10 Signs You’re a Runner (aka. Awesome)

Jackie Run1. You run. Okay, this might be obvious (okay, it’s REALLY obvious). But it’s still an important distinction. Before, going for walks was a fulfilling experience. Now, you can’t help but speed it up a little (even if you’re not wearing the right shoes). Walking just feels so… inefficient. You got a taste for speed and the burn that accompanies it and now you’re utterly hooked. Plus, there’s no denying it: Saying “I’m a runner” is the linguistic equivalent of puffing out your chest and strutting.

2. You’re loyal. To shoes, that is. When it comes to tops and shorts, you usually just rummage through your closet for something comfortable but still relatively good-looking (hello college t-shirt – Go Bears!). When it comes to your shoes, though, you find yourself developing a fierce loyalty to a specific brand, right down to the style (“Oh, I only wear Brooks. The Cascadia 9.5. What do YOU wear?” rocks back and forth on feet that, lo and behold, are sporting a well-worn pair of Cascadia 9.5s).

3. You know the trends. Don’t you know minimalist is out? It’s all about maximalist shoes these days. Even if you don’t abide by these highly volatile trends, you can’t help but leaf through the latest Runner’s World or Outside Magazine’s Gear Guide to stay up to date on what the coolest new shoes are (it’s always about the shoes).

4. You love food. Food is now your BFF. You love food so much you can’t stop thinking about it. And it tastes sooo much better after a quick romp (leftover Chinese food from two nights ago that’s devolved into some inscrutable mass of god-knows-what? GET IN MY MOUTH).

5. Solitude = Sanctuary. You might be the most gregarious, outgoing, bubbly mass of extroverted effervescence with 500+ friends on Facebook and dinner dates every other night, but when you run, you often run alone. And what you’ve learned through running alone, is that your “me time” is actually pretty darn awesome. In fact, when it’s just you and the open road, it’s just downright effin’ peaceful.

6. You think in miles, not minutes. Sure, every running guide out there talks about doing such-and-such miles in so many minutes, and there’s a general twitter over how to increase you pace, your cadence, monitor your heart rate, and on and on. When you’re a runner, you might look into these things. But most likely, you’re simply logging miles. Saying something like “I did 5 miles today” is something you will always say, beaming with a beer or some other reward for tacking on another mile to your running repertoire.

7. You abide by runner’s code. It’s kind of an unspoken rule–something you’ve never read about, a habit you’ve picked up on as time goes along. It’s doing one of three things: 1) The nod, 2) The wave, or 3) the breathy “hey.” Basically, it’s acknowledging your fellow runners without doing the whole pat-each-other-on-the-back runner’s club schtick. And no, never making eye contact because you’re too tired is simply breaking the code of conduct (it’s rules for dismissal).

8. Something is tight. Like your hot body! Oh, if only that were true. Actually, we mean tight as in your tight hamstrings. Your tight hips. Your seriously tight illiotibial band (and yes, you know what that term means, and where it exists on your body). You stretch so much, in so many ways, it takes up just as much time researching new stretching moves as it does actually going out for a run. (And foam rollers suddenly make sense.)

Jacqueline Judge Stretch

9. You’re routine. You have at least two regular routes: one short and one long. You’ve gone on Google Maps and used the little distance tracer tool to figure out how many miles you logged (or if you’re slightly less lazy, you actually go to mapmyroute.com or use Strava), and since then, you’ve run those routes so many times, you could run them blindfolded (please don’t).

10. You’re an awesome person. This is the most important point. Runners are the coolest people, ever. Why? You’re a kid with absolutely no self-consciousness or self-awareness built into an adult body. Case in point: During every run, you’re likely to stop and do a random spree of squats, arm swings, walking lunges or leg kicks that look downright silly to onlookers. Do you care? You don’t even notice. Letting your arms flap as you run, drool slip out the side of your mouth, grimacing and other generally unflattering facial expressions, wiping your gross snot on your sleeve (repeatedly) – it’s all fair game. And you do it. A lot. You seriously don’t give a **** how you look while you run, so long as you’re comfortable. All you care about, really, is running–the one habit all of us have had since childhood (including the love for all things sugary and sweet). Bottom line: if you run, you rule.

