10 Signs You're a Hard-Core Runner

Have you crossed over the line from a casual, recreational runner to a tough, hard-core one?

See how many of these hard-core running traits and feats you can check off.

You make awkward, pained expressions while running.

runner in pain
Anton Want / Getty

Whenever I run a race and get the official race photos rarely do I see a flattering one. The photographers usually catch me with a very pained expression on my face. Although I wouldn't purchase and frame the photos, they're still a reminder that I pushed myself to my limits.

You've finished a race or run with a bloody knee (or other body part).

bloody knee
PM Images / Getty

Sometimes we fall when running and there may be blood. It stings, but it also gives you some hard-core runner points.

You run in the rain.

man running in rain
Justin Case / Getty

Whether you've willingly headed out for a run in the rain or you unexpectedly got caught in some showers, I'm sure you felt pretty hard-core as you sloshed through some puddles and wiped the drops off your face. Running in the rain can improve your mental toughness and actually be kind of fun, as long as you follow these tips for running in the rain.

You've spit while running.

runner spitting
Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty

Yes, it's gross, but sometimes you just feel the need to spit while running. It'll make you feel better and kind of tough, too. Just be sure to look around you for other runners before the spit comes flying out of your mouth.

Also see:  Etiquette Tips for Races

You throw stuff on the ground during races.

Water cups on ground
Chris McGrath / Getty

Yes, you can usually find garbage cans at the water stations, but race organizers and volunteers don't expect everyone to get their paper cups in there. It's OK if you run past the garbage cans and toss your cup down on the ground. And, as any runner who has ever triumphantly thrown their empty cup on the ground during a race knows, it feels pretty hard-core. (Of course, all runners know throwing wrappers or bottles on the ground when NOT running in races is a major faux pas.)

You've gotten dirty during a run.

muddy legs
Woods Wheatcroft / Getty

Whether you're doing a trail run or a mud race, getting down and dirty is not only fun but you feel like a real hard-core runner with some dried mud on your legs.

You've dumped water all over your head during a race.

Runner dumping water
CaiaImage / Getty

Sometimes you're so hot during a race that you don't care how you look completely soaking wet. Not only does dumping water all over your head make you feel pretty hard-core, it's also a good strategy for cooling your body down and preventing a heat-related issue such as heat exhaustion. A word of caution when you do this: Watch your feet. Try to dump the water on your head without soaking your feet, since wet socks and shoes can lead to foot blisters.

You've gone to the bathroom in the woods.

runner in woods
Yagi Studio / Getty

All runners eventually find themselves in a situation when they have to go…immediately, and there’s not a bathroom in sight. It's not something that runners necessarily brag about, but there's a certain badge of honor among runners who have been running in nature when nature called.

If you know you’ll be running somewhere with no access to bathrooms, make sure you have some supplies ready just in case you need to go.  You could always pack some tissues or wipes in your running shorts and race belt.  

Also see:  Embarrassing Running Issues

You've run in the snow.

couple running in snow
Jordan Siemens/Getty

Not only does running in the snow make you feel like a tough runner, but it can be a fun and beautiful experience, as long as you follow some safety tips and precautions for snow running.

You've run a marathon.

marathon runners
Daniel Zuchnik / Getty

"There are no shortcuts in marathoning, so anyone who is a marathoner has worked hard." - Jeffrey Horowitz.  

Yep, if you've completed a 26.2-mile race, you're officially hard-core.

Also see:  26 Thoughts You Have During a Marathon