Feeling like a "real" runner... when does it happen?

The momentum is building.  The Princess Half training continues of course, but our first runDisney event is just a few short days away.  I find myself being very apologetic about 'only' running the 5K during the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.  Like I am a fraud, not a real runner, until I get a full marathon under my belt.  Those thoughts are a bit crushing, but in some ways motivate me.

I have the aches and pains of a runner, and even had to get physical therapy recently for running related injuries. I love to read about endurance training and races.  I obsess about proper shoes, performance wear, weather conditions, and that oh-so-scary (to me) long run. And triathletes get my respect more than movie stars, rock stars, or politicians do.  Ironmen and Ironwomen...  I'm so in awe, I'm not even sure they are human.   So we've established I am a running fangirl that hits the pavement on a regular basis.  But, why don't I feel like a runner myself?

I have a vision in my head of what a runner is. Lean, agile, and speedy.

I am none of those things.

In my head, I feel like this oft-used image of Homer:

Overweight, spent, and slow as molasses.

A fraud.

I've only done 5Ks until now.  And the truth is, you can fudge your running in a 5K.  Local 5Ks are brimming with walkers, entertainment, vendors, and spectators.  It is easy to get caught up in the spectacle, stroll along chatting with the other runners, and not think about your own race.  And that is just what I've done.  I always focused on the fun and never worked towards a PR.

But Rome wasn't built in a day, so I've been kicking up the training plan.  I had a 5-mile long run scheduled today on the Galloway Run/Walk plan, but a detour this morning left me out further than I wished to me, so it became an 8-mile run instead.  For someone that has never run further than 4 miles, it was a big leap.  I was shuffling along slowly, the sun was beating down, it was hot, dirty, and my phone died on mile 6, so I couldn't even call DG to come rescue me!  But I made it home somehow and feel almost ok.  The plantar fasciitis reared it ugly head again.  But my new compression sleeves - those babies are worth their weight in gold for saving my calves.

I am committing myself to run a local 10K on Thanksgiving. And I'm going to really try for a decent (for me) PR.  There is a 15K option, but I think attempting that will leave me useless the remainder of Thanksgiving weekend. And after visiting DG's fam in South Florida, we are going to try to sneak in one last day at Magic Kingdom before our annual passes expire on Dec. 1.  So I still need to be able to walk a few days after the race.

But I digress. (Thinking about the parks has that effect on me.) I'm hoping that somehow in my head, making that leap in distance from a 5K to a 10K will flip a switch in my brain to "you are now a 'real' runner".  Here's hoping.

DG is progressing beautifully and getting faster all the time. I'm so so so proud of him.  He completed his 8 mile run yesterday in half the time I did today.  He's got a local 10-mile race coming up in Dec. 1, sponsored by the local running group: Gulf Winds Track Club.  A race for runners by runners, with none of the fanfare of a Turkey Trot or Jingle Bell Run.  It's funny, he takes on events like these - trains with experienced endurance runners, and DG doesn't think he is a 'real' runner either.  He certainly is my hero though.

When did it happen for you, dear reader?  What was that moment you felt like a real runner?


Heyyy don't get down on yourself - you are definitely a real runner! I say anyone who has run even a 5k is a real runner. I started training about this time last year for my first half and it was a strenuous process - mostly because I live in CT and by the time I got home, it was dark. I became the master of running with a head lamp and reflective tape haha.

All you have to remember is YOU CAN DO IT, and trust me, a runDisney race is the perfect place for your first half because there are SO MANY people telling you you can do it for that whole 13.1 too!

Meg @ http://myborrowedheaven.blogspot.com/


Just wrote my first blog about not believing I am a runner. This after more than 20 marathon's and 3 or so 50k's.
I bring this to your attention why? Not sure except maybe because I am learning (slowly) being a runner less about the race distance and rather about how you feel after you get it done. The elation and pride that you are taking control and getting out there despite the obstacles.
Focus on how great it is after each run is eventually what will make you (and me) feel like a runner.
Happy Running!


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