Last time I spoke with you I was preparing for the Flora Women’s Mini-marathon on the June Bank Holiday weekend. That was a 10k race that I was taking part in to raise money for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. What I didn’t mention is that the 10k was part of 65k I decided to run for the Charity this year.
It all started with a friend of a friend of mine mentioning her training for a half-marathon. Despite the fact that she said it nearly killed her, it put the notion in my head. Combined with the realisation that neither my sister or my niece (her daughter) could run the Mini-marathon this year, I decided I should up-the-anti for myself a notch: I should run a half-marathon!
Every year as part of the training schedule for the Dublin Marathon the organisers run a race series in the Phoenix Park. Starting at 5 miles and finishing with a half-marathon, the race series is run over several months and the distances tie in with typical training schedules. I decided I would run all of the races in the race series – 5 miles, 10k, 10 miles & half-marathon. Combined with the Flora 10k it totalled 65k spread over 5 races.
Off to a bad start
The Women’s Mini-marathon went well – I ran it one second faster than last year. 10k down, 55 to go! However, on the eve of the 5k race I came down with a mad stomach bug. Now, I never get sick (thank goodness) so the uncontrolled vomiting and diarrhoea threw me as much psychologically as it did physically! Enough said already… Though I felt recovered by morning, DH threatened to sit on me if I tried to go in to the race.
Triumph to Misery and back again
Because of this unexpected set-back my bid to complete the remaining 55k of my 65k challenge couldn’t get underway for another 3 weeks. In the spirit of a picture says a thousand words may I save myself a lot of typing, and you a lot of reading by presenting you with this:
Yes, action-shots of me running – more specifically (from left to right) during the Fingal 10k, the Frank Duffy 10 mile and the Half-marathon.
I ran the Fingal 10k with my knitting buddy, @orlamcgann. It was her first time to run this distance and I was very proud to do it with her.
I ran the Frank Duffy 10 miles after coming back from holidays in France and – more importantly – after not being able to get out for a run in two weeks. As the picture shows, I had a fairly miserable time of it! Before I had even gone halfway my feet started aching. My hips started giving me grief around 7 miles and when I had been running for 1 hour & 40 minutes I tried to walk for five minutes instead. In fact, I was worse off when I tried to run again and I struggled over the line after 2 hours and 5 mins. (2:04:37 was my official time).
I learned from my mistake and before I ran the Half-marathon I put in a few 2-hour running sessions and I got on fine (i.e. was not a crock during or after). Surprisingly, I got a cramp in my calf after only one hour of running. I had another 8 miles or 90mins of running to go and I felt quite panicked. I pulled in and stretched; I walked for a few minutes; I even changed my running style back to striking with my heel first. Mostly, I just gritted my teeth, reminded myself there were kids in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, who would love to walk, let alone run; and I kept ploughing on towards the finish line. I even managed to look like I was smiling for the camera (though it may be the gritted teeth). I made it in 02:34:39, which amazed and thrilled me!
To make up for missing the 5mile race in the Phoenix Park Race Series I signed up for a 5 mile race in the Docklands on 30th September. This was a really well organised race AND FLAT! and I thoroughly enjoyed it. DH’s cousin was running the 20mile race that day i.e. he ran four laps of the course I ran. After I had run a mile or so we passed each other, going in opposite directions – he was nearing the end of his third lap. Before I had even reached the halfway point of my lap he over-took me!! A month later he ran the Dublin Marathon in 03:09:33!!! He only took up running a year ago! *grumblegrumble* And before you try to console me that maybe he has an advantage of age, he doesn’t. He does have longer legs than me – which wouldn’t be hard.
Thanks for reading all about my adventures as I followed through on my self-imposed challenge. I’d like to remind you that it was all for a worthy cause: the Crumlin Medical Research Fund (and not, actually, about what I have gained emotionally or physically!). If you have sent them a donation thank you so much – it makes the effort worthwhile. I really appreciate it.
If you haven’t had a chance yet to sponsor me, here’s the link again: http://www.cmrf.org/sponsorshipPage/show/1055
Remember, I run for charity so that you don’t have to !!! 🙂