27 Little Struggles Only Runners Know


1. When you think you’re going to make eye contact and get a head nod from someone passing you in the opposite direction, so you make a cursory little nod yourself — and then get nothing in return.

2. Picking between two different colors when you swap out your new shoes.

3. If you’re a woman, being expected to always choose between different shades of pastel.

4. Waking up ridiculously rungry, so you eat something before your run, but then you have to wait to digest it a little, and then you’re just sitting around like a character out of Dr. Seuss, just… waiting.

5. The difference in motivation between wanting to run 6 miles just because, and needing to run 6 miles because it’s on your training plan that day.

6. Being two seconds off from your best mile time — or worse, being thirty. six. freaking. seconds off a race P.R.

7. Walking up or down stairs after a particularly long run.

8. Finding pants that fit your thighs, your butt, and your waist simultaneously. Pick two, invest in a belt, and move on.

9. When it’s just warm enough that you no longer to wear every layer humanly possible, but then that new spring wind picks up and cuts through the fleece you thought would be just right.

10. Your headphones falling out, shorting out in one ear, or otherwise not cooperating the way headphones are supposed to.

11. Dodging black ice patches and puddles after storms, so it suddenly looks like you’re prancercising rather than running.

12. People who call it “jogging.”

13. Finishing a run and suddenly being hungry enough to eat absolutely everything in sight, but knowing full well that three miles does not an extra-large, extra-cheese pizza justify.

14. Heartbreaking injuries during training that force you to drop out of your race entirely.

15. … and forfeiting that race fee.

16. When the running shop is out of your favorite flavor fuel.

17. The supreme gore that is a black toenail.

18. Shorts chafing.

19. Generally strange tanlines, including but not limited to: Sock tan. Shorts tan. GPS watch tan. Armband tan. Sunglasses tan. Always running on one side of the street so the left and right sides of your body are two different colors tan.

20. Needing to pack double in any travel bag, and the subsequent annoyance of those with whom you’re traveling when you explain that no, you really can’t fit everything into a carry-on.

21. People who send the bread basket away.

22. Realizing you need to go to the bathroom halfway through a run, but you’re either in the middle of nowhere, or there is nary a Starbucks in sight.

23. When you make a pact with a friend to be run buddies, but then you both wind up texting each other asking if you maybe just want to grab drinks instead, so yeah, you’ll settle for drinks, it’s cool, you can always run, y’know, tomorrow.

24. Not being allowed to wear spandex at all times always.

25. That moment when you see someone beautiful doing the Baywatch slow-mo run in the summer sun, their hair bouncing along perfectly as their sweat glistens and it’s like you might as well be running across a daisy field to your one true love — but then the sunlight bounces off their wedding ring, and it’s like, oh, right.

26. Talking to someone about running, and they just casually happen to mention that they’ve logged 45 miles that week at 7:15 pace and are training for their fifth ultra and you’re just sitting there, screaming internally.

27. Getting off the couch.

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