You Don’t Have To Finish A Marathon To Be A Runner

It’s the end of 2016 and the “what I want to accomplish in 2017” tweets are crowding my time line. A magazine challenges us to run 3 miles per day, every day. Most running tweeps aspire to run half marathons, marathons or even ultraruns of 100k or more in the new year. I don’t.

Full Disclosure: I have never run a marathon and probably never will. I just don’t see myself spending that amount of time training for a run, not to mention the travel and the fees (it’s not cheap participating in a marathon).

I am perfectly happy to run a couple of 5k’s per week and throw in a 10k for good measure when the music takes me. I like to run in cities, in nature, and I enjoy running on the treadmill in the gym. I feel just as great to reach the finish on the treadmill as I feel to finish outside. I run because it makes me happy. And you know what? That makes me a runner!

My aspirations for 2017 are simple: continue my weekly runs and hopefully travel to some wonderful cities to continue my ‘Running in …’ series. Preferably warm cities, as it’s freezing cold as I write this post. I want to stay healthy, stay in shape and feel strong. That’s it. Nothing more.

Although my Twitter time line gives the impression that almost everyone is training for a marathon, the reality is different: a Google search for ‘marathon training’ returns 6 million hits. The same search for ‘5k training’ results in almost 21 million. Could it be that aspiring marathoners are just more vocal about it? And all those 5k runners don’t have time to tweet?

So to all runners out there: don’t feel discouraged by someone else’s goals. If you go for a few runs every month and you feel like a runner, you ARE a runner. You can run short distances to get in the best shape ever. Pursue a running goal that makes you happy. It does not have to be far and you don’t have to set a personal record. Just get up and run and enjoy where your steps take you.

I wish you miles in 2017 – you decide how many!

Happy Running!

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