Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Panic sets in!

It was all going too well. I had reached the 10 mile mark. I was over the moon. But it all went downhill from there.
For the past two weeks I have been pretty much forced to rest and do nothing, due to a back injury. This came after getting a vomiting bug that also stopped me in my tracks for a few days.  
Apparently my back is out of alignment and I have to just bear with it, which is not good at all! I was absolutely gutted when I got the news. You’d think that I was told I couldn’t run anymore ever - and that’s exactly how it felt. 
Everyone just told me to rest and I would be okay, but I was so disappointed not to be able to run my 11 miles. I think it must be addicted if I missed getting up at 7am in the morning for a long run, or maybe a bit mad. Or both.
This is a recurring injury, so I kind of knew when I started training that it could happen. When it did, I was devastated. 
But, I’m staying positive and not giving up: I’m hoping to be back training this week.
I didn’t realise just how important running was in my life until I was told not to do it. I suppose that’s a good thing - it shows how far I’ve come since I began training. 
So roll on Saturday, for my 12 miles!
I really can’t wait to put my runners on and get out there and if I can get two or three short ones before the weekend, I’ll hopefully manage the 12-mile mark and get back on track.  
Of course, I am a little worried that I won’t be able for 12 miles now, and that the past two weeks will have slowed me down and halted my training. 
I know I only missed two long runs, one of which was only eight miles, so its not really that bad. But I have missed a lot of short ones to build up my miles, so I am panicking a bit. 
I know everyone keeps saying not to worry and that there is plenty of time, but let’s get real - there isn’t, is there? The marathon is only 11 weeks away this weekend.
Okay, I am definitely starting to panic. How will I be ready in 11 weeks to run 26.2 miles? 
Everyone says the rest will be good for muscles but I’m a bit sceptical. Let’s see how this week goes. 
I suppose I had better say thanks to my chiropractor, Bobbie Kestler  and physiotherapist, Miche├íl Lynch, both of whom had to listen to my moans about not being able to train.
And I was not a good patient. I really didn’t want to listen to them, especially when I was advised not to run at all. But they’re the professionals, so I’m going to have to listen. 
In the meantime, also on their advice and that of Marcus Howlett the Race Director for the Tralee International Marathon I have been stretching and swimming a little to help keep my muscles working. 
On the plus side, as I wasn’t training I have returned my social life to its previous standards and have been out celebrating Christmas early. 
So here’s hoping that I will be back on track this week and next time I write the blog I will have completed a half marathon - as according to the training schedule I will run 13 miles on Saturday 29th December - a good end to 2012. 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

I've got the running habit!

I have officially reached double digits: I can run 10 miles - yes, 10 whole miles! I was on such a high when I broke that barrier on Friday you would think I had run the marathon itself - but there really is something really great about reaching that milestone. 
Sure it was tough, but honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I expected at all.  I struggled for the last two miles a bit but overall, I ran it without too much difficulty. 
When I started training six weeks ago, I really could not have imagined reaching 10 miles - but now it’s on to 11 miles this week. 
And in just a few weeks time I will have a half marathon completed.
There was a few moments when I kind of thought to myself, “Oh my God, I’m never going to make it”. But then you get another burst of energy and you get another bit done. 
I did my 10 miles on my own, so I did get a bit bored too. I think that actually might be the worst thing about distance running - after a while you get sick of listening to music and thinking. So now I see the benefits of running with the group.
I actually had a wedding at the weekend and I planned all my running schedules around it, which is quite impressive for me; complete dedication. 
Let’s hope I keep it up for Christmas. I have even started planning to make sure I keep my training schedule during the holidays and still manage some sort of a social life!
Running has actually become part of my life. They say it only takes six weeks to create a habit so maybe now I have a running habit. 
I’ve got into the routine of running Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, Thursday mornings and on Saturdays.
And since I began, I’ve only missed one session. That was this week, as I had a pretty hectic schedule. 
But aside from that, I’m eating healthy and I am obviously fitter. So it’s so far, so good. 
I actually quite looking forward to increasing my mileage every week, although 26 miles does still seem very far away. But it doesn’t look quite as daunting as it did back at the beginning.  
The big day is getting closer now, and while there are some days where you feel like going ‘I don’t want to train again’, most of the time I just put on my runners and go. 
I remember reading about other people doing that and thinking how impossible it must be. 
But actually, once you have a schedule and keep to it, it becomes part of your life. This weekend, I’m ready for 11 miles. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Getting better!

I can now run nine miles, - yes nine miles how cool is that?
When I last wrote, I was concerned about eight miles but I managed it.  Now I have mastered nine miles - roll on ten!
 There's something very satisfying when you complete a long run and increase your mileage every week.  I am actually really looking forward to reaching double digits and being able to say I can run 10 miles. For some reason that is a marker in my head. It means I am finally getting there!

