When did you join Sportsworld?
The end of August 2016
Where do you work?
Beauty Therapist in the city centre
What is your favourite club session?
I love the track sessions but I don’t get to do them too often as I work Saturdays. I always like when I see hills sprints on the board in the winter because it’s nice and short. I strangely also enjoy the 600s+800s session down by the dodder. It’s a tough session but I always feel great once it’s done and it’s great for improving your speed. I’m only really down at the club session on a Tuesday night as I work late on a Thursday and Saturdays. Tuesdays is a great session, it’s always some kind of speed work which would be very hard to do on your own. I try to emulate the other sessions on my own then from the training sheet Emily+Myles do up each month.
What is your favourite race distance?
I like the shorter races definitely. Anything over 10km is too long for me. I think 5km is my favourite and I like the 1500m on the track too but haven’t really a clue how to run them anymore but I’m learning as I go.
What is your favourite meal before a big race?
If it’s a morning race I’ll just have porridge with strawberries, honey and chia seeds. And a big carb dinner the night before maybe pasta. If it’s an afternoon race there’ll probably be eggs + toast thrown in there too. An evening race then I could literally eat anything on top of the above. I have a bit of a reputation for eating a lot before a race; I can’t run on an empty stomach. You’ll usually see me with a few squares of dairymilk and a banana shortly before a race. I have also been known to eat a mars bar or two before an evening race-Dunshaughlin and Docklands races are awful late!!!
My Favourite place to train is?
I love the long run in the Phoenix Park on a Sunday morning. It is gorgeous over there and it’s a great chance to catch up with other club mates that I might not necessarily get to chat to during the Tuesday session. Then brekkie in the visitors centre afterwards- Sunday morning sorted.
What’s your favourite race?
I really enjoyed the Raheny 5mile earlier this year. The course is good, flat + fast, and there’s such a big crowd in the race that you are never running on your own. It also seems to attract a lot of Sportworlders so it’s a nice club day out. The 3pm start suits me too because not mad about morning races.
What is your target for the next year?
At the start of this year I set myself 3 targets.
1) Sub 40 for 10km
2) Sub 19 for 5km
3) Sub 5 for 1500m.
So far I’ve ticked off the first 2 so I need to get the track one sorted this summer hopefully. I’m surprising myself at the moment how well my running is going so I guess I just want to try stay injury free, keep the little niggles at bay and hopefully continue to improve.
What is your best Sportsworld memory?
Ah this is a tough one. I love the club and everything it offers. Being part of the Sportsworld girls’ team through the cross country season has to be up there as the best. Let’s be honest nobody really likes the race part of the day, it’s always horrible running around a mucky field and is always the toughest races you will ever run but being part of such great teams and running alongside such talented girls just gets you round the course. After all the success that the girls had in the 2016 cross country season my aim was to improve and be a more useful member of the team in the 2017 season. Winning the Novice National Club Team Gold last December was the best felling. It felt like we were working towards it all year. I was so hyped up for that race then such disappointment with my own performance on the day. We didn’t even think we had medalled at all. Getting that call in the dressing rooms of WIT to say we had won the gold was the best moment. We were jumping around like crazy women. It was a great day with a great bunch of girls.
Can’t skip this question without mentioning the famous Lanza trip. What a week we had last November in sunny La Santa. I made so many new friends in the club; we ran our asses off and partied pretty good too. It was the best fun. Would definitely recommend anyone who is interested to give it a go…it won’t disappoint.
Lastly I have to throw in my little track race with Catherina McKiernan (an absolute Legend in the running world, and one of my idols along with Sonia growing up) earlier in the year. It was only a bit of fun-one of those indoor miles over in the National Arena. I hadn’t been at the indoors since the good old days back in the cowshed in Nenagh in my teens so it was a novelty to be taking part. There was a bit of confusion in the race itself, and I ended up leading the runners into an extra lap with a sprint off with Catherina up the home straight. It was some buzz, and the commentator was brilliant, you couldn’t have set it up better, and to top it all off there’s a video of it all. A great memory to look back on.
What international events have you ran?
Just the International Race Challenge in Lanzarote November 2017.
Where’s the most interesting place you have run?
Because I’ve only really taken back up running in the last two years I don’t have anything too interesting here. I’ve travelled all around the world but wasn’t running at the time so this one I’ll have to work on.
Wheres the most interesting place you have been?
