Louise’s Marathon Story :
It was in March 2012 that I decided that I needed to be healthier and fit. My brother had just completed the Dublin Marathon the year previous so he had inspired me to try running. One evening after work I went out and ran for five minutes. To this day I can remember finishing feeling absolutely wrecked, my legs ached and in my head thinking how can I even run for even ten minutes. The I decided to sign up to my first run – Docklands 5km in June 2012. Walking up to the race that warm summers evening was scary, everyone looked like they knew what they were doing and I was there in a buddle of nerves. However I conquered my fears and finished the race in one piece. The sense of achievement that night was unreal.
I then joined Mary’s classes as I needed that extra push to keep me going. The classes (Beach fit and Strength and Speed) helped me a lot and in August 2012 to my absolute surprise I was the first woman to cross the finish line at the Midlands 5km race in Portlaoise. That year I worked up to the half marathon in the Dublin Marathon Series. In the space of a few months and constant support from Mary, Forget the Gym and all my new FTG friends I had made, I had completed a 21.1km run.Then came the biggest decision I have made in my running career, a post appeared Forget the Gym Facebook page about the Paris Marathon, I was tempted, then I wondered would I able to this, how would I cope. That moment I just decided I would bite the bullet and registered in November for the Paris Marathon.
I then signed up to Mary’s workshops which was the best decision ever.
January came and I conquered my first long run. It was one of the toughest runs I have done – nine miles in the Phoenix Park on a cold winters morning, but I finished it. From there I did most of my long runs in the park and one of the highlights was having cake, coffee and chatting with the group afterwards. To log my training I used Mary’s one page planner and planned my long runs for each weekend and what mid-week classes / runs I would do. I used to feel so proud filling in my long runs on the table. The workshops and constant support Mary gave through the marathon program really helped me from testing the gels, race day prep to expecting the unexpected happen on race day Soon without even realizing it I was on a plane to Paris ready to run my first Marathon. Walking to the Champs-Élysées that sunny Sunday morning is something I will never forget, and having the FTG girls with me was great. Finishing your first marathon is a feeling you will never forget, cherish that moment and the best thing is at the end of it you can share the moment with the group!!
I was only back from Paris and I signed up to the Dublin Marathon I had caught the running bug :)!
Looking back I have achieved a lot in the past two years which includes two marathons and I have not ruled out a third (I thought I would never say this). I have come from barely being able to run for five minutes to completing a marathon. I have through Forget the Gym travelled to Milan, Paris, Beaujolis and Limerick to run and I have already booked my trip to Beaujolais this year. It’s more than just a workshop or a class, I can say I have made lifelong friends through Forget the Gym.
If I have one piece of advice to anyone thinking of doing a marathon is to believe in yourself, be strong, not all of the marathon training is the actual running, it is about learning to be positive when you’re running, believing in yourself, you may have bad days running but that’s normal.
I always think of a saying Mary says in classes and workshops‘ I run because I can’. Dublin Marathon 2014 is waiting for you guys 🙂