Wait, Me a Runner? What?

I mean I do run. I run to exercise. I sometimes get together with friends and we go to a place and we get a shirt and we run around a course and have a good time together. But I'd never really considered myself a runner. 

Then, one day, a friend asked me, "you're a runner?" and I'd never really thought about it like that. I haven't always been like this. I hadn't gone jogging, let along running for about 25 years up until a couple of years ago. 

Today, I run 5ks, 10ks, 1/2 marathons, trail races, obstacle courses, and most recently the other day a 20-mile trail race. I run at lunch, run in the dark, run in the rain. I run around my neighborhood, run at the beach, run on vacation and run when I'm out of town for work. 

I buy running vests, have fancy blinking running lights, wear reflective stuff. I have compression socks, too many GPS's and fitness trackers and other random stuff to charge and I'm conflicted on how I feel about all that stuff.

I read books about running and eating and nutrition and recovery and form and pacing and the physical aspects as well as the mental aspects. I watch movies on Netflix & YouTube about running and endurance races and one particularly ridiculously difficult marathon, The Barkley Marathons.

So, how'd that all happen. I'd been recovering and undergoing physical therapy for a crazy freak injury and broken back and things were changing in my life. This was just a couple of years ago, and when I started out I couldn't run to the end of the block without having to stop to catch my breath. I ran for a few months occasionally, started with a 5k and I did actually run the whole thing -I did get passed near the end by a lady pushing a baby stroller, and while that moment definitely gave me some humility also gave me more motivation. Today, I'm good for some serious mileage.  I'm not fast, but I can trudge 'em out.

 Finishing the 2016 Peterson Ridge Rumble 20-miler

Finishing the 2016 Peterson Ridge Rumble 20-miler

So yes, Jim, I am a runner.

What's up next?