Label Maker

I am a runner.

by Melburnian from WIkimedia Commons

Betty Cuthbert, a four-time Olympic champion who did make running pretty.

What are you? (Are you – a runner – too?)  Here’s a hint. Define yourself by what you do accomplish, not what you don’t. I don’t do marathons. I don’t keep running the entire time I’m out pounding the pavement. I don’t run fast and I don’t run pretty. I don’t always enjoy my workouts. I don’t always want to get out there.

But I do.

I do my scheduled runs and complete the miles no matter how long it takes me or how slow I have to go. When I feel like I can run fast, I do run fast. When I need to I walk, so that I can run some more. When I can tell I have one more mile in me, I go for the extra mile. I do my runs rain or shine.

So, what are you?

Do you want to be a runner?

You don’t have to run fast, far, or long, to be a runner. You certainly don’t have to look good or effortlesswhile you’re doing it. You just have to run. Start off slow, easy, give your body time to adapt. Don’t just hop on a treadmill and shoot for two, ten minute miles your first time out, and then get down on yourself for not making it. Try running for one minute, walking for two, repeat for half an hour. Go at a comfortable pace for you. Graduate to running for two minutes and walking for two. Then running for two and walking for one, then walking for 30 seconds, and then just keep increasing the time you spend running until you can keep running for the entire 30 minutes.

”]by Josiah Mackenzie, from Wikimedia CommonsThen, shoot for miles, or longer, or increasing your speed. We may well be built to run, but your body still needs to learn how.  So does your mind. If you’ve always hated running and found it too uncomfortable to bear in the past, chances are you were pushing too fast and/or too far, too soon.  Running doesn’t have to be miserable.  Just give your body the time to adapt.  Other keys to comfortable running are the right shoes, the right hydration, and the right place to run. If you want to be a runner, invest in what it takes for you to do it consistently and comfortably.    Go to a running store and get fitted for the perfect pair of Brooks or Asics, get a little bottle of Gatoraid or water to carry with you, buy that treadmill or drive out to that beautiful trail.  Give yourself permission to do this for you.

Give yourself this label and wear it with pride. Whether you run two miles or twenty, 13 minute miles or seven minute miles, just be a runner.