The Proficiencies You Can Acquire From Being a Runner

A few weeks ago, I wrote a fun popular post about What Running Can Do to You, if you missed it and need a smile, make sure to check it out HERE.

This particular post idea came up entirely based the thousands of ideas running through my head as I am out running.  It is actually almost entirely different than the post mentioned above and based purely on the proficiencies we acquire as runners.  So with a little humor in mind, sit back and I hope you get a little laugh about all the skills that running teaches you, that maybe you hadn't thought of before.

So anyone who has ever trained for a race (especially distance running) learns the valuable ability to locate water.  It's quite the thing actually, we can tell you with precise knowledge exactly where each water stop is within a 6-9 mile radius of our homes.
It's true, I even have the incredible ability to tell you exactly what time of year each of those fountains turn on or off depending on the season too:)

We really are great at entertaining ourselves.  Who needs T.V. or movies to pass a few hours.  We can create some pretty amazing things in our minds whether we are listening to the wind or our favorite tunes.  We can go for miles and hours and not get bored with our own thoughts!  I think that is because all the endorphins keep our minds flowing, that or we are just the best daydreamers out there!

Runners have the ability to without fail plan out a wardrobe for each run.  It's a nightly ritual, we may not take the time to figure out what we are going to wear to work that day, but we sure do set out our running clothes, from underwear, clothes and even shoes out so we can crawl into them in the morning.  Some even just sleep in them, to make the morning crawl out of bed and out the door easier.  If we have a race coming up, most of us know a month or more before the date exactly what we plan on wearing, and those of us who are smart ones even test them out a few times to make sure they are without a doubt the most perfect choice of apparel.

If you're a runner you know what the weather is going to be like, especially on long run weekends and of course race weekends.  Sure we will run in snow, sun, wind or rain.  But regardless, if we are training, we can tell you exactly what to expect from the skies.
On top of that, we have a different outfit for every single weather option possibility and sometimes if you were to check our packed race bags, you might find several to choose from in them, just in case.

Runners are mentally tougher than others, it's just a fact.  We learn to push ourselves even when it hurts.  We learn to like to push ourselves even when we aren't sure if we can go any longer or faster, we will still try.  We push ourselves out of bed every day, no matter how busy life is and we make it a point to get our run in, and all else follows (except family, family always comes first, especially since it's our family that drives us to race starts, cheers on courses in crazy hours of the morning and drives our tired bodies back home!)

Most runners and especially distance runners, if you take them out for a walk or run anywhere within a 1-10 miles of their home they can tell you to the 10th of the mile exactly how far you've gone.
In fact, most will be able to do this without any type of GPS.
We may say weird things like, the grocery is 6.2 miles round trip or work is 10.5 miles away.
In addition to that, take us distance runners out on a run in a new area we have never been.  No matter the distance, leave the gadgets at home, and we can tell you by the way our bodies feel, pretty darn close to exactly how many miles we've gone anytime you ask us.

Ask us how far away something is, and if it is within eye sight, you'll likely get a response 50 or 100 meters away.  (Yes even in America.  Runners are the rare American's who can actually use the same system the rest of the world uses, meters and kilo's.)
Or don't be worried if we respond to your distance question with; it's only a lap around the track.
If it's 3-6 miles away, don't be surprised if we respond to you in kilometers, because in our minds we are thinking it might just be a 5k or 10k away.

Running is our therapy.  We de-stress or unwind and let it all go on the road.  We work through our problems as we pound the pavement and push through the miles.  We soul search, work out anger management, release and reset our emotions.  By the end of our run, we have determined what is really important, and everything else is left on the road.  Our minds are clearer, more focused and we didn't have to pay a dime for a therapy session.  Just $150 for a pair of running shoes every 6 months:)

In addition to water sources, we are also brilliant at being able to tell you exactly where public restrooms are.  Trails or roads near our homes, we can probably tell you how to get to one within a mile or less distance no matter where we are.
If we can't tell you exactly where a good bathroom is, we can likely tell you the right place in the woods to go and not be seen!

It's true, you see them on the news each winter the crazy people who will run out into freezing waters for a second or two and then run back to shore and wrap themselves up in a blanket.
We as runners have them beat!  Quite frequently you will find us after a long run or race sitting in an ice bath, with cubes floating around us.  One to two seconds, not a chance try 10-25 minutes of sitting willingly in freezing water!   When we look at those winter ice plungers, all we give them is shoulder shrug, because we know what tough and freezing really means.

No matter if we only run 5k's or shoot for Marathon's or an Ultra's.  Catch us after a good run, and we will probably tell you a long story about the great run and all the amazing runs and new distances we are excited to try.

