I, like other runners (except those still in denial), have come to embrace that we are, a little strange, maybe crazy, most likely obsessive and often slightly absurd in our ways.
We moan and groan our way out of bed when the alarm goes off at 5:00 am for our morning run and then get depressed when we are sick and have to lie in.
We hate hills, but love to check how much vert we got on a run.
Any other sport counts as a rest day.
The first item we pack when going on holiday is our running shoes.
We whine about our aches and pains, but get even more upset when the physio tells us to run less or even worse, rest!
We will run 26 miles for a glass of coke.
We meticulously study the weather forecasts to "catch the gap", and for planning those weekend long runs.
We are actually such experts we could promote our skills to weather channels.
If we accidentally pause our watches, we will run extra miles, just because "If it is not on Strava it didn't happen."
We have perfect memory when it comes to race times.
When asked the date, our response is "x weeks to the marathon."
We wear our "Finishers" medal with the pride of an Olympic champion. And yes, it is okay to walk back to the car (and even into the shops) with your medal still around your neck.
Being the last person at the cut-off gains celebrity status.
We annually enter races we swore we would never do again.
And, finally, no matter how much we are dying, we are always smiling on race photos. Because you see, underneath all the sweating, moaning and suffering, we are actually have a whole lot of fun! It’s a crazy runner thing!
Here’s to living the ultimate paradox!
Onwards and upwards!
Professional running coach
Cape Town, South Africa