22 Things Learned From a Year of Running.

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.

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