Monday, 27 April 2015

It's a Home Run and a heck of a Party! + What you can do!

Next Sunday I have to travel about 3 miles to the start line of my 5th Marathon in this 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa. Here's the link for donations :)

It's a Home Run for me indeed as the annual Great Limerick Run Marathon starts at 9am on Sunday from the beautiful Georgian part of the City that is Pery Square. The course then heads to Childers Road – Rosbrien Rd – Punches Cross – O’Connell Ave – Glentworth Street – Henry Street.
We then run onto Clare Street to aim for the University and Castletroy area as far as Vistakon, taking in the superb University Campus and the breath-taking Living Bridge. We return to the city centre reaching the halfway point on Parnell Street. We leave the City again towards Raheen and Raheen Business Park. Our tiring bodies then move over to the West side of the Shannon towards the Gaelic Grounds and the North Circular Road for the final 6 Miles, passing The Treaty Stone and Thomond Park Stadium, before finishing on Limericks O’Connell Street.

You can find the route on the Great Limerick Run website for those of you who want to strategically place themselves along the route with Jaffa cakes for me and shouts of encouragement for all runners.

On that day the Great Limerick Run Half Marathon and the 6 Mile run also take place. On Saturday there are kids Runs on UL Campus and a Runner's Expo there as well. Top that up with the Riverfest, Limerick's May Bank holiday 4 day festival and the Treaty City is THE place to be next weekend.

I want to specifically wish Roisin Meaney all the best of luck with her Half Marathon, she has been an A+ student, diligently following the training schedules and I am positive it will pay off on the day. Go Roisin!!

TRAINING UPDATE: Friday I was going out for the night (hadn't done that for a while, no drinks mind you) with business owners from BNI Treaty in the beautiful No1 Pery Square. Managed to squeeze in a 4.67 mile run before getting ready! Saturday morning it rained thankfully so I had the most enjoyable 9.5 mile run taking in part of Sunday's route.

Sunday morning something was not 100%. I couldn't get my head around it as I had slept well and had no pain other than the ankle niggle that is persisting but not inhibiting. So I did a breathing exercise (I truly recommend these) to tune in to my body and felt it was a bit tired. So I decided to give it a rest and downgraded my run from a 15 mile to 7.2 miles. I'll hopefully get the reward next Sunday.

Regards the Charity here's a reminder how you can help. I'm leaving you 4 options. (Please note doing nothing is NOT a valid 5th option).
1- Run a race this year of any length and get sponsored as part of my 12marathonsin12months team for Gorta Self Help Africa (picture on this blog).
2- Collect a sponsorship card and materials from me and collect money from your friends for my challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa (mention on this blog).
3- Get businesses to take a call from me to discuss corporate sponsorship (packages available from me at 083-3008963 or )
4- Organise a fundraiser event with your club, network, organisation, office, sports and social, golf society etc... and I'll make an appearance and speak (I'm a motivational speaker).

Have a wonderful day and speak again later this week.


Friday, 24 April 2015

Challenge to you: If you do this 1 thing I might not make you run! Promised!

The running update for this week is short and fast, just like my training runs. I'll write them in kilometres this once for the metrically minded amongst you :) Monday 10K in 51 minutes. Tuesday working until 8pm so no run. Wednesday 10K in 49minutes33, the first time I went under 50 minutes in training this year for 10K and I wasn't even going full tilt, WOOHOO!! Thursday 11.5K in 1hr00mins.

The plans for the weekend are a 7.5K tonight as I am going out (booze free) later. Saturday morning 15K and Sunday 24.5K. Sunday will be my last long run before Great Limerick Run Marathon 7 days later!! This will be marathon number 5 out of 12 marathons in 12 months.

