MARATHON OF FOUR SEASONS - LEGEN - DERRY #OPERATION 26.2
Tonight I've decided to reflect on the last 8 years. Time has went so fast especially over the last couple, but one thing I have come to understand and truly believe is that of you really believe you can do something, anything - and you plan around it, theres a real good chance to will achieve your goal.
Little did I know in 2007 when I was diagnosed with MS that between 2011 and 2015 I would run six marathons, several triathlons and numerous other adventure endurance races. Whenever I got my own bad news, my instant reaction was like many who find themselves in a similar position in that I thought the worst and threw in the towel. I gave up and started to believe that my life was over and years of misery lay ahead. Well how wrong was I. Since 2011 I have been working hard on every aspect of my wellbeing and thankfully with this plan I was able to complete marathon number six in Derry today - a terrific feeling.
This morning didn't start how I was hoping as I slept in a little. I did the old snooze button routine and I can tell you its not advisable. At 6.40am I awoke for the second time, threw on me and went down for some toast, porridge and fruit. I needed to get some decent food into me so that I would have enough energy to get round the course today.
The horn went on the button at 8.30am by our Deputy First Minister Martin Mc Guinness, and all 1300 marathoners set off on the 26.2 miles that lay ahead. It was a lovely morning in Derry, the sun was out and there was a great atmosphere at the beginning of the race with everyone excited and in top form.
As we headed out of the City for the country part of the race the weather turned for the worst and the rain started beating down. This was followed by a lovely shower of hailstones, mixed with an uncompromising wind which was fantastic...NOT!! The hailstones didn't last too long and when I hit the halfway stage along the river foyle the sun decided to return and the backdrop was superb running along the river with the City in behind.
I was running today with my pal Gmac, and I have to say that if you have a wingman/women to run round the 26.2 with, it makes all the difference. Gerry chats not the best so I did most of the talking but the time went fairly fast, which helps :-)
Around mile 18 as usual the old legs start to feel it and pain starts to creep through every millimetre of your body - its pretty brutal. Anyone who has ran a marathon will understand what I mean but it truly is a tightner. I could also feel my hamstring and knee getting uncomfortable, but I went into focus overdrive, and concentrated on my technique, with legs high as I could get them and my arms going up and down, helping me along the way.
As we hit mile 24 coming down the Strand Road, the Derry crowd went into voice and the last couple of mile was a pleasure, even with all the pain and the dirty little hill at mile 25. All in all, we finished with the sun shining and after 25.5 miles of running with Gmac, I couldn't wait any longer so I dropped him and bolted on as I had a bit in the tank.
So another marathon in the bag and considering I only completed the Belfast marathon 3 weeks ago its extra pleasing to get another one in today. The plan for me is to build strength in the body over the next 12 weeks to get me ready for Ironman. Today should stand me in great stead for what lies ahead.
As you may know I am doing six challenges in 20 weeks in my #AGAINSTALLODDS campaign, to raise awareness of MS and some much needed funds for the MS Society. If you think my challenge is inspiring and worthy of a few pound, I would love it if you could support me. You can go here if you want to make a donation ::
So tomorrow is a rest day for me and then I'm in the pool on Tuesday back in week 15 of my Ironman program. More importantly I am very grateful that I am healthy and strong right now and hopefully If I can keep eating well and injury free I should get through the next few months in one piece.
Finally I would like to thank the organisers of todays race in Derry. You did a great job and its a fine event and I would encourage anyone to consider it for their own goals in 2016