A little bit of progress

It’s been two weeks since the last installment of The Marathon Diaries – where did that time go? I was a bit ahead of myself in my last post and thought I had my 4 mile race a weekend earlier than it actually was. All the more time for training I guess!

And the training seems to be paying off; I actually got a prize for coming second in the junior category of the race. Seriously. Miracles do happen, folks!

I was on cloud nine after the race, which I ran in 40 minutes. The day was a heavy, muggy one and this made the run less enjoyable at first. However, I soon found my stride and felt I ran at a steady pace without going too slow (although I probably was pretty slow in a more experienced runners eyes but let’s not dwell on that!)

As I said I was delighted with the race so thought this week I would chat a bit about the difference I am seeing in my mood since I started running.

The first week I ventured out on the road to do 4 mile was a tough experience. I got a stitch about half a mile in, I was fit to burst into tears at about two miles, walked nearly all the third mile and managed to jog a bit towards the end of the last mile. And not a chance was I up for talking to anyone while I went – I was far too out of breath for that.

My main sentiment? SORCHA WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO YOURSELF?!

But slowly I’ve improved since that first week. We’ve had inspirational speakers come in at training – international athletes Caitriona McKiernan and Tomás Cotter – and their advice has really helped. Caitriona actually gave the same advice my dancing teacher used to give us to improve our posture: imagine a string is pulling you up from your head. Honestly, keeping yourself standing tall when you run is a major help. It’s easier to breathe for one thing!

Tomás also emphasised the importance of keeping things simple. Don’t overthink it all – just enjoy the training, keep it simple.

I now can talk to the people I run along with and feel like my stamina has improved as I kept up my attempts at the four mile distance.

I also now feel great after I run. I get a feeling of satisfaction from pushing myself and I like to have something to focus on. I get a surge of positive energy when I come home from training or from a jog – it’s true what they say about the runner’s high! My general mood has been up and down the last few weeks and having the few hours a week to run really helps clear the head.

I’m looking forward to doing the 6 mile loop this week at training. Tackling this route will be another milestone in my training (on top of the unplanned milestone of winning a prize this weekend!)

Come back next Sunday for another update – I promise it will be up on time…

-Sorcha

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