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Are you a runner?

So, are you a runner?

I get asked this question a lot and to be honest I never really know how to answer it.  I like to run, sometimes I love to run and sometimes I want to do something else, it sort of depends on what goals I’ve set myself and what mood I’m in.

I love being active and I love being outdoors, I spend a lot of my time running, cycling, surfing and snowboarding.  Surfing and snowboarding are obviously super dependent on conditions that are out of my control but I spend pretty much 100% of my holidays, as many weekends as possible and pretty much all of my spare cash travelling to good waves and big mountains and I find that the fitness I get from running and cycling really helps how I perform on the board.

This year I focused on my running, I wanted to complete my first half marathon so I needed to put in the hours on the road to get my fitness up and get used to being out for longer than an hour.  I really enjoyed it and felt a great sense of achievement in being able to run for longer and completing my mission of the half marathon for the year, so I guess if you’d have asked me at most points during this year if I was a runner I’d say yes.

As I look ahead to my goals for next year I’ve already laid out some pretty serious cycling ones, I’m cycling  London > Paris in June, it’s about 160km a day with about 1500m of climbs daily, I’m probably going to spend approximately 7/8 hours a day cycling for 3 days straight.  3 weeks after this I’m hoping to complete L’etape du tour, which is the 19th stage of the 2015 Tour du France, it’s 152km cycling through The Alps with over 4000m of climbing thrown in for good measure, I’m estimating I’m going to spend approximately 10 hours in the saddle this day, so I guess if you ask me next year if I’m a runner I’d probably say I’m more of a cyclist.

The training for my cycling goals next year have already begun, I need to get base miles under my belt and strengthen my legs & ass ready for the spring season.  At the moment I’m battling with myself about how much time I spend running and how much time I spend on the bike.  I find myself not cycling to work as I have a Yasso track session that day or not doing hill sprints because I did a 95km cycle at the weekend and I need to rest my legs.  I’m planning a long ride next weekend but if the snow starts to dump that is all going out of the window and I’m throwing my snowboard in the van and heading to the mountains, I’m in need of some pow, pow!!

I find that I do a bit of everything as that makes me happy, its gives me an all round level of fitness and allows me to be outdoors as much as possible, spending time with my mates doing things I love.  This approach keeps me healthy and happy but it never really allows me to focus soley on one thing and master it, be the best that I can be at it, as my grandma used to say I’m probably ‘a jack of all trades and master of none’.

What I have found already is that my runs lately have not necessarily been as part of any training to get fitter for cycling or surfing or snowboarding but just because I wanted to go and run.  I’m doing some running with the other members of the Pavement Bound crew that are based in Amsterdam, and it’s more about hanging out with friends and meeting new people. I get to wear my favourite running gear and just let lose for an hour or so.

I’d like to think I am a runner, I’m probably never going to complete a marathon or be the fastest 10km runner but I love how I feel during and after I run.

More importantly, I love it’s little place in my ‘I like doing a bit of everything’ life.