I Love to Run, but I’m Not a Runner

“The difference between saying I run and I’m a runner is confidence.”

I may not have gotten that quote exactly right, but it has still stuck with me ever since the first time I saw it a few weeks ago. It made me realize that as much as I love to run, I would not consider myself a runner. There’s a certain kind of prestige that comes with that title, for me anyway. It’s kind of like when I tell people I’m a blogger, but I would never consider myself a writer.

I used to consider myself a runner, well a sprinter actually, but right now I’m just a person who likes to run as proudly completed my first 10K and train for my first-ever half marathon next February at the age of 42. Yes I know. I like to leap rather than take baby steps. Sometimes. I can’t help it. I got motivated and inspired when I attended the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration earlier this year and participated in a “Fun Run” at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It reignited something inside of me and I’ve been pushing myself ever since, which is probably why I’ve also battled through various aches and pains and injuries. I think my body hates me.

I’m Not a Runner. Yet.

I realize I could just run for fun and there is certainly nothing wrong with that, but I’ll be honest, there is nothing like the feeling of crossing a finish line for me. I’m competitive by nature and I like to challenge myself, but I’m also at a point in my life where I define “winning” a whole lot differently than I did when I was a sprinting teenager. Back then I ran to win and sometimes I did win. It felt amazing to win, but I also remember having a great deal of respect and admiration for the athletes I competed against, even when they edged  me out at the finish line, and I hope the feeling was mutual. Nowadays I consider “winning” crossing the finish line or accomplishing another goal I’ve set for myself because it’s become more about competing with myself rather than against other athletes. Don’t get me wrong, my goal is to train hard and eventually believe in my ability enough to the point where I feel confident calling myself a runner who could maybe, just maybe place first, second or even third in my age group in a small local race, but for now I’m okay with simply loving to run as I practice my way to that first time I dare to utter the words out loud…..I’m a runner.

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