There’s a lot to be said for running – clears the mind, pushes the body, whatever. But I’ve come to the realization that there are a few things about running that I like more than the actual act of running itself.
1. The return of spandex.
I played volleyball in high school, and although I was hesitant to don a pair of the tight, stretchy, ass-enhancing material as a freshman, I quickly fell in love with them. I mean, you don’t have to wear underwear (which I hate almost as much as wearing bras) and, truth be told, it really feels like you’re not wearing anything downstairs at all. At times, I honestly think that I should pursue a career as an aerobics instructor just so I can wear them all day, every day.
I’d kill to find a job where spandex was an acceptable trade-in for casual Friday.
2. The return of my calf muscles.
Oh, hey there, guys. Nice of you to make a comeback.
3. That it’s acceptable to get geeked out about sports gear.
Friend Mike came over one night last week with these awesome little Lock Laces things so you don’t have to worry about tripping over your shoelaces anymore. And he’s letting me borrow one of his old watches so I can time my laps. And I get to go shopping for some long-sleeved dry-fit shirts soon. AND I’M SUPER EXCITED ABOUT ALL OF IT, AND IN THE RUNNING COMMUNITY, THAT’S PERFECTLY OKAY.
4. How nice runners are to other runners, especially those who are much less developed/hardcore than they are.
I like to tell people what I ran on my “long run” (number 4.5 is that I can throw around terms like “my long run”) because I’m uber proud of myself, but because it’s not nearly as much as what I know those training for 10ks…or half marathons…or real marathons…or triathlons/IronMans are doing on a (much more) regular basis, I have to preface it with “I know it’s not much, but…” or follow it up with a “I know it’s not anywhere close to your league, ha-ha.”
And every time, said runner responds with something perfect like “That’s awesome for anyone, not just someone starting out” or “Everyone has to start somewhere. You’re doing great.”
Or when I’m ashamed that I just made it to a 10-minute mile pace for 4 to 5 miles and Friends Mike (yes, folks, he’s that impressive) and Lauren are banging out 20 miles at an 8-minute pace, they’ll respond with a, “You’ll get faster as you go. You’re doing great.”
And then there’s the fact that when you meet another runner on the road – even in the booming metropolis of Indianapolis – you generally get a smile and/or wave and/or nod of approval. I’m from a small town, remember, so waving at everyone you meet and/or drive past is a must. Not so much in the Big City.
Unless you’re a runner.
So maybe the competitiveness comes later or something, but right now, I have to admit: Runners are pretty much my favorite type of people.
5. The alone time.
I love Puppy, I love Boyfriend, I love being around people. But running time is My Time. With music, with my thoughts, with nature, with reruns of Lost – the motivation of having quality time with myself is reason enough to Lock Lace-up my running shoes and head for the pavement-slash-treadmill.
6. That I can call myself a “runner.”
“Yah, I’m a runner now, so…”
“Sorry, gotta get a run in tonight. Yah, I’m a runner.”
“Want to go for a run? Yah, I’m a runner.”
I could probably come up with some more, but I have to get a run in tonight. You know, ’cause I’m a runner.