Ten things to expect when you run your first half marathon

This past weekend was the ING Luxembourg Night Marathon. This past weekend I ran my first ever half marathon. I was able to prove to myself that I actually could and that means more to me than I will ever be able to explain. Just over a decade ago, my undiagnosed hyperthyroidism had put me in a hypertensive crisis, with the possible risk of heart failure. Because I had to stop school sports for a while, I realise now that I passively conditioned my brain to think I could never be active again. It scared me. I eventually took up kayaking in 2014-2015 and I didn’t start running until the end of summer last year… but I did it! All 21.0975 km of it! And I was also had the chance to raise money for CoppaFeel! in the run up to race day (more about them in this post: here). What better way to pay homage to the runner whose blog convinced me to sign up for a race, Kelly Roberts (Run, Selfie, Repeat), than by putting together a GIF filled post of the things that go through the mind of a first-time half marathoner.

1.  Getting excited for the race to start

Warming up before run can make all the difference so don’t be put off by stares. Get yourself prepped and pumped as the minutes count down until race time!

2. Figuring out if you’ll need to use the port-a-potties

“It’s a night race. I pooped last night.. So does that mean I won’t poop tomorrow? If I pooped last night, don’t poop tomorrow morning, will I need to poop in the evening i.e. during the race?”

3. Losing 90% of the water you pick up at your first hydration station pit stop

Yup. I read about this one but the excitement of the half marathon got the better of me and I Forest Gump-ed it passed the hydration station, with the cup of water gushing down my torso like Niagra Falls.

4. Noticing at which stages people took their energy gels

And taking a mental note for future reference. “Should I time my energy gel consumption differently next time?”

5. Arriving at water station number two with finesse

A controlled gliding approach at water station number two proved to be a lot more successful.

6. Remembering that you tried something new on race day

Staying away from anything new on the eve or on the day of the race seemed to be one of the golden rules that kept reappearing in forums, training plans and blogs.. oops.

7. Trailing someone since the start but then you finally take over

There’s that one person you have constantly been behind. The secret and silent race buddy. But the time has come to bid adieu to the familiarity of the back of their head and go where your legs take you.

8. Realising that the last 5k is a constant incline

…but you know you got this

 

9. When your family and friends find you after the finish line

Your family and friends have most likely waited a decent couple of hours for you and are eager to know how you are.

10. The morning after

Whether it’s your toes, hips, muscles or knees (right knee in my case) that hurts, something is going to be throwing you off from bringing the A-game to your supermarket strut for the next few days.

Any first time half marathoners out there?

What would you guys add to the list?

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4 Comments

  1. July 16, 2016 / 06:59

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  2. June 1, 2016 / 23:20

    I actually also ran my first 20k last weekend (in Brussels) and have to say I recognize a lot of those stuff 😀 Don’t try new things on race day (oops!), but especially the excitement beforehand was someting I had not anticipated. And the joy on the way annnd I also had my racing buddy! A group of guys with Superman T-shirts that didn’t know I was tailing them. I was quite proud of leaving them behind at a certain point.. Now I’m wondering if we may have been someone’s secret running buddy 😀

    Anyway, I wanted to say that it is amazing that you have done this! The most incredible part is how you overcame your fear and started running! I really admire you for your courage and endurance. Great work!

    • Kaori Anne
      August 5, 2016 / 17:04

      Aw thanks so much for the comment! It’s such a sensory overload isn’t? So many things are going on, so many people, so many noises :p It’s so much fun though and I can’t wait for the next one 🙂