Reflection…The year has run away on me…

So as my SFM ambassador-ship is nearing to a close, I have been reflecting on my experience, growth and what I’ve learned. 

First of all I have been M.I.A from blogging for a good few weeks now, explanation; planning a wedding, ultra training and life and balancing it all, kinda left me no room for sharing all my knowledge and quirks with you….but I am back on track now.

As SFM is closely approaching – June 16th, there is still time to sign up for some distance so get on it everyone, you will not regret it. Throughout this year and being given this opportunity to represent one of the most amazing races in the USA, has left at many times in awe of all the people I meet and stories I listen too. I feel grateful to have been chosen and would like to thank everyone at SFM for this opportunity. It has been wonderful.

So here are a few things I have taken away from this running year and my capacity as a SFM ambassador. I definitely learned about the business end of racing and exactly what it takes to make this one day June 16th happen, and all race days. So much behind the scenes happens, its because of many people not one, and that is something I have taken into everyday life too, many people make my life…not just one..not just me.

You need to be honest with people and not be afraid to give them an honest answer, whether they are a stranger or friend, its not always worth it to be ‘nice’. I have had to tell people/person/etc to be more realistic with their goals and acknowledge how much time they have and how much time they are willing to dedicate to training. Its not to discourage people to aim high, thats not it, however putting too much pressure on yourself and not putting in enough work or not allowing yourself enough time can lead to DNF or just an all round terrible race experience.

So I think I definitely learned to be honest with people and positively reinforce and help them create realistic goals giving the time frame and desired end goal. Some adjustment is not always a bad thing and I reached from my own experiences too. So I feel all the opportunities I got to run and help others train has been so amazing.

I learned to have a greater respect and love for the ‘smaller race’. Less bling, less media blah blah but they are just as important and as great an experience as the larger races. Its important to remember the ‘little guy’ –  another element I have taken into other areas of my life.

Ultra training has gotten easier-thank god, the back to back runs are paying off and I feel more fit than I ever have. I have re learned the art of ‘taking a break’ and ‘letting my body recover’, well for the most part!!And also I have continued to see everyday that training and work does pay off so don’t give up.

I have met so many wonderful people and embraced so many wonderful running stories on my own journey this year. 

I learned tonnes of new recipes thanks everyone and I developed new ways to fuel. I got my first running vest which is my pride and joy I have a lovely Ireland badge on the back of it, thanks mum and dad!

All in all this year has been a whirlwind and has literally ‘ran away’ on me. But its been great.

Good luck to everyone racing SFM this year, especially my Paul as its his first half marathon and I know he is gona do amazing, good luck babe. Don’t forget to taper!And see you all at the finish line, run strong, run hard and be happy.xxx

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The night before…..tips.

Here are some tips for the night before your big race;

1. Set up all your gear and lay it out so its ready to go and you can clearly see if your missing something

2. Check that your watch is fully charged and ready to go, if it needs charging or batteries etc.

3. Eat well and normal during the day before, don’t try to over carbo load, theres really no need, just eat til your full and eat little and often the day before. There is no need to eat yourself sick with pasta. TOO much over loading can result in alot of OFF loading come race morning.

4. Stay hydrated, but do not drown yourself with water, so to speak, drink often but no need to exaggerate this motion either.

5. Avoid alcohol

6. Don’t try new foods or drinks the day before, stick with what has been tried and tested for you… by you.

7. Trim toenails

8. I would avoid a massage the day before, just try and loosen up and stay rested. Don’t be on your feet standing for too long.

9. Although excitement may set in the night before try and get to bed early, even if you cant fall asleep, lying down is still preserving energy and resting.

10. Set 2 alarms

11. Look over the course one last time and be familiar with how to get to start etc.

12. Check the weather one last time and judge what you need to wear or take, taking into account the time you estimate to finish at. 

I like to attach my bib the night before and my timing chip, if I have them already. I also pack everything and fill everything and try it all on to make sure it fits well and change anything I need to. BUT I am a perfectionist, everyone finds their own little ways to do things. These are just a few tips I though may help you in your prep.

 

Happy running and good luck in all the races.