Although I am certainly not the most dedicated, consistent, or fastest person, I still call myself a runner. Why? Because I do nutty things like run in below freezing weather, get up at 5:30am to run 5 miles, or run 12 miles on a Sunday morning even though I could sleep in. I think that I qualify, even if I'm slow, lazy, or inconsistent--and why is because I love to run. I love it. I might not want to run even as I'm lacing up my shoes, but once I'm in motion, I'm happy. There is joy in running. Thus, I am a runner.
I was telling a friend about a beginners 5k program sponsored by the best running store in Fayetteville. He looked at me and said thoughtfully, "I once jogged a 5k." I replied, "Jogged? What is jogging?" He had clearly meant to say "jog" and not "run". We had a brief exchange until I made it clear that "jogging" meant something different than running. He jogged. I run.
Joggers do it because they have some notion that moving at faster than a walk is an efficient way to burn off the processed food that's making them heavier. There is no joy in jogging; it's too much like boring homework or a distasteful yet required task. It's like people who eat or drink certain things because they are "healthy," yet do not enjoy consuming it. I like to eat things that are tasty as well as healthy because I enjoy the experience and the fact that it's healthy generally means my body will appreciate eating it*.
Joggers do not enjoy the activity, whereas runners get enjoyment. Sure, running is hard. You have to do it more than once a week for it to be an easier. But watching the sun come up as I ran home this morning made me happy. I smiled. And it was a fantastic way to begin my day. Joggers don't get that satisfaction**. Runners do. So--do you run or do you jog?
*If I eat too much sugar--sadly, something that occurs more than it ought--I feel TERRIBLE. I've never felt like that when eating a giant salad or an apple.
**If you don't, find something that will. Like biking. Or playing racquetball. Yoga, Pilates, swimming, jumping up and down on a trampoline, chasing your kids, walking your dog, yard work, gardening, or that silly video that makes you giggle. Moving is good--if you hate to run, then don't do it. Just like if you hate yogurt, don't eat it.