Month: July 2016

Chasing the pb

Chasing the pb

Sunday seen me take to the middle of the Mournes to run 10k back to Kilborney Forest. 

I won’t lie…as the last 10k before I start hitting the big miles, I was going out to PB. I wanted that personal best so bad. I’ve had 3 x 1.09 10k results and I just want a 1.08.59 so badly. 

Yet I woke that day and knew something wasn’t going to go to plan. Just a gut feeling that it wasn’t in me. I knew Caitriona had her sights set on a 1.10 and I’d every faith that she wold give me a run for my money today and beat me. 

She is coming on leaps and bounds. Doing Lisburn half and surviving I think has made her realise that yes she can do this and do it well. So fresh off her holidays with a fancy tan, new hair do and a good few runs in the heat under her hydration belt she was ready for this 10k.

Tara had also got herself into the race and had sights set on a pb of her own. She’s been progressing so well since joining Newry City Runners and she is so happy and determined with her running I’d no doubt in my mind that she was going to smash it. Plus she really suits the club colours! 

The weather was onside and with an eclectic warm up of some dodgy shape throwing to Maniac 2000 we where off. Which by the way Tara…Bootsy has captured fabulously on camera lol

It was definitely a race which was missold to me…predominately downhill my ass. I forgot my favourite saying of what goes up must come down so I was met with the 3k gradual climb at the start and a monster hill at 8k. But other than that the garmin stats on elevation look favourable. 

Yet a km in and I was feeling a tugging on the back of my left heel. I’ve heard horrible stories about snapped legiments etc so feared the worst if I continued on. I knew there where walkers in the field so I avoided stopping at the 5k mark and said sure I’ll walk if I have to. 

And as I had predicted Caitriona was in fine form. Passing me at 1.5k and was forever in my sights, I just couldn’t catch her.  It was lovely in a way as I was glad to see she was in front of me, I don’t have the nicest ass to be following and I’m sure she knows every colour variation in my pony tail. But it meant she was improving and pushing and that made me smile. 

So I used her as my marker trying to not lose her. I met a lovely lady at 6k who chatted away to me as we enjoyed a nice downhill part of the course. I think this helped turn my race around. Her name was Francis and she was from the fabulous Ormeau Runners who always brighten your day in races. We chatted about Ballycastle and caravans totally taking my mind of the potential snapping of something in my foot.

At 8k we met “the hill.” 

I watched people stop dead in their tracks when they seen it. However as much as a scarey hill it was, I don’t spend hours upon hours up mountains to be put off by a short hill. So I put my Lauren head on and powered up the hill.

I always think of our trips out when I tackle a hill, we have embraced the biggest hills in the Mournes together and procrastinated about them no end. So any hill that scares me I just think of how Lauren would love to tackle it head on and smash it. 

On the hill I made ground on everyone.  A welcomed feed stop had me spot Caitriona in the near distance. I know I finish races strong and after conquering that hill and entering into trail running territory, I knew I would be content with my pace. As I gained ground on her I became aware of the time. Her aim of 1.10 was within sights and knowing my pace was strong, when I caught up with her at 9k, we agreed to run it home together. 

On down through the caravan park she encouraged me to stretch it out knowing I’ve a fear of downhills. We kept eachother at a steady pace and on the final downhill we came down it side by side. 


BUT….

Yeah a bad friend moment…with the momentum of the downhill and cheers of not only Michael and my baby girl, but on the far corner there was Tara and the Newry City Runners shouting for me. Then as I took the corner, Paula a fellow team mate was shouting and I was off. I couldn’t hold back. I hoped Caitriona would follow but as much as I tried, my legs had a mind of their own. 

I glanced down at my watch…1.09.47. ANOTHER 1.09 finish. At first I was delighted as it was a 2 minute improvement on Shore 10k. Also after having a bad start to the race, I was surprised to be coming in at that time. 

However I was gutted as I drove home. Another 1.09…that was 4 now. I just want to see 1.08.59. Ok ok it’s still a great time for me. Also I didn’t feel on form so that’s a valid excuse. I’m training for a full marathon..another great excuse.  I could go on.

However…I had a collection of pbs to celebrate.

1k, 1 mile and 5k pbs….that’s something to focus on.

