How do you know you’re a REAL runner? When you don’t run, you cheer!
Am I REAL runner? I am not too fast, I certainly don’t look like a runner, I don’t take running as seriously as others. Should I really call myself a runner? I bet I am not the only one whose mind this has crossed at some point!
The “world out there” is full of motivational videos and quotes telling you that:
If you run, you’re a runner.
Runner is real when he/ she takes the first step.
Once you pack your running shoes on a holiday, you know that you are a real runner.
We are all runners. Some just run faster/further than others.
I realized that I am a REAL runner when cheering at a race felt equally as good (in fact, maybe even a bit better) than actually running the race! And it is not that long ago! I started “properly” running about three years ago and Prague half marathon this April was the first race where I went to CHEER only. I spend good couple of hours making “motivational” signs, I bought confetti and organized a cheering meet up. We cheered from the first Kenyan to the last person who was running behind the bus, that was collecting people who wouldn’t make the time limit. Btw. I have utter respect for everyone who has the balls and the determination to do this!
And I felt really proud! I felt really proud for every single person who ran passed us. Some runners were smiley and happy and some had real pain and exhaustion written all over their faces. We were standing at 18,5 km so this IS the time when you really need support during a half marathon.
When “my people” from Adventní Běhání were running past us – all of them looking super strong and obviously enjoying themselves – and when I was shooting confetti at them (that is when they did not fail and actually worked) and saw their surprised faces, it made me super happy and it really filled me with joy, pride and hapiness. This was the moment where I realized that this is what being a RUNNER means to me and that I am a REAL RUNNER. For me being a runner means being part of a running community, being part of a group where everyone supports each other and where the joy from racing and finishing is shared. I don’t actually have to always run myself but I can experience the joy of running via someone else. If you said this to me a couple of years earlier, I would have thought that you are crazy :)
Okay, I must admit that I was also a bit jealous when I watched everyone’s face filled with endorphins when they finished and when I thought back to last year when Jens, Ela and I ran 2 half marathons in 2 days: Prague and Berlin. That was loads of fun!
But why am I writing this whole thing?
I decided not to run the Prague Marathon. Something I was looking forward to pretty much ever since I signed up for the race. I also talked quite few friends into signing up and running it with me.
Ever since I realized how much weight I put on since November (if you fancy reading about this you can do it HERE) I started contemplating about not running. Not because of the weight itself but because I realized how out of shape I was. I know I can run a marathon (slow and steady) but I also know that it will make me really tired. After my “cancer scare thing” I try to listen to ME a bit more than I’ve ever done and ME and my gut is telling me that I should not run.
I am super busy at work right now and I am running Vltava Run, a super fun relay race, the week after the marathon. And I don’t want to be completely knackered…
If you’ve ever been in a situation when you decided not to run a race then you know how hard it is to make that decision. Especially when you know that you have friends from other countries coming to run the race with you.
But it is really important to listen to your body and to your guts. And that’s it.
BUT I can’t wait to cheer along!!! I ordered more confetti, I will make more signs and organize a cheer group and will be standing between 39th and 40th kilometer and shout as loud as I can! And I will feel proud!
I will never be a fast runner, I will never look like a runner but I am a RUNNER and I can’t wait to cheer at Prague Marathon!
Do you feel like a REAL runner?
Do you come and cheer when you are not running?
And who is running the Prague Marathon and who will I be cheering for?
P.S. The day after I decided not to run in Prague I learned that I got in to Chicago Marathon!!!
P.P.S. Who else is coming to Chicago in October?
P.P.P.S. The goal for Chicago is clear: under 4 hours J
Categories: my RUNNING