“My First 10km Run” Marathon Training part 12

“Loaded like a freight train! Flying like an aeroplane! Feeling like a space brain, one more time tonight”

Guns N’Roses “Night Train”, one of my favourite songs of all time and a song I would choose to walk out to if I was to ever take part in another White Collar Boxing Night. The song is actually about a concoction of drugs and alcohol that the band members used to take before gigs that they called Night Train. They felt “Loaded” “Flying” and Spaced” as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, or so the legend goes anyway.

Now just to clarify, I have never even tried smoking cigarettes never mind anything stronger. I am very fond of a few pints alright but drugs don’t interest me in the slightest. I get way too out of control on alcohol anyway so I’d be terrified of what I could do or say if I were on drugs.

Actually, one night last year I went out and a crowd of young lads gave me “absinthe” to drink in the guise of Fat Frog. As soon as it touched my lips I knew it wasn’t Frog. Despite being ten years older than most of the lads there, I had to be the big man and throw the whole lot back. (It wasn’t much but maybe a treble shot of absinthe, which is a lot!)

Anyway we went into Carlow town and I have very little memory of what happened in there, that’s scary! Recently one of my friends, Sinead, told me how she was in Carlow that night with her aunts and that when one of her aunts found out I was an elected representative of the public that she wanted to give Enda a ring and tell him I was a gobshite. That’s what mixing absinthe and pints of Guinness did to me. And just to get there ahead of Eamonn Molloy who I know is reading this and will want to say the following to me: “You’re a gobshite whether you’re drunk or not!” Lads, he’s an awful bollix, and I mean Eamonn now, not Enda, although I’m sure that’s just my opinion!

The morale of that story is that your local councillor is not into drugs!

Sorry! Anyway, moving swiftly along.

GOOD POINTS: I ran my first 10km. It didn’t bother me how slow or fast I was going to do it, I needed to escape the 5km. I had trapped myself in a 5km space that I was struggling to get out of but I did. I was going to build up to 8km for a while and then 10 but it felt like the 8km was never coming so I jumped ahead and got the 10km in. It felt great! Even though I was sore after it! Oh, also, since I started this blog, I’m down a stone from 19 stone to 18, nice slow gradual, sustainable progress.

BAD POINTS: My only real bad points are in relation to my writing. I don’t think I’m giving enough information on the actual training I’m doing, so I’m going to start trying to give more info on the process and the struggle. Also, I’m unsure how ready for muck fest I am but I am really looking forward to it! Please sign up and take part if you haven’t already!


The 1okm Mountain

I arrived down to the walking track in Rathvilly determined to run 1okm. It was Monday afternoon, pretty rainy, very cold, windy, absolutely miserable. The morning before, Sunday, I met Kate Purcell who hails from Old Leighlin but who spends a lot of time in Rathvilly due to putting the whip on one Brendan Murphy, down at the field in Rathvilly and we set out for a 5km run.

It was a beautiful frosty morning, don’t get me wrong, it was perishing, but every inch of grass was white, it was a quiet morning and but for the sound of tweeting birds and a tweeting Kate Purcell it was a silent Sunday morning.

We didn’t push it hard at all. It was very early, I hadn’t had a wink of sleep the night before, we were both going to watch Carlow play Westmeath later that day and it was my birthday! So it was just good to go down and get the distance and movement into the legs.

We did the run in about 34 minutes and it was so cold that our hair follicles were frozen on our heads and sweat didn’t drop until we had thawed out later on. Speaking of later on, I couldn’t believe how good my legs felt by evening time, like, not a sign of having run earlier on, I was tempted to go running again.

Instead, on Monday morning I decided I was going to do 10km.

Looking back now, here are a few thoughts about the thought process in deciding to do 10km.

I’ve been in a 5km rut for weeks now, because I have been finding it hard to get under 30mins I’ve kept up to the 5km. One day last week I ran down Williamstown all the way to Coolmanagh and back which was 6.45km. This was my first real trip into anything above 5k.

I needed to step things up, change, challenge, test myself. I had been saying for a while that I’d try 8km first and gradually move up to 10, but Monday morning I just said to hell with it, go do 10km, just travel 1okm. If it means walking, crawling whatever, just go that distance. I had a bowl of bran flakes, let them go down and tried to get the phone charged up.


So I got to the filed and my phone was on 13% battery. Here was my first opportunity to not go for the run. I am the king of excuses.

See, I’d tell myself, sure I’ll need to be able to see my split lap times and the only way I can do this is with the GPS on the phone because my Fitbit doesn’t have GPS, the phone is nearly dead, no point going for the run!

I went in the gate and did a very small warm up, 20m jogs, lengthen the stride a bit, bit of skipping and a stretch and I set off then. I had only gone about 50m, around the first corner, and lads I’m not joking, a freezing breeze hit me and could have shaved me. It was horrendous. The thought crossed my mind to go on home and come back later or wait until tomorrow. It was just so bitterly cold and wet.

Anyway, I ran on and got the first kilometre in. I started to feel a bit of a pull in my right side groin, my right foot was feeling sore and my face was in pain from the cold! I kept going though, wasn’t pushing it on at all, I was thinking about the next 9km. I wanted to be able to do it.

However when I got to the 4km mark I looked at the Fitbit and realised it was on 24 mins. I got excited. I knew I could do a km in under 6 minutes so I picked it up, I thought to myself, look you can just tiptoe along for the second 5km but try get this first 5 under 30. I just missed the mark but I had seriously pushed it. The 6km then was very slow, just barely up on the toes, and again I thought, to hell with it, go on home and come back tomorrow.

The laps of the walking track in Rathvilly are ideal for 5km but I have to say for 10km it is a little bit soul destroying. You lose count of the laps.

I said I wanted to get the 10km done in 67mins or an hour and seven (1.07) but really I was thinking, go on ya huare, do it under the hour! I was delighted when mid way through kilometre 7 I started to feel good again, felt the speed picking up. By kilometre 8 I had 15 minutes to get under the hour mark. I pushed on, legs were tired but I felt good. I finished really strongly. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t comfortable but my god it felt wonderful to get it done and it came in at 63 mins 50 seconds. An hour and three minutes (1.03) Delighted!