A guide to running a fun and easy half marathon


A guide to running a fun and easy half…


Yesterday Kelly and I ran in the Austin Half Marathon for the second year in a row. Since we're such old pros now, I wanted to share what makes running marathons fun and easy for us.

Things to think

You probably don't have to guess that a positive attitude is the most important part of enjoying a race. Kelly and I consciously chose to be very laid back and relaxed about the run, not caring about our finishing time at all.

Lots of people get injured because they get so caught up in negative aspects of running. They worry about getting injured, or not being hydrated, or not finishing at their desired time. Stress creates crappy experiences! Here are a few ways to avoid it:

  1. Find a mantra. The sentence I repeat to myself over and over while running is "I feel so good I'm in the flow." It keeps my mind from wandering to negative thoughts and really helps me focus on the thrilling flow of running.
  2. Relax and have fun! As long as you cross the finish line within 4 hours, you get your medal and t-shirt so chill out and don't worry about your time. Talk to people around you. Cheer on the spectators. Bring a video camera and tape all the funny things you see.
  3. Walking counts as running. We only ran about 5 of the 13.1 miles! Even if you walk a LOT, it's still super easy to finish in time! It's like the whole city shuts down just so I can have a pleasant Sunday stroll :]

Things to bring

The #1 most important thing to bring is a friend! We made plans to drive our friend Bridgette who was also running. It's a REALLY good thing we did, because Kel and I would have bailed otherwise! We hadn't slept the night before the race (oh the perils of being nocturnal!) and were so glad we had Bridgette to motivate us to go anyway!

Survival items:

  • Spi belt - a tiny, comfortable pouch you wear on your waist to hold all the things below.
  • Ibuprofen for when your legs start achin.
  • Energy bars (we bring magick pellets) - you never want to get hungry during a run.
  • Caffeinated Gu for a quick jolt of energy
  • Bandaids for your toesies
  • Video camera - honestly, a camera makes it so much more fun!
  • Tissues - I'm not a snot rocket kind of girl.
  • A banana, a cup of coffee and a bottle of water to chug while you wait for the race to begin
  • Cheap plastic pancho or garbage bag to wear while you wait for the race to begin if it's cold.

Things to wear

  • Sunscreen!
  • Phone on armband
  • Vaseline between your thighs! This year they were handing out great gobs of the stuff on gloved fingers ;P
  • Wear nothing new. You don't want to find out your new shirt chafes on mile 4.
  • I LOVED all the people with inspiring messages on their shirts. If you are inclined, wear something to keep the people behind you motivated!

Running a half marathon is easy if you allow it to be (and if you do a reasonable amount of training, of course). Just let go. Don't stress. Expect it to be fun and it will be!

Jessica Mullen
Living the magick life.
  • Erin

    My bro does a lot of running but never shares his secrets… now I have the inside infos, muahahaha! :D Great post, and the pics are so cute! I especially <3 Kelly in the lower right, giving the "SEE HOW FUN IT IS?" thumbs-up. :D

    And holding hands running!! D'aww!!

  • Shannon

    Ahhhhh Fab! Doing my first half in 4 weeks – I think I may have to design myself a rad poncho / plastic garbage bag attire incase the lovely New Zealand weather decides to throw a fit! I never thought to bring my camera – but heck why not document it! This has made me so much more excited (I feel like I’ve swallowed a bag of fluffy kitty’s) wohoooo – bring it on!! Thanks for the fabulicious post! xx

  • jessica mullen

    Erin, does your brother run races? I didn’t realize he was a runner! Rad!

    Shannon, CONGRATS on your upcoming half! So exciting! And swallowing a bag a fluffy kitties? That is so my new favorite phrase!

  • Erin

    Yeah he started training a few years ago and it didn’t take him long to get way into it and start participating in marathons. O.O He really loves it!

    *floats away due to fluffy-kitty OD*

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