20 December 2015

Run4Fun – Yvonne story

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

Run4Fun – Yvonne story

Running all started for me about four years ago when I joined a gym in Tralee and decided it was time to get fit. One of the training machines there was a tread mill. I was crap when I started and had never been on one before but determined to keep going. I got good (so I thought) and managed to do a few 5km's on it, but I had not gone out running on the road. I was afraid people would laugh if they saw me. But then I decided to do a 5km run in Tralee for a charity. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. I didn't realise how unfit I actually was until I did this trying not to stop along the way so people who were watching would not laugh at me. It all changed when I crossed the finish line, not first but not last. I felt I had run a marathon so proud of myself and this was the start of my running days.  I felt fantastic and decided to take to the road or the canal bank in my case from then on.  So many people I know approached me who had seen me and said “well done” and “fair play” - people laughing at me was all in my head.

I trained myself and entered a few more 5kms, got better and decided to try a ten. It was the Killarney Women’s mini marathon in September 2013. What a stunning run through the Killarney National Park. I ran with the good, the great and the strugglers. The usual feelings ran through my mind when I started – “what the hell am I doing?”, “I’m never doing this again”, but you know everyone is in the same boat and you just jog along and don’t give up. Again the feeling when I finished was brilliant, such a great atmosphere, such an achievement I thought.

The first time I found out about St. Brendans Fit for Life was when a girl I work with saw me doing the Banna 5K Fun Run and asked me was I with a club.  She gave me the info about training as a group with St. Brendan’s Fit4Life and if I wanted to join I would be more than welcome.  So I took her up on the offer. It was Saturdays in Banna for an hour. I was normally (always) struggling but for some reason I didn’t care. I was doing the distance and getting fit. I was now part of a group of people who always encouraged me and told me I was great even though I knew I wasn’t. And three years on they still do it.

I now train both with St. Brendan’s and on my own. I run to keep fit. I run for myself and for no other reason. I have good runs and bad, good days and bad, but that’s fine with me because I always enjoy it. On my days off work I love to do between 5-7km on my own, with my music and sometimes after a tough day at work, I go home change and I take off for half an hour to clear my head. Shannon, my daughter is fifteen and runs herself and helps me with training and we sometimes run together. I have yet to beat her! 

I love going to races now and meeting all of the St. Brendan’s runners.  We all genuinely wish each other the best of luck and everyone is so supportive when I finish a race! I also do the Tralee Parkrun most Saturday mornings and this is a great way of trying to beat your previous time from the week before. It started in January 2015 and is free to register and run. I have also volunteered throughout the year to help. This is a fantastic way to start getting fit.

My goal for next year is to complete a half marathon, this will be a big step for me. The winter isn’t my favourite time for training and it’s hard with the weather, but I’m trying.  Come the spring, I will be back training for my half marathon, something three years ago I would never have even dreamed. Thanks to all my St. Brendan’s AC Fit4Life running friends and to my coach Artur. 


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