February 10, 2015

The Fair-Weather Runner

Am I a runner at all?

The past week was cloudy and rainy, yes, but even still, I felt no desire to run. I waited til the 5th day of February to run. I hadn't taken that long of a break since my 4 day running break after the Seattle Half Marathon.

Seeing Chelsea in Carousel
So it made me start to think. Can I identify myself as a runner if I don't run a lot? What defines a "runner"? Someone who loves running? Or it is just someone who runs, period? Or maybe someone who has run marathons? Half marathons? 10K? 5K? What if you only occasionally do it, vs. doing it every day? Is it frequency that determines the label? Is it other people who identify themselves as that word, and you identify with them, so you slap the same label on yourself?

getting silly at the Exchange Holiday party
I've often wondered why I've never felt the want to call myself a "runner"- that label has never rang true for me. When I'm asked (which is rare), I usually lessen it by simply saying "I run", or "I'm training for [insert race here], so, yeah, I'm running a lot right now", or "Running is free and I don't have a gym membership...." I've never said with gusto, "Oh, yeah, I'm a runner!" I felt like a fraud. I'm not fast, I've only run one marathon, and I don't do it every day. Actually, some days I really hate it.

Why do I run, then?

The collage I put together of my family's photo session
I've asked myself this question a lot. Is it so I can eat whatever I want? No, because I still usually gain weight when I'm training for a race. Is it to meet people? No, I usually run alone. Is it so I can go to races? Sometimes, but those can be annoying to maneuver and get to. Is it so I can brag that I ran x amount of miles? Not necessarily. Is it for my career? No, running doesn't necessarily help any of my hobbies. Is it for this blog? Well, maybe. Is it just something do to? Possibly.

Tech week is almost here!
So, back to my original question. Am I a runner at all? And I think the answer lies within any label creation - does it ring true to the individual? Do they identify with it? If not, no biggie. Just don't slap on that label. It's not them, for whatever reason. And that's okay. Do what makes you happy, don't do something just because you think you're supposed to, or because you think someone will think differently of you if you do or do not do that one thing. People are going to think what they're going to think, regardless of how hard you try to get them to think a certain way, which takes way too much effort anyway.

No, I don't think I'm a runner. If anything, I'm a fair-weather runner.

I think, sometimes, that I enjoy running when the weather is nice. Sometimes, I enjoy sweating it out in power yoga. Every once in a while, I enjoy weight lifting. Most of the time, I enjoy my voice lesson (if my voice is cooperating). I enjoy dancing, if my body is cooperating and I haven't over exerted myself, but I don't do it enough.

the only time I dressed up last week
February 5: 4 Miles, 9'39" average pace - cloudy, 57°.

February 6: 4 Miles, 9'28" average pace - partly sunny, 53°.

Total Miles for February 1-7: 8 miles, a 62% decrease from the previous week. Whoops.

Sure, I have flaws and things I should be working on more. But... it's all okay! Even though I didn't run a lot last week, I got to sleep a lot, still went to a snazzy party, got to dress up, and had a great time dancing. It just sets me up for an even better week coming up, right?

Do you label yourself?

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