A GREAT DAY FOR BELFAST
Almost 4000 runners made it to the starting line at the Kings Hall this morning for 9am to run in the 2nd half marathon through Belfast. The day got off to a bad start for me as I hit the snooze button at 6am, and didn't look at the clock again to 7.30am - not a great way to prepare for 13.1miles of running. Anyhow I got to the start line and after a bit of a delay, we were off....!!!
Running - well I only really got into it in 2010 when my Multiple Sclerosis was causing me a lot of distress and I was asked to run the Belfast marathon as part of a challenge. Those closest to me know I am pretty determined so when I took on that challenge in 2010 and achieved my goal, my mind started to ask further questions of me. I started to believe that although my body was very damaged with the MS progression, I had an idea that if I started a plan, which involved eating nutritious food, exercising and thinking more positively - I might be able to beat this MS thing, and my body might start to heal itself again.
At this stage my story is widely known but its days like today that I wont be taking for granted. I started strong and was feeling good up to mile six. I then started to ask myself some questions like, could I go any faster? could I maybe achieve a personal best today? At mile seven I put my foot on the gas and I never took it off until I crossed the finish line at a very respectable time of 1:47minutes just 5 minutes behind my personal best. I was thrilled with the time as I haven't been able to run or train properly since April with a foot injury.
The event was terrific today and well done to everyone involved in the organising committee for putting on a great show.
So tonight I have been reflecting again on the year so far and the challenges & adventures I have overcome and achieved. Last Sundays triathlon and the London marathon are two challenges this year that stand out. My original plan was that today was to be my last main event of 2014, however I love a challenge, and with todays strong performance in the bag, tonight I have entered the Dublin marathon 2014 on 27th October. I have 6 weeks to be ready, but I am looking forward to it now. Last year I ran my fastest marathon in Dublin and the event was terrific. So over the next few weeks I will get a few long runs in, get to the gym and continue with the cross training and hopefully I will be ready. This will be a great way to end the year - with another medal in Irelands capital City.
I hope my story of healing, recovery and perseverance is helping one other person believe that they too can fight back against the odds. Look after yourselves . . . .!