Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Run, But I'm Not a Runner... Or Am I?

This may sound a little strange, but stay with me...

There is a constant kidding that my hubby and I partake in. It is his way of gently making fun of his beloved and my way of lowering my own expectations. The other day, at my doctor's office, I was discussing why my foot discomfort was creating such a disruption in my life. I started the sentence with, "Because I run..." Notice I did not say, "I'm a runner..." The variations of the statement made in my doctor's office can include, "I like to run..." or "When I run..." or "I am training for..." I avoid the words, "I'm a runner" like the plague. Needless to say, once hubby and I got into our car after that doctor's visit, the harassment began. Almost in his best childlike "nah nah nah nah boo boo" voice, Hubster said, "So 'because you run', not because you are a runner, huh?" Or something like that - I try to drown him out when he's trying to be cute.*

I go to specialty running store for my shoes, because I run. I can spend hours in a sporting goods store looking at running gear and training items, because I run. I have a special savings account to pay for registration fees, because I run. I subscribe to multiple websites that will send me email notifications regarding races in my area, because I run. I receive gifts that help me in my training because everyone knows I run. I have Hal Higdon's training website bookmarked on my iPhone, because I run. I am sane (relatively) because I run. Yet, I am not able to refer to myself as a "runner".

I may have uttered the words, "I'm a runner" once and quickly retracted that statement. There is something in my mind that is holding me back from saying those words in lieu of "because I run." I think I would feel like an impostor if I attempted to say those words out loud. Let's face it... I am no Kara Goucher or Paula Radcliffe. Nor am I Dimity McDowell or Sarah Bowen Shea. By saying, "I'm a runner" I feel that I would be putting myself in the same category as these women. The only thing that we have in common is that we are all mothers and we enjoy running. Hubster might disagree with that statement, too. He seems to be under the impression that I also am a sponsored runner since all I work out in is Nike apparel, but I digress.

The playful "You're a runner. No I'm not" argument ensued for a little bit until hubby had to state the obvious (in his mind). He said, "You're a runner because you have an orthopedic surgeon and are having surgery on your foot to help you get back to running." He reveled in victory as he left me speechless. I had no words to combat his statement. So I sat in silence instead of telling him he was right.

That's right. The doctor appointment we were at on this particular day was a foot and ankle specialist that I have been seeing for about a year. It turns out that my running "career" is over for 2010. On Friday, I will have surgery on my foot to finally (God willing) get rid of this pain that has been bothersome since last year. It appears that 97% of individuals will respond well to various, more conservative types of treatment. Another 2% need a little bit more aggressive forms of treatment. Then there is that 1% that require surgery.** Oh, lucky me. I reviewed the synopsis that my doctor wrote down to give to the surgical center. He described my condition as "recalcitrant". My lucky readers get a two-for-one today. A blog AND a vocabulary lesson. Recalcitrant means "stubbornly resistant to authority or control".*** My daughter, Diva, and I laughed about this for a while. Isn't it ironic that my stubbornness extends all the way to my foot? I have a new accusation to throw at my daughter when she is being, well... Recalcitrant.

With all this being said, I will have no journey to blog about. I still won't be able to conquer my first half-marathon this year. A day or two after I was told I will have surgery, I went for a run. I know... Insane. But I figured, they're are going to fix what's wrong - why not get my money's worth? I took it easy and did a pathetic sub 15 minute mile. It was the best bad run in my history. I was smiling the entire time. I took in the joy that I was missing by trying to PR and push myself. Although I will miss my runs, I will make myself follow the plan prescribed by my doctor to have a speedy and accurate recovery. Although I will not have running stories to tell, I will be using the prompts distributed by Mama Kat and her writing workshop which can be found at www.mamakatslosinit.com. A friend turned me onto this site and I hope it will bring some of the sanity I find while I run.

By the way, because I run, I have already registered for a half-marathon on March 27th (to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure).

*I know you're reading this KISA, I love you. Smooches.
**These are statistics given to me by my doctor.
***Thanks Google!


  1. Syl: you *are* a runner. I believe it, and hopefully one day you will too. Good luck with the surgery, hopefully you won't be recalcitrant during your recovery. :) xo.

  2. Guess what? I'm a runner too! Yipee! :) I finally said it. I feel like am at an AA meeting. Have you read this book: Born to Run? If not, do so quickly!! It has literally changed my running and eliminated every single stitch of pain that I've ever had from running. Shin splints mostly and general foot/heel ailments. I did barefoot running to check it out and now I run in literally the thinnest shoes I can find. Good luck and I hope you heal quickly.