Friday, February 28, 2014

Labeled as a runner

Labels have been a hot button issue lately. Runners don’t like to be called joggers, people who go to yoga don’t like to be called “people who essentially just stretch”, and triathletes don’t like to be called fancy.  So very fancy.

In a previous post I quipped that I have been running 45-50 miles a week which allows me to still eat what I want an still consider myself a runner.  Much like I never miss an opportunity to watch the Real Housewives train wreck, leave it to someone to never miss the chance to check me for being a runner snob. “You’re still a runner if you run 20 miles/week, agree?”  Asked Steven Baskett.

The short answer: of course you are! The longer answer (because, it is Friday afternoon and I need a blog post) is that my entrance criteria for the runner label is actually much much lower than that.  To be clear, this isn't because that I don't have respect for people who run, but instead because I don't think that we should set limits on who can or can't be a part of the "my exercise makes me poop my pants" club.

In fact, in my book I suppose there are a few things that put you into the “runner” category:

  • 5 miles a week…half running half walking
  • Wearing booty shorts (woman or man...heyyyy)
  • Participating in a race with any sort of frequency. (once a year? Ehhhh, maybe. 4x a year? Yep)
  • Talking about any of the following without laughing: Body Glide (non sexually), fartlek, runners trots, bloody nipples, crotch chaffing (again, non sexually), snot rockets
  • Wearing those terrible guy split side shorts that have everyone waiting in anticipation on when "it" is going to fall out
  • Drinking more than 3 cups of any oddly short named drink in one day (Nuun, GU Brew, EFS, etc)
  • Having previously met any of the above for 6 months, hurt yourself, and soothing your pains in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s
Tastes like recovery

Notice what was missing? Pace.  I don’t care if you are winning a marathon or run/walking to the finish in a sunflower costume, regardless of what Garmin Connect software says, there is no “jogging” speed. Either you are running, walking, or crawling to fridge for the extra pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

Do you have any "rules" for when people can call themselves a runner?


The Running Nurse said...

You are giving me an idea for my next run! Sunflower costume!!! Thanks. :) said...

Amen o all of the above. I hate that people won't consider themselves a runner if they don't consider themself "fast". UGH. If you run in any sort of frequency you are a runner.

Jamoosh said...

So I don't have to actually "run" to be called a runner. I just need to go out in public in split side shorts. Sweet!

Running Through Phoenix said...

Snot rockets make me feel so so so so DIRTY!!

Kate Geisen said...

It took me until I was marathon training to call myself a runner. Not that I think that's criteria for other people, just that it took me that long to get it into my head that yes, I was a runner.

2cupsnrun said...

The "runner's club".... wish it didn't exist.
If you run you run, if you don't then you don't. :)
I don't call myself a runner even though I run.
But back to your question, I think to be part of any "er" club, you have to do something relatively consistently. If you do run once a week even for a couple of miles, but you've been doing it for some time, then you are in.

One Crazy Penguin said...

Hear hear! I used to be much faster than I am now, but I definitely still consider myself a runner! I'm lapping all those people on the couch!

paullamb said...

I've only been running for two years, but I just about cried when I learned how INSTANT and AUTOMATIC my acceptance was among other runners (despite my pace). They didn't even want to hear my credentials. They just said, "Let's go run!" This really is a fine sport with fine people.

One definition of a runner that I read was that you PAID FOR and COMPLETED an organized run. Seems reasonable, but I know some runners for whom scratching together enuf disposable cash for an entry fee is a bit of a hardship, so they don't do organized runs much. They can still run rings around me.

Another fine post!

ajh said...

Yeah it's hard to consider yourself a runner. I don't like the word jogger and like your definition. Hey, I'm a runner!

Richard Mendez said...

Great post, agree 100%. I consider anyone a runner who has the courage to get out on the streets, track, park and start running/jogging. For some that first day is the hardest, but usually leads to more running in the future.

Running Librarian said...

Faster than you walk and you must be running!

Diana Martinez said...

I'm a slow runner, and it took me a long time to be able to say "I'm a runner" with confidence but now that it's been a few years and I'm still lacing up with regularity (well, ok, this winter sucked, but whatever), I am a little more secure in my "label."

HalfCrazed Runner said...

No rules! After 2 weeks counseling patients with diabetes, and two weeks counseling patients on dialysis - if you're moving (walking, running, biking, lifting weights - you are exercising, and you are helping your body. Just move!

GiltEdgeGirl said...

Dude. When are you gonna give us a new post? I'm going into withdrawal!