Friday, 27 February 2015

If it's Friday, this must be ........

It's been one of those weeks where I caught up with the speed of light, passed it and left it behind. It dawned on me this afternoon that it was Friday and I have my 2nd Marathon in about 18 hours.

That's the other side of the challenge medal, time! I am self employed and trying to establish a business, running the 12 marathons, learning Spanish, writing a book, supposedly doing a theory exam on March 11th and engaging in another 3 projects I'm keeping under wraps for the moment. I am conscious of making time for all of these. Sometimes the week just flies by. Like this week.

Every minute of it was enjoyable, yet I had no time for most projects. And so Friday comes all of a sudden. It's 3.50pm now and I need to go in relaxed mode for the night in preparation of Marathon number 2 of the 12 in 12 months in 2015 for Gorta Self Help Africa.

Superb news is I get to meet all of my MCI (Marathon Club Ireland) buddies at the Marathon. They are the most positive bunch of people imaginable and it is a privilege running marathons with them! Hopefully I receive one of these medals again in 24 hours!



Monday I will tell you all about Marathon number 2, how it is only 2 weeks to number 3 and about the coffee morning next Thursday the 5th of March between 10am and noon in the George Boutique Hotel. Keep it in your diaries.

Running miles with Smiles!!! Any donations welcome at http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015

Monday, 23 February 2015

50 days, time warps and running interviews!


I was travelling on Friday last and didn't Blog! And now I have so much to say I shouldn't be wasting space typing intro's like these :)

I travelled to Dublin on Friday as I was attending a seminar at 8am on Saturday morning that was to last 10 hours and it only felt like 3 or 4 it was that good! If any of the people reading this Blog ever get a chance to attend an event with Gerry Duffy as the main speaker or one of his seminars; I have only 1 word for you, GO! Gerry is known for his 2 books on his sporting achievements; 'Who Dares, Runs' & 'Tick, Tock, Ten'. The first one is about him and Ken Whitelaw running 32 marathons in 32 consecutive days in 32 counties in Ireland. The second about winning a Deca Ironman, that is 10 Ironman distances in 10 consecutive days.

Nowadays Gerry is a motivational speaker and this was my 2nd time going to his DECA Goal Setting Seminar. I know everything Gerry told me on Saturday; yet his passion, focus and energy make me focus and strategise better. It's easier doing this with someone's help. We all need help and I use Gerry's seminars to help me focus for the year ahead.

This means I now have a clear vision and strategies for achievement and for the first time ever I actually believe I can achieve more than I thought possible. I just need to use my time better. So no more time for anything at all that is of no use to me achieving what I want to. Every minute counts!

All that was needed was someone's help. No matter who you are, you could probably do with some help. So who do you use? Personally I love helping my clients do the same.

Gerry is also an Ultra Runner, which leads me to the running side of this blog post. This was my running week:
Monday 6.21 Miles, Tuesday 7.2, Wednesday 6.21, Thursday 6.21, Friday 6.5, Saturday 0, Sunday 11.12. Weekly total: 43.45 miles. 2015 so far: 311.79 Miles! I am doing an average of 10-15 miles more a week than last year and am loving it. 99% of the time I am really looking forward to it.

Yet Friday was tough, I arrived in the Hotel in Dublin late afternoon and it was getting dark and I am not familiar with Santry. So I went to the Gym and used the treadmill. I hate treadmills!!!! The proof that I am determined to succeed lies in my WHY. It is bigger than any obstacle so far. And so it was Friday AND Sunday.

I stayed on the treadmill for just over an hour and knocked up 6.5 miles! Score! Yesterday Sunday I was being interviewed by Mike O'Connor of Limerick City Community Radio at 9am. They use the 99.9FM frequency and have a full schedule of programs Saturday and Sunday.

Mike has the 'My kind of Limerick People' program on Sunday morning and wanted to talk about the 12 Marathons in 12 months challenge and the Coffee morning in the George Boutique Hotel on Thursday the 5th of March between 10am & Noon.

