A watch that does splits?
A calendar of races?
Knowing your 10k time?
An ipod with a running mix on cue?
Someone who uses the word tempo?
Running specific shoes?
Belonging to a club?
Training on a track and recording your splits?
Having plantar fasciitis or Ilio-tibial band friction syndrome?
Owning a foam roller?
Keeping a running log?
Meeting with a weekly training group?
When are you a runner?
When I asked the question, "when are you a runner?" to friends this morning they immediately began to differentiate between a runner and jogger. So what's a jogger? When I think of joggers I think of someone a bit overweight, perhaps wearing sweats, and maybe even a headband and a Walkman. YES! A Walkman. Isn't the term jogger an eighties term? Maybe the jogger is a person who casually runs for weight control, doesn't purchase running specific clothing, and is not at all interested in getting better or competing?
That makes sense and sounds great, but does that mean that a runner is a person who is one who seeks to improve and has running related goals - likely races? That would make sense, but what about those who love to run with no goals for improvement and they run 5 or 6 times a week? Are these runners? I think they are if they run this much, but how is that not a jogger?
Having had several injuries over the past few weeks and being off my feet, I have had the opportunity to think about this. A runner I believe, takes on running as part of their lifestyle. They dress the part, build it into their daily routine and often have running related goals on their mind. I'm not certain it's problematic or not, but not being able to run has left me feeling like something is missing from my days. I miss running a lot. It's not just that it's missing, it's that I realize a deep seeded fear that I am losing fitness in not being out there. Is that what it is? Being scared of getting slower? So my friends are correct. It's having goals and seeking to get better - be that running faster or farther.
I think of myself as a runner, but I don't know why. I suppose it's just another label that goes along with teacher, father, son, brother, skier, and, dare I say it, "husband". Do these titles matter? No. But I still wonder, "when are you a runner?"
I'd love to hear your comments. Do you think you're a runner? Why?