Three years ago I went travelling around Peru and Bolivia for a month on my own. It was an amazing trip. The highlight probably was the 4 day hike on the Inca Trail finishing up at Machu Picchu.
What do you like doing when you don’t run? (hobbies/past times)
Being from Tipp I’m a massive hurling fan. My Grandad was the President of the GAA back in the late sixties so there was and still is a strong GA tradition in my Mams family. We were reared with everything hurling. I never went anywhere without a hurl in my hand. I played myself for years before I had to give it up. I try to get to as many of the Tipp games as I can now. (Writing this as Tipp just got knocked out of the championship….in bloody June….it’s going to be a quiet summer).
How/When did you start your adventure with running?
I ran down home in Tipp with my local club in Moneygall, St.Flannans A.C until the age of 18. We were a big Cross Country club and I use to love our Sunday outings to different parts of the country to take part in races. We trained in hilly farmers’ fields all through the winter. In the summer then we trained in the hurling field There was a strong team element in the club but as I got into my teenage years most of my peers ventured on to different paths. I pretty much just trained myself then on my own or with one or two other girls until I was 18. I ran fairly competitively in cross country and on the track too, doing the 800m + 1500m. I loved it but found it quite lonely without a team behind me anymore. I couldn’t really continue to run and play camogie at a high level so being from quite a strong GAA family I decided to concentrate on camogie and see where that could lead me. Unfortunately at 19 I got diagnosed with Stargardts disease which is basically a degeneration of your central vision. This meant I could no longer play hurling. I then ruptured my Achilles tendon, and after over a year recovering from this I felt it was too late to get back to the running (seems like a ridiculous thing to think now). So I pretty much did very little exercise throughout my twenties. Then in 2016, after a 12 year absence I decided to try get back to it again. It’s only now that I’m back in the swing of things that I realise really what a gap that left in my life through my twenties.
The ladies in my family and I had been taking part in the Mini Marathon for the past few years but in 2016 I decided I wanted to try run it, see if I still could so in May that year I decided to go out jogging. I entered the Terenure 5 Mile road race as I lived in the locality and knew the charity they were supporting that year. I struggled around the 5 mile route but I just loved the whole experience. The setup was so professional, the stewards were so lovely and friendly and there was just a lovely atmosphere around the whole event so I decided that day that I would try to join that club. It took me three months to get the courage to make that first trip to Bushy Park but I’ve never looked back.
I think I joined Spoertsworld at a great time. There was such a buzz around the girls and the upcoming cross country season so I naively decided to jump straight in with the group to take part in the numerous xc races. I wasn’t much use to the team at the time but you were part of it. The whole team element sucked me in. It didn’t matter where you came in the race you were part of the team. Some of the girls upfront were just phenomenal runners and that season Sportsworld ladies won gold team medals across the board in both Novice and Intermediate Level -County, Leinster and National. Seeing this success gave me a massive appetite to improve. I wanted that same success the following winter. Also the Meet+Train races that season were really beneficial for me. They helped me a lot with gaining more experience and building my confidence along the way. They were a little less serious too so we had a good laugh at them. Being able to take part in these races and the championships races meant I got to mix with so many different people in the club and has set me up with such a broad group of friends throughout the club, for this I feel very lucky.
Tell us about your PB’s / What is your biggest achievement?
My PBS have come down a lot just in the past month really. Since joining the club I’ve knocked over 7 and half minutes off my 10km time and 4 minutes off my 5km time. I didn’t join the club as a good runner. It has taken me a long time and a lot of hard work to get to where I’m at the moment. I never thought I’d ever break 45minutes for a 10km let alone 40minutes. It just shows how good the club training is and running with people of similar ability to improve you. The encouragement from fellow clubmates is so important and I’m learning all the time. I think my biggest achievement is actually just getting back into running again after such a long absence. I really never imagined I would so for this I am most proud.
1500m- 5.04min -Graded Meet Santry June 2018
5km- 18.41 Streets of Dublin 5km May 2018 –although strava tells me 18.15…I’ll take either J
10km- 38.32 Women’s Mini Marathon Dublin June 2018
5 Mile- 30.13 Raheny 5mile Jan 2018
What is your biggest non-running related achievement?
Winning County Finals with my home camogie club Moneygall over the years were always great achievements especially for such a small club. Also playing camogie in the Blue+Gold for my County from underage right up through to Intermediate level will always be something I can look back on and be proud of.
How often do you run / What is your typical weekly mileage?
