My First Marathon

Back in March, I locked myself in my office for two and a half hours.  With sweaty palms and a nervous pit in my stomach, I refreshed the internet browser over and over again.  Little did I know that the the moments following the frantic typing of my credit card information, I would officially be registered for one of my biggest undertakings of 2013, my very first marathon.

I think some of my family and friends thought I was bonkers.  They all know I love running but as I talked about registering for my first marathon, I received a lot of comments like, wow, that’s great.  So, how far is that?  Are you going to run the whole way?  That’s more than I drive to and from work…  You get the point.  Yet, when I went to Oregon to run Hood to Coast with team Nuun,  the stories of other runner’s first marathon experiences could not have been more uplifting.  I can’t begin to tell you how many of my Nuun teammates told me that their very first marathon was a life changing event for them.  I have to admit that even though I love running, I was a bit skeptical.  When I think of life changing events, I think of births, marriage, or even death.  Still, as I continued training this fall, more and more marathoners told me of their similar life altering marathon experiences.  I remained a bit perplexed.  How could running a marathon be that life altering?

Well, as I sit here two weeks post race, I am still having a difficult time putting words to my experience.  It brings tears to my eyes to think about how I felt when I crossed the finish line.  It’s a moment in time that I want to hold close to my heart.  It’s one of those feelings that I just want to bottle up and never forget.  The utter exhaustion and sense of pride and accomplishment is incomparable to anything I have ever felt before.

My First Marathon

Have you run a marathon?  How would you describe the feeling of crossing the finish line of your first 26.2?


PS.  Stay tuned for an in depth look at my Marine Corps Marathon experience!


  1. Awww! What a beautiful post! What you described is truly what I am so excited for this Sunday in my debut marathon. I have heard to cherish that moment you cross the line, no matter how tired, or how you did, because it is a moment you will only have once. Your post was proof of that! Congratulations, what a fantastic achievement! Have you signed up for another yet? I have heard that is one of the "side effects"….addiction 🙂
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    • Lisa_Cupcake says:

      Thank you so much! I haven't signed up for another yet. I just started a new job and need to get a feel for how I will manage my training before I sign up for another. I thought I was going to be hit by the bug too but in all honesty, my body wants a break more than anything else right now. We will see!

      Best of luck on your marathon! I can't wait to hear how it goes for you.

  2. Congrats!! I have never run a marathon but have had similar experiences talking to those who have. Just one of those experiences you have to do for yourself to understand how it feels. I'm hopeful someday I will be able to know what it is like 🙂
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  3. I got pretty emotional at the finish of my first marathon. I was so happy that I finished, but my body hurt SO badly that I'm sure the emotions came from both. Can't wait to read the recap. Congrats Lisa!!
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    • Lisa_Cupcake says:

      Thanks Megan! I hear you on the body aches too. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to walk and find my family at the end of the race. Once I stopped walking, it was so hard to get going again. And, stairs were evil for a few days!

  4. I haven't done a marathon, but I know that my finishing my first half marathon was the best feeling in the world! My 3rd may have tied it.(…I did a weird laugh cry thing….you know us runners are nuts), but I remember never feeling so proud after crossing the finish line for the first time. I can only imagine what finishing a marathon must be like! Congrats! 🙂
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    • Lisa_Cupcake says:

      Yes, runners are nuts but in a totally awesome kind of way! My first half marathon was filled with a lot of the same feelings too!

  5. I was so elated when I crossed the finish line at my first (and only) marathon in January. You have captured in words how I felt that day. Now I am looking forward to the day when I run a marathon on it's own and not in conjunction with a slew of Disney medals that I must have! Somehow, I think you understand and it is time to move to more serious races!
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    • Lisa_Cupcake says:

      I'm excited at the thought of you running a non-Disney marathon too! You have to do it! And yes, I completely understand wanting to move on to more and different races. I'm struggling to put together my 2014 race calendar because I want to experience new races but at the same time, I have ones that I want to run again. It's so hard to decide new versus old stand-bys. Oh, the runner problems! But, when it comes to Disney, I am convinced that I want to run Wine and Dine next year. I'm honestly wishing I did not sign up for Glass Slipper. I'm sure it will be fun though!

  6. So my first was MCM too 🙂 The feeling crossing the finish line was probably the best feeling I have ever had besides my wedding and the birth of my children. It's a completely different feeling though. I can't wait to do it again 🙂

  7. Oh I just love your last paragraph, it sums it up so beautifully! When I crossed the finish line of my first marathon I immediately felt like I could do anything – for some reason going from being a complete non runner to covering 26.2 miles in less than a year just made me feel like anything was possible. As adults it's not often that we set goals for ourselves that we really need to work for, so crossing the finish line really was amazing!

    I can't wait to hear more about your experience!
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    • Lisa_Cupcake says:

      Thank you! I'm so behind on posting my recap. It just seems too special to write a race recap about! Weird but true.

  8. Congratulations! Very inspiring reading this post! 🙂 I'm thinking of registering for my first full next year! 🙂
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  9. Great post! The 2005 Marine Corps Marathon was my first marathon. I ran it four days after coming home from my second deployment. That is an incredible event to choose as your first marathon. Very few come close to the energy and exhilaration of that race.

    Looking forward to your in-depth write-up and all the memories it will stir up.

    • Lisa_Cupcake says:

      Yes, I wanted MCM to be my first marathon. I had heard such great things and since I am a military spouse it was a no brainer. I hope to finally post my race recap this week 🙂 And, thank you for your service!!

  10. HOW DID I MISS THIS POST?!?!?!??!?! Agh bad runner friend!
    This is a fantastic post! And yes, a marthon is totally life changing. And I couldn't agree more about bottling up that feeling. I often find myself day dreaming about the race on days when I feel a little down and I always find it cheers me up a bit! So happy we were able to share a bit of the first marathon experience together <3
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  1. […] I mentioned in this post, it’s truly difficult to put words to my experience.  It brings tears to my eyes to think […]

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