Wednesday, August 24, 2005

What makes a runner?

I was thinking about this today as I read this article.

I was a bookworm child and rarely went outside. When I did, it was often just to wander about by myself and make up stories. But I was shortsighted and physically uncoordinated, and if they'd had any teams at all, I would have been picked last.

Even now, in my extremely middle thirties and when I have two functioning feet, I don't think of myself as a runner. I'm someone who runs - not terribly fast or terribly well. I just run the way I do most things: clumsily but with enthusiasm. (Exception: I knit pretty well and very fast. But that's it.)

But I love it. The few races I've run, I've loved the simplicity of it: it's you and your body, pushing towards the finish.

I live vicariously through other runners' blogs. As I'm not running, I've got little to talk about, so I read instead. I really miss running in the mornings right now. When I got my injury, I assumed I would just lapse and soon enough lose interest. But instead I think obsessively about getting back on the road.

This makes me hope that, just maybe, I'm a runner.

Time will tell.


Scott in Washington said...

I know exactly what you mean. I've run off and on for years without any program or goal. These past few months since I've started seriously training, I feel like I snapped out of a light doze. I feel great almost as soon as I finish a run, I'm starting to look forward to and prepare for the next one.

Also, I know what you mean about living vicariously. I'm currently sitting at a desk with a tie around my neck, reading running blogs and getting ready to give an orientation here is a few minutes when all I really want to do is head out the door for a run.


About Me: said...

when i injured myself after my may marathon i was all ready to sit back, lounge, spend my mornings i would have spent running on things like painting, reading, bettering the world...and what i often did was picture myself runnning!

you're a runner now. no sense denying it.

Susan said...

It took me quite a long to time to claim the label, but now I do. Patience, as she says in the article, is the key when you've been injured. Ask Lara. You are doing everything right.

Stephanie said...

You are a runner. There is no question. I don't know how anyone who finishes a marathon cannot help but claim the title. :)

What are you knitting these days?

Lara said...

I hear you! When I was down with my stress fracture I bought tons of running books, read alot, and just thought about running all the time. I can't remember a better feeling than when I took my first post-injury running steps!!

Scott in Washington said...


I have a question for you. You told us on your running log that you're getting married, and you're coming to Vegas. We're going to have a white marathon are we?


Sarah said...

You are *totally* a runner, Riona :-) Hang in there...the reward for your patience will be a whole new appreciation for running! And I see that you had some big news while I was away...a belated (but, very big!) CONGRATS!

Scott in Washington said...

I meant to say "We're not going to have a white marathon are we?" instead of "We're going to have a white marathon are we?" Oops.

Danny said...

I feel for you.

I've been having pain recently as I try and gear up for my first marathon. I'm very worried about getting injured. (I think I'm okay for now, but if it worsens, I may need another bone scan myself!)

I hope to see you get better and back out there as soon as you can.

Tricia said...

That's such a great question. I ran for years off and on, running 5 and 10 K's and a half marathon or two, but never called myself a runner. Finally after finishing my first marathon I felt that I could claim the title, but in retrospect, I was silly to wait until then.

I get Runner's World, and every month the last article in the magazine is called "I'm a runner" and is an interview with someone who runs, often someone famous. Reading those articles reinforces the fact that I have more in common with these folks (because of the running) than I ever thought possible, and that one doesn't need to be a marathoner to be a runner.

So, no doubt about it, you're a runner Riona, regardless of the fact that an injury is keeping you from logging miles.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joe said...

> I live vicariously through
> other runners' blogs.

I like reading your blog too! I'm sorry to hear that you are not running right now. How is the rehab coming? Have you tried swimming?