Archive for Aoife Gilmartin’s runs

One year of running done. Some thoughts and thanks.

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…

Other reasons:

  • 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.

Day 365 – this is the end…

I am done – will post properly this evening – I have a bit of reflecting to do on this year long challenge …
  • Miles today: 3.4
  • Miles completed: 1210.1
  • Miles to go: (115.1)
  • Days to go: 0

Day 364 – The penultimate run

Today for my penultimate run I ran to retrieve my car that I had left up in Malone House having been there for a BBQ the evening before.  Going to get something or running with a purpose has always felt like a good use of running time.  I hadn’t ever really run up in Barnett Demense before and it was really beautiful …lots of people out and about – we are really lucky in Belfast to have lots of parks and the tow path which means you can opt off the busy roads when you want.  Cant believe second last run is done … now just for tomorrow …going out tonight so maybe not going to finish with a speedy one!
  • Miles today: 3.5
  • Miles completed: 1206.7
  • Miles to go: (111.7)
  • Days to go: 1
  • Shoes: Adidas Boost

Day 363 – Last Friday – Action shots

Through out this challenge I have done very few pre work morning runs..there is no doubt I am not a morning person …but when I have done a run in the morning it has usually been on Friday and usually because of some planned social-ness post work…. that was the case this morning …. i dragged my butt out and ran 3.1 miles.  Then had to come home change and to get photos taken for the local paper …having showered, washed hair and put on a bit of makeup it was a slight improvement on my usual bedraggled running look – then I got the photos through … not so much …and discovered yes I run like the most awkward person …with my right leg point some strange direction … this could be the source or result of my recent injury … all i know is that I really hope they don’t use a running shot! 

  • Miles today: 3.1
  • Miles completed: 1203.2
  • Miles to go: (108.2)
  • Days to go: 2
  • Shoes: Adidas Boost

Day 362 – Straightening out – 3 runs to go!

I eventually got back to Belfast from Limerick after a long afternoon in the car …stopping in Lusk petrol station for an hour to make a work call.  After all that time sitting I was really stiff a run was probably the best thingI could do …

  •  Miles today: 3.1
  • Miles completed: 1200.1
  • Miles to go: (105.1)
  • Days to go: 3
  • Shoes: Adidas Boost


Day 361 – Limerick gym run – 4 runs to go!

Well into proper countdown now!  Tonight I am in Limerick  – staying in a hotel outside the city along a dual carriage way  – so despite it being a really nice night I opted for the gym…just managing to get in before they closed the doors to entrants..much to the dismay of the staff who i think were hoping for an early finish!   Was a good run on a rather rigitty old treadmill. 

Have been thinking about the whole challenge and thinking about my final days – planning to head out with the some family and friends on saturday night to celebrate and so will finish in a typical Sunday style …with a bit of a sore head!

  • Miles today: 3.6
  • Miles completed: 1197
  • Miles to go: (102)
  • Days to go: 4
  • Shoes: Adidas Boost

Day 360 – Dublin Mexican run – 5 runs to go!

My final Tuesday run was spent in Dublin town – was a bit late getting out so had to combine run with get food strategy so ran from my hotel along the canal and stopped after 3.4 miles  just outside a Mexican I had spotted.  Picked up a takeaway Burritto to bring back to my hotel.  Having set up my charity pages to raise some money as I finish this challenged  – I am overwhelmed by the support of my friends and family  – they are great!

  • Miles today: 3.4
  • Miles completed: 1193.4
  • Miles to go: (98.4)
  • Days to go: 5
  • Shoes: Adidas Boost

Day 359 – My final last Monday

And so here it is …my last week of this challenge.  I can’t quite believe it  – When I started this challenge last year I never thought I would reach this stage  – I was sure there would be some point when life would make running impossible but here I am, having just run my 52nd Monday in a row – this time next week will be my first day off running in a year!! Will be so weird! I was booking flights to London today for next week and was thinking that it was crap that was on a late flight back as would have to run when I got back …and then I remembered …I actually won’t  have  to run…happy …sad?
  • Miles today: 3.4
  • Miles completed: 1190
  • Miles to go: (95)
  • Days to go: 6
  • Shoes: Adidas Boost

Day 358 – Where’s Aoife?

Ran 3 miles and 3 miles only as was going to be late for The Twenty’s big launch of their debut EP Camarilla.  Was amazing ! so incredibly proud of how brilliant they play as a band and their rocking original music ….CW even dedicated a song to me … a new song called ‘Have you seen her?’ …renamed by GW  to ‘Where’s Aoife?’  Love it.

  • Miles today: 3.0
  • Miles completed: 1186.6
  • Miles to go: (91.6)
  • Days to go: 7
  • Shoes: Adidas Boost

Day 357 – Letterkenny laps

In an effort to avoid the crowds in Letterkenny I went to the track  – I had not been at it before  – it is new since my days in Letterkenny.  It was really nice but they charged me a fortune to get on to it…well not a fortune but it seemed a bit steep to me.  Anyway  I started doing steady loops  – it was sort of drizzly but not too bad  – but just I was doing my last loop the heavens opened – I got absolutely drenched and I took that perfect excuse to run off the track …feeling like yes I had done my 3 miles but no I not got good value for the money I had paid…. I think I would have had to do another few miles and few sprint laps  to feel like Ihad got my moneys worth!  
  • Miles today: 3.2
  • Miles completed: 1183.6
  • Miles to go: (88.6)
  • Days to go: 8
  • Shoes: Adidas Boost