25 February 2015

Why I Am No Longer an Everyday Runner

Hello! :) 
Happy Wednesday!

Before this post, I have a few pieces of housekeeping: 

1. I had to add a word verification to my comment form because I got spammed by hundreds of fake comments all of the sudden. I know it's annoying - sorry!

2. I added a "coaching" tab to my blog. I'll tease it out in more detail soon, but wanted to let you know that after tonight (my last coaching class for phase 1), I am able to see clients. I cannot wait to connect!

3. This is a re-post from September. It felt important to talk about having a healthy relationship with exercise as we gear up for spring, and all the inevitable noise about bikini bodies. Stay strong in your worth :) 


I read a post a few weeks ago on A Cup of Jo about how, if asked to describe ourselves in five words at varying phases of life, you might not find any overlap between the words a few years apart. It resonated with me because, just that day Robyn and I were talking about how a year ago, if we'd been asked to describe ourselves, we both would have said "runner" first. 

But today?

It wouldn't even be in my top five. 

A healthy living and fitness enthusiast? Absolutely. Someone who prioritizes exercise? Yes. But for me, right now, long distance running doesn't align with healthy living in my life. 

After years of having too many rules around my relationship with running - from a minimum distance required each day for it to "count," to needing to do intervals and stairs and sprints and all sorts of things in between -  I have learned that it's healthier for my mind and body to exercise differently. I have learned not to fear weights, not to worship cardio, to take rest days, try new classes for fun and even "count" walks. 

I have learned to have a healthier relationship with exercise for the joy it brings me and for the amazing things it does for my mind and body when it isn't abused. Because, just like anything else, exercise is so good, but too much of anything isn't good anymore. 

That's a lot to gain. But what about the things I've lost? What about the way I used to be able to run far and fast? And about how my body looked different - to some, maybe better? About how I went out, without training, and won a triathlon? What about how I used to have visions of completing a half Ironman and now I don't even run every day?

If I let myself, I can get a lot of anxiety about losing all of those things. About losing so many of the attributes that once made me feel like me. 

But the anxiety is worth pushing through. Because a year ago, I could have described myself as a runner. But two of my other words could have been rigid and fearful. Because I had no room for flexibility in my day - I had to run these miles and exercise this way in order to feel like I'd earned my keep. And I feared what would happen if I didn't. 

Today, I might not be winning any events or dreaming of being a sponsored Ironman competitor. Not even close. But I have learned to have balance. I have become less afraid. I have become less rigid and more flexible. I have become someone who is having more fun and who is overall happier. And for right now, that's a lot more important in my life than being able to say I run every day. 

Some notes: 
1. This is a joint post with Robyn. Read about her journey with running here.
2. Just because my relationship with running has changed does not mean I believe running is bad or wrong. Many people have perfectly healthy relationships with running and I think that's wonderful :)


  1. Love this. It is very similar to how my own outlook on running has changed. I run every other day now and I'm physically and mentally in a much better place because of it.

  2. A couple of years ago I used to run ALL the time. From "leisure" runs around my neighborhood to 5K, 10K, even half marathons! I've been taking a break but I do miss it. However, I do hear your point, sometimes is a great idea to slow things down. No need to be running everyday. Balance is key.

    1. Balance is key :) Running daily is great for a lot of people but not quite for me!

  3. Hi Whitney! This is unrelated to the post, so I apologize. But I'm making my first trip to Atlanta next week and hoped you might be able to give me some advice on what to do! I'm going for a conference, but I booked Friday night + all day Saturday free there before the conference starts on Sunday. I've looked up tourist stuff, but was hoping for some non-touristy, more off the beaten path recommendations from you...any cool neighborhoods I should be sure to check out? Places to grab a drink Friday night? Thank you!

    1. Hi! Off the top of my head, I think Superica or Lady Bird could be a great place to grab a drink Friday. If you want to email me directly, I can shoot you a more thorough list! whitney dot biber at gmail dot com :)

  4. LOVE IT! I am definitely not a runner and I actually ran a half marathon just because I thought that's what I "had to do for fitness". But, I don't like it, so after that half marathon, I started taking Zumba and Dance Cardio classes and FELL IN LOVE! Now, I do what is FUN for me! I don't care what other people think anymore. God created us all to be unique, so I've embraced it! :)


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