Got talking to someone browsing running magazines who was asking my advice on which one to get (Runners World, in case you're interested in my recommendation...), who said she wasn't sure which was appropriate because she was 'just a beginner'.
I probed further...
She's been running for two years, has done a 10k and is thinking about a half. But is still 'just a beginner'. So, being a 'beginner' doesn't seem to be about the length of time you've been running for, or the distances you race. When do you graduate to a 'proper' runner and stop being apologetic about being 'just a beginner' I wonder?
Is it because of the scary sounding terminology? Not sure what 'intervals', 'tempo run', 'fartlek' <snigger>, 'race pace' really mean? Or is it because you feel you are 'too slow' to be anything more than 'just a beginner'? Or because you don't have all the 'kit'? Or because you don't look right?
To be a runner, a 'real' runner, what do you need to do?
Hang on, aren't you already doing it? You're getting the trainers on, and you're getting out there. Why belittle your achievements by imposing limits - why be 'just a beginner'? Let's all rip up the 'L plates' and say it loud and proud - 'yeah, I run'.