Friday, 31 July 2015

One week later - Courtmacsherry motivates!

Adjectives are easily written. Often enough I have used them to emphasise a point or strengthen a case. Magnificent, horrific, debilitating, ecstatic. Words like these can lose meaning if used too much.

However, when we open our minds enough to live in the moment then moments will come that will alter your way of thinking and have life changing effects.

Courtmacsherry was that string of moments for me. It had been coming for years and I was moving in the direction anyway. To be surrounded by so much positivity in the face of adversity. With so much 'can do' attitude. The pure love, togetherness, joy, happiness and general merriment of being alive in those moments and being able to share that with like minded others has been life changing for me.

I have learned more about purpose and drive from that weekend than I possible could have anywhere else. I too am now unstoppable in every aspect of life I want to be.

Thanks to the Hilliard's from ClonRun, Team Hoyt, Team Kerr and the amazing group of people that are Marathon Club Ireland.

And after my 5 marathons in 8 weeks, which is a new record for me, I am in week 1 of a 5 week break between Marathons. My next race is the Craughwell AC Marathon on the 29th of August, the day before my holidays in Nice, France.

This also means I am back to my regular and very enjoyable training runs. Ran a 10K through the City on Wednesday and Thursday. Might do a 4.5 miler tonight.

Then I heard early this week that Stevey and Larry from were running in Limerick this Saturday and Sunday. Geraldine from MCI is behind this as it is to raise funds for Grace Kenneally who is just 10 and is fighting a rare cancer for the third time. Find out more about her on

The lads are running a Marathon on a 10.5 K loop and you can join them for as many loops as you want for €25 for the charity. So the plan as of this morning is to run the 4 and a bit Miles to the meeting point at UL Arena, do a 10.5K loop with them and run the 4 mile back home. That would roughly make it a 14.5 mile run both Saturday and Sunday. Back to Back 23K runs. Excellent training for an Excellent cause. And an extra step closer to one of my decisions for 2016. Back to Back Marathons.

Courtmacsherry motivation!!

I hope to have a full 6 day training week next week in prep for the Autumn and Winter races, my favourite running seasons ;)

You can donate for the 12 Marathons in 12 months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa on

Monday, 27 July 2015

Keith Whyte Marathon Courtmacsherry Race report! The best Marathon ever!

While I am typing this the emotions from the weekend come rolling back and they will do for a long time yet. It was one of those 'you had to be there' moments.

It was moments of gratitude that rolled into hours of love that meshed into a weekend of thankfulness, togetherness, friendship and immense strength of purpose.

It was awesome, amazing and I can use this phrase without even having to justify it: completely life changing.

I will send individual thanks to the people who made this happen and whom I shared this experience with. This was not just a race, this was more than a Marathon, this was an experience.

We all gathered on Friday evening at 6.30pm in the Carbery Suite in the Quality Hotel in Clonakilty, West Cork in anticipation of a motivational talk by Dick & Rick Hoyt of Ironman and Boston Marathon fame. The Father & Son combination that epitomises inspiration and Yes You Can! Read more on their story here:

Or watch this Video 

Although we all had a sense that something special was about to happen, we did not anticipate that an entire room of seasoned long distance runners and triathletes would get so emotionally involved in what they were witnessing. As their story unfolded (I'll get back to it in future blogs) audible gasps and Ooh's and Aah's led to several standing ovations as both Dick & Rick Hoyt told us a story of love, commitment and performance that goes way beyond what most of us think is achievable.

It was uplifting to an extent that a lot of us have reset our limits as a result.

It was going to be hard to top that evening. In the spirit of the entire weekend the 'hard to' became a resounding 'Yes You Can'. As we were lining up for the 9am start (the amazing 100K runners had left at 6am) I was asked by MCI (Marathon Club Ireland) chairperson Valerie to join Team Hoyt and Team Kerr for the 26.2 mile trip around the gorgeous setting that is Courtmacsherry bay. We ran 9 Miles around the Bay and back and then another 4.1 miles and back.

