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Grand Canal

Looking South and the view is Grand

So ever since I completed my Royal Canal Run I’ve felt like a barge without a rudder, stuck up out of the water and unable to go anywhere.

It would be wrong to say that I didn’t need the rest, a holiday and some time to recover. Aching joints demanded it and I think it took a while for me to realize I needed to increase my food intake to promote recovery.

That said in the last few days I’ve accepted that my recent stress levels haven’t been helped by my lack of having a normal adherence to a plan, to having a goal to strive for.

After achieving two major goals (100 Marathons and The Royal Canal Run) within 3 weeks of each other I really have had nothing to focus on since the end of June.

Financial realities and some other travel commitments next year really mean I have to take my eyes off the big ticket items I want to shoot for so I need to look for something closer to home.

So given I’ve ran the Royal Canal I guess it makes perfect sense to go for the double, look south and go for the Grand Canal.

Some would say the Grand Canal should be that bit easier as it is several miles shorter than the Royal. However the quality of the towpath on the Grand Canal is considerably less than that of the Royal so I expect it may actually be tougher.

I don’t think I will put in the same level of research into running the Grand as I did the Royal. Living by the Royal I was fascinated by its history (and misfortune) and the dogged persistence of those involved in bringing it back from desolation to the thriving Greenway and navigable inland waterway it is now.

There’s no denying that the Grand Canal was the more successful of the pair and with the great fleet of barges that once worked it has a deep and detailed history but for now my focus is going to be on just running it from Camden Lock at the Liffey to where it meets the Shannon just west of Shannon Harbour.

My first task will be to get my distance legs back. Up until today my next planned distance event was to be the Dublin Marathon but I am eager to get started and to also move on from being able to say “I’ve ran 100 marathons” to being able to say “I’ve ran more than 100 marathons”.

So I have signed up for the East of Ireland Marathon in Tirmoghan on the 31st of August to get me motivated. From there I will need to start recceing the route, breaking it down into sections so I can build up a map and find out what I’m letting myself in for. This was one of the more enjoyable parts of the logistics of running the Royal Canal, albeit it was easier as the adjacent train line made it easier to get to and from my start and finish points.

This time I won’t be limiting myself by starting at midnight and trying to run it inside a single day, nor will I tie myself to doing it on the summer solstice and a weekday. It will be my intention to declare a Fastest Known Time route and it will be my intention to record an FKT on the route but this time I will keep things a little simpler.

So let the research begin, let the training plan come together and should anyone fancy a long slow run along the banks of the Grand Canal give me a shout. I hope to bring this altogether over the winter for a run in late spring.

Winter miles bring summer smiles!

By royalcanalrunner

Ultra Distance Runner and Royal Canal Enthusiast.

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