You Know You’re a Runner If

You know you’re a runner if  –


  • you have more running clothes than regular clothes in your laundry pile.
  • you’ve lost a toenail. And you tell people, “It’s not that bad.”
  • you have a drawer full of medals and other race souvenirs that you’re not sure what to do with.
  • you go into Starbucks more often to use the bathroom than to actually buy coffee.
  • you no longer make fun of fanny packs because your running belt looks very similar (although cooler) to one.
  • you have a line in your budget for “race entry fees/race travel”.
  • you’ve used an old race T-shirt to wash your car, dust furniture, or clean something else.
  • your treadmill has more miles on it than your car. has pages upon pages of these. But if you are like me it took months, maybe even years before you would describe yourself as a runner.  In the beginning, I went for a jog, a shuffle or a fast walk.  I was not really a runner.


Eventually though, after months, I began to admit that what I was doing was running.


But I wasn’t a runner, not really. In my head running only two or three times a week did not make me a runner. It was still years before I would begin referring to myself as a runner.


But this weekend I started to realize that running and fitness has become such a part of my life that it is hard to separate from the rest.


We had a crazy busy weekend – graduation and graduation lunch on Friday, graduation party on Saturday and a New Cadet West Point Picnic on Sunday.  Although I did take Friday off, on Saturday and Sunday I was up by five and out the door for my workouts.  I knew that I would not make it through the day better if I did not get them in.


It is funny how this happened, the transition my running life has taken.  In the beginning I ran to lose weight.  Over the years my reasons have fluctuated from weight control, to overall health to mental health and back again.  But what running has really become is a part of my life.


The t-shirts joke, “Run, Sleep, Eat, Repeat.”  But when you become a runner, when it finally becomes a part of you, it is no longer a joke.  For me, the running, biking and swimming have become almost as much a part of my life as eating, sleeping and breathing.  It is what I do.  It is what keeps me healthy.  It is what keeps me sane.  And in the end it is what keeps my life moving forward in the most positive ways possible.

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About Ann Brennan

Ann Brennan is first and foremost a mom of three beautiful children. She is the managing editor of Beyond Limits Magazine and the creator of Ann’s Running Commentary. In 2012, Ann took Ann’s Running Commentary to new levels – first with a segment on the RunRunLive Podcast, chronicling her journey to her first Ironman and second, with a new channel on YouTube. Currently Ann is working on a non-fiction book series and working hard every day to remind people to get up, get active and get out there.
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15 Responses to You Know You’re a Runner If

  1. Glen Snider says:

    When I travel for business, 3/4 of my carry on bag is my running stuff. I have to leave a little bit of room for my business attire!

  2. Ann,

    I really enjoyed this article. I encourage you and your readers to check out my new book at I talk about this topic in the Sneak Preview in this weeks blog. I also discuss it in the Reasons I Run book introduction and preface, located under the book tab on the main page.

  3. Pamela says:

    I love it! Our pingpong table is always covered in workout apparel. I have more room in my closet for those clothes than work clothes 🙂

  4. Amy Reinink says:

    So true! In a jokey way, I know I’m a runner because I have a separate laundry basket for my technical-fabric stuff. In serious ways, I know I’m a runner because I consider the run a part of my day that’s almost as necessary as eating or breathing.

  5. Glen Snider says:

    …and non-runners just don’t get that…

  6. Adam says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Ann. Running on trails each morning is the best way I’ve ever found to start the day. Nothing beats feeling alive first thing in the morning, while the rest of the world, is asleep. =)

  7. Ah …. love it.
    My mother just ran her first 5k, and I’m sure she doesn’t think of herself as a runner yet. I’ll have to pass this along to her.

  8. MichelleO says:

    Love this Ann! I am running my first 5k this weekend so I don’t feel like a runner…yet. I think today I came very close because I couldn’t wait until the afternoon to try a new route. I stopped working at lunch and just ran. Had a big smile the whole time thinking. “I so happy that I am strong enough to run 3 miles!” So happy that I ran 3.25 miles!

  9. Ann Brennan says:

    Michelle, which race are you running? I hope it goes well for you. We should definitely find time to run together this summer.

  10. Ann Brennan says:

    That is so awesome. Don’t you just love it when someone starts running and you get to be a part of it?

  11. MichelleO says:

    Run Awake at Quiet Waters Park. I’ll run with you this summer, but only on one of your “easy” days!

  12. Pingback: It Is All in the Perspective | Ann's Running Commentary

  13. MILF Runner says:

    Right on. I really enjoy the periods of time when exercise is “automatic.” Right now, unfortunately, we’re in the re-entry phase!

  14. Mark Evans says:

    I watched a youtube video of a marathon course map yesterday. and my legs started twitching. i know i’m a runner now.

  15. Ann Brennan says:

    That definitely sounds like proof that you are a runner.

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