Friday, 29 May 2015

5 Marathons in 8 weeks, a most excellent adventure!

It's Bank Holiday Friday and unlike most people, my thoughts are firmly on Monday. That's when my next running adventure starts on 'Pana' in Cork (for people unfortunate enough not to know Cork well that's St. Patrick's Street to you). 5 Marathons in 8 weeks in June and July. Never done them so close to each other. Nervous anticipation are the correct words to describe my frame of mind.

Nervous because I know the injuries have only 90% cleared and are still there going into the 5. Nervous because you have to respect the distance. Anticipation because I am really looking forward to it. Anticipation because I love Cork City to bits and am staying on for the Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Anticipation because I like a challenge and want to test my limits. Nervous Anticipation because when this works out (and it probably will) I'll have to figure out a new challenge.

As I mentioned here last week: Only the person who risks going too far can possibly find out how far they can go! 

Cork City Marathon starts at 9am on Monday. The weather forecast is brutal for it. And there is quite a few parts of the race that are in exposed terrain. So I have to prepare for whatever weather greets me at 6.30am that day. It's part of the joys of running, it's an all-weather sport.

It's my 3rd time doing Cork City Marathon and so far I have had 2 of my slower runs here. Let's just see what happens Monday, I'm definitely going to run 'in the flow' as my next Marathon is only 12 days later!!!

During my 5 in 8 and over the next 3 months I am seriously stepping up my fund raising. You and anyone you know can donate to Gorta Self Help Africa on

Monday, 25 May 2015

That's how winning is done!!

'The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.' Muhammad Ali.

It's nearly time to dance under the lights. The crux of the 12 marathons in 12 months challenge is near! 5 Marathons in 8 weeks from next Monday the 1st of June at 9 am on 'Pana' in Cork City.

Then every 2 weeks it is the turn of Portumna, Waterford, Portarlington and Courtmacsherry.

To get there I will go through the 800, 900, 1000 and 1100 miles running marks for 2015 before the end of July. My top running year was 2014 with 1188 miles. Now I will go through that by end July/Early August. This morning it is 20 weeks since I had a sip of alcohol. I have been going to bed at 10.30/11 pm most every night and I have changed aspects of my nutrition. I have trained on average 5 to 6 times a week, totalling 15 hours every week. This weekend saw a drop in mileage as the 5 races are coming nearer. Friday 7.2 miles, Saturday 9.5, Sunday 9.5!

That's how winning and achieving is done. Relentlessly, persistently, constantly striving to move forward and doing it to the best of your personal ability. Forsaking what others take for granted to achieve what you know you have inside you. It's lonely sometimes away from the lights but when the WHY is big enough you are never truly alone.

5 more glorious runs this week away from the spotlights and then next Monday I get to dance, in one of my favourite spots in Ireland, Cork City! How bad bhoy!!!

Please donate for the charity Gorta Self Help Africa at 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Nervous and scared! What am I doing??

That's how I am feeling right now. Last year I ran 5 Marathons in 18 weeks as part of the preparation for the 12 Marathons in 12 months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa. And I felt I took it up a nudge that time. I was getting tired during longer training runs and picked up niggles and injuries. My 4th marathon of the 5 was Cork City where I slowed down to 4hrs42 and I didn't run under 4hr15 again until 2 months ago in Tralee.

12 months on from that Cork City run and I have done my first 5 marathons for 2015 in 14 weeks while running the last 3 all between 4hrs09 and 4hrs15. I'm now on the verge (starting the 1st of June in Cork) of topping that with 5 Marathons in 8 weeks. What am I doing?

What I am doing is challenging myself. I could have happily continued running 1 marathon per month and achieved the objective. I know I can do that now. If I mind my nutrition, sleeping patterns and training regime I have arrived at a stage where 1 marathon per month is feasible. My recovery periods between races have dramatically dropped to a couple of days from the previously customary 2 weeks.

Nowadays when I get comfortable, I get uncomfortable. You see, only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.

So there it is, 5 marathons in 8 weeks. Cork June 1st, Portumna June 13th, Waterford June 27th, Portarlington July 11th and Courtmacsherry with Team Hoyt and the Clon Crew on July 25th. During that spell I will go past a quarter century, my 25th Marathon being Waterford. Some of you might be in the know of my decision to run a minimum of 100 races that are Marathon distance or more.

What's next after the 5 in 8 weeks? Don't know yet. But I have an inkling that in 2016 it will involve Ultras and a Back 2 Back. More about that when it happens.

Meanwhile please lend me your moral support by donating to Gorta Self Help Africa on my charity page: and by supporting my sponsor Ring O'Roses, Limerick's award winning online florist based in Kilteragh, Dooradoyle. 061-411321.

Monday, 18 May 2015

You are doing what??

