Friday, October 19, 2012

What makes a runner?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I have to admit, sometimes I feel a bit silly chronicling my journey as a newbie runner. Even as recently as this past Saturday while lined up at the start for the Woolaroc Road Race I felt like a sham. I had my running shorts on, my new nano, my Asics, my long sleeve dri fit on but I felt so out of place. It's kind of insidious how those thoughts creep in. I'm plugging along and wham insecurity creeps in. "You are not a runner yet, you aren't fast enough...you don't train hard enough, you don't push yourself hard enough". I'm sure you get the idea. But then I go and beat my goal and I think "ha! take that". Yes, I do have these internal conversations quite often. Here's what I'm learning, running is as much mental as it is physical. I am only competing against myself not against anyone else. When I begin to hesitate in thinking I am a runner, I realize there really is only one prerequisite to carry that designation. I am a runner, because I run. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter how fast, a mile is still a mile. It doesn't matter if I might do run, walk intervals every once in awhile. It doesn't matter what gear I have or don't have. I get out there at least three times a week and I run. I run because I enjoy it and because it has changed me. That alone makes me a runner.