Pounding the pavement, livin’ that runner life. (Gif: Youtube)
Runners are, self-admittedly, a strange bunch. Many of our quirks — snot rockets, peeing in the woods — are borne from necessity. Others — raising one’s arms in victory while crossing a finish line (even if you didn’t win) — are tradition. Whether you’ve finished marathons, race 5Ks, or just jog around the block, chances are, you’ve done a few things that befuddle your non-running friends.
Here, in honor of National Running Day on June 3, is our roundup of things only runners understand. See you on the trails!
1. This headline
For those who don’t know, a marathon is 26.2 miles. Forgive us for the pretentious “26.2” bumper stickers. If you woke up at 6 a.m. on Saturday for six months to train for a race you knew you wouldn’t win, you’d probably want to brag about it, too.
2. Spending more money on running shoes than regular footwear
Average cost of a running shoe: $100. Worth every penny to avoid blisters and comfortably cushion your legs for miles and miles of pavement pounding.
3. The joy of the perfect playlist … and getting sick of it after one week
Math problem: If a playlist is 100 songs, and you run 35 miles per week at 9 minutes per mile, how long will it take you to get sick of hearing “Shake It Off”? Answer: Trick question, you’re already sick of it.
4. Shower beer
What’s more satisfying than a shower after a hot summer run? A cold beer after a hot summer run. What’s better than that? Drinking your beer in the shower.
5. Chafing everywhere
Your thighs, your underarms, your watch-bearing wrist, your nipples … wait, how the heck is your neck chafed?
6. The special place in your heart for friends and family who come to your races, cheer you on, and carry all of your stuff
Because we’ll admit it, watching us run in circles is not the greatest spectator sport. We can’t thank you enough for listening to our mile-by-mile rundown of every single race — and for holding our backpack so we don’t have to wait in the gear check line. And there’s nothing cooler than seeing one’s name on a sign.
7. The amazing sleep the night after a long run
7b. The amazing nap after a long run. Also see: #4, shower beer.
8. “Run, Forrest, Run!”
OH MY GOSH I’VE NEVER HEARD THAT JOKE BEFORE! Good one…
9. Becoming extremely comfortable peeing in the woods
And you’ve perfected your technique so your shorts stay completely dry.
Related: 5 Disgusting Things All Runners Do
10. The taste of gel
Like sugary, salty phlegm.
11. Those times when a leg rub is better than sex
Tip to anyone dating or married to a runner: Rub the heel of your hand along the IT band on the outer part of the thigh. Prepare for strange sounds to come out of your partner.
12. How to blow the perfect snot rocket
Check behind you, tilt your head, plug the other nostril, and blow vigorously — all while keeping your pace.
13. Having to defend your healthy hobby
Actually, running isn’t bad for your knees, thankyouverymuch. Runners also live longer, on average. So go ahead, make that crack about Forrest Gump again. #hatersgonnahate
14. You can name more than one professional runner besides Usain Bolt
Meb Keflezighi, Deena Kastor, Paula Radcliffe — these are our celebs.
15. The special love-hate bond you have with your foam roller
It’s mostly hate.
16. Poop anxiety
Related: What coffee is really good for — making sure you go No. 2 before the race starts.
17. The correct side of the road to run on
The left side.
18. Feeling zero guilt about drinking a beer at 9 a.m.
The race started at 7. You’ve been up since 5. Yeah, I’ll take that free Michelob Ultra, thanks.
There is no conscious thought, only the overpowering need for more carbs.
20. The nod/the wave
Given to fellow runners that you pass on a remote road or trail; a mutual acknowledgement of your shared passion/insanity.
21. Giving zero f—s about whether your shoes match your shirt
When it comes to running shoes, function wins over form any day of the week. (But it’s cool when they accidentally match.)
22. The sense of simultaneous disgust and pride you feel when you get a whiff of your own B.O.
Just toss your shirt directly into the washing machine. The hamper doesn’t deserve that torture. And whatever you do, don’t toss it on the carpet or bed — you’ll be smelling that spot for days.
23. Carb-loading for a 5K
Why? Because you can. (Pizza is a carb, right?)
24. Stuffing your entire purse in your sports bra or shorts
Keys, phone, ID, gel, cash for emergencies — all expertly placed as to not fall out.
24b. The weird sweat-wetness that cash gets after being wadded up and pressed against your boob for an hour.
25. Mind games
10 more minutes, one more mile, three more songs. Or picking out targets to pass (who have no idea you’re racing them).
26: Sprinting to the finish
And riding the line between “Go! Go! Go!” and “Don’t puke! Don’t puke! Don’t puke!”
.2 The blissful, soul-cleansing high after a great run
And knowing that it’s all it takes to leave behind your fears, worries, anger, and insecurities.
Read This Next: The Exercise Every Runner Must Do