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running but not a runner

I’ve been thinking a lot about myself and my future goals lately. I have BIG plans for the next 12 months, and fitness and family are at the heart of it all. Recently I’ve noticed something funny about myself when talking about my fitness aspirations. People ask me if I’m a runner, and I always answer “no, but I run.”

running but not a runner
See, that may not sound like a big difference, but it is. I don’t consider myself a runner yet. I started running in 2011 when a coworker asked me to join a team of friends for the Dirty Girl 5k. I had never ran outside of gym class, but I figured it would be fun to try a race… once.

Since then, I’ve lost track of how many races I’ve done, running has been an essential aspect of my relationship with Jeff, and I successfully ran through most of my pregnancy.

running but not a runner
Three years later, I don’t run particularly fast, I can’t go particularly far, and I consider myself pretty clueless about the idea of running in general. I certainly don’t have any fancy gear. My shoe shopping process was as follows: Those pink ones are cute! Yeah, let’s go with those! Oh, and my training strategy has always been to go until I get tired. And until recently, that was capped at about 3.5 miles.

running but not a runner
Still, despite all of this, I’ve desperately clung to the idea of completing a half marathon. I’ve steadily been adding miles each week and achieving personal records left and right. This week I ran my all-time farthest with an 8 mile run. I’ve been amazed at how I’ve been able to push myself physically, and I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. But still… I don’t feel like a runner.

running but not a runner
So what will it take? When will I become a runner?

Will it be crossing the finish line of a half marathon? Shaving a minute of my pace? Fancier shoes? Placing at a race? Will I just wake up one day, look in the mirror and see a runner looking back?

I guess I still don’t know. I’ve been hesitant to throw my half marathon goal out into the universe, so here it goes – I want to complete a half marathon in 2014. So please, hold me accountable, don’t let me stop, and perhaps even help me figure out how to go from running to runner.

Your turn:
What’s something you’ve been working towards that you just don’t feel like you’ve fully embodied yet?
Do you have any advice for me?


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