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Half Marathon Race Report

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Last Sunday was the Cardiff Half Marathon, living in Wales means rain and lots of it but we had a beautiful sunny day for the race, however it was the coldest day of the year so far and the first time we've had to de-ice the car in the morning. Luckily I had plenty of layers and the only thing that caused me a problem was my cold hands, they really hurt when they get cold!

My running partner missed the entry to the race, but a couple of weeks ago she managed to buy someone else's entry so she could run it with me. I was really pleased to have her run it with me, I normally do these kind of things on my own so to have a good friend with me was great.

There were 18,000 runners taking part so it was really crowded the whole way, I was worried that this would mean I would run a different stride than I'm used to and make it more tiring but even with the worst part of the crowds in the first mile we still managed to do it in less than 10min. Gill, my friend had trouble relaxing into it for the first couple of miles and it took me until 3 miles before I was warm - that is my hands no longer hurt from the cold. We ran ok until the 8-10 mile mark where Gill started to get tired. She gets very nervous so it's likely that the nerves took a bit out of her because we normally run 10miles together on the weekend. We were still managing ok until we got to the 11 mile marker, I swear somebody put these last few mile markers further apart. Gill got really tired at the 12 mile mark so I grabbed her hand and we ran for a bit holding hands. That seemed to lift her, and although I was beginning to feel the strain, I didn't let it show because I wanted to be strong for her. Spectators were cheering and shouting all the way but I'm not sure if they realize how you feel when you've ran 12 miles and someone tells you you ONLY have a mile left! Kids were holding their hands out and it was fun to high five them as I ran past, it occupied my mind and stopped me thinking how far I had left to run. I text Matt a pre written text so he would know to be at the finish for us.

There were plenty of water stations and they supplied energy gels at one point and an energy drink at another. I avoided these energy things because I hate the taste of them and the evil sugar in them just seems to confuse my body and leave me with an energy crash in half a mile or so. It's like my body has quite happily started burning fat for energy and then it abruptly changes to sugar only to run out of sugar and have to convert back to fat burning mode. The point where you convert to fat burning mode is the horrible bit, what some call 'the wall' and I wanted to avoid that at all costs. I'm pleased to say I did not hit the wall, but I was exhausted by the last quarter of a mile. I recognized the road we were on meant that around the corner the finish line was waiting for us, I told Gill and she picked up the pace. This is one of her 'things' when she knows there's not far left she seems to find a surge of energy no matter how tired she is. The two of us held on to each other and as we saw the finish line we really picked up the pace, we were running past loads of people. The feeling as we crossed that finish was indescribable, we did it we ran 13.1 miles without walking at all. There was no clock above the finish line and I was concentrating so long on standing up on my jelly-like legs that I forgot to check the timer on my phone for a few mins so all I knew was that we had finished in around 2hrs 10. We collected our goody bags and medal and then I tried to text Matt to tell him where we were but my phone had got wet from keeping it down my bra for the whole run and none of the buttons would work properly. Matt hadn't been able to get to the finish line for photos, 18,000 runners brings a lot of spectators but we got photos later. It took about 10 mins to find Matt and all I kept thinking was don't sit down, if I had I wouldn't have got back up again and I had to find Matt, he had my peanut butter sandwich waiting for me! Talking about peanut butter it's not just me who has trouble with avoiding it, I ate 1tsp and what was in my sandwiches and Matt ate the rest of a 450g jar in two days! Evil peanut butter! And talking of food, I ate a lot on Sunday, I just couldn't stop! But I allowed myself to do this because I knew I needed to re fuel and what better opportunity for a little splurge!

I really enjoyed the day and I will definitely do another half marathon soon. I'm going to begin looking for another race this week. We met my parents, who had been looking after Amelia since 6:30am for Sunday Lunch, it was lovely but really, I think they could have served peelings and I would have said the same. I enjoyed a chocolate fudge cake for desert too,which kept my mum happy who seems to think I don't eat and has only ever seen me order desert twice before in my entire life! (I probably only ever had half a dozen deserts when I've been out)

Yesterday I went clothes shopping, all of my trousers are hanging off me and nothing looks very flattering. I wanted a pair of trekking trousers, something casual to wear when I'm out walking wiht the pram and if they get wet they dry off really quickly. But none of the shops we went in had any to fit me, they went down to a UK6 (I know I'm not a 6 but these clothes all appear to be very generous in sizing) but they only pair they had that fit me in the waist were about 3 inches to short on the leg! So we went in O'Neill and I found a great pair of grey cargo jeans. The sizes were labelled 25, 26, 27, 28 so I had no clue what size I should be and took the 28, poor Matt was back and fore as I worked my way down each size only to find I was in the smallest size they do! I just can't judge if something will fit me just by looking at it anymore. I really don't know how much space I take up! I picked up a t-shirt too and it's nice to have something that fits me well. I need something warm to wear over the t-shirt now and a pair of shoes but I can't buy it all at the same time. I'm almost nervous about wearing these new clothes because they show off my body more than I'm used to (apart from my running gear)

I still manage to use the statioanry bike yesterday and today as normal. I did it mainly to loosen up and it really helped me avoid feeling stiff. I felt achy Sunday evening but other than that I've been pretty good. Maybe I could do it faster next time?! emoticon

A quick summary about my maintaining without tracking so far: I have started avoiding sweet treats 5 x per week, doing well so far but on the days where I eat no sugar I may have to work at getting my calories higher before I quit tracking. Having certain foods in my allowances category is working really well and I'm finding I can leave tracking until later in the day and catch up to find that I'm well within my range. In a week or two I'm going to take the next step and hopefully I'll start to lay off the tracking for a few days per week in a months time.

I'll try and get some pics up later of race day and maybe one of my new outfit. Hope you all have a great week :-)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I loved reading your race story, Zennith! Thanks for sharing it. I'm getting nervous about mine, and you inspired me. Especially the part about you and your running buddy holding hands and encouraging each other.
    1822 days ago
    Great blog. Well done on the run - you gave us a nice look into the half marathon feelings.
    And how nice for you to be able to buy the small size clothes.
    1828 days ago
    Sounds like a really fun race! I"m not sure I'll ever be up for doing more than a 5K, much less a half-marathon, but I hope one day to at least get up to a 10K! That sounds so pitiful, but I'm really a terrible runner. Did you guys have chip timing so you could get your official time?
    1828 days ago
  • HOTMAMA241
    Great job and congrats on your half marathon. I am about to complete my 11th half marathon. I absolutly love doing half marathons, but always at the 8th mile Im like why did I sign up for this. lol This is stupid. Never fails I think that everytime. But somehow I get through it. I have all my medals and tags hanging up in my room. Its even better when my kids come and cheer me on. I love it! keep it up girl!
    1828 days ago
    Great race and race report! Glad to hear that it went so well!
    1828 days ago
    Well done on your half marathon. emoticon . Luckily you it was cold and no rain. I will be praying for good weather on 28th October. I hate running when is wet.

    I am doing my race with my friend too. Unfortunately I will have to leave her behind as she is slower than me and I would really like to do it faster this time.
    1828 days ago
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