Runners are a totally different breed.
It never ceases to amaze me how I can pick out the difference between the two when I’m driving around. Runners are just a little bit dirtier, their shoes are just a little more worn in, their clothes look as if they’ve been worn a thousand times before….Joggers look as if they’re just breaking in their new running shoes, which they’re afraid of getting dirty. Their clothes are just a little too new- their pace just a little awkward- as if they’re afraid to break a sweat. Real runners don’t run with their ipods or pedometers; all they need is their wristwatch (if that). You’ll often find them out an about early in the morning before everyone else is awake, running along the empty streets so that they can avoid having to stop for traffic or methodically traversing a worn trail at a local park.
We can be seen plodding, mile after mile, muscles straining with each stride, sweat dripping down the small of our backs, silently traveling along.
And you ask, “Why?”
It’s the drive to be better. To challenge yourself both mentally and physically. Runners don’t stop to ask themselves, “Are you tough enough?” They prove it. It’s what gets us up at the crack of dawn when normal people are sleeping. It’s about wanting to be better. It’s about knowing that for every day you don’t train, there is someone out there that is; and one day you’re both going to meet-only they’ll have an advantage over you.
We’re competitive. Inclement weather doesn’t bother us in the least. I guess you could say we’re just a little crazy, but it’s all a part of the thrill that comes with completing each mile.
In the ’70s, I was a school teacher and trained at 5am and 5pm. during wintertime, I never saw the sun. -Tom Fleming, marathoner