[12] Things [to know] About Running, A Response of My Experiences

Scrolling through my WordPress Reader, I found Running Feet, Wandering Mind’s post 20 Things About Running, A Response.  This was originally a post written by Shut Up + Run.  I nodded along and had my own opinions to some of the “things about running.” So I thought I’d add my response as well.  I didn’t respond to all of them, but I picked a few that I definitely agreed with.  I encourage you to do the same! 

WARNING:  Running Ugliness Ahead…

In bold you’ll find Shut Up + Run’s original “things.”  My responses will be in italics.

1. Your feet will look like crap. Blisters, black toenails, callouses. If you get pedicures, just apologize when
you go in.
*Fingers crossed and knocking on wood*  I have yet to have lost any toenails and they haven’t turned black.  The blisters and callouses were well-earned, however, cause quite the commotion at the nail salon.  I literally had to pull my foot away from the woman when she tried to remove them.  Only runners will understand that while ugly, these things are a protective barrier.

toes

This photo pops up a lot but you know, I don’t particularly like taking all that many pictures of my feet…

2. When people (non-runner types) learn you are a runner, they often like to tell you how much they hate running or that running will ruin your knees.  Yes.  Also, when people find out what I’m training for and what that training consists of, I get looks of pure confusion and then a comment along the lines of “you’re insane” or “why?!”

3.  You don’t have to look like a runner to be a runner.  Runners definitely come in all shapes, sizes, ages, personalities, etc. Go to a race and be amazed at what you’ll find.

4.  Most people, especially non-runners, really don’t care that much about your running.  I’ll emphasize the “most” because there are the occasional few who ask about it often, but maybe they are just being nice.  I’m sure everyone else just nods and pretends they know what I’m talking about when I go on about my killer intervals on the treadmill or the hill repeats, or the new compression socks that I want.  Thanks for trying though!

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All my non-runner friends are probably wayyyyyy over seeing pictures like these every Sunday on Instagram.

5. You will run a race and in the middle of the race you will tell yourself you will never do this again. Yet, 30 minutes after you are done you will surf the Internet for your next race.  Guilty.  About 10 minutes after I completed my first half I had already decided a full marathon was going to happen.  Thank goodness for iPhones, because I was researching on the ride home…

6. You will go through phases where you feel totally inadequate as a runner.  Unfortunately, this is true.  You can’t help but compare yourself to the other runners in your meet-up group.  They’re faster, they’ve run 10x the races you have, they’ve qualified for Boston.  Someone is always going to be bigger, faster, and better at something.  Focus on your strengths as a runner and remember all the things you’ve accomplished, it’s a lot more than the people who didn’t show up for that run tonight.

7.  You will go through phases where you feel totally like a rock star as a runner.  Just naming a few… the first time my long runs went into the double digits… when I kept up on a trail run (my first) that was paced 2 minutes faster than my usual runs… when I registered for my first half… crossing the finish line… deciding to train for a marathon.  Definitely some feel good moments.

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8.  You will be pissed if someone refers to you as a “jogger” instead of a “runner.”  While I might not get pissed, I will correct you and give you a list of reasons why there is a difference.

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9. Running is expensive. It’s not just about a pair of shoes and shorts and a top. There are race entries, massages, watches, sports bras, cute running skirts, gels, blocks and recovery stuff.  While running can be expensive, especially the race entries (yes, I do pay $80+ to put myself through 13.1+ miles), the other parts don’t have to be.  The shoes are the one item you should splurge on.  See my post here on My Go-To Running Gear:  Splurge vs. Save

pile of running

All the expensiveness can easily be free during your birthday … my family only encourages my addiction…

10. You will get addicted. Yes, there are worse things to be obsessed about than running (like meth and prostitutes), but you might be surprised by how hooked you get into the whole running thing once you start.  The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.  Hi.  I’m Madelyn and I’m addicted to running.  I’m definitely not trying to recover though.  Running becomes an entire lifestyle.  I can’t get enough I plan my week and weekend based on my runs.  I’m often seen in my running shorts more than any other pair of pants/shorts/etc.  I even blog about it…

11.  Running performance is as much, if not more, about mental strength as your physical strength.  On tough long runs, it isn’t my legs or my lungs that are struggling; the struggle is completely in my head.  Having someone else to run with helps keep those thoughts at bay. 

12. You will never forget crossing the finish line of your first marathon or half marathon. That moment in time will come to mean a lot to you. Your feet might not even touch the ground.  All the hard work and training that lead up to it are worth it for just that moment.  Having experienced my first half marathon finish line in June ’13, I know this to definitely be true.  All of a sudden I had tunnel vision (not from exhaustion but from complete and utter focus) and the only thing I could see was that blue and red line.  Once crossed, I was all smiles and every thought of “why did I do this?!” was replaced by “when can I do this again?!?!”

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Me and my awesome mother at the finish line of my first half marathon.

I’m adding a few of my own to the list…

13.  If you haven’t found your local running club, do it.   You won’t regret it.   There are two in my area and while the first couple meet-ups were intimidating they have become days of the week I look forward to.  I have learned so much from the other members and have made some great running friends.  I met Tanya, the woman I run with almost weekly, during one of these meet-ups.  Some clubs even have discounts at the local running gear shops.  Being with other people who know exactly how much you love what you’re doing or are even training for the same races helps keep you on track and can be very motivating.

14.  Sign up for a race, even if you think you’re not ready… yet.  When I first signed up for my half marathon, it was 4 months before the race was scheduled.  It made me work that much harder because I knew $80 was already spent and I had already told everyone that I was going to do it.  It was the extra push.

15. Test before you race.  Don’t try anything new on race day.  This is a tip that I have heard over and over again.  But it is so true.  Whether you’re thinking of changing shoes or energy gel brands, test it out before you race.

Do you have anything to add to this list, or to the original ones?  What are your opinions on these things to know? 

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