Monday, 30 March 2015

Back running (well jogging)!!

After a weekend that ended with high emotions as a result of Ireland's late, late equaliser in their game with Poland there was high emotions personally as well. 8 Days after my last run I tried again on Saturday. I knew the injury strain was not gone yet my mind had taken control and it was sick of waiting around.

The first 2 miles were really uncomfortable but not much more than that. There is a lingering pain but as an amateur distance runner I have grown accustomed to some pain and learned to ignore it while running. So I kept going and managed a 10K in 53 minutes which is averaging 8.30 min/miles. The thing with this particular injury is that I feel it afterwards. Cue grimaces in the shower!

And the mantra that keeps coming back. 'Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional'. And then the promise I made plays around in my head. 12 marathons in 12 months for Gorta Self Help Africa. Keep moving forward Patrick. There are people who would do anything just to feel the pain you are feeling now. Because it means they would have been able to run 10K. And they can't.

So I felt really grateful. Grateful enough to go again yesterday. I live near the 'Broad, Majestic Shannon' and there is a lovely 3.3 mile run by its banks that brings me all the way to the gorgeous University of Limerick Campus. So I thought I would run by that and see. I ended up going all the way to UL and back, covering 6.6 miles. The return was into a very stiff breeze, reminding me why the first half went relatively easy :) The strain is definitely still there and I need to be very careful but I'm back jogging. And that eases the mind.

I'm planning a further 10K tonight to keep me ticking over and I'm hoping to get the time to see a Physio later this week.

On another note one of my business sponsors is moving premises today. Patricia Irwin from Ring O'Roses florist is moving from Melrose Court to Kilteragh in Dooradoyle. All that's changing is the location so you can still contact them on 061-411321, or You can also check out the offers and promotions going with the move on the Facebook Page. I am asking for you to consider using the companies that sponsor my challenge!!!

Can I this week please ask to consider getting a sponsorship card from me if a)you are running a race your self or b)to collect a few € from your friends. I can send soft copies of information on the charity and the challenge to anyone that wants them. You can also donate on

Friday, 27 March 2015

The ghost of self reliance and the strength of the Mind!

Running Distance so far this week: 0 Miles! I keep hearing back from loads of very well meaning people that this is 'for the best'. 'You need to be careful' 'Don't overdo it' 'Mind the injury doesn't get worse' 'An Achilles is injury is dangerous'. All these might be true, yet I don't want to hear them anymore :)

I'm getting very familiar with my body after 7 years of distance running. I know what constitutes pain, niggles and slight discomfort. I was in pain after a niggle and am now moving back just into discomfort. Knowing that pain might reoccur. But my mind is telling me to run tomorrow morning. Just a 10K and see what happens. And get to a Physio next week if the discomfort or niggle is still there.

And I allow my mind to conquer my body every single time. It usually knows best. The body always gives up first. And the mind hates the 0 in front of the Miles. A tad out of vanity maybe, yet mostly out of the lack of running. The pure joy and freedom I get from it, the energy, the mindfulness and peace.

Yet I also know not just to rely on my mind. So I use motivation from wherever I can get it. 2 sentences popped into my mind to assist me this week. These sentences are not only valid for sports performance. They also reflect on the pain of transition and change in every aspect of life. Anyway they helped me make the decision to try and run tomorrow!

The first line comes from Haruki Murakami in his book 'What I talk about when I talk about running': 'Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional'. I love that line and it has helped me so many times before get over discomfort masquerading as real pain.

The second I get from listening to an Eric Thomas speech:
'Listen to me. PAIN IS TEMPORARY! It may last for a minute, or an hour, or a day, or even a year. But eventually it will subside and something else will take it’s place. If I quit however, it will last forever.'

So there goes, I'm running in the morning. And if it doesn't finish me off, I'll be running again Sunday. But that's like 172,800 seconds from now. And another 24 hours after that you can find out in my Monday blog :)

Meanwhile please support the companies that sponsored the Challenge in the last week: Patricia Irwin at for all your floristry needs and to contact Verette regards her Weight Watchers classes who brought in another €125 yesterday.

