My whole life I have wanted to be a runner. Back when running a half mile around the track made me bend over my knees and hold my side, all I could think about was becoming a runner. When running 1 mile had me gasping for air, looking for excuses to stop I imagined myself as a runner. The first time that I ran 3 miles, when I was sitting on the sidewalk with sweat dripping down my face and pooling around me, I could only think about calling myself a runner.
I ran intermittently during high school, trying so hard to become a runner. I thought that I needed to run a certain amount of miles per week, run a certain pace, run a certain amount outside..etc etc etc.
The summer before college I ran on the treadmill almost everyday, usually between 3 and 5 miles. I would read Fitness magazine while I ran, specifically articles about women who ran half and full marathons. I thought that because I ran on the treadmill or because I never thought that I would run 13.1 miles, I wasn’t a runner.
Now, looking back at my running history, I can see that my passion for running has always been there and that I have always been a runner. I have always been committed to my running and I have loved the way it makes me feel. Whether I am running 2 miles or 10, at a 10 minute/mile pace or an 8 minute/mile pace, whether it is on the treadmill or outside, or whether I run without stopping or take a walk, I am a runner.
Running is such an amazing thing because if you run, at all, you are a runner. If you walk during your run, you are still a runner. If you dread going for your run before you head out, you are still a runner. If you take a break from running because of an injury or just because, you are still a runner. If you only run on the treadmill, you are still a runner!
I have always been a runner, even during all of those years that I told myself I wasn’t. And you are too!