Why I’m Not Really a Runner

I hear it a lot.

People counseling each other not to compare. Not to worry about being good enough.

“If you run, you’re a runner.”

OK, well, I run. And it’s frustrating, because I really have not grown to love running, have never felt that “runner’s high.”

My brother told me that I was looking for something more dramatic than it is. “You know, that feeling you get sometimes when you feel like you could keep going forever.”

Yeah, I’ve never had that either.

I don’t hate every run, but I do feel that I fight for every mile. I like stopping.

I like what running does for my body. I like being a good example for my kids. I like feeling faster, stronger.

And lately, that’s the real issue. I’m as slow as I’ve ever been, as slow as when I first started after years of inactivity. It seems like all the work I’ve been doing for the last 18 months was for nothing.

Wait, don’t pounce yet. Hear me out.



Love this photo. Postrun and I look miserable.


I read recently— it kills me that I can’t find the article to link to— that you have to be careful not to cross an imaginary line when you start training for a triathlon. For most runners, the swim will be the weak point. I bitch and moan every week in swim class because my legs sink in the water and throw off my plane; my instructors tell me that’s normal for runners. Different muscles, legs are more dense than your top.

The article warned against putting in too many training hours to perfect your swimming technique, against crossing that imaginary line. From runner to triathlete. From crosstraining to something more.

Because if you’re primarily a runner, if you want running to be your strongest point, you should be running.

Makes sense, right? If you’re a runner, you run. You find the time. You train with running in mind. You swim to be a better runner, as opposed to taking time from your running to be a better swimmer.


I’ve given it some thought and I don’t think I’m willing to give all those hours to running after all.

I’ll still run.

I’ll still plan to do a half in the fall, and some shorter races beforehand. But I’ll just be running. Not racing. Not obsessing over numbers. Not beating myself up for not improving in some quantifiable way.

I’m letting the times go, just focusing on the miles.

But I’m loving trying new classes too much to let them all go. I love my yoga. I love finding time to do physical activities with my kids. And I’ll admit, I love seeing improvement week after week in swim class.


I’m prioritizing enjoying my fitness activities, and trusting that will yield the best results. Science is totally backing me up on this.



I love awkward photos.

crossfit riverfront

I love snuggling with puppies and Instagramming disgustingly sweaty pics post-RivFit.



A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

—Robert Heinlein


Specialization is for insects. And for specialists, I suppose.

But right now it’s not for me. Right now I’m all about being well-rounded, about being flexible, about having fun with my fitness, about trying new things, about enjoying being a jack of all trades and master of none. I think it’s my best way to model a healthy lifestyle for my kids.

The fitness world loves to say #NoExcuses, and maybe I am just making excuses.

I’m saying, well, I guess I’m saying #SometimesExcuses.

And if anyone wants to judge me for that, well. 🙂

Honey Badger Mom don’t care.






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