Month: September 2016

Death by Dermot, Lets round it up

Death by Dermot, Lets round it up

OH NO! It’s the last session of Death by Dermot!

What am I going to do with my Thursday nights, never mind what am I going to write about on a Friday?

So it is only right that I round up my thoughts and highlights on the 5 weeks of Death by Dermot.

Week 1

I think after the first batch of sessions, many of the club members where, lets say, shitting themselves about what was actually going to happen at the session. I have to admit I knew that in the sessions we would be pushed hard, but even like in a race when you want to die in the middle, the feeling once it is completed is worth it. It was that, that is what I held onto throughout the session. 200 metre intervals where on the agenda and boy did we push hard. Didn’t help I had my 16 miler the next day. I knew from then, never long run after a session with Dermot. We all survived.

Week 2

Pyramids; what a horrible concept!

Like really I think this is the first time I thought I was going to die. Though the great thing about the sessions are not only the physical advantages but the education and support you get mentally. I think the light blub moment in this session has been pivotal in my running, not just in this session but beyond. When he turned the “not as fast” group around to look at everyone else and showed us that everyone felt like we did even those who are super fast and super fit. We were all feeling the same, pushing ourselves. It was then I got the light blub moment that everyone feels like I do whether its a front runner going for a podium place or a back runner just wanting to finish.

Week 3

Mill Hill. That is all.

For me this was a low point for me. I’d been training and picked up an injury. With a body crying out for a rest after back to back long runs for DCM and the realisation during the session that this wee niggle might be the beginning of the end of my marathon journey, I was emotionally in bits. Having to pull out of the session pretty early I tried to keep up the smile, but even pretending to be a cone, didn’t mask the fact I was broken inside. Dermot spoke extensively about negative thoughts at the session and I tried my hardest the following week to try to stay positive in my thoughts throughout my rest period and as I tentatively returned to running the following week.

Week 4

I came back fighting. Though I will always brand this session, “IF you are talking, you aren’t working hard enough.”

A similar session to the Pyramids just without the set structure. Fear of the unknown I suppose, just like most races. I had a brief niggle but was rubbed out and continued on until the mention of “time trial” happened. You could feel the hebbies, running through the group. It was like the ground opened up and swallowed everyone up. Yet in my head I was trying to stay positive, its all I had left. It wasn’t as painful and I learnt that I can dig deep and empty the tank when I have to. There is nothing that beats running the last few hundred metres and knowing you have it in you to just go for it. Its just getting to those final few hundred metres, is my problem.

Week 5

Well I learnt my lesson in Week 1 (see I’m learning) and had to do a mid week long run (20 miles) as I’ve a Wedding this weekend and of course I opted to do it on the Thursday morning so with written consent from Dermot I was allowed to come along to session that evening and take the car to the lake. Thank God. Although I didn’t run, I was able to support and cheer on the crew, take on everything that was being said. It was really interesting, as it was obviously people were taking everything on board from the previous weeks and putting it all into practice. People where more confident and form had improved. Showing that the Thursday night fear was paying off.

I know I have found the sessions very helpful and I also think it has built up fantastic relationships within the club also. Mutual respect for all runners, its definitely brought the MAC community closer together as well as improving their running.
So sad times on a Thursday evening now…Come on we wouldn’t do that on Dermot! He’s been welcomed back with open arms again next week for another 5 weeks! WOHOO! With the same crowd coming back and some more new recruits to the sessions. Gosh I was thinking there I was going to have to find things to talk to Michael about on a Thursday instead of just passing him at the door when he comes home and saying goodnight as I come in and have a shower and go to bed.

Cheers Dermot! See ya next week!

You can find Dermot on Facebook at The Running Coaches or on his fancy website here

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Siobhan Verses The Lake

Siobhan Verses The Lake

A story of 20 miles.

OK I know it’s odd to do your long run mid week but I’ve a totally valid excuse. I’ve a friends wedding on Saturday and the thought of getting up on the Sunday and running after it, is just daft. 

