Today is National Running Day, and because of social media and the spread of news in today’s society, I actually mean International Running Day because those of us that are outside of the US aren’t letting the word National slow us down.
Get it? Slow us down? Because we are runners? Sigh.
I love the concept of this day – grab a friend and go. Running can either be a personal or private thing because there are some that like to run in groups and others like to take on the road solo, but running is the one thing that unites us, that makes us part of the running community. There is something special about runners that doesn’t really exist in other sports – a common bond that we all share when we pass each other during a run. A nod of the head, a wave, a short word or a grimace that says to each other “Yes, we are runners” and the understanding is there. We are a family, even though we may be strangers.
Being a runner is awesome. Becoming a runner is intimidating.
One of my favourite parts about running is seeing a new runner. Whether they ask questions about how to get started, are struggling through a training run, or finishing their first race with their arms in the air and that big smile on their face, it is them that I am most proud of. It means that they toughed it out in the awkward starting phase. That they didn’t give up when things weren’t easy (and with running, a lot of things aren’t easy). Seasoned runners respect the new runners and will remember what it was like when they were there. And this day is a great day for saying “congratulations on becoming one of us!”
This is also a day that will hopefully give some wannabe runners the kick start they were needing to start their journey. I’m a firm believer that everyone can be a runner within their own physical limits, all you have to do is lace up those runners and get out there. To anyone out there today who is thinking about going for their first run: go for it. Something short and fun for your first time out. Even if you are going for a 20 minute walk and you just run for 30 seconds between stop signs, you are running and joining our fantastic club of runners.
Personally, I’m doing a 45 minute run with 1 minute intervals thrown in tonight with my dog. However long or however far you are running today, make sure its wonderful and fun. It shouldn’t be too hard; running is always fun.
Happy National Running Day!