Monday, 19 October 2009

Cardiff Half Marathon

(That's me in the pink next to the dragon. I nearly tripped the dragon up. Oops.)

I've never run a half marathon before. In fact, before Sunday, I had never run more than nine miles.

Now I have. I ran 13.1 miles in two hours and 25.04 minutes. Not the fastest time in the world, but 20 minutes faster than I anticipated.

My stats were: Time 2.25.04, 7778th (of 8811) and 354th out of 427 in the female 40-44 age category.

And oh how I loved every minute of it! There was a great atmosphere, a real buzz. I didn't get pushed or shoved (I knocked elbows once and exchanged grins and polite apologies, and I nearly tripped up that dragon, which just said "oh!" in a squeaky female voice).

The sun threw its beams down on us all of the time and people came out to clap and cheer and shout things like:"Well done" and "You're more than half way" and "Go fairy go!" (The latter was a little girl as we ran under the Welsh Assembly's flamboyant canopy. We fell about laughing, we really did.)

I ran the first ten miles in just over 100 minutes. That, for me, is flat out. I slowed considerably for the last three miles (I really needed a wee!) then speeded up at the prospect of the finish line (and a toilet).

I learned so much from that experience.
  1. I can comfortably run ten miles on a flat course. I should probably have decided sooner than eight weeks ago that I was going to run a half marathon. Before then I had been training for Swansea 10k, but was busy that weekend, so changed to Cardiff's half marathon instead. Eight weeks of Smartcoach took me from 6.5 miles to ten, but not quite to the full 13.1. The last three miles hurt like a very hurty thing.
  2. Don't get stuck in traffic and end up with the dilemma of going to the toilet or starting the race.
  3. Don't be so bloody nervous. It's fun.
  4. Save up and stay at the Cardiff Hilton next year. It's right by the start. Start saving right now.
  5. Lose that last stone. Fourteen pounds is too much excess lard to lug around a half marathon. (Mind you it's not nearly as heavy as the three and a half stones I've lost over the past five years.)
  6. Watch out for dragons.
  7. Always have a fitter, faster friend in front of you. You probably won't catch her, but it gives you something to chase.


  1. I think that it's always good to watch out for dragons.

    Actually, I think that all of your notes to self are excellent. What a great job you did- you should be very proud of yourself.

  2. Well done - sounds like an amazing time to someone who dragged too many spare pounds over a hillside (slowly) yesterday.

    Hope the 'hurty thing'is now recovered!

  3. Oh, you - get away with you! It was your first half marathon and the first is a steep learning curve - and you flew! By Llanelli you'll be my fitter, faster friend. It was great though, wasn't it?

  4. Congratulations to you, Ms. Mags!

    What a huge accomplishment you have under your belt. Do you wear belts? Well, you do know what I mean.

    I am so impressed that you are even now readying yourself for another of these long runs.

    (I am so fond of walking, and just cannot imagine running.... Just appreciate what the rest of you get up to.)


  5. Well done, what an achievement! I particularly liked your point 7!

  6. Well done you mad woman. Will we see you in Newcastle next year for the GNR?

  7. Very well done, my sin in law ( yet to marry my daughter!) runs marathons and I am in awe of anyone who can do it.

  8. l feel quite faint reading this or perhaps it makes me look a tadge lazy

  9. You go, pink person! That's fantastic - and the main thing is that you enjoyed it!

  10. Well done, Mags! I am in awe. And you don't look as though you've any lard to lose - pretty cool, in fact.


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