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Thursday, June 26, 2008

TIART: You Are a Runner . . .

Today's Runners' Lounge topic for Take It and Run Thursdays is: 13 words or less: "You are a runner...." . Thus, in thirteen words or less, I will finish that statement, and attempt to describe when, how and why I first realized I was a runner . . .

You are a runner . . . when you find a way to tough it out through the bad runs.

I can still remember the first "bad run" I decided to take on. I had been running for almost two months, and in that time, I had never actually "toughed it out." When the going got tough, I stopped and walked. But not that day. I had decided to run six miles . . . the farthest I would run before my first road race ever, a 10K. I'd had a bad day at work, hadn't gotten much sleep the night before, hadn't hydrated well . . . I had a whole list of excuses for why I should allow myself to stop and walk. It was all I could do to shut out the negative voices in my head, as they shouted, "You can't do this! You're too unfit! You're so slow! You'll never finish a 10K race!" And somehow I knew I was at a turning point. Either I could listen to those voices (as I had in the past), or I could take control and finish the run. It was like something just clicked--I decided that I was going to finish that run, even if it killed me!

And you know what? I did. And when I finished? I felt an overwhelming sense of pride in what I'd just accomplished. It had nothing to do with the distance I'd run . . . or the pace I'd gone. It was about the fact that I'd kept running when I REALLY didn't want to. And that? Was HUGE for me. After I'd tackled that first big running obstacle, there was no doubt in my mind that I was officially a runner. To this day, when I start to struggle, I tend to taunt myself with the thought, "A real runner would finish this run, Irish. Are you a real runner?" More often than not, I find that I am a "real runner" . . . and on the days when I'm not? I just use my failure as motivation for the next run.

Happy running, everyone!

6 comments:

Tree said...

You are a real runner, for sure.

Joe said...

I've always felt the bad runs or the really tough runs are what makes a runner a runner. Good job on pushing through. That's the tough part. Congrats and keep running!

Joe
www.fitnessgeekga.wordpress.com

The Laminator said...

Nice. I love the last paragraph because I play the same mind tricks with myself as well. When the going gets tough and I'm thinking of quitting, I just ask myself..."Are you for real or just pretending, because we can stop right now if you're just pretending..."

Works everytime.

Amy@RunnersLounge said...

You are a runner! Great post!

Makita said...

Great post! I love the narrative that goes along with your statement. It's a good thing to come back to on a bad day. I'll remember your post when I'm having a bad day... I'll finish the run. :D

Tom@RunnersLounge said...

Thanks, Irish!

I bet you also use the recall of the bad run to get you through other tough non-running challenges.

You're tough and wise to draw from that run when you overcame the desire to stop and listened to your stronger inner voice.