With just days to go to the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, Mary and Sarah Jane Allen are feeling fit, healthy and ready to take on the challenge!
The mother and daughter from Co. Laois will be walking the 10km together on Monday representing Team Vhi & Herald along with Rachel and Isabel Brown from Blackrock in Dublin who will be jogging the route.
Since Sarah Jane completed her final year exams at UL she has more time to get out walking with her mum and they’ve increased the distance to around 8.5/9km while managing to maintain a good pace of under 1 hour 50 minutes so both are feeling confident about the June 5th goal.
Sarah Jane had been battling an ongoing knee pain caused by an old injury and it still causes her some upset “my knee has been a bit of a nuisance recently and I find I have to stop throughout the session to do some stretching - that usually relieves the tension”.
The 23 year old has been doing some work with resistance bands and finds doing the exercises before and after training definitely helps. She also makes sure to stretch afterwards to alleviate the pain.
No doubt the duo has been reaping the benefits of regular exercise since undergoing their training plan. Sarah Jane says the extra walking has improved her mental health greatly. “I suffer from anxiety and find that the fresh air and exercise calms me, I feel healthier also”.
Both ladies have also seen an improvement in their diet and have been making sure to eat a variety of foods including extra fruit and vegetables and carbohydrates and protein on the days that they are training. Their favourite breakfast, blueberry pancakes certainly helps with motivation!
Mary says the regular walking has given her an energy boost. Although her back is still causing some trouble it has certainly improved and her mobility is much better since taking up the training plan. The pace has also increased and Mary is much more able to keep up with her daughter now. They do tend to slow down for a few kilometres at a time but then up the pace to challenge themselves.
For the next few days Mary and Sarah Jane plan on allowing their bodies to relax and recover, they’ll do one last long walk on Friday but will take it easy on the weekend leading up to the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon.
“We have no fears for the day, we will just enjoy the whole experience as long as we make it to the finish line, that’s the main thing!” admits Sarah Jane who has an exciting summer of travel planned with trips to Germany and the US on the cards. It doesn’t mean she’ll pack in the walking though and is determined to take in new cities and countries. “It’s a free and relaxing way to keep fit and I plan on getting a lot of walking in on my trips to make sure I see the most of the beautiful cities”.
Mary and Sarah Jane Allen will be lining out alongside almost 35,000 other wonderful women in Dublin on Monday and they can be confident in the knowledge that they’ve put the hard work in. At this stage it’s about enjoying the day and soaking up the atmosphere, whatever your goal to run, walk or jog you can be proud to have made it across the line.