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Can we say we are no longer beginners?

The Soleful Mamas had a great group run this morning. We named it The Dead Man’s run for two reasons: 1) it was a 5 mile VERY hilly route and 2) we ran through the 2 local cemeteries which REALLY had some killer elevation. Once we looped around to our starting point, we figured that we were already tired, what’s one more mile in the park? The running question of the day was this:

When can you or do you no longer consider yourself a beginning runner?

Is it:
– when you finally reach a certain distance?
– when you reach a certain speed?
– when you no longer call running shoes “sneakers”?
-when your dresser drawer is full of acquired race t-shirts?
-when you finally have confidence in your running ability?

Or is it:
– when you get a fancy Garmin watch to keep track of yourself?
– when you have nifty accessories like a fuel belt?
– when you say you’ve been running for years?
– when you create or join a group?
– when you do tempo runs, and speed workouts, and fartlek training?

Is it possible for one to transition from a beginner slogger into an intermediate slogger ? Once a slogger, always a slogger and never a runner (kind of like always a bridesmaid and never a bride)?

The general feeling on the run this morning (back in the slow pack- we like to stop and take pictures of ourselves) was that we were running 5 miles of hills and having great conversations the whole way….we are not beginners anymore even though we may still feel like it. We decided that just because we’re not yet running marathons or even half marathons, and even though we probably don’t train like serious runners (okay we have way too much fun with our training), we are no longer newbies. We definitely think there’s a direct correlation with confidence and ability to mentally know the delicate (yet tough) balance of pushing the body to its point of progress. When we reviewed together how far we’ve come in the months (and some of us- years) of running together, we’ve most certainly made a ton of progress for which we are thankful. And for the record, I don’t think any of us care if we ever become expert runners, we know that the beauty of what we all have as runners is that our journey can be more like meandering or it can be direct and focused.

All that said, I truly am curious as to what you think- when do you stop being a beginner? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

4 thoughts on “Can we say we are no longer beginners?”

    1. Your comment leads me ask the next question of the day, Kim: are we born runners or do we decide to become runners?…. A post for a other day for sure….That said, I believe your legend to be true!

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    1. Well, that’s good news! Glad to hear we aren’t “going rogue”. It’s interesting though, I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time at a relatively low mileage and haven’t progressed much in that area mostly because of time and energy. That said, I’ve really taken the time to learn a lot about myself and running within those miles- form, cadence, injuries, etc – so I think it’s safe to say that I’m not a beginner even though I don’t have big long distances under my belt. June is my first half marathon, that should be interesting! Thanks so much for reading my blog!

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