Monday, 29 December 2014

Sacrifices, or how everyone's reality is different!

Hi all,

I hope and trust you are all keeping well and making loads of plans for the New Year and for some of you shedding the lbs gained over the festive season. I am back from a week off work. I took it to celebrate my 20 years in Ireland with a trip to Killarney but also to spend some time with relatives in Dublin.

While in Dublin I was reminded of the challenges life throws at you when my niece's daughter suffered a burst appendicitis on Christmas morning. She was rushed to Crumlin and operated on the same day. Later on in the week she got a bad reaction to morphine but is still keeping strong. Her mother and partner haven't left her side and sacrificed everything we took for granted on Christmas Day; family, food, drink, cakes, sleep, TV. The lot.

And that got me thinking about what I am doing, running my 12 marathons in 12 months in 2015 for Gorta Self Help Africa! My sacrifices compared to those of the women that will be supported with the money I will raise.

My sacrifices are time (training, fundraising, races etc...), food (cutting refined and added sugars, bread, restaurants etc...), alcohol (no more until I have reached my target 12 Marathons then a bottle of bubbly) and weekends (training Friday, Saturday and Sunday or racing).

The sacrifice of  these women in Africa is to get up every day (365/year) and to do whatever they need to do to keep themselves and their families ALIVE!

If I don't succeed, I will feel horrible. If they don't succeed, there may be death.

That's all the motivation I need, trying to make a difference and make some other people's lives better. That is my purpose in life and through my running we might be able to set up some smallholder farms for these women to become self sufficient.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: -You can support me by following this Blog every Monday and Friday for the whole year and by sharing it with your friends.
-You can donate €12 (€1/Marathon) or a multiple if possible at
-Helping me find companies or organisations that would like to sponsor me for the year and whose names will be on newsletters, t-shirts, social media etc...

My training programme this week is 1 x 4.6 miles, 2 x 6.21 miles, 1 x 7.2 miles and 1 x some distance over 10 Miles. The other 2 days will be covered with some Core work.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Maybe strong is what you have left, when you have used up all your weak!

The title line is from an ad for Saucony; a company that makes amongst other things, running shoes. It always resonated with me and I figured out the reason for that recently. I was using all my weak in my running efforts. I am a better runner than I have been. I did the minimum of what I had to do to finish marathons.

So I needed a bigger challenge, one that would frighten me into action. I decided that 12 Marathons in 12 months was scary as I did an average of 2.5 marathons for the last 7 years. Today, Monday the 15th of December the start of that challenge is a mere 2 weeks away. 12 in 12 for Gorta Self Help Africa.

Funny how setting challenges that seem impossible focus you into action. I ran PB's for both the Half and Full Marathon this year at the age of 48! I just ran 29 miles over 3 days this weekend a week after my Half Marathon PB. I'm feeling better, stronger and fitter than 20 years ago when I was into sports but also into cigarettes, junk food and alcohol. The cigarettes have long gone, the vast majority of what is left of the junk food and alcohol are going January 2nd. This year is about breaking through to the other side of running; one that finds peace in pain, one that finds meditation in distance.

And one that will see me raise €12,000 for Gorta Self Help Africa. And that's the bit I need your help with. I'll let you know next Friday what you can do to assist right now.

Have a wonderful week and remember; run with a smile!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Progress, mindsets, why's and urgency.

Waterford, 06/12/2014
This is shaping up to be a great weekend. I just ran a Personal Best (PB) for the Half Marathon at the Waterford AC Half at age 48! 1Hr47min33sec.
 To put it into context my PB is from 5 years ago at 1H48 and my other 2 Half Marathons this year were 1H54 and 1H53. That's half a minute per mile off.
As a Life and Motivational Coach I am curious as to the Why of everything so what made me go to sub 8 minute miles for the last 5 today and 7.25 for the last 1.1 mile?

I stayed in the room of the wonderful Athenaeum Hotel in the afternoon to figure it out. It is a combination of things mostly centred around mind-set.

1. The 12 Marathons in 12 months challenge is starting next Month in January 2015 and I feel nervous anticipation towards it so I wanted to prove myself today (just to me) :)
2. I have made running one of 2 things (together with my coaching business) I want to do to the best of my ability, the highest standard possible. I have to thank Gerry Duffy for that phrase, I learned it at one of his seminars on an April Sunday this year in the Irish Management Institute in Dublin.
3. I have an integrated plan inclusive of running training, Paleo based nutrition, core exercises, planned marathons etc...
4. I have a brilliant cause and charity for the 2015 challenge in Gorta Self Help Africa and I have promised them stuff and I like keeping my word.

None of these have started but are imminent, yet the anticipation, urgency, nearness and desire were strong enough to make me feel like I could fly today.

All you need in life to succeed is a strong Reason, an Action Plan, Value congruency, Love and Hard Work. The rest is all in the mind and easy!

I said recently I had been winging this running lark in the last 6 years and 17 Marathons and I know now that is true. Boundaries will be smashed, thanks in advance for all your support for my 12 in 12 months challenge in 2015!