When I was in high school I hated running distance. During practices, the entire softball team would do almost anything to get out of taking laps: sprints over laps; suicide drills over miles. If we did somehow end up taking to the tracks, at any given moment when coach wasn’t looking, someone would undoubtedly be cutting corners or sprinting across the field.

Then came college, and I quickly realized that what I hated more than running, was being inside an odor-filled gym lifting weights. My mind was bored, I just couldn’t do it, and that’s when I started to hit the road.

It’s funny now when people ask if I’m a runner, that still hasn’t registered in my head yet. “Do you run?” Yes, from time to time (unless it is a very specific sport/workout regiment, I cannot for the life of me justify paying for gym memberships when I can run in the outside world for free). “Have you done any race?” Yea, a small handful. “Do you enjoy running?” Sometimes, it really depends. “So you’re a runner, right?” Ehhh….you tell me.

I wish I was one of those people who could always just lace up and go, but depending on the time and day, I will either hate my guts, or thoroughly enjoy it. Because of how little time I have for a life outside of work, there are instances when I see others take the road, I’m immediately envious of the time they have to clock in a few miles.

As they say with most activity or sport, in the end it’s all a mental game, and the one person you really have to beat is yourself. At end end of every race I’ve done, I’ve always thought to myself “This was dumb, I’m never doing this again.” And then without fail, I would find myself throwing money at another race (except for 5Ks, I don’t like wasting my money on runs I could do on a normal day – also I really haven’t done that many races).

So here’s to another year of busting my ankles and knees from running on pavements, another year of slowly shaving off my minutes-per-mile mark, another year of stacking race bibs and finisher medals that I have no room for, and another year of not calling myself a runner.

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