I am done… a whole year… just gone by like that.
So why this challenge? – After the Paris marathon I lost my motivation for running so I was looking for a new challenge. I read about this in Runners World… I thought I could do that … pretty much everybody said – ‘you’re mad’ or there is no way I could do it – which just made me even more determined to give it a go . I signed up and started the next day on 1st July 2012. It was the ‘doubters’ that kept me going in that first month …everybody expecting me to just give up on those first few difficult days..But once I had got through one month it then seemed like a waste to stop.
While running I reflected a lot on what drove me to run – I definitely a person who needs a target or a challenge to make me run. My working days can be long – often am working in London and Dublin, sometimes further afield – I think this is an easy excuse not to fit exercise into my life so I almost wanted to prove the point that its okay to be a bit selfish now and again and it can be done -although not always easily…
- I love to eat – I love my food – I need a counter balance – they don’t’ call me Beefa for nothing!
- To be active and stay fitter
- To get fresh air and relieve stress – I can safely say I never felt worse after a run and nearly always felt better!
I did think about skipping a few days – one evening in particular …when CW was away – I was knackered and I thought ‘no one would ever know’ – I could make some excuse like my Garmin died …I really thought about it but then forced myself to get up and out the door.
Or the day I had a stomach bug and hadn’t eaten anything all day and really wasn’t sure I could make it around the 3 miles – I had resigned myself that this was it …the end – but after CW basically guilted me into it I did the run – running very slow and staying close to the house in case of emergencies!
One of the hardest but most mental runs was the time I technically failed and ended up running with CW at nearly 1am in really windy, sleety snow – it was horrendous.
There were definitely some difficult days …The biggest reason I kept going was in my third month of this challenge Dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer. I was working in Dublin so he told me over the phone and the first thing I did was go for my daily 3 mile run. Many runs to follow were spent thinking about how these things don’t happen to us. I promised myself after he was diagnosed that if I got to the stage of near completion that I would try and raise some money for the Irish Cancer Society and their equivalent in NI – I thankfully I have managed to reach nearly £1500.
There were many challenging runs …very late nights, very early mornings, snowy and icy conditions, trying to squeeze runs in before meeting people for dinner and once after a three course (with wine) work dinner , the stomach bug run (really dodgy) and many runs ‘the morning after the night before’!
There were some great runs in Donegal (where I am from) Christmas Day on Rathmullan Beach, Glenveagh National Park, Tory Island, Inch Island….Running in the Gorge in Ronda.. Running with friends and family… and many many lovely sunny evenings running on the tow path in Belfast.
A massive thanks to all my friends, family and colleagues who always encouraged me and delayed many dinners and plans to enable me to ‘get my run in’ . Thank you to the Delargeys for the great finale – was brilliant!
A special thank you to CW – there through all the days … sometimes providing great motivation to run faster J. I would never have completed this without your disbelief at the start…..and your support to the very end.
All this is dedicated to my Dad.