Yes, I am a heavy runner

I’ve heard them all. All of the insinuations that I either don’t exercise enough or am not capable of running very far or fast because of my weight. These “insightful comments,” are much too good to keep to myself so let’s take a look at a few of them, shall we?

~I’m trying out a new podiatrist who can hopefully figure out why my right foot is plagued with chronic pain. After spending approximately 1.3 minutes with me, Dr. Heel informs me that, “let’s face it. When we live in a great country like ours, we grow up hearing we can do anything we want. That’s our wonderful American dream! But the reality is you’re just not built like a runner. There’s a reason runners are tall and thin. But you just don’t have the body type to run. I’m sorry.” Gee. I was sorry, too. Sorry I was going to have to keep looking for a decent podiatrist.*

     *Which by the way I found not only after Dr. Heel’s remarkable conclusions but his misdiagnosis of the problems plaguing my foot. My current competent doc put me in a proper pair of orthotics and my foot ailments are now kept to a minimum.

~A friend and I are appraising my front yard, trying to figure out why my recently planted magnolia tree looks shrunken and miserable. The possible solution? Tilling the soil because, after all, the work “will be good for your arms. It will tone them up and make them strong.” Hmmm. Guess the weight training at the gym must not be doing the job.

~”Patti, are you still running” asks Kathleen, the traffic coordinator at one of the multitude of radio stations where I worked over the years. “Yep, every other day.” “Doesn’t look like it,” snarks Ken Cruz, the afternoon DJ, passing us on his way to the on-air studio. Funny guy.

~”Oh, it’s so good to see you,” says Terri as she arrives at my house for dinner. “I brought the perfect appetizer for you. It’s very low calorie.”

Then there are the looks of  shock and surprise I’ve gotten through the years when I’ve shared with various people that I’m a runner. “I never would have guessed that,” is also common response. Okay, so I’m not thin nor, at this point in my life, even on the slender side. I’m not thrilled about this. I try to count calories, watch what I eat, etc. But it’s harder to lose weight as I’ve gotten older (fact not excuse) and my body will take whatever opportunity it can to hang onto the “f” word.

So, yeah, I’m a heavy runner. But I run. I’ve run one marathon, a handful of half marathons, and I’ve lost count of the 5ks. I train with a fabulous  group of runners several times a week. They’re like family to me and not one of them would ever think to make a crack about the extra weight I’m carrying. As runners, they know their bodies and they would never presume that I don’t know mine. We’re out there, running the streets together. All body types, shapes and sizes. Are most of them thinner than I? Yes. And maybe someday my weight will match theirs again. But even if it never does, I’ll see them on the road.

And they’ll see me.

finishing the race

21 thoughts on “Yes, I am a heavy runner

  1. Donna Nelson

    Whoa!!! What an EXCELLENT piece. What is with people who first of all do not have a clue about oh…..MANNERS???? I mean seriously, the stuff that has been said to you? Are you kidding me?? Why do people think they can say stuff like that and ACTUALLY think they are doing YOU a favor?? Low-Cal? Grrrrrr. And yes, we are not paper thin any longer. It gets tougher as we gals get older. It’s called menopause and hormones and DN -Freaking A. I didn’t pick my parents, trust me…Mom & Dad were both full figured Sicilians….the deck was stacked against me going into it baby!! Sure, I’ve had the thin moments in my life, but now….I struggle every day to stay this side of 1** on the scale. It is a battle. A battle that I am sad to admit I am not fairing well in. But like you my friend, I am out there….running. And no, I’ll never be fast, and I’ll never be waif thin again, but by God, I’m out there. All 1** pounds of me. Besides, when we yell “Car Back” it’s easier for them to see me. 🙂

  2. Michelle Neely

    I cannot believe the comments of some people…what do they know!?! You are not a heavy person. But you are an awesome person and a strong runner!

  3. quickstepp

    Love docs whose answers involve giving up a healthy activity that you love. Hey doc, not trying to go to the Olympics, but you can help me run with less pain. Best advice I’ve heard is try to seek out one who is also a runner, because they “get it”.

  4. terrilynnwest

    You look strong and beautiful! ignore all else!
    I am appalled at the behaviors of others..nothing but wow ..really? Keep on Rocky!! I hear the music lol!

  5. Wayne Talbott

    Well said Patti, I’d like to see these people try to keep up with you, running 3 days per week, personal training 2 days per week and keeping up with all you daily undertakings. You ROCK,”Long May You Run!”

  6. Peg

    As a fellow struggler and calorie counter etc., I know what you mean. But I don’t think you look heavy at all. And you are certainly a strong runner – it takes both mental and physical stamina to keep at it in the face of injuries.
    I have probably been guilty of some of the food suggestions for people but only because I’m trying to find low cal stuff for my own self – and I try to share good stuff I find with my friends who talk about counting calories!
    As for the rest of it – Just smack ’em upside the head with your strong arms!

  7. Sandy

    We’re runners. No need to hang any other descriptions onto that designation. May all those thoughtless people one day realize running is about commitment and the “power” it fosters in each of us which cannot be determined by numbers on a scale.

  8. Rosalind

    I am sure Dr. Heel was saying that so he could get out to his cigarette and fries. When I read you are a heavy runner, I thought you meant you run a LOT. So I would have to agree that you are a heavy runner, because you run a LOT more than most people do. And I also agree with the “Car Back” comment above. There is one good thing about having my ever-widening behind in neon shorts when I run. I won’t get hit. You are an amazing, dedicated runner, and I love that about you (one of the many things….)

  9. Elyse Baclar

    Ignore rude people. They are envious of your accomplishments. I am a lifetime Weight Watcher as are many other runners. People think I’m crazy to have to worry about weight. I’ve had people look me up & down and say, “you don’t look like a fitness instructor!” Thinness is not an indication of good health. Keep up the good work & great attitude!!

  10. Andrea Ramirez

    I really enjoyed your post Patti! Running is about so much more than the weight. It’s about getting away from the everyday stresses of life and knowing you’re doing something good for your mind, body, and soul. That’s what matters. I support you as always and have always been inspired by your dedication. I need all I can get as the often exhausted mother of a two year old. Hope all is well!

  11. Kerri Sox

    This is GREAT! I loved reading it and I identify with all of it! I can’t believe how ignorant and rude people are. Thanks for articulating this so beautifully! I think you look amazing! 🙂

  12. Kathleen

    There is definitely one thing I’ve learned about running (and life)…never judge someone based on appearance. You’ll be mighty surprised! (And are definitely not heavy!)

  13. Bonnie

    Patti! great post, heavy runner? Really? You are the and I love running with you! You look FaNtAsTiC


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