Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Take It and Run Thursday: Becoming a "real" runner

This question comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Marlene, who asks:

When did you know you had become a runner? Was there a defining moment, or was it a gradual progression over time?

It seems like it should be gradual, but I think there was a defining moment: my first race at the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, about 2 1/2 years ago now. I was originally going to do a shorter race, like a 5K, but a friend encouraged me to think big. And I did. 10 miles was exactly 10 times farther than any distance I had run to that point.

And that's when I had to start training. I eventually worked up to 10 miles and was ready for the race. My dad came along to cheer me on. I knew I was a runner when I picked up my packet at the expo among 20,000 other runners. I knew I was a runner the night before the race when I "carb loaded" like the professionals do, and even abstained from a glass of wine. Oh yeah, I was making ALL the big sacrifices.

And then I woke up the next morning and got ready to go. I had placed all of my clothes out the night before and knew exactly how to get to the starting line. I warmed up and was nervous awaiting the start. When that gun went off, I knew my life was changed: I was a runner.


Marlene said...

You're too kind, Greg! :)

At first I thought you were going to write that you ran the 10-miler without having run more than one mile previously!

I can completely relate to your sentiments... reminds me of my first half marathon.

Thanks for participating!

ShirleyPerly said...

Thanks for sharing!

A lot of people say that I wasn't a "real" runner until I started entering races but I laugh when I hear of all the external motivations that many "real" runners need to run (music, races, people, nice weather, calorie burning, etc.). I really don't need any of that stuff so who are they to tell me I was not a real runner? I actually think that training & racing has taken some of the fun away from running for me but not enough for me to stop doing it :-)