I'm not a runner, am I?

I had a conversation with one of my running friends recently that was very enlightening. It started when a somewhat out of shape co-worker made a comment about me --that I am one of those , "Crazy runners"... I immediately told him, "no i'm not a runner." I reiterated this conversation with my running friends who said, "of course you are a runner!" To me, a REAL runner is someone else. When I first started back running, runners were:

People who raced.
People who ran 5ks
People who did 10ks (that was so far!)
People who ran half marathons!
People who finished a marathon
People who ran fast 5ks
People who did ultraraces.
People who ran FAST 10ks.
etc. etc.

You see where I am going. The bar keeps moving for me. I've raced; I've done 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, I've PRd at each of those distances later. But I still don't consider myself a runner which is completely rediculous. I am about to embark on my 3rd marathon within a year-- Why don't I think I fit the moniker of "runner"?

I think there may be a lot of women who perhaps got into running (or got back into running) in their 30s or 40s and view "RUNNERS" as people who qualify for the olympic trials or who run BQs at every race. Pitted against that "ideal" then very few of us are actually runners. That is so dumb. Of course we are runners. We run. We may not look like the crazy skinny freaks below, but we run.

We run, jog, waddle, sprint, huff and we puff. We keep moving forward. Sometimes we are fast, sometimes not. Sometimes a screaming kid, or a grumpy co-parent/partner makes us want to throw our hands in the air and give up running. Other times is pushes us out the door for a run.

In any case-- I am a runner. There. I said it. I am a runner.

This weekend I will be doing my 3rd Marathon. In a year. I did CIM last year (December 5th); and SF Marathon (July 31st); December 4th CIM will happen again so I guess that technically makes 3 marathons within one year? Wow. Ok, I am a runner. Really. Wow.

I'm at a crossroads in terms of my training for next year. I feel so good about my gains in endurance and speed I am wondering if I should try for some PRs again next year in the half marathon, marathon and 10k distances.

Or I could register for the lottery for an ultrarun in Cool, California.

I haven't yet decided which direction I want to take. Ultrarun or faster?
A part of me feels that I need to get a few more marathons under my belt before I attempt an ultra. But then again, I feel like I am in really good form so maybe I should strike while the iron is hot (so to speak).

I'll worry about it after this sunday. Weather is supposed to be clear and cold (37) at the start warming to 50 by the noon. Perfect day!


  1. ugh i am the same way and i know all the moms who don't exercise or do at a low level see me and think i am super human with all the working out and running....but i still feel like a faker ??? why

  2. I only did one trail marathon before I attempted my first ultra 4 months later. Then 4 months after that I did my first 100k. And what will be over a year after that I will be attempting my first 100 miler. Funny. I don't consider myself a "runner" because I don't run for my training (a lot) but I have a runner's heart and its in my blood so I'm a runner. I suspect you're the same. Running is just part of who you are. Who cares the distance or speed. You're a runner. :-)

  3. BTW - I've signed up to volunteer at Way Too Cool. You should sign up and try for the lotto!


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