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You Don't Have To Race To Be A Runner

Ok.... just gonna toss this out there... if you aren't currently running races / participating in organized events, it does NOT make you any less of a runner or athlete. This past year has definitely been a whirlwind of a year with injuries and health related issues for me. But because of my experiences, it's also changed my perspective on a lot of things.

I used to think that
if I wasn't running races that I wasn't a real runner or that I wasn't really into fitness. But that's simply not true. I'm just as much of runner now as I was years ago when I was running 5K's every weekend and my racing schedule was jam packed. I still have goals, yes even running goals, even though I'm not currently racing.

Currently, I'm working out mainly for my health and fitness, and not exactly to PR in a race. That used to be my main motivation. I was always chasing the personal record - and there is nothing wrong with that. However it left me burned out and injured. Now, I'm learning to tune into my body, and be flexible with my workouts (How Scheduling Your Workout Can Help Prevent Injury)

But I'm still as much of an athlete now as I was when I was running races most weekends out of the year.

Do I think I will return to racing? Maybe... I've learned to never say never ;) But at this moment it's not on my priority list. I'm working on balance... physical.... emotional.... and nutritional balance.

And I am enjoying setting lots of goals in a lot of areas of my life. I (personally) have a hard time not fixating on just running when I have super big running related goals. So I'm enjoying the diversity of my workouts. Who knows, maybe I'll get to the point that my focus on diversity actually equals a PR for me in racing? I'm not sure. I just know that I have doubted my ability as a runner/athlete before because I wasn't actively participating in organized events. And it got me to thinking that maybe others out there might have that same idea.

And I'm here to tell you that you don't have to be participating in organized events to be a runner/athlete.

I run therefore I'm a runner.

I workout at home and at the gym with body weight exercises, strength training, group fitness classes, spin class and cardio exercise equipment and that makes me an athlete. I'm not a competitive athlete but I'm still an athlete.

Racing and organized events can be a lot of fun, but if you aren't currently participating don't feel like you are any less than those you who. Be you ... cause you are awesome.


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