There have been many lists over the years in running books, magazines, and websites about how you know if you're a real runner. Here is my list. It's more applicable to distance runners, at least in my opinion.
* Energy bars or gels, sport drinks, and ibuprofen are their own separate food groups.
* The ice in the freezer is not for keeping drinks cold. It's for putting on sore spots after a long run.
* Ice is a miracle substance.
* Gummi Bears are not junk food. They are a great fuel source on long runs.
* You don't care if your shorts and shirt match when you go out for a run. You wear whatever is at the top of the pile.
* You forget to pick up milk on the way home from work but remember the time of your first 5K race back in 1989 (30:17).
* Songs are divided into two categories: those that are good to run to and those that aren't.
* You get more excited about the latest model from Ascics (or Nike, Saucony, New Balance, etc.) than over Jimmy Choos.
* Running in the rain is good training. If it's raining on race day (always a good possibility in Germany), you're prepared for it.
* You make fun of people who buy 6 of the same item because they're on sale. But you think it's perfectly normal to buy 6 pairs of your favorite running shoes when you hear that they're being discontinued.
* A massage stick is an essential item.
* You know what your IT band is and where it's located.
* You own more race t-shirts, technical shirts, running shorts, and tights than any other type of clothing.
* Murphy's Law of warm weather running: Any spots where you didn't put Vaseline on before running will get chafed. It doesn't matter if they never got chafed in the past.
* You think that a preschooler wiping his nose on his sleeve is disgusting. But you use your shirt, glove, or jacket as a Kleenex while on the run and think nothing of it.
* You actually want to be older. Last week's 10K time which placed you 6th in your age group would have been good enough for 2nd place in the next age group.
* You buy your regular clothing on sale or in the bargain bin, but don't have any qualms about paying full price for running shoes.
* Five km (3.1 miles) is a good warm-up.
* You own more items that go in the delicate wash cycle than a Victoria's Secret model.
* After making airline reservations to the States, the first thing you do is check the race calendar in the cities where you're staying.
* You think that a finisher's medal for a 5K race is over the top.
* You think that Fantasy Football or Baseball are stupid, but believe that a Fantasy Run is a cool idea and good motivation.
* A 10-mile (16 km) run is a great way to spend a Sunday morning.