Runners are a strange breed, aren’t we? We have certain oddities about us that annoy and perplex non-runners.
I asked a few people, including my non-runner husband, about what quirks runners have. The list is hilarious, and I think you will find it is also rather accurate.
1. Weird tan lines –
You can usually spot a runner by the obnoxious no-show sock tan line. Every runner has this mark in the summer. Our legs are tan from the top of our socks to the bottom of our favorite shorts. Heaven help us if we wear sandals – our feet are not only ugly, but the difference between leg and foot is hideously apparent.
Don’t forget the tan line from the phone armband. Or the less tan area where a baseball cap sits during a summer run.
But the worst tan line of them all – the Garmin watch line.
2. Route Obsession –
How about when you drive around with a runner, and they are constantly scanning the area for a good running route?
“Oh!” they say, mid serious conversation. “Hmmm, good shoulder. Nice variety of hills and flat stretches. This looks like a great place to run.” They may even open up their Map My Run app and save the route for later. Irritating, right?
3. Runner Talk –
This quirk falls into the annoying category for all of a runner’s non-running friends and acquaintances. Runners will talk to anyone about running whether you brought it up or not. They talk about it at work, at home, at school, in the grocery check out line, at the coffee shop, a reunion or picnic – the list goes on.
Non-runners must choose every new conversation topic with great care. Will this somehow relate to their running? Good luck, though; we can make anything relate to our running.
4. Weird Food –
How about all the weird foods a runner has. The gels, the gu’s, electrolyte tablets, salt tablets, superfoods, powders, drinks, and supplements. I know I have an entire drawer full of weird runner snacks and performance consumables. I also have a cupboard full of protein powders, chia seeds, and Nuun.
Perhaps you try to get your family to eat sweet potatoes with you as I do.
Ugh – it never goes well for me.
5. Clothing –
You often read that running is the cheapest sport.
I completely disagree.
I have spent more on running gear than I ever did on wakeboarding or snowboarding. I have spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on running clothes. I have an entire armoire that is full to the brim with shorts, tanks, short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, capris, tights, lined tights, socks, sports bras, and jackets. Sometimes, if I don’t fold properly, things start falling off the shelves (slick fabric is a nightmare to stack) and makes quite a mess in my room.
6. Too many shoes –
Then there are the shoes. Having an excessive number of shoes isn’t just a runner’s quirk, but runners do love a variety of shoes. There are trail shoes, light shoes for speed work, cushioned shoes for long runs, minimalist shoes for that time you read “Born to Run,” and then there are the recovery shoes: crocs, slides, flip flops. My husband is continuously annoyed with the number of shoes I ‘need’ as they are ever oozing out of my side of the closet.
7. Schedules –
Have you ever met a runner who didn’t like a good solid schedule? They schedule their meals, runs and recovery. Depending on the distance we are training for, our need to have a schedule can get slightly out of hand for those who have to live with us. We interrupt normal family operation with our need to push our bodies.
8. Recovery –
Runners take their recovery seriously. Those around us might find this strange and annoying if they must witness us stretching, rolling, and icing. How often are you rolling around on the floor on your foam roller, or stretching your hamstrings while you are watching TV with your significant other or family? It can be a little distracting for those around you – but you can’t help it. You are compelled to avoid injury and tight muscles.
We runners might be a strange and quirky bunch, but we are also fierce animals who have a level of perseverance that most others don’t have. So, I will continue to have weird tan lines, lots of clothes, and shoes. I will still talk about running every chance I get. I’m cool with that, and I hope you are too.