Helping you get through tough times

Starting to run

About twelve weeks ago, around the middle of November, I thought enough was enough and decided to take action. I logged on to the website that I’d visited countless times before and I registered for the Cork City Marathon 2011.

My name is Nigel and I’m a third level student studying in UCC. I’ve struggled with my course in college, to put it rather mildly. I’m currently repeating (not for the first time either) what I now hope will be my final year.

Old routine

Back in September I was dreading the thought of coming back – the same subjects, the same lecturers, buildings and faces; the same old routine. What made this year seem even more insurmountable was that most of my friends were off in different corners of the world either travelling or completing further education or starting off on the first steps of their careers. I really did feel alone and uncertain how the year would work out without the friends who had helped me through college difficulties so far.

Filling time

I decided I wanted to turn this seemingly enormous negative in my life into an even more enormous positive! What could I do to fill my time in between lectures and studying? I needed to try and keep myself occupied. I had to find something to fill those empty lunch hours and quiet evenings! So I decided I’d challenge myself.


Completing a marathon has always been one of those “I’d love to be able to do that” thoughts! Now, what better way to get fit (I was a bit overweight to say the least), keep myself motivated and occupy my spare time training to compete in a full marathon?

Going well

And here I am! I’ve just finished my first twelve-week-base programme. I’m feeling a lot healthier and fitter (I’ve lost a good bit of that flab!). College is actually going well for a change and while I do still miss my friends, I’ve found I’ve never been busier! I’ve a perfect balance between college, work and training that takes me from one end of the day to the other.

Looking after myself

Plenty of challenges still lie ahead though. I’ve just begun an eighteen week programme designed up to marathon day. I’m going to have to start looking after myself now too; a little less partying and junk food I think! I should get to bed at more appropriate times as well. A good night’s sleep is important to ensure my body has plenty of time to recover after a run. It‘s tough, but tough in the good way.

Back in September, this year seemed like a big staircase with an infinite number of steps to climb. But I started off small and looked at what I could do to make it that bit easier. And slowly but surely, I’m climbing, one step at a time, to achieve my goals.

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