I’m going to dig deep and try Sober October so I don’t plan to drink at the wedding. But I’ll be honest a marathon will be easier than trying to keep me away from a wee vodka.

Any who, I knew I wasn’t feeling where I’d like to be before attempting 20 miles since Causeway Coast had taken a lot more out of me than I had expected.  But life doesnt stop for marathon training and there I was at 6 15am dragging my ass out of bed to long run.

The orginal plan was to be at the lake for 7am. Though I shit you not, it was pitch black outside and even I wouldn’t run in that. So I debated the options. (Spot the person who doesnt get up before 7.30)

Firstly Michael was off today so he was on school run duty and planned to join me at 10mile to see me through to the end. 

Secondly although I had everything sitting out and ready for the kids to go to school I feared the state that Aoife would be in if Michael done her hair so I resorted to a new plan…breakfast club!

So at 715 when the sun began to come up  I pitched the idea to Michael and he seemed happy enough.  Also meant he would be able to get plenty of miles in given that his marathon training has went from 0 in 8 weeks to a 5k on Tuesday,10k on Thursday and a half marathon on Saturday. Not ideal. 

So at 8am, the kids got dropped off at school to breakfast club and we drove to the lake to see how we went.

What lay ahead 

8 solid laps of the lake. That’s right 8. You all know the lake and I haven’t a great relationship and I try to avoid it at all costs.  I’ll do part of it and then veer off up a different track. Though I recall Shane telling me about his 7 laps back in April when he trained for VLM. He’s kept me right this long so I thought mentally if I can do this alongside the hell I went through on Saturday, I’d be capable of anything.

It went like this;

Lap 1; sweet holy mother of God I’ve 8 of these to do. And Michael is being all negative about I’ll be lucky to make 10. Does he not get I procrastinate for the first 3 miles regardless.

Lap 2; I’m feelin a bit better now I’m 3 mile in. Think Michael gets the picture that I don’t do negative thoughts on a long run and has become a bit more.positive. should count himself lucky. I was going to throw him in the lake.

Lap 3; doing OK,not bad. Oh there’s that tree again. Was expecting by this point to see some more people on the lake being such a nice day but nope. Nice and peaceful.

Lap 4; feeling comfy, nearly half way there. Now spending the laps chasing Michael. I don’t blame him, it takes a special person to run with me. But he does have very nice calf muscles.The view is good.

Lap 5; Half an alpen light bar and some water at the car and off we go again. Pace is totally on point. I’m clocking half marathon pace and still feeling strong. 

Lap 6; get half a mile in and my watch buzzes. Missed call from the school. Aoife is coughing up a lung and needs to come home. Michael is given his marching orders at 12 mile and he leaves me to sort her out… feeling very lonely all of a sudden and struggling to keep myself going. But now I don’t even realise I’ve done the route 6 times.  

Lap 7; ah I stopped to relieve myself and i swear to God it was the worse thing i could have done. Getting cramp is not fun. My poor right leg. And with no headphones with me and the demons fighting I take my phone out and put the music on loudspeaker. If anyone dares comment on it or asks me to turn it off they’ll be told to feck off and asked how they’d like to run 20 miles on their own.  The local fishermen have given up giving me odd looks and giving great support when I pass them.

Feeling elated as I go into mile 19

Lap 8; wohoo final lap. All the same trees, stones, potholes and path. It’s bitter sweet actually. A victory lap as such. I inform all the Fishermen that this is the last time they will see me and I head for home. Watching the lake come to an end and going down the back way home was immense. In through the door at 20.08miles.

So what I have learnt from this long run. Don’t stop running, keep moving. Avoid toilet stops at all costs but when you gotta poo…poo. 

Need to drink more water in the run up to the long run so that I avoid cramp.

I done 3rd fastest half marathon today

My mins/km where EXACTLY the same as my 17miler. 

