My First Half Marathon!

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


13.1 miles later, I am officially a half marathoner and I couldn’t be more proud :)


This race was seriously the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Obviously the distance was hard, but the main problem was the HEAT! It was SO brutally hot, humid, and sunny, plus the course was majorly hilly with only a few miles worth of shade.

I finished in 2:04:03 for an average pace of 9:25 — over my goal time of 2 hours, but honestly I was just SO proud of myself for finishing/not dying considering the weather, that I was REALLY happy with my time!

Our day started bright and early — the race started at 7 a.m.! My training buddy Ashley and I were tiiiiiired.


But excited :)

Heather came up from D.C. to run the race with us, too! Yay!


I also ran into Kate while we were hanging out before the race started — she ran the half this morning too! Congrats, girl!

I decided to bring my CamelBak to run with, which turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made, considering the heat. This meant I was able to just stop at a couple of the water stops for Gatorade and not worry about water. I drank almost the entire thing!


I attached this nerdy sign to it, heh :)


It was fun because a lot of people cheered me on by name during the race because of it! :)

Around 6:45 a.m., we lined up at the start line, which was at Navy Stadium in Annapolis.


It was pretty! Although I can’t support the advertisement — Go ARMY Beat NAVY!!! ;)

And then, at 7 a.m. on the dot — we were off!


I knew within the first few minutes that this was going to be a ROUGH race for me. The sun was beating down relentlessly, and my legs didn’t feel their best. This race turned out to be a major mental game. I was so hot and tired and I wanted to stop and walk so many times, but I didn’t. I’m really proud of myself for pushing through :)

Mile by mile recap:

  • Mile 1: 8:44 — Feeling somewhat decent but nervous about how far we have to go. It is really hot, and there is no shade.
  • Mile 2: 8:31 — Picking up the pace a bit once the crowd thinned (I loved that this wasn’t a huge race where we had to dodge people the whole time) — still crazy hot.
  • Mile 3: 8:42 — Still going strong, but starting to feel the relentless heat and knowing I can’t keep up this pace.
  • Mile 4: 8:53 — Our first hill — a huge, long bridge. Beautiful scenery, but whew! No shade and the sun was beating down on our faces.
  • Mile 5: 9:10 — Things are starting to go south. Ashley and Heather go ahead, which was fine with me since I was not feeling my fastest and the heat was really starting to get to me.
  • Mile 6: 9:19 — Ugh. At this point my right calf starts feeling sore again (I was having issues with it last weekend), slowing me down even more.
  • Mile 7: 9:48 — Feeling ROUGH. More hills. So hot. Help.
  • Mile 8: 9:27 — Things are slightly looking up — this part of the race was on a beautiful, flat, shaded trail. Thank god!
  • Mile 9: 9:19 — YAYYYY trail! Yayyyyy shade!! But still super tired and hot and my calf is angrier.
  • Mile 10: 10:07 — Massive hill and back in the sun. Kill me. Calf still super sore.
  • Mile 11: 10:07 — More hills. I see Heather and Ashley looping back and say “I just want this to be over!!”
  • Mile 12: 9:51 — Thank god I only have one more mile. SO HOT. Starting to get cold chills. Yikes. Calf has given up hurting since it knows I’m not stopping.
  • Mile 13: 10:18 — Completely running out of gas and not even the fact that I’m almost done can get me to go any faster. Another big hill.
  • .1 Nub — The race ends with a hill. How cruel! Normally I sprint all out at the end of races, but I was feeling so exhausted and overheated I knew it wasn’t going to happen and settled for picking up the pace slightly instead. I have never been so happy to see a finish line!


As you can see from my splits — this was not my best race. I was much slower than usual, and felt pretty rough almost the entire time. Normally my race feelings go much more along the lines of this hilarious chart that Angela made plotting half marathon mileage vs. desire to sign up for another race, but today I was pretty much stuck in the “@#[email protected]!#[email protected]*#$” section the whole time, lol! The heat just REALLY got to me.