About 15 of us set of with the 2 wheelchair teams and we took turns pushing the wheelchairs. When it was my turn to push Rick Hoyt for a mile from mile 17 to 18 I gained huge respect for both Dick and David and Sandra Kerr who do this for entire races. It is not an easy thing to do. The stance and weight make it a lot harder to run.

And then to think Dick & Rick have a Marathon PB of 2 Hours 40 minutes!! And David and Sandra Kerr did Back 2 Back Marathons this weekend!! I mean what's our excuse for not achieving greatness like that!

The entire 26.2 miles became an experience of togetherness, love, friendship, gratitude and purpose of living. An amazing experience that has strengthened my personal beliefs, sense of purpose and desire to facilitate change! One glorious day at a time.

Here's the moment we ran across the 26.2 miles finish line (Thanks 100 Marathon runner Leo Lundy for the clip):

It is hard to bring the ego back out after all this. So very briefly on a personal note I did achieve my targets of 5 Marathons in 8 weeks, ran my 10th marathon of 2015 and my 27th Marathon overall. To top of the weekend I was handed a Club Medal for 25 Marathons completed by none other than Dick Hoyt!

What a weekend! Thanks to Bob, Ia and Mark Hilliard from Clonrun for making it all happen. The spirit of Yes You Can is strong in West Cork. See you in December for the Clonakilty Marathon.

And Yes You Can donate to the 12 Marathons in 12 Months Challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa on

Friday, 24 July 2015

Attempting Marathon 10 this weekend!

A few years back I heard a stunt expert (name escapes me) being interviewed by a young reporter. As she recounted his multiple career and life threatening injuries doing stunts for movies or for fun, she asked him if he was not afraid to die.

His answer stuck with me to this day. 'Mam', he said, 'Most people I meet spend their entire lives doing everything possible trying not to die too soon. I just live.'

I have been told by well over a hundred well meaning people to take care and take it easy after my recent injury. I really love those people to bits for caring about me and I mean that.

Yet I'm feeling more alive now than I have ever felt. I have discovered 2 passions in life, running and purpose coaching, and I am just on the start line of what I am trying to achieve with both.

Instead of taking it easy, I need to prepare better so I can do more. So I too can 'just live'.

I see this 12 Marathons in 12 months challenge as a journey. A journey that is fun while hard work, a journey with achievements coupled to learning, a journey with lesser moments that inspire and motivate. A journey that might lead to 16 Marathons in 12 months.

As I head to Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork this afternoon to attempt Marathon number 5 in the last 8 weeks, number 10 this year and number 27 on my running journey I have already discovered 5 areas I can improve on in my preparation to do more.

Better Nutrition by going to cookery classes and learning how to make my own food, Better Core Strength by engaging a Personal Trainer, etc etc...

I learned also last week from a quote I was given by a woman I have huge respect for and from whom I learn every time we meet, Verette O'Sullivan. She simply wrote a quote on a piece of paper while waiting for me in a Coffee Shop and handed it to me when I arrived. On it were 7 words: 'Change your Environment to match your Goal'. Verette, I still have the piece of paper and more importantly I am taken action on it. Thanks!!

Always moving forward, relentlessly. Regardless of the pace, relentlessly forward. Just like tomorrow. I have rested and treated the shin splints picked up 2 weeks ago best I could. Tomorrow at 9am I will take the start and complete a 26.2 Mile Marathon at my pace and Achieve or else Learn. And move forward, relentlessly.

Que sera, sera! Whatever will be, will be. We're going to Courtmacsherry! Que sera, sera!

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

Monday, 20 July 2015

Moving forward. Relentlessly!

Regardless of your pursuits, dreams, decisions, goals, relationships or beliefs you are going to hit bumps along the journey you are on. Sometimes they will feel like the speed strips at the toll booth of a motorway and sometimes they will feel like you have to climb Everest off road.

You will deal with every single one of these differently depending on the severity of the bump, the impact on your life and the stage you are in on your journey.

