We all celebrate things in different ways…

…I just happen to like to commemorate big life changing events with tattoos. I had been planning on getting a running related tattoo for quite some time, but couldn’t decide on what I wanted. It seemed like every idea had already been done to death. And even then I couldn’t think of where I would put it. On the foot seems like an obvious choice for a runner, but that also means a healing period. No shoes = no running. No thanks.

Then I ran a marathon and suddenly the the choice was very clear.


One of the most defining numbers of my life. It means hard work and perseverance. Pushing myself to a level where I have never been before and then going past that. There will be other marathon times in my future, but none will be so special to me as this one. Everything after mile 20 at Bob Potts was unfamiliar territory and frankly some of it was just SO horrible, but the ending was SO sweet.

Sure there are some other people out there that share that marathon time with me, but I figure the likelihood of them having it as a tattoo are probably pretty slim. This number is not just some random quote about running…it’s MINE. And what better day to get this tattoo than on National Running Day!


Forearms don’t hurt at all. As you can see from my wrist this is not my first go-around with a tattoo needle. Actually it’s my 14th.

My husband and daughter were in the waiting room and after I was finished she wanted a tattoo also! Our artist friend was only so happy to oblige. We asked her what she wanted and at first she said “A HOTDOG!” But then she changed her mind and requested an owl instead.



Way cuter than a hot dog.

She talked about our new tattoos all through dinner and on the way home. And on the way to daycare this morning. And proudly showed her owl to her friends because it hasn’t washed off yet.

Sorry, other daycare parents.


It’s perfect.

Do you have any tattoos? (Running related or otherwise?) Would you ever get a running tattoo? What would it be?

Special shout out to our friend Eddie at Naked Art Tattoos. THANK YOU! I LOVE IT!!! (And obviously Betty does too!)




96 thoughts on “We all celebrate things in different ways…

  1. Lauren Gilfeather says:

    I love your new tattoo so much! What an awesome idea.

    I have a 3/4 sleeve (almost done!) plus three others; none are running-related, but if I ever actually complete a marathon, you can be sure I’ll be getting one to commemorate it. I’m addicted to ink.

  2. DarlinRae says:

    I lovelovelove tattoos. I currently have 4, but want lots more. I’ve thought about getting a running tattoo, but as you said, it’s hard to find/have an original idea. I’m planning to ruminate for a while and wait for inspiration to strike. I love yours! Totally personal and awesome 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you so much! I kind of feel like a badass cyborg with it on there. 🙂
      Probably the other coolest running tattoo I’ve seen was the chemical compound for runner’s high. I LOVE that idea, but then…done so many times already. I wish I had thought of it!

      • DarlinRae says:

        Woah, that is a really cool idea! Like you said, wish I’d thought of it first… Oh well! Now I get to come up with something even cooler on my own 😀

  3. prettylittlerunner says:

    Do you have any tattoos? (Running related or otherwise?) Would you ever get a running tattoo? What would it be?

    omfg!!!!! I’m soooo freaking JEALOUS!!!! I LOVE IT! I want one so bad now….I have believe on my wrist that I got after my first epic disaster of a marathon (I guess I’m never going to forget that one..lol) I have wings on the insides of my ankles… I was going to wait until after Boston to get one… now I must start researching…

    • runsaltrun says:

      DEFINITELY get one after Boston! You pretty much have to! I want to hear all your ideas! (And then I’m probably going to want to get another one because I can’t hear about someone getting a tattoo without wanting to get a tattoo. So addictive.)

  4. laurenwayjurlee says:

    So awesome! Looks great – and such a great way to commemorate something so important!

    I don’t have tattoos, but I have always said that I would get one after my first half marathon….which I’ve completed and still haven’t gotten a tattoo!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks, lady! It’s definitely such a huge commitment (and I have a few that aren’t as significant to me now as they once were) so being picky about it is a GOOD thing. You’ll find the right thing at some point and then it will just click perfectly for you!

  5. vegasmotherrunner says:

    I have a small butterfly tattoo that signifies the huge change, transformation and spreading of the wings I did when I moved out of my parents house. I grew up in a super strict religious environment and finally felt free when I got out on my own. It’s funny, because I love tattoos, but only on other people. I’m really not much of a tattoo person and if I had to do it all over again, I probably would not have gotten one. But, it is pretty and colorful and very easily hidden so most people don’t even know I have one. And my husband and kids love it. My 4 year old cannot wait until the day I will let her get a Spiderman tattoo, haha!

