Martin O Leary’s blog: Week 9: Running friend (n): One who listens, doesn’t judge and somehow makes 2 hours of running fun!

The hills of Cobh got the better of me and my quads last Sunday, so after a badly needed rest day on Monday, I went out for an easy run on Tuesday evening. A familiar face greeted me on my route, as my buddy the heron from a few weeks ago glided by to check my progress. I’m assuming it was the same heron, the bird wasn’t available for comment unfortunately, as it soared above me down the Crosshaven road.

Sadly the heron was the only thing that was flying, as I eased into my run at a leisurely pace to coax my quads back into action. It was a hectic week and I  had to juggle runs to different days and times. A long training block will never go perfectly or be straight forward so flexibility is always key to marathon training. I was on taxi duty for a Mimi Webb concert (whoever she is!) in Dublin on Saturday, so I spent the day up there. To shorten the journey a stop off at Kildare Village was pencilled in. I love to peruse the sports shops up there to try and  seek out a bargain of two, but I didn’t purchase this time.

Midweek we recorded for an episode of the podcast with the other Cork City Marathon leaders and Brian and Damian, it was nice to catch up with the gang to see how they are all getting on. We also got a lovely surprise of a new pair of Saucony Endorphin Speed Runners. My early impressions of these are very positive, they are very comfortable, they look great and they have plenty of spring and bounce in them. They will be my go to running shoes going forward.  Many thanks to Damian, Brian and Saucony for securing these for us.

My week ended by meeting up with a group from Eagle and hitting the roads around the marina, Blackrock, Mahon walkway and Passage for a long run. We started out early, before the Easter eggs at 7am as I joined Siobhan, Martin, Sean, Pat, Proinnsias. With the group running various routes and paces, I settled in with Siobhan Holland and Martin Lynch. The miles flew by and even the stiff breeze off  Lough Mahon couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm as we ran for 22 miles. Many thanks to both Siobhan and Martin for their company and conversation and for dragging me around the longest training run I’ve ever run and also gave me a huge confidence boost. Further thanks to Graham Meikle, who was in support on the bike for the morning. It was great to meet up with the rest of the gang back at the Marina Market for coffee, cake and the post run chat.

That’s what our sport is all about. People who come together from different backgrounds with the common bond of running. While the races and marathons often take priority, what is truly special is that journey we all take together in the build up. We go out, bound around the roads for a while and we chat and laugh along the way. We then stop and chat and laugh about it all over again sipping a coffee. What a privilege that is. Running with a group makes those longer runs that bit easier and I’m grateful to have been out with a group of such positive and like minded people. I’m only sorry that I couldn’t stay longer, as I had to dash off to work, but I’ll definitely be joining the gang again soon. A lovely end to a busy week.

A week where Damian and Brian checked in with me and the other Cork City Marathon leaders. A week where my Eagle Club mates checked in with me and brought me into a group of wonderful people and a week where my flying friend on the Crosshaven road checked in on me from above. Perhaps going forward, in the next few days, we could all check in and catch up with someone. It can make a really positive difference like it did with me over the last seven days. The week which began struggling with herons, ended up flying and chatting with Eagles!

Enjoy the journey ahead this week and happy running!

Posted in CCM, CCM Leaders, Martins Blog.