What is the point where you can officially call yourself a "runner?"
Is it your first blister? Your first "run" where you actually maintain a jogging pace the entire time (rather than break into walking here and there)? The first time you run somewhere that seems far away in day-to-day life?
Thanks in part to my college friend who is, as I put it, a "real-sized runner" like me; to the inspiration of friends on Strava, the tool I use to track my runs and bike rides; and to the thought of my grandma and my aunt, outdoor enthusiasts who are dear to me but far away for different reasons, I've been running more and more frequently. And this weekend, after running to the Golden Gate Bridge with nothing but my own two feet, I think I'm calling it: I'm a runner.
(Sure, I planned ahead of time to run one way and take the bus home. But that just gives me a goal to work towards!)
I'm having a lot of fun using Strava because it "gamifies" the act of running and helps me compare my own run times, monitors my heart rate, helps me set goals, shows me how I'm doing against other people who have run the same places, and so on.
As I see it, running is 3 things (and I'm still working on the first): consistency, technique, and diet. At this point, just setting a goal of 5 miles a week is enough to get me pounding pavement. But I have flat duck feet and I'm awful at stretching, so soon enough, I'll have to consider my gear and my non-running habits, lest my already-bad knees go kablooey.
Do you run? If so, do you use a tracker or other tool? What are your running / stretching / other habits? I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments!