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Monday, 7 May 2012

The Great Limerick Run....26.2...my longest run ever..

6 months ago this all started..running..I was never a runner not a mind liking exercise in general..detested anything that involved my two legs moving...but yesterday I completed my first marathon and finished it...woohoo!

26.2 miles...

I knew I wouldn't be in the top 3 women so I settled just to finish it....sarcasm..

Pre-race thoughts: how the feck am I going to do this! What have I signed myself up for?stupidity...why didn't I do the 6 miler in limerick...it would have been lovely...

Race morning: myself,Mags and Catriona decided to start at the 8.00 start..For a couple of reasons...it was an hour ahead of the main group and I knew we'd be a lot slower than our main group so I wanted to come into the finish line when there was an actual crowd there cheering us on...not like Our last race where the only person I met was a garda at the finish line...

I was a little bit nervous but not too bad..there was a good crowd...went for our pee pees...at least we had lovely clean toilets! 7.58 we all line up at the start line...Christ what have I let myself in for...yer man blew the horn and off we go...woohoo...we swing a left at the top of Pery Square...started off at a nice pace down the road...people were out cheering...cars honking...we all wave...then about .3 of a mile a car comes speeding past honking and we waving! But in actual fact they turned us the wrong way! what?! We were leading! ...he told us all to turn around and go back...absolutely disgusted! We retreated back down the road f'ing and blinding....the feckers...a few of the fellas in front of us started shouting 'restart the race but were ignored...carried on...tried to settle myself...further up the road we met a taxi with Tom and Martin in it...gave a few cheers and woohoo's! It was going to be a long morning...

The sun was out..fabulous morning...but the heat kills me...thanks be to god we left early..headed out towards Ul...the stewards were half asleep...could you not blame them! Looking at sweaty heads on a bank holiday Sunday...we are ruining their weekend..it was fantastic running around the city at that time of the morning...hit the 6 mile mark at Ul...had to do a loop down at the end..why couldn't we just skip it! First peepee stop for Catriona and mags..

Heading into Ul...we meet Martin Tierney...flying past..big woohoo's and screams! Then we saw Seamus Murphy...more big woohoo's and screams! Francie wasn't too far behind...more screams! Ud think we were on a school tour with all the waving and high pitched screams! Head into Ul..stewards were still asleep..one was on the mobile phone flicking the hair..obviously we didn't look like runners because she didn't take any notice of us!
Heading over the bridge..wouldn't u think they would have tightened up the floor boards on the bridge because we sounded like a heard of cattle!

Headed back into the city..hit Pery square at the 13 mile mark where the start line was..the half marathon crowd were there waiting for their start and they cheered us on it was great!...but I didn't feel great...walking jogging was tough on the mind and legs...things started to faulter...

Headed out of the city towards don't know where...but it was a five mile loop...I know this coz we drove it in the car! sweltering...just lost the plot altogether...starved..sh$t sick of sports drink and It band flaring...and legs felt like lead...walked jogged...coming out of the loop back into the city we met Suzanne,Morna,Sheila,Mary and Danielle...they looked good...big cheers..Suzanne told me I was famous! They met two separate women who asked them did they know the marathon dreamer! Who?!The shame...

Headed back in...oh for Christ sake this was the toughest day of my life! But I wasnt going to dwell on it too much...just gotta keep going..if my leg fell off I was still going to finish! Mood was very low...and then I chirped up for a minute then down again!loola tendencies...losing the plot basically...I stunk...sweated buckets...feet killing me..leg gone into retirement...the fecker..

Hit the bridge near the crescent...saw a guy in front doing the drunk mans walk...he looked buggered! Went up beside him and he chirped up a bit...Catriona said 'c'mon joe stay with us'..I couldn't understand how she knew his name...sher it was on his bloody number...definately losing the plot...chatted with him for a while..nice fella but he was struggling...left him plod on...over the bridge ...feck 6 miles to go...I knew this was going to be the longest 6 miles of my life! Emotions were up and down...one minute id be smiling and the next the head would drop...walked and walked...just couldn't....

Met another fella...he told us the lady up ahead had done 249 marathons...I called her a nuthead!who in their right mind would do such a thing...she mustn't have a day job...that's one thing that I found very tough with running was working a full hard day and then to go running...

