When did you consider yourself a runner?

So this question has been back and forth in my head lately. I have moments where I think I am a runner and other times when I see what I consider to be a 'real' runner that I am completely intimidated and take my title back.

Some background for you- I am 33 and have never EVER ever EVER enjoyed running. I would cheat when I was in elementary school when they would have us do laps around the school, I would want to die when we had to do conditioning for sports and have never been in track & field, cross country. I have played sports though and if it was part of the sport, I could tolerate it.

In November I started to train for a half marathon (crazy I know). I got a lot of great feedback from people about what to do and some people who told me to not bother since I have never liked running. I am sure glad that I listened to the positive advice, but this crazy thing happened, I found that I actually like it and that is crazy too me.

I did a lot of research about socks, shoes, pace, fartlek, hill training. I joined a running training group and have completed a 5 mile race and a 10 mile race.

But I still go back to my original question. Am I a real runner? Part of me doubts this because I am not as skinny as most runners, I am slower than a lot of runners, I can't run without music, sometimes I still have moments where I doubt myself, I want to quit running almost everytime I encounter a hill although most of the time I don't, etc.

But then there is a part of me that says- that I am because I went from not being able to run a mile without stopping to running 10 miles last weekend, I have my first running battle wounds (aka blisters) even when I did things to prevent them, I am determined and will do any workout that the trainers tell me, that I run more than any of my friends, I have went out in 3 degree weather, snow, and have battled this horrible winter just to run.

So I figured I would see what others have been through and when you started to consider yourself a runner. (Thanks in advance )


  • Wiltord1982
    Wiltord1982 Posts: 311 Member
    IMO you are a runner. You do it regularly, and you have an objective. You're the best. Keep it up!
  • ThickMcRunFast
    ThickMcRunFast Posts: 22,511 Member
    You've had a conversations about socks, and went out running when everyone else was wrapped in blankets sleeping. Runner.

    Also, every runner has doubts, bad runs, times when they just don't want to go out and train. They can't all be winners, so give yourself a break.
  • When I got my *kitten* off the couch and outside doing c25k is when I considered myself a runner. Doesn't matter how fast or slow you're lapping those on the couch! Btw, I'm still learning to enjoy running, maybe when I'm not freezing and avoiding slush puddles I will like it more:-)
  • kshadows
    kshadows Posts: 1,315 Member
    I could have written this post myself (minus all the achievements you've gotten so far!!) I always hated running...I couldn't run a mile even in middle and high school.

    I started doing the C25k in September and by the end of the second week, I'd fallen in love with it. I quit when the weather got cold (after 5 weeks) and after several weeks I realized I really MISSED doing it. So I spent the money on cold weather gear and got back into it. I feel like even though I can barely make it through the C25k intervals, I AM a runner because I do it. I have an objective (half marathon next summer, three 5ks this summer) and I really love doing it.

    Whenever I see someone running (whether I'm walking somewhere or whatever) I always want to stop and high-5 them. I feel like we're on the same team. So High-5 to you!
  • Isakizza
    Isakizza Posts: 754 Member
    I decided I was a runner once I was able to run a full minute without dying of pain and being out of breath, LOL. I'm happy I can now go easily 3 miles... and loving it!

  • sjohnny
    sjohnny Posts: 56,142 Member
    I've been running for almost two and a half years. I LOVE it. Even when I hate it I love it. I've run three half marathons a couple of 10Ks several 5Ks and three mud runs. I put together extravagant training plans for various races and actually follow them. I have runs planned well into 2015. I've run as far as 16 miles. I don't run with music. I look for hills when I'm running. I have run in low 20 degrees, sleet, snow, ice, pouring *kitten* rain, 100+ degrees, high humidity, gale force winds. I have two full marathons and thoughts of 50 mile races in my future plans. I have very strong opinions on socks. I keep records on shoe mileage. I have a system for determining which shorts I will wear based on what type of run and where I'm running. Data from my Garmin is more fascinating for me than porn.

    I am still uncomfortable being referred to as a runner. I say "I run" but I don't really consider myself a runner. I don't project that on to anyone else that considers themselves a runner regardless of what their running experience is but for me I have a hard time with it. And I don't really know why or at what point I will consider myself one.
  • Data from my Garmin is more fascinating for me than porn.

    OMG I choked on my spit when I read this!:laugh:
  • ElliottTN
    ElliottTN Posts: 1,614 Member
    My long run this weekend is 18 miles in prep for a marathon in April.
    Last 10k I ran I was in the top 10% of runners.

