I had a craptacular run today. It wasn't even a run, really. It was mostly a walk. Partly a shuffle. Occasionally, I think I actually did something that could qualify as running. In the hour that I was out at the park, walking and shuffling and running, I was doing a lot of thinking.
Most of the thinking went like this: "I SUCK at this! I've been doing this for over two years now, you'd think I'd be better at it by now. I mean, really. Oh, crap, here comes a runner. Should I speed up, or would that be totally obvious? She's not looking at me anyway, and oh - she passed me already. Right. Because she's running. What am I doing? How long have I been out here? God, only 40 minutes? No way am I making it to two hours today. As soon as I get to the car, I'm done. I'm not doing another loop. I can do a two hour run on Saturday. Or Sunday. Sunday is Mother's Day. I get the day "off." So I can go for a two hour run and not feel guilty, right? Or I could just sleep in. Sleep is good. Holy hell, where is the damn car???"
When I got home from the park, I made myself a huge salad and sat on the couch, eating and feeling sorry for myself. Then an old friend called and while we were chatting, I started to feel better, until she mentioned these "crazy people" that were doing run/walk intervals during the half marathon she just did. I spoke up, trying to explain that it's actually a valid way to race, and that I've done it.... but my heart just wasn't in it. I was feeling so crappy that I couldn't even defend myself, so I just shut up.
Last fall, I ran 12 miles with only one (60 second) walk break. Lately, I can hardly run 1 mile without walking. I've finished two half marathons, two 10 mile races, a bunch of 5Ks. I've run over 900 miles since I started running, and yet today I'm sitting here feeling like a fraud for calling myself a runner.
Why? Because I walk sometimes.
Then I got to thinking. Jeff Galloway has a bajillion followers (give or take a few gajillion). That means that there are plenty of people out there running races using run/walk intervals. Fast people, slow people, old people, young people.
There are also people who run Ultras - people who can run 50Ks, 50 Milers, 100 milers.... and they walk during them, sometimes. When the terrain is rough, or when they just need to give their minds and bodies a break. Could anyone dare say those badasses are not runners because sometimes they walk?
So what's my problem, exactly?
I guess I'm just having a bad day. I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll wake up and feel differently about things, because I certainly don't enjoy feeling this way. Maybe I'd feel better if there was another term I could call myself instead of a runner. Maybe ... endurance athlete? Idiot ? Either of those could probably apply.
Either way, as Popeye says, I am what I am and that's all that I am.... Whatever that may be.