Why I Love To Run Reason #9: I Am Now Bilingual

I realize right off the bat that I am probably going to offend people who are truly bilingual but I am ok with that.  But now you are probably wondering how running has made me bilingual.

Well I speak regular English so that is my first language as well as the language I generally choose to communicate in.  My second language is runguistics.  It is the language I use to communicate with others runners.  You all know it.  One runner can say to another runner, “I need to pick up some gu before I go long on Saturday,” and the two individuals would totally be on the same page.  But make that same comment to a non-runner and they would have no clue.  (Side note, I love that Gu is part of my vocabulary!)

I only realized I spoke runguistics about two weeks ago.  I was out for a 20 miler (notice I didn’t say 20 mile run, I used 20 miler which a runner knows means run) and I stopped at a store to buy Gatorade.  The woman behind me in line struck up a conversation.  It went like this.

Woman, “How far are you going today?”

Me, “I am half way through a 20.”

Woman, “Oh, so you are not running long next week before your taper?”

Me, “I am running London. So I am a week behind.”

Woman, “Yes, London is the week after.  I have always wanted to run London.”

Me, “I am excited but it is tough being a week behind Boston.”

Woman, “I have always wanted to do London.  I am excited for you, good luck.”

I love this conversation for a few reasons.  First, it was with a total stranger and she wished me luck in my next marathon.  Second, not once did we mention the word marathon yet we both knew we were talking about the Boston and London marathons.  Third, I never once said I was running 20 MILES but she knew exactly what I meant by 20.  Lastly, we used the word taper.  I also thought it was neat that she knew London was the week after Boston.  Only true runners memorize race schedules.

If you are not convinced that runguistics is its own language then here are few more examples.

I need to roll.  — Translated means I need to use my foam roller to stretch my muscles.

What are you running this weekend? — Translated means how many miles are you running.

I need to do a hill workout. — Translated means I will run up and down the same hill as fast as I can for a while.

I want to PR. —  Translated means I want to set my personnel best or personnel record in a race.

So maybe runguistics isn’t a new language but it is definitely another dialect of the English language and it is my #9 Reason Why I Love to Run!

Thanks for following.


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