After a few days reflection am I still disappointed? Yeah I am but I’m happy to have achieved the time I did. It was mentally a tough race for me probably overshadowed by Cookstown half this week.  

The event itself was well run, great craic and the atmosphere was fantastic.  I totally massacred the hot dog at the end. And of course…the medal…finally a pink sparkly medal for my baby girl who was so excited by it. And her comment of “mammy I seen you run really fast” melted my heart. At least someone thinks I’m fast!

Also Caitriona got her 1.10 and Tara blew us all out of the water with a speedy 51! Well done girls!

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I missed the gym

I missed the gym

I miss being flat to the mat. When I’m on it, I’m all over it. Back in April I remember standing at the start line in Castleward and I felt on point- 110%.

Something happened after Castleward and I lost my mojo for being all over it. I was upping the miles but I wasnt doing my usual sessions at the gym for all over conditioning.

I didn’t realise this until I tackled last week’s 10ks. I was able for the miles but I was lacking something so on reflection this was the only thing different.

So last night I headed back to Monday night death hour with Nadine. 30mins intervels in Spin and 30mins body sculpt. Boy did she work us hard.

I’ve missed that death hour burn and also elation and achievement when it’s finished.

So that’s the plan batman…back to 2 good sessions a week at the gym it is!

An open letter to my friend Moira

It was only a little over 6 weeks ago I picked you up for your first session of c25k.

You were determined to prove everyone wrong and silence the laughs and snigger you got when you had informed them that you where going to join a running club. 

I’ll never forget your first night as it lashed the last 10 minutes of the run and in all my very positive and probably annonying attitude I told you running in the rain was the best…I’m not sure if you ever got that feeling but I’m pretty sure running in the rain is something that doesn’t phase you now. 

Each week we upped the training and I’m sure you never called me Siobhan once however I’m sure the French dictonary was filled with what you where calling me . ūüôą

Thing is Moira,as the number of new recruits dropped as the sessions got tougher…you still came out and cursed me up and down. You didn’t even let me having a few weeks off due to my operation put you off and your drive to want to run even got Michael up off his ass to go to training with you.  That is no easy task..believe me! 

You had spoken about Sea 2 Sky and actually part taking in it. I’ll be honest I thought to myself she’s mad to do this. As far as tough races come…Sea2Sky is up there. Even worse than Tollymore that was my first race. However I knew you would be capable of it and I wouldn’t deter you from earning that medal..afterall it was a pretty medal which also doubled as a bottle opener. 

We spoke on race day and I assured you that all the pre race feelings of feeling sick and wondering what the hell you where getting yourself into where normal. You turned up at the house a few shades lighter than usual and I felt sick for you. But you where there and ready to take it all on. Fair plays!

It was a pretty overwhelming experience as we arrived to pick up our race packs and we got you kitted out with a Murlough team vest and tried to break the pre race nerves with a few lighthearted conversations. A team photo made you go into panic mode as you realised you’d more than likely end up in the Mourne Observer this week for everyone to see you. 

We set off together and you lost your hat not even a half a km into the race but it was picked up and handed to you and it made it the whole way round the course. 

I knew exactly what was going through your head.  Gosh it still goes through my head every race…why am I doing this, omg I’ve another 9 of these kms to go, I’m going to kill her, not another hill, does this ever end, I swear to god I’m going to kill her, oh look a down hill, I’ve been running forever, what was I thinking listening to her she’s a liar, ah I know where I am, must be near the end, wait til I get my hands on her, I think I might die, oh wait there’s the finish line,ah jesus she’s come back to run with me and I don’t have the energy to kill her followed by you crossing the line and realising that you made it. Water,medal and gathering your thoughts. 

Moira I’ve been proud of my own kids, hundreds of past students doing their A levels and Gcses, I’ve even been proud of my own running achievements but I put you crossing that line up there with my proudest moments. 

I know you wanted to kill me but you have just in a matter of 6 weeks went from nothing to running 10k…that’s over 6 miles!!! Your pure grit and determination to make it around that race and finish shows that you are one tough cookie and a complete superstar. 

Be proud and embrace how sore you might feel. I promise the more you do it the easier it gets…but it never gets easy if you know what I mean. Just more manageable. 

