I Am A Runner

Posted: August 11, 2011 at 7:00 am

Here we go again! Another running thoughts inspired post…triggered by a song. The last time that happened I ended up with visions of my body and mind singing a duet to the tunes of Adam Lambert’s “Whattaya Want From Me”. Luckily this one isn’t quite as heavy on the crazy.

Have you heard the Switchfoot song “This Is Your Life”? While listening during my tempo run yesterday, something about these little lines got the wheels turning in my head.

this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be

It struck me. This is my life and I only have one shot at it. Am I who I want to be? And you know the amazing thing? My immediate reaction did not turn to negative thoughts in the slightest. I perked up and knee-jerkingly thought “Yea. I am who I want to be!”

I am a woman of faith, which has turned me into the best version of myself I have ever known and continues to help me grow.

I am a wife, which wraps me in love. And makes me a romantic cheeseball

I am a mother, which is only one of the most rewarding experiences out there.

stone mountain

I am passionate and no longer fear believing in myself to go after those things that make my heart sing and light a fire underneath me.

I am all those things and more – everything I shared in my original Strengths Out Loud post, for example. Then before my mind had the chance to whir off in another direction with the twisting of the road, another description of myself struck.

I am a runner.


So that definition of self may not carry near the same weight as the others, but on my run today was the first time it really sunk in that I am a runner. Not just someone who likes to run on occasion. I AM a runner.

I look forward to my runs 99.9% of the time because they give me such vitality. Not a single run ends where I don’t feel more alive inside and a better person on some level. I don’t know why, but it does feel that way. I commit myself to lacing up the sneakers and hitting the road or running path regularly. Running feels like an old friend I can’t wait to spend some time with, even if it means early wake up calls. I have trained for two races, have signed up for a half marathon, and plan to add two more races to the fall. I could talk about running incessantly. I would sign up to go to the Urban Runner Blogging Summit in a heartbeat if a certain thing called money didn’t exist. I want to run into my indefinite future and never stop! I am a runner.

I may not quite know what a “fartlek” is and have only recently learned the word “bonk” (doesn’t running have the BEST words? haha!), but I am still a runner. I am a runner because I choose to run. I never thought any special feat or qualification – sub 10:00 miles, running a half marathon, running for a year, etc - would have to make someone else a runner. Why did it take so long for me to figure it out for myself? I don’t know. But at least I do know now that I am a runner. And it’s pretty awesome.

  • Is there something that took you awhile to grasp “Hey! I am a ____”? It took me a bit to grasp being a mother. It still seems surreal some days.
  • What is one of the funniest words to you? I get a kick out of silly sounding words apparently, so share yours!

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68 Comments to “I Am A Runner”
  1. Being a “runner” was also something that I struggled with grasping. Even after I completed my first full marathon, my body image was so horrible that I didn’t want to tell people I was a “runner” because I was afraid that they would tell me that I didn’t look like one.

    It’s about not caring what people say and embracing who you are!

  2. Mandy says:

    Good for you sweetie! I am very proud of you 🙂 You always give me so much to aspire to 🙂

  3. I love this!

    Awhile ago it dawned on me “I am a fiance”….I’m marrying my best friend in two months! wow! As the date gets closer, I am getting more and more exciting for this next journey of life!

    The word “flatulence” gets me every time…haha good thing I am so mature…

  4. It took me the longest time to be able to say “I’m a blogger.” Instead, I always referred to myself as someone with a blog (sort of like runners refusing to admit they’re runners, instead saying “I run”). I now say it proudly – we’re one of a kind, after a call. 😉

    • Tina says:

      I can so relate! And when filling out M’s preschool info I even put “blogger” in with “stay at home mom” in the occupation field. Felt weird, but its the reality when I think about it.

  5. Khushboo says:

    Running is my friend too and it provides me with endless amounts of comfort! Ever heard the expression ‘keep your friends close & your enemies closer?’…apparently i did because after hating it for years, I can’t imagine life without it! And even though early morning wake up calls aren’t the easiest, it sometimes leaves you feeling sore and smelly, there are some friends that you are willing to put up with ;)! And for what it’s worth, Running always makes me feel better about myself!

