“You don’t look like a runner”.  No one has actually said that to my face but I have read it in their expressions many times.  To be fair, it’s something that goes through my own mind quite a bit.  I have always been more sturdy than skinny.

You can’t argue with Sir Mix A Lot…

I threw shot put and discus in high school – did fairly well with the shot put, not so much with the discus due to my late releases – and was always happiest when it was a weightlifting day.  The few times that the running coach tried to make the throwers run, you can bet I helped lead the mutiny until our coach could rescue us.

Running was uncomfortable.  I felt like an elephant, lumbering along.  I didn’t see my big thighs as powerhouses but rather more weight to slow me further.  I would get horrible side stitches and my knees hurt and I was (gasp!) sweaty.  I hated that last part the most!  Those painful, ungainly runs have been my mental picture of me running for a very long time.

I know that not all runners are super skinny, have long legs, and perfect abs. I also know that a growing number look like me.  (See the great photo galleries that Another Mother Runner has compiled)  That said, I still didn’t feel it.  I almost felt like a fraud when I told people that I am a runner.

Then I received my pictures from Sunday’s trail half marathon.

Up the stairs!
Right after the stream crossing
Right after the stream crossing

Not only do I see a runner, but I also see someone who is healthy and having fun!  No, I will never fit the traditional “runner” mold but that does not diminish my worth as a runner.  It’s time I finally stepped up and owned it!


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