There’s a fine line between cheering and jeering. It’s a line that somebody who has struggled with their fitness all their life is well aware of; in many ways is hyper-conscious of. It’s the point at which you look up in hope that actually, maybe somebody may be encouraging you and then notice that they are laughing at you. It’s a painful line and over time you become used to always being jeered and never getting cheered. Read More
For years I was under the impression that runners were slim and fast, who would zip past me as I was lumbering around a track. It’s only now, 10 months on since I started learning to run that I know this is a huge assumption to make. Runners come in all shapes and sizes, all speeds, and all different personalities, like (go figure) the rest of the population.
We all run for ourselves, not for anybody else. We run to achieve goals, to improve on where we’ve come from, or just to flipping complete a distance.
Looking back it’s remarkable how far I’ve come since I started to run in December 2017. This time last year I was short of breath even going up the stairs, I was struggling to get restful sleep, and my blood pressure was far too high. Running is not complicated but it can be intimidating so here is some of my advice if you’re worried about starting from zero fitness. Read More
The photograph? That’s me completing the Great Ireland Run 10K race in the Phoenix Park in the Spring this year. I hate running photographs with a passion. They are never flattering.
I’m embracing the running photographs though. I started running in December 2017 when I previously wouldn’t have even run after an ice cream van. Each photograph tells a story that is far much more than a race.
You know all those photos you see tagged on Instagram with #FitFam? The vast, vast majority of those photos are posed and edited by people who want to appear their best ‘for the insta’. My running photos however can’t be edited, they’re a snapshot of me completing a difficult task and making a step towards being fitter. So even if I don’t seem to be as perfect as the posed gym photographs, I know that I am holding my own.
In the meantime I’m trying to ignore a long list of questions, 45 days out from Dublin City Marathon 2018.
- What the actual heck have I signed myself up for?
- Why did I think that running a marathon in 2018 would be a good idea?
- What if I don’t finish it in under the cut-off time of 7 hours?
- Am I going to injure myself by exercising for 6+ hours non-stop?
- Will there still be somebody at the finish line to meet me?
Just some of the questions going through my mind at the moment.
I feel like I’m walking a tightrope; trying to juggle home, work, and slot in training. I knew that undertaking a marathon and all the training that it entailed would be difficult. I didn’t realise that I would be followed around by so many questions.
This week I had to go away for work for a few days. Everything was going swimmingly until I found out that J (my husband) had an accident which has resulted in him having to pull out of training and of course the marathon for this year. He’s torn the muscles in his back pretty badly and is devastated. Yet I still had to pull on my gear and go for a long slow run that day with all the doubts rattling around inside of my head.
J has been my running buddy from last December. We started off on this mission to run a marathon together and it’s shattering to accept that we won’t be crossing the finish line side-by-side. I know that seeing me continue to train and work towards the goal that we held together is very difficult for him and I am just praying that he will be there to meet me once I cross the finish line.
I’ve called in the big guns. My regular training with the club will finally resume this week (I’ve been away a good bit so training on my own), I’ve also booked a Chi Running workshop. I’m going to need all the help I can get.
Training for a marathon I’m learning is about training yourself internally to cope with the doubts, questions, and niggles. It is as much about mental resilience as it is about physical resilience.
Last Sunday was my second ‘competitive’ running race of the year.
I run at least once a week with the Balbriggan Road Runners group. There are not enough superlatives to describe how great and supportive they all are. Normally on a run day I chart my progress using my FitBit to time how long it takes me to run the distance we’ve set ourselves that night, it’s always over 5km though. Which makes it easy to see how I’m doing from one day to the next, one route to the next.
Competitive running (so to speak) is a bit different because we have a chip in a bib number that records how long it takes us to run a distance. These races bring out the serious runners, the ones who lap you before you’ve even completed your first lap. They’re a BIG DEAL. The first race I did this year it snowed, alot, and I basically walked it all. Hilariously this second race was nearly called off because of the Big Snow, or as it will be come to known in the future, SNMarch2018. Read More