Are You A Real Runner?

The tongue-in-cheek test

Posted: 4 May 2002
by Beth Eck, Alisa Bauman and Mark Remy

New runners are often prone to saying "I’m not a real runner," as if there’s a litmus test for such an entity. Okay, maybe there is. Work it out for yourself. You know you’re a real runner when:
  • 1. You eat energy bars when you don’t have to.
  • 2. You can find a place to pee anywhere, any time.
  • 3. You’ve had the same unopened packet of frozen peas in your freezer for the last two years.
  • 4. Your running shoes are the first thing you pack for your summer holiday.
  • 5. When walking in a crowd, you make a conscious effort to catch and pass the person in front of you.
  • 6. The staff at your local specialist running shop greet you by name when you walk in.
  • 7. Your osteopath sends you Christmas cards.
  • 8. Every time you climb a flight of stairs, you put your fingers to your wrist to check your heart rate - then go back and do it again.
  • 9. You can’t remember your mother’s birthday, but you can rattle off your last five 10K times, including the seconds - and you know they’re faster than hers.
  • 10. When you read this list, you think, "Is this supposed to be funny?"

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I'm in training for the New York Marathon (my first) on Nov 3rd. But last week I pulled a quadruceps muscle in my right leg which may take up to four weeks to fully recover, possibly less.

I've only completed one very long run so far (19 miles) and I'm aware that the next few weeks should be key before I start tapering off for the big day.

Pulling out of the marathon is something I simply don't want to contemplate. Does anyone have any helpful ideas as to how I could better my chances of getting through?

Many thanks.
Posted: 24/09/2002 at 18:12

I was training for my first (Loch Ness) when I too got injured. I had to take 4 weeks off running, but I still done X-training on the bike, rower and the ski machine to keep my CV fitness up. I also went cycling outdoors up to 30 miles. I have been back training for 4 weeks now and my longest run is 13 miles as I had to take another week off, with same recurring pain. Just dont give up, my marathon is this sunday and I have decided to do a run/walk 9 mins 1 mins as I know I am not fit enough to complete it as a run. Just make sure injury is fully recovered before getting back to serious training. Good luck

Posted: 24/09/2002 at 19:39

I injured my quad muscle a couple of years ago. I used heat pads and ice packs all day for a couple of weeks. Half an hour of heat pad followed by half an hour of ice pack. It really helped it recover (even if it did cost a small fortune). Like Daisy, I still managed to do plenty of cross training (plenty of swimming). I was also able to run slowly, it was only when I accelerated too quickly that I got the severe pain.

Good luck.
Posted: 25/09/2002 at 08:55

Thanks guys. I'm not sure the heat pads would go down too well in the office, but the swimming sounds eminently sensible. I've accepted that the Windsor Half Marathon this Sunday (also would have been my first) is now a non-starter for me, and I'm sure that's what's put me in a foul mood this week. But the big goal has to be NY, and I'd sooner impale myself on a rusty spike than fail to get round then.
Posted: 25/09/2002 at 11:28

Can't really give you any advice other than try and see a physio.
I am also doing the NY and a few weeks ago got a bulging (slippped disc). Try and stay positive and use the time between now and NY wisely. You might have to reassess your target time etc but concentrate on what you have achieved so far i.e. the 19 miles.
There is a seperare thread in these forums of folk doing NY so get on there for talk and encouragement.
Don't allow yourself to get down about it and stay positive.
Posted: 25/09/2002 at 15:31

Richard... I used the heat pads that stick on like big plasters. I used to pop to the bathroom every 30 - 45 minutes to change it...nobody has to know it's there.

Posted: 25/09/2002 at 16:26

Having got a weekly sports massage in the the run up to the Berlin marathon (sunday aaarghhh!!) I'd heartily recommend a sports massage too. I've never had a quadricep problem, but I've had just about every other muscle problem and all of them have been sorted out with massage and some good advice on suitable stretches and strengthening exercises.

Good luck!
Posted: 26/09/2002 at 09:13

Try swimming to keep up the aerobic and stamina levels !
Posted: 05/09/2008 at 19:55

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