On a runners group on facebook there was a woman who was heartbroken because some "runner" told her that she was too slow to call herself a runner and that all she was was a mere jogger. Akkk! Honestly rude people are everywhere so one rude runner isn't going to bother me but I had to laugh.
I am a runner because I run. So in my heart I am a runner. But my 15 minute miles aren't going to impress anyone in tennis shoes so I tend to say I "make a run-like motion" for 45 minutes every other day. I tell people I say it this way because I don't want to give even jogging a bad rap. But honestly I say this because it is my philosophy on running.
Making a run-like motion means I am out there every other day without any soul crushing expectations of myself. I am 50 pounds over weight. I have chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy - a residual consequence of not dying from both rectal and colon cancer a few years back. Honestly, having pins and needles from the knees down is a bother but is so much better than dying that I don't mind all that much. Because of the ants that live under my skin, I call it "faith based" running - I just have to believe the ground is down there because I can't really feel it.
Making a run-like motion means I am always paying attention to my run-like form. To move like a runner I have to focus on my foot strike, my pelvis, my posture, my hands, my arms and even my head. I try not to be too bouncy thereby wasting what little bit of energy this almost-60 year old can muster.
Making a run-like motion means that every time I stop running because of cancer, 8 months of homelessness, or some honestly tiny reason that some how overtakes all the good, I always come back to it. I have now graduated from Couch to 5k SIX TIMES! I have no problem starting over at ground zero because when you are flat on your back, there is nowhere to look but up!
Making a run-like motion means I am always looking forward. Today, after a month of every other day 30-40 minute consolidation runs, I started Bridge to 10k. Fortunately my real goal is 8k ( the length of a trail loop from one bridge to the next along both sides of the river near my house). This is good because at my current rate, 10k would take almost two hours!
Making a run-like motion is how I am preparing for the most adventuresome, mind blowing retirement EVER! I retire in four years and I want to be able to tour Europe for weeks and months with all my possessions on my back. I want to walk Harold's Way from London to Hastings. I want to walk the entire coast of Cornwall. I want to show my three granddaughters what aging with strength and grace really looks like.
But basically making a run-like motion is part of a mental discipline. I firmly believe that happiness is a matter of managing expectations, both my own and those of others. I don't think I could live up to other people's expectations of being "a runner". I would probably just cave under all the self-pressure to go as far and as fast as "everyone else". But by making a run-like motion there are no distance or speed expectation. I just get out there and enjoy the forest while having fun with my slow hoppy little stride.
And because everyone loves a blog with pictures, this is my new refrigerator chart I made this morning just before I went on my week 1 run 1 on Bridge to 10k. I made it beforehand so I could I use the fact that I love stickers against my slightly lazy tenancies!