Ways to know you are not a real runner





I was going to write about how to motivate yourself and setting goals for the semester, but I gave up. Instead, I have a list to share with you that I thought of over the summer.

Ways to know you’re not a real runner:

-You wear workout clothes to the grocery store, not to the gym.

-Said workout clothes are color coordinated, right down to the headband or socks.

-You don’t know what a fartlek or tempo run is.

-You’ve never run repeats of anything.

-You avoid hills. All of them.

-You only run if the temperature is between 45 and 75 degrees.

-You use your phone to track your miles.

-You don’t know where your iliotibial band is.

-You measure your speed in mph rather than pace.

-You’re “training” for a fun/color run.

I thought of all these when I was on a short, but dreadful, run this summer. I was hot and tired and wanting to quit so badly that I convinced myself it was OK to give up because I wasn’t a ‘real’ runner.

I was thinking of the cross country runners here at Augustana and breaking my first rule of confidence: Don’t compare yourself to others.

Even though I’ve only been logging miles for the past couple years, I regularly become discouraged that my times are slower or distances shorter than those of my teammates and friends.

Runner’s World columnist Bart Yasso, who is know for his marathon training plans, once said, “I often hear someone say, ‘I’m not a real runner.’ We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner.”

On that run I felt like a fake runner (a funner, if you will), but when I found this quote that evening, the coincidence helped me get over my bad run. It was just another run to help make me better one day, right?

If you often think negative thoughts while you’re working out or running, stop. Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop competing against someone at a different level. Stop being negative when you’re obviously working hard to make a change.

Instead, be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal. Lacing up your tennis shoes and stepping out the door for a run makes you a runner.

The list I thought of makes me laugh, and some of it has a ring of truth to it, but the truth is if you consider yourself a runner, than you are.

A bad run does not define you, and it doesn’t mean failure. I believe it defines effort. We all stumble. Even the cross country runners I compared myself to have bad days. And what separates those who succeed from those who fail is the perseverance to keep trying.