Martin’s Blog: Week 8: The day Sonia missed her chance to get a picture with me

A picture paints a thousand words, so the saying goes. And when I look back at the photos
from my most recent races I can see why. I’ve noticed that in most of the pictures I’m either smiling or looking relatively content, or as Lorna tells me ‘you don’t have a big head red on you anymore!!’. That’s because I’m enjoying my running and embracing being part of this journey towards the Cork City Marathon. After all, that is the reason we all run, we enjoy it.

Yes I, like many others will chase PBs and faster times but the bottom line is that running makes us all happier and long may that continue. The past seven days was a case of another week and another 10 mile race. I signed up late on Friday for the Sonia O Sullivan Cobh 10. I had been texting Derek back and forward and he mentioned he was running it. Out of pure fear of missing out I also entered. I have run Cobh once before and had known it to be a hilly course but decided I’d do it as part of a long run.

On the day, I got the ferry over early in the morning, parked up and headed out for a few  miles before picking up my race number. It was a joy warming up while taking in the breathtaking views of the picture perfect Cork harbour. Just like Mallow the week before the organisation again was top notch. There were a huge amount of stewards out on the roads and all over the town, people giving up their time so I, along with the other runners got to race. The goodie bag and race mug was only bettered by the electric atmosphere, with live bands, people blaring music from cars, phones and Bluetooth speakers and families giving out water and jellies only added to the occasion all along the route. With such a large body of people towards the end of the race, the run down to the finishing line was spine tingling.

A superb event and well done to the Ballymore Cobh Club. It was lovely to run with fellow Eagle members, and meet and see some before and after the race. I look forward to catching up with them again for training runs in the future. Also, an incredible run by Aoife Cooke, 1st place and course record. She is an inspiration to all in our club and beyond. I tried the Maurten gels for the race and found them excellent, easy to take and again no stomach issues. My only disappointment for the day was that I didn’t get a picture with the main woman herself Sonia, I didn’t have my phone on me when I passed her by after the race and the only words I could muster up at the time were ‘how ya Sonia’. It’s not often I get to compete in the same race as one of my idols so I’ll have to prepare better for situations like that in the future…maybe next year I’ll get that picture!

It was another good week running, my forth in a row hitting around the forty miles
mark. I did a little speed work for the first time in this training block, 800m repeats around the duck pond in the lashing rain in Carrigaline, while the ducks enjoyed the rain, I didn’t! I’ll try to keep these sessions up over the next few weeks. I’ve struggled with the strength and conditioning side of things. I had been in a good routine of doing two sessions a week but I have let that slip lately. This week I’ll get back to it again as I believe the benefits were really kicking in for me. I’ve also tried to incorporate more stretching and recovery routines into my evenings.

Lorna recently purchased a Shakti mat, something I had never heard of before.
The mat has hundreds of little spikes on it, and is used in a form of acupressure (or torture as Lorna says!). It works by lying on the mat and the spikes increase the blood flow to the area thus increasing recovery. While it’s a little uncomfortable to begin with, and I’ll admit it’s a little different, I found it beneficial during the last few weeks I’ve used it. I’ve also started using a massage gun and it’s brilliant in aiding recovery and any muscle stiffness. The speed sessions, strength and conditioning and better recovery are all part of the bigger picture that I’ll help get me across that finish line in June.

Enjoy the week and happy running!

Posted in CCM, CCM Leaders, Martins Blog.