'Ah here, weekends are for relaxing and chilling.' 'That can't be good for your body.' 'You'll end up crippled or with a heart attack.'

I was told all those things and more this weekend. First I was asked what training I had done/was doing and what races I had coming up. I told them about the now 16 Marathons in 12 Months. Then came the 'You are doing what?' phrase and then the one liners. As if I am doing something really unhealthy like drinking too much alcohol, smoking 20 cigarettes a day or having a fried breakfast every morning with 2 sugars in my tea.

All I did this weekend was 7.2 miles on Friday evening, 9.5 miles on Saturday morning and 14.3 miles on Sunday morning. And then I did some work in the office Saturday and Sunday afternoons. And I went to the Mental Health fair for in the Milk Market on Sunday lunchtime.

'What a waste of a weekend.' 'Sure Munster were on TG4 Saturday and Arsenal v Man Utd on Sky on Sunday.'

The one liners keep coming.

I loved every single minute of my weekend. And all I did was actually good for me. And congruent with my values. And it all involved me participating actively. Working towards my purpose of helping others to lead more fulfilling lives.

How we engage with every moment in our lives is an individual choice. I know individuality has a bad rep for the moment. And yet I'm sticking to it. The more I look after myself, the better equipped I am to help others. The fitter I am the more I can give back. The more I read and learn the better I can help others achieve. And I'll benefit too. It's a win/win.

I have training planned for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week. About 45-50 miles of it. How you can help is to share this Blog and my Charity page for Gorta Self Help Africa for whom I am running this 12 Marathons plus 4 in 12 months Challenge:

Friday, 15 May 2015

The gift that keeps on giving and giving!

I have only done one (1) run since my last blog on Monday. Nope, procrastination did not get a hold of me. And thankfully neither did injuries. I also run a Motivational Coaching & Training Business and that took over the last 3 days. 42 hours out of the 72 were spent doing the stuff I love with a passion, 6 hours of travelling, 18 sleeping and the other 6 were spent reading and creating visibility on social media. That left 0 hours for training.

And that's fine, it is only for 3 days. I'm back doing 3 sessions over the weekend and have 6 sessions booked in for next week. I love running too much to leave it more than these 3 days. :)

One of the gifts I get from running is one of the essentials for a self employed person and even more so for one who intends to become a business owner, the path I am on. This pattern of busy busyness will repeat itself over and over. And you need energy to do this. The right Energy might I add. Not the energy you get from sugary bars, coffee and fry-ups.

The energy you get from an active lifestyle, exercising 6 days a week and the healthier lifestyle that comes with that. And that gift keeps giving.

For example yesterday I got up at 5.30am, attended my first networking meeting at 6.30am, attended to work and clients throughout the day and finished giving 2 talks at an evening Networking Event finishing at 10.30pm, 17 hours after getting out of bed. The last talk was a motivational talk. I had to give it welly. And I gave it all I had. Which was everything. And I could. Because of my active lifestyle.

So even on the days I'm not running, it keeps giving. What an amazing sport, I'm privileged to be able to do so much of it.

Talk to you on Monday with a training report, it will only be 14 days from Marathon number 6 in the Rebel County, the Cork City Marathon.

You can donate to my #12marathonsin12months challenge on

Monday, 11 May 2015

Letting go of stuff to achieve more!

To get more out of life you need to let go of old stuff. Old stuff you have become attached to. It is only when you let old stuff go that you make room for new stuff. New stuff that makes us be better or feel better. Letting go of that old stuff is uncomfortable though and you need awareness on how you do that best for yourselves. Everyone is unique so your ways of letting go are different too. Yet if you find the way it works best for you, you will get back way more than what you let go.

I have had to let go of so much old stuff I thought I enjoyed, often feeling I was losing parts of myself, as I clung on to that old stuff for dear life. Yet the more I am losing, the more the new stuff I get back, gets bigger. And what I am getting back is all really good stuff; energy, creativity, peace of mind, achievement, results, clarity, focus. To name but a few.

Confused? Right, here's an example of a few things I am letting go to be able to run this Marathon Challenge. I had to let go of fears and limitations first, the idea that I couldn't possibly run 12 Marathons in 12 months. Then when I started training I had to let go of late nights and lie-ins at the weekend. As I started doing more miles and training 6 days a week, I completely let go of alcohol at the start of this year.

Because of my increase in mileage I am starting to feel tired in the last week or so. My first reaction is what do I let go? So I checked my nutrition and discovered a serious deficiency in it. My refined sugar intake is Massive. So my letting go plans kicks in. The one that I know has worked for all the other 'letting go' strategies.

