Runners are a rare breed. Our non-runner friends shake their heads at us in disbelief when we talk about things like an "easy" 10 miler, hill repeats or 5am wake up calls. We try to explain our weird ways and even try to recruit them to becoming runners themselves, but we often just leave them confused. Here are five ways runners are routinely misunderstood by our non-running friends.
The stickers on our cars
Whether they thought the 13.1 or 26.2 sticker on your car was a bible verse or a radio station, their eyes glaze over as we start to recount our last half marathon. They're certainly sorry they brought it up.
The language we speak
Whether we are speaking in all acronyms (I PR'd and got a BQ!) or we start using weird words like Fartlek, they have no idea what we are talking about...and they're too afraid to ask, because we just might keep talking about running.
Our toenails are optional
Like any good runner we buy our running shoes 1/2 size to one size bigger than our street shoes, but it happens to the best of us: Sometimes our toenails turn black and/or fall off. So when our non-runner friends ask us to go for a pedicure, they sometimes don't understand that some issues are beyond help. We just do the world a favor and wear closed-toe shoes.
Porta-Potties are a Godsend
Listen, I know they're gross, but when you are a beyond-exhausted runner that has to use the restroom and you see a porta-potty in the distance, you wonder if it is a mirage or if all your prayers have been answered. In that moment a porta-potty is literally the best sight you have ever seen. Hope you remembered to tuck toilet paper in your socks. Try explaining that one to a non-runner.
The early morning alarm
When we skip a night out on Friday because we have an early morning training run, or leave the party early without drinks on Saturday because of a Sunday morning race, it can be hard for our non-runner friends to understand our priorities. Yes, we want to get up at the crack of dawn to run 13 miles in exchange for a t-shirt and a cheap medal. Really!
Don't get me wrong, I love my non-runner friends. I don't expect them to learn everything about running just because I love it. I'll accept being a misunderstood runner as long as we can agree that a marathon is 26.2 miles. Every. Single. Time.
Have you ever been misunderstood as a runner?