When Lucy Dillon commited to take part in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon for Team Vhi & The Herald she had never done a 10km run before. Now, with just over a week to go to this year’s race, the 24 year old from Co Meath has already completed the distance twice!
Herself and Noleen Lynam took part in a charity race in Co Limerick to support their fellow Operation Transforamtion Leader Claire Scanlan. It was a 10km run in aid of Croí and Lucy managed to knock an impressive 8 minutes off her previous time to finish in 1 hour 7 minutes. “I was thrilled with the fact that I didn’t stop jogging at all, there was a point at around the 6k mark where I would have stopped to walk but I met another girl in the same boat and we both encouraged each other to keep going”.
Lucy felt good after the race but it was a different story on the 3 hour drive down! She has recently started a weights training programme in her gym and although had done a leg day two or days beforehand her muscles were still very sore and stiff.
The dreaded ‘DOMS’ had kicked in – this is described as delayed onset muscle soreness and although Lucy had trained 2 days before the race the soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. If anything it was a good lesson for Lucy and for anyone who is planning to run the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. Take a break from leg training especially in the days leading up to the event. However if you have been building your leg strength by doing squats, lunges and other lower body weight exercises – it should pay off and help with your stamina, speed and endurance on June 6th.
Since the race in Limerick Lucy has decided to take her foot off the pedal slightly. Her daughter Molly was keeping her busy as her sleeping pattern was out of sync. Lucy felt over tired and lethargic so took a step back from training to rest. I assured her that this is fine especially when we feel exhausted there is no point in over doing it – let yourself recover and get back into exercise as soon as you feel ready.
Now that she is recovered Lucy is slowly easing back into her fitness again but won’t need to cover the long distance in the lead up to the event. She has no big plans for the Bank Holiday weekend as it will be nice to look forward to and be prepared for the race on the Monday.
One of the problems facing Lucy (and many other beginner runners) when she started was taking control of her breathing. “When I look back at the first week of Operation Transformation when I did my first Park Run 5km, my breathing was so heavy and loud. It’s a different story now though it is so much calmer and controlled”.
Asked whether she thinks she will keep up the 10k distance after the mini marathon or go back to 5km Lucy said “ that’s a good question, I went through a moment of madness recently and thought about signing up for the Dublin Half Marathon in September. Realistically though it is a lot of commitment and I think I would like to keep up the 5km runs and perhaps do the odd 10km”.
Lucy said that commiting to Team Herald has definitely helped her to keep up running “I have really enjoyed it, if I hadn’t set the goal I may not have kept it up. It proves that long term goals are very important”.
Lucy is also sticking to her health eating plan and is continuing to lose weight. Her training has been consistent and her positive attitude will certainly help get her achieve her next goal on June 6th.