I had always heard and read of how non-runners react to runners’ process of thought.
I had honestly never actually met someone who liked running more than me. I had read about it on other people’s blogs and on running magazines. I’ve met plenty of runners, but I don’t think they got how big running is for me. It’s my balance, my time, my calm, my happy place. It’s my priority on most days.
I teach ESL at a language institute, and I have amazing colleagues in this place. One of them, Roxy, happens to share my passion for running. She’s got my admiration since I learned a few things about her: she is a mom of four -including a special needs child-, she works 25-hours a week where I do, she takes care of her home and husband, and she wakes up at 4 am 4 days a week to run. She’s a marathoner who just got sponsored by her running club. I love my job, but it makes my day a bit brighter knowing that we can exchange a little comment her and there about our training. When you have children, they are on the top of your priority list, but running is at least top three.
A couple of days ago Roxy and I were discussing my upcoming trip to Minnesota by the copy machine and a third teacher, Nikki, stood by us. She asked what we were discussing, so I told her that I was traveling to Minneapolis. She asked ‘How come?’, ‘To run a marathon,’ I replied. I then added: ‘and it’s on my birthday’.
Nikki’s expression was unlike any other I’d seen.
And then Roxy said: ‘Can you believe that?’
Nikki: ‘Poor you! You have to run a marathon on your birthday.’
To what I replied: ‘Have to? Are you kidding me? I GET to run a marathon for my birthday!’
Roxy added: “Can you believe how lucky she is? That would be the best birthday present ever!”
-Now, this is someone who understands my way of thinking.-
Then, Nikki asked how long that marathon was, and I told her ‘26.2’.
‘What do you mean twenty-six? Twenty-six kilometers? That’s too much!’
‘Ehhh, it’s actually 26.2 MILES.’ , said Roxy.
‘You people are crazy. But to run all that you must be practicing a lot.’
And Roxy and I proceeded to explain about how it is called Training and not Practicing. I didn’t know that it actually made such a big difference to us runners. But that got me thinking about other things that bother me about running vocab. Like how people ask you if you went JOGGING this morning. Or how my mother in law asks we how long I WALKED yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I love walking… but man, if I ran 10 miles, I actually RAN 10 miles. Or how some people still say the ran a ’10k MARATHON’. (I was actually guilty of that when I completed my first 10k race. Someone corrected me and I thank them for it!)
Do you know anyone who’s not aware of standard race distances, such as the Marathon? This guy does: http://www.runnersworld.com/deans-blog/twenty-six-point-what