  6. Lauren @ ihadabiglunch says:

    Um I love that you’re so embracing of tattoos! I feel like they have such a negative stigma in our society but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them – I love that you’re so proud of yourself/your time that you want a permanent reminder of it. And the owl tattoo is hilarious I can totally see you and your daughter walking proudly into daycare with them, completely owning it and not caring what other mothers say. I love it!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I have always been a big fan of them. 🙂 My husband has quite a few as well and I am fully supportive of my daughter getting one as long as she is over the age of 18. I work in a corporate environment, but my field is one where tattoos are very much the normal (design). Haha yeah and kids especially are fascinated by my art, which I love, but I definitely seen other parents give me the side eye before!

  7. emmelineruns says:

    I have 3 and one is running-related (on my forearm!). I have plans for 2 more athletic ones, including a very special one when I finish my first Ironman. I love yours so much, no other time will ever be your FIRST time so who cares that you’ll crush that mark in the future?

    • runsaltrun says:

      Exactly! From here on out every marathon I do will be a distance that I’ve already traveled before. There was so much uncertainty in this race for me and I really traveled farther outside my comfort zone than I ever have in the past. It was brutal and life changing. 🙂

      I can’t wait to see your Ironman tattoo!

  8. courtruns4cupcakes says:

    I LOVE it!!! I’m so intrigued by tattoos, I could stare at them all day. I have 4 right now. My favorite one is the symbol for Hakuna Matata behind my ear. My first half marathon was at Disney so it’s stands for that and I also just love what Hakuna Matata stands for!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Awww I LOVE that! Definitely such a great meaning behind it too. 🙂 I’m so intrigued by other people’s art too. You can learn so much about a person based on their tattoos!

  9. Change of Pace says:

    Love it, and that you’ll always have the reminder of your hard work and perserverance. I had to get an Ironman tattoo after our first one. It was the same for me- a culmination of hard work, doing more than I imagined I could, and a commitment.
    Haha- glad Betty got an owl instead of a hotdog!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      If I were ever strong enough to complete an Ironman, you better believe I would be getting that tattoo (on the middle of my forehead where everyone could see it!) I’m so glad she decided on the owl too, but I really couldn’t stop laughing when she told the artist she wanted a hot dog drawn on her arm.

  10. Hailey says:

    Ahh BEST TATTOO ever!!! And it’s in the perfect spot to be able to look at in races! I’ve been considering just getting the word “believe” in cursive on my wrist so that I can look at that when I’m struggling in a race or even just life in general. The owl is super cute too! 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks!! If I didn’t have the cat on my wrist, I might have gotten it there because that’s my Garmin hand, but then it also would have had to be really small because my wrists are wee. I think it worked out perfectly where it is. 🙂 I love that you have that little reminder to yourself right there whenever you need it!

      I’ll make sure to tell Betty that you love her owl. She is quite proud of herself. 🙂

  11. northernambitions says:

    So awesome and that owl “tattoo” is too cute! I have tattoos from my travels and I love them. They remind me of how I pushed myself to do something different and challenged myself, much like your training. I think tattoos can be a great way to celebrate our accomplishments. Good on you!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Haha I put it up on Insta last night and then immediately hashtagged with it’s only marker!! so people wouldn’t think I actually tattooed my child. I LOVE that you have travel tattoos! I have the state flower of Maryland on my right arm that I got while living in California because I missed home a lot and it always reminds me of that time. I totally agree that it is a great way to celebrate accomplishments and commemorate important times in our lives. 🙂

  12. txa1265 says:

    I am definitely of a different era … 🙂

    Not a big fan of tatoos and would never get one, but neither am I one of those judgy people who has an issue with tatoos. My view is personal – I have no desire for one myself. But why the heck should I judge what someone else chooses?

    I love yours – so cool! And of course, I am once again sorry to say that B wins again with hers – so cute 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Oh she wins every time and that’s totally fine by me. 🙂 I am always more than happy to hand any kind of spotlight over to my little ham! (And she will gladly take it as well which I LOVE!)

      My family used to be really judgey about my tattoos. I am literally the only person on either side that has any at all so for a long time I was a bit of a black sheep for it I think. But now it’s been 16 years since my first one so I think they are finally more accepting of it. 🙂

      • txa1265 says:

        haha – funny, but not funny 😦

        When Lisa got her belly button pierced (she and two friends went together, one friend had just gotten divorced and got Celtic rings on her lower back, the other two got belly button rings) … anyway, when did that, she held it private for a while, because she knew her mother and sister would be very judgy and label her as ‘slutty’ (despite being married more than 10 years and having 2 kids).

