I’m a runner today. Today was windy, overcast, and cold, and I ran three miles. Who else ran with me? My hardcore counterpart and training partner Linden. There were no cute sorority girls with their iPods and pink shorts running on campus; it was me and Linden in our tights, sweatshirts, gloves, and headbands looking anything but cute.
I don’t call myself a runner every day. I certainly don’t run every day, but that isn’t why. I don’t always call myself a runner because I don’t always feel like a runner. For example: Can I call myself a runner when I run even though I don’t feel like it? Or can I call myself a runner on beautiful days when it seems everyone else is calling themselves runners, too? Or can I call myself a runner at local races when those who are older and faster speed past my turtle-like pace?
In the TA office about a month ago, Linden and I had a conversation about how our running had changed since this time last year. Last spring, we let the stress of schoolwork, marriage, teaching, and work stand in the way of our running toward the end of the semester, but this spring we’ve stuck with it. Yes, we’re totally stressed out as graduation nears, but we haven’t wavered in our running schedule.
Does that make me a runner? I certainly think so. Something in my psyche has changed, and no matter how busy and tired and stressed I am, I keep running. Heck, I even added weight training to my schedule after spring break to tone up before May’s Florida vacation.
Will I be a runner tomorrow? I think so.
“A lot of people run a race to see who’s the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.” — Steve Prefontaine
*This blog entry was originally posted on LogYourRun.com.