First reduce the stuff for a couple of months, then quit for a period of time, then regulate intake to 'normal' proportions. Again this is just the way I do it, your strategy of letting go is going to be different, it is about finding what works best for you. So I'm reducing my sugar intake by 50% for the rest of May from today. And replace it with food and drinks that are better for me. Then another 50% for June (that's 75% in total, I know, I'm into maths). After that I'll check how I feel and decide on the next step.

So Refined Sugar is what I need to let go next. What will I get back? My educated guess is energy, better sleep, increased performance, peace of mind and strength. And I need all these to perform the next part of my challenge: 5 marathons in 8 weeks.

June 1st Cork City Marathon
June 13th Portumna Forest Marathon
June 27th Waterford Viking Marathon
July 11th Marathon des Escargots Portarlington
July25th Keith Whyte Marathon Courtmacsherry

To be completely honest letting go is really hard sometimes, but what I get back is so much bigger than what I leave behind that it has always been more than worth it.

Think about that today. To achieve more, you need to first let go!! Have a wonderful week!

Donations can be given online at

Friday, 8 May 2015

Does 5 fit in 8?

'Don't limit your challenges, challenge your limits'

I spotted this on Pinterest while browsing the other day. Since that is what I am doing with my motivational coaching business now I might as well apply it to my other great passion, running.

As part of the 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa I have ran 5 Marathons in the first 18 weeks of 2015. And that is a personal record. So 5 fits into 18!

However does 5 fit into 8??? Can I do 5 marathons in 8 weeks? Let's find out!

June 1st Cork City Marathon
June 13th Portumna Forest Marathon
June 27th Waterford Viking Marathon
July 11th Marathon des Escargots Portarlington
July25th Keith Whyte Marathon Courtmacsherry

This is the plan, the first 2 are booked already! This is going to hurt and I might not break the land speed record, yet I will endeavour to finish them. Are you with me?

This will take up to 20 hours a week in average between training and races and writing blogs so I need YOUR help with the fundraising as I need the other 148 hours every week for other stuff :)

HERE'S what I need from all of YOU:
1- Collect sponsorship cards from me and ask your friends for donations.
2- Share my BLOG and link to My Charity page.
3- Run a Race of any distance anywhere and get sponsored (I have all the materials to email to you.)
4- Run a Race with me and get sponsored.
5- Donate.
6- Organise any event for your Friends, Sports & Social, Club, Organisation etc... If I can I'll come and speak (that's the other thing I'm really good at) :)
7- Become a Business Sponsor or find one. There are 3 packages available.

Donations can be given online at

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Taking it up a notch! If you suppport me!!!!

I saw an ad for sports gear around 12 months ago and the slogan stuck with me:

'Your strong is what you have left when you have used up all your weak'

This one line still affects my way of thinking. My weak is the bridges I am burning behind me, the past, feeling OK playing second fiddle, being a follower, avoiding risk.

Both in running and everything else I do. I am now focussing on being an expert in a couple of fields. I am concentrating on doing these things to the best of my ability. That means living, breathing, eating and sleeping these things. Being strong simply as a result of not accepting second best anymore.

'Your strong is what you have left when you have used up all your weak'

My past in running was one of careful consideration, measured approaches, accepted limitations. I know I am not a fast runner. I know however that if I live and breathe this sport (nutrition, sleep patterns, training etc...); I can run long, and often. Time to break out of the comfort zone.

So here's how this changes the Challenge. While being grateful for nearly reaching €1,500 in donations, I want to collect near €12,000 so this challenge needs to be taken up a notch. So I considered what I can do.

HERE'S what I propose to do.
1- Run 5 Marathons in 8 weeks in June and July! June 1st Cork, June 13th Portumna, June 27th Waterford, July 11th Portarlington, July 25th Courtmacsherry. I have never attempted this before! My last 5 took 17 weeks!
2- Run more than 12 Marathons. I have 16 mapped on my calendar!

This will take up to 20 hours a week in average between training and races and writing blogs so I need YOUR help with the fundraising as I need the other 148 hours every week for other stuff :)

HERE'S what I need from all of YOU:
1- Collect sponsorship cards from me and ask your friends for donations.
2- Share my BLOG and link to My Charity page.
3- Run a Race of any distance anywhere and get sponsored (I have all the materials to email to you.)
4- Run a Race with me and get sponsored.
5- Donate.
6- Organise any event for your Friends, Sports & Social, Club, Organisation etc... If I can I'll come and speak (that's the other thing I'm really good at) :)
7- Become a Business Sponsor or find one. There are 3 packages available.

TOGETHER we will make a huge difference to the quality of life of the women and children that receive support from Gorta Self Help Africa.

Remember: 'Your strong is what you have left when you have used up all your weak'

Donations can be given online at

Monday, 4 May 2015

Great Limerick Run race report. Number 5!