    I still don't consider myself a runner. I'm just a guy with a long torso and short legs trying to fake it and catch up to all the hoties in their spandex. Nothing makes a bad time go faster than a good view.
  • JTick
    JTick Posts: 2,131 Member
    I covered 11 miles yesterday. Am I a runner? Well, I sure didn't feel like one yesterday.

    I had an awful time. Nothing went right, Runkeeper kept force closing, my music was messing up, it was cold, I didn't take enough water and got dehydrated, I ate the wrong thing for breakfast and had to stop to heave a few times, and only made 11 of the 12.5 miles I was supposed to do. I'm four weeks out from a half marathon, and I could have really used a more positive experience. I'm slow. I'm still fat. I have to alternate walking and running to cover long distances. I suck at this.

    But you know what? I'll go for my short run tomorrow. I'll lace up those shoes and head back out for 12 miles a few runs from now. I'll put on the layers and face the cold again. I won't let myself be defeated.

    Yes, I am a runner. And the day I refused to quit is when I became one.
  • bobbijodmb
    bobbijodmb Posts: 463 Member
    Thanks everyone =)

    It was cool to read everyones thoughts on this.
  • IPJ1205
    IPJ1205 Posts: 4 Member
    I would soooo consider you a runner. Hope to get to your level myself sometime soon. I started C2K myself a few weeks ago and your achievements inspire me to continue. Embrace your title; you ARE a RUNNER!
  • HawkeyeTy
    HawkeyeTy Posts: 681 Member
    After you have your first bleeding nipple experience..
  • jennhls
    jennhls Posts: 32 Member
    I think a real runner is someone who runs regularly, you don't even have to enjoy it, so long as you run at least once a week I would call you a real runner.

    People I don't consider real runners are like my neighbors. They sign up for races all the time: half marathons, 5k's, 10k's. Then they put their running shoes on maybe 2 or 3 times before the race to train and then end up walking the whole thing. Signing up for a race doesn't make you a runner. Training for it and then continuing with your training for that next race makes you a runner.

    I don't care if you run slow, fast, walk half of your run. If you go out consistently you are a runner.

    I hear what you are saying though. I started running regularly about 6 years ago. By my own definition I was a runner that first year, but I didn't really feel like a runner until I completed my first half marathon. Now I have run many, many half marathons a few really tough relay races and a marathon. I for sure call myself a runner, but I don't think people have to do all I have done to be considered a runner.
  • Missjilly1025
    Missjilly1025 Posts: 146 Member
    You're *kitten* is not on the couch - you're a runner :)
  • AsellusReborn
    AsellusReborn Posts: 1,112 Member
    If you run regularly you're a runner. For me, I felt like a runner the first time I ran 20 minutes without stopping. I even made a post about it:

  • Will_Thrust_For_Candy
    Will_Thrust_For_Candy Posts: 6,109 Member
    I started to kind of think I was a runner when I started a 10k training program after doing my first 5k race last year.

    Then, when I was in Hawaii over Christmas, and I got up before my family (so like 630am on holidays) just so I could run while on holiday, in Hawaii, it hit me. I'm a runner. Because only a runner would be in this beautiful place and the first thought that goes through their head is "hey, I'm on vacation in Hawaii but I'm still going to get up at 630 am to run. Which way should I go today?"

    I know that story is probably hard to understand, but I got really excited typing it lol
  • GenoPrice
    GenoPrice Posts: 477 Member
    I considered myself a runner when I received my first set of run specific socks which have L + R written on them.
  • RunnerElizabeth
    RunnerElizabeth Posts: 1,091 Member
    I've been running consistently since June 2012. I've run 5 half marathons. Bunches of 5ks, the same 4 mile turkey trot 3 years in a row. For my current 5k training, my long run is in the 11-16 mile range, I have very specific time goals. I often run when i should have stayed in bed. But I'm not a runner. I'm a running enthusiast.
  • _Zardoz_
    _Zardoz_ Posts: 3,987 Member
    If you can run faster than the Zombies you're a runner!! In all seriousness I considered myself a runner when I was getting ready for a run one day and my wife said 'Wow you look like a runner'. So if other people think I'm a runner I must be
  • autumnblade75
    autumnblade75 Posts: 1,660 Member
    After you have your first bleeding nipple experience..

    I'm pretty sure that doesn't apply to us girls. We're gonna need another metric because the sports bra (no matter how unsupportive) usually at least prevents THAT level of chafe.

    Also, ouch.