Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Seasoned Runner

A number of weeks ago as I was running with a group of people and we were trudging up that 8% grade monster of a hill, one of the runners held back a little bit and needed to walk saying, "I'm just not as seasoned of a runner as the others".  I held back and walked a little bit too with her and felt the same thought myself, even telling her that I didn't feel very seasoned either.  That one little statement has been ringing over and over in my head since that early morning run this past Summer.

 What Makes A Seasoned Runner?
Is it from running X amount of miles?
Is it from running X amount of years?
Is it from running X amount of races? 
Have I become a seasoned runner yet?

When can a runner truly feel like they are a seasoned runner?  One article I read in Runner's World magazine said we often relate the statement of being a 'real runner' with speed but in reality being a runner represents a lifestyle, and then by acknowledging our efforts we see benefits.  

That article still didn't quite describe 'seasoned runner'  to me, only a description in one girls opinion of a 'real runner'. But is there a difference?  When I season a pot of soup it's then 'seasoned soup' and not just plain soup.  The flavors are more alive and tasty with great seasoning in there, and the longer the soup simmers the more the flavors intensify and mingle.

So maybe seasoned running is a combination of time, races, mileage, and flavorful experiences all mixed together.  Maybe it's the variety of people you meet along the running journey, and the great friends you make and get to run with.  I certainly don't want to think that seasoned running is all about the speed because then my soup will have no flavor. I'm not fast by any means but I am enjoying the experiences I'm having.  I've only been at this for a little less than 2 years and I still don't feel like a 'seasoned runner' but I feel like my pot of soup has seasoning, and I like it just the way it is.
Susette, Elise, Philip, Kevin


Cynthia said...

I love your perspective on this! To me, a non-runner, a seasoned runner would be one who has consistently continued to run even when obstacles, life challenges or other misadventures befall them. I think you qualify for sure! I wouldn't think it would have much to do with the "stats" of running but rather in persistently plotting the miles!

T. Hill said...

Life is made up of seasons. The seasons on a calendar. Seasons of joy and grief. Seasons of childhood and parenthood. There's even an actual "running season". If you run consistently through all of these seasons - the good and the bad - running becomes part of who you are. A constant. To me, that's what it means to be a seasoned runner.

And no, I'm not there yet. But I have managed to start answering simply, "yes." without adding a bunch of disclaimers when someone asks me if I'm a runner :)

Cory Reese said...

Great post!

I consider a seasoned runner someone who has been running long enough to have made plenty of mistakes (and hopefully learned from them). A seasoned runner isn't necessarily faster, but smarter.

I feel like I have so much more to learn to become a seasoned runner.

Christy said...

Hmmm interesting thought. I don't know what I consider seasoned as far as specific reasonings. I consider you very seasoned, or experienced? I've been running 15 years but only dabbled in racing until 1.5 years ago when I started "training.". I don't consider myself seasoned at all, but some of my friends think otherwise. I have much work before I reach that point.

wendy said...

great analogy.
As much as you love running, you'll be seasoning those running shoes of yours lots over the years.

Doran & Jody said...

Oh my dear Susette, you are well seasoned, especially if you compare yourself to me, the watered down soup. Kinda like STONE soup.