Monday, May 15, 2017

How Little races turn into BIG races...

I had a friend tell me one day that her very first race ever was a half marathon. I asked her why she didn't start out with a shorter distance race like a 5K and work her way up. She told me because 5K's were always on Saturdays and she had to work on Saturdays. The only days she had off were on Sundays and that was always when the "Big" races were.

Back then I thought it was odd that she jumped right into a half marathon without ever having run as much as a 5k race. However, as years went by and I've met more runners (and started this blog), I've realized that's the way a lot of people started out.

I on the other hand was much more cautious with my running journey. As you may recall, I had been running the Disney 5K races for several years (way before I started blogging). I ran these to be with my family and to just have fun. It was all the "racing" I ever desired to do because I didn't think I would be able to do anything further. As you may also recall, Disney only gave out the rubber medallions for the 5K races back then. The year my sister ran the Princess half marathon and earned the Princess medal ( a REAL medal), was the year I decided I wanted to earn a REAL Disney medal as well.

I could never run a half marathon, so the Princess race was totally out for me. I had a friend that did the Tower of Terror 13K as a relay race. Even though at the time I didn't know exactly how far a 6.5 K was, I knew it wasn't that far and thought I could run that far for a "real" Disney medal!  So that was my plan. Except, now that race no longer existed.

Back then the Disney 10K races did not exist, so my only hope of earning that "real" Disney medal was to run the Princess Half Marathon, so I started training!

My first REAL race that I ran for time (and received a REAL medal for), was the Monster Mile.  The race was literally only one mile and the field was a mix of adults and kids, and adults running with their kids.  As we began I remember getting passed by all these little runners. This was so long ago so I don't remember all the details but I think I may have walked a few seconds at the half way point.  I ended up finishing in 10 minutes flat. I was neither excited nor disappointed because I had no idea what an average time for a one mile race was.

I then went on to race a 5K where I was pretty proud of my effort seeing it was my first time "racing" a 5K and it was a pretty hilly course.

Don't think I went right to a 10K then. Oh no! I raced a 7K and then a few months later I ran an 8K before running my first 10K (which was a trail race and not a good course for my first one). I ended up PR-ing at my second 10K by 12 minutes!

After the 10K, I still couldn't commit to a half marathon, so I ran a half marathon relay (and loved it)!

In typical Meranda  fashion you would think that I would have done a 10 miler race before running the half marathon, but according to my records, I didn't.  I guess after having proved to myself I could run the half of the half, I was ready for the real thing!

Please note: I did do longer training runs for my half marathon, the races listed are just the distances I raced during that time.

So that is how my running journey started with baby steps and took me to where I could run a full marathon.  Did you run smaller distances and work your way up or did you just go out for the "Big Race"  as your first one? -M



We'll be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

31 comments:

  1. Sometimes its fun too look back at our running history.
    I ran cross country in High School and then a few 5k street races and one day decided I wanted to do a marathon. So I guess I went from 3.1 to 26.2 thinking about it I didn't run my first half until years after that lol.
    Everyone is different and I kinda think that's one of the fun things about each runners story. They are all unique and interesting. Another reason I am happy to finally be back to blogging and catching up with my runner friends lol

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    1. That's impressive that you ran a full marathon before even running a half!

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  2. I am with you on starting with the small races - although my first was a 10k (mostly walking and a bit of running). I'm quite comfortable with the 10k distance now, still not fast, but comfortable enough to run the whole distance. But in the next few months I have a 12k scheduled and a 15k in August. So I am slowly building up! But I won't tackle the Half yet! Maybe next year!

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    1. That was pretty ambitious to start with a 10k! Good luck with the 12k and 15k!

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  3. I was a runner that jumped right into a half! But I had been running for years and was used to running for over an hour at a time. So training for a half didnt seem that crazy, it was just the race environment that was a little intimidating.

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  4. Personally I think this is a very wise approach and studies show that runners who spend more time running shorter distances have an easier transition to half and full marathons. I ran 5k and 10k and worked up to a 10 mile long run years before I signed up for my first half. People are shocked that I ran a BQ in my first year of marathoning but when you realize how long I'd been building that base, it's not so shocking.

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    1. I think it was a good approach too! I was a much bettter runner when I was building my base.

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  5. Yeah, I can't commit to a half yet. When I do race-- which is very rarely, it is usually a 5K because I truly love that distance. This year I'm switching it up with a 10K in september so we will see if I like that distance.

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    1. 5k's are a lot of fun but 10k's are a good distance to train for. Good luck with yours!

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  6. I spent a few years running smaller 5k and 10K's before taking on 10 milers and half races. There were not as many races back then to choose from as there are now.

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    1. I bet that made you feel more confident going into those longer distance races.

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  7. I've been running forever and "back in the day", half marathons weren't a thing. You did 5ks and 10ks or you were running marathons (I wasn't). When I did my first half tho, it had been years since I ran any races!

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    1. Wow, it surprises me that there were 10k's but no halves. Now days it seems like 10k's are hard to come by and halves are very popular.

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  8. My first race was a half marathon... only because I was an idiot. I had never ran in my life. Never knew what real training was. I nearly died. True story. It was HORRIBLE... but it was pure motivation crossing that finish line feeling like death knowing I wanted to do it again right. It made my next race, a 5k seem like cake though ;) haha

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    1. I'm glad it didn't deter you from running more races!

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  9. My first race with a Disney 5k to see if long distance running was something I wanted to do. I knew I could easily do that distance, so I didn't have to worry about that. Then I did a 10k to get a time for my first half, and then it was a half marathon.

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  10. My first race was a half marathon with my dad when I was 21. He had done the same race the year before and convinced me to go for it. After that I started racing consistently at various distances but - this is so weird to me now - I didn't keep a record of my times for a couple years!

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    1. That's great that your first race was with your dad. Technically my first race was with my mom.

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  11. I had done a couple 5k's over a few decades time, but went big and did my first half marathon in 2007 with only 7 weeks of training, LOL.

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  12. I ran one 5k, then started training for a half! I ended up getting injured in the midst of that, but I had still jumped from a 5k to a half! Guess it just depends on what your goals are

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    1. That's great that you enjoyed your 5k so much that you wanted to run a half right away.

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  13. I trained for a year for my first 5k, so I feel ya! It took me at least a year after that before I even began to contemplate a half, but when I did, I did, indeed, do longer & longer races.

    Good thing I'd signed up early, because the 8 miler race I ran was one of my worst races & the first time I really experienced bad knee pain -- if I hadn't already been signed up, I might have chickened out.

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    1. That's a good reason to sign up early for races!

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  14. Initially, my first ever race was my sophomore year in high school as a cross country runner. I quit running while nursing school then after I graduated, I decided to pick it back up again. My first race after that was a local 5K in the spring of 2009, but my ultimate goal was to train for the Disney World half marathon of 2010. I'm so glad you decided to run the Princess half! So much fun!

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    1. I didn't know you ran in high school. When I ran my first Disney race, I didn't even know they had the WDW half marathon ( other than PHM).

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  15. I guess I did a "big race" because I did a half marathon for my first race. But I had been running 5-6 miles a day for a couple years without ever running a race. So it wasn't like running was brand new to me. And I didn't RACE the half marathon. I think I had a better base to run for "fun" a half marathon than RACE a shorter distance, you know?

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    1. Sounds like you were ready for a long distance race!

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  16. I read on Megan's blog that her first race was a half marathon! I couldn't even imagine!!

    I love that you took baby steps, it sounds completely reasonable to me! Before I felt ready for a 10K, I spent a year running only 5ks.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.