Have you noticed that runners tend to wear their “runner’s hat” rather obviously?
In other words, if you chat with a runner for more than a few minutes and they haven’t brought up running specifically, chances are you can still tell they are a runner because they do at least a few of the five things below (and they’ve probably mentioned it!):
1. Strategically plan meals. Deciding what to eat and drink before, during, and after a big run is a huge decision! Should I change my diet while training for a big race? What should I eat the day before a race? Do I need to carb-load? What should I eat/drink for fuel during a run? What foods will help my muscles recover after a run? What is the best way to stay hydrated? Can I have a beer immediately after crossing the finish line?
2. Collect race swag. Race swag is awesome. I can’t get enough medals, shirts, hats, bags, pint glasses, water bottles, coffee mugs, cow bells, magnets, stickers, chap stick, granola bars, flowers, etc. I love it all. Here are some of my running shirts and hats…aren’t they lovely?
3. Talk the talk. Let’s face it, runners have their own way of saying things. Once you start running, you pick up on the running lingo rather quickly. Before I became a runner, PR meant public relations and LSD was Lucy in the sky with diamonds but now, they mean kicking some major butt and the long slow distance training run. Here is a sampling of some other terms you may hear out of the mouths of runners: 5K/10K, marathon, chip time, DNF, splits, taper, dreadmill, fartlek, cross-train, junk miles, speedwork, intervals, tempo run, rest day, singlet, chafing, foam roller, ice bath, hitting the wall, pacer, bib, corral, bandit, BQ, runner’s high, hardware, bling, recovery and insoles.
4. Brag. Hey, we earned it. If you see our medals hanging proudly around our necks or displayed in our offices or homes, or if our cars display stickers announcing our latest accomplishment in miles, this should make you feel good! Don’t think of it as bragging but instead consider these things to be symbols of inspiration and encouragement. If I can run 26.2 miles, basically anyone can do anything they put their mind to. So, the next time you see a post-race selfie on Facebook with your friend still glistening from sweat adorned in her shiny new hardware, please just give it a thumbs up and set a new goal for yourself!
5. Stay loyal. Runners share a special bond and are, generally speaking, a very loyal bunch. Not only does everyone cheer each other on and offer words of encouragement out on the course, I’ve witnessed firsthand runners sacrificing their own finish times to help another runner (sometimes a total stranger) finish a race. I’ve seen friends – new and old – cross the finish line together holding hands. If you ask a runner about her running buddies or ask her to tell you a story about a time she helped another runner out, I can almost guarantee you that you will get an ear full.
How else can you tell a runner is a runner?
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