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January 27th and I'm into week 3 of my training plan

It's been an interesting few weeks since I last blogged, with anti-biotics, new runners, a broken washing machine and apple-cider vinegar all featuring strongly!!

I am not Paula Radcliffe. I am sick.

At this time of year, bugs are flying about the place so I guess it was inevitable when I started to feel a bit off (and feel very sorry for myself too.) Like most mothers, I just plough on without going to the doctor but would have the kids there in a flash if they were sick. Painful ears, a sore throat and aching bones eventually brought me to my GP who prescribed Distaclor anti-biotic for tonsillitis.

I lay in bed feeling rubbish and kissing goodbye to that week’s training plan. When you're hard pushed to turn on the electric blanket or put on your fleecy pyjamas, you know running is out of the question! I guess the one thing I've learned is just to let it go. When you're sick, you're sick and there's no point lying in bed feeling guilty for missing your long run or speed training session. The marathon is now 21 weeks ago, plenty of time to allow for a bad week here or there. As my husband reminded me – I am not Paula Radcliffe. It's ok to be sick, enjoy the pampering and the reading of OK! And Closer while the rest of the family forage for food to call dinner.

A few days into my misery and a call from my Marathon trainer Brian Swaby (Waterford AC), really gave me a boost. It's good to have someone to bounce training worries off of, and he was happy for me to let a few runs go and jump back on in a few days’ time. It takes a good 10 days for antibiotics to leave the system and they can be draining, heavy and tiring.


The market is awash with whey, protein and lots of 'go-faster' juices which I'm sure are just wonderful and help runners the world over. I'm happy enough with my daily Vivioptal or Multibionta but I've added a new ingredient to my list. Did you ever 'google' yourself into an early grave? Well, when I'm bored and can't sleep I sometimes google my symptoms. Stupid, I know! The stiff, aching joints continued after being sick last week so I decided I must have the early signs of osteo-arthritis. Running continued to be hard with my stiff fingers (ok so I wasn't actually running on my fingers) and stiff toes. A friend once recommended Apple Cider Vinegar for joint pain and arthritis. Wow is all I can say. Costing around €4.00 for a bottle with 'the mother', I held my nose and downed shots of the stuff three times a day for two days. It's recommended to take it with some honey in hot water, but I wanted to go hard-core and get it into me fast. Two days later and the joint pain was gone, so I'm sticking with a shot a day just to make sure it doesn’t come back. Apparently it's great for dieters too… it can remove warts, helps with smelly feet, dandruff, sunburn and diabetes. Whoop.

Superquinn Support Waterford’s Biggest Sporting Event

Superquinn Waterford already has a proud association with Waterford’s every growing athletic community with up to 80 runners assembling in their Car park on the Inner ring Road every Saturday and Sunday morning and soSuperquinn were eager to get involved in what is the Region’s biggest sporting event the WLRfm Waterford Viking Marathon which will take place on June 29th this year. 30,000 bottles of water are required to line the Route which will start on the Mall and makes its way through the city and out to Tramore, returning the the RSC for that unique Olympic style finish. Superquinn Manager Paula Farrell says; ‘We are delighted to sponsor the Water for this year’s Marathon. We felt it was a perfect fit for Superquinn as it’s a fantastic event that gives people the opportunity to embrace a healthy lifestyle while supporting local and national charities’. Entries are now open for the 2013 Marathon with early bird entry open up to May 5th, 2013.

3,000 Runners, 2 Bridges, 1 Greenway, WLR FM’s Waterford Viking Marathon 2017

Saturday June 24 th saw Waterford play host to its sixth annual WLR Waterford Viking Marathon. The exciting new route, which included Ireland’s longest single span bridge and Waterford’s impressive Greenway attracted over 3,000 runners to the event. This year’s marathon attracted visitors from all corners of the globe, Argentina, Hawaii, India, Canada, Egypt, the US and all over Europe.

Runners left the Mall in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle at 9am after a tremendous warm up which included the Viking Clap followed by an emotional demonstration by all runners for the Irish Heart Foundation’s Hand on Heart.

The heat of the morning meant every drop of water on the course was appreciated by the runners. Just after 9.30, David Mansfield of Clonliffe Harriers showed no ill effects of his recent in podium place in Cork finishing 1 st in the quarter marathon in 36.32. Hot on his heels was the first local man home on the day, Noel Murphy of Waterford AC, followed by Ruairi O’Donnell of Ferrybank AC. In the women’s event, Sinead Brannigan, a running inspiration locally with her band of Greenway joggers, took the title ahead of Cork native, Emma Healy and St.Abban’s AC’s Sinead Kelly.

