Friday, October 29, 2010

And a Runner is Born

What makes a runner?  I have been asking this question lately.  Are you a runner if you run a certain amount of mileage, a certain speed, a certain race?  Or are you a runner if you run when you can, as far as you can, as fast as you can?  I know the answer varies from person to person.  I typed that question into Google the other day and read several fascinating articles and blog posts on the subject. Most agree that it's not your speed or distance, it's a frame of mind. 

I have wanted to become a runner, but I've been struggling with what defines me as a runner.  What does it mean to me?  Am I runner if I run four times a week, or does it need to be five?  Am I runner if I run 15 miles a week, or does it need to be 25?  Am I a runner with a pace of over 11 min/mile, or does it need to be under 10 min?  Am I a runner, if I never register for another race, or do I have to aim for a half marathon?  I asked myself these kinds of questions but couldn't really answer them.  I just knew that I didn't feel like I could call myself a runner.

Until today.

This morning I ran 4.88 miles in 55 minutes making my pace 11:13.   I have run 5 miles in the same amount of time so my pace has been faster.  I have run 6.38 miles before so this distance was not a record.  What made this day significant was my need to get out there.  The weather was awful!  It was a chilly cold 42 degrees and raining.   However, when I got up with my alarm at 7:00, I knew I was going out there.  My last three runs have been on the treadmill and I was itching to feel the fresh air on my face and experience the satisfaction of propelling myself forward as a means to get somewhere, and not just to keep up with an electronic belt.   I was cold and wet soaked from head to toe, but it didn't seem to matter because what I thought about most was how I am now a runner.

Today I earned my runner's wings!


  1. Great post! amazing feeling. I'm not to the point yet that I would consider myself a runner, but I can't wait for that day!

    <3 Katie

  2. Woohoo!

    Glad you found you wings! I hope to find mine someday soon. :)

  3. My physical therapist (an Olympic marathon qualifier 3 times now) got all over me once, because I said I wasn't a runner.

    "If you run, you're a runner. Period."

    Every time I read a post like this, I can hear her in the back of my head. :-) :-) :-)