- October 26, 2012 by AliPlease Let Me Make Your Day (That Means A Giveaway!)
- June 15, 2012 by AliMonday. 9 AM. Get Sweaty. (And For Now: A Giveaway!)
- August 10, 2012 by AliTake My Sweat (It's A Giveaway & It's Not Gross)
- May 25, 2012 by AliDo You Want Free Sneakers? (Translation: A Giveaway!)
- July 9, 2013 by AliEmbrace The Sweat (An "I Heart Sweat" Shirt Giveaway!)
- December 18, 2014 by AliHawaii Part II: Maui!
- December 17, 2014 by AliHawaii Part I: Oahu
- December 8, 2014 by Ali“Are You Serious?!”
- November 21, 2014 by AliDon't You Forget About Me
- November 5, 2014 by Ali“This Isn’t Steamtown”: My New York City Marathon 2014 Recap
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
The Day I Finally Felt Like A Runner
A few weeks ago, I was at a photo shoot for work. We were shooting our July cover girl, who is the super-successful daughter of two beyond-successful parents — both Broadway superstars and Tony Award-winners.
I sat at the shoot being totally charmed by this effervescent young woman. She seemed to have everything going for her: She’s a true triple threat who can sing and dance circles around most people I know. She’s also a knockout with killer style.
But she caught me off guard when she said that although she had been dancing since she was little, it took her until college to truly consider herself a dancer.
“That’s crazy! You’ve been dancing your entire life,” I told her. “Why wouldn’t you call yourself a dancer?”
“Uhh, do you know who my parents are?” she asked me. “They are dancers. When I was growing up I saw what they did and compared it to what I was doing. I wasn’t even close to their level, so I didn’t think I was a real dancer.”
I’ve written before about how I never really feel like a real runner, and I have a hard time identifying myself as one. Usually when people ask me what I do I’ll say I’m a former dancer or I’ll say “I like to run.” I rarely say “I’m a runner.”
I can really relate to what our cover girl said that day at the shoot. I look at superstars like Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan [insert girl crush comment here] and I obviously don’t compare to them. They are competitive, serious runners.
This morning, I woke up at 5 am. I followed my morning routine (bathroom, abs, dynamic stretching), and then, per Coach Cane’s plan for the day, I headed up to Central Park for a few loops around the Bridle Path (covering 5 miles total).
As I finished my run — which was a little rough due to the exhaustion I’ve been feeling lately — I saw Megan, Kelly and Maria at Engineer’s Gate.
“Want to come run with us?!” Megan asked.
My verbal response was, “Aw, I just finished my run, thank you though!”
And in my head I was thinking, “Is this chick crazy? I can’t keep up with these speed demons.”
But I also felt like the new girl at school who gets invited to sit with the cool kids at lunch. These women, ones I admire for their dedication and badassery, wanted me to run with them.
As I ran back to my apartment, I realized something: I’m a runner now.
I wake up at 5 am to put on sneakers and run while many people are still out drinking from the night before (and power to them). My apartment is littered with sweaty workout clothes that have been laid out to dry (and that I will definitely wear 2–12 more times before washing them). I spend my days thinking about my latest splits, my next race and when I get to run again.
I know I’m not the only one going through life that way.
I finally feel like I’m really a part of the amazing running community, both in NYC and beyond. I’m not the fastest runner and I’m certainly not the most stylish…
…but I’m a runner now, and I accept it. I’ve run five half marathons and a handful of shorter races. I’m also training for my first full marathon. It’s an exciting time to be a runner!
So now, in addition to the other labels I’ve given myself — Gym Rat, Neat Freak, Overachiever, Grammar Nerd — I’ll add one more.
I am a runner.
Thanks to the Central Park morning runners for helping me come to terms with that.
I suppose part of being a runner means being smarter and not doing dumb things, like two-a-day workouts every single day. Turns out, that doesn’t impress Coach Cane, and my body doesn’t really appreciate it.
I’m so glad I took yesterday off from work. It was amazing being able to relax, run some errands and even take in a spin class at night with my favorite teacher. Miraculously, once I left the gym I felt a million times better. I walked all the way home while catching up with my mom on the phone. It was a great day and I feel a bit more human today than I did on Monday.
Maybe I should also add Rule Breaker to my list, because yet again I’m wearing white today and Memorial Day is still a few days away.
I hope my sweet, traditional grandmother doesn’t mind my rule breaking. I swear I never break any other rules.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you call yourself a Runner? Or have you ever had a hard time putting a label on yourself?