The mini-marathon comes around every year and you may clap for the great women doing it, friends, family, some seasoned runners, some beginners. Perhaps you may think.. ‘God, aren’t they just great’..perhaps you enjoy watching it from the side-line or from the comfort of your home on the news?? Yep, I’m with you there, I have been doing just that for years but this year is very different and I’ve signed up and I’m running/ walking it next Monday….eek!
I started training just over 3 weeks ago, it was a late decision to do it. It came about when a dear friend was asking if anyone was interested in doing it..I thought..why not? It’s good to take on new challenges and more importantly to support all the women who have been through crappy illnesses. It’s something I’ve admired greatly, the amazing community support spirit that comes alive and just how generous people in Ireland are when it comes to supporting charity work. I love watching the sea of colour passing with all the different charity’s represented on T-shirts. For some people it’s personal, for others a new challenge, whatever the reason, it’s one of those events that welcomes everyone and you do get a sense of that when watching it.
I signed up with ‘Crumlins children hospital’ to support the research and great services they provide. Last year they raised close to 500K enough to buy an Echo machine for the Cardiac ward. Amazing.
To summarize my training, it started just over 3 weeks before marathon, I didn’t follow a programme as such. I just did my own thing! For week one, I must admit it was a struggle, after my first run straight on flat terrain for only 2.5km I thought I was going to keel over. I thought..how will I do this?! I was surprised as I do consider myself fit but I guess it’s a different type of cardio exercise. I took a breather for 5 minutes by the sea and returned running for the next 2.5km. I repeated this again and so did 10k the first week.
Week two, I did 3 local runs some by the sea, others in country lanes and allowed a day in between each to recover including lots of warming up and stretching and eating well. Towards the end of the week I felt like I could get through it. I made friends with the app ‘Strava’. It’s great for keeping track of progress and maps out routes and tells you your heart-beat, pace, distance & more. You can also join friends online with it. I’ve had great encouragement from support on it.
Week 3…I got more adventurous and ran from Greystones to Bray on the cliff trail, of course not in one go! It’s a 12km loop trail from Greystones. The stunning scenery helps and keeps you focused! I built up to 15k in total that week and was able to stop less during runs and finally started to enjoy it. There is something very calming when you find a pace and you can just feel your heart beat. Running offers great head space too. When you keep the focus of why you are doing things anything becomes possible!
I wish all the walkers, runners, limpers (!) the very best next Monday at the mini- marathon. See you there!