VHI Women's Minimarathon

by Siofra Kelleher — on  , 


One of the hardest parts of quarantine during Covid-19 was not being as active as usual. I needed a goal to get me on my feet again. Then my friend sent me a link to fundraising for Irish Heart Foundation by running a mini-marathon.

I've always enjoyed running but never really raced. Especially since school got busy, I hadn't been running regularly in a long time. But I wanted to be able to run 5k, no matter how long it took. So I downloaded the couch to 5k app and started going out.

Running regularly has been surprisingly beneficial. I noticed my mood improved after a couple of weeks and my blood sugars were easier to maintain once I learned how to deal with the effect a run would have on my control. And that was one of the hardest parts. Exercise has always been difficult to manage with diabetes because you could be having a great run but then your blood sugars go low and suddenly you're stranded and need to eat and you lose your progress. This is extremely demotivating, especially if it happens a few times. Exercising regularly also requires your insulin needs to drop drastically, but it also means you need to keep regularly exercising. Even if it's raining, you have to go out for your run to make sure your sugars don't go high all day. This is just one of the many elements of diabetes that are overlooked by those who are not diabetic. So my deadline was the 17th of September. Luckily for me, VHI Women's Marathon split the 10k race into two 5k runs over the weekend. I managed to run both and was proud of my efforts. I look forward to perhaps reaching 10k next year.

In the end, I gained a new habit of running regularly again but also raising money for a good cause. The Irish Heart Foundation supports those who suffer from stroke and heart issues, as well as raising awareness of the importance of heart health. I was able to raise €110 for the foundation which I'm very grateful for.