Cardiff Half Marathon

When it comes to the friendship department, I believe I am one of the luckiest girls on earth. Having had a bad time the week before, one of my best friends Katie surprised me with a weekend get away in Cardiff, Wales in time for our first half marathon together. While she could have chosen to celebrate her success (she just passed her exams) in some other way, she chose to spend it with me because she thought we both deserved a good time in Cardiff. And so we celebrated her success and my sort of failure with a view!

Katie didn't actually told me that she booked us a five star hotel by Cardiff bay. She wanted to surprise me and she succeeded. The breathtaking view and Katie's kindness almost brought tears to my eyes. 
The view from our hotel room
My friend Katie, the view and our food

Apparently the night before a race, you should carb-load. Perhaps I have heard about this before but obviously have chosen to ignore it as I cannot remember carbloading ever in my previous races. The proper runner that Katie is, she insisted that we should eat loads of carbs. She actually managed to convince me that that day was the only day we could eat as much carbs as we wanted. I thought I already have done carb-loading as I had Mc Donald's double sausage and egg muffin meal before I left for Cardiff in the morning, but apparently not. So we dropped by M&S on our way to our hotel and bought £30 worth of carbs. :)

And what is the better way to carb-load than to sit outside your hotel balcony with your food and enjoy the magnificent view of the Cardiff bay and the sunset?

At least two and a half hours of carb-loading over sunset later, we realized that we have eaten far too much carbs that we doubted our ability to run the following day. So after our trip to the spa, we hit the gym and burned some calories on the bike and then did some crunches. Believe it or not, but we felt so much better afterwards. 

Although we only spent a few hours in Cardiff on our first day and didn't actually explore the city, it was nevertheless a very enjoyable and memorable day. And it ended with a fireworks display at the bay.
So if you are looking for a weekend getaway, why not try...

St. David's Hotel
Havannah Street
Cardiff CF10 5SD

Sunday the 5th of October was our official race day. We woke up in time for the sunrise and boy, wasn't it so beautiful. This gave me hope that the weather would be good for our run. Although it rained on our way to the race area, it settled in no time.

And then we were ready to go....

This was my second half marathon. And after all that happened after my first half marathon, I am really happy to have done the race with one of my bestfriends, Katie. Indeed, new memories were made.
Before the race
After the race
We also met with our other friend Hannah after the race.  1:37 is Katie's personal best. I know, that is crazy fast. I am so proud of her.

I must admit, I really enjoyed the Cardiff Half Marathon. I was really glad that it was not that hilly. The only killer was the hill at mile 12. At this point it was really mind over matter. I stopped for 5 seconds but then Lighters came on and I was embarrassed because I knew that that was my angel in heaven telling me not to give up. My angel exactly knows when to poke me and remind me that I can do it. And because I knew that I only had a mile to go, I continued to run at a slower pace. 

The crowd was not that bad either. Nothing like Bristol or London, but it was good enough for me to go on. I got a lot of high-fives from kids which was really amazing! But my favourite part was when we passed by a nursing home and a few elderly patients were waving flags and cheering on us. I thought that was the sweetest. 

And 1 hour and 58 minutes (and a trip to the porta-loo) later, I crossed the finish line with so much pride and satisfaction.

That day, I was not in competition with anyone but myself. I wanted to break my personal record of 2 hours and 28minutes from my first half marathon in Den Haag. And to be honest, I was only hoping to finish at 2 hours flat, but I obviously did better. 

Now that a new personal record is set (and a completely new life is lived), the only way is definitely forward. Here's to more races in the future. :)

tintin x


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