This is definitely a popular topic/debate/headline/comical subject. For runners, these might be our claim to fame. For non-runners, these might be the pencil-into-eye traits that make everyone else want to scream. Regardless of your position, chances are this: You identify with some other list of annoying habits that make you a _______. But since we all run here, here are some common things we do that creates annoyances with others—but we should never apologize for them.
1. Way too many stickers. 13.1, 26.2, Ragnar, stick runner, flying shoe, running jokes, Boston ribbons, race logos. The list is endless, and we are endlessly slapping the stickies on our cars. I admittedly have the 13.1 on my back window, but honestly, my personal favorite is the sarcastic “0.0” iteration of our favorite race-distance badges.
2. Status updates. First you’re lacing up strategically angled brand-new shoes, then you’re snapping a mid-run selfie, then you’re crafting the perfect inspiring quote for your Instagram post, then you’re sipping post-run frap with tons of added calories because you RAN SO HARD. Don’t forget to tag your entire running group. The truth is, the running community starts but barely ends with our immediate friends. It’s the blogs we follow, the tweets we RT, the posts we like and the hashtags we stalk that tie us crazy-ass endurance freaks together. A perfectly timed motivational quote really can be the temporary cure to the absence of, well, motivation.
3. Constant runchat. I used to be way worse…until I snapped out of my runner trance and opened my eyes, ears and mind to things other than pounding the pavement. Suddenly there were so many other things to blab about over drinks. But I still get a thrill out of getting together with other runners and knowing that the conversation can cover every mile of my run without getting stale. Flip it around: How many times have you been in talks with a new kid on the block who discovers you’re a runner? Hey, they are too! Omg, brand-new besties! Running is this magical thing that works so organically as conversation at the watercooler. People run, they relate. People don’t run, they inquire. People who hate runners, they insult and we laugh.
4. Bling, bling…ok stop. Whether it be shirts, bibs, medals, hats, or whatever else flaunts your most recent race, we collect ’em all. Bonus points for those of us who hang that hardware from our cubicles (gulp, guilty). The small part about this hoarding habit that most non-runners miss is that those tokens probably symbolize much more than a trot between start and finish lines. For me, staring at a mound of neon ribbons and heavy medals all day long reminds me that I can run after I couldn’t for so long. They keep me accountable for making sure my ulcerative colitis never, ever beats me, and they remind me of my grandfather and how his face lit up whenever I shared stories of my run successes. I hardly remember mid-run thoughts, but I always remember him.
5. We can do our business anywhere. The best part is we don’t mind talking about it. Hang around the right run crowd long enough, and you’ll start to realize that being able to squat it out in less than a minute becomes a point of pride. While your other friends stick (and plug) their noses up at the idea of using a porta-potty, you gladly embrace it—and you make it known that you don’t care one bit. The inner workings of our bowels is too often an issue with the sport in general, so perfecting the various ways and outlets to quickly relieve ourselves becomes part of the sport.