Run when you can, crawl when you have to

The lake won’t ever beat me.

Oh and as for mid week long runs,  you’ve still to do the child’s homework and it’s twice the battle and effort after 20 miles

MAC on Tour

MAC on Tour

I suppose when you think about it, most of my “days out” this year have been to go to races. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I’m still getting out. So when Michael McKenna threw the idea of a bus run to the Causeway Coast out there a few months back, I wasn’t long ensuring I’d be on it.

After what has been an iffy few weeks in marathon training, I’d been warned how dangerous this route was and to be careful, well essentially I was told not to do it. But really how bad could it be? 

Hmm. …

So bus picked us up at 8am and that began the 2 hour trip to the scenic North Coast. 26 Extreme, who organise this race have the tagline “we don’t do easy” and it is this foundation that they pride themselves on. So with worries from competitors about high winds and bad weather they were basically told to pull up their big girl pants and horse her on.

With a glass of bubbles on the bus at 9.30 as second breakfast, we arrived in Portbalintrae. The sky looked moody and as team MAC dandered to the start line minus super runner McKenna doing a few mile before the race, the fear of what lay ahead began to sink in. 

Numbers collected and got ourselves sorted, we where soon on the bus to the start line. The thoughts of the previous race information highlighting what to do ie do what the Marshall says or you’ll get seriously injured or die. Played through my mind. Did they really have to be so dramatic..as the race progressed it became very apparent that they weren’t telling lies.
 

 With the majority of Team Mac opting for the half marathon we braved the cliff edge for a group photo. We were soon on the road, well questionable gravel uphill before turning onto a grass path. I knew I had to be careful and from the off I stuck with Caitriona. We were in this together and after promising her I wouldn’t run off and leave her, or take her at the finish line all was going well for the first 2 mile.

Mac half marathon machines to quote Joe McMahon

A few hold ups at the stiles allowed for race picture taking but nothing too dangerous or challanging in the beginning. Settling in we both turned to eachother saying well if we keep this pace up we’d be flying. Hmm mm

I laughed off a comment from an Ultra runner that we’d need our swimming gear around the corner. He wasn’t too far wrong. The tide was in and we had to go into the water. I’ve heard many people say they where up to their knees in the water, for short asses like me I was up to my knickers! 
Leaving the water to run a mile on the beach where I was treated to a sandblasting/exfoliation treatment from the wind and the sand was far from enjoyable. As we reached the rocks the heavens opened and let’s face it, it was the really wet big rain. At 3 mile in, I was hoping that this was the worst of the course. How wrong was I. Even after the rocks, I could have easily killed myself as I was about to run into a chain I didn’t see and Caitriona thankfully steered me clear.

The ground had been cut up by all the previous runners and because it was so soft and wet it wasn’t long before I was on my ass. It happened in slow motion, I had flash backs from falling up Bernagh in the snow back in March as I hit the ground. Thankfully my extra “padding” had taken the brunt of the fall and I was able to carry on, with a bruised ego and mucky shorts.

The rain continued to fall and at the first feed stop the haribo where swimming in water. All this water meant I had to pee so following the race instructions I avoided wild weeing and used the toilet instead. 

Plodding on we began to feel like we where getting somewhere. However the next 6 miles where to be the most brutal experience of my life. Between steps,stiles, more steps, slipping, steps, sliding, steps and guess what more steps. I managed to stay primarily on my feet falling only 1 more time and bashing my shoulder. And as for the stiles, short legs Siobhan could barely get her leg over some of them and would have been better crawling under them. 

Mid race selfie

The views where stunning after the rain cleared up and although I was holding onto the fence for dear life as we progressed, I began to enjoy it as the thought of how much worse could this get, kept you going.  

Just past Ballintoy Harbour

Conversation was plentiful, not only between Caitriona and myself but with the other participants. We were in amongst the marathoners, the 10k and the Ultra runners. Everyone feeling exactly the same, even if we where all drown rats covered in muck. 

