Runners are a weird breed, they do so many funny things and if you are not a runner you will find them a trifle difficult to understand. But here are some pointers to identify a runner
Their day begins when the rest of the world is still in bed or at least pressing the snooze option in their alarms for another few minutes. They wear bright neon colour clothes that others would not be caught dead in and lace up shoes that will cost nearly an arm or a leg, well not so much but enough for others to arch their eyebrows sky high. Then they set out from their homes to set the roads on fire. Look out for some folks wearing bright clothes and funky shoes running in the dark.
You will observe the hyperboles being thrown about quite frequently in this post but I will ask you to bear with me for with runners everything is above average. They run distances that will make others swoon in shock; distances like 21 kms, 30 kms, 50 kms are regular conversation staples and note that these distances are covered on foot. Runners take pride in their PB, personal best for newcomers; this is the time they took to cover their last landmark distance and runners always want to improve their PB. You will be forgiven when you hear the terms “half” or “full” and imagine that these are related to intoxicating spirits, these are referring to a half marathon or a full marathon, the completion of which usually results in something called “Runners High” which cannot be told but can only be experienced.
Injuries are par for the course and runners know that their sport can lead to often quite debilitating injuries but yet the joy of running makes them accept that injuries will be met when they occur. To remain injury free is an unspoken hidden desire for almost all runners. To achieve this injury free life runners usually push their bodies more by strength training or gym workouts in addition to their runs. An injured runner will work very hard to get better, to run again.
Camaraderie is another notable trait that is usually visible among runners. A nod of the head, a clap of the hand or a simple spoken “good run” to an unknown runner running on the other side is good manners and mutual back slapping is the tonic that pushes one another to run a little more a little faster or a little longer. Senior runners are usually available to share their knowledge and experience with a tip or two to every newcomer taking up the sport.
Pigheadedness or stubbornness is another thing you will find common about runners. They simply do not give up, a DNF or Do Not Finish in a race or even a regular run is almost unthinkable barring a major unavoidable reason. They do not take the easy way out and push till the end despite others around telling them STOP.
Runners can be illogical. Others may delight in the medal that they get after the race but runners treasure the journey more. For them the race is the culmination of days of training, blood sweat and tears and the medal is incidental, it is the journey that will be treasured.
Despite all this runners are normal people like you and me, they do abnormal things because they are in love with their sport and love is blind. Blind to sweat, pain and much more.