I ran 6 miles today. Before starting, I told myself that if I needed to stop to walk, then I would. My only goal was to complete the full 6 miles, no matter how long it took.
I got gatorade in my face, mud on my socks and shoes, and sweat everywhere possible. And I completed the 6 mile run without stopping to walk.
I've often wondered if I will ever get to a point when I will ride my bike to the start of a race. Or get there early to do a 1-mile warm-up. But these things do not define a runner. I may not be an elite runner and I'm not fast. But I can run 6 miles. I am a runner.