A goal worth while + what to expect when you’re running your first HALF MARATHON

HELLO my friends! the Team freedom blog has been at such a standstill- but I promise its all for good reason! I’ve spent the last week, recovering from our half marathon, which by the way was AMAZING! and I’m super excited to post the story about it here today. How are you all? I hope you’re doing well- I’ve missed you. IT’s totally NOVEMBER….

Well, my goal this year as many of you know was to complete a HALF MARATHON (ps I’ve decided to write it all in caps every time I say it in this post haha- you know- for effect)

and it’s DONE. Mark and I decided to register for the Saints and Sinners HALF MARATHONย and it was SO MUCH FUN! I had first heard of this race from my sweet friend Megan, you can read about her running story here on the TF blog… I’ll post it below ๐Ÿ™‚ So Megan asked us if we wanted to run it- and I hemmed and haw’d a bit before actually registering. But once I did, it was GAME ON.

The race was in Henderson, Nevada- just east of Las Vegas… about a 5 hour drive out for us. ROAD TRIP TIME! We kissed out kiddos goodbye and left them with my parents and set off on Friday afternoon for our little (BIG) adventure. We hit some major nasty traffic, blech, and made it to NV about 2 hours later then planned. ย No big- Mark and I went on a romantic shopping trip to Super Target (sigh) and to the market to buy something for breakfast for race day!

Saturday morning came, and I was UP at 4:30am- I was so freaking excited, I couldn’t wait. Also- I was so nervous, I thought I might puke…. We drove about 20 minutes to where the race began and met up with our besties Megan and Scott, and their family. We were frozen…. When you think of the desert in October- what do you think of? I didn’t think cold. But I was frozen.

Megan and I tried to snuggle together to keep warm.

We met some fun people who were running a HALF MARATHON for the first time too! That felt better…And then, it was time!

There was a gun start and a chip timer attached to our bib numbers…

so when it went off I was SO EXCITED! Mark keep telling me to “take it easy” and “don’t rush it too much”so I tried to not go too fast.

And then..

mile after mile- we ran. Like the wind.ย 

I finished a 10K without really thinking about it, and without walking. WHAT the? That’s never happened before…

And then we hit the incline. And the loose gravel/dirt road that we were supposed to run on for 4.4 miles. ha. ouch. owie. broken ankles (ok- not really, but they hurt so bad)

The event photog was at the top of the tunnels that we were running though, and I wanted him to get a good shot- so I sucked it up, stood up as straight as I could and blew by him, hoping he would snap a shot that was blog-worthy. Not so much.

But on the way back down, we stopped to 2 seconds for him to shoot this one of Mark and I…

yeah, those are old abandoned train tunnels we ran though! Hard core, right?ย 

The last two miles were heaven and hell. Seriously- I was so done.

I kept threatening to cry, and Mark would just hold my hand and say “i am SO proud of you, you’ve been working on this for so long, don’t give up now”… and that worked.

At the very last mile, we came up to these two runners that we had seen at the starting line. They were wearing Halloween costumes, which was allowed by the race staff, although- the girls’ costume was kinda questionable in my opinion. A little too much backside showing….

I was not going to finish MY race behind her.

So I dug down, so deep- thought nothing about how bad my ankles were hurting. I didn’t think about anything else but running. FAST. Kicked that girl in the hoochie costume’s trash. Yep.

And the nest thing I knew, we were crossing the finish line!!!! Sweet glory. It was all done.ย 


Here are the rockstar Tanners!!! I want to be fast like them!! ๐Ÿ™‚



Now- here’s the stuff that you don’t know before running a HALF:

it’s far.

haha. ok that was dumb.

-It’s a lot farther than you think! The next time you get in the car to run errands around town, clock your miles- I bet you on an average day, you don’t drive 13 miles to get to where you wanna go. It’s an awesome distance. And yes, for now- that’s the farthest I’ll be going in a race. I’m only HALF CRAZY.