Caitriona’s Geography left a lot to be desired and as we came above the Giants Causeway her reaction was priceless.

 “Is that it?” Yip just a lump of oddly shaped rock. I’m sure if we were at sea level she’d realise the columns are quite big and for a geologist, quite fascinating. And also that is not Scotland over there!

The feed station at just after 9 mile had the world’s best cake. We had been going 3 hours at this point and I’m sure anything would have tasted good, but the cake was immense. 

The cake must have had magical powers. As from there we were able to actually run at pace and I felt like I was finally breaking in. The end was near and it was just a matter of making it in 1 piece. With 1 tricky decent at 11 mile, we were soon on the railway track.

I didn’t care anymore and ran straight through the puddles. Caitriona wasn’t impressed by my excessive dancing in the puddles as I was splashing her whilst I prance like an eejit. So my singing and dancing at Lisburn Half drove her away and then my puddle dancing at Causeway may result in me not having someone to run with ever again . 

As we came across the board walk pitching the GR8 club race to fellow runners as a ‘Smaller version of Causeway Coast.’ We could see what looked like the support crew on the hill. 

One last hill and as I got to the top, I was delighted to take Caitriona by the hand and cross the line with her. True to my word,we done it together, right to the bitter end.

Final hill to the finish

With a quick trip to the bus to make it to Portrush for dinner, I tried my best to wash the muck off me with baby wipes and change my clothes. A beautiful dinner and a well deserved drink was had whist everyone tried to come to terms with what we had just put ourselves through. 

The bus journey home was to be fun. We had a “few” drinks to make the journey home that bit more easier on the sore bodies, purely medicinal. There was plenty of ice for not only drink but for an ice bath..thanks Brendan! 

We got off in Newcastle and headed to the Donard Bar for a few sociables whilst not in transit. Craic was mighty and was a perfect end to the day.

A big shout out to the team of supporters who came along and kept us full of positive thoughts and were there to support us during the race and also at the bar. 

However I know I’d have never made it through this race injury free without Caitriona. She worried more about where my feet where going than hers. She kept me sane and in craic throughout the race. We technically verbally wrote this blog at 8 mile. She chased me up every hill shouting to “drive drive drive” but best of all I was delighted to see that she beat me, it’s been a long time coming and for the results to have her name before mine was a poetic finish to the race. 2 seconds is 2 seconds. 

My poor trainers this morning

In the aftermath of the race, for about 10 minutes, I was never doing this race again. However today, with my broken body, sore shoulder and fresh hope that the sun might shine on the North Coast someday, I’m looking forward to next year’s “Away” race. It can’t get any worse than yesterday…can it?

Death by Dermot Week 4

Death by Dermot Week 4

Mental

Nope that’s what it was called…Mental.

Now let’s face it, many of the MAC crew are already aware that this is an underlying attribute that they have grown and nurtured within themselves. So to take on this session we were all shitting ourselves. 

Dermots usual break down of the plan for the session was pretty vague. As in we are going to run on the whistle and after that just do what he says.

The fear I get with Tollymore is that there is so many options for what a training session could be. So basically being told to run results in 20million possibilities.

After such a nice run on Tuesday post rest, pain quickly found me at this session. A great warm up from Hugh to kick start the session was enjoyable and we headed to the entrance straight which was roughly a 1km long to the gate, all tarmaced. 

Split up into 4 speed appropriate groups  we set off on the whistle as requested. We were meant to be running at uncomfortable pace however we were still able to talk back in our group. Between Norah, Maria, Kate, Eileen, Caitriona and myself there was running happening but just as much talking. However there’s no flies on Dermot and it wasn’t long before we were being escorted down the road to ensure we kept our mouths shut and went a bit quicker, funny that. 

