Friday, 21 February 2014

Marathon runners are mad!

I have to say IT: marathon runners are mad. We’re all mad - there’s no other word for it. Nobody in their right mind gets up at 6.30am in wind, hail and rain to run 18 miles - except lunatics.  
Standing at the Oyster Tavern on Sunday morning at 7.30am, I definitely came to the conclusion that nobody should be out of bed in this weather. Yet we managed to run 18 miles.
The first few were tough going though, especially with the hail hitting our faces. And let me tell you - it hurts: I expected to get home with marks on my face. 
Luckily, the weather actually improved and we had sunshine by the end. The wind nearly blew me away on Barrow Hill. I was actually running up Barrow and being blown backwards down it. 
Barrow Hill is hard enough without fighting the elements and boy was I glad when I reached the top. 
I didn’t have the best run on Sunday due to a dodgy runner’s tummy, so making it around the 18 miles was a feat in itself. But in my new positive mood, I’m not letting it get to me. The fact that I did 18 miles and felt pretty good at the end is enough for me. 
In fact, I even managed to run fast for the last few minutes - something I was never able to do before. 
And it was nearly worth running the 18 miles just to eat the homemade rocky road on offer after the run! I burnt off all these calories and then put them back on by eating chocolate - but who cares? I deserve it after getting up at 6.30am and running that far.
This weekend is a rest weekend, and it’s the Valentine’s 10 mile run. so it’s a relatively short one. I love saying that - only 10 miles! Sure it’s a walk in the park! 
Okay, it’s not that easy really, but when you compare it to 18 miles, it’s fine. 
I’m actually looking forward to the 10 miler: it’s a nice challenge but not too tough and hopefully I will do okay. 
I am, of course, looking forward to my heart medal - it’s the only heart I’ll be getting on Valentine’s weekend! 
It will take pride of place in my medal collection. It’s a very small medal collection but it’s getting bigger and soon I will have a second marathon medal too! 
I read back last year’s blog and I was super excited about reaching 18 miles and although it’s different second time around, there’s still a sense of pride and confidence that I can in fact run that far. 
I was trying to think the other day what my life was like before I started running. 
It’s only been over a year since I first joined ‘Born to Run’ but I don’t know what I did before. It seems so weird to think of not running - it’s definitely one of the best things I ever did mainly because I have a whole new lifestyle and group of friends. 
In fact, I’m nearly getting sad that the marathon training is now over. I can’t believe it - only one more long run to go before the big day. 
I’m actually feeling confident this week and I think I might be able to improve my time this year - or at least get home under the five hours anyway. 
I don’t want to become too confident as it will come back to haunt me if it takes me longer this year, but I think my running has improved. 
I’m definitely stronger which I think may also have to do with my strength and conditioning class with Tralee Tri Club, and that’s definitely a bonus. 
I’ve learnt a lot more about running and refuelling this year and if I can get over the mental block, I should be okay.
Here’s hoping anyway!

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