I hope anyone who thought you joining Murlough was funny or a ridiculous idea are eating their words. You have showed that not only have you smashed the c25k training..you’ve doubled the distance! 

So the big question now is…when’s your next race? 

Sea2Sky…a tale of what goes up, must come down¬†

Sea2Sky…a tale of what goes up, must come down¬†

There are times that you just have to set aside all your principles and tackle a race for what it is.

There have been too many times that I have lost sleep and panicked about a race. Ok I am not the world’s fastest but isn’t the want to always improve competition enough? It drags me down constantly and after Shore 10k on Monday night I felt that I needed to set my own competition aside and just enjoy the impending Sea 2 Sky route for what it was.

What is that I hear you ask? Well let’s back track. Sea 2 Sky is exactly that…a run from the promenade to half way up the mountain and back down again. A perfect example of what goes up, must come down race. 

Sea2Sky is a highlight on the July running calender.  A race organised by local running events team, Born 2 Run, who host “great races in great places.” I didn’t once doubt that this again was going to be one of those race. After doing the majority of the Winter Run Forest Run Series I knew along side the scenic route, awesome medal and great crowds the race would be amongst the most challanging. 

A mixture of road and trail running all thrown in for good measure and the way the weather was shaping up it was going to be a wet race too.

Starting at the end of Newcastle Promenade the route took you up the South Promenade and climbed onto King Street.  Reaching Donard Wood, the main elevation gain began at 3k right up to 6k. With water stop, some rather moivational qutoes and plenty of mutual feelings being shared on the go,  the route descended out of Donard Wood into the bog which separates it from the Tollymore Boundary wall. A single file system did grid lock you in your position for about 1k but as you hit the Tullybrannigan Road and on into Tipperary Wood the field would spread out again as you took on 2km on relatively flat paths back into town. The final km seen you arrive back onto the promenade with Slieve Donard back in full view (abiet on the night it was wrapped in sheets of rain) and a fast finish to the end.

I had heard from those who had taken part in the race previously and knew it wasn’t going to be easy. With even the strongest of runners knowing that they would have to sacrafice an additional few minutes throughout the race due to the complex nature of course. Yet still over 800 people graced the start line on the night ready for the challange ahead.

So off I set with a clear aim to just enjoy the route. I set off with race virgin Moira, my next door neighbour and friend who i had dragged along to club run 6 weeks ago to do c25k. I will elaborate on this in my next blog as it deserves a piece all to itself.

I have to admit, I love the pull of the crowd on race day when there are vast numbers. In contrast to Mondays 10k at Killough, where I was basically on my own from the outset,  at no point was I alone during this race. There was always plenty of people infront, behind and beside me.  

It’s always pretty clear who knows and doesn’t know what the route offers ahead of them. I had walked it a few times but the language from some of the participants who didn’t know what was coming was really entertaining, for me at least. Yes everyone knew it was a big climb but then again under race conditions the normal elevation seems twice as high. I was surprised myself post race to see that elevation didn’t even hit the heights of Slievenaslat which I can normally do without must bother.

The head wind on the first 3 k was exhausting as we headed out of Newcastle. I’d thought to myself that maybe that’d be a bonus as it would obviously be behind me as I was finishing…how wrong was I. Many club members passed me but with encouraging taps on the shoulder and smiles greeting you, it is always a welcomed addition to any race.

Heading up into Donard Wood the climb went on for what seemed like forever.  Of course Race Photographer Mervyn Mc Keown had stationed himself on the hill to capture everyone in all their glory. Trying to pull out a race pose mid hill climb was a challange all to itself! 

The water stop did offer a much needed refresh however as I motored on toward the 6k mark the famous Mourne rain that comes at you sideways had arrived and although at the start very welcomed ..It was brutal as we headed through the winds and onto the bog. 

For once I was able to put to good use the hours I’ve spent up the mountains in terrible weather.  As the field split right and left to avoid the bog I looked ahead and could see my path appear through the middle of it in the shape and form of grass tuffs.  I laughed at myself as I could imagine Lauren on the side lines reminding me to plan my next 5 steps and I literally took over about 20 people at that point. I came out of the bog, my feet barely wet and heard the screams and shouts of those behind who ended up submerged in the boggy bits. 