This list could go on (and really should). Add your own signs-you’re-a-runner thoughts below!

Maria @ The Good Life

February 25, 2014 at 5:19 pm

#4 and #5, most definitely! lol


February 25, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Wow! You are describing me to a tee!! lol


February 25, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Wow. # 1,2,4,5,7,8,10… did I mention 4!!


February 26, 2014 at 2:46 am

You know you’re a runner when you have a specific playlist on your Ipod called “Running”. As far as clothes go, that falls under the shoes theory. I like the best. Tech shirts and Under Armour says, “I RUN”!!


February 26, 2014 at 9:09 am

You’re a runner if you’re willing to drop trow anywhere on a run if it becomes necessary…Just sayin, when you gotta go, you gotta go.


August 30, 2017 at 6:42 pm

OMG! And I thought I was the only one!


February 26, 2014 at 9:59 am

I blog a lot about my running adventures and can vouche for most of those!

I’d also like to add that you know you are a runner (especially an ultra runner) when you start watching what you eat in the days leading up to a race or a long run. Fiber is our friend, but not necessarily the night before a marathon or ultra! 🙂

Happy running ladies and gents! Your heart, mind and soul thanks you … and probably your kids and spouse do as well. 🙂


February 26, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Jackipedia: you nailed it! The best thing i’ve read all week. Share with us again, soon.


March 01, 2014 at 8:42 am

Absolutely! I love these all; especially #10. I would like to add: You know you’re a runner when at the gym, during the bitter cold months, you out run everyone on the treadmill. You watch them come and go while you keep chugging along. Oh, and it goes without say that you lip sync to all your fave songs without regard to how it might appear to others. After all, you were here when they started and you will be here when they finish!


March 02, 2014 at 2:44 pm

#5, 10 and love food!!! Nice article


March 09, 2014 at 8:40 am

Never considered myself a runner before, but every point mentioned is me! So nice to know I fit in. 🙂


May 29, 2014 at 3:37 am

This article is stigmatizing towards people with schizophrenia – “or leg kicks that look downright schizophrenic to onlookers” As both a runner and a human being who experiences schizophrenia – this is extremely offensive. Please remove.

Run kerbr Run!

September 09, 2014 at 1:38 pm

You know you’re a runner when you love to run in the snow. It’s challenging but invigorating as well. the rain is a blast to run in as well.


June 24, 2015 at 10:53 am

I could help but ti giggle all along the article. I am so proud of myself.


June 30, 2015 at 8:50 am

You know you are a runner when you ignore pain and run anyway or finish a run when you k ow you should just walk…


July 29, 2015 at 6:43 pm

All of them! But especially (as it’s happening to me at this moment) you can be sure you’re a runner, when you get really sick/ill and HAVE to rest, and you spend the “healing” time daydreaming about going for a run! Eager to get better fast and constantly visualizing yourself running inside of your head!

“Feeling miserable ’cause I can’t go running. Bummer, bummer!!! LOL!!!”


August 28, 2015 at 5:22 am

You know you’re a runner from up north when you h
ave run in a winter storm, a summer thunderstorm, and everything in between. Training doesn’t stop! ☺


August 29, 2015 at 12:14 am

You divide your laundry into three piles: lights, darks, and tech.


August 29, 2015 at 12:16 am

When you fall, the first thing you think is, “this had better not screw up my training schedule” and THEN you do an inventory to make sure all the body parts are in the right place, no bleeding (as if that would matter), etc.


December 20, 2015 at 6:02 am

When you plan your evening thinking about being able to get up for a run in the morning…no matter wherenin the world!


December 20, 2015 at 6:03 am

When the doctor says you will need to rest. Bahahahahah that AiN’T going to happen!


March 01, 2016 at 4:36 am

You’re comfortable discussing urgent bathroom runs (pardon the pun) and share where to find toilets on various run routes on social media and group gatherings.


March 22, 2016 at 6:31 am

All of them so true. Inspires me to keep running…… Once a runner always a runner!


March 23, 2016 at 7:13 pm

If I didn’t feel anymore awesome after a run, I’d be Barney Stimson.

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