2014 goal #1: the half marathon

Let's talk goals for 2014. I always seem to have a delayed response to New Year aims and resolutions - I haven't even bought a calendar yet - but we're in the last week of January so I can't put it off any longer.

Goal number one, as suggested in the title, is to take part in my first ever half marathon. The longest race I've done so far is 10K, which was one of my goals in 2013, so a half marathon feels a like the next step in race training for me.

If I find and run a 10-miler first that'd be welcome practice, but my heart is in hitting the previously incomprehensible 21K.

Half marathoners passing through the Bay
To me, just taking part in 5K was an overwhelming achievement. 10K and I was proud as a peacock. I was happy with these distances, and still am, but then I went to watch the Cardiff Half Marathon in October last year.

I wandered various parts of the course between Roald Dahl Plass and the finish near Cardiff Museum. The atmosphere was incredible. Some runners were flying around the course, others laughing and jogging, some really struggling. But everyone, runners, volunteers and spectators alike, were all supportive of each other. When a man ran past me with speakers blasting the Rocky theme tune, I wanted to join him for the remaining seven miles.

It was when I watched runners of my average pace crossing the finish line with expressions of utmost joy that I really caught the bug. Whatever state the runners were in, you could see the sense of achievement on their faces.

So I want 2014 to be the year I do a half marathon. Perhaps too eagerly, I did consider the Llanelli Half on 2 March, but with a prolonged chest cold and doubts swimming through my head, I switched to a forthcoming 10K.

Witnessing the buzz in Cardiff, I know I want to be a part of that day again - this time, on the course.

Wish me luck.

Read about my #2 goal for 2014 here.

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