Grid locked into single file the craic was mighty. I guess maybe this is something the lads at the front don’t seem to experience in races. However it is possibly the one thing I love most about them. With Brenda, a fellow Murlough team mate, 2 people ahead of me and an ormeau runner between us we came down off the hills surrounded by laughter and revived for the final stretch home. 

It’s this sort of commardary that makes it worth while. As we came out of single file we pretty much stuck with eachother keeping one another going when we started to find it tough. Shouting to eachother when we got to the 8k and 9k milestones. Even picking the pace right up when we felt the tiredness set in. 

We were being beaten by all the elements. Said head wind at the start had reappeared and together with the side ways rain I was surprised we kept going.  Fair play to all the marshalls out on course who stayed there to the death as I wouldn’t have wanted to stand about in it. A special shout out to Gerard Rowe who somehow managed to appear at 3 different locations across the course.  I’m sure he must be able to teleport himself and the Born2Run jeep as I’m sure it’s not human or legal to get around courses so quickly! 

As I neared the promenade for the last 500m I spotted the woman herself, clad in her Newry City Runners gear being blown and soaked to bits. I’m sure patiently waiting for me to make her marshalling duties worth while! Seeing Tara I knew that just around the corner was the end. A small S Club 7 “Reach” jump to brighten her wet and miserable evening and off I headed around the back of the Tropicana.  Knowing a marshall on route is beneficial for the morale…Having your best friend marshall gives you superpowers.

I must have been on supercharge mode as I turned the corner there was post race Michael standing waiting for me for the final push and his now infamous words of “go now” rang through the air but I was sure I didn’t have it in me as the finish did still seem quite far away. However before my head had processed all that…my legs automatically reacted and I was off. 

As I crossed the line I fell into the arms of Selena who had shouts of encouragement for me at the 3k mark too. Couldn’t have asked to have finished the race any other way. A strong finish and a great friend there to catch me. I’d literally just stopped my watch and a immediate post race selfie. Thank God for Double Wear foundation! 

So 1 hour 19mins.

I have never been so not bothered by a time in my life. As I had such a great race, in a great place, surrounded by great people. The hotdogs afterwards at Ohares where fabulous and after a quick trip home to get showered and changed we headed back for what was a fantastic evening…even better that I woke up hangover free too!

So that was an eventful first week of Marathon training. 2 10k races, a trek up Binnian and well I’d to walk the 5mile on Saturday morning to pick up my car in Newcastle so that counts as training right…even if it involved a stop at Nugaleto? 

We did share it between us!

Binnian Bitches

Binnian Bitches

So Binnian. ..A mountain I’ve wanted to get up now for a few months.

It has also been a long time since Lauren and I set off on a mountain adventure. Life just got in the way so sitting painting the fence yesterday evening it dawned on me that I fancies a wee trip up the mountain…Cue snapchat to Lauren at 7pm “Binnian?” And from there an adventure was born.

Within 10mins we where in The Bug with an additional passenger in the form of our now Ozzy family member Rachel who because she lives at the otherside of the world got to finally be an active part of Siobhan Stories. I know it’s been a life long dream!

Having never been up Binnian before I was excited as I heard the views where the best in the Mournes and a hands and knees type of climb. 

Literally as we entered into Newcastle, Lauren said it’d be great to have a wee drink up the mountain so Rachel jumped out of the car and ran in and bought 3 cans of Magners. 

As we hesitantly approached the road to the car park a bit of the Lion King soundtrack in the back round got the excitement going. We did pull the car in to make sure we were on the right road to “bunnon” as the other driver called it. And within minutes we were on the ascent. 

Even as we bagan the path the views where fabulous 

Looking out towards the back of Donard and Commeadgh, you really couldn’t beat it. However we looked at the task ahead…It looked a long way up. But as always just focus on the next 5 steps ahead. 

It had more of a path than I had thought, I was expecting another trip like Boggy Bernagh and guessing the route. I also had the panic in the back of my mind that sunset was on its way and the one thing that scares me more than mist on the mountain is darkness.  So it was an onwards and upwards sort of hike.

Great laughs where had and action shots taken to prove to the world that Rachel was climbing a mountain . 