And here's where I need your help. I'm leaving you 4 options. (Please note doing nothing is NOT a valid 5th option).
1- Run a race this year of any length and get sponsored as part of my 12marathonsin12months team for Gorta Self Help Africa (picture on this blog).
2- Collect a sponsorship card and materials from me and collect money from your friends for my challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa (mention on this blog).
3- Get businesses to take a call from me to discuss corporate sponsorship (packages available from me at 083-3008963 or )
4- Organise a fundraiser event with your club, network, organisation, office, sports and social, golf society etc... and I'll make an appearance and speak (I'm a motivational speaker).

So here's my wee challenge to all of you: Which of the 4 can you do??? Thanks in advance and talk to you Monday!!

In the mean time you can make donations to

Monday, 20 April 2015

When running becomes a lifestyle choice.

'If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got'. Henry Ford is quoted as having said this. I firmly believe this to be true. If you want different results stop doing the same thing over and over again the same way.

I was running as a fitness thing from 2008, I started running with a purpose from 2013 on. Now in 2015 it is becoming a lifestyle choice. It is now something that is part of my core. Part of who I am. I don't have to run anymore, I get to. I don't have to pretend to enjoy it, I get to enjoy it. What does that mean?

Friday evening 6pm. Home after a very busy and rewarding week. Time to put the feet up? Nope, time to lace up and shake of the tiredness with a 10K run through the City. Followed by a Tapa's dinner with mugs of tea. Lights out at 11pm.

Saturday morning 7am. Rise and shine. Breakfast and mindfulness (breathing) exercise. Total peace. 11am. 10K run, trip for lunch to the happy, joyful place that is Limerick Milk Market and then into the office until 6.30pm. Bliss. Evening dinner stir fry and mugs of tea + can of coke (it's Saturday night after all :) )

Sunday morning 7.30am. Rise and shine. Breakfast and Breathing exercise and relaxation. Love to start the day at peace. 11am 12 mile run through County Clare, County Limerick and the City. Afternoon spent in back garden reading a business related book. Because I want to. Because I get to.

What you do should be as near to what you want to do as possible. Make choices that reflect who you want to be. Make decisions that will support your choices. That's how what you love becomes part of a lifestyle choice.

I feel privileged, humbled and grateful to be able to do this. Honoured Gorta Self Help Africa accepted my Challenge worthy of their great cause and work.

This week is a relaxed training week. I haven't mapped out the mileages and will run as I feel, probably somewhere around 40 Miles in total. You can find out more this Friday when I blog again. From a peaceful yet determined and purposeful Limerick, Have a great day!!!!

You can donate towards the challenge on

Friday, 17 April 2015

What's next and Ring O'Roses Sponsor thank you.

I am back on the road after Connemara, 10K last night in blistering sunshine. The ones amongst you that follow me longest will now I love the Sun but not for running in. I'm an autumn and Winter runner. Rain, wind, snow, cold. ideal weather conditions :) Yet I love running way more than any weather conditions and the beauty is you can do it all year long.

By the way that beautiful course in Connemara seems to have sorted out my back. My knee and ankle issues are still there but a bit in the background right now. I think they'll be here for a while and I'm letting them as long as they behave :)

This weekend is a slow go weekend for me (yes I do them too). I have no idea what distances I'm doing and will see on the day. That means runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but undetermined in length. The Great Limerick Run Marathon is on in 2 weeks on Sunday the 3rd and I am looking forward to doing that totally relaxed and with no time in mind. Just for fun, the at home run. Taking it all in, our lovely Treaty City in all it's splendour. On Riverfest Weekend it shines brightly. And I feel grateful to live in it and now run in it.

Today I also wanted to spend some time talking about another gem in our gorgeous city. And a sponsor of the challenge. Someone you should get to know. Because you will need her at some stage if you live in Limerick. Be it for the next Birthday, the next time you have to say Sorry, the next Mothers day, Valentines day, Wedding or Funeral or other occasion where flowers are part of the answer.

In Limerick there is one florist that stands out from the crowd. Patricia Irwin from Ring O'Roses has delivered Quality through Design for years in her shop near the Milk Market. She has in recent weeks relocated to Dooradoyle and I urge you to support her through the move as 1-It will be the best quality product you can get in Limerick 2-You will be thanked by the person you give to and 3-Patricia is very involved in giving back to the community through charitable donations so you help with that contribution when you purchase from her. 4- You can purchase online as well.