You can donate €12 (€1/marathon) or whatever you want to at

We have passed the €1,000 and are on our way to the €2,000 mark.

Miles with smiles for Gorta Self Help Africa!!!!!!!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Admitting temporary defeat, passing the €1,000 milestone and gaining friends!

I knew it was a distinct possibility. I knew I had to be vigilant. I knew everything I did was overlapping. I knew. All it took was a slip of concentration on one detail. You see I have asymmetrical feet, enough for it to affect the time I get out of any pair of shoes I buy. So I check my running gear usage and a reminder to change gear as a result of distances covered should pop up. I changed how I logged my distances covered and simply forgot to attach a reminder to it.

I calculated over the weekend I did 4 times (!!) the distance with this pair of 'tackies' I should have. I should have spotted it from the wear on them but didn't as I was enjoying my daily runs and slowly doubling the mileage compared to last year. I got a new pair 2 weeks ago but it was too late. My Achilles is complaining loudly. I felt it before Tralee and ran through it and ran 4 x 10K's last week as well. On Saturday morning I had to admit defeat.

I'm out, injured. I know it's a first world problem but it's my world and not running is not fun! I'm looking after it now but can't tell you yet how long it will be for. I'll monitor it this week and decide on what happens as I go along. I'm determined to do the Connemarathon in 20 days though, that's a definite aim!

My only run this weekend was a 10K Friday evening and it was in 52 minutes. That's good!

And I've excellent news too!!!! We have gone over the first €1,000 standing at €1,127 (THANKS everybody) and I've gotten my first Business Sponsor! I've known Patricia Irwin for about 5 years now through BNI, a business networking organisation. Patricia runs Ring O'Roses, Limerick's Premier online florist at Patricia has a shop located at Melrose Court near the Milk Market for a good few years now. If I were to put all the testimonials I got about her on this blog I would have no space left for anything else. :) Personally I've had bouquets designed by Patricia and her team delivered in places like Dáil Éireann and the FAI. And as she has designs for every budget I've had them at home as well :)

Patricia and her business are moving at the end of this week to Kilteragh in Dooradoyle near the Crescent Shopping Centre and Garryowen Rugby Club. Above is a pic with all the contact details. I would like to thank Patricia for sponsoring my challenge and would like to urge everyone to give your support to Patricia and Ring O'Roses for all your Floristry needs; thank you's, weddings, funerals, birthdays, gifts, presentations etc.....!!! Here's the Facebook account for the Business!

If your or your friends business or your company wants weekly exposure just like Patricia will get via my blog and social media then contact me on 083-3008963 or at There are options at €100, €250 and €500.

In the meantime you can assist with my mental recovery from injury by donating small amounts (€12, €1 per marathon or whatever amount you want) at

Up to the €2,000 and Miles with Smiles!!!!!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Pain can be beautiful too!

I'm sitting here typing this with my shoes off. Thankfully this is written in the semi darkness of a solar eclipse and I'm alone in this office. :) The reason is that I have a very persistent niggle on the outside left of my Achilles on the left foot. I had it before Tralee, in fact I've had it for a few weeks. The previous 'tackies' had completely worn out and I didn't replace them in time. FACT.

Learning: My running gear is as important as my body!
Whether that is in sport, business or personal life. You need to take care of the externals as well as the internals to succeed! And thanks to Verette and her weightwatchers clients I got my next 2 pairs of 'tackies' sponsored!! (See last Monday's blog).

Anyways, the people that know me, know I am becoming more single minded and determined every day to live life to the fullest possible in each moment. For the moment in sports that means running a minimum of 12 Marathons in 12 months as well as running 2015 miles in 2015. 2 excellent challenges. Both are well on track. 3 Marathons in the first 3 months and 39 miles ahead of target in the 2015 challenge.

So I got an Achilles issue a few weeks back after Lough Derg and before Tralee. I told nobody. Mainly for selfish reasons. I didn't want to hear their well meant 'take care now' 'don't over do it' 'get that seen to' messages. They would stick in the back of my head and affect my preparations.

