Today is my One Year Runningversary. In the past 365 days, I’ve run nearly every day, totaling 1,258 miles and a calorie burn (supposedly) of 135,000.

I was determined to run to fight my dysautonomia, was finally able to get motivated enough to start running by the below “before” picture, and became obsessed with running every day because of how much it did help my dysautonomia…and because my FitBit demanded it.

Before and After One Year Running

(Despite what the before/after picture might suggest, I have not gotten rid of my husband in the past year. Without him to encourage me, keep the kids for me, and offer running advice, I would have given up running within the first month.)

You might say that running has changed my life. A bit. So here are the list of ways – strange and wonderful and disgusting – that you, too, might find your life changing from running.

1. Your minor toes could change shape, becoming less cylindrical and more cubic. You will marvel at the new, bizarre angles that your toes possess.

2. You will become very shower-confused. Previously, you might have showered at the same time every day – say, when you woke up or when you went to bed. Now, you shower after you run. If you don’t run, you will walk around in a daze, confused as to when or if you should shower. You might even ask the people around you if they can detect a reason that you should cleanse yourself.

3. You may not lose weight. You may even gain weight. But you’ll feel so strong and so much better about yourself for your ability to run miles at a time that you won’t care nearly as much about those numbers. And also you’ll be convinced that each calf weighs 50 pounds in muscle mass.

4. But since your scale OBVIOUSLY didn’t get the memo, you might never step on it again. Stupid numbers.

5. Running numbers, however, are unbelievably motivating. If you’re Type A and maybe even if you aren’t, they’ll motivate you on days that you don’t feel like running, and will motivate you to go further on days you do feel like running. (My motivations of choice are MapMyRun for actual running and FitBit for tracking every step I take.)


Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.04.29 PMOne Month on MapMyRun

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 5.30.24 PMOne year on MapMyRun


Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 5.30.57 PMOne Year on FitBit


6. You will need a system to handle your running laundry. It stinks, it needs a way to dry both when it is marinated in sweat and after you wash it, and you don’t want to get confused as to which items are in which stage of the cycle.


7. You cannot run away from C-section bellies or thigh cellulite. But you can have pretty smokin’ definitions around your thigh cellulite. Just find that right lighting and the correct angles and OWN IT.

ThighsNot a before and after. Photos taken within two weeks of each other. This also proves that it’s better to have an eight-year-old take your photo with the camera looking up than to have your husband take a photo with the camera angled down.

8. Speaking of definition, you will regularly catch yourself admiring your calves in the mirror.

9. Which is good because those calves will prevent you from wearing half your skinny jeans and three quarters of your cropped jeans.

10. And the jeans that aren’t prevented by your calves will be prevented by your new butt. Because running will absolutely give you a butt. A butt you’re not quite sure what to do with, but that you will grow to appreciate.

11. Your new calf size and your new butt size will create a great despising of waistbands in general, and you will become a dress-wearer.

12. Except when you’re running, of course, at which time you will wear leggings as pants.

13. Running in leggings as pants will make you feel like a superhero instead of a schmuck. And you will be okay with that.

14. The difference between how solid your thighs feel in running leggings and how jiggly they feel in dresses will be extremely disconcerting. It is not recommended to change straight from leggings to a dress – only from a dress to leggings.

15. You might adopt weird and gross habits like sanding your foot callouses away. Especially if you’ve had two foot surgeries that grow scar tissue at an alarming rate when running daily.

IMG_6967If you delete me from your life because of this photo, I understand. I deserve it.

16. These weird and gross habits might become oddly satisfying. But you would never admit to that.

17. Running will teach you not to rely on always having a purse with you, causing you to become less attached to your purse in general, and will eventually make you wonder why you carry one at all. Then you will begin to accidentally leave it at home and will quickly remember why you need it.

18. You will become intensely aware of your psychological need for sunshine.

19. Pops and crackles will become normal sounds your body makes. Even when your knees sound like sand between your toes feels – you won’t worry. They’ll get over it.

20. 5 Hour Energy becomes your best friend. You fully bask in its magic and keep a spare in your car at all times.

21. You cannot, will not, and should not aim to run your way into having thigh gap. Those thighs have work to do – they don’t have time to gap.

22. You don’t have to get all freakishly healthy and change your eating habits to go with your running habit. So I’m off to eat a 135,000 calorie cake to celebrate – and then promptly pass out.

You may also find this post helpful…

Red Light Therapy Review and Results


26 thoughts on “22 Things Learned From a Year of Running.

  1. Congrats! Ever thought about trying racewalking??? Now that is a post for you. I have tried many sports and after a compression fracture in my hip from over use in running at age 20, I had to stop. So I did a marathon as a walker for team in training and was recruited by a racewalking coach. Apparently that is my sport, as embarrassing as it sounds. In my 20s and early 30s I did 10:30 to 11 min walking miles. Then I tried to run again a few years ago, stopped due to odd knee issues, did a half marathon at a slow 11:30 walking pace ( sarcasm) and a few months later popped my knee cap out of the socket after playing Legos. I discovered my knee is basically horrible and was told to stick to racewalking. I look weird but honestly racewalking is an incredible sport. Thought I would share after you shared about running. Oh and my feet have grown almost 2 inches since my 20s due to my walking. I had a bunion fixed and my callouses need the rotary sander. It is a glamorous sport.

