I was climbing into the shower, for the second time that day, and I started to chuckle, thinking about how normal it is for me to take more than one shower a day sometimes. That never happened before I became a runner, and then I realized there are lots of things I do or think about since I’ve become a runner–aside from running, anyway.
- I look for sidewalks. Say what? Yes, I look for sidewalks. As I’m driving, I look for sidewalks because sidewalks are potential running routes. I live in a city which means lots of cars and busy streets. And because motorists don’t always notice or pay attention to runners, sidewalks can be vital to a runner’s life and health!
- I notice hills. When I train for a long race, I always include hill training–running fast uphill. Hill repeats are on my list of top 10 things that make me frown the most, but it’s nearly impossible to run anywhere in Tulsa without meeting a hill. So…you want to run a good race, you train on hills. So I notice hills. I look for hills, especially ones with sidewalks, and file it away for when I need to run some hills.
- I go through a lot more sunscreen. I have very pale skin and can burn almost at the mention of being outside. I spend hours outside each week now running, so to prevent those inevitable burns, applying sunscreen is part of my getting ready to run routine. A word to the wise here, even if you don’t have super pale skin that burns easily, wear your sunscreen! You can still wind up with skin cancer from those harmful UV rays. I like to wear sunscreen lip balm as well because, you know, lips are skin too.
- I do a lot more laundry. Now, compared to parents with kiddos, the amount of laundry I have is probably still peanuts to them, but since I’ve taken up running, my laundry basket is never empty. And being involved in multiple sports, I can go through several workout outfits in a day. It seems like there’s always a stack of workout clothes in or on the dryer!
- I take more than one shower a day. I can’t help it. I shower in the morning to get ready for the day (a shower in the morning is my caffeine!), but after an evening run, I have to shower again to get that sunscreen and sweat off before I get in my bed.
- I pay more attention to the weather. I want to know before I head out the door for a run that I am dressed appropriately. So I’m always looking at the weather forecast. Because Oklahoma weather is so squirrely, I keep a bag with me that has running gear to help me through unexpected weather–gloves, arm warmers, a hat.
- I notice runners. I don’t mean to say I didn’t notice runners before I was one, but I really SEE runners now. I see the commitment it takes to go for a run. I see their dedication to health and fitness. I see the hard work it takes to run up that hill. I see them and I mentally applaud them and can’t wait to go home and jump into my running shoes.
- I pay more attention to what I eat and when I eat it. Before running entered my life, I tended to just eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. But running changed that. If I eat something too heavy, I feel sluggish and sick when I run, even if it’s a meal from the night before. If I don’t eat enough carbs before a run, my blood sugar crashes. So I’ve had to find that balance of figuring out what works for me to run on and how long before I run I should eat my last substantial meal. And I’ve had to think about eating after a run–getting those carbs to replace my glycogen stores and making sure I’ve got a good protein source to repair my beaten up muscles. I think about food a lot, obviously!
- I eat a lot more bananas. To go along with the whole thinking about food thing, I eat a lot more bananas since I’ve started running. A banana is generally my go to pre-run snack, and a banana in a protein shake is generally my post-run recovery snack. I always keep bananas in my house and nearly panic when I run out. I’ve been known to go to the store for nothing but bananas!
- I plan my schedule around running. The last way running has unexpectedly changed my life is the way it’s changed how I plan and organize my day. I think about how many miles I need to run that day, what kind of run it needs to be (hills vs. recovery–such as a hard or an easy run), and what the weather will be like. Taking all those things into account and looking at what all else I need to do that day, I plan my day. Sometimes that’s getting up super early to beat the heat. Sometimes that’s meeting my running group in the evening, but whatever the day includes, you can almost bet that somehow fitting in a run, or a workout, had something to do with the order of events.
Talk to me:
How many loads of laundry do you do every week?
What is something you have to do that makes you frown?