I’m A Half Marathoner…Again!

Hi everyone!  As if you didn’t know, Sunday I ran half marathon #2 – the Love Run Half in Philly.  Despite the cold pouring rain I managed a 19 minute PR and had the most fun I’ve ever had at a race!  After my first half marathon I was so pumped to officially be a half marathoner and couldn’t stop smiling and thinking about my race.  How did Disney Princess compare to the Love Run?  Was the Love Run easier?


How I felt before the race:

  • Disney Princess:  very nervous about finishing the race because I’d only done 11 miles before the race.  I also didn’t know how I would do in the humidity and stressed endlessly over bringing water on the course.  I barely slept but was excited to become a half marathoner!
  • The Love Run:  I had foot and leg pain during the week leading up to the race, and only ran 8 miles before the race (although I was technically still trained from Disney).  I was horrified to learn that it was going to be cold and rainy during the race and thought about not running it.  I then had nightmares for 2 days before the race.

How I felt at the expo:

  • Disney Princess:  BUY ALL THE THINGS.
  • The Love Run:  Wow that took 3 minutes…let’s go eat pie at Reading Terminal Market!


20140220-213045.jpgTurns out not every race has “I Did It!” shirts.  Womp womp.

How I felt on race morning:

  • Disney Princess:  super nervous!  I couldn’t talk to anyone or think straight.  I also drank a ton of water and had to wait in the massive porta potty line and almost missed my corral start.
  • The Love Run:  Despite all my worries leading up to the race I was surprisingly calm before the race.  My husband and I talked about packing for Alaska and I was able to stay upbeat during the car ride to the race.  I also felt prepared with my waterproof jacket and hoped it wouldn’t pour too much (ha!).

How I felt during the first half of the race:

  • Disney Princess:  I was so excited and had a huge adrenaline rush!  Every time I saw something exciting (like the entrance to Magic Kingdom) I stopped for pictures.  I enjoyed running with so many other girls in costumes but was annoyed by the large amount of people and how difficult it was to navigate through crowds of walkers.  Running down Main Street and through Cinderella’s castle was so emotional that I got teary eyed!
  • The Love Run:  I loved running through center city Philly and felt so happy that there were volunteers out on the course despite the crappy weather.  I felt like we were covering ground really quickly and loved seeing all the sights that I usually only get to see when I’m stuck in traffic!

20140225-231351.jpgPretty much the coolest halfway point of a race EVER.

How I felt in the second half of the race:

  • Disney Princess:  Ugh.  It felt just like a training run, only scarier because it was a real race.  By mile 7 I was already in the unfortunate mindset that all the fun stuff was done and now I just had to make it to Epcot in one piece.  Running along the highway was pretty boring and most of the fun character stuff was repeated since it was an out-and-back course.  I mentally struggled until mile 10, and then my mind wanted me to speed up but I couldn’t physically do it.
  • The Love Run:  At the halfway point I was shocked to discover that not only was I on pace to possibly make my crazy awesome time goal, I was feeling GOOD!  We ran past the Please Touch Museum and then back down onto MLK drive.  Each mile had something for me to mentally look forward to (mile 7 we got back on MLK drive, mile 8 I could take a Sport Bean, mile 9 we turned back towards the Art Museum, and miles 10-13 I was just happy to be in double digits!).  It was raining so hard that the only thing I could think to do was keep running fast to get it over with sooner.  I never felt tired, dizzy, or in pain and ran strong in the last few miles.  In fact, it almost felt..easy!  Although I know if I would have sped up I would have probably started to hurt a lot.

How I felt at the finish line:

  • Disney Princess:  so emotional that I actually cried!  And then I cried again when I dropped my banana on the ground while trying to call Andrew.  Rungry tears.
  • The Love Run:  blown away by my time.  The whole time I thought my Garmin might have been lying to me, but crossing the finish line made it real!  I also cried after this race because I was so cold and wet and couldn’t find Andrew for at least 15 minutes.  I wish I had a finish line pic but it was raining too hard!

20140225-231448.jpgFinding Andrew is so tough after these big races – we need to get better at meeting plans!

How I felt for the rest of the day:

  • Disney Princess:  OMG OMG OMG I’M A HALF MARATHONER!!!!  And then I ate tons of things that were bad for me, walked around Magic Kingdom for hours, and then puked when we got home.
  • The Love Run:  I was all smiles on the car ride home and my husband commented on how much better I was doing vs. Disney Princess.  I took a super hot shower since I was freezing, and then fell asleep instantly.  While sitting up.  My husband bought me my usual post-race Wawa breakfast sandwich and I drank coffee, which then made my heart feel weird all day.  I was very warm and dizzy for a while but after drinking a lot of water throughout the day I felt much better.  By dinner I was back to normal!

