Maybe I'll even have a beer at Mile 7. Who knows.
Now, there are some aspects of running that you may not be aware of. Over the past few months, I've discovered a lot about myself - and my feet - that I did not know. Perhaps most illuminating was the whole toenail-loss thing. (still at ten and holding strong, thankfully). I mean, we all know that running is very time-consuming (2+ hours a day, including dressing, showering, and shoving the child at the husband). It's also fairly expensive, since once you really get into it, you start buying things like hydration belts, fancy shoes, and Garmin watches. And there is the sore muscle part, too - I'm not going to lie, after 12 miles yesterday, Scotty can go up and down the stairs faster than I can. But there are some lesser known aspects about running that I would like to shed some light on. For example...
Running ten miles does not make you instantly slim.
Blame it on our instant-gratification society (or perhaps just my own mindset), but when I ran ten miles a few weeks ago, I expected my pants to fall off of me by the time I got home. They didn't. In fact, they were a little snug. And I love the looks I get from people when I mention my miles: there is this quick up-and-down I usually get, along with a long, "Oooooooh. Interesting." I want to say, "I know, right? I don't know why this weight is staying on, either!"
And while I have dropped a few pounds, it's more because I've been especially cautious with my diet lately. Egg whites and spinach for breakfast, raw almonds as a snack, an apple with almond butter for lunch...you know the drill. It seems to be working, but I'm not getting a whole lot of bang-for-my-buck with running. I mean, at this point, shouldn't I look like Heidi Klum? I certainly feel like I've suffered enough.
You are going to become the most boring person in the world.
You know all the friends you have, the ones that don't wake up at 4:45am to run five miles? Yeah, they really don't want to hear about how you spent your early morning hours. But because you got up at the ungodly hour of 4:45am, you are going to want to tell everyone what you did...making you the person they most want to avoid in the Mom's group.
Because let's face it - unless you are a runner yourself, it's a really dull subject. My friend Courtney and I could talk about it for hours - gear, pace, mileage per week, and then the gossip from boot camp or the running team - but everyone else just gets this glazed over look in their eyes, like they are trying to be polite but are having trouble stifling their yawn. At a playdate recently, Deana became so tired of the subject (as Court and I chatted away) that she actually got up from the table and left. Later on, she told us jokingly, "Please stop talking about running! You are forcing me to pay attention to my children!" We all giggled and promptly shut up.
Running is all about pooping.
There. I said it.
It's on everyone's mind. Whether you run or not, it's one of those necessary functions of life. The difference for runners (aside from the fact that all that movement stimulates the colon) is that we tend to run away from civilization...and bathrooms. Which is both terrifying and messy.
I cannot overemphasize the stress that this causes. I mean, what are you going to do five miles in? Pop a squat? I'd rather cut off my right arm. But I know runners who carry tissue with them just in case.
Ack. Yuck. Vomit. I think that would signal my retirement.
And aside from actually adhering to the call of nature, there is the whole general uncomfortableness that goes along with the need to answer nature's call. When you have a long run in the morning, I guarantee that the night before, you will be especially cautious about what you eat. Rice? Check. Bananas? Sure. McDonald's quarter pounder? No way in hell.
See? This is why running makes you skinny...eventually. I'm going to have to put down the buttercream cupcakes and snacking on apple cores. I'll be Heidi Klum before you know it.
The Las Vegas Rock'n'Roll Half-Marathon is in 41 days and I'm happy to report, I've never pooped outside.