Can I call myself a runner?

I have always enjoyed running. I love to be able to say ‘I’m a runner’. It has a certain ring to it. That being said, I have never competed in a 3K, 5K or even a fun run. Ever. So I am not sure that qualifies me to be a ‘runner’? Add to that, the fact that I run incomparably slower than my kids, who are 10 and 12.  But I still run. Unfortunately, consistency has never been my strong suit, so I run off and on, but these days it is back ‘on’. So perhaps I am an occasional runner?

These pair of running tights keep showing up on my Facebook ‘sponsored posts’. Really?

Getting Started

Full force, determination and focus (and part crazed) – that is how I start any fitness program. There is no ‘half ass’ about it. When I am taking spinning classes, I do them back to back. When I took up hot yoga, I did an extremely intense 14 day challenge. When I started Shaun T’s Insanity – well I didn’t last more than 2 weeks on that, but I gave it my all.
So naturally, when I started running a few years ago, I went all in.
I got the ‘Chi Running’ book, watched videos for beginners and finally ran with an instructor to perfect my form and technique. I even took up Fartlek (don’t giggle at the term -it’s an actual training method!).
I also had impressive running gear (hot pink dry-fit shirt, black running tights, headband, running belt, a motivating playlist, and a good pair of well fitted Asics). Could I call myself a runner now? At least I looked the part – right?

Runners High

Most people are familiar with the term ‘runner’s high’. I too yearned for it when I ran. It didn’t come for a long time. What was it? How euphoric could it be? Turns out, it is pretty darn good. Running on the treadmill this week after a hiatus of many months, I went back full force (high pony-tail and all!). My playlist was old, but as soon as I played it, my legs gained momentum. I loved it. At one point, I think I had started screaming lyrics between breaths, as I picked up pace. Sweat trickling down my face and neck with music blaring in my ears. Endorphins had kicked in. It was absolutely the best feeling I’ve had in a long time. I was experiencing a runners high! (See maybe I am a runner?)

Running Indoors 

As much as I would love to run outside these days, experience the beauty of nature with a 6am run, and post an Instagram worthy picture, my reality is far from it. Living in Doha, Qatar, we are limited with the time we can run outside. Typically only a few months in the year. The summer is unquestionably hot and dusty. These days, we are averaging about 105 F with a cloud of dust everywhere. Hence I have to resort to the treadmill. But actual runners are probably out on the streets as opposed to the treadmill? (Does running indoors qualify me to be a runner?) But, I do enjoy it so I carry on. I am not sure what actual runners think about while running – pace, strides, splits, VO2 max? But my mind wanders off while I am running.

Thoughts I have while running on the treadmill

  1. Why are all the treadmills right at front of the gym in the most visible spot?
  2. Wait, did someone just enter the gym? Can they see my butt?!
  3. Please don’t pick the treadmill next to me. There are 4 others to choose from! Seriously- you had to?!
  4. Why am I wearing my most drab pair of running tights today? (Note to self: must look online to buy a new pair today!)
  5. I wonder what speed he is at? Damn! 11.5 kph? Is he sprinting?
  6. I should increase my speed. Go faster! Competitive nature kicks in.
  7. I got this!
  8. No. Not really. Back down to 8.5 kph
  9. It’s fine. He probably thinks I am doing an interval program.
  10. I’ve only burned 260 calories. How is this possible?
  11. I don’t think my heart rate monitor is working. Damn chest strap!
  12. My legs feel like jello.
  13. Oh my jam is on!
  14. I can go on forever!!!
  15. Runner’s high kicking in. Why don’t all things in life give this kind of high?
  16. I should really just train for a marathon.
  17. Can’t. Breathe.
  18. I’m 40. What am I thinking?
  19. You’re fine. Just walk it out! Please don’t let me cramp now.
  20. I use to be able to do 8K up till 2 years ago. What happened?
  21. The incessant need to bake. That’s what happened!
  22. Give awkward smile to the dude next to me. He is still sprinting?! Move over Chris Johnson.
  23. Ok I need to get off and do some planks.
  24. Must take sweaty gym selfie to send to my bestie or else this session doesn’t count.
  25. I love running. I’m coming back tomorrow!

 

I could use some motivational gym attire in the meanwhile…

If I am a runner, do I not need the Garmin?  Though I may have to borrow it off my son, as I did the Fitbit last year. Read about that here. Whether or not I am a runner is still debatable I suppose.

Until next time.

 

 

20 thoughts on “Can I call myself a runner?

  1. You are a runner! I’ve been having the same thoughts in regards to weather and running outside! Lately I have just been doing a lot of treadmill running with all the rain we have been having. Just don’t feel like getting soaked/being cold. Also, I am with you on a lot of those “thoughts while running.” Haha ugh when someone gets on that treadmill right next to you! Meanwhile there are 15 other open treadmills. Keep up the good work!

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  2. I can’t tell you how much I’m laughing right now. Like my family is looking at me. This is your best post to date. Or maybe it’s because I can relate on so many levels. I’ll add my own thoughts when I get back to my treadmill in August.

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