You Know You’re An Ultra Runner If …
By: Various Authors
You have more dirt on your shoes than in your garden.
You get more phone calls at 5:00 AM than at 5:00 PM.
You don’t recognize your friends with their clothes on.
You have more buckles than belts.
6AM is sleeping in.
Your feet look better without toenails.
Your idea of a fun date is a 30-mile training run.
You’re tempted to look for a bush when there’s a long line for the public restroom.
You don’t think twice about eating food you’ve picked up off the floor.
You can expound on the virtues of eating salt.
When you wake up without the alarm at 4AM, pop out of bed and think, “Let’s hit the trails.”
When you can recite the protein grams by heart of each energy bar.
Your ideal way to celebrate your birthday is to run at least your age in miles with some fellow crazies.
Your ideal way to have fun is to run as far as you can afford to with some fellow crazies.
You know the location of every 7-11, public restroom, and water fountain within a 25-mile radius of your house.
You run marathons for speed work.
You have more fanny packs and water bottles and flashlights than Imelda Marcos has shoes.
You visit a national park with your family and notice a thirty-mile trail connecting where you are with the place your family wants to visit next, which is a 100-mile drive away, and you think, “Hmmmm.”
Someone asks you how long your training run is going to be and you answer, “Seven or eight … hours.”
People at work think you’re in a whole lot better shape than you think you are.
You actually are in a whole lot better shape than you think you are.
Your weekend runs are limited by how much time you have, not by how far you can run.
You always have at least one black toenail.
You buy economy-sized jars of Vaseline on a regular basis.
You think of pavement as a necessary evil that connects trails.
Your friends recognize you[‘]r[e] better dressed in shorts than in long pants.
You really envied Tom Hanks’ long run as Forrest Gump.
You carry money around in a zip lock bag because store clerks complained that your money’s usually too sweaty.
Any time a plain old runner talks about her/[his] aches and pains, you can sympathize because you’ve already had that at least once.
You don’t need to paint your toenails; they’re already different colors.
You start planning the family vacation around races, and vice-versa.
When you start considering your next vacation location on the merits of its ultras only.
You spend you entire paycheck on running gear, ultrabars, and entry fees.
You become a quasi-expert on different detergents so as to not “hurt” your tee shirts.
You leave work early to hit the trails.
You wear T-shirts based on if you’ve had good workouts when you’ve worn them before.
Have a trail shoe collection that would make Imelda Marcos envious.
You walk up the stairs and run down them.
Peeing in the toilet seems unnatural.
You start wearing running clothes to work so you’re prepared for afterwards.
When the start of a marathon feels like a 5K and you’re wondering, “Why is everyone in such a rush? Where the ##@@**!! is the fire?”
You sign up for a 10K and you strap on your fanny pack because you never know where the aid stations are.
You bring your own drinks.
You are the only one walking the uphills.
You run it a second time because its not far enough to call a training run (and you were racing the first time through).
You are the only one around who is eyeing the bushes THAT way.
Your number of toes to toenails doesn’t match.
You drink from a water bottle at the dinner table.
You know you’re an ultra runner when a prospective employer asks for a photograph and all you have [are] race photos.
You know you’re an ultra runner when your crew tries to keep you motivated by saying, “You’re in second place and only 6 hours behind first with 25 miles to go!”
You bother to argue about (discuss the meaning of) what an ultra runner is!
When you don’t finish on the same day as the winner.
When you meet the opposite sex you see:
A possible crew.
A possible pacer.
A possible search and rescue team.
A possible race director.
A possible source of race entry fees.
You ask advice of hundreds of people on a list, looking for answers you have already determined to be correct, taking hold of only those, and running with ’em.
Your wife asks you the morning after your first 50-miler if you’re still planning on that 100K in five weeks, and you say, “Sure!”
You strap on your water bottles and walk the hills … in a 5K race and consider that your 10-minute pace is a blistering pace.
People praise you to the high heavens for being able to finish a marathon, and you feel insulted.
You do a triathlon and it is your RUN time that is slower than the years when you specialized in triathlon.
You are told *not* to run another marathon during the next few months (because that would be bad for your health), and you really follow that advice – by immediately sending off the entry form for your next 50/100-miler.
Somebody asks about the distance of an upcoming race and you, without thinking, say, “Oh, it’s just a 50K.”
You’re running a marathon and at mile 20 say to yourself, “Wow, only 6 more miles left, this is such a great training run!”
You’re embarrassed that you’ve only done 50Ks…
You go down a flight of stairs, uh, backwards, after an ultra and everybody laughs.
No one believes you when you say, “Never again.”
You refer to certain 100-mile races as “low-key”.
You number your running shoes to distinguish old from new, since they all look dirty.
Prior to running a difficult race, you check to see if local hospitals and urgent care centers are in your PPO [preferred provider organization or health care provider].
The only time major household projects get done is in a taper or race recovery.
Everything in your life, everything, is organized in different sized Ziploc bags.
You call a 50-mile race “just another training run”.
You think a 100-mile race is easier than a 50-miler because you don’t have to go out as fast.
You say, “Taper? Who’s got time to taper? I have a race coming up this weekend.”
You have to rent a car to drive to a major event because you and your pacer own stick shifts and neither will be able to drive them on the return trip.
You actually DO drive a stick shift home with a severely pulled left hamstring.
You meet someone of the opposite sex on the trail of a 100 and all of conversation is about what color is your urine, can you drink? And were you able to dump?
Ya [You] know you’re and ultra runner when a girl changes her tank and her bra in front of you and all you do is take another drink of water, look at your watch, get up and tell your pacer, “Let’s hit the trail.”
On a long drive you see the road signs listing various mileages to different places and think of how long it would take to get there on foot rather than by the car you’re driving.
You’ve started a race in the dark, run all day, and finished in the dark (if you’re lucky).
Your non-ultrarunning running friends look at you strange[ly] when you tell them that 10:00/mile is a fast pace for a 100-mile race (not to mention most ultras).
You don’t hesitate to lie down in the trail (anywhere) when you are falling asleep on your feet during the early morning hours on the second day of a 100-miler; and it feels so comfortable.
You know yo’re an ultrarunner when you actually sit down and read all of the postings about, “You Know You’re An Ultrarunner When …” and can laugh and relate to all of the comments.