|One of the most rewarding aspects of our job is witnessing how our students and coaches continually inspire eachother. This is Eimear’s story. The running journey is not always easy, and Eimear is motivated by our coach Aoife’s Story when she has her challenging days|
I saw Aoife at the parkrun at Griffeen at the weekend. Please pass on my appreciation and thanks to her for being my inspiration. Its nice to know even the people who make it look easy struggle from time to time.
I started my first course with ForgetTheGym in January 2012 on a very cold and wintery night in Sandymount. Ill never forget Mary saying that if you ran that night you will always run. I dont mind saying now I really didnt believe her. Similar to Aoife I was 5.3 and 15st 7 – dangerous for me as I have a tendency towards high blood pressure and a history of diabetes in the family. At that stage the running was really difficult even the small times. I did the first eight weeks and did my 30 minute run. I was thrilled! I remember saying that I felt I could run beyond the 30 minutes that day!!
I did the 5km with Ray D’Arcy in the park which was a challenging run for me. I then did the Improvers FunRun 8 Week Term with ForgetTheGym and even at that stage I wasnt convinced I was cut out for this running lark. I was always last. I was finding it very difficult to run on my own so I joined Le Cheile Athletic Club, Leixlip in Leixlip primarily as a means of social interaction but also as a means to keep fit. I did the 10km Race Series in Swords that summer and I swore as I did that race that I was done. I wasnt doing any more. After that my training took a major dip and I made every excuse not to go training.
Just after Christmas I got a message from a friend who was starting a Couch to 5k Programme and was I interested in doing it? I saw it as my sign and started doing the programme. I graduated with a new vim and vigour. I completed the 5km with Ray again this year with no adverse effects. I also did the Flora Womens Mini Marathon in a respectable enough time. I compete in club races and as recent as last Saturday I started the Parkrun in Griffeen Valley Park, Lucan with a view to getting my 5km time down as much as I can – not for anyone but myself. I also plan to run the Docklands race soon.
I think I’ve definitely been bitten by the bug. The first realisation of this was last wednesday night when I missed my training session and got drowned in the rain cos I went for a run because I was feeling guilty. Madness. I’m also taking a weekly Pilates class to strengthen my core – who would have thought?
Its now that people are beginning to notice the change. Even though I’m now down to 13st 13 (and still with more to lose) I feel so much better. Like Aoife I still finish my races and even my normal runs with a big red sweaty face. I still sometimes comment how big I am by comparison to some of the other runners I see. But like I was told by the gang at ForgetTheGym (and also some of my fellow club runners) once you run, you’re a runner irrespective of size!!!
I have committed now to running a half marathon in Spain with my brother in March next year to coincide with my nieces first birthday. This is a big challenge considering I still struggle most of the days I run. But I have taken the Chi Running Workshopand practice it every time I run and I’ve also enlisted the help of some very experienced club members to help me train over the next ten months.
Click here to read Aoifes Story which has inspired Eimear so much.