Plodded along...no smiling at doggies today...wasn't in the mood! hit punches...we went there for lunch yesterday after the expo...had an in house joke about Hazel and coleslaw yesterday...laughed as we went past! That was the only bit of laughing I did till I saw the finish line...

Hit the city centre and the crowds were great...all call myself and Catrionas name out..its was fantastic...great buzz..c'mon only 4 miles to go..sorry 4 point bloody 2! Hit Thomand park...lightbulb?! Oh my god I know a short cut! C'mon let's Let's swing a left here! Couldn't...there was a Garda checkpoint there...was delirious...was desperate...anything to get to that bloody finish line for my well deserved medal! And banana...

The shock on Catrionas face with my shortcut...we plodded on past Thomand down the hill..at the very end we met Hazel,Niall,Ina,lorraine and Ger...hazel even had time to give me a hug!...that took more off my time! whilst flying past...then Niall pats me on the back and I nearly fell over with the pain...not good..gotta get home...

People were out with jellies and water...it was brilliant..took a jelly.. It was a bloody sour one so I was like a child making squelchy faces trying to swallow it! Hate sour jellies...a mile or do to go we met Marcus,Catherine and Alison...give me a piggy back please! Sweltering at this stage...could hear the finish line..saw the bridge... Suddenly I chirped up! woohoo...starting running with a limp...oh what a sight...I didn't care... limped for the last 6 miles so what was another bloody mile! running across the bridge... It was lined with people on either side...why the hell couldn't they bring the finish line closer!

Woohoo... This was it... ran up O' Connell St....Seamus and Jackie shout our names..fecker got in early! Woohoo..the bottom lip starts to go.. Ok hold it together loola...Brenda and the family start shouting... I think to myself where is the bloody finish line! ...Jerry shouts our names from the side...a few woohoos...turn the corner...oh my god...I was delirious...give a few waves and the smile appears! ran towards the finish absolutely delighted...pulled down the hat and start blubbering...a woman comes over and hands me some tin foil...feck the tin foil I want my medal and my banana woman! get my medal...I did all this for a piece of metal...but I loved it!its the nicest piece of metal that I have ever seen and it's mine...26.8 miles (including earlier diversion!)...Only for Catriona plodding along beside me and not letting me take my delirious shortcut I wouldn't have done it...


What's next on my journey...well Season 1 Episode 2 is starting next monday week...it's only the start...

To be continued.....

P.S. pictures will follow once I get back to work,need wifi etc.




Sunday, 29 April 2012

Saturday 8 miles...1 week to the Great Limerick Run marathon...26.2 miles

Well this was my last long run...8 miles..easy peasy...

I started this mad running journey nearly 29 weeks ago...where has the time gone...my aim...to run a marathon...started off with one minute running and now I'm going to run 26.2 fecking miles...there has been...ups and downs...torment and torture...fustration and fecks...tears and sniffles...panic attacks and mental head thoughts...lost 2 1/2 stone...met people i never knew before...but with all that I've one aim in mind....the big day is nearly here and to be honest...I'm actually looking forward to it...my very first marathon

For someone who started with nothing...and there were so many obstacles to overcome...I'm proud! I'm so determined to keep up running that I've made a schedule for myself for after the marathon...Dublin is my next big aim...and for that marathon I'll be aiming for a time...Then the Tralee International Marathon (organised by our head honcho Marcus!)and then the Chicago marathon in 2013...and hopefully so on...ok I won't be too cocky until I 'actually' finish this one first! But I'm a marathon dreamer....

Today I decided to do a 'solo run'...me,myself and I......good company! My reason: well I wanted to do it for a confidence boost and more to see how I'd get on running a 8 miler by myself...just wanted to do it early also....

I'm an early bird do so off I went at 7.30...had my 8 mile route planned..one loop from Fenit..to Churchill...to the Oyster and back in the main road past the Tankard and home...

Initial loola thoughts were...oh god what if I stop...or want to go for a pee pee(I'd nobody on lookout!)...but it's only 8 miles so what the hell...lovely morning..sun blazing...I'm doing it for me...and was looking forward to it...

iPod loaded...glucose sweets in the gob..hat on...Vaseline on the toes...Garmin started...off I go..

