How much running do you have to do before you can call yourself a runner? In my opinion it doesn’t matter whether you’re on week one of couch to 5 km or you’ve just finished your 3rd Ultra; to me, you’re a runner. But how do you feel? When do YOU call yourself a runner?
I’ve been running since 2014 but I never really called myself ‘a runner’. I’ve taken part in several races and battled through injuries like many others but I still didn’t feel worthy of the title. This year though, that’s changed.
Then this week things got really serious and I had my first run at my new running club! Yep, that’s right, I’m officially a club runner and member of UK Athletics!! How very daunting.
It was quite funny actually, I happened to join on the night that they did their annual ‘Self Timed Run’. I was shown a planned route that had been printed and the idea of the game was to guess how long it would take you to do. It wasn’t a race. you could go as fast or as slow as you like, it was all about knowing your own pace.
The route was around 3.25 miles and after Sunday’s half I thought I’d try to take it easy so I guessed at 34:36. There were 51 runners so I figured I’d probably be in the middle of the pack, which would have been great. The only problem was, that when we set off the road forked and everyone got confused as to which way was the official route. I took the longer route with only about 5 others. We’d gone the correct way, but those that had taken the shorter route were suddenly quite a distance ahead.
It was then that I realised I’d set off with the faster runners of the group! Soon enough they had gone ahead and I was trying to keep up at the back. I ran much quicker than I’d wanted and my legs felt heavy. I’d worn my waterproof jacket at the forecast of rain yet it was mild and dry so I was drowning in sweat. (niiiiice)
it wasn’t long before I couldn’t see anyone ahead of me or behind me and I had no idea where I was going as I don’t know the area. I started to head back up the hill and once at the top the other runners were coming from a different direction. I’d obviously taken a wrong turn and cut part of the route out. oops.
Honestly though I didn’t care. I was glad to be back with the group and nearly back at the club. I knew I’d gone much quicker than I’d really wanted to and so my pace guess would have been way out. It made me laugh though, and I’d been for a run so that’s all that mattered.
We got back to the club and there were pints and pasties on offer. What more could I want?? Where do I sign up??
Once the results were published I was able to track my route online. I’d ran 5km in 29:33. I’d have been over the moon with that time if I was going out to try and do a fast run, as it happened my legs didn’t thank me for pushing the pace 3 days after the half. ha ha. So now I’m taking it easy until Monday where I’ll go back to the club to do my first hill session. The slowest runner was around 47 minutes that night, so maybe I wasn’t at the back at all. I need to have more faith in myself obviously.
Talking of firsts, I’ve also become an ambassador for the first time too. I’m an official ambassador for The National Running Show which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham on the weekend of the 20th-21st January 2018.
I’m so excited about this event, there are so many running role models speaking such as Dame Kelly Holmes and Jo Pavey; and Exhibitors like Virtual Runner and Halo. If you call yourself a runner this is certainly a date for the diary.
Now that my running fitness is back to where it was I am so excited for the possibilities of my running future. I’m hoping that the club running will improve my 10km times, eventually I’m aiming for sub 55. I’m also hoping that I can accompany my mate Nina in her first ever half marathon next year, and I may even do some trail running over the winter too! Watch this space.
How often do you run each week? Do you call yourself a runner? I think I do.