It doesn't matter if you feel great or horrible, if you're prepared or unprepared, or if you're psyched to run or are dreading it. There are some things that are just inevitable, and that occur on every. single. run. Here are nine of them.
1. The first mile kinda sucks.
"You're bound to hate running during the first mile of every single run," says Boston-based running coach Jana Ross. "You'll question why you're out there and why you even run, and you'll fantasize about all the things you'd rather be doing."
2. Then it gets better.
"So you felt a little rusty starting out," says Ross. "That's when a lot of people quit running. But if you can push past that first mile or two, you won't cheat yourself out of the good stuff that comes beyond the infamous wall."
3. Soon, you'll realize you're hungry.
"Inevitably, I will think about food at some point during my run," says Sarah Johnston, a high school teacher from Summit, NJ. "Either I'm hungry, or I just think I'm hungry, so my mind drifts to all things food."
4. One word, a week of pain: chafing.
"No matter what I do, I always chafe," says Jacqueline Madrigal, a marathoner from NYC. "I chafe in the most inappropriate places—and trust me when I say all the inappropriate places."
5. Do I wave? Do I smile? What do I do?
"I will, without fail, pass other runners and panic about whether I should wave," says Los Angeles marathoner Meghan Conroy.
6. BRB, gotta pee.
"I'll eventually get the urge to go while I'm on the run," says Madrigal. "Sometimes I don't actually have to go. But when I do? There's rarely a bathroom in sight."
7. Is there something in my shoe?
"At some point, I will convince myself that something is in my shoe," says Johnston. "Normally, nothing is in my shoe."
8. Dude, where are my keys?
"During every single run, I find myself constantly reaching for the built-in pocket of my shorts to confirm my keys are still there and haven't fallen out," says Conroy.
9. You'll feel on top of the world.
"Sure, that first mile felt impossible," says NYC runner Lauren Wolman. "You may start out noticing every little ache and pain, but once that passes and you're warmed up? You're going to feel like you're on top of the world."