To put it bluntly, if you put on a pair of running shoes and get out on the roads, trails, or treadmills, you are a runner! Pace does not matter, size does not matter, whether or not you ever run a race does not matter.
It took me a while to believe that I was a runner. I started running later in life. It was a sign for the Reggae Marathon during a vacation to Negril that led me to become a runner. I fell in love with Negril and thought no better way to come back than to run a race and finish on the beach.
But I was never fast. I didn’t win races, and I did not look like a traditional runner. It was hard to convince myself that I belonged at a starting line standing next runner who routinely could get up at 5:00 am in the morning and run 6-minute miles without breaking a sweat. I was struggling to complete a two mile run without looking like I had run through a hurricane. When I finished every run, I struggled to take off my sweaty wet sports bra. I’m sure the professional runners were just able to pull theirs off with ease!
But I digress. After my first half marathon, actually my first race, I have a euphoric feeling and declared myself a runner. And from that day on, I could not be stopped. If there was a race, I wanted to run it. I even signed up for my second marathon before I ever ran my first marathon. (Here’s a tip- run your first marathon before you decided to run a second marathon. I’ve learned, they’re not for everyone.)
So remember, if you like to get outside with running shoes on, you’re a runner!
Keep on running!