On The Road

I talk about running enough here that unless this is your very first time visiting my site, you know that running is a big part of my life. I run three days a week, usually with my running partner, but sometimes by myself. My kids have been on spring break for a week now and we have another week to go. My running partner has been out of town, so I’ve had to run on my own more times consecutively that I have since last summer. The weather is warming up, though, and it’s been great to get outside and run when I don’t have to wear WinterTrax on my shoes to keep from slipping on the ice and I don’t need to wear the outer shell of a jacket to keep me dry from the snow/sleet/rain falling. Thanks to the fact that we do at least one run per week that’s 10K in distance, I’ve managed to do that distance twice this break so far all by myself. Well, with my dog, but it’s not like we’re having titillating conversation to distract us from the fact that we’re running.

All of that time spent running without holding a conversation with another human being means that I’ve had plenty of time to think. I think all of the livelong day, whether I’m driving or washing crap off of chicken eggs or making dinner, but when I’m running it’s not a multitasking event. I’m just thinking while propelling myself forward. There is music involved — there is always music involved — but it’s simply the soundtrack to my thoughts.

I’ve had a few friends take up running lately and I get so excited, because RUNNING. I feel the same way when people take up skiing. It’s AWESOME. I hope you love it as much as I do! Let’s be best friends and talk about how great it is all of the time! I’m ridiculous, I know. It’s just who I am.

One thing I’ve been thinking about in regards to running are the things that nobody seems to tell you. They tell you about ‘runner’s high’ (Which doesn’t happen to me, though I do feel great. Just not giddy.) and they tell you about the health benefits and they tell you how many calories you burn and they tell you how strong it makes you. What they don’t tell you is the negative things that can (and likely will) happen to you once you start running longer distances.

1. Running gets your bowels moving. I’ve never been one to deal with constipation, even when pregnant (TMI!), and running just gets everything moving even faster than your normal ‘pace.’ I took the kids to the playground last week while I ran the jogging loop that encircles it. I finished my run, collected the kids, and did my best not to break any speeding records on our way home. They thought the whole thing was hilarious, because POOP.

2. You will probably lose a toenail or three. A few weeks after completing my first 10K race two years ago, I removed my toenail polish to discover that there was dried blood under two of my toenails and I lost them a few days later. As I mentioned above, I’m running 10K once a week, plus another two runs that usually total 15K. My feet aren’t pretty, is what I’m saying.

3. You could have knee/hip problems. I had surgery on my right knee when I was 20, because I had/have patella femoral syndrome. The key, for me, is making sure that the muscles in my thighs are strong enough to support my knees. When I was (unhealthily) skinny and had no muscle tone and tried to run, I couldn’t. Squats and lunges, folks. Also, glucosamine.

4. Extra laundry. Between running and fitness classes and skiing I … sweat a lot. There’s not much hope of wearing an outfit more than twice, and once warmer temperatures hit, workout gear will only be worn once before hitting the laundry pile.

5. Making your friends roll their eyes. You’re excited about running and it consumes a lot of your time. You talk about it a lot, and update your statuses and are all, “YAAAAAAAHHHHHH, RUNNING!” If they are good friends (such as I have), then they know you aren’t posting about it to toot your own horn or make them feel inferior about not running. Just like their statuses about how they have newborn babies who slept through the night at two weeks old aren’t to make you feel bad. They just won the lottery.

Did I miss anything, running friends? Or friends who have tried running but haven’t hit the sweet spot?

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  1. Hannah March 26, 2013 12:50 am edit

    I’m way less of a runner than you, but I definitely agree with the yucky looking toes and the eye rolling of friends/family. Thankfully I haven’t had too much of an issue with my bowels. Ahem. And I’ve only had runner’s high once. I can still remember every delicious moment of that run, but sadly I have never been able to replicate it.
    If I was writing my own personal list, I would add this: You will get bigger calf muscles.
    Now I already have large calves, and nobody told me running would make them BIGGER. As in, can’t fit my boots, bigger. I know that’s not the same for all people though. But it was a pretty big downside for me!

