Monday, 30 May 2016

June preview: One Full + 2 Ultra!

I have been minding myself when running. Going on feeling for the last month or so. Running when it felt right, for the distances that felt right at the speed that felt right.

And as some of you are aware, I have ditched my watch for some of the runs too.

The result is peaceful, nearly meditative running. It is becoming more of a joy and less of a race. It is timeless fun! And it is so good for the soul to do it this way.

We are also in the part of the year were I get a 'dip' in performance. You see, I'm an Autumn and Winter runner and prefer cold and wet days to what we get served now. And getting rid of the watch for some of the runs has eased the need for running at 'winter' speeds. And made it easier.

Still managed 2 Full Marathons in May. And enjoyed both. One at 'home' in Limerick and one in the beautiful Killarney National Park.

We are now entering the Summer Months and I have decided to run more races than last year but at my own pace without the watch.

June has 3 races in store. 2 I see as warm up races to the 'big one' on June 25th. First up is one of my favourites, Cork City Marathon next Monday the 6th! regular readers will know my love for that city and it's Marathon is like an annual lap of fun for me.

Then 5 days later on Saturday 11th I head for my second visit to the Forest Marathon in gorgeous Portumna Forest. Last year I ran the Marathon, this year I run my 2nd ever Ultra marathon in a 50K run.

All this to prepare for my longest race to date, the Tralee 40 Miler on Saturday 25th. I like going to Tralee. A bit like Cork it has something I like. I don't know what exactly and don't need to know. It's just there.

So that's June. yesterday I went for a no watch run, planning on a 10K or so and ended up doing 13.3 miles or just over Half Marathon distance. Peace of mind and joy. And it felt great!

Have a great week, miles with smiles.

Patte xxx

Monday, 16 May 2016

Lakes of Killarney Race Report - Running Naked.

On a Friday in Summer the route to Killarney takes a bit longer to travel. Came across massive tailbacks through Adare, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale. It added 45 minutes to the journey.

There is a reason for that, Kerry is a beautiful place and in Summer it shines even more brightly. And lots and lots of people know this and travel there on Summer weekends. I was one of the Kerry bound people this weekend. And it certainly was a Summer weekend. 20+ degrees for the 3 days.

Feeling privileged to be able to enter and take part in the Lakes of Killarney Marathon 2016 just 2 weeks after the Great Limerick Run Marathon, I headed for Killarney with the anticipation of meeting many friends and running a couple of miles with a few of them as well as contributing whenever and wherever I can to make it as joyful a sport for others as it is for me.

Registration on Friday in the Castlerosse Hotel was smooth and efficient and done with a smile. In fact fair dues goes to Alan Ryan, Hardman Events and all the wonderful, friendly, obliging marshalls and volunteers. Without them we have no Marathon. Without the volunteers at the water stations many would not have finished. The Focus was very much on the athletes and their wellbeing and Alan's personal touch adds a sense of togetherness to the event. I'll be back. Thanks again to all involved.

Having a Chat after the Race with organiser Alan Ryan, Brian O Se and 1st time marathoner Simon Hallissey.

Race Day itself then. Both the Full and Half Marathon start at 9am. At 2 different locations in the Park. Logistics nightmare? Nope. All seemed to go fine. Met with lots of MCI buddies before the race and the craic and camaraderie always takes the edge of the start of a race.

Running with MCI buddies is the best! Here with Derek Mackessy, David Wrenne, Adolfo Garcia, Catherine Guthrie, Julie Byrne-Hilliard and Siobhan Dowling.
The second thing that has taken the edge of races and turned them into runs has been that I have started running naked recently. It is so liberating. You can run on feeling rather than the restrictive way I was running previously.

Oops, I should maybe mention to you that running naked in Marathon terms means running without a watch. In case you form disturbing mental images. ;)

Look, no watch, I'm running naked again and it is so much fun!
We set of at 9am and within a couple of miles I had the pleasure of running in a group with Catherine Guthrie, Shane Dunphy and David Wrenne. As they are all established marathon runners and the weather was fantastic (not my weather at all, but this is not about me :) ), the mood was one of jolly. At one stage a visitor to the National Park remarked she was taking up running if it was as much fun as we seemed to be having. We laughed so much it hurt.

Running with Catherine, Shane and David was so much fun! (And look at the scenery behind us!)
I was able to stay with them until about mile 15 when the knee issue from Connemara popped up again. It took about 3 miles of mind over matter to get rid of it. The good news is it did abate. At Mile 19 I found a fellow runner in need of assistance. The heat combined with tiredness had turned their legs into jelly and the person was threatening to fall asleep. I stayed with them and asked another runner to stay with us. We tried to walk and make sure they got the right nutrients in. At mile 20 we made the decision to go look for help so I ran ahead to find the Medics. They were 3/4 mile away so I upped the pace a bit. My training as a First Responder helped as I informed the medics best I could of the symptoms and location of the runner. Philip Delanty, you are a champion in my eyes for staying with the person in need while I ran ahead.

