On Sunday 5th October Katie ran the Cardiff Half Marathon to raise money for the AKU Society. She decided to do this in support of her Dad, who has AKU. Not only did she beat her fundraising target, she also beat her personal best time in the race! In this week’s blog she tells us all about the final weeks of training, and how she did on the big day itself.
Juggling training with my work placement for university ended up being quite a challenge; my initial plan of four runs a week was a bit ambitious. I ended up doing two shorter runs during the week and a longer run on the weekend. I was looking forward to placement finishing. I thought it would be much easier to train when I was just going to lectures, as I wouldn’t be spending as much time commuting to placement each day.
Then it dawned on me that fresher’s week was two weeks before the half marathon. As I’m in my final year of university my housemates and I were planning on making the most of our final fresher’s. Finding the balance between going out, lectures, and still managing to train proved to be quite difficult, and on the final weekend before the half marathon I was feeling very nervous.
On the Sunday I went on a 10.9 mile run and managed to run 10 miles in 2 hours. After this I felt more confident, and was hoping to finish the half marathon in 2 and a half hours. In the final week before the marathon I went on two short 4 mile runs as I didn’t want to tire myself out too much before Sunday. I was feeling nervous but excited for Sunday.
The Big Day
On Sunday we set off at 9:00AM, and the atmosphere was great. The first 4 miles were fast paced and went quite quickly. There was a hill during the second mile, which I wasn’t expecting. This was quite tough, but luckily Cardiff is one of the flattest half marathons! The first part of the route was really scenic and enjoyable as we ran around Cardiff marina. I ran the first 10k in 1hr 5 minutes.
I found the middle part of the race most difficult, but I managed to complete the race without stopping, which I was pleased with. I completed the first 10 miles in 1hr 49 minutes.
The last 3 miles were more challenging than I expected, especially with a fairly short, but very steep hill at the 11 mile point. The crowd were very supportive, and there was even a residential home cheering us all on, which helped to motivate me for the final push. When the finish line was in sight I sprinted as quickly as I could and I finished the half marathon in 2hrs 22 minutes.
I was very happy with my time as it was quicker than my target of 2hrs 30 minutes! This half marathon ended up being my fastest 5k, 10k, 10 mile and furthest run! Other than being very hungry, and my knees being quite sore, I didn’t feel too bad afterwards. I was slightly worried it might catch up with me the following day, but luckily, other than my legs feeling pretty achey, the next day I felt fine. I even managed to do netball training without complaining too much!
Throughout my training many of my fellow course mates have asked who I am fundraising for, and I feel I have managed to raise the awareness of AKU among them. Considering a lot of us will end up working as physiotherapists for the NHS, I feel knowledge of this disease will prove to be quite useful.
Thanks a lot to everyone who has sponsored me! To anyone who is still looking to donate you can still do so on my JustGiving page.