Half Marathon First Timer.

Welp… I did it! I ran my first half marathon and lived to tell the tale. It took me three hours and 11 minutes, but I did it! No stopping (aside from the occasional picture that wouldn’t focus with my bouncing) and no walking… just three straight hours of running. Of course when the horn sounded and the mob started moving, that nervous energy and pressure to keep up had me thinking I wasn’t gonna last a half mile let alone 13.1. I was strugglin’ early, but I reminded myself that’s always how I feel the first mile, and the second and most of the way through the third… but then I settle down and find my rhythm. And thankfully that still held true in the “race”. I say that in quotes because for me, there was never one second in time when I considered this a race. No, this was a goal.  A test of my mind over my body, and over my mind itself.  A test of my will and determination, and ultimately it was me proving to myself, and anyone who needed proof that anything is possible for anyone. 

Running for over three hours is not something I ever really honestly thought I could ever do.  Sure I had the goal, and sure I’m writing this series with the intent of running double that, but honestly I don’t think my brain had ever really tried to process what that actually meant. I can tell you this, by the time I was at mile 11 I was questioning my decision to run the Portland Marathon in October.  Questioning with many mental swear words, and maybe a Tweet of that nature (check my Twitter feed for all the live posts form Saturday’s race). But the last half mile was the killer. My thighs locked up, my brain locked up, the bottoms of my feet hurt and the six Advil I’d taken over the course of the three hours was wearing off. I was once again being passed by walkers, my run hardly qualified as a jog, but hey… I wasn’t walking. I had somehow managed to get through all 13.1 miles and not walk. That was a goal I’d not even dared to set for myself, yet I was somehow accomplishing it. I did feel a bit like Forest Gump though, I can’t lie.

I think the thing that surprised me the most about the whole experience was how much I enjoyed it. I went into it with some dread, let’s be real. I wasn’t looking forward to it at all, especially doing it alone, being there alone. I came prepared to put my ear-buds in and my head down, which I did for the first few miles.  And then I noticed that all my Portland Fit running group were cheering me and other members on throughout the race, and for some crazy reason that changed my entire perspective. Suddenly I wasn’t out there doing it alone, I was looking through the crowd for my fellow runners, ready to return the favor.

And of course, my favorite part of running…. taking pictures and Tweeting! It was a beautiful run through the country, with rolling hills and farms galore.  A photog’s paradise. I snapped pictures from the time I got in the car until my phone died across the Finish line, getting that selfie in as I did.  It kept me so occupied that I didn’t even notice the hills really, and totally missed the five-mile marker editing a pic! But the result was a full documentation of my first time experience. Of the achievement of a goal that seemed beyond reach for a girl like me.  But this proves that with a dream, the hustle, determination and relentless pursuit…. you really can manifest anything! … aka Hustle.Believe.Receive.


 Part #1 of my Video Diary…


Part #2 Of my Video Diary…


My day in pictures… Get inspired!


Here’s some of my favorite photos from my run… enjoy!




Thanks Better Series for putting on a fun, great race… It was my first but it won’t be my last!



  • Melissa
    June 9, 2014 - 6:24 am | Permalink

    Wooohoo!! Go Sarah! I followed your tweets on Saturday and was so proud of you. Thanks for sticking with it.

    • Sarah Centrella
      June 9, 2014 - 4:19 pm | Permalink

      awe thanks Melissa 🙂

  • Tanya
    June 9, 2014 - 6:33 am | Permalink

    So proud of you girl!

    • Sarah Centrella
      June 9, 2014 - 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much Tanya 🙂

  • Tom
    June 9, 2014 - 6:57 am | Permalink

    I knew you could do it! Love the pictures too btw quite the photo gallery.

    • Sarah Centrella
      June 9, 2014 - 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Tom, taking pictures is my favorite part of running hahaha

  • Shannon P
    June 10, 2014 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I ran the Portland marathon a few years ago, toughest thing I’ve ever done but also one of the most satisfying. Great job, keep it up Sarah.

    • Sarah Centrella
      June 12, 2014 - 6:30 pm | Permalink

      awesome! thanks Shannon

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