Diary – Entry 1 By Alison Curtis Today FM
I first ran the Womens Mini Marathon in 2009 and at the time I had been a bit of a gym bunny but certainly not a runner. But like most things in life when I decided I would run the half marathon I took to training with gusto! Thankfully I live in an area that is close to a great stretch along the Irish sea and I was also able to mark my progress well with familiar landmarks and each week I would see an improvement in how far I could run without stopping.
On the day the feeling of being part of something so big and so important was overwhelming. I loved the comradery, I loved the excitement and encourgagement from fellow joggers and those lined up along the streets of Dublin. I will always remember the feeling of seeing the finish line and crossing it. I was so proud of myself and friends I was running with I forgot to take note of our time, but who cares! I also remember being on such a high for the rest of the day. It was a physical buzzing that literally went through my body like electricity.
I think this, the buzz, is what the women’s mini marathon does to everyone who takes part. It is an actual journey from the moment you decide to run it to the moment you cross that finish line with so many steps in between.
Whether you decide to run to get fit or do it to be part of a group or to raise funds for a charity close to your heart. It is all positive. You are doing it for all the right reasons and there are so many good things that come from it.
A few weeks ago on my Today FM programme a wonderful woman named Joan Brady came on to talk about the fact that she has taken part in every single WMM since it began in the 80’s. She is part of an elite group of 19 women who have done the same. As you can imagine she had so many incredible stories to share about her experiences over the years but the one thing she said that really stood out to me was this; taking part in the Women’s Mini Marathon and training for the event for many women is about talking. Getting out of the house and talking to another group who become a support system. She told this one story about a woman years ago who was going through a rough time with a break up, Joan invited her to come out walking and jogging with her group, and years later she ran into this woman who told her that that experience helped her get her life on to a whole new path.
And I thought about Joan and all the other women who take part every year when I put on my runners and leggings for the first time in years. I wasn’t particularily looking forward to it to be honest, it was a long inner dialogue about when to start training and talking myself into just doing it. But once I finished my first run I started to think about the next one and plan when I would train again. I am into week 3 of training and loving it. I will admit there are times when I still have that inner dialogue of just get out there and do it. And I still hate wearing leggings and worry about what I look like from behind with a post baby body but feck it!
I will keep you posted on my progress and want to wish everyone else planning to take part the very best of luck. We can do it!