I like to call myself a trail runner and sometimes I even toy with the idea of claiming the title of ultra runner but in reality I’m just a plain ol’ runner. Someone who puts one foot in front of the other in a slightly faster, much bouncier fashion that of a walking human. It was during yesterday’s run that I realized I am perfectly content being just a runner…no special adjective required.
The forecast called for Saturday night snow…which had me all sorts of excited for a snowy white Sunday morning trail run. Instead Saturday night brought…gray skies and not a single flake of snow. I wanted snow, dang it! Lots of it! I wanted cold feet and wet socks. I wanted to slip and slide on snow covered trails. I wanted to earn a scalding hot post-run shower. I wanted an excuse to drink hot chocolate at 9am. But no…Mother Nature was in a gray funk and refused to offer me any of the above.
So rather than spend an hour driving to/from the trailhead I decided to run on bike trails close to home…all because this would get me to my pity brunch quicker. About two miles into my out/back run I realized I was having fun. I was running on pavement, in town, without mountain views…and I was still enjoying myself. I was enjoying the run, because it was a run.
This was such a refreshing realization! When people ask me why I run long distances I say it’s because of the mountain views, which is true. But yesterday I got a much needed reminder that I also spend so much time on my feet because I enjoy it, because my mind needs it, because it is fun!
An hour after I left the house I returned, just as the gray skies started spitting random rain drops down on me. The weird weather left me sweaty but cold…my feet were warm and dry but I had earned my use-all-the-hot-water shower! My run wasn’t picturesque but it was one of the first longer runs I’ve had since finishing the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 miler and I finished with a happy body and brain. Heck, my belly was even happy because I made it back in time to join a friend for brunch!
I guess being just a plain ol’ runner isn’t so bad after all…