It’s been two days—and you’re going crazy. You’re grouchy, restless, perhaps sweating, and nearly foaming at the mouth just thinking about it. Has it ever occurred to you that you are a running addict? People run for a variety of reasons, but some run because they couldn’t walk away from it if they wanted to. Some are addicted—in every sense of the word. If you’re unsure if this applies to you, or if you’re simply living in denial, the following signs are clear indicators that you have an addiction.
Your attitude reflects your altitude—gain and loss for the day, that is.
In other words, if you skip your run—for any reason—everyone knows it because you turn into an a‑hole. Grouchy, negative, short-tempered, self-pitying, perhaps even easier to cry. It’s as if you just received the news that your dog is dying.
Your closet has more running shoes in it than all other kinds of shoes combined.
This includes your partner’s shoes on the other side of the closet. Of course, runners have running shoes, but when you have enough to open your own corner store, you have crossed the threshold into addiction territory.
You have canceled important, rare, or extremely fun events so you can fit in your run instead.
We’re not talking about leaving work an hour early on Friday so you can run. We’re talking about showing up an hour late to your sister’s bridal shower because you needed to fit in your long run first, or deciding not to throw your partner a birthday party because it would be the same day as a race you want to do. It’s cool to have running be a large and important part of your life, but it should not be taking precedence over the important people in your life. If you do it right, they will outlast your running days—so make sure you treat them right so they stick around.
Seeing another runner—when you are not running—nearly kills you.
Let’s say you have a terrible chest cold and can barely breathe, let alone run, so your partner finally convinced you to skip your morning workout and rest. You may have finally resigned to common sense, yet when you see another runner bouncing along on the sidewalk as you drive past, your stomach knots and your eyes fill with tears—jealous, jealous tears.
‘How are you?’ and ‘What’s new’ have been permanently replaced by ‘so what are you training for these days?’
Those who know and love you have figured out over the years that they may as well just ask about your running, since that is what all conversation is going to eventually lead to anyway. There’s no problem with talking about your recent or upcoming running events and sharing your excitement and passion—after all, they asked, right?—but remember to return the courtesy and inquire about other people’s passions, families, and lives in general too.
When you can’t run, you immediately obsess over your cross-training.
Whether you’re sidelined for a broken bone, severe tendonitis, knee issues, whatever, the second you resign yourself to the fact that you’ll have to take a week or more off of running, you frantically search for a cross-training activity that you can do and unleash your obsessive nature on that full force. Has the rowing machine ever experienced the wrath like that of an injured runner?
If you suspect you or someone you know may have a running problem, you may as well just get the hell out of the way. Sorry, but short of broken bones (from the waist down, of course), there’s not much that is going to stop them. Maybe consider lacing up a pair of your own shoes and join them on the trails—just be careful, fun is addictive.