Tricia’s Causeway Coast Half-Marathon
For about the past year (if not secretly before) I’ve been mentally gearing up to doing my first half-marathon at the Causeway Coast (Northern Ireland) on 26 September.
I hardly wanted to say it out loud as it seemed too big a commitment, but I gradually started to do a bit more running. At that point I had just been doing my local parkrun (5k) most weeks, on and off (!) over the previous 18 months. I also joined a local running club, although I didn’t really class myself as a runner. I knew that I’d need more support and advice to be able to work effectively towards the goal.
The initial inspiration came from my brother, Mike, who has become a phenomenal runner in South Africa, and had just completed his first “Comrades” ultramarathon – 56 gruelling miles! He had hinted that maybe we could run a marathon together and thought that he might travel over to NI to run the Causeway Coast marathon. It planted the seed in my head, and although I still haven’t bought into doing a full marathon, I could imagine working towards a half-marathon. As it turned out, Mike wasn’t able to make it last September, and I wouldn’t have been ready to manage it anyway, but I started to think more seriously about being ready for next year, just in case! I also got the notion that if I was going to do this event, that I’d love to do it for Operation Orphan, the charity founded by our fabulous long-time friends, Brad and Cyrilyn Moore.
However, I wanted to be as sure as possible that I was going to be able to complete the event before mentioning anything to them regarding sponsorship, and to work towards it I entered my first 10k road race at the end of May – and I totally loved it! The next month I had opportunity to run a 5-mile ladies’ race and I loved it too! I looked up an online training plan for a half-marathon and was excited to start my 12-week training plan in July. A couple of weeks into the training I contacted Cyrilyn to tell her about my plan, she was delighted…and almost immediately my training hit a roadblock! I got a sore throat which took a long time to shake off as it started to develop into a fever, so I had to stop running. Aaghh! No, not now! After 3 weeks, when I started to feel like I was about ready to start running again I then took a spasm in my back! I never had experienced anything like it before – aaoww! But God is good, and I received more healing and after about a month of almost no running I’m getting back on track (literally!) and now have only a month to go! I’ll keep you posted…