1 | I’m almost always dirty and vaguely smelly
All of my runs are exclusively outdoors, and most of them are on trails. I’m constantly coming home with dirt-filled shoes, a dusting of dirt all up the back of my legs, and a thin film of sweat over my entire body. I’ve never been so dirty so often, but honestly, I’m not complaining. There’s something about getting outside and getting kind of gross that’s undeniably satisfying.
2 | I’m constantly running out of socks and sports bras
I love running in the beautiful warm weather and the sunshine. The flipside, though, is that I usually end up terribly sweaty. These days, it feels like I go through my entire stash of running bras in about 5 seconds flat.
3 | Being sore isn’t the same
It’s been so interesting to observe the effects of endurance workouts on my body vs the types of workouts I’m more used to. CrossFit got me used to being sore pretty much all the time. But the soreness I feel from running is totally different. When my legs hurt from running (which is almost daily!), it feels more like an all-over, tired-feeling ache. On the other hand, lifting soreness felt like a more intense, focal burning. The muscle soreness doesn’t affect me as profoundly as it did with CrossFit workouts (I’ve never had a problem standing up from my desk chair), but I’ve traded it for a more generalized fatigue. Since I’m doing a more repetitive exercise, I carry a little more muscle tension in my legs now and I have to be more diligent about foam rolling to keep cumulative fatigue at bay.
4 | I have a renewed appreciation for arch support
After years of CrossFit and heavy lifting, I got used to flat shoes that have very little in the way of cushioning or support. I have high arches and my feet tend to roll inwards when I walk. Since I bought properly fitted running shoes, oh man, running feels so much smoother.
5 | Shapeshifting
Before running, I did Kayla Itsines’ BBG, which gave back a lot of the muscle definition I had lost from an irregular workout routine. Running has taken those gains and amplified them. My legs look visibly stronger, particularly my calves. I’m much leaner now too, even though I haven’t made intentional changes in my diet. If anything, I’m 99% sure I’m eating more now.
6 | I finally experienced the “runner’s high”
A lot of people say running is miserable, and for a long time, I totally agreed with them. In my experience, the key to not hating running is to get your body at least a little bit used to it (and to find your pace!). After you get over the “activation energy” (nerd alert) of getting into running, you actually start to enjoy the during-run and post-run feeling.
7 | I actually feel like I get outside enough
My northern AZ town has a fantastic climate this time of year: zero humidity, sunny almost every day, and mostly mild temperatures. In two months, I’ve only had ONE run in bad weather. Every spring when the weather warms up, I always remind myself that I need to make a point. But, almost every year I wish I did more. It’s easy to get caught up in the inertia of my daily routine of work and chores and stay indoors. Since I started running, I spend time outside almost every day, whether it’s a casual run through the neighborhood or a trail run with gorgeous peak views. Running has given me the perfect reason to get out more.
8 | I’m really into socks
Socks have never exactly been the most exciting purchase for me. I usually wait til my socks are all stretched out and/or full of holes before I begrudgingly drag myself to TJMaxx and pick up a 6-pack of something cheap and basic. But, I recently went out on a limb and discovered the magic of running socks. Oh my gosh, game changing. I have relatively small feet, and sized socks that actually fit feel amazing. Plus, the lightweight, non-clammy feel is basically magic. Nevermind new leggings, I’m about to drop $100 on an all new sock wardrobe.
9 | Awkward tan lines