The Burren Marathon
So just on about throwing myself all into kickboxing, I probably did that with my jogging a bit too. I mentioned before that I did about 5 half marathons and 1 marathon. Well the marathon was on the day before my daughter first Holy Communion. Madness! I could have ended up cripled. Anyways, I kinda persuaded my bestie to do the marathon with me. No pressure like, we could walk aswell. This is probably one of the worst marathons you could do for a first time marathon as it was the Burren Marathon which entailed about 30km off road and climbing up mountains and walking tracks around the edge of a hill. It is also probably the most scenic and fabulous marathon you could ever do. So since it was on our doorstep I wanted to do it. I had prepared pretty well as in the most I did before the marathon was 26km. My friend hadn't done quiet as much. So we set off in a real damp foggy morning with a couple of hundred folk. We got to the turn off for the half marathon and loads of people started turning right. We looked at each other hesitating, asking each other silently will we turn and just do the half? But we went on straight. Like some kind of miracle then the fog lifted and the sun came out and we were surrounded by the beautiful rocky hills. We jogged along chatting and enjoying the scenery. We went down a back road which happened to pass our friends house where we did a quick toilet stop before proceeding with the worst part of the marathon. Up the cahervalley hill. I struggle with going up hills, so I pulled out a lollypop i had picked up at the last water station and sucked on that; that bit of sugar helped. My friend is great on up hills and mentally pulled me up that hill. Once we were at the top we had a relatively flat section of about 3 kilometres to do. We passed people who had stopped and were eating their lunch, these folk were walking the marathon. I was a bit confused by this as we had mostly jogged up to this stage, yet walking they were ahead of us. Feck that. So we then had a about a 5km decline on a back road into Fanore. By the time we got to the bottom my friend had a really sore leg and had begun to hobble along. So we did a fair bit of walking after that, walking around the edge of Blackhead to Gleninagh. You need to walk this route it is amazing. It is mostly just a narrow track but with spectacular views. My friend was really struggling with her leg, and maybe the lowest part of the event was when I started singing "green fields of France " and "fields of athenry" to try and distract her from her pain. We met a first aid station in Gleninagh and I thought maybe she would get it strapped but she is a very stubborn woman and insisted on hobbling on. We met my sister in Gleninagh with her kids, she was there to cheer us on. They had been waiting around all day to meet us. We had no predictions to our time but we had to try and guess times for our families that were wanting to cheer us on at certain points. As we were walking now we were a bit slower than expected. As we walked along the road from Gleninagh to Ballyvaughan we met two elderly ladies that were walking the marathon. Again how the F were they ahead of us? I am not very chatty with people I don't know when I am exercising. I don't particularly like small talk. But my friend is great for it and would chat with anyone. I didnt really want to come in over the finish line with these two old ladies that walked the marathon. So I kept eyeballing my friend willing her to jog so we could get moving. She kindly told me to fire on, but I couldn't leave her at this stage, she was only doing it because I persuaded her. So I jogged on a bit, then walked slowly for a bit until they caught up. We finally got to ballyvaughan and my friend said, just go on and jog it home. This time I did, I really wanted to finish it jogging. My family were there cheering us on as I jogged in over the finish line and thankfully beat the two old ladies. I am such a wagon but I am very competitive. My friend arrived hobbling over the line in agony. We hugged and headed to tent for our massage but unfortunately if you take too long to do a marathon you don't get a massage as they have packed up and left. Remember that if you ever do a marathon! Well my poor friend hobbled around for a few days and I felt grand with the exception of having some chaffing, do not wear pads ladies when doing a marathon. I cant eat after a long jog, first thing I need to do is go to bed, sleep a few hours, then have a bath and then eat. I felt amazingly well the next day for my daughter's communion. I think maybe its time to work towards doing that marathon again.