Wednesday Word: Pragmatic

Deb Runs

Every Wednesday, the Deb from Deb Runs will be providing a word about which to blog. Kind of like a nice little blog prompt. Posts can be fitness or health related, but don’t have to be, so really anyone can play along. Just be sure to link up with InLinkz on Deb’s main post, and share the love by reading and commenting on other’s participant’s posts.

Today’s word is PRAGMATIC.

This is how the word is defined:

Pragmatic people have their feet on the ground and their heads there, too. No time for dreaming! They’re realistic. A pragmatic approach to something is the sensible one.

In life and with my running, I am NOT very pragmatic.

I am impulsive!

That’s not to say I do not plan.  I do.  A Lot.

But I make decisions and afterward, plan and think about them.

Is that good for a runner? Probably not.

But I am 63, still running and winning age group awards so here is my take on the benefits of NOT being pragmatic.

  • You take risks and find out that you are capable of more than you thought.


After only running 5k races, I signed up for a half marathon. I didn’t tell anyone because I wasn’t sure I was could do it.  Best decision ever.  I can say that now after running 19 more halfs.

  • You meet super people that you never would have.


I agreed to help 2 runners whom I barely knew run their first half in Philly (I met one during a race running up a long hill)  and I roomed someone else that I had never met before.  We had a great time and I have stayed in touch with them ever since.

  • You create memorable experiences.


I had ankle surgery and hadn’t run in 5 months.  I had signed up for the race and planned to walk it but when the gun went off, I started to run and didn’t stop until the end. This photo made the cover of the local newspaper. Yes, it was stupid and I could have experienced a serious set back but I will never forget crossing the finish line with tears running down my face. The ortho told me that I wouldn’t run again and this meant that I would.

  • Things never turn how how you plan anyway.


I ran a half in April and then ran some 5ks and went on vacation to Florida.  So I never got around to training for this May half marathon. I decided to run it anyway and it turned out fine.  The race got canceled due to the heat.  And the non-pragmatic me ran the 13.1 miles rather than getting the bus.

  • You face your fears and become more confident.


I signed up for the RNR Brooklyn without any idea about the logistics.  I didn’t have a place to stay, the hotels were too expensive and I hadn’t been to Brooklyn since I was 5.  I wound up staying in a AirBNB, navigating the subways and being a solo tourist in a new place. It was scary at first but since then I have run a 5K in NYC and plan to do it again in November.  The subways don’t scare me anymore nor do walking the streets alone.

  • Being spontaneous is more fun.


I was in Denver at a conference.  I wanted to run.  I also wanted to see the city.  So I skipped the workshops on the last day and signed up for a City Running Tour.  I had never done one.  It was about 100 degrees and my guide was young and fast.  But it was awesome. Who knew?

Many of you will think me crazy.  And I urge you to continue stretching, planning and doing whatever has made you a successful runner.

Happy Running! Are you a Pragmatic runner?


21 thoughts on “Wednesday Word: Pragmatic

  1. As you know, I am very pragmatic when it comes to running, but not with everything in life. I consider myself to be both pragmatic and spontaneous — and I think it’s a good combination.

    ZOOMA Annapolis was somewhat spontaneous & that one didn’t work out so well for me. But then other planned for halfs haven’t either, so there ya go.


  2. Love the spontaneous vibe and carefree approach! I can be pragmatic when I’m training for a full marathon, ie, trying to follow a plan and make sure I’m responsible about getting to bed early and up early and prioritizing my runs above all else…and in life, I’m def a mix, depending on the context. Pragmatic when it comes to school work and going after my professional goals, but in terms of free time and social life and planning last minute trips and all that, I am def a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, spontaneous dreamer type!


  3. I am realistic about things, but i am also not very afraid to try something new that will get my heart rate up, so I really don’t know what the heck I am LOL
    I love that you are willing to go and give it a try!
    There are risks, but the when you accomplish what you set out to do, it sure feels good!


  4. I am overly pragmatic but with time, have learned that being spontaneous makes life much more interesting.
    I love that you make decisions then figure out a plan to get things done. LOVe it !

    And BTW I NEVER would have said you were 63 ! Are you sure ???


    • Like how I planned to meet you in NYC. I said I would and then I figured it all out.

      Unfortunately I am that old but in my mind I’m still young. My body doesn’t always get it, though.


    • Yeah. Like if I trained for a PR and made myself crazy and then the race got cancelled. And I am pragmatic about some things (my job, family, etc.)


  5. I like your approach! Of the linked up posts I’ve read so far, you’re the only person who says they are not pragmatic. You do so well in your races, so it must be working well for you.

    Thanks for linking up, Darlene!


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