Saturday, December 17, 2011

What exactly is a runner?

My husband and I had a funny conversation earlier this week. He was complementing my running, while rubbing my feet (I complained of sore patches on my feet from running). He said that being a runner would cause some calluses on my feet. I called him silly, and said I wasn't a runner. He replied that my 48km run last week makes me a runner, and I tried to disagree. So this got me thinking about exactly a runner is.

An internet search defines a runner as all of the following:

  1. A person, animal, or thing that runs, especially as a racer.
  2. A fugitive.
  3. One who carries messages or runs errands.
  4. One who serves as an agent or collector, as for a bank or brokerage house.
  5. One who solicits business, as for a hotel or store.
  6. A smuggler: a narcotics runner.
  7. One who operates or manages something: the runner of a series of gambling operations.
  8. A device in or on which something slides or moves, as:
  9. The blade of a skate.
  10. The supports on which a drawer slides.
  11. A long narrow carpet.
  12. A long narrow tablecloth.
  13. A roller towel.
So now I'm obviously not a #4 - 13, but the top three really sat with me. I am the primary errand runner of our house and I am the only one who ever checks our answering machine. In all honesty, there are days where I feel trapped like a fugitive. Days where I can't leave the house, or the babies are fussy, or where my husband is off doing what he wants to and I'm the one taking care of our children. I know he's busy and a lot of what he does he has to do so he can follow his career dreams in a few years (I can't complain since I love, Love, LOVE my job and coworkers) but that doesn't make me feel less trapped when he is gone on a business trip or has a lot of busy nights in one week.

But if you define a runner as something that runs, especially in races, then I guess I am a runner. I have run 6 races in all of 2010 and 2011, but for 2012 I'm registering for 8! In addition to that one of them is a half marathon and one is a full marathon.  That is a huge increase in race quantity and distance! But I still find it hard to see myself as a runner. Maybe it's because of how slowly I run when I run, or because I ... I don't know. I have no reason to not consider myself a runner, but I don't. I still think of myself as a fake sometimes. Like I am just in disguise and one day everyone will see me as the athletic fraud that I am. You can buy the fancy running shoes, jacket, and cool clothes, but if I'm running slower than average then I feel like I'm not a runner. So I use the term loosely when I write about myself on this blog but I don't feel like I'm a runner.

I'm not sure why but I feel as if I need to run a 10 minute mile to be an actual runner. That may be crazy or really arbitrary but that's how I feel.

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