Belfast 2019

I’ve been a bit under the weather of late, and unable to run, but it’s good to have targets so I thought I’d write about my main racing target for 2019 – the Belfast Marathon on 05 May. It seems a long way off at the minute, but for most people January marks the beginning of their marathon training programme for Belfast. Due to this sickness, I’m not quite there yet but I’m hopeful the situation will improve soon.

This will be my 4th Belfast Marathon and my 10th in total. Not bad for the out of shape wreck who first donned running shoes almost five years ago. There have also been a raft of half marathon and 10K runs for good measure. Like last year, my warm up race for Belfast will be my home town half marathon, in Omagh, on 06 April. As with Belfast, it will be my fourth time running this undulating route.

Belfast will be particularly exciting this year, as it is a new route starting at the iconic Stormont Parliament Buildings and winding its way through all parts of the city before finishing off in Ormeau Park. There are several sections of the route I’m looking forward to, areas of the city I have never run through before. What won’t be different will be the fantastic atmosphere and crowd support. Belfast is a special city.

I’m not running for a charity this year, I’m doing this one for myself. Collecting sponsorship brings its own pressures and I think I’ll have enough on my plate just getting to the start line in one piece. And as for time? Well, I’d be delighted with sub 4 hours having run the other three in 3:56, 3:33 and 3:51 respectively. I’ll have to research the new route to see if it’s as challenging as the original course was in sections.

You might be thinking to yourself, is he mad? Hasn’t he enough to be getting on with? Family life is exhausting at the best of times, not to mention work, blogging commitments and the small matter of writing and publishing a book. But I need to run, even if it’s slowly and way off the pace I’m accustomed to. That is frustrating, but nowhere near as frustrating as not running at all.

There are physical benefits of course. Running keeps me in shape and I’ve worked hard at my fitness these past few years. But more importantly, is my mental health. Running maintains me on an even keel, it detoxifies and purges a lot of the nonsense that rattles around my head on a daily basis. It focuses me. I don’t want to run, I need to run. It keeps the wolves from the door. For there are many of them.

I’m heading out for a lunchtime plod later. It won’t be pretty and I’ll not be setting any personal bests. But I’m feeling a little better and I can’t sit around on my bum any longer. The pain in my legs afterwards will be compensated by the sense of achievement. 26.2 miles seems a long, long way at the minute but I’m going to get there, one step at at time. I’ll keep you all updated as to my progress.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 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.

52 thoughts on “Belfast 2019

  1. We may be on parallel training paths. I’m hoping to get fit enough to run the Winterthur marathon towards the end of May. I hope your health improves and I’ll be following your progress with interest. I know exactly what you mean by the benefits of running – it improves both the body and the mind. 😊

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  2. Motivational! I can’t even imagine running for 4 hours, haha. Right now I’m training for my first 5k in April. 3 months seems like plenty of time to build my stamina up. I’ve tried getting into running before but never while sober. So far so good. 🙂

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  3. Wow, 10 marathons is impressive! My first marathon attempt ended with a cancelled race due to heat, so I’d love to try again someday. Best of luck with your training!

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  4. It’s good to have goals. Even if you can’t always reach them. I admire how you go about one marathon after the other. But I wonder: how much time do they give you to finish a full marathon? 4 hours, 5….? I think if I did one now, judging by the time I need for a mile, I’ll do 6 hours. 🙂 Take good care of you, Stephen!

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  5. Good for you! I’ll be cheering for you today. Running for me is all about that mental health release, perseverance and telling my brain to fuck off when it insists I can’t possibly go another step. You got this!

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  6. I have faith that you’ll be fine – and maybe hit that magical PB. I hear running keeps the crazies in check, along with the wolves from the door. Maybe the wolves eat the crazies? Or the crazies chase the wolves? Either way, you can do this and we’ll be shaking our pom poms for you.

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  7. Good luck man, sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well. Glad you have that drive to push through regardless of the feels though. Thanks for sharing your journey, running and excercise are escapes and reprieves for me as well. Hope you feel better soon. Keep doing you.

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  8. I hear you about the need to run despite other commitments. I am much better at the other tasks on my plate after I’ve had a run (whether that run is good or bad!). Good health and good weather wishes for your training this year!

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