Started off by chatting away to myself about the marathon...I know I can do it...and i will...and there are no 'but what if'' thoughts whilst I run...started off easy...took me a while to get going...no cars on the road,everyone was probably in their leaba's...ran out in the middle of the road..why not?!...I should be fit enough by now to dodge any oncoming traffic...hit Churchill...sweltering...didn't get any mental thoughts about the hill...just took it very easy..woohoo...panting like a pregnant woman I swing the corner at the top and just try to recover my breathing...ok that wasn't too bad...still hate hills...

Bought running earphones...but I decided to chop one ear piece cord off so I only have it for one ear...just to hear any traffic! it worked very well...new invention I think...kept going towards the Tankard sign...someone's calling my name..turnaround...it's Charlotte! she flies along like a fairy...I told her to go ahead...refuses and runs along with me...she actually distracted me for a while coz she was yapping...leave her go at the Tankard cross and I head on my merry way to the Oyster...checking the Garmin I was on target...woohoo...

Was a bit worried about running on the main road...but how else was I going to get home! Hit the Oyster...and retreated back up the hill (more like a long slow incline)...towards Oyster Hall...I have one song on the iPod that I must delete...R.Kelly: The Worlds Greatest....fab song but every time the iPod shuffled that bloody song came on and because it's a slowish song I'd automatically slow down and scoliosis would kick in because it relaxed me too much! The mood and tempo dipped...a definite delete...

Ran down towards the Tankard...woohoo about 2ish miles to go...stop to tighten shoelace past the Tankard and didn't realise farmer joe(everybody who looks like a farmer i call them 'farmer joe!) was just behind the wall...nearly gave me heart failure with the fright...didn't see him...i jumped like a squeamish child! Waved quickly...gotta get home...was starved!

Ran the long road home...came into fenit by the grotto..nearly home....wanted to stop and walk but couldnt....knew too many people in the houses i was passing! very enjoyable run...Garmin said 1hr32mins....new trainers are good...going to Florida in June so ill come back with luggage full of trainers...no blisters...woohoo Vaseline worked...

Mid week:5miles and 5 miles (tues/wed)

Hhmmmm....a marathon?i am relaxed and nervous about it now but I'm sure electric shock facial expressions will start to appear around Friday or Saturday.....that is normal!

Next weekend:26.2......








Saturday, 21 April 2012

Saturday 12 miles...testing out the Great Limerick Run route...

The big day is 2 weeks away...feck!

So off I go to the Limerick to see what's ahead of me..got up bleary eyed at 6...dressed...ate my big bowel of porridge...took me ages to knock it back and by the time I'd finished it,it congealed... lovely...twas like swallowing cement...the gulps started...

Headed off to the big smoke for my half marathon run...Catriona was my loola coach/running buddy for the morning...arranged to meet the Tri-Hards (even the name sounded intimidating!) near Thomand Park at 9....oh for fecks sake why do I put myself through this torture! but my new motto is ' what's the worst than can happen'!

Cops were out in force this smorning...they were everywhere...in behind bushes..sneaky feckers..I bet they wanted to ruin my run by pulling me over but alas...kept the leg off the accelerator..no nuthead driving this smorning...stopped in Newcastle west for a coffee..quickly bypassed the breakfast roll counter to the bathroom for my one of many pee pee's...stopped again on the dock road for another pee pee...maybe I should just bring a portaloo on the back of the car..I could just pull in and go! Maybe a Dragons Den application may be downloaded over the next few days...

Was meeting the Tri-Hard group in Shelbiurne Park...pulled into the car park at 8.30...twiddled the thumbs...hmmm we're a wee but early...look around the car park..woohoo spot another toilet! An electronic one may I add...very fancy..we've no lavatories like that down in Kerry..walk over...50p charge! Well talk about an expensive pee! Got to make to most of it..scour the car for a 50p coin...it played me soothing music...aawww how thoughtful...but no bloody toilet paper! Ok enough about my toilet experiences...

Ten to nine I get the bright idea of pulling out of Shelbourne park and go shopping instead...that idea was quickly dispanded as Peter the 'head honcho' of the Tri-Hards just pulled into the car park..feck...I'll go to the Crescent afterwards..

