What makes you a Runner? When do you call and label yourself a Runner?
We all know our specific reasons, definitions and moments that make us Runners. Some humorous, some profound, whilst others are objective. I share a few I found and then some.
You know you’re a Runner when…
- You’re up earlier on weekends to run. You’ve set your alarm earlier than usual to allow ample time to run. There is no longer many sleep ins.
- You run in the (insert weather condition here). You are outside running in weather that ‘sane’ people won’t be caught out in. It’s just a little rain, or snow, or wind, you just brave it and rather not muck up the run schedule.
- Your laundry basket fills up with more activewear than everyday wear. You observe that you start to have more running gear and activewear in your washing and drying on the line. When did that happen?
- You spend more money on running clothes than everyday fashion. When you shop and start to pay more notice to running gear than everyday fashion. You feel compelled to get that running garment to improve your running and run experience, or at least want to look good when running.
- You have more running shoes than heels. The ratio of running shoes start to improve against your other shoes, heels or boots. You’ll want to get run shoes that help your running and spend more time analysing them than other shoes.
- All you think of is tracking runs. Did I start my Garmin? You’ve become obsessed with tracking your progress and see where you can improve. You explore smartphone apps and activity watches.
- Tomorrow’s weather forecast affects what you wear. You check your weather app and see what you need to wear to smash that run.
- You feel like running up every hill and incline. To make runs interesting, you add these in your route as challenges to push yourself.
- You say, ‘Good morning’ to people coming the other way as you run past. If you frequent a familiar route or area, you will meet similar people out and about, running, walking or other. You start to greet them, ‘Good morning’, ‘Good afternoon’, etc and not feel timid about strangers.
- You feel good after a run. Yes! You crave it and you know it! Ah, those endorphins coursing through your veins!
- You feel you still have more in the tank after a long run. After going your scheduled distance, you feel like you should run more and have more puff to continue and do your stuff.
- Your run your first Mile (or kilometre) non-stop. Remember that feeling when you just finished your first continuous mile or two without stopping? It was a great achievement and you feel proud inside even if there isn’t anyone to see it.
- You’re broke but still manage to budget and buy running stuff. Somehow you are able to mysteriously buy running gear though money is tight. That’s the running focus we’re talking about!
- An activity tracker means more to you than a (insert expensive watch brand). Ah, the first proper activity tracking watch. Sweet memories of time spent caressing those buttons and loving all that data recorded. God forbid should you forget to turn on the tracking when you run!
- The words, “I have to run” literally means just that. When someone asks if you could do this or that or stay a little longer and you just think you simply need to leave, perhaps for a run. I just have to run. Sorry, I’m busy.
- Bling means race medals and they don’t have to be gold. Ooh look at those! Jewellery they’re not but they mean so much more to runners than gold chains or diamond pendants. Some even proudly display them at home any which way they can. Runners collect finisher medals like philatelists collect stamps.
- You understand and know the magic numbers: 13.1; 26.2; 5k; 10k; 21.1; 42.2. You may have failed at calculus or trigonometry but these numbers are magic and you know them intimately. If a runner covers a distance of x in 60 minutes and he finishes 26.2 miles in 180 minutes. What is x?
- People talk about ‘half’ or “full” and all you think about is the run distance. Is the glass half full? Er, 13.1 or 21.1? I’ve run that before.
- Parkrun doesn’t mean just a run in the park. What started out as Bushy Park Time Trials at Bushy Park (Teddington, London) literally as a run in the park, is now a worldwide phenomenon. Mention Parkrun and anybody who’s anyone in running knows it. Your 5k run is social, it’s a community and volunteer based weekly activity.
- You leave a party early because you have a scheduled run in the morning. That’s really getting your priorities right! You have that resolve to keep to your commitment and schedule even is it means you need to be up at 5 or 6am.
- Weekends means you can run further. It means you can be free to choose how long and where you want to run. Isn’t that what running is about – giving you freedom just to do it?
- You no longer walk the dog, but run instead. Walking the dog seems so slow, you just want to get it over it and go running but you can merge the two activities!
- You run a little further just to add more distance. When the plan needs you to run 8km and your loop that takes you back to your start is just short, you run around in a few big circles or around the block to add a few more metres to make it up.
- Your social media posts are mostly run-related. The feeds on your social media accounts start to resemble your activity logging and running plan. Is that another picture of you running? Your Garmin? Your shoes? Where you run? You’ve also shared race events to your non-running friends.
- You follow other runners and running apps on social media. Like for like. You find other’s running exploits interesting, following their journey and liking their posts.
- It doesn’t matter how fast you go, you just go and run. You are lapping everyone else on the couch and that’s a good thing. You may not win the race or make a living out of running but you run and finish distances regardless of speed.
- All that matters is crossing the finish line. Remembering the first finish line you crossed, the time didn’t matter, you were so happy to finish.
- Walking is too slow. You walk fast but even that seems to be a chore with people in your way, you dodge and weave but that is still too slow.
- You plan your holidays based on where you can run when you get there. Once you’ve decided on a destination, you google for running groups or trails that you could do when you get there. If there are none nearby, you start to map out safe routes near your hotel, or at the very least, check that the hotel has a treadmill.
So, there you have it. The list is nowhere near exhaustive but whatever your reason to run, when you start to call yourself a Runner, there are also plenty of good memes out there to inspire all of us Runners. Look out for them and have a good run! Feel free to add more ‘You know you’re a runner…’ reasons or comment below.