1. It’s hard…like, really hard. But just like relationships, parenting and figuring out your new iPhone, it gets easier with time. You may even–gasp—start to like it!
2. Clipping your toenails will take precedence over plucking your eyebrows some days.
3. In spite of your childhood hatred of “weird food,” your pantry will be filled with running superfoods you’re not really sure how to pronounce, like quinoa, chia, spirulina and acai.
4. At some point, you will see other runners peeing in public. You will wrinkle your nose at them: EWWW, GROSS!
5. At some point, you, too, will pee in public. You will never judge again.
6. Ditto for snot rockets.
7. When you first start, four miles seems like a lot. One day, you’ll catch yourself telling someone “I only ran four miles today.” Try not to smile smugly when that happens.
8. You’ll wince at a pair of high heels with a $100 price tag, but declare it a bargain if that same tag is on your favorite running shoes.
9. Your laundry basket will smell like a boys’ locker room. You won’t really notice (or care).
10. You’ll geek out at the opportunity to run in the rain, because it’s just that awesome.
11. There will be stretches of days when you don’t feel like running at all. It’s perfectly normal, it’s not a failure, and a few days off does a body good.
12. Like Christmas, you will be wide awake at 2 a.m. on race morning, giggling. Also like Christmas, you will not be allowed to wake anyone in the house up until 5 a.m.
13. Without any prompting on your part, family members, friends and coworkers will take up running, too. They’ll ask all the same questions you had when you started—and this time, you’ll be the one with the answers.
14. The first thing you’ll do when you book a vacation or work travel is look for races and/or cool running routes in the area.
15. “Runger” is real, and it is marvelous. Only pregnant women and runners can truly understand strange cravings at strange times.
16. While running with your friends, you will talk about food, children, current events—everything but running. During cocktail hour with that same group, when you’re showered and wearing “real-world” clothes, all you will talk about, ever, is running.
17. The friends you make through running will become like family.
18. Anyone can do it. (Yes, you!)