A few wee stops for water,gathering thoughts and tricking our legs into thinking we’d finished when there was still a bit more to go. Lauren, forever the optimist, was always looking at how we had only so much to go and me with pretty much ruined legs from Shore 10k the night before was thinking this wasn’t the brightest idea I ever had. But in true TOB style we took it slow and steady and made it.

In the last 20 metres, I found a lease of life and ran the end. Telling myself I will never make a hill and daler as my legs where busted about half way up. I guess the trick with doing mountains is never to look up at the summit. Keep telling yourself you will get there and each step is a step closer. 

As I came around the corner I caught sight of “that view” Silent Valley, the heart of the Mournes and right over to Donard, I even got to curse Bernagh, the mountain where there is no love lost between us.

  And as we sat and took in the view those 3 cans of well earned Magners where a refreshing treat at the top 

But sadly our time at the top was short. It was now nearly 9pm and we could see the rain rolling in over the mountains and sunset would come within the hour. So we took the drink with us and headed down.

When I say down, I mean we couldn’t see anything infront of us as the misty rain had caught up and our only navigation was to aim down and hope we find the wall. The wall will always get you home.  

I do panic in the mist and Lauren is well aware of my hatred for it. BUT I can be grateful that we actually got to enjoy the view, something I usually don’t get the joy to do as the mountains hate me. 

The mixture of knowing we where heading down and no more climbing involved, paired with a wee drink made the descent some craic. We did find the wall and shortly after it started, the rain did ease off and give us the beautiful views back.

No need to right the world’s wrongs this time. More chat of the good aul times and what we could remember given that at the best of times we were all in some shape back then. 

Both Rachel and I had had our feet submerged in the boggy parts of the mountain on the ascent. However Lauren was to get a soaking of her own as we neared the end by slipping on a rock through a deep puddle and having both feet soaked to the core.  I swear a perfect end to a perfect hike…put a dampener on her optimism.

So what did I learn from Binnian;

Best views of the Mournes by far

It does have an excuse for a path

Morning hikes require Avonmore, evening hikes…Definitely Magners.

Nothing beats an unplanned spare of the moment adventure

Hikes are always awesome when done with friends

Finally. ..I wish Rachel didn’t live in Oz as we’ve so many more mountains to climb but glad we had her for this one! One is better than none

 

Facing the fear

Facing the fear

I’m a self proclaimed back runner, I run for leisure and not speed. Well I’m sure if I could run faster I definitely would but for now I’m happy in my skin doing the pace I am.

I have had an irrational fear of small races basically because I always check the previous years times to see where I would end up. Most the time I’d end up last. So taking on Shore 10k on Monday night was a mental challange for me to over come more so than a physical one.

There is no doubt I can run 10k, flip I managed a half marathon 3 weeks ago. However it is fighting the fear of small races and coming last kind of puts you off.

Monday marked Day 1 of Marathon training for Dublin Marathon and I decided I should face the fear.

Afterall I’d promised Selena I’d visit her in her new house and it was in a part of the country that I’d never ventured to so was a win win. Michael had a last minute head stagger to do the race and off we went.

It was a lovely summers evening and it looked like they had pulled in a sizable crowd in comparison to last year. Yet when you look around and see the vast array of club colours about you know there was going to be very few “amatures” like myself. But I was there and if it took me for ever, so be it.

As always the support of Murlough pre race was fantastic. Although I was anything from 10 -30 minutes slowere than them everyone wished me well and made me feel no less than them. 

The race got underway and within half a km the group of just under 90 participants took off. I’ll be honest by 1k I asked the marshall if there was anyone behind me as I began to see people disappear into the distance. Thankfully he replied there was so my aim was not to let them catch up. 

I plodded on and at 3k took a bad cramp.in my leg. I managed to shake it off but feared it had eaten into my time and flow. At that point I ditched the headphones and just ran for the view. 

As a back runner its a completely different race. You have the medics follow you the whole race, you have cheers from the marshalls wondering if they can leave their posts and the support around the course sometimes feels like pity. I try to keep up the craic and banter with anyone on the course and this meant even taking the hand out of the police motorbike crew on route. 

I don’t think people realise that I don’t require pity. Yes I may be 5 minutes behind the next person but this time last year I wasn’t even running. This time last week I was only coming back to running post op and my first 10k ever took me 1hr28mins so I am improving and know my own abilities.

