29 November 2015

To complete 25 Marathons - Moira story

St.Brendan’s AC members share their personal stories and different experiences of getting fit and embracing new challenges in recent years.

To complete 25 Marathons - Moira story

In 2010 I decided that I needed to get fitter and started cycling as it was a different exercise than the walking of which I was doing plenty of, having spent many years on the golf courses.  My initial goal, which I successfully completed, was to complete the 2010 Ring of Kerry Cycle. My usual training routine at this time was to incorporate a cycle at 6 a.m. and before the busy day would commence. 

In October of that year an e-mail was sent by Marcus Howlett to staff and students of the IT Tralee (where I work as Full time Clerical Officer) looking for novice runners to train for the 2011 Great Limerick Run.  Having considered doing a bit of running I joined the group and along with other members, the Born To Run Tralee Marathon Club was established.  Over the following months I completed the necessary training runs under Marcus’s expertise, guidance and patience, and ran my first full marathon in Limerick 2011.  All this would not have been possible without the support that I got from my twin sister, Monica who looked after the boys for me on Saturday mornings when the mileage was increasing.  Other training runs were held during my lunch hour at work.

After I crossed that finish line in Limerick I was hooked on running marathons and decided to join Marathon Club Ireland and have since set my new goal of completing 25 marathons.  Marathon Club Ireland was formed in November 2010 to encourage all aspects of marathon running in Ireland, from participation to organisation. They are a group of like-minded individuals who complete 26.2 mile races for fun, for a sense of achievement and mostly in a quest to complete 100 marathons, or more.

Running on to 2015,  and having completed 17 full marathons to date, my first marathon is the one I  have enjoyed the most, not only for the camaraderie with my work colleagues and students, but also for the sense of personal achievement (and relief!) that I got when I crossed that finish line.

In November 2014 after my son Aaron joined St. Brendan’s AC, I was approached by Ursula to help out at the weekly club training sessions with the younger children with Head Coach Artur. Since then Kevin has also joined the weekly sessions and now my personal enjoyment is running with my two boys, who were definitely “Born to Run”.  
Aaron is a very active member of the Club and has represented the club in Track and Field events and Cross Country running at both County and Munster Levels.  It is brilliant to see that the next generation is enjoying a sport that has massive benefits for them in their lives.  Both boys also enjoy playing Soccer, Football, Golf and Swimming.

To assist with my running, I have joined the Strength and Conditioning class on Tuesday evenings in Ardfert Community Centre. After the initial first week of pain and finding muscles that I hadn’t worked before, these sessions are now enjoyable and I have made new friendships.
Ultimately I would love to be able to train more. I enjoy running and especially when on my own as it is my head space and “me” time.  However, with family life, my free time is limited.  My training runs are still held during my lunch hour at work, running after the boys and on occasions during the boy’s activities.
My achievements to date includes 17 Marathons (including one back to back), Half on the Head and Ballybunion Half Marathons, Ring of Kerry Cycles (2010, 2011 and 2013), Ring of Beara Cycle (140 km in 2015) along with numerous 5k and 10k runs.

My goals for the future is to complete 25 Marathons which will include the Tralee Ultra Marathon.
Everything is possible, so long as you believe in yourself. There are many obstacles / excuses that can come in the way, but the most important aspect that I found was finding something I really enjoyed as it makes it easier on the days when the body is saying one thing and the weather is telling me something else!!


More stories from St.Brendan's AC: Chapter 1 - Mags story

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