The saying can you chew gum and walk at the same time? We take that to a new level.  We can run, and open and swallow down stuff and not miss a step.  We have mastered the art of running and drinking out of a paper cup and not spilling it out.  (FYI: for you non-runners you just bend the cup in half a little and drink from one of the points.  I know jaw dropping huh LOL)
We can change our tunes, or take a phone call without running into anything:) well usually:)

We as runners if we don't leave the phone at home can't help but take a picture of our run.  We have mastered the selfie, even the sweaty selfie.  We take pictures of trails and roads that others rarely see, because we get there at the perfect picture taking time, right as the sun is beginning to rise.  We don't mind sharing them with everyone too, because why wouldn't you want to see us sweating in our great running pictures each day:)

It's true, no matter if it is just our normal endorphin high from starting or ending our day with a great run.  Or that rare but yet possible time when we can hit that runners high and we can just keep going, and going and no matter if is mile 20, pain is something of the past.
We as runners can get numerous different types of high's and we don't have to take a single drug to do it... Well unless you count our need for a run a drug, because in that case for most of us it is true.

There are actually so many more, but I will stop there.  Share with me some of the proficiencies you have gained as a runner.


  1. I study the maps and I know where the water stops are and I know where the bathrooms are.

    1. That's great! I don't think I have ever looked at maps, on new routes I just hope I find them if needed LOL

  2. Love this! So true. NO, I don't pick out my work clothes (who cares about that!) but my running clothes are prepped and ready to go! I am an extreme weather stalker. Just give me a radar map -- who needs a weatherman? They are never right anyway.

    1. Oh ya if I am going to run in the morning I definitely pick it out. If I work in the morning, what I wear ends up being whatever is clean when I go to grab it LOL

  3. This list makes me feel like a superhero kinda :) haha

  4. I love it totally true! We also know exactly how many layers to wear for any given temp range.

  5. Advanced wardrobe planning lol. Yep! I always lay out my running clothes the night before because I'm too tired to search for them in the morning haha. And packing for all conditions..who says we need room for real clothes? :) And family, couldn't do it without them! I can count the times on one hand where I drove to a race haha. And that's only because they were for track meets, so I saved them the pain of having to sit in bleachers for hours :) And don't laugh, but I did not know that tip about the cups until a few years ago when my college coach was teaching my teammates and I how to drink out of them because we were going to be in Oregon during a heat 80 degrees. I just laughed because..well Arizona haha.

    1. I know if I don't lay mine out, it's too easy for me to hit snooze one too many times:) What are real clothes, LOL
      Oh ya, family is the best seriously what they put up with because they love us, it's awesome!
      LOL, actually I didn't catch on myself until I started running marathons and I think my dad told me. All those years before, I just ran and splashed it all down me haha
      LOL 80 heat wave! I may not live in your hot temps, but we do get pretty hot here too, running in the 80's is like perfect weather sometimes, that is funny!

  6. love it! you are right, I get up and get ready for work but a race outfit? that is well planned out! I am still working on running and drinking water at the same time though!

    1. You'll get the water drinking thing, it just takes time:)
      But ya, race outfits are always a plan in advance!

  7. Fantastic post. I do feel that having strong mental toughness is very important for a runner, and certainly helps in all aspects of life. As for the wardrobe, my husband just asked me what took up all the space in my closet before I started running.....there are alot of outfits and accessories taking up alot of space in there!

    1. Thanks! I agree mental toughness is really the key to getting through the non perfect runs and conditions and it definitely helps in life so much!
      That is funny about the closet, ya I have to admit I have a middle section that is all running, the side sections are other stuff, because I like my running stuff front and center, LOL

  8. Haha, a big YES to being able to find water and bathroom stops as well as knowing the weather forecast. Before a race, I often find myself checking the forecast every hour to see if there are any updates. As for water and bathroom stops, someone in MKE actually created a map of all the stops in the area. I love it - such a great resource. And I get extra excited every time I discover a new place to get water. It's like finding buried treasure :)

    1. LOL I totally agree! I had this one running trail I like to do most of my long runs on, and I thought I knew about all of them. One day I discovered as they built a veterans wall, they added a new water fountain, it's just a short 50 meters from the trail itself, it was like finding a buried treasure I so agree!!!

  9. Lol...these are awesome! In all seriousness, I used to be horrible with letting it just be me and my thoughts. I always had to have something to entertain me. Running really has taught me to be ok with being alone with my thoughts.

    1. I bet your not the only one!
      I am such a daydreamer, it always came natural for me. Some days, I swear I write novels in my head, if it's a long run I might even write a complete novel in my head and solve all the worlds problems, LOL

  10. Believe it or not, I'm a terrible judge of distance!!

    1. I will admit when it comes down to that last .2 in a marathon my judge of distance goes out the window, I will swear sometimes it feels like an extra mile, LOL

  11. LOL ya I think all of us runners have those emergency spots for just in case!
    I am the exact same way. When I give people directions to my house they laugh because I actually tell them things like drive 1.2 miles etc..

  12. Haha these are great!! So true! We are definitely tougher than the rest! :)


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