Yet there was this nasty pull in my thigh. I sat a rep out and gave it a good rub. There was no way I was going to pull out again this week on when I’d such a great run 2 days previous. It was all in the head  (and partially in my leg). I was capable of the session and was curious what the final challange was which Dermot remained tight lipped about. Then the chasers became the chased. Yeah it was like a hare trying to catch the tortoise, it wasn’t long before I was flanked by the other groups and even Michael McKenna flew past and I didn’t even notice until we turned round and the bright luminous man with the long legs was nowhere to be seen.


The the big reveal happened. We all lined up, slowest to fastest and told that it was a time trial. That phrase alone gives you the hebbies. How far did we have to go? Well let’s just say no one knew…as far as the orange cone which none of us knew where it was. 

So off we went and we kept going and going, the next fastest group had caught up and so forth. Soon we were to see the leaders turning and that marked “the cone” at half a mile. So we’d to run just a mile. 

The first half mile was nice as it was relatively downhill however we had to go back on ourselves and when I was averaging a 8.30 min/mile I knew I had went too hard and was no way in hell I was going to be able to keep it going up hill back to the start. 

I kept picking points and saying I’d get there and then reevaluate.  I’d Caitriona beside me at all times so that was encouraging as well as being able to see others out in front. I do laugh at myself doing things like this as only 2 weeks ago I ran 17 mile, and I’ve to find a Half marathon on Saturday. A mile should be no bother, right?

As we came into the last 300m I found a nice pace and began to stretch it out a bit. So seems after having the “jesus I can do 17 mile” thought, it kicked in my reserves and all of a sudden I was running like I knew what I was actually doing. I’d my sights set on Eileen and Norah in front and when I came up behind them I knew I’d the final push to keep going and I did.

I know it was only a mile but I nailed the finish. Not a surprising trait, those who know me will know I empty the tank at the end of every race. Whilst people where commending my finish, Caitriona rolled her eyes as if “yeah she done it again” 😂

That finally was the last of the running. A nice wee cool down full of laughs and underhanded inappropriate comments from the usual suspects and we were off home.

So that’s the end of session 4, so only 1 more left. I’m actually quite sad at the prospect of regaining my Thursday night. 

So next is the MAC on tour trip to the North Coast. Last race before Dublin. Boke.

 

I’m not broken! 

I’m not broken! 

Praise be to the baby Jesus…it wasn’t the beginning of the end.

Taking a few days out and regrouping was exactly what I needed it seems. Making the decision to not long run meant my body got a rest both mentally and physically. I can’t describe the elation I felt taking to the road last night and apart from my normal I think I’m going to die first few km, I was pain free and feeling good. 

Caitriona and I set off with a few for club run and although pace was faster than I liked, we both knew we where just out to see what state we were both in. So a steady 4 mile and boy was it just good to get out and move. 

So I’ve learned a valuable lesson. The hardest bit of marathon training is staying injury free and keeping the body from internally combusting from exhaustion. 

It is ok to take a break. Your fitness doesn’t disapper overnight so the miles are still in the legs and ready for this weekends race.

Contrary to belief, I can listen

Contrary to belief, I can listen

Today I was scrolling through Instagram and came across this…

And it made me reevaluate everything I had planned for the weekend.

Let’s rewind a bit. 

I had to quit during Dermots session as my leg was giving me serious issues. I woke on Friday and I swear, it was like the beginning of the end for me. I could hardly walk, I was in agony and I sat and cried for what seemed like the whole morning. 

I put in a call to Artie to see if he could help me out and being the superstar he is, was able to fit me in to look at the problem. Lying on the table I was sure I was going to hear the dreaded words that there was something seriously wrong. 

Poked and prodded, rubbed this way and that and all of a sudden pain worse than labour. Strangely from my lower back.

Seems I’ve strained my lower back and this was causing all my leg muscles, right down to my knee to tense up and cause me pain. All the right clicks and clunk’s where heard and it was pretty biblical when I got up to walk. 

So with no reason to not be fit to long run 2 days later, I was again feeling positive. 

