The other day, a few friends and I were discussing if we are “real” runners or not. We were discussing whether taking walk breaks excludes us from the runners club. This left my confidence shaken and got me thinking—am I a real runner or am I just a poser? Yes, I have all the gear. I dress like a runner. I know all of the runner jargon. I show up at the events. I finish the events…but no, I don’t run the whole time. Does that make me not a “real” runner?
This all started when one friend told a story of talking with a coworker. They were discussing how they both had run half marathons. The one coworker asked my friend, “but did you run the WHOLE time, or did you stop and walk some of it”? My friend had indeed stopped to walk some of it. Her coworker scoffed as if she was better because she ran the whole time and my friend did not. That comment made her question herself. When she brought it up to us, I immediately told her of course she was a real runner—she put the time in and ran as much of it as she could, so yes she is a real runner.
As much as I believe that my friend is a “real runner” the occasional doubts still live in me about whether I am a real runner or not. I have been at this for about a year now. Does that make me a runner? My speed is not all the great—does that disqualify me? I usually run about three days a week. Is that enough to qualify me? I have a subscription to Runner World Magazine—that has to qualify me, right? Well, I have decided that I am a real runner. I am a real runner because I tell myself I am. If Jeff Galloway (Olympic medal winner) uses the Run/Walk/Run method, then it’s good enough for me!
What makes someone a runner? When did you first feel like you are a runner? What do you think of the distinctions some runners make between those who run the whole time and those whose who take walk breaks?
A dream is a wish…