By "it" I do not mean speed, or endurance, or any other markers of athleticism. I was slow, I had to walk about a fourth of each mile, my easy pace kept me in a Zone 2 to 3, and I felt the need to pee pretty much the whole time. No, "it" is something else entirely.
Almost a year ago, I rambled on about whether or not I could consider myself a "real" Runner. Is a 10- or 11-minute-mile really running, or just jogging? The famous Dr. George Sheehan (Never heard of him? Then you're just a jogger.) once said that the difference is a signature on a race application. But was he right? Am I really a runner because I've participated in a few races?
I've decided that the difference is a little more subjective than that; I believe "real" Runners are the ones that get out there and do what they do for the enjoyment of it. Not to lose weight, not to look fab at the reunion, not for any specific benefit or goal that may or may not be attained. And certainly not that every run is pleasurable, because all real Runners know that some runs are absolutely miserable and most are pretty humdrum. Maybe we can't even define what it is we actually like about running. Much like a cherished dog who is so ugly he's cute, we love it "just because" and need no further reason why.
|No cute, just pugly.|
That love, I've decided, is what makes me a Runner. That is the "it" I still have.