Friday, August 10, 2012

Fitness Friday: Call Us Runners

Running all starts somewhere. Previously I wrote about aha! moments and discovered how incredibly similar we all are when it comes to starting our fitness journeys. 

Last week, after reading Melissa's post On Stealing a Runner's Glory, I started thinking about the moment that I thought of myself as a runner

We didn't lace up our shoes and call ourselves runners immediately. The feeling of owning the title of RUNNER comes to each of us at different moments, after different experiences. 

When the moment comes, it is often memorable:

Katey @ Run With Kate
I felt like a runner when I realised that it had become my 'thing'. I didn't need to run a race to realise that other people would say 'Kate runs' when introducing me to people. It's become part of my lifestyle; to me, running means that it has become a vital part of my identity.

Coco @ Running with Perseverance
I believe that if you run, you are a runner. Whether you run in Mizunos or Keds (but please don't for your own sake!), whether you run 2 miles or 20, whether you race every weekend or never, whether you win your age group or barely beat the course-closing sweeper van, you are a runner. So, when I looked back on my journal entries from my early days as a runner, I was surprised to see what it took for me to think of myself as a runner. Here's what I found in my journal: Looking Back On 10 Years of Running

Heather @ Better With Veggies
To me, being a runner means I get out the door when it's fun and when I'd rather sit on the couch. It means I set goals for myself and work toward those goals, even when it's hard. It doesn't matter how far or how fast, you're a runner if you get out there and run!

Divya @ Eat Teach Blog
Running isn't easy for me. It's never been. But it's something that I love doing regardless of my ability. There are moments where I feel like it's the most painful process to move one foot in front of the other. But then there's moments when my mind is completely separate from my body and my feet take control of themselves - almost an "out of body" experience. I continue to practice to have more of those moments. Being a runner doesn't mean that I have to run at a certain pace or reach a certain distance. Being a runner means I run. And I love it. 

Erika @ MCM Mama
I realized that any time I get "me time", I hit the road. Somehow I went from running for fitness to running for mental health to running because it's an integral part of who I am.  I felt amazing and proud when I realized that.

Natural Nesters @ Designing a Better Me
I use to doubt myself and even though I had ran a 1/2 Marathon in 2007, even then I would not call myself a 'runner' because I thought a runner had to be someone that put hours and hours into it and did every race out there.. had all the right gear... did the charities, etc. You get what I am saying. Fast forward five years and many life changes which includes now being a mom.. I do NOT doubt that I am a runner. From the day I started running again back in March I have said to people.. "I love that I am a runner!" I said it with confidence, happiness, and belief. What made the difference... I may never know... But to me a runner is someone who has the desire and passion to run. That is ME! I no longer look at running as something I can't do. Rather, I look at running as something I WANT to do, DESIRE to do, and want to get BETTER at. I love that at the end of the day, when it cools down, I can pull that faithful jogging stroller out, put on my mismatched running clothes, get my boy a snack and water.. and GO! I love that while I GO I know that I am a runner. Just because someone can run faster than me doesn't make them any more of a runner than me. The fact that I get out there and DO IT makes me a runner. I know that I am a runner today because it is part of my life. Running is now who I am and I hope it stays part of who I am forever. I love my life with running and I hope even when my kids are grown that I am a running Mommy... 

Charlene @ Running with Charlene
When did I feel like a runner? The moment I crossed the Finish line at my first Half marathon 2010. 7 months prior, I could not run a mile. Now, I have run over 45 races, including Full Marathons. I am a 6 time member of the USATF All-American Masters Team and a Certified Running Coach.

Amanda @ Run To The Finish

I felt like a runner when I started going because I loved it and not because it was a workout. For me that took about a year, but the next 9 have been amazing.

Tara @ A Daily Dose Of Fit
I used to hate running. With a passion. And then, I loved it. I transitioned from walking to running over time, and in the fall of 2009, I felt like a runner for the first time when I crossed the finish line of the Chicago Half Marathon. I hated the last three miles, as did my IT bands, but knowing that I could do it...and that I did it...made me feel like I could do anything. To be a runner is to trust your body. To feel your body working hard, step after step after even more steps. But sometimes it's not about those steps. It's about letting go of everything else and finding the time to focus on you. Therapy? Maybe. When I got pregnant last year, I couldn't run like I used to. Five months postpartum, I started running again and flew through a 6-mile race. I felt like I had recaptured a part of myself that had been put on hold for far too long. Granted, not running like normal for nine months was worth it...but moms can still be runners. And I did run throughout my pregnancy. Although, not as fiercely for obvious reasons. But I'm running again, and that means a lot to me. With new passion, too. It's not really about the race, time or pace. To be a runner is to learn to let go of the effort and to enjoy the ride, one step in your favorite sneaks at a time.