-They tell you not to sit down just after you finish your race, something about your muscles cramping… I dunno because I felt like I was going to become leg-less if I didn’t sit down. The surges of shocks running through my calves and thighs was incredible. (it’s only been a week- I still remember) They give you chocolate milk to help with muscle cramps, genius. I love chocolate milk. And I downed 3 of them.

-But nothing will prepare you for the next day.


After the race:

This was me after we got back to our hotel.ย 

All I wanted to do was curl up and fall asleep. I think my brain was overloaded.

I just did it. I just ran a HALF MARATHON. and I’m alive!!!! I’m an athlete!!! I used to HATE running, and I DID IT. I. FREAKING. DID. IT!!

Mark let me sleep for a few (ok 4 hours) and then, I woke up and we got dressed up to go out and celebrate the victory won!

We headed to the Las Vegas strip and were so excited to try the AMAZING buffet (that was recommended to use by several people) at the Aria hotel. We got all the way there, starving… and….. it’s closed for construction.ย 

really? really? I was about to eat my own arm off.


So next we took the awesome little tram thingy to the Bellagio.

Made a Bee-line to the buffet and ate and ate and ATE. I was so happy after that. Food will do that for you.

I also realized after I calculated the race, that I burned something like 1800 calories. shut the front door… that’s more than I eat in a day, so you know I was excited for that buffet!

Sunday Morning:

Woke up- excited to get home and be with our girls. I stepped out of the bed and the moment I did, I realized that my body hated me.

My legs, stomach, bum and feet were SO mad at what I had put them through- and they were not going to let me forget it.

Not even my beloved BIOfreeze could help.ย 

So we schlept our stuff to the car, and made the trek home. Thank goodness for Mark because he’s an amazing traveler and driver (among other things) but he just let me relax the entire time. I’ve never been that sore in my life- but it was the kind of sore that reminds you just how awesome you are…and what you just accomplished. ๐Ÿ™‚ yesssssssss.

How was it? Amazing?

Will I do it again? Yes- even though half way through the race I declared that I would never do it again… I’ve changed my mind.

Do I recommend running a HALF MARATHON to anyone? Sure! Don’t laugh- I was seriously the girl that would fake an illness to get out of running in P.E as a kid. If I can do this- anyone can do it. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s rewarding. But you can’t feel that unless you try.

You won’t know unless you let it all go and push yourself.

You are stronger than you think!

Thank you to everyone for their support this year. When I first decided to make my goal at the beginning of the year, I think I doubted myself- a lot. And I know that there were ups and downs, but ultimately, I overcame them and it was because of all of you! Especially Mark. Thank you hub. I cannot thank you enough- You’re my hero, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you! Thank you to our little girlies. When I felt weak, Mark would say “imagine the girls waiting for you at the finish line” and it would make me stronger. I want my children to be proud of who I am. I want them to know that they can do ANYTHING.

Thanks all. I love you!

Let’s race…..


6 thoughts on “A goal worth while + what to expect when you’re running your first HALF MARATHON

  1. Lisa says:

    Good job M, I’m SO proud of you!! You’re such a good story teller, I thought I was there with you~ It’s really inspirational. I’m sorry we didn’t get to see each other while you guys were in Vegas but I know how it is after a 13 mile run… all you wanna do is eat and lay down!

    You know what really helped me after Tough Mudder? Ice dancer and flex cream! If you do get a massage, ask them to use that instead of massage oil. Even applying it all over helps… it REALLY helped w/ my soreness.

    Thanks for sharing beautiful Mariah! I miss you!!

    • Team Freedom says:

      Thank you SO much Lisa. I miss you too! And thanks for always reading my posts here- it means so much!

      I forgot my Ice Dancer/Fire walker at home- so I had to make due with the bio freeze. I am going to get a massage though- I deserve it. ๐Ÿ™‚ haha!! love ya girl

  2. Dee Dee says:

    Amazing, Mariah! Thank you for sharing. I’m so PROUD (notice the caps!) of you for setting a goal and then MAKING IT HAPPEN!

  3. megan says:

    you are amazing. I am so SO proud of you. I am stronger because I know you. Love your guts!

    P.S. Want to do the mermaid half in February? ๐Ÿ™‚

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