When I got back from the loop around Ross the person was safely in the care of Medics and was at the Finish line later in fine form again. I actually heard another story later that typifies MCI and Marathon running in general. Paul Comerford came across a fellow runner who was struggling a bit. Paul had just completed a 2 mile loop the other runner was starting. Giving up his own time Paul did the loop again to keep the other runner company and they finished together. Paul, you are a champion too.

Another champion is Mary Mockett who keeps taking the most wonderful pictures making my blog even more appealing to read! Thanks Mary!

More champions came in the form of Jerry Forde, Team Noah & Team Murphy! Well done all. Congrats to the winners of the Full (don't know who won the Half sorry): Dolores Duffy and Alex O'Shea. 2 wonderful athletes part of a group of 400 wonderful athletes who took part. Also congrats to Michael McEnery on receiving his Marathon Club Ireland 25th Marathon medal from his neighbour Cathy Quilter.

Michael McEnery getting his 25th medal from Cathy Quilter.
Having ran naked I can't tell you as yet what time I ran. Nor does it matter. I had a great time. The course was littered with stunning vista's and plentiful with great people. It was an absolute joy running this and all going well I will be back for this. This was number 43 for me in total and number 10 this year.

And I'll continue my naked running in 3 weeks time at the Cork City Marathon on Monday June 6th. Followers of this blog might know I'm a big fan of Cork as a City and it's Marathon is a must on my calendar.

Have a great day and as always it's miles with smiles,

Patte xxxxx

Friday, 13 May 2016

Race weekend. Or is it?

It's race weekend! Although race is a big word. When looking back I realise I have actually ran my last 3 events without a stopwatch and the Lakes of Killarney Marathon tomorrow morning will be number 4 in that series!

That means I'm really enjoying my running right now. It is not just about sport or times anymore, it is a lifestyle choice. It is about meeting like minded people who share our love of running. I feel privileged to have the ability of running multiple marathons in a year. Killarney will be number 10 this year and 43 in total. And I'm grateful for that.

As I have never ran this event there is a sense of anticipation heightened by the fact that I am travelling this afternoon and spending 2 nights in a B&B in the beautiful surrounds of Killarney National Park. We run 3 loops over Knockreer Hill to Ross Castle and Ross Island in the Park. I love that area!!!

I know lots of my MCI buddies are going and that makes it even more special. Here's to our 26.2 (and longer) lifestyle.

See yiz in Killarney or on this blog with a race report on Monday!!

Miles with Smiles,

Patte xxxxx

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Great Limerick Run race report - One for the Club.

I'll keep the 'me' part simple. I ran my 42nd Marathon, number 9 of 2016 in 4h19m at the Great Limerick Run Marathon. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. And that was due to 2 things. 1- My love for running. 2- My friends in the large family that is Marathon Club Ireland.

I'm dedicating this one to the Club. It's all the small things we do for each other that makes the most difference.

We run in packs for mutual support.
We give each other lifts to start lines.
We share our life stories and everyone listens.
We collect numbers for each other when others have far to travel.
We offer free rooms in our house for people who have to travel far.
We hug the love and great spirit into each other.
We make cupcakes, soup and energy bars for each other.
We travel to far flung places like Killeigh, Craughwell and Tullaroan together.
We share pictures online.
We share hostel/hotel rooms.
We support each other when injury hits.
We offer up our own runs to get others over the line when needed.
We promote #inclusion for wheelchair assisted running families.
We achieve together!!

That list could be so much longer and exhaustive. My life changed when I joined Marathon Club Ireland. I found a family of people who will do all the above for one another in the blink of an eye.

Congrats this weekend to Paula Wright and Desmond Broaders on their 25th Marathon celebrations.
Thanks to Paula, Cathy, Michelle and Aiden for the company on race day.
Congrats to Sheila Masterson and Paula Bowes on huge PB's.
Thanks to Paula, Cathy, Michelle, Joe, Maura, Kasia, Mary, Maryse, Derek and Vincent for a great night out after the race.
Congrats and thanks to Angela Ross Ines for a speedy last 1.5 miles.
Congrats to Team Kerr, Team Noah and Team Murphy on successful races!!

 Paula's Angels with Lead vocalist Aiden!
 What a solid bunch to spend a Sunday morning running with!!
Paula Wright receiving her 25th Medal from Vincent Guthrie.

As I said, this one is for the Club. It's a privilege to be able to do all those small things together. Because all those small things together make us great Marathoners and even greater friends.

Miles with Smiles,

Patte xxxxx