It’s too bad my first half didn’t have better weather, but I’m just so proud of myself for finishing and not walking or giving up, even though I really, really wanted to. After I finished and was sitting down to stretch, there were a few minutes where I seriously thought I was going to pass out — very dizzy and light headed. No more long races in June!!

However — after, the race there was this:


Oh, yes. You better believe Ashley and I waited in line a full hour just to get a free 10 minute massage at the after race party. SO worth it :) The people who massaged all of our gross, sweaty, salty bodies are serious saints. THANK YOU to them! My calf was KILLING me after the race and this definitely helped.

After the best shower of my life and arriving back in DC, I met up with Meghann for smoothies at Starbucks before taking her to the airport! She was in town this weekend for a marathon relay race and I was really glad I caught her before she left. So great seeing you Meghann!! Next time you come to D.C. make sure I’m here so we can play ;)

I was clearly wearing my race shirt with pride:



Along with this necklace that we got for finishing! It’s a sailboat (since Annapolis is on the water) with “6-6-10” on one side and “Zooma Annapolis” on the other.



I think it’s safe to say I earned it :) Is 7:15 too early to go to bed?? ;)


  1. 1

    CONGRATS on your first half! That’s awesome! Love the necklace.

  2. 3

    Congrats on the race! An awesome accomplishment, and I love your sign! Now go rest!

  3. 4

    SOO PROUD of you!!! The heat here is KILLER!!! But your time is amazing :)!

  4. 5

    Great job pretty lady! That time, while it may not be your best, is fabulous considering the heat. At least you were able to finish. I’m sure many people dropped out today but you were able to push through 13.1 miles and finish with a smile! I look forward to meeting you at HLS!

  5. 6

    Congrats! You beat me by almost an hour, that sun was brutal! I think the worst part was running on Ritchie Hwy in the sun when there was shade on the other side and the huge bridge of course. I loved the trail part though, nice breezes and shade! I made a mental note never to run a half in June again, it was just way too hot!

  6. 8

    Congratulations, Anne.
    I’m sorry you had to run in the heat. I’m in NoVa and it has been especially brutal this past week. Kudos to you for pushing through and running a great race.

    Oh, and although Annapolis is beautiful, I echo your ARMY sentiment. ;)

  7. 9

    Congrats on your 1/2!!! Running in the heat is (I think) 10 times harder than running in the cold–nice work!

    • 10

      I absolutely agree!! I was seriously wishing there was 12 feet of snow, hail, ice, ANYTHING during this race but the hot sun ;)

  8. 11

    congrats anne! this recap is awesome and youre amazing. its seriously such a great accomplishment. (and when you get passed the @%^&*@@*&#&* phase, considering coming back to Philly in September to run the Rock n Roll Half! …last year we had perfect Fall weather! ;) )

  9. 13

    Congrats on this Anne! I am sure you feel so proud and you seriously rocked it!!! :)

  10. 14

    Congrats, girl!! Great job!

    And the necklace is super cute. :)

  11. 15

    Congratulations on a great race! Your happiness shines through in all of the photos. I love the necklace, too – great touch!

  12. 16

    Congrats Anne! That necklace is lovely – much better than some of the dinky medals you get. I did my first half the other day too :) We ROCK.

  13. 18

    Congrats! It was SUPER hot out in the DC area this morning so you ROCKED it! And what an awesome medal! WOO HOO!

  14. 19

    Congratulations! The heat can really do a number on you, especially when you run this distance. Found your blog through Jenna’s and am really enjoying it!

  15. 21

    Congratulations! Sounds like a lot of fun!

  16. 22

    What an wonderful effort – congrats girl! And an amazing time given how hot it was!!!!! You rock :)

  17. 23

    Congrats! That’s so great that you finished. 4 minutes over the desired time is no biggie. Be proud!!

  18. 24
    Irene Penn (Renie) says

    Congratulations honey, I know you should never look back, but if I were younger, and know what I know now, I think I would take up running. It looks like a really good exercise and fun to boot.

