In the world of running, fame is mostly reserved for the elite runners, and for good reason—they are the best of the best and serve as inspirations for many of us. But there’s another group of runners worthy of just as much attention. They are the everyday athletes, the ones who fit their training and workouts into their busy, non-famous lives. Anyone who manages to run in some shape or form deserves a shout-out, because it ain’t easy to stick with a routine when you’ve got a million other things going on. Here are just a few of the lovely ladies who should get a gold star for getting it done:
The pregnant runner
You deserve a round of applause just for surviving the roller coaster that is pregnancy, but you should get an Olympic medal for running with a bun in the oven. Morning sickness, back pain, sciatica—the symptoms can steamroll the best of us but you still pull on your (maternity) shorts and sports bra (in the next size up) and keep going. You may not be able to go as far or as fast as you did before the bump appeared, but you’re sticking with your routine because you know it’s keeping you and your future running buddy healthy. You definitely get an A for effort (and you should also get a doughnut).
Hey there, newbie. You may just be at the starting line but you are already a rock star. The hardest part of any fitness routine is beginning and you’ve got your new sneaks laced and your route mapped out. You might feel bummed when you only make it once around the block the first day, but you’re back at it the next day and will have a mile under your belt before you know it. Know that while you’re looking up to the runners you think are stronger and faster, you’re pretty admirable yourself. Keep on keepin’ on, girl.
The stroller jogger
Mama, I don’t know how you do it. While most of the world is getting a double espresso, you’re already out pushing a double stroller while you get your morning miles in. You make it look so easy, but I know that you laid clothes out the night before (yours and the kids’), packed every snack and toy under the sun, and that you’ll be exhausted when you get home, not just from running but from singing “The Wheels on the Bus” for the last mile and a half. You’re teaching your kids the importance of exercise and keeping your commitment to fitness. If you can do it, there’s no excuse for the rest of us (sigh).
The comeback kid
An injury sidelined you in the middle of training for your next race, and you reluctantly spent a couple months taking it easy. You were down, but not out, and now you’re back on your feet. Muscles are a little weaker, breathing is a little heavier, but you are determined to get back to your old self. You are so excited to be able to run again that you push through the pain (but know when to be smart and ease up). After a couple months off it would have been so easy to fall off the fitness wagon completely but your commendable passion for running got you off the couch and into your sneakers. Here’s to coming back better than ever!
The charity champ
You love running, sure, but you don’t do it just for yourself. You choose each of your races with a cause in mind, collecting donations to support the charities you believe in. Your commitment to training is as impressive as your fundraising goals, and you show a side to the sport that some people probably don’t even know about. I know you don’t do it for the recognition but you should know that you are pretty darn awesome.
You’re a great mom, partner, employee and friend—and you give 110% to everyone. There aren’t enough hours in the day but you still figure out a way to train. Maybe you get up before the sun for a long run or sneak in two miles at lunch, but you always figure out a way to stick with it. Share your secrets please?
What other types of everyday runners would you add to this list? Tweet @WomensRunning with your thoughts!