I've not posted much lately, I was a bit worried that having signed up for another half, that if I got injured and had to pull out I would look like a wuss and I couldn't be having that. It has also been a crazy few months for me, as I've graduated from university, and got a fab new job in Devon. However, all summer I have been keeping up with the training, mostly along the coastal paths around Woolacombe and the Tarka trail in preparation for today's Cardiff Marathon.
Well, I finished it. And here's proof:
It was almost perfect conditions, perhaps a little too warm but otherwise a lovely day. We nearly missed the start having not anticipated all the road closures, and having to leave our bags with mum to hand in. They had also closed the portaloos at the start with 20 minutes to go, which meant a rather undignified squat behind a wheelie bin; made worse by another similarly positioned girl, pointing out the CCTV camera behind us - apologies to whoever has a recording of my naked arse.
For some crazy reason the race organisers had not put me in the slowest pen at the start, so I went off a little bit too fast to begin with, but other than that I stuck to my race plan, which was to keep as close to 11mm as I could, picking up a bit an the end if I had the energy.
Some mild irritations from around the course - the spitting and nose clearing still makes want to heave, the gel sachets being discarded so that there is gel all over the road making everyone's trainer squeak, and people with headphones oblivious to the other 18,999 people on the course. Grrrrr.
I can't really complain though, as it actually wasn't as much of a struggle as I had anticipated, and I could probably have gone a little bit faster. And other than the horrendous hill at 12 miles (which is actually more like a slope when doing 3 miles!) I didn't have to walk any of it. I'm glad that I did enough training, and the words of coach Chris were on my mind throughout the race; that the miles of training are like putting pennies in the bank that you get out on race day - I don't think I really appreciated what that meant until today.
The support from all of Lliswerry Runners was awesome - always a friendly word from those that ran past me, cheering from many places around the course, the trumpet at 11 miles and the hugs of celebration at the end. It really is the most amazing club, which is why I made the 150 mile round trip for the AGM last week, and will continue to come back for training sessions and events if I can. A massive congratulations to all who ran today; there were some incredible times both from the more elite club members, and those who tend to plod along at the back like me.
So what's next? Well, my dad also ran today, and beat me on chip time by 23 seconds, averaged out in the official results as being 1 second per mile quicker. Of course, I can joke that I took it easy today as I didn't want to embarrass him by coming in much faster, but in fact he ran really well today and deserved to come in at a better time than me. I'm determined to try harder next time though, so watch out!
Watch this space for the next running challenge, I'm sure it won't be too long.....
Until then, I leave you with my motivational quote of the day. Thank you so much for reading.