  19. 25
    Heather C says

    Congratulations, way to go!!
    I had to laugh though as I was reading, yesterday running the Race for Cure 5k (my 2nd 5k, nothing closer to a half) I thought “Never again will I race in the summer. This is ridiculous. You’re going to boil over and just burst. Dear GOD PLEASE SEND ME A BREEZE.”
    lol I can’t imagine what you were going through in that heat, I imagine I would have passed out so way to go girl, you did it!

  20. 27

    congrats on finishing! Today was a brutal day to be running, even I went to the gym instead of running outside. I hope to do a half marathon this fall!

  21. 28

    Congrats!!!!! you obvi. rocked it because you had a 2 and 6 in your bib #!!

  22. 30

    Congratulations, you did an awesome job. Really inspiring me to sign up for the 1/2 marathon Ive been eyeing in Oct.

  23. 31

    Congrats Anne! You did SO awesome for your first half! I ran a half yesterday too, and agree that June is way too hot for distance races.

    I’m on Brooks ID too and my singlet is different than yours. I like the style of yours so much more!

    • 32

      Congrats on your half as well! :)

      And regarding the Brooks ID singlet, I was sneaky and ordered a men’s small instead of a women’s because I heard that the women’s version was too tight and short – nothing worse than having your shirt ride up while running! The men’s is a bit billowy but very comfy!

  24. 33

    Great job Anne! Loved your recap. I ran my first half on Saturday and it was similar to your description, hot, hilly, and not a lot of shade (my recap is also on my blog). I totally feel ya! It was so worth it though! It’s a great feeling to know I can do 13.1 and I am sure you feel the same way!

  25. 35

    You are a rock star…

    …oh, and good job on the marathon too! ;) Seriously, you went out there, you did it and you did awesome!

  26. 36

    Congrats Anne! Half-marathons are addicting. After my first I didn’t think I’d do it again…now I make sure I do one a year! BUT, I learned that I am not a summer runner. Fall half’s please! :) Such a pretty necklace! PS Did a 10K the same day as your half…I thought I was going to pass out too! It was SO hot and humid this morning!

    • 37

      During/after this race I was seriously like I’m NEVER doing this to myself again. But now this morning it feels nice and cool out… and I already want to run again. Ha. Must do a half in better weather!!

  27. 38

    That’s awesome for your 1st half & for any race in JUNE! I’m a baby about running any distance after 8am right now so I couldn’t imagine running 13!

    Also, what did you think of the actual event? I would like to run the Zooma 1/2 in Atlanta this fall but it’s a little more expensive than some of the others. Thanks! :)

    • 39

      I would definitely recommend ZOOMA races! It was a bit pricier than some, but the after race massages, cute boxed lunch for all runners (hummus, pita, carrots, celery, an apple), nice technical shirts, necklaces, etc. made it TOTALLY worth it. They also had wine after the race – I saw some people drinking it but I knew if I had any I probably would have passed out, lol.

  28. 40

    Congrats on your race!! I felt your pain this morning when I was running in the heat and humidity.

  29. 41

    Way to go Anne! You did amazing! =)

  30. 42

    Congrats Anne! Running in the heat and humidity is tough stuff. I’m glad to see you had a great time in spite of it! :)

  31. 43

    OHhhh…I’m so proud of you! You did so great! I loved your recap. Now get some good rest on that body and those legs!

  32. 44

    Awesome, Anne. Congratulations. Very proud of you. The never quit attitude pulled you through. And wonderful blog, too! Hope you had a good rest!

  33. 45

    congrats on your frist half, I hope to do one some day! And your nerdy sign is so cool!

  34. 46

    Congrats Anne! Sounds like an awesome time. SO proud of you!!! Great recap!

  35. 47

    Yaay! CONGRATS! You definitely earned that post-race massage!

    I love the sign you posted on your back–so cute!

