Am I a runner?

March 1, 2012

On Saturday, it will be 4 weeks.  4 short weeks before I run my first half marathon.  The past 1.5 months of training have been an absolute blur.  I’ve been having fun, I’ve been seeing changes and improvements and I’ve been learning.  All of this is great right?

Except, this past weekend, we stopped in a running shop to pick up an early birthday present.


Has anyone ever used these before??I’m really excited to try it out, but am a little worried about the weight of the belt/bottles on my pants.   It seems the least bulky of the options, so my fingers are crossed 🙂  I got mine in the poppy color, because lets be honest – it makes me smile and we should all have more reasons to smile, right?

image source

But I digress.

As we were checking out, the guy at the register casually mentions that the half I’m planning on running is “a good run.  Hilly”.  And goes about his day.  Ugh.  Hilly.  I had checked out the map of the course when I first signed up and noticed a hill, but have been pushing off seeing just how severe that hill is.

There you have it folks.  710 ft is the highest elevation point.  My outside route has some hills in it but not that high and I don’t even know HOW that translates into the hill interval training on a treadmill.  For serious.  Which of course started the wheel of self-doubt.

“what am I doing out there?  I’m not a runner – everyone else out there is going to KNOW you’re not a runner”.

I am happy to say, that despite the nasty thoughts sneaking into the back of my mind, I was able to calm myself down pretty quickly and reasonably, without a mental temper tantrum.  I have been dedicated to my training and have tried extremely hard to not just “go through the motions” of training.  I want to get better.  And here’s the key point-EVERYONE has to have had a “first marathon”.  I’m not going to be the only one out there who’s never run a 13.1 mile race before.  I won’t be the first to cross the finish line and I doubt I’ll be the last.  But even if I were, I would never ever ever go up to the last person to finish a race and say nasty things to them.  I’d congratulate them and tell them how amazing they are.  So WHY.  WHY WHY WHY would I think to say any differently for MYSELF.   I am going to run this half marathon and I am going to feel GREAT crossing that finish line, first- middle or last.  So does that make me a runner?  Dunno.

BUT, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to train for those hills – yikes!  I’ve been a little mum on the workout front lately, so here’s what I’ve been doing.

Monday I put in a serious lifting set that left my legs feeling tiiiiiireed the next morning.  I’ve read that squats and lunges will help make a runner stronger, so that’s been my goal lately, to really focus on the legs (but making sure I don’t forget my arms, backs, shoulders and core… ok so everything.).

Tuesday I put in my first bi-weekly 5 miler, pre-work.  I’ll admit, I was a little bit nervous about this.  5 miles.  Before work.  And still get to work, ON TIME?  I pushed myself to work just a little harder and ended up with a time of 47:40.  Not bad, for someone who’s only just started running, right?  I’d like to be faster and maintain the speeds as I go.

Wednesday was a cross training day.  Usually I just hop on the bike and pedal my way through a few chapters on a book, or pages in a magazine.  No sweat, no guts, no benefit.  Its great to have a few days of low key workouts, but I’ve had more than my fair share of them lately.  So I decided to ramp up my training and added in another day of running.  Despite tired legs, I hopped back on the treadmill and pounded out 3 miles of hill interval training.  Its going to take me awhile to figure out the right levels/inclines and speed combos, but all in all, I feel great about fitting another day of running into the mix, to help with both endurance, speed and start to really focus on some hills.  And my crowning achievement, was finally making it to that yoga class last night.  It was a good core workout, that had everyone else groaning, but I guess I’ve been doing something right, because it felt great.  Plus some added stretching and a few inward giggles at the snoring death pose beside me, pretty therapeutic J

Which brings us up to today.  Today was another scheduled 5 miler.  UGH.  At this point, my legs are starting to realize that not only have I asked them to do lifting and core moves all week, but that I’ve also asked them to put in two consecutive days of running – and now I wanted to make it three?   Despite the protests (mental and physical), I made it to the gym and got to work.  Shaving 10 seconds off of my previous 5 mile time on Tuesday!!! I admit, I’m a little surprised because my legs were already so tired, but I’m proud of my run and for pushing through it.   Last up for tonight is an hour of Body combat!  I’m glad I get to sneak this class in before heading out tomorrow morning for a 4 day weekend.  Its definitely one of my favorites.

