RACE DAY: Cardiff Half Marathon

12:36:00


OH MAN! 

The Cardiff half was so much fun, I've been building up to it since the last one and couldn't wait to get out there and make a PB. 

The biggest race yet 25,000 runners took to the streets to pace it out. It was amazing, what an atmosphere! I ran with my motivational speeches from YouTube pushing me this year, but I pulled out an earbud to enjoy the performers as I passed them by - I love being in the moment. I ate many a jelly bean, tried my first energy gel and drank lots of water. And much like last year, filled up on the good stuff, a little too much. I got a stitch around half way round, D'OH! Have to remember next time that it's a race... not a buffet. Teehee.  It's just so inviting and who doesn't love a free jelly bean! As you make your way through the city you're never left wanting for support or crowds. They came thick and fast, I love high fiving children on the way. Their tiny hands are just so cute, as they look up at you with big, gleaming eyes, in awe! Awww🙊!

The train was absolutely packed. I was not alone in trying to avoid traffic, arriving at my local station it was absolutely chocca! Clearly not the only one heading to the half. We squeezed ourselves into the carriages, the conductor had asked spectators to get a later train, so all the runners could make the starting gun. Which I thought was really sweet. We pulled into the next station, it was the same. This continued until Cathays, where everyone proceeded to pile out onto the station. Gridlock central. 

As I meandered through the crowds and crowds of people, both runners and supporters alike, I saw so many of my friends. Some I hadn't seen in years, I was running alone so it was really nice to give and receive some well wishes, before we set off! Dropped my bags, tagged myself up and I'm ready to go! It's game time.


The funny thing about these races, is that you always think you're going to be off with a bolting start, like a race horse out of the gates. Like there's literally thousands of you! And when the first firing gun goes off, you probably won't actually move for another 20 minutes. Well at least in my pen anyway. The elite runners set of first. Then the fastest amateurs and it works its way around by your estimated finish time. Your stretching and stretching, then take a little stroll towards the front of the castle and then all of a sudden, you're on top of the starting line... AND ITS GO TIME! People just start running and as prepared as you were, it's still a shock and then the adrenaline sets in. 

It's such a rush, you're surrounded by others all going for the same goal - Finish and finish strong. I hadn't needed to go (you know, like go) the whole time! About 1/2 a mile into the 13.1, I had to go. Seriously?! There are porter loos all the way around if you get caught short, so theres no worries. Just your time that's ticking away! As I joined the queue of frustrated runners, one lady protested her anguish. I literally just went, my pb! My pb! Hahaha, I feel you lady. I really do.

It seemed to go much faster this year, I guess because I knew the course too. The Cardiff half is one of the flattest and most iconic, it's great, especially for your first half marathon. Though I will warn you, there are a few hills. Not many, not big, but they're there. Before I knew it, we'd hit Cardiff bay and I whipped the front camera out (you feel me, hahaha) for a quick video update. 

This year I felt so much stronger and fitter. Also, I've not been a full time smoker in over 5 months! Victory! Coming around Roath is always the hardest, you're in your last few miles. You've come so far and you will finish this, but the pain is starting to set in. You see a few injured out on the side lines, frustrated and defeated. Their faces still raring to make the finish, but their bodies not able. In your mind, you keep your strength but become so aware of injuring yourself. Keep a good form, take the jelly beans if you need them!

The roundabout, the hill, down Cathays terrace and I see LIDL. Omg, never been so happy to see LIDL. I sprinted that last mile, as fast as I could intermittently, until I was nearly crawling across the finish line.  I came in at 2:14:24, we did it!

The evening ended with a first dinner at my grandmas, a 2nd KFC drive through with mums and an ice-cream with my baby brothers. Ey, treat yourself. ðŸ˜‰ I've been on a few runs since and I'm still loving it. So many people have asked me about it and you should all go for it! Seriously, I used to hate exercise and was really fat a couple times in my life. I feel stronger and healthier than ever and I can control my mental state. 

Go for it, sign up, it'll change your life.
I dare you.

Until next time, a determined Erica... xo 



 I can't help but to think, if I hadn't of had that toilet break, what would have happened. Ah?! Agony hahaha. That means only one thing, it's time to do it all over again. I will make sub 2 hours!!!

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