The rest of the group arrives..the nerves the nerves... we chat...they were all wearing Sketchers Go-run trainers..looked lovely...hhmm might buy a pair...they move with the foot and are brillant for supinators..then Peter decides to do a pre-warm up run around the park...what?!...a fecking warm up run! what planet is he on I need to preserve my energy!...off we go..at this stage Catriona was somewhere in the bushes going for a pee..ran out of 50p's! So no warm up for her...i ran along...happy happy...round the park..he tells us kick our legs...knees high..loola....it definitely loosened me up..rest of group came..so off we headed for half of the marathon route...sun blazing...love the heat...!

Hadn't a clue of the route...started off running down the Ennis road..down into O Connell Street...crossed road after road..took my mind off freaking out...ran up O Connell street..too early for people to be out shopping..Peter pointed out where the start line was...he got it right after 3 streets!...but at least I could visualise it...loola..

Headed out towards the crescent...passed McDonalds...swung a left and then a right...I clocked all the landmarks...like a CSI runner...cops come speeding down the road...woohoo maybe a robbery...no chance..peter was yapping away but I wasn't tuned in but one part of the conversation caught my attention...breathing techniques..breath like a train...ok I can do that! Choo choo all the way...it actually works! And expand your stride to lessen stiffness...he was dancing like a spider along the road...ok maybe I'll try it another day...did a loop round onto a dual carriage way...it's actually a nice route... headed on towards a big bridge passed Mary Imac college and onto crescent again..that was about the 5 mile mark...lovely jubleey...proceeded back up towards o Connell street...luckily our walk coincided with walking past Brown Thomas..gawked...

Headed towards Barringtons..tools a left over the bridge near the Absolute Hotel and past what we thought was Kings Johns castle...I had no glasses on so the eyesight long distance wouldn't be great..Catriona informed me the castle was up ahead..I squinted...didn't look like a castle..had a green plus sign on the outside...hhhmmm strange castle with a Pharmacy sign on the outside...it was a bloody primary care centre!
Spectsavers....

Plodded along..up towards Thomand Park...fabulous stadium..never been there..I said to Catriona let's make up our own 'runners Hakka dance'...she didn't engage with my dancing skills...ignores me...woohoo 3 miles to go...shower of rain..then sun..hit the Ennis road again...all the way up...and up..and up...back to the car park...lovely run...gulp back my yazoo...vom...

Delighted...love the route... not very hilly and plenty to gawk at...read an article in a magazine that after a long run you should treat yourself...so I stick by the rules and head off to the crescent...loola therapy..met Peter inside and he was having a ice cream....whereas my mouth was watering at the thoughts of KFC! Got a salad roll instead...I was good..but still starved after it! Headed down to the Sketchers shop to buy my new trainers...felt fantastic...bought a pair...won't use them till after the marathon...have a plan of upcoming races so It will take me a while to get into them... It's like barefoot running..we'll see how they go...

Came home to find that my doggie had broken the dog gate on the stairs and got into my room and ate a Power Bar Gel...she's bouncing all evening! Absolutely nuts....

Marathon is in two weeks...roll on the big day!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sat 20 miler...got it on my 2nd attempt...

Saturday came...my 20 miler...

Got up Saturday...no nerves...strange...

In summary...I wasn't nervous but I didn't feel too well...ran the first 4 miles and panic attack sets in...not again...just got too anxious and couldn't settle...what was going through my head?...that I'm not able for this distance...20 miles...not a hope in hell was I going to be able for it...so made the decision to turn around and go home...it just wasn't going to happen..very disheartened...distraught actually...

In the shameful return journey home...I set myself up to attempt it today...2nd time lucky I hoped...I did the 18 miler very comfortably and why the hell did '20' just scare the living shite out of me...maybe Ballybunion just knocked my confidence a bit but who cares as today was going to be my day...toes crossed!

Got up at 7...tired from yesterday but very nervous...felt sick eating my porridge...but knocked it back...it took a few kicks up the arse yesterday to mentally get myself out today...two days in a row was very tough...but I was ready...sun shining..brilliant I'll be scalded...

New route: leave from Fenit..head towards barrow..onto Ardfert...swing a left towards BrandonWell..pass Poll Ghoirm and onto Banna beach..that was our 10 miles turnaround point...

Catriona and myself started off along tallaught...towards Churchill..it was going to be a long morning...from the 6 miles yesterday I got a few bloody blisters..they were sore for the first few minutes but I put them to the back of my mind... a small thing like a blister won't feck up my run...I even ran up Churchill..which is a bitch of a hill...strategy was 25 run and 5 walk...ran down towards Barrow..no traffic on the road which was great...wore a Garmin today... borrowed a Garmin watch off hazel to watch my time..I'm definately investing in one as it kept an eye on my pace and time...that settled me...also wore an iPod with songs rotating every 25 mins...

