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 http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015 and keep your diary free for Thursday morning!
Talk to you tomorrow and remember it's always Miles with Smiles!!!