I rested up on Friday, with very little tears and feeling relief at the fact I would run again. Yet the exhaustion that has yet to disappear over the past few weeks hung over me and I began to think about the prospect of not long running.

My plan had always been to do 18 mile this week, have a break next week as “only”  a half marathon to do at Causeway Coast and then go for the big one the following week. 

After feeling good about last weeks run I knew if I felt the same I could find 20 mile. Making it ok to maybe rein it in over the next few weeks as exhaustion took hold. Afterall it was just 1 more lap of the lake. I could manage that. 

I woke this morning and looked in the mirror. I’d the mother of all cold sores right under my nose. Even I know that these whoppers only appear when I’m run down or stressed and it was then that scrolling through IG that I seen the quote above.  

It made me think

Is pushing myself through a long run tomorrow, worth it?

Will it make a positive difference to my training??

What is my aim and does it involve running myself into the ground.

The answer to all the above is NO

If anything, the rest and recovery is more important now, than ever. 

So instead of spending the rest of the day worrying and mentally preparing for a long run tomorrow  I’ve said no and hanging up the running shoes for a few days. After all I think Caitriona needs a break too from running big miles 😜

 I have been getting a lot of support and education from the MAC marathoners so instead this week, I’m going to focus on treating my body to a rest. Maybe throw in some short runs next week, afterall kids are back in school and a lap of the lake won’t go a miss in passing the day. 

Will be fresh for Causeway Coast and then worry about the long run the following week. 

I know in my head now I can make 26.2 mile. I just want to do it as me, not as a broken version of myself. Its not about time, it’s not about putting myself under pressure. 

After all I’m doing Dublin simply for the craic and to prove that I can put the work in and achieve something great. And I’ll achive that to the best of my ability if I take care of myself now in the run up so I’m at my best mentally,  physically and emotionally. 

Death by Dermot Week 3

So tonight we pushed past the half way mark of our training sessions with Dermot.

I do look forward to the sessions. Its nice to have so many of the club together yet still gain from it physically too and not just a hangover. 

I’m not undermining the effectiveness of club runs, it’s just that when Dermot has a plan, the plan works and we all do the same thing, not just go for a run.

I haven’t been feeling the love this week at all. I have spent more of the week with my foam roller than I have my husband. In fairness, he’s spent just as long with the ice pack than with me. The joys of 2 of us training for a marathon, even though his training is pretty much non existent as he tries to fully recover.

Random twinges and pain that isn’t subsiding with ibruofen and rolling have plagued me. I even cut back on a run this week to give me a chance. But I was going to give this evenings session a blast anyway as I do enjoy them and the sense of achievement afterwards.

Tonight we were tackling hills and well didn’t he have to pick the biggest hill in the area. Mill hill is a mile long and in the words of Yazz…the only way is up. The running down bit at the start was managable but after 2 reps I felt shooting pains up my right leg. So I done what I refuse to normally do and sat the rest of the session out, for my own good.
God I felt crap. I know I’m usually one of the last, the trier as such but I just felt useless, I guess it didn’t help that I’d hardly ate all day as I was busy doing grown up paperwork, but behind the smile, I was crying inside. 

I just wanted to run, pain free. I wanted to struggle and push myself up and down that God foresaken hill. Dermot spoke about negative thoughts to the group and my head was full of them. How was I to manage my long run this weekend if I was sore. What about Causeway Coast and even still…what about Dublin? 

So as I sit here with my ice pack and avonmore, I wonder about the long run this Sunday. I wonder how I’ll feel, maybe it was just the steepness of the hill or maybe just no fight left so panic at the slightest twinge. 

So I didn’t die this week personally, everyone else did. And I’ll be getting stuck into my Hail Marys and Our Fathers over the next few days and hope it’s just minor that between medicine and God I’ll get through it.

Running friends make the good runs better and the hard runs easier

​Well it was coming…17 miles on the plan.

