It seems the topic of “When am I a runner?” divides opinions. Some seem to think that you are only a runner if you run at a certain pace or if you have competed in/completed a marathon. Others think that you have to be an ultra runner before earning such a title. The online Oxfod Dictionaries (oxforddictionaries.com) gives the definition of a runner as:
Then why do I still feel like such a fake when I call myself one? I have the bruised toe nails of a runner. I have blisters and injuries. I have long since given up any sense of shame about being seen in my running tights. I choose holidays based on whether I can run at the location. In fact, running seems to have taken over my entire life of late. If a friend asks to meet I will work it around my running schedule, not the other way around. Other friend wants to go out for drinks but I can only do it if they understand I won’t be drinking much (interferes with the running), or that I have to leave early due to a run the next day. All I seem to talk about is running; I am a running bore! And tomorrow (SATURDAY! A day to sleep in and recover) I am getting up at 7am to fit my long run in before I drop off my daughter at the airport. Have I gone mad or come to my senses? I have always been a bit black and white and the grey makes me feel uncomfortable. If you are going to do something then do it properly – that is what I live by. How the hell will I ever be able to take 6 weeks off?
The highs and lows or running are addictive. You have a shit run one day but the next you seem to have grown wings. I love those runs when you feel like you could just keep on going forever – just drop a pin on a map and run there. You feel great, a good song comes on the ipod and you just sing along while running, wanting to high five people because you feel soooo goooood.
I did my intervals yesterday and it has been a good while since I last tortured myself with those. I was absolutely dreading it.. When I started the first one, I felt like my legs just couldn’t keep up – they felt alien. I eventually got into it and realised that all the work I have been putting in, doing my physio and running seems to have paid off. I found another gear I didn’t have before. When the interval got tough it was almost as if the muscles in my legs activated and they felt stronger. My lung capacity seems much better as well than it did before. Naturally I was a mess by the end of the session but a happy (if rather red) mess.
So what makes a runner? I think you are a runner if you run, as simple as that. If you go out and do your time on either the treadmill, track, trail or where ever. If you put on your runners whether you feel like it or not, and you do it. No matter the distance, speed or duration. No matter even what the motivation; getting fit, losing weight or just getting out of the house for a bit to escape the kids. Do you want to be a runner? Without wanting to sound like a Nike ad, just do it. Put on your running shoes and go do it. It doesn’t matter if you can’t run for longer than a minute at a time – just keep at it and you will soon see improvement. Once you get your first taste of runner’s high you will be hooked – and there are worse masters to be a slave to.