Its gas how much this has changed over the past 12 months. When I joined the club first I literally did the Tuesday club session and that was it. I really was very naive as to how hard people actually trained. Slowly over time more days crept in. Now when I’m injury-free I run on average 5 days a week. Currently trying to introduce the 6th day. To be honest if I thought I could get away with it injury free I’d run all the time but I’m very prone to calf issues and shin splints so I have to be very careful. On a good week I do between 50-60km. Since joining the club I have not made it past 12weeks without picking up some kind of injury and being side-lined for a few weeks. I’m currently on my longest stint of being reasonably injury free at the moment (14weeks), I’m nearly afraid to say it out loud, so everything crossed that continues.
What motivates you? Running or otherwise
I love the sense of achievement after a race. You always want to be better. To improve on your last result. I’m definitely my own biggest competitor.
What would you say is the best thing about being in a Running Club?
The people I have met. The friends I’ve made is definitely the best thing about the club. I love all the social side of it. Just meeting up with everyone at training, having the chats and the banter, it’s like my little Dublin Family. I’m always so late home from training on a Tuesday evening. I go to leave so many times but then I bump into someone else and started chatting again. But shur that’s what I love about being down the club.
What made you join a Running Club?
I wanted to have a hobby again and maybe make some new friends. Funnily enough the running aspect wasn’t too high on my list back then. I missed the sense of being part of a team and also felt that I had been lazy for way too long.
What was your first day at the Club like?
I remember being very scared of walking into the clubhouse and knowing no one. Myles was the first person I met. So he got straight down to business and asked me the relevant running questions. I told him the time I had done in The Women’s Mini two months previous thinking I was great and his reply was “ah yeah we’ll get that down a bit”. There was me thinking my 46minutes was unreal. I know I never stop talking now but believe it or not I’m actually very shy in new surroundings so I didn’t talk too much to anyone and I was a bit intimidated by the whole thing but I will always remember Aine Kelly coming over to talk to me and filling me in about the goings on and just being really friendly. It helped me relax a little and I went home that evening saying I’ll defo be back.
Why is running important to you?
Ah it’s just great. You can throw on a pair of runners and just head out on the roads. It has opened up such a new life for me in the past almost 2 years. It’s great for the mind and a de-stressor after a long day in work. It keeps me fit and healthy and gives me a focus.
Is there anything you would like to see more of or less of at the Club?
Nothing major. I think the club setup is get. I don’t think we know the half of all the work people put in behind the scenes on a voluntary basis but it is much appreciated. I think the club has a great mix of a relaxed, fun atmosphere but also the serious aspect if you want it. I would maybe like to see a little more education on injury prevention and appropriate strength + conditioning.
Who is the person in the club who inspires/drives to run better?
Ah it has to be Emily and Myles. They give up so much of their time to train us week in week out. They give everything to the club and are great for advice and encouragement. I got the same time and attention from them when I first joined the club as I do today and this is a credit to how well they treat everyone no matter what your running ability.
Myles is famous for his knowledge of every single person’s name in the club and when you’re running a race you can hear his voice roaring you on echoing all around the course. He’s good for advice and is always so encouraging no matter what you do and he’s not afraid to tell you when you need to do better either.
Emily is just so passionate about running and her love for it is infectious. She just makes you want to run, to run better, to do better. She loves cross country and is all about the team whether you’re in the first four runners home or the 10th for the team…she just loves the club. I think this aspect really hooked me in at the start as this is how it was in my home club when I was young. You run for each other, she nearly runs the races through us. I tell you this though she’s a bloody hard woman to say no to, I think if she asked me to jump off a roof I nearly would at this stage!!!. Also she was an incredible athlete in her day and is so modest about her achievements; you have to depend on google for this information. Her advice to me has been invaluable.
All of us in Sportsworld are so lucky to have these two as our mentor, looking after us both on and off the running circuit
I won’t start naming others or I’d be here all day, and I’m sure ye’re all thinking this is bloody long enough as it but there are lots of people in the club who have helped me out in so many different ways with encouragement, advice, tips, lifts and lots more along the way and I am grateful for all of this.
Do you do any cross training / other sports on a regular basis?
No not really. I cycle to work about 4 days a week. Its only 5km each way but it’s something. I really do need to cop on and start doing some proper strength and conditioning work soon. It’s on the to-do list.
Tell us something that no one in the club knows about you!?
I think everybody knows everything about me after this 🙂