i AM a runner!

I was walking away from a training run yesterday…I had a 7 mile beach and stair out and back run all mapped out for my running boot campers and as the run came to an end I could not have been more proud and excited.  7 miles!! Stairs!! and lots of them!!  A mile was just the warm up…so an easy Saturday morning stroll…NO…an incredibly challenging Saturday morning run with stairs thrown in there and a 1 mile warm up, not to mention the Friday before was full of rain and the coldest temperatures of the year to date.

So back to the walking away… So as I was walking away, one of the runners, a much earned title “runner,” said to me, “I have two friends that will be joining me for my first half marathon.” I responded, “Well, if they need any help or tips let me know!  Her response, “Well …they’re runners.”

I continued to walk toward my car and I thought to myself, wait a minute, she does not think she’s a runner.  Her friends are runners, but she does not include herself in this category.  Hold the bus! Wait a minute! This RUNNER just completed a 7 mile, no an 8 mile run if you include the warm up, which you should, with stairs and she STILL does not consider herself a runner??

Listen up! If you get out of bed and run 3 miles 3 days per week, you are a runner! If you run 1 mile 7 days per week, then you are a runner. If you run for 20 mins every other day than guess what?? YOU ARE A RUNNER!! …and the list could go on and on…

I often hear, no wait, I almost ALWAYS hear, “I am not a runner.”  It is always said with such conviction too, but what does it even mean? Is there a checklist that you must complete before you can walk around saying “I am a runner.”? 90% of those who say to me that they are not runners are people who run. Please, please help me out with this.  Why are so few able to put themselves in the running category?  Why do so many who run consider themselves non runners? I am so confused!!

I have an idea…lets change this.  Lets get together and start saying, “I AM A RUNNER,” because you know what ?? as we run we are passing by all of those on the couch, all of those who are still in bed sleeping and all of those who are NOT RUNNING.  So, if we are not runners than what exactly are we?