The huge crowd of Spectators didn’t have long to wait then to witness the class of Waterford AC’s Trevor Power, who had the race to himself to finish in 1.13.03. James Hamm of Portlaoise AC had more of a battle on his hands and finished just ahead of Carrick AC’s Derek Walsh.
Ruth Fitzgerald is following in her mother’s footsteps and had a very clear win in the ladies win in 1.24. Last year’s 2 nd place marathon finisher Sally Forristal of St.Joseph’s AC took the silver ahead of Waterford AC’s Sylvia Malone.

In the main event then, West Waterford AC’s Raivis Zakis literally sailed to the finish line in 2.37 ahead of previous winner Wexford’s Tom Hogan. Liam Tracey of Watergrasshill in Cork took the last podium place, but not before the now 5 times ladies winner Pauline Curley smiled her way to the line. Always a gracious winner, she brightens up every finish line! Watergrasshill AC featured again when Dolores Duffy finished 2 nd with Lena Sinclair of Liffey Valley AC in 3 rd place, rounding off the senior winners for the day.

So all around a huge success was the overwhelming consensus for most who took part, be it organising, running, stewarding or supporting. An impressive 350 helpers lined the route, with marshals, water stations and medical personnel ensuring the safe return of all runners to WIT Arena in very warm conditions.

A memorable event created not only by the heroics of the participants but by a sense of Waterford taking the 2017 Waterford Viking Marathon to its heart. Ends 24th June 2017

Photography: Noel Browne Photographer 086 0366904 Garrett Fitzgerald 087 6658314

For further information contact Deirdre Houlihan 086 6863571 or Roisin Ferris 086 8194952

January 12th 2015 - 23 weeks, 4 days to go

Monday - No More Talking

Ah yes. The running blog…. I've done so much talking about this over Christmas it feels like I don't actually need to run at all. While chowing down on mince pies with gravy dripping down my chin I've been only too happy to TALK about my marathon plans. Anyone who would listen got the full whack of my running glory plans and how I'll feel great doing all that exercise and I'm going to join an athletics club and incorporate yoga and then take over the world.

But it's a New Year, and there are less than 24 weeks to go so it's time shut up and get moving. So, what have I done so far?

I've been 'tipping away' since I last blogged with handy little 2 and 3 mile runs every second or third day. I haven't charted them or timed them, they've just served as a warm up into the whole thing – forcing myself to get out in my skins in that cold crappy weather we had over Christmas. Well, I did it, and it felt great. I've even taken the clothes back off the clothes horse/ ab roller and started doing some crunches, squats and free-weights up in my bedroom. It was made easier by the fact that I had some time off over Christmas so my husband was home to take the kids whenever I felt like going for a trot. That won't be as easy now that Christmas is over, but I've made a few 'windows' and will have to stick to them rigidly.

You could say I'm at a decent enough level starting off a marathon plan, my longest run so far was 6 miles on New Years Day. It felt great to finally break the shorter run barrier and keep going. Now that that one is in the can, it feels like 'I'm back' and actually able to do this. I might add, I celebrated my 6 mile run with a big dirty kebab that night as I swilled down coke and felt like Waynetta Slob on the sofa. Oh well.

The Plan

It was with both excitement and a bit of trepidation that I met with Brian Swaby last Saturday (sorry Brian!) Brian is a Senior member of Waterford AC, a hugely established runner and while cross-country and 1500 metres are his forte, Brian is an experienced marathon runner and has served as a Pacer in the Waterford Viking Marathon previously – you know the guys with the big balloons attached to them that you follow depending on your time target!

My first marathon took me 4hrs 30 mins. I didn't incorporate any interval, speed or conditioning training into it – I just put on my runners and ran. I felt like I should have done it in a better time – but how?

Here is Brian's plan for me for the next two months. I'm going to focus more on time spent training rather than distance covered. So, instead of putting '3miles' on my wall chart, I'll simply make myself run for 30 mins, whatever the distance. The focus here is on the speed training sessions and the long run days. We had a good chat over dodgy tea in the WLRfm canteen for an hour and half, and here's a synopsis of the main points I took from a very helpful meeting.

Mammies Running Waterford

A blog for anyone who might have considered going for a trot, a run and maybe a marathon.

Karen Tomkins is a 33 year mother of two boys, aged 7 and 4. She presents The Big Breakfast Blaa on WLR FM Monday to Friday 6am to 10am. She used to call herself a runner but that got lost somewhere over the last 12 months. She gets up at 5am every morning but gets home at luncthime to do the creche and school collections. That's when the real work starts. For anyone who regularly finds themselves stretched and pulled in every direction - mother, wife, daughter, sister, broadcaster, cleaner, cook, therapist, teacher, repair woman and referee then you'll know how her day generally goes. A glass of chilled crisp Sauv Blanc is very often her Friday night reward. Oh okay, a bottle. Oh, add in to the mix the burning desire to drop a stone, move her arse again, find more energy and run next year's Waterford Viking Marathon and you have the newest writer to the blog scene - a Mammy Running Waterford.

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