Her other unique experience is for wedding couples, something Patricia is an expert in. She has the Studio in Kilteragh in Dooradoyle near the home so she can meet wedding couples weekends or after working hours. This makes a big difference and relieves the stress of having to take time off work etc... The Groom might even enjoy the trip :)

You can contact Patricia and Ring O'Roses at 061-411321, , or ringoroses on Facebook where she runs regular competitions and offers. Thanks Patricia for sponsoring the Challenge on behalf of Gorta Self Help Africa.

You can donate to the Challenge or look for sponsorship opportunities by contacting me on 083-3008963 or

Talk to you Monday with a running update!!!! Miles with Smiles from a Sunny Limerick!!!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Connemara Race Report - Grateful, privileged and humbled.

The day after a physically draining Marathon like Connemarathon I usually get asked how I feel. So I will use the next few lines of my Blog to tell you how I feel.

I feel grateful, privileged and humbled.
Grateful for the support of family and friends, grateful to be a member of such a giving and wonderful club as Marathon Club Ireland, grateful to have met the 2 members of Marathon Club UK.

Privileged to be able to run multiple Marathons, privileged to stand at the side of a lake in the middle of Connemara at 10.30 am in anticipation of the start with a couple of hundred fellow running enthusiasts (I know some of you have another name for us and that's fine :) ). Privileged to be able to drink from the positivity fountain that long distance runners seem to replenish naturally. Privileged to feel alive rather than exist.

Humbled by the beauty and force of nature as we ran by living lakes, snow capped mountains and thousands of sheep. Humbled by the giving nature of fellow runners and supporters. Humbled by the strength of my own body. Humbled that from this I take away an understanding of life, it's purpose and it's infinite possibilities.

That's 4 in the bag!!

The forecast was for torrential rain in the morning, the clouds on Saturday evening looked ominous, the atmosphere at number collection nervous. This is a tough race and inclement weather can make it really tough particularly on some of the climbs and most definitely on the 'Hell of the West' Climb from miles 22 to 24. Last year saw runners being blown sideways on that mountain by very strong winds.

It just shows how useless worry is because when we woke up on Sunday morning there was only blue skies and abundant sunshine. What to wear? Was this going to last? I decided to trust the hourly forecast on my phone which indicated good weather for the day and dressed appropriately. The sun was on us the whole way round the course, so much that I needed water to cool down the head and neck on a few occasions.

I had been diligent in looking after my 2 injuries in the week leading up to the race and it showed during. The pain was definitely bearable and although it shot into my right knee as I was compensating while running that too was bearable. I think I'm just getting better at pain management. I am aware that with endurance running pain is inevitable but also that it is almost always temporary.

I ran the first half in 2h07, the second (far hillier) half in 2h08. Steady running, steady pace, even managed 90% run up the 'Hell of the West' climb resulting in a PB for Connemara of 4h15.54! What helped was the great camaraderie and the chats along the route with fellow runners. This course is mainly ran in nature with very little houses on it apart from Leenane village at half distance. So it's great to run a couple of miles with someone while chatting. And you know I looove talking right??!!!

Actually, I ran the Wall!! :)

After yesterday I'm seriously considering to partake in the Ultra (39.3 miles) in the next few years and probably will as the course is just too magical not to. Anyway the result is Marathon number 4 of the 12 Marathons in 12 months for Gorta Self Help Africa is in the bag and number 5 is now less than 3 weeks away. And it is a home run!!! Bring on the Great Limerick Run Marathon. I need you all either running, collecting or cheering that day!!! For me that means 48-72 hours off now and back in training Wednesday or Thursday. Not because I have to, because I get to and can :)

More info on sponsoring opportunities, sponsors and more stuff like that in my Friday BLOG!