They have all however got one thing in common. To get past them in the best way possible you want relentless forward movement. I've become a great advocate of that word recently. Relentless. To me that means 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Relentlessly moving forward. With differing intensity depending on situations, people and places. But relentlessly moving forward nevertheless.

I learned that standing still actually means regressing. So even chillin' out is purposeful and forward driven.

My journey to the 12 Marathons in 12 Months Challenge has hit a wee bump now. I was told by dozens of extremely well meaning people that it is a signal to slow down and relax. I really appreciate their concerns as they are willing me to succeed. I just read it slightly differently. It is a signal for me to learn to prepare better to achieve more.

And that is what I have been doing since I got a nasty dose of shin splints 9 days ago. I haven't run a yard since.

What I have done is figured out what I need to do to get me in the best shape possible at the start line in Courtmacsherry, West Cork this coming Saturday for the highly anticipated Keith Whyte Waterfront Ultra Marathon III. See the Youtube clip here and more on Friday's blog. Que sera, sera!

What I have done is get a Live Interview yesterday on Limerick City Community Radio promoting the Challenge and Charity. The podcast I have been told will follow.

Here's the 9 Medals of 9 Marathons ran so far this year. Recognise any??

What I have done is that I am putting a plan together that will help with better preparation regards gear, nutrition, training etc... This in order to achieve more. I know running 10+ marathons a year is something I can do so I want to get better at it and do some more crazy stuff.

This is what I can do to relentlessly move forward.

So next time you hit a bump in your journey, regardless of severity or timing, just ask what you can do to help you move forward. Regardless of the pace, moving forward!

Relentlessly, one day at a time!!!

You can support the Challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa at

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Not a yard I'm telling you, not a yard!

As you may know from Monday's race report I picked up an injury at the Marathon des Escargots in Portarlington last Saturday. The fact I got the injury within the first 5K made the race harder and has subsequently made the recovery harder. A week on there is still a niggle when simply walking yet there is improvement. But I haven't ran a yard since, not even 1!!

I have been told that this takes 2 weeks and then to start easing my way back in. Courtmac is on next Saturday. And I'm going to do what I can to make it. We will see next Saturday what gives. Courtmac is what we have been calling it in the Club.

The most amazingly wonderful, positive, can do people from together with Ultra Champion Runner Keith Whyte are organising The Keith Whyte Waterfront Ultra Marathon III, a fast stunning looped course leaving the picturesque village of Courtmacsherry , West Cork , where the sea is always by your side. There is a choice of five race distances 10 K, 13.1 M ,26.2 M, 36 M and 100 K .

On top of this Team Hoyt are visiting and racing with us. Team Hoyt is father and son Dick Hoyt and Rick Hoyt from Holland, Massachusetts, who have competed together in numerous marathons and Ironmans. Rick has cerebral palsy and during competition Dick pulls Rick in a special boat as they swim, carries him in a special seat in the front of a bicycle, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run. Team Hoyt was inducted to the Ironman Hall of Fame in 2008. It will be their first race ever in Ireland.

To top all that I am also being presented with my first Club medal from Marathon Club Ireland for having completed 25 Marathons. I have done 26 and Courtmac will hopefully make it 27 and 10 for the year yet I chose to get my medal at this event because it will be special.

So here goes. One more week to prepare best I can and then make a decision. Run, Walk or Don't start. I know which I want and I know what I can do. And I'm letting it play itself out.

Oh and I'm on radio tomorrow morning at 9am on to promote the challenge and charity.

You can donate on

Monday, 13 July 2015

Marathon des Escargots race report - Pain with consequences!

I have to apologise in advance for any spelling mistakes or grammatical misconstructions as I am writing this under sedation of painkillers and I didn't sleep properly last night.

I am not looking for sympathy nor kind words of encouragement as I know this little bit of pain will leave soon (hopefully within a week or so). As one of my mantra's goes: '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 its place. If I quit, however, it will last forever.'

I got up at 5.30am on Saturday for a quick breakfast and to check I had everything I needed for a day trip marathon. I hopped on the train in Colbert Station in Limerick at 6.40 for the 1.5 hours trip to Portarlington. It is only 300 meters from the train station to the Portarlington GAA grounds were the race would start and finish.