  2. Love your blog! I suffer from shower planning confusion too! And the callous sander looks awesome! I’ll still be your friend! Congrats on your accomplishments! Be proud!!!!

    1. Thank you!! It’s been a really great year. I had no idea I could do what I’ve done – a half marathon was a completely unattainable thing a year ago. And now I can go out on a random Saturday and just run one – because why not?

  3. Congratulations!! I am LOVING that MapMyRun calendar, and I think I will start using it soon! Do you have an app that you can use with it, or do you have to log your runs in manually on a computer? Also, I love focusing on the number of miles walked/ran instead of the number on the scale. Very motivating!! Congrats on all your miles!!

    1. I use the MapMyRun app on my phone, and run with my phone (the only sweatproof armband I was able to find is the ArmPocket and it’s FANTASTIC). I don’t use the MapMyRun website very often – a lot of the same stats and visuals are available on my phone, except for that nifty calendar view (it’s a bar graph on the app.) I love seeing the route pictures by running with my phone, so I don’t manually log any workouts except for treadmill runs.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  4. wow!! that map is impressive. i know how that can be motivating, to want to fill that baby up. i go in spurts. to be as consistent as you have been is amazing! great job! curious, has it helped your dysautonomia symptoms? i’m so sorry you’ve been so sick. i have a friend who had lots of pain and was exhausted all of the time. they couldn’t figure out what the heck was wrong with her either. they thought it was fibromyalgia. finally, they discovered it was lyme disease! she’s thankful for answers, but it’s a long road back to health. i hope you can get answers eventually. how difficult :(

    1. Yes, it has helped my dysautonomia a ton. It helps both long term and short term. I can feel really light-headed and awful, but if I get up and go for a run, I feel great immediately. One of the large problems with dysautonomia is that I don’t have good blood pressure and volume. By running, I’m forcing the blood to flow up into my head, and I quit feeling like I’ll black out. It’s very counterintuitive, since usually when I start blacking out upon standing up, I’d really rather just lay down. But it works, so I keep doing it!!

      And yes, Lyme Disease has a lot of the same symptoms as dysautonomia, or rather vice versa. I’ve had a lot of people that have thought I should get tested for Lyme. I don’t want to go down that path unless I absolutely have to – it’s pretty brutal.

  5. You should come up to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby Mini next April. It’s a fun time of year with all the Derby events and you could make a fun field trip out of it.

  6. Wow, your legs look amazing! I’m a dancer but I’m thick/curvy, so I don’t have amazing legs. Okay, but not amazing. I need to start running more. Clearly.

    I need my callouses for dance though, so there will be no sanding for me! lol.

  7. Congrats to you! This is really amazing. I would love if you could share some of the tips that your husband gave you that helped you through the first month. I’ve tried several times to “become a runner” and always fail. Shin splint and plantar fasciitis and a lack of any real live runners in my life seem to be a problem. That and the freaking hilly area we live in!

    1. We live in a very hilly place, too – I never run around our neighborhood because my knees can’t take too many hills. We have a few great running paths / trails, and those are the ones I frequent the most.

      I would say that stretching is imperative to prevent injuries – thorough stretching before and after a run. I do three stretches – one for my ankles and calves, one for my knees, and one for my thighs.

      Also, start slow and work up to it as your body allows – you might need some specialty braces or something? Not sure what helps those things specifically. And running with friends always helps! Hopefully you can find some other runner people in your life.

      Hope that helps!

    2. Hi Becky! I am training again for a half marathon (seems to be the best way for me to regain strength after having babies), and shin splints routinely plague me. This time I’m running with a training group, and one of the coaches suggested shortening my stride to kick the shin splints. Mine are on the front of my shin, and he said that keeping my feet under me, rather than in front of me, while running will help a ton…and it has!

      Also, this time around, I am using a heart rate monitor and heart rate training instead of pace training. It is painfully slow going because I was not in shape at all and am still 35 pounds overweight, but I ran six miles this weekend with a smile the whole time.

  8. I told my trainer last week “I kind of want to start running…not because I like running, but because of what I know it will do for my body.” You should have seen my trainer’s eyes gleam evilly. Of course a couple of days later I had to go and get myself in a car accident and have to recover from that. :-P Great timing there.

    I think I will like running, though. I’ve been wanting to get outdoors more and we have some great running trails around here.

  9. I just started seriously running (well, slow jogging) a few months ago. This weekend was the first time in 37 (uhm, I mean 21) years that I ran 2 miles without stopping. If my legs wouldn’t have felt like jello, I would have jumped for joy!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *