Super Serious Steve1 of 7
Not sure what a fartlek is? Wondering which version of a Garmin to get? Well, if you are anywhere in the vicinity of Super Serious Steve, he'll be the first to tell you. He'll also give you the side-eye for eating that cookie ("Dude. We're in training right now"), and he'll look at you like you're nuts when you suggest grabbing a beer on a Friday night. ("Uh, don't think so. We have a long run tomorrow!") He's mastered the ABCs of Running, has memorized Daniel's VDOT tables and can rattle off the age-group winners for all of your local races. Steve may be late to work or forget your birthday, but you can bet he got his run in that morning.
Permanently Injured Patty2 of 7
You'd love to log more miles with Patty but you can't—because she's always injured. You'll spot her running one weekend and inquire about her latest comeback, only to be taken slightly aback when she details her plan to run 13 miles today to celebrate her first week off crutches. After enough of these encounters with Patty, you begin to understand why she's perpetually on the sidelines.
Fast as F-artlek Frank3 of 7
You're still slogging through your last mile when Frank drives by and waves—because he finished that same run 40 minutes ago, cooled down, stretched, grabbed a snack, chatted with some folks and is now headed home. This guy's warm up pace leaves you breathless and a 6-minute mile is reserved for his "easy" days. You think he's a nice guy but you don't really know for sure, as you've only ever seen his blurry backside as he leaves you in a cloud of dust.
Picture Perfect Penny4 of 7
You hurl your exhausted body across the finish line, gasping for air and wiping away the sweat that's pouring off your beet-red face. As you muster the energy to look up from catching your breath, here comes Penny across the line, looking like she just went for a nice afternoon stroll in her workout gear. Her stylish running top coordinates perfectly with her shoes and polished nails that you can't help but notice as she slips her medal over her adorable French-braided hairstyle. Wait, is that a tiny bead of sweat on her face? No, of course not—it's just glitter. Ugh.
Crazy Competitive Cathy5 of 7
You don't dare mention your race plans to Cathy. Once she knows you are planning on running a certain race, there's a good chance she'll sign up too—just to show you up. Your group will run 10 miles on Saturday, but you can bet Cathy will sneak in an extra few and then casually find a way to work that into the conversation. You ran a marathon this month? Oh, that's cute. Cathy ran three of them. In one weekend. Should you happen to tell Cathy that you've signed up for that local 10K this week, go ahead and paint a target on your back—and cross your fingers she's not in your age group.
Instagram Isla6 of 7
Isla is pretty easy to spot in the crowd. She's the one running with her cellphone, snapping perfect mid-run selfies. If you hang around for even 30 seconds after a run, you'll be called on to be part of the group picture that she'll immediately post on Instagram. While her pace may not be stellar, her hashtag game is strong. #milestogo #runnersofinstagram #churchoftheSundaylongrun