I love running! I used to do it. Then I started liking it. Now I just love it. I'm taking 24 hours off after yesterday's race and then I'm going back enjoying it. That's what I said to Eugene Coppinger when I met him and 2 of the Kenyans that came first in the Half and second in the Full in the wonderful George Boutique Hotel after the Great Limerick Run yesterday.

I don't ever feel I have to go for a run, it's now not even I get to go any more. It's that I want to. Because I enjoy it. Because of the peace of mind and Joy attached to it. Because of the energy I get from it. Because of the wonderful people I meet at races. Yesterday again the members of Marathon Club Ireland (MCI) excelled in camaraderie, good humour, persistence and resilience. Because of messages and photo's like this from Ronan Scully from Gorta Self Help Africa whom I am running the 12 Marathons in 12 months in 2015 Challenge for:

'Thank you Patrick Mercie from Ronan in Kenya at the moment...5 marathons down so far....keep it going you legend and thank you for supporting Gorta Self Help are some photos of the people and children you are helping Africa...Thank you so much Patrick...please support Patrick over the next year if you can.... A little can go along way and make a huge difference....'

Today I am in recovery mode and in the office, because if you love what you do and you have a WHY that is big enough, you don't need many breaks!!

The race itself yesterday was a mixed bag of weather that combined made it tougher than usual. The mixture during the Marathon consisted of high humidity, rain, muggy warmth from the sun and a lack of wind. Most runners had dressed according to forecast and got caught out. Including myself.

Saying that I was able to run my own pace, hanging mostly somewhere around the 4 hour pacers, lead by the great Ger Donohue! I started really feeling the warm muggy weather around mile 16 and was able to stay with them until the 30Km (18.75 miles) mark when I decided to let them go and run in at my own pace. Running back into the city at Mile 20-21 gave everybody a bit of lift. I finished the race at my pace and came in at 4HR09. Happy!

BREAKING NEWS: Wednesday Extra Blog on Challenge within Challenge. Doing something I haven't done before. Watch this space!!!!

You can donate to Gorta Self Help Africa via this link:

Friday, 1 May 2015

It's a Home Run!!!! 5 out of 12 = Great Limerick Run Marathon time!

'You are taking on too much', 'That can't be good for your body', 'At your age...', 'Your business will suffer...', 'That's going to take up all your energy'.

I was told all these things last year when I mentioned the 12 Marathons in 12 Months. It's May 1st now and I'm ready to take on the Great Limerick Run Marathon as marathon number 5 of the Challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa in 2 days on Sunday at 9am. First though I have 2 full days of work ahead. Because I do run a business. And marathons, and am learning Spanish, and trying to write a book, and setting up a couple of projects, and ............

Trick with time is; as much as you can, do only what you love. Then you won't need a break or television or other escape routes :)

The excitement is different for this one than Connemara or Tralee Marathons or some others I have earmarked for later in the year. Because it's on home soil. And I'm a traveller at heart. I know the Limerick route. I know the colour of the paintwork on the windows of the first house as we'll turn left at the Treaty Stone after 21.5miles. I can smell the trees in the beautiful UL campus.

I know all there is to know. And that safety and security is something that is strange to me. I've learned as a Motivational Coach to embrace and search for change and novelty. Yet there is still much to like about this race. The people of Limerick know how to support sporting endeavours. You'll notice that in their uninhibited vocal support on Sunday.

I am as a result really looking forward to it. As each Marathon is a different challenge, a different race and a different result. And I get to meet with so many familiar faces. The world of serial marathon running is probably less than 500 (personal guess) people so you get to know and meet these wonderfully eccentric people regularly. And I'm hooked. Hooked to distance running because it gives more back than it takes. And hooked on the positive, can do, conquer all attitude of it's regular participants.

Some of these wonderful people are taking on Ballyhoura tomorrow, Limerick on Sunday and Belfast on Monday. That's 3 in 3 days!! Maybe one day, but I'm not there yet :)

Another great thing about the GLR is that it takes place amid the annual fantastic festival that is Riverfest. Limerick really comes alive this weekend and there literally is something for everyone in the audience over the 4 days, from Fashion Shows to Busking competitions, a Giant BBQ, a 4 day Continental market, Sunday fireworks etc etc etc.... Check

So in short all roads (mine is only 3 miles) lead to Limerick this weekend. Good luck to everyone taking part in the 6 Mile, Half Marathon and Full Marathon. Special mention to Roisin Meaney and Eugene Ryan on their Half Marathons, ENJOY! Remember, just run the Mile (or KM) you are in and it's always MILES WITH SMILES!!!

Thank you again to our challenge sponsor Patricia Irwin from Ring O'Roses florists in Kilteragh, Dooradoyle. Patricia is an award winning florist who can meet wedding couples out of business hours to make life that bit easier for them.

You can donate to my challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa on