Just the other night I was helping a woman and one of the first things she told me was that she wasn’t really a runner. During our conversation, I found out she was currently training for her first marathon. She had run a few half-marathons before and finally decided to try out a full one. In fact, she had just finished this week’s long run of about 12 miles before stopping in. But she didn’t view herself as a runner.
Around this same time last year, I wrote a blog post called “Who Are The Real Runners?”. But it’s something we hear so often that I want to take the time to address it again.
I’ve put a lot of thought into this, and I think I have come up with a foolproof test you can do right now to determine whether or not you are actually a real runner. Here it is:
Instructions: Circle the best answer.
Question #1: Do you run? Yes or No.
That’s it. There’s no essay involved here. There is no distance, time, or pace cut-off. You don’t even have to have a race t-shirt. Do you run?
Most of us will never run in the Olympic Trials. Most of us will never be like Michael Wardian in the World Marathon Challenge, averaging 2 hours and 45 minutes in seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Most of us won’t have a 52-year run streak like Ron Hill. And that’s ok.
It does not matter whether you run for fun or out of obligation. It does not matter whether you are trying to improve your 5k time or lose a few pounds. It does not matter whether you run one mile or 50 miles, or whether you run alone or with friends. What matters is that you are out there. That is what makes you a real runner.