Running with an Idea by @roisinmeaney

15:42


Running with an Idea


I was always a walker. From the time we could put one leg in front of another without falling over, my mother, an avid walker, would take us with her when she went on her rambles, and we all grew up with the habit ingrained into us. We used to spend our summer holidays in the house in the middle of nowhere in County Clare that my father inherited from his parents, and I have vivid memories of us tramping the grass-in-the-middle roads that rarely saw a car, the older kids (me among them) almost running to keep up with my mother as she wheeled the younger ones (one baby, two or three toddlers) in an ancient pram.



The walks seemed to last forever – mother had a lot of energy – and we went out in all weathers, so a fair few memories come complete with rain dripping from the end of my nose as I splashed in whatever puddles I encountered. Happy days, with a clutch of happy tired children at the end of them.

But while I would have regarded walking as my exercise of choice growing up, over the years I would also have flirted with running, I suppose just to ring the changes a little. These interludes would generally be short-lived, and would involve me and whatever pal I managed to rope in making our tottery, red-faced, gasping way around whatever green space was closest to us. We’d last two or three sessions before one of us would find an appointment that prevented the next run from happening, and that would be that for another few months.

I had some modest success for a few years in my twenties, when I was teaching in Dublin. I managed somehow to persevere with my runs until I was able to tackle the 10 kilometres that made up the Ladies’ Mini Marathon a few times. I would finish on the point of collapse, and vow never again – and then eight months later off I’d go, working my way up to it again.

When I left Dublin for a job in Limerick I left running behind too – until last year, after a running hiatus that had lasted for several years, I decided for whatever reason to give it another go – and this time, to make myself keep it up, I registered to run the half-marathon in the Great Limerick Run, which takes place annually in May. I can hear you laughing from here, and I can’t blame you. Registering for a half-marathon, with my track record (literally) was the height of lunacy, right? Right. Needless to say I’d given up my pathetic training attempts long before the run happened, and I kissed my registration fee goodbye. That was it, I thought. No more running for me; walking all the way.

And then something happened. Well, nothing happened really, apart from a niggling feeling that wouldn’t go away, a dissatisfaction that kept prodding at me. You wimp, it said. You failed – and finally, to shut it up, in November I made contact with a man whom I knew only by reputation. We were Facebook friends, and he often posted running-related messages that made it perfectly clear that he had a passion for the thing. Turn me into a runner, I demanded – and by golly, he did. He has.

He sets me weekly running schedules that started with three and four mile runs, four times a week, and now, three months later, I’ve graduated to five and six times a week, and my schedules involve runs of up to eight miles. By some miracle, I’ve managed to stick to the schedules – I think I’ve only missed two runs since November, due to various aches and pains, but in general I’ve been a very good girl indeed. I’ve registered for and run three official runs so far, a five miler and two 10ks, and I’ve once again registered for the Great Limerick Run half marathon on May 2.

I can’t honestly say that I enjoy the runs – I still regard them as a bit of an endurance test – but the feeling of achievement when I finish one is pretty good. And running is a brilliant antidote to writing – it’s pretty much its polar opposite, and it also provides a great opportunity to toss a few ideas around as I tramp the roads, trying not to look too much as if I’m on the point of cardiac arrest. I always run with music, but I’ve learnt how to let it settle into the background as I wrestle with a tricky plot point, or struggle with an awkward character.

So it’s a win-win. If you happen to live in Limerick, or happen to be visiting it on May 2, look out for me as I cross the finish line of the Great Limerick Run. I’ll be the one with the happiest smile plastered on my sweaty red puss.





A huge thank you to Roisin for taking the time out to write this great post for Go Book Yourself.


Her new novel "Two Fridays in April" in available now!

Click HERE to add it to your goodreads shelf

Click HERE to buy on Amazon


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1 comment:

  1. As someone who has an on/off relationship with running, I loved reading this :)

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