My Identity Crisis

[Originally Published 04.24.2013]

I’ve been feeling conflicted for a while now. For the last couple of years I’ve considered myself a wannabe or novice runner but the last several weeks I’ve been struggling with even calling myself that. I’ve spent far too many days and weeks telling myself I should go for a run, then later psyching myself out and not running… not even trying to run.

Then I heard the news on April 15th. The bombing of the Boston Marathon awoke something in me. Although I’ve never run competitively in my adult life, I felt an affinity to the runners of the Boston Marathon. When I got home that evening, I felt like I had to run. No excuses. It was only a couple miles but it was a run.


The next evening, I went for a run again. I saw everyone posting their runs and workouts in their race shirts. I didn’t have one. But I did wear the “in training” shirt I bought when I registered for the 2011 Long Beach 1/2. (I never ended up running it because of injury.). A short, slow run but I felt good.


Then I went for another run on Saturday. Is this a comeback in the making? Can I start calling myself a runner yet?


On Friday, I heard about how @pavementrunner organizing #BostonStrong solidarity runs and saw that @RunEatRepeat was coordinating a #BostonstrongLB #BostonStrongOC run in Long Beach Monday evening. I pushed my insecurities aside and RSVP’d.

I was looking forward to running with the group but throughout the day I was experiencing some self-doubt. Then I saw this tweet:


Now, I had an even greater resolve to run and not chicken out. So after work, I picked up the kids, fed them dinner, changed, and made my way out to Long Beach.

Sadly I missed the group start by about 15 minutes because of SoCal traffic… Doh! But I decided to run anyway. I ran 4 miles for Boston and met up with the group at the start of the trail. It was nice to be recognized by a couple of runner/bloggers I met before and to meet some new people. Everyone was nice enough to get together for another group picture with me.


I’ve learned that the camaraderie that runners share transcends distance and speed. Although I don’t run very fast or very far (yet) I am thankful to be part of the community of runners.

I am a runner.


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