I Like to Run, but I'm NOT a Runner

I literally just walked in the door from a run and came right to my computer to write this post. Before I get to explaining the strange title of this post, let me give a little background.

See, I was never a "runner" before high school. I played varsity soccer and THAT was my thing. My junior year (I think?), my best friend Kara convinced me to join the cross country team during the off season. Now. if you have ever been to Arizona during the summer, you can understand why running outside in that weather did NOT sound even the least bit appealing. However, I did it, mostly for her. It was hard, and I hated it most of the time. But somewhere along the way, I learned to love it. Senior year we both became captains. I also quit playing soccer and focused solely on running during my final year.

Kara and I ran our first half marathon after high school, something I never thought I would do, or enjoy doing. We finished with a 2:09 time. When I went to college, I fell out of running for a while as most people do. And living at 7000 feet did not make it easier. I eventually got back into it and ran my second half in November of 2011, making a PR of 1:55. This really fed my ego.

Once I met M, I started swimming and biking, and finally transitioned into triathlons. By this time I was a really strong runner. I trained hills, tempo, road, and trail at 7000 feet at least five times a week, plus swimming and biking. I defined myself as a runner.

Sometime in the last year when I was at my strongest, I decided that I wanted to try minimalist shoes (Mizuno). I have always had weak ankles, but I was at such a peak in my running I figured I had built up strength. The guys at the local running shop, whom I trusted, thought I would be OK. So I went for it. Within months of wearing the new shoes, my running took a massive hit. When I ran I would have pain all over, and I could barely make it 3 miles. I basically quit running last summer and haven't been consistent since. Every time I would go out to run (in my old shoes, not the Mizunos), I would suffer. Pain EVERYWHERE was something I had never experienced.

So, I stopped running. I focused on cycling because that was something else I enjoyed. Well, a few weeks ago I decided I needed to buy some new shoes and hit the pavement again. When I went to get fitted, my gait analysis showed I was heel striking terribly- which the guy at the running shop said could be due to the Mizunos. My form was also pretty bad. I worked REALLY hard to get good form over the last few years, so this was hard to take. But I took it, and life went on.

Over the last week or so, I have been running consistently. Not long miles, and not fast miles. Right now, I know my form is the most important thing to focus on if I want to get back to where I used to be. While I was running today, and pondering these thoughts, I started to think and pray about it. I tend to use running as my quiet time with God. He convicted me that I had been defining myself by my running. He made it clear that I AM NOT A RUNNER. I am His, and that is all. He knew that I was making running my idol and that I needed to give it to Him in order to get back to where I used to be. I am not defined by my ability to run, I am defined by my love for Christ.

What a realization. For so long, not being able to run haunted me. I had always been "the runner." And suddenly I wasn't anymore. It hurt at first, but now I know that being "the Christian" is far more important than being "the runner." So I will continue to keep working on getting back to where I was, but only by God's lead. I will not let it consume me like it used to. I might like to run, but I am not "a runner."


  1. This is such a great post, It makes me stop and look at different things in my life. What am I making an idol. I will be reflecting on tjis today, thank you!

  2. Thank you. I know, I find my idols all over now that I'm more aware. Its scary and convicting too

  3. That is scary about your heels when you changed shoes!!! You are a beast, no matter what though!! And that's an amazing time for your half! I hope you enjoy getting back into it :)

  4. Haha thanks girl :) It has been a struggle (Especially with the wedding craze) but I'm sure trying to enjoy it!

  5. This is so true! It's easy to be defined by our earthly life but at the end of the day, what really defines us is our faith. Hoping you can get back into running like normal soon!

  6. So cool, Cassie! So true that we're defined by Christ. I'm still super impressed with your fitness skills :-) I've always enjoyed working out and used to love running but don't anymore. I can't believe you're still posting. Have fun this weekend! You're about to embark on the biggest (well, second biggest) journey in your life!

  7. Scheduled posts are my best friend right now. I'll be MIA tomorrow until Tuesday so don't you worry! Haha


I would love to hear from you! I try to respond to all comments.