  6. I love your inspirational posts! I always do my best self-motivational thinking while running. This morning I set out on a 4 mile run but wanted to call it quits at mile 2. I thought to myself that I was the only one who could push myself to 4 miles, no one else is going to care if I stop now or run 10 more, so I sucked it up and felt great when I completed my run! So to answer your question “I am my biggest cheerleader” 🙂

  7. one thing that i still have trouble grasping sometimes is that I’m a writer. i am published, i have inspired with words, and I write every day! so weird to think about, but it’s true!

    • Tina says:

      Yep! You are a writer. I think I would have a tough time with that one too though. I will say “I am a blogger” now…but couldn’t say “I am a writer”.

  8. Karen says:

    I think it took me a while to grasp “I’m a mother” too! It all seemed so surreal when I got pregnant and then had the babies.

    I think fartlek is such a funny word…I don’t know what it means either : )

  9. Lee says:

    Even though I’ve been running for something like 6 years, I still have a hard time thinking of myself as a runner. A friend sent me an email the other day about a water bottle carrier and was like, “I know you are a seasoned runner…” and I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, I guess I am.”

    Also, it still feels a little weird to refer to myself as Jason’s wife.

  10. Amy Lauren says:

    Aww, I love this post! We are doing a Couch to 5K program at my job and I am going to share it with some of the participants :). Plus that Switchfoot song is awesome too!

  11. So funny Tina – I just posted this the other day – I am a RUNNER… great minds post alike… 🙂


  12. Oh yes, I pretty much fought against calling myself a runner. For some reason I refused to believe it b/c I didn’t think my running was up to par with people I considered to be “real” runners.

  13. jobo says:

    YES!! I love this! You are a runner. I AM a runner. It is a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? Vitality is exactly right. um, what’s a bonk?! (ps may link to this post for mine today!)

  14. I love that Switchfoot song. It always gets me thinking about my life too. I love the word shenanigans 🙂

  15. “Runner” is tough because even though I love running, have run in races, am training for a half-marathon – I don’t think I look or act like the definition of a runner I have in my head. Sometimes I struggle with the concept of being an “adult.” I don’t think anyone under the age of 55 knows what that really means, and even after that milestone, still some questions remain.

  16. I’ve felt exactly the same about running. I’ve been hesitating to call myself a runner, because I still can’t run fast or far. But I’ve been running consistently for about 10 months, almost every week. So I guess, yeah, I’m a runner, too. Right? Right!
    Do you mean a funny English word? If yes, I choose ‘blur’. I think it sounds funny when you say it loud.
    There are lots of funny words in my native language (German/Bavarian), I don’t even know where to start. Heck, the entire Bavarian dialect is cracking me up!

  17. I remember one time after Meghan was born I hadn’t run in months and someone asked me, “Are you a runner?” and I got all tongue-tied. Sort of? I used to be? I didn’t know what to say.

  18. Kat says:

    I feel the same way about running – it’s awesome!
    fartlek cracks me up. I don’t know what it means either – I know I could look it up, but I think it would be less funny then 🙂

  19. Stephanie says:

    The word “fartlek” always makes me giggle. I’m really immature. This is a lovely post! I’ve always WANTED to be a runner, but I’ve never quite made it.

  20. Isn’t it funny how many people struggle with calling themselves “runners”? Even people who run every day– if you ask them if they’re A RUNNER, they say, “Oh, no, I’m not A RUNNER. I just run every day!” Then you’re a runner!!!! 😉

  21. Jess says:

    I heart this post!! The joy in your heart just pours out so loud and proud and I LOVE that about you. I am totally with you on running bringing such vitality and energy and LIFE. It’s amazing, truly. Nothing else compares to it. I’m also loving who I am right now, today. Just me – completely comfortable with where I come from, what’s made me into who I am today and where I’m going. It’s a great feeling. So glad you share it!!

