I’m very excited because my first ever pair of running shoes were finally delivered today. As I unpacked my lovely new Brooks Addiction 8 running shoes from their box (see right), I started to contemplate the reasons why I now consider myself to be one of those crazy folk who call themselves ‘Runners’.
When I first started running, five miles was a distance that I couldn’t even imagine ever being able to complete. It was one of my goal distances. A distance that meant I was fit and could really start to think of myself as being somebody who runs. When I ran five miles for the first time I felt an enormous sense of achievement. My longest run to date has been seven and a half (very hard!) miles, and my goal is to get to ten!
Quote: It hurts up to a point and then it doesn’t get any worse – Ann Trason.
As a general rule I don’t *do* cold or wet weather. When it’s miserable outside I head for my blanket. But recently I have found myself heading for the streets instead, to pound out some miles. I may not run very far, or for very long in such weather conditions but to me just stepping foot outside the door proves that I am committed.
Quote: There is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people – Bill Bowerman.
Let’s face facts; running is hard. It is no easier for me to run for 2 miles than it is to run 6. It’s just that a shorter run is over and done with quicker! Pushing to do a longer run takes a lot of determination and, most definitely, some pain. There have been times when I’ve almost cried; times when I have most definitely used expletives; and occasionally, times when I even had to cheer myself on (outloud!). These were hard times. But I pushed through them and when I finished I felt amazing. As well as the physical high from running, I have also experienced a sense of enormous achievement from doing something that I never thought I would be able to do.
Quote: Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, "Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?" – Peter Maher.
Generally I’m not one to spring straight out of bed in the morning. I like to lay and be peaceful for a while before I contemplate having to get up. However, when it comes to running I seem to break this rule. There have been a lot of times over the past few months that I have got up early on the weekend and gone out running. When the sun is shining and my trainers are calling, 6:00am no longer seems so early on a Sunday morning. Well, not in the summer anyway; the winter is going to be a whole other ball game.
Quote: I don’t think jogging is healthy, especially morning jogging. If morning joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups – Rita Rudner.
I actually look forward to running. This was a big shock to me! Since I started running, around April time, I have consistently gone out between 3 – 4 times per week and haven’t looked for an excuse not to workout. I have looked forward to (and enjoyed) every single run. There have been times when I’ve let the weather or a little injury keep me indoors but during these periods I have always wanted to get back outside. I can honestly say that I have never stuck with any exercise for such a long period of time and with such consistency. Exercise – 1, Laziness – 0!
Quote: I always loved running – it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs – Jesse Owens.
Taking all of this into consideration I now feel justified in calling myself a runner. Sure, other people can run faster, and yes I have been overtaken by an *entire* running club in the past (the slow ones at the back and all!) but that doesn’t stop me being a runner. At the end of the day, I put my trainers on, get out there and shake my thing. That’s all that matters.
So I will lace up my running shoes and take to the streets with pride. I think of myself as a runner and I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise.