Don’t call me a fucking jogger!

When did you become a runner?  That is a question that most people answer in different ways.  How does one define a runner?  I guess we must define a runner before we can answer the question of when we became one.

Just for fun I took a look at true definitions of the term “runner”, and the most amusing one, and perhaps most fitting was this….

Runner – Someone who runs at a decent pace, on all terrain, in all weather because they want to.

That was followed up by this…. “Not a fucking jogger, ok?”

As runners, we hate the word jogger.  Jogger implies slow, I guess.  Well, to me, it really doesn’t matter at what pace you run, but to be a runner we must actually be moving faster than a walk.  I think the term “jogger” implies a casual mover, one who doesn’t care about pace, and is just out there for exercise.

Let’s now define “Jogger”.  A jogger is someone who trots or runs at a slow or leisurely pace.  The main intention is to increase physical fitness with less stress on the body than from faster running.

Here is a jogger.  Casual, wearing a sweatband, and even sandals.

Here is a jogger. Casual, wearing a sweatband, and even sandals.

I do not trot.  Let’s get this straight.

I was a true runner a few times much earlier in my life, and actually ran a few races back in the 90’s and early 00’s.  I truly didn’t catch the running bug though until 2010.  In 2010, the month was August when I laced up and hit the road in hopes of starting a new revolution in my life.  I ran short distances, anything from a mile to two miles, probably four times a week.  While slowly developing some cardio vascular health, I found it got easier each time I ran.  So what did I do?  I ran more.  I gradually added distance, sometimes up to three miles, sometimes five to six times a week.  I didn’t even start tracking my runs until October 15th, 2010.

A funny thing started happening over the course of those first few months.  Competitiveness started kicking in.  I was getting good at this thing called running.  Nope, don’t call me a jogger, I am a runner!  Each time I would lace up, I started timing myself.  My goals started to change.  I wanted to get faster, and to get faster I needed to know how fast or slow I was running.  I picked a 5k loop in my neighborhood and ran it incessantly.  I recorded my times on paper for every single run.  I got faster.  I got fitter, and I got more competitive.  A jogger doesn’t care about pace, right?

Then I started to get bored with the same old route, the same distance, the same surroundings.  I decided to step it up.  To run further and faster.  I gradually added more miles, different routes and kept the same routines.  Running was my exercise, my joy.  This didn’t fade, and still hasn’t up to today.  It was early in 2011 that I decided I wanted to take on a real race.  A 5k is where I would test out my new found love of running.  That April I ran a 22:03 5k, won my age group and was like 11th overall.  Success!  It was not called a jogging race, it was a running race.  I was a runner!  What I was doing was working.  That race lit my competitive fire, and looking back at my training log, I started running longer distances on my next training run.  Two days after that 5k I ran 5 miles.  That 5 turned into 10k, and then even longer.

image

My goals changed, and broadened.  I wanted to get faster, but I also wanted to run longer.  I started obsessing over races.  I wanted to prove myself a runner.  Racing was fun.  I ran several more 5k’s within weeks of that first one, and with my increased miles in training, my first 10k road race was in July.  It was at that race that I started dreaming of one day calling myself a half marathoner.  That goal would put me on the road more often, and for longer durations.

image

I was loving it!  It didn’t let up.  Increasing my mileage was leading to better fitness, and by August I really was in great shape.  I signed up for a Half.  That September, I ran my first Half.  The Newport Liberty Half Marathon, in Jersey City, NJ.  It was amazing!  It was a big race, and I finished in 1:41:38.  I was truly hooked.  About a month later I really started contemplating running (not jogging) a marathon.  It was a daunting thought, but it was possible, right?  I had to really convince myself that I could do it.  After running that Half though, I knew down deep inside that I could run a Full marathon.

image

I looked at training plans, I looked at races.  By December of that year I had run two more Halves, and was well on my way to running 26.2 for the first time.  Myrtle Beach would become my first marathon in 2012.  I smoked that course, too.  A finish of 3:33:24 was leaps and bounds above my expectations.  No, I am not the fastest runner out there, but this was a huge success for me.  After completing that marathon I truly considered myself a runner.  A real runner.  A marathoner!

image

You see, to me, being a marathoner is a world away from the term jogger.  I do not casually run or trot twenty six point two miles.  I suppose I could, but I don’t.  I don’t judge those that do walk or jog a race, even distances up to a marathon, just don’t call me a jogger.

How do you feel about labels?  If you were referred to as a jogger would it bother you?  How would you define a “runner”. A “jogger”?

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Don’t call me a fucking jogger!

  1. Nice one… I’ve been wanting to discuss “jogger” vs. “runner” for a while. To me “jogger” has that ’70s connotation of someone wearing gray sweat pants, a cotton T-shirt and headband wearing an oversized pair of headphones chugging along near Venice beach to check out the “ladies.”

    • So right! The term “jogger” reminds me of a friend of my Mom’s back in the early 80’s whose trot was slower than my walk. She once ran over a chicken on her bike, too. 🙂

  2. Sorry, this was sort of funny! We RUNNERS get caught up in labels sometimes. I would assume that the people who might call you a “jogger” are people who do not jog or run. It’s like when people say they’re running that 5k marathon or ask you how far THIS marathon was compared to THAT marathon. They just don’t know because they’re not a part of it. Poor them 🙂 I even had a friend who carbed up for a 5k. Sigh.
    And I had to laugh because I actually said that I was going to “jog” today but if someone called me a jogger, I’d have to roll my eyes and correct them under my breath.
    You’re a damn good runner, no matter if someone calls you a jogger or not…so there!

  3. Heck yeah it bothers me! I hate when people ask me if I’m going “jogging.”

    I also dislike the the use of “marathon” for any race distance. One must earn that 26.2 and it ain’t easy. So, calling a 5k a marathon ruffles my feathers too!

  4. Great post! I don’t like being called a jogger either and I run way way way slower than you. To me it’s about doing our best on the day. Sometimes I think back at events and yes I could’ve run much faster but there is always next time to have another go – that’s what I love about running, it’s always there for another try. Seriously impressed with your running journey and your commitment to get faster over the really long distances.

  5. Friends used to say that to me all the time.. How was your jog? Been jogging today? Can I come jogging with you etc etc.. So I brought them “jogging” . The first comment I got as we ripped up a 15 degree climb was “this isn’t jogging, this is running!”. They were pretty quiet for the rest of the session.

  6. I guess it’s in the spirit… As you said, we run because we love it. For me a jogger is someone who go outside from time to time to-keep-the-fitness-and-lose-the-extra-christmas-pounds-you-know.
    I can only laugh when I read the other comments: I also had the experience as I ran my first half marathon, from friends asking me “a half marathon? Uh, what distance is that”.
    Nice post btw. the first I read on your blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s