Emotions When Ultrarunning

Ultrarunner Carmen Byrne is carrying out a survey on emotions when ultra running, for a future article she is publishing. It is just 8 questions if you have a few minutes – I found it quite interesting to do! The article will be published in Ultra magazine.

Carmen is doing a PhD, and is interested in the relationship between mind and body.

Here is the link to the survey.



A Busy Weekend

Although I didn’t have any race this weekend, it was still a pretty busy one. I got up at the ungodly hour of 1:30am on Friday night/Saturday morning to help out Mazza and her team get Tralee Town Park ready for the Darkness into Light Walk. Mazza, who organised the decoration of the park did an amazing job, and Poshey did the people of Tralee a huge service by organising this event. I hope the town recognises his efforts in some way.

Once I had finished in the park, I headed home for a couple of hours of fitful sleep, before getting up again at 8:30am and heading back to the park to do the Tralee parkrun 5k with Lee. It was remarkable that there was no sign of all the activity the night before – kudos to the work of all the volunteers.

I had a reasonably alright parkrun – I still had some stiffness from a tough strength and conditioning session on Thursday night, and I was tired before I started, knowing that this was only the first of two runs for the day, so I was happy enough with a 28:53, all things considered. Lee finished well ahead of me for a 27:43, and was happy to beat the old man again.

After the parkrun I headed back home, and just had time to change into fresh running gear before heading out for a tough, hilly 8 miler with Catherine. I knew this was probably not going to be easy, what with the lack of sleep, and having already done a 5k beforehand, but even so, it rocked me a bit! For the first time in a long, long time, Catherine discovered she was able to leave me behind on the hills, as I simply didn’t have the energy in my legs. We climbed the brutal Tonevane hill in the first half of the run, and there were moments I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep going. I stuck it out however, and was glad to get such a tough test under my belt. I was in bits in the last mile or two before we finished, and the Rugby Club Hill never felt so long!

top of tonevane
Feeling the burn on top of Tonevane Hill!

Sunday was a bit more relaxed, as my eldest son Adam made his confirmation, so the only exercise I got was overeating!

Adam Confirmation
Adam, The Rt. Rev’d Kenneth Kearon, Lee, Catherine, and me.

All in all, a tough weekends training, that hopefully will stand to me over the next few weeks – I am well behind schedule for my seasons 100k training, so I need a few more of these weekends!

I think I will do the Lakes of Killarney Marathon next week to see where my fitness is – I got a PB there last year, but don’t think I’ll be repeating that feat this year.


Darkness into Light Walk for Pieta House

The annual Darkness into Light 5k Walk, which raises funds for Pieta House, is coming to Tralee this Saturday, May 7th. The walk, which crosses the line just as dawn is breaking, is held at over 100 venues, on four continents, and attracted well over 100,000 people last year. The funds raised helped Pieta House assist those who are in suicidal distress, or engaging in self harm.

The Tralee event is the work of the tireless Colin Ahern, who last year organised the Walk for Life. Colin (or Poshey as he is known to most people) has put in a huge amount of work to the event, and deserves enormous credit.

There is still time to register for the Tralee event, and the registration details are below. I hope to see you there!

DiL registration dates

DiL Walk Map

Running, Walking, and Training.

It’s been quite a weekend of running for me – on Saturday I ran the Walk 4 Life (yeah, I know it was a walk, but why walk when you can run?), and, for the first, and probably only, time in my life, I finished in third place – okay, it wasn’t really a race, and, out of the hundreds that did it, perhaps 10 at most ran it, but I don’t care – I came third, dammit, and that’s all there is to it. It was a great ego boost to an old guy like me too, that I was probably at least 20 years older than anyone else that ran it. When your victories are rare, you take all you can from them.

The event itself was an amazing experience, and a huge amount of credit is due to the organisers, Lorraine and Poshey. The event was very well attended, and the facilities were top class. They have done a great service to raise awareness of suicide, and to encourage people to speak openly if they need help – well done guys.
If you would like to donate to the 5 charities Walk 4 Life supported (Pieta house, Jigsaw Kerry, Aware, Kerry Peer Support Network and Be Aware! Prevent Suicide) you can find details on their Facebook page here.

Here’s some video of the event:

On Sunday morning I was due to do a 15 mile run with the 100k training group, but decided to postpone it until later in the day, due to a combination of laziness, and my son having football training.

I set off on my own at lunchtime, and, in one of my frequent fits of madness, decided to include the Short Mountain in the run – because, you know, 15 miles in the heat isn’t enough punishment.

Sweaty and sunburnt on top of the Short Mountain
Sweaty and sunburnt on top of the Short Mountain

It was certainly a testing training run – as well as the Short Mountain, I also ran Farmers Bridge hill at the end – another tough hill. I ran out of water halfway through, but luckily was able to drop into Brian ‘O Se for a top up (and a minute or two of a rest!). I made it home exhausted but happy, as I felt it was a good achievement at this stage of my training. Afterwards, I had to go straight to a football match to watch my son play, something my legs definitely didn’t appreciate.

A good weekend, and a good basis for moving forward with training.