Until January of 2011 I had never run any further that 1/2 a mile. The only reason I ran that far was because I wanted to be in our district track meet in 6th grade...and I knew there was no way I would ever make it in any of the other events. The race wasn't even included in our schools total score...it was really just for fun. I was an alternate. That evening I put on my school shirt, running shorts and a pair of tennis shoes (not even real running shoes) and went to the track meet. Someone didn't show up, and I was in!!! I was so excited. It was the last event of the evening (a time filler so they could tally all the scores). We started running, and I was quickly in the back of the pack. A couple of laps around the football field later I finished. Of the 25 or so runners I was next to the last. As I crossed the finish line someone handed me a piece of paper, trying to recruit me for the Jr. High cross country team. I think I laughed. I know I quickly deposited it into the nearest trash can. Running was not for me.
For the next 25 years I didn't give running a second thought. Running was only for those naturally athletic people. Then my brother started running...and he lost a lot of weight. I had other friends that were running. None of them had that typical runner's body. You know the one...where they have only 2% body fat and can wear those skin tight, barely covers your rear running shorts. It got me thinking. If they can do it...I can too.
2 1/2 years and lots of starts and stops later I'm a runner. I'm a random runner...but still a runner. Some people may call me a jogger, but I disagree. I'm not a jogger...I'm a runner. I've found a couple of explanations of the difference:
- Runners finish a mile in less that 9 minutes. Okay...I guess this one doesn't apply to me. I'm sure if I really tried I could do it ONCE. You may have to pick me up off the ground, but I'm sure I could do it!
- Runners enter races. Well, my collection of bibs (and a few participation medals) shows that I've done just that. I haven't won anything (and probably won't)...but that's not the issue here.
- Running means that both of your feet are off the ground at the same time. I can't really say yes or no on this one. All the pictures I have of myself have one foot on the ground. I'm sure that if the races had better photographers there would be a picture of me with both feet up. That's my story...and I'm sticking to it.
- Jogging means "trotting at a leisurely pace." Nothing about what I do is leisurely! When I finish I covered in sweat and am worn out. If this is "leisure" then I don't want to know what work is. (I may be smiling in the picture above, but that was because I knew there was a camera, I completed the race, and now I could walk.)