After running for years and completing dozens and dozens of half marathons and marathons I’ve learned a lot of race day lessons the hard way. Luckily I remember most of my running fails so I can share them with you. Here’s a list of 13 things no one tells ya about your first race… add your own lessons in the comments.
13 Things No One Tells You About Running Your First Race
You’ll get very used to using porta-potties and actually be happy when you see a short line and get to use one.
You might not be that hungry immediately after the race – so all those dreams of pancakes and pizza and donuts will have to wait until later.
Your very pricey running clothes might decide to rebel against you and leave chafing burns on your skin.
The water at the aid stations will either be way over filled or under filled but either way you’re going to be happy to take water from a stranger who’s dirty finger was just inside that cup.
You are going to be really happy you signed up for a race.
You are going to be really mad at yourself for signing up for a race.
You’ll want to wear your race medal for the entire day but probably won’t.
Even if you’re super chill 99% of the time – when a spectator is holding up a sign that says “You’re Almost There” when you are in fact – NOT almost there you’ll get a little murder-y.
The hardest part of a race is actually looking at your race photos the next day.
You might have signed up thinking you just wanted to do one race, just something to cross off the ol’ bucket list… but you’ll be thinking about your next race before you know it.
It’s going to be fun.
It’s going to be hard.
But you remember the fun parts a lot more than the hard ones.
My personal first race story… When I first started running I just put my hair up in a ponytail. On my first half marathon my hair got so so soooooo knotted it was hard to even take the rubberband out of my hair. It was the worst super teased crazy mess and it took tons of conditioner and patience and tears to get all the knots out. I guess the combination of all my sweat and it being a whole 13.1 miles (versus the probably max 10 I did in training) made it an epic mess.
And that’s how ya learn.
Question: Did I miss anything? Anything else no one tells you about race day?
Run SMART Goals
Fill out this form to get the SMART Running Goals worksheet to your inbox!