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Have I become a runner? If you were to look at me you wouldn’t think so. I’m still classified by the machine at Publix that takes your blood pressure as being overweight. Who are the people that come up with those charts anyways? I have dropped some weight, 23 lbs since last November, mostly just from monitoring my diet. But I started running a year before that.

This morning on my run nothing really felt right. My hamstrings are killing me from yard work this past weekend. I’m developing a cough that I am trying to keep from getting worse. I slept terrible last night, tossing and turning all of which was confirmed with my iPhone sleep app (Sleep Cycle).

But there I was, standing and the end of my drive at 4:55 am to go on my run. The whole first mile I kept thinking of all the reasons that I shouldn’t be out here, and then I had the thought “when do you actually get to call yourself a runner?”. Is it a matter of time, say two years? Is it when you can say “I’m a runner”, and people don’t cover up their laugh with a cough or something? Do you have to finish in say the top 5% of your age group in the local 5K?

On my running app (mapmyrun) it tells me that I have logged 681.9 miles and burned some estimated 118,158 calories as of this morning (since I started using this particular app). For some this may seem like nothing at all. For others, it probably seems like quite an accomplishment. I can remember starting out and barely making it five minutes without having to stop. Whew, I don’t want to go back there again. I guess that I am a runner simply because I run. It’s not pretty, or graceful, or even competitive – it’s just getting out there and running. Being a runner is standing at the end of your drive to start your run when it doesn’t make sense because of your inner compulsion to run.