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.

My view on yesterday’s run…gray skies, an empty bike path and brown grass! Still worth every step!

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…

Categories: life


Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead · December 15, 2021 at 1:55 pm

I love this! Nothing wrong with being a plain ol’ runner. P.S. I miss that bike trail.

    Heidi Nicole · December 16, 2021 at 10:51 am

    I’m getting familiar with that bike trail! And yesterday I learned it’s roughly 2 mile from home to work via bike trail…I see run-muting in my near future!

Geoff · December 15, 2021 at 2:12 pm

I often run on the pavement and bike trails around my house in east Boulder county as well out of necessity during the week, but still consider myself a trail runner. Nothing wrong with being a plain ol’ runner…I enjoy my local runs, but my passion is hitting the trails and getting lost in the mountains for a few hours. I would run every single run on a trail if I lived closer to them.

    Heidi Nicole · December 16, 2021 at 10:58 am

    At the end of the day I think my not-so-mountainy running will work to my benefit — when you’re on trails 100% you lose a lot of that leg turnover and speed. Plus, if I can pull off flatter runs I might not attempt to chop my legs off mid-race on a “runnable” course! 🙂

Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb · December 16, 2021 at 3:26 pm

Yep, there’s a reason I use the #IJustRun hashtag….because that’s what I do. So often we get caught up in trying to departmentalize our lives….including the parts that don’t require it! Whether it be on the trail or road, it’s always great when you have a ‘good’ run.

    Heidi Nicole · December 17, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Yes! Exactly — it’s something that gets labeled, but doesn’t really need a label! Whether you have a good or bad run is usually up to your head/body…not the terrain or pace your running at!

Natalie @ Free Range Human · December 17, 2021 at 10:20 am

This makes me happy! As someone you will never be fast/brave/kickass enough to earn one of those adjectives, it’s nice to know just being a plain ‘ol runner is A-OK 🙂

    Heidi Nicole · December 17, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Oh, you’re definitely kickass enough! I mean, to a lot of people [myself included, regardless of my own “runner resume”] what you’re doing is insane! It takes dedication and a lot of belief in yourself to go after a half marathon a month. I think you’re on your way to earning the “crazy runner” label, whether you want it or not! 😉

Jena · December 27, 2021 at 3:06 pm

I’m just a plain ol’, not very often, runner myself.

Been a while since I’ve caught up with you - Glad you’re doing well. Life is stupid busy.

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