Hell and Back Apollo

My haphazard 8 week training plan journey to Hell & Back Apollo starts here, the countdown is on!

WEEK 8Brian Boru 10mile Commemorative plaque

Easter Monday 21/04/1914: Battle of Clontarf, Millenium 10 mile race

It was very early in the season for me to be anywhere near up to 10 miles in training, I hadn’t been running much and the race was organised by the brilliant Raheny Shamrock AC so the pace was always going to be very fast.  To top it off the sun was beating down.  A repetitive course with a series of loops around the lovely St Anne’s Park in Raheny and taking in some roads in Clontarf. Some of the vikings were still wandering around their makeshift tents in the village they’d created for the epic festival that drew 40,000 over the weekend. I don’t always have to run with music but I really could have done with some pumping sounds to get me round the course that day but the battery had died on my mp3 player! When I arrived there were about 500 club runners lining up and I thought ‘oh oh’, not too many ‘fun’ runners here I could be in trouble! It was a tough race for me but I just powered through as best I could in 82 minutes.  We received a very nice commemorative plaque in the goody bag afterwards.  Like all races organised by runners for runners and especially with it being Raheny Shamrock AC it was a pleasure, an honour and an absolute wake-up call to see how unfit I am in the lead up to Hell and Back!

22/04/14: Rest

23/04/14: 25 mins of Hula Hooping!! I use a weighted one that’s meant to be good for your core, not sure how true that is yet but I’m giving it a whirl and you can’t help but be in a good mood using it.hula-hoop-craze

24/04/14: 25 mins core workout, sits ups/planks/push-ups/added in some squats & tricep dips too.

25/04/14: Race pack collection for the Samsung 10km Night Run on Sunday, the organisers had no small tops left, disappointing, especially considering the entry fee which was a bit pricier than most 10kms.  They offered me my size in the Cork top…I took the medium in the Dublin one and skedaddled!

26/04/14: Rest

27/04/14: Samsung 10 km Night Run, I realise now that morning races suit me better.  I always try to eat no more than 2 hrs before a race but in the case of a night race it was 2 hrs after a heavy dinner instead of a light breakfast so I didn’t feel great or energised at all.  download

My warm-up consisted of pegging it to the start just in time for the elite to take off and hurtling myself over the barriers, there were no set waves so I just positioned myself as appropriately as I could and set off.  No time for my Garmin forerunner to locate satellites (bane of my life waiting on satellites!) so I ran it old school and paced myself instinctively.staring-at-garmin_thumb

Luckily it was a beautiful evening and the city looked great under the stars and flood lights, bemused tourists watched as a sea of luminous jerseys passed over the Samuel Beckett bridge in a mysterious dash to get somewhere.  The route went past the Customs House, The Point Village around the Docklands and the Bord Gais energy theatre.  There was a lovely bit of race bling received afterwards, as well as a text confirming my time of 49 mins, all in all I would do it again, but I’d get in early to collect the right T-shirt size, eat very light during the day, and although it’s a flat course I wouldn’t expect a PB given the size of the crowd.



28/04/14: Rest

29/04/14: 25 min core workout + 1 hr Bootcamp which involved sprints, circuit training, planks, mountain climbers, squats etc. Tuesdays & Thursdays are my busiest training days at the moment.

30/04/14: Dance Class 1 hr, this year I decided to have a bit of fun on my cross-training days! 6b0a330345c1aca7e0e3a872810f587a

01/05/14: Core workout 25 mins, the rain was torrential so I cancelled on Bootcamp.

02/05/14: Rest

03/05/14: Rest

04/05/14: Tabata DVDTabata-Facebook



05/05/14: Rest

06/05/14: 25 min core workout + 1 hr Bootcamp.  Pulled a muscle behind my knee at Bootcamp, not looking good for the rest of the week’s training.

07/05/14: Cancelled Dance class, iced the leg.images

08/05/14: Cancelled Bootcamp, rested

09/05/14: Session! drunk

10/05/14: Session!

11/05/14: Recovered from the partying and wrote off a bad week.  My life is one big balancing act, enjoying the good things in life while living the good life! Sometimes the scales tip each way but I always try to find the medium ground.



12/05/14: Rest

13/05/14: Bootcamp 1 hr + 1 hr walk

14/05/14: Dance Class 1 hr, the dance teacher said next week we’ll be using Hula Hoops! They’re having a mini revival! Can’t wait to learn a few tricks, I’ll be joining a circus and using a flaming hula soon! 🙂

15/05/14: 25 min Hula hooping & sit ups + 1 hr Bootcamp + 1 mile jog.

16/05/14: Rest

17/05/14: Session!

18/05/14: Rest10312387_685705628156864_3636701075387331489_n





19/05/14: Rest

20/05/14: 1hr Bootcamp, lots of core work, sit ups, planks, push-ups, also skipping, bicep curls, burpees and reps on some of the park exercise machines. My arms were sore for a couple of days after reps on this pull down trainer.


1.5 mile jog home.  Always finish with my RUN-ROLL-STRETCH routine, using this Grid roller.  First week of no niggles after Bootcamp, feeling great.

Implement of torture, every runner should own one!

Implement of torture, every runner should own one


21/05/14: 1 hr Dance Class which included sit ups and Hula Hooping to improve core strength and balance. The girls were surprised when I didn’t let the Hula Hoop drop once and could do spinning circles and arm work, I felt like a dog performing tricks at a Pedigree competition!  I told them I’ve been practising and now some of them are considering getting their own Hula Hoops.  By the end of the class after many hilarious bumbling efforts the girls were all getting the hang of it.  I’ve noticed this week that using your hands while spinning the hoop is a lot like patting your head and rubbing your tummy. Here’s hoping we learn new tricks next week.


use 322/05/14: Dublin Staff Relay, I entered GCD into the Dublin Staff Relay this year with 1 team of 5, each of us running 5 km.  We agreed our running order before we arrived, we wanted to get a good start so we choose our tallest experienced runner to go first, had our 2 beginners next and two experienced runners to finish the last 10 km strong.  That’s as far as our tactics went! When we arrived it became apparent that most of the race would be run on grass, this changed our timing expectations knowing we wouldn’t be as fast on grass.  I’d recommend arriving a good bit early for the event to get organised and familiarise the group with the course and layout.  Only the last runner wears a timing chip so the start is not really accurately timed as there were 5,000 people with 1,000 teams there, so a huge crowd crossed the start line at different times.  Once the A runners crossed the finish line they had to manically search the crowd behind the barrier for their B runner to pass the baton.

Meeting Jason 'Trigger' McAteer

Meeting Jason ‘Trigger’ McAteer

Each runner received an Olympic size medal, a goody bag with chocolate, crisps, Lucazade, the opportunity to meet Jason ‘Trigger’ McAteer and to hold the Sam Maguire and Liam McCarthy Cups.  Everyone on team GCD did brilliantly and came in well under their targeted time and seemed totally up for taking part again next year.  It was a great experience, very well organised and I was delighted with my time of 22 mins.

Elena Ringo performing with 6 hula hoops

Elena Ringo performing with 6 hula hoops


23/05/14: 25 mins Hula Hooping, we had a bit of fun using two Hula Hoops at the same time this week, we couldn’t spin them for very long because they were different weights.  At the moment I can hula for 800 spins without dropping it, I counted once out of curiosity 🙂 I noticed some bruising on my hips this week probably after using 2 Hula’s and also having done 3 sessions in a week.



24/05/14: R&R


25/05/14: R&R



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