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Monday, May 3, 2010

Team Pearl.

Citizens, how goes it? Not bad here and I will feel much better once I have dusted off a few blogger cobwebs. I must say that my trip back to Ireland the weekend before last was quite enjoyable. The Friday of my departure was pretty smooth even though Charles de Gaulle Airport was rammed with the volcanic ash back-log. I spent the night in Dublin with my close friend Neil who is my original co-conspirator for the Mizen to Malin run next year. Hours were spent listening to music and catching up, we got a lot of work done too in developing a sponsorship package to fund this epic adventure. And even though its a year+ away it still needs a tremendous amount of timing and coordination to pull this off. To quote Alicia "Lets just get this 100km race over first eh...", quite right my dear, ahem, moving on.

I made it down to the stix early on Saturday morning to see all my family and it felt awesome to see them all again. They live in a little village in Offaly called Ballycumber and it is definitely a one horse town, lots of bogs and back roads, a runners paradise really. After getting settled I wasted no time in lacing up my New Balance shoes and hitting the countryside. It was my first run on home soil and it did not disappoint. The temperature was quite a few degrees below what I had left in Paris but that didn't phase me too much, what did surprise me was the wind. It was a real struggle during some parts of my run as it always seemed to be coming from the side or straight on. My brother came out with a video camera for a section of it and put together some footage for me. He did a great job and I have posted it below as well as on facebook. I also ran a marathon on the Monday as my last major long run before starting the taper for the 100k.

I spent a lot of my weekend discussing the effect the recession has had on the country and let me tell you its startling the way the government is treating it's people. Compared to Ireland at the moment, the UK and France are positively soaring. In Ireland there is a sadness and negativity that I could actually feel in the air, I also was blown away by the tales of hardship I heard. People I went to school with being diagnosed with terminal illness, children being born with severe handicaps and healthy people in the prime of their lives being struck down with all sorts of terrible ailments. Now I am not making this up nor exaggerating the numbers in these cases, it seriously seems like the marrow of the people has been drained away by the terrible economical climate there. I think a major change is needed as no-one deserves that kind of stress and uncertainty.

Being back in Paris is much different as you can imagine, for starters seeing someone running down the road draws less attention than in a country village. Pearl is progressing well and seems to understand the world around her a bit more, vocally she seems to be experimenting and trying to find her voice. Tomorrow she will go under anaesthetic for her MRI, this is the third attempt so cross your fingers for a positive outcome. We are also delving into Makaton signing with her which is an abbreviated version of sign language and she responds well to the bit we do know, further study is definitely needed. However, my Everest is to toilet train her and with a lot of accidents and patience I think we can conquer it.

I had a one and a half hour run this morning and will probably fit in 2-3 more sessions before I finish up on Sunday for a week. After that its rest and some cycling for a few days. Myself and Alicia depart for Vendee on Fri 14th, my wonderful sister Alison (who ran her first 4 mile race yesterday in 36.24, so proud of her) and Mum are coming over to stay at home with the kids. I am really excited at this stage and just need luck that no last minute injuries will hamper this undertaking, I have trained hard and confident that Autism will be in the minds of a few more people by the time I cross the line and maybe even for a while after it. Wishing you all the very best.

See you round the bend,


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Running for Pearl

This blog is dedicated to my daughter Pearl who was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in August 2009. My goal is to raise funds and awareness by doing what I love....Running.