I told Mike I would incorporate the interview in my Sunday run. I woke up Sunday morning at 6.30 am to the beautiful sound of rain belting against the windows. Regular readers know I looovveee rain for running. I was however conscious I would be sitting down in wet clothes for 30 minutes for the interview and that I had a marathon in 6 days! I was offered a lift and to go running after the interview. Up to a couple of months ago I would have taken the offer.



Now however I have a big huge WHY! So I layered up with one extra coating of t-shirt, tracksuit bottom and monkey hat and set off on the 4.25 miles to Southill where the station is based in Tait House. When I arrived the looks of bewilderment on the radio staff's faces made me smile. I'm doing it right, I thought.

I was able to dry down and removed the outer layer to stay dry for the interview. It went well enough even though I did forget some things but I learn from that, it was my first interview after all. Thanks to Mike and Limerick City Community Radio for the opportunity.

If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got. So to achieve you need to do things differently. Today Monday it is 50 days since I last had a drop of alcohol. Even though I was not a big drinker, the difference it makes to a body is huge. Better sleep, clearer focus, easier weight control, clarity of mind, physically capable of more etc...

Next on my list is my nutrition. I have a plan worked out for moving to Paleo based nutrition for performance from March 1st. I won't use substances, only real food. The plan is there, thanks Gerry Duffy as it is during his seminar it was formed.

On Friday I will give you details about the upcoming events and I will be 24 hours from my 2nd Marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!! As usual you can donate on http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015

Have a wonderful week!!!!!!





Sunday, 15 February 2015

And we're off (again)!! Who is your money on?

After the shin injury started healing I managed to stop myself from running Friday evening and Saturday morning. To a lot of people I know, taking short breaks from sport is easy. To me it is not. I think that's because running is not just a sport for me, it's an integral part of my way of living now.

So what if I was laid off for a while with an injury? What would I do to keep this momentum I have built up, going? I thought about what other stuff I enjoy and now have a number of things planned in case of injury lay offs. They include rest & recovery strategies, swimming, weights, cycling etc... depending on the injury. I always do this with my clients too, removing the obstacles before they occur. That way if an obstacle appears there is no frustration and there is an action plan.

So that's another good thing that came from my injury on top of the event in the George Boutique Hotel on Thursday morning March 5th. I am creating a Facebook Event page on this today or tomorrow and will share it here on Friday as well as all of the packages that will be available that day. If you too want to meet a genuine world class running star keep your diary open for that Thursday morning March 5th.

On the running front I did 2 tests to check on the healing process; a 7.2 mile run Saturday evening and an 11.93 mile run on Sunday. Both were passed with flying colours and though they were intended as slow runs the Sunday one was sub 9 minute miles.



That means we are off again and normal running schedules can be resumed. My next and 2nd Marathon is in 12 days in Limerick at UL. It is another Marathon Club Ireland Marathon which means I get to see a lot of my running buddies back from all over the country. :)

My money is on me succeeding in these 12 Marathons in 12 Months this year. (With a bit of luck and gentle persuasion I might even be tempted to do .........) What about you, what is your money on??? Donations are welcome on http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015

Friday, 13 February 2015

Taking it on the shin and EVENT warning! Meeting a star for coffee!


“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” - Ana├»s Nin
 
I love this quote. It describes for me the greater pain of staying in your comfort zone compared to the pains endured when you leap out of it. Another one I favour comes from that great Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami: 'Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional'.
 
I knew when I was running pain free for the last couple of weeks that this normally doesn't last forever. Yet I don't live in the past or future so when the pains came while sitting at my desk Wednesday they came unexpected. Stabbing pains in the shin. I had them before in my running career. Nothing major. So I laced up at night hoping to run it off. I kind of didn't. 59 mins 58 for a 10K. Ahem! At least I didn't faint :) That was a painful run.
 
I am on rest and stretching now, yesterday and today. I think tomorrow will be too early and am not sure about Sunday yet I will evaluate it as it goes. It's not a big deal really. Just an injury. It's not like I'm starved of food or water or shelter; like some of the people I'm doing this challenge for.
 
