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I Think I’m a Runner

April 5, 2011

I don’t think you can just go out and run a few miles and call yourself a runner.  It’s not that simple.

I mean, in college, if someone told me they went to the pool a few nights a week and did “the crawl” for a half hour and they thought they were a swimmer, I would have laughed in their face.  Oh no, I was a swimmer.  I swam a minimum of 2 hours 6 days a week and I didn’t do “the crawl.”  No, I did freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke.  Drills, speed work, practiced starts, practiced finishes, hypoxic work, etc.  I was a swimmer. 

It took me a really long time until I was ready to call myself a runner.

Running and I have flirted for quite some time.  I’d get really into running and run a few times a week, and then we’d take a break.  Sometimes I was just over it, sometimes I was distracted, and sometimes I was knocked up and couldn’t run anymore.  Either way, our relationship was always rocky.

Training for this half marathon changed my whole relationship with running.  I’m ready to share this with the world.   

If you know me, especially in real life, you’re just as shocked to read this as I am to write this.  In high school, I would whine and complain my whole way through the obligatory mile run.  In college when Coach sent us out for runs, my friends and I would always sneak over to her house and watch TV (there was even an instance where several of us did shots).  After college, when the flirtation began I would run sporadically, even getting so far as 5 miles.  I was proud, but not hooked.  It was just OK.

I wish I knew what flipped the switch in my head, and why I couldn’t get here sooner.  It would have been really fun to be a runner back when my dad was running on a regular basis (though the summer after my first year of law school we did run together several times a week-3 to 5 miles-and it was great), but that wasn’t his running heyday.  No, my dad was the man who would elbow people who got in his way during a race and went out for blood.  I wish I could have run with him then!

Maybe having Aaron and seeing the great weight loss results from running helped (that plus breastfeeding and I’m literally a bottomless pit).  Or the fact that my legs have a great shape they never had before.  Or maybe it’s that I sleep like a baby (which is really such a stupid thing to say…babies don’t sleep nonstop through the night all the time).  Or maybe it’s just that amazing feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a run and start cooling down.  That feeling that I can go out and conquer my day, that I can do anything.  I’m strong and tough.  I’m able.  I can block out the pain and all the voices in my head and just go.  It’s like Nike was speaking for me.

Now I know it doesn’t matter if I run a marathon or just a mile.  I’m a runner.  I’m part of a club.  I can exercise anywhere I want (no need to find a pool with open swim hours), and do it however I want.  Do I want to run hills?  HIIT?  Tempo?  It’s up to me!  I’m a runner, I really am and I’m thrilled about it.  I’m excited for my half marathon (by the way, anyone else out there running The Long Branch Half Marathon?), I’m excited to run New York in the fall, and to see what else running brings my way.  I’m excited to get Aaron out in my jogging stroller, and to go on runs with him and Solomon.  I’m just excited about running.  I’m looking forward to my 5 miler today, which I would have never said a year ago.  That’s right, I’m looking forward to a run!  Now, I think I need to find myself some sort of running club/group nearby.  Anyone know of anything?

Oh yeah, getting a real running injury helped me feel initiated into the club.  More on that later this week…

Are you a runner?  When did it finally click in your head?  What about other sports/activities?  Do you love a particular sport now that you could have never imagined yourself doing years ago?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2011 5:23 pm

    i have a running injury currently – just iced my leg for the last hour too

  2. April 5, 2011 5:36 pm

    i’m definitely a runner but i dont love running as much as half of the bloggers who i follow (now you are on the list!). i am a gymnast first and foremost in my mind but havent really done that sport since i was 18 (when you traditionally age out and quit) but MISS IT LIKE CRAZY!!!!!

  3. April 5, 2011 8:35 pm

    Love this post! You are a runner! I still don’t know if I can classify myself as one, but I know I sure do love it. I wonder what finally set the “love running” switch on for me too. It was a sudden and intense love, that’s for sure.

    And I always wonder what’s up with the sleep like a baby saying too. Babies don’t sleep!

  4. June 30, 2011 6:41 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog. I’m running NYC too this November!

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