20 Things I Learned While Running a Half-Marathon

I ran my first race yesterday morning at the Malibu International Marathon. It was a half-marathon (13.1 mile) course, and I learned quite a bit from that experience.

Here’s a quick rundown of my newfound wisdom (many of which I learned the hard way):

  1. Runners adopt and stick to a training program for VERY good reason.
  2. Make a back-up playlist, in case there’s no reception for Pandora.
  3. Eating Chick-fil-A the night before is a terrible idea.
  4. Stay hydrated all the time, but especially one week before the race.
  5. It’s okay to drink water before the race– there are restrooms everywhere.
  6. Pay attention to what’s in those tiny cups they hand you on the course. They aren’t all created equal.
  7. Probably not a good idea to eat a whole energy bar in the middle of the race.
  8. If your arm and/or fingers are swollen, either it’s too cold, your armband is too tight or you took in too many electrolytes and not enough water. Or a combination of all three in my case.
  9. Don’t ignore injuries when training– they’ll come back to haunt you. On mile 8. Trust.
  10. Make sure your shoes fit properly, or you’ll be welcomed by bruised, mangled toenails and blisters very very soon.
  11. By the way, trim toenails.
  12. Don’t forget to reclaim your things at the end of the race.
  13. Running with friends is fun. This was just an observation.
  14. Give explicit instructions to your personal supporters to wait by the finish line when you’ve got two miles left to go.
  15. Get enough sleep the night before– you don’t want BAGS under your eyes in all those awesome action shots.
  16. Stretch before and after. A lot.
  17. You may get a little delirious in the last 3/4 of the race. Truck on.
  18. Choose your clothing wisely. Chaffing is pretty darn disabling.
  19. Setting a personal time goal is great motivation to light a fire under your ass in the last 0.10 mile.
  20. Sleeping the entire rest of the day after running a marathon is inevitable– don’t fight it. Embrace it.
Malibu Marathon Pre Race
Malibu Marathon Thornhill Broome Beach CampgroundMalibu Marathon Start Line
Malibu Marathon BeachMalibu Marathon RunMalibu Marathon Towel and Medal


    1. Thanks, Sherry! I’m headed to the good ‘ole x-ray machine tomorrow, but overall it feels great. And I say bring on the chocolate! You obviously know how to have a good time. 🙂

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