The title of being a “runner” is an interesting beast…and it usually comes with a qualitative adjective of some sort. In a way that makes sense, there are a lot of aspects to running. In other ways I find this silly. If you run, you’re a runner. Period. Of course, everyone has their own perception of what is required to become a runner and therefore want to be identified accurately. Okay, fine. But what about those of us who are a little mash-up of everything? Do we really need the adjective to justify our pace, goals or endurance? Eh. I hope not.

Question: Road running or trail running?!
Answer: Road running…on a paved, snow-packed path with mountain views. #bestofbothworlds

In the past I’ve identified as a new runner, a casual runner, a road runner, a trail runner and an ultra runner. Each title comes with some sort of expectation or excuse…some parameter that gives the runner permission to one thing but an awkward side-eye if they do another. It’s weird. And it’s kind of stifling. So, rather than just stick to one title of “runner” I’ve been playing with all of them. Not really on purpose, more so on accident because it has been convenient for me.

Do you want to know what I discovered?!

They’re all sort of awesome, in their own special way. Everyone is always learning, so you’re always new to something and it’s more fun when you’re not taking to too seriously. You get more variety in life when you’re bouncing between roads and trails, which allows you to run all year-long and removes the “bad weather” excuse 97% of the time. And ultra running…well, the best part of that is the constant excuse to eat, more.


More mountain pavement — snow-packed + beautiful views. 
This is from my fit-in-a-run-wherever bout of running last week. I had 45 minutes between work + class so I ran out 20 minutes, turned around + speed changed in my car.

Recently I’ve watched and personally experienced a widening line between road and trail running, but really…they aren’t that different. Road runners are intimidated by the trails because of their technical challenges while trail runners swear they’ll be bored out of their minds on the roads. There is a LITTLE bit of truth to both of those excuses but if you take a mile or seven to run with an open mind you’ll find some pretty incredible things.

Things like runnable snow pack when you thought all the trails buried until spring and stunningly beautiful miles of pavement. I’ve been putting both to good use lately and I have zero complaints, about either. Heck, this entire post was created as an excuse to overshare the photos I snagged while out running on a little bit of everything in Summit County.

Welcome to Summit County, where the locals avoid the holiday weekend crazy by escaping to a mountain lake to get their snow fix!

Whatever you choose to do with your running do NOT shut down a trip outside because of an adjective you’re uncomfortable with. Go play with it and see what you can make out of it for yourself. You just might find a few miles of pavement along a frozen lake…which just might offer up some very distracting, free entertainment in the form of cross-country skiers, kite boarders and ice fishers. Road running is boring…if you leave your imagination at home! Try something new or revisit something old, just bring your imagination, patience and an open mind. You’ll be loving life in no time, I pinky promise!

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