1. You wear special bras.
2. You're hungry. Not an idle tummy rumbling, not a hmmm, what do I want to eat, but a deep, clamoring urgency to devour the fresh, buttery green inside of an avocado, to crunch between your teeth a tart apple dipped into a mound of peanut butter, to gnaw on a doughy bagel topped with whipped cream cheese like some wild animal chewing on a bone--oh, and you want all this food STAT.
3. Another week, another new (hopefully minor) ailment. People get used to you complaining whether you've got a due date or a race date.
4. Your feet get bigger.
5. When you have to go to the bathroom, you really have to go to the bathroom. The big difference: the women waiting in line for the next available stall might let a mama with a baby bump cut ahead, but a sweaty, doubled-over runner squeezing her legs together is going to have to wait her turn.
6. You glow.
7. You sweat at inappropriate times.
8. You find yourself repeating the phrases, "Well, I guess there's no turning back now!" and "What have I gotten myself into?" Sometimes you say them in a resigned way, sometimes with determination; other times, a note of sheer terror can be detected in your voice.
9. You sometimes walk with a waddle.
10. You have genuine faith that the "finish line" will be worth the aches, pains, mood swings, mornings spent sick in the bathroom, blood, sweat and tears. Which is why, despite all these things, you soldier on through it happily, always concious of how many weeks, then days, are left in your countdown.
So, uh, if anyone would like to throw me a "runner's shower" (is there somewhere I can register for a Garmin?), I'm generally available on Sundays...