Runners are their own breed.

 If you’re active on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you have surely seen the meme with Susan Sidoriak’s quote,

 This statement is so poignant, for that is what days, weeks, and months of training does to a person, it changes them. How can it not? Training usually begins after successful attempts at shorter race distances, and I would venture to say that most marathoners uttered the words, “I could never do a full marathon” at some point in their early running career. I know I did, and if you’re reading this, you likely did too.

This is the crux of the marathon transformation. When we complete a full marathon, we accomplish what we never thought possible. We put all of that practice training to use. We made mistakes in our training along the way on purpose, so as to avoid these mistakes at our marathon race. We left for practice runs in the wee hours of the morning, typically before anyone else in the house was anywhere near waking up. We toted along various hydration tools like belts, handheld bottles, or backpacks. We experimented with different liquids other than water and different forms of food or energy boosters in the form of chews, gu, or whole food. We watched our pace for each mile and got a clear picture of how long it would take us to run that full marathon come race day. We experienced overuse injuries from all of our training and we scaled our running back and began the tapering process. We had to fit these long training runs in around our work and family schedules. Often squeezing the run and shower in before we strapped ourselves into our cars to drive our children to their sporting or extracurricular events. We often left parties or get-togethers early so as to get enough sleep for the next morning’s long run. We often struggled on those practice long runs. We often doubted our ability to pull this whole marathon race thing off. We nearly gave up, at least once, but we didn’t. We kept fighting. We kept believing in ourselves. We kept going. One foot in front of the other. We kept going.

 This desire to push past the limitations we’ve set upon ourselves through our self-doubt is what changes us. In many ways we are still that little girl or boy who feared she wasn’t enough. We are that kid that needed a niche, some way to gain a sense of accomplishment from hard work. We want to be enough. Training for a marathon makes us feel like we are enough. We often didn’t feel like lacing up and heading out the door. We often wanted to cut our run short and go home. We kept going, even when friends, family members, and acquaintances said we were crazy, because we knew this marathon training was much more impactful on our lives than just preparation for a race. We knew we were changing and we knew we would better for it.  This is why, I truly believe that running is like no other form of fitness. Runners are their own breed. Missing a week of fitness is much different than missing a week of running. Runners never want to have to stop running. We truly wish that the solution to running injuries would be to run more. Being told we need to stop running for even a week is like a death sentence to us. We need to feel movement in the form of running to feel complete. It is our time to meditate, pray, solve problems, appreciate nature, show gratitude for all of our blessings, and brainstorm. Running gives us that one thing we need and we are so grateful for the gift of running. All one has to do is introduce two runners to each other and the pair will talk like they’ve known each other for years. There is an instant camaraderie that comes with running, and perhaps that little girl in me that needed a niche is most appreciative of this. Runners are bonded. We are a community. We have been through the running transformation.

As I prepare for my second marathon, I realize how training for marathons has changed my life forever. I am different. I am stronger. I am bonded in a community. I am enough.

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20 thoughts on “Runners are their own breed.

  1. loved this post – am debating whether or not I could even tackle my first half this year, it’s weirdly encouraging to know even much more experienced runners started with self-doubt along the way! Good luck with your next running challenge! L

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my goodness, that is so flattering that you consider me an experienced runner. I do not consider myself experienced. I am figuring things out as I go along. All I know for sure is that I want to keep running. Go for the half. You will love it. Happy running!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Me too! I wouldn’t mind if I could just take off a set period of time then get on with it, but not knowing how long a recovery will take is so frustrating. Hopefully I should be able to reintroduce some running at the end of next week – it will be very short bursts but at least it’s a start!

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  2. Great post! So true, only runners understand running as I don’t have many friends that run and do not understand how I could possible find running enjoyable :- 0

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Needles & Nike and commented:
    I absolutely love this post by Lonestar Run Girl, and could not agree with it more.

    Since I started running seriously last summer, I have fallen in love with it for all the reasons she mentions and more. I still consider myself a newbie but I continue to learn, and I am becoming stronger, fitter, and a better runner. Runner’s really are their own breed

    Now I can’t wait to get out for my evening run!

    Like

  4. Thanks, this is so great 🙂 Once you do a few marathons you’ll want to go further 🙂 I remember when a marathon felt like an impossible distance and now I’m training for a dream this year…a 100 miler. I don’t know if I’ll see the finish line but I’m going to show up every day and give it my best shot. Good luck with your training my running friend. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post that really rings true. I ran a 70k ultra last Sunday. I have not run for 7 days due to a bad, but healing blister on my arch. Legs are ready to go but feet are not. So not running kills me too. I think it kills all of us! But as you say, you can catch up on other stuff 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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