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22 Unexpected Things That Happen When You Run Your First Half Marathon

I'm not crying, you're crying.

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1. The starting line is incredibly anticlimactic.

Uhh...shouldn't we be running and not ambling forward like cows out to pasture?

2. There are a lot more psychopaths who want to run 13.1 miles than you'd think.

Wow, where have you guys been all my life? Want to eat 13.1 pizzas at my place after this?

3. Every sign makes you laugh or cry.

I think the pounding of my feet on the pavement has unhinged my brain.

4. But there are some signs that make you irrationally angry.

I appreciate the support but why would you remind me of my mortality at a time like this? Or—even worse—that I'm only at mile 7???

5. Drinking from a cup while running is waaay harder than it looks.

This is not sweat on my face, it's Gatorade.

6. But crushing an empty cup in your fist and tossing it on the ground makes you feel like a BOSS.


7. People three times your age keeps you psyched.

Ok, I'm not weighed down by 60 years of regret and bad knee cartilage, I can do this.

8. Running down a closed-down is road surprisingly good motivation.

Where are all the cars? Probably eaten by apocalyptic zombies or something. Better keep running!

9. Seeing how many non-runners come out to watch the race humbles the heck out of you.

Even if they're only technically there to see their friend/family member/significant other run past them for eleven seconds, it feels like they're there for you.

10. The "runner's high" is a completely real thing!


11. But unfortunately, so is "hitting the wall."

You at mile 12: "It's been mile 12 for the past 34 years. I can't remember what my family looks like. I think I had a name once."

12. You want to marry every race volunteer.

Especially the ones that can keep a smile on their face even after sweaty, tired runners spill full cups of Gatorade on them for three hours.

13. Porta potties seem like five-star accommodations.

I've never been so happy to see one of these guys in my entire life.

14. You get blisters the size of quarters.

"Yeah, I'm not really feeling this whole running thing. I'll catch up with you later or something." — the soles of your feet.

15. Your thighs chafe raw.

Who designed the human body? Seriously, who?

16. Your nipples bleed.

Oh, perfect! Now I can nurse that satanic demon that requires blood to live.

17. As tired as you feel after 13.09 miles, that last .01 mile will give you new life.

Even if you collapse into a cramp-filled knot directly after.

18. Wearing a medal sounds cheesy, but it's actually the coolest feeling in the world.

I literally slept with mine on, which I don't recommend because it sure does choke the winning spirit right out of you.

19. The shiny silver space blankets work really well to stop runners from shivering in their damp, sweat-soaked clothes.

They're not super hero capes, as you (I) may have thought.

20. Unexpected foods, like hot dogs, are terrific pick-me-ups after the race.

Come to me, you little salty meat stick from heaven.

21. You'll never drink a better-tasting beer than the one you have after the race.

Something tells me I should be hydrating but I'm too busy having a love affair with this beer.

22. You immediately want to sign up for the full.

You mean I get to run 13.1 miles TWICE? SIGN ME UP!

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