When I was in high school, my cross country team wore t-shirts that said “Our sport is your sport’s punishment.” Everyone knows running is hard. Most of us cannot wait until a run comes to an end.
Running is usually most people’s least favorite form of cardio because very little is appealing about it. When I was a runner, I had a hard enough time getting motivated to do extra distance outside of practice because it was so difficult. And once it get’s tiring, most of us are ready to throw in the towel so we can do something else, preferably something that includes lifting heavy stuff.
Here are 15 things that I learned about running:
1. It’s Always Better With A Buddy
Long, excruciating runs have built some of the closest friendships. We’d talk and motivate one another between breaths for eight miles. It’s always easier to go to the gym when you have someone tagging along, holding you accountable—it’s the same with running. Since running is such an individual activity when you aren’t thinking about reps, it’s nice to have someone there to talk to, if you can muster up a coherent sentence.
2. Revel In Your Stretch Time
There is nothing better than finishing a 10-mile run and doing some long, slow stretches. Running made me look forward to stretching.
3. Shoes Will Become Important To You In A Whole New Way
When you start tallying up the miles, you’re going to need another pair of kicks other than the ones used for lifting. It’ll be essential to run around the shoe store to be certain you choose the perfect fit. You’ll also cringe at the thought of paying more than $90 for any other kind of shoes, but you’ll jump on the chance to buy a pair of running shoes for that same price.
4. You’ll Become Obsessed With Your Feet
Running has a lot of impact on the state of your feet. You’ll constantly check to see if you need to clip your toenails or shave your legs, and you’ll forget about everything else—like plucking your eye brows. You’ll also get blisters and callouses, and take pride in how many bandaids you’ve plastered on your toes and heels. Pedicures will be the treat of a lifetime and will have to happen before any kind of formal occasion.
5. Bodily Functions Will Scar You At First
At your first race, you will see a runner pee in the bushes, and you will cringe at the sight of them doing their business in public. No fear, soon you will get over your aversion to port-a-potties, and you will be the one peeing in the woods.
6. “Runger” Will Invade Your Life
Only runners and pregnant women will understand the feeling of this phenomenon. Suddenly, you will be overtaken by the most inexplicable hunger at the most random time. One of the best things about running is how much food you’re able to consume without gaining weight because you are always burning calories.
7. You Will Dominate Leg Day
Before your romance with running began, leg day was the worst. You would have given anything to bench instead of doing 120-pound squats over and over again. After, you’ll will get excited to show off your awesome leg gains at the gym, and you will rock leggings and spandex like never before.
8. You’re In For A Wardrobe Change
Lifting may have caused a slight wardrobe change with long sleeve shirts, but running will blacklist skinny jeans. But it’s okay…You’ll look f*cking amazing in skirts, short-shorts, and leggings.
9. Your Laundry Basket Will Smell Like A Boy’s Wrestling Team
This is one of the more alarming side effects of frequent, intense cardio. Air Fresheners will become your new best friend, and you will spend a little more on laundry detergent, especially the kind made for athletic-wear.
10. Your New Perfume Will Be a Combination of Sunscreen and Bug Spray
If you love to get outside to run, which most distance runners do, you should always bring your handy bug spray and sunscreen kit, especially if you hit the trails in forest preserves.
11. Sports Bras Will Become Your Best Friends
I once forgot to pack a sports bra the day of a race, and I will never make this mistake again. OUCH! If you haven’t already, you will start changing out your cute lacy underwire bras for neon sports ones in your non-athletic wardrobe too. Sometimes, life is just easier when the girls are held back a little, especially when you’re taking on a 5k.
12. You Will Spend All Of Your Money On Socks
If you thought that shoe shopping was pricey, have you considered how much money you will be spending on socks? You will show them off to your running buddies when you get super cute, pricey athletic ones, and you will mourn the pairs that you sacrifice to grass and blood stains (yes, blood).
13. There Are Apps To Help You With Staying On Track
Logging miles and motivating yourself to get out there are the most challenging parts of running. Luckily, in this modern era, we can use apps to do some of the tough work. Runner’s World Go is an app that actually gives you the motivation to work toward your PR!
14. You Will Freak Out At The Chance To Run In The Rain
…or you might use the rain as an excuse to stay in, but running in the rain at least once in your life is pretty awesome, and you’ll feel like a badass. With mud splashing onto your legs and puddles squelching beneath your soggy shoes, you will feel like you’ve conquered the elements.
15. It’s Okay To Take Breaks
Sometimes, your knees will be achy, and you’ll probably suffer from painful shin splints at some point. But that’s okay, you’ll get back out there. The perfect time to go back to lifting heavy stuff!