The good, the bad, and the mid-run diarrhea.
Once you start running longer, farther, or faster, you might start to feel hungrier as your body tries to tell you to replace the calories you're burning. Not eating enough to replace those calories or eating so much you create a significant caloric surplus can mess with goals like weight management, performance, or body composition. So learn more about workout hunger and how to deal with it here.
Neon colors, loud patterns, tiny shorts over tights, you name it. Once you realize that function and comfort are paramount, you'll find yourself rocking some pretty ridiculous stuff. I once ran with tube socks on my hands so I wouldn't miss a run when I couldn't find my gloves. TUBE SOCKS.
It's tough to overstate how damn awesome it feels to break through the phase where running is prohibitively difficult to the phase where you feel like a superhuman. It makes a lot of people want to run a race, which you should totally do.
Try a 5K — it's a reasonable distance and 5K races often have fun themes, like a St. Patrick's Day race where you get a green beer at the finish line or a Halloween 5K where people run in costume, etc.
Lots of people who love running also hate running sometimes. Once your body and mind get used to the challenges of completing a run you no longer have to focus all your physical and mental resources on just putting one foot in front of the other and that is when boredom sets in. A couple solutions: Make an invigorating special playlist you only listen to when you're running, get lost in a podcast, or listen to an audiobook.
Don't worry, it will get fun again.
Like that you run faster in the morning or feel better when you run after work. Or that the first 10 minutes and last five minutes always suck. Or that your run goes way better when you do it on an empty stomach but have something almost as soon as you're done. Or that you hate starting a run with a hill but love ending with one. Pay attention to all these clues; they'll help you plan workouts that make you feel good mentally and physically.
Feeling sore is totally normal. So is not wanting to miss a run no matter how bad you feel. But if you're feeling really crappy and it doesn't seem to be going away, it might be because you've just been running a ton and not recovering enough, or because your sleep, nutrition, or hydration isn't on point, or because your body is begging you for some self-massage. In any of these cases, the solution is usually to just take some time off running and tend to your body.
If you're feeling a nagging pain that's not going away or suspect you've legit pulled or sprained something, you should definitely see a doctor.
This is your future. Choose wisely.
Maybe your spicy dinner from last night is desperate to escape your body or maybe you accidentally had a few more margaritas than you meant to. Maybe you tried a new energy gel and it's really not agreeing with you. Maybe you have no idea WTF is going on, but running just seems to make you have to go.
It's a rite of passage. Godspeed.
If you think running is fun, wait till you get out a spreadsheet and track data from your run. You can keep track of how far you ran and your overall time which will give you your average pace. But you can also make note of the weather and conditions, the terrain, and how you felt before, during, and after. You write all this stuff the old fashioned way or you can use all kinds of apps like MapMyRun, Strava, and RunKeeper.
Here's how it starts. You shift your dinner plans an hour earlier so you can get to bed at a reasonable time and wake up for an early run. You'll bail on happy hour so you can capitalize on this perfect running weather. Next thing you know you're skipping brunch to do a long run on a weekend. You'll be totally fine with this new reality once you realize how much more mileage you're logging.
Let it out, my friend. Let. It. Out.
You will text your friends about a thing that happened on your run. You will 'gram running selfies. You will post on Facebook about an awesome five-miler you took at sunset. You will find a way to mention a recent race to a co-worker. Part of being a runner is that strong AF runner identity which definitely involves talking about running as much as possible. Some people will criticize this. THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND. Lean into it.