Friday, July 8, 2011

When Are We Runners?

The roommate and I got up at 6 A.M. to go for a little run. Neither of us are keen on morning runs since that requires us getting out of bed at dawn. And it was especially tough today because we both had the opportunity to sleep in.

But that wasn't the case at our house. We got up slowly and moaned and groaned around the house until 6:40 this morning. It was a quiet car ride to the Big Dam Bridge, but still nice. Once we got there, we had a much needed stretch session. (We didn't really stretch too good at the 5K Wednesday night so our muscles were pretty pissed off at us.)

It was a glorious morning. 77 degrees. A nice breeze. Sun not too high in the sky. River Trail was partly shaded. Perfect morning for a nice run.

The roommate and I did a good job keeping a conversation this morning. It's something we've all been working on. We talk to each other to help build stamina, and it helps us know how our pace is. If we can't talk to each other, we are going to fast. Plus it's just added fellowship time.

There was a sweet little lady with a Camelbak water pack. I had to steal a picture. She was so chipper. Too bad we were still half asleep when she passed us during our warm-up walk. I told the roommate we needed to get a Camelbak water backpack. It's hands free. And just plain cool.

We saw some deer. Bambi times two. I tried to get a picture, but I got this, which is equally cool. But I still have no proof that I saw Bambi.

We are getting ready to change the running routine this weekend. After Wednesday's 5K, I am not as nervous about changing things anymore. I feel very confident in my running and in our running as a group. My mental attitude about running is changing.

The roommate asked me a very valid question this morning. When are we runners?

One might say that although we claim that we ran a 5K, it doesn't count because we walked some of it.

Obviously, we think that thought is complete blasphemy. A total crock. Ridiculous. Stupid. Outrageous. And just plain mean.

We are definitely putting in the work to call ourselves runners. So when does it happen? When do you get the title of Runner Extraordinaire?

Here's my 411: You become a runner when you make running a priority. You become a runner when you set a goal to reach. You become a runner when you make up your mind to do it. It's not about who says you are a runner. It's about that you say you are a runner.

I became a runner when I said I wanted to run Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure with my mom in October. And when I bought running shoes. And when I got the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone. And when I started hitting the pavement on a regular basis.

Nobody cares that I walk sometimes. Nobody cares that I'm not the fastest. Or the best breather. Or that my calves hate me when I'm running.

You have to get over the inferiority complex that you have set up in your own mind. People aren't staring at you. They are not judging you. They don't care that your shorts don't match your shirt. Or that you are dripping insane amounts of sweat from weird places on your body.

The people who get it GET IT. The people who don't are just missing out. And that is their loss, not ours.

We are runners. And we love that. We are proud of it. What an accomplishment.

What about you? Are you a runner? Or a biker? A dancer? A hiker? 

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