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Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

Last night while jogging on a kitchen pass from my loving wife, I got to thinking...

In my view, there's a distinct difference between being someone who runs and being a RUNNER. As I've gotten connected with the Colorado Springs community of RUNNERS, I realize that I'm probably just someone who runs (at least at this point).

 

My observations are that RUNNERS:

1. Get up so early they pass people coming home from the bars on their way out to their morning run.

2. Run workouts that sound more like a bureau of reclamation five-year strategy than a run: Waldo Canyon to Long's Ranch, Section 16 and Barr Trail - then off to breakfast. 

3. Are generally happy when they are in excruciating, lungs-on-fire pain.It's isn't uncommon when running in a group of these RUNNERS to hear something like: "I think I'm going to die... it feels great!" Don't believe me, listen to the bliss Matt Carpenter shares in the excruciating cold on this Incline Run prep speech.

4. Love running quotes. I guarantee that 85% of the people in the upcoming Garden of the Gods 10 Mile will have at least one running quote memorized.

So far, the only quote I have memorized is:

I believe that the Good Lord gave us a finite number of heartbeats and I'm damned if I'm going to use up mine running up and down a street.
- Neil Armstrong


5. Have horrific stories of being on long runs and getting the... runs. Have breakfast with a group of RUNNERS and invariably the conversation turns to bathroom humor. Except to us people that run, it doesn't sound funny it sounds awful.

6. Own a lot of gear. I thought getting into running would be easy. Stash an extra pair of shoes in the trunk and maybe a pair of shorts. But I've come to find out that I actually need a pair of road shoes and trail shoes, special running socks, running shorts made just for running (other shorts make you slow), micro fiber shirts, sunglasses, a poly mesh hat, waist belt for storing water and food (yes food), water bottles, gews, chews and other quick nutritional aids. If I want to go high tech, I can add a gps watch that will track my time and pace, a heart monitor I strap to my chest and back up mileage counter that I place in my shoe. So much for traveling light.

 

RUNNERS are great though. They understand community like few other sub cultures in our society. Every day (if they are hardened and dedicated) they get together and face the Goliath that is laziness. It's a war I'm intrigued by but I'm not sure I'm cut out for the fight. Stick with me while I go through my own boot camp experience culminating in the Triple Crown of Running.

 

The first skirmish is June 12th - see you there if you're a RUNNER. I'll be the one memorizing running quotes and wondering if I'm wearing my trail shoes or road shoes.

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