One of my favorite parts about the running community is that we all share so many things in common even though most of us have never met. We all have similar quirks, habits, and jokes that the non-runners in our lives likely find annoying or inconvenient (although they might not admit it;).
Related: 26.2 Weird Things Runners Love
Even when we are surrounded by non-runners, we know that we are never alone. Seeing other runners at a race, in a running group or throughout the online community reminds us that there is a reason for our madness. We all share a great deal of love for our sport (okay, obsession might be a better word), and experience pure joy from calling ourselves a runner.
Being part of the running community doesn’t mean you have to run sub 3 hour marathons or race a 20 minute 5k – but you do have to be able to laugh at yourself.
As runners we know that many of our habits seem a little strange to others. We know that going to bed early on a Friday night to run 20 miles on Saturday morning before the sun comes up is a bit quirky. We know how weird it is to go on a first date and eat an embarrassing amount, or have others stare at your black toenail when you wear sandals. And yet, all we can do is laugh.
There is nothing quite as heartwarming as getting together with another runner, or reading running stories and instantly feeling a connection. Running is a unique sport that bonds each and every one of us, no matter where we live or how fast we run.
20 Ways You Know You’re a Runner
1. You own more running shoes than you do regular shoes.
2. You decline an offer to go out on Friday night so you can go to bed early.
3. Your wardrobe consists of leggings, sweatpants and race t-shirts.
4. You have more t-shirts than any other article of clothing.
5. You eat more than anybody else at the table.
6. You don’t feel guilty about treating yourself to dessert or that extra beer.
7. Your water bottle is the trusty sidekick that you can’t leave home without.
8. You wear your running watch out to a nice dinner.
9. You won’t spend money to go out to a movie but will happily pay $50 for a race.
10. You know the exact mileage around your neighborhood and to all the nearby attractions.
11. You feel worse when you relax all day than when you run.
12. You hate walking because you know you could get there so much faster if you ran.
13. You plan your entire day around your run.
14. You panic if someone coughs or sneezes near you during race week.
15. You don’t mind losing a toe nail.
16. You drive through new areas and immediately check out their sidewalks.
17. You find yourself outside running when school or work has been cancelled due to the bad weather.
18. You need to bring an extra suitcase for a weekend trip just to fit your running gear.
19. You get excited when you see someone else running and wave at them.
20. You believe that running has the power to change the world.
Whether you live near or far, run short or long distances, or are fast or slow – you are a runner. Calling ourselves runners brings a sense of identity and purpose to our lives. Those miles may change us, make us, break us, or inspire us, but each and every run is powerful.
Running has changed my life for the better in so many ways. It is there with me no matter when or where, and continues to challenge and reward me each and every day. Thanks for joining, fellow runner.