''My name's Heywood and I'm a run-aholic...'' *I say internally* 

If I could pin-point exactly when I fell in love with running, it could probably  be correlated to the incremental rise of Mohammed (Mo) Farah. I remember watching, enthralled as he DOMINATED the fields in both the 5,000m and the 10,000m (European Championships, Barcelona 2010).  It was at this moment 'the running seed was sown'.

 

I didn't have a very fruitful school's career by any means due to me constantly being plagued by injury (3rd West Leinster School's Senior Boys 2000m Steeplechase 2011 & 5th in the same region's Cross Country). Later I would find that this was SELF-INFLICTED and notably caused by sheer inexperience. I didn't have an 'off-switch', I didn't have 'easy long runs' and I certainly didn't do any fartlek runs... Everything was just FAST FAST FAST.

The 'running bug' would only bite me again in October 2013 at Maynooth University's Clubs & Societies' FAIRS DAY. I found myself in front of the Athletics club's booth and joined immediately. Due to my long sabbatical from racing, I just joined in for the odd training run (BOY was I out of shape...No I didn't get fat).

I would only start racing for the College in 2nd Year. My first race in the Black & Amber of NUIM was the Intervarsity Road Relays in November 2014. There were 5 positions on the team: 1st Leg-1 mile, 2nd leg-2miles, 3rd leg-3miles, 4th leg-2 miles and the final leg-1 mile. Long story short. Three of us turned up, I split a 10:44 (2nd leg;good considering my shape back then) but a previous ankle injury prevented me from doing the final leg...To my teammate's dismay!  We didn't even come last, which was an achievement in itself.

Next up were the Intervarsity Indoors (February 2015) to which I arrived (with the flu...such was my luck). Considering everything hurt and I could barely breath, I was ecstatic with my 9:31.86 showing.

I would then get a rude awakening at the next Intervarsity event, Cross Country... I turned up in Rugby boots as my spikes had VANISHED. My feet felt like bricks... and I slogged around to a disappointing, yet slightly amusing 69th place...

 

Injury prevented my 3000m Steeplechase debut at the Intervarsity Track & Field Championships held in Belfast (April 2015), but I still thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.

 

.......I knew something had to give. I took a whole month and a half off from running to focus on my overall fitness. The only cardio I did was of a cross-training nature (mostly cycling). I moved to Cork (June 2015), clubless and friendless (for the sole reason I was new) but I was HAPPY. I was back running. '6 minute mile-ing (or 3:44 kilometre-ing, for the 'Metric folk') felt easy for me and I was content just building up my strength solo for a while...

Fast forward two months and I tried my hand with Club running again (Formerly with Donore Harriers), this time with Leevale A.C. I sat in on a few interval sessions, but still found that my fitness needed some work. I'd return to them in February 2016. The 'Leevale Lads' took me under their wings and I improved IMMEDIATELY.

For the first time in my life I could see a 'Future with running'.

 

 

-In future blogs, I hope to present my takes on training, as well as the odd 'race summary'. -

 

I think even that was a bit excessive for an 'Introductory blog', don't you? I'll make sure to keep them 'Short and Sweet' from now on!

'Til next time, mes amis. :)

#KeepRunning  #StayHungry #BeRUNGRY