A Wife Loved Like The Church

Half Marathon Training Guide, Part 3 – The Emotional

Posted on: February 16, 2011

I cried when I finished my half marathon last April. Well, I suppose I didn’t technically cry, since I was borderline dehydrated. But I did cry out. The last mile of my run was overwhelmingly emotional. A mixture of victory and defeat {I walked mile 11 when I wanted to run the entire race}. A relief at being done. A sense of accomplishment, mingled with a desire to do more.

Running is every bit emotional as it is physical and mental. Yet we tend to gloss of the emotions. But I’m here to tell you: It’s your party, cry if you want to.

Half Marathon Training {The Emotional}


1. Finding your center – Wow, if that didn’t sound New Age-y, I don’t know what will. But honestly, running can really help you focus, sort through your emotions, and recenter yourself. Just channeling your efforts into exercise can help clear your mind of “emotional baggage”. I attribute it to all the time aloneyet another reason I don’t listen to music while I run.

2. It’s a BIG deal – Whether you’re completing your goal of a 5K or a marathon, finishing is a big deal. You’ve likely spent weeks training – time away from your family, friends, work {and truthfully favorite t.v. shows}. And coming from a former non-runner, crossing that finish line means so much more than time and speed. It means accomplishing something great. Sometimes accomplishing something great is celebrated with tears.

3. You’re a BIG deal – Once you’ve transformed from non-runner to runner, something about you changes. You understand you can rise to the occasion. You can conquer. You can do something you never thought possible. Whispering in the mirror, “Sarah, you’re a runner” in the wee hours of the morning before I go running gives me the emotional {and mental} confidence to succeed. Despite the stretch marks. Despite the abs that will just never be the same. Despite whatever I’m feeling, I know I can do this. And you can to.

How do you feel after a run? Have you ever cried?

My half marathon is this Sunday. I’m going a little crazy this week with “Am I ready, am I not?”. But come Monday, it will all be done. And it will have so been worth it to wake up and say “I am a runner.

For Part 1 and Part 2 of this three part series, click here {Part 1 – The Physical and Part 2 – The Mental}.

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.

11 Responses to "Half Marathon Training Guide, Part 3 – The Emotional"

I just read this AGAIN! I woke up SOOO sore this morning from my (attempt) of a run last night. I was ready to throw in the towel and say I just can’t do it. I ended up finishing the work out and yes, I may be unable to walk this morning but feel PROUD that I did it!!

You can do it Sarah!!!!

Thanks ladies!! Katie – I am so proud of you!! You can do this!!

Sarah, you’re doing so great!! 😀

I can NOT wait to hear about your race! It wil be so fun to be on the race course with all the cheering spectators out! I have cried at the finish of nearly every marathon I have run.

This is such a great series.

Thanks for blogging about this! I think your first post inspired me to start running again–I’ve done it twice in the past week! I enjoyed this one, too. I’m still trying to make that transition from non-runner to runner. Maybe by this summer I’ll start to feel like it’s part of my identity!

Reading this post and the comments here warms my heart and inspires me, mostly because it means so much when total strangers have the same thoughts you do. I’m a new runner myself, and I’ve just competed in a couple of 5k races while slowly bumping my long runs up to 6.5m. Just this week I decided to commit to running a half marathon at the end of march.

Best of luck to all of you in your upcoming events, and thanks for the support and encouragement to those of us who find this blog when googling half marathon advice. I hope and expect to have a similar reaction to this momentous adventure!

Ellis, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. It’s awesome that you’re already up to 6.5m. That’s really great! Good luck with the half marathon next month! you will do great, I’m sure! Please keep me posted on how things go. Feel free to email if you want.

Just read parts one and two of your post and learned that you’re running in the Austin half marathon. My cousin will be somewhere on the course with you! I’m also from Texas, and will be running (if all goes well) in the rock n roll half marathon in Dallas. Sarah, again, best of luck; I hope you have a great run this weekend!

Good luck this weekend!!

I did cry after my first 5k, all of those emotions bubbled to the surface. Accomplishment, amazement, mixed with disappointment (I don’t know why!). And I have my 2nd 5k tonight & I’m finding myself very emotional all ready!!

And re: “find your center” sounding new age-y, I heard a great song a few years ago called “Jesus, Be the Center.” Love that!

Thanks for sharing!

Ok, it’s really funny that I just stumbled across this post through a google search to see where I was ranking with the keyword search ‘half-marathon’. You and I are both on the first page, but this post was one notch above mine. So of course, I had to read it. 🙂 So true that running is an emotional thing. Physically, I’m not at all worried about my upcoming half-marathon. I do worry about my mental ability to push through to the finish. And I know I will be in tears when I do cross the finish line. The sense of accomplishment I’ll get from that run will put me on a runners high for weeks, I’m sure. Of course, my run will also be a big worship experience for me as I listen to my favorite contemporary worship tunes thru my iPod, praising God for 13 miles. 🙂


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