The 12 Stages of Your First Marathon

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Running your first marathon is certainly an experience that's hard to forget—especially all your mental ups and downs during the 26.2-mile trek. Here are the 12 emotional stages you should expect during your first marathon.

1) Excitement

You've paid the registration fee, put in countless hours of training time and given up seriously delicious (but unhealthy) food for the past three or four months. You're #soready to kick this marathon's booty.


2) Nervousness

It's the night before/morning of the race and you're a bundle of nerves. Have you done enough training? Where's my race bib? I really want to just finish. Dear God, please let me finish.


3) Apprehension

This stage usually comes on as you're walking to the starting line. "What have I done? I"m not ready for a marathon."


More: Marathons for First-Timers

4) Eagerness

As you're waiting (for what seems like an eternity) for the race to begin at the starting line, the fourth stage sets in: "It's 7:04 already. Let's get this show on the road! The sooner we start, the sooner I finish... in theory, that is."


5) Community

The race has started and throngs of runners are moving in unison toward the finish. Miles one through 10 allow you to bond with your fellow 26.2ers without too much pain or fatigue. You all are in it together--whether the others know it or not.


6) Questioning of Sanity

Stage six usually sets in around mile 15 and you. are. tired. "What on earth could have possibly attracted me to the thought of running for 26 freaking miles?? And then 0.2 more?"