I have observed that during this final week of the year there are four types of runners. You may have been more than one or perhaps even all off these four types during the 52nd week of any year. I will let you know which type I am at the end of this post.
First, there is the newbie runner. This type of runner probably does not think of themselves as a runner yet. In fact they are probably very intimidated by getting out the door and taking their very first step. What they do possess is the highest degree of good intention of any type of runner! They may have already signed up to run a 5K or longer race a few months from now, or they simply would consider it a success to run around the block a few times a week. Regardless, this type of person is a runner. Their greatest surprise ahead will not be attaining their running goal but rather experiencing the depth of support from the running community and even new life long friends.
Second, there is the seasoned veteran runner. This runner is probably running this week with the simple goal of “rounding up” to the next centennial notch in their running log to end the year. This runner has probably averaged 20 to 40 miles a week throughout the year. They can enter most any race at the drop of their running hat and compete reasonably well. They also have most of their race calendar for the upcoming year pretty well completed and they think they know how to train for their race(s) too. What defines them this week is the weather conditions. They tend to take a day off if weather conditions of terrible, as in very terrible!
Third, there is another version of the seasoned veteran. This runner is in the midst of training for a mid-winter or spring marathon. Nearly all of the 30,000 runners who will be competing in the 2019 Boston Marathon this April are well into their training for Boston. Seasoned veteran runners tend to ignore whatever Mother Nature throws at them this time of year and will be out in nearly all winter conditions as they are intensely focused on their winter or spring destination race. These runners are easily distinguished from all other runners in spring as they tend to be the thinnest and fittest too!
Fourth, there is the runner who once was a dedicated runner. Perhaps they ran a marathon a few years back but for whatever reason drifted away from the sport. These runners seek to relive their great achievements of the past but tend to forget the struggles and sacrifices one must experience in order to achieve their goal. Some of these runners will “burn out” after a few training runs. Most will quickly experience flashbacks to the more difficult training runs of their past but, they understand this is short lived and look forward to getting past this relatively short bump in their training.
Me, I have been all of these types at some point. I was the first type many decades ago and for many years was the second type too. There have also been certain years when I was the third type, training to compete in the Boston Marathon and other spring events such as The Martian Half Marathon, Tobacco Road Half Marathon, and many other spring races. This year, I am more aligned with the fourth type. I spent most of the first half of the year dealing with a non-running knee injury and fought my way back to finish my goal races. I also can relate to the frustration returning runners have with the process of regaining your race conditioning. It’s not an easy path but it is an extremely important one to follow.
All runners aim to the future, improvement, success, celebration, and all will experience something they had never would have guessed to happen too. Hopefully, a pleasant surprise. I congratulate each of you and wish you a healthy and successful running year ahead.
Thanks for taking time to read my post and I welcome your comments.
Run Happy :)