Saturday, 7 May 2011

But, are you a REAL runner?

This was I question I was asked a few days ago. I have to admit that it threw me somewhat. I spluttered that I try to run most days of the week, when time allows, and that I generally run about 25 to 30 miles a week. I mentioned a few races I have taken part in, and races that are coming up in the future that I hope to run.

'But have you done a marathon?' my interrogator asked.

Well, no, I haven't 'done' a marathon. Does that mean that I am not a real runner? Apparently, in some people's minds it does! Apparently I just run 'for fun.' That's a tricky one, because I do love to run. I don't love every single step along the way, 8 miles down in a 10 mile run can be a pretty miserable and lonely place, as can stepping out into a cold, wet and windy day, but on the whole running is enjoyable, if only in retrospect as I step into the shower after a difficult run! If it wasn't I wouldn't do it.

I will run a marathon one day. I think. Maybe! It is a huge commitment to take on in an already chaotic and busy schedule. My problem is that I would want to run it in a reasonable time, I have no illusions about my speed (or lack thereof) but I would like to complete it in a reasonable time - something around the 4hr 15 to 4h 30 mark. This will take a huge amount of training and while I have applied for the ballot for London 2012 part of me is dreading getting a place. Hopefully I'll be teaching full time by then so training would be tricky.

In the meantime, I will content myself with shorter races. The Alton 10 is on Sunday, I've cut back my running this week in preparation for this. Running just 4 miles on Tuesday, 3.85 miles on Wednesday and 4 miles on Thursday. I've been impressed with my speed though, as I've been quite slow recently and these shorter runs have seen me clocking an average of under 8.30 per mile, with the occasional 1 mile split being below 8 minutes per mile. I think I am looking forward to Sunday. I know the course, I know I can run it, I just want to run it faster!


  1. Good grief! If you're not a real runner I wonder what on earth people like me are!

    Have fun in the Alton 10!

    -- Liz

  2. sounds like sour grapes to me. If they don't consider non marathon runners as "real" they don't consider Linford Christie or Colin Jackson or Steve Cram or Steve Ovett to be "real". Logically this means they must be cardboard cut-outs - whoever said that to you shouldn't be allowed out without a carer!