? Because when you run your guts get jostled and upset. Your blood goes to your muscles and away from your digestive system and this messes things up, causing the urge to evacuate. For the majority of runners, this can mean sharts, near misses with turds and even a horribly messy accident.


3. Assumption: You can eat whatever you want and not gain weight.

Confession: The funny thing is, many runners actually gain weight while marathon training. There are a number of reasons for this and I wrote an article about it awhile ago. Go HERE to read it. Personally I think one of the main reasons that runners burn so many calories and gain weight or don’t lose weight is that they assume they can eat more than they really can. Running does not give you a license to over-indulge all the time.

4. Assumption: You have a runner’s body.

Confession: Most runners actually do not have the quintessential runner’s body. All you have to do is to spectate at a race to see that this is true. And there appears to be very little correlation between how one looks and how fit and fast one really is. So, the next time you see someone who doesn’t “look” like a runner, don’t assume they won’t kick your ass in a race.

5. Assumption: You love it when people yell, “Run, Forrest, Run!” at you from their cars

Confession: Yelling this is so overdone and stupid. Everyone needs to stop it now.

6. Assumption: All runners want to do a marathon.

Confession: These days it seems like the marathon is the new 10K. It’s almost this crazy expectation that if you run, doing a marathon should be your goal. Sure, many people do have a 26.2 mile race on their bucket list, but many runners actually hate the thought of running that far and have no desire to do it. In fact, many runners don’t even want to run races period. Who cares? Running is running whether you race or not.

7. Assumption: As a runner you wake up at the ass crack of dawn and cannot wait to hit the pavement.

Confession: Bullshit. Maybe it’s just me, but every morning when I wake up I’m tired and don’t  feel like running. Truth. But, every time I get out there I’m so very glad I did.

8. Assumption: All runners have tons of running friends and huge groups they run with and they are all in love with each other and support each other and it’s the best thing ever.

Confession: A lot of people run solo, either by preference or they have no one to run with. I, for example, don’t have a group to run with. I run alone a lot. Sometimes I want a bigger group for camaraderie, but I don’t have it.

9. Assumption: Runners run to lose weight and be fit.

Confession: Sure, that might be one reason for running. But, most runners will tell you they are running to save their lives. They want to be better parents and spouses and running helps with that. They want to remain sober. They want to be less depressed, less stressed. For most of us, running is just as much for mental health as for physical health.


Any other confessions you have?



  1. I am an adult onset running. It came on slow, but I am hooked. In fact, I didn't swim today, so I should go for a run. I'd pretty well have to feel better after...

  2. These ring SO true, especially the bit about WHY runners run. I've met runners who started running to lose weight, but kept running for so many other reasons. I don't think I've met any runners who just run to lose weight, with no other motivation to keep them going.

  3. I need a note to motivate me too, only had one running shart, and only one time was I told to "Run Forrest Run" and my body, well let's not talk about that. PS I have a Forrest beard too.

  4. These are all so true. I always get a kick out of people that don't run and assume every race is a marathon and ask so how far was that marathon you ran?

    1. My longest race ever was 1/2 of a 1/2 Marathon as part of a relay team (GPS registered 7.2 miles). I have a co-worker who, if she finds out I raced that weekend, asks "How was your 10k marathon" or "how was your 5k marathon" and she tells people I run marathons, and holy crap is it embarrassing!

  5. I'm always surprised when I get passed by a runner who doesn't look like a runner. I don't know why because it seems to happen at every race I run...

  6. I love #6 especially. While I love running and have done up to a 1/2 marathon (4 times,) it usually looks like this:

    Miles 1-4: Why the hell did I pay for this
    Mile 5: If I get through this, I will eat a donut
    Miles 9-13.1: I hate my life

    So yes, I love running and I love the way it makes me feel, but the thought of ever running 26.2 makes the idea of compulsively pooping my pants while public speaking much more appealing.

    1. Hahah the guy next to me compared his 8 mile race 10 years ago he did to my long beach half last weekend. Ughh, no. Until you run miles 9-13, you just need to shut up and let me have my moment.

    2. Exactly! My most recent half went just like that... I was hitting great stride from miles 6-8 and I felt like raising my arms celebratory joy a few times during that stretch. But right at mile 8, a jagged-edge little rock popped over into my shoe and instantly worked it's way under my heal. At first the mind says, "no big deal, I'm almost done"... and then the part that does math kicks in and says "I'm not running 5 miles on that freakin' rock". And thus began the "I hate my life" section as I abruptly stopped to empty my shoe, and dealt with the pain of abruptly restarting for the next mile... before hitting the "gentle rolling hills" at miles 10-12, and fighting off leg cramps from 12-13.1. A full marathon? F that.

    3. I said the exact same thing as you did Jeff a year ago and I did my first marathon a few weeks ago. Never say never.

    4. So true! I said never once. That was three marathons ago. ;)

  7. Confession: I have run a total of 5 races in almost 20 years of running. I am not competitive by nature, so I don't need to race to feel like a runner. Plus, I have a hard time shelling out money to run when I could spend that same money on more gear!

    And I definitely don't have a runner's body. Thanks, Dad, for passing on your ginormous calves.

