42 Ways to Know You're Officially a Runner

Packing like a runner
Christine Luff

When you're a runner, you'll relate to these telltale ways to ID another member of the club. Just think about all the ways you've changed, inside and out, since this habit took hold!

It's All About the Gear

You know you're a runner when...

  • You have more running clothes than work clothes in your laundry pile.
  • You no longer make fun of fanny packs, because you rock a running belt with pride.
  • You have a collection of knee socks that a seven-year-old would kill for.
  • You're in a texting relationship with the salespeople at your local running shop.
  • You're a race swag snob. Technical fabric only, please!
  • You wear a running watch 24/7/365 (and you spent more time researching that purchase than you did for your last car).
  • You've had your running shoes for three months and it's already time to replace them.
  • You pack more running clothes than bathing suits for a beach vacation.
  • At Thanksgiving, you still have visible watch and sock tan lines.

Racing Is Your Life

You know you're a runner when...

  • You find safety pins in your laundry hamper, your car, and your bed.
  • You smirk when non-runners ask, "So how long is this marathon?"
  • You could (and probably have) deck out an entire Christmas tree with your medals and other race souvenirs.
  • You have a line in your budget for "race entry fees/race travel."
  • You get an invitation to a destination wedding and you immediately look for a race to add to the trip.
  • You have dreamed about showing up to a race not wearing any clothes.
  • You know how to take a cup of water from a water stop without choking on it or spilling it all over yourself.
  • You're excited for your next birthday because it means you'll be in a new age group at road races.
  • When you hear the word "bib," you think about a race number, not a baby.
  • You hated math in school, but you can convert kilometers to miles, track PRs, and calculate splits in your head—while running.
  • All your vacations are race-cations.

Your Body Is Your Temple

You know you're a runner when...

  • You've lost a toenail—and then told people, "It's not that bad."
  • You use the bathroom at Starbucks more often than you actually buy coffee there.
  • You know where your iliotibial band is located (and how to foam-roll that bad boy).
  • You no longer hate port-a-johns. In fact, there have been times when you've been very happy to see one.
  • Your solution for feeling tired is to go for a run.
  • You've perfected the art of snot rockets.
  • Your running partners know more about your bodily functions than your significant other.
  • You have willingly consumed a substance called “Gu.”
  • During a race, you have dumped a packet of salt onto your hand and licked it off.
  • You're on an almost-all-carbs diet.
  • You know how to correctly spell and pronounce plantar fasciitis.
  • You travel with more snacks than the parent of three-year-old triplets.

Running Is Your Life

You know you're a runner when...

  • You don't blink at running 26.2 miles, but sometimes that feels like way too far to drive.
  • At least one of your usernames or email addresses has the word "run" or "runner" in it.
  • You prefer marathon movies to movie marathons.
  • Your treadmill has more miles on it than your car.
  • You spend more time researching running routes than local restaurants when traveling to a new city.
  • You know where exactly one mile from your front door is (in any direction).
  • You never thought of a road you drive on all the time as hilly until you started running up it.
  • You spend more time making running playlists than you did choosing a wedding song.
  • You have four weather apps on your phone, in case you don't like the forecast the first one offers.
  • Your friends know better than to invite you to brunch on weekend mornings (unless they want you to show up in sweat-soaked running togs).
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