Am I a runner or a jogger?

I’m reading Dean Karnazes book “Run! – 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss” at the moment. It’s a good book, a real runners book, with lots of funny anecdotes that we can really relate to.

One quote of Deans really stuck in my mind – “The difference between a runner and a jogger is that a jogger still has control of his life”

It’s a great quote, and, on my training run this morning, I thought about it. What is the difference between running and jogging? It annoys me to be called a jogger, but I was never sure why.
This morning’s run was tough. It was my first week back since my somewhat disastrous Dublin Marathon experience, and there was a storm raging, with high winds and heavy, driving rain. About a mile into my run, I wasn’t feeling great. So I decided to run up the Short Mountain, just to test myself. It was awful. The wind blew straight into my face as I climbed, and the stinging rain blinded me. I made it as far as Scotia’s Grave before my breakfast decided to make an appearance.

When you are on your knees, in the mud, in a storm, puking up your breakfast, with a burst-open bin liner full of dirty nappies on one side of you, and the putrid carcass of a dead sheep on the other, running starts to ask questions.

Not “Why did some asshole dump nappies up a mountain?”
or “Why does porridge not taste any worse coming back up than it did going down?”
or even “I wonder what killed that sheep?”

It asks hard questions. “What the fuck are you doing here?” “Why do you think you are going to be any better in the next marathon?” “Who the fuck do you think you are, anyway?”

I dragged myself to my feet, and began to run back down, still feeling like shit, but at least feeling like shit that was running downhill.

And the answer to the running vs jogging question came to me.

Jogging is fun. Jogging is chatting with your friends, and laughing and joking, and enjoying yourself.

Running is the Gestapo. Running asks you questions; deep, hard, nasty questions. It waits until it has beaten the shit out of you, until you are weak, and vulnerable, and then it asks questions.

Running beat the shit out of me today, asked it’s horrible questions, and I answered them. Tomorrow it will beat the shit out of me again, and ask me more. I’ll answer them again. I always do.

I’m a runner.


2 thoughts on “Am I a runner or a jogger?

  1. fair point. I will sometimes say “I’m going for a jog” if I just need to get out of the house for a bit, to get some fresh air and the blood pumping. But if there’s a specific goal in mind (training miles for a marathon, speed work, whatever) then it’s a run!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting post, is always good to understand runners profile. Because of my job I am always searching for information related to sport amateurs in order to help them carry out right practises. Excellent blog, congratulations!


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