  8. So true about solo runners! It's so hard to plan a run with someone else !

  9. Nothing to add, just sincere agreement. It's not easy, not always fun, sometimes lonely, but it's what many of us choose to do. Great post

  10. On the flip side of #4, a lot of people assume that if you DO have a 'runners body' you must be super fast. This isn't the case. I have that happen to me all the time-- people want to race me down the trail or tell me , "how fast did you run your last 5k? what about your last 10k? Oh i don't want to run with someone as fast as you are!" Truth is i'm super slow and Im working on it but, the comments are still annoying.

  11. Regarding Assumption #3, check out this amazing Wall Street Journal story, "Why Runners Can't Eat Whatever They Want". It's a real eye-opener!

  12. Another assumption: "You must be super-healthy in the rest of your life if you're a runner!"
    Reality: Half the reason I run is so I can justify eating cheese while lazing around. The other half is so I don't kill people when I'm stressed.

    1. I run because of my cheeze it addiction. Plus it keeps the stress at bay.

    2. Trong phong thủy văn phòng, hình dáng, màu sắc, kích thước bàn làm việc sẽ mang lại năng lượng và vận may khác nhau cho chủ nhân của nó. Dưới đây là những gợi ý để chọn nhưng m bàn làm việc gỗ mẫu hợp với bạn nhất. Đầu tiên, việc chọn lựa một chiếc bàn làm việc phù hợp sẽ giúp bạn khơi dậy khả năng sáng tạo của mình một cách hữu hiệu. Bạn nên sử dụng không gian riêng này để cân bằng với môi trường làm việc tổng thể xung quanh.
      Chẳng hạn nếu sếp bạn là người khó tính, thì bạn có thể làm dịu bớt tính khó chịu của người đó bằng cách sử dụng bàn làm việc bằng gỗ có màu kem nhạt hay nâu.
      Theo các chuyên gia phong thủy, khi chọn bàn làm việc, bạn nên cân nhắc đến các yếu tố như lọai bàn đó có tạo sự thoải mái cho bạn, giúp bạn tạo ấn tượng tốt với đối tác sẽ làm việc hay không?
      Về chất liệu của mỗi bàn văn phòng giá rẻ tại tphcm , thông thường người ta thích chọn lọai gỗ tốt (gỗ thích, gỗ sồi, gỗ tếch, gỗ thông..), lý do là bề mặt sáng loáng, bóng mượt của gỗ tạo hiểu quả dương về mặt tinh thần, giúp duy trì năng lượng và giảm stress.
      Kích thước của bàn làm việc cũng rất quan trọng. Một chiếc bàn làm việc lớn tượng trưng cho quyền lực của bạn trong công việc. Tuy nhiên, ngồi ở một chiếc bàn quá lớn sẽ khiến cho bạn không thể với tới các vật phẩm, đặt ở xa, khi đó quyền lực của bạn sẽ bị sút giảm.
      Nếu bạn có nhu cầu chọn mua mẫu bàn cho văn phòng làm việc của mình thì bạn nên nhớ và tìm hiểu các thông tin trước khi mua bàn để sử dụng cho được hiệu quả nhất.Không thì bạn có thể liê hệ với chúng tôi chuyên cung cấp các sản phẩm noi that hoa phat khác nhau tùy vào kích thước và mã mẫu sản phẩm mà bạn chọn lựa. Hy vong được phục vụ quý khách.

  13. Loved this post! #4 is the TRUTH!! I am lean and fit and at every single one of my marathons, people beat me that look nothing like the typical stereotype runner! And that is AWESOME!

  14. I hate the assumption that, because I'm not reeling off 6 minute miles, it's okay to refer to what I'm doing as "jogging". You can call me many things, but "jogger" goes too far -- it's so 1970's, and so offensive. I prefer "person of elevated velocity".

  15. Loved this post! I just ran my last "long" run before Marine Corps yesterday and my mom and husband were eager to hear how I was very eh. But like you said, it's amazing how fast a run can suck and then the next one is great. And definitely yes to 8. I don't have a running group that's close so I run solo 99% of the time.

  16. I like the term jogger. It reminds me of my college days, when jogging was the rage. Plus it means I don't have to kill myself trying to go fast. Maintaining a jogging pace has gotten me trhough quite a few marathons.

    You want a confession? I confess that I will speed up after being passed by a female racer. It's not because of the "male ego" thing - I don't want to repass her; it's because I enjoy the view. Bash away...

  17. Oh man, that "wtf" shirt in front of the port-a-john pic is fantastic! Thanks for this post, it's so true. (I once had a group of visiting school children in DC start chanting Run Forrest Run at me and I fantasized about "accidentally" shoving them into the tidal basin :)

    I recently published my own confessions in "Confessions of an Unlikely Runner" - it's been a Top Rated hit on Amazon if you'd like to check it out!

    1. Dana I just read the preview to your book. You sound like a true trooper. A fun perspective of a runner. My hat off to you. Coincidently, although I am from Australia. I recently ran in the half Marathon Soldiers run in Canada (Ottowa). Then on the way home I stopped in your home town and did a run in WA State. I loved the bit about you being electrocuted. I can relate to that one. Take care, Cheers

  18. A lot of people assume that because I'm a runner, I follow a "special diet" and "eat like a bird." This is SO not true... unless that bird is a freakin Pterodactyl. The rungries are real, people!!

  19. Disarmingly honest and thoroughly amusing!

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