I’m Running My Ninth Marathon

The Causeway Coast Marathon is now less than a month away as I enter the toughest week of my training schedule. I’ve already run over 16 miles this week but by the end of it aim to have passed 50. This will include a 20 mile effort at some point over the weekend. Following that I will take my foot off the pedal and begin to ease down as I taper my training until the big day itself. I’m excited but also anxious for this, my 9th marathon.

Excited for this promises to be one of the most challenging running experiences I have tackled to date. This is no ordinary marathon, if such a creature exists. The Causeway Coast takes in some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland as it traverses the spectacular North Coast which has provided the backdrop for Game of Thrones. I will pass the famous Causeway itself in addition to a number of other stunning locations.

The route is entirely rural but promises never a dull moment. No plodding along bland, grey city streets here. I will be breathing in the sea air and surrounded by all manner of wildlife and countryside. The course takes me uphill and down, across treacherous rocks, windswept beaches and deserted trails. There will be no cheering crowds, but only the occasional screeching seagull to keep me company.

This is a course where survival takes precedence over personal bests. While my normal target for street marathons is sub 4 hours I will be allowing myself an additional 30 minutes to complete this one. It promises to be my toughest test to date. I hope I will be ready but will be in a better position to answer that question at the end of this week. For Causeway Coast is but a lap of honour. The real work takes place in the weeks and months leading up to it.

Which is where the anxiety comes in. Life has been hectic of late and I’m not certain I’m exactly where I want to be in my training schedule. I am a couple of long runs short and feel as if I don’t have enough miles in the bank as opposed to when preparing for previous marathons. I am concerned that Causeway Coast will be the one that catches me out and I will blow up in the latter stages of the race. It is a niggling, nagging doubt.

This is typical me. I’m a past master at self sabotage and my own biggest critic. I’m the hardest of taskmasters and constantly doubt my own ability to deliver the goods. If self doubt was an Olympic event I’m pretty sure I could compete for my country. The real battle of this marathon will be fought in my mind and not on the roads. The biggest struggle is getting to the starting line as mentally resilient as I can possibly be.

My goal is to have run completed 10 marathons by the end of 2018. I will then re-evaluate my running targets for the future in light of many other personal and family priorities. The best jugglers know their limitations and I’d rather juggle four batons like a pro as opposed to try for a fifth and end up with egg on my face. We shall see. I need to be realistic with regards my ambitions. I also need to enjoy these special days.

Well, that’s it for the mandatory running update. If you’ve made it this far then you deserve a medal. I won’t post about Causeway Coast again until nearer the time. Between now and then there are many miles to negotiate. I just hope for an injury free month which will allow me to turn up on the day and give it my best shot. There will be no excuses and I will give it my all. There will be nothing left out on the course.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

43 thoughts on “I’m Running My Ninth Marathon

  1. I think you will totally surprise yourself in this marathon. Wish I could run it with you although you are too fast and I’d have to see you at the end. Try enjoying the sites, the people, the race and not focus so much on time. Says the girl who is paranoid every race she is going to get picked up by the too slow bus. Once the heat of the day hit for my fifty and I knew I wouldn’t come close to the goal I had set I started paying attention to nature and the scenery. One of my most memorable runs ever! Keep blogging keep running and keep blogging about running.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. BTW: I LOVE Eire. I have rellies there I have never met that I did not know about when I travelled to Dublin, Ring of Kerry. Also – I am a fan of Irish Myths & Legends. I believe the Causeway refers to The Giant’s Causeway and the legend of Finn MacCool. And here’s a mantra when nasty self-doubt arises: “I rid my self of all doubt, remembering that everything happens for a reason.” All the best for your Causeway run!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. I need to return to more myths and legends in Eire readings. I also love the poignant and hilarious books by Brendan O’Carroll on your lovely continent: The Mammy, The Chisellers, The Granny. Highly recommend if you have not cracked open:).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I believe the key word in this essay is “priorities,” and as some of your readers already stated, there is more to it than competing, or even finishing. What an experience this will be! May God bless you with a”divine perspective.” 😉


  4. Well you have a new admirer! I Can honestly say I have not ran since I graduated from high school. And I used to be on the track team 🤣😂. I cannot imagine 20 miles in one day but we have different mindframes! And wow, Game of thrones scenery in your background while running! Maybe I would run, lol! You’ve already won have a battle because of the fact that you are running and practicing and doing what you need to do on a daily basis. Most people talk a big game but they don’t even start. Way to go


  5. Praying you keep your eyes on the goal and reach your best. I think beside the obvious challenge that I can’t run a mile, the other one on this marathon would be to keep my eyes on the finish line and not stop to enjoy the scenery!


  6. Hello how are you? Thanks, for stopping by at my numerology Café 😂😃 I admire your determination… although you express your doubts . In this occasion I read you twice … so as a Numerlogist,I would say your day-of -birth has a couple of 1’s or 9’s , both (?)or maybe hidden ones …. and that gives you the power keep going, you will do great. Blessings ! Kikis


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