I can’t believe I’m actually writing these words, let alone saying them out loud!
On Sunday, October 1st 2017, I completed my first half marathon!
When I first started taking running seriously, I never would have imagined that I could ever complete a half marathon. My goal was to just to be able to run 5k without stopping.
When I reached my 5k goal, I set a new goal to run 10k without stopping.
When I achieved that, and after taking part in a few 10k races, I knew it was time to set a new goal.
To run a half marathon without stopping.
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it, and it did take some convincing from a good friend of mine called Clare. Clare’s been running for many years and boy is she quick!
We did a 10k together earlier in the year and as we set off, she just disappeared into the distance!
It was Clare who encouraged me to enter the 10k, but also to enter the half marathon.
In June 2017, I plucked up the courage and actually entered.
At the time I thought to myself that if I really didn’t think I could do it, I could always back out!
I searched online for half marathon training plans, and I text Clare pretty much everyday with numerous questions about running and what I should be eating!
I did suffer a slight set back in training when I tore a muscle in my inner thigh, but after some rest, I was quickly back training.
The longest I’d ever run in my training was 11 miles. The half marathon is 13.1 miles so I was relying on the atmosphere and adrenaline of the day to get me through those last few miles.
When the day of the Cardiff Half arrived, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be. Yes, I was nervous, but I was more excited than nervous!
Clare picked me up at 8am and before I knew it, I was stood in my pen waiting to cross the starting line!
I took it slow and steady for the first 10k. I didn’t want to start too fast. I wanted to be comfortable and enjoy the day, but I also wanted to finish in under 2 hours 30 minutes!
I stayed behind the 2hr30 minute pacer until mile 6 and then pushed forward, staying just a little bit ahead of her.
The atmosphere was amazing. The streets were lined with people of all ages handing out water, sweets, high fives and shouting words of encouragement!
My favourite part was running down Penarth, across the barrage and into Cardiff Bay. It’s a beautiful place to run.
When Roath Park came into sight I knew I wasn’t far from the finish line.
Knowing that my husband and children were waiting at the finish line for me gave me a real boost. I dug down deep and finished in 2 hours 29 minutes and 3 seconds! I’d achieved my goal of running a half marathon without stopping and even got the time I wanted!
I absolutely loved every minute of it and I actually can’t wait to do it all again next year!