20140331-001359.jpgPost-race Tastykakes are an awesome idea! And no puking!

How I felt the next day:

  • Disney Princess:  So. Much. Leg. Pain.  Omg.  We drove 17 hours home and my legs and lower back were not happy.  I tried to go to Barre3 2 days after and had to skip it because it still hurt too much.
  • The Love Run:  I woke up on Monday with very little leg pain but some lower back pain.  After foam rolling I felt much better and was able to not only drive an hour home to Reading to visit my parents, but walked around a lot!  On Tuesday I went to Barre3 and made it through all the leg work so I feel pretty well recovered!

How I feel about running another half:

  • Disney Princess:  Um…how soon is that next half?  Only 5 weeks?  Crap.
  • The Love Run:  Is there another one I can run this weekend?  I wonder how soon I can try to PR again!  (just kidding!)

I think overall I had a much better time at the Love Run because there were less unknown elements, less crowding, and I felt much stronger in the second half of the race.  Now that I’ve done more than one half, I’m feeling like it’s a pretty fun distance to do and I’m seriously looking for one to put on my summer race calendar in Alaska!  I love how it’s long enough that you have to train for it, you don’t need to be super speedy like a 5k, and you can spend more time out on the race course enjoying the experience!  Now that the big fear of 13.1 miles is gone, I really think this is going to be my favorite race length!

What was your favorite half marathon (or other race distance!)?  What about your least favorite and why?  Did you recover from your second one faster?


18 thoughts on “I’m A Half Marathoner…Again!

    1. Haha yep! I had heard from a lot of people that if your first half is in Disney, you’ll PR by a lot in your next race because the Disney race has overcrowding, picture taking, and bathroom breaks. I mean, I spent like 5 minutes a bathroom in Tomorrowland trying to wipe all the sweat off of me! So most of that PR is probably just the fact that I only stopped running during the water stops!

  1. I love that you were able to compare your first and second half marathon experiences!! I actually ran a full (and my only one to this point) before my first half. My favorite half marathon (based on scenery) would be the SeaWheeze or Healdsburg Half. Course wise, I like the Wilson Bridge Half (net downhill).

    1. Whoa that’s so awesome that you ran a full before a half! I would have been waaaaay too nervous to do that! I really want to run SeaWheeze sometime, it sounds awesome!

  2. So awesome! I was cheering for you from my house on Sunday. 🙂

    AND, there is another half this weekend… in AC. Just saying. 😉

    1. Yay! I’m glad you didn’t go out in that rain to cheer for anyone, it was awful and I felt so bad for all the volunteers and spectators! And don’t even tell me about the AC half! I wanted to do that one so bad but then I won my Love Run entry and obviously did that one instead. If I did that one there is no way I would PR and would in fact probably break my feet!

      1. Breaking your feet would be very unfortunate! I’ll run that one and report back. Deal? 😉

  3. You and I are a lot alike. I had a huge PR at my last race and am racing again this weekend, two weeks after the last one. I had a huge PR at the last race and am hoping to PR again this weekend. The 2:15 pacer better be ready because we’re about to become besties.

    1. That’s awesome! I wanted to try using a pacer during the Love Run but I ended up being faster than the one I wanted to use…so crazy! I think I might use one in my next half!

  4. I’m jealous! Running a Disney race is on my list of running goals. 🙂 I think the recovery for my first half seemed like the worst, but maybe that’s because I wasn’t expecting to feel like I had just run 13 miles. lol. The day after I ran my first marathon though – ouch.

    1. Ugh I can’t imagine how running a marathon would feel a day later! My first half was soooo much worse than the Love Run it was insane. It definitely does hurt running so far!

  5. I am so glad you had a wonderful race! Sounds like you are hooked on half marathons now! (just like me!) I am so excited for my Nike Women’s Half in D.C. this month. I think it will be similar to your Disney experience. I have been looking forward to it for so long. I think it will be magical in another way! (Race medal is Tiffany’s jewelry!)

    1. Yes I am! And I am still so jealous that you’re doing Nike DC! I really want that race “medal”! I can’t wait to hear all about your race!

  6. Kristen, how super exciting…I want to feel all these emotions when I finally complete my very first half maraton {this June}…I wonder if I will want to do another one once done 🙂 I hope so LOL

    1. You totally will! This is going to sound crazy but yes it will hurt and afterwards you’re going to be so tired, but you will quickly forget all that and be so happy that you finished! And then you’ll sign up for another one because us runners are silly 🙂 I actually enjoyed my second one so much more, but probably wouldn’t have made them 5 weeks apart if I could have helped it!

  7. Your awesome PR gives me hope for my next half. Yikes. The longest run I’ve done since my last half was 4 miles but I’m pretty sure we will do 8 this weekend.

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