I am pleased to say I completed the second half marathon in Cardiff. It was a little bit chillier but the atmosphere, company, and scenery was great. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
My prep for this was probably unorthodox from the nutrition side to the physical side. My prep on Friday was to rip carpets up using my hands and feet... very good to get rid of pent up aggression. I did have a lovely relaxed run around memorial park in Coventry with my running partner for the half, followed by a cheeky paddle (well I couldn't resist, the water was calling me).
Saturday saw a some what more stressful day, my car decided to break, my back was a little unhappy and began spasming ... All was not lost and after some ibuprofen, some ingenious and creative jubilee clip work of art... I was able to watch some of my old juniors I coached at Notts Kayak Club race down HPP. I then transformed myself into a Pirate for my friends Las Vegas themed wedding.
Then a mere 4 hrs sleep, 3hrs of driving and I found myself in Cardiff (thanks to borrowing my Dad's car :o)).
After navigating myself to the start and race village, I realised I still had to run another 13.2 miles, plus drive home via my Dad's place... A long day. I admit my heart was not quite with it and I very much wondered what on earth I was doing.
Like any atmospheric place, you get drawn to it and it was not long before the excitement began to boil inside me and my bounciness came out.
I met up with Emma (my running companion for the half) and her friend Faye. We soon played follow my leader to get a position in the zoned starting pens. Looking around the best fancy dress was a shed!!! It made me feel a little bare in just a vest and shorts. Perhaps fancy dress for my next half marathon ...
Before long we were off ... The first 4 miles cruised past and as I was the pacer for this challenge I stuck to a steady 10min miling. At 4 miles the crowd around us was lifted by a runner who had a speaker system on and the song was 'I hear you baby ... Shaking that ass ...' You can imagine the lift and singing that went in to that. Hehe
Then came the running around the Bay, some amazing views and the miles clocked by, my ability to talk and waffle about nonsense increased. Emma was a trooper and kept running beside me, she responded to my little incentives and words of encouragement. at every mile we had a 'smile check', ie ensuring we enjoyed and appreciated each mile we had run. At mile 9 through 11.5 there were a few inclines to keep us on our toes. Then unbelievably a sprint finish. I was not expecting that and as Emma picked up the pace for the last 400m, and shouted to me (as she pulled away in front) 'come on then' .. Well it didn't take much to make me go ... 'Ok then'.
Compared with Robin Hood Half it was a very different experience. This time I appreciated and took all my surroundings in, it was also nice to help someone achieve a goal. The crowd again were ace and after I crossed the finish line, I felt quite releaved ... My aim had been achieved ... I ran two half marathons in 6 days of each other. 2 very different experiences, but both as good as each other.
Probably the nicest thing, from my personal point of view, to come out of this little challenge is that my love for the water is still there. I was a little worried after my earlier summer adventures but i have an urge to get back out in a boat again. They say a change is as good as a break and it is certainly true... Hmmm but what is the next challenge :o) il keep that one quiet for now ;o)
Instead I will finish this blog with a happy smiley picture