So Tralee hurt but didn't kill me. And I had a comfortable race with for me a Top 5 Marathon time!!

Learning: The mind is a powerful tool. Use it well and your success rates will sky rocket!

So the Achilles is still hurting. And yet I'm doing 50 minute 10K's the last 2 nights. And I haven't gotten it seen too. I'll know when. I'm getting to know my body. And I like it. It gets me to do things that 10 years ago I though were not possible. Not only that, I would have told you I could never achieve this. Ever. In a Million years.

But I am. Just because I can. And because I decided I wanted to. It became a WHY. And when your Why is strong, your mind runs your body. And your mind is a powerful tool.

Another 10K tonight, 9 miles tomorrow, 14 miles Sunday. That's the plan. I'm getting the mind to tell the body in a minute. I hope it's ready :)

I have also gotten a promise of a first Company Sponsor this week. I'll let you know on Monday obviously with details of the Company!!!

In the mean time, thanks for reading and sharing the Midweek Blog and thanks for all your encouragements. Online, by text and beeping the car horns when meeting me out training. They all count and I hear them all.

Have a wonderful weekend, Miles with Smiles!!!!!

You can donate for this Challenge to Gorta Self Help Africa on

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

How to help me find Sponsors by April 6th!

Yes, I did go running last night 2 days after Tralee. Yes, it did hurt. Yes, I am going running tonight. Yes, it will hurt. If everything always went smoothly, it would not be called a challenge!

What I mean is I don't need sympathy, really I don't. Nor advice to take it handy and rest. It is counterproductive and makes me run more :)

I want your help instead! Your help in finding me some companies or SME's or organisations that are willing to sponsor some small amounts of money to support Gorta Self Help Africa and my 12 Marathons in 12 Months Challenge. And they get stuff in return! I have been in the Limerick Leader and on Limerick City Community Radio already and will be in the Press again!

Here's how any business, company or SME can get promoted:

The 3 promotions are:

1- €100 Mention on this Blog once a month as a sponsor with link to Website or Social Media account.


2- €250 Mention once a week on my Blog as a Sponsor with link to Website or Social Media account + 1 Article in 2015 on your business in my Blog and on my Social Media + Logo on arm of t-shirt from Marathon number4 to Marathon 12 (13,14,15 and more if run) + other races I take part in during the year + Mention in SHA newsletter.


3- €500 (2 available) Mention once a week on my Blog as a Sponsor with link to Website or Social Media account + Article from your business on my Social Media and promoting your events once a month + Logo on front or back of t-shirt from Marathon number 4 to Marathon 12 (13,14,15 and more if run) + other races I take part in during the year + Mention in SHA newsletter as main sponsor + Press Release as Main Sponsor + Pictures with Patrick + 1 x 2 hr Motivational talk by Patrick to your Business/Organisation.

-Identify companies, SME's or organisations that might consider this and get the name of the person to talk to.
-Get the mobile number from that person and permission for me to call them.
-The reason for April 6th is that they will be in time for my next marathon in Connemara!!!

That's all folks. I'll do the talking and convincing. I have documents to give them and will meet them for a coffee.

Thanks so much in advance for your help and don't forget you can also donate to or RUN YOUR OWN RACE OF ANY DISTANCE and get sponsorship cards from me.

Miles with Smiles!!!! :)

Monday, 16 March 2015

Tralee Marathon Report or how 3 + 20 = 1 and a story about free 'tackies'.

What is it about Tralee? Is it in the mind? Is it the scenery? Is it the time of year? Whatever it is, I am trying to find out. Why? This was my 2nd time running Tralee International Marathon and my second time enjoying every minute of it when others said it was tough. Despite an Achilles injury I ran the entire 26.2 miles in relative comfort. Is it the Banna Beach Air? Oh, if only I could bottle it.

