Amateur runners seem to have all types of body shape, and even among the most hardcore of ultra-marathoners, there is still plenty of variety. Obviously some endurance runners can sprint like the clappers when they need to. I've seen Olympic middle distance runners sprint the last 200 meters of a 10k race at a speed that a dedicated sprinter would be pretty happy with!
But you don't see many super-muscly people running marathons. I know there are some curvy/tall/ripped elite runners out there, but I haven't seen any that looked like a sprinter. Even though the difference in weight between elite sprinters and marathoners is not that much (I did a straw poll of recent top female athletes, the difference was only ~10lbs), I'm wondering whether that small weight difference would make a big difference to race times?
As I can barely run for 100m meters, never mind sprint, I speak from the perspective of someone just starting out on the road to becoming a runner. I find myself inevitably wondering what my runs will be like in the future and what my physique will look like, and it's hard to visualise, given that at the moment I am closer to resembling a hippopotamus than a gazelle...
I enjoyed longer distances when I was younger and fitter, and I would love to be able to enter middle and long distance races, but I would prefer the impressive bulk of a sprinter, and like the thought of being able to out-sprint my friends in my 'play' sessions too.
I accept that bulking up would take time, especially since I am a Grokette, but would this time be wasted if I also wish to run endurance races? Do big muscles really shrivel up if you start running marathons? Can a runner realistically maintain both skills? Or am I expecting too much?