This weekend I go to Finland to do a 24hour race. Anything over a marathon distance is considered as an 'ultra' marathon. A marathon distance is 26.2miles or 42.2km.
In a 24 hour race the objective is to cover as much distance as possible within that time. I am thankful to Allianz Ireland who have yet again shown me encouragement and belief by sponsoring my participation in this race. Thank you guys. Your continuous support means so much.
I am going to suffer during the race. I know I will. One of the hardest parts of the race is standing at the start line and realising that you're going to suffer for 24hrs. But to reach your goals you have to go through pain and suffering. I continuously say it but to grow as a person you have to keep putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. I will definitely be outside my comfort zone doing this race as I have never attempted a 24hour race. I am nervous about the race. It's the fear of the unknown. In October 2014 I did my first marathon. I did my first ultra marathon which was a 50k in February 2015. Two years later I am doing a 24hour race. I never thought I would say those words. It just shows your boundaries of possibilities shift when your confidence grows.
The race beings at 12 noon Finland time. Finland is 2 hours ahead so the race will start at 10am Saturday Irish time and it will finish 10am Sunday morning Irish time.
For this race I am using two guide runners Louis Byrne and John O'Regan. It is helpful to have two guides - one to run with me and the other acting as a support crew at the side preparing my drinks. Also if the guide needs to go to the bathroom then I don't need to stop and waste time as the other guide can step in. The goal that I want to achieve means that I have to stay moving for the FULL 24hrs. Some runners may not be as determined and may only run for a set number of hours and then might sleep. But runners who do that won't be coming within the top 50. In this race there is 150 participants. That is the maximum number of runners allowed as the race is on in an indoor track which is small. Hence, for safety there is only 150 people allowed to enter. This type of races require that you have previous ultra running experience. I did a 12hour race in July 2015 and finished 2nd female. I also did a 12hour race in June 2016 and finished 2nd female again. I am so thankful to my guide runners Louis and John for being willing to come. Without them I couldn't do this race. Both of them are busy people and so I feel grateful that both are giving me time out of their weekend.
What do I think are my weaknesses going into this race.
- I don't think I have enough training done as it isn't to just get out and train when your visually Impaired.
- My nutrition - normally during long races I don't eat as I have a sensitive stomach and feel sick on runs if I eat. Also running energy gels dont agree with me. Many people find it hard to believe that I didn't take one single gel during any of my 7 marathons on the world marathon challenge - not one gel.
John my running guide says that I am under performing my ability and potential by not having my nutrition right. He feels I could do a lot better in races if I sorted out my nutrition pre race, during the race and after the race. I hope I achieve what I want to do because if I do achieve it is a springboard to a new chapter and a new goal. All will be revealed next week. Please show me your support on twitter @KaneSinead@blindrunner777@AllianzIreland