You can sponsor me with €12 (€1/marathon) or whatever you can/want to give on

Friday, 10 April 2015

A mountain to climb! (Literally).

A full night's sleep is something I haven't had for nearly a week now. I've woken up with pains in my back every night. Could be from overcompensating for the Achilles strain. Could be from one or two other things I can think off. I'm typing this with a heat patch on my back and a taped up ankle.

And yet I'm at peace inside. I have been for a while now. You see I'm a Motivational Coach, Trainer and Speaker and I have a fair idea what my life is all about. My injuries are minor inconveniences compared to the challenges faced by the people I am collecting money for doing my 12 marathons in 12 months. They are minor issues, small stuff. And there is no point in sweating the small stuff. So I'm at peace with where I am and at peace with whatever will happen. I have finished every Marathon I started so far and I'm intending to keep that record intact. One step at a time.

I'm looking after the injuries best I can and will take the step across the start line at Lough Inagh in Connemara around 10.30am on Sunday morning. I actually feel privileged I will be one of just over 3,000 people running the Half, Full or Ultra Marathons in that gorgeous setting.

I'm running this race for the 3rd time so I know what to expect even though the unpredictable weather patterns make it a different race each time. In 2010 we had 22 degrees and no breeze making us gasp for water. In 2014 with dealt with a 30-40 mile head wind for the last 4 or 5 miles.

The first half is what I would call rolling terrain which is made extremely enjoyable to run because of the scenery. The second half is hilly with a rather steep 1 mile section just outside Leenane and then there is one of the Maumturk Mountains to run up and down between miles 22 & 26. This section is called the 'Hell of the West'. It is this 4 miles that will have people talking animatedly in the Pub later that evening. Runners talk about it with tears of joy in their eyes, wearing their iconic 'I hit the Wall in Connemara' Finisher T-Shirts with pride. Here's the profile with the Hell of the West climb near the end :)

So I have a mountain to climb on Sunday. And I'm looking forward to it.

Race Report here on Monday or Tuesday.

Meantime you can donate on

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

How Promises and Persistance destroy obstacles!

Monday the 6th of April, 1.30pm. Just back from a great weekend in the beautiful City of Kilkenny (you should visit, it's a great place for a weekend trip). I have a headache as a result of a toothache. I have a muscle strain in my back from I don't know what. This makes breathing uncomfortable. And I still have the Achilles strain. Time to relax in the back garden with a book.

After a 9.5 mile training run that is!!! I set out on a 6 Mile run, then revised mid-run to 7.2 miles then to 9.5 Miles. Why? Because I could. Because running relaxes my body. Because running acts as a natural remedy. Because humans are built to move, not to sit. Because I refuse to quit. Because I am privileged to be able to run. Because I love running and it is a passion of mine. Because it is good for me. Because I want to do it to the highest standard possible: To the Best of my Ability. Because I get to start Marathons at places like the one below. (Lough Inagh in Connemara is the start line for the Connemarathon Full Marathon next Sunday).

Even more so because I made a promise. I promised to run 12 marathons in 12 months for Gorta Self Help Africa. I promised to do the best I can to help them achieve much needed €'s to help create opportunities in Africa for smallholder farmers, tackling hunger and poverty through food production and rural enterprise.

I promised to myself that I would make every moment of my live count. I promised that I would contribute my being to enabling a paradigm shift in thinking. I promised a life of dedication and service to both myself and others. If I inspire others to achieve, I do. That's my motto. Direct, empathic and forthright.

Those are my reasons. That's why the How is relatively easy. That's why motivation is there on the not so easy days. On the days it hurts. The days others might call in an excuse. The days it is easier to quit than to persist. Those are the days success is built on. Because you want it more than anything else in life.

More about my sponsors and my 4th Marathon next Sunday in the Connemara Mountains in Friday's blog!!!

Please do visit for an amazing offer to win flowers!! Ring O'Roses are the Florist in Limerick who are proud sponsors of the Challenge!

You can donate also donate €12 (€1/Marathon) or whatever you can give on