Back in 2012 at the inaugural Atlantic City April Fool’s half marathon (my birthday race) Cam, Bec and I were up with the sun, prepping to run the boards. As we made our way through the casino floor we were chatting quietly, getting into the running mindset, we came across Drunk Dude.
Drunk Dude clearly had not gone to sleep and was wandering aimlessly around the casino floor, beer in hand. Anyone who’s gone to a casino knows that it’s somewhat difficult to find the doors (they hide those suckers so you can never leave and they continue to get all your money) so while we were struggling to just get out, he was struggling to converse.
Maybe we were asking for it with Cam walking around with “half virgin” on her back.
Us (we speak in unison – or at least we think in unison with one person responding what we’re all thinking): Whoa, look at this dude. He’s wearing the same clothes as last night.
Him: (random loud display) Hey! What’s going on here? What’s happening? Why are there all these people around here?
Us: We’re running a race, a half marathon. (Bec was doing the 7k but we figured Drunk Dude didn’t need the details. From experience as both the drunkee and the soberee, we knew the shorter the answers, the better.)
Him: Oh, a race? You guys are runners? How long?
Us: Yep, 13.1 miles.
Him: So, what, are you guys nerds or something?
Us: Yep, only nerds run. We have to go. (Eye roll)
Him: Oh you’re leaving? What? What’d I say?
Us: (walking away) Bye!
Him: (shouting after us) NERDS!
And listen, I get where Drunk Dude is coming from because at one point in the not-so-distant past, I wouldn’t have chosen waking up at dark o’clock to run a significant (read: any) amount of miles. In fact, when I ran a 5k through my college, I went past my old residence hall thinking “Girl, if your 20 year old self could see you now…”
You might not be able to surmise this about me if you don’t know me well but the truth of the matter is… I AM a Nerd. With a capital N.
When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’. – John Green
Oh, yes, I’m a nerdfighter, too. If you don’t know what that is, here’s a video. (You can thank me later.)
I’m a running nerd and I’m damn proud to be a running nerd (all running nerds are – just look at their Facebook timeline/pictures for proof). I wear my Garmin proudly, logging my miles on Daily Mile so that I’m then able to talk about running with my friends. I talk about running with people I don’t know too, because they like running and the only thing better than running is talking about it! I wake up at 5 in the morning to run or I run when my kids are at school. Laundry and dishes wait because running needs to come first, so I can get through the mundane tasks. I’ll gladly not partake in alcoholic beverages because I’m training the next day.
My days revolve around when I can run and I get cranky if that plan gets derailed. I spend my money on Mizunos and cute running clothes and race entries. I’ll gladly travel to races, the further the better. I connect with other runners via Twitter. I read running blogs and I genuinely care how that blogger is feeling after their run and what their next event is going to be. I encourage newer runners because I remember what it feels like to be a newer runner. Sometimes I still feel that way.
My friends and I discuss things that happened during runs together and reminisce about things like Drunk Dude. Or the guy that shouted “COLOR RUN” as he bombed us with yellow color from behind as we were taking a selfie. And I like to dress up in costumes to run because as you know, many nerds like a good cosplay.
I like seeing people’s Instagram pictures of their food and their tracks and their playlists and gladly share mine as well. (Oh, and I like seeing their nail polish too, for the record.)
Through running, my confidence has gone up. Something I once believed was impossible is not only possible, it’s possible in great lengths. I can and I will to the fullest extent. I’m proud, enthusiastic and yes… a NERD about it.
So let’s all raise our glasses (mine is a 13.1 tumbler filled with water and Nuun) to all the running nerds. Long may we run.