Last year I completed the Cardiff Half Marathon for the first time. Despite being injured during training, I recovered pretty well and completed it in 2 hours 29 minutes and 3 seconds.
My original target was 2 hours 15 minutes, but after injury, I changed my target to 2 hours 30 minutes, and I was very pleased to have achieved that.
I decided to take part in the Cardiff Half Marathon again this year in the hopes of getting a better time. Unfortunately during training, I was injured again. This year my injury was worse than last year. As such I’m still recovering from it, and didn’t train as well as I should have.
I feel like I’ve lost a lot of strength in my legs, as well as the speed that I’d managed to build up.
Undeterred on Sunday, October 7th 2018, my step-daughter and I joined thousands of other people from all over the country to take part in the 15th year of the Cardiff Half Marathon.
Not only is it the 15th year that the Cardiff Half Marathon has been running, 2018 is also a special year for the Cardiff Half because Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon played host to the inaugural Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships.
Neither my step-daughter nor I had trained properly for the Cardiff Half Marathon, but my step-daughter is young, runs regularly and goes to the gym pretty much everyday so I knew she’d be fine. I was, however, slightly worried about how I’d fare!
I did manage to run 15k the week before the half, just so I could see if I could do it, and up until 10k it was going well, but then the aches started settle in, and my thighs felt heavy. However, I persevered and completed my target of 15k. Feeling more positive about the half marathon, I was actually getting quite excited about it!
As many blog readers know I’m running the London Marathon 2018 for a wonderful charity called, WellChild. They very kindly sent me a running vest which I wore for the Cardiff half marathon, and will be wearing again for London marathon.
So the day of the Cardiff half marathon arrived and I woke up feeling nervous. So nervous that I couldn’t eat a whole banana, but just a few bites.
My husband dropped my step-daughter and I as close as possible to the start line, and we walked the remainder of the way.
As people started to fill the pens, I was definitely getting nervous. Before we knew it we were off!
Now, one thing that I love about this race is the atmosphere and support from the crowds. Families and people of all ages line the streets, with children waiting to high five the runners!
I started slow, made sure we paced it well, and by the time we got to mile 6 I was feeling pretty good. I knew we were on target to beat last years time, but it wasn’t long before the aches started to settle in and I could feel myself slowing down.
Roath Park was always going to be a struggle for me. It’s so close to the finish line, yet it feels like the longest road in the world, and then you have a steep hill to tackle at the end of it!
As my step-daughter and I approached the finish line, we spotted my husband and our twin girls in the crowd so we ran over and high fived them!
It was then a desperate final push to make it to the finish line where I have to be honest and admit that I felt very relieved to have crossed the line.
I was so glad to have finally finished, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had the previous year, and I can only put this down to injury and a lack of training.
My step-daughter did amazingly well for her first half marathon, and she’s even thinking about signing up for Southampton half marathon next year. I know she’ll ace it!
My plan now is to have a well deserved month off from running and to concentrate on some strength training to get some strength back before I embark on my London Marathon Training. Wish me luck!
If you’d like to sponsor me for the London Marathon 2019, you can donate online here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EmilyHiggins3 I’m raising money for WellChild, the national charity for sick children.
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