Of course the long runs are tough the last few miles of that nine mile run was hard. I could feel my muscles burning, but thanks to good support from the group I got there.
It really is a mind over matter you have to just try and keep going, and not think too much about it.
The feel good factor is worth it in the end! I keep telling myself that anyway- although whether I will be that positive when I reach 18 miles, I don't know.  I just keeping telling myself it will be over soon and I will have mastered that distance. I think the trick is not to think about it too much and focus on something else, like making it to the next pole or the next marker, and from there to the next one.
The marathon is only 16 weeks away now that is how close it is - only another 16 weeks and I will have ran my first marathon. Scary or what?!

I have also conquered the dreaded Barrow Hill, well almost anyway.
I had heard about it from many people over the last few weeks but this was my first time facing it and yes, it is high and tough, but I nearly managed to run all the way up - quite proud of myself really and next time I will.
And the best  part is when you actually do run up it, you have the come back down now that is joy!

I am still complaining about getting up at 7am for long runs. It's still too early, but apparently you must train as if it is marathon day itself which is why we must get up at the terrible hour of 7am to eat breakfast in time for our 9am marathon. I really hope this is worth it!

On the plus side, Saturday night is all about treating yourself - you deserve it after that long run. 
This is definitely the bonus. As is the case for all women, the loss of a few pounds is always a good thing but you can have that pizza or chocolate,  after all you have already burned off the calories. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

I really have incorporated running into my life. I have a family wedding this Saturday and I plan to fit in my long run on Friday so as not to miss it.
God I have changed I am now arranging running around my social life! But I do plan to drink this weekend though there has to be some good things in life!

Roll on 10 miles here I come! 

Thursday, 15 November 2012


It's all about commitment! I had to get up at 7am on Saturday to do a long run last week, 7am on  a Saturday to me is an ungodly hour.  Normally at this time I am going to bed, not getting up running. Of course getting up at 7am meant I couldn't go out Friday night so I was tucked up in bed at 11pm sad!!

Apparently it is best to do your long run as if it is marathon day itself so that is why we must get up at the terrible hour of 7am to eat breakfast in time for our 9am marathon. I really hope this is worth it. I have never got up on a Saturday morning at 7am before - a new experience. 

I fell out of bed, ate my breakfast and off I went to meet my training group for my seven mile run. But actually once we set off, it wasn't all that bad and when I completed the seven miles it was a great feeling. Thrilled with myself that I managed to get up and do the long run. The pace was nice and easy and it was actually not a bad run at all.

But of course I was wrecked Saturday evening, managed to drink a few glasses of wine, eat a pizza and fall into bed. I might actually not be able to go out as I will be too tired from running but on the plus side I can save money and get fit and of course eat pizza. I burned it off on the long run.

I have been keeping to the training schedule so far so good!! Last week completed 20 miles in total. I run Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, Thursday mornings, rest Friday, long run Saturday and rest Sunday - a hectic  week but its all about building up the miles.

Actually although its a commitment having to go every evening I am quite enjoying it. There is a real sense of achievement when you finish but I don't know if I will be saying the same in a few months time.

I'm half way through week three now and I ran 12 miles this week so far and I make sure that even if I can't meet the training group because of work I fit in a run myself - see that shows my commitment.

This weekend it is an eight mile run which will be my longest run ever. I am actually quite excited to see if I can do.

So it begins!

Its official! I have signed up to run the Kerry's Eye Tralee International Marathon on March 16th - which is only 19 weeks away. Yes, just 19 weeks to get myself fit and ready to run the 26.2 mile route. According to the plan I am going to run from  Tralee to Ardfert, out to Fenit via Barrow Golf Club and back into Tralee town for those of  you that know Kerry and for those that don't then all you need to know is its long!

I must be stark raving mad - actually they are the only words I can use. Driving the route is long enough, not to mind running it, but I have committed myself now, and l have begun training.

I will admit I have done a little bit of running before, so  I  am not entirely new to the sport,  but the longest I have ever run to date is 10km which is only 6.2 miles. So the full marathon is only 20 more miles - that's all, just 20 doesn't seem that bad.

Every time I think about it, though, I begin to panic - how am I going to run that distance? It will take me all day. But I'm told training and perseverance will get me there.

Well, we'll see just how true that it.

However, I do have a team behind me in Marcus Howlett, race director for the event, and his Born to Run Club, which has 100 members training for this event so I am not the only foolish person in Tralee - there are 99 others all preparing for their first-ever marathon too.

In my first week of training I completed 19 miles. I'm pretty impressed with myself to be honest. The plan is to run four evenings a week and a long run at the weekend. 

I ran three miles my first night of training, increased that to four the next day and on my third day forced myself out of bed to run in the morning before work as I couldn't meet with the group that night - impressive commitment if I say so myself but the burning question is: Will I keep this commitment?

I did a long run on Friday as I had a hen party at the weekend  completing 6 miles and this is going to increase every single week from now on which means by Christmas I will be able to run 13 miles - I just can't imagine it!

I also got up on Saturday morning to do three miles before a weekend of partying - I think I deserve a medal now!

I have to confession to make here, I am a bit of  social butterfly I like to go out a lot!! I go out at least one night during the week and every weekend so the next few months will be interesting to see if I can combine both.