Are You A Running Addict?

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.

Running Addict

‘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.