8 Signs You Have Runner's EnvyWhether they have an envi­able run­ning form, cool­er clothes (or just look bet­ter in them), bet­ter atti­tudes, more struc­tured train­ing sched­ules, or flashier shoes, there are always rea­sons to envy oth­er run­ners. This can be viewed as a pos­i­tive (some­thing to strive for!), a neg­a­tive (com­par­ing your­self to oth­ers may result in dis­ap­point­ment or neg­a­tive self image), or just a fact of run­ning. I pre­fer to think of it as the lat­ter, as I don’t know a sin­gle run­ner – myself at the top of the list – who hasn’t expe­ri­enced runner’s envy in mul­ti­ple forms. If you’re unsure where you lie on the spec­trum, here are eight ways to tell if you’re expe­ri­enc­ing runner’s envy.

1. Gear
You buy the same shoes, shorts, sports bra, head­band, etc. as a run­ner faster than you, hon­est­ly believ­ing to some degree — admit it or not — that it may help you become faster. You are sore­ly dis­ap­point­ed every sin­gle time.

rv2. Get­tin Nosy 
You come to a stop­light and are imme­di­ate­ly jeal­ous of the run­ner bounc­ing in place next to you wait­ing for the walk sign. Your jeal­ousy increas­es when you notice their water­pack – a tell­tale sign they’re on a long run – and you’re more than half tempt­ed to roll your win­dow down and throw some­thing. Instead you ask how far that per­son is running.

3. A New Def­i­n­i­tion for Hot
You see a pic­ture of a rail thin mod­el and think, “Eh,” but when you see a sweaty woman in a sports bra, span­dex shorts, com­pres­sion socks bounc­ing by you think, “Damn! Girl looks good!”

4. Mileage Envy
You casu­al­ly ask oth­er run­ners what their week­ly mileage is — so you can be sure to run at least as many miles, prefer­ably more. You may also run their routes, adding an extra loop some­where to “improve” upon it.

5. Envy­ing the Tarahumara
You read Born to Run and then tried con­vert­ing to bare­foot run­ning or veg­an­ism, believ­ing it would lead you to ultra­run­ning great­ness. Odds are, it instead led you to a foot injury and the ice cream isle.

rt6. Fak­ing it til you Make it (or not)
You sign up for a race far beyond your cur­rent capa­bil­i­ties just because your friend does, or because you want to brag about train­ing for it – even though you’re scared out of your mind and already deter­min­ing excus­es to get out of actu­al­ly doing it.

7. Com­par­ing your­self with the pros
You’ve watched the sum­mer Olympics and hon­est­ly thought, “I think with enough train­ing, I could do that.” Sor­ry to break it to you dude, but you prob­a­bly could not.

8. Feign­ing sup­port for a friend
A friend beats your marathon time, and you smile and shriek, “Con­grat­u­la­tions! You did soooooo well!” while you’re actu­al­ly think­ing, “Damnit! Now I need to run anoth­er one and beat her time.”

Envy is one of those pesky human emo­tions we all expe­ri­ence – like it or not — sim­ply because we’re imper­fect. Although some choose not to admit it (or let it show), we’ve all been touched by envy. The key is to make the best of out it and use it for moti­va­tion rather than com­pe­ti­tion. By doing that, you just may end up being the run­ner that oth­ers envy.