  2. angella March 26, 2013 12:14 pm edit

    Yes! Bigger calves! I don’t normally have large calves, but mine have definitely gotten bigger.

  3. Kandi March 26, 2013 6:58 am edit

    I’ve never actually lost a toe nail and I’ve run 4 half marathons, a full marathon, and countless other races of shorter distances.
    I definitely have extra laundry. Especially since I joined a gym and sometimes do two workouts in one day. I have to wash my workout clothes at least once a week or I run out. I am in desperate need of buying running shorts because I have about 3 pairs that I like and that won’t cut it when it finally warms up!
    I definitely get the eye roll from friends who don’t really ‘get it’ but the ones who do get it are awesome. Running blogs helped save me a bit from the eye rolling from my friends IRL who don’t get it. It’s given me people to chat with about running who completely get it and want to hear all the gritty details.

  4. angella March 26, 2013 12:15 pm edit

    God bless the Internet for running friends, indeed! I love reading your running posts. :)

  5. Kandi March 26, 2013 1:02 pm edit

    In response to your comment on my blog, I haven’t always been this fast. I’m surprising myself lately. I’ve run 4 half marathons so far and they’ve all been over 2 hours. The last one I finished in 2:00:22 so I was really close to getting under 2. I’m determined to beat the 2 hour barrier next month!
    P.S. I like your running posts too. And your photography posts. :)

  6. angella March 26, 2013 1:03 pm edit


  7. annettek March 26, 2013 11:00 am edit

    I started running last summer and then I slacked off over the winter but I’ve started again and I think I’m enjoying more this time. I love it when you write about running – it’s very motivating to see how far you’ve come!

  8. angella March 26, 2013 12:16 pm edit

    Aw, thanks. And yay for getting back to running!

  9. tanis March 26, 2013 11:58 am edit

    I like when you write about running. Because you remind me that I once felt that way too. And maybe, the next time I strap on the shoes and start running, I’ll feel it once more. A girl always can hope.

    But mostly, this old, tired arse can’t stand running. 20 year old Tanis is shaking her head in shame. Keep it up Angella. You are an inspiration.

  10. angella March 26, 2013 12:17 pm edit

    Pffffft. YOU are an inspiration. And your tired arse is no older than mine. ;)

  11. Kelly March 26, 2013 11:59 am edit

    I wish I got the runner’s high! How do you sign up for that? Ditto on the toenails lost (2 after my second half marathon, and yes, my shoes were professionally fitted and one size bigger than my normal). I’ve also been troubled by chafing (gah!), especially around the edges of my bra and at my bellybutton! I forgot to bodyglide my belly button last week and I’m hurting now.

    But I do love running, and I love getting other people involved. And I’m crazy about the races! (1st 1/2 of the year was on 17 March)

  12. angella March 27, 2013 6:42 pm edit


  13. Sarahviz March 26, 2013 12:35 pm edit

    You forgot to mention the chafing. I, uh, chafe in places like under my arms and between my legs when I run. Vasoline is my friend.

  14. angella March 27, 2013 6:42 pm edit

    I have never had any chafing. Maybe I’m doing it wrong? ;)

  15. ChrisB March 26, 2013 3:27 pm edit

    Two things to add:
    ~ Once you train and finish a marathon successfully everything else will feel like a piece of cake! Until…you try to do an Ultra…
    ~ you lose all shame of going to the bathroom in front of fellow runners (in nature as well as the restrooms with no doors)

    And who needs toenails anyway? I am always proud of my runner’s toes. I earned them!

    Happy Spring running, Angella! You are blessed with your scenery!!!

  16. angella March 27, 2013 6:43 pm edit

    Thanks, Coach!

    I think of you every time I run, you know. I wouldn’t be doing it if it weren’t for you. :)

  17. Steph March 27, 2013 8:38 am edit

    Whenever I train for a 1/2 marathon I always end up breaking out. Doing that much consecutive exercise does not make my skin happy. But it’s worth it. :)

    Also, I eat A LOT MORE when I run.

    Yay running! Yay you!

  18. angella March 27, 2013 6:43 pm edit

    Oh, yeah. I eat ALL THE THINGS.

    Yay YOU!

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