If you are like me you’ll have been glad to see the back of January. It’s a difficult enough month for most people as they have the overhang of Christmas to deal with, new bills arriving in the post and that subconscious expectation of setting new goals and getting healthier, feeling happier and promising yourself you are going to make a lot more effort this new year. Into the bargain I had a brutal virus to deal with so January, see you again next year my friend.
Fresh February has arrived and already there appears to be that ever so little stretch in the evenings that makes all the difference. For me personally I’m mentally in a very good spot as I’m fully focused on my goals that I set in the week between Christmas and New Year every year. They are written down and I glance at them at least a couple of times a week to make sure I don’t fall off course.
The big physical challenge I have set myself in the first quarter of 2017 is that I am taking on my first Ultra Marathon challenge down in the very beautiful surroundings of Connemara. The race is a total of just under forty miles which is a lot further than I have ever ran before. I am hoping if I can get the right amount of training in and stay injury free over the next twelve weeks, I will complete this challenge somewhere between six and seven hours. For me I just want to finish the race, challenge my body and my mind and simply get it done.
Why you ask would I be interested in doing such a race as after all, I don’t actually like running all that much. The main reason very simply is because I can. Over ten years ago when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, running an Ultra Marathon race in 2017 would have been deemed impossible. In fact had I listened to the many medical professionals and other experts at that time there might have been a better chance I would be permanently in a wheelchair. I often have to remind myself of the very difficult years I spent struggling to do even the most basic of things that we all take for granted in life like doing the shopping. So over the last few years as I have been able to reverse my MS through food and exercise, by me setting and achieving goals like this, it’s really significant for me and confirms that I have got control back of my body and mind and was able to reverse this very serious neurological disease.
This week I have ran fifteen miles to date and over the weekend I have another twenty miles to get in. Over the next eight weeks I will build this up to a total of sixty-five miles in week eight before I start to taper for the couple of weeks before the big race. It may sound like a lot but the bottom line is if you really want something to happen in your life, number 1: it’s important to believe that it is actually possible and number 2: you have to put in the work to achieve what you have set out to do.
Over the next few weeks I will be releasing my new book IRONMIND. In this book I take the reader through the first six months of 2015 where I implemented a training program and incorporated six endurance races that culminated in me competing in Ironman Majorca. I’m very proud of my new book and I’m hoping it is well received and that some people will get encouragement from the narrative to start moving more, eating healthier and embrace a healthier lifestyle.
I always like a strap line for my challenges so keep an eye out on my instagram and twitter feeds when you see the #GETITDONE handle as I will be giving away a few copies of my new book in the weeks ahead.
Have a great weekend all.