Martin’s Blog: Girls just want to have fun and Run

Is it just me or has the winter weather suddenly set in. For the first time in a long time, I
debated putting on a woolly hat on a few runs this week. Due to being follicly challenged I
don’t have the same warmth upstairs as others. However, I resisted and allowed the grey
matter to breathe a little more for another week at least. I did have to don the rain jacket and
high viz for a number of runs this week. There was just no avoiding the rain and with nights
closing in, it was important to make myself as visible as possible to other road users.
The weeks seem to be flying by and the Irish Life Dublin Marathon will soon be here. I’ve
found myself looking over the course in the last week or so, trying to remember the course as best I can. 2012 was the one and only time I’ve run the Dublin Marathon. It seems like a lifetime ago and so many things have changed since then. In 2012 I was running my 2nd marathon, this year I’ll be running my 11th. The difference in my training then and now are worlds apart. Back then I was training three or if I was lucky, four times a week. My training now is a lot more structured and I’m more disciplined in my running now than I ever was.

I walked/ran the Echo Women’s Mini Marathon which was great fun and a wonderful
experience. My outfit for the race was supposed to be Barbie but with my flowing blonde
locks and sky blue outfit I was mistaken for Elsa from Frozen on more than one occasion (or
‘Man Elsa’ as one kid called me!). The atmosphere before, during and afterwards at
Kennedy Park was fantastic. The Mini Marathon is a Cork institution and I hope it continues
to grow and go from strength to strength. Thank you to everyone who donated to the
fundraiser for Abode, it was greatly appreciated.

The beautiful Farran woods was the venue for the Farran Fun Run which I also participated
in. This is somewhere I will definitely come back to for more training runs. I’ve always ran on
the roads and very rarely venture into the woods or on the trails. With Farran being so
enjoyable, tough but enjoyable, I will try and get a few more runs done on this type of
surface in the future. There was great excitement around the woods for the race. With both
the 5km run and children’s 3km run on, it was a fantastic evening. A beautiful setting for a
race and an amazing spread afterwards, well done to all involved.

It’s been a hard week or two with training. Some hard sessions and some long runs with
miles at marathon pace. These few weeks before the taper are bound to be hard, and I’m
trying to embrace them before winding down to Dublin. I struggled on one long run recently
and couldn’t get the legs going. I knew early in the run that it was going to be a battle, and it
was just a case of moving forward and getting it done. After a quick chat with Damian, I was
more positive. I was still out there running 21 miles in the lashing rain so everything wasn’t
as bad as it seems. I had a hard week of training and looking back it was the first time I had
gone over 60 miles in a training week. Every marathon build up isn’t going to be perfect.
There will be days when my energy is low and my legs won’t turn over as efficiently, and
that’s ok. I’ve had a very good few months of training.
For now I’ll swap my blonde wig for a woolly hat, my tutu for a rain jacket and high viz. I
might be tired, I might be sore, I might even complain. But I’ll be out there running and it
doesn’t get much better than that.

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