The Fairy Tree

The running since my stellar performance last Sunday has been the usual mix of recovery runs (read slow) and tempo runs (read lack of pacing leading to fast/slow miles). I have decided that without a goal my running will continue on aimlessly. With this in mind I have decided to aim for a sub-70 in the Ballycotton 10 at the end of March. I have achieved this for the last two years so I don’t think this is too much of a test but at least it will allow me to structure the running for the next 5 weeks. Then there is the Cork Marathon at the start of June – my local. A DNF last year due to the 26 degree heat and a reasonable 3:35 for my second marathon in 2008.  So thats the running.

Local 5K cross country around a park next Sunday – never a PB but good fun.

One of the parts of my job that is both the most enjoyable and sometimes frustrating is what we call ‘going on an inspection’.  This generally involves getting up early, driving 150 miles and looking at a sewage treatment plant in the middle of nowhere.   After that the afternoon is generally your own to travel home. I normally park-up in the middle of nowhere and head off on a run – 4 miles in one way and then 4 miles back to the car. Today the lucky towns were Ferbane and Clara in the middle of a bog in the middle of Ireland. If you’re in a bad mood it can be a shitehole but today the sun was shining and there was a crisp spring feeling in the air. I just did a gentle 6 miler as 300 miles in the car cause the hips and legs to seize up.

One of the other things I do when I’m on my own (not what you think) is wander around old graveyards. they buried people in style in days of old. I don’t know why but it is something that has fascinated me since I was a kid. The middle of Ireland has plenty of these. I came across one today on a bog road that has a holy well and a rag tree (also known as a fairy tree). To a city dweller like me these are a bit of an amusement but to locals these are a serious site for pilgrimage and prayers. This tree had all manner of miraculous medals, coins nailed into the trunk and things associated with children.

John Flannery 1705 - 1755

People leave their hopes and prayers at the Fairy Tree


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