I also discovered a few things this weekend:
1- I prefer road to trail (for the moment at least).
2- I live my emotions and doing that is part of what drives me. The awe inspiring beauty of places like Banna Beach and Ardfert and Fenit made the running seamless even if the strong sea breeze was in our faces most of the time.
3- This one is not going to surprise those that know me. I can talk and run at the same time without loosing energy. In fact it made some Miles disappear as fast as Porter on St. Patrick's Day.

I had a very enjoyable race and time in Tralee even though every step was ran with the discomfort of the Achilles strain. A massive thank you to all the marshals and volunteers who did a fantastic job so we could run safely. Also a huge thank you to all the wonderfully supportive and beautifully bonkers people of Marathon Club Ireland (I am privileged to be a member), Kerry Crusaders (superb club) and last but definitely not least Born To Run Tralee (the maddest bunch in town) with whom I shared the gorgeous roads.

It was Marathon 3 of the 12 Marathons in 12 months for Gorta Self Help Africa. It was also Marathon 20 in my running career. And it was the 1 Marathon that made it clear to me that I was born to do long distance running. So to all math buffs that is how 3 + 20 can be = 1!!

Some people have asked me what can I do to help? And before I answer that I need to thank a bunch who already did. Verette Abetterme (FB name) runs weightwatchers classes in Limerick and Clare and was at my Coffee morning after an introduction by Roisin Meaney (thanks Roisin). Verette is most definitely a 'can do' person. Last week Verette asked to meet me for a Coffee on Friday and could I bring some sponsorship cards please. When we met she handed me a cheque for €200 to sponsor my next 2 pairs of 'tackies'. She had done a raffle in the classes and had asked for €1 for tickets. Thanks Verette!!! I will remember your generosity and that of all your members! :)

You too can help.
1- By donating €12 (€1 per marathon) on
2- By running any race either with me or any distance anywhere by yourself and asking me for a sponsorship card.
3- By Corporate sponsorship or introducing me to sponsors. I will do a blog on this specifically on Wednesday so look out for that please.

So what's next? A 2nd event hopefully, training definitely and as it stands next race is the mighty hills and mountains of Connemara on April 12th for the Connemarathon where the weather decides the outcome more often than not :)

Whatever comes next, it's always Miles with Smiles!!!!

Friday, 13 March 2015

It's time for Trá Lí

We are creatures of habit. Every time we create a habit, we get a sense of comfort from that. And because we resist the one constant in our life, change; we crave that comfort we get from our habits.

I have it from great authority (clients of mine, the best authority on the planet) that awareness is the first step to a habit of challenging your comforts. Because real life lies outside those comforts. Growth, excitement, development and learning are all optimised outside that cradle packed with our comforts.

One of my habits was that every trip to Kerry meant going to Killarney for the overnights. This weekend for only the second time in my life, after spending the last 20 years in Limerick, I will visit Tralee. And I must say I enjoyed the first visit last year. Better not make it a habit :)

The scenery is amazing, the people give you a typical warm hearted and somewhat cheeky Kerry welcome. And the race I'm running, , is very well organised by Marcus Howlett (A Dub who settled in Kerry!) and crew. The sights among the route are rural, coastal and stunning; from Tralee to Ardfert to Fenit back to Tralee! It will be a pleasure to run amongst friends from the amazing Marathon Club Ireland, the slightly bonkers crowd from Born To Run Tralee and the inspirational Kerry Crusaders.

There is a Full and Half Marathon on Sunday and Tralee is buzzing before and after so I'm staying for 2 nights in the Grand Hotel in Denny Street. If you are around Kerry this weekend, come cheer us on.

This is my 3rd Marathon in a 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa. You can donate €12 (€1 per Marathon) or any amount you want at

Monday, 9 March 2015

Them Tackies look lovely on you!

Only sport I watched over the weekend was some of the European Indoors Championships Athletics. Mark English got a Silver for Ireland in the Men's 800m. Nafi Thiam in the Women's Heptathlon and Dylan Borlée in the Men's 400m both won Silver for Belgium. Then at the last event of the games Julien Watrin and Dylan, Kevin and Jonathan Borlée (3 brothers) won Gold for Belgium in the Men's 4x400m!