        Little did her sister know that her daughter (our niece) already had one and was hiding it from her parents 🙂 haha

      • runsaltrun says:

        Hahahaha that’s funny about your niece!! But I can totally relate to how Lisa was feeling about her family finding out. Even today Betty and I have plans to go over to my mom’s after I pick her up for dinner and I sent her over a text earlier that was a “just so you aren’t shocked when I get there” type thing. And my heart was in my throat the whole time. It’s kind of crazy how I still get scared about that at 36 years old.

  13. SuzLyfe says:

    Very very cool but what about when you PR the craps out of it? 😉 and I looove #dashofsalt’s owl. One of the simplest, but perhaps most beautiful tats I have ever seen is on the inside of one of my best friend’s wrists: =. That’s it. So simple, but so powerful. Just like your numbers.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you so much! Haha I am always just thrilled to pieces when she wants to be like me. ❤

      Tattoos are actually what got me over my fear of needles. I used to be afraid of shots, but then I really wanted a tattoo and then once I got a tattoo I was like…well I just sat and got this etched into my skin. I might as well not be afraid of shots anymore. It all worked out in the end. I also think my pain threshold must have gone up because this one literally did not hurt even for a second.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Yeah you kind of want to be decisive. 🙂 All of mine are important to me in one way or another, but I do have a couple that I would get removed if given the chance, mostly because I don’t really like where I got them.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you thank you! This lovely tattoo was also sponsored by my wonderful husband haha. B is the total cuteness with her owl. I’m sure she’s been showing it off to anyone that will listen alllll day.

  14. hellyontherun says:

    I love everything about all of this!
    I have one tattoo that I probably would have never gotten had I thought how I think now then but oh well 🙂 I don’t hate it (they’re three little stars) but tattoos agent really my thing. I do love seeing them on others though–once, Lauren pointed to someone’s arm sleeve tat and asked, “What’s that?” and I told her, “That’s art.” 🙂

  15. Kristin says:

    Wow, I looooove it soooo, soooo much!!!! How amazing!! It looks beautiful!!! You rock your tattoos!! Go girl!! 🙂 🙂 I love what it symbolizes!!!

  16. Michele says:

    I think that’s the perfect tattoo for you! I have a butterfly on my hip and would love another one. Thinking about having my nieces’ dates of birth done in an infinity symbol

  17. Ange @ Cowgirl Runs says:

    I looooooove that you did that!!

    I don’t yet have a tattoo, but I’ve been thinking about one for YEARS (this is how I do things, I think about it until people are sick of hearing me talk about it, and then I go out and do it) but with the ultra and *cough* something else that’s big *cough* coming up, it seems like this is the year to do it.

    • runsaltrun says:

      I think this is the PERFECT time for you to get one. If I ever did an ultra you better believe I’d be getting something to honor that enormous accomplishment!

  18. hbarnstein says:

    I love it!

    I do have a tattoo, a dragon on my right calf. I will be getting another one in the next few months, but I haven’t decided what or when yet. I know it will commemorate my new me…I just haven’t decided how yet. Or rather, haven’t found the one that says “This is what I want on my body for the rest of my life.”

    • runsaltrun says:

      You are definitely approaching it the right way! Way too many people just get whatever put on there. I was telling my artist the other day that while getting my first tattoo there was a girl near me getting one of a yin yang with flames shooting out of it. I often wonder if she regrets that one.

  19. Charlotte says:

    I love it! I have plans to get a running tattoo when (or if) I complete my marathon in Oct. Her owl is cute but I love that she wanted a hotdog! lol

    • runsaltrun says:

      You WILL complete that marathon and I will be so excited to see the tattoo you get to commemorate that awesome experience! (And yeah I have no idea where she got the hot dog idea from but it was hilarious!)

  20. Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?! says:

    Of course after our messaging last night you know I am now inspired to get the second tattoo that I’ve always wanted! I have one tattoo that I got at age 23 that I’d love to spruce up a bit. But after reading your post I just made a consult phone call…

  21. RunBeckyRun says:

    I have four tattoos and would definitely consider getting a running tattoo some day! I love your daughter’s owl, and I have one on my left wrist! I loove your new tattoo—you totally rocked the marathon and deserve it so much!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you so much! (Your comment on my Facebook post made me smile so much last night haha.) I love wrist tattoos. Really I love all tattoos. You can learn so much about someone based on them. 🙂

  22. 262x2 says:

    I love the idea of making your marathon time a tattoo! I don’t have any tattoos, I’m just afraid to get something so per manent…but if I did the first one I would probably get would be a Basset Hound. I will always love my Basset babies!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Totally understandable. 🙂 Once you get one all bets are off though haha. I never thought much about it until I got my first one and then it was like…tattoos everywhere!

