Finally Calling Myself a Runner

I ran for a year before I would call myself a runner.  I thought I had to be fast or run long distances, or maybe something other than just me.  I had participated in 5k races before, but I had to walk quite a bit, and I would be wiped out for the rest of the day.  I wanted something more though, and I had some grad school/vacation/grief weight to lose.

 

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On a friend’s suggestion, I downloaded the Couch to 5k iPhone app and began the 12-week program.  The program began with short times and jog/walk intervals, adding more time and longer distances each week.  I had some bad days but mostly I was able to finish each workout, and felt damn good about myself.  In three months I finished the program and ran my first 5k without needing to walk.  The Wicked Wine Run will always be sentimentally special to me for that reason…plus, there’s wine at the finish line if running isn’t incentive enough.

 

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My next challenge would be a quarter marathon (6.55 mi) in Las Vegas for the Rock and Roll Marathon series.  So I downloaded the 5k to 10k iPhone app and continued on with the program.  Two months later I finished the quarter marathon in 1:20 without walking.  I’m slow, but I’m steady.  But at this point, did I call myself a runner?  Nope.  I felt like I needed to complete a half marathon before I could call myself a runner.  So I registered for the Rock and Roll half marathon the following year in Las Vegas.  I needed more than a couple months to train for that distance.  The months following the quarter marathon were filled with races from 5k to 10k and relays…to keep me honest.  Sometimes I wore costumes.  I even ran on vacation.  Did that make me a runner?  Ok, maybe.

 

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Months and miles pass, and the half marathon in Las Vegas started to get closer and closer.  I began to worry that maybe I wouldn’t be able to go that distance.  So I registered for a “trial” half marathon so that I could mentally prepare myself for being in a race that distance.  I knew that I would have to walk some of it, but I knew that it was the finishing that mattered.  So two weeks ago in Bryan, Texas I finished my first half marathon in 2:44.  I ran the first 9 miles and ran/walked the remaining 4 miles.  It was a proud, sweaty, exhausting, and painful moment.

 

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Somewhere in the past year or so, I became a runner.  I have pre-race routines, checklists (below), favorite apparel and gear, and a playlist called “Run, Bitch.”

 

I am a runner.

 

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5k Prep

Spibelt, iPhone, earbuds

GPS watch

Inhaler

Sport Beans

 

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10k Prep

Spibelt, iPhone, earbuds

GPS watch

Headband or hat

Inhaler

Aleve

Sport Beans

5-hour Energy

Banana

Chapstick

 

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13.1 Prep

Spibelt, iPhone, earbuds

GPS watch

Headband or hat

Small hand towel

Inhaler

Aleve

Sport Beans x2

5-hour Energy

Banana

Energy bar (mini)

Gatorade

Chapstick

 

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2 Comment

  1. Phil says:

    Color me happy for you.
    #calleditlastyear

    1. Sheila says:

      #yeahyoudid

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