photo by David Stegenga

One of the things I truly love about long-distance running is that there is no black or white. There’s no right or wrong. Sometimes people will tell you there is, but what I’ve learned in my 12+ years of long-distance running is that it’s very individual.

Doing things your own way often brings more joy, more rewards, more long-term motivation than doing things how someone else thinks it should be done. Trying to fit the mold can be frustrating and running can be so much more fun when we embrace the grey, or in my preference, all colors. It might take time for others to get on board and sometimes it seems like not every type of runner is welcome or celebrated in the running world, but I see things changing.

Like life, running is a journey of self-discovery. It’s a journey of learning what your body can handle, what your body craves, what your body needs, and what keeps your body moving.

Every journey is different. Every runner is different. One is not better than the other, just different. It’s about learning what works best for you on your journey and embracing that.

I love seeing this diversity in runners and I’d love to see more of it. Running is for everybody. We’re unique. Where’s the fun in trying to be like someone else? It’s so much more inspiring just being ourselves.

“It’s wonderful when you can bring sparkle into people’s lives without fading away from your own true color. Keep the hue in you.” – Dodinsky

If my runner were a color, it’d probably be hot pink. I don’t move like a gazelle, I don’t look like the elite, I’m often running in the back of the pack, I prefer the city streets to the track, I don’t take my training too seriously, I’d rather run with others, wine and chocolate have a place in my runner’s diet, and I love the shock-factor of the challenges I take on — it keeps me motivated. This is where I am on my journey and I love it.

What color runner are you? How are you different?

Laurie Villarreal

Laurie’s an accomplished endurance athlete and has been running since 1998. She’s the founder of House of Running and a professional Running Coach, a certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and Health & Wellness Coach. Laurie’s trained and worked with nearly 1000 runners since 2010. She’s a master in her field with over 10,000 hours of run coaching experience. Laurie helps ambitious professionals make running part of their healthy lifestyle through on-on-one online coaching and fun group training programs. She has a unique holistic approach to running, helping her runners think beyond running to realize their running dreams. Click here to find out how to work with Laurie in one-on-one online coaching.

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