Apart from the 2nd half of Shamrock Rovers v St Patrick's Athletic on Friday that was all my TV watching for the entire weekend :)

I have other things that preoccupy me now. Things I enjoy doing and that have me learning continuously. And contributing beyond myself. While nearly always just doing things I love. Running long distance taught me that. There is nearly never a point in putting a lot of energy in stuff you don't want to do or that isn't right for you.

You see running is no longer a sport for me, nor is it something I do separately. It is part of a selfish lifestyle. One that is concentrating around being the best me I can be, because that selfishness means I can contribute to others with more energy. There is only me doing what I want to without being told when, how and where. Running gives that freedom to you if you let it. All that is needed is to carry that line through to life as mush as possible and let it all be one.

Doug Larson is quoted as saying: "Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible."

My 2 challenges for 2015 are on track. 2 months = 2 marathons. Tralee International Marathon next Sunday to make it 3 in 3! The 2nd challenge I mentioned here before is there to support the first one. To run a total in training and races together of 2,015 miles in 2015 or 5.52 miles every day for the whole year. Last year I ran 1,189 miles or 3.2 per day and that was a record. By yesterday I was supposed to be on 369.84 miles and I'm actually on 406.49 or 36.65 miles ahead of schedule.

I feel grateful and privileged to be able to do both and that I get to run most days. Really grateful. And I wanted to celebrate that gratefulness so I got me some new Tackies (I'm in Limerick long enough now to call 'em that) for Tralee! Asics GT 2000! Woohoo!

So this weekend coming all roads lead to Tralee International Marathon. Talk to you Friday again on how you can help with the charity drive. Meantime it's Miles with Smiles and donations to

Friday, 6 March 2015

About Coffee, Backpages and Frontlines.

“Adventure in life is good; consistency in coffee even better.”
Justina Chen, North of Beautiful

If I were to attempt to start thanking everyone who helped, participated or attended the Coffee Morning to launch the fundraising side of the 12 marathons in 12 months; two things would happen. I would forget people and this would be a very, very long blog post. I hope I thanked you all individually and publically for the above and will do so again when any of us meet. I have been blessed with a selective memory :) , I will remember who was there and did what they did and how we raised over €300 on raffle and coffee alone!

Thanks to you all it has bean (see what I did there) a steaming hot (stop me someone) success. The photo's taken by participants, Anna Hurkowska and Pat from Munster Images are testament to that. Lots of awareness was raised thanks to you all but also thanks to Mike O'Connor from Limerick city Community Radio (who have been there since day 1) and Anne Sheridan of the Limerick Leader. Much to my delight the challenge got the headline on the backpage of this weekend's city edition of the Limerick Leader.

Now the time has come to start tackling this challenge on 3 fronts and as I mentioned yesterday I can't do this all alone so I'm going to need your skills to help.

Front 1 I have covered, that's the running bit. The mathematically minded amongst you might have spotted that there was 14 races on my documents yesterday. There should have obviously been 12, I mean 15. That is to cover for injuries but also a challenge that if I stay injury free, I will go the extra 26.2 miles a couple of times. For the right price!!!

Although straight after a Marathon weekend this week's training schedule has been Monday 6.21 miles, Tuesday 6.21 miles, Wednesday 6.21 Miles, Thursday 4.67 Miles (Was supposed to be a rest day but couldn't after the launch). I hope to do 6.21 today, 9ish Saturday and around 13 or 14 Sunday.

Front 2 is my next event. Next week I am asking for permission from the Great Limerick Run to hold a Q&A event for aspirant, beginning and fun runners around GLR. Once I get that I hope to build an expert panel on an evening after work for a small cover charge that will go straight to the charity! I'll let you know very soon how what and when.

Front 3 is where I need most help right now. It has 2 aspects.
1- Anyone can run any race this year anywhere and get sponsored to run as part of the 12in12 campaign for Gorta Self Help Africa. I have loads of sponsorship cards ready for you all. If you or anyone you know is running a race this year and want to do it for a charity all they need to do is call, text or email me and I will take it from there. RUNNING MILES WITH SMILES FOR GORTA SELF HELP AFRICA!

