The run-up to my first timed race was nerve-wracking enough, but coming down with bronchitis two weeks before the Limerick Women’s Mini Marathon was really not part of the plan. After spending most of the previous two weeks in bed coughing and wheezing instead of getting in my final training runs, I was quite worried about even being able to finish the race, let alone finish it in a decent time. The most annoying part of this was that before getting sick, I was quite confident of being able to easily run the 8km in under 50 minutes.
Alas… it was not to be. The race kicked off at 3pm from the running track in the University of Limerick. There was a Zumba warm-up beforehand but I arrived too late to participate in that, so I ended up having to jog on the spot on the track to warm up. On such a surprisingly cold day, I should have done a longer warm-up.
The route was quite pleasant- from the UL Arena to the industrial park nearby, through Castletroy and then around UL’s campus back to the Arena. All in all, a very pleasant and enjoyable route, but it still took me a while to settle into my running rhythm.
My chest infection had finally lifted a few days before the race but even during the race, I still struggled with my breathing. I had to stop and walk several times during the run to catch my breath and even had to take a puff of my inhaler at one stage. That eventually settled and I was able to enjoy the rest of the run, and at 5km, I was pleasantly surprised to look at my stopwatch and see it had only taken me 30 minutes to get that far.
Just before the 7km mark, I tripped and fell, which completely threw off my running pace again and I struggled over the finish line to finish in 52.09. While I was disappointed not to finish it in under 50 minutes, I was impressed that I managed to finish the race comfortably. I’m also managed to raise €200 for the Irish Cancer Society so I’m also pretty chuffed with that!
And here’s my lovely self looking for the finish line by Loren Harnett…