Thank-you

Time to wrap up my London Marathon fundraising for Asthma UK and to say quite a few thank-you’s!

First of all, the amount raised (inc. Gift Aid) came to just over an amazing £2050 – and there are still donations trickling in so that’ll rise a bit over the next few weeks.

A huge thank-you to every last one of you who donated via my Virgin Money page, attended one of my fundraisers or donated because they couldn’t, took part in my Virtual Run, contributed via easyfundraising, slipped me a few quid when they saw me out and about, gave me items to raffle and auction or supported me in other ways.

I’m pretty sure I’ll have forgotten someone but here goes, in no particular order …… Sheila, Michelle H-T, Ros and Wally, Barbara, Stephen, Johnny, Thomas, Sam, Leslie, Joel T, The Front Page Bar Ballymena, Stephen, Michael, Mairead, Dawn, David (Irish FA), Danielle, Isobel, Chris (ClubSportNI), Kyle (Playing Style), Agnes and Steppin’ Country Linedancers, Michelle, Alastair, Andrew (NI Football League), Cake and Crust Bakery (Paul), Roy and Linfield Football Club (Official), Stephen and Cliftonville Football Club, John and Ballymena United FC, Mark H, Jennifer S, Elaine and Mid Ulster Ladies FC, Jonny, Louise, Sam and friends, K&G McAtamney Butchery & Deli, Style N Sport, Stirling Trophies.

I’d also like to publicly thank my anonymous supporters – I know who some of you are so I hope I thanked you privately but also those whom I haven’t a clue about, one in particular …. all I can say to you is wow!

I really, really hope I’ve left no-one out, sincere apologies if I have. You have all helped raised a fantastic amount for a charity and cause that affects so many people, including a few very close to me.

Thank-you all from the bottom of my heart.

It’s just a moment, this time will pass

Ok, I’ll admit it. Running isn’t fun at the minute. For a long, long time I’ve enjoyed getting out and about, I’ve enjoyed pushing myself, challenging myself and finding out what I can do.

But, now, I’m just not feeling it any more. I don’t know what it is. Am I expecting too much of myself? Do I think I should be better than I am? Have I lost the mental battle that helps me push through the pain? Are both my body and mind just tired?

Maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m tired. I’ve already done more miles so far this year than I did in the entirety of 2016. Compared to others my mileage will look like chicken feed but I’m not comparing myself to others, I’m comparing to the last year me.

Or is it all in my head? I’m convinced a large part of running is mental because if you believe you can do it then you will, but lose that inner strength and you’re in trouble.

Whatever it is I need to get out of this slump. I’ll not give up, I’ll just need to show some patience.

So what has brought all this on? Tonight’s club run, that’s what. I went with the 45-minute group and maybe approached it with the wrong attitude, most likely with a sense of dread given what my last few runs have been like.

We headed off towards the Peoples Park, which meant a steady rise going up the Ballymoney Road, onto the Circular Road before turning back to go into the park. The park has several fairly steep climbs and most of the group tackled one of those. I would have liked to but I knew it wasn’t going to go well for me so myself and a few others went the other direction on a flat section before meeting back with the main group.

After that we went up Thomas Street and then Parkway, another steady rise before going back to base at the Leisure Centre. I struggled the whole way, so I must apologise to Yvonne for bearing the brunt of my moaning and to thank her also for refusing to leave me behind.

After the usual cool down at the end of the session I stood for a few minutes, deciding whether to walk back home or run it. I’m pleased to say I decided to run it. It would have been so, so easy to just give up and dander back home but I wanted to try to salvage something from an otherwise poor night.

Perhaps that shows there’s still a little fight left in me, or maybe it shows that I’m slowly on my way back because last week I walked it. In the end I did 10k, which wasn’t too shabby.

Maybe I should leave it at that, on that positive note.

Oh, and on another positive note, I have some exciting news to impart …. but I’ll hold fire on that for a little longer. Onwards and upwards!

Relive my run

Little by little

I really have been a lazy sod during June. An unwritten rule of mine was not to leave it any more than three days between runs, in fact three days was an absolute maximum.

Take March, for example, 12 runs in 31 days or 14 in 28 for February. Even last month I managed to keep the average under a run every three days ….. but this month only seven runs! What’s that all about? What’s wrong with me? What’s got into my head?

Is it any wonder I’ve been struggling lately? When I was going out more often I felt stronger and the runs felt better, more comfortable. I need and must get back to that.

So tonight’s run, my first on a Sunday since the Westminster Mile at the end of May. I’ve got out of the way of a Sunday run so tonight was really all about attempting to reestablish going out without worrying about the distance – and the idea is to increase on that week on week.

Setting off with no idea of a route or distance in mind I took to the dual carriageway towards Pennybridge as usual and thought I’d decide whereto after that. If I was doing a bog standard 5k I’d turn back after the first mile to follow my normal route but tonight I decided to carry on, settling on a loop around the industrial estate and then back towards the town centre before turning off for home.

It came to 3.74 miles, I wasn’t OCD enough tonight to round it off to 4 miles or even 6km – pretty rare for me!

The run wasn’t difficult energy wise, it was pleasing to record a relatively decent time again but it did hurt my calves a fair bit. They feel fine again writing this but at the time they burned up too quickly, something I’m pretty certain is related to my lack of activity.

So that’s going to change. Tomorrow night is club night – all being well I’ll do five miles, which will leave me 12 miles short of May’s total.

If I can then fit another run in before the end of the week I’ll bring that deficit down to single figures which won’t be too bad and will mean I’ll have salvaged something from June.

Relive my run