Running My First Half Marathon

Words By: Catherine Hogan ’24

Courtesy of Catherine Hogan

Over the summer, a family friend told me they were running a half marathon and asked if I wanted to run with them. I had run cross country from third grade to 10th grade, but in all honesty, my running skills were rusty at the moment. Since entering college, I found myself not running as much as I used to. I felt no obligation since I was no longer on a team but tried to go on the occasional run. I was nervous thinking about the long months of training ahead, but I came up with a plan that was very doable. It was running three times a week with cross training twice a week. I started small with running one to two miles and then gradually worked my way up to running 11 miles. 

Once I fell into a routine with my training, it felt good. I pushed myself to go on my long runs on Sunday, regardless of how late I stayed up the night before. I started running in the Fenway neighborhood, then finally navigated my way to the Charles River. It was the perfect place to run, and the fall weather was beautiful. I felt motivated seeing many other people running. Even though my times were not as good as they were when I ran cross country, I was still proud of myself for showing up every week and following my plan. There were times I skipped out on my plan; I felt sick one week and could not do my long run, but for the most part, I stuck to it. 

The race I ran was called the Seacoast Half Marathon, and it was in Portsmouth, N.H.. It was on Oct. 30, the day before Halloween. The race began at 8:30 a.m., and I was nervous to start, but being with my family friends made it fun. I was unsure if I would be able to run the 13.1 miles since my training plan only went up to 11 miles, but once I started running, I felt great. 

Each mile marker I passed felt like an accomplishment. There were people along the route cheering the runners on, and some people even handed out candy. The race felt both long and short. I was able to keep up a good pace and finished in a little over two hours. It was definitely a memorable experience, and I would do it again. I was not sure if I was physically prepared even though I had followed my plan. Once I ran it, my adrenaline was pumping, and I felt strong. I would definitely like to run a full marathon sometime in the future.


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