I met up with several fellow MCI (Marathon Club Ireland) members before the race. Our love and passion for the lifestyle that is Marathon running always leads to nice conversations. I love being a part of that! MCI rocks with bells on!

We set off at 9.30am and almost immediately I fell to last in the field, something I am used to as I am a slow starter and need a couple of miles to warm up. The difference here was that I wasn't making up ground easy and the legs felt heavy. I had to remind myself this was my 4th Marathon in 6 weeks, something that was way beyond what I had done before.

However after about 5k, my left shin started really paining me, as if a needle was being stabbed into it every couple of steps. I decided to run up to a couple of others that were about 100 meters in front of me so I could get to chat with less concentration on the pain. I was hoping to run it off.

The route itself was not closed off from traffic due to a small enough field of about 70-80. This meant concentrating on the traffic as well which in this case helped. Mind you it was very well marshalled by excellent volunteers. And it was typical midlands country side. Rolling terrain with a couple of small rivers, farms and some forestry. Pleasant enough to run in.

The pain was worsening. Declan from the Club offered me a painkiller which I didn't take as I was only 15K in. We had a 7K run out of town, then two 16K loops and a 3K run to the Finish. When I got to the start of the second loop I was down to walking and even that hurt. A van of the organisers pulled up beside me and asked me to hop in as I didn't look great. I refused the offer (I think politely) as I had 'only' 18K to go. 1K further down the road I gladly accepted Mary's (another club member) offer of a painkiller (25K mark) and walked on. About 15 minutes later I was able to run/walk and I was able to run the full last 5K, overtaking 5 competitors. Still in pain yet bearable compared to before.

So I reached the Finish line to cheers from some club members in 4 hours 36. Number 9 of the Challenge done!! The tea and buns were very welcome as was the offer of a lift back to Limerick from David and Mary Toomey who live in Listowel. Did I mention yet how much I love MCI people??? You guys Rock solid!

I love the Marathons des Escargots medal and t-shirt!!

Anyway now for the consequences. I knew already I was a tough yoke from previous life experiences.

What I learned Saturday is the importance of moving forward, the importance of not giving in when your mind plays tricks on you, the awareness that strength can be found within if you do things you love, the knowledge that this can be applied to life and my other passions in work.

The understanding that I have what it takes to achieve whatever I set as my targets.

And for today another mantra, this time from Haruki Murakami: 'Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional'.

I have 12 days to prepare my body for the next Marathon and will do whatever it takes to get ready. Que sera, sera!

You can donate for the 16 marathons in 12 months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa on

Friday, 10 July 2015

And we're off again!

It's Saturday tomorrow. Every 2nd one of those in June and July means a Marathon weekend! Well weekend! This time around it is a day trip. And again a 1st in many ways.

1st time taking the train up and down the same day for a Marathon. I'll be taking the 6.40am to Dublin tomorrow morning and getting off at Portarlington for the Marathons des Escargots  I am travelling mainly to figure out why they chose that name??????? The marathon starts at 9.30am and all going well I will be taking the 4.05pm back from Portarlington to Limerick Colbert Station in time for a big greasy recovery dinner! :)

1st time running 9 Marathons in 1 Calendar Year!

1st time running a race in Co. Laois!

1st time doing 4 Marathons in 6 weeks! I find it hard to fathom that it is only 6 weeks since Cork City Marathon and I have done Portumna and Waterford since.

Meanwhile I have to say a big thank you to Anne Sheridan from the Limerick Leader for this online article on their website this week:

Next Monday you can read all about the Marathon des Escargots here in a race report.

You can sponsor the 16 Marathons in 12 Months Challenge for at this address:

Miles with Smiles! Dare Greatly!!!!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Are you sure you want to succeed? Relentlessly?

This weekend I got asked a couple of times: How do you do that? Running that much can't be good for you! Working 7 days a week is sad! Why do you do that to yourself? Do you not need a break? And then I ask: What do you think it takes to run full Marathons at 2 - 3 or 4 week intervals? What does it take to achieve something in business you know will make a difference to thousands of people? What do you think it will take me to succeed?

