A Look Back On My First Half Marathon

Hi everyone!  Things have been going well up here in Alaska over the past few days.  My cold seems to be gone, I have more energy, and I’m feeling much better.  Plus it’s sunny again which means I’m back to my old shenanigans of midnight hikes and long runs along the ocean.  Yes, I ran 6 miles Sunday night and it felt pretty good.  I still don’t feel 100% confident about my half marathon this weekend, but it is what it is and I’m going to do everything I can to have a great time running my very first race in Alaska!

Speaking of first races, I came across a linkup this week for Tuesdays on the Run with MCM Mama Runs, My No-Guilt Life, and Run The Great Wide Somewhere.  This week’s topic was “my first race” and it really had me thinking about my very first half marathon so I decided to join up!  As many of you know, I ran the Disney Princess Half in February and it was an incredible experience.  I feel like it’s such a different experience from half #3, and going into this half I can’t help but think back on how it felt to finally run my first half marathon!


If you haven’t had a chance to read all about my first half marathon, take a moment to check out some of the links below!

Looking back on these posts, especially the 2nd and 4th ones up there, made me get pretty emotional.  I remember how excited I was to run in costume with thousands of other girls down Main Street and through the castle.  I also remember how nervous I was before the race, how serious I was about eating and hydrating correctly in the week leading up to the race, and how well I did sticking to my training plan.  Yeah, things went wrong and I didn’t do a perfect job of training, but I went into that race feeling as prepared as I could be.  My fear of the unknown (mainly miles 11-13.1) was terrifying but knowing that I was about to cross the finish line kept me motivated to run.  During the race I was hot, sweaty, tired, and frustrated with some of the other runners, but it was worth it when I finally finished!  If I could go back in time before the race I would tell myself to not worry because everything was going to be okay and it was going to be awesome.  I was so proud after the race and I didn’t take my medal off for 2 days!

20140225-231521.jpgBest medal ever

This time next week I’ll have completed half marathon #3 and right now my only memories of training are me stressing over our cross country move, forcing myself to run in between the rainy days, and getting sick right at the end when I should be logging longer miles.  But that isn’t how I want to remember this race at all.  In the next few days, I’m going to focus on making this race experience a good one.  I’m going to think back on all the long training runs that had beautiful views and be grateful that I got the opportunity to train along Resurrection Bay and Exit Glacier.  Even though I won’t get to dress up or run through a castle, I’m still going to have a blast running through the streets and wooded running trails of Anchorage.  I’ll look for moose while the miles tick by.  And at the end I’m going to get a beautiful “medal” aka a finisher’s bracelet as well as a mimosa.  I even get to share the experience with my coworker who is running the quarter marathon!  I’m excited to see how I do and I’m looking forward to feeling like a badass half marathoner again!

Coincidentally, today is the official registration day for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon! I know many runners who are signing up today and I’m so excited for them! For many girls it will be their first half marathon and they might be hesitant to click that “register” button. But we all know you can’t hesitate to register for these Disney races, so get on it girls!  You are going to have a blast running it and I can’t wait to see your costumes! Good luck to everyone who is registering today!

20140225-231603.jpgI was so incredibly proud that day!

What was your first half marathon or big race like?  Do you still get excited for races even though they’re not your first?  How do you deal with pre-race nerves?


30 thoughts on “A Look Back On My First Half Marathon

  1. My first half marathon was a HOT one and I went out like it was a 5k, by the time I hit the 10k mark I was HOT, worn out and swearing off halfs forever. I of course did another two months later and had a much better experience 🙂

    1. Haha oh man that sounds rough! Hot races are the worst. The last time I did a summer race I was so worn out and slow. Props for trying it again!

  2. Ahhh cute tights! I’ll have to read your old posts. My first race was a 10K, and my first half marathon actually came after my first marathon. I did this a little out of order 🙂

    1. Oh thank you! It was so much fun to write. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that emotional about a race again – unless it’s a marathon!

  3. I love this! I am training for my second half marathon and so far it’s been so much easier than last time. The first time I did it all by myself and now I have several friends and Jon training with me. I can’t wait to hear how this race goes for you, I know you’re going to be great. Just stay positive and keep moving!

    1. I’m jealous you have people to train with, that must make it easier to stick to the training plan! I have to say that half marathon #2 was so much easier and faster than my first one. Good luck with your second half!

  4. My first half marathon was the Rock-n-Roll half in San Antonio TX in 2007…I still get choked up thinking about it, and still get teary after crossing the finish line of EVERY distance race. I firmly believe in embracing the love of the run ALWAYS. Love this post, and best wishes on your half!

    1. Wow that’s such an awesome way to look at races! I also get emotional thinking about how amazing it felt to finish my first half, and I’m jealous of all the first time runners who get to run Disney Princess next year. It was such a fun experience!

    1. Haha yeah you do! They are so much fun! But I would probably run my next one with friends, it was lonely running it by myself. Picking out my costume was the best part though!

  5. Nothing compares to your first one! I still get excited for races, and I even still have a problem with psyching myself up too much! Now, though the small races seem like pieces of cake. It is funny, though, because they used to feel like the biggest deal in the world!

    1. I know exactly how you feel! I used to be so scared of 5ks, now I run them all the time and don’t worry about it. I think I’m not really as nervous as I should be for my upcoming race, but I was soooooo nervous for my first half! I think running miles you’ve never run in training is the scariest part!

  6. Love that medal AND your tights! I cannot WAIT for my Disney races in January.
    I love that I e-met you before your first half so I could follow along with your experience. You did so great! I will always cherish my first half marathon as one of my favorite race experiences. 🙂

    1. Yay so excited for your Disney races! What are you going to wear? That’s the most important part haha 🙂

    1. That’s awesome! I’m excited too, but I’m just hoping for good weather (it might rain). Hopefully you can come up here for a half marathon soon!

  7. Great post! I think it’s awesome that your medal for the Alaska race is a bracelet, what a great idea! Best of luck on your race and thanks for linking up with us!

  8. My first half was WDW in 2013 – I think it was the most perfect day I can remember! Good luck with your race – and I look forward to reading your princess posts (I just registered for the glass slipper challenge, it will be my first time at the princess weekend 🙂 )

    1. I think Disney races make the perfect first half marathon races! Have fun at princess – I am so jealous you will be doing the glass slipper challenge! I can’t wait to read all about your race!

  9. You look so happy after your Princess half marathon! I remember that feeling of exhilaration to be done. I’m not sure I’ll ever run another half but I’m glad I did!

  10. I’ve been doing this for years and the pre-race nerves are still a part of racing! My first race was a half marathon. I remember it like it was yesterday. Every wonderful detail!

    1. Wow that’s awesome your first race was a half! I did a bunch of 5ks and 10ks first, but this was definitely my favorite race experience.

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