 It was a beautiful run and I suppose if I was focused on actual racing and being fast I’d have missed out on some absolutely stunning views. 

By 8k I had the mental block lifted that the end was in sight. I spotted a murlough vest on the horizon coming towards me and it was Sean. He was running back to his wife who must have been behind me. Absolutely delighted someone else comes back for their significant other.

As I came down the last hill onto the main street I spotted Selena in the distance. If there’s one thing I love about being part of the club is the team spirit. Now I’ll be honest I’m not sure what it’s like for the front runners but for me there’s always plenty of love. I had picked up my pace knowing that I’d only to run the length of the street but boy is it a long street.  

It went on forever but crowds cheered and Selena kept me in great spirit. Michael joined the entourage at the pub where I arrived to cheers from the tipsy men. 

But I was no sooner coming down the street and behind me I heard the sirens of the police motorbike. ..He was getting even probably for my comments around the course. So literally I got a police escort down the road and also caught on camera too. 

Seeing the flags of the end in the near distance meant I kicked a bit too soon but still with Selena and Michael at my side I kept on and even registered a km pb for my final km. Wherever that came from. 

Crossing the line my legs bagan to give in. Once I stopped they both seized and even hobbling on my toes wasn’t helping.

After the prize giving, I walked up the road with Selena and Joanne…who actually was the first lady home. So the race selfie goes like this… first lady home, middle lady home and me…Nearly last lady home (3rd last to be exact) lol

So I didn’t come last last, just nearly last. I done a good enough time in 1hr 11. I’ve to get myself gathered now for Sea 2 Sky on Friday. 5k climb for a 5k downhill. This should be fun

So who is really to blame for Tollymore 10k

So who is really to blame for Tollymore 10k

Continuing the throw back…

I know at the time I took a lot of convincing and there are many people who may have had a hand in convincing me to undertake my first 10k. Actually more than I originally thought when I looked back on it.

I have to admit, I love Facebook and I so glad I am part of many groups where I can sound out the thoughts in my head as has proved priceless in my quest to build the back story.

I know that there are many people and factors that helped in pushing that button to enter.

Michael; As always he pushes me to the brink. Convinced I should end the year on a high after all my “achievements” in the gym and with my introduction to running. If I thought I could do it, I should just do it! Even doing a trial run with me 2 weeks prior whilst probably still drunk as you could have got drunk of the fumes from him regardless of what side of him you ran on.

Caitriona; the girl at slimming world who took up running with some running club called “Murlough” the girl who 7 months later I convinced to do Lisburn half with me. Bet she never wished suggesting doing the Born2Run series with! That’ll teach her! Hmmm you’ll never be ready..sound familiar Caitriona?

Jackie; see above…she was also in on the act and herself wanted to finish the year on a high. And her and Tara getting lost on a training run in Tollymore because they cant follow a map, was the highlight of my year.

Her year has continued to build on Tollymore more with some awesome times in races, a half marathon and a week worth of 10ks for charity.  All whilst she prepares for her wedding…tomorrow! Eeekk

Selena; the “grumpy girl” in the shop. Well she was grumpy until she stumbled upon me going into the shop post run and enquired about what I was at. Another “Murlough” member who didn’t think doing Tollymore was a bad idea. And another staple figure in my everyday life now that I’ve become embedded in the running world. Sometimes I wonder if we have some odd connection as the similarities are uncanny, if only I was as fast as her, I’d be home in a boat.
Jane and Hazel; ah the ladies I met up the top of Slievenaslat when I took on some hills to get over my fear of the potential hills in Tollymore.

Lauren; forever the optimist and little voice that makes me think it’s going be ok. But look..someone else seems to be an enabler…

Tara

Yes it was Tara…she was the first one to suggest it- facebook proves it. Tara now my bff, who at the time I don’t think I had ever met face to face, just knew her through the group and that she was Rachels friend. This suggestion was the start of the most important friendship in my life. But now I can officially say that she is the one with the first ever “bright idea” mwwwhahhahahahhaha.

I honestly think as a whole everyone played their wee bit in getting me to that line and over it. ..actually I think just the thought of a selection box was enough!

