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Go The Distance or Not, by Kelly Gerard

April 27, 2018 12:21 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

By ICLMNet Member Kelly Gerard

When I tell someone that I'm a runner, they inevitably ask me if I've run a marathon. It seems that both runners and non-runners alike feel that the pinnacle of running is "The Marathon." The perception seems to be that you're not a real runner unless you've run some ridiculous distance, endured black toe nails, blisters, extensive chaffing and an injury. I am a runner. I love to run. I would run every day if I could. But I will not run a marathon and I can't figure out why that should be my greatest achievement as a runner.

The iconic Boston Marathon has just wrapped up. For the past 3 months I watched growing numbers of runners on the side of the road trudging away in the ice, cold and snow. When the signed up they kissed their partners and kids goodbye for the grueling 18 week training. These are the runners that are out on the road with their headlamps and hydration belts at 5am in the pitch black. You'll see them in sleet, snow and rain. Nothing can stop them from getting in their long run. Their existence is a faint memory to friends and family. No thanks. Maybe I'm a fair weather runner but I don't want to start making running un-fun. Twenty miles in the sleet? No thanks. Value pack of Glide to contain the blisters? I'll pass. Losing a toenail when flip-flop season is right around the corner would be tragic. Give me a 5K any day. How about one every weekend? My goal is to crush it in these races. And guess what my recovery will be like? I'll be feeling back to my old self as soon as the barista at Starbucks finishes making my Grande Almond Latte.

Let's not cut ourselves short for "only" running a 5K. The 5K rocks! We don't need to torture our bodies, neglect our families and make running un-fun just because there is a perception that you're only a “real runner” if you run marathons. You are a runner in my book if you run two miles around your neighborhood or if you run an ultra through Death Valley.

Now is the time to find a local 5K and feel great about it! You don’t have to spend 18 weeks training. You just have to lace up your sneakers and get yourself to the start line. Usually your local 5K races support a great cause so you can feel great about completing a 5K and giving back to your community.

I’d love to hear what your race goals! Please reach out and tell me your story.

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