23 Experiences All Competitive Runners Understand

Gotta squeeze in some extra milage before this 5K.

1. Becoming very familiar with this sign.

Honestly, why do they even make christmas tree spikes?

2. Mastering false modesty when people are impressed with how far you run.

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3. Dealing with people who always ask if you’ve run a marathon.

“Um, no not yet. I mostly run the 1,500.”

“Oh.”

*awkward silence*

4. Feeling guilty watching other people go for a run while you’re taking a day off.

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You deserve it, but still… something seems wrong in the universe.

5. Spending a frightening amount of time waiting in line for the bathroom at races.

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And you’ve seriously lowered your standards for what does or does not constitute as a “clean” porta potty.

6. Running big races with starts like this:

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7. Spending a ton of time on golf courses, but not a lot of time playing golf.

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“The finish line is near the 17th hole.”

8. Brooding about a bad race result.

“Argh I should’ve kicked earlier!”

9. Subjecting yourself to the hell that is an ice bath.

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It’s terrible, but so is not being able to walk after a tough run, so it’s worth it in the end. Just. Barely. Worth it.

10. Committing all of your PRs to memory.

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And probably most of your competitors’ as well.

11. The weird feeling of loving all your teammates to death, but still secretly wanting to beat them all.

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And it’s okay because they want to do the same to you! <3

12. Having gross, gross toenails.

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Black means it was a really good run.

13. Memorizing every Prefontaine quote, whether you want to or not.

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“TO GIVE ANYTHING LESS THAN YOUR BEST IS TO SACRIFICE THE GIFT!”

14. The agony of not being able to find a track meet on TV.

Thanks for nothing, ESPN.

15. Accepting that Usain Bolt is the only runner most of your friends will ever hear about.

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I mean, he’s a machine, but it’s a really big sport!

16. Being a bit overzealous about your friends’ casual races because you want them TO WIN!

And having them tell you to calm down.

17. Feeling like a jerk when you push your way to the start of a crowded 5K fun run.

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It’s just better to save time and get up there now.

18. Accumulating so many free T-shirts.

Or at least, “free with race admission.”

19. Squeezing into running tights instead of running on a treadmill in the winter.

You’ll wear them and you’ll wear them proudly.

20. Having mixed feelings about Runner’s World.

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Another article about running my first 5K?

21. Knowing that there’s always someone out there faster than you.

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Unless you’re one of these people.

22. Running a horrible workout that makes you hate everything about this stupid sport…

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23. …and then going on a run “for fun” the next day.

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Because you couldn’t stop even if you tried.

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