2- For my races I have corporate sponsorship opportunities for €100, €250 and €500. The 3 promotions are:

1- €100 Mention on My Blog once a month as a sponsor with link to your Website or Social Media account.

2- €250 Mention once a week on my Blog as a Sponsor with link to your Website or Social Media account + 1 Article in the year on your business in my Blog and on my Social Media + Logo on arm of t-shirt from Marathon number 4 to Marathon 12 + other races I take part in during the year + Mention in Self Help Africa newsletter.

3- €500 Mention once a week on my Blog as a Sponsor with link to your Website or Social Media account + Article from your business on my Social Media and promoting your events once a month + Logo on front or back of t-shirt from Marathon number 4 to Marathon 12 + other races I take part in during the year + Mention in SHA newsletter as main sponsor + Pictures with Patrick + 1 x 2 hr Motivational talk by Patrick to your Business/Organisation.

With hat in mind I would like to ask you to start networking and if you could get me in front of people I will sell it to them!

Have a wonderful weekend all. I am off for a coffee at Harpers in the milk Market for Lunch today. In case you are looking for me! Have a great weekend!

Remember it's Miles with Smiles and Donations can be made at

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Let's all Run ..... to the George Boutique Hotel tomorrow! Change of speaker!

I'm glad the Coffee morning is on tomorrow. I can get back to my day job and to running after that :) All jokes aside it is great to see the good will of so many people. Limerick is lucky to have you all as citizens! And I mean that!

It will be a pleasure to welcome you all to the beautiful interior of the George Boutique Hotel at 10am tomorrow. Thank you so much to Jacinta Khan, who has been much more than a host. Jacinta has assisted with press, facilities, her many contacts and with a raffle prize. It is pillars of our community like Jacinta and Altaf that make it great to live in Limerick and it is people like them that make me passionate about spending local. Thanks Jacinta!

Coffee, there is supposed to be coffee right! There is, thanks to the ever kind hearted generous nature of Maria Harper from Harpers Café at the Limerick Milk Market. Maria has sponsored the coffee you will drink and I am very thankful to her for that.

Thanks also to all the good folk of Gorta Self Help Africa that will be there tomorrow. Thanks to the CEO Ray Jordan, thanks to the man that could move mountains Ronan Scully, thanks to the very hard working behind the scenes Ciara Doyle and thanks to our own Gaye Moore.

As well as Jacinta and Maria, I have received some other contributions from people in our City in the shape of raffle prizes. So far I have been promised or have the following:
1- One of Limerick's finest authors Roisin Meaney's 11th Novel is released tomorrow and I have secured a signed copy for a lucky winner. Thanks Roisin.
2- The Still House Bar in Thomas Street have kindly donated a raffle prize. Thanks to Kenneth Naughton. The Still House is in my opinion THE Football (I refuse to call it soccer) pub in Limerick and home to many Limerick FC fans! Our Super Blues (another passion of mine) are in action Saturday at Jackman Park at 6.330 pm. Why not go watch a game and then have an after game drink in the Still House!
3- Patricia Irwin from Ring O'Roses on Melrose Court beside the Milk Market is chipping in with a raffle prize. Pat is Limerick's finest florist for any occasion and I'm sure she would want me to remind you to book in time for Mothers Day on March 15th!!
4- Tony Reeves from Pronto Office Supplies has agreed to donate a prize. 90% of everything in Tony's catalogues is delivered next day. And I know that to be true Tony!!
5- Yvonne Clarke from Just Be Holistic Therapies at Glendale Lawn offers amongst other things Aromatherapy - Reflexology - Indian Head Massage - Hopi Ear Candling - Massage - Reiki - Shirodhara and has agreed to donate a prize for the raffle! Thanks Yvonne.
6- Paulette Egan from is also on the donation list. Paulette has a Yoga Studio in Clonlara just outside the city and also works with groups in the Strand Hotel. She will take your sports performance to the next level! Thanks Paulette for your contribution.
7- Martina Breen has very kindly given me a prize of a lovely sounding bottle of Hennessy. Thanks Martina :)
8- As if she hadn't done enough already Jacinta Khan is throwing in a raffle prize. Her generosity seems boundless. Thanks Jacinta.
9- Just had a text from The Man with the Buses to everywhere you want them to go. Tim Kelly from Kelly Travel has agreed to throw in tickets for his regular Dundrum bus. That's Dundrum Shopping Centre in Dublin and back to Limerick without the hassle of driving or parking!!!
10- Ah here I decided Forward 2 Success is offering a 2 hour personal coaching review to the mix.