Again taking my legs to the forest park to procrastinate about how much I hate the lake, every lap. Its not like I’m short of routes, places or roads to run on. I just know mathematically how far each route takes and that if I am near death and need to make it home, I can roll down the back way. No need to panic about being miles away and getting a taxi.
This week was going to be tough, to me that meant a whole additional lap of that damn lake. Jumping a whole 2 mile seems scarey but it had to be done. However I’ve had enough of running on my own. Team MAC where on hand to literally hold my hand every step of the way. 

I do worry that my marathon training rants undermine those who are going out and doing really fast training runs. I know by the time I get to 3hrs into the run a lot of marathoners are finished 26.2. 

I am slow, I get there eventually but it is tough. I fear someone would enter a marathon based on the fact “Siobhan done it” it’s not easy, it is mentally and physically exhausting yet I still smile through the training..why…because if I wasn’t smiling I swear I would be crying no doubt. 

Caitriona led the support through the early stages. Let’s face it, if there is someone who has more determination and relentlessness about them..its her. With the plan to stick with me to 14mile to break the 13.1 she knew that it would take everything she had to get round. 

I don’t feel any pressure running with her. We are well matched as we both know when we are going too fast and both respect that when one or the other needs to gather themselves, it’s not a problem. 

The first 4 mile around the hills we obviously had the usual complaints of tight legs, breathing and general why the hell are we doing this. 

Getting onto the lake to begin the laps, I knew she was thinking the inevitable “I’ve 4 laps of the lake todo” it is daunting but after a while it strangely becomes a victory that you kept going for so many. Each lap is 2.5mile but years of going around it for family walks, sponsored walks with schools and now running it. It does get a bit monotonous and at times you want to blow it up.

A strong first lap went by followed by a second. As we finished the second, I spotted the brightly coloured top of Selena at the hut talking to my main man Frankie. We were at 9 mile.

Selena brought her desire to always take the perfect picture and beautiful singing voice to todays run. It takes a special sort of person to run with me and she appreciates my need to go at my pace even if it’s slower than her normal pace. Let’s face it she’s great to run with as she knows so much about running and happy to impart knowledge to help.  

So together the 3 of us ran yet another lap. With 2 more laps to go Caitriona took a break to refill on water and catch her breath. So the plan was run on, and catch Caitriona and let her do her final lap and we’d meet her after our 2 final laps.

My 13.1 came in at 3hrs and knew I was doing better than last week. So it felt promising. I began to have the mental fight with myself at around 15 mile about this is the furthest I’ve gone but Selena kept me focused and kept me running when I didn’t want to run anymore.

I seen 16 mile come and Caitriona had met us on the final straight of the lake so I knew I had to go on that bit more to make the 17. I kept myself going and strangely picked up the pace. However at that point, it was just a matter of getting it finished. A wee 0.2 extra round the lake path and back seen the watch clock 17 mile and the relief that it was done sank in.

So we did what any athlete would do after a long run…We got into the lake to cool the feet and look at the times and pace….well it seems I totally smashed it today, clocking 17 mile only 20 seconds slower than it took me to run 15 last week. 

So it just shows you how effective it is to have friends to run with. I don’t think I’d have got this far in running if I hadn’t joined a running club. It was even more for the times when taking it easy that your thoughts aren’t consumed by the doom and gloom, keeping things upbeat. 

I really enjoyed today’s run though. I laughed, I smiled, I had great friends sharing in the “fun of 17miles” but most of all I felt very lucky. Lucky to have people in my life who knew exactly what I needed and when, to get me through that run. 

Of course it was finished off with a pint of Avonmore 

So after my half an hour of euphoria it hit me…I’ve to find 18 mile next week. 🙈🙈🙈

A good filter hides how I really felt in this picture after 17miles

Death by Dermot – Week 2

Death by Dermot – Week 2

Thursday came around quickly this week. Which meant only 1 thing. 

