Being "In Shape" at all Sizes

The Broad Street Run was yesterday. The biggest 10-miler in the country. Over 40,000 runners. No biggie.
We rocked that race. I’m still basking in my post-race glow. Michele and I ran it in 1 hour, 37 minutes. Sarah ran it in 1 hour, 47 minutes (go us!) I can’t wait to recap the pure insanity that was this weekend, but I was too lazy to post the pictures wanted to catch up w/ B when I got in last night, so that will have to wait for a later post.
I woke up this morning expecting to have some trouble getting out of bed. My long runs were clocking in at a steady 10-minute mile, and Michele and I picked up the pace yesterday. As awesome as that was, I wasn’t excited about the soreness I felt walking back to the car after the race, and what I would surely be in for today. Except that the soreness wasn’t there. Okay, there’s a little soreness. But the all-encompassing feeling of “OHMYGOD what the fuck was I thinking, my legs would be laughing in my face if they weren’t too busy hating me” wasn’t there.
I’m assuming the lack of soreness is b/c I trained hard for this run and my body doesn’t need that much recovery (either that, or it’s skipping a day and I will be HATING LIFE TOMORROW). I did a little dance in the shower when I realized that I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in. Even in high school and college, playing sports and being active, I would never have been able to run 10 miles. At least not in an hour and 37 minutes.
I got to thinking about what it means to be “in shape.” When I used to think of being in shape, I pictured the six-pack abs, the long, lean legs, and a jacked pair of arms. I don’t have any of that. And neither did a lot of the runners we saw yesterday.
One of the best things about running a race is seeing the (sometimes questionable) outfit choices of your fellow runners. The funny home-made shirts. The over-the-top costumes. The group of guys who run shirtless, spelling out some inside joke on their chests.
While we were scoping out the other runners yesterday, I said something like, “Don’t you hate those girls who look like they belong in a fitness tutorial?” You know the girl I’m talking about. She always has brand-new sneakers and a color-coordinating tight fitting tank top. She looks better in her running capris than I do in my most expensive pair of jeans. Her ponytail is full and bouncy. The real kicker about this girl is that she only gets better looking after the run. She doesn’t sweat; she glistens. Her ponytail is somehow even bouncier. She walks around the food tent, sipping her Evian, shaming everyone stuffing their face with bagels. What a bitch (if you are that girl, please email me; I have a few questions about your running regimen).
Fortunately, these girls are the elite few. And I have only one thing to say to them:
Most of the ladies I saw yesterday looked like they were trucking through, just like me. And that’s awesome. There’s no ONE way to be in shape. The typical stereotypes (the washboard abs, the killer legs, the sculpted arms, etc) are one way of showing it. But for someone like me, that’s just not attainable. I’m 5’2. The only way I’ll ever look like I’m “in shape” is if I’m 110 pounds (HA. Just…ha). I passed runners in my final sprint to the finish line yesterday who I would never have known had 10 miles in them (and at a faster pace than me, no less).
So in my lingering runners high and good spirits, I wanted to take a minute to congratulate all the runners out there:
The fast ones. And the slow ones.
The ones who hardcore train. And the ones who missed a few training runs but still dragged their asses to the starting line - and, more importantly, through the finish line.
The girls like me, who might not fit the stereotypical “runners body,” but could still meet your pace on a long run (for a few miles, at least).
And those girls who look smoking hot in their race gear, and somehow even better after running ten miles (seriously, what’s your secret?)


Yeewuz said…
When I used to think of being in shape, I pictured the six-pack abs, the long, lean legs, and a jacked pair of arms.

I didn't know I was getting a shoutout! But seriously, the "runner's body" to me is any body that gets across that finish line. Congrats!
Michele said…
LOVE it! Had a great time runnig with you and chatting. And here's a thought: we were running at a faster than average pace AND talking. Just think about how fast you might have done it (with music of course!) and using the talking energy to run! So, you are THE bomb!!!

I'm not that sore either. A bit sorer than my normal long runs but nothing major.

I cannot wait to see pics and I am waiting with baited breath to hear about your Half at the end of the month!!!
Sarah said…
Great post!! I love the thought that being "in shape" doesn't mean you look any one specific way. I feel like I am in great shape, but Shape and Self won't be calling me any time soon to model in their magazines. I found it so inspiring yesterday to see the different people out during the race, especially those who you wouldn't traditionally be able to run 10 miles.

So proud of you and your running!!
brigidmc12 said…
Thanks guys! I can't wait to see how the half compares. Too bad I won't have such good company = /