What's a runner?
For a long time now, I've been enamored of the the label "runner."
|What does it take to be a "runner?"|
There's something about saying, "I'm a runner" or "I run marathons" or even "I ran a 5K last weekend." It sounds so...accomplished. People who run must be hard workers, dedicated, mentally strong, and obviously in top physical condition. Which is why I've always felt like I was embellishing a bit when I described myself as a runner.
But am I? Am I stretching the truth, or am I indeed a runner? What does it take to be classified as a runner?
I've never run a marathon, or a half marathon, or even a formal 10K for that matter. The only organized race I've ever run in my life was a 5K--yep, a measly 3.1 miles. I have, however, run hundreds and hundreds of miles on my own, not part of organized races. In fact, the first thing I do in the morning, four days of every week, is run a minimum of three miles. Usually one of those days is a five- or six-miler. So does running 14 - 16 miles per week put me in the "runner" category, even though I don't typically run competitively?
The other day, I felt like a runner. It was a sunny, crisp, Saturday morning. I knew that the weather was ideal for a nice outdoor run, but I wasn't really feeling "it" that morning. I left the house in my running gear with the attitude "I'll go a couple of miles today, nice and slow--that's better than nothing." So I ran my couple of miles, and after the first half mile or so, I felt as if I were running on air. My body systems were working perfectly. Everything was in sync. Rhythmic. Maybe it was because it was my first outdoor run of the season, but I found myself thinking about anything and everything unrelated to my run. For a while, it seemed like I had forgotten I was even running. Before I knew it, I had reached the three-mile mark, then four, five, six... It was fantastic. To leave the house with such low expectations and end up running more than six miles, with energy to spare, was gratifying.
Maybe I am a runner, I thought to myself. Something about that morning made me feel like I could easily run competitively. Not necessarily for speed, my 10-minute miles are weak compared to a lot of competitive runners, but I definitely could finish a half marathon.
That's when it hit me: My husband is running the Colfax half marathon in May. I am definitely more of a "runner" than he is. Why should he run the half while I'm standing on the sidelines, afraid of failing? I needed to sign up, even if only to check this feat off of my bucket list. And to run it faster than he does, of course.
And so, this former 237-pound girl is going to be running a half marathon on May 20.
That's 13.1 miles.
Yeah, I'd say I'm a runner, but I'll tell you for sure on May 21.