 

 

Throwback to the first attempt

I do regret never keeping an active log of runs and thoughts. Actually there is so much I wish I had kept a written log off however I have been part of a group of friends on facebook trying to encourage and keep each other going and the so called Siobhan Stories did feature with all the thoughts I would share on here. So I am going to dip into some of those status’ and share them here to make up for “lost time”

 

12th November 2015

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I only took up running in October so was building up. I remember lying in bed the night prior to this and saying to myself I am going to do 10k. It was a huge jump from maybe the run/ walk 5k I was just about managing but faith in my legs and not my head convinced me to give it a bash.

I am pretty sure that it was the fact that my car was sitting in front of me which made me give up instead of pushing that bit further. 5 days later I actually did do a 10k, with both music in my ears and running until I was 5 k away from my car and turning back.

 

5 days later I managed this..

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I had made the distance and began to think that I was actually capable of doing a 10k race and getting to the end. This was the beginning of the story that I am now living. Everything from here in, is full of happiness, change and self belief that anything and everything is possible.

I can honestly say that the best thing to come from this point is the friends I have made. Without them I wouldn’t keep going. Be that to the races, to the club runs, to nights out, to senseless snap chats. Just such a new lease of life for me and for that I am grateful and glad I pushed on.

 

 

 

 

 

Difficult roads do lead to beautiful destinations 

I’ve been having random musings today. Must be the effect of an early morning session at the gym and the kids being off school.

I don’t like to look back, I’ve had a difficult past, one which would shock most people who knew me, as the usual reaction results in them wondering how I turned out the way I did considering the circumstances.

What I don’t think a lot of people realise is that the reality for most people who suffer trauma or something horrific is that they don’t know life any different to how it is at that time. They just get on with life as if it was part of daily struggles. For those looking in from the outside this is hard to understand. 

However it is hindsight that makes reflection on the past, that you can see and realise the severity of the situation. Looking back I realise that a smile can hide a multitude of things, I also know that those who seem to be ok are the ones who are struggling most.  

 Probably the reason why I went into teaching…I wanted to be the teacher I never had. The person who was able to pick out those students who, like me, put on a fantastic show and to the world where totally happy and secure when inside they feared going home, feared what lay ahead of them that night and was crying out inside for someone to notice I needed to talk.

Now talking is something I am renouned for being very good at. I’ve even caught myself talking out loud to myself several times whilst out running. I count myself lucky that I run in pretty secluded areas as I’m sure I must sound like a right nut job (and there’s me not so long ago saying I turned out alright)

When it comes to talking I am able to manipulate conversation with people to suit me. Mind you I don’t do it all the time only when I’m in difficult situations or if I don’t want to enter into a certain topic. This stands true with years of counselling and able to twist conversation away from the core issues. As with everything there is a time, place and person who will break down that wall whenever you are ready. No amount of skillful help will break that wall down if you aren’t ready to let them.

I guess this reflection today is building up to the point of the title. Here I am today, training for a marathon. Me, Siobhan Grant, with a past that would frighten some people. Sticking two fingers up at the people who my whole life tried to control me and stole so much from me. I’m surrounded by real love and real respect. I’ve some absolutely fantastic friends who have and will support me through thick and thin, including numerous races, post work out DOMS and of course the marathon itself. 

So am I at my beautiful destination…I sure am.

Putting your faith in a shoe

So here they are…the footwear that is going to take me around Dublin Marathon.

Asics gt1000

I’ve been a Brooks girl to this point. I love my GTS14 however I was struggling to get even 150mile out of them before holes began to appear so knew I’d struggle to break a pair in right for Dublin and for them to be in a wearable condition..that and I couldn’t afford to keep buying new trainers every 4 months.

So after doing Belfast Marathon I spoke with the Asics people and had my gait done. They recommended the Gt1000 and I set my heart on them. 

Obviously living in Ireland and choosing Dublin as my first marathon I am very patriotic and also loving that the medal this year is a commemorative medal for the 1916 Easter Raising. So I knew I had to some how stick to my roots if I could when picking shoes.

The bling for the marathon

So ladies and gents I give you my tricolour trainers. Adorned in green white and orange to ensure I pound the streets of Dublin with our nations flag on my feet! 

I did hit lucky with the colour combo and I am delighted that I’ve the perfect trainers in time for marathon training kicking off next week.