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Run Ciara, run


Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

‘Proper preparation prevents p**s poor performance’. It’s an adage that has been relayed to me for many years. As I’m a bit too relaxed for my own good, family members and the Boyf take it upon themselves to remind me that to prevent a disaster, you must prepare.
I always prefer to take the lazy man’s load, and cut a corner here and there. Hey, who doesn’t?
Last December I signed up to take part in the Great Lakes Challenge Series, five running events around south Mayo. I was provided with a training programme by the organisers and told that this would not see me wrong when it came to race day. And I’m sure it wouldn’t … if one were to follow it. Needless to say, the whole training plan was left in the handbag with the intention of getting back to it ‘later’.
Well later came in the guise of my first 10km run on March 1, and in true ‘relaxed’ form, I hadn’t done a bit of training for it. In fact, the only bit of cardio I had been doing was running off stage while appearing in Ballinrobe Musical Society’s production of ‘All Shook Up’. Whatever the running off stage was worth to me was soon cancelled out by all the post-show parties, which included the pre-race no nos of alcohol and fried food.
Race day came and as thoughts of my poor preparation started to sink in, I didn’t want to get out of bed. But off I went.
Thankfully, I had running aficionado John by my side for the race so I didn’t look totally lost. In saying that, I definitely still looked out of place. While all the runners were lining up in their professional looking gear after completing at least a 20 minute warm up, I updated my Facebook status. Priorities!
In a west-of-Ireland and wild-west mash-up, the race began with a mix of church bells and gunshots.
“Ok, we can do it, come on,” I repeated to myself over and over again, which I felt was a bad sign, as I hadn’t yet actually crossed the starting line.
The course was the ‘Clonbur/Cong Loop’, and I had been informed before the race that it was ‘nice’ with just one ‘drag’ (I still don’t know what this means) at kilometres six and seven.
I cannot be sure at what kilometre it was, but at a certain point when children no more than nine or ten began passing me out, I decided to put the foot on the gas, as it were.
At kilometre six, I latched on to two ladies. I had to inform them I wasn’t a stalker … as I breathed heavily in their ears.
Going over the finish line was great and confusing at the same time, with a woman on a microphone announcing ‘And now here comes Ciara Galvin’.
Of course, the big numbers on my shirt would correlate to my registered name!
Still, I was happy to have completed the run in a time of 58.40.
And I still am, despite having been subjected to the laughter of colleagues and friends for days for the way I was walking (of course I didn’t warm down).
Roll on Claremorris this Saturday for my next 10km.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.