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?