A brief update: Sundays long run of eighteen miles went surprisingly well. An average pace of 13mins 38secs per mile saw me finish up in just over four hours. Yes, it’s a ridiculously long time to spend running (as such), and there are a lot of runners who would be embarrassed to run at anything more than a ten minute mile- but it’s important to get things in perspective. I ran my first 5k in May. Seven months later, I’m going to be running a marathon. That’s a fairly exponential journey in fitness! I tend to forget this, and get bogged down in berating myself for being slow and generally inconsistent, but it’s no mean feat when you think about it. It’s also proof that anything is possible. Anyway, I’m really glad I finished the distance. I’m starting now to think about how this marathon is going to go, what I should wear, what I should eat/drink throughout and so on. It’s definitely all in the mind, so creating a positive feeling before starting the run is crucial. I like my little routine beforehand: a decent Slimming World fry and a good coffee about two hours before I go, coupled with a shower and careful selection of the running outfit. I don’t know if its an OCD thing, or a big-girls-blouse thing, but I like everything to match colourwise! I don’t feel right otherwise!
With a twenty mile run coming up this Sunday, I’m finding it a little difficult to formulate routes that will take in the full miles. Ideally, I would leave the house and do enough miles to leave me with a three mile ‘back home again’ straight; but no matter what way I go, that means a good two miles of uphill. I know in a way that’s probably a good thing, but the mental toll of the inevitable walking would throw me off. There’s nothing worse that being ‘on schedule’ for say 80% of the run, only to slow up at the end. I know it flies in the face of my opening paragraph, but I don’t like seeing my average pace take a nosedive compared to previous runs. I shall have to get my thinking cap on! Running around the local area can be both fascinating and incredibly boring, therefore effecting overall enthusiasm/enjoyment. I had plenty to keep me occupied on Sunday, between squirrels, rats, and semi-decomposed kittens (very unpleasant); not only that, but as I ran through Newry City, preparations were in full swing for the arrival of Jedward! Unfortunately, I didn’t bump into those two squirrels, who would have no doubt joined me on my plod.
I did bump into a lady who’s daughters I went to primary school with though, just around mile three of the run. Now I’ve never had a full conversation with the woman, but I know her to see and would always say hello. I could see her in the distance and as I got closer, I said hello but kept jogging slowly as it was one of those ‘do I stop/does she know me’ moments! She gave me a big broad smile and said “Lianne! I’m following your blog and it’s brilliant! Fair play to you!” I actually can’t put into words how much that made me smile. I was embarrassed in a way, because of the compliment, and bewildered at the same time by the fact that this lady actually reads the nonsense on here! It’s surreal! I think I have severely underestimated the effect of broadband access in South Armagh! Mental note: no slagging anyone off online – the world is getting smaller by the second. Seriously though, getting support like that is worth it’s weight in gold, or miles in this case.
Since the article in the paper, I’ve been getting lots of kind words and praise from both strangers and people I’ve known for years. I’ve also had lots of donations, which is genuinely humbling and really appreciated. I don’t like putting people on the spot for donations, partly because of the times we live in and partly because I didn’t enlist in this event with the sole motivation of raising money for charity. Having said that, because absolutely all of the money raised will go directly to the charities I’ve chosen, I don’t feel bad about accepting it. Speaking of which, I’m readying myself to head out to my old primary school this afternoon. I received a phonecall yesterday from my Primary One teacher, Mrs Delaney, where she told me they had read the article in the paper and that the school would like to make a donation. Given I left the school in 1994, and have only visited a few times since that, to say I’m chuffed is an understatement. I loved that school, and although there are much larger and more cosmopolitan schools in the area; I’m very proud to say that’s where I was I taught. Not many people can say that.
I shall have to keep my profanity in check for this visit. Despite receiving excellent instruction in St Malachys, I realise the colourful nature of my writing does not suit everyone. However, sometimes the only word that fits is a bad one! So to anyone reading this who didn’t realise McCooey likes to swear, please accept my apologies.
Thank you to everyone who has donated money, kind words, thoughts and/or prayers to the BigFatMarathon attempt. You don’t know how much they are all appreciated.