Lisa Lord’s Dublin City Marathon Report

Lisa Lord’s Dublin City Marathon Report

(With thanks to Lisa for this inspiring report and congratulations on a fantastic debut over the distance.)

26 October 2015, DCM: “The next marathon I attend will be the one I’m running— DCM 2016!”

7 August 2016, Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon: “Never again!”

(“But,” said Sam and Geoff, “last year, you were the one who said DCM 2016…”

“I know,“ I replied. “But forget it. Never again!”)

9 August 2016: “Um, Paul, I signed up for the marathon today.”

I honestly meant it last year when I said I was doing the marathon. The success of Alan and Mick’s Believe, Achieve group had me longing to be running that day.

Then I had a lousy winter of running; my former motivation dwindled as the months dragged on. In the spring, Maria Reeves gently persuaded (ha ha!) Abbie Carrick and me to sign up for the R&R Half Marathon. I loved training with Maria and Abbie, but I moaned my way through those long miles, wanting them to be over.

I honestly meant it when I said, “Never again!” after that race. I was glad to be done with distance running. For 24 hours, as it turned out.

On Monday, Angela Connolly Egan posted: “I’m tired but still buzzing from yesterday. I just love it when a big group of us attend an event together.” Me too, I thought. And in that instant, the marathon was suddenly a possibility. After all, I was already halfway there (or so I thought). I signed up on Tuesday.

I wouldn’t have made it to the start line without the totally fabulous F4L marathon training group. Slogging around the park and city centre for hours in the drenching rain every weekend was somehow fun with this super cool group. We followed the weekly advice in Alan and Mick’s training emails to the letter. Fostering the kids out for two months did free up tons of training time, just as they promised. And thank you Geoff Hamilton—your #WillRunForCake plan carried me through those final weeks before the race.

There is nothing I can say about the race that hasn’t been said. The support all along the route was unbelievable, and it was a joy to run with my club mates through the crowds. It was also hard—very hard—to run for 26 miles. (Hey, Alan and Mick, you forgot to mention that.) But just as everyone says, when I was running down that home stretch, I felt like a rock star. The only thing I’d change about the day would have been for a few of the F4L runners who were sidelined by injury to have been running with us. (Also, a finishing time of under four hours would have been nice.)

The training wouldn’t have been possible without the support, encouragement, and understanding of the other runner in the house, my wonderful husband, Paul, who achieved another marathon PB this year (well done!), thanks in part to the support, encouragement, and understanding of his wonderful wife. We couldn’t do it without each other. Only another six marathons for me and we’re even.

Paul recently asked if anyone inspired me to run a marathon. I think the right answer was, “You, my darling,” and a better wife might have said that. But while Paul provides endless support, he’s out of my league as a runner (so far!). It was the first-timers like me that gave me hope, and in particular two special people stand out: my sister and two-time marathon finisher, Amie, and our own Vivienne Lennon (also a multiple marathoner), who has been our unofficial marathon coach in F4L over the past two years. Their debut marathon experiences made me so proud and planted the seed in my mind that maybe I could try it, too.

What I will remember most about this marathon is how much fun I had training and competing with my training partners, and how much support and encouragement there was from F4L and Seniors alike, for which I am so grateful. Though the marathon is not a team sport, I have felt part of a team from day one, and I’m absolutely thrilled for everyone who competed. If Ana has anything to do with it, we will be doing this again soon, and I hope she’s right.

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