After an extremely busy few months for Rachel and Isabel Brown, the mother and daughter duo from Blackrock in Dublin finally completed their college exams- coincidentally on the same day.
Rachel who has been studying to become a Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor at UCD even managed to get a run in on the day she handed in her last assignment. “The sun was shining so I decided to make the most of it and ran around the grounds of the campus”. The mum of five has been running intervals of 6 minutes with a 1 minute walk in-between. “I started off slow but as I got into the rhythm, I began to feel good and completed a distance of 10km in around 62 minutes”.
Rachel says she still has slight tightness in her muscles after running, especially on her right side, but in preparation for the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon she has been trying to focus on strengthening her leg muscles, stretching and working on her core. This has definitely improved her overall running experience. “I consciously engage my stomach muscles while running and this really takes the strain off my lower back” she admitted.
20 year old Isabel was thrilled to make it through the exams after many long days and intense cramming. Having taken part in a 5km run together a few weeks ago, the ladies pushed a decent pace and covered the distance in around 30 minutes. This was an impressive achievement given the time of the morning (4am)!
Since then Isabel also took advantage of the recent sunny spell and completed a few short distance runs. “I can’t believe the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon has come around so soon, I’m buzzing for it and cannot wait to get to the starting line and get going!” she said.
Rachel, who’s a keen cyclist, has also continued training with her group and did another charity cycle covering 100km during Down Syndrome Ireland’s ‘Lap of the Gaps’ around Co Wicklow. Conditions were quite windy so her legs were feeling quite fatigued after the event, although that wasn’t enough to stop Rachel running 7km the following day! “I went out to celebrate with my friends after the cycle and decided to run back into town to collect my car on Sunday”.
With June 5th fast approaching the ladies are feeling very prepared and will continue with a small amount of cross training to ensure they are fresh for the big day. Isabel is still working out in the gym and trying to increase the weights in her power-lifting while Rachel plans on doing an easier cycle on the weekend of the June Bank Holiday. She knows the importance of rest on the body and hopes to get a few decent nights’ sleep in.
Before they took on the challenge of preparing for the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, both Rachel and Isabel were already quite fit and active but they would certainly like to continue running during the summer months and beyond. Rachel says she definitely finds it more of a challenge on her body but will be happy to perhaps concentrate on doing 5km and increasing the speed. “I would hate to give it up after all the hard work”.
Meanwhile Isabel who will be heading off to Australia for her Erasmus year can use her new found love of running as the perfect excuse to explore the outdoors.
Either way, they have thoroughly enjoyed the training over the past few months and have one last challenge to complete before the big day when we take on a trial route of the course next week. This should help ease any nerves about the event and will give us a good idea of what time goal the ladies can expect to aim for on June 5th.