  22. Isn’t that the BEST feeling? I remember realizing (and claiming) that I am a runner. Cheers to you!

  23. I’m really happy for you. 🙂 Running seems to bring you a lot of joy. I’m kind of injured now, as usual, so I can’t really call myself a runner. I wish I could though. I’d love to run for miles, and I really enjoy running on trails or with my running buddy in the neighborhood. Maybe on day I’ll be a “runner” too…

    Currently, I’m a wife, and that makes me happy. Coincidentally, that word sounds odd to me. wife wife wife. Yup, still odd.

  24. Love this post! Not only are you all of those things, but you are fabulous at them :). I’m still not sure I’ve grasped that I am a college graduate. I think that being in grad school and studying all the time makes it hard for me to believe, that hey, I graduated magna cum laude from a really good school! And not to be inappropriate but I think the word scrotum is really funny and gross haha.

  25. What an awesome post to read this morning. You really are an amazing person!

    I especially love Mackenzie pressing down on B’s chest in the picture… I wonder what she was trying to do!

  26. […] I AM a runner. Reading Tina’s post and Jess’s post today and nodding with every word they said, I sat back and […]

  27. LOVE the Switchfoot song. My hubby sings that in church.

    It takes me awhile to grasp things basically every time something changes…I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a Christian. I am a Personal Trainer. Honestly, all of those took me awhile to truly realize and embrace! 🙂

    There’s a town in MA called Stoughton and I HATE the way it sounds. Something about the way it sounds makes me cringe. LOL

  28. Sam says:

    your positivity makes my heart so happy! i love that feeling of being alive!! running and a really good yoga session do that for me 🙂

    Sam @ fitness food & faith

  29. I often find myself thinking, “I AM a fitness instructor!”

    It’s weird because I am a very socially outgoing person and love meeting and talking to new people, but have the worst fear of public speaking! I found that I have gotten a lot better…especially when I was back in school last year, but I still can’t believe that I get up multiple times a week on a stage and teach an aerobics class! It’s an accomplishment that I am very proud of!

  30. LindseyAnn says:

    You know what’s funny, is that I still have a hard time grasping the “I am a runner” identity. This has been something that has been a part of my life to some degree since I was 14, and now it’s part of my career, and I still have a hard time looking myself in the eye and truly believing I am a runner. I love that you have had that moment, though, and I hope that feeling lasts for you!

    And, I still can’t say “fartlek” without giggling. And, it’s a Swedish term meaning “speedplay”, so it just means adding intervals of increased speed to your run. For example, running 6 miles with 4 2:00 pick ups at a desired race pace would be a good example of a fartlek run.

  31. I agree with you – it’s hard for me to grasp the fact that I am a mom!

  32. Love this post. I too have struggled with applying titles to myself that I thought only applied to others. The most recent ones have been: wife, stepmother, and runner. It always makes me smile to hear someone else apply them to me, like when my husband says “my wife” or just the other day, someone said “move to the side, here comes a runner” and it was me they were talking about.

    I play golf and the 13 year old in me emerges when someone uses the following legit golf terms in a sentence: ball, club, hole, shaft, and whiff. Immature much?

  33. I’ve never considered myself a runner, but back in college when I found myself constantly at the gym, it hit me one day that was “that person” who works out a lot. Sure, I was just lifting weights, doing cardio, and occasionally taking a class, but I was what I had never before thought I could be “that person”. The one who put fitness on her priority list. And you know what? It felt great. It was exactly who I wanted to be at the time.

    Right now, life is throwing me some curveballs and I’ve been spending my evenings on the couch, but after writing this, I’m definitely hitting the gym tonight. And to think, this was all I needed to motivate myself to do that 🙂

  34. I have a hard time calling myself a runner too! I am though I guess 😉
    And, what IS a “bonk”? Never heard of that one!

  35. The other week, I proclaimed myself a “Turtle Runner” but I AM A RUNNER nonetheless. And Ahhhh, It feels so good to say it!

  36. Lisa says:

    It took me awhile to say “I am an ATHLETE.” I may be a slow runner and I’m certainly not going to be going pro anytime soon, but I AM an athlete!