Monthly, books are written on Success, lectures and seminars given weekly. 'Experts' are charging large fees to people to lecture them on how they are going to teach them the route to success in one afternoon or 9 sessions of 3 hours etc...!!

Success is not made in an afternoon or a couple of evenings of seminars. If it was, everyone would be doing it. Everyone would be succeeding in everything they want.

Here's part of a speech by a guy who I believe walks the talk on Success, Eric Thomas!

'I’m here to tell you that number one,
most of you say you wanna be successful
but you don’t want it bad, you just kind of want it.
You don’t want it as bad than you wanna party.
You don’t want it as much as you want to be cool.
Most of you don’t want success as much as you want sleep.
Some of you love sleep more than you love success.
And I’m here to tell you today,
if your going to be successful
you gotta be willing to give up sleep.
You gotta be willing to work with 3 hours of sleep
2 hours of sleep, if you really wanna be successful.
Some day your gonna have to stay up 3 days in a row.
Because if you go to sleep you might miss
the opportunity to be successful.
That’s how bad you gotta want it.'

Whatever Success means to you based on your values, desires and passions. You are going to have to give up what is not serving you and replace it with what is serving you to be successful. And that is 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Relentlessly moving forward towards your decision to succeed.

Personally I have a couple of passions I want to succeed at to the best of my ability. And as I build up steam on the path to success I now train 6 days a week most weeks and work 7 days a week most weeks. Each week 1% more and better. Relentlessly. And I'm loving every minute of it because I am following my passions! And why would you need a break from your passions?

I could have rested after last weekend's 3rd marathon in 1 Month, something I had never done before. Instead I trained 6 days last week. Relentlessly. Monday 10K, Tuesday 10K, Wednesday 10K, Friday 11.5K, Saturday 15.2K, Sunday 15.2K. And I'm training again Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week. And Racing a Full 42K Marathon next Saturday. Relentlessly.

What do you want to succeed at? How bad do you want it? Do you really want to pursue it? Relentlessly? Is it your passion and is it making a difference? If you do, let me know! I might want to work with you helping you to achieve too!

I am running the Marathon des Escargots in Portarlington next Saturday as Marathon Number 9 this year of a 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa. You can sponsor the Challenge on

Friday, 3 July 2015

Mid Term Challenge Report + another milestone reached this week!

It's the 3rd of July, we have entered the realms of the second half of 2015. I promise I won't mention the C word as to me it is just another day and to many others it is just the perfect excuse to procrastinate from Mid November to end January.

The real reason I'm mentioning it is that I had earmarked this day to do a Half Term Report.

Good news 1: 8 Marathons done out of 6, that's 2 ahead of schedule as I also ran the reserve races planned in case of injuries.
Good News 2: 2 more planned for July will bring me to 10.
Improvement needed: Thanks to some wonderful work from certain people I have thanked before and will thank again I have reached €1,500 in donations. As I am physically on top of my challenge I will dedicate some more time on this front.
Good News 3: Just had an interview yesterday with Limerick Leader journalist. Hopefully will pop up in edition next week and use that to restart the campaign.
Good News 4: This Blog is great fun and I'm getting great feedback from it so it's here to stay twice weekly.
Improvement needed: I need to get into strength training and better nutrition.
Good News 5: The target of 12 in 12 Months has been reset to 16. I hope to reach the 12 by End September.
Good News 6: I'm doing a tour of the 2 Capitals of my country of birth and country of residence in October. Brussels Marathon 04/10, Dublin Marathon 26/10

Milestone reached: Combining all runs in training and races this year I have gone through the 1,000 mile mark for 2015 this week!!! I'm targeting 2,015 miles for the year!

This weekend I'm running 10K tonight and 9.5 Miles both Saturday and Sunday morning. The next race is in 8 days Saturday morning the 11th with the Marathon des Escargots in Portarlington.

You can donate for the Challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa on: