Just because I run doesn't make me a runner.

I went to the track today to do repeats on bleacher steps. I figure it's a good quick workout on what would have otherwise been a rest day. More importantly it's a good way to simulate hills for the 13,000+ feet of gain in my upcoming 50 miler.

I felt like I was in another world amongst the track runners doing their high knees, lunges, 50 meter sprints, and 400 meter striders. I'm in my element roaming mountain trails dodging branches, bears, and rocks for hours, or days, or months at a time.

Until a couple years ago I had never run more than 3 miles at a time in my life, then I eased into longer distance with a couple of 10k's after the Appalachian Trail hike...then a road marathon...then a trail 30k...and I still didn't feel like a runner (whatever that really means). Three 50k trail runs last year and over 1100 miles of running. Nope. I thought, "maybe after my 50 miler I'll feel like a runner".

the "lemon squeezer" approx. 1365 miles down and 810 to go on the AT

taken from a random flickr page to show part of the rock scramble

What I discovered with the help of a couple "runner" friends is that we aren't runners at all, nor do we want to be classified as such. We're more comfortable with being endurance athletes, using our own two feet as the transportation of choice. So while it would be cool to improve my 10k time, I would much rather complete a 50 miler racing against the cutoff time. Then there are the 100 milers...and multi-day races...and well, you get the point...or maybe you don't. Either way is fine. I'm just happy I found a way to get my endurance fix.


Alaskan assassin said...

I am 100 percent with you on this one. We are endurance junkies. Our feet are our means to accomplish that. I was going to do a post about this same subject. You beat me to it.

Dave Chan said...

Evan, you still need to write that post. It was mainly talking to you that I came to this realization. You helped me define my addiction.

T. said...

I whole-heartedly agree! I feel awkward when people talk about me as a "runner". I love to run, but don't consider myself a runner- it's just not the same. I feel more like a kid in a big playground when I run on the trails and do endurance races.

Dave Chan said...

T, I knew you would be able to relate!

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