Sucking it right up

So I had to do a bit of my own saying ‘suck it up’ over the weekend.  It worked and once I was in the right mental zone I always knew I would complete and beat last years time of 6 hours 28 minutes at the Mourne Skyline MTR.

It’s a beast, 22 miles and 3700 odd Metre’s of climbing to make it a tough day but the medal and T-shirt were good last year so that was enough for me to sign myself up for more punishment this year.

This is the last organised race i’ll do before the winter really takes hold, and my training for the MDS starts in earnest late November.

I have had a few issues with blood lately, namely not enough of some important stuff and well I guess i’m nearly 40 now and if you abuse it the way I do levels go high and low at times.  Personally I blame the Menopause as it’s easy to do that, but the MTR was a race I was slightly nervous about.  After a chat with my personal nurse (Tess) I took her advise on board and made a promise if I wasn’t feeling good i’d pull out.

I knew i’d never do that but said it anyway.

On the first main climb of the day up the Glen river path.  Photo courtesy of

What a day though, it was bigger than last years race with nearly 200 other eejits from 14 other countries taking part. 6 hour’s 19 minutes was my official time.

Happy after the halfway point having ate cake, crisps, bananas and some blue crazy drink.  I can’t remember this guys name but we had a good old chat anyway.  Photo courtesy of Liam Smyth.

It was all ok in the end, I was able to enjoy the race and even managed to break a water bottle after a tumble onto some rocks.  Thank god it was that and not my collar bone, I was nearly finished so just limped home for the last mile or so.  Thanks to the two walkers who helped me up, I felt wick and was glad no photos were taken of that epic fall.

Both of last years winning times were smashed and first female and male runners were both from NI.  I was still slogging on one of the misty mountains while the finishers had a cup of soup, shower and cup of tea!  

Clean socks and smiling so has to be near the start!  Photo courtesy of Jayne Bell.
The Belfast Telegraph isn’t a paper I read but they did publish this video so have shared it as it gives an idea of the terrain and silence that draws me into the mountains.

Steven and I with the important medals, this was before I told him i’d left my interior light on, the car battery was flat and I needed a push to get wee swifty started again!  He thought I was joking, I was not.

I have to say I feel much better about the long winter I have ahead after a strong performance with a body that wasn’t cooking on all four rings but with a stubborn head beat last years time. 

The mind is a truly wonderful thing, it does crazy things to us at times with self doubt and negative thoughts.  It also listens and if you pump positive thoughts through it well then it does what its told.
Moving was difficult on Sunday, thanks to Shazzy who looked after me, fed me, bought me Coke and didn’t mind when I couldn’t go out Saturday night.

Cash loves lazy Sunday’s especially when I can’t move with not only sore muscles but a dead leg after the embarrassing incident with a rock. 

Like the infamous Lance Armstrong said ‘stay strong’.  (He also took lots of drugs and didn’t get caught, I didn’t do this I promise).
Thanks for reading