Lora @ Crazy Running Girl
I felt like a runner when I was training for my first marathon and woke up early on a Saturday morning to do my long run on the trails around the lakes. I got so many hellos, waves, etc. from fellow runners... I finally felt like I was part of the club! It was a great feeling -- and part of the reason why I'll sacrifice sleeping in on the weekend to get my run in. There's nothing like being out on the trails early in the morning with all of your best running friends.

Gina @ Noshing On Asphalt
I didn’t realize I was a runner until after I finished my first 15k this past February.  It was the Double Bridge Run in Pensacola, Florida, and I ran it side-by-side with the woman who inspired me to run.  Prior to the 15k, I was running about 20 miles a week and had raced several 5ks and one 10k but my internal runner switch had never been flipped.  I don’t know why I felt like I wasn’t a ‘real’ runner, I just didn’t.  But during the last mile of the 15k I had this huge burst of energy and I felt like I could have knocked out another 5 miles easily.  I was so energized/excited and it was at that moment I knew I had the type of experience ‘real’ runners talked about....I had become a runner.

"Hutch" @ Heavy Medal
Being able to run a mile without stopping didn't make me feel like a runner. Finishing 4 full marathons didn't make me feel like a runner. Hearing my friends begin to refer to me as a runner, didn't make me feel like a runner. After 4 years of running somewhat regularly, there came a day when I realized I was looking forward to running and was enjoying the run itself; not just the satisfaction of finishing a run or race day high, but the actual movement of running, the rhythm and challenge of it. That's when I felt like a runner, like I had finally arrived. 

However, some are still waiting for it:

Alyse @ Fit Approach
Based on reading a ton of running blogs, and being friends with so many runners, I get the impression that most people do have that moment when they realize they're a runner. They get sucked in and find they just LOVE running. Or find their peace, or their sanity, by hitting the pavement. 

I'm waiting for that moment to happen to me. I have had a handful of good runs, or times when I enjoyed running and found myself glimpsing what about it gets you hooked, but I haven't been full-on converted yet. I enjoy the endorphin rush when it's over—but mostly, I just enjoy when it's over. :) I'm looking forward to the day when running sinks its teeth into me and it becomes something I look forward to and find joy in. 

Thank you to all the runners from FitFluential and Fit Approach
who shared their memories with me ~ you're the greatest!

Do you consider yourself a RUNNER?

I first felt like a runner last summer when I was training for my first half marathon. I finally felt like I knew what I was doing, it was part of my weekly schedule, and I was having fun.


  1. These are great! Thanks for including me!

  2. Great post! I was planning to get you my quote and didn't get my act together in time.... love reading through all of these! My first race made me feel like a "real" runner.

    1. Awesome! I bet first races are a popular moment for a lot of runners!

  3. This was a great post. I love how you incorporated quotes from others. I feel like the only time I run is when I get ready for a mud run or in crossfit class. So to me, I am not a runner. lol

    1. Running 3-5 miles in the mud is definitely a runner in my eyes ;)

  4. This is a great post. I love hearing about people's "moments" like this - when they consider themselves a runner because it is so different for every person. For me? I don't know. I think it was when I started running on a regular basis in Central Park and felt a communion with the other runners, started seeing the same runners out at the same time, and getting the "nod" from other runners. That made me feel like I made it as a runner.

    1. I know what you mean - that transition to feeling like you belong.

  5. Great post, love reading these! I think I finally felt like I runner after a few years when I was enjoying most of my runs and feelin ggood about what I was accomplishing as I crossed the finish line of my 3rd marathon under 4 hours, something I never thought I could do :-)

    1. It's funny how a lot of us don't consider ourselves "runners" until we are doing it just for fun!

  6. Great stories! I agree that being a runner means I run. I hesitated to call myself a 'runner' for a long time. I was a "new runner," or something not quite there yet. But now I realize that no matter how much I enjoy or don't enjoy it, no matter how far I go or don't, as long as I do it, and I CHOOSE to do it, I'm a runner.

  7. I enjoy reading everyone's stories. I love running and reading how others feel about it:)

    1. I do too, especially when it lets me see how much I have in common with other runners (and that I'm not crazy!)

  8. I love these Amy! What a great post! I do call myself a started after I had my daughter and I would crave a run. I knew then that I had arrived!

  9. Thanks for sharing these great stories with us!

  10. Yay! So good to see these stories up. You've done a great job - I had never really thought about what it means to a be a runner until you asked. And I love that everyone ha a different opinion or perspective.

  11. Great post! I have to agree that I realized I was a runner when I wanted to run for enjoyment not just for training or exercise. I think it is a love or hate relationship. If you don't love it, don't force it.


I love comments!