Tuesday, August 13, 2013

In Which Our Heroine Finally Feels Like a Runner

The bib "quilt" on my office wall. Medals earned not shown.
I started this blog a year ago, and I confess that I feel like I've been lying every time I've called myself a runner.

Yes, I know the standard answer is that if you run--no matter how fast or how far--you are a runner. By these standards, I am a runner. I've been told that "hard core" runners run in all weather--rain, cold, heat. I have done all those things (although the coldest was only mid-30s). By these standards, I am a runner.

However, I am only now feeling like I can call myself a runner, and it's for the stupidest reasons that most people use to limit themselves--distance and duration.

Until last spring, I had only ever gone around 3 miles. The FAIL Voice in my head tells me that "anyone can do a fun run." But in May, I completed a 10K race--a trail race, no less, with a gallbladder on the verge of exploding. Now I'm prepping for 10 miles and seriously considering a half marathon.

The FAIL Voice will remind me that I spent a good portion of that 10K race walking, that I never could keep up the 3-1 intervals in my training. I didn't conserve my energy and let adrenaline get the better of me in both training and especially during races. But since the gallbladder surgery knocked me flat and forced me to go slow, I am finishing up the C25K program. Only this morning, I ran 28 minutes continuously--very slow, very steady, and very complete. And whoa nellie--the last three minutes I had one of those mythical runner highs (the front of my brain felt all tingly and happy). If that doesn't make me a runner, I don't know what does!

I used to think running was impossible. But I've clocked 422 miles of running since I started in 2012. I guess I must eat impossible for breakfast.

Am I a runner?

Yes, I am a runner.

Because I run.