You Don’t Look Like A Runner…

A picture I took this week while running made all sorts of terrible thoughts run through my head, and while luckily I knew enough to swat them away in a millisecond, the fact that I even had them made me do some reflection.

Said picture:


When I saw this picture (even on my tiny iPhone screen), I thought, no one who doesn’t see me out on this street right now believes that girl is a runner.

Look at the cellulite on those thighs!

And one of my most common thoughts of my running pics: What the heck am I doing with my arms? Chicken wing! Terrible form!



I’ve always noted the look of surprise on their face when I go to a new doctor’s office and they record my weight and ask if I work out: I run half marathons.

Another one that gets me is when I’m talking about running a race at work, or in conversation with someone I don’t know well:

You run?!?!?! (Note: the eyebrow raise)

Followed by: How fast do you run?  – Why do you ask? So you can be surprised when I don’t say I run a 6 minute mile? Nope – sometimes its double that, baby.  I believe I’ve only ever been asked this question by non-runners.   I can’t say I’ve ever had another runner I don’t really know ask my pace in a casual conversation as a measure of my worth as a runner (you know, the kind of convo when you’re not lined up together at a start line, or wearing running clothes). Distances, sure, but never pace. What do you run, sure – not how fast.


So what, then, does a runner look like? Well, if you’re a part of the running community then you probably know this: there is no mold. If you run, you’re a runner. Old, young, thin, heavy, thigh-gaps, chub rub, tall, short, baggy t-shirt wearing, midriff bearing, and every variation in between.One glance at the hashtag #irunthisbody is all I need to remind me that we’re all kinds of wonderful, we runners.

In those moments when I doubt myself, when I look at one stupid picture and it makes me think, what am I doing out here?? I remember that my running community gets it.  They get that if you put in the work, and you make the effort, you’re a part of it. Just for trying. No matter how fast or slow, first, last, or even if you’ve never raced a single race. That is what gets me out of that momentary funk: that my running people get it:  come as you are, bad running selfies, faults, and imperfections welcome.

 Just get out there.


11 thoughts on “You Don’t Look Like A Runner…

  1. Amen. I have the same issues… I don’t look like the stereo-typical runner that non-runners expect. And I’m super happy you wrote this post… I just deleted all my race photos from the race this past weekend because I didn’t look like a runner and I was feeling a bit down about it. Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have so many race pics that I look at and think: ugh! Am I even running?!? I look like I’m walking! Or : why do I look like I’m slowly dying? It makes me feel better to vent it out and hear from folks like you that have these moments too. We rock, even on days when we doubt ourselves!!! Runners of all types for the win!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s not ‘cellulite’ it’s your body’s built in energy reserve. Only superior athletes have these reserves, helps them to stay more ‘Awesome’ than the average athlete 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Meesh, long time blogger but new to the runner blog community and THIS is the first of your posts that I came across… and I want to high-five you and tell you “yes girl!”, because runners come in all shape and sizes and everyone who is getting out there and logging miles deserves a gold star in my book! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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