Monthly Archives: June 2014

Happy National Running Day! What’s the Word?

Maybe a national running word would have allowed the guy in the raft to catch some fish.

Maybe a national running word would have allowed the spectator in the river to catch some fish.

Happy National Running Day!  Hopefully you’re getting a mile or two in, at least if that’s your thing.  If you’ve ever considered running, today is a good excuse to give it a shot and there’s lots of encouraging posts all over social media today about getting started.  

I just completed my very first half marathon on Sunday.  (It was the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in Vermont – an amazing race that will get its very own MotorMommy post soon.) I mention the half because I think that’s what makes me feel bold enough to propose  this ideas to other runners.  (Who am I kidding.  I mention that I finished a half marathon mostly because I’m trying to mention it as many times to as many people as I can.  I’m wearing the t-shirt and the medal as I type this.)
You see, I often notice other runners in my neighborhood and out and about. I’d love to communicate with them but don’t want to slow them down or scare them or anything.  Just provide a (literal) word of encouragement without interrupting their plans.
I’d like to say something to runners I see because I’ve noticed during races, especially in the half marathon, that the words of a stranger can provide quite a boost.  A couple of spectators  could easily be credited with my completing the CBHM.  Three sets worth noting of many enthusiastic spectators include:
  1. The fisherman in the river next to the course near mile 8 who was too busy scaring the fish with his cheering to catch anything (shown in picture)
  2. The adorable girls at mile 12 who told me I was “owning” the race-( I was walking at that point, but promised them I’d try to own the rest because they said that.  And I did, if we use “slightly lurching, obviously painful, slow run but not walking” as the definition of “own.”).
  3. Everyone around the last stretch who promised I’d be able to see the finish line right around the corner.  I didn’t believe it until I heard it 4 times.  (And seeing that finish line was such indescribable joy. So much to write about, has to wait for its own post…)
I think it would be nice to encourage other runners I see, but yelling “Woo hoo, girl, you look great!  You got this!  Work it, work it, you’re almost there!” from my front lawn as my kids are playing doesn’t seem quite right for a variety of reasons.
Here’s what I propose: A word, with minimal syllables, that is easily Googled, that we can say to encourage and recognize fellowship with another runner we see even when we’re not running.
This word shall have the following meaning:
“Hello fellow human, I see you are running.  I run sometimes, too.  I don’t know whether this is your 16th of 20 training miles scheduled for today in an attempt at a Boston-qualifying marathon or your first running interval of a beginner’s 5k training program.  The reason for your run is also unknown.  Perhaps you are running to lose weight, to get some fresh air, to clear your head of bad news, to burn a few calories in exchange for a few drinks you plan to have later, to challenge yourself with a new personal best, or just to avoid your children or avoid your housework for a moment. Or maybe this is just a warm-up for some other exercise you prefer to do.  In any case, I’m proud of you for wherever you are in whatever journey you are on.    I recognize you are doing something that can be fun, but that is also hard. You have already taken the most admirable of your steps- the one out your front door.  You look fantastic and you are doing great.  Also, you can relax and know I will not judge your snot rockets, wedgie-picks, overall sweatiness, occasional grunting, lack of toenails, or any other running-related disgustingness.  Rest assured, any unpleasantness in the look on my face is a result of pure jealousy.  Carry on, running human, and enjoy your run.”
What do you think?  Does this word already exist and I missed it? If not, what should this “the runner in me sees the runner in you” word be?  “Runmaste?” “Run happy?” “Zaggazaw?”



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