  23. The Balanced Brunette says:

    I loveeee that tattoo!!! And the owl one for your daughter is definitely cuter than a hot dog haha. I have 3 tattoos and never thought I would get another one, but I decided once I get my yoga teaching certification, I am getting the om symbol tattooed somewhere, and then once I complete my first half marathon in March, I want to get 13.1 somewhere, somehow! I think this idea of getting your time is just absolutely amazing. What a GREAT reminder every day of how AWESOME you are!!! ❤

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you so much! That’s so awesome about your yoga certification! (I’ve been trying to go to YTT forever, but then I had my daughter so time/money is a little difficult to come by. I would definitely get a yoga tattoo. 🙂

      That’s so exciting about your first half! Which one are you doing? 13.1 is such a fun distance and I bet you are going to rock it!

  24. piratebobcat says:

    OK, you’re going to think I’m a psychic (or psycho) or a creeper or something – but I actually had a dream the other day that you and your little girl came to Dallas (for a race I assume) and were staying in our guest room and you were showing us your new tattoo. I couldn’t see what the tat was in the dream, but now I know!
    OMG, that is so crazy!!!! I have no idea why I dreamed about a blogger I’ve never met! Maybe I was reading yours before I went to bed??? Maybe I am a psychic???? Ohhh, I need to open a shop!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you, my dear! Yeah I definitely wish I had put a teensy bit more thought into a couple of mine. It’s funny because the ones on my arms are actually the most meaningful of all the ones I have. (Which I guess is good since I see those the most!)

  25. Falyn @ Slacker Runner says:

    Awesome to commemorate such a memory! I have always wanted a tattoo and I know what I want but I am a big baby when it comes to needles, so right now it’s all talk. Maybe one day I’ll be brave. 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      I can report from lots and lots of personal experience that it really doesn’t hurt. Either that or I just have them all in places that aren’t painful. 🙂

  26. kristenk says:

    I LOVE IT! Such a cool idea and an amazing way to remember your first marathon forever! Everything about your marathon experience is so amazing, I love it! Congrats again!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks, friend! I love being able to think about it every time I look at my arm and I think it will be a great reminder of all that I went through when I need that extra push in future races!

  27. irishrunnerchick says:

    So cool! What a great way to remember your first marathon! I don’t have any tattoos – I’m a little indecisive and also a big wuss. But maybe someday – and I love that it means somethings so big.

  28. Heather Runs Thirteen Point One says:

    That’s awesome! I don’t have any tattoos, because I’ve never really thought of anything or seen one that I’d want there forever (my tastes change, so I’m scared to get one and then hate it after a year). I’ve thought about getting something small on my foot, but not sure I’ll ever go through with it. I am fascinated with other people’s tattoos, though.

  29. Pandora Viltis says:

    I’ve thought about a running tattoo, but the problem I have is that I first want to get a phoenix tattoo, and I can’t settle on where I want it. So until that dilemma is solved, both Phoenix and running themed are on hold. I’ve got two tattoos currently and my husband is not a fan. Oh well.

  30. fitnessmeetsfrosting says:

    Awwww I love this sooooo much!!! What an amazing tattoo and brilliant way to celebrate an amazing accomplishment! It will be super cool when you’re on marathon #50 and you look back at that first one 🙂

    I’ve never thought about actually getting a tattoo because needles freak me out. The thought of putting something permanent on my body scares me, mostly because I’m indecisive lol. I’d be like Betty and in a few years I’d be like, “WTF, why did I get a hot dog??!!!!” (especially because I don’t like hot dogs) But I have actually thought about IF I were to get one, what would it be- so far the best thing that I’ve come up with is a heart made using the initials of loved ones. Does the forearm really not hurt??

    And psh to daycare parents. If someone can get upset about a marker tattoo, then you could get upset about someone’s kid who has pierced ears or a press on tattoo #getoverit

  31. anothergirlrunner says:

    I’m planning a running tattoo, but I don’t want to be cliche and get something that everyone else has. 🙂 I’d like to get the roman numerals of the race distances in miles that I’ve ran (so far 5k, 10k, half marathon, and in October a full marathon). However, I do have two tattoos right now. A girly frilled up version of The Deathly Hallows Symbol from Harry Potter, and a quote from The Great Gatsby. I’m planning my third right now, a thigh piece from the Little Mermaid. 🙂 haha.

I want to hear from YOU!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s