Monday, March 30, 2015
Miles from a Runner’s Perspective
Becoming a runner did some funny things to my brain. It changed my perspective on a lot of things, especially miles. I recently ran across a quote that went something like this, “You know you’re a runner if you’ve ever seen a sign indicating the miles to the next town, exit, etc. and thought – I could run that.” It’s true, I’ve had those thoughts.
Runners track miles to know when to buy new running shoes or how many days until the next race. We even use them to gauge whether or not we can eat dessert.
There are miles we don’t track because we think they don’t count. Unlike someone who walks for exercise (and I applaud all walkers, bikers, and swimmers for getting things moving) we runners do not count every step. When a walker tells you she did three miles, you can be confident that is exactly how far she walked. If a swimmer reports a mile swim, he probably did just that. Bikers count their miles, too.
A runner makes a strong distinction between running and walking. Although walking is a form of exercise, we usually discount those miles.
Let me give you an example.
My running buddy, Susan, and I went for a four mile run last week. We walked to our meeting place a few hundred yards between our homes. Those yards don’t count because we were not officially on our run, nor had we chosen our route. We chose a four mile loop and walked a half mile to the starting point. That half mile doesn’t count because we were only warming up and had not started running. The loop brought us back to the starting point and we walked the half mile cool down back to where we met earlier. The cool down half mile doesn’t count because we were not running. Then we stretched for a few minutes and each walked another few hundred yards to our home. We covered about 5.5 miles. We reported a four mile run.
It occurred to me that this is common practice not only amongst runners, but amongst many of us, especially women. We often discount our efforts or talents because we don’t think they are worthy or as good as someone else’s efforts or talents. We are afraid we may not measure up to the expectations of others, or worse yet, that we will never measure up to our own expectations.
Perhaps it is time to count all the miles, all the efforts, all the talents and give them the respect they deserve. You may discover a different perspective. Perhaps the runner in you should accept that sometimes it’s okay to walk a few miles, because even walking is progression.
Question: What things do you discount that ought to receive greater respect?