  37. Love this post! I feel like I still have trouble saying ‘I am a runner’ even though I’ve completed five half marathons and I’m training for my 6th. I think I just need to accept it already 🙂

  38. Rebecca says:

    Hmm… I am a lot of things, but the one that took me the longest to accept (and actually it’s still weird to say) is that I am a leader/role model.
    I may not always feel like it, but there are people who look up to me. Working with the Junior High these last two years has made me realize that I have a bigger impact on people than I think I do. I received adorable Valentines notes from a few of the kids that made me smile and helped me realize that I am impacting them, whether I know it or not.

    It’s maybe not funny, but I honestly giggle when I hear people insult each other with the word “douche.” I’m so stuck in French class that instead of hearing the insult, I hear the French word for shower. Which, of course, people are not. So it makes me chuckle. I like French. 😀

    • Tina says:

      Haha! That’s like in Spanish too. I always chuckled at that word too. And you are certainly a VERY inspirational role model and leader.

  39. Mwahhh I love love love love you. You ARE a runner, and I have to remind myself that *I* am a runner, even though I am not the fastest or the most talented out there. And nothing wrong with being a romantic cheeseball. 😉

  40. I still have a hard time with the calling myself a runner AND not following it with “but I’m really slow”.

  41. Jen says:

    Being a mother seems surreal to me some days too, on the really hard days it feels like i’m just a babysitter waiting for the real parent to get home 😉 But, it is the most rewarding title ever!

  42. I still can’t grasp I’m having a baby. It doesn’t seem real at all yet. The Dr told me it didn’t feel real for her until her daughter was born and about three weeks old until it finally sank in!

  43. Kara says:

    You’re right, running does have the best words! I always say “bonk” as “boink”. I don’t know why, but I can’t stop doing it. I stil giggle when I saw “fartlek”, even if I’m running them and cursing under my breath.

    My other favorite terms:

    Tempo: Run until you feel like you might puke or pass out, and then do a cool down mile.

    Hill repeats: Find a miserable stretch of running and torture yourself repeatedly.

    Negative splits: Run like you stole something!

  44. Two comments on the pic with the kids:

    1) Is that Stone Mountain? Such a great hike.

    2) Why is Braedon wearing UGA stuff? People are going to think that you don’t love him! (just kidding, Purdue and Virginia Tech have just not had good experiences with UGA on the football field)

    • Tina says:

      Haha! Yep it is Stone Mountain and my husband says the same thing when I put him in UGA stuff. But he will wear the red and black. 😉

  45. Andrea says:

    I am a “runner” and a “cat mom”. Some day I will take as much pride saying I am a mother to my child but for now, I have no problem letting everyone know how proud I am to be a cat mom! The runner thing took awhile for me too. Then I realized, it doesn’t matter how far or fast you go or how many races you’ve completed. If you like to run, and you do it, you’re a runner!

  46. Love Switchfoot and I wondered where they went?! Love that song and “Meant to Live”, they have such great lyrics in their songs 🙂

    This may sound funny but like your mom epiphany, I sometimes have that about being a wife and being married. For so long I daydreamed and wondered if I’d ever have that amazing man in my life to call my husband, and sometimes I stop and think about it and it amazes me that I have it. I’ll never forget how new and surreal it felt to call my best friend and partner in life, my husband, it was the greatest feeling…and to this day I’m amazed that I’m his wife and that I found that person to be together forever with 🙂

  47. I resisted saying I was a runner too, even more so now that I am running less often. However, I think that is you run, even a little bit no matter how far, you are indeed a runner!

  48. I used to feel weird telling people I was a runner because I don’t look like one- isn’t that ridiculous?! I gained a lot of weight training for my first marathon last year and felt so heavy that i thought it would look weird if I told people what I was training for. I haven’t lost the weight, but I have gained the confidence to tell people that I am a runner too 🙂

  49. When I worked at my internship, I needed to write a story. I had all the content, but I was really struggling to come up with how to word what I wanted to say. I stared at my computer screen until I was cross-eyed, made several false starts, and then literally out of nowhere the perfect lead hit me. I remember thinking to myself in that moment, “Wow. I’m a Writer.” It was a really cool experience 🙂

  50. Dorry says:

    I remember writing a post on my blog about being a runner – it’s a great feeling to openly OWN what you do. 🙂 And you’ve definitely become quite the runner…it’s been inspiring to witness!

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