  36. 48

    Uh, I may or may not have wondered what the heck the SHAPE of the necklace was – but still thought it was super cute! ha, Sailboat…makes sense…

    Congrats, girl!! It’s SO hard to convince yourself to keep running given those elements – you did great, and this only means your next 1/2m will be a PR like whoa! ;) It was so fun to join you girls, Now we’ll just have to get you in DC for some “fun” runs, no more training! And, yes, I think you’ll have a “next 1/2m”!

    • 49

      Hahah yeah it took me awhile to figure out the sailboat, too, lol.

      SO excited to run with you in better conditions! :) We need to do some fun DC runs for sure. Yay for a breather from training!

  37. 50

    Wow. Congratulations! My (much shorter) run yesterday was difficult enough, I can’t IMAGINE running a half marathon in that kind of heat and sun…and will hills, no less! But, you did it! So awesome :)

  38. 51

    Congrats you did so well! It must have been so difficult in the heat. I think I would have walked a lot of it! It’s bad that there wasn’t enough shade. No wonder you stood for ages to get a massage, it must have been so good!

  39. 52

    Congratulations, dear! And the medal/necklace is adorable!

  40. 53

    Congratulations! I though I was imagining things when I got cold sweats at the end of the 10K I did weekend before last. I didn’t train well at all and while it wasn’t as hot as this past weekend it was warm.

  41. 55

    Congrats on your first half!! You did great!!!!

  42. 56
    Adventurer says

    Wow! Well done. You did great, indeed!

  43. 57

    Excellent job!! Way to stick it out in the heat! I hate running in the heat!

  44. 58

    GIRL! Way to rock it out so hard core! Awesome job!

  45. 59

    Congratulations! What an AMAZING accomplishment! You are inspiring, girl. Rock on.

  46. 60

    Congrats Anne! I love your recap!

    I’m just starting my training for my own half marathon, and after reading your post, I’m very glad that it will be in the fall when it’s cooler.

    I’m definitely considering getting a camelbak – did you find it bothered you at all when it got closer to the end of the race?

  47. 62


    I wasn’t as tough as you — I hated this race, the heat and hills kicked my ass, and the lack of water stops early on during the race (I think there was over 2 miles in between the first and second stops) really took a toll on me… (But at the shaded trail, there were TOO many water stops!) I started walking around mile 4 when I got the chills. I walked-ran to the end. It sucked. It was my third half marathon (my second this year), and my worst by far, even though I was completely trained for it.

    And I didn’t like the necklace! I rather have a medal, or at least a necklace that says 13.1 on it…

  48. 64

    Congrats! Great job!

  49. 65

    P.S. Forgot to note that I loved the sign on your back. Very clever! And fun!

  50. 66

    Tons of congrats – I love “calf has given up hurting.” :)

  51. 67

    Congrats on your first half marathon!!! I’ve heard great things about the Zooma series and Annapolis is such a beautiful city. I’m running the Annapolis 10 Miler in August. I’m nervous about the heat too and hoping there will be a decent breeze coming off the water.

  52. 68

    Congrats Anne! What an accomplishment especially considering the heat. I’m sure I would have passed out. I loved reading you race recap as I will be running my first half marathon in October. Think I might have to purchase a CamelBak.

  53. 69

    Yay!! Congrats!! Way to push through it!! :)

  54. 70

    Geez Anne, I feed you a delicious meal and buy you Rita’s and I don’t even get a dinner recap on your blog! ;)

    And congrats again on the race! Heat makes everything worse and you powered through it like a champ. At least you know your next half (preferably in the late fall or early spring) will be better!

    • 71

      The picture Will took of the two of us came out weird. It’s his fault! :) Seriously, though, thank you so much for the deliciousness!! Next time I see you I hope it’s for longer than 2 hours! And stay tuned – tomorrow your dinner will be making an appearance ;)

  55. 72

    That’s awesome, congrats! That is a wonderful time, especially with the heat! I’ll bet that massage was the best thing at that time :) So jealous!

  56. 73

    Congratulations on finishing your first half marathon! Way to go!!!

