October 25, 2010

How to become a RUNNER...

I've been catching flack for not feeling the title RUNNER. Superman believes, since it is my main form of exercise, that makes me a RUNNER. I hear the Energizer Bunny also finds it amusing I don't consider myself a RUNNER. She, of course, has been one since college. 

I think, first off, it's a club one has to want to be part of. I still don't enjoy running, though I have to say the sensation I've experienced in the last week, after changing my stride, is far more enjoyable than what I'd been doing. Saturday's 10-miler didn't suck, as it would have in the past. I do enjoy that I'm improving, as much as I enjoy knowing I've completed a run. That doesn't make me a RUNNER. I haven't earned that title yet. 

Zaneta at Runner's Luck would understand. She posted this yesterday, announcing she achieved her personal definition of RUNNER by losing her first toenail. I like in the comments how someone suggested she get a shirt saying "toenails are for sissies!" For the record, that is not my definition. Andrew at Running Man Wannabe would understand, although some of his followers suggested he take the "wannabe" off his blog title after he ran his first 5K. He didn't, and I wonder if he's achieved his definition of RUNNER yet.

My definition includes regularly running more days out of the week than not. It includes an addiction to running, an enjoyment I do not as yet feel. Now, it's a form of exercise and a way to help control my thyroid. It is becoming a part of who I am, though there's still the chance I might bail over the winter. This is the longest I've ever maintained an exercise program I didn't pay for (other than races). After 5 years in Tae Kwon Do, I still didn't consider myself a martial artist. I always held a part of myself back, never succumbed to the religion. Even if I'd achieved that black belt, I'm not sure I would have considered myself an artist. I was always a student, and I liked it that way. I feel the same about running. There is so much I haven't learned, so much I haven't even attempted: the regular training, the diet, the marathon. I can see myself as an ultra marathoner someday. Just not today.

I do hope to one day call myself a RUNNER, but I'm not there yet. 

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