Hit the back road past barrow...long long road but it was fine...kept the head down...sun was blazing...hit the second 25 section just before the turn off before ardfert...felt good...knocked back a gel...disgusting but I was clocked to take it at that time so I did...Met a few cyclists along the way... gave them a wave...true runner and I even managed to crack a smile! Woohoo...i knew once I was past the hour mark that the run was going to be ok...

Ran the long road into Ardfert...saw a lovely brown donkey over a wall... think he was waiting for us... said ' hello cutie!'...he came over..very placid... kept my mind occupied for a while! hit the cross at Brandon Well.. Catriona decides to go for a pee in a derelict house in the corner...the shame.. down with the pants and release..it was a bit too close to the main road for my liking! But if you have to go.. you have to go..

I kept running...3rd 25 min section was close..definitely getting myself a Garmin...great... doing well...it was actually a lovely route... plenty to gawk at..most people were still in bed whilst these two loofas were out in the sweltering heat plodding along the road gawking into their homes..walk...woohoo I like this strategy..walk very fast..down towards the Ruin on the left..off we go again along another very long road...marsh on either side and a few mattresses thrown in for scenic beauty...who the hell would drive out here specifically to dump their mattress! Nutheads...If the mattress was clean I would have had an ould break for a minute and had a lie down! Kept going till the very end around the sand dunes... met two fellas on bikes on a bend... they never saw us and swerved and nearly fell off..got a fright...kept running down to our ten mile mark..woohoo...did well time wise..my Garmin told me we hit it on the two hour mark...t shirt was soaked...was roasted but considering I normally complain about the heat,today I didn't! But it wasn't easy...

Took our 5 min break... knocked back a gel..woohoo only 10 to go.. I knew it was going to be tough..tummy turned a bit but I tried to forget about it...ok I can do this...did the next 25...was getting a wee bit tired... ran 6 yesterday,mentally exhausted also after yesterday's f-up and it was sweltering...walked slower than normal to preserve energy..hit the top of the road at Brandon well..we hid a replacement bottle of fluid in the ditch on the way there..all my fuel belt was pry so I filled up..

I have never seen so much salt come out of me..with the heat,my face was sore with the layering of salt on it from the sweat...yuck..my black tshirt had salt marks on it which I have never seen before and my hat had it also! today was definitely a good calorie burning day...

Passed the donkey again... Ahh he was very lonely looking....plodded on...no smiles at the donkey this time...legs were stiffening...walked for a min...ran again towards the long road before Barrow...there's a house on the right hand side..derelict..but there is actually a mad man living in it! All the windows are covered in newspaper or posters and theres graffiti on the outside..I could only make out the word 'god'! gave me the creeps...Catriona and Rose on a previous run left their gels and drinks hidden in the grass outside and they went missing! Convinced he took them..hence why we left our drink a bit further on today...loola..

Just before Barrow started faltering...felt knackered,tummy rolling,legs just tight...so immediately a run walk strategy kicked in..otherwise i'd falter completely..but not far to go...which i couldn't wait for...roll on Fenit...

Threw my dummy out of the pram down Churchill...a car was coming down very fast and I jumped in and my ankle just went..I think I was a bit delirious...cried for 2 secs thinking my ankle was gone and my dream of running in the Olympics was over...sarcasm...ankle was fine once I started walking...mental head mental thoughts...was just knackered...only 3k to go...walked up the hill bit and ran home very slowly...geriatric pace..absolutely delighted and delirious both at the same time...got in home and legs were fecked...jittery...feet swollen..felt sick...had a cup of tea and it brought me round...took me a while to actually register in my brain that I ran 20 miles and I was able for it...come so far since christmas but I forget that sometimes...

Yesterday took a lot out of me...the whole day was ruined..so today took a lot of strength to come back from that..but I did it...27 miles in two days..not bad..went swimming in Fenit this evening...bitter cold...but it was fantastic for the soreness..came home and cleaned the house! I'll sleep tonight..happy tho..

12 miles next week...marathon day is drawing near...

Apologies for long blog..it was a long run!