I’m not sure how I’ll keep up with my workout schedule while away this weekend, my first and foremost priority will be to support Brandon and his family – but I’m packing my sneaks just in case 😉

So, serious question then – at what point are you defined as “a runner”?  Do you ever not feel like you don’t belong out there yet?

Happy Thursdaying!


7 Responses to “Am I a runner?”

  1. Dominick S. Says:

    That’s a great question…I don’t think there is a definitive answer for…I thought once I completed my half marathon I would feel like a runner but unfortunately I still don’t think I am…the good thing is that it really doesn’t matter if you are considered part of the group and by looking out your workout regiment there is no doubt that you are not only healthy but also an athlete.

    That second hill for the marathoners is freakish! You have two decent climbs in your race, one at mile 2 and one at mile 4…it looks like you should plan for a moderate start and if you are feeling good at the halfway point I think that would be a good spot to turn it up…that course is primed for an extremely fast second half (negative split).

    Good luck on your half marathon and your training!

    • krhtoday Says:

      I just read your recap of your half-marathon. If I can feel half as good as you did during the race, I’ll be golden! Are you planning on running another one? I think the question of “am I a runner” is such a strange one. You can train like you’re a runner, but i’m not sure if you ever feel like you’re one.

      The hills ARE insane, I’m planning on driving the course to get a better idea of the hill, since I’m training from out of town and can’t run it. Thanks for your tips!! 🙂

      • Dominick S. Says:

        Thanks for reading my recap! When I signed up for the half marathon I thought I was insane…I thought the same thing on my first 5K, then my first 10k…so yeah… yesterday I registered for the Pasadena R’n’R next year and the LA R’n’R in October…I am also considering the San Diego R’n’R in June and possibly the SF Marathon (half) in July…

        I figure, now I know I can do it…now I want to beat my times. I never planned on slowing down my running regiment so why not add some motivation to my workouts and have some fun to look forward to!

        As for your hills, good idea to drive it, at least you will be mentally aware of what is to come. I don’t know what runners suggest but when I did my 6-9 mile runs I would work in hills in the last sections, big ones, so that my legs and heart would adjust to the stress…plus, I didn’t realize that my normal route actually had gradual incline throughout. Set some realistic goals and I’m sure you will achieve them!

  2. Happy Runner Says:

    You run. You are a runner. Easy as this. And don’t be fooled, you’ll have doubts about most of your races, may it be the first of the fourteenth… Just enjoy it. Walk the hills and enjoy the view! 🙂

  3. I’ve got my second half marathon in 4 weeks on Sunday so I’m wishing you all the best and I know exactly how you’re feeling! Although I didn’t realise how hilly my half marathon was going to be until I was running up the hills!! I hadn’t trained for hills so was completely unprepared.
    This time around I’m doing a much flatter course and have trained with a few hills so I should do much better.
    On the bottle belt – from my own point of view, I wouldn’t have thought it would be necessary. I can comfortably run 10 miles without a drink, and when I took on water going round my first half marathon, it made me feel sick. However, I’ve tried those running bottles (the O shaped ones) and I almost threw it away while I was running so having a belt would be much better than that. Just try to keep yourself balanced! Dont fill all the bottles full – you’ll definitely not need that much water.
    Sounds like you’re doing well with your training. The leg exercises will definitely help you. Perhaps throw in a bit of interval training as well – I’ve found it to help me a lot.
    And lots of luck for your first half. Hopefully the first of many! x

    • krhtoday Says:

      Thanks for the advice!! Its nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Interval training is definitely something I’ve been trying to incorporate more and more, its good to know it helped you 🙂 Good luck on your next half – I can’t wait to hear how it goes! 🙂

  4. […] i was starting to wonder where the turn around point was.  And do you remember me talking about that hill?  The one that had me gaping at the computer screen?  Well.  I tackled that hill this past […]

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