You can read countless articles about how to prepare for a half marathon. But how does it feel?
Every runner goes through similar thoughts during a half marathon. We sign up for the race, we train but then we get to the race. Inevitably something goes wrong, from long lines at the porta-potties or a gel exploding in our face.
Yet, we sign up for another and another and another. At the end of the day, running a half marathon is an exciting and rewarding experience.
But what on earth do you think about before, during and after those 13.1 miles?
Before the race
- I’m so nervous.
- I’m so excited.
- OMG why is the bathroom line so long?
- I really have to use the restroom!
- Ugh, finally made it through the line and now I need to hustle to my corral!
At the start
- Oomph, into the carol we go. Just how many people are in this race?
- OMG we are like sardines packed into this carol.
- The elites are off. When are we off? Are we off now? I just want to be off now!
- I feel great!
- The energy is great!
- Everything is great. I could do this all day, every day.
- Look down at your watch: OMG, this is too fast. Reel it in before I crash!
- I’m getting into the groove!
- We are already 15 minutes into the race. Are we there yet?
- Why didn’t I sign up for a 5K, I would be done?
- Less than 10 miles to go. This is where it gets hard!
- OMG so thirsty.
- I need water.
- Time to stop staring the water station.
- How do people not stop at these stations?
- Just grab the cup, grab the cup. Don’t trip and don’t hurt the volunteer.
- At the water handoff: OMG, so sorry I spilled the water.
- I need to stop and drink this.
- How did this water end up on my face and body? I got maybe 5% in my mouth.
- Are we there yet? Are we halfway?
- Just got to make it halfway…
- Almost halfway.
- I can do this!
- Seriously, how am I not half way? I’ve been out here for days!
- Already halfway done. I’m practically crossing the line.
- Better take this gel.
- I’ve practiced running and taking a gel.
- And yet, this gel still lands my face and I only digest 10%.
- My legs are getting heavy.
- Come on gel, kick in.
- I just need this gel to kick in.
- Speaking of gels and food, what should I have for lunch? I am going to have the biggest and best brunch around. As long as it’s within 5 feet of the finish line.
- Great, now I’m just thinking of food.
- Ugh we still have 4 more miles.
- This is boring.
- Where are the spectators?
- Come on spectators, I need your good vibes!
- Only 3.1 miles to go. I’ve run 5ks, I can do this.
- Just think of it as a 5K… with a long warmup.
- All aboard the pain train.
- Just two more miles…just two more miles.
- This is what pain feels like.
- Why did I do this?
- I thought it was a good idea 5 months ago.
- I’ll get some water. Wow, 50% in my mouth…nailed it!
- Why did I sign up for this?
- Whose idea was that?
- Oh right, it was my idea. It seemed like a good one at the time.
- My feet hurt. My legs hurt. Why do my shoulders hurt? What are these muscles hurting?
- The final countdown…
- Why is that song playing in my head?
- This is the longest mile of my life.
- Why is the finish line so far?
- OMG this is way more than .1!
- No race photographer, I must look natural.
- Look happy…push yeah rare photographer, I’ve been sprinting like this the entire race. He believed it…that $50 race photo will totally be worth it.
The finish. I made it!
- Must pause the Garmin, all of those extra seconds count.
- I want bagels. I want beer. I want food.
- I want to take a photo with my medal on social media.
- Omg my legs so badly.
- Must lay in bed for the rest of the day.
Later in the day
- When can I run another?
- Seriously that was so much fun. I could do that everyday.