Can I please ask you kindly to support the businesses and people that support Gorta Self Help Africa!!!

There could well be more prizes on the day so please come to the George Boutique Hotel tomorrow morning at 10am.

One of our guest speakers Keith Whyte was on to me yesterday. Due to personal circumstances I am aware off he can't make it tomorrow yet has made himself available for one of our next events, the first of which I will announce very soon and will be specifically aimed at runners and the Great Limerick Run.

See you tomorrow all and thank in advance!!!

Donations can be made online at

Monday, 2 March 2015

Race report, Sporting Heroes of the weekend and THURSDAY coffee morning!!

I sit here at my desk on a Monday morning still in awe of some sporting performances this weekend. And I didn't have to sit in front of television screens reporting live on great victories for Ireland and Chelsea from the Aviva or Wembley, to see them.

All I had to do is go to the University of Limerick on both Saturday and Sunday to see some amazing sporting legends complete Back 2 Back Marathons!! I mean, I am trying to run 12 Marathons in 12 Months and these people did 2 in 2 days! I am officially in awe and as I am a curious learner I have asked several of them how they do it. I have gained some significant wisdom from these people and guess what?? I love a challenge so that's now on my bucket list for 2016 together with a first Ultra! I can't name them all but these people are my sporting heroes this weekend!

 Oh and I ran Marathon number 2 of my 12 Marathons in 12 months in 2015 with some of them on Saturday. On what was a relatively pleasant day for running. And on a scenic route by the Shannon and Canal between the University of Limerick Boat House and Corbally. 4 Laps of 6.5 Miles. Two and a half laps of utter bliss and Miles with Smiles just as training indicated it would be. Then, bang!!! First the left calf, then the right one. Cramps, from nowhere. Changing terrain from trail to tarmac to cobbles the culprit, maybe. Overtraining, maybe. Just purely what happens from time to time and it happened on a race day this time? Probably.

Anyway, I have a record to uphold. One that says I have never had a DNF in a Marathon (Did Not Finish). And I intend to defend that record with everything I can muster. And so I did. Slowly but always moving forward I completed the last 10 Miles. Number 2 in the bag, record upheld and on target for the 12 in 12! The recovery starts immediately as Tralee International Marathon is in 2 weeks!

I had to take 2 painkillers on Saturday to get to sleep and I don't take pills easily! It is part of the pleasures of long distance running :) On Sunday though it was time for me to give back. So many times at so many Marathon Club Ireland and other races I had thanked the volunteers for their help and assistance at food and drink stations.

So I got up early and went to man the food and drink station near the lap finish of Day 2 of the Back to Back Marathons. It gave me a different perspective as I felt privileged to be able to offer some small assistance to each passing runner. The 5.5 hours flew by.

So that was my sporting weekend with my sporting heroes, Marathon runners. A breed of people with iron clad wills and steely determination. No obstacle seems to faze them as they find their way through, over or under each. I feel immense gratitude to be able to be part of that scene as it reinforces those traits for every day life!!

Thursday is the Coffee Morning for my chosen charity Gorta Self Help Africa in the George Boutique Hotel from 10am to Noon! I am spending a lot of this week organising it and will Blog again tomorrow about it. In the mean time feel free to donate on and keep your diary free for Thursday morning!

Talk to you tomorrow and remember it's always Miles with Smiles!!!