I became inspired inspired to write this post after this weekend. On the brink of losing my first toenail to running, I felt predictably disgusted but also sort of proud of that barely-hanging-on toenail.
Before I first began running four years ago, I probably would have thought losing a toenail was alarming, but now, I realize it’s fairly common for runners. As I continued my train of thought, I realized there are several things that I now consider run of the mill, which wasn’t always the case.
1. Your feet will be disgusting. In my experience, no amount of primping and pedicures will help. In addition to losing toenails, your toes may turn purple, like a black and blue mark. Don’t rule out blisters either. I run in the same style of shoes for most of my runs, but blisters still sometimes come out of nowhere. And the callouses? Goodness. My feet are covered in them. With the exception of mandatory formal occasions, I never ever wear heels. My feet can’t take it. (OK, it’s that or the running. I choose the running.)
2. GI distress. Running shakes up your digestive system. I’m going to put it out there, I know I am not the only person who has turned an easy run into a full-blown sprint to make it to a bathroom. I’ll refrain from going into detail.
3. Tan lines. Even with sunscreen, you will have funky tan lines. I was in a wedding over Memorial Day weekend, and to say my farmer’s tan was evident was an understatement. People actually pointed it out to me. I’ve since tried to branch out to different tank tops when I run, and now I have a farmers tan and weird back tan lines. Don’t get me started on the shorts tan. I am glad I have no beach vacation plans.
4. Smell. I am the type of person who applies deodorant several times a day. Yet, while running the other day, I thought “What is that smell? Oh wait. It’s me.” It happens. The sweat and the heat and the tech clothing equals smelly. The technical or dry wick clothing absorbs the moisture which usually means a cooler run, but also means super smelly. My boyfriend likes to comment on it when I walk in the door. “Can you please go take a shower? I mean like, now?”
5. Love. Never in a million years did I think I’d fall so in love with running. I never thought I’d run a marathon (plural) or run a dozen miles for fun. Even during those terrible runs — that involve more breaks than miles — I still love it. I still think, “This is so much better than not running.”
I love swimming and spinning, but running changes me. On days I run, I am a different person. As I mentioned in my Boston Marathon post, I’ve struggled and continue to struggle with my health. But running has helped me so much mentally and physically. It doesn’t matter what pace or distance I am running anymore. I am just so happy to run and be out there.
Running, I’m smitten. Even with broken toenails and emergency bathroom stops.