  57. 74

    Congrats on completeing your race! I love your note, great way to build support throughout the race between you and strangers. Love it.

  58. 75

    Congratulations!!! Everything you described was exactly how I felt when I did the Chicago 1/2 in September! Doesn’t it make you feel a little bit special that you did something only 1% of the population has done ;)

  59. 77

    Congratulations, Anne! And great time for your first half, especially considering that heat and humidity this weekend.

    So weird… I couldn’t go to New Harvest because of my race on Saturday. I meet Heather there volunteering, my sister meets you at New Harvest, and now I see you both in the same photo at a half marathon. Crazy.

    Congratulations, the first is always so exciting so enjoy every moment of having just completed it!

    • 78

      Ha that really is random! Congrats on your race as well! It was really fun hearing updates about your progress from your sister – who, by the way, is really cool! Tell her I say hello :)

  60. 79

    Congrats!! Sounds like it was a super success :)

    How is it running with a camelbak?? I’m starting to train for my first half in September, and am SERIOUSLY considering getting one for these long training runs in the texas heat. Thoughts?? Does it bounce and drive you crazy??

    Congrats again!!

    • 80

      Get one!! I LOVE my CamelBak. I tried a water belt – hated it b/c it bounced all over and weighed me down. I tried a handheld water bottle – hated it b/c it felt so heavy and imbalanced having it in one hand sloshing around. The CamelBak I have is awesome and doesn’t move at all since it sits high on my shoulders. I seriously don’t even notice it!

  61. 81

    Congrats! What an awesome medal!!

  62. 82

    Congrats! Even without the heat I think you did a great job! That medal is pretty sweet too.

  63. 83

    Congratulations! I know how you are feeling right now, I just did my first marathon on Sunday. You should feel very proud of yourself it’s an amazing accomplishment! :) The necklaces are so cute too! :)

  64. 84

    I have no words other than YOU. ARE. EPIC!!!!!!!

  65. 85

    Congrats on your first half marathon! I looked into the Zooma half but was super worried about the hot weather. I think I would have died if I tried to run in that heat! I was camping and it was intense not running. Amazing!

    I’m doing the Parks Half Marathon in Rockville/Bethesda on Sept. 12th. Will you still be in the area at that point?

    Also, what size camelbak do you have. I am looking into buying one and am curious what worked for you. Also, have you had any trouble keeping it clean?

    • 86

      Sadly I won’t still be in the area then :( I’ll be heading out of town in mid-August! I’m going to miss DC!

      Regarding the CamelBak, I have the 1.5 Liter “Hydrobak.” Definitely recommend! It’s nice and small. I think it’s just one size fits all! To clean it, I’ve just been rinsing it out, and then I’ve been taking a tip I got from a reader and storing it in the freezer in between runs – no bacteria growth! :)

      • 87

        Thanks. I was looking at the 1.5 liter. I am definitely going to get it. Also, I don’t know if you’ve ever discussed where your favorite trail is, but it’s beautiful. If you don’t feel comfortable disclosing the location, could you at least email it to me? Not sure how close it is to me but it would be fun to check it out at some point.

  66. 88

    Heat is such a killer and you still persevered. Way to go!! I love the necklace idea instead of the typical medal. Congrats again!

  67. 89

    Congrats on your first half marathon! :)

  68. 90

    Good for you for doing the half! I’m still recovering from my 10k on Sunday….I can’t imagine doing 13.1 at this point! It was a little too warm for my race too, and I wound up with a migraine later that day….plus I still have tight/sore calf muscles today…I can’t decide if a little excercise would benefit me, or do me more harm than good today. Yesterday was definitely a rest day.

  69. 92

    Yay!!! I’m so proud of you! You are now part of the half marathon club! Now, if we can just get you to train for a marathon! :)

  70. 93

    I totally just finished my very first half marathon and wrote a blog post about how I felt with mile times too!

    It was fun reading your post about your third (found it on Pinterest today!) and also really your first one! Awesome blog!


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