Oxymoron: An Unhealthy Runner

I’m not your typical runner.

I’m obsessed with soda, in particular Coca-cola, and drink about 4-6 cans a day. I also love love love fast food. My diet is single-handedly why I’m not a faster runner. I don’t know what it is about fast food that I just can’t get enough of. I know it’s unhealthy, I know it could cause damage to my body in the long run, I know it only brings me temporary pleasure but still everyday I visit some drive thru and asked for a number whatever and super size it. Most people who hear that I’m a runner think I must have a healthy lifestyle…. until they get to really know me.

In addition to gross food, I can be a total girly-girl. If I’m not wearing running shoes, I’m wearing a shoe with some type of elevation. I feel confident in heels and can probably run a 5k in a good wedge. I enjoy putting make-up on and spend money on the good kind. I’ve worked in high-end retail stores and am familiar with quite a few designers. When asked what I would save if my house was burning down, I not so jokingly said my closet. I’ve put a lot of time and money into my wardrobe and when I walk in to my closet, I always smile. Shoes and clothes make me happy.

a glimpse into my closet

a glimpse into my closet

But at the same time, I love sweating. One of the appeals of running to me is that I can feel the workout. I can feel the sweat dripping down and I like it. When it comes to running I actually don’t care about my appearance, I care about my performance.

I also enjoy watching all sports but I am a crazy person when it comes to basketball. I can watch basketball on T.V. 24 hours a day. I have a pretty mean jump shot. I can tell you who’s won the NBA Championship the past 10 years and who the MVP was. I could tell you the name of every team in the league and their mascot. I have Michael Jordan’s last game (before his second retirement) memorized. Along with running, I can talk about basketball all day.

I like to think my husband he has the best of both worlds: a girly girl who doesn’t mind watching ESPN all day J

the camaraderie in running

I ran into a high school buddy a few weekends ago; we used to run cross country together. I asked her if she still ran and she told me that she didn’t run as much as she used to. She said it was the friendships in the team that motivated her the most and without that she didn’t feel compelled to continue running as much. She said she didn’t have a lot of running friends anymore.

I totally understood what she meant. There is something special about friends who run. They understand you better than your regular, non-running friends. No one can really get the dedication it takes than someone who experiences it as well. Try complaining to your non-running friend that your toes will never be the same. A running pal would commiserate (with immense pride) that their toes also require socks and shoes at all times. The non-runner would simply say to stop running. Stop running?

Try telling your non-running friend that you’re tired from having run 6 miles at 5 in the morning. They’d tell you to hit the snooze button. Your running friend will agree that their 5 miler at the crack of dawn was tough too.

Try telling your non-running friend about that race that brought you to tears when you crossed the finish line. That race you had trained months for, had many a sleepless night thinking about the course, dreamt about. They’ll smile and look at you in awe but they don’t truly know. Your running friend does.

I have quite a few friends who love running as much as I do. Some I’ve been friends with for many years and some that are new and new to running. This year I’ve “met” quite a few people online who are passionate about running. Even though I’ve never ran with them, their stories are still the same. They get it. They understand. I can tell them that at a recent race I shaved off 13 seconds of my previous PR and they’ll be as excited about it as I am. I can tell them that at mile 8 of my half marathon I was hitting a wall and they’ll understand the struggle it is to get over that wall. If I injure an ankle and have to take a break from running, they know how miserable I am and not from the pain.

The running community is large but what unites us is this understanding. I’m sure that when you’ve ran outside and come across another runner in your path you’ve exchanged a smile. That smile that says, “I get it.”