Friday Five · Half Marathons · Running

Friday Five: Five Favorite Running Memories

Hi everyone!  It’s been a minute since I participated in the Friday Five Linkup with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney, but I wanted to participate today because the theme is “favorites”! If you read my blog you’ll know that I’m injured, and that it’s been quite the challenge getting me back to running again.  I’ve been sort of sad this week and just generally feeling negative about everything, so in an effort to stay positive I’ve been thinking a lot about my favorite running memories.  I’ve had some pretty awesome times in my running shoes over the past few years, and here are my top 5!

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1. The Disney Princess Half Marathon:  Specifically the mile where we got to run through Magic Kingdom, and the last 0.1 miles of the race when I finally realized I was going to become a half marathoner!  I cried when I crossed the finish line!  Because I love that race recap, you can read all about it here!

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2.  My half marathon PR:  5 weeks after Disney Princess, I ran the Love Run Half in Philly (recap here).  I didn’t know what to expect, but I ended up starting out fast – and keeping it up the whole time!  I remember flying through the halfway point and realizing that I was on pace to reach my goal of 2:30.  Despite some crazy rainy conditions which caused my bib to fall off like 5 times, I finished with a 19 minute PR.  It’s still my half marathon PR to this day!  I will never forget how amazingly fast and strong I felt in this race.

3.  The first race where I really felt like a real runner:  I ran the Hershey 10k for the first time in 2013 and not only was it my longest race so far, it was my biggest race too.  I’d never run that far with that many people and I remember being soooo nervous.  But at around the halfway point something magical happened:  we had spectators cheering us on, and because my name was on my bib they were cheering for me by name!  I felt like a celeb as I ran through Hersheypark and was so happy to finish much faster than I’d planned.  On the way home I remember feeling so happy about feeling like a real runner for the first time.  That race will always have a soft spot in my heart!

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4.  My fastest race ever:  I remember driving to the Corn to Run 5k in Delaware (recap here, that was such a fun throwback post to read!) and thinking “If you want to run fast, it’s going to hurt” and just embracing the fact that I was going to have to push through the pain to reach my goal.  And I crushed it!  It’s still one of my only sub-30 minute 5ks.  When I crossed the finish line my husband kept saying “You did it!  You were so fast!” and all I remember thinking was that I wanted to puke!  But that was a seriously awesome race memory, and a reminder that I can have lots of fun during short races.

5.  The time I raced at night and had way too much fun doing it:  I ran the Twilight 12k here in Anchorage last summer (recap here) and I remember thinking that I loved training at night but had never had the chance to race at night to see if it was easier or harder.  I ended up keeping up a super fast pace and found like 20 people that I knew out on the course!  It was like a big party with all the runners in town and I have never felt so social in a race before.  I’ve also never crossed a finish line screaming “Look how fast I am!” to my husband, so that’s definitely memorable  🙂  But seriously, I came in at a much faster pace than planned and I learned that running with faster friends can really motivate you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and reach your goals!

12kfinish.jpgBest race photo ever!

Since these are all race related, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge a few non-race related running memories that I’ll never forget:  the first time I ran up that giant hill in Ridley Creek State Park, the time I ran in the sunshine at midnight during my first summer in Alaska, my first trail run, the first time I ran a sub-9:00 mile, and that last pain-free run that I did back in February.  I know I’ll get back to running again soon, and I can’t wait to see what other amazing memories I’ll make!

What are your favorite running memories?  Are they all races like mine, or do most of your magical running moments happen on regular runs?

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26 thoughts on “Friday Five: Five Favorite Running Memories

  1. Aw, I love this! I did a post similar to it a few years ago, but now I obviously have more to add to the list. I think one of my favorite running memories will forever be crossing the finish of my first half (and also my first full marathon). I’ll never forget those feelings!

    1. So true! Those “first” races for each distance are so memorable! Except my first 5k, that was a hot mess and did not make my list 🙂 It did motivate me to run more races to make up for my totally crazy experience, and I definitely got bit by the racing bug!

  2. Those are all great memories!

    Definitely most of my magical moments were at races. Coming in along the ocean at Smuttynose (and that lobster roll afterwards!), racing through Austin (which I’d moved away from 2 years previously after living there for 17 years), running the Vegas strip.

    But probably the best memories are meeting up with runner friends in RL that I only knew online!

  3. This post is wonderful! I love reading reflective posts like this. Running a night race sounds awesome – one is definitely on my to-do list.

    So far my favorite running memory is finishing the Baltimore Half Marathon by running through Camden Yards (where the Baltimore Orioles play). It was a huge adrenaline rush. I am running a 5K with my best friend who I haven’t seen since October next month. It’s only her 2nd 5K so I’m sure that will become a great running memory too!

    1. You should come run the Twilight 12k in Alaska – it’s at night but it’s definitely not dark out! And that 5k sounds like so much fun! I love running with friends, especially ones that are new to running!

  4. This is so fab!!!! 🙂 One of my favourite race memories has to be during my first (and only to date) full marathon in Fargo, ND. It was going horribly…my injury had really flared…and I kept running into these girls who saw me during a melt down at about mile six. They said “you need a hug and we want to know your name and we are going to look for you throughout the course so you can’t quit.” Every time they saw me they came to the side of the course, called me over and hugged me….it kept me going the next twenty miles. No joke. 🙂 And it turned a miserable experience into something immensely positive.

    1. Awww that is amazing! It’s so cool how supportive runners are, especially in races. I’ve definitely cheered on a few people who needed it, and I’ve had people cheer me on in tough races too!

    1. No way! I grew up in Reading and lived in Philly for a while, so it used to be a short drive away from me! If you’ve never done the Hershey 10k you absolutely have to – it’s so much fun and there’s chocolate at the end! 🙂

  5. OMG that hill in Ridley Creek State Park is RIDICULOUS!! It NEVER ends! My absolute favorite running memory is from high school soccer when I completed the “120’s” for the first time ever. I was SO SO SO proud of myself and so was my coach! I will never forget that.

    1. No way, you know that hill? It’s so tough! I used to work in Media so I’d drive over there after work and start in the parking lot by the waterfall, run up that thing, and then run the other 3.5 miles downhill back to the start. It was such a killer workout! It took me months to be able to run the entire thing without stopping though!

  6. Running the Princess half was very memorable for me as well. It was my second half but it got me hooked on races and I did it the following three yrs. That was my sister’s first half though so I know that holds a special place in her heart.

  7. Great memories! 🙂 Mine are a mix… some are race memories, some are from random runs with run club or running buddies.

  8. Those are some great memories! I hope you are making new ones soon! I push so hard during my races, I think most of my favorites are NOT races – except maybe Ragnar which is one big favorite!

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