I always work with my clients on living in the Now. What is good to know from a personal perspective is that living in the Now works a treat. What can I do now that I can't train to move my challenge on. Well I got some NEWS!!
 
Wednesday the 5th of March from 10am to 12 noon I am holding a Coffee morning to Launch a series of events to support the 12 in 12 Challenge. This event will be hosted by the wonderful Jacinta & Altaf Khan in the gorgeous George Boutique Hotel in Shannon Street in Limerick. There will be beverages and food, some raffle prizes are being organised, some corporate sponsor packages will be unveiled and some packages for people to run their own race for the Charity and collect that way! It's not just about me running 12 marathons in 12 months in 2015, it's about you taking part and getting fit and collecting at the same time.
 
Together, we can achieve so much more!
 
We have as a guest speaker that day KEITH WHYTE, the Ennis man who recently WON the 100km ultra Marathon in Antarctica where temperatures dropped to -26C during the race. 
  • He battled these temperatures of -26C to complete race in 9 hours and 26 minutes, breaking the course record. 
  • During the run frostbite was setting in on his fingers
  • He stopped smoking in 2007 and suffers from bone condition osteoporosis 

We are also privileged to have Ray Jordan, CEO of Gorta Self Help Africa attending and speaking. Ray has been working tirelessly in Ireland and Africa for a long time and not a lot of people know more about the situation on the ground than him.
 
I am also delighted to say that Ronan Scully will be there upon his return from another African trip. Ronan is an inspirational business development and fundraising specialist for the charity.
 
And I might say a couple of words myself (time me, for everyone's sake, time me please) :)
 
So there you go, I might be injured right now but that gives me time with the help of Gaye Moore, Ciara Tallon and Ciara Doyle (thanks ladies) to organise events like these.
 
I'll send you all more information in next week's blogs so you can share it with your friends. Also advance notice that I am planning a Q&A event in April for novice and intermediate runners ahead of the Great Limerick Run.
 
Keep the morning of the 5th of March FREE in your diary and keep your eyes and ears open for more news. Also you can donate on http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015 

 
 
 

Monday, 9 February 2015

A different kind of Foggy Dew!


Sacrifices are not really sacrifices if you enjoy what you do instead of what you leave behind! I have in my Coaching practice often heard people talk about giving things up. What has worked most effectively for them is to pick something else up instead and through action forget about what you are giving up.

To concentrate on what I want to achieve this year, 12 Marathons in 12 Months, I knew I had to leave some things behind. Gone is all alcohol, even the one glass with dinner or the pint watching a match. Gone are the late nights watching stuff on Netflix. Instead it is mugs of tea, bottles of water and bed at 10.30pm 7 nights a week. I have to concentrate on better food next :)

What I get in return is priceless. I sleep better, am more productive, feel alert, am definitely 100% alive, spot opportunities faster, train easier and I am getting stronger. Much stronger.



The only Foggy Dew for me this weekend therefore was that of the weather variety on Sunday. When I set off before 11am it was 0 degrees and there was a dense fog in Limerick that never lifted. It added mystical proportions to my 16 mile run through back roads in Gillogue in Clare over to the gorgeous UL campus and back into the city for another spin on it's empty streets.

The previous day I had done a 9 Mile run in 8min10 miles without flinching. I thought I would suffer on Sunday, it being only 2 weeks after a Marathon. But no, I felt comfortable enough throughout the 2 Hours 20 it took me. I am definitely getting stronger. So giving up has again meant picking up good stuff in return. I completed my first 50 Mile week of the year in the process.

This week will be a challenge as it's my birthday and I am going for a meal Thursday and maybe a music session afterwards. The thoughts of the 30 odd Miles of bliss planned for the weekend should make it easy to stay alcohol free for this too. :)

Have a great week and see you Friday where I might have some news on a launch event for my charity drive. In the mean time you can donate on http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015

I have also made it to the Gorta Self Help Africa website with my running. Check the article on http://www.selfhelpafrica.org/ie/news/161-12-marathons-in-12-months

Friday, 6 February 2015

All quiet on the Mid-Western Front.


