Some of you who know me personally may be aware that I completed the Dingle Half Marathon at the weekend. Maybe you would be interested in learning about my training regime? Or how I mentally prepared for such a mammoth physical exertion? Well if you are you'll have Google that because I didn't train nor did I even think about the pain and exhaustion I would feel after. Silly I know but have a read further to find out why I did it and what my thoughts are...
Image source : Shane Lennon
I did it as a member of Team Manuela which was driven by The Manuela Riedo Foundation. The Manuela Riedo Foundation Ireland was created to raise funds for awareness and prevention of sexual crime in Ireland. The foundation honours the memory, life and legacy of Swiss student Manuela Riedo who tragically lost her life in the city of Galway in 2007. What the charity does is amazing, it ensures that support centres are kept open and people are properly trained to help victims and to make sure that not one call goes unanswered. This is only some of what they do, check out the website to learn some more.
There were approximately 2000 people taking part in the marathon with 500 from #TeamManuela. The goal was always to have 500 of us and the objective of this was so that each green vest represented the 1 in 4 victims of sexual violence in Ireland. So much of this is thanks to the drive and dedication of Shane Lennon who has sacrificed so much (including his hamstring) to make this happen and he's already on the case for the next event.
I'm actually struggling to put this into words. The experience was like nothing you could explain. Doing something completely out of your comfort zone that you know is going to be extremely challenging physically and mentally, well it's hard to convince yourself to go through with it. Luckily I was part of a group so I wasn't on my own. I certainly couldn't have done it on my own. Each mile was a challenge but luckily it didn't rain and the view is spectacular.
Here's a short list of things you will endure as someone who hasn't trained for a half marathon after a half marathon.
1) A huge sense of relief when you finish - BEWARE : it's short-lived as this is when it really starts to hurt.
2) Hungry - you will be very very hungry, like McDonalds, Supermacs and a Chinese in one sitting kind of hungry.
3) Thirsty - you will be very very thirsty, like pints-of-beer-when-you-don't-usually-ever-drink-pints kind of thirsty. Highly advisable to drink as much water as possible in replacement of the pints. Serious word of warning dehydration is not nice ! :(
4) Sore - You will feel very sore all over, I don't know how even my hands and arms managed to hurt too. I'm pretty expressive when I'm talking to that might have been from the pre-race chats.
5) Blisters - it's fair to say that you WILL have blisters and in fact you may need to sacrifice a toe nail or two but all for the greater good.
6) Tired - for days, it will last for days but the buzz of feeling like you've achieved something great will keep you energized!
Also be prepared for people to make fun of you. The worst thing about it for me is I can't even get mad because I'd be the first to shout "howya John Wayne" at someone else, so just laugh it off.
A huge thanks to Shane Lennon of course and everyone who works with the foundation, every single participant and everyone who donated. A massive shout out to all the team sponsors (see below for links). Annnnnddddd the good news is you can still donate :) by texting GREEN to 50300 to donate €4.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions just send me a DM, I'd be happy to answer.
Image source : Shane Lennon
MOD :) XX