You Don’t LOOK Like A Runner…


Dear Me,

It’s nearly the end of the year, and while we didn’t do much running at the beginning of the year, we sure kicked some ass on other workouts! You killed 21 Day Fix and hit your weight loss goal in March. You rocked some Les Mills COMBAT and PUMP. I know we said this would be the year we got more muscles, but it didn’t go that way for us. You did, however reignite that love of biking, which pushed you to start running once again. You did 150 miles in a month for Great Cycle Challenge on your bike and you didn’t let two flat tires slow you down! Way to go!

Yea, we’ve crept a little back up in weight lately, but so far this year you have logged 141 miles of running. Yes, it was most likely more than that… but tracking wasn’t really our ‘thing’ until mid-summer. As this year comes to a close, remember how awesome all of those miles were. You really did great! Believe this. Please.

Really I am writing this today because there is this nagging thought we keep having and I want to address it here and now so we can move past it in 2016. Remember that time you enthusiastically talked about running… and someone dropped that horrid comment that wasn’t meant to be critical but you instantly internalized it and let it eat away at you?

“You run? Wow! You don’t LOOK like a runner!”

Instantly you felt hurt, demoralized, fat, sluggish, worthless, like working out was pointless… You felt like all that hard work and effort you’d put into becoming a healthier person was obviously stupid and maybe it was time to go buy a pallet of Cheetos. And this comment just kind of stayed in your brain, festering. I know this, because I AM your brain.

It was kind of like when someone said to you “you don’t LOOK like you lost 30 pounds!” which was really meant to be a compliment on how you didn’t look like you’d needed to lose weight… but it stung. It burned. It made you want to cry, because, let’s face it, your self-image sucks.

You do a lot of hate talk. A lot of personal self-deprecation. You’re not pretty enough. You’re not skinny enough. You’re not great at anything… just kind of good at a lot of unimportant things. People don’t actually like you. You’re boring. Nothing you do is really worthwhile…


I know we’ve had this talk before. You constantly tell yourself you have to apologize for not actually being a runner because you can’t consistently make at 12 minute mile. Hell, a lot of the time 13 minutes is still really hard for us. But remember where we came from? 16 minute miles. 17 minute miles.

So many times I’ve heard you say “I run… but I’m not really, like… a runner.”

Hey, dummy. Are your feet moving as fast as your heart will allow? THEN YOU’RE RUNNING. And on top of that… you’re a runner. You hear that? Quit telling people you’re ‘not really a runner’! That’s that self-hate bullshit. YOU. ARE. A. RUNNER.

In 2016if-you-run I want you to stop apologizing for doing your best. Constantly I keep hearing you apologize for going to your max, just because you aren’t going as fast as someone else, or because you can’t lift as much as someone else, or because you tire out faster than someone else… Stop letting this constantly hold you back!

This running thing? It’s a journey. It’s not an instant pudding mix… Just add water and POOF YOU’RE A KENYAN! You remember when Doc Johnson told you that it would take you twice as long to get half as good because of your heart murmur, but not to give up? REMEMBER that.

Don’t quit because Suzie Q over there just started running and has progressed up to a 10 minute mile in four months. SHE ISN’T YOU. She doesn’t have your past. She doesn’t have your limitations. Don’t beat yourself up over what you THINK you should be.


I want you to remember one thing when you hear “you don’t LOOK like a runner!” again. Because it’s happened more than once. No, you DON’T look like a runner. Remember that article we read about fitness body types? There are two main types of fitness frames: athletic, and muscular. People see runners as thin, lean, light looking people. People see weight lifters as muscular, stockier, thicker looking people. That doesn’t mean weight lifters DON’T run. That doesn’t mean runners DON’T lift weights.

Your frame is more prone to that weight lifter look. Always has been, since puberty. Don’t let assumptions like ‘you don’t LOOK like you run’ hold you back because you know what you do. You run. You punch things. You lift. You bike. All of these things are for the health and wellness of one complete you. So stop letting that stupid little comment get to you. You’ve run races… you’ve seen how many different body types are out there running. THEY ARE ALL RUNNERS. And so are you.

In 2016 I want you to set a goal. Your goal is a consistent 12 minute mile. That is YOUR goal. For YOU. For nobody else out there. It’s YOURS and you OWN it. Stop trying to compete with someone when it isn’t a competition. Set your goal for you, and go get it, killer.

So. You’ve got your goals:

  1. Quit apologizing for yourself
  2. 12 minute consistent pace
  3. Like yourself more, damnit

You can do this. Focus on these little things. You’re on the path to being a better you… you just have to believe you’re worth all this work.

And it will be work.

And you ARE worth it.

Trust me.



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