Coaching session with Dermot.

I still wasn’t feeling great and debating physically doing the session however I’m not one to shy away from a challange and wanted to prove to myself I could do whatever he threw at me.

I love how Dermot is over seeing the training and development of our own in house coaches, so was very proud of Hugh taking us for a warm up and cool down.

Teaching in front of people you know is so much harder than when you are in front of randomers so I appreciate that he had to overcome that before even starting to talk. 

The one thing I can say about Murlough AC is that there will always be laughs to be had and everyone supporting eachother. 

So the session involved  a concept called Pyrimids. So 200m in 1 minute, recovery, 400m in 2 minutes, recovery, 600m recovery and then a hill set.

God I was dying. I was trying to remember everything we’d learnt but as tiredness kicked in I could feel my form failing and my legs slowing up.

I think the pivotal moment of the session is when Dermot asked us in group 1 to turn around and look at everyone else. Everyone looked and felt the same as I done. Even those who took half the time to complete the 600m. We were all working hard outside our comfort zones. It was then I didn’t feel as self conscienous and slow anymore. 

So from there I dug deep. Putting in 2 good hill sets and feeling good. 

So another Death by Dermot session and I’ve yet again survived.

I’m Tired and Emotional

I’m Tired and Emotional

There’s nobody out there who knows your body better than yourself, so they say. But I think a few people seen this coming before I felt it.

I’ve found the concept of marathon training this week very difficult both physically and mentally. After my super human performace across 5 days last week. I’ve barely gathered myself to make 10k steps a day never mind get the short run and some cross training done.

I burnt out and my legs gave up. So off to physio to see if the pain in my right thigh was a structural issue or just a protest. Thankfully it is just on protest and with sensible training I shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

So define sensible…

Sunday: I literally done nothing

Monday: I walked a bit and done some cleaning

Tuesday: Physio so skipped club run

Wednesday: I went to the gym to see Shane and we worked the upper body only. My legs where only needed for getting to and from the car.

My leg is still sore and I fear for Dermots session tomorrow night. I’ve 17 mile on the plan for Saturday and that is my priority. I’ve already began hydrating to within an inch of my life and have routes mapped.

However today I hit my first big emotional wall. I was teary when I was in Dublin at the weekend but today Michael and I drove the potential route for my big runs of 20/22 mile. Then the magnitude of what I was going to do, hit me. It’s a bloody long way.

I then found myself being consumed by my fails and deeper darker secrets which I’ve overcome to get to this point. Yes it has reminded me that I have overcome some serious hurdles, that I am relentless in my pursuit to succeed and that I’m stronger than anyone could even imagine.  Life has not been easy for me and I am still trying to figure out who I really am after years of hiding and supression, living a life of lies to save someone else’s ass, whilst sacraficing my own happiness and identity. However putting all the gains aside, the doom does easily drag you down regardless of how positively you look at it.

On a physical note. I am over 8 stone lighter than I was 3 years ago. The dedication to see that through and to continue to chip away at it shows I can be focused. 

I need to remember that I only started running 11 months ago. And at that I had no intention to even run 10k never mind a full marathon. I’ve defied my harshest critics to pull 3 half marathons and 2 longer runs out of the bag at this point.  So who am I not to be proud, who am I to doubt myself? 

I am who I am, however this week learning that even though the plan in theory looks good, it’s a work in progress and I need to assess each day and if I’m not feeling it, I need to change the plan to suit what is best for me. I am special, I am also human and I need to know when to rest and also when to cry.

26.2 mile is a VERY long way. There’s no denying that. I will cross that line and it won’t be easy to get there. It will be a fantastic achievement that will be be engraved on my headstone. .here lies Siobhan Grant…Marathon Runner and brutally honest badass. 
Now to get a grip. Pull my big girl pants on and blow all those bad thoughts out of my head and recategorise them into their relevant departments in the deep dark unknown parts of my brain.