Q: Lately I've been suffering from self-doubt and loathing when it comes to my running and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm a real runner or just a wannabe. What's a sure way of telling if I'm a real runner or not?

A: We've come up with a couple of lists that might help you in your situation.

  You Know You're Not a Real Runner When

Your speed workouts are crafted by John "The Penguin" Bingham

11 You grab a hamstring 600 yards into a mile race on the track and step into the infield, after everyone, including you, knows you really just went out way too fast.
10 You drink water during a 5k
9 You start bawling and hug people you don't even know
after your latest pathetic 5k effort
8 You actually consider wearing one of those stupid band-aid looking things on your nose
7 You wear the latest running gear and you suck
6 You seriously ask someone what kind of running shorts they prefer
5 You complain that hills hurt
4 You talk smack and ain't got no track
3 You think golf is a cross-training option
2 You post affirmations on your refrigerator
1 You think running is a lifestyle


You Know You're a Real Runner When

10 You have a weird looking running style
9 You carry a wad of TP in your shoe on long runs
8 You attack dogs when they come after you
7 You know every 10k time you ever ran

You care who Emil Zatopek is


You chuck in the finishers' chute

4 You don't worry about the runner behind you in the
finishers' chute who takes exception on how you carried
your elbows into the last turn
3 You refuse to hug anyone at the finish
2 You are angered by runners in your van who
don't give a rip about being a full minute off the pace they
said they would run
1 You realize that American distance running sucks

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10kTruth.com is a place for runners who have the attitude to train harder and smarter, who want to race faster and stronger, to better their race times and lower the chance of injury. The Rage and Manciata answer running and training questions with their own unique insight and spew. You'll also find running advice and inspirational quotes by sports legends and others who epitomize the spirit of 10k Truth.