I didn't go running yesterday, that was only the second time in 2 weeks. The reason was that I was attending a BNI (Business Network International) Networking meeting at 6.30am and a book launch by fellow adopted Limerick man Colm O'Brien from Carambola Kidz at 6.30pm. Just a by the way but if you are in business or thinking about starting one, get his book. It's out now and called 'Feeding Johnny', excellent read. It is real, talks about failure and success and there is loads of tips in it written by an Irish Entrepreneur who has known both sides of the coin and is a big investor in the communities he operates in. Here's a pic of it!



Anyway I took 24 hours off from running. Apart from the 12 Marathons in 12 Months in 2015 for Gorta Self Help Africa I am also trying to run 2015 miles in 2015, a challenge thrown at me by a fellow club member on a Facebook page. One day of not running means catch up. And I love catch up. So this weekend it's 10K after work tonight (6.21 miles in marathon runners lingo, we don't count kilometers), 9.15 miles tomorrow morning and somewhere around 16 Miles on Sunday. My 2nd Marathon is 3 weeks away on Saturday 28th and my 3rd only 2 weeks after that in Tralee on March 15th.

So all's been relatively quiet here apart from my blogs. That, just like the film's storyline, is about to change. In the coming weeks I will be announcing events and ways for you to help me in a very real sense. I need to raise €12,000 this year and am willing to do what it takes to get there. Are you willing to help? If you nodded yes to that keep an eye on my blog every Monday and Friday.

In the mean time feel free to share this blog, comment on it and donate €12 (€1 for every Marathon) or whatever amount you can or want to on http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015

Have a great weekend, I'll be running miles with smiles and you???? Talk to you Monday!

Monday, 2 February 2015

The Silence of the Lamp Posts and the extra challenge!

I usually took a week off after a Marathon. Regardless of how many races you do or have done, recovery is important. If running a Marathon was easy, everyone would be doing it. It is not, it is a challenge to be respected and prepared for (and after). So I used to take a week off.

I didn't this time. I recovered through better nutrition and by planning recovery runs. That's the not so sexy part of this challenge. Running slowly when it hurts in the dark on a very cold evening, counting lamp posts; endless lamp posts. Monday 10K, Tuesday 10K, Wednesday OFF. Recovery nearly complete in 3 days!

Thursday 10K, Friday 10K. Laying the base for the weekend's longer distances. Saturday 9.15 Miles (14.7K) and Sunday 13.81 Miles (22.2K). In daylight, counting happy thoughts. Recovery complete!

These are the weeks that count, 47.8 Miles or 76.9 Kilometres. That's from Limerick to Nenagh then to Roscrea and setting off on the road to Portlaoise. That's what's needed to respect the 12 Marathons in 12 months challenge. On top of running a business and a personal live. It is manageable, it can be done. I'm proof of it and I'm not more human than anyone else.

Motivation helps achieving these challenges. A big WHY (see previous blog) and big MOTIVATION. That motivation also comes from a challenge set online by fellow MCI (Marathon Club Ireland) runner and 300+ Marathon legend Collette O'Hagan. She challenged me and a whole bunch of other people on Facebook to try and run 2015 Miles in 2015.

Last year I ran 1188 Miles. So I put an Excel spread sheet together. It told me I had to run an average of 5.52 Miles EVERY day for the WHOLE year to achieve the 2015 Miles.

As it stands on February 1st I had accumulated 186.64 Miles so far in 2015, 10 Miles ahead of target. This challenge is helping immensely with motivation for me to get up and run 6 days a week. Thanks Collette, superb idea!



This week is another week of counting lamp posts, maintaining a minimum of 38.64 Miles to keep up with the 2015 challenge (I have planned 50Miles but we will see how it goes) and preparing for Marathon number 2 on February 28th.

Do you know I didn't actually watch any sports all weekend. That's new for me. I guess I'm too busy enjoying my life to look at that of others :)

You can support me by donating on http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015

Talk to you Friday, I'm planning non running events to help me with fundraising and will talk about these soon!