In the space of just over twelve hours, I’ve completed a trio of important firsts, and I feel that this deserves a blog post! Firstly, at 7.30pm yesterday (Friday 9th) I ran the Portlaw 5, went to the Dungarvan Darkness into Light walk at 4am, and finished it all off with an invigorating swim in Clonea to baptise my new wetsuit. In between, I grabbed a few hours shut-eye, and several hours good sound sleep after midday!
The Portlaw 5 mile event was very well organised. Very thoughtfully, the organisers Carrick AC
had us running downhill for the first mile, and this contributed in no small way to my PB time 43:55, beating my previous best by nearly two minutes. However, I am going to give myself some credit for this, as I gave it socks all the way round, finishing well satisfied with my efforts.Then, onwards home in very heavy rain after delicious food & coffee provided by the organisers. My goal now is to lose about ten pounds in an all-out assault on a possible season best in July or August. I’m taking bets on 42:00, to complete my first full season running.
I arrived home to further heavy rain and got a few hours sleep (interrupted by a mini-dream of running 41:00 later in the summer). On then to event two: my family & friends descended on St. Augustine’s College for the 2014 Darkness into Light
walk at 3:30am, and to listen to Conor Cusack speak about the importance of seeking help when one’s mental and emotional state requires it. Help is out there, quite often from a close friend or family member; but it is important to take the brave step of unmasking and being somewhat vulnerable. Furthermore, Conor spoke of the duty we have to be aware of the small signs that a friend or acquaintance is trying to reach out for help, and perhaps just on the verge of being unable to so so. And then we walked the 5k route back to Abbeyside, returning along the beautiful Deise Greenway
to Barnawee and a cup of hot coffee at Duckspool. The dawn had come, and ready we were to face a new day! I felt the great solidarity that comes with being part of something so important, something bigger than myself, a symbolic gesture of commitment to the aims of Pieta House and those persons who my need to avail of the help they provide. I am conscious that I am not immune from such a situation, as should we all. For tonight, I was grateful to be able to lend my moral support to this wonderful cause, so much so that when I arrived home just after 6am I resolved to write about it and share my thoughts. It is this sharing of thoughts and words that is helping to lessen considerably the stigma once associated with suicide and mental illness here in Ireland. In this respect many thousands of people and several good organisations are to the forefront in encouraging a cultural sea-change. I’m thinking specifically of the Cycle Against Suicide
group who are nearing the end of the massive 14-day, 1400km circuit of Ireland, speaking to teenagers at every stop along the way. Shoulder to Shoulder…
Two down, one to go. So, after a further few short hours of sleep, I embarked upon my first sea-swim with Tried & Tested Triathlon Club
at Clonea. Blustery conditions awaited us for our dip at 10:30am, but in no way lessened our enjoyment of the time in the waves. There was very little swimming, because of the rough conditions, but I succeeded in baptising my new wet-suit, and had lots of fun in the process.
Home. Food. Sleep. Feet up. Tomorrow the Giro d’Italia arrives in Dublin and I have every intention of being there with my pink wig!
Footnote: Yes, the pink wig got another outing as the Giro d’Italia came to Dublin.
|Feet stuck to the road
|Picture copyright @FriaryCollege